Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Aaron Watson is the CEO of Piper Creative. On this show, you'll hear thoughtful, focused conversations with entrepreneurs, executives, and innovators. Guests include Nathan Chan, Kevin Kelly, Bill Peduto, Morgan Housel, Noah Kagan, Tucker Max, and Barry Ritholtz. This is the biggest business podcast in Pittsburgh.
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Going Deep with Aaron Watson





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Now displaying: 2016
May 4, 2016

Sunny works with entrepreneurs, personal brands, and corporations to help them bring their business online through social media and video marketing. After reporting at the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, she had an ‘a-ha’ moment and followed her heart into starting a business that serves people who desperately want to live life on their own terms.


She has a decade of experience as a video, social media, and brand strategist. She has created video campaigns for Hootsuite and made history with Applebee’s – earning over 1 billion impressions in 1 day. She has been featured on national radio, television and online platforms like and The Huffington Post.


Sunny’s Challenge; Write down 5 things in a journal every night that your are grateful for.


Connect with Sunny on Snapchat at; sunnylenarduzzi


If you liked this interview, check out episode 84 with Todd Tresidder where we discuss building an online brand and reinventing your business.


May 3, 2016

Pay attention, because Snapchat is going mainstream. The former sexting app is coming straight for Twitter, Facebook,andInstagram.


I've got two huge interviews coming this week where we will be talking Snapchat and how to make moves on this new platform.


Add me on Snapchat; aaron_watson

Apr 27, 2016

Chris Hill is a podcast host at the Motley Fool. One of his shows, Motley Fool Money, airs every week on radio stations across America, including top-10 markets Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Boston and Washington, DC. Its companion podcast is consistently ranked as one of the top business & investing shows on iTunes.

Chris joined the Motley fool in 1997 and has helped the company build out their podcast network.


Chris’s Challenge; Find time to get space from business and social media to be alone with your thoughts. You can figure things out in the quiet of your own mind.


Connect with Chris





If you liked this interview, check out episode 55 with Morgan Housel where we discuss investing philosophy and cognitive biases.


Apr 25, 2016

Sean Ammirati joined Birchmere Ventures in 2012 to as the partner leading Birchmere Labs, a seed and studio fund focused on community driven commerce start-ups. Prior to that, he had over 12 years founding, building and selling businesses in the media and software industries. Sean was previously Chief Operating Officer of ReadWriteWeb, one of the most influential sites about the future of technology and innovation. In December 2011, the company was acquired by SAY Media to strengthen its technology channel. Sean was previously co-founder and CEO of mSpoke, which was the first acquisition of LinkedIn.


Sean is currently an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University. He also was a founding advisor to Innovation Works’ AlphaLab accelerator. He holds a B.S. in computer information systems from Grove City College and was a research fellow at Carnegie Mellon’s Sloan Software Industry Center.


Check out his new book about how lean startups can find growth; The Science of Growth: How Facebook Beat Friendster--and How Nine Other Startups Left the Rest in the Dust


Sean’s Challenge; We need to do a better job conditioning ourselves to understand that failure is not as scary as we tend to think it is.


Connect with Sean





If you liked this interview, check out episode 16 with Zach Malone where we discuss raising venture capital and the Pittsburgh startups scene.

Apr 20, 2016

Todd Tresidder got a B.A. in Economics from University of California at Davis and is a member of the Economics Honors Society and Dean’s List. A serial entrepreneur since childhood, Todd has built many businesses and retiring at age 35 from his position as a Hedge Fund Investment Manager responsible for a 20+ million dollar portfolio.


Through hard work, Todd raised his net worth from less than zero at age 23 to self-made millionaire 12 years later by using the same personal finance and investment strategies taught on his web site. He has been financially independent since age 35 through investing – not marketing – unlike many other financial gurus who made their money through marketing courses and books.


His mission now is to teach personal finance and investing based on real experience.


Todd’s Challenge; Embrace the adventure. Go out and live it.


