Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots



A weekly podcast discussing the design, development, and business of great software. Hosted by thoughtbot CEO, Chad Pytel, and rotating cast of fellow developers, designers, and entrepreneurs, we delve deep behind the scenes of the products and technologies we love.


  • 530: Giant Robots On Tour

    20/06/2024 Duração: 25min

    Host Will Larry announces an exciting new Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots podcast limited series focusing on Europe, West Asia, and Africa and introduces new co-hosts Sami Birnbaum, Svenja Schäfer, Rémy Hannequin, and Jared Turner! Sami sets a fun challenge for the team to devise a name for the new series by the end of the podcast. The co-hosts engage in an icebreaker game where Sami randomly generates questions for each to answer. The team members talk about their paths into the tech industry. Jared, Rémy, and Will share stories of discovering their passion for tech, overcoming initial struggles, and finding their niche within the field. They discuss the importance of patience, problem-solving, and continuous learning in their careers. Sami emphasizes the value of realistic expectations and the ability to spend time with complex problems to find solutions. As the first show progresses, the co-hosts have an amazing time brainstorming potential names for the new series, and ultimately, the team d

  • 529: How AI Transforms Small Business Operations

    13/06/2024 Duração: 40min

    Host Victoria Guido chats with Jaclyn Siu, the co-founder of Starcycle, an AI platform designed as a COO for small businesses. First, Jaclyn describes her entrepreneurial journey and what led her to Starcycle, detailing her earlier ventures, such as helping to scale a men's styling app and a software platform for authenticating high-end art. Her ultimate goal is to make the tools and experiences typically reserved for startup founders accessible to small business owners, who comprise most of the global business ecosystem. She outlines how Starcycle supports crucial phases in a business’s lifecycle—start-up, sale, or shutdown—by automating operations and documentation, easing burdens on business owners. Jaclyn also touches on the importance of personal connections and genuine curiosity in conducting user research and developing products that genuinely meet the needs of small businesses. She believes we can achieve this by being deeply rooted in empathy and strategically using technology like Starcycle. Starcyc

  • 528: AI in Action—How Fireflies Transforms Meeting Productivity

    06/06/2024 Duração: 41min

    Host Victoria Guido interviews Krish Ramineni, founder and CEO of Fireflies, who provides insights into the evolution of Fireflies. This AI meeting assistant transcribes and summarizes meetings in multiple languages. He explains the rapid advancements in AI models that have allowed Fireflies to expand its language support and improve its transcription and note-taking capabilities. The conversation shifts to the broader AI industry, where Krish comments on democratizing AI technology, making it more accessible and practical for various applications beyond just number crunching. He emphasizes the importance of AI in enhancing productivity and enabling small teams to achieve large-scale impacts. Victoria and Krish explore the future of work with AI, discussing the balance between job creation and replacement. Krish argues that rejecting AI is akin to dismissing essential technological advancements like email, highlighting businesses' need to adapt and embrace AI tools. They also touch on Fireflies' journey to en

  • 527: Exploring AI in Business with PrimeLab io’s Wendell Adams

    30/05/2024 Duração: 44min

    Host Victoria Guido welcomes Wendell Adams, CEO of, as he talks about his lifelong passion for technology and entrepreneurship. Wendell shares his experiences, from hacking electronics as a child to studying various fields in college and eventually starting his own business. He emphasizes the importance of understanding market needs and leveraging language to make technology accessible. Wendell's drive to improve encryption and data security led to the formation of PrimeLab; a company focused on making encryption functional and accessible without compromising performance. Wendell discusses PrimeLab's strategic direction and market fit. He outlines the challenges and opportunities in the entertainment industry, emphasizing the need for innovative solutions that respect user control and privacy. Wendell also shares insights into how PrimeLab's technology can democratize data access and enhance business processes. The episode concludes with a reflection on the future of AI and encryption technologies

  • 526: AI-Powered Leadership with Waggle AI

    23/05/2024 Duração: 34min

    Hosts Will Larry and Victoria Guido interview Sarah Touzani, the founder of Waggle AI, an AI leadership skills coach. Sarah shares insights from her entrepreneurial journey, discussing how her past pottery hobby has influenced her focus and patience, which are crucial skills in her role as a founder. She explains how her transition from a traditional business school path to a senior role in a fast-growing startup, and eventually to founding Waggle AI, was driven by a desire to foster better managerial skills and workplace culture. Sarah talks about the early challenges and pivots in developing Waggle AI, such as incorporating AI for automatic note-taking to reduce user friction. She describes how Waggle AI assists in meeting preparations, records notes, and provides feedback on leadership skills, helping managers improve their delegation and empathy skills. She also highlights the importance of blending productivity tools with leadership development to enhance team performance and individual well-being. The d

