Equivalent to Magic

By General Catalyst

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Equivalent to Magic is a podcast about the wizards behind the world’s most influential companies and tech platforms. Two veteran tech executives, Steve Herrod and Quentin Clark, talk with CTOs, CPOs, and engineers about how they dreamed, designed and managed their way to scale. The show is produced by General Catalyst.

Episode Date
Jay Parikh on Scaling Facebook's Infrastructure

In this episode, we speak with Jay Parikh, Facebook’s outgoing VP of engineering. Jay is the architect behind Facebook’s data center infrastructure who helped design and execute the physical layer that underpins the platform.

"We came together and had this big meeting and decided 'Okay. Well, we have to go and build our own infrastructure.' We had really no choice given the fact that we were scaling so rapidly. And we started to just struggle with the off-the-shelf kind of solutions out there, both open source software that we had. We massaged and bent those pieces of software as far as they could probably go," says Jay.

Jay realized that he had to fundamentally change the way Facebook built resiliency into its systems. Deploying a network for 300 million people is much different than deploying one for 3 billion people. 

Quentin Clark and Steve Herrod dug in deeper with Jay about what happened in the years afterward.

Sep 28, 2020
Slack CPO Tamar Yehoshua on Humanizing Software

In this episode, we're speaking with Tamar Yehoshua, the Chief Product Officer at Slack. 

We’re talking about designing products for the future of work, today.

The pandemic injected a lot of urgency at Slack, which saw user growth explode after millions of people suddenly started working from home. We’re still sorting through how this mass-remote work culture will impact workplace collaboration -- and Tamar’s team is thinking deeply about how to better serve this new world in a human way.

"A lot of what I think about when developing software is how do you understand the emotional state of your user and being able to speak to that? How do you make sure your user, whoever's using your product feels good, doesn't make them feel stupid. We like to say that at Slack don't make your users feel stupid," says Tamar.

Tamar has been the CPO of Slack since early 2019. Before that, she was a VP at Google with product and engineering roles across search and privacy. She was also a VP at Amazon’s search engine ad company, A9.

Steve Herrod and Quentin Clark speak with Tamar about how she’s creating products, managing teams, and learning new things about Slack in this drastically different work environment.

Sep 28, 2020
Former Uber CTO Thuan Pham on 'Violent' Growth

In our very first episode, we’re talking to Thuan Pham, the former CTO of Uber. 

Thuan is the longest-serving executive at Uber. He started there in 2013, when ride-sharing was in just a couple-dozen cities. He left in May of this year, when Uber is in more than 900 cities and booking billions of rides per quarter.

Thuan will tell some harrowing tales about keeping Uber’s systems running as the popularity of ride sharing exploded.

"Hyper growth and exponential stuff seems fun to talk about when you look at the numbers and the graph, the hockey sticks and stuff like that, but when you have to live it and actually make it happen, it's excruciatingly painful," says Thuan.

Quentin Clark and Steve Herrod spoke with Thuan about how he kept the technical structure of the organization intact as the company ballooned -- starting with the moment he arrived.

Sep 28, 2020
Introducing Equivalent to Magic

Join Former Dropbox CTO Quentin Clark and Former VMWare CTO Steve Herrod as we go deep with the people making tech work at the most successful and cutting-edge companies -- to learn what they do, how they solve problems, and how they build and lead engineering teams. 

Sep 28, 2020