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Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Aaron Watson's show is a forum for having meaningful conversations about the passions, fears and problems of people from all walks of life. Guests talk about entrepreneurship, ultimate frisbee, finance and lifestyle design. Guests include Nathan Chan, Kevin Kelly, Bill Peduto, Morgan Housel, Noah Kagan, Tucker Max, and Barry Ritholtz.
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Now displaying: 2018
Aug 8, 2018

Media and marketing people are all making big deals about video and audio. Not enough people are paying attention to the impact of maps.

 

Emily Mercurio’s is perfectly poised to help companies utilize the modern form of this old technology.

 

She is an expert in geology, geospatial technology, 2D/3D mapping, and remote sensing and helps her clients through her company CivicMapper.

 

We discuss the entrepreneurial skillset she's developed, her time in the oil & gas industry, and how powerful maps are at conveying information.

 

Emily’s Challenge; To develop as a leader, you must first know how to serve. Ask someone who is struggling how you can help them, and do it.

 

If you liked this interview, check out the previous episode we recorded with drone company entrepreneur Brendan Carroll who is helping farmers improve their crop yields, increase efficiency, and monitor their fields.

 

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Connect with Emily

CivicMapper’s Twitter

Emily's Twitter

LinkedIn

Website

 

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Aug 6, 2018

Adhithi Aji is applying her strong technical skills to deliver consumer insights & data to the CPG world. Her company Adrich is a Pittsburgh-based company that connects brands and retailers through product usage data and analytics.

 

In this conversation, we discuss iterating on digital products, the fundraising environment in Pittsburgh, and how Adhithi’s product scales.

 

Every aspiring tech entrepreneur should listen to this conversation and take note of how precise Adhithi is in her thinking and strategy.

 

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Adhithi’s Challenge; Find a way to help an entrepreneur.

 

Connect with Adhithi

LinkedIn

Website

 

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If you liked this interview, check out previous conversations with Pittsburgh tech CEOs like LegalSifter’s Kevin Miller, CivicScience’s John Dick, and Roadbotics’ Mark DeSantis.



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Aug 1, 2018

Lou Camerlengo founded fivestar*, a custom technology design, development, and consulting firm, in 1997.  Lou leads fivestar*’s business development and client retention efforts, driving company performance while maintaining a deep involvement in higher education, workforce, and nonprofit projects.

 

In this podcast, we discuss starting the business, building a cohesive team, and how Lou has been forced to evolve over the life of the company.

 

fivestar* has been twice ranked as an INC 5000 company, been named a Top 100 Best Workplaces in Pennsylvania, was twice named as a Best Places to Work in Southwestern Pennsylvania, and has appeared on the Pittsburgh Business Times Top 100 list four times.

 

Through their fivestar* Cares program, fivestar* provides volunteer time, project, and financial support to charitable organizations selected by an employee committee.



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Lou’s Challenge; Go do some form of volunteer work.

 

Mentioned

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins

 

Connect with Lou

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn

Website

 

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If you liked this interview, check out episode 273 with Ryan Gayman where we discuss Pittsburgh being the “Silicon Valley of nonprofits”.



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Jul 31, 2018

I went to the offices of Deeplocal, an innovation studio that boasts clients like Nike, Netflix, Spotify, Lyft, and Google, to interview Director of Business Development Josh Corcoran.

 

Josh Corcoran is the creator of Spare Change, a video series that connects communities and causes with music by inviting bands to busk for their favorite charities. The project began in February of 2017 when Josh & a friend were performing their music on the streets.

 

They soon found themselves with a guitar case full of with money, and a gentleman approached them asking for spare change. They proceeded to give him everything they had earned that night. Since that day, Josh, along with Taylor Mantick, Jared Stillman, and Allan Durand, have been documenting the journey of performing music to help those in need.

 

Last year, Spare Change received nearly 400,000 views and raised thousands of dollars for causes like JDRF, Acres Project, and Best of the Batch Foundation. Today, they drop their newest episode.