  • 525: Tech, Public Service, and Serendipity

    16/05/2024 Duração: 51min

    Victoria Guido hosts Robbie Holmes, the founder and CEO of Holmes Consulting Group. The conversation kicks off with Robbie recounting his initial foray into the tech world at a small web hosting company named A1, chosen for its alphabetical advantage in the white pages. This job was a stepping stone to a more significant role at Unisys, working for the state of New York's Department of Social Services, where Robbie inadvertently ventured into civic tech and public interest technology. Robbie shares his career progression from supporting welfare systems in New York to becoming a technological liaison between the city and state, leading to a deeper involvement in open-source solutions. His journey through tech spaces includes developing websites, diving into the Drupal community, and eventually establishing his consulting business. Robbie emphasizes the serendipitous nature of his career path, influenced significantly by community involvement and networking rather than a planned trajectory. Addition

  • 524: From Personal Loss to Pioneering Pediatric Health

    09/05/2024 Duração: 36min

    Hosts Will Larry and Victoria Guido are joined by Hans Kullberg, Co-Founder and Head of Product at Pathfinder Health. Pathfinder Health is an early-stage startup that provides objective insights into children's developmental health to pediatric clinics. Hans shares his journey, starting with his career on Wall Street, moving through various startup experiences, and finally, his pivotal role at Visa, which was significantly shaped by the tragic loss of his daughter, Aviva. This loss inspired him to focus on helping families get timely and accurate developmental diagnoses for their children. The episode highlights pediatricians' challenges in monitoring developmental health due to time constraints during appointments and the lack of detailed observation that these brief interactions afford. Hans explains how Pathfinder Health aims to address these challenges by enhancing the collaboration between parents and pediatricians through technology, providing detailed tracking and insights into a child's development ou

  • 523: The Art of Leadership with Francis Lacoste

    02/05/2024 Duração: 34min

    Host Victoria Guido connects with Francis Lacoste, a seasoned VPE and CTO coach. He details his unexpected journey from an aspiring cinema professional to a key player in the tech industry after honing his remote-first work culture skills. He delves into his move toward coaching, emphasizing his commitment to developing engineering management talent and his dedication to building strong engineering cultures and leadership within organizations. Francis discusses the psychological aspects of leadership, such as the importance of psychological safety and the role of trust in organizational effectiveness. He also reflects on the nuances of transitioning from hands-on technical work to strategic leadership roles, emphasizing the critical soft skills necessary for effective leadership. Follow Francis Lacoste on LinkedIn ( Visit his website: ( Follow thoughtbot on X ( or LinkedIn (

  • 522: Turning Passions into Therapy with Hobi's Hamidah Nalwoga

    25/04/2024 Duração: 28min

    Host Victoria Guido discusses the therapeutic and community-building aspects of converting hobbies into mental health therapy with special guest Hamidah Nalwoga. Hamidah shares how attempting to learn hula hooping through expensive circus school lessons made her realize a need for a more accessible form of skill sharing. Meet Hobi—a platform where people can learn various skills not as a means of professionalization but for personal therapy and community building. Hamidah explains the challenges and insights from starting Hobi, particularly the hurdles of managing a two-sided marketplace and the importance of community support in the mental health space. While aiming to foster both skill development and mental well-being by providing affordable and engaging group sessions in arts, dance, and writing therapy, the platform also offers these sessions at minimal costs. Hamidah and Victoria also talk about the broader impacts of community-focused initiatives on mental health. With an increasing number of people fa

  • 521: Insusty: Pioneering Sustainability Rewards for Environmental Action

    18/04/2024 Duração: 39min

    Hosts Will Larry and Victoria Guido chat with Sanghmitra Bhardwaj, CEO and Founder of Insusty. Sanghmitra shares her journey from a small village in the foothills of the Himalayas to becoming a founder in France, driven by firsthand experiences with climate disasters and a passion for sustainable living. Insusty, a sustainability loyalty program, is a platform incentivizing individuals to adopt climate-positive actions through rewards, thereby fostering a community motivated towards environmental stewardship. The show digs into the mechanics and vision of Insusty, highlighting how the platform rewards eco-friendly actions like volunteering and donating, rather than purchases. This approach aims to bridge the gap between the desire for sustainable living and the practical challenges individuals face, such as the perceived high costs of sustainable products. Sanghmitra reveals the evolution of Insusty, including strategic pivots towards niche markets within the circular economy and the importance of transparenc

