Disruptive Technology Without Destruction – Venkatesh Rao

Featuring Venkatesh Rao

Business consultant Venkatesh Rao outlines some of the phenomenon technologies in development, including blockchain and augmented reality, in an incredible and wide ranging discussion, breaking down the East Coast / West Coast divide in the US and the potential we can expect from the Millennial generation. Getting to grips with the future applications of big data and the pivotal importance of data control, Venkat champions the hacker sensibility and the economic empowerment required for democratic progress.

Published on
3 January, 2017
Globalization, Technology
69 minutes
Asset class


  • JB

    Jonathan B.

    25 1 2017 23:04

    1       0

    When he refers to "hacking" it is finding new, unconventional, and often untried ways of doing something new. IE Uber "hacked" transportation - they moved fast and worked outside of conventions to create/reorder an industry. Same with Airbnb. They reordered hospitality by moving very quickly with an idea many dismissed - they got so large then worried about whether or not it was legal in a market. Unconventional marketers and product people are "growth hackers," and looked for new ways to rapidly engage and grow user bases.

    Working in NYC finance with annual trips to SF for work, he is 100% right in the different mentalities. It is the city of the bonanza kings and gold rush mentality. Say something important and to the point.

    Awesome interview.

  • AD

    Arvydas D.

    18 1 2017 10:23

    0       0

    Great interview. Guys you should get Vinod Khosla on your show. He is one of the most craziest (in the good way) guy in Venture Capital business.

  • jg

    james g.

    17 1 2017 10:44

    0       0

    Contrary to some other comments, I would like to see more futurists on RV. Enjoyable to hear the finest minds hypothesising on where our 'flattening (energy technology) world' is taking us

  • Sv

    Sid v.

    13 1 2017 17:16

    0       0

    This guy represents the problem with the Relativist, immoral, post modern world that thinks there are no objective moral values and that hacking, stealing, etc, is not only moral but good! Wow. PS. He may have a PhD but his ideas of what is being taught in schools concerning morals and ethics is totally wrong. No public school in America teaches morals nor ethics any more, and haven't since the 1960's.

  • RW

    Raymond W.

    9 1 2017 18:04

    0       0

    Smart guy. I just finished binge reading the "Breaking Smart" series. Judging by the comments below many of you will find it very interesting .... some of you will think it is a waste of time.

  • PJ

    Peter J.

    8 1 2017 15:52

    0       0

    Steve R agree wholeheartedly. I lay off viewing this initially as I wasn't sure it was my cup of tea. I initially subscribed to RV to improve my general macro view whilst also getting a more informed view of markets and how they really work. Whilst RV has delivered in these areas in spades, I have found some of the most interesting interviews have been like this one. I will definitely be rewatching this and am already browsing my way through Venkateshs Breaking Smart site

  • SR

    Steve R.

    8 1 2017 04:39

    6       0

    I think people are missing the point here. This interview is about how to structure your thinking, how to approach 'thinking' about the big issues, about challenging the existing playbook and seeking alternative narratives. Not every interview is about trying to get trades or trade ideas. I personally found this interview very interesting. The problem these days is that people are generally lazy, they want all the answers, all the solutions, all the trades, and they want them now. RV is not about this.

  • PG

    Petter G.

    6 1 2017 21:53

    1       0

    A fantastic thinker. Would love to see him again on RVTV, but maybe with a more specific focus on a few different business areas (that indirectly could create investment ideas to the audience).

  • GB

    Grant B.

    6 1 2017 15:59

    0       4

    A lot of interesting discussions lately. I can find this stuff on other "podcasts". As I mentioned before I am looking for more financial focused content. I think Real Vision is losing some of it original focus. Motivation to log in is waning FWIW.

  • HF

    Hassan F.

    5 1 2017 18:55

    3       8

    This interview has very little if anything at all to do with financial markets. Smart as this gentleman may be this is a platform for financial services/markets not philosophical arguments. I thought this was a waste of 1H10M of my time.

  • OB

    Olav B.

    5 1 2017 18:20

    2       2

    I enjoyed his philosophical way of thinking! Very interesting for me as a millennial working in tech..

    RealVision, I as part of the younger audience focusing on tech, can you have a episode focusing on AWS (AMZN)? I do not see your speakers understanding what really is going on with cloud and how the future will be shaped.

    Your speekers dissmiss them due to cost reductions they provide, but scale matters. I would love to hear the "Realvison" view on this company.


  • DS

    Dan S.

    5 1 2017 06:40

    4       1

    Thought provoking chat that proffered some different paradigms worth exploring. But felt he over egged the conversation with the "bullshit" thing...was a bitl like a kid with a new toy.

  • ww

    will w.

    5 1 2017 03:08

    2       0

    @ Calvin H.
    'Hacking', as it applies to tech matters, can have several distinct meanings. And hacking doesn't even necessarily involve computers and/or data. In one of its benign meanings - which was touched upon when Venkatesh spoke of children taking things apart - it's an exploratory and/or creative activity. That sort of hacking often involves adapting something (not even necessarily electrically-powered) from its original purpose, to some often quite different use. Certainly agree that those hackers who breach security measures - with malicious or wrongful intent ("mens rea") - are evildoers, whether or not they steal anything.

  • PL

    Peter L.

    5 1 2017 02:22

    2       1

    wow! what a thought provoking interview. one of my favorites in a long time. while not directly related to financial markets, the value and responsibility lies with the viewer making that connection.

  • CH

    Calvin H.

    5 1 2017 00:01

    0       0

    From George Friedman -- when did we stop calling hackers, thieves?

