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North Star Podcast

Oct 7, 2019

My guest today is Cameron Porter, an investor and former professional soccer player. 

We begin the conversation talking about AlleyCorp, an investment firm in New York where Cameron is responsible for new company research and development and due diligence on seed investment. Then we move to Cameron’s experience playing professional soccer in Montreal and Kansas City, and leading the NCAA in goal scoring during his senior year at Princeton.

Since Cameron is a true generalist, we explore neural networks and brainstorm ways to increase technological progress beyond the smartphone. We end the podcast with a deep and unbounded discussion about community and loneliness. In it, we explore the societal and personal impact of social media, social clubs, and the decline of religion in the West.

Please enjoy my conversation with Cameron Porter.


2:19 – Idiation at Alleycorp and what is AlleyCorp?

6:17 – P-Type and S-Type Innovations

11:49 – The story of AlleyCorp

19:36 – Business Insider capitalized on being the first to use the internet to publish news during the day

26:22 – Cameron’s incredible origin story

32:05 – As Cameron’s College soccer pedigree grows he decides to go to Asia for the Summer instead of training for a potential MLS career

35:58 - After leading the country in goals Cameron is drafted by Montreal

41:52 – Cameron is traded to Kansas City after blowing out his knee but soon suffers another debilitating injury

46:12 – During your MLS time you are given the opportunity to do nothing except play soccer

52:07 – What advantages at Alleycorp do you have over large venture capitalist firms?

1:01:43 – What is something exciting happening at Alleycorp?

1:09:41 - The stagnation of innovation

1:15:43 – Emergence driven by the individual

1:20:17 – We are not pushing forward innovation with re: to the atoms of the world

1:25:38 - Kenneth Stanley’s “Greatness Can’t be Planned” vs. Peter Thiel’s “Definite Optimism”

1:33:27 – Artists and soldiers

1:42:40 - Television and Airpods have increased social isolation and our ability to avoid risk

1:51:44 – Baboons in Africa have figured out how to live better than human beings

1:59:33 – The curious case of San Sebastian

2:06:10 – Real community is a place where they miss you when you’re gone and they have a mechanism for bringing you back

2:18:37 – “Wake up excited and go to bed tired”