  • 520 - Breaking New Ground in Maternal Mental Health with Mevi

    11/04/2024 Duração: 41min

    Hosts Will Larry and Victoria Guido are joined by Zamina Karim, the CEO and Founder of Mevi, a community-driven motherhood wellness app designed to address the unique challenges of motherhood, especially in the context of the pandemic. Zamina shares her journey from experiencing postpartum anxiety and depression to founding Mevi. She discusses the lack of understanding and support for new mothers, especially during the pandemic when traditional support structures were unavailable. The conversation also touches on parenting challenges in the current era, underscoring the need for community and support. The app aims to revolutionize maternal health by fostering connections among mothers and providing support for the challenges of motherhood beyond medical visits. Zamina's approach to building Mevi is rooted in empathy, aiming to address new mothers' emotional and practical needs and fill a significant gap in current maternal health support. Zamina also talks about the broader implications of Mevi's mission, the

  • 519 - Ammi's Mission to Empower Parents

    04/04/2024 Duração: 42min

    Host Will Larry is joined by Priyanka Mahajan, the founder of Ammi, a startup dedicated to supporting new and expectant parents with expertise, support, and community. The conversation highlights the challenges of parenting, the absence of a universal parenting manual, and how Ammi seeks to provide a personalized co-pilot for parents navigating the early stages of parenthood. Priyanka shares her journey from a career in strategy consulting and corporate roles across different countries to founding Ammi, driven by personal experiences and the desire to make a meaningful impact on parents' lives. Priyanka discusses the core challenges she faced as a parent, such as dealing with the loss of control, the transition to motherhood, and the importance of acknowledging and navigating the mental and emotional shifts that come with it. She introduces the concept of "matrescence," likening it to adolescence, as a significant, yet underdiscussed, transition into parenthood. Priyanka's personal struggles with anxiety and

  • 518 - The Standard of Self-Care: Unlocking Personal Growth with Chris Pallatroni

    28/03/2024 Duração: 41min

    In this episode, host Victoria Guido interviews Chris Pallatroni, creator of The Standard, a platform dedicated to sharing self-care stories. Chris shares how his interests in gardening and mental wellness fueled the inception of The Standard, which was initially intended to be a landscaping venture. He delves into the hurdles faced while developing the platform, highlighting the struggle for product-market fit and the critical role of integrating technology with human connection to enable meaningful support and interactions. Chris underscores storytelling's pivotal role in enhancing mental health, advocating for the sharing of personal triumphs over adversity to motivate and assist others facing similar challenges. He envisions The Standard as a vast collection of genuine, relatable self-care narratives aimed at reducing the feeling of isolation among individuals. Through inviting users to share their experiences, Chris seeks to leverage human connections to cultivate a community supportive of mental health

  • 517 - Building Better Design Systems with Luro's Trent Walton

    21/03/2024 Duração: 44min

    Hosts Victoria Guido and Will Larry are joined by Trent Walton, CEO of Luro. Trent shares his journey into the design world, from his early fascination with typography and logos to co-founding Paravel. This agency later evolved into creating Luro, a no-code solution for building design systems and tracking their adoption across products. Trent emphasizes the importance of understanding the materials one works with in design and development and stresses the need for a holistic approach to product building. This approach blurs the lines between disciplines, encouraging a generalist mindset over specialization. Luro, as a product, stemmed from the realization that existing design systems often fell short in adoption and application, leading to a search for a more integrated and comprehensive solution. Trent outlines the functionality and vision behind Luro, explaining how it serves not just designers and developers but entire organizations by fostering better collaboration, documentation, and understanding of d

  • 516 - Innovating Fashion: Charlotte Holt's Tech-Driven Approach

    14/03/2024 Duração: 28min

    Hosts Will and Victoria sit down with Charlotte Holt, the Founder and Creator of The Fashion Library. Based in London, The Fashion Library is a contemporary wardrobe rental resource tailored for stylists. Charlotte opens up about her diverse background, spanning various countries, and shares the transformative journey that led her from being a stylist to establishing her own venture. Charlotte sheds light on the formidable challenges stylists encounter, from the environmental repercussions of fashion production to the financial constraints of traditional shopping methods. She articulates how The Fashion Library is poised to confront these obstacles head-on by offering a platform that enables stylists to rent clothing, fostering sustainability while saving valuable resources like time and money. Delving into the realm of technology, Charlotte underscores its pivotal role in streamlining operations and catalyzing a paradigm shift towards a more sustainable fashion industry. She outlines her ambitious vision for

