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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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Now displaying: 2022
May 23, 2022

Jake Thomas is an expert at writing YouTube video titles. He has parlayed his experience writing more than 4,000 titles into his company, Creator Hooks.

 

Prior to founding Creator Hooks, Jake helped build a channel from 70 to 200k subscribers

 

After leaving to start his firm, he landed clients that include Hubspot cofounder Dharmesh Shah's personal channel and The Infographics Show.

 

In this episode, Jake and Aaron discuss his framework for writing a title, how to create more curiosity, and the power of owning a niche.

 

Jake Thomas’ Challenge; Develop your Model 100. Create a spreadsheet of the hundred channels with a similar style to yours.

 

Connect with Jake Thomas

Twitter

Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 386 with Jon Shanahan where we discuss YouTube strategy and men’s fashion.





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May 16, 2022
Listen to Adam Haritan, founder of Learn your Land, discuss getting lost in a bog and hearing your calling.
May 16, 2022

Adam Haritan is the founder of Learn Your Land, as well as a wild food enthusiast, researcher, and forager. He is launching a new course, Trees in All Seasons.

 

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 consume.  

 

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.

 

In this episode, Adam and Aaron discuss trees, his new course, and commitment to quality.



Adam Haritan’s Challenge; Find a tree growing close to your home and identify it.

 

Connect with Adam Haritan

Twitter

Youtube

Website

 

Trees in All Seasons

 

If you liked this interview, check out when Adam visited Piper Creative to talk about business strategy.





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May 9, 2022

Matt Blocki is the founder and CEO of Equilibrium Wealth Advisors. Matt is also a co-founder of Wealth Advisor Training, which was founded in 2022 to help provide resources to the top wealth advisors around the country. Wealth Advisor Training gives advisors a comprehensive education platform to give better proactive advice and develop systems to scale their business.

 

Matt regularly speaks in the financial planning industry, including to top firms Thrivent and Mass Mutual.

 

In this interview, Matt and Aaron discuss Matt’s career trajectory, how to attract great clients, and their plans for WealthAdvisorTraining.com.



Matt Blocki’s Challenge; Rate all facets of your life and do the requisite work to improve the lowest rated pieces.

 

Connect with Matt Blocki

Linkedin

Facebook

WAT Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out our conversation with Brent Johnson where we discuss Dollar Milkshake Theory and his early career at Credit Suisse. 





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May 2, 2022
Mark Nelson is the managing director of the Radiant Energy Fund, which advises governments, nonprofits, and industry about nuclear energy. 

 

Mark works tirelessly to prevent early closures of nuclear plants around the world a nd has attended the UN climate conference in Glasgow as a delegate from the American Nuclear Society. His efforts span the globe, working to save nuclear plants from Germany to California. 

 

Mark holds an MPhil in Nuclear Engineering from Cambridge University and degrees in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Russian Language and Literature from Oklahoma State University.

 

In this episode, Mark and Aaron discuss the differences between France & Germany, the complexity of the US electric grid, and reasons for hope.

 

Mark Nelson’s Challenge; Find out where you get your power from, what nuclear plants are nearby, and communicate to politicans that you don’t want them shut down.

 

Connect with Mark Nelson

Linkedin

Twitter

Website



If you liked this interview, check out our past episodes w/ Dr. Rita Baranwal about nuclear energy and the government and Doomberg about coming shortages of food and energy.



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Apr 25, 2022
Eric Jorgenson is the author of the Almanac of Naval Ravikant, a GP in the seed investment-focused Rolling Fun, and the creator of the course Building a Mountain of Levers.

 

Eric also has a podcast called Jorgenson’s Soundbox and was part of the founding team of Zaarly, proximity-based, real-time, buyer-powered market platform.

 

Eric has condensed the wisdom of Naval, a prolific entrepreneur and investor, into a concise and poignant book. That book has opened doors for him and represents a clever method of accelerating one’s career.

 

In this conversation, Eric and Aaron discuss Naval’s advice for creating wealth, how to build the skill of being happy, and how to get started creating leverage for yourself.

 

Eric Jorgenson’s Challenge; Find and implement one new automation to create more leverage in your life.

 

Connect with Eric Jorgenson

Twitter

Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 46 with Taylor Pearson where we discuss writing the End of Jobs and creating better career opportunities.





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Apr 17, 2022

Christopher Nguyen is the CEO and cofounder of Aitomatic, where he aims to redefine how companies approach AI in the context of life-critical, industrial applications.

 

As a multiple-time tech founder, Christopher has played key roles across a wide range of technology startups. He has also operated in large corporations where he has built the first flash memory transistors at Intel and spearheaded the development of Google Apps as its first Engineering Director. 

 

Today, he’s become an outspoken proponent of the emerging field of “AI Engineering” and a thought leader in the space of ethical, human-centric AI. 

