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Means of Creation

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Means of Creation

Li Jin and Nathan Baschez

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Work is changing. The old structures that dominated the 20th century are gradually being replaced by platforms and cultures that have grown up on the internet that aim to help people do what they love for a living. Li and Nathan unpack this new passion economy in a weekly conversation with guests at the forefront of this change.
 
A deep dive into the stories, habits, ideas, strategies and methods that drive fulfilled people and create enormous success for them. The guests are diverse, but they share profound similarities. They’re guided by purpose, live with intense joy, learn passionately, and see the world with a unique lens. Each episode lets us soak in their hard-earned wisdom and apply it to our lives. Guests include Neil deGrasse Tyson, Seth Godin, and Tyler Cowen.
 
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show series
 
Nathan interviewed Li in this special episode of Means of Creation, where she talks about the $110M fund she recently raised with Jesse Walden and Spencer Noon of Variant. If you’re an avid fan of the show, you may have noticed how the podcast’s focus has shifted from platforms in the passion economy to user-owned networks within web3. In this epis…
 
Today we're joined by Nicole d'Avis, the lead educator who runs the accelerator program at Seed Club. We chat about what's been exciting at Seed Club over the last six months, and we dive deep into the accelerator program. Nicole helps us answer what the accelerator is and what it has to offer. We also learn about Nicole's journey into crypto and w…
 
Author and editor of the New York Times Book Review Pamela Paul and New York Times journalist Cecilia Kang join hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to consider how social media and search engines have changed everyday life. First, Paul provides a nostalgia tour of pre-internet life, and reads from her new book, 100 Things We’ve Lost to th…
 
Today we're joined by David Spinks. David is a lifelong practitioner of community building. In this episode, we start by talking about consumer empowerment and how the role of community has evolved as consumers have grown in power. Then we dive into the specifics of onboarding people, getting more people into communities, creating a sense of belong…
 
Two-part conversation! Today in part one, we are joined with Julian Weisser and Will Papper, who are two contributors apart of a group trying to buy the US constitution as we speak. We look into the process of setting an organization like this up. Part-two we bring on Sirsu, a member at Seed Club and a co-founder of multiple interesting projects li…
 
In this special episode, taped live at the Miami Book Fair, novelist Joshua Ferris joins hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to discuss his new novel, A Calling for Charlie Barnes, which takes an often humorous look at the catastrophe of its protagonist’s life. When Charlie Barnes is simultaneously hit with a cancer diagnosis and the Grea…
 
Today we are joined by our dear friend Cooper Turley. Cooper is a co-founder at FWB, a venture partner at Variant Fund, and has his fingers in or around many of the leading DAO & social tokens you probably all heard of. This conversation is interesting. We talk about his initial inspiration for jumping into the social token space and contrast that …
 
Today we sit down with Jiho, Axie Infinity Co-founder and community lead. We dive into the story of both Jiho and Axie Infinity. What's it's like to manage one of the most considerable Discord servers in the world. We get into community design, how to grow, manage, incentivize and reward and give ownership to people creating value in the Axie commu…
 
In this special episode, taped live at the Miami Book Fair, novelist Ha Jin joins hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to discuss his new novel, A Song Everlasting, which explores the ways in which politics and art are intertwined from the point of view of a Chinese singer who makes his home in the U.S. After talking about the current tens…
 
Today's guest is Ohhshiny, the Metaverse community manager. We dive into the community and value found in Bored Ape Yacht Club. We talk about new brand models in Web3 that have a focus on niches and nuance. And about building reputation and the future social reputation can play in someone's career and the overall importance in the economy moving fo…
 
Today we speak with Will Papper. Co-founder at Syndicate protocol and creator of Adventure Gold. ($AGLD) In this conversation, we talk about Loot and all the fun things that have emerged around it. We talk about why Loot is interesting we get into the story and history of $AGLD. A fascinating part of our conversation is when Will gets into scarcity…
 
Novelist Julia Elliott and poet and writer DaMaris B. Hill join hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to consider the writing and face of rural America—particularly as it might look 30 years from now. First, Elliott talks about growing up as an outsider in her own South Carolina hometown, and reads from her debut novel The New and Improved …
 
Packy McCormick is our guest today. The author of the not-boring newsletter and investing from the not-boring fund. Packy is an excellent conversationalist. This conversation allowed us to get into all sorts of things. We talk about his journey into starting the not-boring newsletter at the beginning of the pandemic. We get into fun stuff like the …
 
Novelist Elizabeth Wetmore and essayist and poet Kathryn Nuernberger join hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to discuss Texas’s new abortion law. As the Lone Star State’s SB8 invites anyone to sue those “abetting” an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, Roe v. Wade has never seemed more at risk. In this episode, Wetmore talks about the…
 
Packy McCormick, author of Not Boring, one of the most widely-read analysts in tech. His newsletter now has more than 75k subscribers and he's raised a fund to back startups he finds interesting. In this conversation, we focus on how Packy went from crypto-skeptic to writing a post almost every week about crypto. We also talk about where power will…
 
Novelists Nadia Hashimi and Helen Benedict join hosts V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell to discuss the mistakes American writers and culture made in depicting the United States’ wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the wake of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and President Biden’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, have American fiction…
 
In this episode, we talk with Li Jin, the founder of Atelier Ventures. Former A16z investor, passion economy definer. We talk about the Creator Economy and her optimism for crypto being a tool to help the creator economy evolve. We discuss the meaning of ownership, how to distribute ownership, and create incentive alignment. And we also talk about …
 
First Club episode! We talk with Aaron Wright, the co-founder of OpenLaw, the team behind the LAO, Flamingo DAO, Neptune DAO, and more. We talk about all things DAOs, and the value of having a sense-making organism. We talk about his excitement for the Metaverse being the next big play in crypto, and of course, we dive into Social Tokens.…
 
