[email protected] is a series of conversations about about technology and how it is reshaping our society. Om Malik (a veteran technology writer) sits down and chats with some of the best and the brightest from around the world. The podcasts supplement his writing on his blog, On My Om. (http://om.co)

33 Episoder

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    [email protected] with Maria Konnikova


    In this episode of [email protected], I’m talking with an old friend, Maria Konnikova. Maria holds a Ph.D. in Psychology, is the author of multiple best-selling books, and is also a professional poker player. We immediately dive into her book “The Confidence Game” about how con artists convince people of unbelievable things. We dissect how movies and TV glamorize the con artists while placing blame on those who were conned. We even touch on our shared love for Sherlock Holmes.    We enter into a much deeper discussion about Maria’s most recent book “The Biggest Bluff”, which was released June 23rd. When Maria wrote the book, she set out to write about luck and the things we can and can’t control. After reading John Von Neumann’s book on game theory, she realized poker was the perfect medium for her exploration into chance. Erik Seidel — a renowned poker player — agreed to let Maria shadow him to learn more about poker. Maria never thought this opportunity would lead to becoming a professional poker player.    We talk about what poker has taught her about emotional control and how you have to learn to identify your emotions to become an expert poker player. The goal isn’t to move away from being emotional — because it’s human nature. But you must identify your emotions and learn to remove them from the equation. You must also identify your triggers: What types of people make you mad? What interactions make you upset? What excites you or makes you happy?   We further delve into the psychology of poker and the topics of psychological distancing, physical distancing, and how to prevent emotions before you’re triggered. We chat about how emotions can be essential to decision-making. Maria also shares about her experience as a professional poker player and what she learned about herself throughout her journey. Our conversation travels deep into psychology, emotion, self-awareness, and the uncertainty of life. Please listen — Maria’s captivating story cannot be missed.    Subscribe to THE OM SHOW   Outline of This Episode We talk about Maria’s three books What does TV get right about con artists? How Maria landed on writing a book about poker Making decisions because of and in spite of emotion How emotional control impacts the game of poker — and life Maria’s journey to becoming a best-selling author Maria’s time as a professional poker player What Maria learned about herself from poker  The uncertainty of mortality that’s part of our being How epidemiologists use poker as a model for disease spread Resources & People Mentioned Theory of Games and Economic Behavior by John von Neumann Erik Seidel Maria Konnikova's Books Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes The Confidence Game NEW: The Biggest Bluff Connect with Maria Maria’s Website Follow on Twitter Connect With Om www.Om.co Om on Twitter: @Om Om on Instagram: @Om
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    [email protected] with Ophir Gottlieb


    In this episode of [email protected], I chat with my friend Ophir Gottlieb, the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Capital Market Laboratories. We talk about the importance of proper perspective. Ophir likens perspective to a superpower — with it, we are the best investors in the world. Yet the increase of access to and influx of information has only served to create more confusion. Ophir emphasizes that we are totally overwhelmed with data and underwhelmed with information.   With that proliferation comes the competition to be profitable. The news media doesn’t just provide news — it’s become sensationalized.There is this disconnect between a story existing, and the need to just get something printed. News has probably hurt more people’s wealth than helped it. It’s very difficult to lose wealth in the stock market. Yet it continues to happen. It isn’t because people are stupid. So how can it be? Because money is tied to the identity of self and fear that you’ll lose that identity. The stock market is driven by emotion.    Ophir and I also discuss society’s shift from a long-term orientation to one of short-term focus. Have we lost the ability to think beyond the now? We chat about Robinhood—the trading app that’s become a phenomenon—and how its impact isn’t as striking as Schwab’s move to commission-free trading. We also ruminate on the unprecedented steps that have been taken with the economy and how our expectation for a natural response to an unnatural occurrence is baseless. We are dealing with an unnatural economic impact. We can’t do the normal things when the thing we’ve created isn’t normal.    We talk about the giant leap forward in the digital realm that’s been made out of necessity. Ophir shares that he is investing in the companies that will help the world move forward in the digital transformation. Lastly, Ophir shares his thoughts on when and how to invest in the market. We cover a wide range of fascinating topics in this conversation. Be sure to listen for insight on the economy.    Subscribe to THE OM SHOW   Outline of This Episode Ophir’s background in institutional finance How the influx of information has created confusion The information asymmetry rampant in the market The impact of ‘noise’ on the rise and fall of the stock market Has humanity become short-term oriented versus long-term? The phenomenon of the Robinhood trading app How is Ophir is reading the current market opportunities  Are we cycling into the future of american economy? Tech stock valuations are high—so when do we enter the market? How to connect with Ophir and join his community Resources & People Mentioned Robinhood Schwab Connect with Ophir Gottlieb Capital Market Laboratories Follow on Twitter Connect With Om www.Om.co Om on Twitter: @Om Om on Instagram: @Om
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    [email protected] with Jeffrey Sachs


