The Knowledge Project Podcast
The Knowledge Project began one night after having dinner in New York with a CEO who ran a public company. As I left the table and said goodbye, I felt energized. I had just learned more about running a business in the past two hours than my entire MBA. By the time I got back to my hotel, something had changed.
Conversations like this one had been happening for years. FS allowed me to hop on the phone or grab dinner with nearly anyone. I could learn from Nobel Laureates, CEOs, investors, entrepreneurs, and researchers.
The conversations were in-depth, nuanced, and honest. There was no filter, no summary, and no skimming the surface. The more I asked, the more they shared. They more they shared, the less I spoke. Through these conversations, I started to learn the playbooks, mental models, lessons learned, struggles, parenting ideas, and failures of the most successful people in the world.
I learned about my blind spots and became a more critical thinker. I learned about relationships and became a better partner. I learned about leadership direct from practitioners and became a better leader. I learned about failure and became more resilient. I learned about investing and become a better investor.
The night in New York, I just kept thinking I was so lucky … but this seems so unfair.
When I awoke the next morning, I knew I needed to share these conversations with the world. The Knowledge Project was born.
Each episode takes you inside the mind of incredible people. One week we’ll explore the mind of a CEO, like my friend Tobi Lütke of Shopify. The next we’ll speak with a Nobel Laurate, like Daniel Kahneman. The next, we’ll talk relationships with Esther Perel or Music with Alexander Shelly or Cyber Security with Matthew Holland.
The only objective is to uncover timeless ideas that can help you in life and business.
It’s time to listen and learn.
Episode 95: Code Cubitt: Coachability Is Critical — Managing Director of Mistral Venture Partners and venture capitalist, Code Cubitt has an interesting origin story. After being kicked out of University twice he still managed to graduate and quickly climbed the VC ranks for several prominent companies before starting a venture program of his own. Hear how he evaluates founders, his decision making process, common mistakes companies make as they scale and much more.
Episode 94: Chamath Palihapitiya: Understanding Yourself — Founder and CEO of Social Capital, prominent figure in the venture capital business and part owner of the Golden State Warriors, Chamath Palihapitiya sits down with Shane Parrish to chat about what it means to be an observer of the present, how to think in first principles, the psychology of successful investing, his thoughts on the best public company CEO’s and much more.
Episode 93: Matthew Holland: Zero Day — Founder and CEO of Field Effect Security, Matthew Holland, is one of the world’s leading authorities in cyber security. He explains exploits, hacking and defending while providing insight on the mind of the attacker, Huawei, Snowden and what you should be asking your cyber security vendor.
Episode 92: Lisa Feldman Barrett: Balancing the Brain Budget — Neuroscientist, psychologist and author, Lisa Feldman Barrett discusses the complexities of the brain, our emotions, improving ourselves and our relationship with others, making good decisions and giving yourself an existential break.
Episode 91: Russ Hudson: The Pursuit of Presence — Author and co-founder of the Enneagram Institute, Russ Hudson, explains how the Enneagram was developed, how it helps us grow personally and with others, the nine interconnected personality types and what it means to be present.
Episode 90: Apolo Ohno: Process Versus Prize — 8x Olympic medalist and short-track speed skating legend, Apolo Ohno chats about his origin story, recovering from multiple failures, mental training, confidence and leaving it all of the ice.
Episode 89: Maria Konnikova: Less Certainty, More Inquiry — Professional poker player, psychologist and author of two New York Times best-sellers, Maria Konnikova discusses her mentors, making decisions in environments of uncertainty, the importance of reflection, cooling down your emotions and Sherlock Holmes.
Episode 88: Derek Sivers: Innovation Versus Imitation — Musician, speaker, writer and entrepreneur, Derek Sivers chats about creating and running CD Baby, reading, mental models, living a meaningful life and that biggest mistake he’s ever made.
