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Subversion with 1517

Subversion with 1517

By 1517 Fund
A podcast by 1517 Fund exploring subversive intellectuals, entrepreneurs, and thinkers across society.
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031. 1517 at Home: Ryan Kulp on Fitness for Hackers, Mindset, and Accountability

Subversion with 1517

033. $50K Investments in Ideas/R&D: Danielle Talks Invisible College
The Invisible College is an idea/R&D stage investment program that 1517 is launching this summer and fall to support founders who would rather build than go to school in the fall. To be considered for the Invisible College, you must: * Be in North America * Have at least 1 member of your team with no undergraduate degree * Plan on working full-time on your company Learn more at Apply at
June 23, 2020
032. 1517 at Home: Alex Gladstein on Why Bitcoin Matters for Human Rights.
Alex Gladstein joins 1517 Fund for a 1517 at Home conversation about how Bitcoin protects human rights, its applications around the world, and the coming death of cash that totalitarian and authoritarian regimes world over want to accelerate.  Alex is the Chief Strategy Officer of the Human Rights Foundation and the Oslo Freedom Forum and the co-author of The Little Bitcoin Book.  To request an invite to a future 1517 at Home conversation, visit
June 19, 2020
031. 1517 at Home: Ryan Kulp on Fitness for Hackers, Mindset, and Accountability
Ryan Kulp is a self-taught developer, marketer, musician, founder of Fomo and Fork Equity, and the author of Fitness for Hackers. He joins a live audience of the 1517 Community to discuss how the hacker mindset can be applied to fitness, nutrition, and how he stays accountable to constant learning in his personal development.  Mentioned during the conversation: Nassim Nicholas Taleb Indistractible by Nir Eyal Switch by Chip and Dan Heath Nick Winter Ryan's Twitter Ryan's personal website Fitness for Hackers If you would like to join as the live audience during a future 1517 At Home, please request an invite to a future session here.
May 29, 2020
030. 1517 at Home: Samo Burja on Why Civilizations Collapse
There are at least 12 identifiable Dark Ages in the recorded history of human civilization. Although we are all fascinated with the idea of the collapse of civilization, have we considered why civilizations actually collapse? Join Samo Burja, founder of Bismarck Analytics and research fellow at LongNow, to explore the causes behind civilizational collapse and how people like yourself can stay ahead of the curve. You can follow Samo on twitter @samoburja. Suggested readings from Samo: “Annoyance or Armageddon?” “Intellectual Dark Matter” “On the Loss and Preservation of Knowledge” “Institutional Failure as Surprise” Suggested Book: 1777 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed
May 21, 2020
029. 1517 at Home: Byrne Hobart on the Mimetic Theory of Bubbles
Why do economic bubbles happen? Historically, theorists have proposed competing theories like the efficient market hypothesis, the easy money theory, and a “heroes and villains” theory. In this workshop and roundtable discussion we explored the mimetic desire theory of bubbles. Based on Rene Girard’s theory of mimetic desire, the mimetic theory of bubbles states that bubbles arise not from copying behavior, but from copying desire. Byrne Hobart (@byrnehobart)is a finance and technology analyst and writer. His career spans working as an investment analyst at large-scale hedge funds and as a research provider to digital marketing, strategy, and business development at media conglomerates and startups. His writing and research interests cover economic history, technology trends, the startup industry, and applied finance. He has been cited and quoted across business and technology publications like Stratechery, Techcrunch, NPR, and the New York Times. His newsletter is at  This is part of the 1517 At Home series of live workshops. You can request an invite at
May 13, 2020
028. Updates! New Podcast, New Channels, New Content Coming Here
We give some updates for our subscribers on our new podcast, Founders First, what we'll be doing on this podcast soon, and some new distribution channels we have. 
May 12, 2020
027. Physics for Poets: Frederick Turner on Healing the Divide Between Science and the Arts
Frederick Turner is a poet, philosopher and the Founders Professor at the University of Texas at Dallas. He has authored more than two dozen poetry books and philosophical treatises. With Genesis and Apocalypse, he revived the epic poem by turning to science fiction and in his research, he has explored the nature of time, cosmology, evolution, and self-organizing complex systems. He joins Subversion to discuss how to heal the divide between science and the arts through metaphor, poetry, and understanding the philosophical foundations of this divide.
April 24, 2019
026. Mark Lutter on How and Why to Invent Your Own Charter Cities
Mark Lutter is the founder and executive director of the Center for Innovative Governance, where he studies, advocates for, and helps build charter cities across the globe. He joins Michael Gibson to discuss what charter cities are, why you would want to start one, how to start one, and what the future of charter cities looks like. Visit for show notes and additional info on this month's episode.
March 27, 2019
025. Devon Zuegel on NIMBYism, YIMBYism, and the Life of Great Cities
Devon Zuegel (@devonzuegel) joins Michael Gibson (@WilliamBlake) to discuss urbanism, the life and death of great cities, NIMBYism vs. YIMBYism, and why cities like San Francisco make it hard to build new housing.
