Acquired

Acquired

By Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal

Every company has a story. Learn the playbooks that built the world’s greatest companies — and how you can apply them as a founder, operator, or investor.

Episodes

Hermès

In luxury, there’s Hermès… and there’s everyone else. Stewarded by one French family over six generations, Hermès sells the absolute pinnacle of the French luxury dream. Loyal clients will wait years simply for the opportunity to buy one of the company’s flagship Birkin or Kelly bags. Unlike every other luxury brand, Hermès:Doesn’t increase supply to meet demand (hence the waitlists)Doesn’t loudly brand their products (IYKYK)Doesn’t do celebrity endorsements (stars buy their bags just like everyone else)Doesn’t even have a marketing department! (they barely advertise at all)And yet everyone knows who they are and what they represent. But, despite all their iconoclasm, this is not a company that’s stood still for six generations. Unbeknownst to most, Hermès has completely reinvented itself at least three times in its 187-year history. Including most recently (and most dramatically) by the family’s current leaders, who responded to LVMH and Bernard Arnault’s 2010 takeover attempt by pursuing a radical strategy — scaling hand craftsmanship. And in the process they turned the company from a sleepy, ~$10B family enterprise into a $200B market cap European giant. Tune in for one incredible story!Sponsors:Many thanks to our fantastic Season 14 partners:J.P. Morgan PaymentsServiceNowVantaNVIDIA GTC (Code "ACQUIRED" for 20% off)Links:Visuals for: Quartr's Hermès: Two Centuries of Craftsmanship and Excellence (with graphs)00:23: Haut a Courroies, the “high-belted bag” to carry saddles and boots00:45: Chaine d'ancre, “Chain of anchors”00:49: Jeu des Omnibus et Dames blanches, “White ladies at play”00:53: Screen printing each color on a scarf individually00:57: The Hermès oranges01:06: Sac à Dépêches (today: the Kelly Bag)01:07: Grace Kelly photo in LIFE Magaine01:26: Steps to sew a saddle stitch01:48: The Birkin Bag03:17: Petit hThe saddle stitch (video)Inside the Saddlery at the FaubourgHermès 2022 Annual ReportAxel Dumas InterviewAll episode sourcesCarve Outs:Anker GaN Prime 100W chargerMatterPerplexityThe Score Takes Care of ItselfMore Acquired:Get email updates with hints on next episode and follow-ups from recent episodesJoin the SlackSubscribe to ACQ2Check out the latest swag in the ACQ Merch Store!‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
20/02/24·4h 10m

Novo Nordisk (Ozempic)

Last year Novo Nordisk, the Danish pharmaceutical company behind Ozempic and Wegovy, overtook LVMH to become Europe’s most valuable company. And the pull for Acquired to finally tackle healthcare (18% of US GDP!) became too strong for us to resist. While we didn’t know much about Novo Nordisk before diving in, our first thought was, “wow, seems like these new diabetes and obesity drugs mean serious trouble for big insulin companies.”And then… we realized that Novo Nordisk IS the big insulin company. And in a story befitting of Steve Jobs and Apple, they’d just disrupted themselves with the drug equivalent of an iPhone moment. Once we dug further, we quickly realized this company has it all: an incredible 100+ year history filled with Nobel Prizes, bitter personal rivalries, board room dramas, a generation-defining silicon valley innovation, lone voices persevering against all odds — and oh yeah, the world’s largest charitable foundation at its helm. Tune in for one incredible story!Sponsors:Many thanks to our fantastic Season 14 partners:J.P. Morgan PaymentsServiceNowVantaMore Acquired:Get email updates with hints on next episode and follow-ups from recent episodesJoin the SlackSubscribe to ACQ2Check out the latest swag in the ACQ Merch Store!Links:Chart: US Healthcare Spend by CategoryChart: US Distribution and Reimbursement System (for pharmaceutical drugs)Chart: Insulin Supply ChainYouTube Talk: What People Get Wrong about the Finances of the Drug IndustryAlex Telford: The pharma industry from Paul Janssen to today: why drugs got harder to develop and what we can do about itOut-of-Pocket Health: Obesity DrugsOut-of-Pocket Health: US Healthcare System ProblemsAll episode sourcesCarve Outs:Noxgear Tracer 2 running vestDrops of GodWool by Hugh HoweyMere Mortals at San Francisco BalletBlackberry‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
22/01/24·3h 44m

Holiday Special 2023

Ben has some big news. Actually, double big news! On what has become a holiday tradition here at Acquired, we cozy up to the fire to do our annual review of the show “in public”. We reflect on what can only be described as an absolutely mind-blowing 2023 (LVMH! Jensen! Costco! Charlie! Half a million plus listeners!) and look ahead to some big things cooking for 2024. Plus as always, we wrap with extended carve outs (joined this year by some surprise guests) for anyone still shopping for those holiday perfect gifts.Huge thank you to everyone for making 2023 an amazing year again here in Acquired-land, and cheers to even greater things to come in 2023!Sponsors:Thanks to our fantastic partners, any member of the Acquired community can now get:Your product growth powered by Statsig (and listen to our ACQ2 interview with CEO Vijaye Raji)Scalable, clean and low-cost cloud AI compute from Crusoe (and listen to our ACQ2 interview with CEO Chase Lochmiller)Mark Leonard and David Senra’s holiday book recommendations on Blinkist, plus our favorite books on Ben & David’s BookshelfMore Acquired!:Get email updates with hints on next episode and follow-ups from recent episodesJoin the SlackSubscribe to ACQ2Check out the latest swag in the ACQ Merch Store!Links / Extended Carve Outs!The Psychology of MoneyThe Artist’s WayTransitionsThinking, Fast and SlowZojirushi hot water heaterNike Pegasus Trail 4 GORE-TEXMillJune OvenSiloAliasWarby Parker Amari glassesHoka Ora recovery shoesAdobe Light RoomThe Eureka Theory of Everything is Wrong by Derek ThompsonThe Luxury StrategyCandideThe QB SchoolMNF ManningCastThe Eras TourUppababy VistaThe Joolz Aer PlusCocoAt Present‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
18/12/23·2h 25m

Visa

To paraphrase Visa founder Dee Hock, how many of you know Visa? Great, all of you. Now, how many of you know how it started? Or, for that matter, who started it? Who runs and governs it? Where is it headquartered? What’s its business model?For the 11th largest market cap company in the world, Visa’s history and strategy is almost shockingly unknown. A huge portion of the world’s population uses their products on a daily basis (you might say Visa is… everywhere people want to be), but very few know the amazing story behind how that came to be. Or why Visa continues to be one of the most incredible and incredibly durable business franchises of all-time. (50%+ net income margins!! On $30B of revenue!) Today we do our part to change that. Tune in for one heck of a journey.Sponsors:Thanks to our fantastic partners, any member of the Acquired community can now get:Free access to our episode research on Blinkist plus our favorite books on Ben & David’s BookshelfScalable, clean and low-cost cloud AI compute from Crusoe (and listen to our recent ACQ2 interview with CEO Chase Lochmiller)Your product growth powered by StatsigMore Acquired!:Get email updates with hints on next episode and follow-ups from recent episodesJoin the SlackSubscribe to ACQ2Check out the latest swag in the ACQ Merch Store!Links:Burger King rolling out credit cards in 1993Get your BankAmericard MasterCard today! (!?)Episode sourcesCarve Outs:I Think You Should LeaveMistborn‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
27/11/23·3h 42m

Charlie Munger

We sit down with the legendary Charlie Munger in the only dedicated longform podcast interview that he has done in his 99 years on Earth. We’ve gotten to have some special conversations on Acquired over the years, but this one truly takes the cake. Over dinner at his Los Angeles home, Charlie reflected with us on his own career and his nearly 50-year partnership at Berkshire Hathaway with Warren Buffett. He offered lessons and advice for investors today, and of course he shared his speech on the virtues of Costco once again (among other favorite investments). We’re so glad that we got the opportunity to record and share this with you all — break out your notebooks, tune in, and enjoy the singular wit and wisdom of Charlie Munger.A transcript is available here.Sponsor:Special thanks to Tiny for being the exclusive sponsor of this episode. You can get in touch with them here (just tell them Ben & David sent you), and order your very own bronze Charlie bust here.More Acquired!:Get email updates with hints on next episode and follow-ups from recent episodesJoin the SlackSubscribe to ACQ2Become an LP and support the show. Help us pick episodes, Zoom calls and moreACQ Merch Store!‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
30/10/23·1h 6m

NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang

We finally sit down with the man himself: Nvidia Cofounder & CEO Jensen Huang. After three parts and seven+ hours of covering the company, we thought we knew everything but — unsurprisingly — Jensen knows more. A couple teasers: we learned that the company’s initial motivation to enter the datacenter business came from perhaps not where you’d think, and the roots of Nvidia’s platform strategy stretch back beyond CUDA all the way to the origin of the company.We also got a peek into Jensen’s mindset and calculus behind “betting the company” multiple times, and his surprising feelings about whether he’d go on the founder journey again if he could rewind time. We can’t think of any better way to tie a bow on our Nvidia series (for now). Tune in!Editorial Note: We originally recorded this episode before the horrific terrorist attacks in Israel. It feels wrong to release this episode — where the nation of Israel and the Mellanox team are discussed — without sharing our profound sadness for all the families who had innocent loved ones or friends killed, injured, or taken hostage. Our hearts go out to everyone coping through this dark moment in history.Sponsors:Thanks to our fantastic partners, any member of the Acquired community can now get:Your product growth powered by StatsigScalable, clean and low-cost cloud AI compute from Crusoe (and listen to our recent ACQ2 interview with CEO Chase Lochmiller)Free access to Jensen’s favorite business books on Blinkist, plus our favorites on Ben & David’s BookshelfMore Acquired!:Get email updates with hints on next episode and follow-ups from recent episodesJoin the SlackSubscribe to ACQ2Become an LP and support the show. Help us pick episodes, Zoom calls and moreMerch Store!‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
16/10/23·1h 29m

Nvidia Part III: The Dawn of the AI Era (2022-2023)

It’s a(nother) new era for Nvidia.We thought we’d closed the Acquired book on Nvidia back in April 2022. The story was all wrapped up: Jensen & crew had set out on an amazing journey to accelerate the world’s computing workloads. Along the way they’d discovered a wondrous opportunity (machine learning powered social media feed recommendations). They forged incredible Power in the CUDA platform, and used it to triumph over seemingly insurmountable adversity — the stock market penalty-box.But, it turned out that was only the precursor to an even wilder journey. Over the past 18 months Nvidia has weathered one of the steepest stock crashes in history ($500B+ market cap wiped away peak-to-trough!). And, it has of course also experienced an even more fantastical rise — becoming the platform that’s powering the emergence of perhaps a new form of intelligence itself… and in the process becoming a trillion-dollar company.Today we tell another chapter in the amazing Nvidia saga: the dawn of the AI era. Tune in!Sponsors:Thanks to our fantastic partners, any member of the Acquired community can now get:Scalable, clean and low-cost cloud AI compute from Crusoe (and listen to our recent ACQ2 interview with CEO Chase Lochmiller)Your product growth powered by StatsigFree access to our episode research on Blinkist plus our favorite books on Ben & David’s BookshelfMore Acquired!:Get email updates with hints on next episode and follow-ups from recent episodesJoin the SlackSubscribe to ACQ2Become an LP and support the show. Help us pick episodes, Zoom calls and moreACQ hats are back in stock in the ACQ Merch Store!Links:Asianometry on AI HardwareEpisode sourcesCarve Outs:AliasMoana‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
06/09/23·2h 53m

Costco

Costco is not only Charlie Munger’s favorite company of all time (plus he’s on the board, natch), it’s an absolutely fascinating study in how seemingly opposite characteristics can combine to create incredible company value. For instance: Costco has the cheapest prices of any major retailer in America — and also the wealthiest customer base. They pay their hourly workers 30% above the industry norm (and give them excellent healthcare + 401k benefits) — and are almost 3x more profitable on labor than Walmart. Speaking of Walmart, Costco stocks 40x fewer SKUs than their Bentonville-based rivals — yet sells an average of 15x more volume of each. And oh yeah, practically all of Costco’s C-Suite started their careers as baggers and checkout clerks! Tune in for a mind-bending exploration of one of the world’s most iconic — and iconically unique — companies.Sponsors:Thanks to our fantastic partners, any member of the Acquired community can now get:Your product growth powered by StatsigFree access to our episode research on Blinkist plus our favorite books on Ben & David’s BookshelfScalable, clean and low-cost cloud AI compute from Crusoe (and listen to our recent ACQ2 interview with CEO Chase Lochmiller)More Acquired!:Get email updates with hints on next episode and follow-ups from recent episodesJoin the SlackSubscribe to ACQ2Become an LP and support the show. Help us pick episodes, Zoom calls and moreLinks:The Science of HittingWarren Buffett’s Costco jokeEpisode sourcesCarve Outs:Tifosi sunglassesDwells “take off everything”Jeremy Giffon on Invest Like the BestDogpatchDavid Lidsky’s great piece on Acquired in Fast Company‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
21/08/23·3h 1m

Nike

Nike — it’s perhaps the most iconic and most prolific brand of the modern era. On any given day, swooshes adorn the feet of more people on earth than any other footwear company — by a long shot.If you read Shoe Dog or watched Air, you may think you know its history. But Shoe Dog ends in 1980, and Air… well let’s just say it’s an enjoyable piece of fiction. And it turns out (as always) that the real story is filled with far more drama, twists and business lessons than either of those works.We’ve been wanting to cover Nike for a long time, and thanks to our LPs who voted to choose this episode it’s finally here. So lace up your Vaporflys, Air Maxes, Dunks or Jordans (or your Monarchs, hey we don’t judge), head out for a long run or walk and enjoy!Sponsors:Thanks to our fantastic partners, any member of the Acquired community can now get:Free access to Blinks of our episode research on BlinkistScalable, clean and low-cost cloud AI compute from CrusoeAll of your product growth powered by StatsigRegister for Statsig’s SF Event with Ben and David!More Acquired!:Get email updates (+ hints on the next episode topic)Join the SlackSubscribe to ACQ2Become an LP and support the show. Help us pick episodes, Zoom calls and moreLinks:Episode sourcesCarve Outs:Marc Andreessen on Lex Fridman and on Ben ThompsonSpeak Now (Taylor’s Version)‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
25/07/23·4h 2m

Porsche (with Doug DeMuro)

Nobody’s perfect — including Porsche. Despite that phrase appearing in their famous 1983 magazine advertisement, they managed to get damn-close to the perfect luxury business (even Bernard Arnault would be jealous!). Porsche is both quality AND quantity, owning the most prestigious brand in its market, while at the same time churning out almost half a million mass-market soccer mom/dad SUVs per year. And like any good luxury brand, it’s packed with enough juicy family drama and creeping takeovers to fill a Netflix series.Yet, behind it all lies perhaps the darkest origin story we’ve ever told on Acquired. Not only was Porsche was started by Nazis, Adolf Hitler himself was deeply involved in its early fortunes. And, following WWII, the Allies simply looked past these facts and essentially bestowed a license to generate wealth on Porsche and its owners — setting the stage for them to become one of the top ~15 wealthiest families in the world today.Joining us to explore it all is perhaps the very most-qualified person in the person in the world: the one & only Doug DeMuro. Not only is Doug the largest independent car reviewer on YouTube with millions of subscribers (we’re HUGE fans), he previously worked at Porsche corporate and owns a legendary Porsche Carrera GT — which served as the recording backdrop for this episode. Make sure you tune in to watch the video version! :)ACQ2 Show + LP Program:Subscribe to the shiny new ACQ2!Links:Doug’s YouTube channel (which we HIGHLY recommend)Cars & BidsEpisode sourcesCarve Outs:ResortPassSeinfeld Cast Charlie Rose Interview CompilationWhistlinDieselSponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
27/06/23·3h 21m

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi dropped by the Acquired studio for an Eats delivery, so we broke out the cameras and asked him to hang out for a wide-ranging conversation. :) We talk about his 20 years working with Barry Diller, starting his career at Allen & Company, how the Uber CEO search process ACTUALLY went down… and oh yeah, the massive transformation that’s happened at Uber over the past few years. When Dara took over the company it was bleeding huge sums of cash, losing share to competitors and embroiled in one of the biggest corporate controversies in recent memory. Fast forward to today and it’s turned cashflow positive while also having tripled revenue to over $30B (on $120B in GMV) and solidified its rideshare dominance in the US. And in perhaps the biggest change, it’s done it all while staying out of the headlines. Tune in!ACQ2 Show + LP Program:Subscribe to our interview show, ACQ2!LinksBen & David on My First MillionSponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeNote: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
13/06/23·1h 36m

Lockheed Martin

Today we bring you two absolutely incredible stories. The first is Lockheed’s legendary Skunk Works division — the elite team of aviation geniuses who produced some of the greatest airplanes in history: the U-2, the Stealth Fighter, and the incomparable SR-71 Blackbird. The second story is arguably even more important, but not widely known! It's the secret and true origins of Silicon Valley — and Lockheed’s primary role in it. We take you from WWII to the Cold War, all the way to today to unpack and analyze the industry dynamics of defense contractors in the modern era. Tune in and prepare to be blown away by what you’ll learn about the history of our industry!ACQ2 Show:Subscribe to the shiny new ACQ2!Links:Ben Rich’s Skunk WorksKelly’s 14 Rules of Skunk WorksLMSC’s “Seven Tenets”Steve Blank’s Secret History of Silicon ValleyEpisode sourcesCarve Outs:Nier: AutomataThe Blackbird speed check storyEGO Lawn Tools (just in time for Fathers’ Day!)Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
30/05/23·3h 37m

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek

We sit down with Spotify CEO Daniel Ek live in Stockholm at Spotify’s amazing HQ studio (check out the video version of this episode — which plays natively on Spotify!). This was an incredibly special and timely conversation: for those who haven’t been paying attention over the past few years, after revolutionizing music Spotify has now ALSO completely transformed our own industry in podcasting. Starting from way behind with ~zero market share in 2018, Spotify has now aggregated the listener market and amazingly surpassed Apple as the world’s largest podcast platform — including close to home with the Acquired audience, where it has 60%+ market share among you all!We discuss the origins of this “second act” strategy with Daniel, the vision to move from a music company to an audio company, and what’s coming next with Spotify’s entry into Audiobooks. And of course we relive some key moments from the Acquired canon that Daniel was involved in, including his pivotal conversations with Taylor Swift and her team convincing her to come back to streaming following the release of 1984. Tune in!ACQ2 Show:Subscribe to our interview show, ACQ2!LinksFollow Daniel on TwitterSponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeNote: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
18/05/23·1h 37m

Benchmark’s Mitch Lasky and Blake Robbins on The Art of Business in Gaming

We sit down Benchmark’s legendary gaming investors Mitch Lasky and Blake Robbins (now also of the excellent Gamecraft podcast fame) to discuss the history and future of gaming business models. This episode is the perfect bookend to our Nintendo/Sega gaming series this season on Acquired — no one is more qualified than Mitch and Blake to breakdown how the business side of the industry has evolved so radically from the Periscope quarter-drop days to the forever games and platform based publishers of today.Regardless if you’re a gamer, understanding the incredible innovation that’s taken place over the past two decades in gaming and what it portends for other industries is critical for any founder and investor to understand. Tune in!ACQ2 Show:Subscribe to our interview show, ACQ2!LinksThe Gamecraft PodcastMitch and Blake on TwitterThe Genius of the SystemMitch’s old “Investing in Content” blog postThat Game Company and SkyRiot and the League of Legends dota-allstars.com growth hackSponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeNote: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
26/04/23·2h 15m

Short: The Death of Sega

Sega and the Genesis was THE underdog story of the early 90’s. In a single console generation, Sega went from ~zero to 50% US market share and dethroned Nintendo’s seemingly invincible global monopoly. But — somehow — it all then died. Two console generations later Sega was out of the hardware game entirely, and the company was sold off for pieces to a pachinko manufacturer. How on earth did this happen??Today we’re launching Acquired Shorts in order to tell this story and others like it: side tales from the “Acquired Cinematic Universe” that are too brief for a full episode, but too good to leave in the vault. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the format (and this episode). Please send us your feedback in Slack, email or Twitter!ACQ2 Show:Subscribe to our interview show, ACQ2!Links:The shortest and most famous speech in video game industry historyEpisode sourcesCarve Outs:Daryl Morey on Invest Like the BestSuccessionStarship6 Days to AirSponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeNote: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
18/04/23·1h 7m

Nintendo: The Console Wars

In the 1980’s Nintendo was on top of the world, with the NES achieving over 90% market share of home video games globally. So how did they fall ALL the way down to ~10% in just a few short console generations? And how did they then build themselves back up (and down and up again) to the top of the world again? Spoiler: it all hinged on one very small, yet very large and durable platform… the Game Boy. Fire up your favorite portable entertainment device and tune in for the epic story of Nintendo’s fall from grace and journey back to the top — capped off by our robust discussion of where they go from here, and whether this 130+ year old company may still (!) be misunderstood and mis-valued.ACQ2 Show:Subscribe to the shiny new ACQ2!Links:Our EA episode with Trip HawkinsMatthew Ball on why “Nintendo as Disney” is a flawed analogyCrossroads Capital’s investor letters outlining their Nintendo thesisEpisode sourcesCarve Outs:Kara Swisher in Vanity Fair (and our old episode with her!)Hardcore History (finally!)The Tetris movieDaryl Morey on Invest Like the BestSponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
11/04/23·3h 17m

Interview: Hamilton Helmer & Chenyi Shi on How to Build an AWS-Like Second Business

7 Powers author Hamilton Helmer and his Strategy Capital colleague Chenyi Shi join us again to discuss their latest research on a topic that’s highly relevant to the recent Acquired canon: how to build a second business line. This incredibly important “transforming” question faces every great company who has achieved initial product success (as well as their investors). Do we continue solely along the established path, or do we attempt to grow new branches on the tree? Some companies grow new businesses with tremendous success — Amazon and AWS, Nintendo and video games, Nvidia and CUDA — yet many others fail miserably. For the first time Hamilton and Chenyi share their research-based playbook on how companies should approach this decision and choose wisely. Tune in!ACQ2 Show:Subscribe to the shiny new ACQ2!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLink to Hamilton's 2-Axis ChartNote: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
04/04/23·1h 29m

Sessions: David Senra (Founders Podcast)

ACQ Sessions returns with David Senra of the Founders Podcast. David is one of our very favorite people in the world — it’s impossible to spend an hour (or 3!) with him and not come away inspired to go take over the world. This conversation is an “extended, IRL version” of monthly calls that we do together where we share stories, swap life and podcast advice, and just genuinely enjoy sharing time with someone who shares our outlook and enthusiasm for the history of entrepreneurship. Pull up a chair, grab a beverage (or energy drink in David’s case) and join us!ACQ2 Show:Subscribe to the shiny new ACQ2!Links:Go subscribe to Founders! Some of our favorite episodes: Bernard Arnault, Brunello Cucinelli, Edwin Land, Kobe BryantSponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeTopics:Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
29/03/23·3h 18m

Nintendo's Origins

You may think you know the Nintendo story: a plumber named Mario, a princess named Zelda… and didn’t they buy the Seattle Mariners at some point? We thought we knew it too. And then we started researching and were blown away.The lovable Disney-like Nintendo that we know today is a 130 year-old a playing card company (i.e. gambling), forged in the shadowy world of the Yakuza and shaped by a four-generation cycle of bitter family betrayal. And its unlikely transformation into a global multi-billion dollar media monopoly was led by an iron-fisted patriarch who — amazingly — never played a video game in his life! Get ready for one of our favorite stories Acquired has ever told — we couldn’t make this one up if we tried!ACQ2 Show:Subscribe to the shiny new ACQ2!Links:Our Atari episode with Nolan BushnellVideo of id Software’s legendary PC “port” of Super Mario Brothers 3Episode sourcesCarve Outs:Everything Everywhere All At OnceMichael Lewis on Tim Ferriss and on CSPANSponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe
16/03/23·3h 25m

LVMH

We tell the full history of LVMH, and how Bernard Arnault turned a $15m investment in a bankrupt French textile company into the world’s largest individual fortune. It’s a story that’s equal parts Berkshire Hathaway, Steve Jobs and Barbarians at the Gate… and wholly under-appreciated for the genius business model innovations that enabled it. Whatever industry you operate or invest in, there’s so much to be learned from Bernard and LVMH’s complete reshaping of the luxury sector over the past three and a half decades. And oh yeah, it also involves Nazi spies, Italian family murders, Rupert Murdoch, Rihanna becoming a billionaire, Jay-Z’s champagne feuds and Beyoncé wearing a 128 carat diamond. Tune in! :) Links:Bryan Burrough in Vanity Fair: Gucci and Goliath Episode sourcesCarve Outs:The Gamecraft PodcastDoug DeMuro buys a Carrera GT The Peloton Tread The Eureka Theory of History Is WrongSponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe
21/02/23·3h 31m

The NFL

The NFL — it’s almost synonymous with America today. And its history is a fascinating lens to explore the nation’s development over the last 100 years, from WWII to TV and suburbs to the Internet and social media. What began as a quasi-illicit league in small midwestern towns is now the single largest media property in the world today by revenue. And whether you watch football or not, this is one incredible business story. Acquired is ready for some football — let’s kick this Season off right! Links: Sports Illustrated’s oral history of the famous Joe Namath “pool photo” Episode sourcesCarve Outs:The MenuPeyton’s PlacesSponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.  
25/01/23·3h 47m

Holiday Special 2022

Cozy up to the fire and join Acquired as we do our annual strategic review of the show and our business “in public”. We recap our perspectives on Acquired’s big moments from the past year, a bit of commentary on the current state of the tech ecosystem, and what lies ahead for us in 2023. Plus as always at the holidays, we do an extended carve out session on our favorite things from the past year. Huge thank you to all of you for making 2022 an amazing year here in Acquired-land, and here’s to even bigger and better things to come in 2023! If you want more Acquired, you can follow our public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!). Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeCarveouts!:Jerry Seinfeld on The Tim Ferriss ShowProject Hail Mary The Psychology of Money The Power LawMade in AmericaMade in JapanThe Godfather (book) Masters of Doom Stevie Case vs. the WorldHow All this HappenedResonant ArcAll-InFounders PodcastMKBHD’s Waveform PodcastThe Verge Huberman Lab - What Alcohol Does to your BodySmartlessT-Swift’s Midnights Olivia RodrigoAndorBlack PantherTop Gun MaverickEverything Everywhere All At OnceThe White LotusThe VowFlightyRoborock S7 Max Apple Keyboard with TouchIDElgato AV gear, especially sound panels and the Cam Link 4KCapri ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
19/12/22·2h 19m

Stratechery (with Ben Thompson)

Ben Thompson joins Acquired to discuss the business of Stratechery itself and celebrate 10 years (!) of the internet’s best strategy analysis destination. Even beyond Stratechery’s enormous impact itself on business and tech over the years, Ben’s work inspired a whole generation of business content creators — this show very much included — and it was super special for us to give the Acquired treatment to one of our own heroes. We cover the full history of Ben pioneering the subscription internet media business model (indeed SubStack’s seed round pitch was “Stratechery-in-a-box”), and how + why he’s evolved the business since and is now doubling down both on podcasting and a broader vision of the Stratechery Plus bundle… including for the first time content not made by Ben himself! Tune in and enjoy. If you want more Acquired, you can follow our public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!). Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:John Gruber’s Daring FireballBen’s very first Stratechery postSubscribe to Stratechery Plus‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
06/12/22·1h 54m