 

Watch the Video - Episode 13

 

Josh’s Challenge; Recognize the power you have to make a small change for a cause that’s important to you.

 

Connect with Josh

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn

YouTube

Website

 

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If you liked this interview, check out previous episodes like 96 with Jake Voelker, a military veteran who now runs a craft brewery, and 97 with Adam Haritan where we discuss mother nature, nutrition, and the power of digital media.

 

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Jul 27, 2018

Chris Edwards and his siblings grew up in a chocolate factory and he is the CEO for Edward Marc Brands, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

 

Upon taking the reins, Chris and his siblings transformed the 104-year-old company from regional prominence into a respected national corporation. Edward Marc Brands consists of Edward Marc Chocolatier, The Milk Shake Factory, and Snappers Crafted Snacks.

 

Prior to working at Edward Marc Brands, Chris worked for the United States government in the Office of the Chief of Protocol at the U.S. Department of State and at the White House in the Executive Office of the President. He served as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Press Advance. In this role, he managed public events for the President both domestically and internationally.

 

Don’t miss this conversation about leadership, developing new chocolate products, and the company’s transformational meeting with Costco.

 

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Chris’s Challenge; Surround yourself with people who won’t say “No.”

 

Connect with Chris

Instagram

Twitter

Milkshake Factory

Edward Marc

 

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If you liked this interview, check out all our episodes with the biggest change makers, influencers and business people of Pittsburgh.



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Jul 23, 2018

Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft aren’t ideal for long distances. They cost too much.

 

However, trains and airlines aren’t always practical.

 

Bharath Krishnamoorthy believes his company, Axle Travel, is the solution. Axle is a ride-hailing service for long-distances that's focused on providing fast and affordable transportation to the airport.

 

In this conversation, Aaron and B discuss the inspiration behind the company, the strategy behind launching in a new city, and why the team came to Pittsburgh.

 

Before he started this company, Bharath was practicing Mergers and Acquisitions at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, a global top-10 law firm.

 

Claim your $5 credit at axletravel.com/goingdeep

 

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Bharath’s Challenge; Bet on yourself.

 

Mentioned

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman

 

Connect with Bharath

Instagram

Linkedin

Twitter

 

Connect with Axle

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

 

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If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

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If you liked this interview, check out episode 291 with Ryan Green where we discuss his transportation startup, how to make more money as a rideshare driver, and his path to starting a business.

Or, check out episode 306 with Brian Salesky, founder of Argo Ai and steward of $1 billion from Ford to create self-driving technology.

 

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Jul 16, 2018

The Restaurant Industry was due for a new idea, and that’s exactly what Tyler Benson and Benjamin Mantica delivered when they co-founded Smallman Galley.

 

Their food hall restaurant accelerator is the first of its kind in the United States. The space incubates four restaurant concepts at a time and drastically lowers the startup costs of a new culinary venture.

 

Tyler and Ben are Navy Veterans who were inspired by world travels to bring innovative food and beverage concepts to the United States. They started in Pittsburgh and are laying plans to expand across the country.

 

In this conversation, Tyler & Aaron discuss the origin of the company, who gets free meals at a restaurant, and how time spent at one of the Galleys sets a restaurant up for success.

 

Resources Mentioned

Provision Pgh

Iron Born Pizza

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Tyler’s Challenge; Go somewhere you haven't been before and experience a fresh perspective or culture.

 

Connect with Tyler

Facebook

Instagram

LinkedIn

Website

 

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If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

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If you liked this interview, check out episode 68 with Whiskey expert Wes Shonk, where we discuss the best way to get into whiskey, elite bartending, and secret, invite-only whiskey schools or episode 146 with Bill Fuller, the executive chef of the Big Burrito Group and one of the fathers of the modern Pittsburgh food scene..

