Cover art for podcast North Star Podcast

North Star Podcast

90 EpisodesProduced by David PerellWebsite

A deep dive into the stories, habits, ideas, strategies and methods that drive fulfilled people and create enormous success for them. The guests are diverse, but they share profound similarities. They’re guided by purpose, live with intense joy, learn passionately, and see the world with a unique le… read more

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Rob Henderson: An Internet Academic

May 24th, 2021


Rob Henderson is one of my favorite up-and-coming writers. I like him because he's one of those people who doesn't fit into a category. He's a Ph.D. …

Chrisman Frank and Ana Lorena Fabrega: How Childhood Education Will Change

May 17th, 2021


This week, I have two guests. Both are affiliated with Synthesis, a new kind of online school where kids learn through games and simulations. One is …

Ash Fontana: Building Artificial Intelligence

May 7th, 2021


Ash Fontana is an entrepreneur, investor, and author. As an entrepreneur, he was only of the early employees at an online investing platform called AngelList. From there, he became the Managing Director at Zetta, the …

Li Jin: Creating the Creator Economy

February 16th, 2021


My guest today is Li Jin, the founder and managing partner at an early-stage venture capital firm called Atelier.

She's known for her extensive writings about the Passion Economy.

Her essays explore how people can make …

Zena Hitz: Liberal Arts Thinking

February 1st, 2021


My guest today is Zena Hitz, a tutor at St John’s and the author of an excellent book called Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life. Her book explores the meaning and the value of learning for its …

Tiago Forte and Will Mannon: Building Cohort-Based Courses

January 25th, 2021


I have two guests today: Tiago Forte and Will Mannon.

Tiago is my business partner and the creator of an online course called Building a Second Brain. The two of us record a podcast like this every year to reflect on …

Gagan Biyani: Building Silicon Valley Startups

January 25th, 2021


My guest today is Gagan Biyani, the current CEO of an education startup (where I’m both an investor and an advisor) that helps teachers run Cohort-Based Courses on the Internet and has students from around the world. …

Trevor Bauer: Playing Professional Baseball

December 21st, 2020


My guest today is Trevor Bauer, who is arguably the very best pitcher in Major League Baseball. In 2020, he had the lowest Earned Run Average of any pitcher and won the National League Cy Young Award, which goes to the …

Nik Sharma: Building DTC Companies

November 16th, 2020


My guest today is Nik Sharma, the founder of Sharma Brands and an advisor to companies like Judy and Cha Cha Matcha. Nik is one of my very best friends and my go-to person for all things commerce. Since we first met, …

Kevin Kelly: Seeing the Future

November 9th, 2020


My guest today is Kevin Kelly, who co-founded Wired Magazine in 1993 and served as its Executive Editor for the first seven years. As one of the most important futurists of our generation, he's published a number of …

Will Ahmed: Founding WHOOP and the Future of Wearables

November 2nd, 2020


Will Ahmed is the Founder and CEO of WHOOP, which has developed next-generation wearable technology for optimizing human performance and health. I …

Seth Godin: Writing Every Day

October 26th, 2020


My guest today is Seth Godin, the author of nineteen international bestsellers that have been translated into more than 35 languages. My all-time …

David Nemetz: Founding Bleacher Report

October 19th, 2020


My guest today is Dave Nemetz, the Founder of Bleacher Report, which was one of my favorite media companies as a kid. During his time there, Dave oversaw video, business development, and business operations. He helped …

Rabbi David Wolpe: Jewish Wisdom

October 12th, 2020


Newsweek Magazine once called Rabbi Wolpe the most influential rabbi in America. He is the Senior Rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and he's the …

Joe Henrich: What Makes Society Smart?

