Business Wars

By Wondery

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Category: Business

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 Dec 8, 2018

Andrew
 Nov 30, 2018
truly phenomenal. My thanks go out to the makers and producers of this podcast. it is one of the most inspirational things I've come across. I really appreciate it.


 Nov 26, 2018

James
 Nov 23, 2018
Damn fine. Keep them coming.

Bon
 Nov 16, 2018

Description

Netflix vs. HBO. Nike vs. Adidas. Business is war. Sometimes the prize is your wallet, or your attention. Sometimes, it’s just the fun of beating the other guy. The outcome of these battles shapes what we buy and how we live. 

Business Wars gives you the unauthorized, real story of what drives these companies and their leaders, inventors, investors and executives to new heights -- or to ruin. Hosted by David Brown, former anchor of Marketplace. From Wondery, the network behind Dirty John and American History Tellers.


Episode Date
Zankou Chicken Murders - Out of Beirut | 1
00:22:35

It’s January 14th, 2003, and 56-year-old Mardiros Iskenderian, the founder of the family-owned chain of rotisserie restaurants Zankou Chicken, is leaving the house for the first time in months.

Twenty years ago, the Iskenderians transplanted their business from war-torn Beirut to sunny Los Angeles, where it blossomed into a California institution. But today, Mardiros is battling cancer—and losing. He kisses his wife Rita and heads for the door. It’ll be the last time she’ll see him alive.

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Dec 18, 2018
Waze vs Apple Maps | 3
00:28:50

The debut of the Apple iPhone in 2007 means unprecedented changes for human communication. But even its inventor Steve Jobs at first fails to realize that the most powerful part of his invention isn’t the music player or the web browser. It’s the map.

The physical world is about to collide with the virtual one, and that means a bitter fight for mobile mapping supremacy between Apple and its rival, Google. The two companies’ battle eventually leads to one of Apple’s rare missteps — but not before Jobs stuns the world by dying of pancreatic cancer. Meanwhile, an Israeli start-up is starting to make waves by crowdsourcing data to create a turn-by-turn navigation tool that provides up-to-the-minute accuracy. Good thing the founders have agreed not to sell for less than a billion dollars…Brought to you by the 2019 Lincoln MKC.

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Dec 18, 2018
Browser Wars - Even When They Lose They Win | 6
00:27:34

Microsoft has officially won the battle against Netscape, but for Bill Gates, the browser war is far from over. The federal government has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft, and called Gates to Washington, D.C. for questioning.

Hotshot prosecutor David Boies aims to show that Microsoft used its monopoly on PC operating systems to drive Netscape out of business. The case has the potential to bring down the software giant once and for all. And the televised drama of a smooth-talking lawyer facing off against a geeky billionaire leaves the nation riveted.

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Dec 13, 2018
Browser Wars - Microsoft on the Hot Seat | 5
00:29:12

To compete with Netscape, Bill Gates is forced to do the one thing he hates most: give tech away for free. He bundles Internet Explorer with Windows, effectively making his browser ubiquitous--and Netscape’s redundant. Suddenly, Netscape, the company that launched the dot-com boom and shattered records with its IPO, finds itself on life support.

But the battle isn’t over. Attorney General Janet Reno has been watching Microsoft snuff out the competition, and she’s about to make life hell for Bill Gates.

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Dec 11, 2018
Browser Wars - An Offer They Can’t Refuse | 4
00:26:18

It’s summer 1995, and Bill Gates is worried about the sudden rise of the Internet. In the world of computers, Gates is used to being in the driver’s seat. Now it seems he’s not even in the car. 

Marc Andreessen has just launched the latest version of Netscape Navigator. It’s faster and more stable than the last version, and still, inexplicably, free. The Internet is a massive success, certain to work its way into every person’s life, but as Gates pokes around he can’t find a single Microsoft file on it. To stay in the game, Gates realizes, that will have to change.


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Dec 06, 2018
Browser Wars - Poker Face | 3
00:26:08

It’s 1974, and a young programmer named Paul Allen has just caught a glimpse of the world’s first personal computer, the Altair 8800. It has the potential to change the computing landscape forever — but it doesn’t yet have an operating system. Altair’s developers sank every dollar they had into its hardware, banking that someone else would figure out how to make their machine run.

Now programmers are racing to develop an operating system and deliver it to the company’s headquarters in New Mexico. Allen knows he can do it, but in order to do it first, he’ll need some help. For that, he reaches out to his childhood friend, a 19-year-old Harvard sophomore named Bill Gates.

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Dec 04, 2018
Browser Wars - The Birth of a Dot Com Giant | 2
00:22:14

Two disgruntled tech whizzes, Jim Clark and Marc Andreessen, join forces to exact revenge on the companies that wronged them, building a browser so fast and powerful that it wipes their competitors off the face of the web. In private, they call it a “Mosaic Killer,” but in public, it’s called “Netscape Navigator.”

The launch of their new browser will mark the beginning of a new era in computing, the birth of a new economy based on the web, and the moment Microsoft put a target on their backs.

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Nov 29, 2018
Legendary magazine editor Tina Brown and her new podcast | 3
00:08:02

As editor in chief at Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, Tina Brown has had opportunity to sit down with the world’s most important people to hear their thoughts on the zeitgeist and on her new Podcast, “TBD with Tina Brown,” she invites you to hear her candid conversations with writers, politicals, crime sleuths, journalist and the newsmakers of tomorrow’s social debates. Subscribe to TBD with Tina Brown on Apple Podcasts or by visiting wondery.fm/tbd

Nov 28, 2018
Browser Wars - Kickstarting a Revolution | 1
00:25:35

It’s 1992, and in the basement of the chemistry building at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, two computer science students are working on a new web browser. Up to this point, browsing has made up less than one percent of all internet traffic, but Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina are about to change all that. Fueled by a combination of Pepperidge Farm cookies, Skittles and hubris, Andreessen and Bina emerge from the basement with Mosaic, the user-friendly web browser that will popularize the internet—if it doesn’t crash the school’s server first.  

