56 episodes

A podcast about Silicon Valley, hosted by newsletter writer Eric Newcomer and Tom Dotan, with Katie Benner as a regular special guest.

www.newcomer.co

Dead Cat Eric Newcomer

    • News
    • 4.1 • 17 Ratings

A podcast about Silicon Valley, hosted by newsletter writer Eric Newcomer and Tom Dotan, with Katie Benner as a regular special guest.

www.newcomer.co

    Take a Scooter to Your Local Court House

    Take a Scooter to Your Local Court House

    On this week’s Dead Cat, co-host Tom Dotan and Eric Newcomer talk about the sputtering scooter industry.

    Starting at 36:00 we hear Tom tells us about his jury summons.

    Give it a listen.


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    • 1 hr
    Dream of Semafornication (w/Reed Albergotti)

    Dream of Semafornication (w/Reed Albergotti)

    This week on Dead Cat, Reed Albergotti — the technology editor for the soon-to-be launched media startup founded by Ben Smith and Justin Smith — joined the show to talk about the Biden administration’s executive orders shaping how the U.S. does business with China.

    Albergotti reported earlier this month that the Biden administration is looking to crack down on American investors cutting checks in China.

    He wrote for Semafor:

    Administration officials were particularly alarmed this March by a report in The Information that the Chinese arm of the Silicon Valley venture firm Sequoia Capital has begun raising a new, $8 billion fund for investments in Chinese technology, according to people close to the administration. A Sequoia spokeswoman declined to comment.



    The details of the order could still change, but the administration has considered at least two ways of dealing with U.S. investments in China. One approach would be to require disclosures for any investments in semiconductors, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and potentially other industries like rare earth minerals and electric cars. The other would be to set up a system that would give the government the ability to block investments outright, in the way that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States can block inbound investments from China and other countries.

    A third option being discussed by those involved is to do both. Biden could require disclosure and then, if something problematic arises, take further action to block it. That option is more appealing to U.S. companies and could be just as effective.

    Relatedly, the New York Times reported on another executive order that would expand the power of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to block Chinese investments in the United States. The Times reported that the executive order “directs the committee to consider whether a pending deal involves the purchase of a business with access to Americans’ sensitive data, and whether a foreign company or government could exploit that information.”

    Albergotti helped make sense of the Biden administration’s various executive orders — both planned and announced.

    Albergotti, with co-hosts Tom Dotan, Katie Benner, and Eric Newcomer, speculated about whether a TikTok ban was forthcoming and reflected on Senator Josh Hawley’s TikTok grandstanding.

    In the latter half of the episode, we turned our attention to Patagonia owner Yvon Chouinard’s donation of the outdoor clothing retailer. We discussed the New York Times’ glowing coverage of Chouinard’s donation.

    Or was the media being unnecessarily dour? Was the media being too skeptical by declaring that Chouinard had avoided $700 million in taxes by giving his company away and by comparing him to the shadowy donor Barre Seid, who donated his device manufacturing company to support conservative causes?

    Give it a listen.

    Read the automated transcript


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    • 1 hr 10 min
    What Would Steve Do? (w/Kara Swisher)

    What Would Steve Do? (w/Kara Swisher)

    Dead Cat host Eric Newcomer already said his piece about Kara Swisher’s epic final Code Conference.

    Now you can hear directly from Swisher about what she thought. On this week’s Dead Cat podcast, Tom Dotan and Newcomer catch up with Swisher fresh off her final Code Conference.

    Together, we puzzle over Amazon chief Andy Jassy’s deference to his old boss and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai’s tough time denying that he wanted to buy Pinterest. We talked about Bob Iger’s charm and Swisher’s affection for Mark Cuban.

    We dug into Swisher’s interview strategy.

    We asked her whether her media publication Recode has been a success. Were they aggressive enough ahead of #MeToo? And what’s next for Swisher? Will Pivot replace Code?

    And we quiz Swisher on some of her favorite Code interviews. Why did she tell Mark Zuckerberg to take off his sweatshirt? How did Steve Jobs keep Bill Gates on his toes?

    Then we end the episode with a discussion of her final Code main stage panel — Tim Cook, Laurene Powell Jobs, and Jony Ive.

    Give it a listen.


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    • 1 hr 7 min
    Like, Comment, Subscribe (w/Mark Bergen)

    Like, Comment, Subscribe (w/Mark Bergen)

    Bloomberg’s Mark Bergen is the world’s top Google Kremlinologist, chronicling the rise and fall of technocrats and technologies inside Google parent company Alphabet.

    This week, Bergen published a book on Google subsidiary YouTube called Like, Comment, Subscribe: Inside YouTube’s Chaotic Rise to World Domination.

    That Bergen decided to set his sights on YouTube, Google’s massive user-generated video site, reflects YouTube’s significance inside of parent company Alphabet. The video platform is shaping culture worldwide without receiving Facebook-level scrutiny.