  • 515 - Healing Minds, Changing Lives: The Meru Health Experience

    07/03/2024 Duração: 36min

    Kristian Ranta, the founder of Meru Health, shares the company's journey from its inception to its current status as a leading provider of mental health solutions. Kristian reflects on the decision to pivot Meru Health from a wellness-focused to a healthcare-centered company, emphasizing the importance of overcoming fears and listening to intuition in entrepreneurial pursuits. He discusses the challenges and rewards of building a healthcare startup, highlighting the complexities of navigating regulatory frameworks and securing insurance reimbursements. Throughout the conversation, Kristian elaborates on Meru Health's unique approach to mental healthcare, which integrates therapy, coaching, and app-based interventions to offer users a holistic and personalized experience. He underscores the significance of community support in mental health treatment and explains how Meru Health's platform fosters connection among individuals facing similar challenges. Kristian also delves into the company's plans for expansio

  • 514 - The New Frontier of Fertility Treatment: Technology, Telemedicine, and Hera Fertility

    29/02/2024 Duração: 32min

    Host Will Larry delves into the innovative world of Hera Fertility with its Founder and CEO, Thiv Paramsothy. Hera Fertility emerges as a telemedicine-first provider aimed at revolutionizing the fertility journey for couples. Thiv shares his journey from a tech enthusiast in Toronto to a healthcare entrepreneur driven by a desire to make healthcare more accessible and efficient. His ventures, including Hera Fertility, are born out of personal observations and frustrations with the existing healthcare system, particularly its inefficiencies and the barriers to accessing necessary care. Thiv noticed a significant gap in the fertility treatment landscape—long waiting times for appointments, excessive costs, and the overall inconvenience and emotional toll of traditional fertility treatments. Hera Fertility aims to address these issues by offering affordable, convenient, and less invasive alternatives to IVF, leveraging telemedicine to provide immediate access to care, diagnostics, and medication. The episode al

  • 513 - Custom Fit, Global Impact: MADE TECH's Apparel Innovation with Dustin Butcher

    22/02/2024 Duração: 37min

    Host Victoria Guido interviews Dustin Butcher, CEO and Co-Founder of MADE TECH, a company revolutionizing the performance apparel industry through custom and made-to-measure automation technology. Dustin shares his journey from working in the outdoor industry and running a creative agency to founding MADE TECH. The company's mission is to provide performance apparel that perfectly fits the wearer's body, addressing a common issue where standard sizes fail to accommodate individual body shapes and sizes, particularly in sports where fit and movement are crucial. Dustin discusses the inspiration behind MADE TECH, which stemmed from personal experiences with ill-fitting outdoor apparel during activities like ski touring. He highlights the company's focus on inclusivity, allowing for 100% size inclusivity and addressing the needs of a broad spectrum of body shapes and sizes. This initiative caters to individuals who traditionally struggle to find performance gear that fits and opens the door for brands to offer m

  • 512 - Unboxing thoughtbot's Revolutionary Design Sprint Kit

    15/02/2024 Duração: 34min

    In this episode of the Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots podcast, hosts Will Larry and Victoria Guido discuss the intricacies of product design with thoughtbot's Senior Designers, Rami Taibah and Ferdia Kenny. They delve into the newly launched Product Design Sprint Kit by thoughtbot, which is designed to streamline and enhance product development. Ferdia and Rami explain how the kit aims to compress the design process into a focused five-day sprint, allowing teams to move from idea to user-tested prototype efficiently. They discuss the genesis of the kit, its components, and the rationale behind making it openly available. Towards the end of the episode, the conversation shifts towards the broader implications of design in product development, the iterative nature of design sprints, and the value of user feedback in guiding product decisions. Rami and Ferdia share real-world examples where product design sprints led to significant pivots or refinements in product strategy, emphasizing the critic

  • 511 - Tele911: Pioneering Remote Emergency Care with Dr. Ramon Lizardo

    08/02/2024 Duração: 35min

    Victoria Guido hosts Dr. Ramon Lizardo, CEO of Tele911, to discuss his company's innovative approach to emergency room diversion. Dr. Lizardo shares his journey from being a physician frustrated with the inefficiencies in emergency care to leveraging technology for better healthcare delivery. Tele911 is a service that transforms how emergency responses are handled. Rather than transporting patients to hospitals for non-critical care, Tele911 facilitates on-site treatments through paramedics equipped with iPads, allowing doctors to provide remote consultations, streamlining emergency services, and reducing unnecessary hospital visits and costs. Dr. Lizardo's motivation for founding Tele911 was driven by personal experiences and the desire to improve emergency healthcare delivery. He recounts the challenges of pioneering in digital health, particularly the initial skepticism from investors and potential users about remote medical services. The COVID-19 pandemic became a turning point, accelerating acceptance an

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