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Founder Stories

Learning from the "Paypal Mafia." Building tech to fix the world. Reasons to be an American optimist, w/ Joe Lonsdale

Ryan Pallotta
Joe Lonsdale

Today Ryan Pallotta is talking with the Managing Partner of 8VC, Joe Lonsdale. Joe's a true iconoclast who builds mission-driven companies that use technology to solve inefficiencies and bridge what he calls conceptual gaps. Joe and 8VC led Prometheus' seed round fund-raise, inspired by our platform's mission to close such a gap.  

His own podcast is called American Optimist, and the chat begins with Joe laying out what underpins his optimism as challenges appear to be mounting up.

Joe describes his upbringing and how various members of the "Paypal Mafia"—Peter Thiel, Keith Rabois, Elon Musk—shaped his worldview when he interned there. He then explains Thiel's role in the founding of data analytics software company Palantir Technologies.  

Joe candidly describes his shock at the level of inefficiency and waste he's seen in many areas of government-run projects and why, if this mismanagement can be stopped, we could all be living better lives.

Joe and Ryan cover a lot of ground in this podcast. The running theme is possibility. Specifically, the world that is possible when new, innovative, disruptive thinking is paired with experience and expertise.

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