Data Leaders is where we invite top AI entrepreneurs and extract meaningful and actionable insights that you can apply to life and work to help you achieve your dreams and goals.
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Apr 24, 2018

Ivy Nguyen shares insights on: 

  1. Going beyond data - why data is NOT the new oil
  2. Model-Market Fit vs. Product-Market Fit
  3. Data Moat - a term she coined at Zetta Ventures - What does that mean and how can you build one.
  4. AI product development strategy. A trifecta of:
    1. Performance Plateau
    2. Minimum Algorithm Performance
    3. Stability Threshold

About Ivy Nguyen:

  • Investor @ Zetta Ventures Partners, VC firm that exclusively invests in startups leveraging Data and AI.
  • Prior to Zetta, Ivy sourced and led investments in several companies including Constructor, NuCypher, Assembly, and Agridata.
  • Ivy graduated with a chemical engineering degree from Stanford
  • Fun fact about Ivy: Ivy loves to knit and is planning to make a hat from a neural net generated knitting pattern.

Follow Ivy on Twitter or LinkedIn to keep up with AI Product Development and her new AI Metrics Benchmark program. 

Jan 27, 2018

In this episode, I invite Swaroop "Kittu" Kolluri to share his thoughts on:

  1. His decision making process around early stage VC Investments
  2. AI Startups - How to develop an unfair advantage in your AI Startup
  3. Two Phases of Product Market Fit

To learn more about Kittu, please visit NeoTribe Ventures

About Kittu:

  • Founder and Managing Director of NeoTribe Ventures.
  • Named as one of the Top 100 Venture Capitalists by New York Times/CBInsights
  • Top 10 Indian VC’s in the world.
Nov 9, 2017

In this episode, Tom shares his advice on:

  • Building Data Startups
  • Company culture and growth 
  • Future of AI

About Tom Reilly:

  • Tom Reilly is the CEO of Cloudera.
  • Tom has a distinguished 30-year career in the enterprise software market.
  • Tom has led several tech startups through a successful initial public offering.
  • Prior to Cloudera, Tom served as CEO of ArcSight, an enterprise security company acquired by HP in 2010.
  • Fun fact: Tom is one of things in the Internet of Thing (IoT). More on that in the podcast. 
Oct 8, 2017

In this episode, I chat with Savvas Zortikis about an Analytical approach to Viral Marketing. 

  • Hear Savvas talk about how he studied Word-of-Mouth like a mad-scientist.
  • He turned his hard-earned knowledge into six digestible chunks of 'execution-ready' methods - and launched it on Product Hunt. No surprise, it went viral. 
  • SaaS product customer retention - how he figured out what it takes to have high retention and NPS. 
  • Round of rapid-fire questions on Growth and Retention. 

About Savvas Zortikis

  • Savvas is a CEO of Viral Loops, a venture-backed viral and referral marketing platform for building referral campaigns, ambassador programs, viral competitions, and sweepstakes.
  • On his free time, he pursues his passion for understanding network effects, the science behind word of mouth and branding. He’s been featured in Forbes, and Fortune.
Sep 10, 2017

In this episode, I sit down with Aaron to learn about how he and his agency creates engaging content.


  1. Focus on copywriting basics. Make every word valuable. This means not using words like “just” or “really.”
  2. People love a good narrative. Give them a gift of emotional engagement. Pull the strings of your heart without holding back.
  3. Find personal stories from your daily work and translate that to something of value to people. This means approaching your day like a book, with each meeting as a chapter of a story.
Sep 1, 2017

I've always wondered if there were any patterns among the top writers when it comes to their writing process.

This episode takes a stab at answering that question. 

Aug 24, 2017

Olof Mathe, the founder of Mixmax, one of the most well-renowned email communication products, shares his thoughts on:

  • How he and his team discovered product-market fit for Mixmax...
  • Key metrics for early-stage startups - how they changed everything for Mixmax
  • What led Mixmax to spread like a wild fire...from 0 to 5000 customers without spending a penny on marketing
  • How Mixmax discovered its vision and foundational purpose
  • Attitudinal difference between millennial sales professional and the previous generations


About Olof Mathe:

  • Founder and CEO of Mixmax
  • Prior to that, Olof led the team that built Inkling Habitat and Skype.
  • Olof grew up in Sweden and finished his engineering degree in France.
  • Fun Fact about Olof: He co-founded an art hackathon where Digital artists and hackers get together in an art space and create full-fledged art exhibit within 24 hours. This hackathon was featured in TechCrunch and FastCompany.
Aug 15, 2017

In this podcast series, I sat down with the top writers from SF, LA, and NY to learn how they create great content.

