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Episodes

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

6/17/2018
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Please click here to take the 2018 Acquired Survey. It takes 5-10 minutes, helps us immensely, and you may win a pair of AirPods or equivalent Android-friendly listening accessory (woo!) 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,...

Duration:01:07:54

Season 2, Episode 9: GitHub

6/6/2018
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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. Carve Outs: The Idea MazeInvisible AsymptotesSponsor: Perkins Coiehere

Duration:01:23:45

Season 2, Episode 8: T-Mobile / Sprint

5/21/2018
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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! Links: Seattle Times’ infographic on Bellevue’s wireless company...

Duration:01:21:14

Season 2, Episode 7: PowerPoint

5/4/2018
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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. Links: Robert Gaskins’ definitive history of building PowerPoint: Sweating BulletsAbsolute PowerpointCarve Outs: Mindfulness in...

Duration:01:07:53

Season 2, Episode 6: Spotify’s Direct Listing

4/6/2018
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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...

Duration:01:44:37

Season 2, Episode 5: The Dropbox IPO

3/25/2018
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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! Links: Dropbox’s Y Combinator applicationOriginal Dropbox demo videoCarve...

Duration:01:37:32

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

3/22/2018
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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...

Duration:01:28:02

Season 2, Episode 3: Nest

2/19/2018
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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! Links: Tony...

Duration:01:32:41

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

2/6/2018
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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,...

Duration:01:14:18

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

1/22/2018
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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:...

Duration:01:12:37

Announcement: San Francisco Happy Hour

1/8/2018
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Join us on Tuesday, January 16th at 5:30 in San Francisco for the Acquired Listener Happy Hour! Find out more and RSVP here: http://bit.ly/acquiredhh

Duration:00:00:56

Episode 51: 2017 Holiday Special

12/18/2017
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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. SF Acquired Meetup! Acquired.fmLinks shared experiencesdistribution2017 Carve Outs of the Year: His Dark MaterialsShoe DogWooden on Leadership“The Great AI Awakening”“Founder...

Duration:01:16:08

Episode 50: Apple - Beats

12/11/2017
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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’. SF Acquired Meetup! Carve Outs: HQWooden on LeadershipSponsor: Perkins Coiehere

Duration:01:15:13

Episode 49: The Stitch Fix IPO

12/4/2017
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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. Carve Outs: iPhone XCoach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship...

Duration:01:11:08

Episode 48: Qualcomm - Broadcom

11/20/2017
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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. Topics Covered Include: Intel’s acquisition of...

Duration:00:51:31

Episode 47: The Atlassian IPO

11/6/2017
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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. Topics Covered Include: The Carve Out: Shoe DogBorn to...

Duration:01:05:03

Episode 46: Blue Bottle Coffee

10/7/2017
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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...

Duration:01:02:40

Episode 45: HTC, Google and the Future of Mobile

9/21/2017
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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) Topics Covered Include: Compaq iPAQPalm Treo 650HTC Dream / T-Mobile...

Duration:01:19:26

Episode 44: AOL - Time Warner (with the Internet History Podcast)

9/17/2017
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On this extra-long episode of Acquired, Brian McCullough from the Internet History Podcast returns to discuss perhaps the most (in)famous merger of all time: AOL - Time Warner. Who doesn’t remember the soothing sounds of 56k modems and the timeless phrase, “You’ve Got Mail”? Join us all as we unpack how one of the biggest ISP’s of the 90’s tried to take over the world… and failed. Topics Covered Include: The Carve Out: Give and TakeSeason of the WitchA Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon...

Duration:01:41:33

Episode 43: The Square IPO

8/16/2017
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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. Topics Covered Include: glass blowing businessThe Carve Out: Inside the Hive podcastThe World After Capital on GitBooksSponsor: Perkins Coiehere

Duration:01:15:30