October 5th, 2020


My guest today is Joseph Henrich, a professor at Harvard and an expert on the evolution of human cooperation and culture. I am a big fan of his book, …

Grant Sanderson: Math For The Masses

September 28th, 2020


My guest today is Grant Sanderson, the man behind one of the world's largest math-focused YouTube channels: 3blue1brown. He has more than 3 million subscribers and his videos have been watched more than 150 million …

Eric Jorgenson: Lessons from Naval Ravikant

September 14th, 2020


My guest today is Eric Jorgenson, a Product Strategist at Zaarly and the author of the Almanack of Naval Ravikant: a guide to wealth and happiness. …

Morgan Housel: Writing for the Internet

September 7th, 2020


Morgan Housel is a partner at The Collaborative Fund and a former columnist at The Motley Fool and The Wall Street Journal. He's the author of The …

Claire Lehmann: Building an Internet Media Company

August 31st, 2020


My guest today is Claire Lehmann, the founder and editor-in-chief of Quillette, a for-profit online magazine that publishes essays on topics like …

Balaji Srinivasan: Living in the Future

August 24th, 2020


My guest today is Balaji Srinivasan, an angel investor and entrepreneur. When it comes to the future, he's the single most creative person I know …

Nadia Eghbal: Open-Source Software

August 17th, 2020


My guest today is Nadia Eghbal, an independent researcher and the author of Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software. She currently works on the writer experience team at Substack. She did a …

Matthew Kobach: Social Media Brands

August 10th, 2020


My guest today is Matthew Kobach, the Director of Content Marketing at Fast and the former Manager of Digital and Social Media at the New York Stock Exchange. Matthew and I met on Twitter, where he shares actionable …

David Brittain: Designing iPad Apps

August 3rd, 2020


David Brittain is the CEO of Concepts, my favorite iPad app. It's marketed as a "flexible sketching" app and geared towards people in the early stages of the thinking process. I use it to visualize my ideas, many of …

Tyler Cowen: Production Function

July 20th, 2020



Tyler Cowen is an economics professor at George Mason University. He runs the Mercatus Center, which bridges the gap between academic ideas and real-world problems. He’s published a new post every day for the past 17 …

Patrick McKenzie: Internet Famous

July 6th, 2020


My guest today is marketer and software engineer Patrick McKenzie, who writes mostly about software-as-a-service businesses. He currently works for Stripe as a writer and an overall software business expert. I remember …

Will Mannon: Running an Online Course

June 26th, 2020


My guest today is Will Mannon, the student manager for my online writing school called Write of Passage. Will oversees all aspects of the student …

Sara Dietschy: From YouTube to Business

June 15th, 2020


My guest today is Sara Dietschy, a YouTuber with more than 620,000 YouTube subscribers. This is the fourth interview I’ve recorded with her. It’s her second appearance on the North Star Podcast, and I’ve been …

Austin Rief & Alex Lieberman: Morning Brew’s Secret Sauce

June 8th, 2020


I have two guests this week: Austin Rief and Alex Lieberman, the founders of Morning Brew. Their business-focused daily email newsletter now has more than 2 million readers. These two gentlemen started the company in …

Tiago Forte: What's Next in Education

June 1st, 2020


My guest today is Tiago Forte. He runs an online course called Building a Second Brain, which I took in August of 2017. I went from being overwhelmed …

Michael Mayer: Building the Next Amazon

May 27th, 2020


My guest today is Michael Mayer, the co-founder and CEO of Bottomless.

This episode explores business from a variety of angles. Michael talks about …

Matt Cooper: Online Education Platforms

May 18th, 2020


My guest today is Matt Cooper, the CEO of Skillshare — a subscription-based online learning platform where people can take classes on-demand. The main categories are creative arts, design, entrepreneurship, lifestyle, …

Jennifer Morrison: Being a Hollywood Actress

May 11th, 2020


My guest today is Hollywood actress, producer and director Jennifer Morrison. She’s known for her roles as Dr. Allison Cameron in the medical-drama …

Alex Danco: Funding the Future

May 4th, 2020


Today’s guest is Alex Danco, one of my favorite writers in the world. Back when I was in college and before I started writing, Alex was one of the …

Ryan Singer: Design and Consciousness

April 27th, 2020


My guest today is Ryan Singer, the head of Project Strategy at Basecamp. Ryan recently published a book called Shape Up where he describes his process for planning, designing, and executing projects at Basecamp.