You’ll be hearing their insights on attributes of the high-quality content.

This is a part I of a 10-Part Series.

In this episode, we hear from:

  • Joe Escobedo @ Forbes
  • Garrett Ruiz @ BlueJeans
  • Riddhi Shah, Alum @ Medium and HuffPo
  • KC Karnes @ CleverTap
  • Alisha Paulsen @ Workday

Here are some of their top insights:

What are the attributes of high-quality content?

Joe Escobedo:

  • High-Quality content should either educate or entertain your audience, or both.
  • You never really know if it's good until it's published and you get feedback from your audience
  • Provides a solution
  • Ask "What kind of additional insights or information would they want."

Garrett Ruiz:

  • Accurate
  • Informative and insightful
  • Leads the user to the next place in the buyer's journey

Riddhi Shah:

  • High-Quality content is very intuitive. It's a mix of art and science.
  • New or insightful information
  • For virality, it should produce an element of surprise and strong emotions
  • Relevant and addresses current concerns from the audience
  • Distinctive tone of voice
  • Delightful

KC Karnes:

  • Go Deeper
  • Understand the nuance of nurturing the relationship for the long haul, instead of generating eyeballs and clicks.
  • "Inch-Wide Mile-Deep" Mindset.

Alisha Paulsen:

  • Create unique content - informative and interesting.
  • Grammar/Spelling errors or confusing sentences discounts the integrity of the piece
  • Consistency
  • Storytelling
  • Personalization
Aug 8, 2017

I met up with Sean Sheppard to learn about his growth based product/market fit approach.

My takeaways:

  1. Quickest path to product/market fit
  2. Product Management Special:
    1. Skills, attitude, and mindset for achieving a great market fit
    2. Product Development Vs. Market Development
    3. A clear and actionable pathway to achieve the skills and knowledge needed to win as an early stage founder or a product manager 
  3. The new set of hard skills needed to succeed as a startup founder


Market Acceleration Program from GrowthX.

About Sean Sheppard:


  • Founding Partner at GrowthX - A seed-stage venture capital fund.
  • Co-founder of GrowthX Academy - A training ground for tech sales, marketing, and design professionals.
  • Contributor for Huffington Post and mentor to several high-growth start-ups
  • Named Top 20 Sale Influencers in Silicon Valley



Jul 28, 2017

In this podcast series, I sat down with the top writers from SF, LA, and NY to learn how they create great content.

You’ll be hearing their insights on overcoming their biggest challenges, the hottest tools they’re using right now for content creation, and how they foresee the future of content creation.

In this episode, we hear from In this show, we have

  • Mina Zivkovic from Canvas
  • Arielle Shnaidman from Accello
  • Nigel Stevens from BigCommerce
  • Chris McCarthy from JetLore, and
  • Kelly Johnson from

Here are some of their top insights:

Mina Zivkovic
- Finding a balance between selling your products AND creating content that brings value to the reader.

Arielle Shnaidman
- Figuring out and presenting the pain points, so they pull the strings of your heart, right away. And do it consistently.

Kelly Johnson
- Showing ROI from content...We have to be judicious, strategic, and frugal. Being able to show how a blog post or a whitepaper contribute to the bottom line.

Chris McCarthy
- Voracious need for content in general. Being able to keep up with the demand for new, unique, informative content is difficult.

Nigel Stevens
- Creating content that is actionable, that tells a story and matches user intent.

Jul 27, 2017

In this episode, Kevin Lyons shares his insights on:

  1. Real-Time Audience Composition with AI
  2. Hyper-Personalization - AI Driven Targeting meets AI Driven Content
  3. Communicating the value of machine learning to CMO’s

About Kevin Lyons:

Kevin is a Senior Vice President, Data Science, Digital Technology at Nielsen Marketing Cloud.

A data science and marketing technology thought leader, Kevin helps companies out-think their competitors by using data-driven insights to make better strategic business decisions.

Kevin is responsible for developing and evangelizing product vision as well as executing a variety of initiatives, including customer segmentation & profiling, data-mining and modeling, marketing optimization, predictive analytic platform development, and business intelligence solutions.

Fun Facts about Kevin - Kevin was a Ph.D. candidate in history with a specialization in medieval history. His first job out of school was selling life insurance. He eventually went back to school and got a degree in advanced math, which led him to the path of AI career.

Jul 14, 2017

I had a chance to sit down with co-founders of Monicat Data.  It's the first time I chatted with experts at the intersection of data science and art, so I took a lot of notes. 

