Software Surges, Creativity Rules, Cloud Titans Join Me on CNBC +More

Mike Cannon-Brookes of Atlassian, Sandy Speicher of IDEO, Tammy Sun of Carrot Fertility

So here’s the thing about the Fortt Knox newsletter, if you hadn’t noticed: It’s daily*. Like, that asterisk is serious. If I’m on vacation, no newsletter. On Thursdays (when I wake up early for On the Other Hand), no newsletter. And then occasionally you get a day like Friday, when I was all set to write it, and then Apple postpones a controversial photo scanning feature and I’ve got to jump on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street at the last minute and it blows out the time I’d set aside to get the newsletter out before getting to the office and getting on TV. It’s a game of inches.

So I’ll give you a little extra in the weekend newsletter, since I didn’t get to put it out on Friday. Let’s get to it:

Buy Now, Pay Later: Deliverance or Disaster? On the Other Hand

Are lower-interest loans from companies like Affirm, Afterpay and Klarna good for consumers? Or are they a disaster waiting to happen? I argued both sides in the latest edition of On the Other Hand, on CNBC's Squawk Box:

Atlassian Co-CEO Mike Cannon Brookes on Asking Your Spouse About Buying an NBA Team

When billionaire Atlassian cofounder Mike Cannon-Brookes heard from his friend Qualtrics founder Ryan Smith about joining a bid to buy the Utah Jazz, he wanted to jump at it — and like the rest of us would, had to pitch his spouse on it first. This is the sort of story I love, because it shows that no matter how much we achieve in life, some dynamics are still pretty much the same:

Of course, we also talked about the important work Atlassian is doing in collaboration software, how that’s changed during the pandemic, and how Mike and cofounder Scott Farquhar built the company. Check out the full interview here.

IDEO CEO Reflects On Her Creative Awakening

Sandy Speicher is CEO of IDEO, a storied global design firm. She got her first real taste of brainstorming at age 10, in a competition called Odyssey of the Mind (then Olympics of the Mind), that's centered on creative thinking. (It turns out, I was competing in the same competition at the same time, from Washington D.C.) In a Fortt Knox conversation, she reflected on that formative experience:

See the full interview here.

Carrot Fertility CEO Tammy Sun On Turning A Mission Into A Business

I talked with Tammy Sun, cofounder and CEO of Carrot Fertility, about the need for a new model in benefits, her entrepreneurial journey, handling rejection and more:

Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian and C3 AI CEO Tom Siebel On Their New Partnership

The three big names in cloud infrastructure and platforms are Amazon, Microsoft and Google. So I was eager to hear the strategic thinking behind Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian’s partnership with C3 AI. An interesting dynamic here: Kurian and C3 AI CEO Tom Siebel arguably have deeper roots in enterprise software than the leaders at Amazon and Microsoft, since both of them are Oracle veterans and Siebel of course founded and ran Siebel Systems:

Enterprise Upstarts MongoDB and PagerDuty Turn in Blowout Earnings

Speaking of databases, we covered some earnings this week — from database challenger MongoDB and infrastructure intelligence specialist PagerDuty in particular. (I mention these two in particular because MongoDB CEO Dev Ittycheria and PagerDuty CEO Jenn Tejada are both Fortt Knox 1:1 alums.) Both joined me on CNBC’s TechCheck:

MongoDB stock spiked 26% on the results:

PagerDuty rose 7%:

Coming Up: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky

Speaking of Fortt Knox alums … and cloud … (and am I overusing “speaking of”?) Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will be joining me on TechCheck next week, along with LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky. Be sure to tune in to CNBC Thursday, 11 a.m. ET, 8 a.m. PT!

Check out The Black Experience in America: The Course, an online educational resource I researched, designed and built. A free PDF download is available to bring the material to kids, and the online interactive experience is made for adults.