In this …

Andy Matuschak: Designing Education

April 7th, 2020


My guest today is software engineer, designer, and researcher Andy Matuschak. He’s focused on Tools for Thought — which is a fancy way of saying that …

Chris Zarou: The Top of Hip-Hop

February 2nd, 2020


My guest today is Chris Zarou, the CEO of Visionary Music Group and the behind-the-scenes mastermind behind the success of Logic and Jon Bellion. …

Robert Cottrell: The Secrets of Reading

January 17th, 2020


My guest today is Robert Cottrell, the founder of The Browser, which has become my go-to source for articles. Here’s how it works. Every day, he recommends five articles and includes a short summary for each one. …

Andy McCune: How Products Go Viral

December 27th, 2019


My guest today is Andy McCune, an entrepreneur and creative who co-founded Unfold, a mobile design tool kit for storytellers that was acquired by …

Samo Burja: The Two Writing Cultures

December 13th, 2019


My guest today is Samo Burja, the founder of Bismarck Analysis, a firm that analyzes institutions, governments, and companies for high net worth individuals. Samo is known for an idea called Great Founder Theory, and …

Tiago Forte: The Future of Education

November 1st, 2019


My guest today is Tiago Forte, who runs an online course called Building a Second Brain.   This episode is different than most of my podcasts. It’s less of an interview and more of a conversation.   Tiago and I have …

Ryan Holiday: Timeless Lessons From History

October 21st, 2019


My guest today is Ryan Holiday.

He’s a writer, media strategist, and the author of ten books. He dropped out of college at 19 years old to apprentice …

Cameron Porter: Invention On-Demand

October 7th, 2019


My guest today is Cameron Porter, an investor and former professional soccer player. 

We begin the conversation talking about AlleyCorp, an investment firm in New York where Cameron is responsible for new company …

Emmett Shine: The Eyes of an Artist

September 9th, 2019


Emmett pioneered the Direct-to-Consumer aesthetic. The bright colors, the flat design, and the sans serif fonts are a direct result of his work. At …

Adam Robinson: Searching for Secrets

September 2nd, 2019


In December, I went to a live taping of the Tim Ferriss Podcast at the famous 92nd Street Y in New York City. There was a surprise guest at the event named Adam Robinson, and after hearing him speak, I tapped my friend …

Renée DiResta: Information Warfare

August 19th, 2019


My guest today is Renée DiResta, who spends her time investigating the spread of malign narratives across social networks. She has advised Congress, …

Tren Griffin: The Love of Learning

July 29th, 2019


My guest today is Tren Griffin, a Senior Director at Microsoft and the man behind an excellent blog called 25IQ. Tren is one of the most prolific …

Mason Hartman: Building a Creative Society

July 8th, 2019


My guest today is Mason Hartman. For years, I’ve admired Mason's perspectives on the culture, childhood, and the education system. I teach an online …

Jeff Morris Jr.: Building a flexible mindset

July 1st, 2019


My guest today is Jeff Morris Jr., the Director of Revenue at Tinder. We begin this episode talking about the future of education. Jeff recently completed an MBA at UCLA and wrote his thesis on the future of Lambda …

Steve Cheney: The Next Internet

June 24th, 2019


My guest today is Steve Cheney, the cofounder of Estimote. Before founding Estimote, Steve was the head of business and platform at GroupMe, which was acquired by Skype. I’ve been reading Steve's writing for more than …

Matt Mullenweg: Operating System for the Open Web

June 3rd, 2019


My guest today is Matt Mullenweg, the founder and CEO of Automattic. Automattic is known for Wordpress, which powers a third of the internet. Matt …

Jason Zweig: Saving Investors from themselves

May 20th, 2019


My guest today is Jason Zweig, a personal finance columnist for The Wall Street Journal. He's also the author of the revised edition of Benjamin …

Austin Rief: The Secrets of Email Marketing

May 13th, 2019


My guest today is Austin Rief, the Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Morning Brew, a daily email newsletter with the latest news from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. Austin started the company when back when he …

