Talk Wealth to Me

#095 Creating Your Own Path & Inclusion with Nora Ali

July 23, 2021 Felipe Arevalo, Chase Peckham, Nora Ali Season 4 Episode 17
Talk Wealth to Me
#095 Creating Your Own Path & Inclusion with Nora Ali
Show Notes Transcript

The daughter of immigrant parents growing up in Minnesota, Nora Ali grew up thirsty for knowledge and opportunity. Today the Talk Wealth To Me guys sit down with Nora about the launching of a new media venture as well as her incredible path leading up to it.

Nora was most recently an anchor on Cheddar, a business and technology-focused news network which broadcasts live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and its other studios across New York City and Washington, D.C. 

At Cheddar, Nora helped pitch and launch several specialty series, including Fast Forward: Life After Covid-19All Hands: Race Toward Inclusion, Business of Buying, and Future of Food.  She is a graduate of Harvard University and was previously a Senior Product Manager for end-to-end customer experience at the e-commerce company Jet.com, which she joined prior to its launch and acquisition by Walmart.  What an inspiration!

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Speaker 1:

Welcome to Talk Wealth to me, a safe space podcast, where we chat about anything and everything related to personal finance, the information contained in this podcast is for educational and entertainment purposes. Only. It does not constitute as accounting , legal tax or other professional advice.

Felipe Arevalo:

Twitter is a very active, personal finance community. And you know, there's a lot of personal finance, you know, tweets and , and experts. And, and I don't even know It was, it was actually Katie, our other co-host who wasn't able to join us, who manages the debtwave Twitter feed , um, commented because you mentioned your life goals is going on Armchair Expert

Nora Ali:

That's that's like, that's my biggest goal in life. It's sad. But like, I just listened to his episode with Barack Obama.

Felipe Arevalo:

Yes.

Nora Ali:

So it's like crazy that people, they get on that podcast.

Felipe Arevalo:

It's funny. I told my wife, I was like, yeah , cause I , I that's my top podcast as well. And I told my wife, I was like, their guests are really ticking up. There's no chance they're going to follow up. You know, Barack Obama, Quintin Tarantino with Felipe out of San Diego.

Nora Ali:

You never know Felipe. You never know. They'll get to a point where there's like, all the famous people have been taped off. So they just have to go to the regulars, like you and me. We have stories to share too.

Chase Peckham:

Yeah, he's great. He's one of the top first podcast I ever started listening to and still do. I mean, it's , it's amazing what he has built. And I only knew him through parenthood , uh , and following his wife in her different , uh, celebrity ventures and her different movies and things. So yeah, it's really fun, but you know what? We're going to look for it . We're going to push, we're going to try to get you on there,

Nora Ali:

Thank you.

Chase Peckham:

But that would be, that would be a good one . Nora, tell us you, you were born and raised in Minnesota, correct.

Nora Ali:

That's right.

Chase Peckham:

So give us your background and your story. I mean, how did you get to the place you're at at 30 years old? Now it has been an extremely long road and kind of a different, like a fractured road through the years. You, you have so much experience in so many different types of ventures at such a young age. Where does that come from?

Nora Ali:

I think I have to start with where my parents came from. So they're immigrants from Bangladesh. They came to the U S in the seventies and you're right. I've had a few different careers in my career. I'm in my 10th year of working now, but my mom, for example, has worked at 3M for 35 years. I think she's been at the same company for her entire career. And the notion of switching from job to job, starting your own thing, going to work for a startup is just not that common amongst my community amongst immigrant families, especially in Minnesota. So graduating from college, I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do. So I did the default thing of going into investment banking. Uh , it was either investment banking or consulting.

Chase Peckham:

Okay. Before you, you're already stepping ahead. We need you to go back a little bit and just kinda , you know, what's that little school that you went to. What was that ? That small little.

Nora Ali:

I went to Harvard.

Chase Peckham:

Oh, Harvard, you know what, that's why you're going to get on Armchair Expert, by the way

Nora Ali:

They are, they do love they're uniphiles. Yeah.

Chase Peckham:

They love, they love their education. That's yours in.

