PODCAST

Outlier Academy

Outlier Academy

Learn from the world’s brightest outliers — including iconic founders, renowned investors, and bestselling authors. Join us as we decode the ideas, frameworks, and strategies that took them to the top of their fields. Past guests include Scott Belsky, Gokul Rajaram, Kevin Kelly, Sir Ronald Cohen, Erling Kagge, and the founders of Wealthfront, Superhuman, Varda Space Industries, Public.com, Levels, and Eight Sleep. New episodes every week on Wednesday and Friday.

#117 Adam Nash of Daffy: My Favorite Books, Tools, Habits and More | 20 Minute Playbook
4d ago
#117 Adam Nash of Daffy: My Favorite Books, Tools, Habits and More | 20 Minute Playbook
In Episode #117, we deconstruct Adam Nash's peak performance playbook—from his favorite book to the tiny habit that's had the biggest impact on his life. Adam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Daffy. We cover the importance of brutal prioritization, lessons from mentors and books, and being a leader as an engineer. “For many people who come from an engineering background, it can be difficult separating building the product you want to build from actually building the company itself, which is going to build and maintain that product indefinitely.” – Adam Nash EPISODE GUIDE (LINKS, QUOTES, NOTES, AND BOOKS MENTIONED)   FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT   CHAPTERS In this episode, we deconstruct Adam Nash’s peak performance playbook—from their favorite book to the tiny habit that's had the biggest impact on their life. In it we cover: 00:00:00 – Introduction 00:02:03 – The rapid progress in space exploration 00:03:05 – Being a leader as an engineer 00:04:31 – The importance of brutal prioritization 00:07:22 – On Reid Hoffman, building companies, and solving problems 00:08:52 – Why every founder should read The Innovator’s Dilemma 00:11:59 – Your daily top three 00:14:08 – The lessons of delayed gratification and humility in gardening ABOUT ADAM NASH Adam Nash is the co-founder and CEO of Daffy, which is building a modern platform for giving and in the process rethinking how we all give to the causes and charities we care about. Adam has a long and incredible history as an entrepreneur and builder. He's been a VP at LinkedIn, helping scale the network in its earliest years, entrepreneur in residence at Greylock, the President and CEO of Wealthfront, and an advisor to a long list of incredible companies from Gusto to Bitwise. In this episode, Adam shares why the hardest part of company building is prioritization and phasing, and how he gets these things right. We talk about why, as a founder, it's important to know everyone's superpower on your team. He shares the lessons he learned by working closely with Clayton Christensen of the Innovator's Dilemma fame. He shares why he's a big believer in interdisciplinary innovation, and that his favorite thing to do on the weekends is gardening and what that's taught him about company building. 💌 FREE NEWSLETTER LISTEN ON iTunes: OUTLIER ACADEMY Learn timeless lessons on work and life from iconic founders, world-renown investors, and bestselling authors. Outlier Academy is the forever school for those chasing greatness. Past guests include Gokul Rajaram of DoorDash, Scott Belsky of Benchmark and Adobe, Joey Krug of Pantera Capital, Mark Sisson of Primal Kitchen, Luke Gromen of The Forest for the Trees, and Brian Scudamore of 1-800-GOT-JUNK. Website: DANIEL SCRIVNER Outlier Academy is hosted by Daniel Scrivner. Over the last 15 years, Daniel has led design teams at Square and Apple, turned around a $3M+ ARR SaaS business, and invested in more than 100 companies. He launched Outlier Academy in 2020 to learn from the world’s best founders, investors, authors, and peak performance experts. Website: more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#116 HVMN: Next-Level Metabolic Health with Ketones for the U.S. Navy SEALs and The Rest of Us | Michael Brandt, Co-Founder & CEO
6d ago
#116 HVMN: Next-Level Metabolic Health with Ketones for the U.S. Navy SEALs and The Rest of Us | Michael Brandt, Co-Founder & CEO
