Business Wars

By Wondery

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Subscribers: 7401
Reviews: 33

Keaton Shoults
 Oct 6, 2020
I love it!!! This podcast has an amazing format and is very educational. It's one of many that saves me at work.

Eddie Wretch (Nachshon Yosef)
 Sep 13, 2020
Superb.

David Hayes
 Aug 5, 2020
Fantastically interesting. I really enjoy the story telling to make you feel like you are there


 Jun 12, 2020


 May 26, 2020

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
Why Black Friday Will Look Different This Year | 5
00:27:09

Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, will break the mold this year, as the pandemic sends retailers scrambling for new ways to bring in customers while minimizing large crowds. But the changes to American shopping habits predate the pandemic. Host David Brown talks with Business Insider retail correspondent Madeline Stone about what to expect from a COVID Christmas and which changes to our spending habits are likely to stick. 

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Nov 25, 2020
Denim Wars | Are Your Jeans Blue or Red? | 7
00:24:28

Consumers are increasingly looking to buy from brands whose values match their own, and denim is no different. These days, the jeans giants are not only facing down threats from each other, but navigating a new era of partisan consumerism. For more on how denim and other industries are appealing to consumers on both sides of the aisle, we speak with Cait Lamberton. She's a professor of marketing at Wharton who specializes in consumption behavior and marketing practice. Plus, she shares advice for entrepreneurs wondering whether to take their brands political. 

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Nov 23, 2020
Denim Wars | The Unravelling | 6
00:27:36

It's 1999 and Levi's is a company in trouble. It's drowning in debt, out of fashion, and hobbled by sub-par distribution.

But while Levi's searches for a way to make a comeback, a new, fast-growing enemy is out to convince people to abandon jeans altogether.

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Nov 18, 2020
Wondery presents Jacked: Rise of the New Jack Sound
00:04:49

Subscribe today: http://wondery.fm/Jacked_Wondery

Hosted by Golden Globe winner Taraji P. Henson. 

Have you ever had a dream? Something you wanted so bad you just couldn’t let it go? For a group of kids in Harlem in the Eighties, their dreams would change pop music forever. Teddy Riley, Timmy Gatling, and Aaron Hall form a group called Guy that would fuse hip-hop and R&B and launch a new sound. By the early Nineties, the New Jack Sound dominated the pop music charts: Bell Biv Devoe, Bobby Brown, Boyz II Men, and many more. But the rise of the New Jack sound would come at a cost, and not everyone would make it to the top. From Wondery and Universal Music Group, Jacked is a story of friendship, gangsters, double-crosses, and big dreams.


Nov 17, 2020
Denim Wars | Lord of the Flies | 5
00:25:19

It's the '80s and Levi's is far out in front in the battle for denim dominance. 

But Lee owner V.F. Corporation isn't giving up. It's about to make a major move that will pile the pressure on Levi's and threaten its status as market leader.

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Nov 16, 2020
Denim Wars | From Freak to Chic | 4
00:26:20

It's the late '60s and Levi's is seeking to stay on trend by tuning into the flower-power movement taking over San Francisco. 

But keeping up with the ever-shifting tides of fashion is harder than it looks and soon Europe will be taking jeans onto an unfamiliar battleground: the catwalk.

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Nov 11, 2020
Denim Wars | Storming the Castle | 3
00:24:48

It's the 1950s and young Americans are idolizing the new wave of Hollywood rebels and horrifying their parents by wearing jeans. 

But as these post-war renegades take denim duds out of the workplace, the jean giants find themselves between a rock and a hard place.

Do they hold fast to their traditional base of cowboys and factory workers, or embrace the teenagers who are adopting denim? 

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Nov 09, 2020
Denim Wars | Old Western Blues | 2
00:25:13

It's the mid-1800s and a young wholesaler called Levi Strauss is looking to cash in on the California Gold Rush.

But when a wandering tailor approaches Strauss with a revolutionary idea, his business takes an unexpected turn into the world of workwear — and it will change his family’s destiny.

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Nov 04, 2020
Denim Wars | Cowboys & Indigos | 1
00:25:53

It's the 1930s and Californian jeans maker Levi Strauss & Co. is struggling. The Great Depression is destroying jobs and killing demand for its denim workwear.

So when a craze for the Old West boosts demand for jeans, Levi's and its rival Lee seize the moment. But then an unfamiliar stranger swaggers into town looking to make their battle a three-way shootout.

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Nov 02, 2020
Pandemic Economy: Best of Business Wars Daily | 61
00:26:08

COVID-19 has flipped the economy on its head. But the pandemic’s new normal has also created new opportunities. Against all odds, some businesses are actually thriving -- and we’re not just talking about streaming companies. Today we bring you a roundup of some of our favorite recent stories from our weekday news podcast, Business Wars Daily. 

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Oct 28, 2020
Gallo: Godfathers Of Wine | The Gallo Family Today | 7
00:33:31

When Ernest and Joseph Gallo died in 2007, decades after their brother Julio, it put an end to a family saga that had stretched for the better part of a century. But the company the brothers founded is still going strong. On the show this week is Cyril Penn, Editor In Chief of Wine Business Monthly, a trade magazine for the wine industry. We’ll talk about the current state of the Gallo Family wine brand and how it fits in the wider California wine industry. Plus, we’ll bring in Barbara Bogaev, who wrote this series, for a quick chat about how she researched the story. 

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Oct 26, 2020
Gallo: Godfathers of Wine | Wine is Thicker Than Blood | 6
00:28:15

It’s the 1980’s and Gallo rockets to the top of the new lucrative wine cooler market with a brilliant ad campaign for its Bartles and Jaymes brand.  But long held resentments, buried secrets and lurking distrust bubble up to the surface when the “unknown Gallo brother,” Joe, Jr., launches a cheese business under the label of Joseph Gallo. Now Ernest, Julio and Joe Jr. fight a final bitter trademark battle in court over the family fortune and legacy. 

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Oct 21, 2020
Gallo: Godfathers of Wine | The Grapes of Wrath | 5
00:27:06

Heading into the turbulent 1960s, Ernest Gallo attempts to conquer the Midwestern wine market by taking on a dangerous associate of Al Capone in Chicago. 

As the company grows, the two Gallos join forces in consolidating their control over the family empire and edging their younger brother, Joe, Jr, out of the family business. But just as Gallo reaches the pinnacle of the industry, it gets caught in the middle of a major labor rights battle. Cesar Chavez and his United Farmworkers are fighting with the Teamsters union over who will represent grape pickers. Chavez’s Gallo Boycott is poised to become the company’s biggest public relations challenge yet.

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Oct 19, 2020
Gallo: Godfathers of Wine | Thunderbird | 4
00:24:05

It’s the 1940s and as American soldiers battle the Axis powers overseas, Ernest and Julio Gallo fulfill lucrative government contracts for jet fuel ingredients made out of ethyl alcohol, known as "torpedo juice.” They also make a risky wager on the volatile grape market. When peace comes, the Gallo brothers pour their wartime windfall into developing the most aggressive and controversial sales techniques in the industry.

Towards the end of the 1950s Ernest Gallo creates a blockbuster new product aimed at black, urban consumers. Thunderbird — beloved by winos everywhere — rockets Gallo to the top, but drives a wedge between the high-minded winemaker Julio Gallo and his bottom-line obsessed brother, Ernest. 

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Oct 14, 2020
Gallo: Godfathers of Wine | The Miracle Year | 3
00:25:50

It’s the 1930s and with Prohibition finally over, Americans are eager to drown themselves in booze. Ernest Gallo persuades his reluctant brother, Julio, to partner with him on starting a winery. Ernest employs every trick in the book to bolster sales, including conning customers, flouting laws and dodging government inspectors. He then gives his younger brother Joe, Jr. a menial job in the family business, but mistreats him badly. And when Joe, Jr. comes of age, Ernest and Julio terminate their guardianship of him in a secretive manner that will haunt the family, and one day cast a terrible shadow over their empire. 

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Oct 12, 2020
Gallo: Godfathers of Wine | Violence in the Vineyard | 2
00:24:30

It’s the roaring twenties and Joe Gallo Sr.’s two teenage sons, Ernest and Julio, help run the family’s extensive vineyards and bootlegging operations. Young Ernest plays a tricky game, dealing with Al Capone in Chicago and dodging G-men. But the stock market crash of ’29 pitches the family into a financial free fall, and drives their volatile father to become increasingly violent. Until, one fateful day, their parent’s lives come to a sudden, horrific and mysterious end. 

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Oct 07, 2020
Gallo: Godfathers of Wine | The Gangster and The Grape Grower | 1
00:23:40

It's the early 1900’s and two young brothers emigrate from Italy to the US to make their fortunes. In California, they con, grift and bamboozle their fellow immigrants out of thousands of dollars, enough to start a wine business. But when Prohibition shuts that down, they dive into the dangerous game of bootlegging, with disastrous results.  

The older brother has two young sons, Ernest and Julio Gallo. He doesn’t know it yet, but his sons will eventually transform his sketchy legacy into the largest wine company in the world, E & J Gallo Winery. 

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Oct 05, 2020
Pizza Hut vs Domino's | Hut In A Rut? | 7
00:29:10

In 2009, Domino’s went into crisis mode after a prank threatened to ruin the brand’s already substandard image. You might say that was a wake up call. The company would go on to invest heavily in technology and delivery in the intervening years.

Meanwhile, Pizza Hut doubled down on its sit-in restaurants and fancier toppings, but their investment barely moved the needle on profits.

Now after 60 years of jockeying for the top spot in the pizza hierarchy, Domino’s has pulled out in front of its biggest competitor. But there are even more challenges coming to Pizza Hut and Domino’s, not to mention the entire restaurant industry itself.

To dig into this more David is joined by Sam Oches. He’s the editorial director of Food News Media, a B2B company specializing in the fast casual industry. 

For more on Sam Oches check out his podcast Fast Forward and QSR Magazine

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Sep 30, 2020
Pizza Hut vs Domino's | The Pizza Confession | 6
00:24:38

It’s 2009 and Domino’s is about to risk everything in a daring bid to shake off its reputation as the home of sub-par pizza.

But Pizza Hut’s having a hard time too. Its iconic red-roof restaurants are now holding it back, so the brand looks to satisfy America’s increasingly demanding palate.

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Sep 28, 2020
Pizza Hut vs Domino's | Slices of Science | 5
00:24:41

It’s the 1990s and Domino’s rapid rise on the back of its 30-minute delivery guarantee is about to smash straight into a legal roadblock. 

And while Domino’s extracts itself from the wreckage, Pizza Hut’s cooking up a new recipe for success. Its latest creation will horrify purists and help the chain fend off pizza’s newest player: Papa John’s.

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Sep 23, 2020
Sponsored | Seoul Taco Founder David Choi on the ‘Right Way’ to Expand a Business | 2
00:16:14

Last week, we gave you the first half of our interview with Seoul Taco Founder David Choi. If you didn't catch that part of our conversation, we encourage you to go back and check it out.

Since starting his Seoul Taco business eight years ago, Choi has expanded to seven total locations in Illinois and Missouri.

Today, we continue our conversation with Choi and learn more about his business philosophy, his work in the communities he serves, and what’s next for Seoul Taco.  

This episode is sponsored by the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® card.

Sep 22, 2020
Pizza Hut vs Domino's | Deliverance | 4
00:24:09

It’s the late 1980s and Domino’s founder Tom Monaghan’s living the high life. After years of struggle, he’s a billionaire and he’s buying up plenty of status symbols to prove it. 

But as Pizza Hut tries to rally a counter-attack, a day of reckoning is fast approaching for the pizza delivery pioneer.

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Sep 21, 2020
Pizza Hut vs Domino's | Delivering the Goods | 3
00:24:25

It’s the ‘80s and Domino’s is gunning for Pizza Hut.

Domino’s has kickstarted the speediest expansion program in fast-food history and it’s not planning on stopping until it’s planted its flag in every corner of the USA.

But while Domino’s goes on the attack, Pizza Hut finds itself caught between a rock and a hard place.

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Sep 16, 2020
Sponsored | From Food Truck to Franchise: How David Choi Started Seoul Taco | 1
00:15:57

Before you’re ready for a full-fledged “Business War,” you need to start somewhere. David Choi put it all on the line and drained his bank account to buy his first food truck. 

Eight years later, Choi’s bold vision for Korean and Mexican fusion has made an impact on the culinary scene. 

In this episode, we hear from Choi about his humble beginnings, his hustle, and the importance of small businesses. 

This episode is sponsored by the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® card.