Nora Ali:

That's the hook. Oh my goodness. I would hope there's more than that, but yes,

Chase Peckham:

No, it is. Well, I mean, you know , he's UCLA, she's university of Georgia and, but they do have, there's something about the IVs that they really, really, really like.

Nora Ali:

I know. And honestly, let me tell you, it was as, as the child of bangladeshi immigrants, it was like Harvard, Yale, Princeton. That's all that we have in our brains. But now I talk about this with my sisters all the time. My little sister went to Yale. My older sister went to Harvard and we're like, Ivy League education, don't really matter that they carry the weight. They carry the name recognition, but you could save more money. You can get a similar education at other schools. And I've even talked with my little sister about the value of just deferring college. What if your parents gave, you spent that tuition and just gave it to you and said, Hey, can you start a company that I feel like is the future of education is it's not going to be the default anymore. I think in our lifetimes to go to college anyway, that's a whole different tangent, but.

Chase Peckham:

I like that tangent though. That's a , that's a very good topic because it's a topic. My wife and I have a lot about our children and which way they're going. And , uh, my parents and my grandparents that are Stanford and Cal and very highly educated. And my dad to this day, swears that he doesn't think education that you needed anymore. That there's so many other things that you can do with that money. And that's it you're right. It is a different topic, But,

Nora Ali:

and learn , I mean, big tech companies just to put a pin on this, but larger tech companies like Google, for example, don't require a college degree for a lot of their roles now. And they have courses, they have re-skilling , uh , opportunities for their employees if they want to shift into different industries. So I just think it's , it's going to be less , uh , hypercritical to have that college degree going forward.

Chase Peckham:

That's uh , I would , we could go down that, that way as well, but you did go to Harvard and which I'm sure was an , a great or a different experience in itself, whether it was great or not. I don't know,

Felipe Arevalo:

Boston is way different from Minnesota.

Nora Ali:

Yeah. It was very different, but I, I didn't really explore as much as I would've hoped. I pretty much stayed on campus. U m, stayed within the community. U h, but boy, I was exposed to so many different kinds of people that I never met in Minnesota. I went to a mostly, mostly white high school. U m, and obviously Minnesota is a diverse state, but we were kind of insulated, I guess, in our community. I lived in Mendota Heights, which is a suburb of the twin cities, u m, big Bangladeshi community, surprisingly Minnesota, which is great, but yeah, a lot of different kinds of people that I met in college, they wouldn't have otherwise met.

Chase Peckham:

So you go from Harvard and you go, it's funny. You say that there was only a couple of ways you thought you were going to go and you went into the , stockbroking, is that correct?

Nora Ali:

I went into Asian equity sales. Yeah. So I worked with the research teams at Goldman who had put together their recommendations for stocks in the Asian markets. Um, so buy, sell, hold, whatever it may be. And it was my job to talk to our clients, whether it was mutual funds, investment managers. And I was that kind of person who gave them those recommendations and advise them on what to buy in equities in IPO's we worked on the Alibaba IPO, for example. So it was, it was the , I would say the hardest job objectively hardest job that I had because A, it was my first job and B it was, it was grueling lots of hours. You do really start at the bottom of the totem pole in that world of finance, but I really, really enjoyed it because of my team. Um, we were this kind of ragtag group of, it was like this pocket of diversity on the trading floor because we were Asian equities. So there were , um , people of Chinese heritage, Japanese heritage, myself, Bangladeshi. It was just, I would like to think we were the funniest and coolest, coolest kids on the floor, but yeah, it was certainly certainly a fun experience, fun and difficult experience.

Chase Peckham:

How long did you do that?

Nora Ali:

I did that for about three and a half years.

Chase Peckham:

And then, so how did you make your way to a new startup? Is, does that because of the way you met, you just met people and they said, Hey, please, come on and take on our venture.

