Legends & Losers w/Christopher Lochhead

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158: Paul Austin LSD Microdosing & Peak Performance

Paul Austin is committed to changing the cultural conversation about psychedelics through his platform, The Third Wave. Paul wants to help others understand how microdosing could be used as a tool for personal growth and understanding.

“Microdosing sits at that avenue where it becomes this palpable way to try psychedelics without being intimidated by the potential of a bad trip or a challenging experience.” - Paul Austin

Three Things We Learned
  • Psychedelic use and computer evolution bloomed around the same time
Initial research in the 60s showed a relationship between moderate dose on LSD use and breakthroughs in creativity and problem-solving. The research, however, got nipped in the bud when the use of psychedelics was made illegal by the turn of the decade. Still, this didn’t invalidate the claim of some association between higher psychedelic use and the birth of Silicon Valley.

  • What was then counter-cultural is now mainstream
A lot of the things frowned upon in the 60s became rising stars in this age of technology. Psychedelics are no exception. This stands to reason, given its role in the process of molding the technological center we all celebrate today.

“Yoga, mindfulness meditation, psychedelics, even collective or communal living… a lot of those counter-cultural things are now becoming more mainstream culture in the here and now.” - Paul Austin
  • Psychedelic use is now beyond a medical research model
Psychedelics offer the same non-dual, mystical experience related to yoga, meditation, and even a connection with the higher power, as some groups would say. It’s euphoric as much as it is therapeutic. Scientific evidence has made it more acceptable for practical use, particularly in inducing peak performances.

Psychedelics bolster creativity and problem-solving. However, there's a need for continued research and dialogue in order to take advantage of the potential of these substances. Utility of microdosing technique to ease people into their effects and make use of them without pitfalls is also just as important. 

Paul Austin is committed to changing the cultural conversation about psychedelics through his platform, The Third Wave. Because of his work with microdosing, Paul has been featured in Rolling Stone and Business Insider, with additional pieces in the New York Times, Playboy, and Lifehacker.

In June 2015 Paul began his first microdosing protocol. Immediately, he noticed improvements in his energy levels, creativity, and a general sense of well-being.

The impact of microdosing was so profound on his life that Paul wanted to help others understand how microdosing could be used as a tool for personal growth and understanding.

157: Dr. Darold Treffert Genius, Savants, Autism & Human Potential

The human brain is a treasure trove for mysteries that continue to elude our understanding. When we hack the mind of the leading geniuses in the world, do we come close to answering our own questions? Today, psychologist extraordinaire Dr. Darold Treffert shares with us half a century’s worth of brain pickings on geniuses, savants, autism, and the human potential.
“If people with this much inability can have this kind of ability, what does that mean about the ability within us all?” - Dr. Darold Treffert
Three Things We Learned
  • Savants display a juxtaposition of disability and superior ability
Dr. Treffert refers to savant syndrome as a rare and extraordinary condition where someone with an underlying disability has some island of genius that stands in stark contrast to overall handicap. This disconnect is so jarring that the exceptional ability immediately captures the attention of any observer. He fondly recalls encounters with an autistic child who could tell which street corner a Milwaukee bus was passing at any given time of the day and a kid who could tell him what happened in history on a given date at a time of the encyclopedia.
  • There’s exceptional ability within us all
In order to understand our own potentials, the trick is to know how to tap our deeply-buried abilities without having some kind of brain injury or disease. These abilities lie dormant within every human mind. It’s a challenge we all must take to seek it and make it bloom to become what it can be.
“Our job in trying to deal with a child with autism is to find that island of intactness, celebrate it, love it, congratulate it, nurture it, and let it come to its full human potential, and that’s what I see happening in savants that I followed in many years.” - Dr. Darold Treffert
  • Acquired savants exist
When a person suffers from an injury or condition that induces brain trauma, they can develop abilities that they have never exhibited before. It can be a sudden inclination towards music or art, even mechanical abilities. These cases corroborate the claim that the human mind may be an unsolvable labyrinth.
Comprehending the workings of the complicated circuitry that is the human mind is as much a travail as learning the functions of the thousand neurons that make up the connections. It’s fascinating how the human mind can be considered a separate entity from the anatomical part that is the brain. In this context, our minds, indeed, may be a dimension unconquerable by the human ability.


