171 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
    • 4.9 • 994 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.

    Stratechery (with Ben Thompson)

    Stratechery (with Ben Thompson)

    Ben Thompson joins Acquired to discuss the business of Stratechery itself and celebrate 10 years (!) of the internet’s best strategy analysis destination. Even beyond Stratechery’s enormous impact itself on business and tech over the years, Ben’s work inspired a whole generation of business content creators — this show very much included — and it was super special for us to give the Acquired treatment to one of our own heroes. We cover the full history of Ben pioneering the subscription internet media business model (indeed SubStack’s seed round pitch was “Stratechery-in-a-box”), and how + why he’s evolved the business since and is now doubling down both on podcasting and a broader vision of the Stratechery Plus bundle… including for the first time content not made by Ben himself! Tune in and enjoy.


    If you want more Acquired, you can follow our 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 Tiny!

    Links:
    John Gruber’s Daring Fireball Ben’s very first Stratechery post Subscribe to Stratechery Plus

    ‍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 55 min
    Enron

    Enron

    The FTX fraud has dominated headlines now for weeks, during which we’ve debated if and how Acquired could uniquely add to the conversation. Then we realized there was an angle so perfect that we had to drop everything and enter Acquired research overdrive: Enron. Travel back with us to the granddaddy fraud of them all, 2001’s then-largest bankruptcy in US history and the impetus for the famous Sarbanes-Oxley Act. So much of Enron’s history parallels FTX that the uncanniness is almost unbelievable — right down to the same CEO running the two bankruptcies. Sit back and enjoy this crazy tale of villainy, greed, and the nature of humans and money. Maybe just don’t take notes on this one…


    If you want more Acquired, you can follow our 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 Vanta. Vanta is the leader in automated security compliance – making SOC 2, HIPAA, GDPR, and more a breeze for startups and organizations of all sizes. Everyone in the Acquired community can get 10% off using this link. And finally thank you also to Pilot!

    Links:
    Book Andy Fastow as a speaker for your next corporate event! 🤔 Episode sources

    Carveouts!:
    Enron: The Musical Andor Brooks Addiction Walkers Hoka Slides JCal on the Tim Ferriss Show New shirts are live in the ACQ Merch Store!

    ‍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 hr 32 min
    Qualcomm

    Qualcomm

    Qualcomm, or “Quality Communications” — despite being one of the largest technology companies in the world, few people know the absolutely amazing technological and business history behind it. Seriously, this story is on par with Nvidia, TSMC and all the great semiconductor giants. Without this single fabless company based in San Diego, there’s almost no chance you’d be consuming this episode on whatever device you’re currently listening on — a fact that enables them to earn an incredible estimated $20 for every new phone sold in the world. We dive into this story live at the perfect venue: our first-ever European live show at Solana’s Breakpoint conference in beautiful Lisbon, Portugal!


    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 Qualcomm Equation Principles of Communications Engineering by Irwin Jacobs and John Wozencraft Episode sources

    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 to Brex. If you sign up for Brex using this link, Brex and we will send you a free Acquired t-shirt! :) Note: New and existing Brex customers are eligible for this promotion. Promotion runs through December 31, 2022, at 11:59pm PT. To receive an Acquired t-shirt, you must create a free Brex account via brex.com/acquired. Brex terms and conditions apply. If you’re an existing customer, send your t-shirt request to hello@acquired.com from your work email. T-shirts will be mailed within 30 days to the address on the Brex account.

    ‍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 hr 27 min
    Benchmark Part II: The Dinner

    Benchmark Part II: The Dinner

    We sit down with all five current Benchmark GPs for one of their legendary weekly dinners, during which we ask all of the unresolved burning questions from Part 1. How do THEY think about Benchmark v3? What are their day-to-day emotions trying to keep the equal partnership “bending toward greatness? Why is there no growth fund? What does it take to become the next Benchmark GP? Why is there a secret Principal program? We cover all these and much, much more. We also recorded the whole thing on video — which we highly recommend watching even if you normally only listen to the audio feed!


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

    Links:
    Please take our 2022 Acquired Survey if you have a minute. It'd mean the world to us! Dad hats are live in the Acquired Merch Store!   
    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.


    ‍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 58 min
    ACQ Sessions: Jason Calacanis

    ACQ Sessions: Jason Calacanis

    We kick off ACQ Sessions with the-behind-the-scenes story of All-in, from the world’s greatest moderator himself Jason Calacanis. ACQ Sessions is our new, occasional “MTV Unplugged” version of Acquired: a great IRL guest, a bottle (or two) of wine, and no script. We talk about everything you’d imagine we would over wine with JCal — All-In, bestie relationships, money & politics in Silicon Valley, who his influences and mentors have been (one surprise — the great Fred Wilson of USV!), what motivates him to keep grinding and why, at age 50+ when he could easily be winding down he’s instead speeding up into the most productive phase of his entire career. Pour a beverage yourself, pull up a comfy seat and join us!


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


    Survey!
    Please take our 2022 Acquired Survey if you have a minute. It'd mean the world to us!
    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 hr 23 min
    Benchmark Capital

    Benchmark Capital

    Benchmark Capital. We tell the tale of the legendary equal partnership that accomplished something no other venture firm can claim: twice it has produced the highest returning fund of its cycle, each time with a 100% different GP lineup. If ever there were a playbook for successful generational transfer of a generational-defining venture firm, this is it. We spend 3.5+ hours digging into how the dotcom “eBay eBoys” transformed into the rockstar Fab Four of the Uber, Instagram and Snap mobile gold rush (spoiler: not by a straight line!), and what the future holds for Benchmark’s next GP generation. If you’re a student of the venture game from any angle — founder, GP, LP, etc — this is a story you need to tune in for!


    If you want more Acquired, you can follow our 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:
    Benchmark’s website circa 1997 Benchmark’s website circa 2000 Benchmark’s website today Episode sources

    Carve Outs:
    Bill Gurley’s Runnin’ Down a Dream talk Smartless Podcast Mitch Lasky on Invest like the Best Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea Cycle

    ‍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 hr 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
994 Ratings

994 Ratings

anothersoemoen ,

Great show and great topics

Great show and the content is terrific. Topics are really good. Thanks!

buckeye nutt ,

Hands Down Best Biz/Tech Narrative Pod

I plan on naming my first two children Ben and David, regardless of gender.

ycw135 ,

Please do Luxottica

It will be interesting to hear the story of how Luxottica became this huge sunglasses dominating player.

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