Jan 8, 2021
Episode 191 — Facebook, Twitter, and Trump
Play • 1 hr 6 min

Ben and James discuss whether Facebook and Twitter should de-platform President Trump.


  • Ben Thompson: Tech and Trump — Stratechery
  • Ben Thompson: New Defaults — Stratechery
  • James Allworth: Prioritizing Economics is Crippling the U.S. Economy — Medium
  • Ben Thompson: Trump and Twitter — Stratechery




Podcast Information


Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal
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: * Thanks to Tiny for being our presenting sponsor for all of Acquired Season 8. Tiny is building the "Berkshire Hathaway of the internet" — if you own a wonderful internet business that you want to sell, or know someone who does, you should get in touch with them. Unlike traditional buyers, they commit to quick, simple diligence, a 30-day or less process, and will leave your business to do its thing for the long term. You can learn more about Tiny here: http://bit.ly/acquiredtiny * Thank you as well to Vouch and to Capchase. You can learn more about them at: * https://bit.ly/acquired-vouch * http://bit.ly/acquiredcapchase The New York Times Company Playbook: (also available on our website at https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/the-new-york-times-company ) 1. When you find yourself sitting in front of a big approaching demand wave... ride it!! * The New York (Daily) Times was founded during the newspaper boom of the 1850s, and similarly Adolph Ochs took over the local Chattanooga paper at the start of that city’s mining boom. * The NYT made huge investments in its reporting during the two World Wars as the public’s appetite for news exploded, while its rivals missed the ball worrying over preserving advertising space. Likewise NYT launched The Daily (which would become the biggest podcast in the world) immediately following Trump’s inauguration in early 2017. * Arguably NYT’s biggest business mistake was missing the cable wave -- which Rupert Murdoch leveraged brilliantly to build Fox News into the most valuable news media franchise in the world. 2. Where there’s an entrepreneurial will, there’s an entrepreneurial way. * Adolph Ochs bought the Chattanooga Times with $250 and sellers’ notes, and then acquired The New York Times out of bankruptcy with no personal money down and $100k of real estate debt. And turned them both into successes on a level no one (even himself at times) believed possible. 3. Recurring Acquired theme: the media business is still the second-best business of all time, behind technology. * Media’s ability to generate dual revenue streams (advertising and subscription) from the same content product generates enormous leverage on investment, AND most of those costs are fixed vs. variable (especially in a digital environment). 4. This is why “content is king” has always been true in the media industry. * NYT’s version of this strategy has always been to invest more in high-quality journalism than any of its peers. It was true in 1896 when Ochs took over, true during the World Wars and the Pentagon Papers, and perhaps has never been more true than today when NYT employs 1,700 journalists around the world and pays them an average of >2x the rest of the industry. 5. That said, distribution is critical as well. To build a world-class media organization you must be great at both content AND distribution. * In the old media landscape, NYT built great distribution through its printing and delivery operations, as well as savvy investments like the Index which led to libraries and researchers across the country relying on the Times as the “paper of record”. * However in today’s media landscape, the task of building great distribution falls on the newsroom and journalists themselves. The job is no longer finished once you hit publish -- reporters and editors must own the responsibility of getting their work in front of readers via social media and shareable story elements. Links: * The 2014 NYT Innovation Report: https://archive.org/details/pdfy-59s-4-I2qSvG6MnA/mode/2up * Mine Safety Disclosures’ NYT presentation: https://minesafetydisclosures.com/blog/newyorktimes Carve Outs: Ben: * Titan by Ron Chernow: https://www.amazon.com/Titan-Life-John-Rockefeller-Sr-ebook/dp/B000XUDGHG * Iteratively: https://iterative.ly David: * Sabaa Tahir’s Ember in the Ashes series: https://www.amazon.com/Ember-Ashes-3-Book/dp/B074VDZB17 Episode Sources: * http://www.internethistorypodcast.com/2015/10/martin-nisenholtz-on-bringing-the-new-york-times-online/ * https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/99/09/19/daily/092299tifft-book-review.html?module=inline * https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/0312.html * https://archive.org/details/pdfy-59s-4-I2qSvG6MnA/mode/2up * https://archives.cjr.org/cover_story/sulzberger_at_the_barricades.php * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolph_Ochs * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Hays_Sulzberger * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Fort_Sumter * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Ellsberg * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dotdash * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_D._Morgan * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Jones_(publisher) * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Jarvis_Raymond * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iphigene_Ochs_Sulzberger * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_The_New_York_Times_Company#Television_stations * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_The_New_York_Times_employees * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Nisenholtz * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_York_Times * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_York_Times_Building * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_York_Times_Company * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_journalism * https://fintel.io/so/us/nyt * https://media.foxcorporation.com/wp-content/uploads/prod/2019/09/18223214/Fox-Annual-Report-2019_Mid.pdf * https://minesafetydisclosures.com/blog/newyorktimes * https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2015/08/new-york-times-heirs.html * https://nymag.com/news/features/40647/index4.html * https://nymag.com/news/media/51015/ * https://nytco-assets.nytimes.com/2021/02/Press-Release-12.27.2020-Final-for-posting.pdf * https://stratechery.com/2020/an-interview-with-buzzfeed-ceo-jonah-peretti/?utm_source=Memberful&utm_campaign=f14650dd37-daily_update_2020_11_24&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d4c7fece27-f14650dd37-110888309 * https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0058Z4NOQ/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 * https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316836311/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 * https://www.arcgis.com/apps/Cascade/index.html?appid=86354f1b322a4ec2a548e58ac3e83d49 * https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2012/05/11/new-york-times-sells-its-remaining-stake-boston-red-sox/ey4kwU4m6Xn2PYfcblrMcL/story.html * https://www.enwoven.com/collections/view/1277/timeline * https://www.fool.com/earnings/call-transcript…
3 hr 5 min
The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch
The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch
Harry Stebbings
20VC: Sonos CEO Patrick Spence on His Biggest Lessons Building and Growing Blackberry, The Right Way to View Competition and Innovation Cycles & How To Make The Transition From COO To CEO Most Effectively
Patrick Spence is the CEO @ Sonos, the sound experience company connecting millions of listeners around the world to the content they want. Prior to their IPO, they raised over $450M from the likes of Mike Volpi @ Index, Satish @ Redpoint and e.ventures to name a few. As for Patrick, prior to Sonos, he spent an incredible 14 years with RIM (makers of Blackberry) across multiple different roles. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn: 1.) How Patrick made his way into the world of tech and startups and became an instrumental part of the exec team at Blackberry? How that led to his joining Sonos as COO and later becoming CEO? 2.) How did building and growing RIM influence everything that Patrick does at Sonos? From the battle with Apple, what were Patrick's biggest lessons on the right way to approach competition? How does Patrick think about both partnering with Google today whilst also suing them at the same time? 3.) From COO to CEO: How did Patrick make the transition from COO to CEO so successfully? What were the most challenging elements to scale into? How does Patrick empower his team to have the confidence to stand up and say no to the CEO? How can one encourage debate and dissent in the team? 4.) How does Patrick feel about the role that vulnerability has to play in leadership? How does Patrick approach his own self-doubt as a leader today? How does he manage it? How does he advise founders unsure if they can scale into their leadership roles? What mentors does Patrick have? What has he learned from them? Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode Patrick’s Favourite Book: The Infinite Game: How Great Businesses Achieve Long-Lasting As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here! Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.
