#15 Jay Zhao (The case for a better Venture Capital fund and better US-China relationships)

In this episode Jay Zhao and I talk about:

  • What investment opportunities Jay is currently excited about?
  • Jay’s favorite investment so far – Sleeper
  • How can a Venture Capitalist stay honest and humble?
  • How are the interests of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists aligned?
  • What is the best way for founders and VC’s to find a “common match”?
  • Is the ‘big stagnation’ real? Will AI solve our GDP growth issue?
  • What is the best company to start in China right now?
  • Is China now ‘more entrepreneurial’ and ‘more common-sense’ than the US?
  • Is China now in a similar phase as Germany was post world-war I?
  • What role does the ‘superiority complex’ play in China, Germany or Japan.
  • What are China’s best cities?

Jay Zhao is an entrepreneur-turned-VC, and is currently Managing Partner at Leonis Capital, he was a Partner at T Fund (aka TCL Ventures) and Walden Venture Capital before.

You can reach Jay via LinkedIn.

#14 David Orban (The future of humanity and the universe)


In this episode of The Judgment Call Podcast David Orban and I talk about:

  • The forgotten story of COVID-19 spread in Europe in late 2019
  • What makes a Futurist?
  • What does the Fermi paradox tell us about intelligent life in the universe?
  • Is Peter Thiel’s ‘Big Stagnation’ thesis spot on?
  • Why the jump in Artificial Intelligence progress (2012-2020) is so meaningful.
  • What is a ‘jolting technology’ as introduced by David?
  • Will AGI happen soon? Why ‘human level’ AGI is not a good comparison to look at.
  • Will the ‘knowledge singularity’ happen in 2038 (i.e. a human level AI will be available for $1,000)?
  • Why we haven’t been visited by intelligence from outside the solar system?
  • How can we ‘colonize the universe’ despite being able to travel ‘just’ with the speed of light.
  • Are we in a simulation and how will we simulate ourselves?
  • Has the world really gotten way more complicated in the last 20 years?
  • Is ‘string theory’ flawed after all?
  • The case for ‘Universal Basic Income (UBI)’ as per David Orban.
  • What are the technologies and fields that will see exponential growth in the next 10 years?

David Orban is a thinker, investor, futurist and technophile. He has been a mentor with the Thiel fellowship for many years. He was one the first investors in Ether and early investor in Bitcoin.

You can reach David Orban via his website.

#13 Niels Pflaeging (What’s wrong with hierarchical organizations and how to fix it?)

In this episode of The Judgment Call Podcast Niels Pflaeging and I talk about:

  • What’s the prototype of a ‘democratic’ (flat) organization? What companies are examples of that?
  • Is Mariana Mazzucato right that innovations are mostly based on taxpayer funded research?
  • Why the US military is a surprising example of a ‘flat organization’?
  • and much more 🙂

Niels Pflaeging is the founder of red42, a leadership philosopher, management exorcist, speaker, author, and advisor.

Niels’ latest book – Organize for Complexity: How to Get Life Back Into Work to Build the High-Performance Organization  – is now available on Amazon.

#12 Daniel Gross (How to scale entrepreneurship and applied innovation and bring it to the world)

In this episode of The Judgment Call Podcast Daniel Gross and I talk about:

  • What attracted Daniel to starting companies in the first place?
  • What makes (scalable) software special for entrepreneurs?
  • What are the incentives in Open Source software ecosystem?
  • Is religion a major driver for entrepreneurship? What are the drivers for starting a company and where does this unending optimism come from?
  • How can ‘gamification’ help us learn?
  • How can we institute measurements for long-term consumer satisfaction?
  • How ‘Youtube style learning’ will change the future of the next generation.
  • What benefits pioneer.app offers to successful applicants?
  • How Pioneer can help curate a body of knowledge in entrepreneurship.
  • Is entrepreneurship an algorithm?
  • Are the BIG 5 personality traits predictive in a founder success?
  • Daniel’s views on the ‘Big stagnation’.
  • Daniel’s tips for the best places to start a company.

Daniel Gross is an entrepreneur and thinker and futurist who started out with Cue (a search engine). He later worked for Apple and joined  Y Combinator as a partner. Daniel is also an angel investor and runs his own (remote) distributed accelerator /incubator called pioneer.app (funded by Stripe and Marc Andreessen).

You can reach Daniel on Twitter.

#11 Peter Bordes (How entrepreneurs learn, what’s the future of entrepreneurship and will simulations take over soon?)