Enron

The FTX fraud has dominated headlines now for weeks, during which we’ve debated if and how Acquired could uniquely add to the conversation. Then we realized there was an angle so perfect that we had to drop everything and enter Acquired research overdrive: Enron. Travel back with us to the granddaddy fraud of them all, 2001’s then-largest bankruptcy in US history and the impetus for the famous Sarbanes-Oxley Act. So much of Enron’s history parallels FTX that the uncanniness is almost unbelievable — right down to the same CEO running the two bankruptcies. Sit back and enjoy this crazy tale of villainy, greed, and the nature of humans and money. Maybe just don’t take notes on this one… If you want more Acquired, you can follow our public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!). Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:Book Andy Fastow as a speaker for your next corporate event! 🤔 Episode sourcesCarveouts!:Enron: The MusicalAndor Brooks Addiction Walkers Hoka SlidesJCal on the Tim Ferriss ShowNew shirts are live in the ACQ Merch Store!‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
29/11/22·3h 32m

Qualcomm

Qualcomm, or “Quality Communications” — despite being one of the largest technology companies in the world, few people know the absolutely amazing technological and business history behind it. Seriously, this story is on par with Nvidia, TSMC and all the great semiconductor giants. Without this single fabless company based in San Diego, there’s almost no chance you’d be consuming this episode on whatever device you’re currently listening on — a fact that enables them to earn an incredible estimated $20 for every new phone sold in the world. We dive into this story live at the perfect venue: our first-ever European live show at Solana’s Breakpoint conference in beautiful Lisbon, Portugal! If you want more Acquired, you can follow our public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!). Links: The Qualcomm Equation Principles of Communications Engineering by Irwin Jacobs and John Wozencraft Episode sourcesSponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
15/11/22·2h 26m

Benchmark Part II: The Dinner

We sit down with all five current Benchmark GPs for one of their legendary weekly dinners, during which we ask all of the unresolved burning questions from Part 1. How do THEY think about Benchmark v3? What are their day-to-day emotions trying to keep the equal partnership “bending toward greatness? Why is there no growth fund? What does it take to become the next Benchmark GP? Why is there a secret Principal program? We cover all these and much, much more. We also recorded the whole thing on video — which we highly recommend watching even if you normally only listen to the audio feed! If you want more Acquired, you can follow our public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!).Links:Please take our 2022 Acquired Survey if you have a minute. It'd mean the world to us!Dad hats are live in the Acquired Merch Store! Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
17/10/22·1h 59m

ACQ Sessions: Jason Calacanis

We kick off ACQ Sessions with the-behind-the-scenes story of All-in, from the world’s greatest moderator himself Jason Calacanis. ACQ Sessions is our new, occasional “MTV Unplugged” version of Acquired: a great IRL guest, a bottle (or two) of wine, and no script. We talk about everything you’d imagine we would over wine with JCal — All-In, bestie relationships, money & politics in Silicon Valley, who his influences and mentors have been (one surprise — the great Fred Wilson of USV!), what motivates him to keep grinding and why, at age 50+ when he could easily be winding down he’s instead speeding up into the most productive phase of his entire career. Pour a beverage yourself, pull up a comfy seat and join us! If you want more Acquired, you can follow our public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!). Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
04/10/22·2h 30m

Benchmark Part I

Benchmark Capital. We tell the tale of the legendary equal partnership that accomplished something no other venture firm can claim: twice it has produced the highest returning fund of its cycle, each time with a 100% different GP lineup. If ever there were a playbook for successful generational transfer of a generational-defining venture firm, this is it. We spend 3.5+ hours digging into how the dotcom “eBay eBoys” transformed into the rockstar Fab Four of the Uber, Instagram and Snap mobile gold rush (spoiler: not by a straight line!), and what the future holds for Benchmark’s next GP generation. If you’re a student of the venture game from any angle — founder, GP, LP, etc — this is a story you need to tune in for! If you want more Acquired, you can follow our public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!).Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks: Benchmark’s website circa 1997 Benchmark’s website circa 2000Benchmark’s website today Episode sourcesCarve Outs:Bill Gurley’s Runnin’ Down a Dream talkSmartless Podcast Mitch Lasky on Invest like the BestUrsula Le Guin’s Earthsea Cycle‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
28/09/22·3h 42m

Amazon Web Services

So, how DID an online book retailer end up building the infrastructure layer that powers the entire internet? (Or at least 39% of it, per latest market share data.) While many myths, legends, and some downright falsehoods exist, the real answer to that question deserves a full Acquired episode of its very own. So here it is: the story of Amazon Web Services. Who’s got the truth? Tune in and find out. :) If you want more Acquired, you can follow our newly public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!). Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:Steve Yegge’s Platforms Rant (so good!) Ben Thompson on AWS and Snowflake Episode sourcesCarve Outs:Moon KnightJohn Carmack on The Lex Fridman Podcast‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
06/09/22·2h 43m

Howard Marks & Andrew Marks: Something of Value

We sit down with legendary investor Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital and his son Andrew who, while less-well-known, is also an incredibly accomplished investor in a very different arena: early-stage VC. The purpose of the conversation was to discuss their joint work together on Howard’s all-time most popular memo, “Something of Value”, which made the then-shocking argument that Value and Growth investing are not diametric opposites but rather two sides of the same investing coin. We of course dive deep into that, and also cover plenty of fun Oaktree and investing history, as well as Andrew’s favorite topic: selling (or not selling, as the case may be). This is not one to miss! If you want more Acquired, you can follow our public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!). Links: The Original “Something of Value” Memo Howard and Andrew on Oaktree’s “The Memo” podcastSponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
30/08/22·1h 29m

Amazon.com

Amazon. No company has impacted the internet — and all of modern life — more than this one. We’ve waited seven years to do this episode, and are so, so excited to finally dive into every nook and cranny of this legendary company. And of course because we’re Acquired and this is Amazon, we couldn’t contain it all to just one episode… even a 4+ hour one! So today we focus on Amazon.com the retail business, and we’ll have another full episode on AWS coming soon. And because all great series are trilogies, to fully understand Amazon we highly recommend starting first with our previous episode on Walmart, which truly is the giant’s shoulder that Jeff Bezos stood upon. Let’s go!! **Big News** We've got merch! Check it out at https://www.acquired.fm/store ! If you want more Acquired, you can follow our newly public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!). Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:Jeff’s first public Amazon interview Our early-Acquired-days interview with Tom Alberg Episode sourcesCarve Outs:Rick Rubin on the Lex Fridman PodcastUrsula Le GuinDissect Season 2 on My Beautiful Dark Twisted FantasyElden Ring (again) ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
16/08/22·4h 16m

From NFL to Startup COO to Congressman Regulating Crypto (with Rep. Anthony Gonzalez)

This episode is a first for Acquired: we’re joined by a sitting US Congressman (from Ben’s home state of Ohio!), Republican House Representative Anthony Gonzalez. Anthony serves on the House Financial Services Committee and is deeply involved in crypto and Web3 regulation, as well as on the Climate and Science, Space & Technology Committee where he oversees NASA among many other agencies. His also has an absolutely incredible story — his family immigrated from Cuba to Ohio, he played in the NFL, he was COO of an Investment Group of Santa Barbara backed startup, and he was one of a small number of Republican congresspeople who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump after the events January 6th. If you want more Acquired, you can follow our public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!). Links:Schoolhouse Rock “I’m Just a Bill” Nick Howley and TransDigm on Will Thorndike's new podcast 50xSponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
02/08/22·1h 55m

Walmart

We kick off Season 11 with the incredible story of the retail “granddaddy of them all” Walmart, and its founder Sam Walton. Once you study Walmart, you realize just how deep its heritage runs through Amazon and so many iconic modern companies we cover on Acquired. This episode was an absolute blast, and we even uncovered a new addendum to the hallowed “focus on what makes your beer taste better” playbook theme! If you want more Acquired, you can follow our newly public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!).Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe Links: Walmart’s 1972 Annual Report Episode sources Carve Outs: Ted Weschler on the Nebraska Furniture Mart podcast!!! Mario Puzo’s The Godfather (the book)‍ Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
19/07/22·2h 59m

The Playbook: Lessons from 200+ Company Stories

When Patrick O'Shaughnessy and Brent Beshore asked us to give a talk at their incredible Capital Camp conference, we knew we had to bring something special. So we spent months combing through the Acquired back catalog and cataloged our 12 favorite lessons from the 200+ stories we’ve told over the past 7 years. From Sequoia through Sony, TSMC, Nvidia, The New York Times, the NBA and Oprah — we revisited all the classics and pulled out the common threads that weave the tapestry of great companies we’ve covered on Acquired. This episode was truly a joy to put together… huge thank you to Patrick and Brent for giving us the perfect stage on which to present it!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeThis episode has video! You can watch it on YouTube. ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
20/06/22·1h 3m

American Dynamism (with Katherine Boyle)

We sit down with a16z General Partner Katherine Boyle to discuss investing in “American Dynamism”, why it’s so important and why now is the right time to pursue it. Katherine has a fascinating background, beginning her career as a reporter at The Washington Post before entering the VC world first at Founders Fund, then General Catalyst and now a16z. Her perspectives don’t fit neatly in any box — political, economic or otherwise — and we have a great conversation exploring them. Tune in!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeThis episode has video! You can watch it on YouTube.Links:Katherine’s post on Building American DynamismMarc Andreessen’s It’s Time to BuildKatherine’s Substack‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
06/06/22·1h 17m

Capital-Efficient Growth (with Zoom CEO Eric Yuan & Veeva CEO Peter Gassner)

We sit down with the CEO founders of two of the most capital efficient success stories of all time — Zoom and Veeva Systems — to understand how they grew to billions of dollars in revenue (and tens of billions in market cap) on very, very little capital invested. With the fundraising environment changing rapidly, we couldn’t think of a better topic to discuss or better sources of wisdom for founders, operators and investors all to learn from. Very special thanks to Jake Saper and our friends at Emergence Capital for inviting us and putting this conversation together at their 2022 CEO Summit!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeThis episode has video! You can watch it on YouTube.Links:Peter’s great Medium blog‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
19/05/22·1h 7m

Arena Show Part II: Brooks Running (with CEO Jim Weber)

For the final act of the Arena Show, we’re joined by Brooks CEO Jim Weber to tell the amazing story of how he transformed the company from a 3rd tier, deeply cashflow negative “also-ran” into one of the world’s premiere fitness brands and a crown jewel of the Berkshire Hathaway empire — with compounding revenue and cashflow growth that rivals even the legendary Mrs. See’s Candies! If you want more Acquired, you can follow our newly public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!).Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:Jim's book, "Running with Purpose" ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
16/05/22·1h 10m

Arena Show Part I: Idea Dinner + YC Continuity

We did an Arena Show!! This evening was so big and so special, we had to split it into two episodes for the podcast feed. First up is the Idea Dinner with our best internet buddies, Packy McCormick and Mario Gabriele (and special guest judge Shu Nyatta), followed by the story of YC Continuity with managing partner Anu Hariharan. Huge, huge thank you to PitchBook for making this night possible. Stay tuned for Part II!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeIf you want more Acquired, you can follow our newly public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!).‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
12/05/22·1h 26m

Nvidia Part II: The Machine Learning Company (2006-2022)

By 2012, NVIDIA was on a decade-long road to nowhere. Or so most rational observers of the company thought. CEO Jensen Huang was plowing all the cash from the company’s gaming business into building a highly speculative platform with few clear use cases and no obviously large market opportunity. And then... a miracle happened. A miracle that led not only to Nvidia becoming the 8th largest market cap company in the world, but also nearly every internet and technology innovation that’s happened in the decade since. Machines learned how to learn. And they learned it... on Nvidia.If you want more Acquired, you can follow our newly public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!).Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:Ben Thompson’s great  Stratechery interview with JensenLinus Tech Tips tests an Nvidia A100 Episode sourcesCarve Outs:The Expanse short story collection,  Memory's Legion Sony RX100 point-and-shoot camera‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
20/04/22·2h 11m

Platforms and Power (with Hamilton Helmer and Chenyi Shi)

We sit down once again with one of the world’s very best strategy thinkers, 7 Powers author Hamilton Helmer — this time joined by his impressive Strategy Capital colleague Chenyi Shi — to discuss platform businesses, and how the Power framework applies to them. If you’re building, investing in, or just curious about the dynamics of platforms, this episode is a must-listen. We owe a huge thanks to Hamilton and Chenyi for sharing their work-in-progress insights on this very special category of companies. Tune in!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeThis episode has video! You can watch it on YouTube. ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
06/04/22·1h 23m

Nvidia Part I: The GPU Company (1993-2006)

He wears signature leather jackets. He can bench press more than you. He makes cars that drive themselves. He’s cheated death — both corporate and personal — too many times to count, and he runs the 8th most valuable company in the world. Nope, he's not Elon Musk, he’s Jensen Huang — the most badass CEO in semiconductor history. Today we tell the first chapter of his and Nvidia’s incredible story. You’ll want to buckle up for this one! Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeThis episode has video! You can watch it on YouTube. PSA: if you want more Acquired, you can follow our newly public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!).Links:Shoot to Kill: https://www.forbes.com/global/2008/0107/070.html?sh=261e2068d077Episode sources:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wt5jSpqjsRuYU00pq_ABWTM0iJ68hjMceF9XrreYPko/edit?usp=sharingCarve Outs:Starting Strength: https://startingstrength.comElden Ring: https://en.bandainamcoent.eu/elden-ring/elden-ring‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
28/03/22·1h 59m

Altimeter (with Brad Gerstner)

We hear a lot these days about hedge funds becoming venture firms, and venture firms becoming hedge funds. But a decade before either of those approaches became mainstream, a tiny $3m fund in Boston named Altimeter Capital set out simply to invest in a concentrated portfolio of America’s very best technology companies, regardless if they were public or private. Today that tiny firm has grown to nearly $15B under management and become a premier “capital partner” to founders at all but the very earliest stages — companies like Snowflake, Facebook, Roblox, Plaid, Grab and Acquired fan-favorite Modern Treasury. We sit down with founder & CEO Brad Gerstner to dive into the story behind Altimeter’s meteoric rise.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeThis episode has video! You can watch it on YouTube.PSA: if you want more Acquired, you can follow our newly public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!).Carve Outs:Brad’s Twitter thread on Invest America:  https://twitter.com/altcap/status/1347454947583950849?s=20&t=gM5zJMcq9p96GcjEHZw56w‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
15/03/22·1h 52m

SONY

Born in the unlikeliest of places — the terrible, wasteland-like aftermath of post WWII Japan — Sony rose to capture the imaginations (and wallets) of consumers and engineers around the world. The company produced hit after hit after hit: portable transistor radios, CDs, the Walkman, the PlayStation, DVDs, life insurance(!!)... and yet ultimately fell behind its greatest American admirer, Steve Jobs and Apple. This is the incredible story of Sony’s human and technological optimism in the face of overwhelming odds — a story that, given recent world events, remains as relevant today as ever.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeThis episode has video! You can watch it on YouTube.PSA: if you want more Acquired, you can follow our newly public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!).Links:Steve Jobs’ Tribute to Akio Morita: https://youtu.be/Drwkvf76ClsPlanet Money on Sony and Spider-Man: https://www.npr.org/2022/01/28/1076531156/the-spider-man-problemEpisode sources:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LpnPSju5xSPcuaRVd1TYXnL1oGBr4Qs5bRS7owbxoEc/edit?usp=sharingCarve Outs:How This All Happened by Morgan Housel: https://www.collaborativefund.com/blog/how-this-all-happened/The Model 3 is AWESOME: https://www.tesla.com/model3‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
07/03/22·3h 1m

Super Pumped (with Brian Koppelman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt)

We sit down with two of the most talented and respected people in Hollywood — Brian Koppelman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt — to talk about the process of adapting Mike Issac’s story of Uber, “Super Pumped”, into their new Showtime series. To say this was a thrill for us is a MASSIVE understatement. Huge thank yous to Brian, Joe and Showtime for making it happen!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeThis episode has video! You can watch it on YouTube.PSA: if you want more Acquired, you can follow our newly public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice. Links:Super Pumped (the series): https://www.sho.com/super-pumpedSuper Pumped (the book): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PZ2B85Y/ Carve Outs:Joe performing Katy Perry in the style of The Cure on Jimmy Fallon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2lGEZOOHwIMichael Lewis’s Liar’s Poker companion podcast:  https://www.pushkin.fm/show/against-the-rules-with-michael-lewis/Stevie Van Zandt’s Unrequited Infatuations: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08R56XNMQ/Your Undivided Attention:  https://www.humanetech.com/podcast/a-problem-well-stated-is-half-solvedJakob Dylan on The Moment:  https://open.spotify.com/episode/5xNbG6XBjoVLDvpOUbZSIr?si=engSyJ9IQlePpqDOw7rSjwJoe’s Don Jon: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2229499/HitRecord: https://hitrecord.org‍ Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
22/02/22·1h 2m

The Browser (with Brendan Eich, Chief Architect of Netscape + Mozilla and CEO of Brave)

We sit down with perhaps the only person besides Marc Andreessen who’s had a major influence on each of the Web 1, 2 and 3 eras: Brave Browser CEO (and former Netscape + Mozilla Chief Architect) Brendan Eich. In true Acquired fashion we cover both a huge amount of both internet history AND internet future in one awesome conversation. Big thank you to Brendan for making this so special — tune in!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeThis episode has video! You can watch it on YouTube.PSA: if you want more Acquired, you can follow our newly public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!).Links:Brave: https://brave.comCarve Outs:Project Hail Mary:  https://www.amazon.com/Project-Hail-Mary-Andy-Weir-ebook/dp/B08FHBV4ZXOpen: https://www.amazon.com/Open-Andre-Agassi-ebook/dp/B003062GEE/San Fransicko: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08SMFSL5M/Dynamic Economics: ****https://www.amazon.com/Dynamic-Economics-Burton-H-Klein/dp/0674218663‍ Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
15/02/22·1h 41m

Peloton

The Peloton journey has been one seriously wild ride. From can’t raise money to one of Tiger Global’s first venture investments, to pandemic darling to the stock being down 85% in 6 months... there’s never a dull moment in this company’s history. And guess who’s leading the pack for its next chapter: that’s right, THREE-TIME ACQUIRED SUPERHERO, the one and only Barry McCarthy. We had to tell this story.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeThis episode has video! You can watch it on YouTube.PSA: if you want more Acquired, you can follow our newly public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!). Links:Barry’s Hill School interview on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uwcSbe6YoEEpisode sources:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Qs4DwVFBTMCyEt7Xxlby6iRCpOs0aRTOWPLjrbFQO8Q/edit?usp=sharing Carve Outs:Barry’s planning framework from the Hill School interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uwcSbe6YoESwitched On Pop on James Bond’s Spycraft Sound:  https://switchedonpop.com/episodes/james-bond-spycraft-sound-billie-eilish-hans-zimmer-daniel-craig ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
10/02/22·2h 18m

Taylor Swift (Acquired’s Version)

Not only is Taylor Swift the biggest music artist of our generation by nearly every metric (it’s not even close!), with the re-recording of her original albums she’s in the process of reshaping the entire music industry in a way no band or artist ever has before. And oh yeah — she’s still only thirty-two. We dive into the incredible business story behind perhaps the new "last great American dynasty"... the TSwift empire.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoePSA: if you want more Acquired, you can follow our newly public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!). Links:Taylor Swift The Brightest Star:  https://www.amazon.com/Taylor-Swift-Loves-Global-Sensation/dp/1912587556/All You Need to Know About the Music Business:  https://www.amazon.com/Need-Know-About-Music-Business/dp/1501122185/Switched On Pop:  https://switchedonpop.com/episodes/deja-vu-olivia-rodrigo-copyright-decoder-good-4-u-paramoreJoni (Blue) vs. Taylor (Red) Album Art:  https://gaylorlyrics.tumblr.com/post/624477640229863424/we-3-some-joni-mitchell-parallelsKelly Clarkson’s suggestion to re-record Taylor’s Big Machine albums:  https://twitter.com/kellyclarkson/status/1150168164853882880?s=20Episode sources:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YKvfZuBrMB_BawZzt5c6ap8b2KdNg7n5Ko2tqF5AkCE/edit?usp=sharingCarve Outs:The Beatles: Get Back:  https://www.disneyplus.com/en-gb/series/the-beatles-get-back/7DcWEeWVqrkEItalic: https://italic.com‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
23/01/22·2h 37m

CAA (with Michael Ovitz)

Season 9 ends at the beginning — with the man who changed Hollywood forever and wrote the blueprint for A16Z’s upending of Silicon Valley a generation later, Michael Ovitz and his “Dream Factory”, Creative Artists Agency. From Jurassic Park to Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Goodfellas, Rain Man, ER, and even the Coca-Cola polar bears... almost nothing in 80s and 90s pop culture didn’t have CAA’s stamp on it. Speaking of dreams, this episode was totally one for us, and we hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we did making it!!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeBig news!! All back catalog LP Show episodes are now free and available to anyone! You can follow our new public LP Show feed here. It's already chock-full of 60+ great episodes like our VC Fundamentals series, interviews with founders of top early-stage startups, and master classes on pricing, marketplaces, SaaS investing and many more topics. Happy listening and happy holidays to everyone!!Links:Michael’s (truly excellent) book, Who Is Michael Ovitz?: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B2HS77M/‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
21/12/21·1h 50m

FTX (with Sam Bankman-Fried & Mario Gabriele)

Note: This episode was published on Dec 14, 2021, approximately a year before FTX’s subsequent meltdown. The apparent negligence, fraud and self-dealing at FTX has given us much to reflect on after we — and many others — gave Sam a platform to share his and FTX’s story with all of you. We’ve decided to leave this episode up in-full as a historical artifact of the industry’s view on FTX at the time. For a broader Acquired discussion on frauds, and specifically the similarities between FTX and Enron, see our November 2022 Enron episode.We tell the definitive (audio!) story behind FTX's "speed run" — how this upstart crypto exchange became the fastest company in history to reach a $25B valuation, just two years after founding. And to do so we're joined by not one but TWO of the very best people in the world to help: FTX's wunderkind CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, and special guest host Mario Gabriele from The Generalist, who Sam gave extensive access to FTX's internal data, employees, and investors for his canonical 36,000 word trilogy on the company this past summer. We cover it all — from the "$20m/day" trade that started everything, to Tom Brady & Gisele, to Sam testifying last week in front of Congress. Don't blink or you might miss it! Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeBig news!! All back catalog LP Show episodes are now free and available to anyone!! You can follow our new public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice. It's already chock-full of 60+ great episodes like our VC Fundamentals series, interviews with founders of top early-stage startups, and master classes on pricing, marketplaces, SaaS investing and many more topics. Happy listening and happy holidays to everyone!!Links:The Generalist's FTX Trilogy: https://www.readthegeneralist.com/briefing/ftx-1FTX: https://ftx.comFTX US: https://ftx.usSam's Twitter: https://twitter.com/SBF_FTX ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
15/12/21·1h 34m

7 Powers with Hamilton Helmer

You've heard us talk about him every episode for the past two years... but until now most of you have never actually heard us talk to him! To celebrate the LP Show going public, we've remastered our first, canonical interview with Hamilton Helmer, originally released as an LP episode in March 2020. Hamilton’s 7 Powers framework gives a deep, academic investigation to the question, “what creates an enduring company?” This episode is an absolute must-listen for anyone working or investing in tech (and beyond), and we're so excited to finally make it available to everyone.And if you want more episodes like this, we have good news... all back catalog LP Show episodes are now free and available to anyone! You can follow our new public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice. It's already chock-full of 60+ great episodes like our VC Fundamentals series, interviews with founders of top early-stage startups, and master classes on pricing, marketplaces, SaaS investing and many more topics. Happy listening and happy holidays to everyone!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks: 7 Powers on Amazon ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
08/12/21·1h 2m

Not Boring (with Packy McCormick)

When does a creator become a company? Who says that media companies — or venture firms — have to be organizations? How high is the ceiling on one person + the internet? Acquired has the answers and they are... Not Boring. 🙂Big news!! All back catalog LP Show episodes are now free and available to anyone!! You can follow our new public LP Show feed here http://pod.link/acquiredlp in the podcast player of your choice. It's already chock-full of 60+ great episodes like our VC Fundamentals series, interviews with founders of top early-stage startups, and master classes on pricing, marketplaces, SaaS investing and many more topics. Happy listening and happy holidays to everyone!!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:Not Boring: https://www.notboring.co/Proto-Not Boring: https://www.packym.com/blog/nyc-debate-clubNot Boring's first sponsor deck:  https://projector.com/story/2cb6296d-e229-4774-839c-efbf86d7f69f?scene=7127c7a0Jake Singer's Not Boring Flywheel: https://theflywheel.substack.com/p/not-boring-packy-mProof Ben was famous even before Acquired:  https://web.archive.org/web/20150814041757/https://www.seattletimes.com/business/high-octane-leader-drives-microsoftrsquos-innovation-garage/ Carve Outs:Velcro swaddles (dad life...): https://www.amazon.com/s?k=velcro+swaddleAn Engineer's Hype-Free Observations on Web3: https://www.psl.com/feed-posts/web3-engineer-takeRabbits:  https://www.amazon.com/Rabbits-Novel-Terry-Miles-ebook/dp/B08HY29VM2 ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
03/12/21·2h 45m

Complexity Investing & Semiconductors (with NZS Capital)

Of our 65+ sources for the TSMC episode, one stood above the rest: a wonderful Knowledge Project episode with Brinton Johns and Jon Bathgate of NZS Capital laying out the state of the semiconductor market. When coincidentally we met Brinton a week later, we knew fate was telling us we had to dig deeper. It turns out NZS has a lot more to teach Acquired than just about semis! Here we dive into their fascinating philosophy of "complexity investing", which was born out of their interactions with the world-famous Santa Fe Institute (of W. Brian Arthur and Increasing Returns fame!)... and of course we also throw in some semiconductor shop-talk for good measure. :)If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like emergency pods and book club discussions with authors. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:NZS Capital: https://www.nzscapital.comThe Santa Fe Institute: https://www.santafe.eduNZS's white paper on Complexity Investing:  https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5ca38f3216b6405d11e3d4b4/t/60131df6a8d27d63432ea5ff/1611865607574/Complexity_2021update-v9pt2.pdfBrinton & Jon on The Knowledge Project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6NUO_bymuATwitter: Brinton: https://twitter.com/bjohns3Jon: https://twitter.com/jbathgateBrad: https://twitter.com/bradsling ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
03/11/21·1h 42m

Standard Oil Part II

We bring the epic saga of Standard Oil and John D. Rockefeller to a close (for now) with two of history's greatest second acts: Rockefeller's pioneering of modern philanthropy (and really modern life itself), and perhaps the single greatest shareholder value "unlock" of all-time in the breakup of Standard Oil. And like any great American saga, of course the good guys win in the end. The only question is... just who were the good guys?? If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and access for live events and discussions with episode guests. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:Titan by Ron Chernow: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1400077303/Episode sources:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PzIts5VVgKhE70sAeHnLKcmDktTkXRgEVtuHDktfNCw/edit?usp=sharing Carve Outs:The to-be-announced (as of recording) M1X MacBook Pro...Starfish Space: https://www.starfishspace.com/Peloton: https://www.onepeloton.com‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
18/10/21·2h 21m

