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Morning Brew’s Kinsey Grant sits down with the biggest names in business and asks them the questions you’d want to ask yourself. From VCs and DTC to streaming and social media, Kinsey explores the stories behind the headlines you’re reading. Swap your coffee for a beer, swap your eyes for your ears, and join us—you know the dress code.
Bitcoin to $500,000? The Winklevoss Twins think so
You know bitcoin as the asset that ate the internet in 2017. It’s back at it again, and this time the cryptocurrency has set its sights on more than just headlines.
If its evangelists are to be believed, bitcoin is the future—digital gold, the world’s unassailable reserve currency, and our next generational wealth builder. But what if they’re wrong? They might be. But they might also be right…
So today, we’re finding out what our modern economy looks like in the digital future of bitcoin with Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. You don’t want to miss it.
|Jan 18, 2021|
Esports close in on the competition
The NFL and NBA have enjoyed their position atop sports league standings for far too long. Now, there’s a new kind of league coming for their crown...esports.
With that competitive gap shrinking by the second, esports leagues have made good on a record year for viewership by 1) borrowing strategies that work for traditional sports leagues and 2) eschewing strategies that are woefully outdated. Taken together, that one-two punch means enormous potential for esports to outperform traditional leagues in the future.
To explain how that might happen, I brought in Johanna Faries, commissioner of Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty league and former 12-year NFL exec. She’s seen it all, and she’s sharing it all with you. Don’t miss out.
|Jan 14, 2021|
Can esports dominate the attention economy?
All signs point to yes. After nearing the mainstream jackpot this year, competitive video gaming is hitting its stride...and coming for traditional sports in a major way.
But how have esports made the jump from fringe timesuck to mainstream entertainment in a matter of years? Who really holds the power in the new frontier of competitive gaming? And what does esports’ newfound muscle mean for more traditional sports?
Today, we’re finding out with John Robinson, president and COO of gaming org and lifestyle brand 100 Thieves.
Listen to this episode for 1) a good time 2) a look at what mainstream attention means for a fledgling business and 3) an idea of how the wide world of sports is changing every single day.
|Jan 11, 2021|
Fitness influencers did it first
The fitness industry has experienced irreversible change over the last year or so. It’s become abundantly clear that digital offerings are the future—we’ve gotten used to working out at home and guess what...we even like it.
But before Peloton sold its first bike or Equinox launched its first app, there was a cohort of fitness business leaders making enormous bets on at-home exercise: digital fitness influencers.
Today on Business Casual, we’re bringing in one of the OGs of the fitness influencer economy, Cassey Ho—the genius behind the Blogilates empire and its millions of devout followers. You don’t want to miss it.
|Jan 07, 2021|
New year, new post-Covid fitness industry
If you ask fitness’s most preeminent leaders what the future of the industry holds, they’ll probably use the word omnichannel. But is omnichannel fitness—a cohesive blend of physical and digital offerings—really possible?
If Covid-19 taught us anything, it’s that the answer remains largely unknown. But that doesn’t mean more traditional fitness businesses aren’t going to try catching up to the Pelotons of the world.
Today on Business Casual, Harvey Spevak, executive chairman and managing partner of Equinox Group, the company behind Equinox gyms, SoulCycle, and more, weighs in. He’ll explain how a company rooted in bricks and mortar can compete with digital upstarts, how personality-driven fitness reigns supreme, and, finally, how adaptability makes it all happen.
And trust me—these lessons are applicable for far more than just the fitness industry.
|Jan 04, 2021|
A 2021 update from Kinsey
Happy New Year! I’m your Business Casual host, Kinsey Grant, and I’m popping in with a quick update on your favorite podcast (this one).
2020 was a year of changes for the Business Casual team, much like I’m sure it was for all of you. We went from 1 to 2 episodes a week, we started recording remotely with guests in far flung European cities, I launched a column, and you can now engage with us all over the socials.
2021 is bringing a few more major changes (for the better) to Business Casual. Listen to this update for more.
|Jan 03, 2021|
Innovation ages like a fine wine
Imagine an industry lacking broadscale innovation for 100+ years. Your first thought is probably WTF and your second is probably ‘whoever can nail the first truly innovative business model is about to strike gold.’
The time has come for a gold strike in the booze industry, a space that’s been bereft of innovation since Prohibition was lifted.
Today on Business Casual, Helena Price Hambrecht, co-founder of the virally popular DTC aperitif brand Haus, explains how innovation in booze happens, who’s responsible, and why it matters.
Don’t miss it.
|Dec 31, 2020|
Gary Vaynerchuk: Booze can do better
How do you know the alcoholic beverage industry is broken? When it leaves enture swaths of potential drinkers out to dry.
According to digital marketing expert and wine entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, that’s exactly what’s happening in alcohol as we speak—inaccessible prices, rampant information gatekeeping, and a lack of connection to younger customers has created a potentially lethal combination for an enormous booze industry.
So what comes next? That’s what we’re talking about this week on Business Casual—how the alcoholic beverage space evolves and innovates to serve all customers, not just rich ones.
Don’t miss Gary V’s impressive and impassioned insight on an industry desperate for just that. Listen now.
|Dec 29, 2020|
The OnlyFans effect on the porn industry
What have creator-first platforms like OnlyFans done to the porn industry? Today, we’re going to find out.
And we’re doing it with Holly Randall, an erotic photographer, director, producer, and podcast host—one of the most influential people in the adult entertainment industry. Holly will explain how creators, from actors to producers and everyone in between, have fared as the adult entertainment industry has shifted.
We know there have been major changes...but has talent been able to cash in? Find out in this episode.
|Dec 24, 2020|
How does the porn business work?
There’s a lot of money to be made in adult entertainment...but not everyone can make it. Today, let’s take a deeper look at pitfalls and possibilities of becoming a porn entrepreneur.
Sextech entrepreneur and MakeLoveNotPorn founder Cindy Gallop explains what’s broken in adult entertainment, plus how we fix it. It’s a stirring conversation that addresses the monetization of something most of us think about regularly (...sex) and speaks to the enormous challenges of solving porn’s biggest problems including exploitation, talent mistreatment, and more.
Don’t miss this one.
|Dec 22, 2020|
The solution to clothing’s sustainability problem with Patagonia’s CEO
Last episode, we got a deeper understanding of fast fashion’s unfathomably negative impacts on the environment and supply chains across the globe. That was step 1—identifying the problem.
In this episode, we get step 2—understanding what we can do about it. I’m bringing in Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert to speak about his experience leading a company steadfastly committed to environmental stewardship and worker protections...and still making money.
Because despite what fast fashion empires might suggest, there is a role for business to play in mitigating the negative impacts of consumerism. Don’t miss this one.
|Dec 17, 2020|
Your clothes have a dirty secret
We need clothing like we need food and shelter—it’s a basic necessity. But what if you knew that basic necessity was destroying the planet and failing to meet the needs of workers all over the world? Would you feel different about the way you buy clothes?
Listen to this episode for an honest look at the ways fast fashion—pumping out a near endless supply of inexpensive clothing that isn’t exactly built to last—has destroyed the way clothing is made, sold, and digested by the Earth. It’s not pretty...but it’s worth knowing. And our guest, style writer Dana Thomas, has all the insight you need.
You might never think of the apparel industry the same way again. Fair warning.
|Dec 15, 2020|
Where are all the electric vehicles?
We know they’re good for the environment, good for automakers hoping to turn a healthy profit, and good for consumers looking to save money...but where are they? If electric vehicles are so promising...how come there isn’t one in every driveway?
That’s what we’re taking on today on Business Casual with Wall Street Journal autos reporter Ben Foldy. We’ll parse through the many literal and figurative speedbumps to widespread electric vehicle adoption, from infrastructure concerns to misaligned government incentive programs.
If our last episode was an optimistic nod to the future of transportation with General Motors CEO Mary Barra...this episode is the realistic accounting of when and how that future pans out.
|Dec 10, 2020|
Who owns our electric future?
Do multi-billion-dollar investments from legacy players mean anything? Will consumers follow the lead of Detroit’s top brass? Can anyone take on Tesla?
The future of transportation is unequivocally electric...but there are more questions about what that future looks like than there are answers. Let’s see what we can do about that.
Today on Business Casual, hear from General Motors CEO Mary Barra about the profitability, competitive pressures, and uncertain future of the electric vehicle industry. This is an episode you don’t want to miss.
Quick note: We recorded with Mary on November 20, 2020, just before General Motors released a flurry of news about its electric strategy. Still, the episode is as relevant as they come. GM’s last couple weeks are plenty proof.
|Dec 08, 2020|
Big Tech monopolies and the innovation chill
At what point does “participating in a new format” turn into “stealing an idea?” In the world of Big Tech, the line is incredibly fine.
And given that we’ve deemed Big Tech the arbiters of morality in the modern business world, their decisions to borrow, steal, or innovate are incredibly impactful. What happens to entrepreneurship and innovation in a world that rarely gives credit where it’s due?
That’s what we’re getting to the bottom of today with Casey Newton, writer of the Platformer newsletter and expert on the intersection of Big Tech and democracy.
This is an important episode—Big Tech steals ideas from smaller upstarts in part as a means of insulation from competitive threats...because Facebook, as influential as it might be, has no guarantee of immortality. Don’t miss Casey’s insights.
|Dec 03, 2020|
Big Tech’s copycat problem
You know I’m right—a Story on Snap is acutely different from one on Instagram or a Fleet on Twitter. If you post a story on Facebook, you’re due for a wellness check. And don’t even get me started on LinkedIn’s bid for ephemeral content.
The “story” format is one all of Big Tech has tried in some way or another since Snap pioneered it back in 2013...and it’s the perfect example of Big Tech propensity for ripping off small competitors’ winning features to insulate themselves from future threats.
But how is all of this knocking-off legal? Why don’t our antitrust regulators keep it from happening? And what does it mean for startup innovation if Big Tech just steals an idea as soon as it catches on?
That’s what we’re talking about today with Patrick Spence, CEO of cult-favorite smart speaker company Sonos. He knows a thing or two (especially since he’s actively in a legal battle with Google over its alleged infringement on Sonos’s patents).
Listen now for a look at Big Tech like you’ve never seen it before.
|Dec 01, 2020|
Mental health innovation starts here
We’ve applied long-held principles of technology startups to industries across the board, from adult entertainment to transportation to retail. How come we can’t take the best the tech world has to offer and use it to improve our mental healthcare system?
It’s high time we do just that. Today, get an in-depth understanding of the roles entrepreneurship, cutting-edge technology, and user experience can play in disrupting our deeply broken mental healthcare system in the U.S.
And do it with Ariela Safira, founder and CEO of therapy startup Real. She’ll explain the impact the coronavirus has had on our mental health and why we can’t waste any time rethinking our traditional expectations of therapy in a post-Covid world.
If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health, we encourage you to seek out professional help or find resources from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
|Nov 26, 2020|
Who can solve our mental health crisis?
Young companies attempting to address our crippling mental health epidemic face a barrage of hurdles businesses with more traditional pursuits don’t—namely mass stigmatization and a serious lack of education around the core pain point they’re solving for: mental health issues.
But where there’s white space, there are founders seeking to fill it. And investors seeking to arm them with the most tools possible. Mental health and addiction recovery are no exception.
Today on Business Casual, get a better understanding of mental health as both an industry and a journey from Stephen Hays, founder of What If Ventures (a fund focused on investing in early stage mental health and addiction recovery startups).
If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health, we encourage you to seek out professional help or find resources from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
|Nov 24, 2020|
Retail has an innovation problem
It’s easy to buy something in a store—all it takes is the tap of a smartphone and you’re done. How come, then, buying things online is still such a clunky experience?
Today on Business Casual, we’re investigating why online retail has been so slow to innovate with Domm Holland, co-founder and CEO of Fast (aka “world’s fastest online login and checkout platform”). Because unless retailers can learn to try new tech things, they’ll lose customers to the dreaded cart abandonment.
And that has major repercussions. Listen to this episode to understand why.
Check out more about Remote Works
|Nov 19, 2020|
E-commerce is retail’s promised land
For an economy that’s almost constantly buying things, we sure have a lot of struggling retailers. That’s due to a confluence of factors, not the least of which are a saturated field of competitors and a finicky consumer.