 

In this episode, Christopher and Aaron discuss AI’s shortcomings, the mission of Aitomatic, and how diverse experiences keep life engaging.



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​​Christopher Nguyen’s Challenge; Separate the what and the why when problem solving.

 

Connect with ​​Christopher Nguyen

Linknedin

Aitomatic Website



If you liked this interview, check out our interview with Tom Galluzzo where we discuss GPT-3, robotics, and entrepreneurship. 



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Apr 11, 2022

Brandon Grbach is the CEO and cofounder of Steel City. Steel City is a family-owned boutique offering Pittsburgh-inspired, vintage tees, sweatshirts & accessories.

 

Grbach started designing t-shirts for his friend’s skate shop, but when the shop shut down, he continued on his own.

 

Now, he and his wife own a thriving business with over 20 employees, a distinct brand, and a habit of growing ~50% every year.

 

In this interview, Brandon and Aaron discuss how he has learned to drive towards simplicity for customers, opening a second location, and how the brand got big in Japan.



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Brandon Grbach’s Challenge; Ask, “what's one decision you're putting off?” Then, stop putting it off.

 

Connect with Brandon Grbach

Linkedin

Instagram

Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out our interview with TJ Fairchild where we discuss how to scale a coffee shop, designing soulful spaces, and how a philosophy degree prepares you for business.

 

Book Recommendation

Raving Fans : Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service by Ken Blanchard 






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Apr 4, 2022

Rob Walling is an investor, writer, podcaster, and serial entrepreneur. His last startup, Drip, was an email marketing software company that was bought by Leadpages for millions in 2016.

 

He also has been helping bootstrapped startup founders since 2005 and now runs the first startup accelerator for SaaS bootstrappers, TinySeed.

 

Rob also hosts the podcast “Startups for the Rest of Us”, which has over 10 million downloads 

 

Rob and Aaron discuss how to level up in entrepreneurship, the personal growth required to take bigger swings, and the balancing act of parenthood & entrepreneurship in this interview.



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Rob Walling’s Challenge; Consume your audiobooks and podcasts at over 1x speed. Add the video speed controller to your browser.

 

Connect with Rob Walling

Linkedin

Twitter

Personal Website

TinySeed

MicroConf

 

If you liked this interview, check out our interview with Andrew Gazdecki about MicroAcquire, building Saas companies, and the fun of business.



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Mar 27, 2022

Sam Parr founded The Hustle, which he eventually sold to Hubspot for tens of millions of dollars.

 

The Hustle was born from a conference he started, called Hustle Con, that showcased non-technical startup founders and their strategies for success. The Hustle ended up garnering an audience of millions of subscribers and was able to operate profitably as a new media startup that was not overburdened by outside capital

 

In this interview, Sam and Aaron discuss the early stages of Sam’s career, his tips for selling, and finding meaning after selling your company.



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Sam Parr’s Challenge; Monday night, make a list of 50 people who you wish you could get in a room with and develop a strategy for reaching out to them consistently.

 

Connect with Sam Parr

Linkedin

Twitter

Instagram

The Hustle

 

If you liked this interview, check out this video we made about the Morning Brew.



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Mar 21, 2022

Doomberg is the anonymous publishing arm of a bespoke consulting firm. Their firm provides advisory services to family offices and c-suite executives

 

The firm’s principals apply decades of experience across heavy industry, private equity, and finance to deliver innovative thinking and clarity to complex problems.

 

They maintain their anonymity to ensure the privacy of their clients, the sovereignty of their personal lives, and the 

 

In this episode, Doomberg and Aaron discuss the idea that energy is life, forthcoming instability in major nations, and the optimism required to make a difference. They also cover the principles of prepping your home for calamity.



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Doomberg’s Challenges; 

  1. Tell yourself, “Something bad might happen to me, but it’s not going to be today”
  2. Skill development is the best investment you can make.



Connect with Doomberg

Twitter

Substack

 

If you liked this interview, check out our interview with Tucker Max where we discuss Doomer Optimism and our interview with Mike Green where we discuss Bitcoin.




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Mar 14, 2022

Richard Aulenbach founded RPA Engineering in 1989. He has run the firm for over 30 years and expanded to a team of over 70 people.

 

RPA Engineering serves a wide variety of markets including pharmaceuticals, power, and government.

 

Richard has had extensive experience in landing large deals, recruiting technical talent, and surviving bad business partners.

 

In this interview, Richard and Aaron discuss lessons from 30 years in business, how to win bigger deals, and the challenges that come from growing team size.

 

Connect with Richard Aulenbach

Linkedin

RPA Engineering

 

If you liked this interview, check out our interview with Steve Muck where we discuss acquiring a construction company, negotiating with labor, and differentiating your construction company. 




