161 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 • 940 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.

    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 hr
    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 hr 5 min
    The Playbook: Lessons from 200+ Company Stories

    The Playbook: Lessons from 200+ Company Stories

    When Patrick O'Shaughnessy and Brent Beshore asked us to give a talk at their incredible Capital Camp conference, we knew we had to bring something special. So we spent months combing through the Acquired back catalog and cataloged our 12 favorite lessons from the 200+ stories we’ve told over the past 7 years. From Sequoia through Sony, TSMC, Nvidia, The New York Times, the NBA and Oprah — we revisited all the classics and pulled out the common threads that weave the tapestry of great companies we’ve covered on Acquired. This episode was truly a joy to put together… huge thank you to Patrick and Brent for giving us the perfect stage on which to present it!


    This episode has video! You can watch it on Spotify (right in the main podcast interface) or on YouTube.


    Sponsors:
    Thanks to the Solana Foundation for being our presenting sponsor for this special episode. Solana is the world’s most performant blockchain, the BEST place for developers to build Web3 applications, and of course very near & dear to the Acquired community’s heart. You get in touch with them here. Just tell them them Ben and David sent you! Thank you as well to Modern Treasury and to Mystery. Register here for the Acquired Mystery on July 7th 2022 at 3pm PT!

    ‍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 7 min
    American Dynamism (with Katherine Boyle)

    American Dynamism (with Katherine Boyle)

    We sit down with a16z General Partner Katherine Boyle to discuss investing in “American Dynamism”, why it’s so important and why now is the right time to pursue it. Katherine has a fascinating background, beginning her career as a reporter at The Washington Post before entering the VC world first at Founders Fund, then General Catalyst and now a16z. Her perspectives don’t fit neatly in any box — political, economic or otherwise — and we have a great conversation exploring them. Tune in!


    This episode has video! You can watch it on Spotify (right in the main podcast interface) or on YouTube.


    Links:
    Katherine’s post on Building American Dynamism Marc Andreessen’s It’s Time to Build Katherine’s Substack

    Sponsors:
    Thanks to the Solana Foundation for being our presenting sponsor for this special episode. Solana is the world’s most performant blockchain, the BEST place for developers to build Web3 applications, and of course very near & dear to the Acquired community’s heart. You get in touch with them here, and learn more about Metaplex here. Just tell them them at Ben and David sent you! Thank you as well to Modern Treasury and to Mystery.

    ‍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 21 min
    Capital-Efficient Growth (with Zoom CEO Eric Yuan & Veeva CEO Peter Gassner)

    Capital-Efficient Growth (with Zoom CEO Eric Yuan & Veeva CEO Peter Gassner)

    We sit down with the CEO founders of two of the most capital efficient success stories of all time — Zoom and Veeva Systems — to understand how they grew to billions of dollars in revenue (and tens of billions in market cap) on very, very little capital invested. With the fundraising environment changing rapidly, we couldn’t think of a better topic to discuss or better sources of wisdom for founders, operators and investors all to learn from. Very special thanks to Jake Saper and our friends at Emergence Capital for inviting us and putting this conversation together at their 2022 CEO Summit!


    This episode has video! You can watch it on Spotify (right in the main podcast interface) or on YouTube.


    Links:
    Peter’s great Medium blog

    Sponsors:
    Thanks to the Solana Foundation for being our presenting sponsor for this special episode. Solana is the world’s most performant blockchain, the BEST place for developers to build Web3 applications, and of course very near & dear to the Acquired community’s heart. You get in touch with them here, and learn more about GenesysGo here. Just tell them them at Ben and David sent you!

    Thank you as well to Modern Treasury and to Mystery.

    ‍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 11 min
    Arena Show Part II: Brooks Running (with CEO Jim Weber)

    Arena Show Part II: Brooks Running (with CEO Jim Weber)

    For the final act of the Arena Show, we’re joined by Brooks CEO Jim Weber to tell the amazing story of how he transformed the company from a 3rd tier, deeply cashflow negative “also-ran” into one of the world’s premiere fitness brands and a crown jewel of the Berkshire Hathaway empire — with compounding revenue and cashflow growth that rivals even the legendary Mrs. See’s Candies!


    If you want more Acquired, you can follow our newly public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!).
    Links:
    Jim's book, "Running with Purpose" Sponsors:
    Thank you to our presenting sponsor for all of Season 10, 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. 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 Vouch and to SoftBank Latin America!

    ‍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 10 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
940 Ratings

940 Ratings

Jakobihaskell ,

Gold(or should I say Bitcoin)-mine

If you’re looking for compelling storytelling at its finest, Acquired is the perfect podcast for you. Ben and David guide you through company histories as if the founders are protagonists in a world where odds are perpetually stacked against them. Just when you though there’s no escaping the new existential threat this time, they somehow manage to preserve.

Only through meticulous research and raw excitement could one tell an 8 hour saga about Berkshire Hathaway, a 4.5 hour dive into the long-standing legacy of Standard Oil, or my personal favorite, an exploration of the mysterious and antiestablishment origins of Bitcoin.

These guys are truly world class and have expanded my knowledge about startup culture, venture capital terms and society wide tech trends. Thank you for turning daily routes like washing the dishes into something I yearn for.

ParamPamPam123 ,

Great show!

Wonderful stories

qbartholowmue ,

One of the best!

This is one of the best business podcasts out there. The hosts really dig in and present the tale of growth and acquisitions (and IPOs and fundraising) in both an entertaining and insightful way.

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