If you liked this interview, check out episode 65 with James Osborne where we discuss the future of financial services.

Apr 18, 2016

Kristi is the Creative Environments Lead at Maya Design consultancy and innovation lab. She pulls together interdisciplinary teams to think deeply about the interaction between physical and virtual space, and explores the widest possible definition of “environment” in service of our client’s desired outcome.


Prior to joining MAYA, Kristi worked in Washington, DC as a management consultant, facilitating culture change tied to physical change for federal agencies. She has worked in California and Arizona as a behavioral strategist creating the workplace, mixed use development, and hospitality strategies. Kristi was also the CEO of her own firm that provided consultative services for architecture, interiors, FF&E (furniture, fixtures, and equipment), and construction.


Additionally, she was on the faculty at Arizona State University teaching in both the Colleges of Architecture and Business, with research focused on the impact physical environment has on human behavior.


You can also find her speaking about workplace, culture, community, and the future of work at conferences across the country.


Kristi’s Challenge; The boundaries of your potential are drawn in your own mind. Ask yourself Is there more? Aim higher. Advice from Christopher Dorris.


If you liked this interview, check out episode 74 with John Beck where we discuss product design and the internet of things.

Apr 11, 2016

Russ Roberts has taught at George Mason University, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Rochester, Stanford University, and the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a regular commentator on business and economics for National Public Radio's Morning Edition and has written for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.


Roberts also blogs at Cafe Hayek with Donald J. Boudreaux at George Mason University in Fairfax County, Virginia. He published the novel The Invisible Heart which conveys economic ideas in the context of a narrative. In 2008, Roberts released another novel, The Price of Everything, which addresses concepts such as spontaneous order, price gouging, and market economics in crisis situations.


Roberts’ podcast EconTalk is carried by The Library of Economics and Liberty and is a weekly talk show features one-on-one discussions with an eclectic mix of authors, professors, Nobel Laureates, entrepreneurs, leaders of charities and businesses, and people on the street. The emphases are on using topical books and the news to illustrate economic principles. Exploring how economics emerges in practice is a primary theme.


Russ’s Challenges; Try to think about your own biases and be aware of what you’re doing subconsciously. AND realize economics is not about money. Economics is about flourishing, choices and resources.


Book Recommendations

Individualism and Economic Order by F.A. Hayek

Fooled By Randomness by Nassim Taleb

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman

The Path to Power by Robert A. Caro


Referenced Media

Jonathan Haidt-Tyler Cowen Conversation


Connect with Russ


If you liked this interview, check out episode 77 with Steve Patterson where we discuss philosophy and breaking away from academic institutions.

Apr 6, 2016

Have you ever wanted to get into real estate? Jason Hartman thinks that’s a great idea.


Jason Hartman is the Founder and CEO of Platinum Properties Investor Network, The Hartman Media Company and The Jason Hartman Foundation. Starting with very little, Jason, while still in college at the age of 19, embarked on a career in real estate while brokering properties for clients, he was investing in he own portfolio along the way. Through creativity, persistence and hard work, he soon joined the ranks of the top one-percent of Realtors in the U.S..


Hartman is a self-made multimillionaire entrepreneur, author, investor, lender and developer. He has owned properties in 11 states, had hundreds of tenants and been involved in several thousand real estate transactions. He is the host of 20 podcasts with about 3,000 episodes where he shares powerful strategies for business, investing and living the good life.


He has visited 78 countries, enjoys adventure, fitness and lifelong learning.


Jason’s Challenge; Give something away without any expectation of getting anything back. If you give things away, you are teaching your subconscious that the world is abundant.



If you liked this interview, check out episode 55 with Morgan Housel where we discuss personal investment philosophy and financial decision-making.

Apr 4, 2016

Chris Guillebeau is a New York Times bestselling author and modern-day explorer. During a lifetime of self-employment that included a four-year commitment as a volunteer executive in West Africa, he visited every country in the world (193 in total) before his 35th birthday. Since then he has modeled the proven definition of an entrepreneur: “Someone who will work 24 hours a day for themselves to avoid working one hour a day for someone else.”