Episode 87: Hannah Fry: The Role of Algorithms — Mathematician and author of Hello World and The Mathematics of Love, Hannah Fry discusses the role of maths in society, the dating world and we explore what it means to be human in the age of algorithms.
Episode 86: BJ Fogg: Create Lasting Change — Behavior scientist and author of Tiny Habits, BJ Fogg, discusses improving decision making, motivation trends, the role of emotion in sense of self and so much more.
Episode 85: Bethany McLean: Crafting a Narrative — Best-selling author of The Smartest Guys in the Room and All the Devils are here, Bethany McLean, discusses how to write a story, the behaviors of CEO’s, visionaries and fraudsters and so much more.
Episode 84: Jennifer Garvey Berger: Creating Routine in Chaos — In a more conversational episode than our last discussion (ep. 43), Jennifer Garvey Berger opens up about coping in these uncertain times, and how we’re feeling about the current changing world that has become the new normal.
Episode 83: Brian Koppelman: What Really Matters— Writer and director Brian Koppelman discusses his career ups and downs, dealing with fear, and learning to live a meaningful life.
Episode 82: Bill Ackman: Getting Back Up — Legendary activist investor, Bill Ackman talks about lessons he’s learned growing up, raising a family, what drives him forward and back up from failure, consuming information and ideas, and facing criticism.
Episode 81: Taking Intelligent Risk with Jason Calacanis — Angel investor Jason Calacanis talks high stakes poker, how to make intelligent investing decisions, how systems enable or forbid, and demystifies the culture of Silicon Valley.
Episode 80: Developing the Leader in You with John Maxwell — Leadership expert John Maxwell breaks down the four traits every successful person possesses and how to awaken the leader within you, no matter what your job title says.
Episode 79: The “TRICK” to Raising Successful People with Esther Wojcicki — Esther Wojicki discusses the current education model and how we can fix it, and shares her powerful TRICK acronym, Esther’s secret for raising happy, resilient children.
Episode 78: Balaji Srinivasan: Exploring Covid-19 — A special pop up episode of The Knowledge Project exploring a timely issue.
Episode 77: Living in the Future with Mike Maples, Jr. — Mike Maples, partner at the VC firm Floodgate, shares how mental models shape his decision-making process, where to find the next big idea, and how to rally people to your cause.
Episode 76: Pushing the Limits of Innovation with Frank Stephenson — Renowned car designer Frank Stephenson teaches the path to mastery, innovation, and taking creative risks. He also gives us a peek into the future of automobiles and what it means for us.
Episode 75: Rewriting Relationship Narratives with Suzanne Iasenza — Sex therapist Dr. Suzanne Iasenza explains how our personal narratives determine how we grow as a couple, how we communicate, even how we make love.
Episode 74: Embracing Confusion with Jeff Hunter — CEO of Talentism, Jeff Hunter, teaches how to rewrite damaging narratives that hold us back, how to give and receive helpful feedback, and why confusion can be a good thing.
Episode 73: Exploring Curiosities with Steven Strogatz — Mathematician Steven Strogatz reveals how math is the key to exploring and understanding the beauty of our world.
Episode 72: Happy Habits with Neil Pasricha — Author Neil Pasricha shares the recipe for resilience, an antidote for anxiety, and how his two minute morning routine primes each day for success.
Episode 71: Cultivating Desire with Esther Perel — Relationship expert Esther Perel reveals her favorite strategies for “fighting” fair, rewriting stories that damage relationships, and breathing new life into our romantic partnerships.
Episode 70: Avoiding Loserthink with Scott Adams — Dilbert creator and author Scott Adams shares cognitive tools and tricks we can use to think better, expand our perspective, and avoid slumping into “loserthink.”
Episode 69: What it Takes With Stephen Schwarzman — Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman gives advice on attracting and assessing strong talent, making smart decisions, and how to press forward when the chips are down.
Episode 68: Putting Your Intuition on Ice with Daniel Kahneman — In this fascinating episode of the Knowledge Project Podcast, Psychologist and Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman reveals the actions we can take to overcome the biases that cripple our decision-making, damper our thinking, and limit our effectiveness. Listen and Learn from the master.