Sep 15, 2020
Pizza Hut vs Domino's | Meltdown | 2
00:24:59

It’s the dawn of the 1970s and Pizza Hut is about to join America's business elite by floating on the stock exchange. But the Kansas pizza giant’s moment of triumph turns into defeat.

But while Pizza Hut’s been charming investors on Wall Street, Domino’s is living on skid row. And founder Tom Monaghan’s running out of time to save the day.

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Sep 14, 2020
Pizza Hut vs Domino's | Rolling out | 1
00:25:33

It’s 1958 and on the East and West Coasts, all the cool cats are chowing down on pizza.

Yet in the heartland, far away from the buzz of New York and LA, pizza is still rarely seen, let alone eaten. But that’s all about to change, thanks to a new pizzeria opened by two brothers in a hut in Kansas.

And they’re not the only siblings with pie in the sky dreams. In Michigan, the Monaghan brothers are hoping to bring pizza to the nation’s front doors.

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Sep 09, 2020
FedEx vs UPS | FedEx, UPS and Amazon’s Close Ties to the Postal Service | 7
00:24:42

In our last episode, Amazon had once again taken a financial hit to get ahead in the shipping game, cutting out its need for FedEx and UPS, and turning them into the competition. But there’s one more link in the shipping chain that FedEx, UPS and even Amazon hasn’t cut loose: The United States Postal Service.

Private shipping companies also sometimes hire the Post Office to take care of last-mile deliveries. But that might be changing as FedEx becomes more self-sufficient, and may plan to cut some of its ties with the USPS. Does that mean UPS will follow? And if so, will your shipping rates rise as the Post Office faces cutbacks later this year?

To learn more, David chats with Sucharita Kodali, a digital business strategy and e-commerce expert at Forrester Research. 

For more on Sucharita Kodali: https://www.forrester.com/sucharita-kodali

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Sep 07, 2020
FedEx vs UPS | Deal with the Devil | 6
00:23:52

Both FedEx and UPS are doing a lot of business with e-commerce companies, especially Amazon.  But after one disastrous Christmas season when both companies have difficulty delivering in time for Christmas, Amazon decides it’s time to bring shipping in-house. Going forward, UPS and FedEx’s biggest rival may not be each other, but the company that was once their best customer.

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Sep 02, 2020
FedEx vs UPS | On the Line | 5
00:24:52

With UPS expanding aggressively into Europe and other continents, FedEx decides to bet big on China.  But it’s a risky strategy that initially looks like it’s going to fall short.  

Meanwhile, UPS tries to maintain its competitive advantage by pushing for more productivity from its workers.  But the drivers have had enough and UPS soon has a major labor relations problem on its hands. UPS’s troubles give FedEx an opening to peel away some of its business.

And at the dawn of the dot com era, both companies make a play for a new type of customer.

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Aug 31, 2020
FedEx vs UPS | When in Rome... | 4
00:22:51

UPS decides it’s time to expand its market outside North America and makes a big push into Western Europe.  But it’s harder than expected to integrate its corporate culture with European norms.  

FedEx CEO Fred Smith eschews European expansion and goes all-in on a risky new service called ZapMail, much to his executive team’s dismay.  

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Aug 26, 2020
FedEx vs UPS | We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Plane | 3
00:22:53

Finally financially stable, FedEx takes on the US government to overturn regulations that limit the size of the planes they can fly.  Convinced the regulations are limiting its growth, FedEx launches a multi-pronged strategy to persuade Congress to change the rules.

And UPS realizes it needs to compete directly with FedEx and finally buys its own planes to offer next-day air service.   

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Aug 24, 2020
FedEx vs UPS | Vegas or Bust | 2
00:22:24

After a disastrous start, FedEx needs to change its sales pitch or it will run out of money before it even has a chance to take off.  Smith resorts to surprising means to raise the money to keep his fledgling company going.

UPS is convinced FedEx will be out of business in a matter of months.  But it has its own problems to attend to, as drivers are feeling dissatisfied and start to organize for better working conditions.  

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Aug 19, 2020
FedEx vs UPS | Kick the Tire, Light the Fires | 1
00:23:36

It’s the early 1970s, and 27-year-old Fred Smith has an idea for a new kind of package delivery service, one that uses its own planes to deliver packages in under 24 hours.  Skeptics tell him the start-up costs are too high and the demand too low, but Smith thinks he’s found a way to make it work. He invests millions of his own money to get the new company started.  

But when one thing after another goes wrong, it looks like Smith might have made a big mistake. And that’s before he’s even had a chance to challenge one of the most respected companies in America: UPS. 

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Aug 17, 2020
Dating App Wars | Dating Apps Pivot as COVID-19 Continues | 7
00:22:05

Almost one in three relationships start as online encounters. But the popularity of dating apps isn’t surprising with so many to choose from, and the pandemic may even be boosting dating app use.

For more on how COVID-19 has changed online dating, and how apps are adapting, David speaks today with Ashley Carman, a senior reporter covering dating apps for The Verge. Carman is also Co-host of The Verge’s Why’d You Push That Button podcast. She’s here to talk about which apps are thriving, and what they’ve been doing right.

For more on Ashley Carman:

https://podcasts.voxmedia.com/host/ashley-carman

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Aug 12, 2020
Dating App Wars | An App-rehensive Future | 6
00:23:43

Whitney Wolfe Herd establishes Bumble with a strident anti-misogyny agenda, but that foundation is rocked when shocking accusations of sexual harassment surface against Wolfe Herd’s co-founder. 

Meanwhile, the revolutionary gay app Grindr goes through a scandalous upheaval when a Chinese company buys the company and installs a straight president.  

And the cyber dating world undergoes a major rethinking as the coronavirus ushers in unprecedented, devastating changes for singles and everyone else on the planet. 

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Aug 10, 2020
Dating App Wars | Are You Ready to Bumble? | 5
00:22:59

Niche apps are kicking into high gear for users with specific criteria, and there’s something for everyone: muzmatch for Muslims, Mouse Mingle for Disney fans, Twindog for canine lovers, Sizzl for bacon aficionados, Bristl for beard enthusiasts and Dead Meet for morticians and other death professionals. 

In the mainstream, Match and Tinder have a new, serious competitor: Whitney Wolfe Herd’s Bumble. The feminist app debuts to a huge response — and a stinging lawsuit from Wolfe Herd’s former employer, Tinder. 

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Aug 05, 2020
Dating App Wars | Crimes of Passion | 4
00:22:50

What seemed like a run of the mill office romance gone very, very wrong will result in a devastating upheaval in the power structure at Tinder. And repercussions will be felt throughout the industry as Whitney Wolfe exacts some delicious corporate revenge.

And as the cyber dating world is rocked by horrific violence against women, apps that put female users in the driver’s seat start to get serious traction. 

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Aug 03, 2020
Dating App Wars | The Revolution Will Be Swiped | 3
00:25:38

A new app aimed at gay users is about to break open an entirely new feature that will redefine the cyber dating business. And a young man emerging from a shower gets his inspiration for a new hookup site as he wipes the steam from his mirror. 

Soon Tinder is on fire, but the conglomerate Match Group is determined to get a stranglehold on the market. And as the industry leaps from computer screens to mobile devices, things are heading into uncharted territory.

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Jul 29, 2020
Dating App Wars | eHarmonic Convergence | 2
00:23:27

Dr. Neil Clark Warren is a 63-year-old theologian and clinical psychologist with a vision for a site he’s certain can lead to romantic success. eHarmony will be the first to take on the powerful Match.com. And Warren believes he is on—quite literally—a sacred mission to offer something that Match.com can’t match.

eHarmony’s Christian agenda seems to be working, until the God stuff leads to serious disharmony. Dr. Warren doesn’t know it, but he’s headed for a holy war.

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Jul 27, 2020
Dating App Wars | Lighting Up Match.com | 1
00:24:14

It’s 1995, and computer dating is in its infancy. Most people think it’s a dark, sleazy world for desperate losers and horny perverts. But that’s all about to change. Pioneer site Match.com paves the way for cyber dating to move toward mainstream culture, but—in an era when few people even use a computer—it’s going to be a serious struggle.

And as the dating market blossoms, burgeoning companies will stop at nothing to get the coveted edge, fighting for hip cache, consumer convenience and tech advances. It’s a tough business, but all’s fair in online love and war.  

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Jul 22, 2020
Diamond Wars | The Future of the Diamond Industry | 8
00:21:12

Today we conclude our Diamond Wars series.

 These precious stones are known to be undeniably beautiful, rare and a symbol of luxury. But diamonds have also been associated with war, human rights abuses and death. In response, consumers these days are demanding more transparency about where stones are sourced. Some are seeking out less expensive gemstone alternatives or lab-grown diamonds. And even powerhouse companies like De Beers have taken strides to adapt.  

To find out more about the future of the diamond industry we’ll hear from Paul Zimnisky, an independent global diamond industry analyst. 

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Jul 20, 2020
Diamond Wars | The Alchemists | 7
00:26:17

It’s the 2000s and the diamond cartel is dead. Now, De Beers must adjust to its new status as the market leader rather than the monopoly. But the threats to its business aren’t going away.  

Diamonds are losing their luster with the young, and Zimbabwe’s undermining the industry’s response to conflict diamonds. And most threatening of all, a wave of new start ups are out to disrupt De Beers by growing man-made diamonds.

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Jul 15, 2020
Diamond Wars | Monopolies Aren’t Forever | 6
00:23:40

It’s the late 1990s and rebel armies in Angola, Sierra Leone and Congo are bankrolling campaigns of mass murder and terror with diamonds. Now, after years of turning a blind eye, the diamond-buying public is starting to notice the bloodshed. 

But as the issue of so-called “blood diamonds” rises up the political agenda, De Beers is plotting what might be the boldest move yet in its long history: giving up its quest to control all the world’s diamonds.

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Jul 13, 2020
Diamond Wars | Blood and Champagne | 5
00:26:00

It’s 1966 and De Beers is about to abandon its eleven-year search for diamonds in Botswana. But the geologist behind the search is far from ready to pack up his tools.

And De Beers isn’t the only one searching for gemstones. Soon, a major diamond find in Australia will leave the diamond monopoly facing a big dilemma: should it seek to control or to destroy this Antipodean threat?

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Jul 08, 2020
Diamond Wars | The Shadow World | 4
00:25:31

It’s the early 1950s and West Africa’s growing number of diamond smugglers is causing headaches for De Beers. 

Faced with millions of pounds in losses, the diamond monopoly decides it’s time to get tough with the smugglers.

But while De Beers battles the illicit diamond traders, in the far east of the Soviet Union a new threat is brewing. 

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Jul 06, 2020
Diamond Wars | Diamond Dogfight | 3
00:25:00

It’s 1940, and the world is at war. The Allies and Axis powers are scrambling to lock down supplies of the industrial diamonds needed to mass produce their tanks, planes and submarines.

But when the White House demands De Beers hands over a year’s supply of industrial diamonds, it soon learns the cartel is as hard to break as the diamonds it sells. 

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Jul 01, 2020
Diamond Wars | The Puppet Master | 2
00:24:29

It’s 1914 and De Beers’s monopoly is under threat. Diamonds have been discovered on the desolate coast of the German colony of South West Africa.

So it hired an ambitious diamond expert named Ernest Oppenheimer and gave him his orders: head to the beach and assess the threat.

But then World War One disrupts De Beers chance to do a deal with the German diamond miners. Now, Oppenheimer sees his chance to scramble to the very top of the diamond industry.

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Jun 29, 2020
Diamond Wars | The Diamond Rush | 1
00:30:24

It’s 1869 and diamonds have been found in Cape Colony. 

Now, diamond hunters from across the world are heading to this remote British outpost in southern Africa, seeking a glittering fortune.

And among them are two wide-eyed hopefuls: streetwise Barney Barnato, who hails from the London slums, and Cecil Rhodes, a vicar’s son with a head full of imperialist daydreams.

When the diamond rush turns to bust, Barnato and Rhodes embark on a quest to conquer the mines. But only one man can win.

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Jun 24, 2020
Uber vs Lyft | Examining Toxic Company Culture in the Rideshare Industry | 7
00:22:33

Uber and Lyft have made their mark as very different brands.

Lyft was born out of a need for more environmentally friendly rideshare options. And is also seen as the “friendlier” of the two companies. While Uber’s former CEO, Travis Kalanick built a reputation for ruthlessness, sexual harassment and “bro culture.”

Still, both companies have seen protests from their drivers, who’ve demanded benefits and better pay for countless hours spent on the road. So how much has Uber and Lyft’s company culture affected their business up until now? And what will the future hold for these tech giants?