Dr. Darold Treffert is an alum of the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1958, intern in Eugene, Oregon, and a resident in Psychiatry at University Hospitals in Madison, Wisconsin. Two years after joining the staff to develop the Child-Adolescent Unit of Winnebago Mental Health Institute, he was named Superintendent in 1964. After 15 years of service in the position, he divided his time between the private practice of Psychiatry and a position as Executive Director of the Fond du Lac County Health Care Center.

An internationally known researcher on Savant Syndrome, he has published several books and journals. Extraordinary People: Understanding Savant Syndrome, published in 1989, has been translated and published in eight other countries. His most recent book on the topic—Islands of Genius: The Bountiful Mind of the Autistic, Acquired and Sudden Savant—was published in 2010. Mellowing: Lessons from Listening has also been widely distributed, an earlier book on preventive mental health and stress management. Featured in various talk shows and documentaries, Dr. Treffert was a consultant to the movie Rain Man, in which Dustin Hoffman portrays an autistic savant. He maintains a Website on savant syndrome through the Wisconsin Medical Society.
In 2006, Dr. Treffert received the National Torrey Advocacy Commendation from the Treatment Advocacy Center in Arlington for his efforts on behalf of mental health law reform and treatment access for the severely mentally ill. He has been listed in The Best Doctors in America, by peer selection, beginning in 1979.
Leading various medical societies and associations, Dr. Treffert is currently on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin Medical School and UW-Milwaukee as a clinical professor. He resides in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and is on the staff of St. Agnes Hospital in that community.

156: Jordan French - Engineer, Growth Hacker and Serial Entrepreneur


We’ve come to accept many traditional paradigms that are ill-suited for the future of society. What areas will be touched by the tentacles of new technologies, innovations and categories? How will food tech change our understanding of nutrition and general health? On this episode, journalist, speaker and entrepreneur, Jordan French, talks about the cutting-edge projects he’s been working on.

Our traditional paradigm of currency is actually ill-suited to the future of commerce, and a new category of currency is required. -Christopher Lochhead


3 Things We Learned

Currency as we know it is outdated

When it really comes down to it, all currency is really just a technology that we came up with, using pieces of paper or coins to represent. As it stands today, this model is outdated while cryptocurrency presents many possibilities.  


Using new technologies to do more good is what matters

When we look at the newer categories in food tech, there are many cool use cases but let’s not forget the possibilities for doing massive good for the world. That’s why these categories are so important-- they can be applied to emergency response, health and nutrition.


People can create their own categories, careers, and jobs

The paradigm of what a job and a career mean now is so different from what it once was. We were told to use what we’re good at to find our place in the world. But for a lot of people who don’t fit in anywhere, the best thing to do is carve out a space for yourself, design your own job and build a career on your terms.


So many paradigms and traditions are shifting, and technology can-- and will-- empower us. If we look at things like blockchain, cryptocurrency and food tech, we see a democratization of currency and health. This puts more power in our hands and cuts out the middlemen. This is crucial to where we are going as a society, and we can all contribute to this incredible wave.


155 John’s Crazy Socks

Happiness is so hard to come by these days that we cling to anything that gives us just that. It’s almost tempting to hoard the little things that make us feel good, which is why it’s so noble to share the joy. John and Mark Cronin join us today to talk about John’s Crazy Socks, the business that is remarkable not only by virtue of its owner but its mission.
“We’re not in the business of being right. We’re in the business of spreading happiness.” - Mark Cronin on the mantra of John’s Crazy Socks
Three Things We Learned
  • Carrying out a mission may just be a bonus
John and Mark are able to connect with a lot of people from all walks of life in carrying out their mission. From former presidents and prime ministers to injured NFL players, John’s Crazy Socks has reached a lot of people. But the icing on the cake is the father and son bonding that comes along with the business, which can never be traded for anything else in the world.
  • Happiness should imbue everything you do
There are instances when customer representatives have to deal with irate clients who are counterexamples to the adage that customers are always right. It’s during these times when John and Mark remind their staff that fighting fire with fire is a futile effort. They make everyone happy and will do everything to stay true to their mission.
  • Happiness from gratitude is best shared
John loves writing thank-you notes to their customers and expressing gratitude to their staff. These gestures make people feel better, and it’s what makes John feel happy. And this happiness, the little joys derived from simply being grateful, is the kind of happiness that John wants to share with everyone they meet.
Life is riddled with a constant pursuit of happiness. We’re all struggling to find our silver linings, but what makes us human is our willingness to go out of way and share our joy with other people who need it.