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Nov 27, 2018
Red Bull vs Monster - Buzzkill | 3
00:29:34

As the extreme marketing battle between Red Bull and Monster reaches unprecedented heights (128,000 feet above sea level, to be precise), a new challenger steps onto the scene. 5-hour Energy, the tiny titan in the two ounce can, quickly plows through the energy drink market, generating hundreds of millions of dollars each year and leaving a trail of failed imitators in its wake.

But for the moment, Red Bull and Monster have bigger issues on their hands. A string of unexpected deaths and hospitalizations, a high-profile lawsuit, and whispers of a government ban threaten to topple their energy empire.

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Nov 20, 2018
Red Bull vs Monster - Beast Gores Bull | 2
00:29:17

As Red Bull plans its U.S. invasion, an unlikely upstart vies to beat it to market. Led by branding guru Mark Hall, the wholesome Hansen Beverage Company launches Monster, a grungy, all-American alternative to its yuppie European competitor. Not only does Hall intend to pull Hansen back from the verge of bankruptcy, his plans will position Monster to take a massive bite out of Red Bull’s multi-billion dollar industry. 

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Nov 15, 2018
Red Bull vs Monster - Get Your Wings | 1
00:28:55

It’s the early 1980s, and in Bangkok, Thailand, a jet-lagged toothpaste marketing exec named Dietrich Mateschitz has just tasted Krating Daeng, an energy tonic popular with rickshaw drivers. The flavor is repellant—it’s sickly sweet—but to Mateschitz’s surprise, it completely cures his jetlag. Suddenly, he sees a business opportunity. Energy drinks like these are huge in East Asia, but virtually unheard of in Europe. The biggest challenge will be figuring out how to market it—starting with a new name. He knows “Krating Daeng” won’t sell, so he opts for the nearest English equivalent: Red Bull.

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Nov 13, 2018
Napster vs The Record Labels - Interview with Mikael Wood | 7
00:26:28

Host David Brown sits down with L.A. Times pop music critic Mikael Wood to talk about how Napster changed not only the music business, but music itself. It turns out digital music downloads paved the way for a lot of trends we see in music today… Justin Bieber joining the remix of Despacito? Beyoncé’s surprise album drops? The countless list of songs featuring Nicki Minaj? It all started here. Plus: after all is said and done, was Napster good for music or not? The answer might not be that simple.

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Nov 08, 2018
Introducing Imagined Life | 3
00:04:14

What is it like to be famous before you’re famous? What is it like to walk in the shoes of another person? Each episode of IMAGINED LIFE takes you on an immersive journey into the life of a world-famous person. It’ll be someone you may think you know, even admire -- or maybe the opposite. You’ll get clues to your identity along the way. But only in the final moments will you find out who “you” really are. So sit back, let go, and -- imagine your life. Subscribe today at www.wondery.fm/imaginedlife

Nov 07, 2018
Napster vs The Record Labels - Fight to the Death | 6
00:29:06

Napster is approaching its death throes. The file sharing company has one shot left: Bertelsmann, the record label that’s confident it has come up with a foolproof plan to profit from its former foe. But Bertelsmann forgot about one thing. It needs the buy-in of other labels to make its rescue plan work. And the other music bosses are still livid that Bertelsmann went behind their backs to partner with Napster. They won’t be stepping up to help either company.


Napster is running out of options. There’s only one thing that might still work: it’s got to go legitimate.


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Nov 06, 2018
Napster vs The Record Labels - A Fatal Email | 5
00:24:05

Some of the biggest names in music have gathered to duke it out over the future of Napster. The Senate Judiciary Committee’s intellectual property hearing finally brings the pioneers of the peer-to-peer revolution face to face with the record labels. Napster is feeling good about its chances. But the judge overseeing the whole affair isn’t going to just swallow whatever arguments Napster’s high-priced lawyer dishes up. And buried somewhere in the mountains of evidence is one message that could destroy everything.

Nov 01, 2018
Napster vs The Record Labels - Battle of the Bands | 4
00:27:29

As the game of cat and mouse heats up with the record labels. The labels know that unless Napster is stopped, it’ll destroy the record labels. That doesn’t stop Napster co-founder Sean Parker from feeling the vice grips closing in. By early 2000, Napster has 10 million users and a landmark copyright case from the RIAA and a court date with Metallica. It’s survival of the fittest, and both sides are playing with fire.


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Oct 30, 2018
Napster vs The Record Labels - Free is Costly | 3
00:26:27

Napster co-founders Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker finally get to Silicon Valley, where their dream for music sharing is supposed to take off.  When word gets out about what Napster is doing, software programmers are literally banging on the doors, begging to work for Napster for free. Their idea is solid, but the finances are weak. It’s time to incorporate and find investors. Shawn turns to draw up papers. To Shawn’s shock, his uncle takes 70 percent of the company for the effort. And, as it turns out, it costs a lot of money to bring the world free music.

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Oct 25, 2018
Napster vs The Record Labels - Silicon Valley or Bust | 2
00:23:30

Naysayers tell Shawn Fanning that only an experienced Silicon Valley software engineer solve all the technological challenges to get Napster working.  But Shawn thinks he’s got the answers and asks himself, ‘’why not me?” And he gets to work, turning to an online chat group of hackers who are eager to help so they can take the fight right to the doorstep of the record labels.


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Oct 23, 2018
Napster vs The Record Labels - The Beginning of the End | 1
00:23:42

It’s 2000, and the record industry is just waking up to a major threat to its business model: an online file-sharing system created by a 17-year-old kid from Massachusetts. With Napster — so called after the nickname its founder earned on the basketball court — users can download music for free. Why would anyone pay 18 or 20 bucks for a CD ever again?  

Musicians like the Offspring greet the technology with open arms. Some bands see Napster as a way to make more money on each song while breaking the control of the record labels over their music. But not so fast. The record industry isn’t just going to give up its $15 billion in annual profits. And the music execs are convinced: the courts will be on their side.


