Kris Reid is the founder of Ardor SEO and Media Factory. He founded the company after losing his job as a software engineer, opening offices in Cambodia and the Philippines.
Ardor Media Factory is a multi-national backlink building company. They help businesses achieve success in their respective niches by offering a wide range of services including search engine optimization, search engine ranking, and link building. They also produce high-quality content for business websites through informative articles and free services such as keyword research and web analysis.
Kris’s Challenge; Do something that you are scared of. Step out of your comfort zone and do something that makes you nervous.
Connect with Kris
If you liked this interview, check out episode 93 with Phil Laboon where we discuss entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and lifestyle design.
John Thornton is the CEO of Astrobotic, a company aspiring to be the logistics company for Space.
Astrobotic delivers lunar payload and services to government and commercial customers. The company’s first Moon mission will carry customer payloads, win the $20M Google Lunar XPRIZE, and explore a possible cave entrance on the surface of the Moon. Astrobotic has 17 prior and ongoing NASA contracts, strong partnerships, and world-leading staff and technology for the development of robotic landers.
John’s Challenge; Find the darkest place you can and look up at the stars.
Connect with John
If you liked this interview, check out episode 27 with Henry Thorne where we discuss building a technology company and building businesses.
Robin Hanson is a professor of economics at George Mason University and a research associate at the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University. He is an expert on idea futures and markets, and he was involved in the creation of the Foresight Institute’s Foresight Exchange and DARPA's FutureMAP project. He invented market scoring rules used by prediction markets and has conducted research on signaling.
Hanson received a B.S. in physics from the University of California, Irvine in 1981, an M.S. in physics and an M.A. in Conceptual Foundations of Science from the University of Chicago in 1984, and a Ph.D. in social science from Caltech in 1997. Before getting his Ph.D. he researched artificial intelligence, Bayesian statistics, and hypertext publishing. In addition, he started the first internal corporate prediction market at Xanadu in 1990.
Robin’s Challenge; Pursue your interests and start new projects in your free time. Your life will be long. You’ll have lots of time to pursue a lot of odd projects.
Check out Robin’s Book; Age of Em: Work, Love and Life when Robots Rule the Earth
Connect with Robin
If you liked this interview, check out episode 118 with Kevin Kelly where we discuss the inevitable technological trends shaping our future.
Kevin Kelly is the founding executive editor of Wired magazine and a former editor/publisher of the Whole Earth Review. He has also been a writer, photographer, conservationist, and student of Asian and digital culture.
Kelly stepped down as executive editor of Wired in 1999; his current job title is Senior Maverick. Partially due to his reputation as Wired's editor, he is noted as a participant in and an observer of cyberculture.
His books include;
Kevin’s Challenge; Take $100 and invest it into someone that cannot pay you back directly. Learn to be full of gratitude. Try Kiva.
Connect with Kevin
If you liked this interview, check out episode 109 where I rant about the current state of the internet.
Isaac Morehouse is an entrepreneur, thinker, and communicator dedicated to the relentless pursuit of freedom, and an advocate of self-directed learning and living. He is the founder and CEO of Praxis, an intensive nine-month program combining a paid apprenticeship at a startup with personal coaching, professional development projects, and interdisciplinary education leading directly to a full-time job offer for those who want more than college.
Isaac previously worked at the Institute for Humane Studies where he raised support, mentored students, and directed educational programs. Prior to IHS, Isaac was at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy where he created and directed Students for a Free Economy. He’s been involved in numerous businesses and nonprofit start-ups, and loves connecting people and helping them discover and realize their dreams.
Isaac writes, speaks, and teaches on entrepreneurship, economics, education, philosophy, freedom, communication skills, how to change the world and an assortment of other topics. He is the author/co-author of six books; Better Off Free, The Future of School, Freedom Without Permission, Why Haven’t You Read This Book?, How to Get Any Job You Want, and Don’t Do Stuff You Hate.
Isaac’s Challenge; Try to write down a list of things you hate and find a way to remove one from your life.
Connect with Isaac
If you liked this interview, check out episode 66 with Zak Slayback where we discuss Praxis, education, and entrepreneurship.
Dan Bull is the Founder of Zero Six Eight, an organization dedicated to developing entrepreneurs with ideas into companies that solve real problems in a socially responsible manner. 068 is one of the top resources in the city for employing ex-offenders and offering second chances.
Dan’s Challenge; Forgive.
Connect with Dan
If you liked this interview, check out episode 2 with Michael Van Ness where we discuss 068 and Michael’s social work.
Todd is an author who helps creative people find their untapped potential. He is the author of The Creative's Curse, a book about the pains of being creative at every phase - Discover, Discipline, and Destiny. He is also the founder of Snap Swipe Post, a site which creates custom SnapChat geo-filters.
