7 episodes

Navigating the marketplace is the original choose-your-own adventure. Thrilling Tales of Modern Capitalism takes a company in the news, and looks at its history to figure out why it finds itself in its present circumstances. Host Seth Stevenson brings you stories you may not have heard about the brands that shape how you live and work. And whether they’ve succeeded or failed, these companies have been on more of an adventure than you may have imagined.

Thrilling Tales of Modern Capitalism Slate Magazine

    • Management
    • 4.5, 73 Ratings

Navigating the marketplace is the original choose-your-own adventure. Thrilling Tales of Modern Capitalism takes a company in the news, and looks at its history to figure out why it finds itself in its present circumstances. Host Seth Stevenson brings you stories you may not have heard about the brands that shape how you live and work. And whether they’ve succeeded or failed, these companies have been on more of an adventure than you may have imagined.

    Thinking Inside the Box | The Story of Domino’s

    Thinking Inside the Box | The Story of Domino’s

    Its chief digital officer called it “an e-commerce company that sells pizza.” Tasters across the country once said its products tasted like cardboard. But by cornering the delivery business early on, Domino’s set itself up for success—a gamble that especially paid off once in-house dining went on pause.
    Podcast production by Jess Miller, with help from Asha Saluja and Megan Kallstrom.
    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Dear Prudence and Slow Burn. Sign up now to listen and support our work.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 25 min
    Kings of Consulting | McKinsey & Company

    Kings of Consulting | McKinsey & Company

    Since its founding in the 1920s, McKinsey has become the gold standard for management consulting. But as its business grew, so did America’s wealth gap. Is that a coincidence?
    Podcast production by Heba Elorbany and Jess Miller with help from Asha Saluja.
    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Dear Prudence and Slow Burn. Sign up now to listen and support our work.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 35 min
    The Fortnite Founder | Tim Sweeney and Epic Games

    The Fortnite Founder | Tim Sweeney and Epic Games

    Epic Games changed the world of gaming with its smash hit, Fortnite. But for founder Tim Sweeney, Fortnite was a culmination of everything he had learned since he received his first computer at age 11.
    Podcast production by Jess Miller and Asha Saluja.
    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Dear Prudence and Slow Burn. Sign up now to listen and support our work.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 22 min
    Swan Thong | The Rise and Fall of Victoria’s Secret

    Swan Thong | The Rise and Fall of Victoria’s Secret

    Although it’s known for making products for women, Victoria’s Secret was created as a shopping experience for men. It hit its stride in the 1990s, with stores in malls across America and a brand built on a very specific kind of fantasy: supermodels, angel wings, and diamond-studded bras. But when this definition of glamour—and retail— began to fall out of fashion, Victoria’s Secret refused to budge. Now, its future is in jeopardy.
    Casey Crowe Taylor is a former Victoria’s Secret employee. Heidi Zak is the co-founder and CEO of ThirdLove.
    Podcast production by Jess Miller, Asha Saluja, and Megan Kallstrom.
    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Dear Prudence and Slow Burn. Sign up now to listen and support our work.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 23 min
    Sanity and Sanitizer | The Story of Purell

    Sanity and Sanitizer | The Story of Purell

    Before this pandemic, the story of Purell was mostly about innovation -- inventing something people needed before they realized they needed it. Now, it’s a story about something every business executive dreams of -- a sudden influx of customers desperate to get their hands on your product.  
    But when demand surges so fast that the leading brand can’t produce enough of it, it results in scarcity and price gouging... and other companies jump in to fill the gap. When life returns to some level of normalcy, will the makers of Purell discover that this moment has birthed a whole raft of new competitors? And will there still be enough unclean hands to go around?
    David Owen is a staff writer at The New Yorker. Matt Cunningham is co-founder of Old Glory Distilling Co. in Clarksville, TN.
    Podcast production by Jess Miller.
    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Dear Prudence and Slow Burn. Sign up now to listen and support our work.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 20 min
    Floating Hellscapes | The Carnival Corporation

    Floating Hellscapes | The Carnival Corporation

    For decades, Carnival Corporation has successfully sold affordable luxury to passengers, becoming the largest cruise ship business in the world. 
    The reason why a vacation at sea can be so inexpensive has to do with both the vision of Carnival’s founder and the historical origins of the cruise industry itself. But that affordability can also come with unpleasant consequences. Now, the entire industry’s future has been thrown into doubt by a deadly virus.
    Cindel Pena was a passenger onboard Carnival’s headline-making “poop cruise.” Ross Klein is a cruise industry expert and professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Jim Walker is a Miami-based maritime lawyer and publisher of Cruise Law News.
    Podcast production by Jess Miller and Asha Saluja.
    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Dear Prudence and Slow Burn. Sign up now to listen and support our work.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 23 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
73 Ratings

73 Ratings

Matt0000002 ,

Great podcast.

Perfect for a jog around the block!

mwoeppel ,

Poorly researched

If you want to listen to some guy tell stories about a subject he knows nothing about this is for you.

I started w the McKinsey episode. He tries to tie the rise of this firm with the fall of “good paying” middle Managment jobs. What he neglects to mention is the the rise of automation that eliminates the tasks that middle managers used to do. Stopped listening when he started blaming McKinsey for income inequality. What a load of it

I thought well, a single clunker - first episode. Listened to 2 more episodes. Equally uninformed. It’s pretty clear this guy has never been in business or bothered to talk to the people that run them. Oh but he did ride on a chartered jet w Victoria secrets models - in the back. So that qualifies him as some kind of expert. Just not business reporting.

missliz ,

First time, a home run!

Really enjoyed this.

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