What I learned:

  • How to quantify art... This is the first time I heard some articulate it so well. A must listen for anyone who thinks Art cannot be quantified.
  • How creative supporting organizations approach analytics 
  • Data Entrepreneurship learning lessons!
  • Product Management - How is it done in Art Organizations!
  • Covered tons of other topics - including my favorite - round of rapid fire questions! 

About Monicat Data: 

Jasmine, Cassie, and Kurt are co-founders of Monicat Data, a Data Management & Research agency specifically focused on bringing strategic data to Artists and Creative Supporting Organizations.

Since launching September of 2016, Monicat Data has aided creative organizations with data solutions ranging from notable names such as Springboard for the Arts, Rhymesayers Entertainment, Forecast Public Art. Fashion Week MN, The Bush Foundation and Mu Performing Arts--to name a few."

Monicat Data also offers 'Data for Art' workshops to the Minneapolis/St. Paul in the efforts of educating artists and creative supporting organizations on the power of data organization and strategy implementation.

Jasmine has a background in marketing analytics and an MBA.

Cassie has a background in music, computer science, and art.

Both Jasmine and Cassie love working on data that makes people dream.

Fun fact about Jasmine & Cassie: Aside from running their data startup, Jasmine is an avid yogi and Cassie is an opera singer.

Jun 29, 2017

In this episode, Jarah Euston discusses:

  1. How is Data Operations being redefined – 2015 Vs 2017 & Beyond
  2. Top challenges most data-driven executives face when it comes to gaining insights from their data.
  3. An opportunity that most data-driven organization are unaware of – this is going to be blow up in next couple of years
  4. Entrepreneur / Executive Special Edition:
    1. How to achieve unstoppable momentum for your startup (whether you work in a scrappy startup environment or a large org, this applies to you!)
    2. How to get better at making presentations
    3. Women Tech Entrepreneurship: Challenges and Path to Success
  5. Top stories she uses when communicating with C-Suite about Data Science

About Jarah Euston:

Jarah Euston is a growth and analytics leader who has propelled several Silicon Valley Startups to the top.

Jarah is one of the Business Insider’s “28 Most Powerful Women in Mobile Advertising.”

Jarah served as growth and analytics leader at Flurry, Yahoo, and most recently Nexla, an early stage next gen data ops startup, winner of several startup awards, including Strata Hadoop and TechCrunch Disrupt.

Jarah has a background in Economics and an MBA from Wharton

To learn more about Jarah and Nexla, please visit or reach out to Jarah “at”

About Nexla:

Nexla automates DataOps so companies can quickly derive value from their data, with minimal engineering required.

Nexla’s secure platform runs in the cloud or on-premise. It allows business users to send, receive, transform, and monitor data in their preferred format via an easy to use web interface.



May 24, 2017

AI Entrepreneurs Series is where I invite top entrepreneurs from AI & Data Science field to share their journey and insights.

In this show, Chris McKillop, Co-founder and CEO of Turalt, shares her insights on:

  1. Big opportunities at the intersection of AI and Psychology
  2. Learn one way in which most AI experts, conferences, and workshops screw up
  3. Women, AI, and Entrepreneurship: Some great learning lessons for most men in this field. I learned a ton from this discussion.
  4. Future of chatbots, customer service, and AI 
  5. Tons of personal stories, anecdotes, and inspiring soundbites to help you take your AI vocabulary to the next level!



Connect with Chris on Twitter and follow her blog.

About Chris McKillop:

Chris McKillop is the CEO and Co-Founder of Turalt, a company which develops AI products to help improve empathy in online communications. Chris has a degree in artificial intelligence and a Ph.D. in educational technology, where she investigated and developed techniques to understand the emotional dimensions of learning.

Chris has a passion for learning and brings over 15 years’ experience of working to improve learning in universities and the workplace. Her expertise includes educational technology, qualitative research, and a person-centred approach to training and personal development.

Her background in cognitive sciences and educational sector enables Chris to empathize with the challenges people face with workplace communication and to research and develop targeted solutions to deliver real impact in the workplace.


May 11, 2017

AI Entrepreneurs Series is where I invite top entrepreneurs from AI & Data Science field to share their journey and insights.  

Prateek Joshi shares his insights on:

  1. IOT and Deep Learning: How do they fuel each other
  2. Product Teams - Listen up to this one - Prateek shares his core idea on when to use AI and when to run away from it...
  3. Prateek's personal journey on what led him to create Pluto AI. 
  4. Several other entertaining/informative insights!

As always, I hope you enjoy listening to this much as much I enjoy creating it!