  • DB

    Don B.

    4 1 2017 21:18

    1       1

    Been binge reading breaking smart season one since I finished watching the interview.

  • ns

    niall s.

    4 1 2017 18:41

    3       5

    Sorry but it set off by Bulls*^"T detector .

  • FA

    Frank A.

    4 1 2017 17:36

    1       1

    Great interview. Don't agree with some of what he said but very very interesting and thought provoking.....

  • AH

    Aaron H.

    4 1 2017 15:20

    1       0

    My take away was knowledge arbitrage and inverse cultural arbitrage as secular trends. The reading list are nice nuggets. The think piece had some good moments. I thought I saw P.R's eyes glaze over at one point.

  • KC

    Klendathu C.

    4 1 2017 12:43

    11       8

    Another great interview. I never knew about Venkat and have now added both his blogs to my toolbar. Given the accelerative technological trends, I would even say that from a content perspective, Real Vision should invest in more tech centric interviewers. No offense to Raoul, who has helped create some of the best financial interviews on the internet (Edward Misrahi's interview is priceless), but when it comes to taking these tech centered interviews to new heights, the right person for the job may be someone with a more scientific background who is also on the edge and can ask the questions no one has thought to ask. I watch countless hours of RV videos but when I want to watch technology centric videos, I'm forced to go on to youtube. Not saying that's necessarily a bad thing, but, once again, given the promise these accelerative technological trends offer, it could be a potentially big hole in real vision's content.

  • MG

    Mandeep G.

    4 1 2017 06:18

    6       1

    Valuable commentary around technology trends and globalisation as it pertains to technology world. IMHO the commentary does not necessarily apply to wider globalisation trends and the political commentary is rooted in the narrow view of comfortable living of Silicon Valley knowledge worker existence rather than the reality on the ground whole sections of the country that are not connected with west or east coast industries. But overall a very thought provoking interview, thanks again RV/RP

  • jk

    justin k.

    4 1 2017 05:07

    1       0

    He lost me at snopes.

  • TM

    Todd M.

    4 1 2017 04:53

    6       1

    Excellent piece all around. The wheels do come off the technocracy style thinking at the 10 minute mark. Raoul better understands the economic dislocation within the grind to globalism. Mass labor feels gravely at risk from changes . Technological Hopium won't bridge the gap between now and the future. We see the global reactionary forces increasing. It's hard for technology futurists to imagine the real pain and fear of the American + other countries well off middle class. An empirical "it always works out" framework skips over a helluva lot of unknown intermediary dislocations, ebbs and flows. Buckle Up.

  • AE

    Alex E.

    4 1 2017 04:42

    6       1

    A little too enamored with "bullshit" but an interesting take. I agree that Millineals can surprise you in that they understand that the edifices and institutions they will have to build will have to replace or modify some very great existing institutions. I just hope that the newly Young understand that they have very big shoes to fill. We Boomers criticized our elders for their failures yet we, ourselves, failed at times to change our World for the better!

  • SD

    Stephen D.

    4 1 2017 04:23

    3       1

    Brilliant high level stuff. great fun. On the 'hacking of the gene' technology CRISPR there are two stocks that listed in 2016: EDIT & CRSP, they are both very early stage biotech companies but the technology is wildly exciting.

  • TW

    Tom W.

    4 1 2017 03:44

    2       5

    Tim Ferris redefined "work" to what he thinks is fun... if you love what you're doing, then it isn't work. As such, he "works" 4 hours a week doing what he doesn't like.

  • TW

    Tom W.

    4 1 2017 03:16

    2       0

    Key takeaway: buy stock in storage companies... STX, WDC. Ppl that use generational labels to characterize groups lose credibility with me. Indifference to truth is lying or bullshit -- semantics.

  • JS

    Jon S.

    4 1 2017 01:39

    8       0

    "It takes ten times the effort to refute bull%@ then it does to create it" ......so true! Thanks for sharing.

  • rm

    richard m.

    4 1 2017 00:59

    6       4

    A truly awesome hour..could you provide a list of all the books and articles recommended. I especially liked,and agree with, the idea that we must have trickle up evonomics.

  • KB

    Kreso B.

    4 1 2017 00:39

    0       1

    Brilliant interview, explains a broad range of things pretty much the way they are (status of globalisation, technological trends, generational outlooks, human motivations...).
    A bit sad, that the person who distinguishes between tinkering and bulls*****g, is mainly a talker.

  • BK

    Bruce K.

    3 1 2017 23:45

    1       1

    Delighted to see such a "renaissance man" in Silicon Valley, where often myopia rules.

  • PN

    Paul N.

    3 1 2017 22:23

    3       1

    Minor Correction: On Pages 2 and 14 of the transcript it should say "DAO hack" not "Dow hack". DAO stands for Decentralized Autonomous Organization. Very different to the Dow I think!

  • RP

    Raoul P.

    3 1 2017 21:26

    25       2

    This was one of my favourite conversations of 2016...Venkat is ludicrously smart and has the ear of many of Silicon Valley's thought leaders

  • JG

    Jeff G.

    3 1 2017 21:15

    2       0

    What a treat! So much to reflect upon, and a reading list to boot. Inspiring.

  • AG

    Alex G.

    3 1 2017 19:27

    9       0

    Wow what a way to start off the year.

    On the part on globalization and its spread. Yes, trade is down & nationalism is up. But Raoul is right, the techonolgy is there, the digital tracks have been laid. Globaliazation seems to be in the fourth quarter of development but is facing some hiccups