For some answers, we hear from New York Times Technology Reporter Mike Isaac. Isaac is also the author of the book, “Super PUMPED: The Battle for Uber.” He’ll talk about his reporting on Kalanick, Uber and how company culture at Uber and Lyft matters, now more than ever, to consumers. 


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Jun 22, 2020
Uber vs Lyft | Evolve or Die | 6
00:23:26

New CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is cleaning house after the departure of Travis Kalanick. But after a disappointing IPO, Khosrowshahi has to boost the company’s ailing financials and fight against lawmakers who are siding with aggrieved drivers.

Then COVID-19 hits. Uber and Lyft are faced with a crisis that could alter ridesharing forever. Khosrowshahi leans into Uber Eats, while John Zimmer and Logan Green struggle to keep their dream alive.

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Jun 17, 2020
Uber vs Lyft | Damage Control | 5
00:24:32

February 2017, Super Bowl Sunday. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is taking a black car home when he gets in an altercation with the driver. LIttle does he know, the entire exchange has been captured on a dashcam recording. And when it goes viral, Kalanick will have to fight for his reputation — and his job. 

Lyft, meanwhile, spies an opening. As sexual harassment scandals plague their rival and users move to #DeleteUber, John Zimmer and Logan Green finally have a chance to really capitalize on their “good guy” reputation.

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Jun 15, 2020
Uber vs Lyft | Kill or Be Killed | 4
00:25:13

Uber is facing blowback from all directions — the taxi industry, riders, and the most important man in tech: Apple's Tim Cook. Uber’s been engaged in some disreputable activity, and it's finally catching up with them. 

Lyft forges ahead and forms a new alliance to fight back against Uber's growing global footprint. But Uber will once again outmaneuver its competitor. 

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Jun 10, 2020
Uber vs Lyft | Race to the Bottom | 3
00:23:27

It's 2013, and Lyft's CEO John Zimmer is hosting a little celebration for drivers when some very unwelcome interlopers turn up to crash the party. Uber’s Travis Kalanick wants to destroy Lyft at any cost, and he's willing to do what it takes to outmaneuver his competitor and steal its riders and drivers — even if it means playing dirty. 

Lyft decides to stick to its environmentalist roots and focus on a new ridesharing feature it hopes will woo customers away. Until Uber beats them to the punch, and drives its rival to the brink of collapse.

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Jun 08, 2020
Uber vs Lyft | Revenge Business | 2
00:24:01

It's the late '90s, and Travis Kalanick is hanging out in his dorm room at UCLA. He’s having a file-sharing party with his friends that leads to his first business. But Kalanick’s forced to grow up quickly as he learns that naïveté can cost you millions and Silicon Valley investors aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. 

Logan Green finds inspiration while stuck in horrible LA traffic and adopts a new anti-car ethos that will shape Lyft’s mission. And on the East Coast, John Zimmer learns how to woo customers — a skill he’ll translate into startup success.

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Jun 03, 2020
Uber vs Lyft | Black Cars and Pink Mustaches | 1
00:27:38

It’s December 2008, and two friends and fellow tech entrepreneurs, Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick, can't get a taxi. Camp’s already obsessed with the idea of a service that summons a private driver with the push of a button, but now Kalanick gets the appeal. Together, they'll build Uber, and do whatever it takes to reign supreme. 

Meanwhile, recent college grads John Zimmer and Logan Green channel their shared passion for the environment into the creation of a carpooling startup for long rides. But pretty quickly, they realize they need to service short trips, too, and Lyft is born. But in order to succeed, they have to convince people to jump in a car with a complete stranger. And, they’ll have to go up against Uber in a battle for ridesharing supremacy. 

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Jun 01, 2020
Business Battles | Toilet Paper Wars: White Gold | 5
00:24:30

Quarantine restrictions during the coronavirus have induced toilet paper panic-buying as people scratch, claw and punch each other to get rolls. But why? What’s behind the frenzy, and how will that affect the TP industry? 

In the last 150 years, it’s grown from selling humble boxes of paper to mass marketing rolls of delicate, luxurious tissue. And now a wave of eco-friendly independent companies are making a bid for your bathroom business. 

It’s a high stakes, multi-billion dollar industry that we take for granted. Until we fear losing it. Then all bets are off.

May 27, 2020
Business Battles | Tetris: Soviet Blocks | 4
00:27:12

It’s 1988, and Tetris is making waves. It’s billed as the first Soviet video game, and it’s selling fast.

But the man who introduced it to the West harbors a secret: he doesn’t own the rights. And when his subterfuge fails, a multi-million-dollar battle to win over the communist regime breaks out on the streets of Moscow.

It’s a clash that pits the Japanese gaming overlords of Nintendo against the sprawling empire of ruthless media baron Robert Maxwell.

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May 20, 2020
Business Battles | Cola Space Race: One Giant Sip for Mankind | 3
00:25:27

It’s 1984 and the cola war is neck and neck. After years of struggle, Pepsi looks ready to triumph over Coca-Cola. 

So Coke’s striking back by opening a new battlefront in the quest for soda supremacy: outer space. 

But its plan to send its world-famous drink into orbit won’t stay secret for long. And when Pepsi finds out, it sparks a new space race.

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May 18, 2020
Business Battles | Monopoly: Winner Takes All | 2
00:27:05

It's 1902 and political campaigner Lizzie Magie is fighting a losing battle. For years, she’s pushed the idea of a land-value tax, but fewer and fewer people are listening.

So she’s going to try something new to spread the word. She’s going to make a board game – and not just any game. Magie’s game is going to become the biggest game of all time.

Trouble is, when the battle for her game breaks out, she’s the one who winds up the loser.

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May 13, 2020
Amazon vs Walmart | How COVID-19 Could Change the Retail Landscape | 7
00:27:44

Since the novel coronavirus hit, Amazon and Walmart have seen a rise in profits, unlike many other retailers. But there have also been struggles to keep up with the flood of customer demands during the pandemic.

Hundreds of thousands of workers have been hired collectively between Amazon and Walmart. And employees for both companies have accused management of not protecting workers enough from the threat of COVID-19. So how are Amazon and Walmart handling the pushback from disgruntled employees? And will they become even bigger threats in the retail market once the pandemic ends? 

To find out what the future holds for these companies, we turn to Jason Del Rey, a senior correspondent covering commerce at ReCode. Del Rey also hosted a podcast from Vox and ReCode called “Land of the Giants: The Rise of Amazon.”

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May 11, 2020
Sponsored: When Small Businesses Think Big - Chobani & Wrigley (Dell Podference) | 2
00:29:18

This episode is brought to you by Wondery in partnership with Dell Technologies. In honor of small businesses, we’re featuring inspiring stories of successful companies that started out small.

In upstate New York, a Kurdish immigrant wants to make his biggest dream come true: to produce the tart, custard-thick Greek yogurt of his childhood for American palates. In 2005, he buys an abandoned Kraft factory for cheap. With an ingenious financing deal, standout packaging and clever marketing, he launches Chobani — the yogurt sensation that eventually forces goliaths Yoplait and Dannon to move over. 

While Chobani launched a quiet incursion, William Wrigley Jr. set out to upend the gum industry in 1893 with an improved spearmint flavor.  After one misstep after another, he finally gets traction. Then the gum monopoly approaches him: join or be crushed. Thanks to a savvy advertising campaign, he blows past them to become the nation’s biggest gum purveyor.

May 07, 2020
Amazon vs Walmart - The Stealth Enemy | 6
00:25:59

As the COVID-19 virus spreads across the globe and forces people inside their homes for months, the world relies on online shopping more than ever. Amazon and Walmart both struggle to keep up with surging demand as their legendary infrastructures are put to the test. And workers inside both companies rise up, arguing that the retail giants are failing to protect them from the virus, prioritizing the bottom line over workers’ health. They’re both more powerful than ever, but also more vulnerable.

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May 06, 2020
Sponsored: When Small Businesses Think Big - Atari & Red Bull (Dell Podference) | 1
00:31:39

This episode is brought to you by Wondery in partnership with Dell Technologies. In honor of small businesses, we’re featuring inspiring stories of successful companies that started out small.

In 1972, pinball machines and mechanical games ruled the arcades. Then, Atari founders Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney came up with a game on a television screen controlled by two players. Pong helped catapult Atari from a start-up to the leader of video games, where it would stay – almost unopposed – for the next decade. 

Once Atari made Pong, the company took off like a rocket. But for Dietrich Mateschitz, success was a slog. When he returned home to Austria from a trip to Thailand in 1982, he brought an idea for an energy drink with him. His creation was expensive and tasted foul, and would be rejected over and over.  But a slick marketing campaign made it the symbol of club cool and fuel for daredevils — and it took North America by storm.

May 05, 2020
Amazon vs Walmart - Food Fight! | 5
00:23:28

Amazon decides to go after Walmart’s biggest category: fresh food. But moving into groceries is harder than Bezos expected. Meanwhile, Walmart has finally found success in marrying their online operation with their brick and mortar stores by allowing consumers to order groceries online and pick them up at a store. And with an aggressive new head of online sales — who has a personal vendetta against Bezos — Walmart is feeling good. But, determined to make an impact in the world of fresh food, Bezos makes a move that surprises everyone and upends the retail world yet again.  


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May 04, 2020
Amazon vs Walmart - There’s No Business Like Shoe Business | 4
00:22:51

Walmart finally decides to focus aggressively on its e-commerce division, but struggles with the best way to use the internet to reach consumers. They decide their best strategy is to buy up successful online retailers. Unbeknownst to Walmart, Amazon, which is looking to move into apparel sales, is pursuing a similar strategy. As the two companies go head-to-head over an unlikely product, Walmart is unprepared for just how dirty Amazon will play.


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Apr 29, 2020
Amazon vs Walmart - Priming the Public | 3
00:24:17

By the mid-2000s, Walmart is starting to show some cracks. They are still successful, but bad press and sluggish growth are taking a toll on their earnings. The company debates the best way to move forward, including focusing on online sales, something they’ve long eschewed. As Walmart waffles, Amazon launches a risky new program that sews internal dissent, but moves the goal posts for e-commerce once again. 


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Apr 27, 2020
Amazon vs Walmart - Provoking the Giant | 2
00:24:56

In the late 1990s, Walmart is happily trucking along, dominating the American retail market. They’re expanding locations and increasing their own backend efficiencies to keep prices low. It’s a formula that’s worked for decades and they see no reason to change now.

But as Bezos expands Amazon’s offerings, he quickly realizes that he doesn’t have the infrastructure to keep up with his ambitions. His warehouses are in chaos. There is only one company that knows infrastructure at the scale he envisions: Walmart.  

When Bezos starts poaching Walmart’s executives, he brings Amazon into Walmart’s sights. And they don’t like what they see.


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Apr 22, 2020
Amazon vs Walmart - The Big Bang Theory of E-Commerce | 1
00:23:51

Ninety-six percent of Americans now shop online, snapping up everything from rare coins to industrial-sized barrels of hand sanitizer. Almost half of those purchases take place on one website: Amazon. 

But before sales were a click away, Walmart was the top dog, decimating main streets across America with its big-box efficiency and ruthlessly low prices. 

It’s 1994, and a slim 30-year-old with thinning hair dreams of leaving his high-paying finance job to sell books on the internet — a move he’s convinced is his ticket to one day dominating the world of e-commerce. Jeff Bezos just has to break the news to his parents. Luckily, he’s already found the perfect name for his new venture. 


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Apr 20, 2020
An Inside Look at The North Face with Former CEO Hap Klopp | 7
00:23:15

One of the key players in the story of The North Face is Hap Klopp, who in 1968, bought the then-burgeoning outdoor sports equipment store. He bought the company for the bargain price of $60,000.

Klopp was CEO of The North Face for the next 20 years, and turned the small chain of Bay Area stores into a multi-million dollar business. Today, The North Face is a global brand that can be found in 5,000 locations across 50 countries. 

We’ll hear from Klopp on what the journey was like to become one of the biggest outdoor apparel brands.


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Apr 15, 2020
The North Face vs Patagonia - Eco-Samurai | 6
00:25:20

It’s 2010 and Yvon Chouinard is about to give Patagonia’s executives their toughest challenge yet: telling people to buy less Patagonia gear.

Meanwhile, The North Face is playing catch up on environmental responsibility with a spate on new initiatives.

But soon, the two rivals will find themselves coming together to battle a common foe.


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Apr 13, 2020
The North Face vs Patagonia - Rescue Mission | 5
00:26:19

It’s the late 1990s and The North Face is seeking to attract mainstream customers by opening hundreds of Summit Shops within the nation’s stores.