Michael Mauboussin Master Class — Moats, Skill, Luck, Decision Making and a Whole Lot More

We sit down with the one & only Michael Mauboussin to dive deep into his incredible body of work: untangling skill and luck, measuring moats, persistence of returns in venture capital, decision making and — particularly timely — expectations investing and how to think about valuations in the current 2021 market environment. (!!) Michael's work is maybe our most frequent carve out on Acquired, so we're pumped to finally have a chance to interview the man himself. Big thank you to Patrick O'Shaughnessy and Brent Beshore for introducing us all at Capital Camp this year! If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like emergency pods and book club discussions with authors. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeJobs!Big news — we now have a full Acquired Job Board! It's a one-stop-shop with all the very best opportunities from the amazing companies in the Acquired community, including folks like Solana, Italic, Pilot, RabbitHole, Modern Treasury, Vouch, Zapier, Levels and more. AND, if you're more casually open to opportunities, we have a form you can fill out and we'll handpick the best ones and personally send to you as they come up. Check it out at https://www.acquired.fm/jobsLinks:Michael's wonderful talk at Google: https://youtu.be/1JLfqBsX5LcThe new revised edition of Expectations Investing:  https://www.amazon.com/Expectations-Investing-Reading-Returns-Heilbrunn/dp/0231203047/The Success Equation:  https://www.amazon.com/The-Success-Equation-Untangling-Investing/dp/1422184234/Measuring the Moat:  https://research-doc.credit-suisse.com/docView?language=ENG&format=PDF&sourceid=csplusresearchcp&document_id=1066439791&serialid=4uA2wHojCvFKzqWfwIyDvkSN1pkXRpb43LvyclLcJsk%3D&cspId=nullPublic to Private Equity:  https://www.morganstanley.com/im/publication/insights/articles/articles_publictoprivateequityintheusalongtermlook_us.pdf ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
05/10/21·1h 23m

Standard Oil Part I

It's time. We dive into the *original* American capitalist mega winner, Standard Oil, and its legendary founder John D. Rockefeller. This company and man almost defy characterization -- Elon, Bezos, Gates, Buffett... they've got nothing on old John D. Not only was Rockefeller the wealthiest person in modern human history, his company wrote the blueprint for today's corporations and everything we now know about business and capitalism. Pull up a chair and get ready to hear how this hillbilly, nobody kid from the sticks grew up to became the richest person in the world, creating a legend along the way that would become the American Dream...If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and access for live events and discussions with episode guests. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:Episode sources:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1X7oskTGkPX_rIKqZFlN49USR20Ii6C9p2SJCGzEXHLU/edit?usp=sharing Carve Outs:There Will Be Blood: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0469494/Deadwood: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0348914/SB Nation's Secret Base Atlanta Falcons series: https://youtu.be/Lx_ORMhpmoU ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
22/09/21·2h 13m

TSMC

It's time. We dive into the unbelievable history behind the quietest technology giant of them all — and as of recording the world's 9th (!) most valuable company — the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. This story checks every box in the Acquired pantheon of greatness: China, America, MIT, Don Valentine, Silicon Valley, "real men" looking silly, and... moats literally built by lasers. We're not kidding. Pull up a seat and settle in for a great one! If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like emergency pods and book club discussions with authors. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:Episode Sources:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rQMgQDY5c3Fs5DsjB4cZHVZGdhN4kK-6HapO_r7pjyQ/edit?usp=sharing Carve Outs:Ted Lasso (Season 1):  https://tv.apple.com/us/show/ted-lasso/umc.cmc.vtoh0mn0xn7t3c643xqonfzyGreek: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0976014/Who is Michael Ovitz?: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B2HS77M/‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
07/09/21·2h 33m

Kevin Rose from Web 2.0 to Web3

We sit down with the one and only Kevin Rose to talk about his journey from pioneering Web 2.0 with Digg to leading the charge on Web3 and NFT + DeFi investing as a partner at True Ventures and his new show Modern Finance. We cover it all -- TechTV, Digg's true origin story, Milk, Hodinkee, interviewing Beeple and where MoFi goes from here. This was an episode we’ve been wanting to do forever, and Kevin was truly a blast to hang out with. Tune in and then go check out everything he’s building now over at Modern Finance! If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like emergency pods and book club discussions with authors. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:Modern Finance: https://modern.financeEspecially the Beeple episode:  https://modern.finance/episode/beeple-his-story-the-future-of-nfts-his-favorite-digital-artist-and-more/Proof: https://www.proof.xyzKevin on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kevinrose‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
30/08/21·1h 39m

Andreessen Horowitz Part II

Alright, backstory's out of the way, and Acquired is rolling three hours deep on the venture firm that changed the game for everyone — a16z.VC marketing? Check."Founder-friendly?" Check.Platform services? Check.Huge valuations and massive fund sizes? Check and check.We dissect it all in glorious detail, right down to the famous office library (located next to the Rosewood on Sand Hill, natch). The story of modern venture capital starts here. Let's Go!!!If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and access for live events and discussions with episode guests. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:Michael Mauboussin on persistence of returns across asset classes:  https://www.morganstanley.com/im/publication/insights/articles/articles_publictoprivateequityintheusalongtermlook_us.pdfTomorrow's Advance Man:  https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/05/18/tomorrows-advance-manEpisode sources:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/12jf9pwTdEuANtdOffUzSzvE0xEJptT0Or-gBSJgk8mg/edit?usp=sharing Carve Outs:Childhood's End:  https://www.amazon.com/Childhoods-End-Arthur-C-Clarke/dp/110196703XMKBHD's Studio channel and tour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkuxIy3kFZMThe Godfather: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068646/Who Got the Truth on Spotify!!  https://open.spotify.com/track/03X7SwpsCjZIofK8RFPwch?si=649d93b2be7743d5‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
10/08/21·2h 53m

Andreessen Horowitz Part I

We kick off Season 9 with a classic: Part I of the a16z story. How did this brand new venture firm charge out of the gates in 2009, going from zero to disrupting the entire venture industry overnight? You probably know Marc & Ben's history with Netscape and Loudcloud/Opsware... but what about the Black Panthers, Nintendo 64, Al Gore, Doug Leone, Masayoshi Son, and an epic feud with Benchmark Capital that became Silicon Valley's version of the Hatfields and the McCoys? Buckle up, Acquired's got the truth. If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like emergency pods and book club discussions with authors. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:David Streitfeld's great NYT piece on the Horowitz family:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/22/technology/one-family-many-revolutions-from-black-panthers-to-silicon-valley-to-trump.htmlMarc on the Tim Ferriss Show:  https://tim.blog/2018/01/01/the-tim-ferriss-show-transcripts-marc-andreessen/2003 Marc in SF Gate:  https://www.sfgate.com/business/ontherecord/article/OPSWARE-INC-On-the-record-Marc-Andreessen-2525822.php#photo-2684736Carve Outs:Ben:The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life:  https://www.amazon.com/Elephant-Brain-Hidden-Motives-Everyday/dp/0190495995David:Resonant Arc Podcast / YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFzWAEPDGiY34bGpwM_DWmANote: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
27/07/21·2h 5m

Special: Solana (with CEO Anatoly Yakovenko)

We sit down with the hottest new protocol layer in crypto today: Solana, and its cofounder Anatoly Yakovenko, who is the CEO of Solana Labs. If you listened to our Ethereum episode or follow crypto even at a cursory level, you've likely heard of Solana and its ability to scale transactions thousands of times higher than Ethereum. And, unlike other so-called "ETH killers", Solana is doing so in production today with large and real applications. We dive into the project's history coming out of the 2017-18 crypto winter, how it works and what's ahead now that they've recently raised $314m (yes that is Pi $million) from a16z and Polychain Capital, with their native SOL tokens currently trading at a market cap around $10B (!). If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like our Book Clubs. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeTopics covered:Anatoly's background as a wireless engineer at Qualcomm, and how it led to a fundamental discovery of how to improve crypto system scalabilitySolana's role in the crypto protocol ecosystem and why there's a need for it (and why it can and will exist) alongside Ethereum versus "killing" itStarting Solana during the 2017-18 crypto winter, and how it forced them to focus just on building and shipping versus raising and posturingBootstrapping adoption with the mining community (Solana's "true believers") and the early and ardent support they providedWhere Solana falls on the Vitalik "Scalability - Security - Decentralization" trilemma, and why Solana's superpower of maintaining composability is so attractiveLinks:Solana: https://solana.comSolana on Twitter: https://twitter.com/solanaSolana Hackathon submissions: https://airtable.com/shriNT26cAZeDJagn/tbl5fZ4E1BBbVAttWFTX: https://ftx.usAudius: https://audius.co Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
19/07/21·1h 12m

Ethereum

We close out Season 8 with the most ambitious organization we've ever covered on Acquired: Ethereum, and it's celebrity wunderkind founder Vitalik Buterin. If you thought Mark Zuckerberg IPO-ing Facebook at $100B by age 27 was something, just wait until you hear the story of this high school junior creating $500B (!!) of market cap by the same age — and oh yeah, maybe seeding the future dethroning of Facebook, Google, Amazon and all of big tech in the process. Regardless whether you're a crypto neophyte, a die-hard bull, or a skeptical bear, this is a story you need to hear, and Ethereum is an innovation you need to understand. Buckle in for a wild ride... and some special surprises from a few Acquired friends. :) If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like emergency pods and book club discussions with authors. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:The Ethereum Whitepaper: https://ethereum.org/en/whitepaper/Yung Spielburg https://open.spotify.com/artist/273so0X2Yuo93vfeX2nLDI and Mike Taylor https://open.spotify.com/artist/30ejUciK31BCg0IVCbt1dW on Spotify Carve Outs:Arthur C. Clarke: https://www.amazon.com/Arthur-C-Clarke/e/B000APF21M? (especially Rendezvous with Rama and The City & The Stars)Disney-Marvel's Loki: https://www.disneyplus.com/series/loki/6pARMvILBGzFThe Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson:  https://www.amazon.com/Diamond-Age-Illustrated-Primer-Spectra/dp/0553380966Nier Automata: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nier:_AutomataMagic the Gathering IRL:  https://magic.wizards.com/en/events/event-types/friday-night-magic
06/07/21·3h 3m

Special: Ho Nam from Altos Ventures — A Different Approach to VC

What do you get when you combine Berkshire Hathaway's approach with early-stage venture capital? Altos Ventures. We're joined by Altos's wonderful Ho Nam to discuss their highly unusual approach to VC, which has resulted in them becoming significant shareholders in great companies like Roblox, Coupang, Woowa Brothers and Krafton (makers of PUBG). This episode is an absolute must-listen for anyone in our industry — Ho is one of the best and most under-the-radar thinkers in Silicon Valley, and has many lessons to offer us all!If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like our Book Clubs. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeTopics covered:Altos's 13-year+ journey with Roblox, and how they deployed over $400m into the company out of an $86m fundAltos's heritage in Jack McDonald's Investments class at Stanford GSB, and the influence of Jack, Phil Fisher and Warren & CharlieHow Altos successfully "value invests" in venture capital, and reconciling cashflow potential with growth"Good fundraisers" vs. "bad fundraisers" and correlation with returnsAltos's unique fund structure and how they're architected to stay with companies longer than a typical venture capital firmHo's Twitter presence and how (and why) he went from de minimus followers to one of the top FinTwit accounts in a few monthsLinks:Ho's amazing Twitter presence: https://twitter.com/honamHo's "Foxes and Hedgehogs" post: https://altos.vc/blog/foxes-and-hedgehogsHo's "How do you know?" post: https://altos.vc/blog/howdoyouknowHo's "Venture Lotto" post: https://www.altos.vc/blog/venture-lottoSam Walton's Made in America: https://www.amazon.com/Sam-Walton-Made-America/dp/0553562835
21/06/21·1h 50m

Berkshire Hathaway Part III

It's time. We wrap our Berkshire Hathaway trilogy with Warren and Charlie entering a new era: the age of the internet. Can they and Berkshire adapt to this brave new world? We find out. And, after 9+ hours, we render our final judgments on Berkshire and Warren's career. Is "Never bet against America" still the right longterm approach? Or is there another, even bigger Snowball out there that Warren may be missing? If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like our recent Book Club event with Brad Stone. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeThe Berkshire Hathaway Playbook is available on our website at https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/berkshire-hathaway-part-iiiLinks:Bill Gates 1996 Wired interview: https://youtu.be/VFFlO7yBIBM?t=1056Jeff Bezos's 2008 AWS == electricity talk at YC Startup School: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nKfFHuouzACharlie's 2021 Shareholder Meeting "slip-up": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gyqElEG6Uo Carve Outs:Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits:  https://www.amazon.com/Common-Stocks-Uncommon-Profits-Writings/dp/0471445509Xbox Game Pass: http://xbox.com/gamepassGoodfellas: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099685/The Goodfellas soundtrack: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0xVpgEngjrg6FOw5vEFHRp
07/06/21·2h 56m

Special: Amazon Unbound (with Brad Stone)

Brad Stone joins us to discuss the making of the modern Amazon, and how it's morphed from the "flywheel company" of The Everything Store into a set of interlocking and self-reinforcing businesses that extended both wider and deeper into the global economy than anyone ever imagined. (except perhaps Jeff Bezos) Is Amazon the Standard Oil of our time, or maybe something much, much bigger? Tune in as we dive in! If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events including upcoming Book Clubs like these! We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe Topics covered:When and why Brad decided The Everything Store needed a sequelThe process of writing the book and access he got at Amazon, including S-Team executives like Dave ClarkThe evolution of Amazon's core strategy from the flywheel into a set of "interlocking and self-reinforcing businesses", and how Brad landed on that as the key theme for the bookAmazon's culture and the evolution from "Jeff-bots", and its embodiment in S-team members and company leaders beyondAmazon's investments in Video and why Bezos was ahead of the pack in realizing its strategic importance (including the rumored as-of-recording MGM deal)Amazon's secretive "Campfire" event and why Amazon does it despite its very un-Amazon price tagBrad's take on the future of three major Amazon business lines: Video, International and Marketplace / 3rd Party SellersAmazon and Bezos's intense focus on competitors, despite the "theater" of their mantra to only focus on customersThe Bezos "lapses of judgment" in 2018-19 and what it was like reporting on all the craziness around itTracking down the "voice of Alexa" Nina Rolle, and Bezos's relationship with Elon!Links:Amazon Unbound (on Amazon, natch):  https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Unbound-Invention-Global-Empire/dp/1982132612/
27/05/21·1h 17m

Berkshire Hathaway Part II

In Part II of our Berkshire Hathaway Trilogy (!), we pick up the story with Warren wandering in the woods of Omaha, searching for his life's next chapter after retiring from the professional investing business at the top of his game at age 39. How does he emerge from those woods anew, transforming from Ben Graham's cigar-butt cocoon into the butterfly collector of Berkshire's wonderful businesses? (Spoiler: Charlie Munger.) And how did one rotten-to-the-core business nearly bring it all down — everything he'd ever worked for — in the span of one terrible week? Tune in! If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like our upcoming Book Club event with Brad Stone. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/ Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeThe Charlie Munger Playbook is available on our website at https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/berkshire-hathaway-part-ii Links:Chuck Rickershauser's corporate flow chart: (left half) (right half) Carve Outs:The Sopranos: https://www.hbo.com/the-sopranosMacklemore on Armchair Expert: https://armchairexpertpod.com/pods/macklemore
12/05/21·3h 1m

Special: 2021 China Tech Trends (with Tech Buzz China)

We team up with two of the very best English-language analysts covering China tech today, Rui Ma and Ying Lu from the Tech Buzz China podcast, to talk about the big trends happening on the ground in China right now. We've had Rui and Ying's episodes on repeat in our own podcast players for many years as we researched our Meituan, PDD, Tencent and Alibaba episodes, and we're so excited to have them finally join us live. We had a blast and learned much more about what's actually happening in the world's largest market than the relative trickle of news Western audiences normally receive. Tune in!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeTopics and trends covered:How Rui and Ying stay on top of trends in China tech remotely from the USThe rise of “tech company like” CPG and other consumer brands in China and extremely fast product development and iteration: e.g., Genki Forest, Perfect Diary and SheinCommunity group buying and the reinvention of commerce in rural China (along with an eye-opening discussion of what qualifies as “rural” in China... which is very different from the West!)Autonomous and electric vehicle design and production in China (which is the world's largest car market), and the government's push for China to become a global leader in bothThe current state of anti-trust in China and why investors and operators on the ground in China are optimistic about recent developmentsLinks:Tech Buzz China: https://www.techbuzzchina.comTBC's fantastic Insider community for investors and operators: https://www.techbuzzchina.com/insider
05/05/21·1h 19m

Berkshire Hathaway Part I

It's time. After 150+ episodes on great companies, we tackle the granddaddy of them all — Berkshire Hathaway. One episode alone isn't nearly enough to do Warren and Poor Charlie justice, so today we present Part I: Warren's story. How did a folksy, middle-class kid from Omaha become the single greatest capitalist of all-time? Why, like Jordan, did he retire (twice!) at the top of his game, only to reinvent himself and come back stronger than ever? As always, we dive in. Let's dance. If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like emergency pods and book club discussions with authors. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeThe Warren Buffett Playbook is available on our website at https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/berkshire-hathaway-part-i Carve Outs:Ben: Year One of Not Boring: https://www.notboring.co/p/a-not-boring-adventure-one-year-inDavid: Balaji Srinivasan on The Tim Ferriss Show: https://tim.blog/2021/03/24/balaji-srinivasan/
21/04/21·3h 10m

Special: "Why Now" for Digital Health (with Levels founder Josh Clemente)

We dive into the fast-changing world of direct-to-consumer digital health, with perhaps the best person in the world: Levels founder Josh Clemente. (Shoutout to Ben Grynol and Michael Mizrahi from our LP community for introducing us!) Levels is on a mission to make consumers everywhere aware of their metabolic health by enabling anyone to track blood glucose levels with a continuous glucose monitor. Josh has had an incredible career, working as an early engineer at SpaceX and later at Hyperloop One before founding Levels out of a very real personal need. Join our conversation as we cover everything from Josh's time at SpaceX to why the market has changed for consumer digital health, and what the future holds for Levels. If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like emergency pods and book club discussions with authors. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeThe Levels / Digital Health Playbook is available on our website at https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/special-why-now-for-digital-health-with-levels-founder-josh-clementeLinks:Levels: https://www.levelshealth.com
06/04/21·1h 26m

Rec Room Part II (with CEO Nick Fajt)

Last Acquired left the plucky Rec Room crew in our 2018 "Part I" episode, they were a seed stage startup making a VR game that users loved but grew slowly and barely monetized. Fast forward to today, and they're now a multi-platform social "place" with millions of active users, 500%+ YoY growth and hosting a robust creator economy that's rivaled only by their oft-compared metaverse cousin Roblox in dynamics and efficiency. And oh yeah, they're now a $1B+ company after a new $100m fundraise from existing investors Sequoia and Index, which they're announcing today. We figured it was high time to revisit Nick & crew for a Part II... If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like emergency pods and book club discussions with authors. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeThe Rec Room Playbook is available on our website at https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/rec-room-part-ii-with-ceo-nick-fajtLinks:Our "Part I" episode with Nick on Rec Room's seed round:  https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/season-2-episode-2raising-a-seed-round-with-against-gravity-ceo-nick-fajtRec Room! https://recroom.comCarve Outs:Invent and Wander:  https://www.amazon.com/Invent-Wander-Collected-Writings-Introduction-ebook/dp/B08BCCT6MW/Resonant Arc on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFzWAEPDGiY34bGpwM_DWmAHow The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHe0bXAIuk0
24/03/21·1h 56m

Meituan

We dive into the history behind Meituan, the juggernaut Chinese "super-app" which dominates China's services economy, offering consumers everything from food delivery, restaurant reviews, travel booking, bike-sharing, movie ticketing, and countless other entertainment and lifestyle services all at the touch of a button. Already China's 3rd largest tech company by market cap (behind just Tencent and Alibaba), Meituan did $15 billion in net revenue in FY2019 and continues to grow rapidly. What makes it so special, and how were they able to become the market leader in such a competitive space? This story is packed with lessons that apply equally beyond China tech to high-growth company building and investing everywhere. If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like emergency pods and book club discussions with authors. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeThe Meituan Playbook is available on our website at https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/meituanLinks:Meituan's English language walkthrough video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wxgQVjDviQThe Tech Buzz China podcast: https://www.techbuzzchina.comGGV's Evolving for the Next Billion podcast: https://nextbn.ggvc.com/podcasts/Bernard Leong's Analyse Asia: https://analyse.asia Carve Outs:Extraterrestrial:  https://www.amazon.com/Extraterrestrial-First-Intelligent-Beyond-Earth-ebook/dp/B081TTY4NX/John Luttig's newsletter: https://luttig.substack.com
10/03/21·2h 21m

The New York Times Company

For the entire 20th Century, you’d be hard pressed to find a better business than an American newspaper — Warren Buffett famously described them as “franchises” — and no American newspaper stood taller than the New York Times. Controlled by a single family bound by a legal oath “to maintain the editorial independence and integrity of The New York Times and to continue it as an independent newspaper, entirely fearless, free of ulterior influence and unselfishly devoted to the public welfare”, the Times served as the paper of record for generations of Americans and people around the world. But no good thing lasts forever, and the dawn of the 21st Century saw both the Times and this once-mighty industry devastated by the dual disruptive forces of the internet and the 2008 financial crisis. And yet by 2021, The Times, essentially alone of its former peers, has reemerged from the American newspaper wreckage and transformed itself into a thriving digital business with an order of magnitude more subscribers than its print heyday. Curious how it all happened? We dive into 170 years of history to find out! If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like emergency pods and book club discussions with authors. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeThe New York Times Company Playbook is available on our website at https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/the-new-york-times-companyLinks:The 2014 NYT Innovation Report: https://archive.org/details/pdfy-59s-4-I2qSvG6MnA/mode/2upMine Safety Disclosures’ NYT presentation: https://minesafetydisclosures.com/blog/newyorktimesCarve Outs:Ben:Titan by Ron Chernow:  https://www.amazon.com/Titan-Life-John-Rockefeller-Sr-ebook/dp/B000XUDGHGIteratively: https://iterative.lyDavid:Sabaa Tahir’s Ember in the Ashes series: https://www.amazon.com/Ember-Ashes-3-Book/dp/B074VDZB17
18/02/21·3h 7m

Special: Sequoia Capital's Investment Playbook (with Alfred Lin)

We cover Sequoia Capital a lot on this show. Not only across our now four(!) dedicated episodes, but across a stunning nearly 50% of recent season companies where Sequoia was a primary or only investor — the most of any venture firm by an enormous margin. Today in this very special episode, we dive into the principles that have led to the firm's 49 years of unparalleled success in venture, and the playbook behind how they identify markets and companies that create outcomes worthy of the firm's namesake tree. If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like emergency pods and book club discussions with authors. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeThe Sequoia Capital Playbook is available on our website at https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/special-sequoia-capitals-investment-playbook-with-alfred-linLinks:Our two-part Sequoia history: Part I: https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/sequoia-capital-part-1Part II:  https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/sequoia-capital-part-ii-with-doug-leoneDon Valentine's talk at Stanford GSB: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKN-abRJMEw&t=2555sOur conversation about Sequoia's Black Swan Memo with Roelof Botha: https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/sequoias-black-swan-memo
01/02/21·56m 8s

Bitcoin

We had to do it. After 12 years and 3,000,000x appreciation, we kick off Season 8 with the best investment of all-time and our biggest episode ever: Bitcoin. From the first bitcoin transaction of 10k for two Papa John's pizzas (worth about $350m today!!) to $40k+ BTC and maybe the moon beyond, we cover the whole crazy, improbable journey of how a single 8-page PDF document changed the world of money — and perhaps the world itself — forever. If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like emergency pods and book club discussions with authors. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeThe Bitcoin Playbook is available on our website at https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/bitcoinLinks:Satoshi's Whitepaper: https://www.bitcoin.com/bitcoin.pdfMatt Huang's "Bitcoin for the Open-Minded Skeptic": https://www.paradigm.xyz/Bitcoin_For_The_Open_Minded_Skeptic.pdfNellie Bowles's "Everyone Is Getting Hilariously Rich and You’re Not":  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/13/style/bitcoin-millionaires.htmlSquare’s $50m investment in BTC:  https://images.ctfassets.net/2d5q1td6cyxq/5sXNrlEh2mEnTvvhgtYOm2/737bcfdc15e2a1c3cbd9b9451710ce54/Square_Inc._Bitcoin_Investment_Whitepaper.pdfEpisode Sources: Full list of episode sources available here:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/16QCDNm2qzG3Bn5h1j1KXisxL_JGT7egDx7czX9ThHLY/edit?usp=sharing 
19/01/21·3h 12m

Special: Acquired x Indie Hackers

As regular listeners know, we typically cover some of the biggest companies who often receive the most media attention (see Airbnb and DoorDash). But today's episode is a little different. In our conversation with Courtland Allen of Indie Hackers, the largest community of startup founders, we dive into the stories of underdogs. What happens when there are millions of people doing small business entrepreneurship? How does anyone having access to the globally addressable market of 3 billion internet users open the door for the niche-est of products? We tell the story of Courtland’s own “Indie Hacker” journey, how he came to found Indie Hackers itself, and the lessons learned along the way. If you want more more Acquired and the tools + resources to become the best founder, operator or investor you can be, join our LP Program for access to our LP Show, the LP community on Slack and Zoom, and our live Book Club discussions with top authors. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoePlaybook Themes from this episode are available on our website at https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/special-acquired-x-indie-hackersLinks:Indie Hackers: https://www.indiehackers.com
17/12/20·1h 49m

Airbnb

Over 13 years after its founding, one of the defining startup companies of the past decade finally makes its public debut — and boy was it a big one. But for all the hype (and all the legitimately great things Airbnb has accomplished), this is a company that looks very different today than in the past. Even before COVID, Airbnb's once-exponential bookings growth had declined to linear levels while the company's costs continued to balloon at accelerating rates. What’s going on here? Are public investors smart to bet on a permanent shift in travel behavior coming out of the pandemic? Or is this a case of unrealistic expectations? As always, we dive in. If you want more Acquired and the tools + resources to become the best founder, operator or investor you can be, join our LP Program for access to our LP Show, the LP community on Slack and Zoom, and our live Book Club discussions with top authors. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoePlaybook Themes from this episode are available on our website at https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/airbnbCarve Outs:David — San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker: https://www.sfballet.org/productions/nutcracker-online/Ben — Star Wars Lofi HipHop:  https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5iu1sp3UBb1rjf8KNKETtJ?si=WxPdJcRpSnelHN9qh0xYSw
11/12/20·2h 38m

DoorDash

Live from the scene of its blockbuster IPO, we recount the crazy, roller coaster journey of this "Palo Alto delivery company". From Sand Hill darling during their Series A and B fundraises to all but left-for-dead during the great unicorn massacre of 2015/16, DoorDash has clawed their way back from the brink and emerged as America's dominant meal delivery service, and its only unit-economic positive standalone logistics player. Is this the dawn of the next great Amazon-like story, or is the company simply benefiting from temporary tailwinds due to the pandemic? As always, we dive DEEP to find out. If you want more Acquired and the tools + resources to become the best founder, operator or investor you can be, join our LP Program for access to our LP Show, the LP community on Slack and Zoom, and our live Book Club discussions with top authors. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoePlaybook Themes from this episode are available on our website at https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/doordashCarve Outs:David:Hades on the Nintendo Switch: https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/hades-switch/Ben:Watchmen on HBO: https://www.hbo.com/watchmenSuccession on HBO: https://www.hbo.com/successionPalm Springs: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9484998/
10/12/20·2h 58m

