Palantir co-founder on its mission and controversies
Hi I'm Dan per Mac and welcome to access recap presented by Bridge Bank. Today's Wednesday. September thirtieth. America's blood pressure is up Disney theme park jobs are down and we're focused on one of Silicon Valley's most controversial companies. Earlier today Pantene tear technologies went public on the New York Stock. Exchange. It did so via a direct listing rather than an IPO. But that's not even the interesting part except to finance nerds instead it's because Pailin tear has long been known as secretive and controversial and to be honest unique with within tech industry known for Copycat. ISM. Penalty was created in two thousand and three to apply information technology to anti-terrorism campaigns by a group of founders who included current CEO, alcs, carp current venture capitalist, Joe Lonsdale, and Peter Thiel, the well-known facebook director, and inform advisor to president trump. Also pledged to help secure people's data from their own governments kind of philosophy of we'll help them find you. But only if you've done something really bad. As Alex Kerr recently told axios on HBO. If the US government targets somebody with a drone strike chances are that talents your software was used somewhere along the way. Pound tears since. Moved into work with government entities like ice, which obviously doesn't make it to popular in large swath of liberal Silicon Valley. It also works with governments if foreign. And a growing number of businesses which represents around half of its revenue. Oh and speaking of revenue and balance sheets pound. Cheers unprofitable despite a massive valuation and a longtime in business. So we want to dig into what Palette here is and what it isn't with company CO founder Joe Lonsdale, who no longer works pound here but who continues to be paid a consulting fee and who holds a whole lot of Pailin tear stock that conversation in fifteen seconds. Bridge Bank knows the INS and outs of business ups and downs and remains dedicated to providing financial solutions to the risk takers, the game changers, and the disrupters those committed to leveraging innovation to make the world a better place bridge. Bank is a division of Western Alliance, Bank ridgeback be bold venture wisely. We're joined. Now by Joe Lonsdale a CO founder of technologies also, a venture capitalist who runs Eight v C.. So Joe, what was kind of the mission when you help found Pailin tear basic idea was to take a really competent technology culture that had gotten way ahead of Washington D. C. and to apply to solve the most important problems going on at the time, which was basically to help bring together data to solve. Problems and stop terrorism stock attacks while protecting civil liberties the protecting civil liberties you obviously well, no kind of some of the criticism of Pailin tear, which is this idea that has gone from as you say, kind of protecting US troops overseas to enabling whether it be ice or NSA to spy to a certain extent on Americans how do you respond to that because it seem to be kind of a fundamental mission creep? Well, if you look at what we're doing, we're helping augment the human mind to act on data and act on data they're allowed to act on and to me it's really ironic that is seen as problematic that way because the whole idea was, let's build in such a way that people are only allowed to see share they're allowed to see in share. So there's audit trails you can watch the watchers. It's a rather than like the show twenty four were Jack Bauer goes and just whatever he wants to get the bad guy let's have a system. That only lets them use the data legally only the way they're allowed to you, and that's the whole point is helter is a privacy engine that lets you only see what the rule say allowed to see. How does Powell to your protect that data from talent here basically set up there, and it's very clear how pounder works with whoever's in charge always see who's accessing what so I mean I suppose it is possible that if the people using it are doing. So in a way, it's it's hidden from pounds here in charge all the way up the top could be involved in. Something, they're not supposed to be doing that is the power they have. However, it's designed such way. It's very hard for any small bricks to get away with anything. They not supposed to do because people talk about full control and can't see what happened. What was access isn't that one of the concerns that when you've got a company that's collecting and analyzing and kind of merging so much data that even though whether it be ice or the NSA or some corporate customer doesn't have access, there is somebody who has access and it does open the possibility of there being a bad actor somewhere. Well it makes it a lot harder to have a bad actor. If you haven't information infrastructure that's tracking everything tracking exactly how it's used and the has pounds here itself doesn't have access to all the data that people are using pounds here to work on. So it's not like talent you're sitting in the middle is able to see everything. You're always when I read a story about that, it's referred to as the secretive silicon valley technology company I know this bothers me a lot and you know what it is. Helen chairs culture is really good at getting the most talented engineers technologists in the world and saw the really hard problems in these really cool missions they go on with their customers to work on penalty here does not have very sophisticated and built out PR group. In fact, the PR strategy seems to be to avoid talking to the press I. Guess that makes us secretive but it's funny because we go to their site they explain. How the technology works explain when it's it's really complicated. Building information infrastructure is not easy. It's not complicated most of us don't understand it so I think rather than secretive is that it's doing something that is just relatively Tarik most people, Alex Carpet Interview with my colleague Mike. Allen for our HBO show about a month or two ago, and he talked about how even within his own family certain things pound here has decided to do have been controversial for you. Are there things are their customers their clients at has taken on that? You think man if I was in charge, we wouldn't have done that. It's an interesting question. Actually I don't have full information on exactly