Nora Ali:

It was kind of this era where youngsters like myself at the time who worked in finance wanted to dabble in the world of startups. Now startups is like the most common place that people work. I feel like, but back then, it was like, all right , people are starting to dabble in these smaller companies that have either, you know, funding, or they have a founder that is well-known , they have some sort of track record. So I came across jet.com because a friend who worked in the venture capital world was like, Hey, they're hiring it's mark Laurie , who had started in sold diapers.com. Uh, why don't you just send in your resume? And it was early enough at jet where they were looking for generalists. So people were just smart and could wear a lot of different hats and try to build the company and my background from colleges in statistics. So I kind of pitched myself as this data nerd. I would be helping them analyze customer data, help to make strategy decisions and that sort of thing. And I was actually quite a long interview process. Um, I had like seven back-to-back interviews, not that long, I guess, compared to us, I know other companies will have you interview for like a month, but it was one very concentrated day of interviews. And I came back for another round and just loved everybody that I met. And I was like, listen, I don't have e-commerce experience, but I am good at interpreting data. I'm good at interpreting customer behavior. And I think I could be a real value add for you. So I got hired and did a bunch of different things. I started on the marketing team eventually became a product lead. So I led teams of designers and engineers , um , for the end-to-end front ends , um , customer experience. And by the time I left, I was, I was, co-leading a team focused on the next gen of jet. So basically beta testing, new experiences on a new app. And we had the freedom for management just to build a team and build things that aren't on the regular roadmap for jet, which was probably the most fun part was just beta testing, whatever we wanted. So, yes, that's the long answer for how I went from Goldman to Jet

Chase Peckham:

Those who don't know what was jet.com. What was the basis of it?

Nora Ali:

Jet.com is an , was an e-commerce site. And the idea was to create efficiencies and take advantage of efficiencies in the system that other e-commerce players like Amazon at the time didn't take advantage of. So the more items you added to your cart that could be fulfilled and delivered from the same warehouse, the lower your prices got, because that's cheaper to ship. So the savings were passed on to the customer and it got acquired by Walmart for three and a half billion dollars, just a couple of years after launching, which is incredible. And then Walmart's e-commerce business under Mark Laurie , the founder of jet, who then went on to become the CEO of walmart.com under mark Laurie Wal-Mart's e-commerce business doubled. It grew tremendously. And the value of buying jet was buying technology and buying the talent. So the Jet brand doesn't exist anymore. All of those resources got bubbled up into Walmart, but now their e-commerce business is so much stronger and can compete much better against Amazon.

Chase Peckham:

So did a lot of the original staff go in that purchase and are still, are they still there?

Nora Ali:

So they kept, so Walmart kept everyone. Um,

Chase Peckham:

Well they know what they don't know, right? They're smart business people. They're acquiring you for a reason.

Nora Ali:

Exactly. And the people I worked with at Jet just like the smartest people and also kindest people on the planet. Uh , Mark Laurie is very good at hiring. Like that's probably his number one skill is knowing how to hire the right teams. But once Walmart sort of dissolved the brand of jet, people started to kind of leave on their own accord. And there's a lot of ex jet founders. Now, people who are starting their own companies, because I do think mark really hired for that entrepreneurial spirit, not just in the super early days of jet, but throughout the entire existence of the company. So there's this incredible vast network of people who used to work at jet. We all talk all the time. We share our anxieties with each other and share resources. So yeah, there's people, there's jet tentacles pretty much everywhere. Still

Chase Peckham:

Let me ask you. And I know, cause I know people are thinking this or when they hear this, they're going to be thinking this. And if it's over the top question, I please, you don't have to answer. But when you do a startup , something like that, and you're joining a team kind of from its infancy is part of the pay scale, be getting a part of the small part of the company, even if it's just small stock options or you get something, if it sells like it did.

Nora Ali:

Yeah. There was equity for early employees. Um, and.

Chase Peckham:

One of the advantages of taking a chance with a company like that.

Nora Ali:

Yeah, yeah, for sure. And that's something that I've thought about a lot in my career is going from job to job. I didn't have any apples to apples comparisons of what I should be getting paid, going from Goldman to a tiny startup, just it's just not comparable. And then going from a startup that got acquired by Walmart, then starting in news anchoring, which I'm sure we'll get to. That's like a totally different thing too . Um, but the good thing about jet was a good thing, but also this was controversial. Um , to some people they were very transparent about, about pay across levels. So if there were someone else at your level, you knew also what they got paid and everyone got paid the same , um , at the same level. So the only way to get , uh, to up your salary to up your income was to get promoted and so that incentivize people to try and get promoted. So that was a bit of a unique model that Mark Laurie evangelized ,

Felipe Arevalo:

You mentioned it, how do you go from know Goldman startup to, I want to be in front of a camera.