Slack + Salesforce Emergency Pod with Packy McCormick of Not Boring

Acquired is live on the scene covering Salesforce's blockbuster $27.7B acquisition of Slack, with the help of the internet's #1 Slack bull (and top internet analyst in his own right), Packy McCormick of Not Boring. We dissect the deal itself, Slack's relatively short life as a public company, the impact of Microsoft and Teams, and most importantly what this means for enterprise SaaS startups broadly. And oh yeah — we have a ton of fun too. :)Note: you can find our full June 2019 episode on Slack's history and their DPO here: https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/the-slack-dpoIf you want more more Acquired and the tools + resources to become the best founder, operator or investor you can be, join our LP Program for access to our LP Show, the LP community on Slack and Zoom, and our live Book Club discussions with top authors. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/ Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoePlaybook Themes from this episode are available on our website at https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/slack-salesforce-emergency-pod-with-packy-mccormick-of-not-boringLinks:Not Boring: https://notboring.substack.comPacky on Twitter: https://twitter.com/packyMPacky's bull thesis on Slack from November 2020: https://notboring.substack.com/p/slack-the-bulls-are-typing
02/12/20·1h 30m

Virgin Galactic

Live from the 2020 ASCEND Space Conference, Acquired covers the full story behind the most "out there" technology story of the past few years: Virgin Galactic. How did this space tourism company grow out of the winning X Prize team, and catch the eyes and fancy of billionaires like Paul Allen, Sir Richard Branson, and, most recently, company chairman Chamath Palihapitiya who took it public via the first "modern" technology SPAC transaction in history? Tune in to find out!! If you want more more Acquired and the tools + resources to become the best founder, operator or investor you can be, join our LP Program for access to our LP Show, the LP community on Slack and Zoom, and our live Book Club discussions with top authors. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoePlaybook Themes from this episode are available on our website at https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/virgin-galactic Links:Virgin Galactic's "One Small Step" reservation program: https://www.virgingalactic.com/smallstep/The November 2020 launch delay:  https://www.virgingalactic.com/articles/virgin-galactic-adjusts-test-flight-schedule-in-response-to-new-state-government-covid-19-restrictions/
23/11/20·1h 47m

Special: Superhuman Part II - Designing Software to Feel like a Game (with Rahul Vohra)

Superstar past guest and Superhuman CEO Rahul Vorha joins us for a deep dive on how Superhuman applies concepts from game design to building productivity software. We're not talking points and badges — we mean hardcore, Unreal Engine-style technical innovations and Fortnite-level understanding of fun and mastery. It's a topic where Rahul has serious cred: before Superhuman and Rapportive, he worked as a game designer on RuneScape, the pioneering browser-based MMORPG. This is a topic every founder, engineer, product and even sales person should listen to. Tune in! You can listen to Part I of our Superhuman story with Rahul here: https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/superhumanIf you want more Acquired and the tools + resources to become the best founder, operator or investor you can be, join our LP Program for access to our LP Show, the LP community on Slack and Zoom, and our new live Book Club discussions with top authors. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoePlaybook Themes from this Episode available on our website at  https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/special-superhuman-part-ii-designing-software-to-feel-like-a-game-with-rahul-vohra ) 
12/11/20·55m 22s

Twitter (with Dick Costolo)

A week before the 2020 US Presidential election, former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo joins us to tell the story of a company that has impacted all of our lives (political and otherwise) like none other. While it's easy to forget now, a very viable alternate history exists where it's Twitter, not Facebook, who owns Instagram, and Vine, not TikTok, that's the global platform for mobile video. We dive into it all on this episode — and of course while we had Dick, we also had to discuss his controversial recent deleted tweet. If you want more Acquired and the tools + resources to become the best founder, operator or investor you can be, join our LP Program for access to our LP Show, the LP community on Slack and Zoom, and our live Book Club discussions with top authors. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeNew! We're codifying our own Playbook notes and takeaways from each episode, and posting them on our website. You can read them at: https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/twitter-with-dick-costoloLinks:Ashish Goel at Stanford: https://web.stanford.edu/~ashishg/twitter.htmlDick and Adam's new firm, 01 Advisors: https://01a.com/Carve Outs:Vote! https://www.vote.org
28/10/20·1h 23m

Special: Invest Like the Best on Acquired

On this special episode of Acquired, we're joined by a master interviewer himself, Patrick O'Shaughnessy from Invest Like the Best. We turn the tables and cover the most fascinating story he's never told on ILTB... his own! What is O’Shaughnessy Asset Management, and how are they bringing "AWS-level" innovation to the sleepy wealth management industry? How did he go from Notre Dame philosophy major to quant researcher to (arguably) technology CEO and now also an early-stage venture investor... all while simultaneously building one of the world's top new business media empires? Acquired is here to explore it all. If you want more Acquired and the tools + resources to become the best founder, operator or investor you can be, join our LP Program for access to our LP Show, the LP community on Slack and Zoom, and our new live Book Club discussions with top authors. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoePlaybook Special! Patrick’s Favorite Themes from 5 Years of ILTB:Chetan Puttagunta (#1): Go slow to go fast — http://investorfieldguide.com/chetan/Chetan Puttagunta (#2): Open source isn’t about saving on R&D, it’s about building differentiated distribution among developers —  http://investorfieldguide.com/chetan-puttagunta-and-jeremiah-lowin-open-source-crash-course-invest-like-the-best-ep-188/Bill Gurley: Healthy marketplace opportunities have increasing marginal value to demand from incremental supply penetration — http://investorfieldguide.com/gurley/Matthew Ball: The key to unlocking the Metaverse isn’t about building Ready Player One, it’s about creating interoperable systems that will move value and information between experiences —  http://investorfieldguide.com/matt-ball-the-future-of-media-movies-the-metaverse-and-more-invest-like-the-best-ep-185/Charlie Songhurst: The best place to look for talent is in less-competitive markets — http://investorfieldguide.com/songhurst/Katrina Lake: The past of e-commerce was about price, convenience and selection; the future is about personalization and curation —  http://investorfieldguide.com/katrina-lake-the-next-wave-of-e-commerce-invest-like-the-best-ep-187/Daniel Ek: Company scaling as “seeing around corners” — http://investorfieldguide.com/ek/Kat Cole: Inversion as a tool to deal with difficult people —  http://investorfieldguide.com/kat-cole-how-to-operate-lessons-in-brand-distribution-and-leadership-invest-like-the-best-ep-184/Sarah Tavel: Hierarchy as a framework — http://investorfieldguide.com/tavel/Josh Wolfe: The “directional arrow of progress” and the simple power of extrapolating trend lines — http://investorfieldguide.com/wolfe2/Links:Invest Like the Best: http://investorfieldguide.com/podcast/Founder's Field Guide: http://investorfieldguide.com/founders-field-guide/OSAM and Canvas: https://www.osam.com
07/10/20·1h 48m

The NBA

On the eve of the 2020 NBA Finals, we dive DEEP into the history and business model of the league behind the world's 2nd largest and fastest growing major sport. How did the NBA grow from merely an excuse to monetize hockey arena off-nights into a global powerhouse with more reach and influence and reach than any other American sport? Tune in!! If you want more Acquired and the tools + resources to become the best founder, operator or investor you can be, join our LP Program for access to our LP Show, the LP community on Slack and Zoom, and our new live Book Club discussions with top authors. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeNew! We're codifying our own Playbook notes and takeaways from each episode, and posting them on our website. Check them out at: https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/the-nbaLinks:Our old LA Clippers episode: https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/episode-36-the-la-clippersThe Last Dance: https://www.netflix.com/title/80203144Allen Iverson Players' Tribune piece:  https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/life-and-times-of-allen-iversonCarve Outs:David:Phil Libin and Mmhmm on Joe Sweeny's Just Raised podcast: https://overcast.fm/+hJ7uJqHMABen:Meow Wolf + documentary https://meowwolf.com/explore/origin-story
30/09/20·2h 45m

Special: Acquired x My First Million

Acquired teams up with the My First Million podcast for a “best of both worlds” crossover episode. First we go deep, “Acquired style”, on the wild story of MFM host Shaan Puri’s bought, sold, and then bought-again OG social networking site Bebo, and then we turn the tables and brainstorm startup ideas and investing themes “MFM style”. This episode was frankly a blast to do. We hope you have as much fun listening as we did recording!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:My First Million‘s website: https://thehustle.co/my-first-million-podcast/
09/09/20·1h 34m

Epic Games

We go deep behind the "epic" story of a plucky game developer from Cary, North Carolina (by way of Potomac, Maryland) which, after bootstrapping for its first 22 years, has quietly morphed into an $18b juggernaut that may become the most important technology company for the next evolution of the internet. And oh yeah, its founder, CEO and controlling shareholder? He cares more about land conservation than he does about money, he's beholden to no one and has the firepower of China's biggest internet giant behind him, and he's willing to stare down Apple, Google and anyone else who doesn't support his vision of an open and equal-opportunity internet future in a fight to the death. You'll want to buckle your seats for this one!! If you want more Acquired and the tools + resources to become the best founder, operator or investor you can be, join our LP Program for access to our LP Show, the LP community on Slack and Zoom, and our new Book Club live sessions with authors like Hamilton Helmer of 7 Powers and Will Thorndike of The Outsiders. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/ Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeNew! We're codifying our own Playbook notes and takeaways from each episode and posting them on our website. Check it out:  www.acquired.fm/episodes/epic-gamesLinks:MTV Cribs, "Tim Sweeney Edition": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRGUKMKadJ8Carve Outs:Ben's "3 part carve out": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bErPsq5kPzE - original video demo of Unreal Engine for filmmakinghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUnxzVOs3rk - Feb 2020, video on "The Volume"https://ascmag.com/articles/the-mandalorianDavid Asimov's Foundation Series:  https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Asimovs-Foundation-Foundations-Prelude/dp/B01EFDEMS8Sources: (available on Journal at  https://usejournal.com/app/space/journal:space:project/7efa6d43-a601-4784-8e36-1edda2b1b451 )
02/09/20·2h 27m

Eventbrite (with Julia & Kevin Hartz)

We're joined by two very special guests, Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz and her cofounder, spouse and Eventbrite Chairman Kevin Hartz, to tell their story of building Eventbrite together (along with their lives and family) from the PayPal diaspora to bootstrapped business, unicorn status, IPO and now starting all over again in the wake of COVID with both a tragedy and a huge new opportunity in front of them as public company. If you want more Acquired and the tools + resources to become the best founder, operator or investor you can be, join our LP Program for access to our LP Show (including the episode with Kevin on SPACs), the LP community on Slack and Zoom, and our new Book Club live sessions with authors like Hamilton Helmer of 7 Powers and Will Thorndike of The Outsiders. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeNew! We're codifying our own Playbook notes and takeaways from each episode, and posting them here in the show notes and on our website. You can read them below or at: www.acquired.fm/episodes/eventbritePlaybookSeeing the next technology wave before others do is rare. It provides a roadmap for what to build and invest in if you're willing to bet on that knowledge. Kevin worked at Silicon Graphics in the mid 90's. This led him to realize that internet services like PayPal, YouTube, and many others would be possible long before others (similar to Don Valentine realizing computers would penetrate every industry from his time at Fairchild).PayPal and its subsequent "mafia" was successful in part because of rapid experimentation. They observed what got used by customers and then doubled down. PayPal's "core" use case on eBay started as an experiment. International money transfer (Xoom) and event ticketing (Eventbrite) also initially started as experiments on the PayPal API before the eBay acquisition — and went on to become large companies.Julia, Kevin, and their cofounder Renaud had a prototype of Eventbrite running and serving customers even before starting the company — which gave them the confidence to do what seemed crazy on paper, but was actually "de-risked": start a company as an engaged couple, have a remote technical cofounder, bootstrap for 2 years after being turned down by VCs, etc.When a company is experiencing explosive growth, they often need to leave other huge opportunities on the table. PayPal knew international remittances could be huge, but didn't build it internally because of the need to focus on eBay merchants.The TAM for bringing an offline behavior offline is often WAY bigger than anything you can calculate beforehand. The range and size of what were previously niche or impossible use cases will often expand dramatically with easy-to-use online tools. This is especially true in long-tail use cases that can only be aggregated by self-serve internet-based software. One early encouraging sign for Eventbrite was its use to host speed dating events in New York. Before Eventbrite, it was nearly impossible to organize, promote, and charge for something like that. Now, organizers could suddenly become entrepreneurs and make real money hosting events like this. Most VCs ignored or were confused by this data (~"Call us when you attack Ticketmaster."), but they missed that it unlocked a massive new market which previously operated only through word-of-mouth and cash transactions (if at all).All three major dislocations of the 21st century — the tech bubble bursting in 2001, the financial crisis in 2008, and now COVID in 2020 — have only accelerated offline behaviors to online. COVID is unlocking a new wave of online event entrepreneurs for Eventbrite in the same way the financial crisis unlocked a wave of in-person event entrepreneurs in 2008-10.Starting with just one niche can be incredibly powerful; often your customers will then lead you to more. Before the speed-dating in New York (which was fully inbound), Eventbrite was used to organize tech meetups in the then-smaller tech community in SF. It was even used for the first TechCrunch Disrupt!Too much capital (and too little accountability) can hurt a company much more than help it. Capital covers up problems, distracts focus from customers, and leads to poor resource allocation. Kevin: "The periods where we had raised the most money privately were the hardest and most difficult for me, because we were really fighting this gravity of overspending and creating inefficiency. And it took us away from our roots as a capital-efficient, highly-effective perpetual motion machine [that we'd had as a bootstrapped company]."Being a public company not only instills more capital allocation discipline, but can ALSO afford a degree of financial flexibility that just isn't possible as a private company. Within weeks of COVID hitting, Eventbrite dramatically shrunk the size and scope of the company AND raised $375m in new capital from new and longterm shareholders. Both actions would have been difficult to impossible as a private company with a static valuation (and associated anti-dilution, ratchet terms, etc) that no longer reflected the reality of the current situation.
25/08/20·1h 32m

Pinduoduo

We kick off Season 7 with a bang: Pinduoduo, the incredible five year-old Chinese mashup of "Costco and Disneyland" (as self-described in their IPO prospectus) which recently became the fastest company ever to pass $100B market capitalization. What makes PDD so special, and how were they able to enter a market that everyone considered "already won" and disrupt massive entrenched competitors Alibaba and JD.com? This story is chock-full of lessons that apply not only to China tech, but to high-growth company building and investing everywhere. Want more Acquired, including access to the LP Show, LP Calls and the Book Club? Join the Limited Partner program at: https://glow.fm/acquired/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:Photo of 26 year-old Colin at lunch with Warren Buffett: https://thelowdown.momentum.asia/cv-of-pinduoduos-founder/PDD users on mini-programs vs other Chinese e-commerce players: https://miro.medium.com/max/1080/0*39fpSP_JqhDaPhQ2.pngCarve OutsHow to Make a Spaceship https://www.amazon.com/How-Make-Spaceship-Renegades-Spaceflight/dp/1594206724Creativity, Inc. https://www.amazon.com/Creativity-Inc-Overcoming-Unseen-Inspiration/dp/0812993012/Sources:http://investor.pinduoduo.com/static-files/468b2c9f-9112-410d-84b3-2b22e07c7ee0http://investor.pinduoduo.com/static-files/5539839d-0a1c-4d40-9bb7-bdb490e2370chttps://analyse.asia/2018/08/09/episode-260-pinduoduo-their-upcoming-ipo-in-china-with-matthew-brennan/https://analyse.asia/2020/06/28/pinduoduo-on-social-ecommerce-agriculture-with-xinyi-lim/https://blog.ycombinator.com/pinduoduo-and-the-rise-of-social-e-commercehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinduoduo#cite_note-8https://hans.vc/pinduoduo/https://medium.com/@clarkboyd/pinduoduo-everything-you-need-to-know-about-pdd-chinas-third-biggest-ecommerce-site-38ac42086e47https://overcast.fm/+HWy7CWz34https://overcast.fm/+I8dmHF4NUhttps://overcast.fm/+PLdRNCiCghttps://overcast.fm/+TmYdC1VPQhttps://overcast.fm/+TmYfSO3schttps://targetchina.com.au/article/how-pinduoduo-successfully-gained-market-share-through-social-commerce/https://techcrunch.com/2018/07/26/the-incredible-rise-of-pinduoduo/https://technode.com/2020/05/12/pinduoduo-growth-story-needs-a-new-chapter/https://trendslates.substack.com/p/amazons-335bn-in-gmv-amazon-testinghttps://twitter.com/bgurley/status/1255172025053663232https://www.businessinsider.com/fabulous-life-colin-huang-pinduoduo-2020-7https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/22/what-is-pinduoduo-chinese-ecommerce-rival-to-alibaba.htmlhttps://www.fool.com/investing/2020/07/02/why-pinduoduo-stock-popped-today.aspxhttps://www.fool.com/investing/2020/07/07/4-tough-tasks-for-pinduoduos-new-ceo.aspxhttps://www.forbes.com/real-time-billionaires/#721870433d78https://www.scmp.com/tech/e-commerce/article/3081078/pinduoduo-doubles-down-rural-china-five-year-us71-billion-ehttps://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1737806/000104746918005204/a2236308z424b4.htmhttps://www.sec.gov/ix?doc=/Archives/edgar/data/1737806/000110465920051022/pdd-20191231x20f.htmhttps://www.techbuzzchina.com/episodes/ep-17-pinduoduo-from-zero-to-23b-in-three-yearshttps://www.theinformation.com/articles/chinas-pinduoduo-is-nipping-at-alibabas-heelshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BidaQ22vWvMhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqxtfOMMVFghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjLhCK8sUcwhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zbskb0KMBUU&t=4s
16/07/20·1h 53m

Oprah (Harpo Studios)

We close out Season 6 with the story of perhaps the single most successful media entrepreneur of all-time: Oprah Winfrey, and her juggernaut conglomerate Harpo Studios. Born to a poor single mother in the segregated 1950's deep south, Oprah's rise from terrible adversity to wealthiest Black woman in the world ranks among the very greatest American success stories. And oh yeah — along the way she single-handedly created the entire influencer economy, rewrote the blueprint of a modern power broker, and set the world record for most cars given away at one time (276). Sit back, listen and get ready to live your best life. Want more Acquired, including access to the LP Show, LP Calls and the full Acquired Book Club? Join the Acquired Limited Partner program at: https://glow.fm/acquired/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeSurvey link!: http://acquired.fm/surveyCarveouts:David: The Dark Tower series by Stephen King https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07959YG1R?Ben: Reply All "Long Distance" https://gimletmedia.com/shows/reply-all/6nh3wkSources:http://blackeconomics.co.uk/wp/oprahs-empire/ http://www.oprah.com/entertainment/the-oprah-winfrey-show-by-the-numbers-oprah-show-statistics/all http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/The-Oprah-Shows-Most-Shocking-Moments_1https://diverseeducation.com/article/1205/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oprah_Winfreyhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oprah_Winfrey_Networkhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WW_International https://finance.yahoo.com/news/why-oprah-regrets-famous-wagon-233648610.html https://freakonomics.com/2008/08/06/so-much-for-one-person-one-vote/ https://hbr.org/podcast/2018/01/black-business-leaders-series-oprahs-path-to-authentic-leadership https://stmuhistorymedia.org/from-rags-to-riches-the-story-of-oprah-winfrey/ https://www.amazon.com/Oprah-Biography-Kitty-Kelley/dp/0307394875 https://www.amazon.com/Ride-Lifetime-Lessons-Learned-Company/dp/0399592091 https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1998-09-25-9809260006-story.html https://www.cnn.com/ampstories/entertainment/how-oprah-winfrey-built-her-business-empirehttps://www.forbes.com/profile/oprah-winfrey/#c52ce3e5745f https://www.forbes.com/sites/jennifereum/2014/09/29/how-oprah-went-from-talk-show-host-to-first-african-american-woman-billionaire/#7f21cfb76163 https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/oprah-gives-away-nearly-300-new-cars https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/you-get-a-car-oprah-winfrey-giveaway-studio-audience-gift-tax-members-guests-pay-show-a8208051.html https://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/tv-radio/an-anxious-america-gets-set-for-life-after-oprah-2285528.html https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2001-feb-21-ca-27886-story.htmlhttps://www.npr.org/podcasts/500692140/making-beyonc https://www.nytimes.com/1993/02/12/news/jackson-interview-high-in-ratings.htmlhttps://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/23/business/media/23carr.html https://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/11/business/media/end-of-oprahs-show-tightens-races-for-tv-ratings.html https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/the-oprah-phenomenon-by-the-numbers https://www.robertfeder.com/2016/06/15/legendary-tv-exec-dennis-swanson-retires/ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/2017/05/13/oprah-winfrey-untold-story/https://www.thebalancesmb.com/oprah-winfrey-entrepreneur-1200951 https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2018/jan/12/oprah-winfrey-unlikely-to-run-for-us-president-but-could-win-if-she-did https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/oprahs-last-show-averaged-8957-million-fewer-viewers-than-mash-finale/2011/06/08/AGD5AUMH_story.htmlhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cooRceBiE8E
25/06/20·2h 12m

SpaceX

On the eve of SpaceX's historic scheduled launch of its first human spaceflight mission — both the first ever by a private company, and the first to take place on American soil in nearly a decade — we tell the incredible story of its rise from ragtag rocket jocks to the most disruptive and advanced force in aerospace today. While much of the Musk spotlight has shone on Tesla in recent years, is SpaceX actually the company that will have the greatest impact on our world's future, and perhaps even other worlds beyond? All of a sudden that idea seems a little less crazy... Want more Acquired? Join thousands of other founders, CEOs, VCs, product people and engineers learning in the Limited Partner Program: https://glow.fm/acquired/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:The Tesla episode: https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/season-3-episode-1teslaThe Ascend Conference: https://www.ascend.eventsCarveouts:David: The Last Dance:  http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/28973557/the-last-dance-updates-untold-story-michael-jordan-chicago-bullsBen: Michael Mauboussin on the Success Equation: https://youtu.be/1JLfqBsX5LcSources:Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance:  https://www.amazon.com/Elon-Musk-SpaceX-Fantastic-Future/dp/006230125Xhttps://timelines.issarice.com/wiki/Timeline_of_SpaceX https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/03/spacex-historic-falcon-9-re-flight-ses-10/https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/wiki/economicshttps://www.space.com/40547-spacex-rocket-evolution.html https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/08/how-and-why-spacex-will-colonize-mars.htmlhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceXhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elon_Muskhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_D._Griffinhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Cantrellhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Muellerhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwynne_Shotwell https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_Orbital_Transportation_Serviceshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Act_Agreementhttps://www.spacex.com/mission/ https://venturebeat.com/2008/08/06/private-rocket-company-spacex-gets-20m-from-the-founders-fund/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Falcon_9_and_Falcon_Heavy_launcheshttps://www.space.com/40547-spacex-rocket-evolution.html https://www.businessinsider.com/spacex-starlink-spacecraft-pictures-elon-musk-2018-2 https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/09/inside-the-eight-desperate-weeks-that-saved-spacex-from-ruin/ https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/22/science/spacex-nasa-launch.html https://graphics.reuters.com/SPACE-EXPLORATION-SPACEX/010091Q82NF/index.html https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/31/elon-musk-spacex-is-now-worth-more-than-tesla.html https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-wins-launch-contract-egyptian-telecom-company/https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-heavy-booster-overboard/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYocHwhfFDchttps://oig.nasa.gov/docs/IG-18-016.pdf https://everydayastronaut.com/will-the-falcon-9-actually-be-reusable-or-just-refurbish-able-like-the-space-shuttle/
26/05/20·2h 44m

Adapting Episode 3: Intel

When you think of Intel today, you probably think of the microprocessor company. Maybe you also think about about 'Intel Inside' and their famous jingle. You might even think "big, stable, boring public company". But for the first two decades of Intel's life, absolutely none of those things were true. Today we tell the incredible story of how the company that started it all in Silicon Valley clawed back from a crisis that brought them to the brink of death, and of one man who rose as the ultimate survivor to become their leader and a legend even in his own time: the late, great Andy Grove.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeNote: This episode originally aired as part of Podapalooza, a podcast festival organized by our friends at Glow to benefit COVID relief. Find out more and support the cause at https://www.plza.orgSources:Only the Paranoid Survive:   https://www.amazon.com/Only-Paranoid-Survive-Exploit-Challenge-ebook/dp/B0036S4B2GSwimming Across:  https://www.amazon.com/Swimming-Across-Andrew-S-Grove-ebook/dp/B07CJRM4DX/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Grovehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Moorehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Noyce https://www.businessinsider.com/alan-patricof-greycroft-ipo-market-2011-1 https://anthonysmoak.com/2016/03/27/andy-grove-and-intels-move-from-memory-to-microprocessors/ http://archive.computerhistory.org/resources/text/Oral_History/Intel_386_Business_Strategy/102701962.05.01.pdfhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_80386https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Shockley https://www.inc.com/ilan-mochari/remembering-andy-grove-intel.html
12/05/20·1h 24m

Special Episode: Jason Calacanis

We're joined by the one and only Jason Calacanis for this very special episode, wherein we chronicle Jason's journey from a kid porter in the barrooms of Brooklyn to building the largest independent media business in tech, becoming the "3rd or 4th greatest seed investor of all-time" (and the original Sequoia Scout), launching one of the top accelerators in the world, and constructing a one-man empire that may just disrupt the entire capital stack in our industry. We dive into how it all ties together, and where the money and power is shifting in the ever changing sands of Silicon Valley...Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe
29/04/20·1h 36m

Podapalooza Announcement: Intel

Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeMissing Acquired? We are too. But the world's not done adapting just yet, and neither are we. So get ready for (in the immortal words of Sammy Hagar) the best of both worlds: an Acquired + Adapting crossover lollapalooza... at Podapalooza 2020! We'll be covering the mother of all adaptations, Intel's abandonment of the memory business in favor of microprocessors in the mid-1980's. What is Podapalooza? It's a charity podcast festival that our friends over at Glow are putting on next weekend, April 25-26, and we're really excited to be part of it. Dozens of the best podcasters on the internet (e.g., Patrick at Invest Like the Best, Levar Burton, Cory Doctorow, J.D. Vance, etc.) are creating exclusive content for the festival, with all proceeds going to COVID-19 relief. As Glow puts it, Podapalooza is the 2020 version of Live-Aid: podcast hosts instead of rockers, pajamas at home instead of big hair on stage, but still the same purpose of supporting relief for the most important cause of this moment. We think it's a really great idea -- we've already bought our tickets and hope you do too. You can sign up at: https://www.podapalooza.org
15/04/20·5m 26s

Adapting Episode 2: Sequoia’s Black Swan Memo (with Roelof Botha)

On March 5th 2020, Sequoia Capital published a Medium post entitled ‘Coronavirus: The Black Swan of 2020’. The memo minces no words, admonishing founders & CEOs to “question every assumption about your business”, and portends that “as Darwin surmised, those who [will] survive ‘are not the strongest or the most intelligent, but the most adaptable to change.’” We’re joined by longtime Sequoia partner and head of the firm’s US business Roelof Botha to discuss on what Sequoia saw leading up to the memo and why they decided to publish it, how they and their portfolio companies are adapting to the new world it warned of, and what lasting changes might come to Sequoia itself from this moment. For anyone facing hard decisions and/or looking for ways to think about opportunity, this is not one to miss. Want more Adapting/Acquired? You can join the Acquired Limited Partner program at: https://glow.fm/acquired/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:The Black Swan Memo:  https://medium.com/sequoia-capital/coronavirus-the-black-swan-of-2020-7c72bdeb9753 The COVID-19 Decision Matrix:  https://medium.com/sequoia-capital/the-matrix-for-covid-19-c25bd5195f46 
31/03/20·42m 13s

