100 episodes

GeekWire brings you the week's latest technology news, trends and insights, covering the world of technology from our home base in Seattle. Our regular news podcast features commentary and analysis from our editors and reporters, plus interviews with special guests.

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    • Tech News
    • 4.7, 68 Ratings

GeekWire brings you the week's latest technology news, trends and insights, covering the world of technology from our home base in Seattle. Our regular news podcast features commentary and analysis from our editors and reporters, plus interviews with special guests.

    Congress grills Jeff Bezos; Amazon's big earnings; Microsoft and the NBA

    Congress grills Jeff Bezos; Amazon's big earnings; Microsoft and the NBA

    Big Tech spent back-to-back days in the national spotlight this week between a long-anticipated Congressional hearing and second-quarter earnings reports.

    The juxtaposed events paint a revealing picture of the risks and opportunities companies like Amazon face as they field accusations that they’ve grown too powerful while raking in record profits from customers who rely on their services more than ever.

    We discuss this inflection point for Big Tech, Amazon's blockbuster profits, plus the NBA's partnership with Microsoft Teams, on this week's GeekWire podcast:

    The House antitrust subcommittee interviewed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, along with Apple's Tim Cook, Google's Sundar Pichai, and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg during a wide-ranging virtual hearing on the power of Big Tech.

    Lawmakers grilled Bezos on Amazon’s treatment of third-party sellers, how it prioritized “essential items” during the coronavirus crisis, policing counterfeit goods, and more. They didn’t manage to get Bezos to admit anything particularly incriminating, but his inability to confidently deny their claims about Amazon using its might to compete with third parties spoke volumes. And while members of Congress don’t have the ability to enforce existing antitrust law, they can rewrite those laws if they find them inadequate for the digital age.

    Meanwhile, customers are relying on Amazon more than ever — and it is showing up on the company’s bottom line. The Seattle tech giant blew past Wall Street expectations for its second quarter, reporting $88.9 billion in revenue and $5.2 billion in profits, despite spending $4 billion on COVID-19 initiatives. Amazon also confirmed it has grown to more than 1 million employees and seasonal workers around the world for the first time during Thursday's earnings call.

    During the hearing, Bezos claimed that Amazon has become a lifeline to customers during the pandemic because of its scale, which also allows the company to hire thousands while others are laying off workers across the country.

    But critics want Amazon to invest more of its profits into wages and benefits for employees on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis. Amazon declined to say if it will reinstate its previous hazard pay for its logistics workers or issue additional bonuses.

    Appearing this week are GeekWire's Todd Bishop, Monica Nickelsburg and John Cook. Podcast produced by Curt Milton. Theme music by Daniel L.K. Caldwell.

    • 28 min
    Slack vs. Microsoft; GeekWire Awards recap; Seattle gets Kraken

    Slack vs. Microsoft; GeekWire Awards recap; Seattle gets Kraken

    Slack delivered a surprise this week with the filing of an antitrust complaint against Microsoft, alleging that the tech giant unfairly leverages Microsoft Office to give an edge to its Teams collaboration software. Microsoft responded with a pointed jab of its own, highlighting Slack's subpar video conferencing experience and its own investments in that area.

    What are Slack's chances, and what will be the key issues considered by regulators? And does this mean Microsoft is back in the antitrust hot seat? That's our first topic on this week's GeekWire Podcast.

    In our second segment, we share highlights and takeaways from the GeekWire Awards, and finally we debate the choice of "Kraken" as the name of Seattle's new NHL team. 

    With GeekWire’s Todd Bishop and John Cook. Produced by Curt Milton. Theme music by Daniel L.K. Caldwell.

    • 32 min
    Real estate in the pandemic

    Real estate in the pandemic

    It should've been a banner year for FlyHomes.

    As 2019 drew to a close, the real estate startup had $141 million in fresh funding to fuel the expansion of its novel home-buying service beyond Seattle to Portland, Boston, and Los Angeles. Then, three weeks after announcing the expansion, the first-known U.S. coronavirus case was discovered in Flyhomes' backyard.

    The U.S. real estate market froze as the full scope of the coronavirus crisis came into focus, a nerve-wracking jolt for Flyhomes, which was sitting on several homes the startup purchased on behalf of clients.

    Flyhomes buys houses directly with cash and then holds onto them until its buyer clients secure financing. The goal is to present its customers as the equivalent of cash buyers, helping them gain an edge in competitive markets.

    Despite the uncertainty that marred the initial weeks of the pandemic, FlyHomes managed to close deals on all of the homes it purchased. Since then, the Seattle real estate market has stabilized for the most part, according to Flyhomes CEO Tushar Garg.

    "What we're seeing right now is a high demand in the buying market, less inventory, and we're not anticipating that to change anytime soon," Garg said.

    We caught up with Garg to hear his perspective on leadership, the real estate market, and more as part of a special GeekWire Podcast series highlighting finalists for the upcoming GeekWire Awards, a live virtual event at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 23. Garg is one of five finalists for Startup CEO of the Year.