    In this episode of [email protected], I’m joined by world-renowned economist, professor, and best-selling author Jeffrey Sachs. A central topic in our conversation is Jeff’s newest book The Age of Globalization and the impact of digitalization on our culture and economy.    We dissect how COVID-19 has clearly changed office culture — and how it won’t be the same after this. The Coronavirus has taught us that 80% of our work can be done anywhere. We are recognizing that we can function with a decentralized workforce. How will that impact how people live and function in society?    We also talk about the inaccuracies being portrayed by the stock market. We’ve seen over 20 million people apply for unemployment, yet the stock market is up 20%. Jeff notes that the stock market isn’t a snapshot of the economy — it’s a snapshot of a piece of the economy at the exclusion of the losing side.    We fear that our society has become stupid. Our systems cannot process information, deliberate socially, and reach rational outcomes. Jeff emphasizes that deliberation and the pursuit of serious knowledge and problem-solving needs to come back into the core of our politics.    We peruse so many topics, from a lack of meaningful communication in our society to potential dystopian or utopian futures. Be sure to listen to this episode for a wide-ranging conversation about pertinent global issues that our society is facing.   Subscribe to THE OM SHOW   Outline of This Episode Jeff’s Book: The Age of Globalization How COVID-19 has clearly changed office culture How humanity has dealt with pandemics throughout history The economic inaccuracies being portrayed by the stock market The dramatic acceleration of the digital economy and adverse effects How digitization makes a large positive contribution to overall productivity Most everything that we want done can be done by AI The need for new institutions to handle digitalization How society defines the worth of a man or woman The Scandinavian ideology of social democracy A continued shift towards working less and enjoying life The next phase of globalization and the possibilities that come with it The benefits of science and technology should be widely shared How communication is a key part of globalization The pursuit of serious knowledge and problem-solving needs to return Resources & People Mentioned Office of Technology Assessment  Movie: Idiocracy Marshall McLuhan The World Happiness Report Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren Sustainable Development Solutions Network Connect with Jeffrey Sachs Connect on LinkedIn Jeff’s Book: The End of Poverty Jeff’s Book: The Ages of Globalization Connect With Om www.Om.co Om on Twitter: @Om Om on Instagram: @Om
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    [email protected] with Barry Ritholtz


    In this episode of [email protected] my friend Barry Ritholtz joins me to discuss our current existence. Barry is the CIO of Ritholtz Wealth Management, an avid blogger, and prolific author. His voice is well-recognized in the stock market and investing universe. Barry and I have a conversation about how the pandemic has served to amplify the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’. We acknowledge it can be a catalyst for necessary change on a governmental level.   Barry and I also chat about the state of the economy and its influence on the stock market using the analogy of a rubber band: If it stretches too far in one direction it will inevitably snap back. The market is betting on future probabilities and often sees changes in the economy before anyone else reports it. Barry states: “The nature of technology, the nature of capitalism, the nature of markets, is constant change. It just takes place at a longer timeline than us humans are comfortable with.”   Barry and I also chat about Facebook and how it is reckless and irresponsible in how it allows the spread of fake news. Facebook has advertising down to an exact science and can track nearly every move you make. Barry admits that he’s impressed by them professionally but hates them personally.    We delve into what aspiring bloggers can achieve by either curating content, creating their own, or educating and teaching. Barry points out that there has never been a better time to be a human being on this planet. What’s available to you is astonishing. We can access everything ever written or recorded — so we should take advantage of it. Listen to this episode for an inspiring and thoughtful conversation between friends.    Subscribe to THE OM SHOW   Outline of This Episode Two separate categories for people dealing with COVID Will the Coronavirus pandemic help us become better people? Barry weighs in on the volatility of the stock market  The news is often a lagging indicator of reality The nature of technology and capitalism is constant change Full stop on the industrial era brought to its knees? Companies have gotten too big for our good Addressing the Google antitrust action rumors going around Why society should be more worried about the impact of Facebook A blog can curate content, create original content, or educate and teach How we can access everything ever written or recorded and must take advantage of it The bloggers, authors, and prolific writers Barry reads every day Resources & People Mentioned ‘Invisible’ Judd Legum Daniel Gross Bethany McLean Derek Thompson Jason Zweig Morgan Housel Joshua Brown Nick Maggiulli Ben Carlson Michael Batnick BOOK: No One Wants to Read Your SH*T BOOK: The Heretics: Adventures with the Enemies of Science Connect with Barry Ritholtz Follow on Twitter Connect on LinkedIn The Big Picture Connect With Om www.Om.co Om on Twitter: @Om Om on Instagram: @Om
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    [email protected] with Nick Thompson