Recently, though, retail has landed in something of a promised land with e-commerce. Our propensity to shop online has been the saving grace for IRL sellers put out by Covid-19 shutdowns. But can our inclination toward online shopping stick around?
That’s what we’re asking this week on Business Casual in a deep dive into e-commerce: how the industry’s biggest players are innovating, why it matters for our economy as a whole, and what comes next in an uncertain holiday shopping season. Today’s guest: Etsy CEO Josh Silverman.
|Nov 17, 2020|
Fresh Invest: The IPO Rush
Check out the first episode of Morning Brew's podcast with Fidelity, Fresh Invest.
Morning Brew’s CEO, Alex Lieberman, is many things: A founder, a media mogul (his words), and as of late, a young investor with a lot of questions. So he’s sitting down with the best and brightest from Fidelity to tackle some of the biggest questions on the minds of young investors today.
From market shifts to the future of work, these conversations break down the current financial climate, what it means to you as an investor, and actionable steps you can take when it comes to managing your money.
|Nov 16, 2020|
Want to predict the future? Look to gaming
You might not know it, but the video gaming industry has long been the harbinger of life-changing, widespread tech we almost always take for granted.
Now that the gaming industry has gone all in on metaverses—the alternate realities built online complete with social experiences and their own economies—what does it mean for the future of consumer tech?
If you’ve ever pondered a future in which your online life is just as rich and fulfilled as your IRL one...which it probably will be in due time...listen to this episode with gaming expert and consumer tech investor Ethan Kurzweil, partner at Bessemer.
This is a good one. Don’t miss it.
Check out more about Remote Works
|Nov 12, 2020|
How gaming wins the streaming wars
By some estimates, there will be about 3 billion gamers worldwide by 2023. For comparison, Netflix has 170 million subscribers globally.
It’s clear: Gaming is the streaming wars winner we’re not talking about. In our attention economy, video games have virtually endless potential to keep us enraptured. But the business models and tech standards that have long governed the gaming world are in flux.
Listen to today’s episode with Larry Hryb, Director of Programming for Microsoft’s Xbox Live, for a complete picture of how the gaming space has shifted with its consumers, why competition matters and doesn’t matter, and when next-gen tech will start infiltrating your life, gamer or not.
|Nov 10, 2020|
Is legal marijuana a bubble?
Like any gold rush opportunity, legal marijuana will have fewer success stories than it will tales of failure. So how do we determine which entrepreneurs might come out on top?
That’s one of the questions we’re answering on this episode of Business Casual with Bruce Linton, ex-CEO of Canopy Growth Corporation and one of the most widely regarded cannabis entrepreneurs around.
If you’ve ever wanted to know more about the importance of marijuana regulation for consumers and entrepreneurs, decipher what makes a good or bad cannabis business opportunity, or—stick with us here—understand how the nascent marijuana industry isn’t all that different from Amazon...this episode is for you.
Plus, you’ll hear what Bruce considers the “single worst economic advantage provided to U.S. entrepreneurs in the last hundred years.”
Check out more about Remote Works
|Nov 05, 2020|
Legal weed: The winners and losers
We’re all but certain that recreational adult-use marijuana will become legal in all 50 states at some point. We’re not sure when...but we are sure there’s money to be made on the inevitable.
Who makes that money, though, is another question entirely. Will it be small marijuana startups that have cornered one small, specific part of the market? Will it be major multinational corporations that got in on cannabis early with paradigm-shifting investments? Will it be both?
That’s what we’re taking on in this episode with Karan Wadhera, managing partner at Casa Verde Capital.
If you’re seeking an insightful guide to the legal weed world, chock full of predictions for profitability, look no further. We’ve got you.
|Nov 03, 2020|
The deficit matters...but just not right now
Rethinking the entire economic paradigm of any country would be almost impossibly difficult. Try to do it in the midst of a dual recession and pandemic, and you’re facing unbeatable odds.
But the truth of the matter is that we’re inching closer to thinking the deficit actually doesn’t matter each day here in the U.S., especially after Congress passed enormous stimulus to keep Americans afloat with alarmingly few chirps of “who pays for it.”
Last episode, we learned about the effort to debunk the deficit myth. This time around, we’re talking about how realistic or unrealistic that mindset shift really is with Kai Ryssdal, famed radio journalist and host of Marketplace and Make Me Smart.
Listen if you want an honest conversation about inflation, a jobs guarantee, monetary vs. fiscal policy, wealth inequality...and how only some economic indicators matter in a year as unprecedented as this one.
|Oct 29, 2020|
Does the U.S. deficit matter?
Who pays for it? It’s a question you hear all the time, especially when we’re talking about trillions of dollars in government spending.
And with the U.S. government operating at a $3.1 trillion deficit in 2020, it’s an especially relevant question. But more and more, economists are beginning to wonder if it’s worth asking. Since the U.S. issues its own currency, does it need to bother thinking about who foots the bill?
That’s what we’re exploring today on the show with Stephanie Kelton, professor, economist, author of The Deficit Myth, and face of the modern monetary theory movement.
You might not agree with what Stephanie has to say...but she’ll certainly give you some food for thought. Listen now.
|Oct 27, 2020|
Can campaign finance reform solve D.C.’s corruption problem?
We know there’s an ungodly amount of money tied up in politics, much of it collected in the campaign finance stage. What we often don’t know is where it comes from and what its aims are.
What if we could shift the way we interpret and regulate campaign spending? That kind of shift might just root out deep-seated corruption in our electoral process...according, at least, to today’s guest: Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard Law professor who ran for president in 2016 on a campaign finance reform platform.
You don’t want to miss this one. You might not agree with Lessig’s unorthodox ideas of campaign finance reform...but I guarantee his views will make you think differently.
|Oct 22, 2020|
Is our democracy for sale?
How often do you think the biggest spender wins the election here in the U.S.? Would you be surprised to find out it’s 88.5% of the time in the House and 82.9% of the time in the Senate?
Far more often than not, the best fundraiser wins. As a result, campaign finance stateside has exploded in recent years to records we could scarcely imagine. Where does the money come from, where is it going, and how has it impacted our democratic process?
That’s what we’re answering today with Sheila Krumholz, executive director for the Center for Responsive Politics, the organization behind OpenSecrets.
Listen for an honest, nonpartisan account of how money begets influence in politics. There’s never been a better time to learn about the relationship than now.
|Oct 20, 2020|
Is Silicon Valley losing its luster?
For decades, we’ve assumed geographic proximity to other innovators was a prerequisite for innovation—to change the world, you need to be in a coastal tech hub like NYC or Silicon Valley. You know what happens when we assume.
Today on Business Casual, you’ll hear from Steve Case, the co-founder and former CEO of AOL who cofounded the investment firm Revolution, which funds startups from non-coastal states. Case, who’s practically entrepreneurial royalty in the tech industry, argues that funding innovators outside our coastal hubs begets more economic success for more people.
Listen for an insightful and analytical temperature check of the ways our assumptions hold us back and an honest proposition for how we change them.
|Oct 15, 2020|
What does it take to succeed in business?
You’re going to need more than a good idea to become the next Jeff Bezos. It takes resources, information, connections, talent, and so much more to win...and even just to survive year one.
So where do those resources come from? And who gets access to them? That’s what we’re talking about today on Business Casual with Michael Seibel, partner at Y Combinator and CEO of the YC startup accelerator program. Aka principal of Silicon Valley’s unicorn finishing school.
If you want 1) an honest look at how the cards are stacked in entrepreneurship and 2) the tl;dr on what it takes to catch the eye of the wealthiest backers in tech and beyond, listen to this episode.
Want to keep up with Kinsey over email? Sign up here: businesscasual.fm/signup.
|Oct 13, 2020|
Can one recession undo years of progress?
By the end of April of this year, women’s job losses had erased a decade of employment gains...in a matter of months. The numbers for people of color are no less disheartening.
But why? How did we end up in a recession so deeply skewed against already marginalized groups? Let’s figure it out with Dr. C. Nicole Mason, president and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
If you’re wondering 1) how we created an economic system capable of discrimination 2) why marginalized groups are suffering most right now and 3) what this all means for efforts to shrink gender and racial pay gaps...listen to this episode.
Want to keep up with Kinsey over email? Sign up here: businesscasual.fm/signup.
|Oct 08, 2020|
Who does this recession hurt most?
Every recession causes its economic fractures in different ways. This one has disproportionately wrecked the service economy...and along with it, the young workers, women, and people of color who make it tick.
Listen to today’s episode with NYT econ reporter Eduardo Porter for an honest understanding of how we ended up in this recession, who stands to lose the most, and how we stage a recovery.
Want to keep up with Kinsey over email? Sign up here: businesscasual.fm/signup.
|Oct 06, 2020|
Will tech save the world...or end it?
Technology in its endless forms has given us so much—fire to make food, language to communicate feelings, and iPhones to look at in the bathroom.
But for each of these technology-enabled pros, there’s a technology-enabled con.
So how do we make sure that technology is used more for good than for bad? For starters, we focus on the ways the public and private sectors are working to ensure inevitable bad actors are kept in check. It’s a joint effort, and it has to be—especially as high tech like artificial intelligence learns to mimic and outperform human decision making.
To help us get to the bottom of a complicated, interesting, nuanced idea, I’m welcoming to Business Casual Kevin Roose, tech columnist for the New York Times.
Kevin brings up a lot of mind-boggling questions...but he’s quick with an answer, too. Some thought starters from the interview:
Want to keep up with Kinsey over email? Sign up here: businesscasual.fm/signup.
|Oct 01, 2020|
Why Ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt is working for the government
He’s not punching in at the DMV or collecting litter on a roadside. He’s helping the U.S. to develop responsible technology that can both ensure equitable access to the tools that will enable our future and win our government rulemaking rights over high tech like artificial intelligence and facial recognition.
If that sounds a little intense, that’s because it is. But if anyone’s up for the job…?
It’s Eric Schmidt, former CEO and executive chairman of Google. He’s seen the best and worst of both the public and private sectors. Now, he’s talking about the intersection of the two—how they improve one another, accelerate one another...and occasionally butt heads with one another.
There are countless reasons why we’re having this conversation right now, but to name a few:
Seems like everyone, from Big Tech in Silicon Valley to lawmakers in D.C., has an interest in owning the tools of the next generation. Listen now to understand it all.
Want to hear Eric ask the questions on his own podcast? Check out Reimagine.
Want to keep up with Kinsey over email? Sign up here: businesscasual.fm/signup.
|Sep 29, 2020|
Celebrating one year of Business Casual
A year ago, we hit upload on the very first episode of Business Casual—a deep dive on tech antitrust with Scott Galloway. As far as we could tell, breaking up Big Tech would be the biggest conversation of the year. Turns out the world had a few surprises in store for us.
Twelve months, 85 episodes and 5 million listens later, we're celebrating Business Casual with a little reflection.
The biggest learning of all? We couldn't do it without our listeners. Thank you for supporting our show, bearing with us as we expand, and never failing to write in with feedback. We're so grateful for each and every one of you.
Cheers to the next year and all it’ll teach us.
Want to keep up with Kinsey over email? Sign up here: businesscasual.fm/signup.
|Sep 28, 2020|
How to solve the student debt problem
Whether it’s a crisis or not (check out our last episode for the answer), the student debt load in the U.S. is something worth addressing. After all, we didn’t reach $1.6 trillion in debt overnight. It’s a systemic problem, and it’s one that needs solving sooner rather than later.
Today on Business Casual, we’re attempting to do just that—solve a $1.6 trillion problem. Our guest is Jeff Selingo, a higher ed expert who’s written about the student debt load for as long as some of today’s borrowers have been alive.
That gives him loads of insight into the student debt situation. On our journey to a solution for the debt load problem, we’ll walk through everything from the groups most impacted by borrowing deficiencies to the roles of higher education institutions. And we’ll get a final answer on the age-old question: is college still worth it?
Jeff’s proposals aren’t exactly orthodox or old school by any stretch of the imagination, but he’ll give you plenty to think about. One example to whet your appetite: should college students get more or less in student loans based on their majors?
Want to keep up with Kinsey over email? Sign up here: businesscasual.fm/signup.
|Sep 24, 2020|
Is the student debt crisis really a crisis?
The amount of student debt here in the U.S. is some $1.6 trillion, roughly the size of Russia’s economy. That sounds like a crisis...right?