Episode 67: Keeping the Flywheel in Motion with Jim Collins — An earnest student and powerful teacher, mega best-selling author Jim Collins goes under the hood and shows what all enduring companies have in common. We talk luck, leadership, and business longevity.
Episode 66: Pleasure is the Measure with Sex Educator Dr. Emily Nagoski — Sex educator and author Dr. Emily Nagoski demystifies the science of sexuality and shows us how to shed our insecurities, connect more closely with our partner, and define pleasure on our own terms.
Episode 65: Trust, Compassion, and Shooting Friends from Cannons with Hollywood Kingmaker Shep Gordon — Legendary show-business manager, agent, and producer Shep Gordon talks sex, drugs, and rock and roll. He also shares the formula for manufacturing fame, and his unique philosophy on success, love and happiness.
Episode 64: The Big Impact of Small Interventions with Stanford University’s Greg Walton — Greg Walton, Associate Professor of Psychology at Stanford University shares the four types of interventions, how they’re used to create positive behavior change, and strategies we can use right now to improve our health, well-being, and relationships.
Episode 63: Winning at the Self-publishing Game with Hugh Howey — Hugh Howey had two dreams: to make a living from writing and sail around the world. In this interview, he describes how he did both, why traveling is so good for the soul, and how he sold millions of books on his own (even turning down a 7 figure book deal.)
Episode 62: Cracking the Code of Love with Dr. Sue Johnson — Dr. Sue Johnson is a researcher, clinical psychologist, and the developer of EFT or Emotionally Focused Therapy. In this interview, we discuss how to create, protect, and nourish fulfilling sexual and emotional relationships.
Episode 61: When Good Intentions Go Bad with Jonathan Haidt — Jonathan Haidt is an author, social psychologist, and one of the world’s leading experts in moral psychology. On the show, we discuss helicopter parenting, the rise of the “call-out culture,” and the dangers of social media.
Episode 60: Leading Above the Line with Jim Dethmer — Jim Dethmer, founder of The Conscious Leadership Group, shares practical advice about becoming more self-aware, ditching the victim mindset, and connecting more fully with the people in our lives.
Episode 59: Following Intellectual Curiosity with Thomas Tull — Thomas Tull, founder of Tulco and former CEO of Legendary Entertainment shares valuable lessons on learning from our own mistakes, asking difficult questions, and protecting our intellectual curiosity.
Episode 58: Popping the Filter Bubble with Gabriel Weinberg — DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg discusses data privacy, protecting yourself online and shares his favorite mental models for clearer thinking.
Episode 57: Decoding Difficult Conversations with Sheila Heen — Two time NY Times best selling author, consultant, and lecturer at Harvard Law School, Sheila Heen makes the tough talks easier by breaking down the three layers that make up every difficult conversation
Episode 56: Catalyzing Success with Daniel Gross — Daniel Gross, former Y Combinator partner and founder of Pioneer, discusses how we can make our success less about luck, the powerful role we play in the lives of others, and the valuable lessons he learned about leadership.
Episode 55: Becoming a Model Thinker with Scott Page — On this episode, Scott Page, 5x Author, and Professor of Complex Systems at the University of Michigan explains the power mental models have in how we view the world, uncover creative solutions, and solve complex problems.
Episode 54: Doing the Enough Thing with Jason Fried — Basecamp CEO and co-founder Jason Fried gives us a peek behind the scenes of his company and discusses his philosophy on doing great work, making a positive difference, and learning to breathe in the fast-paced culture of today’s workplace.
Episode 53: Luck, Risk and Avoiding Losers with Howard Marks — Investor, author and co-founder of Oaktree Capital Howard Marks discusses risk assessment, thinking differently, and the three dares that separate the successful from the also-rans.
