Sep 28, 2017

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Jeff Desjardins, Founder and Editor of Visual Capitalist

I discovered Jeff's company, Visual Capitalist, a few years ago while surfing the web in my daily quest for material for the NGPF Blog. Since that first discovery, we have used their resources multiple times. Why? They have an extraordinary ability to use infographics and data visualizations to take complex ideas and make them simpler. Given that we live in a world where data analysis is more important than ever, I thought his work would be appreciated by educators looking for fun ways to develop those skills. In our conversation, Jeff shares the keys to creating effective infographics, how he came up with the idea for Visual Capitalist, and his creative process. Enjoy!


  • 0:00-1:05 Intro
  • 1:06-2:35 What Visual Capitalist does
  • 2:36- 4:31 Jeff Desjardins’ background and the origin story for Visual Capitalist 
  • 4:32-6:49 Inspiration for website “litmus test” and staying curious
  • 6:50-9:00 Entrepreneurial journey and first infographic
  • 9:01-9:59 The turning point
  • 10:00-12:10 Graphite-graphic: Pre-Visual Capitalist
  • 12:11-20:42 Jeff’s favorite infographics
  • 20:43-24:27 What makes a good infographic?
  • 24:28-27:41 Visual Capitalist’s Money project 
  • 27:42-29:26 How teachers use Visual Capitalist in their classrooms
  • 29:27-32:43 Jeff’s two cents on how to teach investing
  • 32:44-36:00 Robo-investing = perhaps too simplified
  • 36:01-40:52 Piquing students’ curiosity in the world of economics
  • 40:53-46:53 The “aha” moment: discovery through research using “context first” approach
  • 46:54-47:31 Best thing purchased for under $10
  • 47:32-54:29 Favorite blog/online resources
  • 54:30-55:50 Conclusion


Favorite websites:


Jeff's session on “What Should All Young People Know About Managing Money?”

Jeff’s favorite podcasters:

Jeff’s favorite infographics:

Other references:

Sample NGPF Blog posts using Visual Capitalist resources:

Notable quotes:

  • “It’s sort of a recurring theme in some of the stuff we do...For us’s hard to put [numbers] in relation to one another, and the fact is is that a trillion is a million’s on an exponential scale that you can’t really comprehend...and the only way you can show that is spatially the way that we do”




About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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