Ok, we’re getting a little wonky this week, but here’s a two-for-the-price-of-one deal. If you want less controversial (but still pretty intense) pick Patrick O’Shaughnessy’s Invest like the Best discussion with Charlie Songhurst (former head of strategy at Microsoft and investor extraordinaire). Their conversation is all about the power of curiosity. Songhurst is a force of nature. I’ve got a lot of notes and there will be a post or two from this one. The podcast jumps off with Songhurst explaining his interview technique of asking people to stack-rank their vices. If on your next job interview they asked you to prioritize power, money, and fame, how would you answer? Songhurst lives up to his legend.
The much harder but still very important conversation happens with Ben Thompson and James Allworth on Exponent ep. 187. They discuss India’s decision to ban TikTok and why the US might be smart to follow in their footsteps. Different algorithms from different cultures could have farther reaching implications and impacts than we can understand, and they think this one may not be worth the risk. There’s some great dialogue leading up to the conclusion as Allworth pushes back and argues the other side. In the same way, the US is famous for exporting culture, they discuss how China is using tech to export surveillance. Not necessarily in a purely nefarious way, but because it’s the norm there. Nations who don’t operate that way need to make a choice of how they want to proceed. India voted with their feet. Will the US? See also Thompson’s post “The China Cultural Clash” for more.