New Intelligence for New Realities: Samsara, Microsoft and Sequoia

Sanjit Biswas of Samsara, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Pat Grady of Sequoia Capital

I hope everyone is having a reflective September 11, honoring the fallen, celebrating resilience, and recommitting to the values that would eliminate such tragedies.

This week was really unusual in that I was able to boost my mega-scale cloud learning quickly. Last week I spoke with Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian. This week I spoke with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. And now I’m typing this on a Saturday afternoon, as I’m preparing to fly out to Seattle to sit down with Andy Jassy in his first major interview as Amazon CEO, a title Jeff Bezos handed over to him a few weeks ago.

I also got more granular insights. I expanded my Fortt Knox Deep Dive series this week by interviewing Pat Grady, a partner at storied Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital. The idea behind the Fortt Knox Deep Dive is this: Sometimes I need to hear from subject matter experts, not just CEOs. And sometimes when I want to get smarter in a narrower area of tech, it helps to have veterans of that area in the conversation with me.

Earlier in my career, companies would offer me briefings on an important topic, then give me contact info for industry analysts who they believed were well versed. I would do the technical call, then call analysts to get their thoughts. But we all have to rethink the way we work, right? And it occurred to me that the old way was really inefficient; I had to make two calls, and I couldn’t get the analyst’s thoughts and questions while I had the company expert with me. So I decided to blend the two: Set up a briefing call with the company and invite analysts or journalists to join me. This time, veteran journalist Connie Loizos, who has covered venture capital since we worked together at the San Jose Mercury News more than 15 years ago, joined me.

Also coming up in the next week: Look out for a new weekly segment from me on CNBC’s Power Lunch. I won’t say too much about it yet, but I’m excited to see more of the best of Fortt Knox coming to TV.

Coinbase Calls Out the SEC: Daring or Dumb? On the Other Hand

Coinbase calls out the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for blocking its plans to offer interest-bearing accounts. Daring or dumb? I argued both sides in the latest edition of On the Other Hand, on CNBC's Squawk Box:

Hybrid Work: Microsoft and LinkedIn CEOs on Product Updates and Survey Insights

Microsoft announced product updates and survey results this week that gave insights into how the company perceives the world of work during a pandemic, and how its strategy is changing as a result. I spoke with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky on CNBC’s TechCheck to learn more.

Nadella:

Roslansky:

Growth Stage VC: A Fortt Knox Deep Dive with Sequoia’s Pat Grady

Sequoia Capital Partner Pat Grady joined me and Connie Loizos of TechCrunch and StrictlyVC to talk about advice for entrepreneurs in the Covid era, different paths to going public, the state of innovation in enterprise software and more:

Using the Power of the Cloud to Drive Efficiency in the Physical World: Samsara CEO Sanjit Biswas

Samsara is an operations technology company whose customers are building and managing infrastructure in industries like construction, transportation and logistics. The company helps companies collect data about their physical operations and use it to improve. Samsara Cofounder and CEO Sanjit Biswas talked to me about the company's vision and his entrepreneurial journey:

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.