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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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Going Deep with Aaron Watson
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Aug 8, 2022

Sara Makin has built Makin Wellness into one of Pennsylvania's top online therapy platforms in just five years. She started Makin Wellness in 2017 on a mission to help millions of people heal and become happy again by providing excellent mental health care.

 

Today, Makin Wellness has over 50 employees and a goal of becoming a national provider of a results-based, individualized approach to online mental health care. Sara entered Psychology Grad School with a clear vision of having a multi-state Mental Health Company.

 

In this episode, Aaron and Sara discuss how to scale a remote mental health startup, managing millions of dollars in medical billing, and articulating a clear vision for your company.

 

Sara Makin’s Challenge; Take ten minutes in the morning to do something nice for yourself.

 

Connect with Sara Makin (Makin Wellness)

Linkedin

Twitter

Website

Instagram

Facebook

Tiktok

Pinterest

 

If you liked this interview, check out the episode Ketamine for Mental Health w/ Mindbloom founder Dylan Beynon.

 

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Aug 1, 2022

Justin Moore is a Sponsorship Coach & Founder of CreatorWizard, a training program that teaches creators how to find & negotiate brand deals. With his wife April, Justin has been a full-time creator for nearly a decade and has been running an influencer marketing agency for over 5 years.

 

Justin and April started creating content back in the days before brands reached out to collaborate with influencers. They started with a cooking channel and a family vlog channel and did daily videos for several years, eventually growing their total following to over 1,500,000.

 

With more than a decade of experience in content creation, it is easy to see why Justin Moore is able to help creators find & negotiate their dream brand sponsorships.

 

In this episode, dive deep with Aaron as he and Justin discuss how a side hustle led to quitting his 9 to 5 job, managing his influencer marketing agency, and the opportunity on Amazon Live.

 

Justin Moore’s Challenge; Reach out to that person. Reach out to that potential partner.

 

Connect with Justin Moore

Linkedin

Twitter

Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out our episode Men’s Fashion Reviews, YouTube, and Building a Brand w/ Jon Shanahan.

 

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Jul 25, 2022

Josh Caputo founded HumoTech in 2015 as a spin-off from his CMU research robotics department. His passion is focused on developing and commercializing cutting-edge robotics technology that addresses current societal needs like prostheses and exoskeletons. 

 

Josh and his team have built a platform to enable the world’s top researchers to more rapidly iterate on their products and designs. This will eventually allow robotics to assist people in achieving higher levels of mobility and a greater quality of life across medicine, engineering, and business.


In this episode, Aaron and Josh discuss Humotech’s goals, how they’ve bootstrapped a hardware company, and why exoskeletons will change the way we live.

 

Josh Caputo’s Challenge; Go on a hike, turn off the cellphone and ask yourself what you are doing with your life.

 

Connect with Josh Caputo

Linkedin

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out our episode The Construction Robot Revolution with Jeremy Searock where we discuss how Advanced Construction Robotics applies robotics technology in the rebar industry. 

 

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Jul 18, 2022

After years as a chef in the fast-paced world of fine dining, Chad Townsend decided it was time for a change.


He purchased an expensive Swiss-made food processor that would finely puree frozen foods such as ice cream or sorbet. His wife, Lauren, allowed him to make this purchase under one condition: he had to have it paid off by the end of the summer.


What started as a fun summer hustle turned into a 10,000 sq. ft. Ice Cream Manufacturing and Franchising business. Growing his homemade Ice cream Business, he had to put processes in place and hire people he can trust.


In this episode, Chad and Aaron discuss what it takes to scale-up food manufacturing, how to find good franchise partners, and their strategy for coming up with new flavors.


Chad Townsend’s Challenge; Spend some dollars (buying products) from somebody who lives within 50 miles of your house.

Connect with Chad Townsend

Linkedin

Instagram

Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out our episode with Bill Sarris where we discuss how he turned his family business into a Candy Powerhouse.

 

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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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Jul 11, 2022

Dr. D. Lansing Taylor is the Director at the University of Pittsburgh Drug Discovery Institute and an expert on Computational Biology. He has translated that expertise into more than 29 patents and multiple successful startups

 

His companies include Biological Detection Systems (now owned by GE Life Sciences), Cellomics (acquired by ThermoFisher), and Cellumen (now part of Cyprotex).

 

Dr. Taylor’s current companies are Spintellx and BioSystics. Spintellx focuses on computational pathology, using machine learning to identify abnormalities in tissue samples. BioSystics is a database and analytics firm that creates digital twins from complex data for research institutions and Big Pharma clients.

 

In this episode, Dr. Taylor and Aaron discuss the potential of precision medicine, the application of digital twins, and how doctors will work with data in the future.



Connect with Dr. D. Lansing Taylor

Linkedin

Facebook

Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out Building a Billion Dollar Company Treating Rare Diseases w/ Dr Gordon Vanscoy

 

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Jul 4, 2022

Brett Randall is the President and CEO of Aliner, a manufacturer of folding campers and travel trailers.

 

After selling a family business, Brett was brought in to consult on turning around the 30+ year old RV company. Eventually, his experience in manufacturing optimization, market channel development, and growth led to him being recruited to run the company.