In Episode #116, we explore metabolic health with ketones. We’re joined by Michael Brandt, HVMN’s Co-Founder and CEO. We cover the basics of ketones, iterating on product, and the company’s $6 million contract with Navy SEALs. “Your human body is the most advanced piece of technology you'll ever own.” – Michael Brandt EPISODE GUIDE (LINKS, QUOTES, NOTES, AND BOOKS MENTIONED)   FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT   CHAPTERS This episode is our definitive guide to metabolic health with ketones. In it we cover: 00:00:00 – Introduction 00:03:02 – Marathon running and the origin of HVMN 00:08:47 – Health via modern nutrition 00:10:51 – Ketones as a metabolic substrate 00:15:32 – Energy from ketones vs. energy from glucose 00:20:52 – How substrates work in the body 00:29:08 – Operation Metabolic Dominance 00:31:56 – HVMN’s $6 million contract with the Navy Seals 00:36:08 – How ketones can improve performance in endurance sports 00:49:07 – Iterating on the product and moving from petrochemicals to biochemicals 00:59:00 – Ketones as an alcohol replacement in cocktails and more 01:05:17 – Educating consumers is step one for growth As a listener — that’s you — you can try Ketone-iQ and save 10% off today. Simply go to HVMN.me/OutlierAcademy or use code OUTLIER at checkout. ABOUT HVMN Michael Brandt is Co-founder and CEO of HVMN, which makes the world's first drinkable ketones. HVMN stands for Health via Modern Nutrition, and in 2017, they launched version 1.0 of their drinkable ketones product. After landing a $6 million contract with the US Department of Defense to study how ketones could improve the performance of our special forces warriors, they launched version 2.0, called Ketone-IQ, in November 2021. In this episode, we cover ketosis and ketones 101, including what ketones are, how they work, and why they're so helpful for boosting cognitive and physical performance. We compare and contrast ketones with sugar, covering everything from how ketones pass the blood brain barrier to why they provide energy with less oxidative stress. We dive into how drinkable ketones are used by the Navy SEALs and Operation Metabolic Dominance. And we discuss all the work that HVMN has done around bioengineering, manufacturing, and testing to produce their latest product, Ketone-IQ. 💌 FREE NEWSLETTER LISTEN ON iTunes: OUTLIER ACADEMY Learn timeless lessons on work and life from iconic founders, world-renown investors, and bestselling authors. Outlier Academy is the forever school for those chasing greatness. Past guests include Gokul Rajaram of DoorDash, Scott Belsky of Benchmark and Adobe, Joey Krug of Pantera Capital, Mark Sisson of Primal Kitchen, Luke Gromen of The Forest for the Trees, and Brian Scudamore of 1-800-GOT-JUNK. Website: DANIEL SCRIVNER Outlier Academy is hosted by Daniel Scrivner. Over the last 15 years, Daniel has led design teams at Square and Apple, turned around a $3M+ ARR SaaS business, and invested in more than 100 companies. He launched Outlier Academy in 2020 to learn from the world’s best founders, investors, authors, and peak performance experts. Website: more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#115 Milind Mehere of Yieldstreet: My Favorite Books, Tools, Habits and More | 20 Minute Playbook
Jun 24 2022
#115 Milind Mehere of Yieldstreet: My Favorite Books, Tools, Habits and More | 20 Minute Playbook
In Episode #115, we deconstruct Milind Mehere's peak performance playbook—from their favorite book to the tiny habit that's had the biggest impact on their life. Milind Mehere is the Founder and CEO of Yieldstreet. We cover the ABCDE of building a company, the importance of gratitude, and the impact of blockchain on private markets. “Be bright, be brief, be gone.” – Milind Mehere EPISODE GUIDE (LINKS, QUOTES, NOTES, AND BOOKS MENTIONED)   FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT this episode, we deconstruct Milind Mehere’s peak performance playbook—from their favorite book to the tiny habit that's had the biggest impact on their life. In it we cover: 00:00:00 – Introduction 00:02:09 – The impact of blockchain on private markets 00:03:16 – Adaptability as a superpower 00:04:59 – Learning from mentors, both personal and public 00:07:09 – Be bright, be brief, be gone. 00:09:14 – The ABCDE of building a company 00:12:19 – Leadership and Self-Deception, plus American Aristocracy 00:13:49 – The importance of gratitude ABOUT MILIND MEHERE Milind Mehere is co-founder and CEO of Yieldstreet. Milind's background is fascinating. Before founding Yieldstreet in 2014, Milind founded and scaled several other companies, including Yodle, which he