The Information's 411

By Tom Dotan

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A weekly podcast brought to you by The Information, a subscription tech news site doing deep dives and investigative looks at the tech and media industries. Each episode highlights some of the major happenings in tech business world, featuring the reporters at The Information. It's interviews, analysis, and wrap-ups to help give you insights into what the biggest companies in the industry are thinking.

Episode Date
Old Time Roku Roll

Jessica and Tom discuss Roku and whether its hard-nosed negotiation tactics with media companies will work. Cory dives into Softbank and its troubles since the WeWork collapse.

Feb 14, 2020
Self-Driving for Dollars

Amir talks about the companies that have invested the most in self-driving car technology in the past decade. Kate explains why Sequoia is doubling down on seed investing and why that category is getting more competitive.

Feb 07, 2020
Facebook and the Republocrats

Chris Stern joins from Washington DC to talk about how Republicans have become Facebook's biggest supporters on the Hill in the face of increasingly antagonistic Democrats. Kevin discusses the legacy of Ginni Rometty the outgoing CEO of IBM.

Jan 31, 2020
Initial Private Offering

Priya and Kevin Dugan talk about the ways companies going public try to get bankers to become clients in order to win the job. Kate explores Lambda School, a coding school that has a different way of approaching tuition, and the controversy around it.

Jan 24, 2020
Drummond's Base

Nick Bastone and Jessica Lessin talk about David Drummond's tense relationship with Google Venture and he lasting legacy at Alphabet.

Nick's story about David Drummond and Google Ventures:

Google Reckoning With History of Interoffice Romance by Top Execs

Jan 18, 2020
Uber Drowning in the Pool

This week, we talked about Amir's exclusive story that outlined Uber's many business problems, including UberPool, and Amazon's Twitch, which is grappling with a declining user base and falling short of advertising revenue goals.

Jan 10, 2020
Hindsight is 2020

Tom and Jessica wrap up 2019, looking back at the year for Facebook, startup fundraising and media.

Jan 03, 2020
When God Opens a Streaming Door He Closes a Theatrical Window

Jessica Toonkel makes her prediction about how streaming services will affects the theater and movie industries. Kevin discusses AWS and its relationship with the open-source community. 

Dec 27, 2019
Boz and Effect

Alex dives into Facebook's massive hardware plans in AR and VR and the executive, Andrew "Boz" Bosworth, who's heading the endeavor. Nick and Kevin talk about Google Cloud and the long-shot effort to beat Amazon and Microsoft. 

Dec 20, 2019
Mathletes and Tech-athlons

Wayne explains how Vietnam became such a significant business for Facebook and Google. Zoë dives into the trend of hiring elite athletes at tech companies. 

Dec 13, 2019
[Bonus] Why Monoculture Moments Are Rare

A trio of executives, Universal Pictures' Katie Goldsmith; Attention Capital’s Nick Bell and Instagram’s Charles Porch, explain the next phase of growth for direct-to-consumer brands.

Dec 11, 2019
The Information's 411 — The Florida Project

Amir joins to talk about DoorDash's money-losing business and Uber's report on sexual assaults. Alex Heath talks about his investigation of Magic Leap's business and the disappointing sales for its AR headsets.

Story links: Doordash

Magic Leap

Dec 06, 2019
Disney in a Foxhole

Ashley breaks down where the frontrunners for the Democratic nomination stand regarding the tech industry. Martin joins to talk about the math of Disney's acquisition of Fox's assets and why it's clear that it seriously overpaid. 

Nov 29, 2019
[Bonus] Why Jason Blum Says Tech Has Upended Hollywood

Producer Jason Blum explains why we've still got a few more years of big money flowing into Hollywood before business realities set in. Also why Apple should consider buying a studio and why most movie budgets have gotten smaller while TV shows have ballooned in price.

Nov 26, 2019
The Information's 411 — A Bundle of Nerves

Beejoli talks about the future of cable channels during the streaming era and what it's like working for the "old" part of the business. Cory gives the latest on Airbnb, including a scoop on its money-losing second quarter and its departing chief operating officer. 

Nov 23, 2019
[BONUS] The Information's 411 — How Jared Grusd is Expanding Content on Snapchat

Snap's chief strategy officer talks about Snap's Discover section, its explosive growth in India and competition from TikTok and Quibi.

Nov 22, 2019
The Information's 411 — AR You Not Entertained?

Nick talks about Apple's big internal meeting about its augmented reality plans. Jessica Toonkel discussed Disney's big streaming launch and what comes next.

Nov 15, 2019
The Information's 411 — Myths and Origins

Priya talks about the companies that have inflated their origin story and why these myths matter. Kevin dives into the feud between Rubrik and Cohesity.

Nov 08, 2019
The Information's 411 — HBO Appomattox

Beejoli and Tom discuss the latest battle in the streaming wars as WarnerMedia unveiled HBOMax. Nick makes his first appearance to talk about how Google has tweaked its hiring strategy to focus less on culture fit. 

Nov 01, 2019
The Information's 411 — Finding Humanity in (HBO's) Silicon Valley

We interview Thomas Middleditch and Zach Woods, the stars of HBO's Silicon Valley. Ahead of the final season premiere on October 27, they reflect on how the tech industry has changed during the course of the show's run, how they searched for the humanity in the Valley, and why they think the show sticks the landing.

Oct 25, 2019
[BONUS EPISODE] The Information's 411 — Why IPOs Aren't One-Size-Fits-All

Cory Weinberg talked to Lauren Cummings of Morgan Stanley, Will Connolly of Goldman Sachs and Scott Stanford of Acme about the future of the IPO, why direct listings make sense for some companies and whether Softbank will stick with companies it has backed as they go public. This on-stage interview took place at our annual Subscriber Summit at the Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel in Menlo Park on October 17, 2019.

Oct 24, 2019
[BONUS EPISODE] The Information's 411 — Why Instacart's Apoorva Mehta is Leaning in on Advertising

Jessica Lessin spoke to Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta about the company's growing ad business, potential regulations on gig-workers, and how he discovered that Amazon had bought its biggest customer Whole Foods. This on-stage interview took place at our annual Subscriber Summit at the Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel in Menlo Park on October 17, 2019.

Oct 23, 2019
[BONUS EPISODE] The Information's 411 — Fidji Simo

Jessica Lessin spoke to Facebook executive Fidji Simo about the future of the Facebook app, its slowing growth and the struggle to protect users while maintaining principles of free speech. This on-stage interview took place at our annual Subscriber Summit at the Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel in Menlo Park on October 17, 2019. 

Oct 22, 2019
The Information's 411 — Trump's Secret Trade Crackdown

Matt Drange joins to talk about how the Trump administration has cracked down on the volume of sensitive US technology that it allows to be exported around the world. 

Oct 18, 2019
The Information’s 411 — God-Zillow

Nick recaps his conversation with Rich Barton and explains why the Zillow CEO is embracing ecommerce despite the heavy investments. He also discusses whether Microsoft's commitment to the surface has paid off. And why Apple's reliance on China may heavily influence its reaction to the protests in Hong Kong.

Oct 15, 2019