    Dead Cat co-host Tom Dotan and I talked with Bergen on this week’s Dead Cat about his new book and YouTube’s ascendancy.

    We asked:

    Why does YouTube's early legal battle with Viacom explain how YouTube evolved?

    What does it mean that YouTube star PewDiePiew has been displaced by a ubiquitous Mr. Beast?

    Why has YouTube been so weak willed about punishing the worst actors on its platform?

    Give it a listen.



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    • 1 hr 2 min
    Extremely Online (w/ Taylor Lorenz)

    Extremely Online (w/ Taylor Lorenz)

    Taylor Lorenz, a columnist at the Washington Post, has helped to popularize “cheugy,” “OK Boomer,” and, most recently, “nimcels.”

    She wrote about “niche internet micro celebrities,” or nimcels:

    While influencers use their online followings to make money, “for a niche internet micro celebrity, the goal is purely to entertain, versus an influencer,” said Da. “I think this term emerged to distinguish people doing a similar thing to influencers, but for completely different motivations. Being a niche internet micro celebrity feels less capitalist, less ‘I’m a brand.’ ”

    On this week’s Dead Cat, we used Lorenz’s latest story as a jumping off point to talk about the evolution of the terms “creators” and “influencers,” the rise of podcasting, and Lorenz’s various Twitter scrapes.

    Lorenz is a language obsessive and is writing a book called Extremely Online. She doesn’t like the name for the beat most people associate her with — internet culture reporter — since she doesn’t see a sharp line separating the real world and digital life.

    We covered a lot of ground in this week’s episode. We talked about Lorenz’s recent tweet dismissing Dimes Square and her online beef with Marc Andreessen.

    “All these billionaires are so fragile,” Lorenz told us.

    “I love debating tech. I love it,” Lorenz said. “Andreessen had me on their podcast twice and didn’t release either of the episodes.”

    We also discussed Dead Cat co-host Tom Dotan’s latest story on YouTube’s accidental podcast ascendancy.

    He wrote over the weekend:

    Two recent surveys, one by Cumulus Media and one by Voices, showed that YouTube was the most frequently used podcasting platform, edging out Spotify and Apple's podcasting apps.



    Last year the entire podcasting industry made $1.4 billion in ad revenue and is set to surpass $2 billion this year, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. It’s a quickly growing industry but still a drop in the bucket compared to the $29 billion that YouTube made in ad revenue in 2021, or the $209 billion that Google ads made.

    So befitting the provincial, self-referential nature of the podcast industry — we talked about a tiny industry, on an insider-y podcast, with a guest who herself says she’s looking to get into the podcast game.

    Give it a listen.

    Read the automated transcript.

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    • 1 hr 2 min
    Dogfood Your Ideals (w/Ellen Huet)

    Dogfood Your Ideals (w/Ellen Huet)

    Will Marc Andreessen dogfood Adam Neumann’s new real estate startup?

    Will Andreessen be willing to run the same playbook for Flow, Neumann’s new rental real estate company? When is the last time, Andreessen — who called “renting a soulless experience” — actually lived in a rental? Is he willing to give up his $177 million Malibu compound for the shared amenities of a Flow? Andreessen doesn’t seem willing to embrace urban density in Atherton — he and his wife wrote a letter expressing their “IMMENSE objection to the creation of multifamily overlay zones in Atherton.”

    On this week’s Dead Cat, co-host Tom Dotan observed that much of Silicon Valley’s upper crust seems unwilling to put their values into action when it comes to residential real estate: “They’re not going to dogfood it, right? They’re not going to be using their own products in order to fix this larger issue.”

    Co-host Eric Newcomer replied, “The whole tech philosophy is dogfood your product — suffer through your terrible tech product that you’re trying to force on the world, and they won’t even dogfood the world that they want, which is a dense urban life.”

    Eric's former open office neighbor at Bloomberg, Ellen Huet, came on Dead Cat to talk about Neumann’s new company and Andreessen’s nimbyism. Huet wrote about WeWork for Bloomberg, hosted a podcast about Neumann, chronicled housing opposition in Atherton, and now is writing a book about an alleged sex cult called “OneTaste.” She also spent many years living in an intentional living community in San Francisco. So you can fairly say that she has stared deeply into Neumann’s soul.

    We start off the episode talking about the Andreessens’ opposition to new housing in Atherton. Then about halfway through, we get into Flow.

    Give it a listen.

    Read the automated transcript.


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    • 1 hr 3 min

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

CoolBreeze4329 ,

Fun Podcast

Great podcast with interesting guests and a fun dynamic between the hosts! I’m a subscriber to Newcomer

Keepn-it-real ,

🤡 show

Really?!?! Taylor Lorenz?
🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡

EmpireAveNY ,

Love this podcast!

Great commentary and guests, love the hosts. Always a fun listen and one of my favorite tech podcasts!

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