In this episode of The Judgment Call Podcast Peter Bordes and I talk about:

  • What drove Peter to become a serial entrepreneur?
  • What is the archetype of an entrepreneur composed of?
  • Is the current path to success for many startups broken? Is the ‘old boys network’ still in charge of the IP pipeline?
  • What impact does the ‘death if the industrial age’ have on the tech industry?
  • How does Peter’s investment process work?
  • Peter’s plan to incorporate a body of knowledge for successful entrepreneurship and building a business (the four pillars).
  • Has Silicon Valley already moved into the cloud and left the local area?
  • How will education work in the future? How will we motivate people to learn? How will we choose topics? What value does mentorship have?
  • Are startup accelerators like YCombinator a good way for startups to grow?
  • What role religion plays in entrepreneurship?
  • How travel to other regions influenced Peter and what adventures he lived through.
  • What is ‘positive PTSD’?
  • How we have all been swept up by this person-to-person proganada (in order to sell more).
  • Will we have an AI that prospects us from Big Tech propaganda soon?
  • What will be the outcome the media upheaval?
  • Will there be a singularity of knowledge accumulation soon?
  • Do we live in a simulation? Will we simulate our own minds soon?

Peter Bordes is a serial entrepreneur, executive, investor, mentor and advisor. He currently runs Trajectory CapitalTruVest and MainBloq.

You can reach Peter on Linkedin.

#10 Bill Reichert (A very short history of technological progress, seed funding and innovation)

In this episode of the Judgment Call Podcast Bill and I talk about:

  • Should seed investors only invest in companies ‘that an idiot’ can run?
  • What role does talent play in seed rounds?
  • The short history of Angel Investing and Seed Funds
  • Bill’s first start-up and how he got into Venture Capital
  • The short history of Garage Technology Ventures and Guy Kawasaki
  • The TOP 10 lies of entrepreneurs & The TOP 10 lies of investors?
  • How does the VC industry help establish trust in the marketplace?
  • Crowdfunding and it’s future and influence
  • The problem with the monopoly of Google and Facebook in online advertising
  • Are Vision Fund investments IPO pipeline deals a bad idea for IPO investors?
  • Why the Federal Reserve policy and zombie companies pose a ‘structural risk’ for the US economy.
  • Garage Technology’s best and worst investments
  • Has the technology adoption cycle shortened?
  • Is the big stagnation in tech real?
  • Should we invest more money into basic research?
  • Will Artificial General Intelligence happen anytime soon?
  • Will the jobs replaced by AI matter more than one’s created by AI?
  • Will the next 20 years see more technological progress and/or more volatility?
  • Will there be another ‘sucker punch’ to the global economy before we start the roaring 30s?

Bill Reichert can easily be described as the ‘Oracle of Palo Alto’. After grinding his teeth in his own start-ups in the 1980’s and 1990s; he has been working as a seed stage investor since 1998 initially with Garage Technology Ventures and now under the roof of Pegasus Tech Ventures.

You can reach Bill on LinkedIn.

#09 Kelly Perdew (How to leverage curiosity, social capital and intuition into great businesses)

In this episode of the Judgment Call Podcast Kelly and I talk about:

  • How much you should specialize early in your life.
  • Should you listen to ‘billionaire mentors’?
  • Are military values are great basis for entrepreneurship? Is leadership training a predictor for start-up success?
  • Why gretel.ai and id.me are some of Moonshot Capital’s best investments.
  • How did COVID change the ‘deal flow’ for Venture Capital firms?
  • What impact will Crowdfunding have on Venture Capital?
  • What impact does religion have on entrepreneurship?

Kelly is a VC, Entrepreneur, Military Veteran, Winner of Season 2 – The Apprentice, and father of twins. Kelly is the co-founder & Managing General Partner of Moonshots Capital.

You can reach Kelly on LinkedIn.

P.S. Apologies for my audio quality – this will get much better very soon!

#08 Mike Sarraille (How to identify and hire talent instead of skills)

In this episode of the Judgment Call Podcast Mike and I talk about:

  • How it feels to risk your life every day as a NAVY SEAL.
  • Why and how society has moved away from the values presented and embedded by the military?
  • Why the NAVY SEAL’s ‘Basic Training’ is anything but BASIC.
  • How Mike went from Atherton, CA to the military.
  • How can talent be identified? What role does leadership development play in large corporations?
  • Can you still be effective when selling to big corporations HR departments?
  • Will AI ever be able to identify talent and how effective can it be at this?