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Mar 7, 2022

Jennifer Smith is the cofounder and CEO of Scribe, a modern software solution for documenting and teaching company processes.

 

After graduating from Harvard Business School, Jennifer joined McKinsey where she helped the largest companies on the planet implement better processes. With an appetite for efficiency, she searched far and wide for a solution that reduced the friction between finding a better process and sharing it across an organization.

 

When she realized that the market was not producing a sufficient product, she decided to take matters into her own hands and found Scribe.


In this interview, Jennifer and Aaron discuss how her obsession led to a great product, the perspective of a former venture capitalist as a founder, and the challenges of being a parent & executive.



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Jennifer’s Challenge: Drop the things you don't want to do from your calendar.

 

Connect with Jennifer Smith

LinkedIn

Scribe

Twitter

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 492 with Joe Percoco where we discuss the step-by-step process of building a fintech startup.



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Feb 28, 2022

Abhi Godara is the founder of Rytr, a content marketing startup that uses artificial intelligence to help marketers with their content. 

 

He has been working in the digital marketing industry since 2006 as a writer, content strategist and SEO professional.

 

Previously, he worked as an operator VC at TLabs, India's biggest early-stage startup accelerator, where he recruited and assessed 1000+ transactions and oversaw portfolio investments. Because of his knowledge when it comes to sourcing, he worked with over 40 businesses and 150+ founders on product, design, growth, and business development.



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Abhi Godara’s Challenge; Come up with a business idea and launch a website where you write content about it.

 

Connect with Abhi Godara

Linkedin

Twitter

Rytr.me Website



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Feb 21, 2022
Eric Satz is the founder and CEO of Alto, a platform for investors to use their retirement accounts for investing in alternative assets, such as private companies, real estate, cryptocurrency, equity crowdfunding, and marketplace loans.

 

The firm enables investors to better diversify their IRA and 401(K) accounts into higher-return, long-term alternative investment opportunities.

 

For a long time, IRAs have been dominated by Fidelity, Charles Schwab, eTrade, and Vanguard. However, digitization and the fintech revolution have opened the door for a wave of new upstarts.

 

In this episode, Eric and Aaron discuss why alternative investments are on the rise, how his company raised a $40m Series B, and the field of competitors. 



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Eric Satz’s Challenge; Do some homework and diligence on your first alternative asset.

 

Connect with Eric Satz

Linkedin

Twitter

AltoIra.com Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 492 with Joe Percoco where we discuss the fundamental pieces of a fintech startup and the future of retirement investing.




Underwritten by Piper Creative

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Feb 14, 2022
Tucker Max is a NYT bestselling author and cofounder of Scribe Media, the premier professional publishing company that has helped people like David Goggins, Tiffany Haddish and Dan Sullivan publish their books. 

 

Tucker started as a blogger on his website, tuckermax.com and has built out a substantial string of entrepreneurial wins, including some angel investments.

 

In this episode, Aaron and Tucker discuss moving out to a ranch, Doomer Optimism, and how to take an antifragile posture and improve your life.

 

Mentioned:

Tucker Max on Doomer Optimism

The Century of the Self: Edward Bernays



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Tucker Max’s Challenge; Read two books about Doomer Optimism, Prairie Fire by Clay Martin and How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It by James Wesley Rawles.

 

Connect with Tucker Max

Linkedin

Twitter

Website

Facebook

Instagram

 

If you liked this interview, check out our interviews with Ben Hunt on COVID and narratives and Jeff Booth about the accelerating rate of technological-induced deflation.




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Feb 7, 2022

Joe Wynn is the cofounder and CEO of Seiso, a cybersecurity firm based in Pittsburgh, PA. His firm offers Chief Information Security Officer services to clients and other forms of penetration testing.

 

Joe has over 25 years of experience in information technology and uses that to help companies of all sizes organize InfoSec governance, manage risk, and align security programs to industry frameworks.

 

In this conversation, Joe and Aaron discuss the way their services get implemented, the mark of a good client, and why people are always the #1 risk vector.

 

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Joe Wynn’s Challenge; If you’re handling other people’s information, be deliberate about protecting it. 

 

Connect with Joe Wynn

Linkedin

Twitter

Seisillc.com

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 495 with Kamron Khodjaev of Koop.AI where we discuss insurance for autonomous vehicles.




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Jan 31, 2022

Dr. Rita Baranwal served as the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). 

 

Dr. Baranwal led the office’s efforts to promote research and development on existing and advanced nuclear technologies that sustain the existing U.S. fleet of nuclear reactors, enable the deployment of advanced nuclear energy systems, and enhance the U.S.A.'s global commercial nuclear energy competitiveness.

 

Dr. Baranwal previously directed the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative at Idaho National Laboratory and served as Chief Nuclear Officer at ESRI. She is currently the CTO at Westinghouse.

