99 episodes

ACQ2 is Ben and David's conversations with expert founders and investors. Acquired the stories of great companies — and ACQ2 dives deeper into the lessons we can learn from them, often with the protagonists themselves.

ACQ2 by Acquired Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

ACQ2 is Ben and David's conversations with expert founders and investors. Acquired the stories of great companies — and ACQ2 dives deeper into the lessons we can learn from them, often with the protagonists themselves.

    The Software Behind Silicon (with Synopsys Founder Aart de Geus and CEO Sassine Ghazi)

    The Software Behind Silicon (with Synopsys Founder Aart de Geus and CEO Sassine Ghazi)

    If you’ve been waiting for us to venture back to the land of semiconductors, you’re in luck! On our NVIDIA and TSMC episodes, we explored two components of the silicon value chain: the fabless chip companies that design chips and the foundries that manufacture them. Today, we dive into the software that powers it all, the field electronic design automation (EDA). This is essentially the software that enables chip designers to do their jobs, which has changed dramatically with the rise of AI.
    This interview is with two people who understand that world better than anyone: Aart de Geus, the co-founder and Executive Chair of Synopsys, and Sassine Ghazi, Synopsys’s CEO and President. Aart founded the company in 1986, and was CEO until January 2024 when he handed the reins to Sassine. Synopsys is now worth $80 billion, with virtually every chip company as a customer or partner for everything from AI to 5G to automotive. Aart and Sassine talked with us about the future Moore’s Law, where chip makers are finding efficiencies today, how we got here, plus a bonus section on simulation and their $35 billion acquisition of Ansys. Enjoy!
    Sponsors:
    Quartr

    • 1 hr 16 min
    The Scientific Journey Behind Ozempic (with Lotte Bjerre Knudsen, Novo Nordisk's Chief Scientific Advisor)

    The Scientific Journey Behind Ozempic (with Lotte Bjerre Knudsen, Novo Nordisk's Chief Scientific Advisor)

    On our Novo Nordisk episode, we covered the business of Ozempic, the GLP-1 taking the world by storm. On this episode, we dive into the science of the molecule semaglutide (and its predecessor liraglutide) with the world expert on the topic, Lotte Bjerre Knudsen. Lotte is Novo Nordisk’s Chief Scientific Advisor, and led the research group back in the early 1990s that first invented the molecule. A few topics from our conversation:
    The science behind what is happening in the body that causes weight loss while on OzempicWhat it was like in the 1990s and 2000s believing in a drug for a problem that the rest of the industry (including her own company) had written offHow weight loss was actually a goal from the very start — not just a side effect of diabetes medication like you often read today!
    Sponsors:
    Quartr

    • 1 hr
    Visa Follow-Up and Today’s Payments Ecosystem (with Gaurav Ahuja)

    Visa Follow-Up and Today’s Payments Ecosystem (with Gaurav Ahuja)

    We’re joined by Imprint cofounder and Thrive General Partner Gaurav Ahuja to dive deeper into the modern payments ecosystem and Visa’s current place within it. Gaurav was one of our research sources for the Visa episode, and we wanted to bring his insights to you all too. We discuss whether Visa really should be worried about eroding interchange fees, the impact of realtime payments systems, opportunities for startups and whether the Visa / Mastercard duopoly could really be overthrown. Tune in and enjoy!
    Links:
    https://www.federalreserve.gov/paymentsystems/files/Avg_IF_by_PCN.pdf
    Sponsors:
    Quartr

    • 1 hr 35 min
    Morgan Housel

    Morgan Housel

    We sit down with Morgan Housel, who is one of our very favorite authors and has also become a good friend of the show over the past few years. Morgan’s last book The Psychology of Money had a huge impact on both of our personal financial philosophies (and by extension Acquired’s!), and Morgan was kind enough to give us an advance copy of his new book launching tomorrow, Same as Ever. It’s equally as good, and maybe even more relevant in the current environment for thinking about what’s not going to change as we cycle through vastly different macro financial environments. Tune in and enjoy!
    Links:
    Morgan’s new book Same as EverThe Psychology of MoneyMorgan’s blog on Collaborative Fund and on TwitterMorgan’s new podcast!
    Sponsors:
    Quartr

    • 1 hr 38 min
    Doug Demuro on Analyzing the Car Industry, Creator-Led Businesses, and Porsche Episode Follow Up

    Doug Demuro on Analyzing the Car Industry, Creator-Led Businesses, and Porsche Episode Follow Up

    While preparing for our Porsche episode with Doug DeMuro, we had a lot more than Porsche to discuss… but the episode was already over 3 hours! We decided to save the rest for its own episode, released here on ACQ2. Doug helped us understand what’s going on with the car industry supply chain in 2023, the transition to electric vehicles, the car dealership business model, and how most consumer car purchase decisions really get made.
    We also got to talk with Doug about his business empire. In addition to his YouTube channel with ~5 million subscribers, Doug started a car marketplace called “Cars and Bids”. Earlier this year, Doug took a $37 million investment from The Chernin Group, and Doug walked us through that transaction and what it’s been like going from “indie creator” to a large and more professionalized organization. And of course, there’s some discussion on our Porsche episode together.
    Links:
    Cars and Bids!Doug on YouTube and Twitter
    Sponsors:
    Quartr

    • 1 hr 28 min
    Generative AI in Video and the Future of Storytelling (with Runway CEO Cristobal Valenzuela)

    Generative AI in Video and the Future of Storytelling (with Runway CEO Cristobal Valenzuela)

    We sit down with RunwayML’s CEO Cristobal Valenzuela to discuss the incredible tools they’re bringing to film and video creators (including last year’s Best Picture “Everything Everywhere All at Once” from A24), and the history + current state of the “visual” branch of generative AI. We cover how they’ve gone to market with both creators and enterprises, the potential for much more radical future use cases, and the company’s recent $141m strategic raise from Google, Nvidia + Salesforce and the context of the current AI fundraising landscape. Tune in!
    Links:
    RunwayFollow Cris on Twitter
    Sponsors:
    Quartr

    • 57 min

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