Episodes
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.
Published 11/25/19
We're loading up the Acquired live experience and trucking north (for David at least) for our first independent live show in Seattle! Hot on the heels of the company's recent $400m fundraise at a $2.7B valuation, we'll be joined by Convoy CEO Dan Lewis to dive deep into the origins of this massive transportation logistics disruptor.  Register to attend here: http://acquired.fm/liveshow Date: December 17th, 2019 Time: 5:00-8:00pm (subject to change) Location: TBD, Seattle Hope to see many...
Published 11/18/19
On this episode of the Limited Partner bonus show, we are joined by Chetan Puttagunta, General Partner on Benchmark, talking his investment philosophies, enterprise technology trends, and the uniqueness of Benchmark. This episode is a preview of the hour-long LP-only show.
Published 11/11/19
You’ve seen the news. We give WeWork the full Acquired treatment in all its tragic glory, joined by very special guest Dan Primack of Axios. Where did it all go wrong? Why is SoftBank buying 80% of the company? Where does “We” go from here? Tune in.
Published 10/25/19
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!
Published 10/15/19
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.
Published 09/26/19
Special announcement: we're hosting a San Francisco meetup! It's been too long and and we can't wait to see many of you. It will be Wednesday, September 25 2019, exact time and location TBD but likely starting at 6pm. You can register at https://www.acquired.fm/meetup  The event is free, but space will be limited so please only register if you know you can make it.  Hope to see many of you there! -Ben and David 
Published 09/13/19
Ben and David cover the series of three 2004 Google acquisitions that formed the core of the Google Maps we know and love 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!
Published 08/26/19
We’re joined by former Caviar executive Nick Adler for a quick-take on the big news last week in the battle for US food delivery supremacy, DoorDash’s acquisition of Caviar (which was previously owned by Square). With Uber and Lyft newly public and transportation relatively settled (for the moment), the front lines of the global startup capital wars appear to be shifting to this massive and fast-growing industry.
Published 08/12/19
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!
Published 08/06/19
From backwater PBX importer to world’s 2nd largest smartphone producer + 5G leader, Huawei’s spectacular ascent is rivaled only by its spectacular recent events. What’s the story behind this telecom giant, and what does its future portend for global tech? We dive in.
Published 07/22/19
Why people are paying $30 (and investing $33m!) for faster email
Published 06/27/19
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!
Published 06/25/19
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.
Published 06/19/19
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. From working for Steve Jobs as one of Apple Computer’s first employees to 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...
Published 05/27/19
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.
Published 05/11/19
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.
Published 05/11/19
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.
Published 04/24/19
The dawn of the APLUSS era.
Published 03/30/19
Hey Acquired listeners, our latest LP guest conversation was so good, we wanted to share some of it with everyone. We dove deep into the gritty details of SaaS investing and company building with the best in the business, Jake Saper from Emergence Capital. Emergence has been around since the beginning of SaaS and — uniquely for a venture firm — is entirely focused on early-stage investing within it. They were early investors in major successes like Salesforce, Veeva, SuccessFactors, Box and...
Published 03/06/19
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. Is this still Acquired’s canonical A+ with an extra 3.5 years of hindsight? Spoiler alert: yes.
Published 02/26/19
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!
Published 02/19/19
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!
Published 02/03/19
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!!
Published 01/21/19
Get ready for Acquired Season 4: the Attack of the IPOs! We'll be live on the scene this season as some of the tech world's biggest unicorns make their long-awaited public debuts (or at least we all hope). We get in the spirit for the coming season, and share our 2019 predictions in an excerpt from our last Limited Partner episode of 2018. Happy New Year to all!
Published 01/14/19