But when the expected avalanche of sales fails to materialize, the company finds itself slipping over the edge.

Meanwhile, Patagonia steps up its mission to become a responsible company by tapping into the latest in textile tech. 


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Apr 08, 2020
The North Face vs Patagonia - Zen and the Art of Business | 4
00:26:20

It’s the dawn of the 1990s and Yvon Chouinard is struggling to come to terms with his new status as a successful entrepreneur. He cannot decide what to do with the fast-growing monster he’s created.  

Meanwhile, The North Face’s new owner Odyssey International is pushing the limits as it scrambles to become the king of the mountain.

But when economic headwinds roll in and bring recession, both companies find themselves battling unforgiving conditions.


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Apr 06, 2020
The North Face vs Patagonia - Patagucci | 3
00:25:58

It’s the late 1970s and Patagonia’s living hand to mouth and looking for a way to stoke sales. But when founder Yvon Chouinard suggests making a jersey from an unusual fabric, Patagonia creates a mountain staple and finds its products becoming a favorite of the catwalk crowd.

Meanwhile, The North Face faces tough terrain as Asian imports undercut its American-made gear and the growth in backpacking sales flatlines.

But as both companies rise higher and higher up the corporate ladder, Chouinard and North Face CEO Hap Klopp find themselves wondering what it’s all for.


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Apr 01, 2020
The North Face vs Patagonia - Blazing Trails | 2
00:26:10

It’s 1970 and The North Face’s new owner Hap Klopp is on a mission to turn the dirtbag outdoor store he bought into an industry trailblazer. But with outdoor activity still a niche pastime, he’s going to have to do more than create gear – he’s going to have to create a market too.

But Klopp’s not the only one tapping into new opportunities. Climbing equipment maker Yvon Chouinard is about to make a chance discovery in Scotland. It will lead him into the apparel business through a new venture called Patagonia.


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Mar 30, 2020
The North Face vs Patagonia - Dirtbags | 1
00:23:48

It’s the 1960s, and two climbing buddies are about to lay the foundations for a new industry.

The older of the two is an outdoorsman and part-time blacksmith Yvon Chouinard. His younger buddy is Doug Tompkins, who abandoned his Connecticut rich-kid life to find his kicks in the wilderness.

Niether dreams of riches. They just want enough money to keep climbing. But when they both start businesses based on their hobby, little do they realize that they’re about to climb the heights of corporate America too.


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Mar 25, 2020
Starbucks vs Dunkin - Luckin: China’s Coffee Dark Horse | 7
00:24:27

There’s no doubt that Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts have created empires throughout the U.S. and internationally. Starbucks has more than 15,000 locations in the U.S. alone, and Dunkin Donuts is now in 43 countries. But there could be yet ANOTHER brewing business that’s raring to make a dent in Starbucks’ customer base.


Hailing from China, that new competitor is Luckin Coffee, marketing itself as the convenient gourmet coffee choice, with a lower price point than Starbucks. Sounds a bit like Dunkin’s strategy, right? And in May of 2019, the Chinese coffee giant made its initial public offering in New York.


So could Luckin be on its way to the U.S.? And if so, should Starbucks prepare for its next “Business War” with Luckin here on American soil?


For some answers, our host David Brown chats with market strategist Judy Ganes. Ganes is president of J Ganes Consulting where she focuses on products such as sugar, cocoa, and of course, coffee. 


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Mar 23, 2020
Starbucks vs Dunkin - The Cold Rush | 6
00:25:13

Dunkin and Starbucks are going full on 21st century, doing all they can to top each other with new concept stores, vast emporiums, vegan food options, oat milk lattes and “high- velocity innovations.” But the real world keeps intruding and they can’t get away from it. For all their success, can they truly command their futures? 


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Mar 18, 2020
Starbucks vs Dunkin - A Grande Fail | 5
00:26:18

The Great Recession doesn’t play favorites and both Starbucks and Dunkin are hit hard. As more customers make coffee at home, Dunkin leans into its reputation as the “everyman’s brand” to lure them back. Meanwhile, Starbucks looks to cash in on an untapped beverage market with a risky move. And they both have to contend with public outcry after major PR blunders.


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Mar 16, 2020
Starbucks vs Dunkin - Trouble is Brewing | 4
00:24:28

Howard Schultz can hardly believe the mess his company is in, with sales in free fall. To pull out of it, he’ll need to make a radical move. Yet no matter what he does, Starbucks’ problems only get worse. And Dunkin Donuts is in expansion mode, looking to capitalize on the coffee giant’s missteps. Then, a blind taste test tips the scales in an unexpected direction.


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Mar 11, 2020
Starbucks vs Dunkin - Schultz vs The Bean Counters | 3
00:28:21

Howard Schultz has found his mission. He’s burning to turn Starbucks into an espresso bar business, but he can’t convince Starbucks owners to get onboard. Back in the Northeast, Bill Rosenberg is frustrated too. His son, who’s now Dunkin Donut’s CEO, has ideas that seem sure to wreck the company. Both Schultz and Rosenberg, 3,000 miles apart, are looking for ways to assert control. But soon, Starbucks and Dunkin will come head to head with their biggest challenge: each other.


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Mar 09, 2020
Starbucks vs Dunkin - Mission Espresso | 2
00:25:27

While Dunkin Donuts expands and flourishes, Howard Schultz is bored. But then the 28-year-old New Yorker gets wind of a Seattle company with just four stores that’s selling more coffee makers than Macy’s. He’s got to know why. So he heads to Seattle to check out this company that calls itself Starbucks Coffee and Tea. What he finds there is a revelation but while he’s being seduced by the aroma and taste of delicious coffee, Dunkin Donuts popularity is soaring thanks to a beleaguered baker. 


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Mar 04, 2020
Starbucks vs Dunkin - A Steamy Culture Clash | 1
00:26:04

A former high school dropout named Bill Rosenberg has big dreams and a passion for coffee. In 1950, in the small town of Quincy, Massachusetts he’s got a thriving coffee and donut shop called Dunkin Donuts. In front of the store he proudly puts up a huge sign that reads, World’s Finest Coffee. But in San Francisco, an enterprising immigrant from the Netherlands named Alfred Peet thinks he sells the world’s finest coffee. When two young guys from Seattle get a taste of it, coffee will never be the same. 


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Mar 02, 2020
Nintendo vs Sony - No Surrender | 6
00:25:35

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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Feb 24, 2020
Nintendo vs Sony - The Sleeping Giant | 5
00:22:59

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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Feb 19, 2020
Nintendo vs Sony - Game Time | 4
00:24:02

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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Feb 17, 2020
Nintendo vs Sony - Charm Offensive | 3
00:25:08

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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Feb 12, 2020
Nintendo vs Sony - Man of Steel | 2
00:29:46

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 its entire business over a couple of... cartoon characters.


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Feb 10, 2020
Nintendo vs Sony - Stabbed in the Back | 1
00:29:42

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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Feb 05, 2020
Boeing vs Airbus - The Max Controversy | 7
00:26:24

For more than 50 years, a version of Boeing's 737 aircraft has sailed the skies, dominating the market for short-range, short-haul domestic planes. The 737 is the best-selling commercial aircraft of all time. But competition in the late 1980s got fierce when Airbus entered the market with its model A320. The corporate giants would duke it out for the biggest market share. We conclude our series on Boeing vs. Airbus with aviation safety expert Tom Anthony of the University of Southern California. He joins us to talk about the rivalry, how a major corporate culture shift changed Boeing and what exactly went wrong with the 737 Max.


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Jan 27, 2020
Boeing vs Airbus - Mayday | 6
00:27:41

It’s 2011 and Airbus and Boeing are battling for the biggest deal in commercial aviation history. American Airlines is looking to buy 460 single-aisle airplanes and with the European jet giant going all out to win the contract, Boeing’s under pressure. But when the U.S. plane maker makes a daring strike to win over American, it sets off a chain of events that will plunge Boeing into the biggest crisis in its 100-year history.


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Jan 22, 2020
Boeing vs Airbus - Losing Altitude | 5
00:25:51

It’s the 2000s and after years of talk, Airbus is pushing ahead with its plan to build the biggest passenger jet in the world. But while Airbus is thinking bigger, Boeing’s thinking faster. It’s designing a near-supersonic aircraft called the Sonic Cruiser that it reckons will put some zip into its sales. But market forces, scandal and production challenges are about to put the plans of both companies well off course.

 

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Jan 20, 2020
Boeing vs Airbus - An Unholy Alliance | 4
00:23:53

It’s the late 1980s and following the A320 crash at the Habsheim Air Show in eastern France, the safety of Airbus’s computerized flight system is being called into question. But Boeing’s got troubles too. Airlines aren’t warming to its latest product proposal, it’s losing market share, and Airbus is plotting a strike against its iconic 747 jumbo jet. So with the pressure mounting, the American giant is preparing a series of a high-risk manoeuvres designed to outwit the European competition and defend its status as the king of commercial aircraft.


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Jan 15, 2020
Boeing vs Airbus - Air Bandits | 3
00:24:37

It’s the late 1970s and Airbus is on cloud nine after securing a breakthrough deal with Eastern Airlines. But Boeing’s not taking the consortium’s intrusion into American airspace lightly. And it’s going to use every trick in the book to take down the European challenger. But with help from some powerful friends and a bold idea that’s going to transform flying, Airbus is about to increase the throttle on its journey to the heights of the aviation industry.


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Jan 13, 2020
Boeing vs Airbus - Cleared for Takeoff | 2
00:26:30

It’s 1970 and the Boeing 747 is finally airborne. But bringing this behemoth to market has taken Boeing to the edge of collapse. And it will take years of belt-tightening and perseverance to overcome this jumbo hangover.

Luckily, the Seattle manufacturer’s competition is in disarray and its major American rivals, Douglas and Lockheed, are in even deeper trouble.

But across the Atlantic, a new threat is brewing. Europe’s government-backed Airbus is finally ready to fly. But the European consortium behind this new jetliner is about to discover that making planes is easier than selling them.


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Jan 08, 2020
Boeing vs Airbus - Get Your Wings | 1
00:24:12

It’s the 1950s, the dawn of the jet age. And leading the world into this era of faster, less shaky flights is the British-made De Havilland Comet.

But when disaster strikes, a hungry American military plane maker called Boeing spots a golden opportunity to break into the civil aviation big leagues.

And as Boeing ascends, America’s grip on the aircraft market tightens, crushing the European competition.

But with their market share plummeting, Europe’s plane makers decide they must unite or die.


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Jan 06, 2020
Ford vs Chevrolet - Technology in the Fast Lane | 4
00:31:43

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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Jan 01, 2020
Ford vs Chevrolet - Fast and Sexy | 3
00:27:07

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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Dec 30, 2019
Ford vs Chevrolet - Detroit Joins the War | 2
00:28:29

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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Dec 25, 2019
Ford vs Chevrolet - Tin Lizzie Becomes Roadkill | 1
00:30:53

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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Dec 23, 2019
Macy’s vs Gimbels - Last Store Standing | 6
00:22:57

It’s the 1960s and as Americans flee cities for the suburbs, Macy’s and Gimbels face tough choices. How do they compete with the rise of discount retailers and the exciting new shopping palaces known as malls? Weakened by industry disruption, both stores become vulnerable to the new wave of financial tactics — takeovers and leveraged buyouts. One store’s fateful decision during this transition period will end with it closing its doors forever.

 

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Dec 18, 2019
Macy’s vs Gimbels - Wartime Wagers | 5
00:22:46

In the late 1930s Gimbels makes a risky bet by stockpiling goods likely to be scarce in wartime. They also snap up their rival’s star copywriter, who does the best work of her career at their shop. Their savvy planning and advertising strength position them well for the post-war period, when Americans open their wallets wide. But the lifting of Depression era regulations governing retail leads to a series of price wars between all the department stores. None is as extreme as the one between Macy’s and Gimbels, which ends in mayhem, and sometimes, violence. The price wars force Macy’s to choose between honoring a sacred, century-old discount policy, or risk ending the year in the red for the first time in company history.

 

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Dec 16, 2019
Macy’s vs Gimbels - Diversify or Die | 4
00:25:30

It’s the 1920s and wealthy flappers and captains of industry have money to burn for raccoon coats and monogrammed sterling silver hip flasks. Gimbels makes a risky acquisition of Saks Fifth Avenue, that ends up floating Gimbels through hard times and family tragedy during the Depression. Macy’s counters Gimbels’ strategic expansion by hiring a brilliant young copywriter, one of the first female advertising executives, and entering the new industry of radio broadcasting to advertise to the masses.