John Cronin has Down syndrome, but that hasn’t held him back. John lives with his parents, Mark & Carol Cronin in New York. John, a 21-year-old entrepreneur is the mind behind John's Crazy Socks, a million+ dollar business focused on making fun, creative, and colorful socks available to the masses. And he doesn't let anything stop him from reaching for success, including Down's Syndrome.

154 Dr. Giora Yaron Israeli Startup Legend

Having a laser eye on a single goal can ensure you more chances of success. But what if conquering many things in a lifetime is your definition of fulfillment? In today’s episode, startup legend Dr. Giora Yaron tells us about the many things that he’s willingly taken on in his search for enjoyment and, ultimately, contentment.

“I’m gonna work my way into the grave.” - Dr. Giora Yaron

Three Things We Learned

Personal fulfillment is never about the money

If you take a peek into Dr. Yaron’s entrepreneurial career, you’ll find out pretty quickly that it’s all about taking several leaps of faith. On top of founding several businesses, he is involved in boards and university, among other things. After a while, doing what you do solely for the money can get redundant and boring, and contentment can always be derived from other things that you’re genuinely interested in.

Success in life isn’t all about perfection, it's about balance

Dr. Yaron currently considers his life to be very balanced, unlike when he was working only on his entrepreneurship. His bucket is divided into three sections. They add to his inner stability, a true upgrade from his once perfection-driven approach to success.

Business is a war

There’s no literal bloodshed in business, but in many ways, it’s similar to a war. You fight tooth and nail to keep a bank account running, to anticipate the unknown, and to sally into battle with the sensibilities of a leader. And in order to win both, one must come up with a strategy that can adapt to any situation that arises.

Life is so short that limiting oneself to a single aspiration is too much of a waste. Success is self-determined, and even if starting projects and getting into lots of things is what you become known for, it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, it’s your life you’re living.


Dr. Giora Yaron serves as Chairman of Tel Aviv University (Executive Council), and on the board of Amdocs (DOX). Dr. Yaron serves on the advisory board of the Ministry of Defense.

Dr. Yaron is an active Founding Investor and Founder of a group of high-tech and med-tech companies; P-cube, (acquired by Cisco), PentaCom (acquired by Cisco), Qumranet (acquired by Redhat), Comsys (acquired by Conexant, Texas Instruments), Exanet (acquired by Dell) Hyperwise Security (acquired by Checkpoint) Qwilt, Itamar Medical, Excelero, Equalum, Aqua Security and vEye Security. Dr. Yaron has been serving as board member and/or Chairman of the Boards of these companies since their inception. Dr. Yaron served as Chairman of the Board of Mercury Interactive (acquired by HP).

From 1992-1995 Dr. Yaron has served as President of Indigo NV, leading the company to a NASDAQ IPO. Prior to joining Indigo served as corporate Vice President of National Semiconductor and was the Founder of the National Wafer Fab in Israel (today Tower-Jazz Semiconductors).

In 2008 Dr. Yaron presented at the Computer History Museum* the revolutionary microprocessor development work he leads with his team at NCS which provides the foundation for the microprocessors as we know them today.

In 2009 Dr. Yaron was granted Honorary Fellowships by The Hebrew University. Dr. Yaron holds a Ph.D. in Device Physics from the Hebrew University has published numerous scientific papers and holds numerous patents.


153: Bill Walton NBA Legend #2

Three Things We Learned
  • Technology for an organized mind

 When an athlete busts his knee, how can he stay in the court? How does he grow while having to lug around an injury for the rest of his career? Bill Walton joins us once again to share the story of his basketball upset-turned-success, the four laws of learning by John Wooden, and how we can all take advantage of technology to sort out our priorities.