Adapting Episode 1: Canlis

The world has changed. Acquired is changing too: we’re taking a pause from our normal episodes. The world doesn’t need stories of M&A and IPOs right now. But it does still need stories of great companies and great leaders. So we’re taking everything that we’ve put into Acquired - our format, our infrastructure, and the way we can reach all of you - and launching Adapting. Adapting is a series all about doing just that -- changing to fit what the world needs right now, not what it needed last week.Our first episode starts on the front lines of change: the local restaurant industry. Mark Canlis joins us to discuss how the world-renowned Canlis restaurant in Seattle is adapting by simultaneously closing their 70 year old dining room service, and launching three brand new, no-contact concept restaurants in just one week to keep their staff employed and the city fed:"Pretty quickly we realized that it would be just as risky to do nothing as it would to do something really radical. And if we were gonna live into our values, every once and awhile that’s really going to cost you something."This conversation is an incredible inspiration to us all, and a reminder of the vast power of the human spirit during challenging times. Want more Adapting/Acquired? You can join the Acquired Limited Partner program at: https://glow.fm/acquired/Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe
20/03/20·47m 47s

The Top 10 Acquisitions of All-Time

5 years and 100+ episodes into Acquired, there’s been one question we get asked more than any other: what are the best acquisitions of all-time, and what can we learn from them? We thought it was time to formalize our answers. So here it is, the Acquired Greatest Hits album. :)We also put together an accompanying blog post, which goes into greater detail on the numbers and methodology behind out rankings. You can find it here:  https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/acquired-top-ten-the-best-acquisitions-of-all-timeFeel free to share with your friends or on social media!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe
17/03/20·1h 49m

Sequoia Capital Part II (with Doug Leone)

The wait is over. Acquired returns with a very special Part II of the Sequoia Capital story, joined by the very best person in the world to help us tell it - Doug Leone. Since 1996, Doug has served as Sequoia’s Global Managing Partner, in charge of overseeing the firm’s incredible expansion from a single, $150m early-stage fund focused on Northern California to the multi-billion dollar global powerhouse it is today. Doug is incredibly candid and insightful about all that has gone into building the modern Sequoia: from winning Google and missing Facebook, to the enormous (and enormously successful) bet on decentralized expansion in China and India, to the firm’s “proudest moment” at the depth of the dot com bust. This episode is an absolute must-listen for anyone in the tech, startup and venture ecosystems today. Thank you to Doug and all of the Sequoia team for joining us to make it happen!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeNote:You can listen to Part I of our Sequoia story, which dives deep into the history and background of the firm, here: https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/sequoia-capital-part-1Sources: https://www.brunswickgroup.com/sequoia-capital-doug-leone-silicon-valley-i11786/https://www.sequoiacap.com/people/doug-leone/ https://www.sequoiacap.com/newsletter/2018-06-20-doug-leonehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Er4QcNdjVUhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/douglas-leone-a2714/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cl8X02Xd1Ihttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrJgwKiEpaI
18/02/20·1h 5m

WhatsApp

We kick off Season 6 with a long-awaited Acquired Classic: Facebook’s $22B purchase of WhatsApp in 2014, which still ranks as the largest acquisition of a private VC-backed startup in history. Yet despite that enormous pricetag and all its associated fanfare, as we sit here 5+ years later WhatsApp actually generates LESS revenue than the meager ~$20m it was bringing in at the time of acquisition. Was this this worst acquisition of all-time, or a brilliant strategic chess move by Mark Zuckerberg & co? Tune in as we render Acquired’s judgement!Note: Unfortunately David’s audio quality in this episode was impacted by a technical glitch which we didn’t discover until after recording. Our editors worked super hard to fix in post-production, but it’s still not totally perfect. We hope you’ll give it a listen regardless, and we’re working on getting a transcript made ASAP, which we’ll post to the website when it’s ready. Thanks for bearing with us,-Ben & David Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeCarve Outs:Ben: Computer glasses: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=computer+glassesDavid: Reebok Floatrides:  https://www.amazon.com/Reebok-Forever-Floatride-Energy-Black/dp/B07NYBRQ96/Sources:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WhatsApp https://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2014/02/19/exclusive-inside-story-how-jan-koum-built-whatsapp-into-facebooks-new-19-billion-baby/#64c1c94b2fa1 https://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2014/03/04/inside-the-facebook-whatsapp-megadeal-the-courtship-the-secret-meetings-the-19-billion-poker-game/#63d8b5c4350f https://www.wired.com/2015/09/whatsapp-serves-900-million-users-50-engineers/https://youtu.be/v6PbymjXstohttps://youtu.be/X4YsJt4rIOIhttps://overcast.fm/+WorS9-a74https://youtu.be/-2CAWS7M_0whttps://youtu.be/X4YsJt4rIOI https://www.wired.co.uk/article/whats-app-owner-founder-jan-koum-facebook  https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanmac/whatsapp-brian-acton-delete-facebook-stanford-lecture  https://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2018/09/26/exclusive-whatsapp-cofounder-brian-acton-gives-the-inside-story-on-deletefacebook-and-why-he-left-850-million-behind/#7475a0213f20  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-06-28/tencent-rules-china-the-problem-is-the-rest-of-the-world  https://techcrunch.com/2013/07/16/whatsapp-free/http://allthingsd.com/tag/jan-koum/ http://allthingsd.com/20130510/whatsapp-ceo-jan-koum-hates-advertising-and-the-tech-rumor-mill-full-dive-video/  https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/31/whatsapp-hits-1-5-billion-monthly-users-19b-not-so-bad/ https://blog.whatsapp.com/10000633/Building-for-People-and-Now-Businesseshttps://techcrunch.com/2017/09/05/whatsapp-business-app/ https://techcrunch.com/2014/02/21/whatsapp/ https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/whatsapp-founder-plans-to-leave-after-broad-clashes-with-parent-facebook/2018/04/30/49448dd2-4ca9-11e8-84a0-458a1aa9ac0a_story.html https://www.wsj.com/articles/whatsapp-backs-off-controversial-plan-to-sell-ads-11579207682 https://www.wsj.com/articles/behind-the-messy-expensive-split-between-facebook-and-whatsapps-founders-1528208641?mod=article_inline  https://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/06/05/whatsapp-co-founder-stresses-independence-from-facebook/?mod=article_inline https://bgr.com/2020/01/17/whatsapp-ads-2020-facebook-canceled-plans-to-bring-ads-to-status-bar/ https://www.vox.com/2018/5/8/17329524/whatsapp-new-ceo-facebook-cofounder-jan-koum-departshttps://www.linkedin.com/in/chdaniels/https://www.linkedin.com/in/jkoum/
29/01/20·1h 51m

The Lean Startup and the Long-Term Stock Exchange (with Eric Ries)

Season 5, Episode 10: The Lean Startup and the Long-Term Stock Exchange (with Eric Ries) Acquired closes out Season 5 and 2019 with a radical look into both the past and future decades of startup company building, investing and - yes, exiting - in conversation with legendary Lean Startup author Eric Ries. Nine years on from pioneering the now-canonical concepts of product-market fit, minimum viable products, and pivots during the aftermath of the financial crisis, Eric’s new venture at the Long-Term Stock Exchange represents an equally ambitious attempt to rewrite the orthodoxy of how companies and their investors manage liquidity, governance and alignment around longterm value creation. Like Lean Startup a decade before it, can LTSE help address some of the endemic problems in this generation’s startup ecosystem — excessive capital raising, stay-private-longer, dual-class founder hegemony, extreme illiquidity and quarterly earnings myopia? Tune in to find out!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe
30/12/19·1h 24m

Convoy (with CEO Dan Lewis)

Coming to you live from the University of Washington, Ben and David are joined by hundreds of awesome Seattle listeners (and a few non-Seattle listeners!) to cover the meteoric rise of trucking industry disruptor and hometown hero Convoy. How did Dan and Convoy go from nervously conducting market research at truck stops on I-5 to one of the largest logistics companies and fastest-growing startups in the world in just four short years, raising over $650m (not a typo) along the way? Tune in to find out!Special thank you to the Paul Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington and to Pioneer Square Labs for generously sponsoring the show venue.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeCarveouts: Mystery: https://mystery.sh
19/12/19·1h 39m

TikTok

We take Acquired to the Old Town Road to cover the amazing story behind the biggest global sensation of 2019 — and the highest valued private startup in the world — TikTok. How did a mid-30 year old UX architect at enterprise software giant SAP wind up creating Gen Z’s favorite social app that’s now rivaling Instagram in global MAU? Why is a 2017 merger of two Chinese companies being branded a US national security threat and retroactively placed under review by CFIUS? And perhaps most importantly, why is TikTok such an important product & technology innovation that all of us should be learning from? Tune in for all the answers!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeCarve Outs:Ben: Track 34 on Ghosts IV by Nine Inch Nails: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XF_ceFugJjQ David: Nintendo Switch Lite https://www.nintendo.com/switch/lite/ and Knives Out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGqiHJTsRkQ  Sources: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/18/technology/tiktok-alex-zhu-interview.html  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bytedance-tiktok-exclusive/exclusive-chinas-bytedance-moves-to-ringfence-its-tiktok-app-amid-u-s-probe-sources-idUSKBN1Y10OH  https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/10/10/arts/TIK-TOK.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/19/style/high-school-tiktok-clubs.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/03/technology/tiktok-facebook-youtube.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/02/business/china-toutiao-censorship.html https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/17/business/media/a-social-network-frequented-by-children-tests-the-limits-of-online-regulation.htmlhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTyg2E44pBAhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/keepsilence/ https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/12/10/18129126/tiktok-app-musically-meme-cringe https://www.theverge.com/tldr/2018/1/26/16937712/karma-is-a-bitch-riverdale-kreayshawn-meme https://www.theverge.com/2018/8/2/17644260/musically-rebrand-tiktok-bytedance-douyin https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/tiktok-video-app-growth-867587/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musical.lyhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ByteDance  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TikTok https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-musically-2016-5  https://supchina.com/2017/09/13/can-pop-music-connect-teens-china-world-musical-ly-co-founder-louis-yang-wants-find/  https://supchina.com/podcast/ep-28-the-worlds-most-valuable-startup-bytedance-maker-of-tiktok-toutiao/ https://supchina.com/podcast/ep-55-kuaishou-the-anti-douyin-tiktok/ https://supchina.com/podcast/ep-56-not-just-tiktok-a-short-history-of-chinese-short-video-abroad/  https://supchina.com/2019/09/25/the-difference-between-tiktok-and-douyin/  https://pandaily.com/toutiaos-buy-1b-purchase-musical-ly/  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-internet-livestreaming-idUSKBN17E0EV https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTyg2E44pBA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ey15v81pwII  https://www.scmp.com/tech/big-tech/article/3038639/alex-zhus-journey-failed-startup-tiktok-chief  https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanmac/zuckerberg-musically-tiktok-china-facebook https://techcrunch.com/2019/11/12/instagram-reels/ https://www.techinasia.com/douyin-rise-in-china https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptKqFafZgCk  https://technode.com/2017/05/17/kwai-kuaishou-chinas-biggest-social-video-sharing-app/  https://technode.com/2018/05/10/how-douyin-became-the-most-popular-app-in-the-world/  https://blog.ycombinator.com/the-hidden-forces-behind-toutiao-chinas-content-king/ https://www.techinasia.com/douyin-rise-in-china 
09/12/19·1h 41m

Disney, Plus

The Flywheel is strong with this one. We dive deep into the origins of one of the boldest business strategy decisions of our time: Disney CEO Bob Iger’s attempt to buck the Innovator’s Dilemma - and forego billions of dollars in cashflow from Netflix and pay TV providers - in order to establish a direct distribution relationship with its customers for the first time in the company’s history. Is this the force awakening within the house that Walt built, or a phantom menace that will drag Disney to the dark side of unprofitability? Tune in to find out!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks: https://www.thewaltdisneycompany.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/2018-Annual-Report.pdf https://www.thewaltdisneycompany.com/wp-content/uploads/q4-fy17-earnings-transcript.pdf https://www.thewaltdisneycompany.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/q4-fy19-earnings.pdfThe Disney flywheel:  https://kottke.org/15/06/walt-disneys-corporate-strategy-chart Sources: The Ride of a Lifetime by Bob Iger:  https://www.amazon.com/Ride-Lifetime-Lessons-Learned-Company-ebook/dp/B07PF6XTD8 https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/22/style/disney-bob-iger-book.htmlhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Iger https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/bob-iger-bets-company-hollywood-s-future-streaming-1247663  https://www.wsj.com/articles/can-kevin-mayer-deliver-the-future-of-disney-11573272027  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-11-07/inside-disney-bob-iger-on-star-wars-pixar-and-more  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/bob-iger-the-ride-of-a-lifetime/id1264843400?i=1000451721143  Carveouts: David: The Ride of a LifetimeBen: The Imagineering Story on Disney+:  https://www.disneyplus.com/series/the-imagineering-story/6ryoXv1e1rWW
25/11/19·2h 16m

The WeWork “Acquisition” (with Dan Primack)

It’s an IPO, it’s a bailout, it’s an... acquisition? We’re joined by the one and only Dan Primack from Axios to recount the epic saga of the We Company in all its tragic glory. How did this business somehow go from chopping up commercial real estate to elevating global consciousness to rewarding its ousted CEO with a $1.7B “platinum parachute”, all while the company can’t afford severance for thousands of soon-to-be laid-off employees? Where did it all go wrong? And most importantly, who gets the Gulfstream G650??Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe
25/10/19·1h 38m

Season 5, Episode 5: Atari (with Nolan Bushnell)

We’re joined by the legendary Nolan Bushnell, founder not only of Atari, but also the only person ever to hire Steve Jobs, the recipient of Sequoia Capital’s first-ever investment, and the creator of Chuck E. Cheese, the canonical GPS navigation arrow, and a little project that would go on to become Pixar. We cover it all in this special episode!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:Spacewar!, the first video game: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacewar! The meaning of Atari: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/atariNolan’s current project, St. Noire:  https://www.amazon.com/St-Noire-Hosted-Cinematic-Exclusive/dp/B07P693BG1
15/10/19·1h 40m

Sequoia Capital (Part 1)

Acquired dives into the history behind storied venture firm Sequoia Capital and its legendary founder, Don Valentine. Part 1 tells Don’s story, starting from humble beginnings born to uneducated parents in Yonkers, NY, through shaping the fabric of Silicon Valley first as head of Sales & Marketing at both Fairchild and National Semiconductor, and then for generations to come via his pioneering concept of “company building” at Sequoia Capital. No matter where you sit in the ecosystem today, Don and the companies he helped build laid the foundation for nearly everything technology has become over the past 60 years.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:Silicon Valley’s “Traitorous Eight”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traitorous_eightDon Valentine’s lecture at Stanford GSB: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKN-abRJMEw&t=2555sBerkeley’s oral history with Don:  http://digitalassets.lib.berkeley.edu/roho/ucb/text/valentine_donald.pdfCarve Outs:Ben: The Business Roundtable on The Daily:  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/21/podcasts/the-daily/business-roundtable-corporate-responsibility.htmlDavid: Amazon Music on 25 years of “Ready to Die”: https://youtu.be/Dsna1nIZzB4Sources:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traitorous_eight https://www.sfgate.com/technology/article/Silicon-Valley-Shockley-racist-semiconductor-lab-13164228.phphttps://signallake.com/innovation/Valentine101409.pdf http://digitalassets.lib.berkeley.edu/roho/ucb/text/valentine_donald.pdf https://www.amazon.com/dp/0875849385/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_ZB8IDb7NNAFAH https://www.amazon.com/Troublemakers-Silicon-Valleys-Coming-Age-ebook/dp/B06ZZ1YDTX/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=https://www.scaruffi.com/svhistory/arun3.htmlhttp://www.ianhathaway.org/blog/2019/7/31/vc-an-american-history https://www.axios.com/sequoia-capital-shakes-up-leadership-1513300220-7d255e34-f4bf-4178-af62-ec68023726e3.html https://www.slideshare.net/lebret/a-history-of-venture-capital-lebret-vers-11https://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/item.aspx?num=47240https://www.inc.com/magazine/19850501/7289_pagen_5.html https://www.amazon.com/VC-American-History-Tom-Nicholas-ebook/dp/B07QV2YM3X/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKN-abRJMEw&t=2555s
26/09/19·1h 51m

Google Maps

Ben and David cover the series of three 2004 Google acquisitions that formed the core of Google Maps as we know and love it today: Where 2 Technologies, Keyhole and ZipDash. From nearly zero adoption between the three companies at the time of acquisition to well over 1 billion users today, does Google Maps merit admission to the hallowed Acquired A+ pantheon? Tune in to find out!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:Bret Taylor on “Satellite Mode”: https://twitter.com/btaylor/status/1099370126678253569?lang=en Justin O’Beirne’s great pieces on Apple vs Google maps: https://www.justinobeirne.com  Carve Outs:Ben: Marc Andreessen on The Moment with Brian Koppelman: https://overcast.fm/+BgXAjz54oDavid: The Expanse books: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077L6GJWW/
26/08/19·1h 40m

The Shopify IPO

Ben and David head north of the border to Ottawa, Canada to cover perhaps one of the greatest IPO success stories of the past 5 years, Shopify. From humble beginnings as a “lifestyle business” hawking hipster snowboard gear online to now routinely mentioned in the same breath as Amazon, the tale of Shopify and its incredible CEO Tobi Lütke’s ascent is not one to miss!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:https://www.snowdevil.cahttps://www.jadedpixel.comCitron’s “research” report:  https://citronresearch.com/citron-exposes-the-dark-side-of-shopify/Carve Outs:Ben: Moment smartphone camera lenses: https://www.shopmoment.comDavid: Quoteapro engineering and head of product roles — DM @david in the Acquired Slack ; Bill Gurley on Invest like the Best: http://investorfieldguide.com/gurley/Editor's note: Shopify actually powered $41b of sales, not $14b, in 2018, as discussed toward the end of the episode. $14b was the fourth-quarter number. While this changes the analysis of value captured at the end of the episode (Shopify only captures 2.5% of merchant sales as their own revenue, not 7%, which is admittedly very different), it doesn’t change overall sentiment on the company discussed in the episode.
06/08/19·1h 30m

Huawei

For our first episode of Season 5, Acquired returns to Shenzhen to cover another Chinese technology giant, this one slightly... different from our past subjects: Huawei. From a backwater importer of PBX switches to the world’s second largest handset manufacturer and near-undisputed leader in 5G infrastructure technology, Huawei’s ascent over the past 30 years has been nothing short of spectacular, equaled only by the spectacular fireworks of recent events surrounding the company. What’s the story behind this global telecom giant, and what does its future portend for global tech and US - China relations? We dive in.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinksRen Zhengfei on Bloomberg TV:  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-26/billionaire-huawei-founder-defiant-in-face-of-existential-threatWho owns Huawei?  https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3372669Carve OutsBen: Billions: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4270492/David: Dune by Frank Herbert:  https://www.amazon.com/Dune-Frank-Herbert-ebook/dp/B00B7NPRY8/ref=nodl
22/07/19·1h 7m

Superhuman (with CEO Rahul Vohra)

Please take the 2019 Acquired Survey. It takes 5-10 minutes, helps us immensely, and you may win a pair of new AirPods or a free 1-year subscription to the LP show! http://acquired.fm/surveyWe wrap up Season 4 with a very special (and accidental!) episode, a conversation with the CEO of Superhuman, the red hot email productivity app which just announced their $33m Series B led by Andreessen Horowitz. While originally intended as an LP episode, we felt Superhuman would provide the perfect bookend to our “modern enterprise productivity trilogy” following our Zoom and Slack episodes. We hope you enjoy the conversation with Rahul as much as we did, and we’ll see you later this summer for Season 5!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinksNew York Times article announcing the fundraise:  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/27/technology/superhuman-email.html Rahul’s Medium post on acquisitions:  https://medium.com/swlh/rip-mailbox-or-founders-how-to-stop-worrying-and-love-being-acquired-261da4f6d566Rahul on finding product-market fit on First Round Review:  https://firstround.com/review/how-superhuman-built-an-engine-to-find-product-market-fit/
27/06/19·1h 20m

The Slack DPO

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s an... enterprise software company? We give the full Acquired treatment to newly-public Slack, one of the most extreme and successful pivots of all-time. From a log cabin in Canada to a never-ending game and back again, Slack’s journey has more twists and turns than a Hobbit’s tale. Tune in for one APLUSS story you don’t want to miss!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinksKara Swisher’s Flipcam interview with Glitch:  https://www.wsj.com/video/tiny-speck-stewart-butterfield-speaks/C51EAD27-FE8E-46AE-B785-6ECF1A9798B0.htmlMarc Andreessen on “all will still end well...” https://twitter.com/patphelan/status/1142733251691405312The Glitch public domain archive: https://www.glitchthegame.comNaming Slack: https://twitter.com/stewart/status/780906639301812225?s=21Carve OutsBen: The Expanse on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/The-Expanse-Season-1/dp/B018BZ3SCMDavid: Give to any non-profit on Alma: https://alma.app/blog/1-4-million-reasons-to-love-alma-search
25/06/19·1h 58m

The Zoom IPO (with Santi Subotovsky)

Zoom board member (and general partner at Emergence Capital) Santi Subotovsky joins us to tell the true underdog story behind the hottest IPO of 2019. Together we trace founder Eric Yuan’s incredible journey from immigrant software developer, who didn’t speak any English upon arriving in Silicon Valley in 1997, to Glassdoor’s #1 rated CEO in America in 2018. In an age where border walls have replaced open doors in Washington, and burn rates and privacy scandals have sidelined Silicon Valley’s pretense of making the world a better place, there is no better reminder than Zoom of everything that can be great about our country and our industry.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinksWalt Mossberg’s review of Zoom in 2012:  http://allthingsd.com/20120821/a-chance-to-call-15-friends-to-video-chat-in-high-def/Carve OutsBen: General Magic https://www.generalmagicthemovie.comDavid: Dissect Season 4 https://dissectpodcast.com/subscribe-to-the-podcast/
19/06/19·1h 21m

The Electronic Arts IPO (with Trip Hawkins)

Acquired looks back at a monumental IPO from a *much* different era: Electronic Arts. We’re joined by EA’s founder Trip Hawkins to tell the incredible story of how he built the company that made video games mainstream. Starting from his high school years as both a geek and a jock, to then working for Steve Jobs as one of Apple Computer’s first employees and later completely changing the world of sports with John Madden Football, Trip always had a clear vision for what EA could become and what magic could happen at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe
27/05/19·2h 3m

The Uber IPO

Welcome to the big one. On the day of its IPO, we tell the story of Uber. It’s a story whose roots stretch back 130 years, but whose impact reverberates perhaps more powerfully on our current world than any other. A story that, in all of its greatness and in all of its ugliness, may just be the story of our time.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:Austin Geidt’s incredible journey: https://youtu.be/-NjaqDMYNVsTravis’s self-introduction as “the Wolf from Pulp Fiction”: https://youtu.be/VMvdvP02f-YTravis interview on TWiST: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=550X5OZVk7Y  Join the Acquired Limited Partner program! https://glow.fm/acquired/ (works best on mobile)
11/05/19·2h 24m

The Pinterest IPO

In the second episode of our APLUSS(Z!) IPO saga, we dive into the history behind the planet’s largest non-social social network, Pinterest. From The Pirates of Silicon Valley to the bloggers of Salt Lake City, the creation story behind this “productivity tool for planning your dreams” is far from your typical unicorn journey. Once labelled as the “next Facebook” by investors and press, ten years later both Pinterest-the-product and Pinterest-the-company are in fact anything but. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing… tune in to find out!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinksPinterest’s S-1:  https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1506293/000119312519083544/d674330ds1.htmFun photos of the Pinterest early days from Leslie Kincaid:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/azy9xtxtq5l6r3y/AAC68OhprmVbauZreHPyLbn5a?dl=0Pinterest financial summary on Seeking Alpha: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4255230-know-pinterest-ipoCarve OutsBen: Eugene Wei on the Invest Like The Best Podcast: http://investorfieldguide.com/wei/David: A-Rod interviews George Springer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOqgxmG4yc8Join the Acquired Limited Partner program! https://glow.fm/acquired/ (works best on mobile)
24/04/19·1h 42m

The Lyft IPO

Call it the playoffs. Call it the Olympics. Call it March Madness. No matter which sports analogy you borrow, it falls short of capturing what Lyft's IPO yesterday kicked off in the tech world. A generational changing of the guard from the FAANG to the APLUSS (Airbnb, Pinterest, Lyft, Uber, Slack, Stripe). A breaking of the liquidity dam that's kept capital, technology and talent locked up in a small number of Silicon Valley winners for longer than ever in history. And most importantly, a public market avenue for investing in the largest single market created since the advent of the internet. Acquired is live on the scene recounting and analyzing the history of Lyft (and ridesharing broadly) in every exquisite detail!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:Lyft’s S-1:  https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1759509/000119312519059849/d633517ds1.htmDonate to Homobiles: http://bit.ly/2TM40nAÂCarve Outs:Ben: Bill Gurley on "Runnin' Down a Dream" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmYekD6-PZ8David: "Cricket Fever" on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/80222770Join the Acquired Limited Partner program! https://glow.fm/acquired/ (works best on mobile)
30/03/19·2h 20m

Season 4, Episode 3: Instagram Revisited (with Emily White)

We enter the wayback machine and revisit the subject of Acquired’s second ever episode, Facebook’s bombshell 2012 acquisition of Instagram — this time with the help of then-Facebook executive Emily White, who moved over post-acquisition to become Instagram’s first business head. Together with Kevin and Mike, Emily helped build Instagram's business model, which today accounts for nearly 1/4 of all of Facebook’s revenue. Is this still Acquired’s canonical A+ with an extra 3.5 years of hindsight? Spoiler alert: yes.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeCarve Outs:Ben: Sam Harris on the Joe Rogan Experience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJ5_hAEsLkUDavid: Boom Town by Sam Anderson:  https://www.amazon.com/Boom-Town-Fantastical-Basketball-World-class-ebook/dp/B077RHYC4G
26/02/19·1h 15m

Spotify + Gimlet/Anchor Quick Take + Worldwide Meetup Details!

Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeSpotify + Gimlet/Anchor Quick Take! We continue to experiment on Acquired, this time with a quick-take on Spotify’s bombshell dual-acquisition of Anchor and Gimlet Media. While we may give these deals the full Acquired treatment in the future, we wanted to share our quick thoughts with you all sooner rather than later while the Acquired research department (aka Ben & David’s free time) works through the current episode backlog. Let us know if you like this format and we’ll do more in the future! Sponsor: https://acquired.fm/zoominfo Join the Acquired Limited Partner program! (Apropos ;)  >https://kimberlite.fm/acquired/ (works best on mobile)
19/02/19·40m 36s

Season 4, Episode 2: ARM & SoftBank

We dive into the crazy, little-known story of how this small, former PC-maker in Cambridge, England dethroned Intel, saved Apple from bankruptcy, became the blueprint for the largest investment fund in history, and of course now powers just about every device you use today. From Issac Newton to the Apple Newton, the Vision Fund and beyond, ARM has had an impact on the technology industry that cannot be overstated!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:The Nokia 6110: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_6110Fast Company on SoftBank and how the ARM acquisition happened:  https://www.fastcompany.com/90285552/the-most-powerful-person-in-silicon-valley
03/02/19·1h 27m

Season 4, Episode 1: ESPN

Booyah! Acquired, the worldwide leader in acquisitions and IPOs, kicks off Season 4 with a classic: ESPN. How did a failed former TV weatherman end up building the world’s most valuable media company on top of a dump (quite literally) in Bristol, Connecticut? We follow the incredible entrepreneurial journey from Getty Oil diversification strategy to Berkshire Hathaway home run to Disney crown jewel. This Is Awesome, Baby!!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:ESPN’s first moments on air: https://www.espnfrontrow.com/2018/12/espn-remembers-lee-leonard/The Outsiders Book:  https://www.amazon.com/Outsiders-Unconventional-Radically-Rational-Blueprint-ebook/dp/B009G1T74O/Carve Outs:Ben: Numbers Geek with Steve Ballmer: The Basketball Box Score Mystery  https://www.geekwire.com/2019/numbers-geek-steve-ballmer-basketball-box-score-mystery/David: Fast Company on Masa, “The most powerful person in Silicon Valley”  https://www.fastcompany.com/90285552/the-most-powerful-person-in-silicon-valley
21/01/19·1h 26m

Season 3, Episode 10: Tencent

We close out Season 3 and our China mini-series with a monster episode on Tencent, the Shenzhen-based social networking and entertainment powerhouse. We dive deep into the story of Pony Ma and his cofounders’ incredible journey from making software for pagers(!) to QQ, WeChat, League of Legends, Fortnite, Snapchat and even Tesla. This is one finale you don’t want to miss!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeCarve Outs:Ben: President Obama’s OG podcast! https://bit.ly/2BqXxHJDavid: Kara Swisher’s interview with the Google Walkout organizers: https://bit.ly/2RwuskZDavid (bonus!): Allen Iverson on the Players’ Tribune: https://bit.ly/2EkrRHQ
17/12/18·1h 53m

Season 3, Episode 9: Netflix (Part 2)

We complete our two-part Netflix special with the company’s bold transition to streaming, including of course the most (in)famous spin-out in business history. Rising from the ashes of Qwikster, we chronicle Netflix’s rebirth as a media company and long journey back to the top of the FAANG mountaintop!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:Netflix’s Qwikster apology video: https://youtu.be/c8Tn8n5CIPkSNL parody of the apology video: https://bit.ly/2PWEyyZEvolution of Netflix home page: https://read.bi/2KvHdteThe Chaos Monkey: https://bit.ly/1qkqDxZ Benedict Evans’ chart of FAANG stocks: https://bit.ly/2r3D72A Carve Outs:Ben: Kevin Rose interviews Matthew Walker on sleep: https://bit.ly/2LpIl5vDavid: Justin O’Beirne on Apple’s new Maps: https://bit.ly/2zrQ76Z
25/11/18·1h 29m

Season 3, Episode 8: Netflix (Part 1)

In a world ravaged by late fees and lack of rewinding, one man two men from a sleepy California beach town make a stand against tyranny, daringly dethrone an evil empire and… oh who are we kidding, they just copied Amazon’s business plan for books and applied it to movie rentals. But as always there is much more to the story than that! We dive into the fascinating, true, and oft-untold history of Netflix in our first two-part special on Acquired. Part 1 covers Netflix’s original DVD rental business from founding to 2009, and next time on Part 2 we’ll cover the (rocky) transition to streaming from 2010 to present. Buckle up for a wild ride!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks: Netflix’s original logoCarve Outs:Ben: The Good Place on… Netflix!David:  The Broken Earth Series by N. K. Jemisin
12/11/18·1h 31m

Acquired Season 3 Episode 7: Venmo (live with Andrew Kortina)

Ben & David are joined by special guest and Venmo cofounder Andrew Kortina for our first-ever SF live show! In front of a packed house we chronicle the journey of how two freshman-year roommates from Penn turned a healthy obsession with Craigslist and a fake podcast into an app that facilitated $17B of payments last quarter alone, producing not one but two landmark acquisitions along the way!Note: the audio quality is a little rough due to some A/V issues at the live show. We apologize!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeCarve Outs:Kortina: The Myth Of Sisyphus by Albert CamusDavid:  Startup by Jerry KaplanBen:  Halide on the new iPhone XS camera and computational photography
29/10/18·1h 13m

Season 3, Episode 6: Behance (with Scott Belsky)

Ben and David are joined by Adobe’s Chief Product Officer, Behance founder, Benchmark partner, author, and product luminary, Scott Belsky, to tell the story of Adobe Systems’ 2012 acquisition of Behance. We dive into the role it played in of one of the greatest (and least well-known) pivots of all time: Adobe’s transition from packaged software to services, which over the past 6 years has generated an astounding $100B+ in market cap and nearly 10x growth in Adobe’s share price!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:Scott’s great new book,  The Messy Middle, out today! 
02/10/18·1h 15m

Season 3, Episode 5: Alibaba

We continue our China Tech series with perhaps the most incredible entrepreneurial journey in history: Alibaba and its indefatigable founder, Jack Ma. How did an unknown 30 year-old English teacher from a second tier Chinese city build the world’s 7th largest company by market cap (and the largest in China) in just 20 short years? This is one story you don’t want to miss.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks: Alibaba: The House that Jack Ma BuiltJack Ma’s famous speech in the Hangzhou apartmentJack Ma on not competing with AmazonCarve Outs:Ben: Mike Maples on the Origins podcastDavid:  Romance of the Three Kingdoms
24/09/18·1h 38m

Season 3, Episode 4: Recode (with Kara Swisher)

In this special episode Ben & David head to Recode’s SF office and sit down in the red chair with the one & only Kara Swisher! Kara tells the story of Recode, from the beginnings of her partnership with Walt Mossberg in the late 90’s at WSJ to the launch of the D Conference and the All Things D blog, to starting Recode and ultimately being acquired by Vox Media in 2015. Kara is someone we’ve long looked up to at Acquired, and it was really special to have her join us on the show. We hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks: Kara interviewing Stewart Butterfield, CEO of… Glitch?
11/09/18·1h 27m

Season 3, Episode 3: The Sonos IPO

Ben and David are (almost) live on the scene covering the plucky Southern California “camera company”… uh wait, wrong episode… we mean *speaker* company’s IPO! Continuing the long Acquired tradition of analyzing companies at the intersection of music, tech and business, we discuss the past, present and future of Sonos in world where speakers actually now… speak!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:Sonos own corporate historyCarve Outs:Ben: Andy Rachleff on the Invest like the Best podcastDavid:  Brotopia by Emily Chang
20/08/18·1h 39m

Season 3, Episode 2: The Xiaomi IPO

Acquired kicks off our China tech mini-series by teaming up with the best in the business: Hans and Zara from GGV’s 996 Podcast! Together we cover the largest technology IPO in the world since fellow China tech giant Alibaba in 2014: Xiaomi, where Hans has been an investor and board member from the very beginning. This episode is chock full of history and insight on both Xiaomi and what’s happening in China tech more broadly, and why we all should be paying attention. No matter where you live, this is definitely not one to miss!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe
06/08/18·1h 18m

Season 3, Episode 1: Tesla

Acquired kicks off Season 3 with a gangbuster two-hour extravaganza on America’s most successful automotive startup since The Ford Motor Company: Tesla. We cover everything, from founding to its 2010 IPO to all that’s happened since, including the question on the minds of superhero fans everywhere: who came first, Elon Musk or Tony Stark? (Spoiler: Elon)Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeCarve Outs:Ben: The Dissect podcastDavid: Harry Potter and the Sacred Text podcast
17/07/18·2h 3m

Season 2, Episode 10: The Rover-DogVacay Merger (with Rover CEO Aaron Easterly)

Acquired wraps up Season 2 with our first “elusive” private-private merger: Rover.com and its 2017 combination with rival pet care marketplace DogVacay. We’re joined by Rover CEO Aaron Easterly to dive into the full history of how the crazy idea of “Airbnb for dogs” not only became a billion-dollar company, but also brought our heroes together for the first time and led to the founding of Acquired!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks: The original Rover pitch from Startup Weekend
18/06/18·1h 11m

Season 2, Episode 9: GitHub

We’re live on the scene the day following the biggest announcement in the open source software world since well, open source software: Microsoft acquiring GitHub for $7.5B in stock. How did we get here? What does it mean for software developers going forward? And most importantly, why is there a creepy half-cat / half-octopus plastered all over everything? As always, Acquired has the answers.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeCarve Outs:Ben: The Idea Maze by Chris DixonDavid: Invisible Asymptotes by Eugene Wei
06/06/18·1h 28m

Season 2, Episode 8: T-Mobile / Sprint

If you thought the telecom business was boring, think again! Acquired brings you an episode packed with more drama than an entire season of Game of Thrones. Starting with a death in the family, we follow a tale of fortunes lost and rebuilt, bitter battles between rivals who once worked for each other, and at the center of it all, a lesson in the power of stable cashflow businesses. This is one call you don’t want to drop!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks: Seattle Times’ infographic on Bellevue’s wireless company historyJohn Legere at CES 2013Carve Outs:Ben: Andrew Chen on the Intercom podcastDavid: The 996 Podcast from Zara & Hans at GGV Capital
21/05/18·1h 25m

Season 2, Episode 7: PowerPoint

Acquired returns with a classic, delving into Microsoft’s first acquisition ever: Forethought Inc, the makers of PowerPoint. Hate it or love it, you can’t deny the combined companies’ impact: by the early 90’s PowerPoint had transformed the way businesses, educators and governments communicate, ensuring job security for pointy-haired Dilbert bosses everywhere.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks: Robert Gaskins’ definitive history of building PowerPoint: Sweating BulletsAbsolute Powerpoint by Ian Parker Carve Outs:Ben: Mindfulness in Plain English and discussion on Hacker NewsDavid:  The Birds have landed…
04/05/18·1h 19m

Season 2, Episode 6: Spotify’s Direct Listing

Acquired wraps up a big few weeks of coverage with not an IPO or an M&A or a fundraising round, but what’s still the largest tech exit in recent memory: Spotify’s $30B direct public listing. We dive into what it all means and how we got here: from Napster to iTunes to Facebook (and even some Justin Timberlake thrown in for good measure). Acquired FM is on the scene and spinning all the hits from this new wave music industry titan! Note: We incorrectly described Spotify CEO Daniel Ek’s ownership stake in Spotify as 25%+; that is actually his voting control. His economic ownership is 9.3%, and cofounder Martin Lorentzon’s is 12.4%. We apologize for the error!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks: Internet History Podcast on the Napster Story with Jordan Ritter Sean Parker’s email to Daniel EkCarve Outs:Ben: Black Panther (and  soundtrack on Spotify!)David: “Silicon Ballet” panel at San Francisco Ballet on Saturday, April 28
06/04/18·1h 49m

Season 2, Episode 5: The Dropbox IPO

Acquired is live on the scene following Dropbox’s public market debut. From playing a central role in the early days of Y Combinator, to having Steve Jobs famously label the company a “feature not a product”, to pivoting from consumers to enterprise to developers and back again, the silicon valley history runs deep with this one. What twists and turns lie ahead for Dropbox as a public company? We speculate!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks: Dropbox’s Y Combinator applicationOriginal Dropbox demo videoCarve Outs:Ben:  Raytracing comes to DirectXDavid: Lazy Game Reviews
26/03/18·1h 42m

Season 2, Episode 4: SoftBank, Fortress and the Vision Fund

Acquired dives into the topic on the minds and lips of just about every VC and founder these days: SoftBank’s $93B+ Vision Fund, and its seemingly-overnight rewriting of the rules of venture capital and startup fundraising. Where did this new 800lbs gorilla come from, what are its goals, and what does it mean for the future of silicon valley and the global tech ecosystem? The answer, it turns out, starts with an acquisition, and unfolds into a story no one has yet told and few yet understand. Luckily our heroes are on the case!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:Masayoshi Son on Charlie RoseCarve Outs:Ben:  eBoys: The First Inside Account of Venture Capitalists at WorkDavid: Liu Cixin’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy (starting with  The Three-Body Problem)Bonus: shout out to Brian McCullough’s new podcast the  Ride Home, in partnership with TechMeme!
23/03/18·1h 32m

Season 2, Episode 3: Nest

Acquired brings it all back home—to the smart home that is—with Google’s 2014 acquisition of Nest for $3.2B. From Nest cofounder Tony Fadell’s first job at General Magic (alongside future Android founder Andy Rubin) to his days as “father of the iPod” under Steve Jobs at Apple, the Silicon Valley history runs deep with this one. But did that make the acquisition a good move for Google in the coming battle with Amazon’s “Lady A” for control over consumers’ homes? We dive in!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinks:Tony Fadell in the Academy of AchievementSteve Jobs deleting Tony Fadell from his FavoritesCarve Outs:Ben: Do by Friday podcastDavid: A Kingdom from Dust By Mark Arax in The California Sunday Magazine
20/02/18·1h 37m

Season 2, Episode 2: Raising a Seed Round with Against Gravity CEO Nick Fajt

We launch mini-series on Acquired with a subject near & dear to our heroes’ hearts: startup fundraising! This has been one of our most-requested new topics, and we’re excited to kick things off with makers of the popular Rec Room social VR app, Against Gravity, which raised one of Seattle’s hottest venture rounds in recent history: a $4m seed led by Sequoia Capital in 2016. CEO Nick Fajt joins to tell the story from company inception to building and shipping the initial product, fundraising as a first-time CEO, what they’ve been able to accomplish with the capital and their vision for the future. We had a blast touching on many classic Acquired themes for the first time “in-action” with a young, growing company, and hope you all enjoy the discussion as much as we did. Let us know what you think in the Slack!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeCarve Outs:Ben:  Ready Player OneDavid:  Seveneves Nick: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
07/02/18·1h 19m

Season 2, Episode 1: Zappos (with Alfred Lin)

Former Zappos Chairman & COO (and current Partner at Sequoia Capital) Alfred Lin joins our heroes to kick off Season 2 with a classic: Amazon’s 2009 acquisition of the internet’s quirkiest online retailer for $1.2B in stock. How did three Harvard undergrads go from delivering pizza to their dorm to delivering happiness to the world — and become in the process one of the few companies ever to compete successfully head-to-head against Amazon in commerce? Tune in to find out! Note: Unfortunately the quality of David and Alfred’s audio tracks in this episode were significantly impacted by a processor issue on David’s computer, which we didn’t discover until after recording. We’ve worked hard to fix in post-production, but it’s still far from perfect. Still, the content from Alfred is so good, we felt we had to put this episode out there even though the audio quality isn’t up to par. We hope you’ll give it a listen regardless, and we’re working on getting a transcript made ASAP as well. -Ben & DavidSponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeCarve Outs:Ben:  Andrew Mason on Recode Decode David: Justin O’Beirne on Google Maps’ MoatAlfred: Walter Isaacson’s biographies of  Albert Einstein and  Benjamin Franklin
23/01/18·1h 17m

Episode 51: 2017 Holiday Special

Acquired cozies up to the fire and looks back on the year in tech. How wildly off were we on last year’s predictions? What does the next year have in store? Most importantly, what price will Bitcoin be trading at in December 2018??? Pour yourself a glass of your favorite holiday beverage and kick back with us.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeLinksJosh Elman on shared experiencesPatrick McKenzie on distribution2017 Carve Outs of the Year:Books  His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman Shoe Dog by Phil Knight Wooden on Leadership by John Wooden and Steve JamisonArticles  “The Great AI Awakening” New York Times Magazine“Founder Friendly” AVC blogPodcasts “The Ezra Klein Show” featuring Yuval Noah Harari “The Bill Simmons Show” featuring Jimmy IovineMusic Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band live at the  Hammersmith Odeon London in 1975A Moment Apart by OdeszaMovies CreedBlade Runner 2049The Last JediApps  YouTube HQ
18/12/17·1h 21m

Episode 50: Apple - Beats

Acquired crosses the half-century mark with an instant classic: Apple’s 2014 purchase of Beats, its largest acquisition ever. If you knew Beats as just another headphone company, think again—the history on this one will keep your heads ringin’.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeCarve Outs: * Ben: HQ * David: Wooden on Leadership
11/12/17·1h 19m

Episode 49: The Stitch Fix IPO

Ben and David dive into the most talked-about tech IPO of 4Q 2017: Stitch Fix. After downsizing the offering and pricing below the range, does this signal a warning that public markets won’t value high-flying silicon valley “disruptors” as high as VCs hope? Or is this a textbook example of a great return for a disciplined management team and well-run company? Most importantly, what happens next? Tune in for our heroes’ take.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeCarve Outs:Ben: The iPhone XDavid:  Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court
04/12/17·1h 16m

Episode 48: Qualcomm - Broadcom

Ben & David cover the proposed largest tech M&A deal of all time, and in the process dive into the evolving dynamics of the industry that started everything in Silicon Valley—silicon. Just when VCs thought innovation was dead in semiconductors, a new wave of startups and large companies are redrawing the lines of competition in an industry dominated for a half-century by the “Wintel” duopoly of Intel and Microsoft.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeTopics Covered Include:Innovation and disruption in the semiconductor industry over the past two years Intel’s acquisition of Nervana Graphcore and other ML-focused semiconductor startupsCDMA and the telephone network effect Qualcomm’s early cell phone handsets Vertical integration + commoditization in smartphone chipsets The Carve Out:Ben: The de-watering of Niagara FallsDavid: Big Daddy’s AntiquesBonus: The Mystery Show
20/11/17·56m 43s

Episode 47: The Atlassian IPO

Ben & David venture to the land down under (and reunite in-person!) to tell the story of the granddaddy of all bootstrapped tech success stories, collaboration software company Atlassian. How did two plucky college grads from Sydney, Australia go from just trying to escape working for the man to becoming two of the top 10 wealthiest people in the entire country, all without raising a dollar of venture capital? We dive in.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeTopics Covered Include:How Atlassian founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar met in college at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and their decision to bootstrap a startup as an alternative to finding a “real job” after graduationAtlassian’s “no sales” model, and the resultant efficiency of their sales & marketing spend relative to other SAAS companies Organic product growth and acquisitions over the years, starting with Jira and later adding Confluence, BitBucket, HipChat / Stride, Jira Service Desk and TrelloRapid revenue growth and the decision to continue as a bootstrapped company, only raising secondary capital prior to going publicThe IPO in November 2015 and subsequent stock performance (spoiler: it’s been good) The Carve Out:Ben: Phil Knight’s memoir,  Shoe DogDavid: Bruce Springsteen memoir,  Born to Run
07/11/17·1h 10m

Episode 46: Blue Bottle Coffee

Today our heroes cover a deal that might have more impact on life in Silicon Valley than AI, wearables and AR/VR combined… Nestle’s acquisition of Blue Bottle Coffee. Will hipster entrepreneurs and the VCs who love/need them continue to line up around the block for their minimalist coffee experience of choice, now that it’s owned by the Nesquik Bunny? Is this the beginning of Blue Bottle pod machines filling the empty counter space left by Juicero’s demise in VC offices throughout South Park? We investigate.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeTopics Covered Include:The rise of “Third Wave” coffeeBlue Bottle founder James Freeman’s “classical” (music) influences Venture capital and the coffee business Achieving liquidity when companies and founders’ don’t want to go public, and don’t want to sell their stakes Nestle’s position in single-serve coffee market and potential brand impact of Blue Bottle The Carve Out: Ben: There Never Was a Real Tulip FeverDavid: iPhone SE
08/10/17·1h 8m

Episode 45: HTC, Google and the Future of Mobile

Acquired is back and live on the scene! After months of speculation, Google announces today their acquisition (err, "Cooperation Agreement”) of a large portion of HTC’s hardware division. What does this mean for the future of mobile? Can Google transform itself into a vertically integrated device company and compete directly with Apple? Most importantly, when will we see more  Beats Android handsets??? (We hope never) Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeTopics Covered Include: The origins of HTC as a Taiwanese OEM, dating back to the Compaq iPAQ and Palm Treo 650!HTC’s long history with Google, starting as the manufacturer of the first Android phone, the HTC Dream / T-Mobile G1HTC’s ownership of Beats, for a hot minuteGoogle’s own winding history in hardware, with its Motorola acquisition in 2011 and divestiture in 2014Google & HTC’s joint work on the Pixel smartphones in 2016And much analysis and speculation on what this means for Google, Apple, Samsung, vertical vs horizontal business models and more!  The Carve Out: Ben: Odesza’s new album A Moment ApartDavid:  Bruce Springsteen on Fresh Air
21/09/17·1h 24m

Episode 43: The Square IPO

Unicorns and ratchets and lawsuits, oh my! Our heroes dive into the history of Jack Dorsey’s famous “other” company, Square. Was the Square IPO a canary in the coal mine signaling doom & gloom for the so-called unicorn companies of the early 2010’s, or a mispriced and misunderstood diamond in the rough? Acquired weighs in.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeTopics Covered Include:Square’s deep origins in the early 90’s in St. Louis, MO with the initial meeting of its co-founders, Jack Dorsey & Jim McKelveyMcKelvey’s side glass blowing business and the “inspiration” for Square that came much later in the late 2000’sThe complicated involvement of Washington University (in St. Louis) professor Robert Morley, who had worked for years developing payment card reading technologyThe company’s early meeting with Scott Forstall at Apple, and its “significant” impact on the its name and designThe real disruptive innovation of Square and its business model (hint: not just building a mobile card reader)Square’s massive payments deal with Starbucks in 2012 and its impact on the companyThe evolution of Square’s business from a simple card reader to cloud-based Point of Sale (PoS) system and entire suite of merchant tools & business management servicesThe drama leading up to Square’s IPO (including at Jack Dorsey’s “other” company, Twitter), dynamics and narratives affecting its pricing, the effect of IPO “ratchets”, and the company’s performance over the ~2 years since The Carve Out:David: Bob Iger on Nick Bilton’s  Inside the Hive podcastBen:  The World After Capital on GitBooks
16/08/17·1h 20m

Episode 42: Opsware (with special guest Michel Feaster)

Acquired dives into the legendary acquisition of Ben Horowitz & Marc Andreessen’s “second act” software company Opsware, from a perspective never before heard—HP’s side of the story! Our heroes are joined by Michel Feaster, who led both the acquisition for HP and then the Opsware product as part of the integrated company afterward under Ben Horowitz. Today the tables have turned: Michel is the Co-Founder and CEO of Seattle-based startup Usermind, and Ben Horowitz sits on her board on behalf of A16Z. This episode is not one to miss!   Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe Topics covered include: Opsware’s early history and origins as Loudcloud, the “second act” of internet wunderkind Marc Andreessen and Netscape product manager Ben HorowitzBen’s first person telling of the Loudcloud/Opsware history in The Hard Thing about Hard Things, as well as the great Wired "period piece” covering Loudcloud’s launch in August 2000The importance of timing, and Loudcloud’s too-early vision of—essentially—AWS before AWS (including eerie parallels between the metaphor Andreessen used to describe Loudcloud during the company’s first press briefing, and Jeff Bezos’s description of AWS at YC nearly a decade later)Creation of the “Opsware” tool inside of Loudcloud to automate deploying and configuring servers within Loudcloud’s data centersLoudcloud's meteoric rise, crash following the burst of the internet bubble, and hard pivot as a public company into Opsware—now an enterprise software company selling datacenter tools Michel’s role in HP’s evaluation of the company as an acquisition target, and process leading to its $1.6B acquisition in July 2007Integration of the company into HP’s culture and sales channelThe creation of Ben & Marc’s “third act”, the VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, and what it’s like for Michel now having Ben as an investor on her board at Usermind   The Carve Out: Ben: StarStaX star trail photography softwareDavid: Jimmy Iovine on the Bill Simmons Podcast
05/08/17·1h 19m

Episode 41: Booking.com with Jetsetter & Room 77 CEO Drew Patterson

Acquired trains its lens on the “second or third best acquisition of all-time”, Priceline’s 2005 purchase of Booking.com. Our heroes are joined by friend-of-the-show and former Jetsetter & Room 77 CEO Drew Patterson to help understand how this little-known startup from The Netherlands grew into the largest travel company in the world, with nearly $8B in annual revenue. Was this deal even better than Instagram??? We debate, hotly.   Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeTopics covered include: The biggest startup you’ve never heard of (in the US), Booking.com, and its parent company Priceline (yes, the William Shatner Priceline)Booking’s founding in Amsterdam in late 1996: by recent college graduate Geert-Jan BruinsmaSkift.com’s Definitive Oral History of Online Travel The travel industry's GDS's (“Global Distribution Systems”) and the development of Sabre How Bruinsma raised the initial money for Booking: by emailing anyone he know who had an email address OTAs ("Online Travel Agencies”) and how they operate; the "merchant model" versus the “agency model"The role of search in online travel Bill Gurley on  Conversion: The Most Important Internet Metric of AllExpedia’s early flirtation with Booking, and decision not to acquire the companyPriceline head of M&A Glenn Fogel’s vision for how powerful the agency model for OTAs could become in EuropePriceline and Glenn's 2004 acquisition of Active Hotels in the UK, followed by the 2005 acquisition of Booking for $133M and the combination of the two businesses into Booking.com Booking’s incredible growth in the decade since the acquisition, from less than 20M room-nights to over 500M, and $7.8B in revenue in 2016  The Carve Out: Ben: Scott Forstall talking about the original iPhone at the Computer History MuseumDavid: The Big SickDrew: Bloomberg’s Money Stuff by Matt Levine
26/07/17·1h 20m

Episode 40: Activision Blizzard

Ben & David cover the creation of the gaming world’s equivalent of the 70’s rock supergroup: the 2008 merger of Blizzard and Activision. We tell the story from the Blizzard perspective, tracing the history of one of the most innovative companies in the business from humble beginnings at the hands of UCLA undergrads, to surviving multiple acquisition rollups (including at one point being owned by the French national water company), to joining ultimately with Activision to form the largest gaming company in the world, all while inventing multiple game genres that define the industry as we know it today. Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeTopics covered include: Blizzard’s founding in 1991 as "Silicon & Synapse” by recent UCLA grads Allen Adham, Frank Pearce, and Mike MorhaimeThe team’s first projects making ports for other games, including Battle Chess on the Commodore 64Early success on the Super Nintendo with Rock & Roll Racing and The Lost VikingsOrigin of the Real-Time Strategy game genre (“RTS”) and Blizzard’s fist mega-hit, Warcraft Blizzard’s crazy corporate ownership changes over the yearsDevelopment of further legendary game franchises like Diablo and Starcraft, along with sequels to Warcraft and the rise of the rise of player moddingEmergence of the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena genre (“MOBA”) from the Warcraft III modding community, and its growth into one of the biggest sectors in the games and esports industries todayBlizzard’s role in developing the concept of online gaming, from early hacks to play against friends to World of Warcraft and Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (“MMORPG’s”)The 2008 merger with storied gaming company Activision Growth and success since the merger, including the launch of new game franchises Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch  The Carve Out: Ben:  Dick Costolo on Vanity Fair’s  Inside the Hive  podcastDavid: Nellie and Joe's 100% Natural Key Lime Juice (tip:  buy in bulk from Walmart/Jet)
13/07/17·1h 16m