If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, here are some additional resources: 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 

National Alliance on Mental Illness: 1-800-950-6264

Crisis Text Line: Within the US, text HOME to 741741

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: 1-800-826-3632

 

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Dec 11, 2019
Macy’s vs Gimbels - Showdown over Manhattan | 3
00:20:44

It’s nearing the turn of the 19th century, and the Straus Brothers now run Macy’s emporium out of a dozen cobbled together stores in lower Manhattan. The next generation of Straus’s pressure the old guard to build a huge new Macy’s flagship on 34th street, in the still seedy red light district of Herald Square. It will take some persuading. And by the time the new venture reaps its reward, the family will be famous for a new reason; the heroism of one of the store’s founding fathers and his wife on the fateful voyage of the Titanic.

Gimbels now has mammoth enterprises in Milwaukee and Philadelphia, and one of Adam’s sons also has greater ambitions. He urges the Gimbel elders to ride the wave of Macy’s high profile and build an even bigger store right on the rival’s doorstep. And when they balk, he comes up with a dastardly plan.

  

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Dec 09, 2019
Macy’s vs Gimbels - Fathers, Sons, and Civil War | 2
00:23:01

As R.H. Macy’s Manhattan emporium and reputation grow during the Civil War, his teenage son rebels and runs away to join the Union army. When the boy goes AWOL, the future of Macy’s burgeoning department store faces jeopardy. But salvation arrives in the form of another recent immigrant from war-torn Germany, Lazarus Straus. His family will lead Macy’s into the next century and a golden age of the department store.

But Adam Gimbel has been busy in Indiana; he now has a prosperous business and 11 children. His seven sons spur their father on to open a bigger and better store in booming Milwaukee. Their ambition and Macy’s growing fame in New York will soon lure the Gimbel Brothers east to challenge him on his home turf.

 

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Dec 04, 2019
Macy’s vs Gimbels - The Frontiersman and the Whaler | 1
00:21:37

It's the mid 1800s and two very different young men set out in the world to make their fortunes. A young boy from Nantucket spends four years at sea on a whaling ship, the other becomes an itinerant peddler in the wilds of Indiana. These two adventurers, R.H. Macy and Adam Gimbel, eventually settle down as merchants, and open their own dry goods stores. They don’t know each other yet, but, as they each grow their businesses, they inadvertently create what we now know as the department store.

 

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Dec 02, 2019
The Raisin Cartels - Gambling the Future | 3
00:22:17

In the midst of their heated negotiations over the price of raisins, the CEO of Sun-Maid and the head of the Raisin Bargaining Association face off, each making their pitch about the state of the raisin industry and the road forward. It’s the first time the two men have been able to appeal directly to the farmers themselves. The farmers must decide whether to follow Sun-Maid’s plan for a lower price for their raisins but a more robust market overall -- or stand by the R.B.A. and a higher price for raisins. Their choice will shape the raisin market for decades to come.


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Nov 27, 2019
The Raisin Cartels - A New Sheriff in Raisin Land | 2
00:22:30

Facing a shrinking raisin market, Sun-Maid hires a new CEO with a mandate to make raisins popular with Millennials. He believes part of the reason consumers are spurning raisins is the price and is set on Sun-Maid paying less money to farmers. This puts him on a collision course with the old school raisin grower who is heading up the Raisin Bargaining Association. With many farmers struggling to make ends meet, the R.B.A. is determined to get the highest price for raisins ever. As the two men clash, tensions escalate to the point of death threats.


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Nov 25, 2019
The Raisin Cartels: A Desperate Brotherhood | 1
00:23:39

The humble raisin: it’s hard to imagine that dried grapes are at the center of one of the longest running business wars in the United States. But with almost all of the country’s raisins coming from a small area in California’s Central Valley, it is a brutal and cutthroat industry.

In the early 20th century a few wealthy raisin growers decided to form a collective called Sun-Maid. After the government mandated that 85% of growers join the collective, Sun-Maid executives used violence and intimidation to get farmers to join. The farmers who held out had little bargaining power and were forced to accept lower prices. But in the 1960s, the independent farmers banded together to fight back. They founded the Raisin Bargaining Association to negotiate higher prices, setting off a power struggle that would last for decades.

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Quartz - Just go to QZ.com for 50% off membership and enter code BW.

And our friends at LinkedIn are back with a new season of Hello Monday with Jessi Hempel. Listen wherever you listen to Business Wars.


Nov 20, 2019
Chocolate and Sustainability | 7
00:29:11

Growing the cocoa needed to produce chocolate on the scale a company like Mars or Hershey needs is an immense undertaking. One serious consequence chocolate producers are now facing is deforestation in countries that grow the cocoa for the world's chocolate demands. The Washington Post reports that in 2017, 40 football fields of tropical forests were lost every minute, spurred by the demand for cocoa and other goods like soybeans and palm oil. We conclude our series Hershey vs Mars with Steven Mufson. He reports on business and climate change for The Washington Post and he joins us to talk about why deforestation has become such a serious issue and why producing environmentally sustainable chocolate is so hard. 


You can read Steven Mufson's reporting on chocolate and deforestation here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/national/climate-environment/mars-chocolate-deforestation-climate-change-west-africa/


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Nov 18, 2019
Hershey vs Mars - Global Chocolate Domination | 6
00:25:50

It’s a new century and Hershey’s facing unexpected trouble at home — a showdown between the company and its biggest shareholder that threatens its independence. 

Meanwhile, Mars is on a mission to become the world’s candy king. And with Hershey yet to break ground outside the U.S., the opportunity to catch up is fading fast.

Hershey knows there’s one move that could transform its overseas fortunes: a merger with its British soulmate Cadbury. The question is can it secure Cadbury’s hand in marriage before Mars triumphs in its quest for global chocolate domination.

 

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Nov 13, 2019
Hershey vs Mars - A Chocolate Rolls Royce | 5
00:24:16

It’s the late 1970s and Mars is America’s top confectioner. But Hershey is hungry for a comeback. It’s plotting a return to the top powered by a rush of new candies it hopes can nibble away at Mars’ market share.

Not that Mars has any intention of surrendering pole position without a fight. It thinks it can stop Hershey in its tracks by focusing exclusively on best-selling brands like Snickers, M&M’s and Milky Way.

But what neither company knows is that a tempting opportunity from Hollywood is about to disrupt the balance of power in candy land.

 

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Nov 11, 2019
Hershey vs Mars - Mars Attacks! | 4
00:25:18

It’s 1965 and Forrest Mars has just become the manufacturer of Snickers and M&M’s. He is now – at last – ready to duke it out with Hershey in a battle to become the number one candy maker in America.

And he knows Hershey is far from prepared for his sudden switch from ally to enemy. Hershey is a company wedded to tradition. It has no marketing department, doesn’t advertise, and has a completely complacent sales team.

The question is: can Hershey shake off its docile ways in time to stop Forrest’s relentless advance?


Exciting news! Business Wars is now available globally. That means you can listen to Business Wars in French, German, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese: 

 

wondery.fm/BWPortuguese

wondery.fm/BWSpanish

wondery.fm/BWFrench

wondery.fm/BWGerman

 

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Nov 06, 2019
Hershey vs Mars - A Candy-Coated Prayer | 3
00:25:52

It’s the 1940s and Forrest Mars’ plan to create a candy empire is stepping up a gear. He’s plotting to seize control of his dad’s company Mars and turn it into a Hershey killer.

First he needs to get his new candy venture off the ground. But to do that he needs help. Help from Hershey.

But while Forrest’s laying plans, Hershey’s trying to get over the death of founder Milton Hershey and grappling with an unexpected opportunity to become a global player.

 

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Nov 04, 2019
Hershey vs Mars - Blast Off | 2
00:24:03

It’s 1923 and the Hershey Chocolate Company dominates the candy bar business. With its milk chocolate Hershey bar and bite-sized Kisses, Hershey seems impossible to beat. 

But in a Chicago police station, an awkward father-son reunion is about to sire a new challenger in the candy business.

That challenger is Mars and it’ll make its breakthrough by wrapping nougat in chocolate. For now, it’s got no plans to topple Hershey.

But all that’s going to change when a family feud spawns a European offshoot, the launchpad for a new and far more aggressive candy empire.

 

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Oct 30, 2019
Hershey vs Mars - Chocolate Town | 1
00:26:38

It’s 1886 and in New York City, a young confectioner called Milton Hershey is desperately trying to save his business.

He’s been struggling for years. He founded his first candy business in Philadelphia, only to watch it collapse. His second venture lasted just weeks. Now, he’s loaded up with debts he cannot pay.

But he’s about to get a visit from a man who will change his fortunes forever, paving the way for him to introduce America to the joys of milk chocolate… and build a sweets-fueled empire.

 

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Oct 28, 2019
Facebook vs Snapchat - TikTok, The New Social Media Sensation | 7
00:29:40

The social media world moves fast, and the next big thing is already upon us. It’s called TikTok. A video-based app where users create short clips to share with the world, TikTok is growing at a rapid rate. The app has already been downloaded a billion times and boasts 500 million active users around the globe. We conclude our series on Facebook vs Snapchat with a look at the next big player in the social media game.


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Oct 23, 2019
Facebook vs Snapchat - Snapchat’s Comeback | 6
00:24:57

It’s June 2018. Mark Zuckerberg is struggling and morale at the social media giant is low. Facebook has been battered by data breaches and there’s no end in sight. Meanwhile, Evan Spiegel has a chance to turn Snapchat around by refocusing on the teens who’ve abandoned Facebook.

 As Snapchat unveils new features, the startup begins its next battle: To become profitable. And in order to stay the course, Zuckerberg must earn back the trust of Facebook’s users — and regulators who want to break it up.


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Oct 21, 2019
Facebook vs Snapchat - Stock Market Tailspin | 5
00:23:31

It’s April 2017, and Mark Zuckerberg is issuing a new challenge to Snapchat. By making its face filters open source, the tech giant is coming directly for Snapchat's most popular feature. But founder Evan Spiegel has other things to worry about: Snapchat is hemorrhaging users, and its share price is plummeting.

But when the Cambridge Analytica scandal breaks, Facebook's most pressing battle moves to the court of public opinion.


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Oct 16, 2019
Facebook vs Snapchat - Facebook Fights Back | 4
00:23:30

It's September 2015 and Snapchat has just hit on a game-changer for the young company: filters that augment users' faces. Thanks to some celebrity love, the new feature becomes wildly popular. But Mark Zuckerberg is watching closely, and acquires a competing startup.

Then, Zuckerberg switches up his strategy. His new philosophy: Don't be too proud to copy. Unfortunately for Spiegel and Murphy, this is going to have devastating consequences.


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Oct 14, 2019
Facebook vs Snapchat - The Offer | 3
00:27:00

It’s November 2013, and Mark Zuckerberg is about to make Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy an offer he thinks they can't refuse. But when Spiegel and Murphy do the unimaginable, it prompts Facebook to compete — by copying.

Snapchat is gathering steam, but data leaks are hurting the company's credibility and Spiegel's reputation. To survive, they're going to have to do the hardest thing for a startup — grow up.


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Oct 09, 2019
Facebook vs Snapchat - Children of Privilege | 2
00:27:47

It's the new millennium and Mark Zuckerberg is bored in high school. He's a prodigious student so smart he's already taking graduate level coding classes at Mercy College. Soon, he's going to build a product that will change the Internet forever. Now he just has to graduate high school.

Evan Spiegel, meanwhile, grows up rich and spoiled. He parties his way through high school and lands in a fraternity at Stanford. But things are about to get serious for Spiegel as Zuckerberg reaches out.


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Oct 07, 2019
Facebook vs Snapchat - Vanishing Act | 1
00:26:36

It’s April 2011, and Evan Spiegel is about to present his class project. Right now, it's called Picaboo. Soon, it's going to become Snapchat. But for Spiegel, this is more important than grades--at stake are potential investors and the future of communication as we know it.

 Mark Zuckerberg, meanwhile, is sitting on the world's biggest social networking site, boasting 500 million users. But he knows his success depends on staying relevant. To do so, he's going to have to compete with Snapchat.


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Oct 02, 2019
WWF vs WCW - The Future of Pro Wrestling | 7
00:28:10

World Wrestling Entertainment is the dominant name in professional wrestling but new promotions are now challenging the WWE’s dominance. We conclude our series on WWF vs WCW with David Shoemaker, author of The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling. Shoemaker joins us to talk about whether or not these new companies can succeed against Vince McMahon's behemoth and what it means to be the best professional wrestler in the world.


