Episode 14: LinkedIn

Ben and David cover the 3-day-old acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft for $26.2 billion. They cover LinkedIn’s founding story by Reid Hoffman, break down their core businesses, analyze recent stock behavior, and speculate on the future of the company inside Microsoft. The big question - were they worth the price tag?

Items Mentioned On The Show:

The Carve Out:

Episode 13: Push Pop Press (Facebook Instant Articles) with Todd Bishop

Episode 13: Push Pop Press (Facebook Instant Articles) with Todd Bishop

Ben and David are joined by Todd Bishop, technology reporter and co-founder of GeekWire, to discuss Facebook's 2011 acquisition of Push Pop Press. Highlights include:

  • The founding story of Push Pop Press by Kimon Tsinteris and Mike Matas.
  • The evolution of Facebook Creative Labs, Facebook Paper, and eventually, Facebook Instant Articles.
  • Facebook's role in the changing media landscape today.
  • GeekWire's experiments with Facebook Instant Articles, Google Accelerated Mobile Pages, and live video.

The Carve Out

Full Transcript below: (disclaimer: may contain unintentionally confusing, inaccurate and/or just-plain-hilarious transcription errors)

Read More

Episode 12: Snapchat (?!)

Episode 12: Snapchat (?!)

Ben and David tackle their first failed acquisition: Facebook's 2013 offer to buy Snapchat. They cover the fascinating story of Snapchat's creation and growth, their blossoming business model, how it would be different inside of Facebook, and what the future holds.

Items mentioned in the show:

The Inside Story Of Snapchat: The World's Hottest App Or A $3 Billion Disappearing Act?

Inside Evan Spiegel's very private Snapchat Story

Join the Acquired Slack Community at http://acquired.fm

Full Transcript below: (disclaimer: may contain unintentionally confusing, inaccurate and/or just-plain-hilarious transcription errors)

Read More

Episode 11: PayPal

Episode 11: PayPal

Ben and David return to technology acquisitions by examining a classic: eBay's 2002 purchase of PayPal. 

Items mentioned in the show: 

How the 'PayPal Mafia' redefined success in Silicon Valley  - Tech Republic

Instagram Will Be a $3 Billion Business This Year: Analyst

President Obama and Bill Simmons: The GQ Interview

"The Carve Out":

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

The Bill Simmons Podcast - Chris Sacca

 

Full Transcript below: (disclaimer: may contain unintentionally confusing, inaccurate and/or just-plain-hilarious transcription errors)

Read More

Episode 10: Virgin America

Episode 10: Virgin America

Ben and David deviate entirely from the stated purpose of the show, tackling this non-technology acquisition that is so recent, we have no idea if it went well yet. But, the April 2016 acquisition of Virgin America by Alaska Airlines was so fascinating, we had to do it! 

Items mentioned in the show: 

Louis C.K. - Everything is Amazing and Nobody is Happy

Alaska Acquires Virgin America Investor Deck

“Measuring The Moat” Paper - Michael J. Mauboussin

Business Adventures - Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street

"The Carve Out":

Michael Mauboussin: "The Success Equation:Untangling Skill and Luck" | Talks at Google

 

Full Transcript below: (disclaimer: may contain unintentionally confusing, inaccurate and/or just-plain-hilarious transcription errors)

Read More

Episode 9: Writely (Google Docs)

Episode 9: Writely (Google Docs)

Ben and David continue the cloud productivity saga with Google Docs. They examine the suite of acquisitions made by Google with a focus on Writely in 2006. They tackle:

  • The nuts and bolts of the Upstartle (company behind Writely) acquisition, founded by Sam Schillace, Steve Newman and Claudia Carpenter.
  • SaaS offerings in cloud productivity today.
  • Was this a good idea for Google?
  • Google's future bets.
  • A new section: The Carve Out!

Full Transcript below: (disclaimer: may contain unintentionally confusing, inaccurate and/or just-plain-hilarious transcription errors)

Read More

Episode 8: Acompli, Sunrise, and Wunderlist (w/ Kurt DelBene)

Ben and David have special guest Kurt DelBene on to discuss Microsoft's acquisition of Acompli, Sunrise, and Wunderlist. Kurt is the EVP of Corporate Strategy and Planning at Microsoft, and joins to discuss Microsoft’s cloud-first, mobile-first strategy, and the importance of being cross-platform in the modern era. They cover:

  • How the app of Outlook Mobile on iPhone and Android came to be.
  • How to decide whether to build vs. buy, and how it plays into the strategy for Office.
  • How to preserve a culture and a team, and how Javier Soltero came to run all of Outlook at Microsoft.
  • The origin of Outlook on the PC, originally led by Brian MacDonald as “Ren”.
  • How to balance a business with competing priorities, and a decision-making framework for acquisitions in a large company.
  • How to measure the success of an acquisition, and how sometimes, it’s not by measuring revenue at all.

Episode 7: YouTube

Ben and David test the widely-held belief that YouTube was one of the most successful tech acquisitions of all time. In today's world of next-generation video platforms, mobile video, streaming, and chord-cutting, was it actually a great purchase by Google?

As discussed in the show, here is Sequoia's original YouTube investment memo - a rarely-shared gold mine for anyone interested in startup investing.

Episode 5: Siri

In the last episode of 2015, Ben and David discuss Apple's acquisition of Siri. Notable topics include:

  • The founding of Siri by Dag Kittlau, Adam Cheyer, and Chris Brigham.
  • Scott Forstall on the Apple side, and the end of his time at the company.
  • The other Apple acquisitions around Siri, including Topsy, Novauris Technologies, OttoCat.
  • Cue, Spotsetter, VocalIQ, and Perceptio.
  • The team Apple built around Siri post-acquisition, including Alex Acero from Microsoft Research.
  • Speculation on the future of voice and its role in everyday computing.

Episode 4: Bungie

Ben and David are joined by Former Microsoft VP and Co-Founder of Xbox, Ed Fries, to discuss the Bungie acquisition and the development of Halo. Highlights include:

  • Ed’s call with Steve Jobs after the acquisition, and sharing the stage with Steve and Bungie Co-Founder Alex Seropian at the Macworld Keynote.
  • Bungie today, and the unlikely path to get there led by Harold Ryan.
  • How to find something that all parties want to get a deal done, the creation Peter Tamte’s spin-out Mac gaming studio, and orchestrating the division of current Bungie projects and assets with Take-Two, led by Ryan Brandt.
  • Saving a project that’s off schedule and missing the mark, and how Jason Jones led the effort to make Halo 2 a hit at launch.