Mike is the author of The Talent War: How Special Operations and Great Organizations Win on Talent – now available on Amazon.

MIKE SARRAILLE is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL officer, a graduate of the University of Texas McCombs Business School, and now a leadership instructor, speaker and strategic advisor for Echelon Front. Mike served fifteen years as an officer in the SEAL Teams and five years in the U.S. Marine Corps as an enlisted Recon Marine and Scout-Sniper. Mike served in SEAL Team THREE, Task Unit Bruiser alongside Extreme Ownership authors Jocko Willink and Leif Babin where he led major combat operations that played a pivotal role in the Battle of Ramadi in 2006. Mike is a recipient of the Silver Star, six Bronze Stars, two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, and a Purple Heart.

Upon his retirement from the Navy, Mike joined Echelon Front as leadership instructor, speaker, strategic advisor. He is CEO of Echelon Front Overwatch, a company that specializes in the recruiting, training and placement of U.S special operations forces veterans.

#07 Darren Marble (Crowdfunding explained)

In this episode of the The Judgment Call Podcast Darren and I talk about:

  • What lead Darren to become a serial entrepreneur
  • The dilemma of choosing a career path and the emotional toll of being a serial entrepreneur
  • Has the adoption of technology slowed down and what to expect in the next 20 years?
  • How does crowdfunding work? What amounts can companies raise right now and in the near future?
  • How do crypto based funding rounds work (and ICOs) compared to crowdfunding?
  • What business do best using crowdfunding?
  • What does issuance.com provide for startups and what’s the “Going Public” show?
  • What is the role of religion in entrepreneurship?

Darren Marble is the CEO of Issuance.com, the leading provider of technology and marketing solutions for Reg A+ issuers raising capital in the US and Canada. issuance.com’ clients have raised over $250 million to date.

Darren is also the Executive Producer of Going Public®, a new original series that allows viewers to invest in IPOs.

You can reach Darren on Linkedin.

#06 Steve Shwartz

In this episode of the Judgment Call Podcast Steve and I talk about:

  • Will AI be an existential challenge to humanity anytime soon?
  • What progress AI has been making and why it has sped up in the last 10 years so much?
  • Is AI already smarter than teenagers?
  • Is Twitter’s / Facebook AI evil?
  • Why are self-driving cars such bad drivers currently? Will self driving cars be autonomous very soon?
  • Are we inside a simulation and could we create one easily?
  • Has AI already changed the job market to be more short-term?
  • Will AI increase the quality of life?
  • What opportunities are there for entrepreneurs right now?

Steve Shwartz began his AI career as a postdoctoral researcher in the Yale University Artificial Intelligence Lab. Starting in the 1980s, Steve was a founder or cofounder of several AI companies, one of which created Esperant, which was one of the leading business intelligence products of the 1990s. As the AI Winter of the 1990s set in, Steve transitioned into a career as a successful serial software entrepreneur and investor and created several companies that were either acquired or had public offerings.  He is the author of “Evil Robots, Killer Computers, and Other Myths:  The Truth About AI and the Future of Humanity” which will be published on February 9, 2021 by Fast Company Press and maintains a website www.AIPerspectives.com that contains a free, 400-page, online AI 101 textbook.

You can reach Steve at LinkedIn.

You can find the episode’s transcript here.

#05 Mike van Alstine

In this episode of the Judgment Call Mike and I talk about:

  • Why entrepreneurship is a major driver in this world to alleviate poverty, increase freedom and increase wealth
  • Why entrepreneurship of the last 30 years has been different and what role large Internet platforms play in this.
  • What opportunities are there for entrepreneurs in the in life sciences and healthcare field?
  • Why the Opentronix platform might be a game changer?
  • How to get a large enough dataset for AI analysis in life sciences?
  • Should patients be able to sell their own medical data?
  • Is single cell DNA analysis a big step forward?
  • What role will ‘injectable machines’ play in the next 10 years?
  • Will we all stay ’28 year olds’ forever?
  • How is aging and income related to the number of children we have?
  • Is innovation related to studying art?
  • Will learning and social media be done with the help of an AI that helps us interact with the Internet AIs.
  • Are we repeating the issues with cancer with COVID testing?

Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Mike graduated from the University of Toledo with a BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, with a focus on Physics. Serial entrepreneur, with a focus on process improvements via technology automation and user experience design. Additionally, spent three years in leadership development, fundraising, and membership recruitment for the National Exchange Club, which was made up of ~800 clubs and ~30,000 members. Spent three years as director of technology for Pukka Headwear, completely re-writing and automating a large portion of their design, sales, and order system with a focus on the web. Spent seven years focused on processes and automation at MD Anderson, ultimately building a system that managed over 3,000 clinical trials and secures over half a million patient records. Currently serving as VP of Customer Success and Innovation at Project Ronin, a start-up with a mission of utilizing AI and Data Science to remove uncertainty from cancer patients’ care and improve their outcomes. Current entrepreneurial endeavors include co-founder of a laser cutting business, a CBD company, and Pro Research Management, which is focusing on delivering clinical trials to underrepresented communities by partnering with local care givers.  

You can reach Mike on LinkedIn.

You can find the episode’s transcript here.

#04 Pablo Fetter

In this episode of the Judgment Call Podcast Pablo and I talk about:

  • How travel and new languages shape you and the way you think.
  • How Venture Capital has changed and what’s the future of VC (incl. the Middle East).
  • Why Dubai took off and how it can be replicated in another place?
  • Why Private Education has grown all over the world so quickly.
  • What is the future of K-12 education and the degrees needed?
  • How memories are stored in our brain and how reliable are they?
  • Did evolution give us consciousness?
  • Why globalization is reversing.
  • Will there be a US / Chinese conflict in the next 10 years?

Pablo is an engineer, turned investment professional (in Venture Capital, Private Equity and public equities), turned education entrepreneur. In a career spanning over a quarter century Pablo has been fortunate to live and work in seven countries in Europe, South America, Asia and the Middle East and to become proficient in four languages along the way.

You can reach Pablo on LinkedIn.

You can find the episode’s transcript here.

#03 Amit Rathore

In this episode of the Judgment Call Podcast Amit and I talk about:

  • How the Internet monopolies like Facebook and Google have shaped our life and prevented upstart innovation
  • How ‘social-to-social commerce’ works.
  • How the ‘data giants’ usurp data from anyone without their ‘expressed’ consent
  • What meditation does for your mind and how to think more clear
  • How Awake may change we do social commerce
  • How many universes there are?
  • How does consciousness actually work and what makes it different than a dream?
  • Do we have free will?

Amit Rathore is a 40 year old serial entrepreneur and angel investor based in San Mateo, CA. Since 2003 he has focused on AI, media, commerce, and FinTech verticals.

He is the founder of AwakeVC, a private equity holdings company focused on creating 100M jobs by enabling 10M new technology ventures globally.

You can reach Amit via email at [email protected] or via LinkedIn.

You can find the episode’s transcript here.

#02 Chris Tomseth

In this episode of the Judgment Call Podcast Chris Tomseth shares his view of the travel industry:

  • How it feels to grow up in a dozen different countries
  • The challenges facing the travel industry during COVID
  • Chris’ list of favorite countries
  • Why some airlines can’t fly where they want to fly
  • Why some airlines like Qatar Airways will never make money
  • What happened to Thailand’s tourism economy
  • What role does freedom play in economic development across the world
  • Why capsule hotels are awesome (and hostels in general?!)
  • A new service that makes it easier to get through an airport with children
  • How airline lounges win most of their business
  • How to book hotels and do good at the same time?

Chris is a multi-cultural, internationally-experienced travel executive, with over 20 years of industry experience. Chris has worked with a range of companies, from blue-chip multinationals such as Delta Air Lines, Choice Hotels International, Gate Gourmet, and Emirates, to travel technology startups and U.S. and UAE Government agencies. Chris’ functional experience includes operational, sales and marketing, product development, finance, and strategy roles.

His prior roles have included Head of Global Sales for Choice Hotels International, Interim Chief Commercial Officer with Gate Gourmet, Head of Global Strategy and Business Development for Dnata Travel Services (part of the Emirates Group) as well as Director of Strategic Development for TRX.  Chris has lived and worked during his professional career in the United States, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates.

Chris has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and has served on several Boards of both private and public organizations.  He is currently advising and involved in several early-stage travel and hospitality companies and is resident in the Washington DC metro area.

You can reach Chris on LinkedIn.

You can download the podcast here.

You can find the episode’s transcript here.


#01 David Yeskel

In this episode of Judgment Call I talk to David Yeskel about travel, cruises and Las Vegas.

You can follow David on Twitter at @vegasguru_ or @cruiseguru_

You can find the episode’s transcript here.