Show cover of Danny In The Valley

Danny In The Valley

After more than a decade in London, Danny Fortson returns to Silicon Valley to meet the techies trying to change the world - and make loads of money while doing it. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Tracks

Kernel's Bryan Johnson: “Dinner at 11:00 am and reversing age”
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent brings on Bryan Johnson, tech entrepreneur and Kernel founder, to talk about reversing his biological age with “the blueprint” (4:50), eating dinner at 11:00 am (12:15), pleasure through pain (15:45), rethinking what it means to be human (17:30), changing society (23:00), how this philosophy dovetails with his startup Kernel (24:50), the “cognitive crisis" (26:45), living outside the norm (30:45), the autonomous self (33:15), assembling a team of 25 people to create the blueprint (36:50), being a “rejuvenation athlete” (38:40), firing himself (43:50), creating a community of rejuvenation enthusiasts (47:15), how long he wants to live (50:50), the rise of the machines (52:50), and automating away willpower (57:50). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
62:44 02/12/22
SciFi Foods' Joshua March: "Brewing a $1 lab-grown burger”
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Joshua March, founder of SciFi Foods to talk about why he is trying to brew burgers (3:30), mixing meat and plants (6:00), the cost challenge (8:00), growing up in small town England and his first startup (11:50), launching a social media software company (15:00), finding a technical co-founder and starting a meat company (17:20), leaning into the science with its branding (25:20), the cost challenge (30:30), the road to regulatory approval (37:40), winning hearts and minds (40:15), and the vegan mafia (41:10). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
44:04 25/11/22
Neoplants' Lio Mora & Partick Torbey: "A houseplant that eats carcinogens"
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Patrick Torbey and Lio Mora about engineering plants (3:45), the age of biology (6:15), their $180 houseplant (11:25), indoor pollution (13:45), meeting at a startup incubator (17:30), founder dating (20:55), raising money (24:30), spending four years developing the first plant (27:25), the market education problem (33:00), why certifications is more difficult than it seems (39:30), the maintenance challenge (41:45), and their worst day (47:05). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
51:55 18/11/22
Obvious Ventures’ Andrew Beebe: “Do stuff that matters”
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Andrew Beebe, to talk about “world positive” investing (4:00), the dotcom boom (5:30), zeroing in on climate years ago (10:10), how a cold call to Google worked (12:10), how he met Twitter founder Ev Williams (16:00), investing in the downturn (19:10), screening for world positive companies (23:45), how he coaches founders (28:20), climate tech whiplash and why this time is different (32:000), and his worst day of work (40:30). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
44:17 11/11/22
Mayfield's Navin Chaddha: “The best companies get bought, not sold”
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Navin Chaddha of Mayfield Fund, to talk about the future of work (3:10), and Silicon Valley (9:50), managing $2bn with seven people (13:55), his first startup in the dotcom boom (18:00), the importance of timing (22:50), holding his nerve at the recent peak (28:10), the other two companies he started (33:10), the lessons from he took from them (38:10), the current downturn (42:05), how he made it here from India (46:50), going through the IIT system (50:00), and what he’s excited to back (55:05). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
59:56 04/11/22
Blackrock Neurotech's Marcus Gerhardt: "An inflection point for brain-computer interfaces"
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Marcus Gerhardt, chief executive of Blackrock Neurotech, to talk about his boarding school days in Wales (4:00), his dotcom adventures (10:00), pivoting to brain-computer interfaces (16:00), the “Utah array” (18:40), how in 2006 the first person sent an email with his thoughts (20:30), starting the company (23:00), the state of the technology today (26:40), targeting tetraplegics (33:00), getting investment (38:15), going to market (41:30), and reaching an inflection point (47:40). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
54:22 28/10/22
Checkerspot’s Charles Dimmler: “Using algae to make skis”