Maybe not. Today on Business Casual, we’re exploring student debt and the narratives that got us where we are today. It’s pretty obvious that 1.6 trillion anything is a lot—but some experts think that debt load is but a number in this case.
As Dr. Akers and her cohort see it, student debt isn’t all that bad. Repayment rates are high, the benefits of borrowing usually outweigh the costs, and college is still considered a ticket to a better life. The real crisis, then? The narrative of crippling debt hamstringing an entire generation.
Let’s debunk some myths. Listen now.
Want to keep up with Kinsey over email? Sign up here: businesscasual.fm/signup.
|Sep 22, 2020|
How much money does it take to have a kid?
A lot...in fact, money is probably the most important factor in deciding to have a baby. When we have more money, we feel better about bringing new life into the world.
But “more money” hasn’t exactly been a defining quality of 2020. We’re in a recession and a global health crisis...having babies isn’t high on the priority list for many Americans. You know what that means for the economy if you listened to our last episode.
Now, get a better understanding of why money impacts the decision to start or grow a family. This episode with Modern Fertility CEO and Robinhood of reproductive health Afton Vechery will give you the answers you need to comprehend what factors influence the decision to have children, especially during these very weird times.
Understanding the motivations for delaying or entirely canceling plans to have kids? It might give us a whole new paradigm for discerning how fertility and GDP are entwined...it’s not just money in the economy, it’s money in your personal bank accounts.
Want to keep up with Kinsey over email? Sign up here: businesscasual.fm/signup.
|Sep 17, 2020|
How a birth bust could bust the economy
We’re on track to experience up to 500,000 fewer births than usual in the U.S. next year, according to economists from the Brookings Institute. You can blame two things—surely you’ve gotten pretty good at it by now: it’s because of Covid-19 and the ensuing recession.
Turns out, birth rates and the economy are deeply intertwined. We have more children when the economy grows. But when it shrinks (like it is now)...the opposite happens.
Today on Business Casual, Dr. Melissa Kearney will explain how we got here, what it means, and how we move forward. She’s the econ professor you’ll actually want to listen to.
If you...1) want a peek at what our economy might look like in the coming decades 2) want to understand why birth rates are the root of all problems and all solutions in our economy and 3) want to learn where the government factors into our decisions to make babies...
|Sep 15, 2020|
How Netflix won the streaming wars
Competition, content, and culture. They’re the three Cs of Netflix’s unbeatable strategy in these so-called “streaming wars.” And you can tell Disney I said unbeatable.
But how did the company come to dominate each facet of that strategy? That’s what we’ve set out to learn in this episode of Business Casual with Recode senior correspondent and bona fide Netflix expert Peter Kafka.
There’s clearly a lot to unpack with Netflix—and with market entrants including Apple TV+, Disney+, Peacock, HBO Max, Hulu, and Amazon Prime (to name a few) attempting to unseat it at the head of the video streaming table, Netflix has been left no choice but to dig some deep moats.
Thanks to some fortuitous timing as the earliest of early movers in the new era of streaming, a huge multi-billion dollar content budget, and a penchant for treating employees like professional athletes, Netflix did just that.
Listen to this episode for the inside scoop on how it all went down—and what goes down next.
After you listen, read my column to find out why I disagree with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings: https://column.businesscasual.fm/timing-beats-culture
|Sep 10, 2020|
Who’s the next Netflix? Let’s ask CEO Reed Hastings
I’m not going to bury the lede here, and that’s mostly because I need to get back to my Ozark binge: This episode of Business Casual features Reed Hastings, cofounder, chairman, and co-CEO of Netflix.
There’s a lot to unpack with Reed. Because companies don’t just become cultural cornerstones overnight. It takes luck, hard work, and, as it turns out, a very distinct corporate strategy. After all, what you watch on Netflix says a lot about you...how you run Netflix might say more.
The ways Reed runs Netflix might surprise you. In this interview, he gets candid about his triumphs and failures and gives us the state of play in these so-called streaming wars. Spoiler alert: Netflix is winning.
Reed gives an inside look at what makes Netflix tick—and how it became a $200 billion company with more than 190 million subscribers worldwide...some 3x the subscriber count of its biggest competitor.
And most importantly, Reed predicts how Netflix might meet its demise. Because for every Netflix, there’s a Blockbuster. And someday Netflix will be the Blockbuster.
After you listen, read my column to find out why I disagree with Reed: https://column.businesscasual.fm/timing-beats-culture
|Sep 08, 2020|
Entrepreneurs are like cockroaches...in a good way
In a lot of ways, starting a business is like having a baby—there’s never a perfect time to do it. But there are times that are better than others.
Believe it or not, a recession like the one we’re in right now might very well be one of those times. Of course, the decision to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams is highly situational, but the economic fundamentals of a recession make for a strong case to get going:
All that said...there are enormous risks, too. During recessions, venture capitalists hold their checkbooks tight, and the chance of your business failing in the first year balloon beyond the typical 20% likelihood of going belly up in good economic times.
There are plenty of variables here. So how do you know if a recession is the right time to start a company? You ask the expert: David Cancel, entrepreneur, investor, and serial founder. He’s started and sold four companies over the last two decades, and now he is the CEO of marketing and sales platform Drift.
Today on Business Casual, David explains the pros and cons of starting a business in each stage of the economic cycle—we’re covering everything from hiring and fundraising to creating products for the next generation’s needs.
|Sep 03, 2020|
Are recessions good for startups?
Pick your metaphor: It’s always darkest before dawn? The greater the storm the brighter the rainbow? Every cloud has a silver lining?
Anything goes, and that’s because we’ve conditioned ourselves to believe that the best businesses are founded during and in the wake of major recessions and bear markets here in the U.S. It’s a startup trope as common as “down for the cause”—recessions breed good businesses. Uber, Airbnb, and several others serve as evidence.
But is it all just circumstantial? That’s what we’re digging into today on Business Casual. Given that we’re in a pandemic-induced recession that started, by some accounts, in February, it’s high time we started thinking about what the next Uber or Airbnb might be.
To help us determine 1) whether recessions really do coincide with strong startup prospects and 2) why that is, I’m talking to Christine Tsai. Christine is the CEO and Founding Partner of 500 Startups, which is an early-stage venture fund and seed accelerator founded in 2010.
She’ll lay all the groundwork you could ever need to understand the ways businesses, both new and old, navigate economic downswings. And just as importantly, she’ll explain what being founded during a recession means for a business’s future prospects.
We’re also talking historical precedent from the last recession, the deeply unique qualities of this economic moment in time, and how the relationship between entrepreneurs and investors might evolve post-COVID.
Don’t miss out. You never know when you’re sitting on the next Airbnb. Listen now.
|Sep 01, 2020|
Business Casual Column: Let's Get Into It
Every week on this podcast, I talk to the brightest minds in business.
In my new Sunday column, I'll give you my take on the business theme we’re tackling—from the streaming wars to the future of work.
|Aug 28, 2020|
There’s no such thing as a get out of jail free card
Here in the United States, bail can be an enormous deciding factor on who goes to prison and who doesn’t. And for how long they go or don’t go...regardless of guilt or not.
But do you know how the bail system really works? Who profits from it? Who is put at a detriment because of it? Likely not. So we’re dissecting the bail system—and getting real about its inherent, systemic issues.
Today on Business Casual, I’m interviewing Adam Foss, a widely respected criminal justice reform advocate and an advisor to the Bail Project. He’ll explain precisely how the bail system fits into the broader private prison ecosystem in the United States. A small taste?
There’s so much more to learn.
And after a summer of reading the words “donate to bail funds” over and over again, it’s high time you get an idea of what bail funds actually do...and why they want to be put out of business.
|Aug 27, 2020|
Prison labor or modern day slavery?
Is your favorite business employing what could easily be described as contemporary slavery to cut costs and push product? Would you even know if the answer were yes?
The truth is, you probably wouldn’t. That’s because the prison-industrial complex in the United States is deeply entrenched in just about every sector of the economy, from military manufacturing to apple picking. And more often than not, that prison-industrial complex is rigged against low-income Americans and people of color.
So what do we do about it? That’s what we’re covering today on Business Casual with Ashish Prashar, a widely respected justice reform advocate and former young offender.
Ashish explains the importance of prison labor for both corporations and state economies, the necessity of prison-industrial reform, and the hard truth of America’s incarceration problem.
This is a tough conversation to have...when was the last time you were forced to reconcile your modern beliefs with a Constitutional amendment ratified in 1865? But it’s way past time to have the conversation. Ashish offers a remarkable starting point for anyone who wants to learn more about the prison-industrial complex—I hope you’ll listen now.
+ While we’re here: I drew on my conversation with Ashish to write about the prison-industrial complex in my new Business Casual column. Read that piece here and subscribe to the weekly newsletter here.
|Aug 25, 2020|
Networking in the time of Corona: How culture survives WFH
If it’s true that what matters not is the grades you make but the hands you shake...the business world could have a major reckoning headed our way.
Networking, fostering, and building relationships is key to success in corporate America and beyond...so how does doing all that change when we’re working from home, often with no office return date in sight ’til 2021?
Today on Business Casual, we’re figuring it out with Dr. Laura Morgan Roberts, Professor of Practice at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and an expert in the art and science of maximizing potential for people in organizations and companies.
As Laura explains in the episode, building relationships, boosting morale, and creating culture are paramount to succeeding in business and attracting top talent. Just about none of those things happen easily in a remote work environment. There’s also the individual toll of remote work—we get lonelier more quickly than in an office, and creativity can lag.
So what are we to do to ensure business as usual stays as usual in this very unusual time? Laura has some tips, tricks, and ideas. Listen now to level up.
|Aug 20, 2020|
Is work as we know it gone for good?
The work from home revolution has arrived...but is that a good or bad thing for the business world? Let’s walk through the pros and cons.
Today on Business Casual, we’re putting all of that in context with Matt Mullenweg. Matt is the founder and CEO of Automattic, which is the parent company of WordPress.com. He built Automattic to have a completely distributed workforce—1,200+ employees working from 77 countries and no HQ.
As Matt sees it, “the sun never sets on Automattic.” He’s adamant that the environment, the economy, and distribution of opportunity could all meaningfully change for the better in a widespread remote workforce world.
So it works for Matt and his team, but can it work for everyone? We’re about to find out. Matt thinks the companies like Google and Facebook that have announced WFH through the rest of the year will find it hard to go back to in-office work.
So is this the new normal? And can it change corporate America for the better? Listen to find out.
|Aug 18, 2020|
Have we seen the end of the IPO?
I’m not entirely ruling IPOs out quite yet, but the case for their competitor in public market access—direct listings—is growing by the second. Here’s why.
When we consider what makes systems of capitalism work, it’s hard not to think about access for both individual investors seeking to purchase stakes and individual corporations seeking their money. Often, the equilibrium between the two is decided by a very small group of very wealthy investors participating in an initial public offering.
Which do you think serves as a better example of granting access to participants in a capitalist society? I know my answer.
And so does today’s Business Casual guest, Barry McCarthy. He’s the architect of the modern direct listing, and he was also the CFO of Netflix from 1999 to 2010 and CFO of Spotify from 2015 to 2020—a tenure during which the music streamer went public via a direct listing.
Barry sees the process of tapping into public markets like this: The so-called “modern” IPO hasn’t changed much at all since 1971, aside from the fact the interns on the roadshow are fetching iced oat milk cappuccinos instead of black coffees. It’s a supremely outdated process. So what can be done instead?
Direct listings...maybe. Barry will be the first to point out that they’re not for everyone. Listen to the episode now to hear why.
|Aug 13, 2020|
How to solve capitalism? Public market access, education, & the economy
The fate of the U.S. economy comes down to one thing: access.
If every individual who wants it and every company that needs it can’t access capital markets, both wealth and job creation skid to a stop—and with them, so too does the power behind the U.S. economy.
By and large, we’re pretty okay and handing access to those looking for it—any old fool could download an app and begin trading stocks.
But like a first attempt at homemade croissants, things could always be better. We’re facing a gaping wealth disparity problem and a pressing inequality of basic education. The first step in increasing access to public capital markets is solving for those...not an easy feat.
Adena Friedman—president and CEO of Nasdaq, the first woman to lead a global stock exchange, and today’s Business Casual guest—hasn’t let it deter her.
