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The Not Unreasonable Podcast
47 minutes | 16 hours ago
Steve Mildenhall on Insurance History Part 2
Steve Mildenhall returns to talk insurance history! Int his follow up to our earlier episode we dig even deeper into data by different line of business and observe all kinds of interesting things:- which classes have more premium than claims volatility- statistical vs narrative analysis- how well can claims be forecast with prices?- how did the industry do?- which lines are more volatile and why?Check out the youtube video for the slides:https://youtu.be/HfF53eXFSGQ
64 minutes | 13 days ago
Doug Hubbard on How to Measure Anything
Doug Hubbard is the author of several books and I've read two: *How to Measure Anything* and *The Failure of Risk Management*. I can honestly say that one of my career goals is to implement his methodology into my job today and everything I do in the future. Here's an incomplete list of wow realizations that I had reading Doug:That you can overcome cognitive bias in estimating variationThat we don't measure what's most importantThat we can quantify the value of informationThat we can quantify uncertainty and use it to make decisionsThat expert opinion can be calibrated and aggregated and use in a quantifiable mannerThat Bayesian statistics explain the reduction in uncertainty that accompanies additional information. That last one is an *empirical* observation. I remain floored by that. Floored. I didn't even cover half of what I wanted to cover with Doug. Read Doug Hubbard. Learn from Doug Hubbard. I will continue to!
53 minutes | a month ago
Robert Hoekman on The Tao of User Experience
Since joining the technology business I've had a whole variety of mental upgrades but Robert Hoekman has given me the chance to dig into what may be the most profound of them all: UX. In the world of software we are confronted all the time with how feeble our minds are when tangling with reality. I think that the core mistake at the heart of bad software is that we humans are pre-programmed to believe our own BS. User Experience research lives and breathes human cognitive frailty and Robert Hoekman is an absolute master. He has written many books, in this episode we talk about The Tao of User Experience. A small, tidy phenomenal work that sits on my desk and from which I read nearly ever day.
73 minutes | 2 months ago
David Soloff on O.T.T Risk
David is the founder of Ottrisk, a startup building technology to support the underwriting of business interruption Insurance. Previous to Ott-risk, David was a founder of Premise, a collector of ground truth data, where he remains Chairman, and co-founder of Metamarkets, acquired by Snapchat. David serves on the advisory board of Columbia University’s Institute for Data Sciences, was a punk rock musician in the 80s and almost got his PdD in Mediterranean archeology.https://www.ottrisk.co/https://notunreasonable.com/podcast
1 minutes | 2 months ago
Clip - David Soloff of OTT Risk on the Opportunity in Business Interruption Insurance
This is a clip from my upcoming interview with David Soloff on the opportunity in business interruption insurance. David is the founder of Ottrisk, a startup building technology to support the underwriting of business interruption Insurance. Previous to Ott-risk, David was a founder of Premise, a collector of ground truth data, where he remains Chairman, and co-founder of Metamarkets, acquired by Snapchat. David serves on the advisory board of Columbia University’s Institute for Data Sciences, was a punk rock musician in the 80s and almost got his PdD in Mediterranean archeology.https://www.ottrisk.co/https://notunreasonable.com/podcast
61 minutes | 2 months ago
Steve Mildenhall on The Macro History of The Insurance Market
This episode marks the return of Steve Mildenhall, principal at Convex Risk, former Assistant Professor of Actuarial Science at St John’s University and former CEO of Analytics at Aon. This time, Steve is bringing an amazing dataset that he has developed showing the longest sweep of history in insurance I have ever seen. You can see the deck we go through here. This show is probably best consumed as a video, which you can see here. You can see show notes at notunreasonable.com.
8 minutes | 5 months ago
John Shettle on How to Sell Insurance
I talk a lot about selling these days and was reminded of this moment from my conversation with John Shettle where he launched into an impromptu tour de force sales lecture. This experience really stuck with me. John was an operating partner at Stone Point Capital, a former CEO of specialty insurance MGA Victor O. Shinerer and held a variety of executive and leadership positions through is career. Sadly, I recently learned that John passed away last year. We all had a lot we could learn from John and I was very fortunate to have had a chance to capture some of it!notunreasonable.com/podcast
49 minutes | 6 months ago
Otakar Hubschmann on AI In Reinsurance
My guest for this episode is Otakar Hubshcmann, Head of Applied Data at Trans Re. The reinsurance industry is absolutely FULL of interesting data about insurance but there are a bazillion challenges of standardizing the data so that even expert reinsurance underwriters can make sense of it, much less machines and models. This is Otakar's world! In the context of machine learning his is a modest objective, as he puts it:"The idea that you could have a machine come in or set of algorithms or whatever, take over from someone that's been in the industry with a learn domain expertise and a set of heuristics that are sort of proven over time, that just is not going to happen maybe ever ".But this is reality, folks. Most practical business problems really are beyond the frontier of what AI can meaningfully take over. All the more reason for companies to dig into the domain in house to figure out where the strategic gold is buried.