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent brings on co-founder and chief executive of Checkerspot, to talk about using algae to make skis (3:55), what he leaned at pioneer Solazyme (8:30), naming the company after a butterfly (16:10), how synthetic biology is like computers were in the 1980’s (18:00), starting out as an investment banker (21:15), switching to biotech (27:00), and then to Solazyme (28:30), algae oil skis (32:15), convincing investors (36:30), the rise of climate tech (42:00), and his worst day (48:00). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
51:28 21/10/22
Finless Foods’ Michael Selden: “The tuna roadster”
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent brings on Michael Selden, co-founder and chief executive of Finless Foods, to talk about growing tuna in a lab (2:45), getting the price down from $300,000 to $150 per pound (5:45), a publicly available bluefin tuna genome (8:45), replacing fetal bovine serum (11:30), using plant based material for the flesh “scaffolding” (14:20), scaling up (16:10), aiming for the mass market (19:55), why almost all American seafood is imported (21:20), the problems with seafood (22:40), the hardest moment(s) (27:30), the challenge of turning “clean meat” into an industry (32:00), and the science that is yet to be figured out (35:40). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
42:47 14/10/22
Charm's Peter Reinhardt: "Turning plants into barbecue sauce"
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Peter Reinhardt, co-founder and chief executive Charm Industrial, to talk about a different approach to carbon capture (3:30), overshooting our emissions (7:25), starting the company after a career in software (11:35), finding the Tesla roadster of CO2 removal (14:30), the potential (16:55), scaling up (19:40), attracting investors (22:00), and the CO2 scoreboard (24:00). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
25:31 07/10/22
Source Water's Cody Friesen: "Turning sunlight into water"
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Cody Friesen, founder of Source Water, to talk about using solar to solve the water problem (4:30), the messy energy transition (9:15), our reliance on “dino-juice” (11:00), how its panels work (13:00), improving performance (22:00), starting the company (24:55), luring investors (27:00), going from scientist to founder (30:50), creating a battery company (38:00), scaling up (40:00), and solving problems for seven generations hence (44:45). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
47:47 30/09/22
Empower's Warren Hogarth: "Giving credit to 100 million people"
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Warren Hogarth, founder of Empower, to talk about solving the credit score quandary (3:20), how his struggle to buy a car planted a seed for the company (6:20), tapping in to bank account data (8:05), his first job shoveling poop (13:00), trying his hand at fuel cell technology (14:40), then doing a fintech startup (15:50), joining the legendary venture firm Sequoia Capital (18:00), not investing in Lyft (19:55), launching Empower (21:50), the problem with credit scoring (28:05), learning how fintechs got built at Sequoia (31:10), raising $150 million after staying lean for years (34:10), completely automating credit approval (34:30), keeping an eye on employment amid economic turmoil (36:35), and operating remote-first (39:50). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
43:43 23/09/22
Faeth's Anand Parikh: "Nutrition as the fourth pillar of cancer care"
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Anand Parikh, co-founder and chief executive of Faeth Therapeutics, to talk about using nutrition to treat cancer (3:30), pairing it with chemotherapy (8:45), growing up in London (10:00), moving from corporate law to a startup (12:00), starting Faeth (17:10), a dream team of cancer scientists (18:30), seeking FDA approval (26:10), operating fully remotely (29:50), food as medicine (32:15), and his worst day of work (34:40). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
39:47 16/09/22
Overemployed’s Isaac P: “The days of the employee are dead”
The Sunday Times’s tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Isaac P, a tech worker secretly working multiple full-time jobs, to talk about the “overemployed” phenomenon (4:30), making $1 million a year (6:05), why the days of the employee are dead (8:25), the rise of remote monitoring tools (13:10), a typical day (14:30), his view of employers/companies (15:30), starting the website, Discord and Reddit (18:30), burnout (21:20), whether a slowing economy will kill the “overemployed” era (23:30), whether going to university is the best plan (28:00), and decoupling your identity from your job (30:10). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
33:53 02/09/22
SUMMER INTERLUDE!