Acquired Episode 39: Whole Foods Market

Ben and David are once again live on the scene, this time covering the biggest disruption in grocery since… well, sliced bread: Amazon’s $13.7B purchase of Whole Foods Market. We place this deal in context by diving deep into the long, intertwining history of grocery, tech and Amazon, from the infamous dotcom flameout Webvan (domain name now owned by Amazon) to its much more successful progeny Kiva Systems (acquired by Amazon in 2012) to current Silicon Valley unicorn Instacart (founded by former Amazon logistics engineer Apoorva Mehta). One thing is clear: for Amazon and Jeff Bezos, realizing the longterm vision of the Everything Store truly means building the everything store.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeTopics covered include:The  origins of Whole Foods Market as “Saferway” in the late 70’s Austin, TX hippie scene, founded by CEO John Mackey (“the Steve Jobs of grocery stores”) and his then-girlfriend Renee Lawson HardyWhole Foods’ expansion through acquisition throughout the 80’s and 90’sThe company’s recent struggles with competition, leading to sales declines and  attracting activist shareholder interest from Jana Partners  Amazon’s acquisition of the company on June 16, 2017 for $13.7 billion, a 27 percent premium to the stock's previous day closing priceIn depth history and analysis of the four keys to understanding this deal: Webvan, Kiva Systems, AmazonFresh and  InstacartFollowups: Walmart/Jet buys Bonobos for $310MThe Carve Out:Ben: Mark Zuckerberg’s 2005 CS50 guest lectureDavid: Exponent on Podcasting and Centralization
21/06/17·1h 17m

"About Acquired" on the Anchor Podcast of the Day

Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeBen and David are guests on Anchor's Podcast of the Day, discussing Acquired's origin story, show structure, and how the show gets made. If you're new to the show and looking for a primer, this is a great place to jump in! Sponsor: https://acquired.fm/zoominfo
11/06/17·20m 15s

Acquired Episode 38: SoundJam (iTunes)

Ben & David revisit the birth of the digital music revolution and Steve Jobs' "digital hub" strategy, with Apple's 2000 acquisition of the Mac music player SoundJam MP, which would go on to become iTunes. We relive the 90's with brushed metal interfaces, music visualizers and of course, software sold in (physical) boxes.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe
31/05/17·1h 20m

Episode 37: BAMTech, Disney and "the Biggest Media Company You've Never Heard Of”

Ben and David continue Acquired’s “tech and sports” mini-series with Disney’s 2016 acquisition of a minority stake (with the right to purchase a majority stake at a later date) in BAMTech, the internet streaming company originally founded as part of Major League Baseball in the early 2000’s. However the importance of this story goes deeper than just sports, with major ramifications for nearly every major technology company from Amazon to YouTube. Even if you’re not not sure if baseball’s played on a diamond or a gridiron, tune in as we swing for the fences in predicting the future of TV! Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe Topics covered include: What is BAMTech, and why is it, according to The Verge, "the future of television”?BAMTech’s origins as part of Major League Baseball's Advanced Media division ("MLBAM)”)MLBAM’s founding CEO Bob Bowman’s decidedly “non-tech” background, and growth into one of the most important tech leaders of the past 15 yearsInitial technology struggles and learnings from early streaming efforts (including a botched audio package of Ichiro Suzuki’s games with the Mariners for fans in Japan)Landing on a streaming model that works with the launch of MLB.tv in 2002/2003—three years before YouTube is founded! Improvement of the MLB.tv service and MLBAM’s streaming expertise over the next ten years through the rise of mobile, and simultaneous  growth of MLBAM’s revenues to over $1B annuallyMLBAM’s initial deals to expand its streaming services beyond baseball, starting with ESPN in 2010, then WWE, the PGA,  HBO and  the NHLThe importance of media rights, and MLBAM’s transition from a simple tech/infrastructure provider to  a full-fledged media company The decision to initiate a spin-off process for BAMTech from MLB in August 2015, and Disney’s $1B investment into the newly created spin-out company in August 2016Disney’s subsequent announcement that they’ll be  working with BAMTech to create a direct-to-consumer ESPN streaming serviceBAMTech’s  $300M deal with Riot Games in December 2016 for the media rights to League of Legends eSports content Bob Bowman’s announcement in February 2017 that he’ll be stepping back to from a day to day role, and  hiring of former Amazon VP of Video Michael Paull as BAMTech’s new CEO  Followups & Hot Takes:  Facebook’s struggles with Instant Articles Microsoft killing Wunderlist (David is VERY sad) Instagram continues its torrid growth, passes 700M MAU Amazon’s new Look  The Cloudera IPOConfirmation the ride sharing wars are far from over:  Didi raises $5.5B in the largest private funding round ever  The Carve Out: Ben: NYT’s 4th Down BotDavid: Wait But Why on Elon Musk’s “Wizard Hat"
10/05/17·1h 20m

Episode 36: The LA Clippers

In honor of start of NBA playoffs, Ben & David venture off the beaten path to explore one of Steve Ballmer’s most famous acquisitions, his 2014 purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA franchise. Was this landmark purchase a steal or a turnover for the former Microsoft CEO? We speculate wildly! Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeTopics covered include: The Clippers’ founding in 1970 as the NBA expansion team the Buffalo BravesEarly ownership changes and the move west to San Diego in 1981Acquisition in 1981 by LA lawyer and real estate developer Donald Sterling for $12.5MSterling's relocation of the Clippers to LA in 1984 against NBA rulesStruggles over the next 25 years as the "worst franchise in professional sports” according to ESPN Turnaround beginning in early 2010s led by Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, and Chris PaulThe bombshell in April 2014, reported by TMZ, of a taped conversation between Sterling and his mistress where Sterling makes  hugely offensive and racist comments, directed in particular toward former Lakers point guard Magic JohnsonFallout from the comments, resulting in a lifetime ban from NBA for Sterling, and a forced sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer for $2BImpact of the landmark sale price on NBA and other sports franchise valuations Clippers performance post-sale, and  prospects for the future The opportunity for technology and business model innovation in the NBA, and professional sports in general  Followups:  Instagram Stories passes 200 million users per day (including correction on the definition of DAU) The Last Jedi trailer!Clarifying Starbucks’ same store sales performance post-IPO   The Carve Out: Ben: Bill Gurley on This Week in StartupsDavid:  Pop, Race & the '60s podcast and Just Around Midnight by Jack Hamilton
24/04/17·1h 10m

Episode 35: Oculus

Ben & David transcend the barriers of “real” reality, and dive into Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s geek-eutpoia vision of the future of gaming, social, and maybe even the entire internet: strapping goofy-looking goggles to your face. Is VR for real this time or are we living through another Virtual Boy moment? Tune in to find out! Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeTopics covered include: Oculus’s origins in 2010 as a twinkle in the eye of the then-17 year old VR wunderkind, Palmer Luckey, who started by prototyping VR headsets in his parents’ garage in Southern California Palmer’s time interning at  USC's Institute for Creative Technologies, and chronicling of his own VR efforts in the Meant to be Seen 3D internet forumsLegendary game developer John Carmack’s own interest in virtual reality, his intersection with Palmer on the MTBS3D forums, and how he acquired and popularized one of Palmer's first early prototypes of the Oculus Rift (which was  literally held together with duct tape!) by demonstrating it onstage at E3 2012 How former Scaleform cofounders Brendan Iribe and Michael Antonov teamed up with Palmer after E3 to create the company Oculus VRThe newly-formed Oculus’s wildly successful August 2012 Kickstarter campaign, including video endorsements from both Carmack and Valve founder Gabe NewellOculus’s subsequent venture capital fundraisings, and catching the attention of Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg Facebook’s acquisition of the company in March 2014 for $2.3BThe Zenimax lawsuit filed against Oculus and Facebook following the acquisition Valve (home of the most incredible company handbook of all-time) and Gabe Newell’s subsequent pivot from supporting Oculus to launching their own competing VR efforts with the Vive Team changes at Oculus post-acquisition   Followups: SNAP:  still a public company  Hot Takes: Intel’s $15B acquisition of Mobileye (with reference to  Ben Thompson’s analysis of the deal and Smiling Curves)  The Carve Out: Ben:  Kara Swisher interviews the Pod Save America team at SXSWDavid: Adam Gopnik asks Are Liberals on the Wrong Side of History?
11/04/17·1h 22m

Episode 34: The Starbucks IPO with Dan Levitan

Ben & David "pour over" the 1992 IPO of the legendary Seattle coffee company with the help of Dan Levitan, who served as lead investment banker on the IPO and who would later co-found the venture capital firm Maveron with Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeTopics covered include:The original Starbucks’ founding as a coffee bean roaster, started by three disciples of the legendary coffee roaster Alfred PeetHoward Schultz’s introduction to Starbucks, his joining the team as director of marketing, and inspiration behind his “third place” coffee shop visionHoward’s departure from the original Starbucks, founding of Il Giornale, and subsequent of acquisition the Seattle Starbucks storesStarbucks’ incredible growth following the acquisition and expansion beyond SeattleThe state of raising private capital in the 1980’s/90’s, and the decision to go public (link to the S-1)Howard’s ambitious goals for the roadshow and investor participation, and subsequent stock performance after the IPOThe narrative and evolution of Starbucks as a technology company, or a consumer company that leverages technology very effectively The Carve Out:Ben: Dan Primack’s new daily newsletter, Pro RataDavid: The  Wizard and the Bruiser podcast Dan: The Man in the Glass
03/04/17·1h 24m

Episode 33: Overture (with the Internet History Podcast!)

Episode 33: Overture (with the Internet History Podcast!)    Ben & David dive deep into the early days of internet search, with the help of the best in the internet history business: Brian McCullough from the Internet History Podcast! We are huge fans of IHP at Acquired, so this was a real treat to collaborate with Brian and the great work he does over there. In this episode we cover the story of how a small incubator in Southern California spawned perhaps the greatest tech business model of all-time, Yahoo!’s fumbling of that golden opportunity, and Google’s recovery of that fumble to cross into the end zone of tech history behind the biggest moat ever constructed on the internet.  Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeTopics covered include: Overture’s origins as part of the Idealab incubator run by famed early internet entrepreneur Bill GrossInvention of the paid search business model… initially by returning ADS ONLY in response to search queriesThe eventual marrying of Overture’s paid search (ads) with organic search results via syndication on other properties like Yahoo!Revenue from Overture’s ad partnership saving Yahoo!’s business after the internet bubble burst Yahoo!’s eventual acquisition of Overture for $1.4B in 2003 But… the really interesting story here: Overture’s 'inspiration' of Google’s business model and the creation of "the greatest advertising machine in the history of the world"The original (pre-Overture) Google business model: selling a box! Google’s differentiation vs Overture: focusing on the long tail, ad quality scores, and an advertiser-friendly auction structureGoogle’s first major search syndication victory over Overture: AOLYahoo!’s failed attempt to buy Google for $3B in 2002, leading it to settle for acquiring Overture instead the following year“Project Panama” at Yahoo!, and its impact on the tech and internet historyOverture's (and later Yahoo!’s) lawsuit against Google for stealing the paid search business model— "the O.G. version of Snapchat and Instagram”Paul Graham’s take on "What Happened to Yahoo?”Perhaps the most important technology to come out of this whole episode: HadoopThe power of incentive alignment in marketplaces— and creating the widest and deepest moats on the internet  The Carve Out: Ben: The famous University of Washington's “Love Lab” Dr. John Gottman: “The Secret to Love is Just Kindness”David: BerlinBrian: The Dark Valley: A Panorama of the 1930s
13/03/17·1h 32m

Episode 32: The Snap Inc. IPO

Snap! Acquired is live on the scene reporting from the "Super Bowl" of 2017 tech events: Snap Inc's hugely anticipated (and just plain huge) IPO. What does the future hold for this plucky “camera company”? Will Snap's IPO endure as tech's most important picture-frame since the  2012 debut of Facebook, or is it destined to fade as just another snapshot? We debate! Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeTopics covered include: Reference to our previous Acquired episode on Snap covering Facebook’s failed attempt to acquire the company in 2013, which goes deep on Snap’s origins and early historySnap’s busy years since: launching Discover,  Lenses,  Geofilters,  new Chat,  Memories, an  ads API, acquiring Bitmoji, and, of course,  debuting SpectaclesThe incredible document that is  Snap's S-1 filing (read starting from the  “BUSINESS” section on p.93)Snap Inc’s “unique” voting structureEvan Spiegel’s “CEO Award” bonus for successfully completing an IPO: an extra 3.0% of the company worth more than $600MSnap’s IPO pricing, first day of trading “pop”, and momentum carried into day two Introducing a new show section (for IPOs): Narratives!  Snap  is a “camera company"Snap's opportunity is  winning television ad dollarsSnap is a cult of the “product genius”Snap has a growth problem… and its name is Instagram (Stories)Snap has a cost problem: the (first?)  gross margin negative IPOWall Street to Evan: “we trust you… for now"Chris Sacca’s biggest email fail of 2012…And of course all the classics from the Acquired canon: waves, moats, flywheels, network effects, starting small and more!   The Carve Out: Ben:  The Bill Simmons Podcast with Ben ThompsonDavid: The Art of War, also Evan Spiegel’s Carve Out for 2013 :)
04/03/17·1h 28m

Episode 31: The Uber - Didi Chuxing Merger with Brad Stone, author of The Upstarts & The Everything Store

Topics covered include:The global surge in 2012 of entrepreneurs starting ridesharing companies, nowhere moreso than China Didi CEO Cheng Wei and investor Wang Gang’s backgrounds at Alibaba, first entrepreneurial effort in Momo, and Momo’s pivot to Didi DacheThe culling of the ridesharing herd in China down to Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache through brutal competition and involvement of the “big three” Chinese internet companies Rise of the Chinese messaging apps and associated mobile payments, and their impact on ridesharingThe 2015 merger between Didi and Kuaidi, brokered in part by Russian VC Yuri MilnerUber’s decision to enter the Chinese market, and early success with investment and support from BaiduThe first meeting between Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Cheng Wei in 2015—which does not go wellSubsequent “scorched earth” competition between Didi and Uber throughout 2015-16Negotiating an armistice: Uber’s agreement to sell its Chinese operations to Didi in late 2016End of the war, or just the beginning? January 2017: Didi invests $100M in Brazilian Uber competitor 99Sustainable growth, and building moats versus scorching earthSponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe  Followups: Stay tuned for real-time coverage of the Snap IPO coming here on Acquired!   The Carve Out: Ben:  Taming the Mammoth on Wait But WhyDavid: Conversations with Tyler Podcast by Tyler Cowen, co-author of the Marginal Revolution blogBrad: Yuval Noah Harari (author of  Sapiens)’s new book, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow
01/03/17·1h 15m

Episode 30: P.A. Semi + AuthenTec

Topics covered include: P.A. Semi’s original moniker ("Palo Alto Semiconductor”) and its celebrity founder (in the semiconductor world) Dan DobberpuhlHistory of the back and forth tradeoffs between Intel’s powerful x86 chips and low power alternatives like ARM processors Dobberpuhl’s technology breakthroughs throughout his career that enabled true low-power + high-performance chipsThe initial target markets for P.A. Semi’s chips (surprise: NOT mobile phones)P.A. Semi’s  first foray into a potential deal with Apple, dashed by Cupertino’s  surprise switch to Intel processors in 2005The rise of mobile finally creating the huge market need for low-power / high-performance, Apple’s acquisition of P.A., and launch of the first Apple-designed chip, the “A4”, with the original iPad in 2010Geekbench: the single-core performance of Apple’s latest generation of smartphone processors (A10 Fusion) has  basically caught up with Intel’s laptop CPUsAuthenTec’s beginnings in the late 90’s as a spinoff from the defense contractor Harris Corporation (named by Wired Magazine as the #2 threat to internet privacy in the US), based in Melbourne, Florida Early versions of the technology that became TouchID, the sensors for which were many times larger than today’s iPhones themselves!AuthenTec “not very Apple-like” website on Archive.org (and screenshot)AuthenTec’s  deal that almost was to put their technology and sensors  into Samsung’s flagship phones  Apple’s acquisition of AuthenTec for $356 million in July 2012, and the rapid introduction of TouchID in the iPhone 5S one year later in September 2013Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe  Followups: Merging of Alaska & Virgin America loyalty programs (woo!) Walmart announces major reorg following the Jet acquisitionSnap Inc. IPO  drama is  mounting! (we can’t wait to cover this one)  The Carve Out: Ben: Rands in Repose: The SituationDavid: Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
24/01/17·1h 14m

Episode 29: Special—2016 Review and 2017 Predictions

Ben & David wrap up 2016 with a review of the top tech themes we discussed on the show this year, and look forward to which themes we think will be relevant in the coming year. Can our hosts predict the future? Tune-in in 2018 to find out!   Note: we apologize for the less-than-amazing audio quality on this one. We’re still working on tuning our remote recording setup! Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeTopics covered include: Our top tech themes of 2016, including the first annual Acquired "Theme of the Year”: Aggregation Theory (surprise, surprise)Themes we think will be most relevant as we head into 2017Extended Carve Outs!  The Carve Out(s): Books:  Ben:  On Writing WellDavid: The Creative Habit and the Asimov  Robot/Empire/Foundation seriesArticle:  Ben: Wait But Why: Religion for the NonreligiousDavid: The New York Times: The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.Podcasts:  Both: The Ezra Klein ShowMusic:  Ben: Justin BieberDavid: Stevie NicksTV/Movies:  Ben: WestworldDavid: Rouge OneApps:  Ben: ReachNowDavid: Amazon Music
11/01/17·1h 18m

Episode 28: The Amazon IPO with original Amazon Board Member Tom Alberg

Ben & David welcome very special guest Tom Alberg, board member and first lead investor in Amazon.com, to cover the IPO of "earth’s most customer-centric company". From longterm thinking to flywheels to riding big waves, this episode is chock full of lessons and stories from the journey of building one of tech’s most iconic franchises. We hope you enjoy listening as much as we did recording it! Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe  Topics covered include: Tom’s “prolific” bio from the Amazon S-1Jeff Bezos’s journey from a Vice President at the New York hedge fund D. E. Shaw to founding Amazon in a Bellevue, WA garage in the summer of 1994Jeff’s longterm thinking as evident in the early days of Amazon, and his approach that "failure is ok, but not trying things is not ok” Raising the seed money for Amazon before product launch, how Tom met Jeff and decided to invest despite the “high” valuationTom's (and Jeff’s) focus on the power of targeting large and growing markets Amazon’s actual overnight success after launching the website: according to Tom at the time, "By the second or third week… It was clear there was a trend here.”How Amazon’s venture round, led by John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins, came together in the spring of 1996 Amazon’s torrid growth through 1996, Jeff’s mantra of “get big fast” to win the land grab of online book selling, and the board’s decision to prepare for a public offering in the spring of 1997 How Frank Quattrone and Bill Gurley, then of Deutsche Bank, won the lead position for the Amazon IPO, beating out more storied firms such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley Development of the flywheel concept within Amazon, as an outgrowth of maniacal focus on creating superior customer experienceAmazon's public offering on May 15, 1997 at $18 per share (effectively $1.50 relative to today’s stock price after splits), raising $54M at a market capitalization of $438M — and subsequently trading down during the first few months following the IPO  Amazon and Jeff’s management of investor perceptions of the company, and ability to sell the longterm vision over short term profits — “you get the investors you ask for” The creation of the first annual letter to Amazon shareholders included in the company’s 1997 annual report (and republished every year since), and then-CFO Joy Covey’s role and contributions to it Raising convertible debt just before the peak of the dotcom bubble and subsequent ability to survive the burst, and the impact of the downturn on Amazon culture  The Carve Out: Ben: the band The Album LeafDavid: Cormac McCarthy (author of All the Pretty Horses, No Country for Old Men, etc)’s contribution to W. Brian Arthur’s landmark paper about the economics of the internet, “Increasing Returns and the New World of Business”Tom: Michael Lewis’s latest book The Undoing Project, chronicling the Nobel Prize winning partnership between Daniel Kahneman & Amos Tversky in developing the field of behavioral economics
31/12/16·1h 13m

Episode 27: Special—A Conversation with Microsoft's Head of Strategic Investments Brian Schultz

Topics covered include: Brian’s history working across “both sides of the aisle” as both a startup founder and corporate development leader at a big company, how perspective from each informs the other, and the importance of learning “customer empathy” How Microsoft approaches M&A from an organizational perspective, and the importance of fit with the company’s product roadmap How Brian approaches strategic investments at Microsoft, and the evolution over time of the Microsoft (and large technology companies as a whole) perspective on investing in other companiesBalancing the tension between partnering and investing, and what criteria Brian thinks about when evaluating companies Microsoft’s investment in Facebook in 2007 (at a then-crazy-seeming $15B valuation), and more recently Foursquare,  Mesosphere,  CloudFlare and othersThe current state of the tech M&A landscape, and the emergence of private equity as tech company acquirers Potentially changing corporate and foreign tax structures and how they impact acquirers’ thinking around deals (or not!) How Microsoft tracks and evaluates success of acquisitions over time, and lessons learned from successes and failures The increasing number of operating companies (technology and otherwise) looking to invest in startups, and how that landscape has evolved over time Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe Followups:  Snap Inc.’s rumored IPO filing — and bonus discussion of how VC’s and other investors think about “exiting” their investments in companies that have gone public  Hot Takes: Amazon Go!  The Carve Out: Ben: OK Go - The One Moment David: UC Berkeley Oral History with Sequoia Capital founder Don ValentineBrian: Om Malik’s recent piece in the New Yorker: Silicon Valley Has an Empathy Vacuum
16/12/16·1h 17m

Episode 26: Marvel

Topics covered include: Marvel’s corporate origins as "Timely Publications”, created in 1939 by pulp magazine publisher Martin Goodman in NYC, with the publication of Marvel Comics #1Creation of enduring characters such as Captain America, the Fantastic 4, Spider Man, The X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk and moreAdoption in 1961 of the "Marvel Comics” brand, and writer-editor Stan Lee’s transition of the company towards focusing on edgier characters and stories targeted at older audiences Marvel’s first sale in 1968 to the Perfect Film and Chemical Corporation (later Cadence Industries)The company’s “turbulent” corporate history through the 1980’s and associated mergers, acquisitions and lawsuitsMarvel’s reinvention as a film-focused media company in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s with the launch of Marvel StudiosDisney’s ultimate acquisition of the company for $4.2 billion in August 2009, during the depth of the great recession Marvel's—and in particular Marvel Studios’—performance since the acquisition Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeFollowups:  People like Spectacles!   Hot Takes: Shoutout to  Hightower & VTS merging  The Carve Out: Ben: WestworldDavid: Overdrive
05/12/16·1h 25m

Episode 25: The Facebook IPO

Hey Acquired listeners. A note about this show: we recorded this episode the night before the 2016 Election Day in the US. At the time, the biggest change we saw coming was adding a new type of content to Acquired in analyzing IPO’s, which we introduce in this episode. Two days later, we woke up to a very different world than the one we were expecting. Reflecting on what’s happened, and the past few months of our show, we wanted to say two things:First, we want to apologize for our cavalier attitude toward this election cycle, and our glossing over the clearly very real problems and deep divide in America that it represented. In the Skype episode, David pretty glibly compared the AT&T - Time Warner merger to "Make America Great Again", arguing that any reactionary force is “on the wrong side of history” and cannot be relevant in a changing world. That was wrong, the sentiment behind it was wrong, and it was insensitive to the very real pain a lot of people are feeling out there on both sides.Second, looking back on this particular episode about the Facebook IPO, we think it actually might present a relevant parable for our country right now and--we hope--some important lessons for the technology industry going forward. For all the wonderful aspects of the tech industry that we celebrate on this show, there is no doubt that it also bears a great deal of responsibility for the current divide in America, and especially in its contribution to wealth inequality. Likewise, for all the wonderful aspects to the Facebook IPO story, as told in this episode, there is a very dark side as well: Facebook shareholders, investment banks and institutional investors raked in billions of dollars at the expense of individual retail investors who lost their shirts.At the same time, Facebook’s perseverance through their “broken IPO", and their determination in overcoming with incredible speed the massive, existential challenge to their business model posed by mobile, is something we think *can be* an inspiration to us all on how to move forward even when that seems hard. We hope you’ll listen to this episode with that in mind and think about how you, we, and the technology industry as a whole can do better in serving everyone in this country and in the world.Thanks for being on this journey with us. We’re sorry for our shortcomings, and we’re going to keep working hard to do better. -Ben & DavidSponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeTopics covered include:Introducing a new content vertical for Acquired: analyzing IPO’s! Facebook turning down early acquisition offers, including including the  famous $1B overture from Yahoo in 2006 The Wikipedia entry on the Facebook IPO referencing it as a “cultural touchstone”Trading of pre-IPO Facebook stock on SecondMarket and SharesPost The infamous 2011 Facebook - Goldman Sachs deal attempting to circumvent then-active SEC regulations on number of permissible shareholders in a private company, and Goldman’s eventual loss of “lead left” status to Morgan Stanley for the ultimate Facebook IPO Facebook’s S-1 filing on February 1, 2012The company’s "small problem" at the time (read: gaping chest wound) with mobileAcquiring Instagram for $1B while on file to go public in April 2012Facebook’s $16B IPO finally taking place on Friday May 18, 2012, priced at $38 per share giving FB an initial market cap of $104BNASDAQ’s “technical glitch” (read: egregious f*&# up)  preventing the stock from trading when it supposed to and resulting in $500M of investor lossesFacebook’s stock tanking following a flat first day of trading, losing 25% of its value during the first month and over 50% 4 months later, leading some to label it “The Biggest IPO Flop Ever"Later revelations that Facebook had  unprecedentedly lowered revenue guidance during its IPO roadshow due to continuing challenges with mobile, resulting in an information asymmetry between its underwriting investment banks and their institutional investor clients versus the investing public at large How, from the ashes of its “broken IPO”, Facebook amazingly rose to fix its mobile problem at lighting speed, going from mobile comprising zero percent of ad revenue to 23% in one quarter, and over 50% one year laterZuckerberg's belief that the difficult IPO process and "terrible first year” as a public company "made our company a lot stronger”… and silicon valley’s bizarre, antithetical and counter-productive take away to “stay private longer” Followups: The scoop on Microsoft’s use of foreign cash to buy Skype, thanks to longtime listener and friend Nick Seguin Hot Takes:Twitter shutting down (or selling?) Vine The Carve Out:Ben: Amazon employee #1 Shel Kaphan on the great Internet History PodcastDavid:  Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna
11/11/16·1h 27m