scaled to $220 million in annual revenue before being acquired by web.com. Over the last eight years, Yieldstreet has built one of the largest private investment platforms in the world. To date, they brought on over 377,000 members that have invested more than $1.5 billion, and Yieldstreet has paid out over $196 million in interest alone. In this episode, Milind shares why he's been fascinated with blockchain and the problems it can solve, including KYC for platforms like Yieldstreet as well as why his superpower is adaptability, and how that's helped him as a serial entrepreneur. He shares some of his favorite books, including, Leadership and Self Deception and The Richest Man in Babylon, as well as why he loves the phrase, "Be bright, be brief, be gone," and why, if he could go back in time, he'd tell his younger self to take even more risks. 💌 FREE NEWSLETTER LISTEN ON iTunes: OUTLIER ACADEMY Learn timeless lessons on work and life from iconic founders, world-renown investors, and bestselling authors. Outlier Academy is the forever school for those chasing greatness. Past guests include Gokul Rajaram of DoorDash, Scott Belsky of Benchmark and Adobe, Joey Krug of Pantera Capital, Mark Sisson of Primal Kitchen, Luke Gromen of The Forest for the Trees, and Brian Scudamore of 1-800-GOT-JUNK. Website: DANIEL SCRIVNER Outlier Academy is hosted by Daniel Scrivner. Over the last 15 years, Daniel has led design teams at Square and Apple, turned around a $3M+ ARR SaaS business, and invested in more than 100 companies. He launched Outlier Academy in 2020 to learn from the world’s best founders, investors, authors, and peak performance experts. Website: more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#114 Daffy: Reinventing Charitable Giving and Building a Modern Platform for Giving | Adam Nash, Co-Founder & CEO
Jun 22 2022
#114 Daffy: Reinventing Charitable Giving and Building a Modern Platform for Giving | Adam Nash, Co-Founder & CEO
In Episode #114, we explore building a modern charitable giving platform. We’re joined by Adam Nash, Daffy’s Co-Founder and CEO, and we cover donor-advised funds, getting kids involved in charity, and philosophies on angel investing. “I think the center of solving problems with products and software is to just always remember that people are the heart of everything. You're solving a problem for a person.” – Adam Nash EPISODE GUIDE (LINKS, QUOTES, NOTES, AND BOOKS MENTIONED)   FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT   CHAPTERS This episode is our definitive guide to building a modern charitable giving platform. In it we cover: 00:00:00 – Introduction 00:02:41 – From Apple to eBay, and from LinkedIn to Daffy 00:05:01 – Technology asks, what have you done for me lately? 00:10:53 – The hard part of being a contrarian is being wrong most of the time 00:15:06 – Software goes beyond the products you build 00:17:45 – Crossing the chasm 00:22:56 – The basics of using Daffy 00:28:03 – Overcoming customer perception of giving 00:33:17 – What are donor-advised funds? 00:41:38 – Choosing a charity in Daffy 00:48:34 – Getting kids involved in charity 00:51:53 – On Personal Finance for Engineers 00:55:52 – Adam’s angel investing thesis 01:02:07 – Lessons from Clayton Christensen ABOUT DAFFY Adam Nash is co-founder and CEO of Daffy, which is building a modern platform for giving, and in the process rethinking how we all give to the causes and charities we care about. Daffy has taken something typically only known and used by the ultra wealthy, the donor-advised fund, and made it available to anyone. With a Daffy account, anyone can contribute cash, stock and even crypto, which is all tax deductible, and then give whatever amount they'd like to over 1.5 million charities on their platform. You can invest your contribution so that your donor-advised fund compounds in value, allowing you to give even more in the years to come, all with the goal of making giving easy and affordable enough that we can all make giving a part of our daily lives. 💌 FREE NEWSLETTER LISTEN ON iTunes: OUTLIER ACADEMY Learn timeless lessons on work and life from iconic founders, world-renown investors, and bestselling authors. Outlier Academy is the forever school for those chasing greatness. Past guests include Gokul Rajaram of DoorDash, Scott Belsky of Benchmark and Adobe, Joey Krug of Pantera Capital, Mark Sisson of Primal Kitchen, Luke Gromen of The Forest for the Trees, and Brian Scudamore of 1-800-GOT-JUNK. Website: DANIEL SCRIVNER Outlier Academy is hosted by Daniel Scrivner. Over the last 15 years, Daniel has led design teams at Square and Apple, turned around a $3M+ ARR SaaS business, and invested in more than 100 companies. He launched Outlier Academy in 2020 to learn from the world’s best founders, investors, authors, and peak performance experts. Website: more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#113 Mo Islam: On Learning from the Apollo Era, Killing Them with Kindness, and How Humility Saves Startups | Co-Founder of Payload