Chris’s first book, The Art of Non-Conformity, was translated into more than twenty languages. His second book, The $100 Startup, was a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, selling more than 300,000 copies worldwide. His latest book, The Happiness of Pursuit, was published in September 2014 and was also a New York Times bestseller.


Every summer in Portland, Oregon, Chris hosts the World Domination Summit, a gathering of creative, remarkable people with thousands in attendance. Chris is also the founder of Pioneer Nation, Unconventional Guides, the Travel Hacking Cartel, and numerous other projects.


Chris’s Challenge; Create a measurable metric for some form of creative output and execute on it. Example; write 1,000 words per day for 6 days per week.


Check out Chris’ Books

The Art of Nonconformity

The $100 Startup

The Happiness of Pursuit

Born For This


Connect with Chris




Mar 31, 2016

Jonathan Abrams is an award-winning journalist who has covered the NBA for ESPN’s Grantland, The New York Times and Los Angeles Times. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California.


His first book, Boys Among Men, chronicles the generation of NBA players that jumped directly to the pros from high school and the struggles they faced along the way.


Jonathan’s Challenge; Buy Shea Serrano’s book, The Rap Yearbook.


Check out Abrams’ book; Boys Among Men


Mar 30, 2016

Steve Patterson is a rationalist philosopher and author who works outside of the academic establishment. He believes the internet is revolutionizing every industry, including the world of ideas and that the future of intellectual progress belongs to independent scholars, not ivory tower professors.


He also believes truth can be discovered through a deep enough understanding of anything, as every pursuit ultimately points back to philosophy. He laments that the culture is stuck in an era of irrationalism, which glorifies blurry thinking and imprecise theories and his work is trying to change that.


Steve’s Challenge; Go out and try to break apart your worldview.


Steve’s Suggestion

Closer to Truth


If you liked this interview, check out episode 46 with Taylor Pearson where we discuss the decline of traditional jobs around the economy and rise of small entrepreneurs.

Mar 28, 2016

Neil’s site, Above Avalon, originated from a Tumblr blog about Apple in 2010. At the time, he was a Wall Street analyst focused on the financial sector, while all things related to Apple and technology were his evening and weekend projects. After being disappointed with the lack of relevant Apple analysis from both a financial and business point of view, he decided to begin building a new kind of Apple analysis site based on his financial background and critical thinking skills. By examining Apple from both a Wall Street and Silicon Valley perspective, he has positioned Above Avalon to provide unique insight into how Apple functions and its worldview.


Along with weekly Above Avalon posts and podcast episodes, Neil publishes exclusive daily updates for Above Avalon members. Members range from Wall Street experts to weekend hobbyists.


Neil’s Challenge; Try saying “No” to things that you can’t put your whole self into. No one has enough time to do everything.



If you liked this interview, check out episode 47 with Avi Geller where we discuss technology and the future of hearable tech.

Mar 25, 2016

Jessica Strong was engaged in the world of freelance work for years. She knew all about the never-ending to-do list of client requests, paperwork, social media updates, billing, tracking down receipts, fighting with WordPress plug-ins, and answering a million emails.

So she founded Whetstone Workgroup to help freelancers, consultants, and “mompreneurs” succeed in three specific ways. She created a physical space where freelancers can work more efficiently, with drop-in daycare available for attention-craving children. She also provides administrative services and software so Whetstone members can get through their monster to-do list more easily. And finally she offers consultations, trainings and workshops so her members can keep learning and growing as professionals.

Jessica’s Challenge; Create a cross section of things you are good at and things you enjoy doing. Execute on the things that qualify for both.

If you liked this interview, check out episode 28 with Emily and Kate from Propelle, where we discuss masterminds and the challenges mompreneurs face.

Mar 23, 2016

John Beck leads the development of TrueFit’s human-centered design methodology and his team’s design research, information design, product interaction, and user interface design. Through John’s leadership, Truefit helps clients create innovative web, mobile, social media and commercial software products that have positive practical impact.