Episode 24: Skype

An acquisition so wild and crazy, they had to do it again. And again. Ben & David cover tech’s perhaps most-traded asset, Skype (which also happens to be a fantastic business). How do we even know which deal to grade? Tune in to find out… Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe Topics covered include: Community spotlight: Slack community member Swyx’s financial data research startup Sentieo! Skype founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis’s meeting in the 1990’s at Swedish telecom company Tele2Zennström & Friis’s introduction to talented Estonian developers Jaan Tallinn, Ahti Heinla, and Priit Kasesalu as part of Tele2’s efforts to jump into the dot com “portal mania” Skype’s origins in the technology powering Zennström, Friis and the Estonians’ first startup endeavor together: the peer-to-peer file sharing platform KazaaThe “complicated” legal, technological and ownership situation for Kazaa and Skype Skype’s “unique” corporate culture, including a swimming pool in the board room and shots for initiating new employees The  first Skype acquisition: eBay’s 2005 deal to acquire the company for $2.6B, just two years after launchCulture clash between eBay and Skype management, and further legal drama regarding Skype technology ownership post-acquisitionThe  second Skype acquisition: eBay’s 2009 decision to spin the company out to a private investor consortium including Silver Lake and the newly-formed Andreessen Horowitz  The third (and final?) Skype acquisition: Microsoft’s $8.5B purchase of the company in 2011Skype as a “crossover” product with viable market opportunities both in consumer and enterpriseBill Gurley’s “Keys to the 10X Revenue Club” and the power of Skype’s organic customer acquisition model  Followups:  The Google iPhone… err, Pixel!   Hot Takes:  AT&T’s $85B mega-acquisition of Time Warner… making America great again, or rebuilding the T-1000?  The New York Times acquiring The Wirecutter  The Carve Out: Ben: Sam Altman’s Manifest DestinyDavid:  SOMA the Musical starring our very own Acquired listener, the brilliant and talented Jake Saper!
02/11/16·1h 25m

Episode 23: NeXT (Live show at the GeekWire Summit)

Ben & David broadcast live from the 2016 GeekWire Summit covering one of the all-time greats, Apple’s 1996 acquisition of NeXT. This episode has it all: the Steve Jobs hero story, Apple, I.M. Pei, Ross Perot, Aaron Sorkin, Nobel Laureates and… Gil Amelio? Does NeXT rank atop the best acquisitions ever? Our own heroes cast their votes. Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeTopics covered include: 1980’s era Apple, entering the age of the “workstation”, with John Sculley as CEO and Steve Jobs leading the newly formed SuperMicro division working on building the “BigMac" Jobs’ exile to "Siberia”, and chance meeting with Nobel Laureate Paul Berg that sowed the seeds of NeXTJobs’ resignation from Apple on September 13, 1985 to start NeXT, taking with him SuperMicro division employees Joanna Hoffman, Bud Tribble, George Crow, Rich Page, Susan Barnes, Susan Kare, and Dan'l LewinApple’s subsequent lawsuit against Jobs and,  Steve’s classic quote in response: "It is hard to think that a $2 billion company with 4,300-plus people couldn't compete with six people in blue jeans."NeXT’s “anti lean startup” approach, spending $100k on brand identity and moving into I.M. Pei designed offices Ross Perot’s $20M investment in NeXTThe first NeXT computer (fun unboxing video) product launch, dubbed "The NeXT Introduction” on October 12, 1988 (one of the three scenes in the Aaron Sorkin Steve Jobs movie)The NeXTSTEP operating system as the first “modern” OS (including Object-oriented programming), and like the Mac equally descended from Xerox PARCMajor technologies developed on NeXT computers, including the first web browser and Doom NeXT’s exit from the hardware business and transition to a software-only model with OPENSTEPApple’s  failed internal projects to develop a modern OS, culminating in the acquisition of NeXT in December 1996Steve Jobs’ return to Apple, public lack of faith in the then-current board and management, and maneuvering to return to the CEO roleThe transformation of NeXTSTEP/OPENSTEP into OS X, and ultimately iOS, watchOS, tvOS, etc.   The Carve Out: Ben:  Stewart Butterfield (Cofounder/CEO of Slack) on the The Ezra Klein ShowDavid: DJI and the  Rise of the Robomasters
23/10/16·1h 9m

Episode 22: Zillow + Trulia (with Zillow Group CFO Kathleen Philips)

CFO of Zillow Group Kathleen Philips joins Ben and David to cover the show’s first true “merger” versus “acquisition" (only took 22 episodes!), Zillow’s 2015 combination with Trulia to form Zillow Group.   Note: our audio glitches unfortunately continued on this episode, and quality is rough. We recommend listening on speakers vs headphones if you’re able. We apologize and will be back to normal quality next time! Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeTopics covered include: Zillow and Trulia’s beginnings during the “Web 2.0” era in the mid-2000’s Zillow, Trulia and other online players’ place within the massive US real estate marketThe lengthy “dance" between Zillow and Trulia and earlier aborted merger talks between the twoThe difficulty of "true mergers” among private companies and why the path is easier for public companies Public company shareholders’ influence and role in M&A transactions Details of the blazingly fast negotiations (27 days start to finish!) per disclosures in the  SEC filings (scroll down to "Background of the Mergers”)Structuring the deal and incentivizing Trulia and Zillow mangers to stay and continue growing as separate brandsTrulia cofounder Sami Inkinen’s whereabouts during the merger negotiations The experience going through a lengthy FTC review of the merger, and defining what the relevant “market” is the FTC should be consideringIntroducing our new acquisition category: a “timeline acquisition” ;) (h/t Kathleen)Zillow Group’s overall approach to acquisitions, folding into its broader HR strategy Zillow founder Rich Barton’s startup thesis of searching for "What piece of marketplace information do people crave and don’t have?"  Followups: Snap Inc. Spectacles!   Hot Takes: Twitter-Disney rumors, according to “people familiar with matter”! AppLovin’s journey from bootstrapped startup to $1.4B exit  The Carve Out: Ben: The Marvel Symphonic UniverseDavid:  Shoe Dog by Phil KnightKathleen: The Struts
14/10/16·1h 17m

Episode 21: Inside the M&A Press with Bloomberg's Alex Sherman

Ben and David go inside the M&A press with Bloomberg’s technology M&A reporter and host of the Deal of the Week Podcast, Alex Sherman. If you’ve ever wondered how stories about big deals get broken or what “according to people familiar with the matter” really means, tune in for the behind-the-scenes scoop!   Note: A technical glitch with our recording setup created occasional short silences between Alex’s comments and Ben & David’s. It shouldn’t impact listenability, but we apologize for the awkward pauses! Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeTopics covered include: Bloomberg’s own fascinating “history & facts” and origins following the acquisition of storied Wall Street firm Salomon Brothers Bloomberg’s core as a highly profitable technology business (selling terminals to Wall Street firms), with a large media empire built on top of itThe tradable value of breaking M&A news & information to Bloomberg’s terminal customers, and competing on speedHow “sources" work — and industry standard that sources be directly within the companies involved in a dealThe coded language of M&A reporting and gleaning where information is coming from based on a story’s structure and phrasingThe lifecycle of a story—steps from sourcing to writing to release, and reasons (or lack thereof) for why stories run when they doInternal & external PR resources companies use for M&A How Alex prioritizes his time researching and creating stories, and who he’s meeting with to hear about what deals are in the works The difference between ‘news' and ‘analysis', and why news dominates the majority of stories versus deeper analysisMedia and social media business models, their evolution in the messenger world, and speculation on Twitter’s futureHow entrepreneurs can think about interacting with the press and building relationships with the right reporters for their stage and spaceApple’s ‘unique’ approach to press relations   Followups: Instagram announces 500k+ active advertisers, up from 200k in February 2016 Amazon stock price surpasses $800/share  Hot Takes:  Ford acquires Chariot The Yahoo! data breach and  potential impact on their acquisition by Verizon   The Carve Out: Ben: Phil of Drones’ Burning Man 2016 recap videoDavid:  Algorithms to Live By by Brian Christian & Tom Griffiths Alex:  Clinton’s Samantha Bee Problem, by Ross Douthat in the NYT Opinion Pages
27/09/16·1h 24m

Episode 20: Android

Ben & David examine Google’s 2005 purchase of Android for a rumored $50M, undeniably one of the best technology acquisitions of all time. But will it top the list of these tough graders? Tune in to find out. Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe   Topics covered include: Welcome new listeners! We quickly review the show format for newbies. Community spotlight: Patagonia on a Budget from community member Matt Morgante (@mattm on Slack)Andy Rubin’s career trajectory and what made him “born to start Android"The undeniable “cool factor” of the Danger Sidekick in the early/mid-2000’s, including fans such as  Larry Page, Sergey Brin and… Turtle from Entourage Android’s original ambition to build an operating system for…  digital camerasWebTV founder Steve Perlman is  pretty much the best friend ever Google’s own perspective on Android as their “best deal ever"The Android team’s reaction to Steve Jobs unveiling the iPhone in January 2007, and redesigning the initial launch hardware Announcing Android and—equally importantly—the Open Handset Alliance (“OHA”)The much-talked-about "mobile holy wars", between Android’s “open” platform and Apple’s “closed” platform The less-talked-about US carrier wars with the iPhone + AT&T in one camp, and everyone else in the Google / OHA camp (including “Droid Does”)A quirk of history: HTC at one point acquires a majority share in Beats, resulting a short-lived period of  Beats-branded Android phones (still available on Amazon!)The real battleground for Google in the mobile platform wars: the economics of “default search” (briefly known thanks to the  Oracle/Java lawsuit against Google) Google’s detour into smartphone hardware with the acquisition (and subsequent divestiture) of Motorola The “fork-ability” of Android via the Android Open Source Project (versus “Google Android”), and the rise of Xiaomi, Cyanogen, Kindle Fire and other platformsThe ecosystem economics of the Android business for Google “Defensive” versus “offensive” acquisitions, and protecting Google’s core search business Could (or would) Google have built an Android-like platform without acquiring Android the company (or having Andy Rubin)?Framing the technology world’s shift to mobile within (surprise) Ben Thompson’s Aggregation TheoryThe current “moving up the stack” of the competitive playing field as the mobile landscape matures Grading: Android versus Instagram?  Followups:  Waze launches Carpool in the Bay Area.  Much consternation ensues on the Uber board.  Hot Takes: The iPhone 7 (and AirPods) announcement   The Carve Out: Ben:  Business Adventures by John Brooks, Bill Gates’ favorite business bookDavid: Ezra Edelman's fantastic 5-part ESPN documentary on O.J. Simpson, O.J.: Made in AmericaNone this week… coverage of Instagram Stories to come next time!
16/09/16·1h 20m

Episode 19: Jet

Ben & David break down Jet.com’s meteoric rise, culminating in Walmart’s blockbuster $3B+ acquisition of the company just two years after its founding. Will we look back on this deal as an ‘Instagram-like’ bargain or a ‘Pets.com'-sized blunder? And most importantly, can *anyone* compete with Amazon going forward? We speculate wildly. Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe  Topics covered include: Community spotlight: Nowdue, a super fast invoicing platform for teams on Slack. Invoice like it’s the future! This looks very cool. Jet’s deep origins in Founder & CEO Marc Lore’s first two companies, The Pit and Quidsi (aka, diapers.com) Lore’s  chance run-in with Jeff Bezos at a school picnic in Seattle in the early 2000’sAmazon's dramatic acquisition of Quidsi in 2010, including Bezos’ admonition to Amazon corp dev to keep Quidsi from being bought by Walmart under any circumstances (covered well in  The Everything Store)Lore’s  less-than-favorable opinion of Amazon's culture Lore's vision of Jet as an ‘online Costco’ that can directly with Amazon on price by selling goods to a “huge middle-class of people" at effectively zero margin, and make profit on membership feesJet’s  huge,  pre-launch  fundraising rounds, and subsequent  massively promoted public launch in July 2015Jet’s pivot in October 2015 to  drop the membership model (their only profit engine), and subsequent massive growth (but also accompanying massive losses) 'Admitting defeat” to Amazon in July 2016? Immediately followed by the  blockbuster $3B+ Walmart acquisition announcementIs e-commerce really a winner-take-all business and will Amazon just take over the world? Featuring liberal citations (again) of Ben Thompson's Aggregation Theory and the importance of customer experience. Is there any path for Walmart & Jet to compete effectively with Amazon? Is Marc Lore Walmart’s only hope?Fantastic  interview with Tim Cook discussing (among other things) the massive amount of growth still left in the internet   Followups: Lucasfilm: Star Wars Rouge One trailer drops! Featuring a strong female protagonist!   New section: Hot Takes! (thank you @cteitzel on Slack for the idea)  Verizon/AOL acquires Yahoo!Lyft reportedly turns down acquisition offer from GM Microsoft acquires Beam Randstad acquires Monster.com   The Carve Out:Ben: Michael Mauboussin’s Talk at Google and Reflections on the Ten Attributes of Great Investors after thirty years of honing his craftDavid: Strava, the fantastic social fitness-tracking appNone this week… coverage of Instagram Stories to come next time!
29/08/16·1h 11m

Episode 18: Special—An Acquirer’s View into M&A with Taylor Barada, head of Corp Dev at Adobe

Ben & David are joined by special guest Taylor Barada, VP and Head of Corporate Development & Strategic Partnerships at Adobe, to discuss how large tech acquirers approach buying companies. This episode is full of great insights for startups & entrepreneurs who might find themselves navigating the M&A process, as well as anyone curious about the craft of dealmaking and the strategic approach of large acquirers. Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe Topics covered include: How conversations begin between startups and acquirersThe importance of building a relationship with acquirers over time and "investing in lines, not dots” (just like raising VC)The often under-appreciated role of culture fit between acquirers and acquisition targets How entrepreneurs should evaluate acquirers throughout the M&A process Two examples of successful acquisitions Taylor completed at Yahoo in Citizen Sports and IntoNowThe M&A process at large technology acquirers, from initial conversations to LOI, due diligence and the definitive merger agreement The relative roles of Corp Dev, business/product owners and executive sponsors in the M&A processCommon mistakes startups (and VC’s) often make in the M&A processDifferent “categories” of M&A that acquirers think about, and the relative risks & opportunities of “core" acquisitions vs transformative new businesses What percentage of deals Adobe looks at actually happen, and the importance of being willing to say noM&A as a tool for strategy, and the different M&A cultures & approaches at different companies Tech themes Taylor and Adobe think about as part of their M&A strategyEvaluating the longterm success of deals and the importance of the M&A integration function   Followups: Ben & David’s quick take on Instagram Stories!   The Carve Out: Ben:  Why the Concorde failed by VoxDavid: Simone Biles,  the greatest gymnast of all timeTaylor:  Mindset by Carol Dweck,  Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam GrantNone this week… coverage of Instagram Stories to come next time!
22/08/16·1h 10m

Acquired Episode 17: Waze

Topics covered include: Community Showcase: the Nexcast podcasting platform from listener Brian Sanders, along with their podcast chronicling the team’s journey building the company Waze’s origin in cofounder & CTO Ehud Shabtai’s desire to hack his portable GPS navigation unitWaze CEO Noam Bardin’s  retrospective blog post on the Waze journey  Waze’s Palo Alto office and the bizarre Silicon Valley phenomenon of tech companies being located in retail storefronts Apple’s  ill-fated launch of Apple Maps as part of iOS 6 at WWDC 2012, Apple’s subsequent apology letter, and  Scott Forstall’s ultimate ouster from the company The climax of the mobile platform wars… which it turns out Apple and Google  both won Apple, Facebook, and Google all vying to acquire Waze throughout 2013 Google’s renewed design ethos under Larry PageBen and David spontaneously agree (surprise) to create on a new category of acquisition for the show The increasing strategic value of data and data assets as technology enters the age of machine learning The coming mega trend of autonomous vehicles, and  the role Israeli startups are playing in it (including the globalization of startups & innovation)The disruptive power of network and data-based business modelsEmergence of native as *the* definitive advertising medium on mobile, including ability to close the advertising loop via location-based products and services Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeThe Carve Out:Ben: Weezer’s “Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori” on Song Exploder David:  Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” TED Talk  Followups: None this week… coverage of Instagram Stories to come next time!
03/08/16·1h 7m

Acquired Episode 16: Midroll + Stitcher (acquired by Scripps)

The meta show: Ben and David turn their gaze inward and examine the podcasting industry through E. W. Scripps’ recent acquisitions of the Midroll podcast advertising network and Stitcher podcast client. Featuring discussion of our own product process and metrics at Acquired. Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeAnnouncements: We’re pivoting! (not really) Our new show description: A Podcast About Technology Acquisitions That Actually Went WellBut we are launching a new feature! Since so many of you, our listeners, are also tech and startup folks and/or other builders, we wanted to create a space to feature cool products, companies and side projects you’re working on. Thus we’re adding a "Community Showcase” section to the show. If you’d like to be included just send us a Slack message or email, and we’ll choose one submission to feature on each show. This episode we’re highlighting BESTR, from community member David Resnick (aka @the_rezonator in Slack), which is an online platform to share lists of great things. Check it out and let David know what you think.   Topics covered include: Top Google search results for “acquired podcast"Midroll’s origins in the comedy podcast Comedy Bang Bang (now an tv show on IFC) and exit last year to Scripps The structural challenges inherent to podcasting as a medium and the gap between audience size/engagement and industry revenuesOpportunities for independent podcasters and our own audience and business metrics at Acquired Stitcher’s long corporate history as a venture backed company, first acquisition by French music company Deezer, and now second acquisition from Deezer by ScrippsProblems with Stitcher as a product and industry reaction to the acquisition including John Gruber's response, Ben Thompson’s article on Stratechery, and Ben & James Allworth's discussion on their excellent podcast ExponentHandicapping Stitcher+Midroll’s chances for success within Scripps, and opportunities for new startups & innovation in the podcasting spacePioneer Square Labs’ own past efforts in the podcasting space and their process for evaluating potential new company ideas Shoutout to Pocket Casts and our listeners down under   Followups: Twitch: bringing tipping onto the platform with the  launch of Cheering + Bits (H/t Slack community member jamesk)Facebook Instant Articles:  pour one out for Facebook Paper (developed by the Push Pop Press team)LinkedIn: the hotly anticipated SEC filing detailing all the negotiation drama is now live (scroll down to "Background of the Merger” on p.31)  The Carve Out: Ben: Mark Titus, AKA @ClubTrillion is joining the RingerDavid: OKR’s and regular goal setting, including great “how to" from  GV partner Rick Klau
12/07/16·1h 2m

Acquired Episode 15: ExactTarget (acquired by Salesforce) with Scott Dorsey

Ben and David return to make their first foray into enterprise software, covering Salesforce’s $2.5B acquisition of ExactTarget in 2013 with the help of special guest and ExactTarget cofounder & CEO, Scott Dorsey.   Technical note: due to an issue we didn’t catch during recording, audio quality is significantly lower than usual for this episode (especially David’s voice). We apologize but hope you’ll give it a chance anyway— Scott offers great wisdom & insights, and the ExactTarget success story is a inspiring one underdog entrepreneurs, especially (but not limited to!) anyone located in the Midwest or elsewhere outside of traditional "Silicon Valley-style” tech hubs. Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeTopics covered include: The decision to start ExactTarget post-internet bubble and in Indianapolis, with zero software experience between Scott and cofounders Chris Baggott & Peter McCormickRaising initial money from friends & family, followed by early investment and mentoring from Indianapolis venture pioneer Bob ComptonBuilding and scaling a great sales organization within a technology companyThe importance of focusing early on a clearly defined target market (SMBs in the case of ExactTarget), and then “stair-stepping” up as the product and business scale grow over timeExactTarget’s unsuccessful first IPO filing during the financial crisisBuilding a "capital-efficient” early stage company, and the value of raising growth capital at the right time to step on the acceleratorThe value of “secondary” investments allowing founders, employees & early investors to “stay hungry” by achieving some liquidity along the wayWhen and how to expand internationally and the importance of strategic resellersExactTarget’s second successful IPO filing and life as a public company with quarterly financial reporting to Wall StreetHow the acquisition process played out with Salesforce and other bidders (including reference to ExactTarget’s incredible SEC filing detailing the entire negotiation—scroll down to "Background and Reasons for the ExactTarget Board’s Recommendation”, starting at the bottom of page 13)Approaching the difficult task of integrating a major acquisition involving thousands of peopleThe fun story of ExactTarget’s winning Microsoft as a large customer—including actual sledgehammersScott’s new Indianapolis-based venture studio, High AlphaPlus as always the "hard hitting" analysis across acquisition category, what would have happened otherwise, tech themes—and final grading  The Carve Out Ben: The Talk Show live at WWDC 2016 with Phil Schiller & Craig FederighiDavid: The Score Takes Care of Itself by legendary 49ers coach Bill Walsh, originally recommended by Jack Dorsey [no relation to Scott :) ] at YC Startup School '13Scott: 2016 Scipps National Spelling Bee, including one of the finalists’ favorite words: indefatigable  Followups: Instagram’s incredible user numbers announcement: 500M monthly active users / 300M daily active users
05/07/16·1h 16m

Episode 14: LinkedIn

Ben and David cover the 3-day-old acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft for $26.2 billion. They cover LinkedIn’s founding story by Reid Hoffman, break down their core businesses, analyze recent stock behavior, and speculate on the future of the company inside Microsoft. The big question - were they worth the price tag?Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeItems Mentioned On The Show: Adweek: Snapchat Launches a Colossal Expansion of Its Advertising, Ushering in a New Era for the AppThe Facebook Effect - David KirkpatrickLinkedIn’s Series B pitch deck  LinkedIn’s S-1Microsoft and Apple Double Down - Stratechery NYT Dealbook on stock based compensation at LinkedIn Josh Elman - When people get confused about “BS metrics”Fred Wilson: The Dentist Office Software StoryThe Carve Out: Jeff Bezos at Code 2016 Elon Musk at Code 2016
16/06/16·1h 7m

Episode 13: Push Pop Press (Facebook Instant Articles) with Todd Bishop

Ben and David are joined by Todd Bishop, technology reporter and co-founder of GeekWire, to discuss Facebook's 2011 acquisition of Push Pop Press. Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeHighlights Include: The founding story of Push Pop Press by Kimon Tsinteris and Mike Matas.The evolution of Facebook Creative Labs, Facebook Paper, and eventually, Facebook Instant Articles.Facebook's role in the changing media landscape today.GeekWire's experiments with Facebook Instant Articles, Google Accelerated Mobile Pages, and live video.The Carve Out: The Startup Podcast Season 3 The Future of Technology is in Your Ear (Link to product) The Risk Not Taken
06/06/16·1h 3m

Episode 12: Snapchat

Ben and David tackle their first failed acquisition: Facebook's 2013 offer to buy Snapchat. They cover the fascinating story of Snapchat's creation and growth, their blossoming business model, how it would be different inside of Facebook, and what the future holds.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeItems mentioned in the show:The Inside Story Of Snapchat: The World's Hottest App Or A $3 Billion Disappearing Act?Inside Evan Spiegel's very private Snapchat Story
23/05/16·1h 2m

Episode 11: PayPal

Ben and David return to technology acquisitions by examining a classic: eBay's 2002 purchase of PayPal.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeItems mentioned in the show:  How the 'PayPal Mafia' redefined success in Silicon Valley  - Tech Republic Instagram Will Be a $3 Billion Business This Year: Analyst President Obama and Bill Simmons: The GQ Interview"The Carve Out": Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder -  The Bill Simmons Podcast - Chris Sacca
09/05/16·58m 56s

Acquired Episode 10: Virgin America

Ben and David deviate entirely from the stated purpose of the show, tackling this non-technology acquisition that is so recent, we have no idea if it went well yet. But, the April 2016 acquisition of Virgin America by Alaska Airlines was so fascinating, we had to do it!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoeItems mentioned in the show: Louis C.K. - Everything is Amazing and Nobody is HappyAlaska Acquires Virgin America Investor Deck“Measuring The Moat” Paper - Michael J. MauboussinBusiness Adventures - Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall StreetCarve Out:Michael Mauboussin: "The Success Equation:Untangling Skill and Luck" | Talks at Google
27/04/16·55m 4s

Episode 9: Writely (Google Docs)

Ben and David continue the cloud productivity saga with Google Docs. They examine the suite of acquisitions made by Google with a focus on Writely in 2006. They tackle:The nuts and bolts of the Upstartle (company behind Writely) acquisition, founded by Sam Schillace, Steve Newman and Claudia Carpenter.SaaS offerings in cloud productivity today.Was this a good idea for Google?Google's future bets.A new section: The Carve Out!Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe
29/03/16·49m 38s

Episode 8: Acompli, Sunrise, and Wunderlist (w/ Kurt DelBene)

Ben and David have special guest Kurt DelBene on to discuss Microsoft's acquisition of Acompli, Sunrise, and Wunderlist. Kurt is the EVP of Corporate Strategy and Planning at Microsoft, and joins to discuss Microsoft’s cloud-first, mobile-first strategy, and the importance of being cross-platform in the modern era. They cover: How the app of Outlook Mobile on iPhone and Android came to be.How to decide whether to build vs. buy, and how it plays into the strategy for Office.How to preserve a culture and a team, and how Javier Soltero came to run all of Outlook at Microsoft.The origin of Outlook on the PC, originally led by Brian MacDonald as “Ren”.How to balance a business with competing priorities, and a decision-making framework for acquisitions in a large company.How to measure the success of an acquisition, and how sometimes, it’s not by measuring revenue at all.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe
29/02/16·1h 3m

Episode 7: YouTube

Ben and David test the widely-held belief that YouTube was one of the most successful tech acquisitions of all time. In today's world of next-generation video platforms, mobile video, streaming, and chord-cutting, was it actually a great purchase by Google? As discussed in the show, here is Sequoia's original YouTube investment memo - a rarely-shared gold mine for anyone interested in startup investing.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe
03/02/16·51m 10s

Episode 6: Lucasfilm

Riding closely on the tails of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ben and David cover Disney's 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm. In the episode, they mention Walt Disney's original flywheel diagram, seen below.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe
19/01/16·40m 29s

Episode 5: Siri

In the last episode of 2015, Ben and David discuss Apple's acquisition of Siri. Notable topics include: The founding of Siri by Dag Kittlau, Adam Cheyer, and Chris Brigham.Scott Forstall on the Apple side, and the end of his time at the company.The other Apple acquisitions around Siri, including Topsy, Novauris Technologies, OttoCat.Cue, Spotsetter, VocalIQ, and Perceptio.The team Apple built around Siri post-acquisition, including Alex Acero from Microsoft Research.Speculation on the future of voice and its role in everyday computing.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe
14/12/15·44m 48s

Episode 4: Bungie (with Xbox Co-Founder Ed Fries)

Ben and David are joined by Former Microsoft VP and Co-Founder of Xbox, Ed Fries, to discuss the Bungie acquisition and the development of Halo. Highlights include: Ed’s call with Steve Jobs after the acquisition, and sharing the stage with Steve and Bungie Co-Founder Alex Seropian at the Macworld Keynote.Bungie today, and the unlikely path to get there led by Harold Ryan.How to find something that all parties want to get a deal done, the creation Peter Tamte’s spin-out Mac gaming studio, and orchestrating the division of current Bungie projects and assets with Take-Two, led by Ryan Brandt.Saving a project that’s off schedule and missing the mark, and how Jason Jones led the effort to make Halo 2 a hit at launch.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe
30/11/15·1h 7m

Episode 3: Twitch

Ben and David discuss Amazon's acquisition of Twitch in 2014. Unlike previous episodes, this recent acquisition still has a lot of open questions, and Amazon hasn't publicly reported growth of Twitch since the purchase. Ben and David talk about Justin Kan's original product with Justin.tv, and the transformation into the Twitch that Emmett Shear is running today.Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe
16/11/15·53m 48s

Episode 2: Instagram

Ben and David discuss Facebook's acquisition of Instagram in 2012. Was it a success? If so, what are the criteria that made it work? What lessons can be learned for other acquisitions in the future?Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe
01/11/15·42m 56s

Episode 1: Pixar

Ben and David discuss Disney's acquisition of Pixar in 2006. Was it a success? If so, what are the criteria that made it work? What lessons can be learned for other acquisitions in the future?Sponsors:Pilot: https://bit.ly/acquiredpilot24Statsig: https://bit.ly/acquiredstatsig24Crusoe: https://bit.ly/acquiredcrusoe
15/10/15·38m 8s
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