Jun 17 2022
#113 Mo Islam: On Learning from the Apollo Era, Killing Them with Kindness, and How Humility Saves Startups | Co-Founder of Payload
“Hubris kills startups and humility saves them. No matter what your success level is or may not be, it's really important to always be humble about what you're building and what you're doing because it can change at the drop of a hat.” – Mo Islam Mo Islam is co-founder of Payload, which is building a media empire dedicated to covering the business and policy of space, as in outer space. We discovered Payload and immediately subscribed to their daily newsletter after it was recommended by Delian Asparouhov, co-founder of Varda Space Industries, in Episode 71. We asked Delian what newsletters and websites he used to stay on top of everything going on in space, and he had only one answer: Payload Space. Mo Islam has a fascinating background in finance, having worked at J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank before co-founding Payload. In this episode, Mo shares why hubris kills startups and humility saves them, what he's learned from incredible investors like Philippe Laffont at Coatue, and why he loves the book Engines That Move Markets, which we had never heard of but immediately ordered after recording this episode with him. Show notes with links, quotes, and a transcript of the episode:    Chapters In this episode, we deconstruct Mo Islam’s peak performance playbook—from their favorite book to the tiny habit that's had the biggest impact on their life. In it we cover: 00:00:00 – Introduction 00:01:40 – Clearing up misconceptions about space 00:03:06 – Kill them with kindness, embrace the boredom 00:05:30 – Learning from Phillippe Laffont and Engines That Move Markets 00:07:33 – Hubris kills startups; humility saves them 00:09:18 – Focus on what you love 00:12:02 – Learning from the Apollo era 00:13:15 – Relying on to-do lists and the Notes app 00:15:53 – Do what matters, change people’s lives for the better Sign up here for Outlier Debrief, our weekly newsletter that highlights the latest episode, expands on important business and investing concepts, and contains the best of what we read each week. Follow Outlier Academy on Twitter: you loved this episode, please share a quick review on Apple Podcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#112 Yieldstreet: Building the Alternative Investment Platform of the Future Across Income, Equity, and Real Estate | Milind Mehere, Co-Founder & CEO
Jun 15 2022
#112 Yieldstreet: Building the Alternative Investment Platform of the Future Across Income, Equity, and Real Estate | Milind Mehere, Co-Founder & CEO
In Episode #112, we explore building an alternative investment platform across income, equity, and real estate. We’re joined by Milind Mehere, Yieldstreet’s Founder and CEO. We cover the entrepreneurial spirit, building a portfolio of liquidity, and why you should invest in private markets. “I think we talk a lot about spending; we should talk an equal amount about earning.” – Milind Mehere  EPISODE GUIDE (LINKS, QUOTES, NOTES, AND BOOKS MENTIONED) TEXT TRANSCRIPT   CHAPTERS This episode is our definitive guide to private markets and building a private market investment platform. In it we cover: 00:00:00 – Introduction 00:02:22 – From tech entrepreneur to creating an investment platform 00:08:44 – The entrepreneurial spirit 00:12:07 – How public markets have shifted, and why you should invest in private markets 00:16:09 – Changes in consumer behavior that affect how we should invest 00:20:30 – Recommendations on how to allocate your investment portfolio 00:23:07 – Building a rolling portfolio of liquidity 00:27:06 – Retail investors and a generational wealth transfer 00:31:55 – The