    In this episode of [email protected] I chat with one of the great human beings on the planet — Nicholas Thompson. He’s the Editor in Chief at WIRED Magazine, an avid marathoner, and has penned one of the best essays I’ve read in recent times. In this conversation, Nick and I talk about how media outlets have to shift how they write stories to generate ‘clicks’ over ‘subscriptions’.    We also converse about the reputation of the media and how it hasn’t improved during the Coronavirus crisis. We postulate that social media is a double-edged sword—as much as it gives, it takes away. It has only served to amplify the heat towards the media industry and appeals to the worst instincts of humanity while incentivizing the worst behaviors. Their needs to be healthy cynicism and healthy optimism in regards to social media — without that, we cannot progress.   We also have a lengthy discussion about the forced surge in telemedicine. The tech has existed for a while now, but the Coronavirus removed the typical barriers for the use of the technology. As its use becomes more widespread, what will the new rules and regulations look like? What if you had a video recording of every hospital visit since you turned 18, stored locally? So every time you visited a new doctor they had video reference for treatment.   Can we design a system to minimize the risk and maximize the benefits over a long time horizon? Be sure to listen to our conversation for an in-depth look at the future of tech writing, automation, the medical industry, and much more.    Subscribe to THE OM SHOW   Outline of This Episode Learn about Nicholas Thompson — Editor in Chief of Wired What WIRED publishes is important and utterly essential The reputation of the media hasn’t improved during this crisis Social media is a double-edged sword—as much as it gives it takes away Social media appeals to our worst instincts Do reporters dislike tech as often as they’re accused of it?  The need for healthy cynicism and healthy optimism How the Coronavirus crisis is creating a boom in telemedicine We weren’t expecting the future to arrive like it has Tougher cleaning requirements in airports and public places What spectrum of jobs will be replaced by machines? What the hiring process will look like in the future What will the future of working from home look like? Resources & People Mentioned WIRED Magazine Connect with Nick Thompson Nick on Twitter Connect on LinkedIn Nick’s Website Connect With Om www.Om.co Om on Twitter: @Om Om on Instagram: @Om
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    [email protected] with Herman Narula


    In this episode of [email protected], Herman Narula joins me in a conversation about our future. Herman is the CEO of Improbable — a company that is obsessed with multiplayer games. They build the underlying technology to support new gaming experiences. He strives to be able to create a “virtual environment that is as representative and complex as the real world.” A virtual world that improves upon the real word — that doesn’t replicate it.    With the uncertainty of the future of travel, the ability to experience the world without leaving our homes would be astounding. What about the future of social gatherings? Will we shift to more virtual concerts, such as Travis Scott’s concert in Fortnite? The types of experiences or interactive communication we can uniquely have in those environments is endless. Herman posits that we may see a gradual freeing of identity and an emphasis on the ability to influence the world from your physical body. What if our mode of influence shifted to virtual reality?   Herman fully believes that video games will be the thing that defines this decade in a way that surprises society. It’s already the interface through which many young people socialize. Perhaps we will begin to see people begin to make money in these virtual worlds. Herman is excited for the end of the lockdown. He’s hopeful that our world may see another Roaring Twenties — with revitalization in art and culture and an explosion of new ideas. Listen now to hear an eye-opening discussion with my newfound friend.      Subscribe to THE OM SHOW   Outline of This Episode Creating simulation technology for gaming and defense How will the behavior change us as people? Does the pandemic modify centuries of human gatherings? How can we improve upon the real world We talk about the emotional attachments we have to sport Is making money in a virtual world the next big transition?  The resource and energy efficiency of virtual environments Air travel will have a very different future after this Will a shift towards working from home cause an even bigger divide? Video games will be the thing that defines this decade in a way that surprises society The gaming environment is the interface in which many younger people socialize Will we see revitalization of art and culture — a repeat of the Roaring Twenties? Resources & People Mentioned Improbable.io Herman’s Ted Talk Connect with Herman Narula Herman on Twitter Herman’s LinkedIn Connect With Om www.Om.co Om on Twitter: @Om Om on Instagram: @Om
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    [email protected] with Scott Belsky