John is part of Truefit's business development team and is skilled at helping clients understand the impact of good user experience and the best practices for success drawn from years of experience working with several of the world’s most distinguished health and technology brands including Samsung, Precor, Rolls-Royce, Kodak, and BodyMedia.


Prior to joining Truefit, John served as a Co-Founder and President of Gist Design, acquired by Truefit in 2013. John has also served as a Senior Interaction Designer at wearable body monitoring pioneer, BodyMedia, which was recently acquired by Jawbone.


John’s work has been cited in many industry and commercial publications including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Wired Magazine, Business Week, and Engadget. John’s work has won numerous design and innovation awards including the IDEA Gold Medal sponsored by Businessweek and the Industrial Designers Society of America. He also serves as occasional lecturer and teacher.

John’s Challenge; Challenge yourself to practice design-thinking by carefully examining someone completing a task.

Mar 16, 2016

Mike Dariano is a writer, an educator, and a creator. He writes about productivity and better work at Productivityist and edits the site which features good things to read, watch, and use. He also writes at The Waiter’s Pad – a blog that shares in depth notes from podcast interviews around the web.


He has written a few books including; My Meditations: What a Roman Emperor Taught me About Parenting, Read More Books: Hijack your Habits, Tame your Time, and Find Better Tools for Reading More Books, and Children’s Poems for the Couch on a Sunday Afternoon.


Mike’s Challenge; Read more books.


Mentioned Media

Helsinki Bus Station Theory

Gary Vaynerchuk on Rich Roll podcast

Venkatesh Rao on the Tropical MBA podcast


Check out Mike’s Book; 28 Lessons from Startups that Failed



If you liked this interview, check out episode 46 with Taylor Pearson where we discuss entrepreneurship and the future of the economy.


Mar 9, 2016

Robert P. Seawright is the Chief Investment & Information Officer for Madison Avenue Securities, a boutique broker-dealer and investment advisory firm headquartered in San Diego, California. At Madison, Bob’s role is a thought leader for the firm’s independent advisors, providing counsel and guidance with respect to the latest industry trends, research and best practices. In September of 2014, The Wall Street Journal published a list of fifteen smart people for investors to follow that included Bob, along with Warren Buffett, Howard Marks, William Bernstein and the CFA Institute.


Bob is a columnist for Research magazine, a Contributing Editor at Portfolioist as well as a contributor to the Financial Times, The Big Picture, The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch, Pragmatic Capitalism, and ThinkAdvisor. Bob’s blog, Above the Market, has received “best of” recognition from a wide variety of sources, including The Wall Street Journal, Financial Planning, the CFA Institute, Insider Monkey, Financial Social Media, and Investment News. He also speaks regularly to a variety of audiences on topics related to finance, investing and the markets.


Bob’s Challenge; Sit down and think of a few examples of mistakes you are making.


If you liked this interview, check out episode 55 with Morgan Housel, where we discuss finance writing and cognitive biases.

Mar 8, 2016

Michael Port has written six books, including Book Yourself Solid and Steal the Show, the latter which—according to the former President of Starbucks—“might be the most unique and practical book ever written on the topic of public speaking.” He's been called an “uncommonly honest author" by the Boston Globe, a "marketing guru" by The Wall Street Journal, a “sales guru” by the Financial Times, “a public speaking phenom” by Jonathan Fields and “the best public speaking coach in the world” by Lewis Howes.


The founder of MastermindTalks, Jayson Gaignard, declared, "Michael Port is the best speaker I've ever seen." His books have been on the bestseller lists of the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Publisher's Weekly.


He was once a professional actor, having received his MFA from NYU's Graduate Acting Program, guest starring on shows like Sex & The City and Law & Order, and in films like The Pelican Brief and Down to Earth. These days, Michael can be seen on MSNBC, CNBC, and PBS as an on air expert in communication and business development and as the host of the most popular podcast on public speaking and performance, Steal the Show with Michael Port.