In this episode, Adena will explain how we increase access in the right and healthiest ways. To her, allowing more companies and people to tap into public capital markets will necessarily level the playing field for individual and institutional investors.
But whose responsibility is it to ensure that increase in access happens? Listen to find out.
|Aug 11, 2020|
We woke up in dystopia: Scott Galloway on higher education’s biggest failures
By now, you know the higher education system in the United States is broken. You didn’t need COVID-19 to prove it.
Because even before the postsecondary education industry was forced to pivot to remote learning en masse, a caste system was rapidly bubbling up within its ranks:
It sucks that students can’t go back to campus to do things like learn and network and party in person. But that’s not the real tragedy. This caste system is, according to today’s guest and NYU Stern professor Scott Galloway.
As Scott sees it, the system has enabled us to completely lose sight of the importance of unremarkable students—those who might not be MIT material, but deserve a shot at college (aka the ticket to improving your socioeconomic standing).
In this episode, Scott tears apart that system (and almost every other system, for that matter) in a wide-ranging conversation about the future of higher education. Some buzzy sneak peeks:
You don’t want to miss this episode. Listen now.
|Aug 06, 2020|
Zoom University is in session: decoding higher ed’s online future
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Most years, this time in August is a boom for Target’s dorm décor section and purveyors of shower caddies and anyone selling that John Belushi Animal House poster. But 2020 isn’t like most years.
This year, higher education across the country will take place online, as COVID-19 has laughed in the face of the traditional residential college model. For anyone hoping to win back the beer pong championship belt, that’s devastating. For everyone else...it isn’t.
Moving to online, tech-forward education for the masses could be a net good for students—it makes degrees more flexible, more specialized, and more accessible, according to today’s guest: Dan Rosensweig, the president and CEO of Chegg.
But Dan thinks making higher education truly work for all means doing more than just sticking with online learning post-coronavirus. College degrees remain a fast-track ticket to upward mobility—in order to meet the needs of all who want them, we need a total reset of the industry.
But how do you reset an industry worth $700 billion a year in the U.S. alone? It won’t be easy. And not all institutions will survive.
Listen now to hear how we move forward.
|Aug 04, 2020|
Going for gold or going for broke? How Olympic athletes get left behind
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Olympic athletes are people, too. So how come the current business model of the Olympic Games, a commercial feat that would be entirely impossible without said athletes, fails to take them into account?
In this episode of Business Casual, we’re talking about the intersection of finance and elite athletics with Lauryn Williams, a four-time Olympian, three-time Olympic medalist, and the first American woman to earn a medal in both the Winter and Summer Olympics. Oh, and also she’s a certified financial planner.
As Lauryn told me, “The business model has needed overhaul for quite some time. I think that it's one of those things that it just started and began to snowball and nobody really knows how to undo something and start from the ground up.”
That might be where COVID can play superhero. Given an extra year between now and the postponed Tokyo Summer Games, the International Olympic Committee has the chance to rethink the support it offers athletes—many of whom are now forced to put off lucrative brand deals and pay for an extra year’s worth of intense training.
And even in normal, non-coronavirus circumstances, the cards can be stacked against them. There are countless variables that go into the viability of professional sports as a career—where you’re from, what your event is, and whose attention you get can be financial make it or break it moments.
Lauryn explains it all in this episode. Don’t miss it.
|Jul 30, 2020|
Can the Olympics survive 2020?
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The Olympics as we know them have been around for 124 years. A lot has evolved since 1896, but it seems the business model of the Games is one thing not even time can’t change.
With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics being postponed to next year (for now), it’s time to take the interim 12 months to reevaluate the economics of the Games. Because they don’t always make complete sense…
I learned that (and a whole lot more) from Andrew Zimbalist, today’s guest on Business Casual. Andrew is the best of the best in the field attempting to understand the economics of sport. He’s taught econ at Smith College for decades, specializing in the Olympics and the impacts the Games have on host cities and their economies.
In this episode, Andrew helps me tear apart the Olympics business model, taking into account the perspectives of host cities, athletes, the International Olympic Committee, and more. In addition to understanding what’s broken, we’ll talk about how we fix it. (Hint: Anyone at the IOC listening? We’ve got some thoughts.)
And most importantly: We’ll also parse out the causes, effects, and impacts of postponing Tokyo 2020 due to the coronavirus.
You don’t want to miss this one. Listen now.
|Jul 28, 2020|
Want to make your data work for you?
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Use the internet like you’re part of Gen Z. That means both learning TikTok dances and valuing customization and personalization over a false sense of privacy.
This week on Business Casual, we’re talking about data—how our data is gathered online, where it gets bought and sold, and why we might be entitled to some of the money it makes Big Tech. The conversation started with a teardown of former 2020 hopeful Andrew Yang’s proposed data dividend project.
On today’s episode, we’re asking some important follow-up questions: Does the next generation of tech users even care about their data, where it’s used, and whether they get paid for it?
The short answer is no—because 1) the activist generation has larger concerns than getting a dividend from Big Tech and 2) “People tend to not care about data privacy until they are personally affected.” That’s according to our guest today, Tiffany Zhong, the cofounder and CEO of Zebra IQ and the young entrepreneur once dubbed the Mary Meeker of Gen Z.
Many in Gen Z think this way: The value of the content they get from Big Tech and social platforms is greater than the value of their data—some in Gen Z feel that they’re getting the good end of the bargain. But does that give Big Tech free reign over their data?
This is a nuanced conversation about young people and their relationships with data privacy. Check it out now.
|Jul 23, 2020|
Andrew Yang is literally trying to give you money
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Big Tech has made billions of dollars using personal data. Your personal data. When was the last time you got paid for playing your part in the tech ecosystem?
Probably never. Andrew Yang, ex-2020 presidential candidate and today’s Business Casual guest, wants to change that.
And that’s why he’s pioneering the Data Dividend Project. In his words: “The Data Dividend Project is an organization that is trying to get us paid for our data. And our data now is worth tens of billions, even hundreds of billions of dollars a year in value that we are not seeing a dime of.”
The merits of the DDP, as Yang and his fervent followers call it, appear to be many. The project would realign incentives for tech entrepreneurs, advertisers, and platform users such that everyone could walk away satisfied. And sustained, direct payments to American people sound great...but there’s always a but.
But Yang remains steadfast in his efforts to keep American tech users from “getting cheated.”
Listen to this episode for an inside look at how a data dividend would work, how it wouldn’t, and what happens when you put $1,000 in Jeff Bezos’s bank account every month.
|Jul 21, 2020|
Is David Dobrik the future of the internet?
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If not, he’s definitely the future of marketing on the internet. With 18 million YouTube subscribers, 20 million TikTok followers, and the world’s most interesting laugh, Dobrik has become the case study for innovative influencer marketing.
And the man who helped him get there is Ian Borthwick, aka Ian from SeatGeek. His real title is senior director of influencer marketing at SeatGeek—he made influencer marketing a hugely lucrative channel for the company by taking a risk on the sometimes very not-brand-safe Dobrik...and he’s the guest on this episode of Business Casual.
You know what influencer marketing looks like. But what does it really do that more traditional marketing channels don’t or can’t? That’s what Ian from SeatGeek expertly explains in this episode. And now’s the time to talk about it—if video-centric social commerce is the future of consumer tech, influencer marketing will be the quickest way to get to that future.
There’s a lot going on in this episode (in a fun way). Ian FaceTimes David Dobrik, we get to the bottom of the recent trend of giving away luxury cars as marketing, and we unpack the impacts COVID-19 has had on influencers and their $8+ billion/year industry.
Oh, and we talk a lot about TikTok.
Don’t miss it—listen now.
|Jul 16, 2020|
The U.S.- China Tech Battle: Social Commerce, Super Apps, and the Future of TikTok
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For as long as there’s been consumer tech to talk about, we’ve framed it as a winner-takes-all battle between the U.S. and China. But is that really fair?
Many argue it’s not. One of those many is Connie Chan, general partner at famed VC firm Andreessen Horowitz and this week’s guest on Business Casual. Chan is an expert in the relationship between China and Silicon Valley, and she’s spilling Sand Hill secrets.
Her biggest bet is on the video-centric future of consumer tech and e-commerce. Because nothing sells goods and services or breeds engagement like watching good video. But who’s positioned to win in a social commerce economy?
In the episode, Chan answers that question and so many more, including what TikTok’s uncertain future might look like, plus…
As Chan sees it, whatever happens in consumer tech in China will make its way to the U.S. in about 3–5 years. The best way to be 3–5 years ahead of the curve? Listen to this episode.
+ Keep in mind: In our next episode, we’re talking about the possible TikTok ban and what it means for creators. Subscribe wherever you’re reading this so you don’t miss it.
|Jul 14, 2020|
Who Put the Target on Big Banks’ Back?
Traditional banking has 100% failed small businesses.
At least, that’s what our guest for this episode of Business Casual thinks.
That guest, Fintech Today founder Ian Kar, names names and doles out hot takes re: the fintech space in our interview—which is itself an in-depth look at how fintech startups are stepping in where big banks have missed the mark in distributing Paycheck Protection Program funding.
Kar explains that big banks have systematically failed to market to or serve small businesses and their owners. So what makes fintech different...and more capable?
But it’s not all roses and loan forgiveness in the fintech space. There are plenty of risks, both regulatory and otherwise. You bet we’ll cover them all.
|Jul 09, 2020|
Debunking the American Dream: Did the PPP Fail Small Businesses?
Many economists have suggested that the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, failed Americans on at least one major front: prioritizing lending to business owners in underserved markets. The Small Business Administration’s inspector general admitted as much back in May.
The question now is why. Why did just 12% of Black and Latinx business owners who applied for PPP loans report getting what they asked for? Why does the Center for Responsible Lending estimate upwards of 90% of businesses owned by people of color have been or will be shut out of the PPP?
The answer is complicated, systemic, and deeply rooted in a norm of occupational segregation that’s plagued American capitalism for centuries. But if there’s anyone who can speak to the PPP’s intersection with economic and racial justice, it’s Joyce Klein, director of the Business Ownership Initiative at the Aspen Institute.
Today on Business Casual, Klein explains the hurdles to accessing capital and achieving economic mobility for minority groups, from racial to gender. If you want to understand…
Listen to this episode now.
|Jul 07, 2020|
So...Who Is the Arbiter of Truth?
On the last episode of Business Casual, media exec and general baller-at-large Joanna Coles explained the implications of ad dollars moving from local newsrooms to social media and Big Tech platforms. The general consensus? We’ve got a serious scale problem. And an even bigger misinformation problem.
So what does all of that mean for the future of media? In this episode, we’re figuring it out with Delia Cai, growth and trends editor at Buzzfeed and author of the Deez Links newsletter (which is described as “a dailyish link to cool shit happening in & around the media industry”).
As someone who both 1) grew up extremely online and 2) has a front row seat to the constant evolution of media, Delia offers honest insight about…
Listen to the episode now.
|Jul 02, 2020|
Facebook’s Fact Problem, Media’s Future, & Why Nothing’s Certain
This summer, a group of nearly 100 brands from Patagonia to Coca-Cola are boycotting highly targeted ad machines on social media platforms like Facebook.
It’s an effort to put their money where their PR statements are—by withholding ad spend on Facebook, these brands are attempting to force Mark Zuckerberg’s hand to do something about his platform’s highly contentious fact-checking and hate speech standards.
But what if, instead of focusing on dollar value efficacy, we consider that the medium might be the message here? Sure, those 100+ brands might not dent Zuck’s retirement account. But they’ve brought important attention to the fact that we’re slaves to the big tech ad targeting machine.
That’s why this week on Business Casual, we’re navigating the intricate movement of ad dollars from local news outlets to social media and big tech platforms...plus taking stock of how, exactly, the everyday media consumer is suffering.
And we’re doing it with someone who’s seen it all in the media world—Joanna Coles. She’s been an executive, a producer, an editor...basically everything from heading up Cosmo to sitting on Snap’s board.
In this episode, Joanna explains the importance of local journalism, why it evaporates when big tech wins ad dollars, and how conglomerization widens the access gap to good, fact-checked journalism.
|Jun 30, 2020|
A Thriving Startup Community? In This Economy?
Anything is possible if you just believe...and create multi-channel diversified revenue streams while avoiding the many trappings of venture capital. Right? Right. Just ask Alex Lieberman and Austin Rief, Morning Brew’s cofounders.