investment environment in Yieldstreet’s early stages 00:35:43 – How an ongoing bet between co-founders propelled Yieldstreet forward 00:37:41 – The extreme need for trust and credibility in money management 00:41:43 – Distribution infrastructure and a two-sided marketplace in Yieldstreet 00:51:36 – Founders: learn from feedback, find the right team, and be well-capitalized ABOUT YIELDSTREET Milind Mehere is co-founder and CEO of Yieldstreet. Yieldstreet was founded in 2014, and over the last eight years has built one of the largest private investment platforms in the world. To date, they've brought on over 377,000 members to invest more than $1.5 billion, and they've paid out over $196 million in interest on income producing investments alone, not including principle. What started out as a far-fetched idea in 2014 to build one of the world's first private market investment platforms, initially focused around producing income investments like credit, hence the name Yieldstreet, has become one of the largest investment platforms in the world alongside companies like AngelList and Republic. This episode is our definitive guide to private markets and building a private market investment platform. 💌 FREE NEWSLETTER LISTEN ON iTunes: OUTLIER ACADEMY Learn timeless lessons on work and life from iconic founders, world-renown investors, and bestselling authors. Outlier Academy is the forever school for those chasing greatness. Past guests include Gokul Rajaram of DoorDash, Scott Belsky of Benchmark and Adobe, Joey Krug of Pantera Capital, Mark Sisson of Primal Kitchen, Luke Gromen of The Forest for the Trees, and Brian Scudamore of 1-800-GOT-JUNK. Website: DANIEL SCRIVNER Outlier Academy is hosted by Daniel Scrivner. Over the last 15 years, Daniel has led design teams at Square and Apple, turned around a $3M+ ARR SaaS business, and invested in more than 100 companies. He launched Outlier Academy in 2020 to learn from the world’s best founders, investors, authors, and peak performance experts. Website: more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#111 – 20 Minute Playbook: Illia Polosukhin of NEAR Protocol and Unchain Fund
Jun 10 2022
#111 – 20 Minute Playbook: Illia Polosukhin of NEAR Protocol and Unchain Fund
“Find a mentor who's a few years ahead of you, like not too far, but like two, three years ahead of you, because those are people who still remember what they were doing in your position. And so they will be able to give you the most useful advice.” – Illia Polosukhin Illia Polosukhin is Co-Founder of NEAR Protocol. NEAR is a layer-one blockchain that’s incredibly fast, has very low transaction fees, and is climate neutral—in part because of its Proof of Stake model. It’s traded on crypto exchanges under the ticker symbol NEAR and has a market cap of just under $5B today. From 2020 through 2021, the developers working in NEAR’s ecosystem—building applications on top of their blockchain—quadrupled, making NEAR the 2nd fastest growing chain behind only Solana. In this episode, Illia shares: Why he loves running daily and how it helps him remember to just put one foot in front of the other to accomplish anything. Why he loves the book Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink, and how he applies the principles in it to his life and work. Why he’s been fascinated with the concept of a Social Graph, how to build it into the NEAR protocol, and why it’s so important for building a better world in web3. Why he thinks everyone should find mentors that are 2-3 years ahead of them in terms of where they’d like to be. Why he’d tell his younger self to focus on speed and velocity—shipping quickly in everything that he does. Show notes with links, quotes, and a transcript of the episode:   In this 20 Minute Playbook with Illia Polosukhin, we cover: 00:00:00 – Introduction 00:01:59 – Designing social graph in Web3 00:04:01 – Why context switching is a necessary skill for founders 00:05:51 – Finding mentors who are just a few years ahead of you in business 00:10:56 – Building a great decentralized ecosystem requires high-level, small, agile teams 00:13:29 – Books Illia recommends 00:16:59 – The nuance of the Russian language in writing Sign up here for Outlier Debrief, our weekly newsletter that highlights the latest episode, expands on important business and investing concepts, and contains the best of what we read each week. Follow Outlier Academy on Twitter: you loved this episode, please share a quick review on Apple Podcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#110 Payload: Building a Media Brand to Cover the Business and Policy of Space | Mo Islam, Co-Founder
