Eugene Wei – Tech, Media, and Culture – [Invest Like the Best, EP.117]

My guest this week, Eugene Wei, has one of the most interesting backgrounds of anyone I’ve had on the podcast. He worked at Amazon early in its life, was the head of product at Hulu and Flipboard, and head of video and Oculus.

Our conversation is about the intersection of technology, media, culture. We discuss Eugene’s concept of invisible asymptotes: why growth slows down (for both companies and people) and how some can burst through. I’d list more of the topics, but we covered so much that you should just listen.

Finally, I’ll say that after spending a day with Eugene (including a wildly interesting dinner with Eugene, past podcast guest Sam Hinkie, and future podcast guest Kevin Kwok) that he is the type of uniquely interesting and kind person I am always searching for and one that I wish I could bet on somehow. If you know more people like this, reach out and suggest them for this podcast. Now, enjoy our conversation.

Show Notes

1:38 – (First Question) – Idea of cuisine and empire

            1:52 – Cuisine and Empire: Cooking in World History

4:20 – Key takeaways from the Defiant Ones Documentary

8;25 – Being convinced to buy a sports coat

11:10 – The concept of invisible asymptote

17:43 – How the medium shapes the messaging and the impact of cameras everywhere on society

            17:48– Invisible asymptotes

            17:56 –  Selfies as a second language

22:57 – Proof of work in building a social network

32:51 – Magnification of inequalities in digital networks

            34:01 – The Lessons of History

36:47 – His thoughts on the media industry’s impact on society as a whole

39:42 – His time at Hulu

44:48 – Places where video could replace text

47:30 – The need for media for any business looking to grow

            49:35 – Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

53:08 – Personal asymptotes

57:19 –  Habit building and goal setting

1:00:29 – Travel recommendations

1:03:24 – Movie recommendations

1:08:16 – Product recommendations and what makes them indispensable

            1:10:44 – Creation: Life and How to Make It

1:13:23 – Thoughts on the art of conversation

            1:14:59 – The Most Human Human: What Artificial Intelligence Teaches Us About Being Alive

1:18:30 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Eugene

Learn More

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