    • 19 min
    GeekWire Awards Preview: Airbnb cleaning startup Neu

    GeekWire Awards Preview: Airbnb cleaning startup Neu

    Like many businesses entering 2020, Neu was riding a wave of optimism and growth. With its marketplace that connects Airbnb hosts with hotel-grade cleaners, the Seattle-based startup had found its niche.

    Just as Neu was joining the 11th cohort of Techstars Seattle to further fuel its success, the coronavirus pandemic arrived and changed everything. The economic fallout was swift, and travel was among the hardest hit industries.

    "It was a one-two punch that definitely knocked us down a little bit," Neu co-founder Kwame Boler told GeekWire. "We had a lot of momentum going into February. We were developing a lot of wealth within the Airbnb community. And then all of a sudden, everything almost completely flipped upside down."

    Neu experienced an unprecedented number of cancellations within its platform in just two months, with business shrinking to less than 10% of where it was the previous year. It had to stop its work to address various pain points and re-evaluate what it would mean to run a cleaning business in a post-COVID climate, especially one in which travel would likely be impacted for some time.

    But with the desire for on-demand cleaning and sanitizing suddenly skyrocketing, the startup rapidly accelerated its plans to look into cleaning beyond vacation rentals and taking on businesses, residential and commercial real estate properties.

    "Those who enjoy or thrive in this kind of environment, in doing a startup or owning a business around this time, are those who are really in it for the long run," said Neu co-founder Claudius Mbemba. "It just taught me that this is what I really want to be doing."

    GeekWire caught up with Boler and Mbemba to learn more about how the startup is faring in this installment of a special GeekWire Podcast series highlighting some of the finalists for the upcoming GeekWire Awards. Boler and Mbemba are among the finalists for Young Entrepreneur of the Year — celebrating startup founders in the Pacific Northwest who are 30 or younger.

    Register here to watch the live virtual event for free at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 23.

    • 25 min
    GeekWire Awards Preview: Rebellyous Foods

    GeekWire Awards Preview: Rebellyous Foods

    Before the first-known U.S. coronavirus cases emerged in Rebellyous Foods’ hometown, Seattle, the startup was catering to the food services industry, targeting its its line of plant-based chicken products to cafeterias, schools, and other institutions.

    Rebellyous pivoted, accelerating development of a consumer product it could sell at grocery stores. Today that product is available at 14 mom-and-pop markets throughout the Seattle area.

    "We really started to re-strategize about who was going to be our customers and who was going to be Rebellyous in a world where we don't go to ballparks and stadiums and even to school for a very long time," said Rebellyous CEO Christie Lagally, a former Boeing engineer. "It was dawning on us pretty quickly there that we had to do something different, and probably for the best. Sometimes these are really, really hard situations but they put us in a better position to be able to offer our products in the future."

    In September, Rebellyous plans to retire the plant-based chicken product that it has been temporarily selling in Seattle-area stores to make room for a new suite of items. The startup plans to sell a new Rebellyous chicken nugget, chicken tender, and a chicken patty all made entirely from plant products.

    The pivot is fueled by a $6 million investment Rebellyous secured in April. The startup distinguishes itself from other plant-based meat companies, like Beyond Meat and Impossible, by engineering its manufacturing equipment in-house.

    We spoke with Lagally to learn more about Rebellyous Foods in the first installment of a special GeekWire Podcast series catching up with some of the finalists for the upcoming GeekWire Awards, a live virtual event at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 23. Rebellyous is one of five finalists for Innovation of the Year. You can register here to watch the awards for free.

    • 24 min
    3 stories show how the pandemic is changing our lives

    3 stories show how the pandemic is changing our lives

    The world of the COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything any of us has ever experienced. We covered three stories this week that give us a glimpse into how the virus is changing our lives:

    We’ll talk about the new realities of work, through the lens of a Seattle area startup that just ditched its physical office space. 

    Then on to education, with the latest on what classes will look like at the University of Washington and other schools this fall. 

    And finally, sports. For Seattle Mariners fans, “take me out to the ballgame” is going to be a virtual experience this season, but the team is trying an unusual approach to let players hear the fans’ cheering. And Todd is miffed about MLB's new "no fighting" rule.

    On July 16, we’ll be hosting GeekWire Roundtable: The Future of Sports. We’ll discuss how sports can safely return in a post-pandemic world, the role of tech and the economics of sports in this challenging environment.

    And the GeekWire Awards are back on July 23 and they’re going virtual. We’ll be revealing the winners of the Pacific Northwest’s annual technology and startup awards … and there will be some special guests.

    To get more information and to register, go to the events page at GeekWire.com.

    With GeekWire’s Todd Bishop and John Cook. Produced by Curt Milton. Theme music by Daniel L.K. Caldwell.

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
68 Ratings

68 Ratings

Fabulushly Labsolous ,

Packed with insight and info

I love to keep up with the important goings on around Seattle and the States. This is an easy and fun way to stay abreast with top notch journalists.

dpaynetbs ,

GW Always Delivers

These guys know their market, the people who drive it, and the way to tell stories that are always insightful. Kudos to the entire Geekwire Team.

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Like it!

Really like the dynamics between you guys and appreciate the tech information provided. The “What Fuels You” special episode was also fantastic! Keep up the good work!

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