That’s what we’re doing on this episode of Business Casual—taking an introspective look at the last quarter in business through the eyes of a small but growing startup.
In the episode, Alex and Austin walk us through the ins and outs of surviving (maybe even thriving…?) as a bootstrapped company in the midst of a recession. You’ll get the inside scoop on how Morning Brew’s strategizes on the daily, plus…
Listen now if you’re curious about what comes next.
|Jun 25, 2020|
It Definitely Wasn’t Boring: Q2 in Review
Have you also aged three decades since April 1, 2020?
The last three months have brought us some of the craziest business news imaginable. The second quarter was a cornucopia of unpredictability—from COVID-19 doing its worst to the economy to widespread protests serving a reckoning for America’s conversations about race.
So how do you make it all make sense? You make a podcast about it. Today on Business Casual, we’re taking a look back at the biggest themes of the second quarter, from innovation and accountability and leadership to...failure.
Because as we head into the third quarter of this year, you have to ask yourself: Would you ever, ever have seen these headlines coming just six months ago? I sure wouldn’t have.
Let us help make sense of today’s headlines. Listen now.
|Jun 23, 2020|
The Diversity Conversation Isn’t Over
On the last episode of Business Casual, I spoke with HR legend and former head of Goldman Sachs human capital management, Edith Cooper.
Edith explained in no uncertain terms just how important diversity and inclusion are in corporate America—from both moral and financial perspectives. But to my team and me, that’s just scratching the surface of the conversation about equity of opportunity, racial gaps, and workplace culture.
So today, we’re digging even deeper. Edith gave you the 10,000-foot view. How about experiencing first-hand how policies that make the workplace work for all are actually created?
On this episode of Business Casual, say hello to Morning Brew’s own head of people operations, Kate Noel.
In the episode, Kate explains the urgency of fostering diverse and inclusive workplaces, plus gives a master class on things like tokenism and code switching. If you don’t know what those are, you need to listen to this episode.
At the end of the day, people are more motivated to do good work for a company that allows them to be their full selves. And we all know that hasn’t always been the case. From hiring to promoting to continuing education, Kate walks us through exactly what makes work work for all.
Don’t miss this episode—you’re going to love Kate as much as we at Morning Brew do within the first minute.
|Jun 18, 2020|
Stop Thinking, Start Doing: How Diversity & Accountability Impact Profit
If you’re a business decision maker...diversity matters.
If you’re an entry level employee...diversity matters.
If you haven’t even entered the workforce yet...diversity matters.
Because companies that prioritize diversity do better. According to McKinsey, in 2019, companies in the top quartile for ethnic diversity financially outperformed those in the bottom quartile for diversity by 36%.
But how do we put that 36% in context? And how do we, as individuals, make sure we’re holding corporations accountable for diversity and inclusion efforts?
This week on Business Casual, I speak with Edith Cooper to figure it out. Edith, who our producer Marilyn aptly called a “corporate badass,” is the former head of Human Capital Management at Goldman Sachs, a board director at both Etsy and Slack, and cofounder of personal and professional development startup Medley.
Edith’s candor and insight will push you to think differently and ask more questions about diversity in the workplace, like...
Edith begins to offer answers, but the truth of the matter is that this has to be an ongoing conversation. How are you going to make sure that this time, it’s different?
Listen now to get started.
|Jun 16, 2020|
If Brands Don’t Stand for Something...
They might not fall for anything, but they definitely won’t win over consumers who are presently armed with more information than ever before.
The big picture: Today, it’s not enough for brands—from fledgling startups to multinational corporations—to just sell goods and services for a profit. They have to take a stand, from supporting Black Lives Matter to championing frontline health workers to saving the world from climate change.
You know exactly what I’m talking about. How many times have you heard a brand tell you it’s “there for you” in the last three months? For me, it’s 7 billion, give or take.
So today on Business Casual, I’m speaking with the undisputed branding wizards of the startup scene, Red Antler co-founders Emily Heyward and JB Osborne. Their firm is behind the design and go-to-market strategies for the kinds of companies synonymous with “strong brand,” from Allbirds to Casper.
Emily and JB bring a unique perspective to the branding conversation, one typically dominated by pie-in-the-sky musings on consumer psychology and nonsensical acronyms. Their POV? It’s not about playing by rules—it’s about playing by values.
And when a brand takes on values and purpose beyond being in the black next quarter, the dollars we feed it take on far more meaning than just lining the pockets of startup founders.
So...if you’ve ever thought picking a font and a color scheme was the extent of building a brand, you need to listen to this episode. Check it out now.
|Jun 11, 2020|
Trippy Business: Psychedelic Drugs, Microdosing, and Money
Imagine it: Your doctor tells you, “Take a magic mushroom and call me in the morning.”
It’s...probably not all that realistic. But the promise of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy? Definitely realistic. And definitely an intriguing business prospect.
That’s why this week on Business Casual, we’re talking to the preeminent expert in the controlled use of psychedelic drugs: Dr. Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (aka MAPS).
Rick has spent nearly four decades at MAPS championing the uses of psychedelics and marijuana in clinical settings. The treatment possibilities, as he sees them, range from post-traumatic stress disorder to depression to addiction.
Sounds promising—but there’s always a but. The larger pharmaceuticals, biotech, and insurance industries aren’t quite ready to wholly buy into psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. Or psychotherapy of any kind, for that matter.
Along with earning a spot in the regulatory good graces of U.S. officials, educating business decision makers presents a challenge for Rick and his peers in the psychedelics space. But if the trend of microdosing (ahem, Silicon Valley) is any indication, interest is growing from both venture capital and consumer POVs.
Listen now to expand your mind.
Rick generously offered to answer other business-related questions. Get in touch with him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Jun 09, 2020|
Economic Recovery is Spelled J-O-B-S
Every first Friday morning of every month at 8:30am ET, we partake in a long honored tradition—poring over one very specific set of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That data is the monthly jobs report, and it’s become an essential part of our assessment of the U.S. economy.
Because having a job means supporting yourself and your family, a basic human need just like clothing and shelter and food. But right now, millions of Americans are without that basic human need.
40 million to be exact. That’s how many people have filed for unemployment since the pandemic began. But how are we to put a number that enormous in context? And how are we to understand who bears its impacts the most? And how are we to determine when 40 million shrinks to zero?
This week on Business Casual, we’re doing our best to answer those questions with Karin Kimbrough, chief economist at LinkedIn and labor market expert. Hearing her masterfully simple explanation of the U.S. labor market is like seeing Bigfoot...you’ve always wanted to experience it, but you weren’t sure it ever existed.
Karin also illustrates the stark disparity at play in the labor market at any given moment...and why this particular moment is exacerbating those disparities.
The big picture: As Karin sees it, unemployment and hiring rates are the best metrics for understanding when the economy can get back on its feet. And that’s a question we’d all like an answer to.
Listen to our episode with Karin now and let us know what you think.
+ The Bureau of Labor Statistics’s May jobs report comes out the day after this episode hits the wires. We’re pregaming already. Start your own pregame with these stats:
Place your bets now.
|Jun 04, 2020|
Black Lives Matter
Today, instead of listening to our usual 45-minute episode, we’re asking you to take that time to listen, read, or watch content that elevates black voices, black stories, and black-owned businesses.
Finally, if you’re in the position to give, consider donating to one of the many reputable organizations helping further anti-racism causes.
|Jun 02, 2020|
How to Save Your Restaurant? Serve More Than Food
We get it. Custom made meals served in biodegradable bowls and ordered through an app or over a sneeze guard are really good and really convenient.
And plenty sell each year—the fast casual sector posted an 8% sales gain in 2018, and traffic jumped 3% in the space despite the fact that total U.S. foodservice traffic was flat as a board. You can thank a confluence of factors from the ’08 financial crisis to rising rents for the industry’s recent ascent.
But not even the fast casual space, home to relatively fast, relatively cheap, and relatively healthy food we’ve seamlessly integrated into our lives and diets, is safe from COVID-19. The sector, much like fine dining and the rest of the hospitality space, has been brought to its knees by shutdowns designed to keep us all safe...and at home.
So today on Business Casual, we’re exploring what makes fast casual tick, what’s changed since the coronavirus set in, and what comes next for the Chipotles of the world. Most importantly? We’re pinpointing exactly what it is that helped fast casual thrive through the last recession—and determining which of those lessons can help us get through today.
This episode features two entrepreneurs in different stages of building their businesses: Nicolas Jammet of famed salad company Sweetgreen and Chef JJ Johnson of Harlem’s new(ish) rice bowl shop Fieldtrip.
We decided to bring in not one, but two experts to show differing perspectives on building moats around a business.
The insight the two bring...to the table...is unbeatable. They’re operating and more importantly adapting during an unimaginably difficult time for business and in a sector notorious for razor-thin margins.
Listen now to get their perspectives.
+ FYI, this is Part II of our two-part exploration of the restaurant industry in a post-COVID world. If you want to hear Part I, go check it out. It features fine dining czar Chef Marcus Samuelsson and tackles issues like government funding, small business, furloughs, and so much more.
|May 28, 2020|
Imagine a World Without Restaurants...
COVID-19 makes it easy to do just that. Sure, we’d be a lot more capable with a paring knife or a turkey baster. But at what cost?
Restaurants are the backbone of small business in communities across the country. Without decent spots to grab a bite or celebrate an accomplishment, what good are barber shops or clothing retailers? If restaurants flounder, so too do the small businesses they help bolster.
That’s the world according to Marcus Samuelsson, famed restaurateur, Iron Chef competitor, Chopped judge, and owner of more than a handful of restaurants around the world.
This week on Business Casual, we spoke with Chef Marcus about his experience operating restaurants and strategizing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The long story short? It’s been really, really hard.
Restaurants have been suckerpunched by the coronavirus and the requisite shutdowns robbing them of business. And that means big changes for a lot of people:
But businesspeople like Chef Marcus don’t just stop when things get tough. They pivot—to delivery, to making meals for frontline workers, to lobbying on behalf of the industry at large. Because as far as Chef Marcus sees it, the government is going to step in and give his business the help it needs.
In this episode, we explore exactly how COVID has expedited those strategic shifts, plus what they mean for the broader hospitality industry. Listen now.
And tune in to Business Casual’s next episode to hear Part II of our exploration of the restaurant space in the COVID-19 world. We’re tackling fast casuals with two of the brightest minds in the industry. Subscribe so you don’t miss out.
|May 26, 2020|
Predicting the Future with Barbara Corcoran
“I don’t think we’ll ever go back to what we had before.”
That’s what Barbara Corcoran thinks of commercial real estate’s future. In Part II of Business Casual’s interview with the star of ABC’s Shark Tank and real estate mogul, she makes several bold predictions about the ways commercial real estate come out of today’s pandemic and recession.
Chief among them? Compromise is the new open floor plan. Barabara says that today’s widespread WFH will illustrate the futility of giant office spaces, while also highlighting some of the difficulties of remote employment. That puts a few lucky commercial real estate players in pole position.
What else does Barbarba see in her crystal ball? Fewer bank foreclosures than you might think. A renewed appreciation for the layers upon layers of leverage in the commercial real estate market. Some unpleasant ripple effects of rent forgiveness. Retail’s death knell.
If you want to understand all of that, plus the important role the commercial real estate market plays in the broader economy...
Listen now. And FYI: This is the second part of a two-part interview. Go check out Part I, which centered on the residential real estate market, if you haven’t already.
|May 22, 2020|
Barbara Corcoran on the Emotional Economics of the Housing Market
So much of business is clinical, scientific even—balance sheets either add up or they don’t. But in the housing market, emotions are as important as 1s and 0s.
And today, many of us are walking an emotional tightrope made all the tighter by the fact that we’re staring down the barrel of a recession. So how do we understand what comes next for the residential real estate industry—a space characterized by physical, in-person dealings—when we’re mostly homebound and mostly short on disposable income?
This week on Business Casual, we get the answer from Barbara Corcoran—star of ABC’s Shark Tank, real estate icon, and (apparently) budding philosopher.
In Part I of our interview with Barbara, she walks us through the intricacies of the housing market today, from buyer to seller to broker. Curious about prices? Wondering what virtual home tours are like? Barbara’s got you.
