Episodes
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...
Published 08/02/22
Published 08/02/22
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...
Published 07/19/22
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...
Published 06/20/22
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! ...
Published 06/06/22
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...
Published 05/19/22
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...
Published 05/16/22
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! If you want more Acquired, you can follow our newly public LP Show feed...
Published 05/12/22
Announcing our final guest for the Arena Show… YC's Anu Hariharan! Amazingly, we’ve never covered Y Combinator itself before on Acquired. That's about to change. :) We'll tell the story of YC Continuity, and how they've quietly become one of the biggest growth investors in the Valley over the past few years.  Link to register: https://acquired.fm/arenashow  Date / Time: May 4, 2022, doors open at 5pm Venue: Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle WA Cost: $20, and all proceeds will be donated to...
Published 05/09/22
For our next Arena Show guest announcement... we have not one, but TWO heavyweights of internet business culture. That's right, live and for one night only, the supergroup of liquid super teams is getting back together. Packy McCormick, Mario Gabriele, Ben and David - reunited in person at last!! We'll be kicking off the evening together with a live Idea Dinner recording, discussing each of our favorite stocks (of course for entertainment purposes, not investment advice!). Packy and Mario...
Published 05/09/22
Yes, you heard that right — we are doing a live show, IN AN ARENA!! Thanks to our friends at PitchBook Data, we have Seattle's brand new Climate Pledge Arena the evening of May 4th, 2022. We are so, so excited for this, and can't wait to see you all there! Details below: Link to register: https://acquired.fm/arenashow Date / Time: May 4, 2022, doors open at 5pm Venue: Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle WA
Published 05/09/22
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...
Published 04/20/22
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...
Published 04/06/22
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! This episode has video! You can watch it...
Published 03/28/22
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...
Published 03/15/22
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...
Published 03/07/22
Like so many, we’ve been both heartbroken and inspired by what’s happening Ukraine. Our friends at Solana and FTX are announcing today that they’ve helped Everstake — a Ukrainian company and the largest Solana validator in the world — set up a DAO called Aid for Ukraine that can 1) accept crypto donations, and 2) directly offramp them into the Ukrainian central bank (in fiat currency) via FTX’s rails. This is — as far as we know — the first project of its kind anywhere in the world, and an...
Published 02/28/22
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! This episode has video! You can watch it on Spotify (right in the main podcast interface) or on YouTube. PSA: if you want more...
Published 02/22/22
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! This episode has video! You can watch it on Spotify (right in the main podcast interface) or on...
Published 02/15/22
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. This episode has video! You can watch it on Spotify (right in the main podcast...
Published 02/10/22
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. PSA: if you want more Acquired, you can follow our newly public LP Show...
Published 01/23/22
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.
Published 12/21/21
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.
Published 12/15/21
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. 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.
Published 12/08/21
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.
Published 12/03/21