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Unscaled

Welcome to the Unscaled Series, featuring Phil Libin in conversation with General Catalyst's Ronda Scott and Hemant Taneja. Hemant's book Unscaled provides a framework for the series' discussions on what it means for a company to scale today.

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Unscaled | Ep. 1

What Went Wrong with the World Wide Web?

Welcome to the Unscaled Series, eight new episodes from the All Turtles Podcast featuring Phil Libin in conversation with General Catalyst’s Ronda Scott and Hemant Taneja. Hemant’s book Unscaled provides a framework for the series’ discussions on what it means for a company to scale today. Episode 1 examines the internet’s role as an equalizer — both for businesses and for bad actors — and asks how entrepreneurs can address the most pressing problems online today.

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Unscaled | Ep. 2

Scaling the Truth

There’s been a big change in the way businesses are built: they no longer need to have sky-high valuations and thousands of employees before they can make an impact. “Scale” as we know it has run its course, leaving a wide-open pasture where startups can focus on building products that matter instead of getting big fast. What lessons should entrepreneurs take from this shift? And how does it influence how success should be measured today? Join Phil Libin, Hemant Taneja, and Ronda Scott to find out.

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Unscaled | Ep. 3

Algorithmic Canaries

How can you tell if the product that you’re creating will cause harm? What signs should Facebook have noticed long before its product wreaked havoc on democracy? There are “algorithmic canaries” to watch out for — akin to the birds used in coal mines to help detect deadly gases — now for the digital age. AI is a tool that can be harnessed to efficiently measure a product’s impact, whether good or bad.

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Unscaled | Ep. 4

The Minimum Virtuous Product

Airbnb, Uber, and Facebook have had the public turn against them when their products caused damage. Even if the founders of these companies had good intentions, they could have made better use of data and AI to measure the impact of their products. It’s time to update the MVP acronym from Minimum Viable Product to Minimum Virtuous Product. Companies should strive to build morally sound design principles from the start with accountability, explainability, and transparency.

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Unscaled | Ep. 5

Just the Right Amount of Personalization

Is personalization really the golden ticket that some product creators think it is? In the tech industry, it’s a widely-held opinion that personalization is the answer to everything, and that successful products must be custom-tailored to meet the unique needs of each user. But it’s difficult to think of really successful products that are hyper-personalized. The iPhone, for example, is more or less the same phone for every user. So is personalization actually important? And if so, to what degree?

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Unscaled | Ep. 6

Do Not Pass Go: New Monopolies in the Age of AI

The proliferation of AI is spurring calls for regulation. But what should these new rules look like? Who will enforce them? And does AI require a new definition of monopoly? Historically, monopolies were classified as companies with too much market share, and antitrust laws were designed to protect consumers from high prices and limited product choice. But with faster, cheaper options from the likes of Amazon, a new approach to consumer protection is needed.

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Unscaled | Ep. 7

The Future of Companies

Does the “company” still make sense as the default operational unit for doing business? Or is it an archaic method of organizing the development, manufacture, and sale of goods and services? For people who want to make innovative products, Silicon Valley demands they start an entirely new business as well. But not every new idea needs to become a company. It’s time to rethink companies as the modus operandi for creating things of value.

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Unscaled | Ep. 8

The Best Time in the History of the Universe

Can it be that now is the best time in the history of the universe to build meaningful products? The final episode of the Unscaled series considers how access to APIs, broader sources of funding, and tools on the internet that weren’t available ten years ago allow creators to build innovative new products faster, cheaper, and more easily than ever before. Yet, at the same time, creators now have the ability to cause widespread harm. With great power comes great responsibility.

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