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Oct 18, 2018
Xbox vs Playstation - Interview with Tristan Donovan | 4
00:24:37

Host David Brown sits down with Tristan Donovan, series writer and author of Replay: The History of Video Games, just as this console war enters uncharted territory. What’s next for Xbox, PlayStation and wild card Nintendo Switch? Hint: probably not three more generations of consoles. Plus, what a groundbreaking announcement from Microsoft could mean for the gaming industry moving forward.

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Oct 16, 2018
Xbox vs Playstation - Tear Down This Wall | 3
00:26:48

As Nintendo burns with the failure of Wii U, Sony can’t woo PS2 users to the new Playstation 3. It vows to not make that mistake again, and the Playstation 4 prioritizes on what the gamers want: a better gaming experience. But it’s not just the focus on gaming that makes the PS4 a hit - it’s also the failure of Microsoft’s new Xbox One to deliver.

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Oct 11, 2018
Introducing Legal Wars | 3
00:10:05

The courtroom can be a battlefield over money, people’s rights, and even their lives. For some cases, the consequences can affect us long after the verdict is read.

Based on extensive interviews and court transcripts, Wondery’s new podcast LEGAL WARS puts you inside the jury box of some of the most famous court cases in American history. Subscribe to Legal Wars today at www.wondery.fm/legalwars

Oct 10, 2018
Xbox vs Playstation - The Red Ring of Death | 2
00:26:07

Microsoft put all its efforts into it’s new console, the Xbox 360 to beat combat Sony’s market share and it looked like it was working. Thousands of consoles sold, and then suddenly, mysteriously, thousands of consoles died. Meanwhile Sony announces their new PlayStation will cost more than any console, by a lot, and it’s new processor confuses game designers. But that’s not all. Nintendo is back and they’re about to introduce another console that will send both companies scrambling. The Nintendo Wii is instantly a sensation, and Microsoft and Sony are left in it’s dust.


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Oct 09, 2018
Xbox vs Playstation - The Biggest Cannon in the World | 1
00:25:13

Sony was preparing Playstation to eventually replace personal computers. Microsoft sees that coming and goes into combat mode. Bill Gates spends more than two billion dollars to launch Microsoft’s Xbox console with innards that Gates hopes will not only put Sony on the defensive but will one day replace PCs as the future of digital home entertainment.


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Oct 04, 2018
Southwest vs American - Interview with Joseph Guinto | 7
00:27:35

Host David Brown chats with freelance journalist and series writer Joseph Guinto about the 22 years he’s spent covering Southwest Airlines… including his memories meeting and interviewing Southwest’s major players, from Rollin King to Herb Kelleher himself. Plus, the famous part of Southwest’s history that didn’t quite happen the way the company says — it’s all on this episode of Southwest vs. American Airlines, on Business Wars.

Oct 02, 2018
Southwest vs American - Free LUV | 6
00:26:26

Thanks to deregulation, no-frills knock offs of Southwest take to the skies like crows.  About 120 airlines have gone out of business or filed for bankruptcy since the industry was deregulated in 1978.

American’s SABRE system optimizes...everything. It manages ticket pricing so flights are always full, and American is building new hubs and terminals. Meanwhile, Southwest company culture is shifting from sex appeal to backyard barbecue vibe. Is it enough to attract families to fly?

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Sep 27, 2018
Southwest vs American - The Cult of Herb | 5
00:26:03

Everyone loves Herb Kelleher—even FAA regulators. The onetime corporate counsel-turned-CEO is coming into his own at the helm of Southwest. But his latest challenge is coming up with a way to skirt the FAA’s pesky “slot” system, designed to limit air traffic by rationing takeoffs and landings. Kelleher has a business to run. So he embarks on a crazy plan to snag a few extra slots for Southwest. It may not work, but one thing’s certain: it will be a whole lot of fun.

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Sep 25, 2018
Southwest vs American - The Darling of Deregulation | 4
00:25:40

As deregulation dawns, Southwest Airlines’ founder and CEO are locked in a power struggle. In the middle is Herb Kelleher, Southwest’s corporate attorney. And after 18 months serving as a punching bag for the company’s top brass, he’s had enough.

But as Southwest deals with a succession crisis, American Airlines is facing another emergency. It needs money, fast. The company is cash-poor after investing in its proprietary online reservation system, SABRE. The situation is so dire CEO Al Casey turns to a drastic option — moving the company’s headquarters from its homebase in New York City to Dallas.

Just as American is getting a financial lift, Southwest takes a nosedive. Deregulation has the company eyeing expansion routes, but the powers that be will do anything to stop it.

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Sep 20, 2018
Southwest vs American - Aviation Cyber Wars | 3
00:21:24

The computer age is on the horizon, and American Airlines has a secret weapon: SABRE. Sure, the airline is top of the heap under the current pen-and-paper reservation system — the one where travel agents use a massive phonebook to look up flights, then call individual airlines to book a ticket. But they’re tired of playing phone tag. The American Society of Travel Agents has plans to roll out a new electronic system, one that could force American to lose its unofficial preferred status. The company has to get its system to market first — and its leaders have to convince the travel agencies to get onboard.

But there’s a much bigger threat looming on the horizon, one that could give a big boost to upstart rivals like Southwest Airlines. Deregulation is coming, and when it does it will change everything.


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Sep 18, 2018
Southwest vs American - Dogfight Over Dallas | 2
00:23:48

Baniff and Southwest battled in court for domination over the skies. Southwest came out on top for a little while, but Baniff pushed back with prices Southwest just couldn't beat. The only way Southwest could fight back was to give the mostly male, mostly businessmen clientele something they couldn't refuse: free booze. For the first time ever, Southwest is in the black. With Baniff tamed, there's more turbulence. This time, it's a national airline. American Airlines is here to play.