May 4, 2017

In this episode, Rumman Chowdhury shares her insights on:

  1. Enterprise AI - What exactly is it and the right way to think of it
  2. Two key advantages Enterprise AI can provide to your organization 
  3. Biggest barrier executive leaders face when it comes to Entreprise AI
  4. Humanity and AI - Current AI models and flawed reality
  5. How to create AI with Active Inclusion
  6. Education as it stands today - how it's about to be revolutionized
  7. And tons of other valuable insights...

I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed created it!


Rumman's Blog:

Rumman's Twitter: 

AI Education Startup

Studies Show Hosted by Rumman Chowdhury and Imran Siddiquee.

1000 women in data science:
About Rumman Chowdhury

Rumman Chowdhury is an AI Authority working on cutting edge applications of Artificial Intelligence at Accenture. She also serves on the Board of Directors for several AI startups.

Rumman holds two undergraduate degrees from MIT, and a Masters in Quantitative Methods of Social Sciences from Columbia University. Rumman also has a PhD in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego.

Rumman has given several talks and tutorials, some of them include Intel Analytics Conference, Open Data Science Conference, Machine Learning Conference, Women Catalysts, PyBay, and Demystifying AI Conference.

In mainstream media, Rumman has been interviewed for the PHDivas podcast, German Public Television, and fashion line MM LaFleur. In 2017, Rumman has upcoming talks at the Global Artificial Intelligence Conference, at Strata + Hadoop San Jose, Southern Data Science Conference, and Strata + Hadoop London

Apr 23, 2017

In this episode, I sit down with Lukas Biewald of Crowdflower and we catch up on a very interesting and emerging topic of Human-In-The-Loop Machine Learning. 

My takeaways:

  • What is Human-In-The-Loop Machine Learning and how can it you get the best out of your ML program?
  • Origins of Human-In-The-Loop at scale
  • How can C-Suite use Human-In-The-Loop Machine Learning


You may connect with Lukas on his twitter or catch up with him at an event he is hosting in SF on May 17th: TrainAI event (awesome lineup of AI Trailblazers)


About Lukas:

Lukas Biewald is the founder of CrowdFlower. Founded in 2009, CrowdFlower is a data enrichment platform that taps into an on-demand workforce to help companies collect training data and do human-in-the-loop machine learning.

Following his graduation from Stanford University with a B.S. in Mathematics and an M.S. in Computer Science, Lukas led the Search Relevance Team for Yahoo! Japan. He then worked as a senior data scientist at Powerset, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2008.

Lukas was featured in Inc. magazine's 30 Under 30 list. Lukas is also an expert-level Go player.

Dec 15, 2016

Financial services growth marketing series is where I invite top thought leaders from the financial services industry to share their wisdom on what drives growth.

Mike Barlow shares his insights on:

  • Integration Vs. Disruption: What's the right psychological mindset when it comes to growth
  • Top challenges and opportunities for Fintech leaders in 2017
  • Evolving role of financial services CMO in light of AI and Data Science technologies
  • And tons of other stuff: reading rituals, bias in AI, and favorite data anecdotes...

You may follow Mike via Twitter or LinkedIn if you choose to keep up with his exciting adventures. 

Dec 4, 2016

Financial services growth marketing series is where I invite top thought leaders from the financial services industry to share their wisdom on what drives growth.

In this episode, Scott Wentworth shares his wisdom on:

  • How to avoid the commoditization of financial services products & services
  • Five step content creation process that took Scott several years to crystallize from having worked with some of the top financial services thought leaders...
  • How to develop a unique point of view to improve resonance with your audience
  • Last but not least - the impact of the political shift in financial services industry, and how it specifically affects you as a financial services growth leader.

Scott was kind enough to put together his blueprint for our podcast listeners in a PDF format to make it easy to share with others in your organization:

More options to reach Scott are his Linkedin or his website

Nov 14, 2016

In this episode, David Herman shared his insights on:

  • How can financial service companies create value using the emerging integration between behavioral neuroscience and financial data science (the right way and the wrong way)
  • How the consumers win when these two fields interact
  • How to win consumer trust when building advanced AI products or campaigns, especially catering to finance industry.

David Herman packed some powerful concepts and insights in quick 30 min conversation and it is definitely worth a listen or two :)

Dave's been busy at Payoff, but his youtube channel has some great videos as well. 