The hype around crypto-native communities such as Loot and Nouns DAO have taken over all our Twitter feeds. But how do these communities arise and gather momentum? Our guest this week, Patrick Rivera, gives us an inside look into the social and financial motivations driving some of crypto’s most prominent communities. Being a part of these communit…
 
Editor and publisher Brigid Hughes and writer Yiyun Li join co-hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to talk about reading War and Peace over the course of 85 days with others around the world. The unusually broad and lively Twitter conversation, organized in 2020 by A Public Space and led by Li, is captured in the newly published volume To…
 
The creator economy is in constant flux, with DAOs and NFTs currently having taken centre stage. Our guest this week, Kyle Chayka, is uniquely positioned to understand these shifts. As a writer covering technology and culture, he is simultaneously involved in three very different worlds: He is a contributing writer at The New Yorker, a legacy media…
 
Writer Nawaaz Ahmed joins co-host V.V. Ganeshananthan to discuss his debut novel, Radiant Fugitives, in this special live episode of the show held with Elliott Bay Books in Seattle, Washington. Ahmed’s book, set in California against the backdrop of Obama-era politics, explores how differences in faith and sexuality affect an Indian Muslim family w…
 
In an increasingly platform-mediated world, platforms have outsized control over their participants—whether that’s app developers in the creator economy, or rideshare drivers in the gig economy. We’ve been trying to understand how this can be changed for the better—how platform participants can be made rightful stakeholders; bridging the gap betwee…
 
Poet Wayne Miller and novelist Elizabeth Gaffney join co-hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to discuss writing from the point of view of children before and during the pandemic. First, Miller discusses the unknowable interior lives of children, reads poems from his new collection We the Jury, and talks about connections to his essay “Lea…
 
While you wait for the next episoe of Fiction/Non/Fiction, we wanted to share a preview of a new podcast from our friends over at Wondery. Looking for a new podcast that's like Olivia Pope meets your favorite Ryan Murphy show? Or do you just love a good scandal? On True Love, a new fiction podcast from Wondery, you'll hear stories of scandalous fli…
 
Acclaimed Slate books and culture columnist Laura Miller joins co-hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to discuss the ins and outs of being a critic. Miller discusses a recent piece about diversity and representation in audiobook narration. She also talks about reading for pleasure versus work, and why, when she’s not reviewing, she often …
 
Within traditional games like RuneScape and World of Warcraft, there have always been vibrant economies where players buy, sell, and exchange in-game assets. But these traditional games are also closed ecosystems—none of them let players transfer assets across different games or exchange their in-game assets for money. Blockchain-based games totall…
 
here’s a shift afoot at Twitter. The long-time microblogging platform has recently made a series of moves to position itself beyond just tweets, including acquiring the newsletter company Revue and introducing tools to help creators make money on the platform. When Twitter acquired Revue, the company declared that it was making a “better home for w…
 
I've started interviewing niche coaches who are doing interesting work that are for hire. Today I interview a "Face Yoga" coach who gained popularity through TikTok. We talk about her process with clients and this emerging coaching space. You can check out her work here: https://www.faceyogabykari.com/ and find her on Youtube/TikTok https://www.tik…
 
For the 100th episode of Fiction/Non/Fiction, co-hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan hand out the first-ever “Nonnie Awards” for the podcast’s standout moments from the past four years. Then author, poet, and playwright Jabari Asim reflects on how the discourse on racism and police brutality has shifted since last summer. Asim also reads …
 
Atlantic staff writer and author Adam Serwer joins co-hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to discuss how opposition to critical race theory aligns with our country’s historical resistance to acknowledging the truth and changing. Serwer reads from and discusses his new book The Cruelty is the Point: The Past, Present, and Future of Trump’s…
 
Spotify is doubling down on investing in creators. Within the past week alone, the music giant both launched its own live audio app, Greenroom, to directly compete with Clubhouse and acquired an audio news feed app, Podz, to improve creator discovery. But while these moves might seem sudden, Spotify’s Chief R&D Officer Gustav Söderström has been th…
 
Scholars Shir Alon and Joseph Farag join co-hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to discuss how Palestinian and Israeli writers have written about the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Farag talks about the evolution of the portrayal of the Palestinian self in literature throughout history, as well as some of the themes and writers dis…
 
Alex Kantrowitz is a journalist who has spent years studying the inner workings of tech companies—how and why they make strategic decisions. He’s also a solo creator with a newsletter and podcast (Big Technology), and has written a book, Always Day One, in which he studies the internal decision-making frameworks within big tech companies.In this co…
 
Editor and publisher Sean McDonald and novelist Monica West join co-hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to discuss how the “reopening” of the country is affecting authors and the publishing industry. First, McDonald, founder of MCD Books, a division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, talks about publishing in the pandemic, and how that experie…
 
Rob Henderson is one of my favorite up-and-coming writers. I like him because he's one of those people who doesn't fit into a category. He's a Ph.D. candidate in psychology, but I met him in a book club about technological stagnation. He's spent years in the academy, first at Yale and now at Cambridge, but most of his influence comes from his onlin…
 
Scholar Carolin Benack and novelist Sanjena Sathian join co-hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to discuss how literature and economics intersect. First, Benack talks about the theoretical storytelling that is economics, and reads from her article on the topic. Then, Sathian reads from her debut novel Gold Diggers and talks about the Amer…
 
This week, I have two guests. Both are affiliated with Synthesis, a new kind of online school where kids learn through games and simulations. One is Chrisman Frank, the CEO of Synthesis. The other is Ana Lorena Fabrega, who is their Chief Evangelist. Here's the backstory: A few years ago, Elon Musk asked the co-founder to start an experimental scho…
 
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