    In this episode of [email protected] my friend Scott Belsky—CPO of Adobe and founder of Behance—joins me to have a conversation about the state of our world. He shares how his family is keeping safe and what they’re doing to keep their children occupied.   We chat about our love/hate relationship with Twitter, and how their engagement-driven algorithm is being overwhelmingly driven by the fear-filled masses. An algorithm that curates topics you’re passionate about would better suit them. We worry they are too focused on keeping the lights on that they aren’t thinking about long-term strategies.   We also talk about looking beyond the economic impact of the pandemic — how will people think differently about their product and value propositions? Will superfluous products that society never needed begin to disappear? And what about the short and long-term impacts on how businesses function? Scott points out that we were forced to accelerate years ahead with the way we think about a distributed workforce.    Perhaps the world will see an increase in empathy and focus on health and wellness. We may see a seismic shift in the world of entertainment with more virtual concerts or on-demand theatre options. Will conferences become virtual presentations where people simply meetup afterward for happy-hours and social gatherings? Listen to this episode for a wide-ranging and hopeful discussion about our future.    Subscribe to THE OM SHOW   Outline of This Episode How Scott and his family are staying safe and busy Will products getting usage now get hurt long-term? Twitter’s engagement-driven business model is a problem Trust & safety can’t be a singular focus for a product organization Will startups think differently about their product and value propositions? The short and long-term impact of the Coronavirus on businesses Distance learning will no longer be shunned by universities What does the future of trust look like in relationship-building? How children will learn more from this pandemic than we will How will conferences evolve in the post-pandemic world? The impact of the Coronavirus on the hotel industry and Airbnb Increased awareness of personal health is on the horizon How Behance users are internalizing the world's events with their craft Resources & People Mentioned Airbnb Behance Oura Ring DoorDash Kyle Webster The Atlantic Verizon Pay It Forward Connect with Scott Belsky Scott’s website Scott on LinkedIn Scott on Twitter Connect With Om www.Om.co Om on Twitter: @Om Om on Instagram: @Om
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    [email protected] with Matt Mullenweg


    In this episode of [email protected] my good friend Matt Mullenweg joins me. Matt is the CEO of Automattic and a founding member of WordPress. Matt usually travels extensively for work — he logged over 500,000 miles in the air last year — but is enjoying his extended time at home.  Recently, I started embracing a concept Matt popularized called “Away From Keyboard”, shortened to “AFK”. It began as a simple way to relate that you were away from your desk but evolved into a way to encourage vacation and time off. It’s important to embrace rest and restoration — it helps us become more productive and mentally stable.  Matt shares that they’ve cultivated a culture at Automattic that’s open and honest, where everyone communicates freely. They’ve found success implementing an open vacation policy (taking as much time off as employees want or need). Every 5 years, Automattic requires its employees to take a 2-3 month paid sabbatical. Matt finds those team members return full of ideas and renewed energy, positively impacting the company.  We also chat about the importance of virtual social gatherings and the importance of continuing human-to-human connection. Matt also shares some tips for those new to the work-from-home model. Be sure to listen to this short but expansive conversation.  Subscribe to THE OM SHOW Outline of This Episode How Matt is enjoying being “grounded”  The big idea behind “Away from Keyboard”  Automattic’s open vacation and sabbatical policy  Matt implemented “half days” due to Covid-19 Fall back on the core of your culture The 5 levels of autonomy Make space for virtual social gatherings Resources & People Mentioned The 5 Levels of Autonomy [email protected] with Jason Fried The Welfare Effects of Social Media Automattic WordPress Houseparty Grist Connect with Matt Mullenweg LinkedIn Matt’s Website Connect With Om www.Om.co Om on Twitter: @Om Om on Instagram: @Om
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    [email protected] with Jason Fried