“I changed. I had to change because I couldn’t get out there and run anymore.” - Bill Walton

In this age of smartphones and tablets, we get the ability to communicate, teach, lead, and plan our lives. Our phones are smaller than three-by-five cards a basketball coach or a broadcaster can write plans or cues on, but they’re much more powerful. We can all utilize their full potential to help us get organized, much like how John Wooden did with his sick plays, only that now we’re all high-tech.

  • Teach yourself how to learn

Bill shares the four laws of learning their coach John Wooden drilled into them: demonstration, imitation, correction, and repetition. In order to learn the right stuff, you need to be shown the ropes first. Once you’ve done like you’re shown, you’re corrected for anything you might have missed, and then you repeat what you’re doing until mastery is reached.

  • You’re human; you can learn to adapt
When Bill hurt his knee and could no longer run the length of the court, he learned to start fast breaks instead of finishing them off. It’s a lot like how one feels when starting up a business or when pointed to a new direction and shown a new perspective. He changed, and he grew into becoming the guy who broke the opponents’ defense and setting up a window of opportunity for his teammates to score.
Plans are bound to breed success, but learning to adapt to what life throws our way will ultimately determine what we become. If we don’t grow out of our handicaps, we won’t get out of the rut. Plan, learn, and grow by continuing to change.
Bill Walton Bio:
At UCLAunder the legendary coach John WoodenBill won two national championships. The Walton-led 1971–72 UCLA basketball team had a record of 30–0. In 1973 he was named the top amateur athlete in the United States.
When Bill turned pro and signed with the Portland Trail Blazers, he inked the largest contract for a new player in American pro sports history.
During his tenure in the NBA, Bill achieved 2 NBA Championships, was named NBA MVP and Finals MVP in 1978. He was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 1993 and has been named one of the 50 greatest ever to play the game by the NBA in 1996.
On the road to success, Bill has overcome some horrible challenges including stuttering, a horrible bone condition in his feet and almost life ending spinal collapse.  He also lost two-thirds of his playing career to injury.
Today Bill is an entrepreneur, author, sports announcer and lover of music. He wrote a must-read and fun read book Back From the Dead. He's a member of the Grateful Dead Hall of Fame and an Emmy award-winning announcer on ESPN.

152: Wolf of Wall St. Richard Bronson’s Entrepreneurial Redemption

The recidivism rate for incarcerated people stands at 80%, and this is caused mainly by lack of jobs and support for reformed criminals. What is it like to go to jail and start completely from scratch? What do we learn from the men and women who have gone through jail and come out on the other side? How can we help these people get second chances and improve their lives? On this episode, former inmate and founder of 70 Million Jobs, Richard Bronson, shares on: his journey, living a life of relentless honesty, and leveraging his unique story.


Jobs truly are the silver bullet to getting rid of recidivism. -Richard Bronson


3 Things We Learned


The recidivism rate in America is shockingly high

There’s an 80% chance that someone who has left jail will be re-arrested within 5 years.

2/3 of those people will get arrested within 3 years and 90% will be unemployed at the time of their re-arrest

We can learn a lot from inmates

Talking with inmates allows us to connect with people who have led a life so challenging, with so few options, that there was an inevitability of how things would turn out for them. Yet, these people still manage to be optimistic and hopeful. That’s something we could bring into our own lives.

People are more capable of forgiveness than we can imagine

People have incredibly big hearts and it often makes them feel good to forgive. In order to see this, you must be sincere and open, and give the other person the opportunity to forgive.


It’s very easy and comforting for us t walk around with the belief there are absolutes regarding morality, and that a person who goes to jail is just bad. But these attitudes are exactly what’s contributing to the high recidivism rates. Former inmates are shunned, discriminated against and shut out from job opportunities. We have to understand the circumstances many of these people faced and how it led them down the path to prison. If we can see them as people deserving of a real shot at a second chance, we’ll allow the opportunity for reform and a drop in recidivism.