Jason Fried: Non-Serial Entrepreneur

April 22nd, 2019


My guest today is Jason Fried, the Co-Founder and President of Basecamp, a Chicago based company that builds web based productivity tools. Jason is …

Jason Stein: Sports meets Media

April 9th, 2019


My guest today is Jason Stein, a general partner at Steins, an investment management business and holding company that provides capital and strategic …

Erika Nardini: Authenticity, Media, and Memes

March 25th, 2019


My guest today is Erika Nardini, the CEO of Barstool Sports. Barstool was started by Dave Portnoy in 2004. And Erica first learned about the company …

Nick Kokonas: Tock, Truffles, and Thaler

March 18th, 2019


My guest today is Nick Kokonas, the Co-founder of The Alinea Group of restaurants. His restaurant Alinea has been named the best restaurant in America and also the best restaurant in the World. Nick is also the …

Andrew D'Souza: Clearbanc, Capital, and Canada

February 25th, 2019


My guest this week is Andrew D'Souza, the Co-founder and CEO of Clearbanc, a fundraising alternative to traditional venture capital. The company is based in Toronto and helps businesses fuel their marketing spend – …

Web Smith: The Direct-To-Consumer Craze

February 11th, 2019


My guest today is Web Smith, the founder of 2PM, Inc. a curated, subscription-based media company with quick commentary on brands, data, and eCommerce. He invests in and advises for digitally native vertical brands, and …

Tal Shachar: Disney, Dreams, and Romantic Comedies

January 21st, 2019


My guest today is Tal Shachar, the Chief Digital Offer of Immortals, a global eSports organization in Los Angeles where he leads consumer-facing operations. At Immortals, Tal is working to build the most engaged and …

Keith Rabois: Accumulating Advantages

January 14th, 2019


My guest today is Keith Rabois, the Managing Director at Khosla Ventures. At Khosla, Keith focuses on the consumer internet, education, enterprise, financial services, and digital health.    Keith has had a front-seat …

Gillian Morris: Swimming Across Guantanamo

January 7th, 2019


Gillian Morris is the founder and CEO of Hitlist, an app that alerts you when there are cheap flights for your dream trips. Fast Company named Hitlist one of the Best Apps of 2017 and the app has been featured as a …

Michael Shellenberger: Myths, Media and Nuclear Energy

December 17th, 2018

My guest today is Michael Shellenberger, the Founder and President of Environmental Progress. Michael is one of the world’s leading pro-nuclear environmentalists. He’s been an environmental and social justice advocate …

Samo Burja: Great Founder Theory

December 10th, 2018


Introduction: My guest today is Samo Burja, the founder of Bismarck Analysis, a firm that analyzes institutions, governments, and companies for high net worth individuals. There’s never been an immortal human society …

Patri Friedman: Government in the Information Age

December 3rd, 2018


My guest toady is Patri Friedman, a political theorist whose on a mission to increase competition in government. In 2008, Patri founded the …

James Clear: Building Better Habits

November 5th, 2018

Listen Here: iTunes | Overcast

My guest today is James Clear, a writer focused on how we can create better habits, make better decisions, and live better lives. He recently published a new book called Atomic Habits and …

Steve Schlafman: Meaning and Mindfulness

October 17th, 2018

Listen Here: iTunes | Overcast

My guest today is Steve Schlafman, a venture capitalist, leadership coach and partner at Primary VC. This episode is a wide-ranging, emotional journey through the nooks and crannies of …

Daniel Gross: Dreams and Determination

October 10th, 2018

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Subscribe to my Monday Musings Newsletter to Keep Up with the Podcast

My guest today is Daniel Gross, a partner at Y Combinator, the world’s best startup studio. Daniel focuses on …

Arianna Simpson: Bitcoin, Books and Burning Man

October 5th, 2018

Listen Here: iTunes | Overcast

My guest today is Arianna Simpson, the Managing Director at a cryptocurrency hedge fund called Autonomous Partners.