 

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Jul 11, 2018

LegalSifter is on a mission to bring affordable legal services to the world by empowering people with artificial intelligence. Kevin Miller joined the startup to help prove the business model and scale the company.

 

Previously, Kevin has served as Chief Operating Officer Industrial Scientific Corporation, helped launch an online version of Argosy University, and spent half a decade at FreeMarkets, in the global sourcing and procurement software space.

 

In this podcast, we discuss artificial intelligence replacing vs augmenting humans, how Kevin prepared to be a CEO throughout his career, and the climate for raising capital in and outside of Pittsburgh.

 

Kevin is also a licensed attorney in the state of Ohio.

 

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Kevin’s Challenge; Take 15 minutes to research artificial intelligence being applied to your industry.

 

Connect with Kevin

LinkedIn

Twitter

Website

 

Mentioned

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

FreeMarkets - Glen Meakem

 

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If you liked this interview, check out  the previous episodes that led to this conversation.

Episode 85 with Sean Ammirati

Episode 306 with Bryan Salesky

Episode 290 with Ned Renzi


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Jul 9, 2018

Skycision is on a mission to help the global agriculture industry grow more efficiently. Food production has to increase by 70% by 2050 to feed the anticipated 2 billion person increase in the global population.

 

Skycision offers a solution to help the global agriculture industry grow more efficiently by identifying crop stress earlier in the growing season, and optimizing field inputs to enhance crop production.

 

We spoke with Brendan about building a remote team, the commercial applications of drone technology, and recruiting talent.

 

Today, 795 million people going hungry. I’m hoping Skycision can help change that.

 

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Brendan’s Challenge; Only check your email twice a day and see how that impacts your productivity.

 

Tools Mentioned

Jira

Boomerang

Zoom

Slack

 

Connect with Brendan

Facebook

LinkedIn

Twitter

Website

 

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If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

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If you liked this interview, check out previous drone conversations with Barry Rabkin and Dick Zhang of Identified Technologies.



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Jul 2, 2018

Tucker Max is an American author and public speaker. He chronicled his drinking and sexual encounters in the form of short stories on his website TuckerMax.com,which has received millions of visitors since Max launched it as the result of a bet in 2000.

 

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell was a New York Times #1 Bestseller and made the Bestseller List each year from 2006 to 2012. It has sold over one million copies worldwide, including 400,000 copies in 2009 alone. In 2010, he released a book titled Assholes Finish First, and in 2012 marked the literary releases of both Hilarity Ensues and Sloppy Seconds: The Tucker Max Leftovers. He was a 2009 Time 100 finalist based on internet votes, although he did not make the magazine list

 

His new company is Book in a Box, a service for helping busy experts transfer their wisdom into a book format. The company interviews clients in a systematic way that properly structures their ideas. They then turn those words into a book. All clients need to do, as the author, is answer questions about what they already know. Everything else is handled by BIAB’s team of experienced publishing professionals.

 

Tucker’s Challenge; Ask yourself “Why” multiple times until you reach an irreducible answer.

 

Get a Free PDF of Tucker’s How-To-Guide

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 118 with Kevin Kelly where we discuss the inevitable technological trends shaping our future.

Jun 27, 2018

After the fireside chat with Anthony Freeze, we took questions from the audience about Instagram, podcasting, and running kickass events.

Some video from this event is at the end of Episode 015 of This Is Piper.

Jun 25, 2018

Over the course of a 90-minute conversation, at Industrious Coworking space, we discussed  Instagram, podcasting, and running kickass events.

 

We also discussed the genesis of Piper Creative and our plans for the future.

 

Super grateful to Anthony Freeze for conducting a great interview.

LinkedIn

Jun 20, 2018

Mark DeSantis is currently CEO of RoadBotics, an AI-based product that monitors and manages roadway infrastructure. Previously, he has co-founded an energy hedge fund, a GE Ventures-backed energy predictive analytics company, and a venture-backed online tutoring company.

