Eli Dourado - Frontiers for Productivity - [Invest Like the Best, EP. 225]


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My guest today is Eli Dourado, economist and senior research fellow at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University. In our discussion, we touch on the ongoing stagnation in labor productivity, the system constraints, and some of the innovative technologies that could reverse this trend. While Eli identifies as an economist, his wealth of knowledge on biotech innovation, alternative energy, and the space opportunity are sure to leave you craving more. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Eli.

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.


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Show Notes

[00:03:28] - [First question] - Why he’s interested the great stagnation

[00:05:41] - Is a fair analog for total factor productivity technology?

[00:07:29] - Leading theories for the stagnation in TFP

[00:09:05] - Analysis of why growth is good, and stagnation is bad

[00:10:19] - Rate limiters that are a key part of calculating stagnation

[00:11:43] - Signs that we may be returning to a higher degree of TFP returning

[00:12:24] - Exciting developments like MRNA in biotech that may lead to an explosion of innovation

[00:16:16] - Functions of a protein and their role in advances in biotech

[00:17:55] - What CRISPR is and what it unlocks for the future of humanity

[00:19:31] - The pace of progression when rolling our clinical trials of cellular engineering

[00:21:36] - How biotech may play a role in TFP as a proxy for progress and growth

[00:22:51] - Interesting observations about potential innovation in the energy sector

[00:24:10] - What currently requires energy that could be optimized if they had a lower energy cost

[00:25:34] - Sources that could provide cheaper and more efficient energy

[00:27:13] - Sage Geosystems and the future of the geothermal space

[00:27:43] - The importance of batteries in the modern era

[00:29:02] - Why energy should be a more pivotal focus in our future

[00:29:41] - What’s interesting in the world of transportation writ large

[00:31:02] - Boom’s story, supersonic air travel, and why concord shut down

[00:34:55] - Mach 5 and March 12 supersonic air travel

[00:36:19] - Second-order effects of reducing the time cost of air travel

[00:38:19] - Liftoff, SpaceX, and the future of the space sector

[00:43:07] - Other key players in space people could study; Blue Origin and Relativity Space

[00:45:15] - What will we do in space once we can travel there cheaply

[00:46:39] - What he’s most curious about in IT that could drive productive societal growth

[00:50:07] - Ethereum and how a decentralized blockchain could change the world

[00:51:19] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him

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