Michael’s Challenge; Save money. Even if it is just a little bit, start investing now. Check out Jack Bogle’s book The Little Book of Common Sense Investing.


Connect with Michael



Mar 2, 2016

Colin is a professional author and international speaker, and co-founded a publishing company. He travels full-time, moving to a new country every four months or so, with the country being determined by the votes of readers of his blog.


In the six years since starting his blog, Colin has lived in New Zealand, Thailand, Iceland, India, Romania, and Czech Republic, visited the 48 contiguous US states twice, road tripped through South America, rode the rails through Southeast Asia, and visited about 30 other countries.


Since hitting the road, he has pivoted from building brands for other companies, to consulting on branding, to building brands for himself. He has run nearly a dozen medium- and small-scale endeavors, in industries ranging from sustainable product design to subscription-based publishing technologies. He currently makes a living by publishing books through a publishing company called Asymmetrical Press, which he also co-founded with two fellow authors, Josh and Ryan from The Minimalists.


He also periodically teaches classes, gives talks at schools, conferences, and events, and runs workshops all over the world.


Colin’s Challenge; 20 minutes per day away from technology and other people to allow your mind to free associate and be creative.


Colin’s Writing

On Failing Gracefully


If you liked this interview, check out episode 23 with Nathan Chan. We discuss publishing and brand-building.

Feb 24, 2016

If there’s something interesting going on in Pittsburgh, Kit Mueller is probably involved in it. If there’s someone important you want to meet, he probably knows how to get an intro.


Kit is a relentless self-starter, with recent projects including Speak Freely, Data Driven Creative and Fygment. In addition to his own endeavors, Kit is dedicated to his community and constantly pushing to raise awareness for young aspiring companies and causes.


His story is one we can all learn from.


Kit’s Challenge; Go get coffee with someone who look different than you do. From a different background than you.

Feb 22, 2016

Zachary Slayback is an entrepreneur who writes on issues of education, innovation, and philosophy. He is an Ivy League dropout and speaks regularly on education, college, how and why to foster more entrepreneurship and issues related to professional development. He believes that entrepreneurs are the primary actors of social change.


Zak is a co-founder of Praxis, an alternative to the traditional route of attending college. Participants work at growing startups and learn firsthand what it takes to be an entrepreneur while creating real value and working alongside founders and CEOs. Getting fully immersed in the world of innovative enterprise offers an experience that a classroom simply cannot provide.


He was one of LinkedIn’s most influential voices on education in 2015 and has been published in Newsweek, the New York Examiner, the Daily Caller, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the Christian Science Monitor, and more. He has also appeared on The Glenn Beck Program and HuffPost Live.


Zak lives in and works from Pittsburgh, PA. Feel free to contact him if you are visiting and want to grab a coffee.


Zak’s Challenge; Drop out of college.


Zak’s Writing

Where are all the Young Entrepreneurs?


Feb 16, 2016

James Osborne is a Certified Financial Planner who has spent his career in the investment management industry, helping clients manage their portfolios and plan for retirement, legacy, and lifetime goals. In addition to the CFP professional designation, he has an MBA in Investment Management from the University of Colorado. His disillusionment with the standard practice of investment management firms led to the creation of Bason Asset Management in late 2012.


Bason Asset Management is a flat fee only asset management firm offering tax-efficient and cost-effective portfolio management based in Lakewood, Colorado. The firm’s philosophy is centered around low costs, passive (index) investments, tax management and fair dealing with clients.


James serves clients throughout the front range and Denver metro area and across the country. He has contributed to or been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Motley Fool, Investment News, Financial Planning, CoBiz Magazine, USA Today, Morningstar Magazine, ThinkAdvisor, Money magazine and Business Insider. James was named to Brightscope’s “Top 100 Social Influencer” list for financial professionals in 2014. He is an Indiana native, lifelong Hoosier basketball fan, and avid cyclist.


