165 episodes

Every company has a story.

Learn the playbooks that built the world’s greatest companies — and how you can apply them as a founder, operator, or investor.

Acquired Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal

    • Technology
    • 4.8 • 12 Ratings

Every company has a story.

Learn the playbooks that built the world’s greatest companies — and how you can apply them as a founder, operator, or investor.

    Replay: Sequoia Capital

    Replay: Sequoia Capital

    Welcome to a new experiment here at Acquired: Replays! We realized many of you have joined us recently and haven’t heard older episodes — so we’re re-releasing some of our “greatest hits”.
    Today we’re starting with one of our very favorite Acquired series: the legendary Sequoia Capital. This is a 2-part series that we’ve edited into one episode: the first part is the story of the firm and its founder, Don Valentine, and the second is our interview with Doug Leone.
    Let us know what you think about this experiment, and tell us in Slack what episodes we should revisit in the future!

    If you want more Acquired, you can follow our newly public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!).

    Sponsor:
    Thank you to Tegus for sponsoring this episode! Tegus is the world’s leading company intelligence platform, containing thousands of fully transcribed, searchable interviews with experts on companies of every stage and sector – all accessible online and on-demand. They’re trusted by great firms like Benchmark, Spark, Thrive, First Round, Redpoint, MITIMCo, IGSB and more. You can learn more and get a free trial by clicking here. Just tell them that David and Ben sent you when you get in touch!
    Links:
    Silicon Valley’s “Traitorous Eight” Don Valentine’s lecture at Stanford GSB Berkeley’s oral history with Don
    ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.

    • 2 hrs 50 min
    Amazon Web Services

    Amazon Web Services

    So, how DID an online book retailer end up building the infrastructure layer that powers the entire internet? (Or at least 39% of it, per latest market share data.) While many myths, legends, and some downright falsehoods exist, the real answer to that question deserves a full Acquired episode of its very own. So here it is: the story of Amazon Web Services. Who’s got the truth? Tune in and find out. :)


    If you want more Acquired, you can follow our newly public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!).


    Sponsors:
    Thank you to our presenting sponsor for all of Season 11, Fundrise! If you’re considering raising a growth round of capital in the next year, you should definitely explore raising some of it with the Fundrise Innovation Fund. Just email notvc@fundrise.com, and tell them Ben & David sent you. And if you’re an individual looking for exposure to private growth-stage technology companies, you can invest in the Innovation Fund here. Thank you as well to Pilot and NZS Capital! You can register for the next NZS Talkback here.

    Links:
    Steve Yegge’s Platforms Rant (so good!) Ben Thompson on AWS and Snowflake Episode sources

    Carve Outs:
    Moon Knight John Carmack on The Lex Fridman Podcast

    ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.

    • 2 hrs 49 min
    Howard Marks & Andrew Marks: Something of Value

    Howard Marks & Andrew Marks: Something of Value

    We sit down with legendary investor Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital and his son Andrew who, while less-well-known, is also an incredibly accomplished investor in a very different arena: early-stage VC. The purpose of the conversation was to discuss their joint work together on Howard’s all-time most popular memo, “Something of Value”, which made the then-shocking argument that Value and Growth investing are not diametric opposites but rather two sides of the same investing coin. We of course dive deep into that, and also cover plenty of fun Oaktree and investing history, as well as Andrew’s favorite topic: selling (or not selling, as the case may be). This is not one to miss!


    If you want more Acquired, you can follow our public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!).


    Links:
    The Original “Something of Value” Memo Howard and Andrew on Oaktree’s “The Memo” podcast

    Sponsors:
    Thanks to Vanta for being our presenting sponsor for this special episode. Vanta is the leader in automated security compliance – making SOC 2, HIPAA, GDPR, and more a breeze for startups and organizations of all sizes. You might say they’re like the “AWS of security and compliance”! Everyone in the Acquired community can get 10% off using this link. Thank you as well to Brex and to Tiny.

    ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.

    • 1 hr 34 min
    Amazon.com

    Amazon.com

    Amazon. No company has impacted the internet — and all of modern life — more than this one. We’ve waited seven years to do this episode, and are so, so excited to finally dive into every nook and cranny of this legendary company. And of course because we’re Acquired and this is Amazon, we couldn’t contain it all to just one episode… even a 4+ hour one! So today we focus on Amazon.com the retail business, and we’ll have another full episode on AWS coming soon. And because all great series are trilogies, to fully understand Amazon we highly recommend starting first with our previous episode on Walmart, which truly is the giant’s shoulder that Jeff Bezos stood upon. Let’s go!!


    **Big News**
    We've got merch! Check it out at https://www.acquired.fm/store !

    If you want more Acquired, you can follow our newly public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!).


    Sponsors:
    Thank you to our presenting sponsor for all of Season 11, Fundrise! If you’re considering raising a growth round of capital in the next year, you should definitely explore raising some of it with the Fundrise Innovation Fund. Just email notvc@fundrise.com, and tell them Ben & David sent you. And if you’re an individual looking for exposure to private growth-stage technology companies, you can invest in the Innovation Fund here. Thank you as well to Pilot and NZS Capital! You can register for the NZS Talkback here.

    Links:
    Jeff’s first public Amazon interview Our early-Acquired-days interview with Tom Alberg Episode sources

    Carve Outs:
    Rick Rubin on the Lex Fridman Podcast Ursula Le Guin Dissect Season 2 on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Elden Ring (again)

    ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.

    • 4 hrs 23 min
    From NFL to Startup COO to Congressman Regulating Crypto (with Rep. Anthony Gonzalez)

    From NFL to Startup COO to Congressman Regulating Crypto (with Rep. Anthony Gonzalez)

    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 the NFL, he was COO of an Investment Group of Santa Barbara backed startup, and he was one of a small number of Republican congresspeople who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump after the events January 6th.


    If you want more Acquired, you can follow our public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!).


    Links:
    Schoolhouse Rock “I’m Just a Bill”

    Nick Howley and TransDigm on Will Thorndike's new podcast 50x Sponsors:
    Thanks to Vanta for being our presenting sponsor for this special episode. Vanta is the leader in automated security compliance – making SOC 2, HIPAA, GDPR, and more a breeze for startups and organizations of all sizes. You might say they’re like the “AWS of security and compliance”! Everyone in the Acquired community can get 10% off using this link. Thank you as well to Brex and to Tiny.

    ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.

    • 2 hrs
    Walmart

    Walmart

    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 here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!).

    Sponsors:
    Thank you to our presenting sponsor for all of Season 11, Fundrise! If you’re considering raising a growth round of capital in the next year, you should definitely explore raising some of it with the Fundrise Innovation Fund. Just email to notvc@fundrise.com, and tell them Ben & David sent you. And if you’re an individual looking for exposure to private growth-stage technology companies, you can invest in the Innovation Fund here. Thank you as well to Pilot and NZS Capital! You can register for the NZS Talkback here.
    Links:
    Walmart’s 1972 Annual Report Episode sources
    Carve Outs:
    Ted Weschler on the Nebraska Furniture Mart podcast!!! Mario Puzo’s The Godfather (the book) ‍
    Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.

    • 3 hrs 5 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

Migsil ,

Great analysis

Just listened to your episode on MLBam and Disney.l (sent by a friend.) Very good analysis. Keep the great content flowing!

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