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Sep 13, 2018
Southwest vs. American - Clearing the Runway | 1
00:25:54

In Texas in the 1960s, Rollin King had a crazy idea. He wanted to create a no-frills airline service that served San Antonio, Dallas and Houston. All he and his lawyer had to do was convince the Federal Regulations Bureau that they had no jurisdiction on flights that never left Texas. Of course getting Southwest off the ground would have been a lot easier if they had any planes…


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Sep 11, 2018
Coke vs Pepsi - Interview with Tristan Donovan | 7
00:26:18

Host David Brown chats with series writer Tristan Donovan, author of Fizz: How Soda Shook Up the World, about some of the juicy tidbits that didn’t make the final series. Like Fanta’s roots in Nazi Germany, Pepsi’s frantic struggle to make sure Coca-Cola didn’t beat it into space, and why Coca-Cola bottles have that iconic silhouette. And then there’s the cola that almost dethroned Coke. (Hint: it’s not Pepsi). David Brown even cops to his favorite cola...and the answer may surprise you.


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Sep 06, 2018
Coke vs Pepsi - The Soda Revolt | 6
00:29:05

Coke continues to grapple with Pepsi’s winning ads, but as Y2K nears both companies realize this isn’t just a cola war anymore. There’s more backlash for both companies, this time from schools. Coke and Pepsi are now seen as allies in America’s obesity. Both companies consider this but choose drastically different paths for the future. One gets as far away from soda as they can, the other doubles down. Both wrestle for dominance over every pocket of the soft drinks market - juice, bottled water, sports drinks and yes, cola - and show no signs of slowing anytime soon.

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Sep 04, 2018
Coke vs Pepsi - No Sacred Cows | 5
00:28:03

With the Pepsi Challenge under attack by Coke, Pepsi needs a new ad campaign. So the company turns for inspiration to the biggest pop star in the world: Michael Jackson. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola has a new chief executive who’s convinced tinkering with Coca-Cola’s prized formula is the key to winning the cola wars. He’ll stop at nothing to bring Coca-Cola fans New Coke—whether they like it or not.  

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Aug 30, 2018
Coke vs Pepsi - The Imitator's Revenge | 4
00:26:41

Welcome to the Pepsi Generation. As Pepsi fires up a hot new ad campaign, Coca-Cola starts getting nervous. But a sudden plane detour through Ireland gives Coke executive Bill Backer inspiration for one of the most iconic ads of the 20th century. It seems Coke is on top once again—but Pepsi has another trick up its sleeve. The company is out for blood with the Pepsi Challenge, a nationwide taste test that will endanger the most precious part of Coca-Cola lore: its secret recipe.

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Aug 28, 2018
Coke vs Pepsi - Cola über Alles | 3
00:25:57

With world war on the horizon, Coca-Cola and Pepsi face a supply crisis. How to get enough sugar to continue bottling their sweet fizzy goodness? One man has the answer -- to secure its supply line, Coke must sell itself as the all-American cola. For GIs and liberated citizens the world over, Coca-Cola will become a symbol of hope. But the company’s all-hands patriotic marketing strategy leaves Pepsi out in the cold. With Coca-Cola claiming Europe, America’s number two cola turns south of the border to survive.  

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Aug 23, 2018
Coke vs Pepsi - Candy Monster | 2
00:28:11

The cola cops are coming. Pepsi, an upstart Coca-Cola imitator, grabs its rival’s attention by serving up its own beverage to unsuspecting soda fountain customers. Coca-Cola moves fast -- but it’s not enough to stop Charles Guth, Pepsi-Cola’s new owner and the head of Loft Candy. He stays one step ahead of Coke with his dirty business practices. It’ll be up to lawyer and turnaround artist Walter Mack to stop the baddest man in the candy business.

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Aug 21, 2018
Coke vs Pepsi - Cocaine is King | 1
00:27:47

In turn of the century Atlanta, pharmacist John Pemberton has invented a dynamite health tonic with some secret ingredients his customers can’t get enough of. There’s only one problem. With the city about to go dry, the temperance authorities are coming for him. Pemberton needs to cook up a new recipe, fast — before his own demons tear him apart.

And there’s another problem on the horizon. Its name is Pepsi-Cola.

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Aug 16, 2018
eBay vs PayPal - Interview with Kara Swisher | 7
00:28:04

We hope you enjoyed our series on eBay vs PayPal. Here to discuss her thoughts on the PayPal mafia alums is Kara Swisher. Swisher is the self-described "grumpy lady of tech" and host of the podcast Recode Decode. She's known for her tough takes on Silicon Valley, is Silicon Valley royalty, and even had a cameo in Season 1 of HBO's Silicon Valley. Have we mentioned Silicon Valley enough? Here's our conversation with Kara.

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Aug 14, 2018
eBay vs PayPal - Outta the Gate | 6
00:25:30

PayPal is running out of time. The online payment service is hauling in new users, but its bottom line is bleeding red. Without a buyer to pump it full of cash soon, the company could go under. Should it take the safe route and sell out to its longtime nemesis eBay? Or should it risk the open market with an initial public offering? 

Why not both?


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Aug 09, 2018
eBay vs PayPal - Breaking Up Is Hard To Do | 5
00:26:39

By late 2000, PayPal and X.com are yoked together, with X.com CEO Elon Musk leading the newly combined company. But it’s a rocky marriage: PayPal’s founders clash with their new leader over everything from his imperious management style to his choice of server platforms. Finally the PayPal loyalists decide there’s only one option left: it’s time to engineer a coup.

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Aug 07, 2018
eBay vs PayPal - How Bad Is It? | 4
00:24:43

Remember the summer of 2000? The Olympics were in full swing and PayPal was under attack. Not from eBay, but Russian hackers. In looking for soft targets in the early days of the untethered Internet, PayPal was the fattest cow. On top of that, there are competitors, and they’re catching on fast. Between the money stolen from hackers and competitors, PayPal has to figure out a way to survive, and fast.

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Aug 02, 2018
eBay vs PayPal - PayPal Goes Viral | 3
00:26:37

In the midst of the dot-com boom, there's also a lot of dot-com bust. PayPal desperately needed to grow but they companies who'd raised millions more suddenly disintegrate. The solution was so simple it seemed almost illegal - let the converted proselytize. And they do to incredible results. It doesn't take long for eBay to notice but there's nothing they can do to stop PayPal's viral momentum.