56 minutes | 9 months ago
Actuaries and Data Scientists at Root
My guests for this episode are from Root Insurance: Matt Bonakdarpour, VP of Data Science, Alex Carges, Chief Actuary and Isaac Espinoza, who leads Root's reinsurance efforts. This episode covers everything that I, at least, have been burning to ask some people deeply steeped in the data science of auto rating. Does territory really matter? Does technology really matter? Actuaries vs Data Scientists? Do such distinctions matter in the limit? Listen in for more!
54 minutes | 9 months ago
Alex Lazarow on Frontier Startups
My guest for this episode is Alex Lazarow, VC with Cathay Innovation and author of OUT-INNOVATE How Global Entrepreneurs–from Delhi to Detroit–Are Rewriting the Rules of Silicon Valley. In this show we discuss:liberation of constraintswhether this is all survivorship bias (in either direction!)How innovation hubs might compete with one anotherHow the Silicon Valley model can be both wrong and rightHow frontier cultures can contribute or take away from startup successHow community minded entrepreneurs can beAnd more!Alex was a fantastic guest and like all of my most enjoyable interviews I was delighted to be surprised a few times by Alex's insights as he challenged me to learn even beyond my preparation for the conversation. Bravo, Alex!sign up for my newsletter at notunreasonable.com/signup
64 minutes | 10 months ago
Mary Hirschfeld on Aquinas and the Market
My guest for this episode is Mary Hirschfeld, Associate Professor of Economics & Theology at Villanova University. Mary has a PhD in Economics from Harvard University and a PhD in Theology from Notre Dame. Her book, Aquinas and the Market: Toward a Humane Economy, is the book we as a society need someone with that background to write. We talk about what an alternative universe of economics might look like if designed by the famed Catholic Theologian. The cheap reading of her book can sound just like another bunch of self-help moralizing about us needing to consume less and live better. In our conversation I even challenge her a bit and say this isn't particularly newsworthy, so why write the book? Mary's mission is deeper, though, she's out there to give us some new, more effective intellectual arguments for *why* our lives should be lived better. Even though we may already be looking for more fulfilling pursuits than the old rat race there is a surprising lack of intellectual underpinnings to this set of ideas, especially the economics of these ideas. Mary Hirschfeld to the rescue. Let me know how you think she does!This show is part of an on-again / off-again series I'm recording about the philosophical and moral foundations of economics. See my episodes with Tyler Cowen on Stubborn Attachments and Agnes Callard on What Philosophy Feels Like!
62 minutes | a year ago
Ken Brandt on the Impact of COVID-19
Ken Brandt is the co-President of Global Underwriting at Trans Re and in this episode, recorded on June 3, 2020, we're talking COVID-19. In this episode we cover: What are good and bad outcomes for the (re)insurance market, (they're surprisingly similar!)How the insurance industry might get commandeered by the government to satisfy social aimsKen's observations on working remotely for the past 20 yearsWhat do we lose as a face to face industry with remote work?How pandemics are insurable and more!See show notes at notunreasonable.com/podcastIf you enjoyed this episode you'll probably also like other shows with reinsurance executives: Joe Taranto, Dinos Iordanou, Paul Ingrey, Mike Sapnar (Ken's boss!) and Bart Hedges
32 minutes | a year ago
How COVID Hits the Poor with Jennifer Brady
My guest for this episode is Jennifer Brady, Executive director of Oasis, a non-profit helping women, teens and children rise out of poverty in the greater Paterson, NJ, area, one of the poorest communities in New Jersey. We cover how the lockdown is leading to record-breaking demand for meal support from Oasis, how much more vulnerable this population is to disease, both because of their physical circumstances and because, believe it or not, it is only one among many life threatening things to worry about, what the political implications might be if COVID-19 becomes a disease of the poor and, of course, what we can all do to help.show notes at notunreasonable.com/podcast
57 minutes | a year ago
What COVID Might Mean For Insurance with Michael Tanzer
Michael Tanzer is a portfolio manager at a hedge fund called Callaway Capital and author of a newsletter I read each week call Stuff to Read Over The Weekend (STROTW). Michael asked me if we could hop on a call and talk about COVID and I thought I might try just putting this out as a podcast as an experiment. I might do more of these with various people as I struggle to make sense of this crisis, partly to get my own mind off the concerns I have for myself and my family. Let me know what you think!We cover a lot of my own current thinking about how insurance responds to this crisis and also models for economic and market disruption and how COVID-19 fits into all this. It’s an insurance-style crisis hitting the border economy? You can see the video for this at notunreasonable.com/podcast.