Guest Bio

Richard Bronson career began on Wall Street, where he managed money at Lehman Bros. and Bear Stearns. He then become a partner at Stratton Oakmont, the firm featured in the movie, the firm featured in the film Wolf of Wall Street. He eventually went on the found Biltmore Securities, a registered broker-dealer based in South Florida. Richard grew Biltmore to nearly 500 employees, spread out over four national offices, and took many companies public. After Biltmore, Richard founded Channels Magazine and launched several successful consumer product and service businesses. Richard was convicted of securities fraud in 2002, arising from his activities in the 1990s and served two years in a Federal prison camp. To get in touch, email richard@70millionjobs.com.


151 John Wall Marketing Over Coffee Host

How do you build a podcast that thrives for over ten years? How do you grow in a fast-paced world where human proclivities are as ever-changing as the trends? Today, John Wall, host of Marketing Over Coffee podcast talks about how he chose to fit at the intersection of marketing and technology and how he has managed to make it by being adaptable to change.
“It’s not the soundbites.” - John Wall
Three Things We Learned
  • Adapting to change goes a long way
John’s podcast started off as some sort of tutorial on how to infuse some marketing into your technology. Over the years it grew to become the conversational podcast that we all know today, nestled at the intersection of these two fields. By going with the flow, being open to bigger guests, and expanding to cover the whole board, he is able to advance his career and reach new heights every time.
  • It should never be just about hooks and hangers
Let’s face the harsh, cold truth: the average human brain is selective in soaking up information and can pay full attention for only ten to twenty minutes. This knowledge of our own limitations as a species is what drives most of our marketing strategies, which aren’t foolproof at all. Obsessing over smart one-liners and soundbites can be a pitfall if we forget that being shown the ropes, of how things work or the way to do things better, is what people are actually after.
  • When going with the trends is unachievable
Artificial intelligence is the big thing in the tech world at the moment. While he’s out there to marry tech and marketing, John acknowledges the fact that there are walls that he can’t climb. In order to get past that and set your funnels straight, you will have to gather all the data you need, and that’s the first thing you must set out to do if you want to fly above your station.
There’s no sureball way of achieving something, but one thing’s for certain. Being able to keep up with changes while acknowledging your limitations are key to grow in whatever niche you decide to take. This, and a couple mugs of coffee with people who know what they do and what they talk about, can be the greatest combo in your arsenal.


John J. Wall speaks, writes and practices at the intersection of marketing, sales, and technology.

He is the producer of Marketing Over Coffee, a weekly audio program that discusses marketing and technology with his co-host Christopher S. Penn, and has been featured on iTunes. Notable guests include Chris Brogan, David Meerman Scott, Simon Sinek and Seth Godin.

His work has been profiled by Forbes, CBS Evening News, The Associated Press, NECN, The Boston Globe, Boston Herald, DM News, and the Yahoo! Year in Review.

John is Vice President of Marketing at EventHero. He has held positions specializing in Customer Relationship Management, Marketing Automation and sales support systems at both venture funded and privately held businesses, working with clients such as Microsoft, Oracle, and Salesforce.com. Read more on LinkedIn.

John has lived in every corner of the United States and now resides outside of Boston. Check out my twitter stream to hear what I’m rambling on about and here’s some more personal stuff.

