Mike Evans is the founder of GrubHub. Hungry and tired one night, Mike wanted a pizza, but getting a pizza was a pain in the neck. He didn’t want to call a million restaurants to see what was open. So, as an avid coder, he created GrubHub in his spare bedroom to figure out who delivered to his apartment. Then, armed with a $140 check from his first customer and ignoring his crushing college debt, he quit his job. Over the next decade, Mike grew his little delivery guide into the world’s premier online ordering website. In doing so, he entered the company of an elite few entrepreneurs to take a start-up from an idea all the way to an IPO. In 2021, JustEat acquired GrubHub for over $7billion. In this interview, I speak to Mike Evans, Founder of GrubHub. We talk about the brutal realities start-up life, what it takes to lead an innovative, scaling, consumer focussed business and how he took a $140 cheque and turned it into a $7bn+ business.

Thought Economics

Albert Wenger is a managing partner at Union Square Ventures (USV), a New York-based thesis-driven venture capital firm, where his investments have included Etsy, Twilio and MongoDB. Before joining USV, Albert was the President of del.icio.us from founding through the company’s sale to Yahoo. Albert graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in economics and computer science and holds a Ph.D. in Information Technology from MIT. In his new book The World After Capital, Albert discusses how, “Technological progress has shifted scarcity for humanity. When we were foragers, food was scarce. During the agrarian age, it was land. Following the industrial revolution, capital became scarce. With digital technologies scarcity is shifting once more. We need to figure out how to live in The World After Capital in which the only scarcity is our attention.” In this interview, I speak to Albert Wenger, Managing Partner of Union Square Ventures, about our shift from the industrial to the knowledge economy, and what that means for all of us.

Thought Economics

Alibaba combines the economic might of Amazon, the penetration of Facebook, the ubiquity of Google and the cultural significance of YouTube. In China alone, Alibaba has over close to 1billion active customers and over 250,000 employees. At peak, the platform processed over 583,000 orders per second. Each year, Alibaba receives over 12.7billion orders, and over half of China’s domestic parcels relate to Alibaba. Brian A. Wong is a Chinese American entrepreneur and investor. He was the first American, and only the 52nd employee to join Alibaba Group, where he contributed to the company’s early globalization efforts and served as Jack Ma’s special assistant for international affairs. During his sixteen-year tenure, Wong established the Alibaba Global Initiatives (AGI) division and was the founder and executive director of the Alibaba Global Leadership Academy. In his new book the Tao of Alibaba, Brian A. Wong reveals the secret sauce of this remarkable global business, a consciously cultivated ethos and spirit that has enabled Alibaba to weather tough times and setbacks, and to persist towards a common mission. In this interview, I speak to Brian A. Wong about the management philosophy of Alibaba and how purpose-led entrepreneurship played a key role in creating one of the world’s fastest growing, and most successful businesses.

Thought Economics

In this interview, I speak to Jud Brewer MD PhD (“Dr. Jud”), one of the world’s foremost experts in habit change, addiction, self-mastery and mindfulness. Dr. Jud has more than 20 years of experience in research and clinic, and we discuss the very fundamentals of building and breaking habits, the importance of mindfulness, paying attention, and how curiosity can change our lives.

Thought Economics

Ant Middleton is a remarkable individual. As a soldier, he had a formidable career in the UK’s most elite fighting forces, including the Marines, 9 Parachute Squadron and Special Boat Service (SBS). This career led him to his synonymous role as the Chief Instructor on SAS: Who Dares Wins and on SAS Australia. If this wasn’t enough, 2019 saw him conquer one of the biggest feats known to man, Mount Everest, in the show Extreme Everest, whilst getting trapped in an unexpected, life-threatening storm, he sought to understand the attraction of such a popular, but dangerous challenge. As a bestselling author, Middleton has published his autobiography, First Man In (2018), followed by The Fear Bubble (2019) and Zero Negativity (2020) which together form The Mindset Trilogy. In 2021, Middleton published Mental Fitness and his first work of fiction, Cold Justice – a thriller that follows an ex-elite soldier facing new, chilling challenges in his life outside the military. 2022 sees the release of his latest book, The Wall, covering his strategies on demolishing fear, seizing control, and reaching our full potential. In this interview, I speak to Ant Middleton, Elite Forces Soldier, Adventurer & Leader. We explore how each and every one of us is capable of greatness, how we can conquer our fears and find the courage to move beyond the parts of ourselves that hold us back.