February 20, 2019
024. Jason Brennan on When You Can Violently Resist the Government
Jason Brennan joins Michael and Zak for the 23rd installment of Subversion. He is the author of When All Else Fails: The Ethics of Resistance to State Injustice and has a radical conclusion from common-sense principles: The conditions under which you can defend yourself from state actors are exactly the same as the conditions under which you can defend yourself from private actors. In other words: "Self-defense is the same for everybody."
January 18, 2019
023. Balaji Srinivasan on Voice, Exit, and Earning Money Pseudonymously
Balaji Srinivasan is the CTO of Coinbase and the cofounder of (formerly He joined the 1517 Fund Assembly in October, 2017 to make the case for escaping the ire of mobs by earning money pseudonymously and living in low cost-of-living regions. You can find a video of his talk on YouTube under "Balaji Srinivasan at the 1517 Assembly."
October 05, 2018
022. Rene Girard, Mimetic Theory, and Christianity with David Gornoski
David Gornoski is a scholar of Rene Girard and a talk radio host in the Orlando, Florida area. He joins Subversion to discuss what founders and those interested in technology can learn from Rene Girard and Christianity. “By using media to expose unjust persecution of scapegoats, we can build energy to look for alternative solutions to sacrifice. And those alternative solutions from sacrifice are actually what make science progress.” Resources mentioned: David's YouTube Channel: The Key to Move from Imitation to Differentiation:
September 30, 2018
021. Thiel Fellow Josh Sakhai on Bootstrapping, Raising VC Pre-Launch, and the Value of Media
Thiel Fellow Josh Sakhai on Funding Pre-Product, Startup Media, and Disappearing Tattoos Josh Sakhai is the cofounder and CEO of Ephemeral Tattoos and a 2018 Thiel Fellow. He joins Subversion to discuss how he’s raised millions of dollars before taking his product to market. We also discuss how to fund your company without giving up equity. Some key takeaways: Fundraising is always hard. Exhaust as many resources for free money as you can. Even consider universities that you don’t go to. Talk to mentors and friends. Warm intros will be a lot more powerful than cold outreach. Stay SUPER-organized. When did you first talk to the investor? Who introduced you? How warm are they? Do you need to follow up with them? When was the last time you spoke? Media is less important than you think. It will mostly just make you feel bad about yourself. Recommended resources: Venture Deals, by Brad Field and Jason Mendelson Blogs: Alex Dispol - Techstars NYC - Mark Suster - Upfront Ventures -
September 20, 2018
020. The Truth About Angel Investors with Greg Schroy
Greg Schroy is an investor with Locke Mountain Ventures and the cofounder of nTopology, a 1517 Fund portfolio company. He joins the podcast to talk about what it's like being an angel investor and how you, as a founder, can do your due diligence on investors.
September 08, 2018
019. Thiel Fellow Micah Green on Building a Robotics Company and Moving To Austin
Micah Green is a Thiel Fellow and the founder, CEO, and president of Maidbot. He joins Subversion to talk about what it's like founding a hardware company, selling to Fortune 500 companies, and moving his team to Austin, TX in order to grow the company.
August 31, 2018
018. Marie Schneegans on Starting a Company in Europe and Doing Business Abroad
Marie Schneegans is the founder and CEO of Never Eat Alone (, an app that helps employees meet each other at major companies. She runs her company from Paris, France. Marie joins Subversion to talk about what it's like to start a company in a country typically not known for its startup culture, and how her company does business in Europe and the United States simultaneously.
August 24, 2018
017. Joe Thomas of Loom on Building a Consumer Product, Pivoting, Launching on ProductHunt
Joe Thomas, CEO and co-founder of Loom ( joins Subversion to talk about building a consumer-facing product, pivoting from a totally different kind of product, and how Loom got their first traction by launching on Product Hunt.
August 17, 2018
016. How to Find Out What People Will Pay For with Shriya Nevatia
Shriya Nevatia joins Subversion with 1517 to discuss how startups and founders can do customer discovery research and UX research. Shriya studied Computer Science at Tufts University and got into UX Design through Human Factors Engineering, the General Assembly UX Design course, and the social entrepreneurship program Project Breaker. She did UX Research at the Tufts Center for Engineering Education and was a UX Intern at Pegasystems. She was the first employee at TenXList, later called Assembled, where she led UX Design for 4 product launches. Over the past 3 years, she's taught a 1-hour "Intro to UX Design" workshop at 10 hackathons for high school and college students.
August 04, 2018
015. Tam Pham on How to Land Your Dream Internship & Network (Even If You Aren't Qualified)
Tam Pham is the author of two books and a 1517 Community member. He joins Subversion with 1517 to discuss how a young person, even a dropout with no formal credentials, can land their dream internship, can build an influential network, and can overcome a victim mentality.
July 21, 2018
014. Nick Arnett on Starting in a Technical Industry With Little Expertise
Nick Arnett, 1517 Fund's Community Partner, joins for Part II of his conversation on getting taken seriously as a young person, starting a highly technical nonprofit without much technical experience, and how to get started outside of the Bay Area.
July 13, 2018
013. Thiel Fellow Tom Currier on the Future of Regional Transit
Tom Currier is the cofounder and CEO of Cabin, a solution to long travel times between regional cities. Tom joins the podcast to discuss why American cities don't have great regional transit options and how Cabin is providing a solution.
