OZY's Guest Walk-Ons - OZY | A Modern Media Company
SourceStephen Voss/Redux


Because while we don’t want to toot our own horns, we have a feeling we may just have asked exactly what you were thinking. 

By OZY Editors

Austan Goolsbee: Obama’s Former Chief Economic Adviser

Goolsbee did what econ profs do best: drop some knowledge about the stuff we take for granted, like recovering from a recession. On his time working with President Obama: ”What was most surprising on a practical, tangible level, was that we had the beginning of what easily, easily could have turned into another Great Depression. And that colors the whole first year and a half or two years of the administration: We were desperately trying to get ahead of this monster threatening to take over.”

Zack O’Malley-Greenburg: Hip Hop’s Kingmaker

Greenburg writes the books on hip hop, but he also brought the business of hip hop to billionaire mogul mag Forbes , by encouraging the stodgy suits to take the $$ of music seriously. He told OZY: ”I was basically sitting in my cubicle one day and one of the younger editors came by and said, “Hey, we are thinking about putting together a hip-hop earnings list. Do you like hip-hop?” And I’m like, “Yeah, I love hip-hop!” … We ran my story in the magazine, and we did this sidebar entitled ”Hip-Hop Cash Kings: Who Earned the Most Last Year?” It was Jay-Z, Diddy, 50 Cent, Timbaland and Dr. Dre… I remember driving around on some assignment and I heard this song. It sounded like, 50’s “I Get Money.” But Jay-Z and Diddy [Ludacris as well] were rapping on it, and they were shouting-out “Forbes ” a lot! The top three guys on the list were so excited by the acknowledgment that they made this remix and put it out!”

Bill Campbell : Silicon Valley’s Secret CEO Whisperer

The former football coach has since been adviser to some of the Valley’s greatest business minds in the last few years. Some words of wisdom from him: ”Brilliance can’t be taught, but the operational stuff can be. Do you have operational instincts? Who cares? If you work with me for six months, I can give you enough prowess and process to be able to go run something, and really do something with it. These 20-somethings turn into 30-somethings and then into late 30-somethings, and they land in positions of major influence. And sometimes they haven’t been beaten up enough to know what they don’t know. Some of these guys get to a point where they think that that brilliance is going to carry them without the process.”

Tony Blair… Well, You Know Who He Is

OZY’s Watson asked Blair for “transatlantic political advice.” Blair: ”[Politics] was like religion for them, and any compromise was wicked. Margaret Thatcher was the enemy. That was a brand of politics that I spent my time fighting against because – not merely because I didn’t think it was electorally successful, but because the way the world works today, yes, you’ve often got to produce radical change, but you’re best doing that, in my judgment, from the center ground.” 

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