Nora Ali:

That is the question that I get asked the most because I have learned through my career that a lot of people just want to be on TV and for me, and they're like, how did you do it? How did you get on TV ? And for me, it wasn't about being on TV. Um, I really enjoy sharing information with people, presenting to people and learning from people. And it felt like television news hosting anchoring felt like a good practice to do, but I have to back up a little bit because I got that bug that itch growing up, performing violin and piano, very serious musician growing up at competed all across the country. And I would be invited , uh , because I was so used to being on stage. I would be invited to MC fundraisers and , and MC my friends and family's weddings. So I just really enjoyed doing that. I felt like I thrived in those environments. So I had decided , um, a few years into jet. It was just like career, career inflection point for me. I was like, if I'm ever going to try to pursue television, it feels like now is the time because I learned everything that I could learn at jet. And I was in my mid twenties and I was ready to take that leap of faith. So I made myself an Excel spreadsheet. I would make a lot of Excel spreadsheets in my life. I'm like made out of Excel spreadsheets , but I listed how.

Felipe Arevalo:

I like them.

Nora Ali:

I love them , helps me organize my life. So I listed out all the people who are related to the world of entertainment, the world of television that I knew or might be able to get to and , and included in that list was just some talent agents that I Googled and found. So I just cold reached out to a bunch of people. And there was a talent agent who I met with and he just kind of like gave me a chance that I had an interesting resume and we met for coffee and he said, well, you know, this company Cheddar is looking for a business anchor, but I don't have any business people on my roster. Why don't you go try out, why don't you go audition? And he said, I'll intro you to the casting director. Her name is Barbara. And I said, wait a second. I'm taking a hosting class from Barbara in two days. So it's just like all of the stars had aligned. So I was going to meet Barbara anyway, but I didn't know about this open job. And I wouldn't have known if I hadn't met with this talent agent. So I went to Barbara's class and said, Hey, you know, this agent mentioned that there's an open role at Cheddar let's chat. She said, send me an email. So I sent her an email followup after the class I went and I did a screen test and I didn't even know what a screen test was at the time did a screen test at a writing test. Um, had a couple interviews at cheddar and I literally walked out of there thinking to myself that was a fun, first experience. And I will never be back here. Cause I didn't know, I had nothing to compare it to. I didn't know how it went. I thought it was fine. And I like was myself. And then they called me back , um , to meet with the chief content officer. And they gave me , gave me the offer, which was shocking to me, but they said we like people who don't have that traditional journalism experience. You've worked in finance. You've worked at a startup, you've built technology. That is a value add. So long story short. I just decided at this point in my life, I wanted to pursue television, made a bunch of cold reach-outs and positioned myself to succeed in an area that I didn't really have experience. But there's ways to frame yourself to add value that other people can't.

Chase Peckham:

I think that's fantastic.

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah, I was gonna say that's a big lesson to listeners that you can make a move. It's scary. I would imagine , uh, to kind of go into the unknown, especially new industries, new whatever, but you can, if you put your mind to it, you know, change your situation for the better, for something that you might like more and, you know, I would imagine that changed your entire career outlook.

Nora Ali:

Yeah, It did. And I ended up in the industry that I had always wanted to be in. I just hadn't realized it until I was in it. And I run into a lot of people who are so bogged down in the prerequisites to qualifications for certain jobs. I've always been a strong believer in finding a job where I don't have the qualifications where I don't know what I'm doing, but I will learn on the job. If I am quote unquote, under-qualified based on the bulleted description, then that's what I, that's what I want. I want to be able to become overqualified as I'm doing the job. And that is also in part why I tend to change jobs is because to be honest, sometimes I do feel like I've gained everything that they can from a certain role. So I just want to try a new industry and see how that goes.

Chase Peckham:

That's so interesting too, because in this world that we live in currently, TV's not the same anymore. Right? So anybody can get on a video screen and put themselves on a tic tock, social media platform and can get discovered or whatever might have you. So it's real foresight from the people that in just a number of years ago, they hired you to look at it like, you know what she is being herself and people like that. Somebody that's very comfortable in front of the camera that can be themselves. They don't seem like they're quote unquote acting, but have a lot to give that background to give. That was really impressive. Not only you for going after something like that, not being afraid of the bullet points. Uh , but for them to hire somebody who quote unquote might be green, but said, no, there's something about this person. And so I think on both ends, they need to be commended.