Arianna’s background is fascinating. She grew up in Italy and spent time …

Devon Zuegel: Cities as a Superpower

August 18th, 2018

Listen Here: iTunes | Overcast | PlayerFM

Keep Up with the North Star Podcast Here

My guest today is Devon Zuegel, a writer of code and writer of words who spends her time unlocking human potential through incentive …

Michael Nielsen: Tools for Thought

July 9th, 2018

Listen Here: iTunes | Overcast | PlayerFM Keep up with the North Star Podcast.

My guest today is Michael Nielsen a scientist, writer and computer programmer who works as a research fellow at Y Combinator Research. …

Kevin Kwok: How Systems Work

July 1st, 2018

Listen Here: iTunes | Overcast | Click Here to Keep Up with the North Star Podcast

Our guest this week is Kevin Kwok and this episode is a special treat. Kevin was an investor at Greylock Partners, where he mainly …

Sara Dietschy: The Life of a YouTuber

June 7th, 2018

Listen Here: iTunes | Overcast Keep Up with the North Star Podcast Introduction

My guest today is Sara Dietschy, a YouTuber and content creator based in New York City. 

With more than 300,000 subscribers, Sara’s …

Paul Cooper: The Timeless Allure of Ruins

June 4th, 2018


My guest today is Paul Cooper, who spends his days exploring ancient and modern ruins. 

I’m going to begin this …

Kyle Chayka: Musings on Minimalism

May 3rd, 2018

Listen Here: iTunes | Overcast | PlayerFM Keep Up with the North Star Podcast Summary

Today’s guest is Kyle Chayka, a Brooklyn based writer who has been published in New York Times, Verge, Business Week and more. His …

Matt Levine: Money Stuff

February 1st, 2018


Today’s guest is Matt Levine, a columnist at Bloomberg covering finance, Wall Street and the broader business world. …

Tyler Cowen: Two Blundering Fools

January 25th, 2018

Listen Here: iTunes | Overcast

Subscribe to my Monday Musings Newsletter to Keep Up with the Podcast

Tyler Cowen is an economics professor at George Mason University. He runs the Mercatus Center, which bridges the gap …

Geoff Manaugh: Burglars, Buildings and Blueprints

January 25th, 2018


Today’s guest is Geoff Manaugh, who explores the intersection of architecture, technology, and landscapes. As a …

Eugene Wei: Compress to Impress

January 8th, 2018

Listen Here: iTunes | Overcast

Today’s guest is Eugene Wei, who's spent his career working at some of the world’s best technology companies …

Scott Belsky: Creativity Begins at the Edge of Reason

December 13th, 2017


“The holy grail of design is small things that make a big difference.” 

Scott Belsky helps creative people, teams, and …

Douglas Abrams: Journey to Joy

October 16th, 2017


“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. I felt fear more times than I can …

Albert Wenger: World After Capital

October 7th, 2017

Listen Here: iTunes | Overcast

Albert Wenger is a partner at Union Square Ventures. Before joining USV, Albert was the president of through the company’s sale to Yahoo and an angel investor in Etsy and …

Ari Paul: Betting on Crypto

September 28th, 2017


Ari Paul is the co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of BlockTower Capital. He was previously a portfolio manager …

Heather Harnett: Be Human

September 19th, 2017


Heather Hartnett is the CEO and founding partner of Human Ventures. She leads the Human Ventures team and advises …

Josh Wolfe: The Magic of Science

September 15th, 2017

Listen Here: Overcast | iTunes

Josh Wolfe is the co-founder and managing partner at Lux Capital, which invests in the intersection of science and …

Shane Parrish: Brain Food

August 30th, 2017


Shane Parrish is a partner at Syrus Partners and the mind behind one of my favorite blogs, Farnam Street. The blog is devoted to helping you develop an understanding of how the …

Greg Rosborough: Be Relentless

August 24th, 2017

Listen Here: iTunes | Overcast

"Everything you wear is a costume of some kind. Everything speaks to what you're thinking about, what you're feeling, what you represent, and where you're from - so it's very personal."

Mark Broadie: The Secrets of Golf

January 1st, 1970


My guest today is Mark Broadie, a Golf Statistician and Professor at Columbia Business School. I first found Mark through his book Every Shot Counts, …

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