 

Why build a company focused on road maintenance? There is a desperate need to efficiently and effectively monitor and maintain the world's civil infrastructure. His company, RoadBotics, uses smartphone sensors to inexpensively monitor streets, roads, highways, sidewalks and bridges and to lower maintenance costs.

 

We discuss training machine learning algorithms, the career arc of an entrepreneur, and what Mark has learned from his past startups.

 

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Mark’s Challenge; Find the alternative viewpoint and empathetically consume it before arguing.

 

Mentioned

Lincoln-Douglas Debates

 

Connect with Mark

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn

Website

 

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If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

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If you liked this interview, check out two more interviews with Pittsburgh entrepreneurs. Episode 260 features a discussion with Anthony Vennare about the future of health and wellness, making a modern media company, and building a business in Pittsburgh. Episode 242 features a discussion with Darrin Grove about running a company for 20 years and constantly reinventing himself.

 

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Jun 18, 2018

A decade ago, very few people thought a blog could be a business. Today, it’s common knowledge.

 

Nicki Zevola Benvenuti hopped on the trend very early, starting her website, FutureDerm.com, in 2008. It now helps more than 500,000 people a month discover hard-to-find scientific information on skincare, to make sense of marketing claims, and to find what is best for their skin a plethora of products in a crowded marketplace.

 

Now, she is leveraging her fluency in digital media to help other brands grow. At FutureDerm Media, her team has successfully guided brands to 500% traffic growth and accelerated sales over the course of six months.

 

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Nicki’s Challenge; Do something. Every Day.

 

Connect with Nicki

Twitter

LinkedIn

Website

 

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If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

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If you liked this interview, check out episode 36 with Sophia Berman where we discuss starting a lingerie company that uses 3-D printing and serves a distinct clientele.


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Jun 13, 2018

This episode was an opportunity to pester one of my good friends, Brad Driscoll, with questions 😏

 

In addition to co-founding Think Big Marketing, Brad has generated 10 million views on YouTube and amassed one of the 1,000 largest audiences on Twitch.

 

He’ll be talking about building a YouTube account at an event we are holding August 1st.

 

RSVP to the Facebook event for updates or buy a ticket right now.

 

In this episode, we primarily talk about building his Twitch audience and building his business.

 

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Brad’s Challenge; For the next 2-3 weeks, let someone know you like their content after you consume it.

 

Resources Mentioned

OBS Studio

ClickFunnels

 

Connect with Brad

Twitter

LinkedIn

YouTube

Twitch

Website

 

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If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

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If you liked this interview, check out episode 131 with Larry Gioia where we discuss why connecting is better than networking.



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Jun 11, 2018

Halima Tammy Thompson's moved to Pittsburgh as a child and was faced with homelessness, loss and countless obstacles.  Years later, she has fused 20+ years of experience in the Real Estate Industry and 8 years of working in the nonprofit sector as a Credit Counselor.    

 

Tammy is a Poverty Expert, Nationally Sought After Speaker, Executive Producer of We Wear The Mask, a documentary released in 2017 highlighting the stigma associated with women in poverty. She provides counseling services with integrity, inspiration, compassion and confidentiality.

 

In the episode, we discuss cycles of poverty, the impact of trauma over a lifetime, and the victims of the 2008 Financial Recession.

 

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Tammy’s Challenge; Step outside your comfort zone.

 

Connect with Tammy

LinkedIn

Website

Circlespgh.org

 

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If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

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If you liked this interview, check out episode 187 with Grant Oliphant where we discuss the Heinz Endowment, how to strengthen communities, and Grant’s personal career path.



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Jun 6, 2018

This interview will dispel the notion that you can’t develop creativity.

 

Allen Gannett is the founder and CEO of TrackMaven, a marketing analytics platform whose clients have included Microsoft, Marriott, Saks Fifth Avenue, Home Depot, Aetna, Honda, and GE. He has been on the “30 Under 30” lists for both Inc. and Forbes.