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Sep 30, 2019
WWF vs WCW - Down for the Count | 6
00:30:09

It’s 1998 and the slugfest between Vince McMahon’s WWF and Ted Turner’s WCW is reaching a critical juncture.

McMahon’s on a mission to pull wrestling fans back to his TV shows with a strategy focused on maximum controversy. And to help him in his mission, he’s getting back-up from a high-flying TV executive and a bunch of Wall Street bankers.

WCW chief Eric Bischoff is determined to stop WWF’s comeback at all costs. But he’ll soon discover that his most dangerous enemy isn’t McMahon — it’s the executives on his own team.


Sep 25, 2019
WWF vs WCW - Shock Tactics | 5
00:27:23

It’s 1996 and with Monday Nitro topping the TV ratings, WCW is out to end WWF’s time as the biggest player in the wrestling business.

It’s plotting to establish two brands: one that WCW boss Eric Bischoff hopes can suck away WWF’s family audience, another that will seek to capture the young males who crave more violent and outrageous entertainment than the WWF offers.

But Vince McMahon has a plan of his own. He’s going to push the WWF in a new direction by embracing controversy. But it’s a strategy that will put him on a collision course with the cable network the WWF depends on for its survival.


Sep 23, 2019
WWF vs WCW - New World Order | 4
00:26:09

It’s 1995 and the Monday Night Wars are underway. WCW’s new show Monday Nitro is grappling with the WWF’s Monday Night Raw to win TV viewers’ attention.

WCW isn’t pulling its punches either. Under the command of Eric Bischoff, WCW is dropping spoiler bombs, luring away WWF’s top wrestlers and trashing the WWF brand.

And as WCW gains momentum, Bischoff is plotting a killer blow – a shock role reversal that will force WWF boss Vince McMahon to rethink how his wrestling promotion works.


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Sep 18, 2019
WWF vs WCW - Prime Time | 3
00:26:08

It’s 1994 and WCW is stepping up its game. To get the jump on WWF, Ted Turner is writing big checks to steal away the WWF’s biggest stars and sponsors. And as WCW’s star power increases, so does its popularity with wrestling fans.

But the WWF is in no position to fight back. It’s struggling to keep the lights on, there’s discontent among its roster of wrestlers, and Vince McMahon is preoccupied with staying out of prison.

And now Turner wants to deliver a killer blow. A new Monday night wrestling show that will go head to head with the WWF’s flagship TV program Monday Night Raw.


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Sep 16, 2019
WWF vs WCW - Bulking Up | 2
00:26:59

It’s the dawn of the 1990s and Vince McMahon’s WWF is the king of wrestling. But trouble’s brewing: a steroids scandal is about to deal a body blow to the WWF and its family-friendly reputation.

The scandal will leave WWF stuck in damage control mode as it fights to stem the losses from falling TV ratings, ticket sales, and pay-per-view buys.

Meanwhile, Ted Turner’s trying to get World Championship Wrestling fighting fit with help from a former Pizza Hut regional manager, a self-proclaimed Cowboy, and a back-up announcer who wants to bring wrestling to Disney World.


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Sep 11, 2019
WWF vs WCW - Titan Rising | 1
00:29:59

It’s the early 1980s and there’s peace in the wrestling business. For years regional wrestling companies have maintained order by sticking to their own slices of US and Canadian territory.

But that’s all about to change. Vince McMahon has just taken over the World Wrestling Federation, and he wants war. He’s on a mission to crush all opposition and establish the WWF as the only wrestling game in town.

But his assault on the wrestling status quo will also make him a powerful enemy: cable TV mogul Ted Turner.


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Sep 09, 2019
Electric Bikes | 7
00:28:12

Harley Davidson built its brand on big, loud and heavy bikes. So why is the company staking its future on an electric motorcycle? It turns out Harley's main demographic, baby boomers, are aging out of the motorcycle scene and the company is looking for its next target market. But will people be interested in a bike that is so fundamentally different than what the company is known for? And how do motorbikes overall fit into an auto industry that is becoming increasingly electric? Journalist Bradley Brownell writes about the auto industry and motorcycles, and has even test driven Harley's new electric bike. He joins us to talk about Harley Davidson, the motorcycle industry and its electric future.


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Sep 04, 2019
Harley and the Biker Wars - Live to Ride | 6
00:25:44

By the early 1980s, Harley-Davidson is fighting to survive. Japan has glutted the American market with bikes, creating a war Harley can’t fight alone. The company turns to the U.S. government. It’s something they tried in the ‘50s with no success, but now there’s a man in the White House who loves the all-American Milwaukee brand.

In the years ahead Harley stands tall, surviving all manner of battles. But there’s one foe that never stops: time. The company needs to appeal to a new generation of young riders who may not be attracted to Harley hogs — or motorcycles at all. It’s yet another vexing chapter for the 116-year-old company that refuses to die.


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Sep 02, 2019
Harley and the Biker Wars - The Freedom Machine | 5
00:25:54

It’s 1969, and the iconic film Easy Rider stars Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson and—most prominently—Harley choppers. It boosts the brand’s cool cred even higher with the American counterculture, much to the chagrin of the aging, conservative company owners in Milwaukee. They’ve long-hated the fact that the Hells Angels ride Hogs, but now the top Angel reveals some shocking news on his true feelings about Harleys.

Finally, there’s a new light in Milwaukee. Willie G. Davidson, son of Harley’s president, rises as chief of style and design. He not only appreciates the outlaw bikers, he looks like one. Harley-Davidson needs to embrace the image that’s grown around the bikes, and Willie G. seems like the man to lead the charge. But can he pull it off?


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Aug 28, 2019
Harley and the Biker Wars - Japan Takes No Prisoners | 4
00:27:14

It’s 1963. After battling the wave of British bikes vying for the high-dollar U.S. motorcycle market, Harley-Davidson is slammed by a tsunami of machines from Japan. Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki and—the biggest, most popular of them all—Honda. 

It’s a nightmare that will force the company to the edge of bankruptcy as the Japanese redefine the industry. Whether Harley can change with the changing times remains to be seen.

On the literary front, writer Hunter Thompson canonizes the Hells Angels with his bestselling book dissecting the outlaw biker crew, highlighting their passion for Harleys. 

As Honda’s sunshiney ‘60s ad jingle says, you meet the nicest people on a Honda. It begs the question, who do you meet on a Harley?


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Aug 26, 2019
Harley and the Biker Wars - Uneasy Riders | 3
00:20:29

By the late 1940s, World War II has ended, but Harley’s battle with a few disenfranchised veterans is just beginning. Bored and looking for kicks, these men are forming clubs based around a love of boozing, brawling and Harley Hogs. The motorcycle riots in the small town of Hollister, California bring huge headlines, and a few years later Hollywood stokes the fires with The Wild One. The first biker gang movie features Harleys front and center, and it’s publicity that the bosses in Milwaukee hate with a passion.

As the company turns 50, it gets a unique gift when its archrival finally bites the dust. But the competition remains stiff as Harley revs up to deal with invaders from England and — on the plus side — there’s a glowing Hog nod from the King of Rock n’ Roll.

 

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Aug 21, 2019
Harley and the Biker Wars - The Hog Is Born | 2
00:24:38

It’s 1903, and Harley-Davidson is entering the spanking new motorcycle market. Of the hundreds of fledgling brands, the bike to beat is Indian, and Harley has the company in its crosshairs. But a decade later, Harley is on the defensive, scrambling to distance itself from the deadly sport of board track racing and solidify its image as a respectable brand. 

Indian has its own image problem when Mexican rebel leader Pancho Villa starts leading charges on a Powerplus model. But when the U.S. sends General Blackjack Pershing to hunt Villa down, Pershing’s troops are riding Harleys. 

But World War I proves a decisive turning point as both companies fight their way closer to the top of the motorcycle world.


Aug 19, 2019
Harley and the Biker Wars - The British Invaders | 1
00:25:25

By the late 1940s, Harley-Davidson has become America’s leading motorcycle manufacturer. The family-owned Milwaukee brand has battled hundreds of companies since its first bike rolled out of a backyard shack in 1903. Now they’re facing the birth of the outlaw bikers, disenfranchised WWII vets who love their Harleys—and love to cause trouble. It’s an association that conservative Harley owners can’t stand.

And fierce competition is coming in from British bike makers. Triumph is churning out lightweight, sporty machines that are the polar opposite of Harley’s heavy hogs, and everyone is vying for a piece of the lucrative U.S. market. Things get so cutthroat that Harley-Davidson appeals to the government. It’s an appeal that will not have happy results for the Milwaukee contingent. And the problems are just beginning.


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Aug 14, 2019
Business Battles | Monster vs Beats by Dre | 1
00:26:41

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. In this one-episode Business Battle, we explore the time 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. 

 

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Aug 07, 2019
Cereal Wars-The Most Important Meal | 7
00:28:37

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Or is it? While that phrase sounds scientifically and nutritionally sound, it’s origins can be traced back to cereal company marketing departments. We conclude our series on the cereal wars with Alex Mayyasi, editor of Gastro Obscura. Alex has traced the origins of breakfast as a meal and how cereal marketing came to be so aggressive.

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Aug 05, 2019
Cereal Wars - Going Soggy | 6
00:24:58

It’s the year 2000 and, for the first time in almost a century, Kellogg’s is no longer America's top cereal maker. Now a new CEO is in the driving seat, and he’s on a mission to win back the cereal crown from General Mills.

But even as the two rivals slug it out for number one, they’re both facing a new reality: a market that’s losing its appetite for cereals as people abandon their breakfast bowls for grab-and-go morning meals of granola bars, bagels and Egg McMuffins.


Jul 31, 2019
Cereal Wars - Trix of the Trade | 5
00:26:03

It’s the 1980s and General Mills is making waves with a new cereal based on the world’s hottest video game: Pac-Man. 

But Kellogg’s is hoping to cash in on a different trend: the growing clamour among adults for healthier breakfasts.

So it’s plotting a taboo-busting ad campaign that will rewrite the rules of cereal promotion and spark an all-out battle among the cereal makers to win over the health conscious.

 

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Jul 29, 2019
Cereal Wars - Cereal Offenders | 4
00:27:09

It’s the late 1950s and General Mills is playing catch-up. While Kellogg’s and Post are thriving on the back of animated characters and sugary cereals, General Mills’ cereals are looking stale. So now the Cheerios maker is on a mission to create its own roster of cartoon heroes who can charm children into demanding its cereals.

As General Mills fights back, Post is looking to the stars. It's planning a direct attack on Kellogg’s best-selling cereal with help from the space race.

But after years of selling sugary cereal with loveable characters, the cereal giants are about to face a backlash on Capitol Hill.

Jul 24, 2019
Cereal Wars - Sugar Rush | 3
00:25:29

World War II is in the rearview mirror, and breakfast cereal is on the brink of a new calorific era. Post Cereals decides to break from its healthful past and start sugar coating its cereals. It’s a move that leaves Kellogg’s and General Mills in a quandary: should they follow Post’s lead or stick to their nutritional traditions?

But sugary cereal isn’t the only new challenge the cereal giants are wrestling with. A new, exciting medium called television is taking off fast and changing the rules of cereal promotion. And this TV and sugar boom is going to put children at the heart of the cereal business.


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Jul 22, 2019
Cereal Wars - Breakfast of Champions | 2
00:25:46

It’s 1904 and Quaker Oats is about to make an, ahem, explosive entry into the cold cereal business. With the Kellogg brothers at risk of being left behind, Will Kellogg finally decides it’s time to stand up to his brother. He cuts ties and brings the original corn flakes to market — aided by some shrewd advertising and an army of housewives — but sets off a legal battle that pits brother against brother. 

But there’s about to be another entrant to the cereal business. General Mills is an upstart out of Minneapolis with an idea for a new cereal that will help the company stand out from the competition. The donut-shaped oat puffs even have a catchy name: Cheerioats. 


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Jul 17, 2019
Cereal Wars - A Divine Mission | 1
00:24:56

It’s the late 1800s and America is in the grip of a bellyache epidemic. But, thanks to a divine revelation, help is on the way in the form of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and his sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan. In his quest to calm the nation’s bowels, Dr. Kellogg is feeding his patients a new kind of breakfast: ready-to-eat cereal.

But when he refuses to exploit the full profit potential of his creations, one of his former patients seizes the opportunity to become a breakfast millionaire — much to the frustration of Dr. Kellogg’s long-suffering younger brother Will.