Episode 52: Peaceful Parenting with Dr. Laura Markham — Parenting expert and best-selling author Dr. Laura Markham breaks down the three keys to successful parenting, how to properly model emotions and conflict resolution, and the coveted recipe for raising happy, resilient kids.
Episode 51: The Dying Art of Conversation with Celeste Headlee — Speaker, author and radio journalist Celeste Headlee has had decades of experience fine-tuning the recipe for engaging and rewarding conversation. She shares some tips to help us instantly improve our conversational skills and meaningfully connect with others.
Episode 50: Inventing the Future with Josh Wolfe — Josh Wolfe, co-founder of Lux Capital, discusses how to unearth the unexplored ideas that will reshape our future. We also discuss parenting, decision making, and which generation has the best rap.
Episode 49: Goal Mining with Brent Gilchrist — Former NHL player turned mining executive Brent Gilchrist joins me to share the lessons he learned in the trenches of professional hockey. We discuss leadership, hard work, and what it takes to win as a team.
Episode 48: Win-winning at the Great Game with Adam Robinson (Part 2) — Author, educator, and hedge fund advisor, Adam Robinson returns for part 2 of our fascinating discussion. We talk chess, AI, handicapping horse races, and the secret to learning that nobody is teaching.
Episode 47: Win-winning at the Great Game with Adam Robinson (Part 1) — Author, educator, and hedge fund advisor, Adam Robinson shares powerful lessons on winning the game of life. He teaches us how to learn, how to fail, and his three secrets of happiness and success.
Episode 46: Authenticity, Kindness, and Self Love with Sophie Grégoire Trudeau — Television personality, activist, mother, and wife to Canada’s Prime Minister, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau discusses her battle with eating disorders, why nature and art play such a huge role in her life and what unites us as people
Episode 45: Taking Time to Get It Right with Dan Kluger — Dan Kluger, award-winning chef and owner of NYC’s Loring Place joins me on the podcast to reveal what really happens behind the scenes of a bustling restaurant, why every detail of your craft matters, and how to create the perfect experience for every guest.
Episode 44: The Kids Are Worth It with Barbara Coloroso — Parenting expert and best selling author Barbara Coloroso shares her three foundational principles of child-rearing, how to get kids to be accountable for their actions, and what we can do as parents to raise confident, happy children.
Episode 43: The Mental Habits of Effective Leaders with Jennifer Garvey Berger — In a world that changes at a dizzying rate, effective leaders need to develop the skills to keep up. Developmental coach and author Jennifer Garvey Berger shares 3 habits to ensure continual growth, accelerated learning, and deepened relationships of trust.
Episode 42: The Path to Perpetual Progress with Atul Gawande — World-renowned surgeon, writer, and researcher Atul Gawande shares powerful lessons about creating a culture of safe learning, the critical difference between a coach and a mentor, and how to ensure constant improvement in key areas of your personal and professional life.
Episode 41: The Trust Battery with Tobi Lütke — Shopify founder and CEO Tobi Lütke weighs in on building the “biggest small company in the world,” trust batteries, and what video games are really doing to the minds of our youth
Episode 40: Thriving in a Digital World with Ben Thompson — Stratechery’s Ben Thompson visits The Knowledge Project and shares his thoughts on business in the digital age, running a one-man publishing company, and how technology will transform our future.
Episode 39: Thinking About Thinking with Tyler Cowen — On this episode, I chat with Tyler Cowen, economics professor, author, and creator of the wildly popular blog, Marginal Revolution. We tackle lots of interesting topics, including tech advances, the changing labor market, and upgrading your thinking process to accommodate the information age.
Episode 38: Thinking in Algorithms with Ali Almossawi — In this episode, I chat with Ali Almossawi, author and creator of An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments. We talk about our most common logical fallacies, learning new skills, and making better decisions without deceiving ourselves.
Episode 37: Getting Better by Being Wrong with Poker Pro Annie Duke — In this conversation, best-selling author and professional poker player Annie Duke and I discuss how to disagree without being disagreeable, spotting biases that sabotage our success, how to find signal in noise, and reliable decision-making models for high stakes, high-pressure situations.