July 08, 2018
012. Nick Arnett on Being Taken Seriously as a Young Person & Starting Up in the Midwest
Nick Arnett is the Community Manager for 1517 Fund and a college opt-out. Nick tells his story of how he got started as a teenager and built an unconventional career. He tells how he got taken seriously as a young person and how to get started when you work in a place like Fort Wayne, Indiana -- definitely not San Francisco or New York City.
June 29, 2018
011. Shastri Mahadeo on Founding a Tech Company with Zero Tech Experience
Shastri Mahadeo is the cofounder and CEO of Union Crate, a tech company that provides analytics for consumer goods companies. Shastri doesn't have your typical tech founder background, though. He never went to college, started working at 14, became a car technician, owned a nightclub and a restaurant, bribed dirty cops, and started a tea company -- all before starting Union Crate. Shastri joins us to discuss how he started Union Crate from a background that was decidedly non-technical, non-startupy, and non-prestigious.
June 22, 2018
010. Max Lock on the Perks of Being a Solo Founder
Max Lock is the founder and president of Fleet, in Portland, OR. He's a solo founder and makes the case in this conversation that maybe that's the best way to start a company. Max talks about how he makes decisions as a solo founder and some of the advantages - and disadvantages - of going at it alone.
June 13, 2018
009. Janett Liriano on How to Combat Loneliness As a Founder or Dropout
Loomia CEO Janett Liriano joins the podcast to discuss how to think about loneliness as a dropout or founder, how to build a better relationship with yourself, and how to make friends.
May 25, 2018
008. BONUS. Happy Graduation! How to Make Sense of the Real World
Once you get out of school and into the real world, you'll have to learn a lot of skills that school conditioned out of you, like making friends (especially if you work alone) and figuring out how to grow without it being assigned to you. This special bonus episode features 1517 Fund cofounder Michael Gibson.
May 22, 2018
007. Thiel Fellow Dylan Field on Dropping Out, Hiring, and Finding a Cofounder
2012 Thiel Fellow and Figma cofounder Dylan Field joins Michael to discuss how to find a cofounder, dropping out, and how to make the first important hires in a company.
May 17, 2018
006. Double Shot: How Should You Contact Investors You Don't Know?
How should you go about emailing or reaching out to early stage investors you've never met? Danielle Strachman sits down to discuss the do's and don'ts of reaching out to investors.
May 09, 2018
005. Double Shot: How Can You Find Angel Investors, and What Should You Look For?
What should you look for in angel investors and how should you find them? In this week's episode of Doubleshot, Danielle Strachman discusses how angel investors are different than venture capitalists and what they might look for that would be different than what venture capitalists might look for.
April 30, 2018
004. Double Shot: What Do Early Stage Investors Look For?
What do early stage investors look for in investments? In this week's installment of Subversion: Double Shot, Michael Gibson discusses how early stage investors think about product, team, and market. For a detailed explanation, check out the Anti-Pitch Playbook: Get in touch with us at
April 18, 2018
003. Double Shot: How Should You Interact With Your Board?
How should you treat your board and interact with them? Is your board there to give you advice? How should you request advice from your board members? In this episode of Subversion: Double Shot, Danielle discusses how successful startup founders interact with their boards and how working with your board is a great opportunity to step up as a leader.
April 10, 2018
002. Double Shot: How Should You Split Equity and Roles?
Introducing Double Shot: short conversations about how to start and run your own venture-backed startup. In this conversation, 1517 Fund cofounder Michael Gibson discusses how to split up equity between team members and how to determine roles in the early stages of the company. We also cover major mistakes young founders often make and how to avoid them. Subversion and Double Shot are productions of 1517 Fund. 1517 Fund supports companies led by young founders with an emphasis on dropouts, opt-outs, and those who have never been to school. To learn more about working with us, visit
April 02, 2018
001. The Rational Irrationality of the Past
Looking back at the past and making sense of practices from primitive societies is no simple task. It’s easy to see the weird, the odd, and the seemingly barbaric as relics of a time of lesser-rationality and to dismiss them as unnecessary or backwards. Yet cross-cultural interventions by societies seemingly more advanced than others often result in chaos, bloodshed, and a price paid for the hubris of the so-called civilized. What is there for modern people to learn from dead European explorers, human sacrifice, trial by ordeal, and cross-cultural experiments in fairness? For this inaugural episode, we speak with Professors Peter Leeson and Joe Henrich, two experts at making sense of the seemingly senseless. Peter Leeson is an economist at George Mason University and the author of several books on economic explanations of weird, odd, or unusual practices like piracy and human sacrifice. His most recent book, WTF?!: An Economic Tour of the Weird, takes a look at rational agent explanations for trial by ordeal, “preowned wife sales,” and other weird cultural practices. Joe Henrich brings a slightly different perspective to the table. He is an evolutionary biologist at Harvard University who looks at how different cultural practices lend themselves to human evolution and social cooperation. His most recent book, The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter, breaks down how cultural practices work as a “collective brain” to help ensure the success of a society or subculture.
January 22, 2018