By Stable Genius Productions

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 Aug 2, 2018

 Jul 22, 2018
Awesome podcast! ...an honest & interesting look into the formation of a new enterprise... seriously, u need to subscribe & follow this amazing story!


Meet Manoush and Jen, founders of Stable Genius Productions. They’re documenting the process of starting a media company while trying not to simultaneously become bad mothers, bankrupt themselves, or destroy their wonderful creative partnership. And when their first funding comes in the form of cryptocurrency, things get really interesting.

ZigZag is a meta-mix of voice memos, taped conversations, come-to-Jesus moments, and mini-stories about entrepreneurship, deciding how to align your values with your ambitions, and building strong partnerships.

Episode Date
Chapter 11: Ten Things You Should Know About Crypto

From Crypto Kitties to Bitcoin Carnivores, the world of crypto is like a weird parallel reality, hidden just out of plain sight from most of us. This top ten countdown will grant you powers to see previously-invisible blockchain subcultures and experiments surrounding you...but beware: once spotted, they cannot be unseen. Our field guide is the very knowledgable and deadpan Joon Ian Wong of Coindesk.

**ZigZag: Chapter 2 is Blockchain 101. So much lingo: magical crypto friends, Hodl and Buidl, Bitcoin Maximalists. South Korea is crypto crazy. Ethereum’s creator and his concept of a “World Computer.” Paul Krugman’s op-ed: Why I’m a Crypto Skeptic. Why Venezuelans want out of the Bolivar. Joon uses Bitrefill in Asia. Russian hackers paid by Bitcoin. Mining warehouses in Mongolia. Blockchain + Brooklyn = a solar panel experiment. Fighting back against Bitcoin energy guzzlers. Will proof-of-stake lower Ethereum’s environmental impact? Jimmy Song thinks smart contracts are dumb. Ethereum's existential crisis.

Who you’ll hear: Manoush (@manoushZ) Jen (@jpoyant) Joon Ian Wong (joonian) Managing Director at Coindesk

Support our work at https://zigzagpod.com/donate/

Aug 16, 2018
Chapter 10: Listening to Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain did a very unusual interview a few months before his death: he spent an afternoon with Maria Bustillos, founder of Popula.com and the first journalist to join the Civil platform. Bourdain Confidential, her piece about their wonderfully philosophical and fiery conversation, went viral when she published it in July. Now, for the first time, Maria shares her audio recording of their time together; hear Bourdain’s take on Obama, his choice words for other celebrities, and why he felt he could never share his happiest travel moments with his TV audience.

Fiction Confidential is an in-depth analysis of Bourdain’s books that Maria wrote and he  loved. They met in February at The Coliseum, a Manhattan restaurant/bar that just closed forever. After writing Inside the Fight Over Bitcoin’s Future and other articles for the New Yorker, Maria became obsessed with blockchain technology. Manoush and Jen reference this Twitter conversation in their update. The new and excellent podcast we mention at the end is NYCFAQ. The book Maria recommends is The History Thieves. The information war is on. Several listeners have asked about the Goethe quote from Chapter 9 (and the debate surrounding its provenance).

An important note:
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, don’t hesitate. Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or click here for numbers outside the U.S.

Who you’ll hear: Manoush (@manoushZ) Jen (@jpoyant) Maria Bustillos (@mariabustillos) Anthony Bourdain (Rest In Peace)

Support our work at https://zigzagpod.com/donate/

Aug 09, 2018
Chapter 9: Letter from Startup-Blockchain-Women-Entrepreneurland

Civil postpones its token sale until September and lowers expectations of how much the sale can generate. Meanwhile, Manoush and Jen are floored by emails from listeners about the changes they’ve made in their lives since #MeToo. Plus, Manoush responds to criticism that she and Jen “act like silly dumb girls” whenever they discuss high-level concepts.

**Here's where to 1) read the Civil FAQ and Constitution 2)take the registration quiz, 3) ask questions in Telegram and 4) educate yourself about crypto risk. Token Foundry will run the CVL token sale and has published consumer-protection standards. Mapping-with-blockchain company FOAM is doing the token-sale-thing now (btw, 1 out of 4 people failed its quiz). The New Yorker article about pay parity at the BBC and the different words we use to describe male and female leaders.