And she’s serving up the insight in several flavors:
Listen now. We’ll cover the commercial market in depth (yes, we’ll talk about WeWork) with Barbara in Part II of the interview, out next from Business Casual. Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss it.
|May 21, 2020|
The Universal Truths of Business Success with Rich Antoniello
Not too long ago, Complex CEO Rich Antoniello tweeted this—what he considers the formula for success in publishing. Seems pretty straightforward, but...
It got the Business Casual team thinking: Does such a formula really exist? And if Rich is right in saying that it does, how can lessons he espouses from the publishing world apply to every other sector?
This week on Business Casual, we get an answer straight from the media CEO’s mouth. Rich answers every burning question about his formula for success, from what matters most to how differently things would’ve gone if he’d just invented YouTube.
There’s a reason we’re talking about this right now. It’s because now more than ever, success in publishing is hard to come by. In an industry known for its thin margins and stubborn resistance to change, a pandemic and recession have accelerated hardships already being played out.
We recorded this episode on March 31 as the COVID-19 pandemic began to take a stranglehold on the economy. The lessons have aged better than we could’ve ever expected: One look at this list of newsroom layoffs paints the picture better than any episode description could—layoffs have come for everyone, from old media to new.
And FWIW, Rich’s wisdom spans far more than just the youth culture his Complex team is so devoutly dedicated to. Here’s a small sample of his pep-talk-but-realistic vibe:
|May 19, 2020|
Is Your WFH Setup Hacker-Proof?
For those of us lucky enough to have jobs that allow it, working from home has laid bare many uncomfortable truths—like the fact that productivity and the presence of pajamas are inversely correlated...or that fact that cybersecurity is a pillow fort when it should be Fort Knox.
After all, we’re in the midst of a global health crisis that’s forced us to adopt a new normal. And that crisis has sent us barreling toward dependence on digital tools to both keep us informed and help us do our jobs. But with that, how should our approaches to cybersecurity change?
This week on Business Casual, we’re getting the answers from Nicole Eagan, CEO of cybersecurity company Darktrace, the first to develop an AI system to thwart cyber threats. Nicole explains why we need to shift our mindsets surrounding cybersecurity from 1s and 0s to a more holistic view.
Plus, Nicole adeptly illustrates how this pandemic, unpredictable and painful as it might be, is preparing us to adopt useful tech at a faster (read: better) pace than ever before. Just don’t expect AI to write these descriptions anytime soon.
|May 14, 2020|
Arianna Huffington: Maybe We Shouldn’t Follow the Leader?
We’ve read enough about Elon Musk to know that CEOs are as much a liability as they are an advantage. Just this month, Musk tweeted that Tesla’s stock price was “too high.” Tesla’s stock price responded in kind by tanking some 10%. I’m sure investors loved that.
And Musk is just one example of many. So why aren’t investors and reporters thinking more about leadership and its tangible effects on a company’s bottom line? If change starts at the top, why aren’t we talking about effective leadership in SEC documents instead of woo-woo weekend retreats?
To find out, I spoke with Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, CEO of Thrive Global, author of 15 books, and general expert in what it means to lead effectively.
Arianna delved into the “obvious consequences” of widespread burnout within top corporate brass—the kind of burnout she’s repeatedly claimed drives someone like Elon Musk to tweet something like “funding secured.”
And there’s a reason we’re talking about it right now. As far as Arianna is concerned, being a leader throughout a crisis like today’s is like stepping into the eye of a hurricane. It’s never been 1) harder and 2) more important to prioritize strong leadership, from both a human and a business perspective.
But that’s easier said than done. Listen now to find out why.
|May 12, 2020|
Rip Off the Band-Aid: Chamath Palihapitiya on Our Broken System
Part I of our interview with outspoken venture capitalist and entrepreneur Chamath Palihapitiya ruffled some feathers...consider that the pregame to today’s Part II.
In this episode, Chamath argues his thesis that “zombie companies” need to go six feet under for the rest of the economy to stay alive and well—especially in the middle of today’s pandemic and recession. He explains...
And while he’s at it, Chamath draws apt connections between luck and hard work.
Come for the deep analysis of government intervention in companies deemed too big to fail, stay for Chamath’s assertion that the U.S. economy needs billionaires like the NBA needs LeBron James.
Listen now and let us know what you think. And if you missed Part I, go check that out, too.
|May 07, 2020|
Can Capitalism Survive? Chamath Palihapitiya Isn’t Sure
American capitalism is kind of like apple pie. We know it’s supposed to be a quintessential component of our culture, but we’re not really sure how to make it from scratch without leaving a bad taste in someone’s mouth.
This week on Morning Brew’s Business Casual podcast, the provocative and recently very viral venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya argues that today’s recipe for capitalism isn’t working.
Palihapitiya’s case against this “perversion” of capitalism looks a little like this:
You might not agree with Palihapitiya. But this episode is full of thought starters guaranteed to provoke even the least civically inclined of your group chat. And just wait for Part II coming out next…
Go listen to Part I now.
+ And if you want to check out the viral interview we reference in the episode, find that here.
|May 05, 2020|
If Ray Dalio Were President…
He’s not running. But if he were? The hedge fund billionaire and philanthropist says he would put bipartisanship above all else. Sounds great, Ray, but is it realistic?
On this episode of Morning Brew’s Business Casual podcast and part two of our interview with Ray Dalio, we try our best to figure it out.
Dalio expertly describes the intersection of markets and politics in today’s crisis, making the intricacies of Fed policy, Wall Street psychology, debt cycles, and more make perfect sense. Plus, Dalio gives a master class in...
If you missed part one of our conversation with Dalio, go check it out. In this second part, he expands on his thesis that students of history could’ve seen this pandemic coming. Are you sold?
Listen now and let us know.
|Apr 30, 2020|
Ray Dalio: Predicting Our Future Using Our Past
Ray Dalio, billionaire philanthropist and hedge fund demigod, thinks we can utilize historical precedent to insulate ourselves from the inevitable pain points life throws at us. Do you?
Part I of our two-part interview with Dalio will help you make a decision.
In this episode of Business Casual, Ray makes a case for becoming a voracious student of history. And yes, Ray thinks we could have seen today’s global health and economic crisis coming—he even goes as far in the episode as to divulge what he would have done differently if he’d paid a little more attention to the history books.
Because as far as he sees it, there is such a thing as a formula for success. He shared that formula, plus tips for…
Listen to the episode now. And make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss Part II of the interview, up next from Business Casual.
|Apr 28, 2020|
How to Build a Podcast: Kinsey Grant on Asking the Big Questions
Today we’re flipping the script on Business Casual… and the host becomes the interview subject.
That’s right. Our guest for this episode is our very own Kinsey Grant, Morning Brew business editor and the host of this podcast. She’s the one constant voice on this show, and we want you, dear listeners, to get to know her better.
Kinsey breaks down how she uses razor sharp questioning and an impressive roster of guests to answer some of the biggest questions in business. But what exactly makes something a “big question in business”?
Reformed markets reporter, newsletter writer, and early bird Kinsey Grant and Morning Brew audio produce Marilyn Haigh get to the bottom of it.
Want to get in touch? Email Marilyn at email@example.com and Kinsey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Apr 24, 2020|
The Green Investing Revolution Is Coming: BlackRock's Brian Deese on ESG Investing
April 22 is Earth Day. Do you know if your favorite corporate behemoth is observing the holiday? Chances are...they aren’t.
Spoiler alert: That’s a terrible decision.
By letting climate concerns simmer quietly on the back burner, companies are not only opening themselves up to unmitigated risk but also leaving returns on the table. That’s according to Brian Deese, global head of sustainable investing at BlackRock (yes that BlackRock—the world’s largest money manager).
This week on Morning Brew’s Business Casual podcast, Deese (who was also an architect of the Paris Climate Agreement following a stint in the Obama White House) explains why investing with the climate in mind leads to stronger returns.
Deese also illustrates the important roles both 1) big data and 2) the federal government play in determining how and when corporate America prioritizes sustainability. Because all those returns we were talking about up there? They won’t matter if the world’s on fire in 30 years.
And unlike some investors focused on sustainability, Brian’s about more than just good press. Listen now to hear for yourself.
|Apr 21, 2020|
Your Crash Course on Supply Chains, Globalization, and COVID-19
Things we learned in school: 1) always guess C and 2) never underestimate the importance of highly intricate supply chain economics and their trickle down effects on business.
This week on Morning Brew’s Business Casual podcast, Geoffrey Garrett, dean of UPenn’s prestigious Wharton School, explains what’s at stake for our globalized economy in the wake of COVID-19. We called in the best in the Ivy League for this one, since there are a lot of moving parts:
So...now what should we furrow our brows over? Dean Garrett has all the answers. It’s like getting a degree from Wharton, but without the rich mahogany smell.
Listen now and let us know what you think.
|Apr 16, 2020|
How COVID-19 Impacts Your Personal Finance
The thought of getting a $1,200 check in the mail from the government was nothing short of crazy just six months ago. Ask Andrew Yang. But now, that once impossible idea is reality—most Americans will receive a little somethin’ something’ from Uncle Sam as part of the government’s $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief package.
But what should you do with that money? If your groceries and basic necessities are already covered, should you splurge your Trump Bucks or save them? And what kind of boost—if any—will this program give the U.S. economy?
This week on Morning Brew’s Business Casual podcast, we’re diving deep into personal finance in the COVID-19 age with money expert and author of I Will Teach You to Be Rich Ramit Sethi. In the episode, Sethi covers…
Listen now and learn more about how your personal finance situation could change.
|Apr 14, 2020|
Going Nowhere Fast: Will the Global Travel Sector Survive COVID-19?
You’ve read about the couple stuck in the Maldives. You’ve obsessively stalked ticket prices for Amsterdam in the fall. You’ve heard the cruise industry’s weary pleas for forgiveness. Now, it’s time to understand how—and if—the travel sector emerges from the pandemic that’s brought it to its knees.
Today on Morning Brew’s Business Casual podcast, Rafat Ali, founder and CEO of travel media and research company Skift, explains what’s at stake for the global travel sector, plus why the rest of the economy is finally recognizing just how impactful the travel industry is.
Ali breaks down what’s at stake for airlines, cruise lines, hotels, and one particular Silicon Valley home rental platform in this new norm—a norm that’s proving we can survive in a socially distant, vacation-free, remote-work world.
Ali will also give you the final answer to the question you’re all wondering: When is the right time to buy plane tickets?
Listen now to find out.
|Apr 09, 2020|
Quibi CEO Meg Whitman Wants Your In-Between Moments
Today, the world gets its first glimpse of Quibi, the short-form mobile video platform as famous for its high-octane leadership as it is for its $1.75 billion in pre-launch venture funding.
Also today? Business Casual listeners get an exclusive interview with Quibi CEO Meg Whitman. In this conversation chock-full of insight, Whitman explains how Quibi is straddling the line between competition for time and competition for dollars.
As a veteran tech leader (and the former CEO of both eBay and HP), she has plenty of inside-baseball analysis about playing into the trend of our dwindling attention spans instead of resisting it. Whitman also explains to Business Casual…
Plus, Whitman defends her claim that Quibi, a video streaming service, is not entering the streaming wars. Want to understand that one? Listen now.
|Apr 06, 2020|
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em: How Traders React in a Crisis
Like 4chan found a Bloomberg terminal. That’s the motto on the subreddit r/WallStreetBets, where 1 million members share the most horrifyingly risky stock market strategies imaginable.
And in these volatile times, those bets are riskier and bigger than ever. So this week on Morning Brew’s Business Casual podcast, we spoke with r/WallStreetBets founder Jaime Rogozinski to understand the new norms in market psychology.
Rogozinski, a serial entrepreneur who takes almost no responsibility for the fortunes both won and lost on the subreddit he created, explains…
Listen to the episode now.
|Apr 02, 2020|
The Business of Giving Back: How Nonprofits Are Borrowing from Silicon Valley
You could use some good news. Today on Morning Brew’s Business Casual podcast, we’re delivering just that—a conversation on the business of giving back with charity: water founder Scott Harrison.
Charity: water’s not your average nonprofit. Harrison has made the organization’s business model famous in the finance world for his focus on almost radical transparency and a nontraditional banking setup.
Plus, Harrison—who’s a former nightclub promoter—has something of an unorthodox approach to marketing that sheds light on more than just the nonprofit community. Small taste? He’s more concerned with what Nike or Apple is doing than what his direct competitor is doing.