His goal in business is to create things people enjoy, whether that means a well-crafted document, a funny video, or just a simple acronym.
He loves his redhead, Chacos, and sweet potatoes.
We referenced his post The Answer is No
Todd’s Challenge; Work one Saturday. Don’t write off your spare time or believe that you don’t have the time.
Preview his book here http://toddbrison.com/godeep
Connect with Todd
If you liked this interview, check out episode 105 with Declan Wilson here we discuss how millennials can step up and attack their goals.
Kash Dhanda is an entrepreneur. He is currently the founder and CEO of Ezra Digital (his digital marketing agency), previous co-founder of Upside Sounds (a concert promotion company).
Kash is also an avid Virtual Reality enthusiast. We discuss a number of resources to learn more about VR including;
Needless to say, we both think it’s a big deal.
Kash is a tech lover, Pittsburgher, traveler, meditator, poker player, and probably a few other things. He is also a volunteer. He sits on the board of directors for the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project, the advisory board for The Cultural Trust Jazz Festival, marketing committee for the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Host Committee for the Thrival Music and Innovation Festival.
Kash’s Challenge; Put 30 minutes on your calendar this Friday to plan your next week. Use time-blocking to set up all your meetings and objectives.
Connect with Kash
If you liked this interview, check out episode 93 with Phil Laboon where we discuss digital marketing, SEO, and Pittsburgh.
A brief essay on the current state of the internet. Over the past two decades, global internet users have increased from 35 million people to an astounding 3 billion today.
More than three-quarters of all internet advertising revenue is split between Google and Facebook.
Oren Klaff is the Managing Director of Intersection Capital and a #1 Bestselling Author for his book Pitch Anything. With over $400M in deals on his resume, Oren is well-qualified to cut through sales guru BS and give it to you straight.
His secret? Neuroeconomics. A single field of study that sorted out the different motivation and economic responses of the human mind and shows how the brain responds to pitches. Neuroeconomics combines neuroscience, economics, and psychology to study how people make decisions. It looks at the role of the brain when we evaluate decisions, categorize risks and rewards, and interact with each other.
In his book and this interview, Oren describes how to override the brain’s programming and close more deals.
Oren’s Challenge; In your next few meetings, don’t talk about weather, sports, or politics. It’s a waste of time and lowers your status.
If you are in sales, you need to get his book; Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal
Connect with Oren
If you liked this interview, check out episode 71 with Bob Seawright where we discuss cognitive biases, finance writing and the red team/black team approach.
Bill Peduto was elected to the office of Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh in November 2013. Prior, he worked for 19 years on Pittsburgh City Council. A self-described “Reform Democrat”, Bill Peduto wrote the most comprehensive package of government reform legislation in Pittsburgh’s history.
During Pittsburgh’s ongoing financial crisis, Bill Peduto has been the consistent voice of fiscal discipline. Decades of financial mismanagement and antiquated policies have left Pittsburgh with the highest debt ratio and lowest pension funding in the nation. He helped to write a new budget, lobbied to get others on board and after a year of hard work he was able to lead the city into a new five-year plan. He wasn’t afraid to make the tough votes to secure Pittsburgh’s future.
Adding his own charity fund-raising activities, such as Executive Producer of a documentary about the Allegheny Observatory and the only politician who laces his skates as a member of Pittsburgh’s Celebrity Hockey Team and it is pretty easy to see — Bill Peduto is not your typical Mayor.
Connect with Bill
If you liked this interview, check out episode 83 with Kristi Woolsey where we discuss the future of work and how technology will change the workplace.
Declan is an author of the recently released “The Millennial Way: Step Up, Step Out, Step Forward”. Declan originally set out to write a book to debunk the misconceptions and stigma surrounding the Millennial generation.
After interviewing Millennials doing “awesome things” with their lives, Declan noticed a recurring pattern among all their personal journeys, including his own. The pattern of Stepping Up, Stepping Out, and Stepping Forward became what Declan calls The Millennial Way. It’s not a 3 step process to achieve your dreams, it’s not a self-help book, it’s not a formula for success. Rather, it’s a beacon of self-awareness and clarity to your journey.
Together with his wife Erica, Declan runs the blog Millennial Type. Besides working full-time and running this blog, Declan is an avid fan of bike riding, anything Pittsburgh, reading, listening to NPR, binge-watching Netflix with Erica, cuddling with their cats, playing with their son Henry, watching Ted Talks, finding awesome podcasts and cooking.
Declan’s Challenge; Step up. Recognize your dream isn’t as silly as you think and start building the skills you're going
Check Out Declan’s Book; The Millennial Way: Step Up, Step Out, Step Forward
If you liked this interview, check out episode 46 with Taylor Pearson where we discuss the end of jobs and the future of entrepreneurship.
