Andrew Kortina of Venmo and Fin on Technological Determinism and Work’s Relationship to Dignity

  • November 20, 2018
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Andrew Kortina – – is the cofounder of Venmo and Fin. Fin is a high quality, on-demand, personal assistant and executive assistant service.

You can get a $100 credit to try Fin at

Andrew blogs at

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon –



00:00 – Human dignity and work

7:35 – Creating jobs

9:35 – From The Beautiful Struggle // The Beautiful Game – You might argue that we’re already in a sort of failure mode, where our ability to assign dignity to arbitrary work and motivate people to work bullshit jobs is more efficient than our ability to allocate labor towards industry that would have greater social benefit, like education, healthcare, food, etc. If we’re already in this failure mode, it’s kind of the worst of all worlds, because not only are we assigning meaning to work that doesn’t need to be done, but, also, we could be redeploying that labor towards efforts that are actually important today.

18:00 – Travel

20:30 – Why do we want to do anything?

21:35 – Life after Fin

24:45 – From The Emperor Has No Clothes, There is No Santa Claus, and Nothing is Rocket Science – I want to preface this talk by warning you that it’s quite possible you’ll interpret much of this talk as cynicism. It is not my intention to be cynical. My goal is to treat you with respect by speaking to you honestly, without any grand illusions.

None of the companies trying to convince you to work for them will mention technological determinism. They will confirm what your parents and teachers told you, that your work and contribution will be totally unique and significant.

31:30 – From The Emperor Has No Clothes, There is No Santa Claus, and Nothing is Rocket Science – I recognize that the meditative aspect of craft is an excellent way to cope with meaninglessness

38:00 – Technological determinism

42:30 – Andrew’s company Fin

47:45 – Ryan Hoover asks – When (if ever) will Fin task completion be 100% AI-driven?

49:00 – Differences between running Fin and Venmo

56:15 – Venmo’s Lucas ads

58:00 – Spencer Clark asks – How did you and your co-founders decide to sell Venmo?

1:01:30 – Charlie Kaufman on Screenwriting – What I’m trying to express – what I’d like to express – is the notion that, by being honest, thoughtful and aware of the existence of other living beings, a change can begin to happen in how we think of ourselves and the world, and ourselves in the world.

1:08:30 – Get $100 credit to Fin at

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