    In today’s episode of [email protected], I have a conversation with my friend Jason Fried — Co-founder and CEO of Basecamp. We talk about the parts of lockdown that we’ve enjoyed as well as the ways it’s made us more thankful. Jason admits that we don’t realize how much we take for granted. Hopefully, when we emerge from this pandemic we can be more appreciative of the teachers, nannies, and cleaning services that help us manage our everyday lives.  Jason and I chat about the reality that there are no full-time employees right now. Those lucky enough to work from home are juggling caring for their children, cooking meals, and other priorities. Leaders must recognize this reality and adjust their expectations accordingly. Basecamp has taken this to heart. They know that everyone must find a balance that works for their family. If that means they can only contribute 4 hours towards a workday, they’ve articulated to their employees that they understand — things will be okay at a slower pace.  We talk about technology and the concept of efficiency and effectiveness. How doing more isn’t always accomplishing more and that activity doesn’t equate to achievement. We also ponder the micro-level changes we will see when we emerge from this pandemic. Will we always stand a foot further apart? Will shaking hands no longer be a social norm? Will the ability to trust become the largest victim of this pandemic?  Jason and I chat about everything from the coronavirus and climate change to Grand Seiko watches and custom clothing. Listen to hear an engaging conversation between friends.  Subscribe to THE OM SHOW Outline of This Episode How Jason and his wife are navigating lockdown with 2 children Be creative instead of being bogged down by negativity The greatest things about technology are also the worst Leaders have to recognize and adapt to the new reality we’re in The concept humans struggle with that our identity is found in work We need to eliminate the cultural expectation of an immediate response Not everything is categorized “breaking news”—it isn’t all important Do we have too many tools creating more chaos than order? Will trust become the largest victim of this pandemic?  The hope that new technologies will emerge out of this The coronavirus is just a symptom of larger issues at play We have to change and adapt to new realities Dealing with mass paranoia: everyone has become dangerous We talk about our mutual love of Grand Seiko Watches Why I have exactly 100 pieces of clothing in my wardrobe The things you should spend money on: good food and comfort Resources & People Mentioned Basecamp Basecamp: Shapeup Basecamp’s new creation: Hey GitLab Son of a Tailor The iShuffle Principle My Guilty Pleasures Thunders Love Socks Grand Seiko Watches Connect with Jason Fried Jason on LinkedIn Jason on Twitter Connect With Om www.Om.co Om on Twitter: @Om Om on Instagram: @Om
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    [email protected] with Paul Kedrosky


    In this episode of [email protected], I chat with my friend Paul Kedrosky, Ph.D.— a general partner in SK Ventures. In our conversation, Paul notes that he’s pretty happy with the way he’s constructed his reality. He jokingly states he’s been in preparation for self-quarantine for the last decade—it’s his time to shine. Aside from missing coffee and sushi, he’s enjoying his time at home with his wife and children.  When our conversation takes a deeper turn, we chat about how the implicit assumptions our lives are based on are changing — that we are more fragile than we ever imagined. Paul’s been studying the Black Plague and realized that the diaries of that time could’ve been written yesterday in a blog post. The way we deal with global pandemics was the same in the 1600s as it is now—a diet of social distancing and isolation. Paul and I cover a wide range of topics such as how the airlines are concerned more about their bottom-line than spreading viruses and the information we choose to consume. We talk about the potential creation of new vaccine technologies and his optimistic view of how we will emerge from this pandemic financially. Listen to this episode for some light-hearted banter coupled with deeper topics about the state of our world. Subscribe to THE OM SHOW Outline of This Episode How Paul Kedrosky has naturally prepared for self-quarantine Is the pandemic exposing who we really are? The implicit assumptions our lives are based on How the Black Plague compares to the Coronavirus pandemic How airlines care little about the consequences of their actions Convincing the population to care before it’s far too late Understanding what our information diet should consist of Humans overestimate their importance in the grand scheme of things How Paul thinks we will emerge from this pandemic The emergence of new vaccine technologies Paul’s optimism about the impact on the economy Resources & People Mentioned BOOK: Normal Accidents The Atlantic Connect with Paul Kedrosky Paul’s website Paul’s Twitter (on sabbatical)  Paul on LinkedIn SK Ventures Connect With Om www.Om.co Om on Twitter: @Om Om on Instagram: @Om

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