I'm taking a couple weeks off. Will be back with you first thing in September. Thanks for listening! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
00:59 19/08/22
Lightship's Ben Parker: "Electrifying a beige industry"
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Ben Parker, co-founder and chief executive of Lightship, to talk about electrifying the recreational vehicle industry (3:30), starting out in electric racing (6:00), getting a job at Tesla (7:40), the food truck problem (12:30), leaving Tesla (19:25), starting Lightship (25:25), rethinking design from the ground up (31:00), the pickup truck tipping point (33:00), raising $23m (36:20), lessons from Tesla (39:00), and why RV’s are beige (43:50). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
48:09 12/08/22
Buck Institute’s Eric Verdin: “Half of children born today will live to 100”
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Eric Verdin, president of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, to talk about metformin (5:20), his background (9:30), the origin of the Buck (12:30), getting support from techies (14:50), the birth of geroscience (19:20), exercise and the 10,000 steps phenomenon (27:10), tracking down the pathways of ageing (28:55), what the research looks like five years from now (35:10), healthspan (41:20), the Moore’s Law of ageing (46:20), how post codes are the single biggest determinant of longevity (50:25), age reversal (57:00), the longevity dividend (1:00:40) and the value of a glass of wine (1:09:45). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
72:09 05/08/22
Synchron's Tom Oxley: "Implanting the first brain-computer interface”
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Tom Oxley, founder of Synchron, to talk about putting the first brain implant into a US patient (3:50), helping paralysed patients (6:55), getting the device into the brain (11:00), what this means for humans (14:25), understanding the brain (18:30), how he got started (24:00), creating Synchron (30:05), and the how the Pentagon helped fund the company (32:20). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
39:36 29/07/22
Cervest's Iggy Bassi and Karan Chopra: "Creating a climate risk X-ray”
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Iggy Bassi and Karan Chopra of Cervest to talk about measure climate risk (4:40), launching Cervest after starting a company in Ghana (8:40), what they learned from growing rice (11:55), climate data (17:00), how they sell it (22:00), raising money (27:00), how climate intelligence is used by businesses (33:30), climate health scores (40:20), the problem with heat (43:15), and integrating climate risk scores into (47:30) Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
50:55 22/07/22
Investor and author Matthew Ball: "The metaverse's time is nigh"
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Matthew Ball, investors and Author of The Metaverse, and How it Will Revolutionize Everything, to talk about why the time is near for the metaverse (3:45), the metaverse economy (8:40), bringing together different technological and cultural strands (10:15), what’s going to be different (12:30), the importance of generational shifts (15:05), the definition (18:45), why there are no legs in Meta’s Horizon Worlds (23:55), the hardware challenge (26:00), who loses (31:55), Netflix (34:00), and why foresight and resource may not matter (35:45). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
43:04 15/07/22
Mike Alfred & Zume's Alex Garden on crypto, pizza and the future of humanity
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on investor Mike Alfred to talk about the crypto meltdown (8:50), why this is different than the 2008 financial crisis (12:20), why more pain is coming (18:00), why he was worried about Celsius and BlockFi (22:10), and what the collapse means for the economy (28:05). THEN: Alex Garden of Zume comes on to talk about the food supply chain (32:20), alighting on pizza (37:35), replacing plastic with compostable packaging (41:50), the problem with plastic (45:05), how soggy pizza led to a pivot (51:00), scaling up (56:50), days that end in “why?” (1:06:50), and the painful decisions required to survive (1:08:50). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
75:56 08/07/22
Ample's John de Souza: "Electric car charging is broken"
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on John de Souza, to talk about replacing car batteries, not charging them (6:20), starting with fleets (11:30), growing up in Africa and Dubai (15:00), producing a movie (19:00), entering uni at 16 (22:10), selling his first startup to Bill Gates (24:05), becoming an investor (27:40), then doing a few more startups (32:25), alighting on EV charging (33:40), getting the car companies to buy in to swappable batteries (39:20), raising $260 million (42:40), why superchargers aren’t enough (44:35), the future of the energy transition (48:20), and his deal with Uber (50:40). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
53:01 01/07/22
Shopify's Harley Finkelstein: “There’s room for us and Amazon”
The Sunday  Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Harley Finkelstein, president of Shopify, to talk about the market mayhem (3:50), Shopify coming out of the shadows (5:25), how it got started (11:30), how Amazon have up on the online stores business (19:35), getting into delivery (22:45), the renewed Amazon threat (27:45), the future of direct-to-consumer commerce (31:30), how Apple has upended online ads (36:10), and the best and worst of going fully remote (38:30). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
42:42 24/06/22
Persefoni’s Kentaro Kawamori: “Capitalism created the climate problem - and will solve it”