James’s Challenge; Give serious consideration to your weaknesses when it comes to your investments personal psychology and comes to terms with them.


Feb 10, 2016

Rob McLeod is a competitive athlete and motivational speaker living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He competes in ultimate frisbee, disc golf, dog disc and overall flying disc competitions. He currently holds 13 World Records (including 6 Guinness World Records), the Canadian Distance Record, 10 World Championships and 2 Quadruped titles.


Rob has also appeared in the 2014 & 2015 Guinness Book of World Records, the 2015 Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! book and the 2015 Reader’s Digest Canada Day edition. He is a brand ambassador for a number of companies and an ambassador for disc sports around the globe.


Rob’s Challenge; Go to to try a different disc sport.



This episode of Going Deep with Aaron Watson is brought to you by the Ultimate Athlete Project. UAP is founded on helping athletes get results through well-developed workout plans that relieve you of the need to research effective workouts or worry about your workouts becoming boring. Check out a free core workout and learn more about what regular users are saying about the program.

Feb 8, 2016

Tadas Viskanta is the Founder and Editor of Abnormal Returns. His “forecast-free investment blog” has become a fixture on the financial scene for over nine years. Tadas is a private investor with over 25 years of experience in the financial markets. He is the co-author of over a dozen investment-related papers that have appeared in publications like the Financial Analysts Journal, Journal of Portfolio Management among others.


Tadas is also the author of the well-received book: Abnormal Returns: Winning Strategies from the Frontlines of the Investment Blogosphere that distills lessons learned from his time blogging.


Tadas holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BA from Indiana University and lives with his family in


Tadas’s Challenge; People are too hard on themselves when it comes to investing. Give yourself a break and do the best you can. The most important thing is learning from your mistakes.


Tadas’ Book

Abnormal Returns: Winning Strategies from the Frontlines of the Investment Blogosphere


Connect with Tadas





Feb 4, 2016

Steve Gordon is co-founder and President of Ultimate Xperience Ventures, LLC, a sports and entertainment holding company. UXV owns a majority interest in the American Ultimate Disc League and has interests in video, print and digital services relating to Ultimate Disc content. Mr. Gordon also serves as the AUDL League Commissioner.


Steve is also founder & managing partner of the Chicago Wildfire, Chicago's professional Ultimate Disc team in the AUDL. The Wildfire began play in the 2013 season and play at Lane Tech Stadium in Chicago.


Steve is also founder of Capstone Concepts, Inc, a firm dedicated to bringing products and/or services that are unique or early in their life cycle to mass markets. Industry concentrations include financial programs, smartphone apps, sports and health-related products.


Steve’s Challenge; Eat organic 3x per week for one month and see how it affects your body.


Connect with Steve





This episode of Going Deep with Aaron Watson is brought to you by the Ultimate Athlete Project. UAP is founded on helping athletes get results through well-developed workout plans that relieve you of the need to research effective workouts or worry about your workouts becoming boring. Check out a free core workout and learn more about what regular users are saying about the program.

Feb 2, 2016

Ben is the Director of Institutional Asset Management at Ritholtz Wealth Management. He helps the team create detailed investment plans and manage portfolios for institutions and individuals to help them achieve their goals.

Ben has been managing institutional portfolios his entire career, starting out with an institutional investment consulting firm developing portfolio strategies and creating investment plans for various foundations, endowments, pensions, hospitals, insurance companies and high net worth individuals. More recently, he was part of the portfolio management team for an investment office that managed a large endowment fund for a charitable organization.

Ben’s blogging mission is to try to explain the complexities of the various aspects of finance in a way that everyone could understand them. Both the economy and the financial markets are complex adaptive systems, but they don’t necessarily require complex solutions. Common sense and self-awareness are extremely underrated attributes in the world of finance.

Ben’s Challenge; Reach out to someone you admire and take them out for lunch/coffee. Networks are underrated.

Ben’s Book
A Wealth of Common Sense: Why Simplicity Trumps Complexity in Any Investment Plan

Connect with Ben

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