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Jul 31, 2018
eBay vs PayPal - The E-commerce Revolution | 2
00:26:39

As eBay gathers steam, a libertarian chess champion and a programmer who fled Communist Ukraine team up to change the world with their encryption software. But when their plan to piggyback on the ubiquitous Palm Pilot hits a snag, they stumble upon a new idea. The concept is so revolutionary, it will change the landscape of e-commerce and turn the fledgling company into a viral phenomenon. There’s just one problem. PayPal is set on a collision course with the one company it needs to succeed: eBay.


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Jul 26, 2018
eBay vs PayPal - Going Once, Going Twice | 1
00:26:43

At the dawn of the dotcom era, a Silicon Valley tech geek on a personal vendetta rolls out the world’s first e-commerce site. Vintage lunchboxes? Second-hand guitars? B-list celebrity autographs? It all finds a home on AuctionWeb, and before long the site’s growth is skyrocketing.

But founder Pierre Omidyar isn’t prepared for the infrastructure challenges that come with turning his pet project into a real company. Brownouts and site outages soon follow, raising the ire of customers. And without a way to close transactions online, AuctionWeb might be doomed before it takes off.


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Jul 24, 2018
Business Wars Daily: A Smartphone App for Fido | 2
00:02:39

Want more Business Wars? We have your daily dose. 

Subscribe to Business Wars Daily wherever you listen to Business Wars.


It's Thursday, July 19, and we're looking at Wag vs. Rover.

Jul 19, 2018
Business Wars Daily: Battling for the Two-Wheeled Rider | 2
00:02:22

Want more Business Wars? We have your daily dose. 

Subscribe to Business Wars Daily wherever you listen to Business Wars.


It's Tuesday, July 17, and we're looking at Uber vs. Lyft.

Jul 17, 2018
Ford vs Chevrolet - Technology in the Fast Lane | 4
00:33:45

It's been a hard fought battle for decades, and in the 1970s there's no signs of Ford or Chevrolet slowing down. But this time they're fighting on new grounds, ones dominated by Japanese cars. Honda, Toyota and Datsun dominate the market, and Ford and Chevy seem like they're just... running out of gas.


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Jul 12, 2018
Ford vs Chevrolet - Fast and Sexy | 3
00:30:37

In the 1960s, the biggest generation of Americans of all time are reaching driving age. They want cars, and they want them to be fast and powerful, and they want them now. The best showcase for these cars is by winning races, and in the 1960s, Ford and Chevy are gunning for each other at every turn.


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Jul 10, 2018
Ford vs Chevrolet - Detroit Joins the War | 2
00:29:42

FDR believed that WWII was a contest of mass production. Whoever could build the most trucks, tanks, guns and airplanes would come out on top. What power could defeat the United States of America and its massive automobile industry? But for Roosevelt’s arsenal to work automakers will have to put aside their rivalries and retool.


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Jul 05, 2018
Ford vs Chevrolet - Tin Lizzie Becomes Roadkill | 1
00:31:55

In 1896, Henry Ford puttered around Detroit streets testing his “Quadricycle.” This was the whimsical beginning to a revolution that redesigned the landscape of America.

Cars changed the way America lived, worked, ate, shopped, and listened to music. And more than 100 years ago, the entire industry was a group of men, whose names are now emblazoned on every bumper, just hanging out at their local bar.

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Jul 03, 2018
Hearst vs Pulitzer - Interview with Gabriel Kahn | 7
00:27:09

Joining us today is Gabriel Kahn, a professor of journalism at the University of Southern California. He’s a former Los Angeles bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal and a frequent commentator on monetization and the media.

He’s also taught courses on the history of journalism. He recently wrote an open letter to the new owner of the Los Angeles Times, Patrick Soon Shiong, and now he's here to talk about Hearst vs Pulitzer!

Join us next week as we visit a new business war: Ford vs Chevrolet.

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Jun 28, 2018
Hearst vs Pulitzer - Days of Atonement | 6
00:25:59

By 1900, the days of yellow journalism were already fading, and both William Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer were searching for a new direction even as their newspapers diverged.

Hearst tries for a political career, but finds himself defeated and dragging back to a lagging paper by the end of the decade.

Pulitzer doubled down on news, and in 1909 caught the biggest scoop of his career. While the paper is going as strong as ever, Pulitzer’s health is suffering.

Both men created legacies and changed the face of American journalism forever.


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Jun 26, 2018
Hearst vs Pulitzer - Newsies | 5
00:22:02

A close up look at a crisis of their own making. One that nearly cost Hearst and Pulitzer their grip on the country’s first media empires. Instead of pitting them against each other, the crisis would see the two media moguls finding rare common ground.

At the turn of the century, newspapers flew off the presses in 8 or 10 separate editions a day. Newsies grabbed them off stacks in the alleys and took to the streets, their little hands stained with ink. But when the Newsies go on strike, no papes get sold. No papes, no profit - which leaves both Hearst and Pulitzer with a BIG problem.

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Jun 21, 2018
Hearst vs Pulitzer - War Drums | 4
00:27:16

What happens when there’s no news? You have to MAKE the news.

When Hearst heard from his top reporter that the Spanish-Cuban tension wasn’t looking like anything would happen, Hearst wasn’t just going to wait around for an explosion.

He already bought and assembled a collection of powder kegs. It was just a matter of lighting the fuse.


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Jun 19, 2018
Hearst vs Pulitzer - The Price of News | 3
00:22:05

In 1883, 15 years before the Headless Torso Murder, New York City's population was rapidly growing and the newspaper scene was pretty sleepy. The city's nearly 50 daily papers, even the small New York Times, was a pretty sedate bunch, informing citizens about zoning board decisions and weather trends. They rarely draw any blood, stir up society, get the city talking.

But that’s changing, thanks to Joseph Pulitzer.


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Jun 14, 2018
Hearst vs Pulitzer - The Headless Torso, Part 2 | 2
00:23:22

In 1897, America looked very different. Carriages rolled through the streets of New York. Mass media was just growing up, and Hearst was convinced that carrier pigeons - hunted to extinction by 1914 - were what would give his paper the edge during the early days of the Headless Torso case.

This case belonged to the whole city. Everyone - barkeeps in Brooklyn and bankers on the Upper East Side alike are invested in the mystery… and what happened to his head.

