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.
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 Entrepreneur.com 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
The Path to Power by Robert A. Caro
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.
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.