What's Your Problem?

What's Your Problem?

Every week on What’s Your Problem, entrepreneurs and engineers talk about the future they’re trying to build – and the problems they have to solve to get there. How do you take a drone delivery service you’ve built in Rwanda and make it work in North Carolina? How do you convince people to buy a house on the Internet? How do you sell thousands of dog ramps to weiner dogs all across America when a pandemic breaks the global supply chain? Hosted by former Planet Money host Jacob Goldstein, What’s Your Problem helps listeners understand the problems really smart people are trying to solve right now. iHeartMedia is the exclusive podcast partner of Pushkin Industries.

Episodes

June 23, 2022 29 min

Glenn Kelman is the CEO of the real estate company Redfin. His problem: With the housing market teetering, how do you sell houses online?

Redfin has a website where you can look at houses for sale, just like Zillow. But Redfin also employs real estate agents all over the country to help people buy and sell houses. Recently, Redfin has started to buy houses and flip them for a profit and that new business is risky.

"I'm worr...

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This bonus episode is from Hot Money, a new podcast from Pushkin and the Financial Times.

When Financial Times reporter Patricia Nilsson started digging into the porn industry, she made a shocking discovery: Nobody knew who controlled the biggest porn company in the world. Now, Nilsson and her editor, Alex Barker, have figured out who the guy was, and much more.

In this episode, the fourth in the series, Patricia and Alex wonder ho...

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June 2, 2022 26 min

Peter Beck is the founder and CEO of Rocket Lab. His problem: How do you turn sending stuff into outer space into something that seems as boring and predictable as mailing a package?

Later this month, one of the company's rockets will launch the NASA-funded Capstone mission to the moon. A mission to Venus is also in the works. And the company has already sent over 100 satellites into orbit.

It's a conversation about space, ...

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June 1, 2022 16 min

On this bonus episode of What’s Your Problem? Jacob Goldstein talks with Eddie Alterman, former editor of Car and Driver and host of the new podcast Car Show!

In this episode, Eddie investigates the Lunar Rover. Why did we send a car to the moon? How did we design something for an environment we knew nothing about? Also: A look at the new lunar rover engineers are working on now.

You can find more episodes of Car Show! with Eddie A...

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Sam Bankman-Fried is the founder and CEO of the crypto exchange FTX. His problem: How to spend billions of dollars to save humanity.

Sam is one of the most interesting people in crypto -- in large part because he doesn't think crypto is the most interesting thing in the world. He got into the business because he wanted to make as much money as possible in order to give almost all of it away.

He's now worth over $20 billion,...

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May 19, 2022 23 min

Katherine Sizov is the founder and CEO of Strella Biotech.

Her problem: Tons of food is wasted before it ever gets to the consumer.

Katherine started working on this problem in 2018, when she was a junior in college. Her idea: imitate the natural world and build a device that detects when fruit is ripening. It worked. Now some of the biggest apple and pear packers in America use her device.

Next up: Avocados.

If you’d like to keep ...

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May 12, 2022 24 min

Anna Katrina Shedletsky is co-founder and CEO of Instrumental. Her problem: How do you make electronics manufacturing more efficient and less wasteful? 

Anna started her career as a design engineer at Apple. It was her job to visit the factory when a new device was about to go into production and try to figure out all of the potential manufacturing problems that might arise.

She realized this was an almost impossible task that reli...

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May 10, 2022 23 min

Today we're sharing a preview from another podcast we love, Slate Money. Every week, Felix Salmon of Axios is joined by Emily Peck, also of Axios, and Slate Pay Dirt columnist Elizabeth Spiers to chat about the latest in business and finance news.

In this episode, Felix and Emily sit down with Alexandra Roberts, professor at the University of New Hampshire Franklin Peirce School of Law. They talk about everything trademarks, fr...

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May 5, 2022 16 min

Reshma Shetty is co-founder and chief operations officer of Ginkgo Bioworks. Her problem: How do you turn cutting-edge science into a sustainable business?

Ginkgo is a synthetic biology company. The idea is to make industrial products -- fragrances, or food, or whatever -- by genetically engineering DNA, sticking it into a yeast or bacteria, and getting the yeast or bacteria to produce the thing you want.

Creating a profitable synt...

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April 28, 2022 18 min

Will Marshall is the co-founder and CEO of Planet, a private company with a fleet of tiny satellites that takes photos of the entire Earth every day. Will’s problem: How do you turn all those images into useful data?

In today’s episode we talk about shooting smartphones into space, turning a million-dollar antenna into a thousand-dollar paperclip, and how to count every tree in the Amazon.

If you’d like to keep up with the most rec...

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April 20, 2022 17 min

Joy and Raft Hollingsworth run The Hollingsworth Cannabis Company. Their problem: How do you help more Black people get into the legal weed industry?


They faced this problem from the very beginning as they tried to start a marijuana farm from scratch in rural Washington. The Hollingsworths lived their entire lives in downtown Seattle and didn’t know anything about farming.


It's a story that includes a paper bag full of cash, dinn...

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Noubar Afeyan is the co-founder of Moderna and the founder of Flagship Pioneering. His problem: How do you turn the chaotic hero's journey of entrepreneurship into a repeatable, systematic process?


Noubar created Flagship Pioneering to solve the problems he saw with entrepreneurship. Flagship's mission: To create new companies in a systematic, repeatable way. On today's show, Noubar explains how that system led to the ...

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April 7, 2022 19 min

Rafael Ilishayev is the co-founder of the instant delivery company Gopuff. His problem: How do you deliver everything from bananas to hot coffee in around 30 minutes -- and still make a profit?


On today's show, Jacob Goldstein surprises Rafael with a live Gopuff order. And they discuss the problems the company is working on in real time as they wait to see if the order will arrive on time and in good shape.


If you’d like to keep ...

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March 31, 2022 19 min

Luis von Ahn is the founder and CEO of the language app DuoLingo. His problem: How do you teach people to speak a language -- really speak it -- using only an iPhone app?


On the surface, DuoLingo looks warm and fuzzy. Underneath the hood, it's a serious tech company built on artificial intelligence. But the best machine learning in the world still isn't good enough to really teach people how to fluently speak in a new langua...

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March 24, 2022 19 min

Aicha Evans is the CEO of Zoox. Her problem: Designing a car that knows what to do when it pulls up to a 4-way stop.


AI is transforming the way cars work. But AI still struggles with predicting the behavior of human drivers. To build a car that can truly drive itself, Aicha and the rest of the industry will have to solve this problem. How do you teach self-driving cars to understand people?


If you’d like to keep up with the most rece...

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March 17, 2022 21 min

Keenan Wyrobek is the co-founder of Zipline. His problem: How do you fill the skies with delivery drones and keep them from crashing into each other?


Zipline’s drones already make hundreds of deliveries a day in Ghana and Rwanda. But to expand to the U.S. he has to solve a fundamental problem. Americans’ love of freedom and the open skies makes it hard to build a drone business here.


If you’d like to keep up with the most recent news...

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March 17, 2022 19 min

Ramon van Meer is the CEO of Alpha Paw. His problem: How do you grow a niche business (ramps for weiner dogs!) when a pandemic blows up your supply chain and Apple ruins your targeted ads?


Ramon has sold over $30 million worth of dog ramps. That’s a lot of dog ramps. But in order to do so he has to deal with some of the biggest companies on earth. On today’s show, we talk about how he has built his company on top of the tech giants ...

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February 7, 2022 1 min

Former Planet Money host Jacob Goldstein talks to entrepreneurs and engineers about how they'll change the world -- once they solve a few problems. Coming March 17th.

Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

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