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Jul 15, 2019
Gibson vs Fender - The Future of the Electric Guitar | 7
00:26:57

Ian S. Port, author of The Birth of Loud: Leo Fender, Les Paul, and the Guitar-Pioneering Rivalry That Shaped Rock 'n' Roll joins us to talk about the future of the electric guitar as music creation becomes increasingly digital.

Jul 10, 2019
Gibson vs Fender - Attack of the Robot Guitars | 6
00:24:53

In the '90s and 2000s, new ownership has revitalized both Fender and Gibson and rekindled their rivalry. Through acquisitions, artist endorsements and their rapidly expanding custom shops, both brands are in a heated battle to win the hearts and minds of guitar lovers worldwide.     

Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz doesn't want to just dominate the electric guitar market. He wants to reinvent it. And with guitar sales declining, he goes all-in on new technology that will either revitalize Gibson — or sink it.


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Jul 08, 2019
Gibson vs Fender - Back From the Brink | 5
00:24:08

It's the early 1980s, and for the first time in 30 years, the U.S. guitar market has gone cold. Bands are switching to synthesizers and kids are ditching their garage bands for computers and video games.

A group of employees has bought the Fender brand but not its factory. Now they need to find a place to keep making guitars — fast. And Gibson has new owners, too — who bring plenty of rock 'n' roll attitude to the job, but little experience. Can these new stewards of guitar's most hallowed brands save their companies from the scrap heap?  


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Jul 03, 2019
Gibson vs Fender - Les Pauls Unleashed | 4
00:22:08

 In the 1960s, rock'n roll's popularity continues to grow. But one of the genre's most popular guitars, the Les Paul, is no longer being made. Now the guitar's namesake must convince an out-of-touch Gibson to put the favorite guitar of Eric Clapton and Keith Richards back into production.

Meanwhile, Gibson's rival Fender has a new parent company: CBS. Thanks to their deep corporate pockets, Fender is manufacturing and selling more guitars than ever. To keep pace, Gibson also finds a new corporate owner. But in their race for market dominance, are both guitar companies sacrificing quality for quantity? 


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Jul 01, 2019
Gibson vs Fender - The Stratocaster Blasts Off | 3
00:24:59

Gibson's Les Paul sets a new standard for the solid-body electric guitar, and rival guitar maker Fender needs to respond. The company does so in 1954 with a sleek, futuristic guitar unlike anything else on the market: the Stratocaster. It's a hit.

With their higher volume and heavier tones, the Les Paul and Stratocaster help give rise to a new style of music: rock 'n' roll. It opens up a whole new market for electric guitars -- but which company will dominate?   


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Jun 26, 2019
Gibson vs Fender - Loud and Clear | 2
00:27:20

It's 1950, and Fender's first solid-body guitar, the Esquire, is the laughingstock of the music industry. To guitar makers used to elegantly made hollow-body guitars, Fender's thin, simple plank of solid wood is a joke. But its bright, powerful sound and lack of feedback make it a hit with guitar players.

Gibson's ambitious young president, Ted McCarty, knows his company has to counter with a solid-body electric guitar of its own. To market the instrument, Gibson will turn to the most famous electric guitarist in the world, a man who happens to be an old friend of Leo Fender's — Les Paul.


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Jun 24, 2019
Gibson vs Fender - Les and Leo | 1
00:25:52

In the 1930s and ’40s the market for electric guitars is growing, but it’s hindered by the instruments’ flawed designs. But a small group of mavericks is rethinking the guitar for the electronic age.

One of them, guitarist Les Paul, tries unsuccessfully to convince one of America's oldest guitar companies, Gibson, to mass-produce his "Log" — one of the first solid-body electric guitars. Gibson turns him down flat. But when a radio repairman turned inventor named Leo Fender sees Paul's Log, he's inspired to attempt his own version of a solid-body electric — and his creation will go on to forever change the way guitars are made.


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Jun 19, 2019
Anheuser-Busch vs Miller - Fighting the Crocodile | 6
00:25:22

It’s a new century and the beer industry is changing fast. Beyond America, new brewery empires are forming and they want to buy their way into the lucrative U.S. market.

And Miller is the first to fall, bought out by a South African company that wants to pull the Milwaukee brewery out of the doldrums.

But Anheuser-Busch isn’t worried. It’s the biggest brewer on the planet by some margin. But the king of beers is about to discover that its throne isn’t as secure as it thinks.


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Jun 17, 2019
Anheuser-Busch vs Miller - Surprise Attack Dog | 5
00:24:41

It’s the 1980s and Miller’s glory days are over. Drinkers are deserting High Life and Anheuser-Busch is about to launch a $50 million attack on Miller Lite.

With the pressure mounting, Miller hunts for a way to revive its momentum. It’s a search that see the company travel to Japan, disguise itself as a microbrewery, and go head hunting.


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Jun 12, 2019
Anheuser-Busch vs Miller - Miller Killers | 4
00:23:08

It’s the late 1970s and Miller is hurtling towards the top of the brewing industry on the back of High Life and Lite. Anheuser-Busch’s new leader August Busch III knows he must act fast to stop the threat.

But before he can do that there’s internal problems that need fixing. A strike has shut down the company’s breweries and threatening to leave the business disunited and demoralized at the worst possible moment.


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Jun 10, 2019
Anheuser-Busch vs Miller - It’s Miller Time! | 3
00:23:14

Come the early 1970s, Miller has a new owner: tobacco giant Philip Morris. Armed with the Marlboro maker’s millions and marketing skills, Miller is about to shake up the beer business with a campaign targeting blue-collar workers thirsty for a cold pint...or three.

But at Anheuser-Busch, a generational rift is brewing — one that could have major repercussions for the beer business. The tensions between conservative-minded CEO Gussie Busch and his forward-thinking son and heir August Busch III are fast approaching the breaking point.


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Jun 05, 2019
Anheuser-Busch vs Miller - Swinging for the Majors | 2
00:25:17

By 1933 Prohibition is over, and that means the race is on to dominate a beer market that’s been reset. Under the leadership of Anheuser-Busch heir Gussie Busch, the company is out to reclaim the beer throne. But there’s a challenger for the crown — Milwaukee’s top brewery, Schlitz.

But as these two giants lock horns in the fight for dominance, Miller Brewing is struggling to realize its dream of becoming a major league brewer. And it won’t sit by on the sidelines.


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Jun 03, 2019
Anheuser-Busch vs Miller - The Beer Barons | 1
00:27:42

It’s 1893 and Chicago is about to host The World’s Columbian Exposition. It’s going to be the biggest show the world’s ever seen, and that means it’s time for Adolphus Busch to shine.

He’s the owner of Budweiser brewery Anheuser-Busch and the most flamboyant beer baron of the Gilded Age. Busch is determined to use the show to overshadow and outspend his nemesis, Captain Pabst, the owner of America’s number-one brewery.

But there’s a distraction he’s got to deal with first. A small-time brewer from Milwaukee called Miller has just launched a rival beer. Its name? Budweiser.


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May 29, 2019
Netflix vs Blockbuster Revisited - What’s Next for Digital Streaming | 9
00:32:57

On today's special interview episode, renowned media futurist Rich Greenfield returns to fill us in on the latest developments in the streaming wars and how these changes might impact viewers in the coming years. Greenfield is a media and tech analyst with BTIG who has been following the industry for decades.


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May 27, 2019
Netflix vs Blockbuster Revisited - Streamers Everywhere | 8
00:20:49

It’s spring 2019, and the Mouse House is determined to challenge Netflix for streaming supremacy. Disney CEO Bob Iger draws gasps at an industry event when he announces the new Disney Plus streaming service will cost just seven bucks a month. Then the company drops another bombshell — it’s buying out Comcast’s stake in Hulu, the destination for edgy, adult fare, to expand its streaming empire. Now whatever content Disney makes, it’ll have a platform to host it.

But Disney isn’t the only company eyeing Netflix’s crown. Apple, Comcast, Viacom, and WarnerMedia are all sharpening their knives. In the battle for eyeballs, anyone could emerge the victor.


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May 22, 2019
Netflix vs Blockbuster Revisited - Break the Wheel | 7
00:23:59

Netflix goes from being a streaming company to a movement in which consumers all over the world decide what to watch, and when and how they watch. The future that Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph envisioned two decades earlier has arrived. The unfettered reign of cable television has ended.

In 2019, AT&T’s acquisition of HBO’s parent company Time Warner in 2019 throws HBO’s future into even more turmoil. In a post-Game of Thrones world, can the cable network survive? Or will Netflix’s march to domination be complete?


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May 20, 2019
Netflix vs Blockbuster Revisited - Binge | 6
00:23:32

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 onto 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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May 15, 2019
Netflix vs Blockbuster Revisited - HBO Gets in the Game | 5
00:27:34

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, became 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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May 13, 2019
Netflix vs Blockbuster Revisited - The Digital Divide | 4
00:23:13

You know the 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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May 08, 2019
Netflix vs Blockbuster Revisited - Dirty Tricks | 3
00:23:03

Thinking like your enemy is the best way to beat them, and during the war, Blockbuster tried every trick in the book 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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May 06, 2019
Netflix vs Blockbuster Revisited - Origins | 2
00:20:27

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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May 01, 2019
Netflix vs Blockbuster Revisited - Sudden Death | 1
00:27:17

The way we watch is changing so rapidly that we’ve decided to revisit our very first and most popular Business War: Netflix versus Blockbuster. We’re re-airing an expanded eight-part series following Netflix’s battles against HBO and today’s new entrants into the Streaming Wars.

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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Apr 29, 2019
Ferrari vs. Lamborghini - The Future of Cars | 4
00:24:22

Electric. Diesel. Driverless. Automobile Magazine’s New York Bureau Chief, Jamie Kitman, joins to talk about the latest developments in the car industry and what’s next for Ferrari and Lamborghini.

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Apr 24, 2019
Ferrari vs. Lamborghini - Supercar Speed Freaks | 3
00:23:21

It is 1997. For decades, Lamborghini has struggled to survive as a company, and to compete with its nemesis Ferrari. All that is about to change. Volkswagen buys Lambo and injects it with cash and bulletproof German engineering. For the first time ever, Lamborghini can finally compete with Ferrari with a full line of cars—and serious racing.

The result is a new golden age of supercars, one that we are still living through today.


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Apr 22, 2019
Ferrari vs. Lamborghini - Lamborghini Spawns an Icon | 2
00:28:08

It’s 1970. At his factory in Italy, Ferruccio Lamborghini is desperate to build a car that can outdo his rival, Enzo Ferrari, whose Ferrari factory is just 20 miles away. With the help of genius designers and engineers, Lamborghini comes up with what many car fans still today call the most outrageous model ever to roll down a road.

Throughout the decade and beyond, the Ferrari/Lamborghini rivalry spawns the fastest cars in the world, the coolest car movies, and more.


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Apr 17, 2019
Ferrari vs. Lamborghini - The Gauntlet | 1
00:25:42

It’s the early 1960s. In Maranello, Italy, Enzo Ferrari has made a name for himself building the most exotic road cars in the world. But when a dissatisfied customer named Ferruccio Lamborghini shows up to complain about his Ferrari’s busted clutch, Enzo refuses to accept blame, accusing Lamborghini of not knowing how to drive. Lamborghini vows revenge.

In 1964, Lamborghini launches its first model, kicking off a rivalry with Ferrari that makes for one of the hottest automotive stories of the 1960s.


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Apr 15, 2019
Hasbro vs Mattel - Today's Toys | 7
00:31:59

Bratz. Monster High. Funko. These are the toys that rule the roost in 2019. Veteran toy industry analyst Sean McGowan joins to discuss the big business of toys today, how Hasbro and Mattel can compete, and what’s going on with Lego.

You can find new episodes of Business Wars, completely ad-free, only on Stitcher Premium. For a free month of Stitcher Premium, go to stitcherpremium.com/wondery and use promo code WONDERY.

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Apr 10, 2019
Hasbro vs Mattel - Screen Dreams | 6
00:29:02

With the world plugging into the Internet, toys are under pressure. Kids are swapping plastic play for screen-based entertainment and both Mattel and Hasbro need to adapt. The question is: how?

Mattel’s also finding out the hard way that Barbie’s reign as the queen of dolls is no longer secure. Challengers to her throne are emerging and the first strike against the dream doll comes not from Hasbro, but from within its own offices.

You can find new episodes of Business Wars, completely ad-free, only on Stitcher Premium. For a free month of Stitcher Premium, go to stitcherpremium.com/wondery and use promo code WONDERY.