This is a story of evolution. Or maybe revolution is more accurate. Mike Vacanti left his cushy corporate gig to pursue a life of fitness entrepreneurship. For the last 12 years, he has been studying nutrition and training for fat loss and muscle gain and wants to pass this knowledge on to anyone who needs it.
He has trained hundreds of clients in the gym and thousands on the internet. He has helped a woman trim 150 pounds of body fat, countless men overcome bedroom issues, and teenagers use the barbell to find their way, He has also helped doctors and teachers and students and lawyers and hair stylists and entrepreneurs and millionaire hedge fund analysts lose fat, gain muscle and change their lives forever.
Mike’s Challenge; Challenge yourself to make a decision where there are uncertain outcomes. It’s easy to want safety and security.
Connect with Mike
If you liked this interview, check out episode 18 with Melissa Witmer where we discuss building an online fitness business and location independence.
Hassan Osman is a PMO Manager at Cisco and a Carnegie Mellon and Harvard University graduate. My main area of expertise is in leading large and complex technology programs – particularly in a virtual team environment.
At Cisco, he is responsible for leading and managing a team of 20+ project & program managers on delivering projects to Cisco's Enterprise clients in the eastern United States. Previously at Cisco, he was a Senior Program Manager, where he was responsible for scoping, negotiating, planning and executing multi-million dollar projects for their customers.
Hassan’s Challenge; Write something 5 days/week, 20 minutes per day to clarify your thought process and articulate your ideas.
If you liked this interview, check out episode 83 with Kristi Woolsey where we discuss remote employment and the future of workplaces.
I’ve been doing this less than a year. So much is happening for me and this is just the beginning.
I want you to learn from my story and start aiming higher. I’ve got big things on my horizon, and I'm positive that you do, too.
Aaron’s Challenge; Reach out to @AntonioBrown84 and ask him to come on the show.
Connect with Aaron
Brian helps enterprise technology companies utilize new technology such as Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud Computing to be more productive and become more involved in their communities as a social business. He hosts Twitter Hangouts #SbizHour & #CloudTalk & weekly Podcast Host: SMACtalk and iSocialTalks.
His passion for change and people is evident as in every keynote he delivers, covering a range of topics including employee advocacy, social selling, personal branding, and his personal social philosophy which is called #ShowUcare. He recently has been teaching people "digital storytelling with live streaming".
Brian was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pa and the proud dad of 3 girls.
Brian’s Challenge; Wherever you primarily engage on social, create a video with your mobile device about what you do and why you do it.
Connect with Brian
If you liked this interview, check out episode 88 with Sunny Lenarduzzi where we discuss social broadcasting and building an audience for video.
Saba Sedighi is a Marketing Strategist and Video Content Creator. She takes on an innovative approach towards social selling to connect brands with their audience. Tech savvy, with a broad understanding of social media, influencer and email marketing, Saba is focused on leveraging her expertise in digital marketing combined with strategic insights.
Founder of iStream Social, she consults and collaborates with up-and-coming SMBs to help them establish, grow and manage their social presence, profile and audience on live/replay channels. iStream specializes in developing highly effective, real-world, clever strategies for Blab, Periscope, and Meerkat. They design and implement content strategies which yield maximum engagement and train companies to fully leverage multiple live stream channels.
Saba is also currently co-hosting 3 popular shows on Blab.im, regularly attracting a total of 1300+ viewers on a weekly basis.
Saba’s Challenge; Go on YouTube and google a topic you are interested in and watch 3 videos about it.
If you liked this interview, check out episode 88 with Sunny Lenarduzzi where we discuss Snapchat and YouTube.
There is one mistake I consistently see people making on Snapchat. It was happening 2 years ago, and it continues to happen today. Be considerate, understand your context, and practice good Snap etiquette.
Thanks to Ashley for helping! Follow her;
Snapchat = ahh_chuu
Instagram = achu739
Adam Haritan is the founder of Learn Your Land, as well as a wild food enthusiast, researcher, and forager. He learned the value of wild food foraging while studying nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh, where he discovered just how beneficial wild foods could be in optimizing human health.
Wild plants, on average, are more nutritious than their cultivated counterparts (i.e. wild blueberries vs. domesticated blueberries, wild lettuce vs. iceberg lettuce). The wild food diet is the diet that we, as Homo sapiens, have been consuming for the majority of our time on this planet, and it is the diet that we are most adapted to. Today, very few Americans consume any wild foods, and instead subsist on nutrient-deficient products that scarcely resemble anything real or natural. It’s no wonder that degenerative diseases like cancer, diabetes, and chronic inflammation are so prevalent. We have abandoned our natural diet and are suffering as a result.
This realization has led Adam to pursue a lifestyle of wild food foraging while unearthing the forgotten knowledge we once cherished. It is Adam’s hope to share the enthusiasm and passion he has for wild foods with you!