37 min
Fintech Insider Podcast by 11:FS
Fintech Insider Podcast by 11:FS
505. Insights: How to build a cashless society
Simon Taylor is joined by some great guests to talk about cashless societies. In recen years the popularity of cash has dwindled as digital payments have become faster, cheaper and more convenient. In the UK, Sweden, China and many parts of the world we’re moving closer and closer to a cashless economy. The panel explores what would happen if we started from scratch now: What would our ideal financial system look like and how can we get from where we are now to where we want to be - and would we use cash at all? Joining us today are: * David Dechamps – Senior Vice President, Digital Payments & Labs for Mastercard in Europe * Joseph Hajj - Chief Strategy Officer, Swish * Nadia Costanzo - Head of Banking for MEA & Latin America at Wise This podcast is brought to you by Jack Henry Digital (https://hubs.ly/H0w__kt0) the pioneer and creator of personal digital banking that helps community financial institutions strategically differentiate their digital offerings from those of MegaBanks, BigTechs and FinTechs. Banking as a Service is deconstructing the banking stack. It's enabling brands to embed finance more easily, and to tailor financial products to specific customer needs. This is presenting new opportunities for specialised providers and offers banks extra revenue streams. Download our report for a comprehensive, no BS view of what Banking as a Service is and what it means for the industry. Head to bit.ly/bankingasaservice (https://bit.ly/bankingasaservice). Fintech Insider by 11:FS is a podcast dedicated to all things fintech, banking, technology and financial services. Hosted by a rotation of 11:FS experts including David Brear, Simon Taylor, Jason Bates and Sarah Kocianski and joined by a range of brilliant guests, we cover the latest global news, bring you interviews from industry experts or take a deep dive into subject matters such as APIs, AI or digital banking. If you enjoyed this episode, don't forget to subscribe and please leave a review Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/fintechinsiders where you can ask the hosts questions, alternatively email podcasts@11fs.com! Special Guests: David Dechamps, Joseph Hajj, and Nadia Costanzo.
39 min
Village Global's Venture Stories
Village Global's Venture Stories
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Making It Easier For Startups To Get Started with Capbase with Greg Miaskiewicz and Sheel Mohnot
Sheel Mohnot (@pitdesi), and Greg Miaskiewicz (@miaskiewicz), join Erik on this episode. Sheel is a Network Leader at Village Global, and Greg is CEO and co-founder of Capbase. They discuss: - How Capbase can help streamline the workflows involved in getting a company off the ground. - How Greg navigated the idea maze and validated his hypothesis. - Why there should be more transparency in investing and startups. - The pros and cons of transparency within a company. - Ethical investing. - How to give feedback as an investor. - How the pandemic changes company formation. - The future of Capbase. *The deadline to get your application in for the spring vintage of the Village Global Accelerator is March 1st! It’s a personalized and tight-knit program with an amazing network of peers, advisors, and experts. Companies that have been through the accelerator have raised from some of the top venture funds in the world, like a16z, First Round Capital, Founders Fund, Lux Capital, True Ventures, Felicis and more. Learn more and apply at www.villageglobal.vc/accelerator! Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.  Check us out on the web at www.villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal. Want to get updates from us? Subscribe to get a peek inside the Village. We’ll send you reading recommendations, exclusive event invites, and commentary on the latest happenings in Silicon Valley. www.villageglobal.vc/signup
39 min
Evolving for the Next Billion by GGV Capital
Evolving for the Next Billion by GGV Capital
GGV Capital
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Today's episode was recorded back in 2019, way before Affirm became a 27 billion dollar public company, and the BNPL (that is buy now pay later) won over young consumers across the world. Before Affirm, Max was known as the co-founder of PayPal, where he designed the company's system to detect fraud. A "fintech nerd", as he called himself and serial entrepreneur, Max shared how Affirm was a product of his guiding principle in life, and how his wife was the voice of reason when defining what was fun for him. This episode is co-hosted by GGV managing partner Glenn Soloman and first appeared on Glenn's podcast Founder Real Talk. For the full transcript of the show, go to nextbn.ggvc.com Join our listeners' community, go to nextbn.ggvc.com/community Disclaimer: This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities or assets are for illustrative purposes only; such references do not constitute any recommendation to either buy or sell such securities or assets and are not intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision, nor do they constitute an offer to provide investment advisory services. Any information provided by third parties in this content does not reflect the views of GGV Capital and its subsidiaries or affiliates. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investors or prospective investors, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon, when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by GGV Capital. Any investment or portfolio company mentioned, referred to, or described is not representative of all investments in vehicles managed by GGV Capital, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results.
54 min
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