Nora Ali:

Yeah. And there's something to be said about inviting people in, who aren't familiar with, how things work traditionally. So one example is I pitched a bunch of new shows while at Cheddar and I would go into it with a product manager mindset. I would have the , the requirements, the value proposition, here's, you know, the sample episodes. And I would flesh it out, I think a little bit more than your traditional anchor would flesh out a show idea because I wanted to see it through to execution. I didn't just want to float it and see if something happens. I'm used to managing something until it's out there in production. So having that different mindset, I think helps me to create new things that otherwise wouldn't have been created in the Cheddar environment.

Chase Peckham:

You put on your producer hat as well.

Nora Ali:

Yeah , exactly. Production production, a product manager and producer. It's like kind of the same thing, just different industries.

Chase Peckham:

And how long did that, how long did you do that? I mean, what was the, what was the time span from the time that you said, okay, I'm really enjoying this cause I looked at your, your different cuts. Uh, and.

Felipe Arevalo:

You've interviewed some cool people.

Chase Peckham:

Yeah, I mean, in, you're very, very good at it. And then now you're it , February of 2021, it's newsflash that you're leaving Cheddar and all that . Now it's a mystery it's I am going to start up my own company and stay tuned. And I believe me, I looked, I looked all over the place and you're pretty good at keeping this quiet cause no, I couldn't find anything.

Nora Ali:

Yes. So I wasn't even at the point of looking to leave Cheddar at the time because we, I mean, we had all just gone through a year of the pandemic and covering that in the news every single day, hour after hour was just so exhausting. And honestly, I was just so happy to be employed at that point. But as you know, I can't share details about my new venture, but I, somebody came to me with an idea and asked me to , to lead this thing. So I have a couple of co-founders and are building something new and I'm just applying all of my life, passions and missions behind this new thing that I'm building. And just a little sneak peek . We are going to make sure part of our mission is to elevate overlooked and underestimated voices in the space of media. And that was something that I was really, really passionate about while at Cheddar, but there's only so much you can do when it's just you and there's this larger organization and Cheddar had been acquired by all at that point. So now I have the agency to make all of the decisions, the decisions about my mission, my value proposition, who do I hire? Who do I work with? And I love having that freedom now. And I feel like I have all of the puzzle pieces that I learned working in finance, building a startup, working in television and now creating something new within the media space.

Chase Peckham:

So all those passions are going forward.

Nora Ali:

Yes.

Felipe Arevalo:

And we'll definitely stay tuned for when you do make the big announcement, we can see what it is,

Nora Ali:

Thank you.

Felipe Arevalo:

But it's something where it's, it's very interesting. You mentioned a couple of times like inclusion , uh, which has big, and it's something that you, you know, you're looking at it from , uh , I believe you mentioned from like a media inclusion and media standpoint, but you know, from a financial standpoint, we see it sometimes where certain communities , uh, have a hard time, you know, incorporating or being included into banking, investing and, and you know, and how do you, you know , because you were in business, you know, what are some of the things we as organizations can do to include more people?

Chase Peckham:

Lift up those communities?

Nora Ali:

Yeah. That's a great question. There's, there's more niche sort of FinTech companies that are popping up to, to target those communities that often go overlooked. For example, I just recently interviewed , um , the founder of it's called cheese financial, no relation to Cheddar news is it's called cheese financial, and it's focused on Asian American communities to start. Um, so these communities that don't have traditional access to banking and they plan to broaden out to , to be more inclusive and include others, mostly immigrant groups that don't have access to banking. But I think that's sort of key is to brand yourself in some ways as the go-to place for people who don't know where to start. And that's, you guys know this is obvious. It's a lack of education in many cases. So growing up as a child of immigrants, I, my parents, you know, dabble in investing, but they weren't trained to know how to invest their money, know how to save their money. And as a result of coming from a very poor environment and Bangladesh, they were more frugal than they had to be. So they would just save, save, save, save, save. We , we would stay in like, you know , cheap hotels and motels on family vacations only later in life did I realized that my parents like did actually have quite a bit of money. They built, they built wealth over time, what their amazing jobs that they, that they , they found in the U.S but there's, there's no way to pass on information about how to save and invest if your parents just aren't familiar with that because of where they came from. So yeah. To answer your question, I think it's important for these financial services companies to really brand themselves as the go-to place. There are no dumb questions and we will help guide you from step one, because we know you haven't been exposed to that. Like other people have that, that may be , have had access familiarly through the through time .