For more American History Tellers, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to Business Wars.


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Jun 12, 2018
Hearst vs Pulitzer - The Headless Torso, Part 1 | 1
00:24:43

This is the beginning of a mystery, a great business rivalry, and a look into American history. To tell the story of Hearst vs Pulitzer, we called our friend Lindsay Graham over at American History Tellers for help.

The Headless Torso mystery is about a jilted husband, a German midwife, a muscleman and more colorful characters. The city’s been mesmerized for months, and in Gilded Age New York, most people just couldn’t resist pressing their pennies into a newsboy’s ink-stained hand to find out the latest.

You can listen to more episodes of American History Tellers wherever you listen to Business Wars.


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Jun 07, 2018
Nintendo vs Sony - Interview with Vance Wallace | 7
00:27:04

We're wrapping our coverage of the console wars between Nintendo and Sony. David is joined by Vance Wallace, who knows video games from both sides of the controller. In the '90s, Vance was one of the best players in the world for Quake. He's also a game designer who worked on the first Lara Croft Tomb Raider games for Nintendo Wii.

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Jun 05, 2018
Nintendo vs Sony - No Surrender | 6
00:25:33

After years of sitting on the sidelines of the next-generation console war, Nintendo is finally ready to make its move. But, the years it’s spent building it’s reassuring family-friendly reputation is now a weakness. Nintendo children of the 80s are all grown up, and want adult games. Sony is able to release edgier fare like Grand Theft Auto and Tomb Raider. The half-decade cold war between Sony and Nintendo is about to turn hot. Their next head-to-head battle is a multi-billion dollar clash that will define the future of video games. And in the real world, just one of them can prevail.


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May 31, 2018
Nintendo vs Sony - The Sleeping Giant | 5
00:23:28

Nintendo decided early on that the Nintendo 64 would be a cartridge console, instead of a CD console. But CDs are much cheaper to make and have much better graphics. Game companies are upset, and defect to Sony. In a few months time, Sony has two of the most popular game series in Japan to itself. Nintendo will now have to make its own games that are strong enough to outsell PlayStation. It’s Nintendo vs the world. They’re taking a huge gamble, and this is not a game.


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May 29, 2018
Nintendo vs Sony - Game Time | 4
00:24:47

This is a story about Sony and Nintendo, but it also involves a little company called Sega. Ever play Sonic the Hedgehog? That’s Sega. And during Nintendo’s domination of the US market, they were the only company able to fight back. That is, until they tried to outplay Sony.


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May 24, 2018
Nintendo vs Sony - Charm Offensive | 3
00:25:41

From the moment it began, the PlayStation project was in danger. The problem was none other than PlayStations knight and chief advocate: Kutaragi. He thought the now-iconic handlebar controller design was “too different” from the flat rectangles people were used to. To make matters worse, PlayStation was getting closer and closer to launching without any games… a console with no games? Good luck with the PlayStation now, Sony. They were in trouble. And Nintendo knew it.


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May 22, 2018
Nintendo vs Sony - Man of Steel | 2
00:30:14

It's 1949. 22-year old Hiroshi Yamauchi is the heir apparent for his family's playing card company, Nintendo. From humble beginnings as a scrappy street stall founded in Kyoto's back alleys to the largest card company in Japan by the time Yamauchi takes over, this isn't a company that backs down easily when a little competition comes in. But it was a company that changed it's entire business over a couple of... cartoon characters.

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May 17, 2018
Nintendo vs Sony - Stabbed in the Back | 1
00:30:12

Once a symbol of 80s teenage nerdom, video games are now as common as television sets in American households. Can you imagine a world where the Sony PlayStation didn’t come out? That’s what almost happened. Originally conceived as a joint venture between Nintendo and Sony, the SNES-CD was supposed to be the bridge between Japan’s two largest tech companies. Instead, it drove the companies to war, an intense competition for entertainment domination that still goes on today.


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May 15, 2018
Gregor Mendel vs the World - American Innovations | 1
00:35:33



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May 10, 2018
The First Computer War - Computing Gets Personal | 6
00:26:47

After all that IBM has been through over the decades, it would have never in a million years guessed that their undoing would be at the hands of a scrawny and unknown computer nerd named Bill Gates. Gates sees the future, but can IBM catch up? Will they still be on top 50 years from now? Only time will tell.

We hope you enjoyed this series on the first computer wars, and I want to give a special shout out to our fans, The Elfenbein family!


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May 08, 2018
The First Computer War - Betting the Store | 5
00:25:03

It’s 1961. Since his father retired 5 years earlier, Thomas Watson Jr pushed to modernize IBM from the top down. New management, new ideas, newer, faster, machines. The company has grown, employing 1,000 people, they’ve dominated the emerging computer market... and managed to frustrate the public all at the same time. IBM’s new technology is confusing and the only way out may be to create a Civil War, burning IBM from the inside out. Will they be able to agree, or will infighting cost them the entire company?

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May 03, 2018
The First Computer War - Abdication | 4
00:26:20

In Episode 1 the UNIVAC successfully predicted that Eisenhower would win the 1952 election. In Philadelphia, a champagne hangover quickly settled in over the Remington Rand building, the company elated at its success. But over at IBM, a company that doesn't allow its employees to drink, they’re working, furiously. And Watson Jr. is ready to take the 701 to market in a few months. Visiting the 701 is soon the hottest ticket in town, and The Watsons and IBM sit back to watch. They feel the momentum shifting back in IBM’s favor once again.


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May 01, 2018
The First Computer War - IBM versus The UNIVAC | 3
00:24:01

What’s a 16% market share when the public thinks you have more? A potential anti-trust suit, if you’re IBM. Watson Jr. sees a potential lawsuit as a way out from under his father’s control. Sr. sees his company rotting away in the hands of a kid who can’t handle it. But when the antitrust suit comes through in 1952, Jr’s in charge. Can he actually handle the business he desperately wanted?

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Apr 26, 2018
The First Computer War - Father, Son, and The Future | 2
00:25:30

How do you really “get ahead” in a war? Sometimes you don’t have to do anything, you just wait for your opponent to fumble.