73 minutes | a year ago
Christy Ford Chapin on the History of Health Insurance in America
My guest for the latest episode is Christy Ford Chapin, Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Christy wrote *Ensuring America's Health: The Public Creation of the Corporate Health Care System*, which covers in enormous detail the historical origins of the US Health Insurance system. The central thesis of the book is that the American Medical Association was the linchpin player in warding off alternative payment systems for healthcare in the US. It's a fascinating idea and also serves as an excellent excuse to tour the origins of our system today. We cover much more including how hard it is to categorize the AMA's political stance in today's language, the variety of alternative systems in the early 20th century, how fraternal associations were the original insurers, whether the political diversity of the US was really to blame, whether Medicare would have been passed if JFK hadn't been assassinated and when the first worries about the cost of healthcare started to emerge.See show notes and more at notunreasonable.com/podcast
61 minutes | a year ago
Monica Mason on Catastrophe Modeling
My guest for this episode is Monica Mason, head of catastrophe analytics as Trans Re. Catastrophe modeling is an analytical field of insurance concerned with predicting the cost of all kinds of natural disasters: hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires, etc. We go very deep into the nuances of catastrophe modeling and touch on a few universal truths for complicated risk-taking businesses like reinsurance:- How reliant should you be on external vendors for IP that could save or destroy your organization?- What are the most valuable parts of these complex systems?- How well do duopolists respond to customer needs?This interview is one of a series of talks I recorded with reinsurance professionals at Trans Re after my initial show Trans’ CEO Mike Sapnar. I get really deep into reinsurance topics with black belts in various sub-domains: catastrophe modeling, reinsurance claims, medical malpractice, reinsurance underwriting and reinsurance finance. This is not an intro course, folks, more like a post-doctoral fellowship. Podcasting is a fantastic medium to sink your teeth into the topics insiders themselves struggle with every day on the job and I couldn’t be more proud to celebrate the intellectual depth and sophistication of reinsurance with you all. See more at notunreasonble.com
68 minutes | 2 years ago
Ty Sagalow on the Making of Lemonade
My guest for this episode is Ty Sagalow one of the founding members of the Lemonade Insurance Group. Ty has held various underwriting and product development position at AIG over his 25 year career there and served as Chief Innovation officer at Zurich North America and Tower Group before joining Lemonade as its first Chief Insurance Officer.Ty wrote a book about his Lemonade experience called the "Making of Lemonade" which is the topic of the interview!We cover all kinds of ground in the conversation (innovation, starting a company, what were some innovation failures in Ty's career) but I didn't take long to get to the heart of the matter. The thing that distinguishes many tech startups of course is that their technology is so great. What is that like? Listen to the episode to find out and check out notunreasonable.com for more!
66 minutes | 2 years ago
Tyler Cowen on Big Business
Tyler Cowen, professor of economics, blogger at marginalrevolution.com, columnist for Bloomberg, host of Conversations with Tyler and author of numerous books returns to the Not Unreasonable Podcast to talk about his latest book, Big Business: a Love Letter to An American Anti-Hero. All too rarely do you get a tour of how incredibly strong the evidence is that everyday truths are what they are: big business actually exists for a reason because it mostly does exactly what we need: provide goods and services at affordable prices with reasonably good service. What's more is that big business is the source of all kinds of benefits to America and to human society generally. It's even better than you think! In the show we cover:- where businesses fit into the social intuition of the human mind- similarities between how we treat famous people and big business and what another of Tyler's books, *What Price Fame* can teach us about big business- What is good management and what effects does management have on employees?- How the book is an American book and how it is NOT a Chinese book- Crony capitalism doesn't exist here, but where might it exist in the world?- Wall Street and Financial Dark Matter- How Tyler views the firmAll this and much more! See show notes at notunreasoanble.com
46 minutes | 2 years ago
Melissa Perri on Escaping The Software Build Trap
This episode is about how to build an organization that itself builds great products, especially great software products. I am absolutely not exaggerating when I say that this is the most important and under appreciated topic in the world today. It will some day be impossible for a company to thrive without these skills and we as a society are still figuring out how to organize human enterprises into productive software-making machines. It does NOT come naturally and I believe Marc Andreessen when he says that software will eat the world. That means that if your organization doesn't learn how to produce great software it, too, will be eaten and you along with it. Melissa Perri lives at the cutting edge of software process design and runs a consultancy devoted to building great product leaders. This of course applies to non-software products but the day is approaching when there is no such thing as a non-software product. Listen to this episode and continue on your journey to being a better producer of software, either as a coder or as an enabler of the programmers that build the products your company sells!Thanks for listening! Show notes at notunreasonable.com
70 minutes | 2 years ago
Alex Tabarrok on Innovation and The Baumol Effect
My guest for this episode is Alex Tabarrok, the Bartley J. Madden Chair in Economics at the Mercatus Center and Professor of Economics at George Mason University, blogger at Marginalrevolution.com, co-founder of Marginal Revolution University and co-author with Eric Helland of "Why Are The Prices So Damn High?" which is short, free book and which we discuss on the show.Alex has written many other books and papers and there is a theme of thinking about innovation throughout his work. Several years ago he wrote a book on the topic called "Launching the Innovation Renaissance" which we also touch on as well as how the era of a country's birth affects its institutional makeup, how national rivalries can generate positive externalities (pop quiz: what was NASA's budget as a % of US GDP at its peak?), whether and why there has been a decline in innovation (and what's the difference between innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth?), where we might look for a model of education reform and how we might get there (what would a hollywood-style investment in education reform look like?) including Alex's own observations in launching his own education platform (marginal revolution university!), and much more!See more at notunreasonable.com/podcast. Thanks for listening!
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