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Apr 08, 2019
Hasbro vs Mattel - The Shotgun Wedding | 5
00:24:29

A few months ago, Mattel’s revenues were just fifty million dollars behind Hasbro’s. But now that Hasbro’s swallowed Tonka—the classic maker of Nerf, Play-Doh, and Monopoly—Mattel is half a billion dollars behind, and CEO John Amerman isn’t happy about it.

Ever since Hasbro turned British fashion doll Sindy into a Barbie lookalike, the two toymakers have been at war. Now Amerman is looking to make a couple strategic acquisitions: one to put Mattel back in pole position, and the other, to spite Hasbro.


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Apr 03, 2019
Hasbro vs Mattel - Resurrection Joe | 4
00:24:22

It’s the early 1980s and things are not looking good for Hasbro. The company hasn’t had a hit since Hungry Hungry Hippos; its founding CEO Merrill Hassenfeld has just died; now Star Wars dolls have just about gobbled up the entire action figure market. Hasbro needs to deliver a toy capable of taking on the Star Wars dolls, or else the company risks losing its only source of stable income, the family pencil factory.

But Hasbro’s not the only toymaker plotting to take on Star Wars. Three thousand miles away in Los Angeles, Mattel’s also preparing an assault on the action figure market. A line of fantastical action figures called The Masters of the Universe.


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Apr 01, 2019
Hasbro vs Mattel - The House of Cards | 3
00:24:50

Sizzlers, Mattel’s new motorized Hot Wheels, were supposed to be the top toy this Christmas. But sales have fizzled, leaving Mattel $30 million below target. For the last ten years, Mattel’s done exceptionally well by its investors, but now the toymaker is facing a stock price collapse. To keep up appearances, Mattel starts cooking its books—but the move may end up costing CEO Ruth Handler the company.

Elsewhere in Toyland, Hasbro’s facing an uncertain future. Kids are turning their backs on G.I. Joe and the company’s short on cash. As its rivals rush towards an electronic future, Hasbro risks being left behind.


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Mar 27, 2019
Hasbro vs Mattel - Boy Toy | 2
00:24:01

It’s the 1960s and Hasbro is struggling. The pencil manufacturer turned toymaker hasn’t had a major success since Mr. Potato Head hit the shelves in 1952, and it’s starting to lose money. If the company doesn’t act fast, it’ll be headed for bankruptcy in no time.

Mattel’s “accessories sold separately” approach to Barbie has revolutionized the industry. Now Hasbro’s toymakers hope to replicate her success with a doll of their own—for boys. But first, they’ll have to get the green light from CEO Merrill Hassenfeld, who has one iron-clad rule about new toys: no dolls.

Meanwhile, Mattel’s about to roll out a hot new boy-themed toy of its own that will cement the company’s status as the world’s top toymaker.


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Mar 25, 2019
Hasbro vs Mattel - Dream Doll | 1
00:25:56

It’s the late 1940s and two small toymakers are taking their first uneasy steps. The names of these young hopefuls are Hasbro and Mattel. One’s an offshoot of a pencil manufacturer. The other a husband-and-wife garage start-up.

But toy-mayking, they soon discover, is an unexpectedly cutthroat business. If either of these companies hopes to survive--let alone succeed--they’re going to need to get creative. Disrupting the embedded and experienced kingpins of Toyland, will require them to take chances on TV, potatoes, Mickey Mouse and one particularly risqué novelty doll from Germany.


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Mar 20, 2019
USFL vs NFL - Risky Business | 7
00:30:20

Mike Pesca, Slate, joins to talk about the biggest risks facing the NFL, whether the Patriots are good or bad for the league, and what our culture would look like if football never took off as a professional sport in the first place. Plus, he talks about his latest book, Upon Further Review: The Greatest What Ifs in Sports History. Hear more from Mike on his daily podcast, The Gist.


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Feb 25, 2019
USFL vs NFL - Football Day in Court | 6
00:24:10

The battle between the NFL and the USFL finally comes to a head. Donald Trump has bullied his way to the top of the USFL and pressured his league into suing the NFL for violating the Sherman Antitrust Act.

But the NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle is not about to back down. If the NFL settles now, they’ll be opening the floodgates to a slew of new competitors, and costly trials the league can’t afford. The only course of action? Dismantle the USFL so completely that no one even thinks to challenge the NFL again.  


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Feb 20, 2019
USFL vs NFL - The Empire Strikes Back | 5
00:25:43

For nearly two full years, the mighty NFL sat idly by as the upstart USFL tried to chip away at its status, talent, and reputation as the most powerful sports league on the planet. Now, the NFL is ready to settle the score, once and for all.

The league commissions a Harvard professor to prepare meticulous, 46-page step-by-step plan intended to squash the USFL in its tracks. Commissioner Pete Rozelle prepares himself for battle—but the battle comes sooner than expected. The USFL files an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL, claiming that it has monopolized fall television. At stake? One point three two billion dollars, enough money to kill the NFL.


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Feb 18, 2019
USFL vs NFL - Making Spring Football Great Again | 4
00:22:01

Description: It’s 1984, and at USFL franchise offices across the country, multi-million dollar contracts are flowing like Gatorade. As the United States Football League prepares for kickoff on its second season, owners race to recruit the best college players, and steal the stars from NFL rosters.

Initially, the NFL dismissed the new league as a sideshow stunt. But the USFL’s spending spree has caught the full attention of the veteran league--which is exactly what New Jersey Generals owner Donald Trump wants.


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Feb 13, 2019
USFL vs NFL - A Challenge to the King | 3
00:23:16

By most measures, the USFL’s debut season is a success. The games post solid numbers--in both ticket sales and television ratings--offering undeniable proof that there’s an audience for professional spring football. Still, the league is hemorrhaging money. At a post-season meeting, the twelve franchise owners vote on what to do with their fumbling investments. Eleven of the owners decide to stay the course, and even expand the league to bring in more capital, but the owner of the New Jersey Generals, J. Walter Duncan, has had enough.

Duncan puts the Generals on the market for eight million dollars, hoping the low price will launch a bidding war. But only one man makes an offer: a young, brash, egomaniacal Manhattan real estate developer named Donald Trump.


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Feb 11, 2019
USFL vs NFL - A General Triumph | 2
00:22:26

Description: The NFL has faced rival leagues in the past, and routinely squashed them without breaking so much as a sweat. The NFL’s powerful commissioner, Pete Rozelle, assumes the USFL will be no different. He sees the rival league as a joke. A blip on the radar. But then the new league does something no one saw coming: it signs University of Georgia junior Herschel Walker, the biggest star in college football.

When Walker signs with the USFL’s New Jersey Generals, he leaves more than his college diploma on the table. The Heisman trophy-winner passes up a seat at the table of America’s Team, the legendary Dallas Cowboys. “This,” Rozelle tells his colleagues, “is war.”


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Feb 06, 2019
USFL vs NFL - Birth of a Spring Football League | 1
00:25:50

For years, David Dixon has been trying to convince the National Football League to launch an expansion team in New Orleans, but he always comes up empty-handed. Finally, after one too many letdowns, Dixon realizes his only hope for a hometown team is to start his own football league. Unlike the NFL, his league — the United States Football League — will play its games in the spring, and boast rosters full of hometown heroes from regional colleges.

Fans and investors seem to love the idea. But just then, the NFL announces the location of its next franchise: New Orleans. As Dixon’s long-time dream comes true, he abandons plans to launch the USFL — for now.


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Feb 04, 2019
McDonald’s vs Burger King - Breakfast Wars | 7
00:23:45

Egg McMuffins, Croissan’wiches and coffee. Today’s fast food fight is all about breakfast time. Wall Street Journal reporter Julie Jargon joins to talk about where Burger King and McDonald’s are headed, the rise of eating at home, and how fast-casual chains are taking a bite out of the market.


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Jan 28, 2019
McDonald’s vs Burger King - Super Fan Supernova | 6
00:24:51

It’s a new century and times are tough for the burger giants. Burger King’s in a rut and McDonald’s is about to report its first loss in nearly 40 years. Both brands need to reinvent themselves fast. But can they come up with strategies robust enough to shake off the coming economic crisis?


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Jan 23, 2019
McDonald's vs Burger King - Battle of the Burgers | 5
00:25:59

Burger King is under pressure. McDonald’s is wowing the nation with a new way to eat chicken and Wendy’s is quickly closing in on the number two fast food spot. Backed into a corner, Burger King prepares to bite back with an ad campaign attacking its rivals directly.

The heat is on and the burger wars are about to get dirty. It’s a game of kitchen chicken. The only question is who will blink first.


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Jan 21, 2019
McDonald’s vs Burger King - Have It Your Way | 4
00:24:13

It’s the 1970s, and the burger barons are turning to TV advertising to propel profits skyward. McDonald’s is betting that a little song and dance can give it the competitive edge, but Burger King is stepping up their ads as well: debuting a killer new slogan that’s sure to set it on a collision course with Burger Chef.

And while the fast food wars continue to escalate at home, McDonald’s starts to set its sights abroad.


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Jan 16, 2019
McDonald’s vs Burger King - Feeding Frenzy | 3
00:23:56

By the mid-1960s, Americans have developed a taste for fast, delicious, affordable food — and they’re demanding more. U.S. fast food franchises — McDonald’s, Burger King and Burger Chef — know that if they want to feed America and win the burger wars, they’re going to have to grow.

But Wall Street is still reluctant to invest in a bunch of burger chains. And Ray Kroc is about to learn firsthand that those who can’t stand the heat need to be forced out of the kitchen.


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Jan 14, 2019
McDonald’s vs Burger King - Cooking with Gas | 2
00:25:49

It’s the late 1950s and fry cooks are flipping as fast as they can. But McDonald’s and Insta-Burger King’s desire for national success far outstrips their ability to deliver. It’s not enough to just make a better burger: bad contracts, bad equipment, limited capital and investors who don’t believe in 15-cent burgers threaten to stop the race in its tracks.

Ray Kroc believes that he has the answers but to beat Insta-Burger King and a new aggressive competitor from Indiana, he has to get out from the McDonald Brothers’ shadow--and he has to do it fast.


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Jan 09, 2019
McDonald’s vs Burger King - Fastest Burger in the West | 1
00:24:43

It’s 1948, and somewhere around the edge of the Mojave Desert, a drive-in restaurant is making waves. It's called McDonald’s and it’s like no burger joint anyone’s seen before—a carhop-free eatery with lightning fast service, and shockingly low prices.

But McDonald’s proprietors aren’t dreaming as big as the entrepreneurs traveling to California to see their groundbreaking restaurant. And for would-be burger king Keith Cramer and milkshake machine salesman Ray Kroc, that’s a golden opportunity.


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Jan 07, 2019
Zankou Chicken Murders - The Death of an American Dream | 2
00:28:29

Mardiros Iskenderian was known for two things: the unbelievable generosity he showed to the Armenian community, and the deep love he expressed for his family—particularly for his mother, whom he treated like a queen.

So why did Mardiros try to cut his sisters out of the family business? What drove him to register the Zankou Chicken trademark solely under his own name? And how could a simple business re-arrangement among a loving, growing clan end in murder?


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Dec 20, 2018
Zankou Chicken Murders - Out of Beirut | 1
00:21:22

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
Browser Wars - Even When They Lose They Win | 6
00:25:01

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
00:26:50

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
00:23:44

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
00:23:54

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
00:20:55

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
Browser Wars - Kickstarting a Revolution | 1
00:22:43

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
00:27:08

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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Learn more about the well-connected 2019 Lincoln MKC at Lincoln.com/Wondery

Nov 20, 2018
Red Bull vs Monster - Beast Gores Bull | 2
00:26:33

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
00:26:25

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
Xbox vs Playstation - Interview with Tristan Donovan | 4
00:22:14

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
00:25:39

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
Xbox vs Playstation - The Red Ring of Death | 2
00:23:36

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
00:24:00

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
00:25:16

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.


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Oct 02, 2018
Southwest vs American - Free LUV | 6
00:25:20

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
00:24:09

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
00:24:18

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
00:20:12

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
00:22:47

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
00:23:27

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
00:25:05

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
00:27:59

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
00:26:48

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
00:24:13

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
00:24:47

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
00:26:55

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
00:26:33

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
00:25:42

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
00:24:13

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
00:25:17

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
00:23:41

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
00:24:15

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
00:25:32

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
00:24:28

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
Hearst vs Pulitzer - Interview with Gabriel Kahn | 7
00:24:59

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
00:24:37

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
00:20:43

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
00:25:42

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
Gregor Mendel vs the World - American Innovations | 1
00:35:33

Host David Brown interviews Steven Johnson, the host of the new podcast American Innovations.


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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
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
00:29:11

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.

Jan 19, 2018