    

In this episode, Aaron and Rita discuss how a nuclear reactor works, how nuclear energy is part of an energy solution, and why she dedicated her life to this technology.



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Rita Baranwal’s Challenge; Make sure your voice is heard by your political representatives. Let them know you want power to be sources from nuclear.



Connect with Rita Baranwal

Linkedin

Twitter

 

If you liked this interview, check out our interview with Jeff Booth where we discuss the overall impact of technological-induced deflation.




Underwritten by Piper Creative

Piper Creative makes creating podcasts, vlogs, and videos easy. 

 

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We work with Fortune 500s, medium-sized companies, and entrepreneurs.

 

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Jan 24, 2022

Jason Yanowitz is the cofounder of Blockworks, a digital media company launched in 2018 focused on the intersection of cryptocurrency and finance.

 

They have experienced explosive growth as they have scaled to eight figures in annual revenue, dozens of podcasts, and a rapidly growing audience hungry to make sense of crypto.

 

Jason and the Blockworks team have scaled while bootstrapping (not raising any venture capital) and stair stepped from events to podcasts to a full news site and email newsletter platform.

 

In this episode, Jason and Aaron discuss the origins of Blockworks, the best strategy for bootstrapping a media business, and what 2022 holds for crypto.



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Jason Yanowitz’s Challenge; Play the game. Don’t spend all your time reading.

 

Connect with Jason Yanowitz

Linkedin

Empire Podcast

Jason’s Twitter

Blockworks Website



If you liked this interview, check out our interview with Harmony founder Stephen Tse where we discuss launching a layer 2 blockchain and his plans for the future of crypto.





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Jan 17, 2022

Wes Kao is the cofounder of Maven, the world’s first digital platform for cohort-based courses. In just one year, the Maven team launched over 100 cohorts, saw dozens of instructors make $10K, multiple made $250K+, and raised a $20m Series A from Andreesen Horowitz.

 

Their course creators include Anthony Pompliano, Li Jin, Sahil Lavingia, Shaan Puri, and Sahil Bloom.

 

Prior to starting Maven she was the co-founder of the altMBA, which launched the modern cohort-based education movement with Seth Godin. She’s led over 150 launches for Fortune 500 brands and startups, and is recognized as a leading expert in B2C marketing. 

 

In this episode, Wes and Aaron discuss how to go from being and outside to an insider, why MOOCs fail, and how Wes got a job with Seth Godin.

 

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Wes Kao’s Challenge; Figure out how you can turn bugs into features.

 

Connect with Wes Kao

Linkedin

Wes on Twitter

Maven on Twitter

Maven.com

WesKao.com



If you liked this interview, check out episode 422 with Pomp.





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Jan 10, 2022

​​Aye Moah is the co-founder and CEO of Boomerang, the most popular extension for Gmail and Outlook which enables millions of people to email more effectively with artificial intelligence.

 

Aye has over a decade of experience in bringing category-creating products to market. She is an innovator with multiple patents and has scaled revenue with a consumer freemium model and a bottoms-up B2B SaaS motion. 

 

In her experience as a Chief Product Officer, Moah has grown her product lines’ revenue from 0 to $8M profitably, on $400k total investment. 

 

In this episode, Moah and Aaron discuss how she helps her team improve productivity, the product development challenges of a Gmail extension, and how they have defended their patents.

 

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Aye Moah’s Challenge; Evaluate how much of your day is “I have to” vs “I get to”. 

 

Connect with Aye Moah

Linkedin

Twitter

Boomerang App Website

 

Mentioned

Mohinga Catfish chowder

Tea leaf salad

Coconut curry noodle



Underwritten by Piper Creative

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Jan 3, 2022

Jesse Pujji currently serves as Founder & CEO of Gateway X and as Executive Chairman of Ampush and MySubscriptionAddiction.com.

 

Prior to GX, Jesse co-founded and was CEO of Ampush. He grew Ampush to over 100 Ampushers, managed over $1BN of digital media spend, and partnered with brands such as Dollar Shave Club, Uber, Birchbox and Hulu. 

 

Prior to Ampush, Jesse started his career with short stints at both Goldman Sachs and McKinsey.

 

Gateway X is a holding company that builds, buys and invests in market-leading direct to consumer companies. 

 

In this podcast, Jesse and Aaron discuss experimenting with TikTok ads, lessons from joining the Red Ventures portfolio, and the DTC companies Jesse has launched.



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Jesse Pujji’s Challenge; Remove the bottom 5 things on your to-do list.

 

Connect with Jesse Pujji

Linkedin

Twitter

Website

 

Links

TikTok Ads

Happiest Baby on the Block

Jesse's Baby Sleep thread

Jesse on Invest Like the Best

 

If you liked this interview, check out our interview with Marshall Haas about building a holding company of profitable businesses.




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