Danny In The Valley


Shopify's Harley Finkelstein: “There’s room for us and Amazon”

Season 4, Ep. 146

The Sunday  Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Harley Finkelstein, president of Shopify, to talk about the market mayhem (3:50), Shopify coming out of the shadows (5:25), how it got started (11:30), how Amazon have up on the online stores business (19:35), getting into delivery (22:45), the renewed Amazon threat (27:45), the future of direct-to-consumer commerce (31:30), how Apple has upended online ads (36:10), and the best and worst of going fully remote (38:30).

More Episodes

  • 21. Sightful's Tamir Berliner and Tomer Kahan: "The world's first augmented reality laptop"

    The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Tamir Berliner and Tomer Kahan, founders of Sightful, to talk about inventing the world’s first “augmented reality” laptop (4:30), the end of the screen (8:10), what they learned from Magic Leap (10:30), making technology disappear (12:00), raising money (18:30), the advantages of starting the company in Israel (21:45), Apple’s big announcement (25:00), getting past the “Glasshole” problem (26:15), their backgrounds (29:00), and selling the first 1,000 laptops (31:30)
  • 20. Outreach’s Manny Medina: “Most founders give up too soon”

    The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Manny Medina, chief executive of Outreach, to talk about how artificial intelligence is invading the sales business (2:30), why it will enhance humans (6:10), growing up farming shrimp in Ecuador (7:45), communism (9:30), coming to America (11:45), his original startup idea, and abandoning it (14:50), why his capitalist life does not conflict with his communist upbringing  (18:50), what is happening in the economy (21:30), moving from a tiny apartment (25:20), and the power of belief (32:00).
  • 19. Runway’s Cristobal Valenzuela: “Pushing AI-generated film past the ’mom threshold’”

    The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Cristobal Valenzuela, founder of Runway, to talk about using AI to edit and create videos (3:00), starting out at art school (6:50), quitting his job and starting the company in 2018 (8:30), his art career (9:30), rushing to raise money before his visa ran out (14:10), the critical breakthroughs (16:45), what “diffusion” is (18:30), the future of film (21:00), zero-cost content (28:30), coming to America from Chile (33:00), and the challenge of recruiting people (36:20).
  • 18. Stability.ai's Emad Mostaque: "We're all going to die - but not from AI"

    The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Stability.ai's founder Emad Mostaque, to talk about whether artificial intelligence (AI) is going to kill us all (3:30), why AI is the most important invention since the internal combustion engine (8:00), the next leap (12:40), the explosion of large language models and chatbots (17:00), why he is being sued (21:40), how AI can improve humans (25:30), how it will serve as the new platform (31:00), how he plans to make money (33:30), growing up in London (35:30), his charity (39:10), London's status as a hub (44:50), the most vulnerable industries (49:10), and his problem with OpenAI (56:10).
  • 17. Loyal's Celine Halioua: "The first life extension drug for dogs"

    The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Loyal founder Celine Halioua, to talk about extending the life of dogs (3:00), pushing to get first product on market in 2025 (6:10), the regulatory path (10:40), growing up in Texas (15:40), how health anxiety seeded her passion for longevity science (21:00), leaving Oxford after being sexually harassed (25:10), coming to San Francisco to work with Laura Deming on longevity (28:50), choosing to work on dogs (31:30), raising money (39:35), convincing top people to join Loyal (42:30), the development timeline (47:00), and the future of longevity science (50:45).
  • 16. Andreessen Horowitz's Vijay Pande: "AI doctors"

    The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Vijay Pande, head of Andreessen Horowitz’s $1.5bn bio fund, to talk about how artificial intelligence is impacting healthcare (3:30), tools that “understand” biology (8:50), trying to eliminate cancer (12:50), trying to get techie founders to get into healthcare (14:25), America’s plunging life expectancy (18:00), the (potential) end of radiology (21:10), AI’s “hallucination" problem in healthcare (25:55), the future of therapy (29:00), putting healthcare on the Moore’s Law curve (33:10), using automation to slash the industry’s costs and inefficiencies (37:30), the next trillion dollar company (40:00), if capitalism is the best way to crack healthcare (45:40), and solving the billing problem(48:35).
  • 15. SuperFocus.ai's Stephen Hsu: “AI study buddies”

    The Sunday Times' tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Stephen Hsu, founder of SuperFocus.ai, to talk about genetic testing of children (5:15), his new startup SuperFocus (9:15), the hallucination problem for artificial intelligence (11:40), how the Ai revolution could go very badly (17:55), creating an army of AI workers (24:00), how companies are reacting (27:30), starting a company amid the Cambrian explosion of AI companies (32:35), creating AI study buddies (37:00), the “who owns the data” question (43:15), and how education is the tip of the spear in the age of AI (48:45).
  • 14. Precision Neuroscience's Ben Rapoport: "Write an email with your thoughts"

    The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Ben Rapoport to talk about his plan it implant his first brain-computer interface in a human this year (5:00), his background in neurosurgery and electrical engineering (10:30), why BCI’s are ready now (13:30), Precision’s approach (16:45), preventing the device being rejected by the body (23:15), what this device will allow (24:45), restoring sense of touch to paralyzed people (32:55), exoskeletons (32:45), his time at Elon Musk’s Neuralink (41:00), and the dawning age of brain computer interfaces (44:00).
  • 13. Fixie.ai's Matt Welsh: "The 12-cent engineer"

    The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Matt Welsh, founder of Fixie.ai, to talk about how artificial intelligence will replace human programmers (3:25), its growing capabilities (8:20), the power of natural language prompts (13:20), running the numbers (16:15), historical precedents (21:30), on whether there is a development “brick wall” coming (25:00), why this AI moment has arrived (27:50), whether OpenAI will have a defensible business model (32:30), Fixie’s plan (35:40), a world of bespoke AIs for different industries (41:20), Welsh’s history at Google, Apple and startups (43:50), starting Fixie (46:30), and the societal shift to come (50:45).