Adam’s Challenge; Attend a nature walk where someone is going to teach you about the natural world.
If you liked this interview, check out episode 37 with Jennifer Pharr Davis where we discuss her record-setting hiking career.
Jake Voelker is the driving force behind Voodoo Brewery’s expansion into Pittsburgh and opening of the Homestead location. Following the purchase and extensive renovation of the oldest fire and police building in Allegheny County, Jake has continued expanding Voodoo’s visibility, market share, and profitability in the Pittsburgh area market while providing oversight of Voelker Contracting’s operations. Voelker Contracting is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Company that maintains contracts with the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies and various other private companies.
Following his college graduation, Jake was commissioned as an officer in the US Army and subsequently deployed in support of combat operations in Afghanistan. Jake separated from the US Army in 2010 at the rank of Captain. Directly following his time in the US Army Jake moved to Pittsburgh, got married, and obtained his MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.
Jake mentors many veterans returning from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan in personal and professional life. He can also be seen as a regular cast member of the podcast “Veterans on Fire”.
Jake’s Challenge; Take the opportunity to go outside and do a new physical activity or challenge.
If you liked this interview, check out episode 68 with Wes Shonk where we discuss whiskey and digital brand building.
Dennis is the CEO and Founder of x.ai, whose artificial intelligence driven personal assistant lets people schedule meetings using plain English and nothing more than a CC to email@example.com. Founded in 2014, x.ai is backed by blue chip investors, including IA Ventures, Firstmark, and Two Sigma Ventures, and located in New York City.
Dennis is a pioneer and expert in the analytics, optimization and big data space and has been since its inception – he is also a fully-fledged entrepreneur and successfully delivered a number of company exits. He’s an accredited Associate Analytics Instructor at the University of British Columbia, the Author of Data Driven Insights from Wiley and a frequent speaker on the subject of Analytics and Data. A native of Denmark, Mortensen currently calls New York City his home.
Dennis’s Challenge; Take public transportation far away from home and walk back. Leave your phone at home so you can be alone with your mind.
If you liked this interview, check out episode 85 with Sean Ammirati where we discuss startups, exponential growth, and being LinkedIn’s first acquisition.
When I explain to people what I do, this is always one of the first questions out of their mouth. It’s not hard, you just have to start looking in new places.
Aaron’s Challenge; Make yourself an AngelList profile.
Check out AngelList.
As an entrepreneur, Phil Laboon started his first company in my parent’s basement back in 2001. Back then, no one was thinking about SEO. 15 years later, SEO is one of the most sought after inbound marketing services, and his basement company is one of the leading digital marketing agencies in the country. His company, Eyeflow Internet Marketing provides clients with consulting and digital marketing services that help their business stand up and be heard by audiences both on and off the web.
Additionally, Phil hosts Pittsburgh Tech Talk, an online show that brings attention to some of the city’s biggest names and companies in tech. He speak publicly and offers consulting services to help show startups how to be successful in the fast-paced world of technology. Phil also invests in several startups as a way to help them hit the ground running and build their business.
Phil’s Challenge; Reach out to five high-status individuals in a creative way. Do something other than just sending an email or a tweet.
If you liked this interview, check out episode 12 with Scott Rogerson where we discuss twisting career arcs, entrepreneurship, and investing.
Brad Kriel wants construction firms and Do-it-yourselfers to get projects done more efficiently. His company is dedicated to leveraging modern technology to help save builders time.
At Velocity Robotics he used lean startup methods, developed an MVP application, hired graphic designers to optimize UI and UX of mobile apps and website, and managed legal and accounting team to handle company formation and complexities of bringing in initial startup capital.
In this episode, we discuss finding product-market fit and Brad’s core values.
Brad’s Challenge; Set a date and finish one of your incomplete projects.
If you liked this interview, check out episode 8 with Jason Miller where we discuss developing a website as his side hustle.
Aaron Martinez is a Snapchat storyteller, YouTube personality, and professional voice actor. A lot of people know him as "AaronFPS" or "That Snapchat Guy from YouTube" and he has been blowing up recently.
He has been on YouTube scene for almost 5 years now and focuses on keeping his audience up to date with everything in the technology world! Be it social media like Snapchat, unboxings/reviews on technology, or different giveaways, Aaron brings it.
He has recently risen to prominence as a Snapchat influencer and you need to be following him if you are serious about learning this social media platform.
Aaron’s Challenge; Experiment with Snapchat. Watch “How to Use Snapchat” on Aaron’s channel.
Connect with Aaron on Snapchat; Aaronfps
Add me on Snapchat; aaron_watson
If you liked this interview, check out episode 88 with Sunny Lenarduzzi where we discuss why she loves Snapchat, how she built a YouTube audience, and social media development.