The last one is a loaded question, but I guess we call it an Ask Me Anything for a reason!
What’s the origin story of Acquired FM?
How did you two meet and why did you decide to start a podcast?
Also, I’d like to say thanks for a couple of fantastic episodes: Tesla, Xiaomi, Tencent are some of my favourites.
When will you guys do an episode about Robinhood? What do you think about them and their bear case + bull case?
Please mention Freetrade in the episode of course, for us fans.
How do you guys view the 5G space? Are the US just upping the trade war solely to hinder companies like Huawei reaching 5G before them. In Europe it seems like we’re happy to accept the Chinese solution as long as we get 5G
Just listened to the Tesla one yesterday. Absolutely amazing. Listening to the Xiaomi one today and then the Tencent. Good to know I picked the good ones
Oh man. I’m personally excited for the WeWork IPO in September. There are so many people lined up on each side of the bull and bear case, each with super valid arguments. Those make for the best episodes for us when it’s not super clear
Oh man, for sure the true origin story of p2p ridesharing: https://homobiles.org (covered on the Lyft IPO episode)
Recency bias here for sure, but Tobi from Shopify. He has a super non-traditional background for a “big company CEO”, which they are now, at a market cap of $35B. Gamer, open source contributor, and cutting-edge software developer. He also wanted to keep the company a lifestyle business (albeit a really great one) until he realized the potential for how large it could grow, then took capital pretty late to decide to go for it.
Man, it’s hard to untangle motivations of the US government these days… If you believe 5G is an inevitability in the US (which I do), and the US is going to make it very difficult for Huawei to compete, who else could become a large supplier, or could enter the market vacuum that creates? We haven’t dug in enough to say, but it’s an interesting investment thesis…
Haven’t dug into the financial details, but massive upside to consolidation in this space (and any competitive marketplace space) if you can reduce intensity of competition. See discussion with Aaron Easterly on our Rover-DogVacay ep! The Rover-DogVacay Merger (with Rover CEO Aaron Easterly) | History and Strategy | Deep Podcast Case Studies
It’s funny, I’m having to have to scroll back through our episodes to jog my memory. If I had to pick one that was the most difficult to research, it was probably Huawei. We had to first understand the complex corporate structure before diving into the story, and how you could even think about valuing the company or understanding its future prospects. Huawei | History and Strategy | Deep Podcast Case Studies
With the big episodes like Uber, Lyft, and Slack, they’re always tough to research because we feel an obligation to do them “right”, and there’s just so much on those companies.
Thanks David. Love the podcasts guys I only heard about it through this page. All the best for the future guys.
Can’t wait to listen. Thanks for an excellent podcast, Ben!
Come on - you’re asking a couple of venture capitalists to go all in on one company. Diversify, baby!
From David: "I think “failing” is relative… going bankrupt anytime soon? No. Turning into the next generation’s Yahoo? (i.e., hollowed out cores of their former selves) Absolutely. The world changes and products + business models that worked like magic in one environment can become liabilities in the next. Sequoia has a great term for this – “Aircraft Carriers”. You can’t attack them head-on or from above, but you can sink them from below with a submarine. There’s definitely a version of the future where Facebook becomes that… "
David and I were friends when we both worked at Madrona, a venture firm here in Seattle, before he started http://wave.capital and I started http://psl.com. We got drinks occasionally, and wanted a forcing function to hang out and talk tech more often.
I had been noodling on an idea for a podcast about acquisitions that actually went well, and if we could draw patterns from them. I pitched this (and one other way worse idea) to David, and he immediately said, “I’ll 100% do that with you.” Not so much for the other idea
8 months later(!), we launched the show.
Woo! We are (obviously) super bullish on podcasting as well. On your questions:
The best vehicle in the public markets right now is Spotify. I think they have the best shot at building a “Netflix-like” opportunity around podcasting.
The best advice I think is just do it, and the second best advice is keep doing it! Acquired had very, very few listeners for our first year+, but we kept doing it because we loved it. Eventually we got better, and people started listening!
Details here: https://twitter.com/gilbert/status/1072684651947249665
I’m about two-thirds of the way through this episode, really enjoying it so far!
Thanks Lewis! Re: Monzo and other challenger banks entering the US… unclear. We’ve looked at this a bit at Wave. The issue is regulatory barriers for new banks is SO much harder in the US than the UK. Which is why most new finch companies getting started here in the US aren’t technically “banks” (e.g. Robinhood, etc). Some people are thinking that by starting in the UK and getting established it’ll then be easier for challenger banks to hop across the pond to the US. But I’ll believe US regulators allowing that when it actually happens, haha.