 

A few years ago he bought out a majority of the shareholders and is building Aliner into a larger part of the growing RV market.

 

In this episode, Brett and Aaron discuss how he turned around the company, their distribution through select retailers, and how he evolves the product lineup.



Brett Randall’s Challenge; Every month, pick one thing to get done.

 

Connect with Brett Randall

Linkedin

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Aliner Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out our episode with JD Ewing where we discuss how he transformed one of the largest office furniture business, the values he instilled in the culture and his method of financial forecasting. 

 

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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Jun 27, 2022

Aarthi  Ramamurthy has had a long and successful career in technology. She has lead product teams at Microsoft, Facebook, and Netflix. Aarthi has also built two startups, including Lumoid which went through YC Combinator.

 

In the midst of the pandemic, Aarthi started a show w/ her husband Sriram on the social audio app, Clubhouse. On the show, they’ve interviewed some of the biggest names in business and popular culture including Elon Musk, Calvin Harris, and Mark Zuckerberg.

 

In this episode, Aarthi and Aaron discuss why we should be optimistic about tech, lessons from leading teams, and practical startup advice.

 

Aarthi Ramamurthy’s Challenge; Build something. Separate it from your identity.

 

Connect with Aarthi Ramamurthy

Linkedin

Instagram

Twitter

Website

Good Time Show YouTube




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Jun 20, 2022

Tony Greer, editor of the Morning Navigator, filters a chaotic global landscape through 30 years of macro trading experience and his own analysis to provide regular insight and risk/reward for each trading day.



Tony Greer’s Challenge; Explore the difference in the fundamentals of oil and tech.

 

Connect with Tony Greer

Twitter

Website

Jun 13, 2022

Tyler Denk is the cofounder and CEO of Beehiiv, a newsletter platform company that recently raised $2.6 million. 

 

Tyler was the 2nd employee at Morning Brew, where he worked on engineering, product, and growth. He was responsible for building the renowned referral program and bespoke tech ecosystem that facilitated the company to scale to a successful $75m exit in 2020.

 

Now, he and his team are working to develop all the same capabilities and features for anyone to use on the Beehiiv platform.

 

In this conversation, Tyler and Aaron discuss the key capabilities most newsletter platforms are missing, the lessons he’s taken from Morning Brew, and the success of the Milk Road.

 

Tyler Denk’s Challenge; Always leave the house with a few dollar bills to donate to the homeless.

 

Connect with Tyler Denk

Linkedin

Twitter

Beehiiv Website

 

Big Desk Energy



If you liked this interview, check out our interview with Jon Shanahan where we discuss Shark Tank, men’s cosmetics, and selling in large retailers.





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Jun 6, 2022
Peter Zeihan is a geopolitical analyst, author, and speaker who makes bold and startlingly accurate projections on the basis of geography, demography, and global politics.

 

He has authored 5 books about geopolitics; A Crucible of Nations, The Accidental Superpower, The Absent Superpower, Disunited Nations, and his latest, The End of the World Is Just the Beginning: Mapping the Collapse of Globalization.

 

Peter takes a somber, yet realistic, view of what the short to medium term future holds for countries around the globe. Decades of relative piece, secure routes, and economic integration represent an extreme outlier in the course of human history.

 

In this episode, Peter and Aaron discus how demographics and globalization will affect changes, trouble ahead for China, and how leaders can prepare.



Peter Zeihan’s Challenge; Donate to the AFYA Foundation.

 

Connect with Peter Zeihan

Linkedin

Twitter

Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out our interview with Doomberg where we discuss energy shortages, food shortages, and how to prepare.




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May 30, 2022

Jon Shanahan is the cofounder and Chief Marketing Officer for Stryx, a cosmetics and skincare company focused on serving men.

 

Jon has helped the company earn over 120 million organic views on TikTok, scale to millions in revenue, and launch in major retailers including Target, Nordstrom, and CVS.

 

Prior to founding the company, Jon built a brand and YouTube channel called The Kavalier focused on men’s fashion where he reviews menswear and helps his viewers look great.

 

In this episode, Jon and Aaron discuss the vision of Stryx, how he’s blended skills to market & sell, and how he pitched on Shark Tank.

 

Jon’s Challenge; Try something new that makes you uncomfortable.

 

Connect with Jon Shanahan

TikTok

Instagram

Linkedin

Twitter

Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 386 with Jon where we discuss his first breakthrough on tastes, trends and style through his website The Kavalier.





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

 

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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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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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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.



Underwritten by Piper Creative

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

 

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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.





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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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. 



Underwritten by Piper Creative

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

 

How? Click here and Learn more.

 

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

 

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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 






Underwritten by Piper Creative

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

 

How? Click here and Learn more.

 

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

 

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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.



Underwritten by Piper Creative

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

 

How? Click here and Learn more.

 

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

 

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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.



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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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.




Underwritten by Piper Creative

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

 

How? Click here and Learn more.

 

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

 

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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. 




Underwritten by Piper Creative

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

 

How? Click here and Learn more.

 

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

 

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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.



Underwritten by Piper Creative

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

 

How? Click here and Learn more.

 

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

 

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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

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