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Kentaro Kawamori to talk about starting out in the oil industry (3:30), growing up all around the world (8:00), doing esports (10:00), going to three universities at once (13:30), dealing with drunken Japanese salarymen (14:40), the need for carbon accounting (17:30), how Persefoni works (24:15), Big Oil billionaires backing climate tech (27:15), raising $100 million (29:00), what happens after measurement (32:30), why Exxon’s loss to green investors was a big deal (34:30), the SEC pushing through with climate disclosure rules (38:10), and his worst day of work (41:50). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
45:31 17/06/22
Wired’s Steve Levy on Meta and What3words’ founder Chris Sheldrick on mapping the world
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on two guests this week. First up is Steven Levy, editor-at-large at Wired and author Facebook: The Inside Story, to talk about Sheryl Sandberg’s original “deal” with Mark Zuckerberg (5:00), what Facebook was in the early days (7:10), the failure of the Zuck-Sheryl partnership (9:30), consolidation of Zuckerberg’s power (19:00), the Washington DC operation (21:00), what Sandberg does next (26:30), and what Meta does next (31:20). Then Chris Sheldrick, co-founder and CEO of What3words, comes on to talk about dividing the world into 57 trillion squares (36:30), the origin of the idea (38:40), getting the world to sign up (42:00), partnering with Jaguar Land Rover (44:10), breaking into America and other markets (46:50), the battle for mapping dominance (50:15), the business model (54:20), translating the system into different languages (55:50), and getting its first contract - in Mongolia (57:40) Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
62:07 10/06/22
Starling's Anne Boden: "The banks have lost their confidence"
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Anne Boden, founder of fintech unicorn Starling Bank, to talk about the post-pandemic workplace (3:30), the market collapse (8:40), starting a bank after the recession (11:50), growing up in South Wales (14:25), why banks aren’t good at tech (17:45), how people reacted to her as a first-time, 50-something entrepreneur (22:00), the first “yes” after 400 “no’s” (25:00), the banks’ lack of confidence (30:00), getting to 3 million customers in three years (33:40), sexism (39:40), breaking out of being a “trial bank” (42:20), crypto (43:40), and money laundering in London (46:25). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
51:28 03/06/22
Arrival's Avinash Rugoobur: "No one has ever made vehicles this way"
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Avinash Rugoobur, president of Arrival, to talk about the challenge of creating an electric vehicle company from scratch (3:30), micro-factories (6:20), how the EV shift has already happened (10:30), why small is beautiful (15:50), the problem with paint (19:50), starting at GM’s innovation unit (24:20), when he started a “chocolate lounge” (25:45), meeting Arrival founder Denis Sverdlov (30:10), the importance of mentors (35:10), what keeps him up at night (38:30), and operating in a bear market (42:00). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
46:33 27/05/22
Miss Excel's Kat Norton: "How I made millions doing Tiktok videos - about Microsoft Excel”
The Sunday Times' tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Kat Norton, creator of Miss Excel, to talk about what she did before Miss Excel (3:30), declaring she would be “rich and famous” (7:30), deciding to try Tiktok (9:50), hitting 100,000 views with an early video (11:50), creating an Instagram presence (13:55), quitting her job (15:30), webinars (17:10), going from zero to seven figures in a year (19:00), on whether the pace is sustainable (24:10), social media negativity (27:10), the new world of Excel creators (28:45), and leaving New York (31:20). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
34:17 20/05/22
Mitra Chem's Vivas Kumar: "Building a US battery champion"
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Vivas Kumar, founder of Mitra Chem, to talk about batteries (4:00), starting out at Tesla (8:10), launching his company (9:50), the race for battery resources (12:40), iron and China (14:00), meeting Chamath Palihapitya (18:10), going from India to Singapore to Texas to California (21:40), the Tesla roller coaster (26:30), making cathode powder (34:15), and the million-mile battery (39:30). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
44:31 13/05/22
UC Berkeley’s Hany Farid and James Currier of NFX on Musk’s Twitter takeover and the state of social media
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on two guests, Hany Farid of UC Berkeley’s School of Information, and James Currier, general partner at NFX, to talk about Twitter and social media. Farid is up first to talk about free speech (4:50), the ideal of the Internet (10:00), the content moderation challenge (14:45), Musk’s plan for Twitter (18:50), why Farid’s optimistic (23:00), the cost of misinformation (27:00), and his prediction for Twitter (30:30). NFX’s James Currier then comes on to talk about the state of social media (33:35), taming the savageness of man (40:40), the bot problem (42:35), the uniqueness of Twitter (44:35), the Tiktok effect (46:50), the rise and fall of consumer products (51:55), the return to social media normalcy (54:25), the value of a social graph and Twitter’s future (57:45), and the crash in tech markets (1:02:10). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
68:24 06/05/22
Spring Free EV's Sunil Paul: "I've been trying to give away this idea for 10 years"
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Sunil Paul to talk about how the “orange day” inspired him to start Spring Free (4:00), pioneering car-sharing and ride-sharing (9:50), why his company Sidecar didn’t work (14:35), the idea behind Spring Free (17:35), the Airbnb of electric vehicles (21:50), finding enough cars (27:40), getting billionaires to back him (32:10), applying the lessons form ride-sharing (33:00), building Spring Free as a consumer fintech brand (38:40), comparing the climate opportunity to the dawn of the web and his early days at AOL (40:00), and his worst day (47:25). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
50:44 29/04/22