Thought Economics

Jody Michael is one of the world’s top leadership coaches. She’s an internationally credentialed Master Certified Coach, Board Certified Coach, University of Chicago trained psychotherapist, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has delivered over 40,000 hours of coaching over the last 25 years, including 15 years working in corporate leadership with firms including: Goldman Sachs, Chicago Research and Trading (CRT)/Nations Bank, and Kidder-Peabody. Jody has coached some of the nation’s top performing leaders and teams across diverse industries and organizations, from hypergrowth tech companies to global Fortune 100 organizations. Among her clients are more than 120 senior executives across 18 Fortune 100 companies. In her new book Leading Lightly, Jody shares her radical model for leadership, a powerful way to transform performance, make better decisions, gain greater self-awareness, and develop the capacity to manage work and life with enduring ease and clarity. Jody argues in her book that stress and difficulty don’t need to be a given, and that learning to lead lightly and mindfully can profoundly change the trajectory of our lives. In this remarkable interview, I speak to Jody Michael on the concept of mental fitness, and how we can lead differently feel lighter, and achieve more in our professional and personal wellbeing.

Thought Economics

The single best way to have a great idea is to produce lots of ideas. The number of new ideas your organization can produce is a metric for its ability to generate novel solutions to any given problem. Your ideaflow is the most crucial business metric that you’ve never considered. Every business problem is, finally, an idea problem. How well you can solve those problems is how well you and your business can perform, navigate uncertainty, and develop innovations. Jeremy Utley is the Director of Executive Education at Stanford d.school and an Adjunct Professor at Stanford’s School of Engineering. He is the co-host of the d.school’s widely popular program “Stanford’s Masters of Creativity.” Perry Kelbahn is a co-founding member of Stanford’s d.school faculty. He is an Adjunct Professor and Director of Executive Education at Stanford d.school. He has served as COO of Patagonia and as CEO of Timbuk2. In this interview, I speak to Jeremy Utley & Perry Klebahn of Stanford’s renowned Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (aka the “d.school”) on ideaflow, their proven strategy for routinely generating and commercializing breakthrough ideas.
 

Thought Economics

Dandapani is a Hindu priest, entrepreneur and a former monk of 10 years. After graduating university with a degree in Electrical Engineering he left it all behind to become a Hindu monk under the guidance of one of Hinduism’s foremost spiritual leaders of our time, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. For 10 years he lived a life of serious personal discipline and training at his guru’s cloistered monastery in Hawaii and on that journey he came to many discoveries around the most common mental maladies that literally plague us, anxiety, stress, worry and fear. Through his lectures and courses, Dandapani’s work has allowed millions to overcome distraction and find peace in their lives. In his new book The Power of Unwavering Focus, Dandapani distils decades of wisdom into insights to help us move through our lives with willpower, awareness, and focus. In this interview, I speak to Dandapaniabout what it means to have a life well-lived, what it means to best understand our minds, and how we can overcome anxiety, fear, stress and worry.

Thought Economics

Mary Bekhait is one of the most powerful figureheads in the global entertainment industry. As Chief Executive of YMU Group, she leads an international business representing household name clients across music, sport, entertainment, literary, social, art and business management. In this interview, I speak to Mary Bekhait about the secrets of the talent management industry, what it takes to lead a global talent and creative business, and the need for curiosity in leadership.

Thought Economics

Mitch Lowe has been a leader in some of the most influential and disruptive companies in the entertainment business. Mitch never graduated from high school. After a youth spent smuggling goods and money in Europe, he invested in and eventually ran video stores in the 1980s and 1990s. He was a cofounding executive of Netflix. After leaving Netflix, he became an executive at McDonald’s, eventually creating the DVD kiosk business that would become Redbox. Under his leadership as president and COO, Redbox became the third largest video rental company in America, growing to 35,000 locations and $1.5 billion in revenues. Mitch invested in and became CEO of MoviePass, a movie theatre subscription service that acquired three million subscribers in eight months. While MoviePass never succeeded, it significantly influenced the trajectory of the business of movie theatrical exhibition. In his new book Watch and Learn, Mitch gives an inside perspective on the dramatic evolution of the entertainment business, from the days of early cable television, Beta, and VHS to a world where consumers have infinite choice and control of the movies they see. In this interview, I speak to Mitch Lowe, Co-Founding Executive of Netflix, Former CEO of MoviePass and Former President of Redbox. We look at the lessons he learned from one of the fastest growing, competitive, and creative industries on the planet, and how those insights extend far beyond entertainment into all industries. We talk about disruption, success, innovation, and the importance of listening to your gut.  

Thought Economics

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