how it's working western countries in the Middle East I tend to be very pro enforcing the laws in the US never they are working with our allies works with thirty to forty nine over five countries probably were forty point. I'm very allying with talents here. Don't China don't work with Russia Iran Etcetera. Obvious one son other allies in the Middle East I. Don't know exactly how they're using it. I. Always get a little bit of a queasy feeling myself. Exactly what people do in certain countries where my values are not aligned with their pounder has a strong set of principles internally but I've actually not privy conversation since I can't say for sure that I, agree with every. Choice. They've made their but in general I support with Algiers done number like trout and all these things they've done does that include ice and I guess I asked the question because the company originally was kind of founded at the time of the Iraq war and as you said, was kind of an anti-terrorism thing in part it seems correct me if I'm wrong about this. The part of its technology is being used by not to identify violent criminals, but to identify people whose sole crime is crossing a border but not violence. Well, in general, the company has to make a choice he's going to support US laws are not you know I was actually when I started we joke, maybe we shouldn't be helping the IRS depending on different people have. Different views morally of that, and of course, it does out the IRS while I think in general helping the government do what does better is right thing to do I personally am very against some art immigration laws that said minor standing as the Obama Administration worked with here with ice and they actually ended up stopping a lot of child traffickers and caught law child. Traffickers, thanks their works Joe Your Day job now is being venture capitalist, identifying new tech companies which to invest. Do you see baby palim tears coming up from behind it? Because from my perspective on the outside, I don't seem to see much you've got a lot of big data companies but not ones that are aiming at the same sorts of markets found series. That's A. Really good question and actually gets the heart wise special company. It's actually something very similar to what we did without a apart is we took a bunch of really talented people and we worked on a problem that take four or five seven years to really solve properties very, very hard problem to take these things that used to be services and to make into products there's. One hundred billion dollars year services everyone around the world does that nobody else has been able to turn as many of them into products such a hard technical problem. So ideal hope to have somebody else spent hundreds of billions of dollars with equity driven team of the very top talent to be able to pounce here does I have not seen people able to do that yet? Final question which is a stock question. I guess the other thing that surprised outside the bottom line top line in the s one was the control in this kind of unusual control structure. The three your fellow co founders were by Jim Cramer called it borderline of noxious most egregious since we work give me the argument for why three people should effectively get to control Pailin tear indefinitely even if they sell off their stock. You know if it was up to me, I would prefer maybe they can only sell half their stock versus this much of their stocks I think there's something there that said I do feel better knowing this company is in the hands of Peter Alex step into three different people and they have very strong principles and values and I'm very bullish on pallets here giving me taking on that responsibility. What this really says is they're saying we are taking responsibility. You can tie this to us put this on this company does and that's a really good thing for the company. Those three are willing to take that on Joe Lonsdale. Thank you so much for joining us. Thanks. Bridge Bank helps breakthrough ideas actually breakthrough and remains dedicated to providing financial solutions to the risk-takers the game changers and the disrupters those committed to making the world. A Better Place Bridge Bank has been dedicated to providing financial solutions to sponsor backed emerging technology and growth companies for nearly two decades through its national network of banking teams and offices. Bridge Bank is a division of Western Lions Bank Bridge back be safe venture wisely. Welcome back. We're watching today is fallout from last night's uttered to buckle of a debate to be sure a lot of that conversation will be deserve condemnation of president trump's failure not only to refute white supremacy but his tacit endorsement of it but perhaps even more problematic was a moment the came at the end with trump all. But announcing, he won't accept the election results which he's predetermined to be fraudulent. Now, stocks are up in early trading today in part thanks to renewed stimulus talks. But this is setting up not just as a political and constitutional crisis. But an economic one not only would such uncertainty make it harder for businesses to plan. It creates the conditions for the sort of widespread chaos and violence that America hasn't experienced in any of our lifetimes. I really can't quite believe I'm saying those words specifically violence, but it's not hyperbole. Today we are also watching one of the pandemic era's largest layoff announcements. This one comes from Disney which said, it'll cut upwards of twenty, eight, thousand jobs mostly at its theme parks, cruise lines and retail units. It's a stark reminder of how major parts of the economy remain in crisis. Oh. And quickly speaking of Cruise Lines axios Jonathan. Swan reports that CDC Director Robert Redfield. was overruled yesterday in the situation room when he pushed to extend a so-called no sale order for passenger cruises into next February instead, it will expire in a few hours. And finally, today some shameless self promotion as announced that it's expanding into local reporting are four launch cities will be Denver Des Moines Minneapolis Saint Paul and Tampa Saint. Petersburg. You can get more info and sign up at axios DOT COM backslash local. And we're done big thanks for listening to my producers. Tim Chauffeur's Naomi. Shaven have a great national chewing gum day we'll be back tomorrow with another. Recap.