Jun 8 2022
#110 Payload: Building a Media Brand to Cover the Business and Policy of Space | Mo Islam, Co-Founder
“Very simply, we are living in the next space race, and it's going to have huge implications for the way we built technology, the way we spend dollars in military.” – Mo Islam Mo Islam is the co-founder of Payload Space, which is building a media empire dedicated to covering the business and policy of space, as in outer space. We discovered Payload and immediately subscribed to their daily newsletter after it was recommended by Delian Asparouhov, co-founder of Varda Space Industries, in episode 71. We asked Delian what newsletters and websites he used to stay on top of everything going on in space, and he had only one answer: Payload Space.  In this episode, we go deep on why we're at an inflection point when it comes to space and how that was unlocked, at least in the U.S., largely by SpaceX, which has brought down the price to get a unit of mass up to low Earth orbit by order of magnitude. We cover the outsized role the military and defense departments play as customers for space companies, ranging from Earth imaging to satellite manufacturing startups. We talk about the space companies that Mo thinks are the most underrated, as well as how Payload is building a media empire, starting with what Mo calls The Modern Homepage, which is their daily newsletter. We discuss how Payload crafted a compelling voice and editorial style in an old school and relatively stodgy industry, making space cool to read and learn about. Show notes with links, quotes, and a transcript of the episode:    Chapters This episode is our definitive guide to building a media brand to cover the business and policy of space. In it we cover: 00:00:00 – Introduction 00:02:36 – How Payload focuses on the business and policy of space 00:10:54 – How Elon Musk has changed the space race 00:15:17 – Aerospace and defense go hand in hand 00:18:11 – Earth imaging illuminates the atrocities of war 00:19:36 – We are living in the next space race 00:22:52 – SPACs and space 00:28:57 – How we’ll move from government to commercial spending in space 00:33:11 – Reusable second stages and lowering the costs of space exploration 00:36:59 – What scaling Starlink could mean for space travel 00:39:40 – Launching a media brand and the importance of voice 00:43:32 – Making Payload the most important voice in the space discussion 00:51:49 – Learning from feedback and embracing boredom Sign up here for Outlier Debrief, our weekly newsletter that highlights the latest episode, expands on important business and investing concepts, and contains the best of what we read each week. Follow Outlier Academy on Twitter: you loved this episode, please share a quick review on Apple Podcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
20 Minute Playbook: Alex Simon – Co-Founder and CEO of Elude
Jun 3 2022
20 Minute Playbook: Alex Simon – Co-Founder and CEO of Elude
“You don't need to be doing something every single moment or every single day to feel accomplished. Actually, the best times of creativity come when you have nothing going on.” – Alex Simon Alex Simon left a career in investment banking to start the travel app Elude, where he's the co-founder and CEO today. Elude is focused on helping people find and book incredible travel experiences. It's the only resource where you can simply input your max budget, your local airport, and how many days you'd like to be gone to find incredible destinations around the world that fit those parameters. So you can ask the question, where can I go next week for $1000? In this episode, Alex shares why he's been fascinated with crystals, the three mentors he's learned the most from, and why one of them has continually pushed him to simplify Elude's design and user experience again and again and again. We discuss why he wishes he always trusted his gut instincts as much as he does today, and he shares his two favorite books, World Travel by Anthony Bourdain and The CEO Within by Matt Mochary. Finally, he talks about how and why he meditates at the end of each day. Show notes