And in the late 1940s, IBM’s CEO Thomas Watson Sr., did. He’s just beginning to grasp the potential of these electronic machines, and - although older than most other CEOs is desperate to stay on top. He takes his volatile temper and insecurities out on the one person who could have helped him out of this freefall: his son.


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Apr 24, 2018
The First Computer War - The Electronic Brain | 1
00:23:16

With so much information at our fingertips, it’s hard to remember that we haven’t always walked around with supercomputers in our pockets. In fact, in 1952, CBS thought that Americans would find it SO hard to imagine that a machine could even predict election results accurately that they built a pretend computer and resorted to, well, fake news, to make the public believe. This is Univac vs. IBM, and this is the First Computer War.


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Apr 19, 2018
Monster vs Beats by Dre | 1
00:25:00

With all the hype around portable and smart speakers, it's easy to forget that they didn't always exist. In fact, it took one fateful meeting with Monster Cables and Interscope Records to really kick the industry off.

We'll talk about when headphones became fashion, what it takes to get people to shell out $350 for a pair, and what happens when a million dollar mistake becomes a billion dollar mistake.

We hope you enjoy Monster and Beats by Dre duking it out for speaker domination in our first Business Battle. We'll be back next week with a full arc on The First Computer Wars.

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Apr 17, 2018
Marvel vs DC - Interview with Jason Mewes and Reed Tucker | 7
00:43:50

What's that? Up in the sky? It's another episode of Business Wars. Today we're talking to two super guests, Reed Tucker is a journalist living in New York City, and the author of the book Slugfest: Inside the Epic 50-Year Battle Between Marvel and DC and! Reed is the author of the Marvel/DC episodes of Business Wars.

After we talk to Reed we sit down with Jason Mewes. Jason, or Jay, as you may know him, is a comic book fanatic and long time Kevin Smith collaborator. You've seen his face in things like Clerks, Mallrats and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

And both of them were able to answer faster than a speeding bullet the question we now pose to you: Marvel or DC?


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Apr 12, 2018
Marvel vs DC - The Cinematic Universe | 6
00:26:33

After more than 50 years of fighting for the hearts and attention spans of millions of readers, television viewers, and movie-goers - who wins this war? Is it DC, the original comic company company behind classic American heroes that defined the dreams of many young men and women? Or is it Marvel, the young upstart who changed the game and fought tooth and nail to catch up with DC and create their own cinematic universe?

For now, there’s one clear winner, but expect this war to rage on. No superhero stays dead forever.


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Apr 10, 2018
Marvel vs DC - Big Screen Heroes | 5
00:24:03

Appearances on radio programs, television shows and thousands of comic books - all just another day in the life of a superhero. But to get a larger than life hero onto a larger than life screen, there’s one secret ingredient: verisimilitude. As both companies fight for box office domination, a power player from our Netflix/Blockbuster series reveals one company to be just another cold, corporate machine.


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Apr 05, 2018
Marvel vs DC - Schemes, Scans, and Double Crosses | 4
00:23:59

It’s 1970 and the unthinkable just happened. Jack Kirby, one of the men who made Marvel, has defected to DC. With him he brought an idea that may just end Marvel for good. But as soon as DC seems to be pulling back into the lead, something else goes wrong - there’s a spy in their midst.


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Apr 03, 2018
Marvel vs DC - Copycat | 3
00:21:56

As Marvel’s richer storylines captivate more readers, DC just can’t keep up, or fully understand Marvel’s success. They even try directly copying Marvel’s style, but go about it in the worst way. Just when it looks like DC’s days at the top are numbered, they throw one final Hail Mary that steals away one of Marvel’s finest artists.


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Mar 29, 2018
Marvel vs DC - The Fantastic Mr. Lee | 2
00:23:10

We’ve talked about several wars on this series, but here’s a first: DC and Marvel engaging with each other, sniping, making fun, and getting their fans involved in the argument. A series of editor’s letters, guest columns, and fan mail printed in the comics themselves has everyone choosing sides.


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Mar 27, 2018
Marvel vs DC - Origin Stories | 1
00:22:38

In the early 1960s, the Space Race was on, Chubby Checkers got everyone doin’ the twist and Superman was turning 25. DC has it all - a legacy comic, the talented writers and illustrators, and plush offices in Manhattan. Marvel is around but it’s much smaller. They only have one full time employee, actually. Have you heard of Stan Lee? He WAS Marvel for a long time, and in 1961 he wrote a story that would revolutionize comics forever.


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Mar 21, 2018
Nike vs Adidas - Interview with Liz Dolan and David Meltzer | 7
00:45:24

Today we talked to Liz Dolan, former Nike CMO, and David Meltzer, sports marketing guru and agent about this vicious war. If you loved them here, you’ll love their podcasts even more.

Liz co-hosts Safe For Work, a show that answers your burning business questions and provides the advice you need to keep your office drama-free, and Satellite Sisters, where she got to sit down with Phil Knight and talk about Nike with the man himself. You can listen to that interview here.

You can hear David on his show, The Playbook, talking to Tony Hawk, Gary Vaynerchuk, Reggie Bush, and more of sports biggest names.

Subscribe to Safe For Work, Satellite Sisters, and The Playbook in Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to Business Wars.

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Mar 20, 2018
Nike vs Adidas - The Defectors | 6
00:19:48

The rivalry between Nike and Adidas has been intense for decades, but always respectful. But with intensity comes… defectors. Just three at the beginning, who set out to create a “Disneyland for designers.” And it worked. For the first time in a long time, the Swoosh was outperformed by three little white stripes.

But it’s not all bad. The constant competition drove both companies to produce better shoes, better apparel, and have made each other better businesses. As the sneaker wars enter a new era, who will come out on top? Time will tell, but if Phil Knight knows anything at all, it’ll be the company who isn’t afraid to fail.


