Happy thanksgiving


I am deeply grateful for all your support & encouragement in making our TV show a success. Sending you and your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving with a grateful heart.


Why is stem education important? It explains us things and teaches us to be data-driven and evidence-based shares Nancy Zayed, founder and CTO of MagicCube of Silicon Valley. And this is not to undermine intuition Zayed adds. A lot of innovation happens when liberal arts folks join and help find a different angle for tech companies she says.

Watch the full interview with Zayed here.

This is part of our Women in Science, Tech & Business series sponsored by Zoho Corp.

Here is a list of TV stations in the US that broadcast our show. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel and podcast where we feature new interviews.

Kate Beckinsale: Tom Bennett Is “Just Heaven”

What a please surprise to see this tweet from actor Tom Bennett, who plays Sir James Martin, a somewhat of a daft and nice chap in Whit Stillman’s film Love & Friendship. Bennett does a superb job in the film.

This tweet relates to an interview I did with Kate Beckinsale, where she described Bennett as “just heaven.” Thank you to Mrs. Bennett for creating this animated gif.

Check back for an audio interview with filmmaker Whitman, where he talks at length about how he got Bennett to be part of Love & Friendship.


Quick note to let you know there will be no podcast interviews this week. Will be back next week with a new podcast interview. You can listen and download our podcast interviews from our website, iTunes and some of them are available on our YouTube channel.

If you like what you hear, do share and leave a comment or send your feedback. It is always fantastic when we hear from you. It makes the day so much better and happier. Thank you.





Lawrence Kasdan

Lawrence Kasdan

Lawrence Kasdan is a writer, producer and director. He is the co-writer of Star Wars: The Force Awakens that opened today in the US.  Kasdan c0-wrote other Star Wars films.

He wrote and directed The Big Chill. Earlier this year Kasdan was recognized for his work by Silicon Valley’s Cinequest Film Festival, which ia where we got to speak to him about Star Wars, George Lucas and writing screenplays.

I wondered what winning an award meant to Kasdan.  “So, when there is an external sign that someone values what you have done …it is a nice relief from a normal, lonely process,” he responded. That answer by Kasdan reminds you that we often forget that writing is a lonely and demanding process.


There is an interesting story of how Kasdan became a writer and how Arthur Miller “the playwright” of the day as he puts it influenced his decision  to go to University of Michigan (U of MI). Kasdan joined U of MI  to study under Professor Kenneth Thorpe Rowe, who was Miller’s teacher.

Kasdan has worked extensively with George Lucas. Why were Lucas and Steven Spielberg drawn to Kasdan’s writings? They both read Continental Divide and probably responded to the slightly Hawksian relationship between the heroine and the leading man he says. When Lucas and Spielberg read the script they wanted that tone, which  was a hallmark of Howard Hawks films points out Kasdan.

Tune in to find out what Kasdan has to say about writing for films, Star Wars, George Lucas and if he is an iPhone or an Android user.









Meet San Francisco Bay area’s Tava India Kitchen’s Hasnain Zaidi, Chief Operating Officer. In this interview Zaidi shares the back story of how Tava was born and what kind of food they serve. We also find out if they were inspired by the success of Chipotle, the restaurant chain that serves Mexican food.

Tava is a casual restaurant chain that serves Indian food, and is often compared to Chipotle. Vijay Brihmadesam, Jason Pate and Zaidi are the founders of the restaurant chain. All three of them met while studying at Duke University.

The idea for starting Tava was born on a flight when Brihmadesam and Pate got talking about food options in the Bay area, especially Indian food. They roped in Zaidi and started working on their concept and also worked at Chipotle to get hands-on experience of working in a restaurant. They decided to start the restaurant in San Francisco Bay area rather than the East Coast, which is where all three of them were working. In 2012 they started their first restaurant in Palo Alto and now have a branch is San Francisco and San Jose. Earlier this year Tava raised $4.5 million in Series A funding.

This interview was aired on TV in San Francisco Bay area.



Pico Iyer talks about Iran and Asghar Farhadi’s film. The question stemmed from an article Iyer wrote on this topic.

This is part of an extended and free ranging interview with Iyer that we recorded in San Francisco. Stay tuned for that interview. We will post it on our YouTube channel.



Filmmaker Maya Forbes talks about the making of her debut film Inifintely Polar Bear. The film is based on her father, who was manic depressive. It is not easy to make a film based on your family, and yet Frobes succeeds in making a film that touches you and helps you realize how children have the capacity and intelligence to understand and deal with mental illness. Often, we tend to underestimate the emotional intelligence of children in such matters.

Forbes wrote and directed the film that stars Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana. Ruffalor plays the father’s role and is brilliant as a loving and troubled man, who learns to take care of his children. And sometimes his children take care of him when he hits those rough patches. Saldana plays the role of the mother, who decides to go back to school and get a MBA degree from Columbia University to improve her career prospects. As the breadwinner of the family, she makes the tough decision to leave her two young daughter’s in her former husband’s care, while she gets her degree.

Forbes did not want to make a heavy film on mental illness. This is a film that mixes the fun and happy times the family experiences, along with the rough patches they hit every now and then. Through the film you understand and get a better picture of what it takes for a family to come together and learn to live.

In this interview with Forbes she takes us behind the scnes and shares how and why she made Infinitely Polar Bear that takes a compassionate look at mental illness and how it impacts a family. We talked to her about the making of the film, her father, and the initial help and support she got from filmmaker JJ Abrams. We also wanted to find out what the title Infinitely Polar Bear means, and found out the answer. The film is also a family affair of sorts. Her daughter acts in the film, her husband helped produce the film, her mother helped with sharing stories about their father and her sister China Forbes of Pink Maritini created a track for the film.

Infiniitely Polar Bear releasesd on June 26, 2014 in San Francisco bay area.

A longer version of this interiew was aired on TV in San Francisco bay area and in Cambridge, MA.

  • Running Time: 88 minutes
  • Status: Released
  • Country: USA
  • Genre: FAMILY

Zenefits Gets $500 Million In Latest Round Of Funding With A Valuation of $4.5 Billion

237991v6-max-450x450Manage and automate all of your HR systems—online, in one place—for free is the tagline for Zenefits, a San Francisco based company founded by Parker Conrad and Laks Srini in May 2013. And within a short span of two years the company has raised multiple rounds of funding totaling $581 million that includes the new round of funding it announced today.

Zenefits announced it has raised $500 million in its Series C round of funding. And the post-money valuation for Zeneifts is $4.5 billion. Fidelity Research and Management company  and TPG lead the latest round of investments that included Insight Venture Partners, Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures, and Ashton Kutcher’s and Guy Oseary’s Sound Ventures. Other previous investors include  Andreessen Horowitz and Institutional Venture Partners (IVP). And here is a surprise – actor and musician Jared Leto, who was introduced to Zenefits by Aaron Levie of Box. Leto invested in Series B round of funding.

So, what exactly does Zenefits do? It is a free, cloud-based HR automation platform that automates all the paperwork related to Human Resources (HR) work. This includes the whole nine yards from compliance to payroll, health insurance and other associated employee benefits. The company has over 10,000 small and medium scale clients in different verticals across the USA. Managing HR related paperwork is one of the central challenges for many small and medium sized companies. And Zenefits with its “unusual business model is upsetting the brokerage industry, frustrating regulators and giving investors a reason to bet big,” writes the Wall Street Journal.

Since its founding 2 years ago Zenefits has become one of the fastest growing software companies according to various media reports. The company’s valuation has grown 9-fold in less than a year and it is hiring 150 people per month reports Fortune. With this new round of funding you can expect to see the company ramp up its operations across the USA.