Illustration through 99designs

“Every time any person asks you to do one thing a very long time from now, change the framing and say, ‘What if it was tomorrow? Would you wish to do that or not?’ Virtually invariably, the reply is, ‘No, I undoubtedly don’t wish to do that tomorrow.’ After which it’s best to reply based mostly on that.”

— Luis von Ahn

Luis von Ahn (@LuisvonAhn) is an entrepreneur and consulting professor at Carnegie Mellon College, who is taken into account one of many pioneers of crowdsourcing. He’s identified for co-inventing CAPTCHAs, being a MacArthur fellow, and promoting two firms to Google in his twenties.

He’s at present the co-founder and CEO of Duolingo, a language-learning platform created to deliver free language training to the world. With greater than 500 million customers, it’s now the most well-liked language-learning platform and essentially the most downloaded training app on the planet.

Luis has been named one of many Sensible 10 by Widespread Science, one of many 50 Greatest Brains in Science by Uncover, one of many Innovators Beneath 35 by MIT Know-how Evaluation, and one of many 100 Most Artistic Individuals in Enterprise by Quick Firm. Luis additionally received the 2018 Lemelson-MIT prize, the most important money prize for invention within the U.S.

Please take pleasure in!

Take heed to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Music, or in your favourite podcast platform. You may also watch the interview on YouTube right here.

Delivered to you by Athletic Greens all-in-one dietary complement, Helix Sleep premium mattresses, and LinkedIn Jobs recruitment platform with 800M+ customers. Extra on all three under.

#607: Luis von Ahn, Co-Founder and CEO of Duolingo — Learn how to Be (Actually) Mission-Pushed, Monetization Experiments, 10x Progress, Org Chart Iterations for Impacting Metrics, The Intricate Path to an IPO, Greatest Hiring Practices, Catching Examination Cheaters, The Attract of Toto Bathrooms, The Way forward for Duolingo, and Learn how to Stand Out in Your Profession

This episode is dropped at you by LinkedIn Jobs. Whether or not you want to rent now for a vital function or interested by wants that you will have sooner or later, LinkedIn Jobs may help. LinkedIn screens candidates for the onerous and tender expertise you’re on the lookout for and places your job in entrance of candidates on the lookout for job alternatives that match what you must supply.

See also  10 Extra Homebuying Costs You’re Probably Forgetting About

Utilizing LinkedIn’s lively group of greater than 800 million professionals worldwide, LinkedIn Jobs may help you discover and rent the precise individual sooner. When your enterprise is able to make that subsequent rent, discover the precise individual with LinkedIn Jobs. And now, you’ll be able to put up a job at no cost. Simply go to

This episode is dropped at you by Athletic Greens. I get requested on a regular basis, “In the event you may use just one complement, what wouldn’t it be?” My reply is normally AG1 by Athletic Greens, my all-in-one dietary insurance coverage. I really helpful it in The 4-Hour Physique in 2010 and didn’t receives a commission to take action. I do my greatest with nutrient-dense meals, after all, however AG additional covers my bases with nutritional vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that help intestine well being and the immune system. 

Proper now, Athletic Greens is providing you their Vitamin D Liquid Method free together with your first subscription buy—an important nutrient for a robust immune system and powerful bones. Go to to say this particular supply at present and obtain the free Vitamin D Liquid Method (and 5 free journey packs) together with your first subscription buy! That’s as much as a one-year provide of Vitamin D as added worth whenever you attempt their scrumptious and complete all-in-one day by day greens product.

This episode is dropped at you by Helix SleepHelix was chosen because the #1 general mattress of 2020 by GQ journal, Wired, Residence Remedy, and lots of others. With Helix, there’s a particular mattress to satisfy each physique’s distinctive consolation wants. Simply take their quiz—solely two minutes to finish—that matches your physique kind and sleep preferences to the proper mattress for you. They’ve a 10-year guarantee, and also you get to attempt it out for 100 nights, risk-free. They’ll even choose it up from you in case you don’t find it irresistible. And now, Helix is providing as much as 200 {dollars} off all mattress orders plus two free pillows at

See also  Areas’ method to near-term mortgage development: ‘Very cautious, very cautious’

Wish to hear the final time Luis von Ahn was on this present? Have a take heed to our dialog right here, during which we focus on why Luis left Google earlier than his vesting section was full, the professionals and cons of working a tech firm, Duolingo’s evolving enterprise mannequin, how Duolingo compares to school instruction, how Luis vets and recruits laptop science engineers, entrepreneurial sources, and way more.