with links, quotes, and a transcript of the episode:   Topics discussed with Alex Simon In this Playbook episode, we cover: 00:00:00 – Introduction 00:02:02 – Alex’s recent fascination with crystals 00:03:47 – Networking as a superpower 00:04:50 – Guidance from leaders at Lyft, Priceline, and Kelton Global 00:07:18 – Always trust your gut 00:09:11 – Building a startup is about marketing, tech, and everything business 00:10:39 – Alex’s favorite books to recommend 00:12:17 – Why daily meditation is a non-negotiable 00:17:13 – Jiu Jitsu as an outlet and creative source 00:18:34 – Why enjoying your daily work is so important Sign up here for Outlier Debrief, our weekly newsletter that highlights the latest episode, expands on important business and investing concepts, and contains the best of what we read each week. Follow Outlier Academy on Twitter: you loved this episode, please share a quick review on Apple Podcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#108 NEAR Protocol – Building a High Speed, Climate Neutral, Low Fee Blockchain with Illia Polosukhin, Co-Founder
Jun 1 2022
#108 NEAR Protocol – Building a High Speed, Climate Neutral, Low Fee Blockchain with Illia Polosukhin, Co-Founder
“For me, web3 is not about decentralization. I think decentralization is just a tool. What it is about is low switching costs.” – Illia Polosukhin Illia Polosukhin is Co-Founder of NEAR Protocol. NEAR is a layer-one blockchain that’s incredibly fast, has very low transaction fees, and is climate neutral—in part because of its Proof of Stake model. It’s traded on crypto exchanges under the ticker symbol NEAR and has a market cap of just under $5B today. From 2020 through 2021, the developers working in NEAR’s ecosystem—building applications on top of their blockchain—quadrupled, making NEAR the second-fastest growing chain behind Solana.  This episode is a fascinating deep dive into NEAR, the NEAR ecosystem, the origin story, and what it takes to build a leading blockchain capable of competing with Ethereum and Solana. In this episode,we discuss: Why Proof of Stake beats Proof of Work, including why Illia is always looking to build technology that’s more efficient and co do more with less. How NEAR approached scaling and why they went through 3 separate designs (all of which failed) before arriving at the sharding method they use today. How NEAR is building a global, decentralized community that includes regional hubs located around the world from Europe to Africa, all of which include accelerators, developer grants, and community education and events. What it’s like to found a project and take it from a centralized team of a handful of people to a decentralized community of hundreds of thousands of people. How Illia raised more than $10M to help fund aid in war-torn Ukraine through his Unchain Fund. Illia is an incredibly impressive founder, but more importantly, he’s an incredibly thoughtful engineer, leader, and community builder who has built something incredible slowly and methodically, one step at a time. Show notes with links, quotes, and a transcript of the episode: episode is our definitive guide to building a high speed, climate neutral, low fee blockchain. In it we cover: 00:00:00 – Introduction 00:02:35 – How NEAR Protocol is imagining your world 00:04:46 – Why decentralization is just a tool 00:09:14 – Dethroning monopolies and leveling the playing field 00:14:02 – NEAR Protocol’s origin with scaling crowdsourcing 00:20:18 – Lack of intellectual honesty in crypto 00:24:19 – NEAR’s approach to sharding 00:31:03 – The importance of bringing the community into decision making 00:37:47 – How the co-founder’s role can evolve from centralized to decentralized 00:43:17 – Illia’s Web3 mindmap and staying decentralized while preserving privacy 00:46:36 – NEAR’s approach to sustainability in blockchain 00:49:46 – Founders: Build credibility and ship fast 00:54:19 – Handling fear and anxiety when building in crypto: Keep calm and build on 00:58:52 – The Unchained Fund and helping Ukraine Sign up here for Outlier Debrief, our weekly newsletter that highlights the latest episode, expands on important business and investing concepts, and contains the best of what we read each week. Follow Outlier Academy on Twitter: you loved this episode, please share a quick review on Apple Podcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices