OFF RCRD with Cory Levy
Summary: Uncovering the hidden, behind the scenes thoughts and actions of successful people.
This week, Cory speaks to renowned psychologist and bestselling author Adam Grant. Adam is Wharton's top-rated professor and one of the world's 10 most influential management thinkers and a member of Fortune's 40 under 40. He's also the author of three New York Times bestsellers such as Give and Take, Option B and Originals, which combined have sold over a million copies. In this week's episode, Adam talks about how to strive for an extraordinary career, the science of becoming well-known, how to build an audience with no agent or publisher backing, the landscape of education and more.
In this episode we hear from technology executive and entrepreneur Marissa Mayer, who is known for formerly serving as the President and CEO of Fortune 500 giant Yahoo and being the 20th employee of Google. She is currently the co-founder of Lumi Labs, an early stage technology incubator. Marissa recently gave a keynote address at Internpalooza 2018, an event which is the largest gathering of Silicon Valley interns, young engineers and STEM students, which was founded by Cory Levy. It was a great chance for her to speak about when she graduated and how she decided where to work, which lead to her extraordinarily successful career.
This week, Cory speaks to entrepreneur and angel investor Daniel Gross. Daniel is the founder of Pioneer (an experimental fund that breaks down barriers to find the next great humans through tournaments and mentorship) and runs YC AI. Prior to this, he co-founded Cue, a personal search engine that was acquired by Apple. He is also a successful angel investor being involved with Coinbase, Cruise Automation, Github, Opendoor and more. In this week's episode, he talks about being admitted into Y-Combinator at just the age of 18, how to create life changing opportunities, the launch of his new company Pioneer, importance of celebrating victories, plus many more.
This week, Cory speaks to entrepreneur, technology executive and angel investor Elad Gil. Elad has assisted in the growth of tech companies like Airbnb, Twitter, Google, Instacart, Coinbase, Stripe, and Square as they've developed from small companies into global brands. Across all of these break-out companies, a set of common patterns has evolved that Elad has packaged into a repeatable playbook called "High Growth Handbook.” In this week's episode, Elad talks about why he invested in Airbnb early on, how to achieve product market fit and what to do after it, how to decide what to work on, recruiting for scale, how to pick the right executives while in a high growth company, and weird but exciting industries he's looking at.
This week, Cory speaks to author and keynote speaker Alex Banayan. Banayan is the author of the highly anticipated book release of "The Third Door," which covers a decade-long journey tracking down Bill Gates, Lady Gaga, Steven Spielberg and dozens of the world's most successful people to uncover how they broke through and launched their careers. The Third Door is available in bookstores everywhere, including Amazon, iBooks, Audible and thirddoorbook.com. In this week's episode, Banayan talks about coming up with the idea for his book as a college student, funding his book by hacking The Price is Right, common traits of successful people, a 2-year journey of landing an interview with Bill Gates, and more.
Entrepreneur Jd Ross uses his curiosity to his advantage. “My superpower is just an incredible level of curiosity. I just get obsessed with certain things and dive as deep as I possibly can,” says Jd. He has used this superpower to quickly understand extremely complicated industries and business models. Four years ago, Jd Ross and three co-founders launched Opendoor, a company that gives homeowners the option to sell a home online in just minutes. The company has raised a total of $320 million in venture funding and has exceeded $1B in annual home purchase rate. Before starting Opendoor, Jd founded two startups while in school at Washington University and soon became employee number five at Addepar. In this episode of OFF RCRD, Jd speaks with host Cory Levy (After School App, Internapalooza) about Opendoor, personal growth, Jd’s college experience, avoiding bankruptcy, landing in Silicon Valley, and Jd also shares his advice for fellow founders. To help himself grow as a leader and a person, Jd began working with a coach at the age of 23. “Whatever you can do to accelerate your personal growth curve as a founder in a company is incredibly important and worth prioritizing, and so I decided and heard before that an executive coach would be a great way to accelerate your personal growth curve, and that was worth the investment.” After interviewing 20-30 coaches, Jd chose a coach who he’s been working with over the past three years. Not everyone finds their way into their calling like Jd did with Addepar and then Opendoor. Have you found yours? Jd recommends looking at what’s right in front of your face. “My advice is to find something that's so obvious to you that you have to do it, and to wait for that; not to be impatient about jumping at the first opportunity that seems okay, but to find something that really, really excites you, and that you can dedicate 150% of yourself to,” says Jd. Dedicate yourself to learning more from entrepreneurs and investors who have accomplished their goals and dreams by tuning in to OFF RCRD. Who knows, you might just find a new mentor or learn how to overcome the obstacles that you face on your way to starting your own business. New episodes are published each Tuesday. Connect with us on Twitter @OFFRCRD.
After graduating from Cornell University, Scott Belsky, now a well-known founder and seed investor, took a corporate job at Goldman Sachs because that was what was accessible to him at the time. “I just absolutely hated it.” When trying to quit that job, his manager asked him what he would want to do instead. Scott explained his interest in leadership development and organizational management, and he was given a management consulting position that would change the course of his career. “I think it was during that period of time I fell in love with the idea of organizing and building culture and stuff like that,” says Scott. Cory Levy, Co-Founder of After School and Founder of Internapalooza, speaks to Behance co-creator, seed investor, and author Scott Belsky in this episode of OFF RCRD. The two discuss Scott’s start in tech, his college experience, the beginning of Scott’s company Behance, mistakes founders make, and much more. Scott’s new position at Goldman Sachs wasn’t his dream job, but it got him closer to his destiny. “I always advise people when they're choosing what to do next, I'm like, "Hey, don't optimize for the additional buck especially early in your career. Just do whatever you can to get incrementally closer to what you're genuinely interested in and what you have skills for or could easily learn and whatever opportunities are around you." Scott’s interest and experience in organizational management led to the idea for Behance, which is now part of Adobe. “The idea was like, ‘Gosh, the creative world proclaims to be one of the most disorganized communities on the planet. Everyone almost wears disorganization as a badge of honor in the art and design worlds, to some extent or at least did, why not just try to help organize and get these people's careers on track and help designers have a more important role within their companies?" Scott and co-founders bootstrapped Behance starting in 2005. Seven years later it sold for over $150M. “We built a very solid strategy and we built the culture that was very much grounded in the reality of a tight budget and out executing our competition. I think that those things helped us succeed over the long-term.” Hear more from Scott Belsky in this episode of OFF RCRD. New episodes are published each Tuesday. Connect with us on Twitter @OFFRCRD.
Today’s teenagers are part of what many call Generation Z, a group that is now the largest segment of people in the U.S. with over 26% of the population. With their recent success advocating for stricter gun laws and spreading awareness of issues that are important to them, it’s clear that this generation will impact all of our lives and the world significantly, but what do we really know about them? In late March, OFF RCRD host Cory Levy spoke on the subject of teens at a Talks at Google presentation. Cory, who is in his mid-twenties, has stayed on top of what teens are up to even though they would now consider him an “old person.” As the Co-Founder of teen-focused social network After School and Internapalooza, it’s Cory’s job to understand young people. Weeks before the talk, Cory tapped into his network to ask teens what they think “old people” don’t understand about them. Cory turned their responses into 10 points, which he shares in this special edition of OFF RCRD. Listen to Cory’s talk to hear the 10 points, which include that today’s teens have no interest in working with big companies, idolize gamers, and think that you’re close-minded. Make sure to listen to the full talk here on OFF RCRD. New episodes are published each Tuesday. Connect with us on Twitter @OFFRCRD.
As the Founder and CEO of Founder of The Muse, Kathryn Minshew (@KMin) spends “every day making work more human.” The Muse is an online career resource that gives a behind-the-scenes look at opportunities and companies. “We believe that you can and should love your job—and be successful at it—and we want to help you make that happen.” Kathryn joined Cory Levy (After School App, Internapalooza) on OFF RCRD to talk about her journey as an entrepreneur and what she has learned about work and hiring. Kathryn didn’t always want to become an entrepreneur. “As I started to get to know people who worked in the startup sector who were building businesses from scratch, I just fell in love,” says Kathryn. At the age of 25, Kathryn, who originally planned on studying and working in international relations, started The Muse, which was her second company and has grown significantly over the past seven years. The company reaches around 50 million people a year in over 100 countries, and works with around 700 employers who are customers of The Muse. Their team now features around 125 full-time employees, mostly based out of New York City. Similar to her company, Kathryn has grown as well. “I have absolutely loved it (being an entrepreneur), but I think it surprised me how much I’ve had to learn about topics that I didn't know anything about.” From raising venture capital (over $20M) to managing a large team of employees, Kathryn has had to pick up new skills throughout her journey, and has learned a lot about jobs and hiring through her own experiences as an employer. In the episode, Kathryn and Cory touch on mistakes that ruin many careers before they even start. “I'm constantly amazed by how many people will sometimes put at risk getting a job that they're otherwise highly qualified for because of something small.” Kathryn stresses the importance of the basics like a strong handshake, looking people in the eye, knowing how to interview, and understanding the company. "Even if it's just 15 minutes, brush up on the basics of applying to a job and interviewing," says Kathryn. Make sure to listen to the full interview between Cory Levy and Kathryn Minshew here on OFF RCRD. New episodes are published each Tuesday. Connect with us on Twitter @OFFRCRD.
This week, Cory Levy speaks to three guests from different backgrounds in life who have each experienced depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. They are also willing to talk about it and to share how they've overcome their lowest points through entrepreneurship and technology. We hope this episode will help anyone listening who is going through a similar experience. If you are, you're not alone. There is hope and people here to help. If you would like to speak with someone, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255, and our friends at Crisis Text Line are available 24/7 through an anonymous text service. Text 741741 to speak with a trained Crisis Counselor. Today we speak with Zach Latta, Amanda Southworth and Ben Yu.
Adam Braun (@AdamBraun) is a New York Time Bestselling Author, the Founder of Pencils of Promise, and the Founder of MissionU, a college alternative. Cory Levy, Founder of Internapalooza and Co-Founder and COO of After School, interviewed Adam on the OFF RCRD Podcast about his past and advice for others based on his experiences. “I would say to any student, that you should be a savvy ROI-driven consumer of your education...thousands of the schools around the country that are charging enormous prices without particularly strong results.” In the interview, Adam also talked about the financial burden that college puts on students. “College is supposed to be this great economic enabler. My wife went to college and initially (went) out of state and transferred back in state because the tuition fees were so high and she just got absolutely decimated by this crazy amount of student debt and had to leave school before even completing her bachelor's degree.” Hear more about Adam’s story from the man himself in this episode of OFF RCRD. Stay up to date and listen to every episode on OFFRCRD.com. New episodes are published each Tuesday. Connect with us on Twitter @OFFRCRD.
Catherine Hoke (@Catherine_Hoke) believes in second chances. This belief has helped her spread entrepreneurship to thousands of prisoners, and forgive herself during her darkest moments. As the Founder and CEO of Defy Ventures, Catherine and her team “transforms the lives of business leaders and people with criminal histories through their collaboration along the entrepreneurial journey.” Like the Entrepreneurs in Training (EIT) she works with, Catherine has also made mistakes. In a very public and embarrassing confession, Catherine was forced to resign from the Prison Entrepreneurship Program. It took time and the overwhelming support from her network to work through this very difficult situation. She also had to forgive herself. “We talk about how forgiveness is for me. Sure, it can be good for the other person too but forgiveness frees me, and when I choose not to forgive me or the other person I live in the past,” said Catherine. “The people I serve, they make big mistakes, but many of them were born into this future and this future can change,” said Catherine. “Many of them are natural born entrepreneurs who are incredibly scrappy and have better sales skills than I developed from my Cutco sales days.” Asked by Cory what she would say to someone going through their darkest moment in life, Catherine said, “You are not your past. You are not equal to the worst thing that you have done.” She continued, “If you want to keep being shackled to a past that you hate, don't forgive. You want to have a better future, reconcile your past, understand it so you can do your best not to repeat it.” Catherine is still continuing her mission to give the incarcerated second chances through her work with Defy Ventures, and has just released a book detailing her story, from the best days of her life to the worst. The book, A Second Chance: For You, For Me, And For The Rest of Us, is now available on Amazon. To hear more about Catherine’s fascinating story, her advice for you, and how she works with the incarcerated to turn them into entrepreneurs, listen to her interview with Cory Levy right here on OFF RCRD. Stay up to date and listen to every episode on OFFRCRD.com. New episodes are published each Tuesday. Connect with us on Twitter @OFFRCRD.
Ryan Holiday (@RyanHoliday) has never shied away from controversy, from leaving school at the age of 19 against his parent’s wishes to casting porn stars in commercials as the young marketing director of American Apparel. It has worked in his favor as he has risen the corporate ranks and then gone on to write over a half dozen books including Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator, The Obstacle is the Way, and Ego Is the Enemy. When it comes to giving others career advice, Ryan cautions against following your passion. “The common career advice is find your passion, and that can somewhat be dangerous, right? Just because you're passionate about something, doesn't mean that you're good at it, said Ryan in his interview with Cory Levy on OFF RCRD. Cory Levy (After School, Internapalooza) spoke with Ryan about his journey as a controversial young marketing director and successful author on the OFF RCRD Podcast. Ryan’s newest book goes behind the scenes of the groundbreaking Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker case involving a famous sex tape and Peter Thiel who got involved by paying for Hogan’s lawyers. The book, Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, is now available on Amazon. One piece of advice given during the interview by Ryan is that young people should work on mastering their personal life along with growing professionally. “If your personal life is a mess, it's going to show when you show up for work and people are going to be wary of you.” By putting time and care into their personal life, a job or mentorship candidate will be able to better perform in that position and minimize distractions that could impact their work. Also discussed during the talk between Cory and Ryan was the Bollea (Hulk Hogan) vs. Gawker court case. Ryan had unique opportunities to interview both sides of the case, including Peter Thiel, who paid for Hulk Hogan’s legal expenses. Hear more about his book and get more tips from Ryan Holiday by listening to the full episode here on OFF RCRD. New interviews are published each Tuesday. Connect with us on Twitter @OFFRCRD.
This week, Cory speaks to journalist, author and startup analyst Billy Gallagher, who is well known for covering early stage startups at TechCrunch and being an analyst at Khosla Ventures. Billy attended Stanford and was in the same fraternity as Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel, which he has now written a new book out today on Amazon titled 'How to turn down a billion dollars' covering the events that lead to its skyrocketing multi-billion dollar success. In this week's episode, Billy talks about how he landed a job at TechCrunch while at college, his exposure to early stage startups while in venture capital, how he met Evan, if he thinks Snapchat can become the next Facebook and tells us more about his new book.
Gary Vaynerchuk (@Garyvee) is a leading entrepreneur, author, digital marketer, and speaker whose online following is in the millions and is constantly growing. After building his family’s wine business up from $3 million to $60 million, Gary began branching out to help entrepreneurs as a mentor, advisor, and investor. His current company, VaynerMedia, has grown into one of the leading digital agencies in the world with over 800 employees and $100 million in annual revenue. Cory Levy (After School, Internapalooza) speaks with Gary Vaynerchuk on this episode of OFF RCRD about life hacks, what’s holding people back from accomplishing their goals, and his approach to controversy, which isn’t what you might think. “I don't think you run into controversy for awareness. I think getting the right awareness matters,” says Vaynerchuk, who is not afraid to speak his mind and give direct responses to questions about business and entrepreneurship. Listen to the full 12-minute interview right here, and stay up to date and listen to every episode. New interviews are published each Tuesday. Connect with us on Twitter @OFFRCRD.