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah that's something were down here, we're in Southern California. So a large Latino community , um, I, myself being a child of immigrants as well , um, I always tell people my dad had great credit. He didn't know what he was doing with it, but just by his nature of, if you don't have the money, don't buy it and don't carry a credit card balance.

Nora Ali:

Exactly. That's like my dad too.

Felipe Arevalo:

Just save up as much money as you possibly can. You know ? And it's something where he didn't know what he was doing, but he was doing all the right steps. So, you know, it was, he, he tried to teach my brother and my parents both tried to teach my brother and I, you know , the saving value. He listened more than I did. Uh, I went on to make some financial , uh, let's call them learning experiences.

Nora Ali:

We've all been there.

Felipe Arevalo:

Made some purchases that I shouldn't Um, you know, but it's something where it's, I , I try and connect to the, the, the community here, the Latin community when I'm out presenting sometimes there's that reluctancy though, to trust, at least in t he, i n, in my experience here with the Latin community where it, yeah, I get it. I see what you're doing. I understand what you're saying, but I don't want to listen to you type thing. So it's hard to like reach i n. D o you find that kind of pushback from within the communities that you might be trying to help, w here i t's like, wait, I'm trying to get you in. Don't fight me also.

Nora Ali:

Yeah. You know, it, it is tricky because there might be a distrust generally of institutions , um, amongst some of these communities. But I think that's why it's so important to, to trust word of mouth too . If you do good by one person in the community, they're going to talk about what are the right entities to , to work with? What the institutions I should be putting my money into. And I went through this recently where my parents were looking into buying some property in New York, because I'm finally like in their late sixties, they're looking to diversify their portfolio holdings outside of stocks. Cause they're just, you know, they don't really think about that. Anyway. They just asked their Bangladeshi friends who like live in New York and that's their source of advice. It's not official financial advisors. It's like all their people that they know who are like them, who might've gone through this before. So yeah, I think it's important to build that trust with, just start with a person, a family, and then word of mouth will sort of follow you, just , you trust your community so much more than, than others.

Felipe Arevalo:

And I think that's something we've experienced with our military community, where we were kind of new to that community. It's a very diverse community, but once you start, they start hearing from their neighbors because they live in military housing or something like that , Hey , these guys are cool. This , you know, they helped me out. And then, you know, you start to , their neighbor might call in and be like, Hey, you helped out my friend or you helped out my roommate or whoever it is or the family down the street. And then you start to see that. And then the organizations they work with, you know, Hey, I hear our residents like you, do you think you can come and do a presentation for us? And then it starts kind of like the grassroots organic.

Nora Ali:

Exactly, exactly. And that I think is the case for young people now too , just, you know, gen Z millennials who are trying to invest for the first time. It's if you talk about those, the FinTech apps, for example, like a Robinhood or a public, it's really what your friends are using. Like sure. You can get targeted ads on your Instagram or falling around browsing on the internet, but I'm going to use what my friends use and that's it. So there's so much to be said about organic reach and word of mouth these days in anything you do.

Chase Peckham:

So did you find out what your passions were as you were working for cheddar, as you were finding these stories, is that really kind of molded where you see yourself going in the future with this new venture?

Nora Ali:

Definitely. I learned,

Chase Peckham:

Can you expand on that a little bit? Sure. Yeah . Yeah. So I learned so much about what motivates me and drives me on a day-to-day basis. What, for example, it's good to know what you don't enjoy first and foremost, to really understand what you do. So news, I found to be interesting obviously, cause I was in the news business, but breaking news, fleeting news, not my thing. I was always very focused on deep storytelling and doing deep dives into certain ideas and themes. So if there's ongoing little pieces that pop up, there's always these fractured sort of big tech stories and regulation and you report on them sort of individually. But I always found my, my, my own bread and butter to be connecting all the dots and explain to the viewer why you should care and how this impacts you and how everything fits together.