150: Magdalena Yesil: Investing in Salesforce, The Cloud & Smart Women

Unceasing curiosity and a penchant for problem-solving can pave the way to becoming a legend of your own right. How can a love for discovery spell long-term success? In today’s episode, Magdalena Yesil tells the story of how her hunch-driven risk-taking has made all the difference in her entrepreneurial career.
“Sometimes we discover things we can deliver on—that’s success, and sometimes we discover things that we just can’t deliver on, and that’s failure.” - Magdalena Yesil
Three Things We Learned
  • Problem-solving skills are for life
Magdalena has always been fond of problem-solving when she was in school and university. The challenge of taking on more difficult, headache-inducing problems with the awareness that she is improving her efficiency has always kept her going. It’s no different to how she looks at problems in the context of her career, and while there are some that she just can’t solve, she has learned long ago how to not take it to heart and keep going knowing that she’s growing.
  • Oftentimes startups get started because they have a hunch
People will sometimes have a feeling that an industry might act a certain way, that it might need something that they can create. By jumping on-board, they get to see how their product fits the market, and if everything aligns, then success is guaranteed. All that wouldn’t have been possible if they didn’t get driven into action by a hunch to begin with.
  • Entrepreneurship is a different kind of discovery
We can allude to business endeavors like how people fell down before discovering whether a species of mushroom is edible or not, but at the same time we can’t. Ten companies before us can fold, but what makes a great startup is the confidence that we might hold the elusive answer. Sometimes this trust in our capabilities is all that we need to actually succeed because after all, everything is a series of discoveries.
When we take on a problem, life or business-related, we often have the hunch that we can find the answer. This naturally comes with a curiosity as to what lies on the other side, which naturally leads to discoveries of what works. Ultimately, that’s all that matters.
Pioneering Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor Magdalena Yeşil came to the United States in 1976 with two suitcases and $43, blind to the challenges she would face as a woman and immigrant in Silicon Valley. Today, she is best known as the first investor and a founding board member of Salesforce, the now-multibillion dollar company that ushered in the era of cloud-based computing. 
Magdalena Yeşil is a founder, entrepreneur, and venture capitalist of many of the world’s top technology companies, including Salesforce, where she was the first investor and founding board member.
Yesil is a former general partner at U.S. Venture Partners, where she oversaw investments in more than thirty early-stage companies and served on the boards of many.
A technology pioneer, Yeşil founded three of the first companies dedicated to commercializing Internet access, e-commerce infrastructure, and electronic payments.
UUnet, CyberCash, and MarketPay earned her the Entrepreneur of the Year title by the Red Herring magazine. Yeşil is a founder of Broadway Angels, a group of female venture capitalists and angel investors. She is currently working on her fourth startup, DriveInformed, a technology company bringing trust and transparency to the auto finance industry. She serves on the board of directors of RPX, Smartsheet, and Zuora.
Magdalena is an immigrant to the United States from Turkey and is of Armenian heritage. An avid hiker and sailor, she lives in San Francisco, California.

149: Roben Farzad Hotel Scarface Miami in the 1980s

In 1980, Miami was basically an ungovernable failed state filled with violence, corruption, and chaos. It earned the title, “murder capital of the world”. What forces led to the cocaine tragedy of the city? How did the The Mutiny Hotel become the center of this crazy time? How did the Miami of today come about? On this episode, author of the epic book, Hotel Scarface: Where Cocaine Cowboys Partied and Plotted to Control Miami, Roben Farzad talks about the very real world of Miami that inspired Scarface, the players there, and the factors that made it happen.

3 Things We Learned

The connection between Miami and Cuba

In 1980, the city of Miami took in hundreds of thousands of Cuban immigrants in a matter of months. Castro had made sure that the people leaving also included criminals who flooded Miami and worked during the cocaine explosion.


Many different cross currents had to happen for the cocaine tragedy to take place

Part of the reason Miami became a cocaine capital was the fact that the authorities looked the other way. It was a running joke in the 1980s that a cocaine smuggler who was caught could easily say they were working for the CIA selling cocaine for tactical reasons.


Podcasting can allow us to tell really great stories

Podcasting can be leveraged as a powerful free-range medium that can help us tell the greatest stories without the constraints of time or formats like movies. This means that anyone with a voice and a story has the opportunity to connect with an audience.


Scarface is one of the most iconic films of all time, but the happenings of 1980s Miami are far from fictional. The Mutiny Hotel was the epicenter of an era of drugs, insane wealth and violence, and a lot of it was caused by political and international forces that threw the city into a tailspin. It was so bad that people used to say Miami was a great place to visit because it was just next to America. The story of Roben’s book paints a powerful picture, and it’s an epic must-read that cannot be missed.


Guest Bio

Roben Farzad is the author of Hotel Scarface: Where Cocaine Cowboys Partied and Plotted to Control Miami. His family immigrated to the United States from Iran after he was born, and he grew up in Miami during those dark years. Go to hotelscarface.com to find out more.