This episode might make you feel better in a downer of a news cycle, but that doesn’t mean we’re holding back on the business analysis. America’s 1+ million charities raked in $427.7 billion in contributions in 2018—meaning charitable giving is big business.
Listen now and let us know what you think.
|Mar 31, 2020|
How Coronavirus Is Creating a New World Order
You’ve read every guide to improving productivity while working from home. You can list every country by confirmed COVID-19 cases in both ascending and descending order. Your Andrew Cuomo impression is getting scary good.
But now you’re wondering...how does this all end? And what are the world’s leaders doing to hasten that ending?
To find out, Morning Brew’s Business Casual podcast spoke with geopolitical whiz Ian Bremmer (he’s also a celebrated political scientist and the president/founder of the political risk consulting firm Eurasia Group and GZERO Media).
Bremmer offers an honest assessment of the many ways government responses to COVID-19 differ, both for better and for worse. Plus...
Listen now for answers.
|Mar 28, 2020|
Mark Cuban on COVID Responses: Perfection Is the Enemy of Progress
What would you do if you were in the room negotiating a stimulus deal with D.C.’s top brass? Do you know what you’d say? And what you’d lobby for? Mark Cuban does.
This week on Morning Brew’s Business Casual podcast, Cuban—owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Shark Tank investor, and media exec—does just that...and explains why perfection is the enemy of progress.
As Cuban sees it, the longer lawmakers hem, haw, and split hairs over the appropriate response to COVID-19, the more they hurt American taxpayers. Right now, aching businesses big and small need leadership, but the government can only do so much. Cuban explains…
And because he’s Mark Cuban...he gives plenty of entrepreneurial advice. Don’t miss this episode—listen now.
|Mar 26, 2020|
How the Fed’s Coronavirus Response Impacts You
The economy is hurtling toward a likely recession every day. And just like you can rely on your roommate eating all the good WFH snacks on day two, you can rely on markets experts to wonder...is the government going to do anything here?
For its part, the Federal Reserve is doing something. Several things, in fact, from last-minute emergency rate cuts to major loans for big banks.
But what does the Fed’s rapid fire monetary policy mean for your day to day, from getting a mortgage to choosing a bank? And will it even work? This week on Morning Brew’s Business Casual podcast, the Brew’s Kinsey Grant interviews her college Econ professor to get those answers.
Washington & Lee University’s Professor Art Goldsmith gives a master class in how Fed policy works, why it exists in the first place, and what we can expect from central bankers as COVID-19 wreaks havoc on business.
Because when “explain it to me like I’m five” fails, there’s always “explain it to me like I’m 19.”
|Mar 24, 2020|
Instagram vs. Reality Coronavirus: How Social Media Handles Pandemics
We hold these WFH truths to be self-evident: that we’ll always wear pajama pants no matter how many times we promise to get dressed, and that we’re spending way more time than usual scrolling through social media.
About that second one...social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become lifelines for human contact and important headlines in the era of #socialdistancing, putting pressure on Big Tech to clamp down on falsehoods and potentially harmful viral cure-alls.
But can Zuck & Co. handle it? Are they stepping up to the plate to root out dangerous misinformation? Can we trust anything we see on social media anymore?
In this special episode of Morning Brew’s Business Casual podcast, Bloomberg social media reporter Sarah Frier explains how tech c-suites are navigating what, for many, has become the most uncertain periods of their existence...and how those business decisions impact society.
Listen now and let us know what you think.
|Mar 20, 2020|
ClassPass CEO on the Dos and Don’ts of Changing Business Models
Back before the stock market was breaking all the wrong kinds of records and the global economy was teetering on the edge, Morning Brew’s Business Casual podcast learned a well-timed lesson in resilience.
Our teacher? ClassPass CEO Fritz Lanman. The fitness subscription startup he leads became 2020’s first unicorn before 2020 was even a week old. But getting to that point— and building the kind of business that can survive today’s uncertainty-riddled economic environment — took time. And several different business models.
This week on Business Casual, Fritz goes deep on the importance of owning your mistakes and keeping yourself honest, even when it’s hard. Because reversing the way you make money? Not easy. Plus, Fritz explains…
|Mar 17, 2020|
Downtown Josh Brown on How Coronavirus Moves Markets
After 11 long years and countless satisfied 401(k)s, the longest-ever bull market in stocks has ended (at least for the Dow). Investors, ravaged by coronavirus fears and unsure of who should step in when, are licking wounds and reevaluating allocations.
But what’s actually happening beneath all the doomsday headlines and major S&P 500 point losses? When will all this no good very bad sentiment hit the economy? And is a recession on the way?
We’ve got the answers. In this special episode of Business Casual, host and recovering markets reporter Kinsey Grant talks with expert financial adviser Downtown Josh Brown to get to the bottom of how the coronavirus is impacting markets...and what you can do about it.
FYI: We recorded this episode midday Wednesday. Before the Dow technically fell into bear territory. And President Trump restricted travel from Europe for 30 days. And the NBA suspended its season. And Tom Hanks announced he tested positive for coronavirus. News comes at you fast.
Listen now for a more informed conversation.
|Mar 12, 2020|
How to Do the Right Thing...and Make Money
You know that feeling when you change the toilet paper roll? Or fill the office Brita? Or say “it’ll come out in the wash” instead of Venmo requesting your friends?
Being a B Corp feels like all of that at once. B Corp companies tick off a long list of boxes, from sustainability to community, to “balance purpose and profit.” Like Bombas, the digitally native sock company with a cult following and a give-back model.
This week on Morning Brew’s Business Casual, Bombas CEO Dave Heath explains why missions to “do good” can coexist with those to “do profit.” Plus why…
About that last one...Heath poses some of the hottest VC takes Business Casual has seen. As far as he’s concerned, “there is no silver bullet” for direct-to-consumer retail success...but VCs like to pretend there is.
Listen and decide for yourself.
While you’re at it...got feedback? Want to advertise with Business Casual? Email us at email@example.com.
|Mar 10, 2020|
The Meteor Is Coming: The Fat Jewish on 2020, Social Media, and Rosé
What do Madonna, Mark Zuckerberg, and Mike Bloomberg have in common?
This week on Business Casual, we did just that. The Fat Jewish (real name: Josh Ostrovsky) takes us on a roller coaster ride of content, from selling his Babe wine brand to AB InBev to Mike Bloomberg’s meme campaign for the White House.
And in this unpredictable election cycle, Bloomberg’s social strategy matters. Josh breaks an NDA with Bloomberg’s camp to explain exactly how those fake DMs will play out. Want to know how it ends? Go listen.
If that’s not enough to convince you, this episode also features Josh...
|Mar 03, 2020|
If You Build It: Why the Software Business Is Booming
If you survived the 2019 IPO season, you learned two things: 1) Morning Brew’s tailgates rivaled D3’s finest and 2) the only guaranteed win was investing in software as a service (aka SaaS) companies.
This week on Business Casual, we speak to Squarespace founder and CEO Anthony Casalena to figure out why SaaS companies are doing so well right now...and what it’ll take to nip all that forward momentum in the bud. We also cover...
Because in the last few years, we’ve seen a boom in “plug-and-play” models—businesses whose divine purpose is to make creating a subsequent business as easy as possible. Why now, and what comes next?
|Feb 25, 2020|
Work/Life: Who Broke the Way We Work?
Did you have yesterday off from work? If you didn’t, we’re sorry. But even if you did, chances are you still answered a few emails, checked a few Slacks, and furrowed your brow thinking about all the things you’ve got to catch up on this morning.
But what if work...didn’t have to be like that?
This week on Morning Brew’s Business Casual podcast, we tear apart how work came to rule our lives—and what some in the business world are doing to fix it. Basecamp CEO, remote work enthusiast, and Bezos-approved founder Jason Fried explains why today’s idea of a work/life balance isn’t doing us any favors. Plus…
Listen and let us know what you think.
|Feb 18, 2020|
Urge to Merge: Why M&A Deals Happen
For corporations, not everything about getting together is Russell Stover chocolates and long-stemmed roses. So to celebrate the Brew’s Merger Week (keep reading for today’s big piece)...
Today on Business Casual: Axios Business Editor and author of the Pro Rata newsletter Dan Primack explains why mergers and acquisitions happen...and why they don’t.
In addition to figuring out what today’s M&A means for bull market health, in the episode we...
Plus, Primack explains what options are left for Harry’s now that the FTC sued to block Edgewell’s acquisition of the razor maker—and then called off the deal. (FYI, this was recorded riiiight before Edgewell pulled the plug.)
|Feb 11, 2020|
You Might Be Sore Tomorrow: Fitness Gets the Tech Treatment
Maybe you’re the kind of person who holds your plank an extra 15 seconds during 6am HIIT class (showoff). Maybe you need a full day to recover from 20 minutes on the elliptical.
Either way, this one likely applies to you: tech obsession. The zeitgeist’s current fixation with new-wave, at-home, tech-enabled fitness is changing the way we define success, both in terms of personal health goals and in terms of happy business endings (read: IPOs).
This week on Business Casual, we talk to Mirror CEO Brynn Putnam to understand exactly how tech’s influence on today’s fitness startups is impacting the business world. Brynn explains…
One parting idea: Putnam thinks in-home fitness streaming devices can become the next iPhone. Do you?
|Feb 04, 2020|
From Super Bowls to Streaming: Michael Lombardi on the NFL’s Financial Future
In five short days on Super Bowl Sunday, Americans will split into two distinct categories: those of us watching for the commercials and liars.
Half kidding. But whatever your reason for tuning in, you’re supporting a massive revenue generating business when you watch the Super Bowl—ads during this year’s game sold out in November for prices up to $5.6 million per 30-second spot. And the Patriots aren’t even playing.
This week on Morning Brew’s weekly Business Casual podcast, we tackle the massive business beast that is the National Football League. Famed NFL analyst and exec Michael Lombardi explains the ins and outs of the NFL as a business, including…
Even if you didn’t play Pop Warner, you went to a D3 school, or you’re really only watching the Super Bowl so you can eat 13 wings without being judged, you’ll learn something from Lombardi’s episode.
|Jan 28, 2020|
How to Win Deals and Influence People
Look—we all have goals. For some of us, that goal is not lying when we tell the dentist we floss 2x a week. For others, it’s getting a 183-year-old consumer goods giant to buy our 2.5-year-old company for $100 million.
Moiz Ali belongs in the “others” category. As the founder of natural personal care (read: deodorant) brand Native, he brokered the kind of deal young startups only dream of when Procter & Gamble bought his company. But once the ink dried on the contract, the hard work began.
This week on Morning Brew’s Business Casual podcast, Moiz takes us on a guided tour of the acquisition process—how to stand out, how to keep your head down, and how to make a graceful exit.
Even if you aren’t shopping your growing business for billionaire buyers, this episode has something for you:
FYI: When you make it to the end of the episode, you’ll be looking for a very specific link pertaining to Moiz’s daily routine. Here’s that link.
FYI x2: Make sure you subscribe to Business Casual and leave us a rating + review on your platform of choice.
|Jan 21, 2020|
What Happens When the VC Music Stops?
You know what happens when you assume: you make an investment mistake. So why are so many startup founders and everyday investors assuming today’s endless well of venture capital is...actually endless?
This week on Morning Brew’s weekly podcast, Business Casual, Union Square Ventures managing partner Rebecca Kaden explains that, even though venture as a whole is armed with more capital than ever before, “nerves are spiking and we know change is coming.”
But what does that change look like? When the change does come, where’s the opportunity in a venture-funded world packed with potential WeWorks? And what are the long-term implications of today’s multibillion-dollar private check-writing?
In this episode, Kaden explains. Plus, we...
Don’t miss it. While you’re here, subscribe to Business Casual and leave us a rating and review.
|Jan 14, 2020|
Hard Work or Nothing: Gary Vaynerchuk Gets Candid
“Best always wins. But first is a great place to be.”
“Build brand and bring value. And you basically karma and guilt people into doing business with you.”
“If you’re a winner, you’re unemotional about where you market.”
There’s only one person who would say all of that in the span of a half-hour: Gary Vaynerchuk, entrepreneur, branding expert, and serial angel investor.