Who you’ll hear: Manoush (@manoushZ) Jen (@jpoyant) and ZigZag listeners!

Support our work at https://zigzagpod.com/donate/

Aug 02, 2018
Chapter 8: Putting Crypto Pioneers to the Test

It’s true. ZigZag listeners agree that registering to buy CVL tokens is a pain in the ass. And yet, many still plan to join Civil’s experimental social network for journalism. On this episode, listeners ask tough question and explain why they’re undeterred by the platform’s growing pains. Also, Manoush and Jen gather the “First-Fleet” of Civil journalists to discuss problems with employers and business-models past (DNAInfo, The Denver Post, the New York Daily News)...and how they plan to make sure local and investigative journalism have a future, tokens or no tokens.


The story of Munchee explains much of Civil’s caution around its token sale. Nieman Lab thinks it’s funny that Manoush failed the crypto quiz. Kara Swisher’s conversation with Mark Zuckerberg about platforms, information, and power. Ex-Politico reporter Azi Paybarah, Professor Christina Greer, and the Daily Beast’s Harry Siegel explain how their upcoming podcast, FAQ NYC, will fill a gap in local news. The debate over journalism and paywalls. For now, everything on the first-fleet sites Popula, Sludge, Block Club Chicago, Cannabis Wire, and Documented is free. Sign up for ZigZag’s newsletter for our weekly pick of thought-provoking articles and podcasts.

Who you’ll hear: Manoush (@manoushZ) Jen (@jpoyant) Matthew Iles (@matthewiles) Maria Bustillos Founder of Popula (@mariabustillos) Stephanie Lulay Block Club Chicago (@slulay2) Eric Lubbers The Colorado Sun (@brofax) Harry Siegle FAQNYC (@harrysiegel)

Support our work at https://zigzagpod.com/donate/

Produced by Stable Genius Productions

Follow ZigZag on Instagram and Twitter: @ZigZagpod

Jul 26, 2018
Chapter 7: A New Frontier for Journalism?

The time has come. Civil, the blockchain startup for journalism, made its big announcement: members of the public can now register to buy its digital currency, the CVL token. But Manoush and Jen are surprised by the strict parameters Civil has set for the sale. What do these restrictions mean for their finances? Will people go through Civil’s rigorous process to buy tokens? Maybe...but only if they’re absolutely convinced that the ethics of the platform are worth supporting. Enter Vivian Schiller, ex-CEO of NPR, now head of Civil’s Council, enforcer of its Constitution, and the most public face of the platform.


Civil wants people to read this FAQ section and answer a questionnaire before registering to buy CVL tokens. The Wall Street Journal got the scoop. Token Foundry weeds out sellers and buyers who just want to make a fast buck. How to launch a newsroom on Civil. Vivian Schiller just introduced the first Civil Council members. CVL’s token design is based on a framework developed by the Brooklyn Project, an initiative to promote responsible token exchanges. Time to know the difference between cold and hot wallets.

Who you’ll hear: Manoush (@manoushZ) Jen (@jpoyant) Matthew Iles (@matthewiles) Vivian Schiller (@vivan)

Support our work at https://zigzagpod.com/donate/

Produced by Stable Genius Productions

Follow ZigZag on Instagram and Twitter: @ZigZagpod

Jul 19, 2018
Chapter 6: What's a CVL Token?

A heady cocktail of cryptoeconomics and game theory is fueling Civil’s big plan to save journalism. Add a “token curated registry” to the mix and it’s enough to give everyone a virtual hangover. Luckily, economist Stephanie Hurder, obsessive crypto-journalist Laura Shin, and hot sauce come to the rescue.

Jul 12, 2018
Chapter 5: Men, Women and Vulnerability

With Civil’s token launch looming, Manoush and Jen go for one last gut check with the guys who helped inspire their meta journey: Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber, co-founders of Gimlet Media. Season One of their hugely successful podcast StartUp documented Alex and Matt’s own entrepreneurial highs and lows. But the two women want to know: how did living out loud affect their psyches and families? And does gender change the story?