For additional questions, you may reach out to David on his linked or his email dh.herman "at"


Nov 7, 2016

In this podcast, we discuss:

  1. Top challenges and opportunities financial services marketing leaders are experiencing
  2. Role of data and metrics in consumer journey
  3. Specific strategies to address financial services growth challenges
  4. Email marketing strategies for Financial Services companies
  5. Role of AI in modern marketing

Mika is a growth marketing thought leader in financial services space where she is passionate about helping companies with modern data-informed marketing. Mika does this with significant breadth and depth of strategic management and hands-on experience across marketing communications, channel, digital, social media, mobile, and emerging marketing technologies.

Mika has also presented at several marketing conferences and training events. Mika's Linkedin:
Sep 18, 2016

In this podcast episode, Gaurav discusses growth hacking, machine learning, and copywriting. 

Gaurav has been part of mission-critical teams at two San Francisco startups, LinkedIn Slideshare, and Klout. He previously cofounded ThisYaThat, an online book portal for the Indian market, which won the Wharton Entrepreneurship VIP Seed Award and was the first non-US venture to receive an entrepreneurial grant from Wharton’s Innovation Fund.

He was featured in Hindustan Times, Yahoo Finance, YourStory, and TechCircle. He is also the co-inventor of an application-agnostic user search engine. Most recently, he has been building Profillic, a product to fix candidate screening by applying machine learning to the problem of skill validation.

He is finishing up his Master’s, from Columbia University, with a focus on computational linguistics/natural language processing and machine learning, and he collaborated with the data services, machine learning, and business analytics team at Google Nest this summer.

Aug 12, 2016

Richard Demsyn-Jones has an extensive experience building predictive models. Currently, Richard is at Google Trust and Safety Analytics, Prior to that Richard helped Capital One with their data science opportunities as a principal data scientist. Richard has an academic background in economics.

I bumped into Richard when he was presenting on sports analytics, and despite zero interest or prior experience in watching in Hockey, I found myself deeply immersed in Richard’s presentation where he discussed data analytics around goalie quality...This goes to show Richard’s compelling storytelling abilities.

Couple of fun facts about Richard: He thinks cereal is good for any meal, also he’s from Canada, but doesn’t want you to hold that against other Canadians.

In this podcast, Richard shares his thoughts on:

  1. When it comes to betting, is natural talent more important than quantitative skills
  2. Nate Silvers story on why he left the poker world...
  3. A key area for a sports analyst to focus on (even if you are a hobbyist, you may want to follow the advice here)
  4. How can data be applied when selecting lineups
  5. Going beyond sports, how to apply data when building new teams and increase team performance…where you can play off the way different strengths interact with each other.
  6. Round of rapid fire questions on data…my favorite part.

Richard’s Blog:

Richard’s email: [at]

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are in my own, and do not represent my employer’s viewpoints on sports analytics or other projects.

Jul 2, 2016

Sam Abrahams is a TensorFlow evangelist and a kickass storyteller, programmer, and a statistician! In this podcast episode, Sam discusses his thoughts on TensorFlow coming from a hard-core practitioner point of view. We chat about:

  • TensorFlow and how it compares to other machine learning frameworks
  • Mastering TensorFlow: How to go from being zero to well-sought out TensorFlow expert
  • Journey of a Data Scientist. What does it take to become one...
  • And a round of intriguing rapid fire questions guaranteed to give you some golden nuggets!

Show References:

TensorFlow White Paper

Sam's Github With TensorFlow Whitepaper Notes

Sam's Upcoming Book on TensorFlow For Machine Intelligence

Sam's Blog:



Jun 7, 2016

Sean is the director of data science at Space-Time Insight, a leading provider of advanced analytics software for organizations looking to leverage machine learning for their business applications. Having worked across diverse industries, and alongside many talented professionals, Sean has seen the blend of approaches required to successfully convert raw data into real world value.

Sean holds his doctorate in scientific computing, where he used advanced mathematics, parallel computing and optimization to solve challenges in nanotechnology, chemistry and renewable energy. After completing his Ph.D. Sean started his own data science consulting practice, helping companies automate decision-making and uncover patterns in large amounts of data. Sean has since joined a major technology consulting firm working with cross-discipline teams to build the next generation of adaptive, data-driven applications. 

Sean’s upcoming book is focusing on building products with data and will be published by O'Reilly.

To connect with Sean McClure, reach out to him on LinkedIn or Twitter

In this conversation, we touch on Return of Investment on Data Science and other things like:

  • Real World Value of Data Science
  • Pitfalls of Data Science
  • Building Data Science Teams and Culture
  • Is Data Science a Boy's Club?
  • How to Develop Storytelling skills as a Data Scientist?

Be sure to check out the end of the podcast where Sean reveals his favorite data science product that had the most positive impact on his life. 

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