And this week on Morning Brew’s weekly podcast Business Casual, Gary V opens up about everything, from brand building (both personally and for your business) to managing an unwarranted reputation to cherry picking the next big thing in marketing. Plus...
Some people call Gary V an inspiration. Some people call Gary V a snake oil salesman.
|Jan 07, 2020|
Blind Gold Rush: The Power and Pitfalls of DTC Retail
This week on Morning Brew’s weekly podcast, Business Casual, we explore the inner workings of direct-to-consumer (DTC) retail with two of the best in the business: Zak Normandin, CEO of Iris Nova, and Nik Sharma, the strategist dubbed “The DTC Bro.”
But this episode is about so much more than every suitcase, toothbrush, and mattress company’s effort to become a “lifestyle” brand (even though we cover that, too).
After all, DTC accounts for 40% of e-commerce sales growth in consumer goods. So...safe to say this movement is going anywhere. Don’t you want to know the ins and outs from the brightest in the business?
Want to text Nik? You can reach him at 917-905-2340.
|Dec 31, 2019|
Nothing Is Static: Business Casual Does Decade in Review
Where were you 10 years ago? Morning Brew’s managing editor, Neal Freyman, was trolling Duke basketball players as a college freshman at the University of Maryland. But oh, how times have changed.
This week on Morning Brew’s weekly podcast Business Casual, Neal joins host and fellow Brew editorial team member Kinsey Grant to discuss a decade’s worth of trends, themes, and breaking news in the business world.
And after years of writing your daily Brew newsletter, Neal has seen a thing or two. In the episode, Neal covers...
You don’t want to miss this episode, especially if you’ve ever wanted a peek inside how the Brew covers everything in business, from the student loan crisis to Beyoncé’s greatest hits.
Check out the rest of our decade in review coverage here.
|Dec 24, 2019|
Suck Our Data and Sell it Back: Kara Swisher on Tech’s Future
What was the first thing you looked at when you woke up this morning? Chances are, it was a product from Facebook, Twitter, Google, or Apple. But who makes the rules for the very exclusive Big Tech club running our lives, from how we eat to when we travel to what we buy?
This week on Morning Brew’s weekly podcast, Business Casual, we figure it out. Kara Swisher, who co-founded Recode and has been covering tech for as long as there’s been tech to cover, sits down in a wide-ranging conversation on tech ethics, futurism, and more.
As Silicon Valley’s resident kingmaker, Swisher ranks as one of Business Casual’s most outspoken guests yet, and she pulls no punches explaining just how cleverly Big Tech fooled us when they said they’d do no evil.
Check out the answer to this week's trivia here.
|Dec 17, 2019|
How Tech Is Making Insurance Sexy
Like building something from Ikea or responding to an “are you in the right headspace to receive information that could possibly hurt you” text, getting insurance can be complicated. But does it need to be?
This week on Business Casual, we hear the argument that it does not. Lemonade CEO Daniel Schreiber suggests the traditional broker-based insurance business model is “fundamentally and structurally” flawed.
Because when there exists a misalignment of incentives that egregious (insurer and insuree fighting for the same dollar), we’ve got no choice but to fire off those “it’s so ducking annoying” messages to the group chat after making a claim.
Hear Schreiber’s theses on the promise of the insurance sector, the future of the IPO market for tech startups, and what it’s like to know Masayoshi Son on a first-name basis.
P.S. Did you stick around to the end? This week’s trivia: Rank these insurance types by market size—health insurance, auto insurance, home and renter’s insurance, life insurance, and disability insurance. Check for the answer today on my Twitter.
|Dec 10, 2019|
All Nerds Not Welcome: Why Tech’s Diversity Problem Matters
A few weeks back, Apple came under fire for allegedly deploying biased algorithms to determine credit limits for its Apple Card. Some women were given lower spending limits than male counterparts (counterparts who made less money or even had worse credit).
We don’t have to be the ones to tell you that’s a problem, but...that’s a problem. There is a gender gap in tech, and that gender gap leads to worse products for everyone. So...
This week on Morning Brew’s weekly podcast Business Casual, we pick apart how that gender gap came to be, how it’s affecting the bottom line, and why the whole of society should care. To explain it all, Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code.
Boiling it down: You’ve read the stories of gender bias, sexual harassment, and more at companies like Google, Uber, etc. And those stories tend to sink stock prices. So even if you’re not a woman, your Robinhood account could suffer if tech companies don’t get their diversity initiatives in check.
|Dec 03, 2019|
Digital Gold: Crypto, Libra, and the Future of Blockchain
Let’s face it, no matter how many times you’ve unsuccessfully explained to your mom what bitcoin is, you probably don’t even *really* know yourself. Throw words like distributed ledger technology, initial coin offering, and blockchain in? Yeah, no.
So this week on Morning Brew’s weekly podcast, Business Casual, we’re breaking down everything crypto—from bitcoin’s $20,000 ride to Facebook’s misadventures in “reinventing money and transforming the global economy.”
Because crypto memes are big, but crypto’s lasting impacts on the future of the worldwide financial system could be bigger.
To answer it all, Business Casual speaks with Arianna Simpson of Autonomous Partners, an investment fund focused on crypto and digital assets.
|Nov 26, 2019|
A Different Beast: How TikTok’s Changing Social Media
It’s been a big week for TikTok. The social video app reportedly passed 1.5 billion downloads worldwide, putting it ahead of both Facebook and Instagram. It started testing online shopping in the U.S. It’s under the microscope in D.C. as a Chinese-owned entity.
And now, it’s getting the Business Casual treatment. This week on Morning Brew’s weekly podcast, we attempt to understand TikTok—what makes it work, why it blew up, and how companies are making money off of it.
Because TikTok isn’t like Facebook or Google, the de facto demigods of social media advertising. According to viral TikTok superstar Spencer X (follower count: 9.8 million), TikTok’s got a few competitive advantages that have Zuck shaking.
Spencer X tells us...a) how TikTok has made live streaming work in both theory and practice b) what brands are best suited to monetize TikTok and c) why influencer marketing is a force to be reckoned with.
|Nov 19, 2019|
Risk it all: Matt Ball dissects the streaming wars
Int. Morning Brew office, content team weekly check-in:
[Writer 1] Question: What kind of streaming service is best?
[Writer 2] That’s a ridiculous question.
[Writer 1] False. Black bear.
Any fan of The Office recognizes that reference. And any fan of business news knows the streaming wars are in the process of fundamentally changing the way you get your Dunder Mifflin fix, or any other media for that matter.
Today on Morning Brew’s weekly podcast, Business Casual, we’re picking apart precisely what’s made the streaming wars just that—wars, from Disney to Netflix, Apple to Amazon.
How do subscriber counts, ad dollars, and content spend equate to small, individual battles, each with winners and losers? Matt Ball, verified media guru and former global head of strategy for Amazon Studios, has the answers. Plus...
|Nov 12, 2019|
Take the money and run: Ben Sun on venture capital
What would you do if you’d just raised a $100 million investment fund? If you’re Ben Sun, co-founder and general partner at NY-based Primary Venture Partners, you don’t hop a Blade whenever you’re craving an iced coffee from the Golden Pear in Easthampton. You make sure small startups with big ideas get the money they need to succeed.
This week on Business Casual, Sun explains the ins and outs of venture capital—and how exactly the U.S. VC scene has managed to do $100 billion in investing this year.
What’s that? You want an idea of what Sun talks about in the episode? Because he’s had a crazy successful career in serial entrepreneurship and investing? Fine…
Don’t wait another minute. Listen to the episode now.
Follow me on Twitter @KinseyGrant
|Nov 05, 2019|
There are no winners: Downtown Josh Brown on the Trade War
You knew it was coming. It’s time for Morning Brew’s weekly podcast, Business Casual, to jump right into the belly of the beast: the U.S.-China trade war.
That’s why this week, we’re bringing in the Chairman of the Twitter Federal Reserve and CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management, Josh Brown. Remember all those piping hot takes about Big Tech a few episodes back? Josh is bringing even more heat this episode.
A small sampling of what you’ll get re: the U.S.-China trade war this episode...Finally, an answer to the age old question: what came first, the trade war headline or the stock market meltdown? A real-world example to show who pays for tariffs, really. An explanation for how President Trump and Jerome Powell became oil and water. And so much more.
|Oct 29, 2019|
It’s not 1953: Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck on Workplace Diversity
You know what the right thing to do is...but can you act on it? Today on Morning Brew’s podcast Business Casual, Ellevest co-founder and CEO Sallie Krawcheck is tackling one of the biggest questions in business: workplace diversity.
As Krawcheck sees it, we’ve read enough studies proving a more diverse workplace yields higher returns for investors (15% higher, per recent reports). Now, it’s time to do something about the pay gaps, investing gaps, savings gaps, and more that hold top talent back.
In this episode of Business Casual, Krawcheck also explains…
She knows what she’s talking about: Prior to building Ellevest, Krawcheck was CEO of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, CEO of Citi Wealth Management, and CEO at Smith Barney.
|Oct 22, 2019|
Knotel: The Amazon of office space
While MySpace was busy ruining friendships in the early aughts, Facebook was readying to upend life as we know it. Knotel CEO Amol Sarva thinks his flexible workspace platform is the Facebook to WeWork’s MySpace.
This week on Business Casual, we’re getting into the nitty gritty of flexible space and the future of work. Sarva isn’t afraid to name names...and cast doubt on WeWork’s financials.
More high points from the conversation:
In addition to out-Zuckerberging WeWork, Sarva 1) got his Ph.D. in cognitive science at Stanford 2) co-founded Virgin Mobile USA and 3) uses both “Faustian” and “schadenfreude” in the interview...so you know you’re going to learn something.
|Oct 15, 2019|
Who's hungry? ByCHLOE co-founder Sam Wasser on the power of branding
Trends come and go, but lunch is forever. Unless you’re Samantha Wasser, founder of the plant-based and vegan restaurant chain by CHLOE. In that case, trends are forever, too.
This week on Business Casual, Wasser explains exactly how making the most of food trends and taking the “polar opposite” approach of most vegan restaurants helped her fledgling salad shop grow to an international chain with an enviable Instagram following. And really good tempeh patties.
But this is Business Casual, and Business Casual is about more than tempeh patties. Wasser explains why a boom in business for plant-based meats like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods is good for all restaurateurs hoping to get more sustainable.
What else is on tap in this episode? Tips and tricks to optimize your phone eats first attitude. An argument in favor of sweating the small stuff. How to pitch venture capital on the long-shunned restaurant space, massive capital investments and all. And three letters: CBD.
Sign up for Morning Brew here: https://www.morningbrew.com/?utm_source=Podcast&utm_medium=Podcast&utm_campaign=Podcast-Episode3
|Oct 08, 2019|
You're the product: Betterment CEO Jon Stein on smart money managers
Newsflash: By 2022, about $4.6 trillion will be managed by roboadvisors—super smart algorithms telling you when and what to invest. But can we trust the robots? Betterment CEO Jon Stein thinks yes—but there are limitations.
This week on Business Casual, Stein explains 1) why computers make better money managers than Uncle Rob’s neighbor’s sister 2) where the big banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are failing everyday people and 3) why good advice typically has a price tag. He also masterfully tackles the democratization of financial tools in under five minutes (could be a world record).
And because he was feeling generous, Stein clues you in on the single worst thing you can do with your money.
Sign up for Morning Brew here: https://www.morningbrew.com/?utm_source=Podcast&utm_medium=Podcast&utm_campaign=Podcast-Episode2
|Oct 01, 2019|
The breakup: Scott Galloway on Big Tech
Breaking up Big Tech: everyone’s talking about it, but is anyone actually doing anything about it? Scott Galloway—NYU professor, NYT bestselling author, owner of the world’s most colorful vocabulary—has some ideas.
Galloway argues on Business Casual that Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Apple are “invasive species”—species robbing the everyday consumer of everything from a functioning democracy to their mental health. And forget about seed funding or innovation if you’re an entrepreneur. As Galloway sees it, the DOJ and FTC need to step in. Because after all, if Tom Brady (or Mark Zuckerberg) is allowed to cheat...he will.
Plus, Scott makes a bold prediction about Morning Brew’s future and offers “the only investment advice you ever need.”
Sign up for Morning Brew at: https://www.morningbrew.com/?utm_source=Podcast&utm_medium=Podcast&utm_campaign=Podcast-Episode1
|Sep 24, 2019|