 

His upcoming book, The Creative Curve, is on how anyone can achieve moments of creative genius. I really enjoyed reading it.

 

He was also once a very pitiful runner-up on Wheel of Fortune.

 

Watch Allen Speak at the 2019 Going Deep Summit

 

Allen’s Challenge; Stop believing that creativity is naturally easy for anyone.

 

Allen’s Book

The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea, at the Right Time by Allen Gannett

 

Connect with Allen

Facebook

LinkedIn

Twitter

Website

 

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If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

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If you liked this interview, check out episode 183 with Oliver Luckett where we discuss how he helped break The Chainsmokers, hacking the media machine, and the evolution of social movements.



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May 30, 2018

In this episode of #PiperAnswers, we touch on a few topics that frankly, most entrepreneurs would think are too tedious or boring to share. We also talk about our editing process and how much time we actually spend working on Piper.

 

How did you incorporate your business?

What did you use to set up your website?

What is Hannah's editing process?

How many hours per week do you spend on your own content?

How much do you allocate to extra projects?

How many side projects are you operating?

Do you work with contractors?

 

Follow Katelyn, who was kind enough to help develop these questions.

https://www.instagram.com/katelynlesk/

 

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May 28, 2018

When you think of a polling company, you probably think of Nielsen or Gallup. John Dick is going to change that.

 

As the Founder and CEO of CivicScience, John is building a modern consumer and media analytics company based in Pittsburgh. He and his team are reinventing consumer polling for a digital and mobile-first environment.

 

We discuss how polling has gotten more difficult as media and telecommunications have become more fragmented, the challenges of hiring technical and marketing talent, and how looking at the data has made John more empathetic.

 

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John’s Challenge; Get out of your tribe. Your surroundings are too curated.

 

Connect with John

LinkedIn

Twitter

Website

 

Mentioned

Episode 303 with Luke Skurman of Niche.com

Episode 248 with Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

 

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If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, check out interviews with Mark Leslie about building Veritas to $1 billion in value and Darrin Grove about servant leadership and reinvention.


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May 23, 2018

Lynsie Campbell is the founder of LaneSpotter, a navigation tool that helps cyclists find safe routes. It’s the result of her avid cycling habit and DNA as a “serial entrepreneur.”

 

She started LaneSpotter after a ride with her then one-year-old son, who was strapped into a seat on her bike.

 

Campbell previously co-founded of the online ticketing platform ShowClix. She also started a dog walking business while living in San Francisco for a few years.

 

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Lynsie’s Challenge; Get on a bike. Explore somewhere new.

 

Connect with Lynsie

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Website

 

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If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

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If you liked this interview, check out previous interviews with entrepreneurs like Nisha Blackwell, Darrin Grove, and Christian Simmons.



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May 21, 2018

In this episode, we discuss where Pittsburgh has been and where it’s going.

 

Bill Flanagan is the Chief Corporate Relations Officer for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. Bill guides the development of regional and organizational messaging strategy and supervises Investor Relations activities, including membership development and fundraising.

 

An experienced broadcast journalist, Bill has told the story of the transformation of the economy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for more than 30-years. He serves as host and producer of “Our Region’s Business,” a weekly business public affairs program on WPXI-TV. As President of The Pittsburgh G-20 Partnership in 2009, Bill helped to organize the public/private partnership of organizations from across southwestern Pennsylvania that came together to welcome the world for the Summit.

 

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Bill’s Challenge; Take ownership and agency of making your community better. Meet someone new from a different background, hometown, or industry. Make a personal connection.

 

Mentioned in the Episode

Posturetalk, Powertalk, Babytalk and Gametalk

When we First Pitched Bill

 

 

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May 16, 2018

Jay is COO of The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute (ARM). ARM is an independent non-profit that won an $80 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to become the leading catalyst of robotics innovation and expertise to accelerate growth in US-based manufacturing and the high value careers.