Who you’ll hear: Manoush (@manoushZ) Jen (@jpoyant) The Cofounders of Gimlet Media (@gimletmedia) Matt Lieber (@mlieber) Alex Blumberg (@abexlumberg)

Support our work at https://zigzagpod.com/donate/

Produced by Stable Genius Productions

Follow ZigZag on Instagram and Twitter: @ZigZagpod

Jul 05, 2018
Chapter 4: Hedging Your Bets

Manoush and Jen give themselves 36 hours in San Francisco to come up with a financial backup plan, just in case this whole blockchain-token-thing doesn’t work out. Silicon Valley runs on VC money so maybe Stable Genius Productions should too? First, they talk to a well-known venture capitalist on whether aligning their mission with investor expectations is a laughable goal. Then, they visit Roman Mars, host of 99% Invisible and Radiotopia co-founder, at his headquarters in Oakland. He explains how he built his podcasting empire and helps Manoush and Jen decide how to proceed.

Who you’ll hear: Manoush (@manoushZ) Jen (@jpoyant) The Cofounders of Gimlet Media (@gimletmedia) Matt Lieber (@mlieber) Alex Blumberg (@abexlumberg) Roman Mars, Cofounder of Radiotopia and host of 99% Invisible (@romanmars) (@99piorg) Angel Investor Jess Verrilli (@jess)

Support our work at https://zigzagpod.com/donate/

Produced by Stable Genius Productions

Follow ZigZag on Instagram and Twitter: @ZigZagpod

Jun 28, 2018
Chapter 3: Higher Than We Knew

In Chapters 1 and 2, Jen and Manoush decide to gamble their future on new technology that hasn’t been proven and a virtual currency that doesn’t exist yet.

In this chapter, they meet up with another pair of female co-founders to confide their fears about joining the experimental journalism platform called Civil. Alyson Martin and Nushin Rashidian cover the burgeoning marijuana industry in the U.S. and are about to publish Cannabis Wire on Civil. They believe it’s their best shot at growing Cannabis Wire into a hardy, sustainable publication (pun intended). But all four women are holding their breath until Civil’s token launch because, as they discover, the stakes are higher than they knew.

Who you’ll hear: Manoush (@manoushZ) Jen (@jpoyant) Nushin Rashidian (@NushinRashidian) Alyson Martin (@alysonrmartin) Cannabis Wire (@cannabiswire) Matthew Iles (@matthewiles)

Support our work: Here at Civil and Here at Radiotopia too!

Produced by Stable Genius Productions

Follow ZigZag on Instagram and Twitter: @ZigZagpod

Jun 21, 2018
Chapter 2: Blockchain. Blockwhat?!

Manoush and Jen have a LOT of questions. Should they stake their careers on the blockchain? How can they explain it without sounding like techno-utopians who have bought into a pyramid scheme? And anyway, can the blockchain really upend how society works...AND help fund Manoush and Jen’s media company? Most importantly, can this episode really explain, simply and clearly, what the hell the blockchain is and how it works?

Who you’ll hear: Manoush (@manoushZ) Jen (@jpoyant) Cofounder of Ethereum Joe Lubin (@ethereumjoseph) Ronny Chieng (@ronnychieng) Megan Tan (@meganleetan)

Support our work: Here at Civil and Here at Radiotopia too!

Produced by Stable Genius Productions

Follow ZigZag on Instagram and Twitter: @ZigZagpod

Jun 14, 2018
Chapter 1: Meet the Stable Geniuses

Manoush and Jen just formed a new kind of media company. But is it possible for them to simultaneously be entrepreneurs, mission-driven journalists, and good mothers without falling off a financial cliff? They quit their public radio jobs to find out. Just as panic starts to set in, they meet a mysterious funder with an intriguing proposal.

About the podcast: Join Manoush and Jen as they document every step of their journey from public radio journalists to media entrepreneurs… on the blockchain. ZigZag is a podcast about changing the course of capitalism, journalism, and women’s lives. For real. New episodes of season 1, every Thursday throughout the Summer 2018.

Who you’ll hear in this episode: Manoush Zomorodi (@manoushz) Jen Poyant (@jpoyant)

Support our work: Donate here on Civil and here on Radiotopia!

Produced by Stable Genius Productions

Follow ZigZagPod on Instagram and Twitter: @ZigZagpod

Jun 14, 2018
Introducing ZigZag!

A new podcast about women and tech. And the blockchain. And anxiety. First two episodes drop June 14th! But meanwhile come say hi at Stableg.com and sign up for our newsletter.

May 29, 2018