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Mar 15, 2018
Nike vs Adidas - Rebound | 5
00:26:09

Nike, the late starter struck gold with its “Just Do It” campaign. Launched in 1988, the shoe giant finally had a tagline as good as its shoes. Meanwhile, Adidas, the brand that started and found success long before Nike was even a dream, finds itself as the underdog. The American offices feel like a startup, and is passed between the hands of former Nike execs and European businessmen. What does it take to go from a million-dollar company to a billion-dollar company? Adidas has to find out, and fast.  


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Mar 13, 2018
Nike vs Adidas - Nike Air | 4
00:27:11

Every new Nike employee gets a list of principles that serves as the company’s philosophy. One: Our business is change. Two: We’re on offense, all the time.


With those principles Nike sprinted from $29 million in revenue in 1973 to more than $850 million by 1983. But the biggest boost for Nike was an up and coming athlete. Like Jesse Owens fifty years before, a young Michael Jordan would carry a fledgling shoe brand to new heights.


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Mar 08, 2018
Nike vs Adidas - Walking Billboards | 3
00:21:09

As long as there have been professional sports, there have been professional athletes, willing to accept money to wear certain brands, but the biggest endorsement deals were only made possible by a mid-20th century invention: the television. Fans realized they could tune in to see their favorite athletes almost any day of the week. Brands realized they just got hundreds of walking billboards showing the capabilities of their athletic gear in action… and it’s a race to see who can reach the world’s best athletes first.


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Mar 06, 2018
Nike vs Adidas - The Starting Line | 2
00:23:57

Rudi and Adi Dassler started the “Dassler Business” in the 1920s in their parent’s garage, recycling materials from WWI military gear and uniforms. They got a pair of their track spikes on an athlete named Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics and the company took off… until WWII.

The war may have been over for Germany, but the rivalry between Adi and Rudi was just heating up.

Rudi left to start his own company, Puma, and Adi created Adidas.

50 years later, with a waffle iron and inventory from Onitsuka Tiger, Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman start tinkering with some shoes in Bowerman’s kitchen. The waffle iron didn’t last long, but the shoes did.

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Mar 01, 2018
Nike vs Adidas - Sneakerheads | 1
00:21:33

In 2015, Kanye West turned his back on Nike, an all out battle in the ongoing war for sneaker supremacy. Nike and Adidas are two multinational companies worth billions in an industry estimated to be valued at $220 Billion by 2020 (which is double the GDP of Ukraine) but that begs the question - Why are companies sinking so much money into mesh and rubber for your feet?

In this series of Business Wars, we'll find out. This is Episode 1 of a 7-part series on the brutal business battle between Nike and Adidas.


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Feb 27, 2018
Netflix vs Blockbuster - Interview with Rich Greenfield | 8
00:23:44

Rich Greenfield is a tech and media analyst with BTIG who’s been covering this battle in some capacity for decades. We had the chance to talk to him in depth on today’s episode.

Follow Rich on Twitter @RichBTIG

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Feb 22, 2018
Netflix vs Blockbuster - The Way We Watch | 7
00:25:30

Netflix goes from being a streaming company to a movement in which consumers all over the world decide what show to watch -- and when and how they watch them. The future that Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph envisioned two decades earlier has arrived. The unfettered reign of cable television has ended. The war for streaming viewers will become richer. And more cutthroat.


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Feb 20, 2018
Netflix vs Blockbuster - Binge | 6
00:23:26

Hollywood execs thought Netflix was crazy to give up advertising and spin off opportunities by letting viewers flop on a couch and watch a whole season of a show all at once. But Netflix knew it was on to something. All of their studies and focus groups revealed something new: viewers who binged content formed an emotional attachment to Netflix. 


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Feb 15, 2018
Netflix vs Blockbuster - HBO Gets In The Ring | 5
00:30:11

We take a step back to explore how a little company called Home Box Office went from serving B-movies to 325 homes in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania to become the juggernaut that we know as HBO. In the process, HBO, become the standard by which all other cable companies would have to measure themselves - after all, it's not TV. It's HBO.


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Feb 13, 2018
Netflix vs Blockbuster - The Digital Divide | 4
00:22:43

You know that expression “content is king”? Well it turns out, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s a hard-working algorithm that burrows into customer habits and viewing patterns. With that, Netflix had a clear upper hand on Blockbuster.

That, and the fact that Netflix targeted this new “streaming” technology that in 2007, no one really believed in. Soon they were on top of the world.

But it’s dangerous being on top. If you trip, you have a long way to fall.


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Feb 08, 2018
Netflix vs Blockbuster - Dirty Tricks | 3
00:22:27

Thinking like your enemy is the best way to beat them, and during the war, Blockbuster tried every trick in the books to get inside Netflix. Sometimes they succeeded - sending “housewives” into warehouses as spies, and sometimes things didn’t go as planned. But when Blockbuster did deliver, they delivered big. They threw everything they had at Netflix, but the war raged on.


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Feb 06, 2018
Netflix vs Blockbuster - Origins | 2
00:19:57

After Hastings pleaded with Antioco to buy Blockbuster Online, Antioco agreed to present Hasting’s proposal to the board. What he didn’t tell him was that he was pushing the board to reject the offer so Netflix would wither and die. Meanwhile, Netflix was struggling to gain legitimacy in Hollywood. Netflix quickly realized that before it could take on the Hollywood gods, it would have to slay Blockbuster.

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Feb 06, 2018
Netflix vs Blockbuster - Sudden Death | 1
00:27:24

This is Episode 1 of an 8-part series on the brutal business battle between Netflix and Blockbuster, and later HBO.

It all started around 1997, with a guy named Marc Randolph and his mathematician friend Reed Hastings. Randolph and Hastings knew they’d have to take on Blockbuster, but what they didn’t anticipate was that their business model would take on network television and eventually change the entire movie industry.

This was an 8-year total war that left innumerable casualties in its wake: thousands of hollowed out buildings and economic losses in the billions.


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Feb 06, 2018
Introducing Business Wars
00:01:23

Netflix-HBO. Nike-Adidas. Business is war. Sometimes the prize is your wallet. Sometimes your attention. Sometimes just the fun of beating the other guy. From Wondery, the network behind Dirty John and American History Tellers.

Premieres February 6.

Jan 19, 2018