 

It is also supported by an additional $173 million in commitments from more than 100 members and partners in industry, academia, technology, government and economic development groups.

 

We discuss how ARM is deploying its capital, the challenges associated with bringing more manufacturing jobs back to America, and the limitations of modern robotics technologies.

 

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Jay’s Challenge; Consider jobs in advanced manufacturing.

 

Connect with Jay

LinkedIn

Twitter

Website

 

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If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

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If you liked this interview, check out episode 297 with Jorgen Pedersen where we discuss robots taking human jobs and episode 304 with Neil Ashbaugh about training the next generation of manufacturing workers.



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May 14, 2018

Stephen Warley teaches people the life skills that matter for business.

 

My mission is to relieve people of their work anxieties by empowering them to design their own work.

 

The evolutionary fear of losing the acceptance of others is often more powerful than the desire to strike out on our own. He sees his job as empowering his readers to stop living up to the ideals of others and to start living up to their own ideals.

 

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Stephen’s Challenge; Find 30 minutes to set aside every week for yourself. YOU are your most important client.

 

Books Mentioned

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk M.D.

 

Connect with Stephen

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn

Website

 

Underwritten by Piper Creative

A digital agency that provides strategy, delivery, and analysis specializing in a few key service offerings.

Documentary-as-a-Service (Vlogging 2.0)

Instagram Content Production & Account Building

Podcast Production, Strategy Consulting, and Guest Acquisition

 

If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

YouTube

Instagram

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 216 with Noah Kagan where we discuss being #30 at Facebook, the importance of doing work with purpose, and learning ultimate frisbee.



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May 11, 2018

Instead, he’d prefer to offer his perspective. He’s built a $40,000,000 real estate portfolio through hard work, persistence, and patience. Being raised by a single parent in a two bedroom, low income apartment in Mt. Oliver doesn’t usually breed success, but Joe Calloway’s story is anything but usual. Joe went from those unfortunate circumstances to being the largest single family home buyer in Pittsburgh.

 

With little direction in life and few marketable skills, Joe enlisted in the US Navy in 1997. Using his military reenlistment bonus, Joe bought his first property in 2004. For his early projects he served as investor, contractor, designer, and property manager, giving him first-hand experience which proved to be invaluable.

 

Joe formed RE360 in 2009 and has grown the company’s rental portfolio to 270 units with a monthly gross rental income of $229,000. 2014 alone saw the rags-to-riches Calloway invest $5 million and purchase 72 homes, making him the largest housing buyer in Pittsburgh for the second year in a row. Not bad for the poor kid from Mt. Oliver.

 

Attend my one-day conference in Pittsburgh. Learn more here.

 

Joe’s Challenge; Don’t rely on traditional sources if you are unhappy with your current position. If you want something great, you have to make it yourself and get creative.

 

Connect with Joe

Facebook

Twitter

Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out my other interviews with people making moves in the city of Pittsburgh, like Bill Peduto and Grant Oliphant.



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May 7, 2018

Dinesh is a self-professed technophile, in addition to a speaker, mentor, and entrepreneur. He has taken part in three separate companies getting acquired, the third for over $200 million dollars. These days he stays busy investing, mentoring, and sharing wisdom.

 

He initially went to university for sciences, which lead him to a career in software. It wasn’t long before he realized that his pay would hit a ceiling. He saw the sales guys driving Porsches and Jaguars—and wanted in. Little did he know that his passions were in unlocking a business' potential, which goes far beyond the sale.

 

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Dinesh’s Challenge; Count your “I can’t”s over the course of one week, then work to change one to “I can”.

 

http://www.goingdeepwithaaron.com/podcast

 

Connect with Dinesh

LinkedIn

Twitter

Website


If you liked this interview, check out episode 118 with Kevin Kelly where we discuss the technological trends that will shape our future.

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