Hands On Podcast: How to get access to true experts + Why cultivating future talent is key

by Index Ventures


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How to get access to true experts + Why cultivating future talent is key

Sophie Adelman is the CEO and Co-Founder of The Garden, a community for the curious that enables anyone, anywhere to access the world's experts and leading academics that are shaping tomorrow. In this episode, Sophie shares the experiences and lessons that led to the creation of this innovative online learning platform, as well as the process for selecting the experts who participate in it. She also talks about what it was like to co-found Multiverse (formerly known as WhiteHat) and shares valuable advice for people looking to expand their own professional network. If you’re a part of the ‘incurably curious’ camp, join us for this episode of Hands On.

Listen to Hands On on Spotify. Also available on Apple Podcast & Simplecast.

Jump straight into:

(04:02) - What The Garden is all about and what Sophie has learned recently. “I just got to really indulge my curiosity. I think this was one of the seeds of The Garden, because until that point, I'd really been someone who'd spent their entire educational career focused on achievement.”

(08:45) - Lessons from Sophie’s background and early career prior to shifting gears into business. “I really caught the bug of startup life, and when the opportunity presented itself a few years later, as I was leaving to join my co-founder and build what was originally WhiteHat, now Multiverse, I leapt at the opportunity and then the rest is history.”

(10:43) - A reverence for expertise: How Sophie came up with the idea for The Garden. “I don't think we've ever needed access to true experts more than now. We need those people who have been spending time doing that deep research and evaluating things.”

(14:34) - A positive impact for the elder demographic and what it means to launch a platform like The Garden in this day and age. “I realized that a lot of people, when they retire – they spend their time learning. They don't call it learning, but that's the activity that they do.”

(19:10) - How The Garden's process for selecting their experts (and employees) works. “I'm one of those people who will obsess over getting lots of references, because I actually think that how people act in a job is the best indicator of their future success, rather than what they tell you.”

(22:03) - Support Networks: Sophie’s appreciation for community and advice for people looking to expand their own professional network. “People often look to build relationships with people who may be a few steps ahead of them in their career and don't spend enough time building peer networks.”

(27:57) - Brands as People: How The Garden would look and act if it was a person. “She's always asking questions. She's the wild child who grew up and still wants to know why. For her, learning is her way of playing.”

(30:53) - Crazy Points: Unconventional practices and ideas that are part of The Garden’s identity. “Most people who do this produce it like a Hollywood studio. They film somebody, they edit it, they cut it. And that creates a beautiful piece of content. But the magic is from being in the room with somebody. That's the experience you're going to remember.”

Published — June 16, 2022