Nora Ali:

So just deep dive storytelling I found was a passion of mine. And the shows that I would pitch were always the thematic. Uh, so one was called fast-forward race toward , uh, sorry, fast forward life after COVID-19, which was looking at our future in a post pandemic life because every day we would have these new stories of, are we going to be at working remotely forever are what's the future of telehealth , just random mentions of these kinds of stories. So it was like, why don't we just do this weekly show where each week we focus on one of these industries and what life will look like in that industry , um , post COVID and then another one was all hands raised toward inclusion, and that was diversity inclusion focused. Um, so I like connecting the dots, creating thematic content, but also making sure that everything I do is rooted in helping to serve those who do go overlooked and are underestimated and including the voices that sometimes go unheard. So I'm carrying a lot of that into, into my new venture.

Chase Peckham:

So with that, where do you see? It's interesting because a lot of people that get into journalism or in those businesses love, love to hate some of the things that they're covering. If , if you know what I mean, they will try to blow the cover off of big tech or big corporate. And you come from corporate, you you've built companies. So it doesn't seem to me that you vilify big corporations or companies, but, so how do you find that? I guess you could just say you find it in the truth in stories, but how do you, those stories , um , that you're looking for without going against what you believe in and, or hurting those around you?

Nora Ali:

Yeah, I mean, just because I worked for big corporations doesn't mean I don't have very big criticisms of them and that was it . It's tricky. And that's just, that's the core of journalism in many ways is we'd have a lot of stories about Walmart, especially. Um, and I would report critically on it sometimes, even though I still had friends who worked there and I had such a great experience there, but it's also a value add because I knew the inner workings of the operations of the company and why they might've made certain decisions better than my teammates, better than my colleagues. So I tried to remain as objective as possible and certainly did feel some discomfort when I'd be critical about my previous employers, but that's the job you have to be objective. And you also are trying to maintain those relationships because I had access to executives that other outlets didn't have access to because of my relationships. So you want to make sure that your relationship with them is still good, but you don't want to be unfair to the viewer. So it's literally a constant balancing act .

Chase Peckham:

I was going to say, it's a very difficult balance beam to walk, but you seem to do it . It , it, the , the really good ones can keep the respect of the ones that they're covering, even if it's not in their own, the best light. Uh, so that's, that's quite impressive.

Nora Ali:

Thank you .

Chase Peckham:

Is part of this future still going to be in front of the camera?

Nora Ali:

Uh , yeah. Yep . That is the goal. Um, I intend to continue hosting moderating even while I'm building my company. I've been , uh , doing, for example, weekly sessions on public.com, just , uh, hosting interviews and panels. I have been invited to a couple of conferences, so I love hosting. And that is part of, one of the ancillary benefits of the thing that I'm building as well, but not, not the core of what I'm building.

Chase Peckham:

So are you building your own Ted talks? Is that, is that where we're going here?

Nora Ali:

But in , in addition to Armchair Expert, I would also like to give a Ted Talk one day Armchair Expert is bigger of a goal for me, but one day, hopefully I'll give a Ted Talk. It seems like anyone could give a Ted Talk these days anyway.

Chase Peckham:

That's awesome. Well, I hope that you'll come back , uh , and talk to us , uh, when you announce this new venture and where it's going, because we would love to be , uh, we'd love to be one of the first. We don't have to be the first, but we would love to be , uh, talk to you after this , uh, this company comes out and , uh, and hear all about it. We could do a whole episode just on that itself .

Nora Ali:

Definitely. And let me tell you I'm so looking forward to being able to properly talk about it, cause it's been a little difficult.

Chase Peckham:

I bet it's hard.

Nora Ali:

I have to bob and weave around questions, but I , uh, you can have a lot to look forward to hopefully.

Chase Peckham:

Well, we appreciate that. Thank you so much and good luck in the future. And we, it was so much fun talking to you and we look forward to still talking on the Twitter sphere and hearing you on Armchair Expert as well.

Nora Ali:

Thanks for having me on [inaudible] .