Episode 36: The Science of Doing Good with William MacAskill — In this inspiring interview, William MacAskill, co-founder of The Centre for Effective Altruism and associate philosophy professor at Oxford University, shares how we can be better at doing good and compounding our efforts to make the world we live in a better place.
Episode 35: Alive Time vs. Dead Time with Mastery Expert Robert Greene — In this interview, I chat with Robert Greene, five-time NYT best selling author, speaker and world-renowned strategist. We discuss his famous notecard system, how to spot a bullshitter, and how to use the rules of power to get the most out of life.
Episode 34: Learning How to Suffer with Amelia Boone — In just a few short years, Amelia Boone has dominated the world of Obstacle Course Racing with over 50 podiums and two dozen victories. In this interview, we discuss habits, grit, how to read a book, and so much more.
Episode 33: Irrationality, Bad Decisions, and the Truth About Lies with Dan Ariely — Professor of behavioral economics at Duke University Dan Ariely and I discuss the power of habits, rules and rituals, and just how honest people really are.
Episode 32: Earning Your Stripes with Patrick Collison On this episode of The Knowledge Project, Patrick Collison, CEO, and co-founder of Stripe shares wise insights on success, failure, management, decision making, learning and so much more. Grab a pen…
Episode 31: Learning How to Learn with Barbara Oakley — In this interview, Barbara Oakley, 8-time author and creator of Learning to Learn, an online course with over a million enrolled students, shares the science and strategies to learn more quickly, overcome procrastination and get better at practically anything.
Episode 30: Company Culture, Collaboration, and Competition with Margaret Heffernan — On this episode, I’m joined by speaker, international executive, and five-time author Margaret Heffernan. We discuss how to get the most out of our people, creating a thriving culture of trust and collaboration, and how to prevent potentially devastating “willful blindness.”
Episode 29: Survival of the Kindest with Dacher Keltner — When Pixar was dreaming up the idea for Inside Out, a film that would explore the roiling emotions inside the head of a young girl, they needed guidance from an expert. So they called Dacher Keltner.
Episode 28: The Return of a Decision Making Jedi with Michael Mauboussin — Michael Mauboussin returns for a fascinating encore interview on the Knowledge Project. We geek out on decision making, luck vs. skill, work/life balance, and so much more.
Episode 27: The Art of Letting Other People Have Your Way from Chris Voss — Negotiation expert Chris Voss, former lead international kidnapping negotiator for the FBI and author of the excellent book, Never Split the Difference, offers some hands-on negotiation training.
Episode 26: Improve Your Life By Improving Your Questions with Warren Berger — The quality of your outcome depends on the quality of your questions. In this episode, Warren Berger and I discuss the importance of asking the right questions, why they’re critical to your success, and how you may be one great question away from a major breakthrough.
Episode 25: Is Sugar Slowly Killing Us with Gary Taubes — In this interview, award-winning science writer Gary Taubes takes on Big Sugar, breaks down the sharp rise of obesity and diabetes in America, and busts the common myth that a calorie is just a calorie.
Episode 24: Leading the “Quiet Revolution” with Susan Cain — Susan Cain shares powerful insights into what it really means to be introverted and extroverted, and how to tap into your true self to find purpose and happiness in your life.
Episode 23: Life Lessons from a Self-Made Billionaire with Ray Dalio — In this interview with billionaire investor and entrepreneur Ray Dalio, you’ll learn the principles Ray prescribes for making better decisions, fewer mistakes, and creating meaningful relationships with the people in your life.
Episode 22: Givers, Takers, and the Resilient Mind with Adam Grant — Are you a giver or a taker? (Don’t pat yourself on the back quite yet.) Listen to my interview with bestselling author Adam Grant to find out! We also discuss building resilience so you can bulldoze through any challenge, no matter how big or scary.
Episode 21: The Warrior Poet with Ed Latimore — On this episode of The Knowledge Project, professional boxer, philosopher and author, Ed Latimore and I discuss the physics of boxing, philosophy, and the secret to a happy life.
Episode 20: The Future of Transportation Marc Garneau— Former military officer, astronaut, engineer (and current Minister of Transport) Marc Garneau and I discuss the future of transportation, space, information flow in politics and what it means to be a liberal.
Episode 19: Persuasion, Beer on the Beach, Self-Driving Cars and Japanese Toilets with Rory Sutherland — In this info-packed and entertaining interview, Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather, and I dive deep on advertising, persuasion, and why humans do some of the silly things we do.
Episode 18: Angel Philosopher with Naval Ravikant — In our most popular episode to date, AngelList CEO Naval Ravikant and I break down reading, happiness, decision making, habits, and mental models.
Episode 15: Future-Proofing Your Knowledge with Samuel Arbesman — Samuel Arbesman is a complexity scientist focusing on the changing nature of science and technology. We discuss learning, reading, and how to optimize both to get the best outcome.
Episode 14: Reading, Writing, and Lifelong Learning with Morgan Housel — Financial writer Morgan Housel and I discuss reading, writing, filtering information, admitting error, important qualities to have in friends and so much more.
Episode 13: The Rise of The Machine with A.I. Expert Pedro Domingos— In this interview with AI expert Pedro Domingos, you’ll learn about self-driving cars, where knowledge comes from, and the 5 schools of machine learning.
Episode 12: Wine Lessons From a World Class Sommelier with Véronique Rivest— Véronique Rivest and I explore the fascinating world of wine, including an on-air tasting, tips, and tricks for serving wine that will impress your friends and so much more.
Episode 11: The Many Hats of Ryan Holiday— In this episode, I talk with multiple best selling author, speaker, and media manipulator, Ryan Holiday about how he reads, what it means to be a stoic, and how to gracefully deal with freeloaders
Episode 9: The Architecture of Music with Maestro Alexander Shelley — In this incredible episode, I’m joined by Maestro Alexander Shelley. We dive deep into the architecture of music, the necessity of arts, and what makes Beethoven’s 5th Symphony is so popular.
Episode 8: The Art of Changing Minds with Julia Galef — On this episode of the Knowledge Project, I discuss rationality, changing minds (our own and others), filtering information, and a lot more with Julia Galef.
Episode 7: The Three Types of Decision Makers with Venkatesh Rao — In this episode, Venkatesh Rao, founder of Ribbonfarm and author of the book Tempo discusses the 3 types of decision-makers and shares how to adopt useful mental models to…
Episode 6: How to See the Future with Philip Tetlock — In this episode of the Knowledge Project, I chat with professor and New York Times best-selling author Philip Tetlock about how we can get better at the art and science of predicting the future.
Episode 5: The State of Venture Capital, Why Companies Fail and Artificial Intelligence with Chris Dixon — In this episode, a16z partner Chris Dixon and I discuss the history of venture capital, artificial intelligence, what makes a great entrepreneur, and why companies fail.
Episode 4: Elevate Your Financial IQ with Jason Zweig — WSJ columnist Jason Zweig, and I tackle important topics like how to be a smarter investor, filtering out the noise, why philosophy and history matters, and his new book, The Devil’s Financial Dictionary.
Episode 3: Why Mental Models with Sanjay Bakshi — In this episode, I chat with professor and value investing genius Sanjay Bakshi about the power of mental models, multidisciplinary thinking, reading, and acquiring worldly wisdom.
Episode 2: Leadership on the Field, in the Office and at Home with Michael Lombardi — New England Patriots Coach Michael Lombardi and I discuss the four aspects of leadership, high stakes decision making, creating a winning culture at work and at home and much more.
Episode 1: When To Trust Your Gut with Michael Mauboussin — Multiple best selling author and financial strategist Michael Mauboussin shares his wisdom on parenting, daily routines, reading, and how to make better decisions.