#135: Luis Von Ahn on Studying Languages, Constructing Corporations, and Altering the World

What was your favourite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know within the feedback.



  • Join with Luis von Ahn:

Twitter | LinkedIn


  • [05:03] Why the Duolingo owl is inexperienced
  • [06:47] The core trigger behind Duolingo’s creation, and the way Duolingo has developed through the years
  • [12:48] Duolingo’s monetization efforts that didn’t fairly pan out
  • [21:06] After preliminary reluctance, how was the Duolingo workforce satisfied monetization wanted to occur?
  • [25:06] As machine-driven translation companies get extra refined, will human beings nonetheless search to be taught different languages through Duolingo?
  • [29:31] Probably the most pursued/influential languages within the Duolingo system at present
  • [39:14] The event of Duolingo’s org chart
  • [45:40] Why Duolingo makes use of a day by day metric
  • [48:33] Ebook suggestions
  • [50:26] Luis’ most worthwhile investments
  • [52:20] New beliefs, behaviors, or habits
  • [55:20] Latest life-changing purchases
  • [1:02:39] What Luis’ up to date 2022 billboard would possibly say
  • [1:06:14] What Luis means when he refers to Duolingo’s “mission,” and the way the corporate’s lengthy view impacts resolution making
  • [1:12:34] How Duolingo hires good candidates for the lengthy haul
  • [1:18:50] Why and the way Duolingo went public
  • [1:25:42] The most important challenges Luis faces as CEO of a public firm
  • [1:30:50] Duolingo is increasing to show greater than languages
  • [1:36:18] The Duolingo English Take a look at: proficiency testing from house accepted by 4,200 tutorial applications internationally
  • [1:39:51] How Luis’ experience at catching cheaters throughout his time as a professor at Carnegie Mellon makes Duolingo merchandise extra reliable as accredited sources
  • [1:43:39] The transient dialog with Luis’ private coach that modified his routine breakfast — to a distinct routine breakfast
  • [1:44:38] Recommendation to younger, pushed individuals coming into the working world
  • [1:48:07] How Luis has turn into higher at saying “No.”
  • [1:49:56] Luis’ request of the viewers and parting ideas


“One thing like 97 p.c of our lively customers use Duolingo at no cost. Nonetheless, we make more cash than all different training apps. We’re very happy with that.”
— Luis von Ahn

“In the event you’re not brushing with an electrical toothbrush, you’re doing it improper.”
— Luis von Ahn

“The perspective of simply discovering a solution to turn into helpful will get you a large number farther.”
— Luis von Ahn

“Hopefully, most individuals have seen the Duolingo owl. It’s our mascot. To begin with, it’s an owl as a result of in most Western nations, owls characterize information. Seems that is simply not true in any respect in Asia. Now that we’ve been increasing to Asia, individuals ask us, ‘Why the hell are you utilizing an owl? Owls are simply vicious animals.’”
— Luis von Ahn

“Every time any person asks you to do one thing a very long time from now, change the framing and say, ‘What if it was tomorrow? Would you wish to do that or not?’ Virtually invariably, the reply is, ‘No, I undoubtedly don’t wish to do that tomorrow.’ After which it’s best to reply based mostly on that.”
— Luis von Ahn


The Tim Ferriss Present is one of the most well-liked podcasts on the planet with greater than 700 million downloads. It has been chosen for “Better of Apple Podcasts” thrice, it’s usually the #1 interview podcast throughout all of Apple Podcasts, and it’s been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many events. To take heed to any of the previous episodes at no cost, try this web page.

By info