Business Casual

By Morning Brew

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Description

I’m Kinsey Grant, and you probably read my last email. I'm one of the writers at Morning Brew—the same Morning Brew that’s delivering millions of you all the business news worth knowing every single morning. 

But what comes after the headline? Each week, I'm sitting down with your favorite thought leaders, CEOs, and high-profile experts to find out.

Because after all, we know you’re talking about business news over beers with your friends and dinner with your family. And so are we. That’s why now...we’re bringing you those conversations up close and personal.

This is Business Casual.


Episode Date
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em: How Traders React in a Crisis
00:39:41

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…

  • Why millennials are approaching investing differently during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • How a fundamental lack of trust in the investing system impacts markets across the board
  • When bear vs. bull markets are nothing but a social construct


Listen to the episode now.

Apr 02, 2020
The Business of Giving Back: How Nonprofits Are Borrowing from Silicon Valley
00:41:03

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. 

  • In this episode, Harrison goes deep on how that works...and justifies the highly unique, heavily Silicon Valley-influenced (and sometimes criticized) model.

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
00:39:28

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...

  • Who wins and who loses if the free world’s leadership scheme shifts
  • How world leaders prioritize both human lives and economic livelihoods
  • Why the possibility of a cold war between the U.S. and China has some experts concerned

Listen now for answers.

Mar 28, 2020
Mark Cuban on COVID Responses: Perfection Is the Enemy of Progress
00:47:31

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…

  • Why we have no choice but to make decisions with imperfect information
  • How bailouts should be structured to benefit more than just the corporate elite
  • When perspective matters more than profit

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
00:39:15

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
00:34:12

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
00:44:23

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…

  • Why some marketplace businesses fail (looking at you, MoviePass)
  • When it makes sense to lose customers on purpose
  • How sustainability matters more than virality
Mar 17, 2020
Downtown Josh Brown on How Coronavirus Moves Markets
00:32:08

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
00:42:04

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…

  • Authenticity is more convincing than viral marketing
  • Starbucks ought to write the book on product-market fit
  • Venture capital sets any non-tech investment up for failure


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 businesscasual@morningbrew.com.

Mar 10, 2020
The Meteor Is Coming: The Fat Jewish on 2020, Social Media, and Rosé
00:45:41

What do Madonna, Mark Zuckerberg, and Mike Bloomberg have in common? They’re richer than you They all get name-dropped by social media personality The Fat Jewish the second you ask him to talk about the influencer economy.

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...

  • ID’ing when the influencer marketing bubble will pop
  • Explaining how to reverse engineer your audience into an R&D flywheel
  • Giving tangible examples of “cutting through the noise” that don’t sound like they came straight from a self-help book for entrepreneurs
Mar 03, 2020
If You Build It: Why the Software Business Is Booming
00:39:40

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...

  • How businesses build “sticky” models
  • Why the relationship between customer acquisition and customer value matters so much
  • When it’s better to buy than build


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?
00:44:59

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…

  • How Silicon Valley’s ideas of “move fast and break things” broke the wrong things
  • How venture capital puts companies in “pressure cookers”
  • And how tech could change the notion of 9–5

Listen and let us know what you think.

Feb 18, 2020
Urge to Merge: Why M&A Deals Happen
00:41:32

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...

  • Navigate where the biggest red flags are for today’s megadeals, from unpredictable antitrust regulation to political nationalism to the 2020 election
  • Determine the next big space for consolidation
  • Parse out the logistics of some of the most outlandish deals the internet’s dreamt up (looking at you, Apple/Tesla)


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
00:33:27

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…

  • What about the at-home fitness business model works
  • How good tech and smart engineering can scale the unscalable
  • Why every company is fighting for a tech valuation, even if it doesn’t deserve one


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
00:37:20

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…

  • Super Bowl hype sustainability
  • International expansion
  • Legalized sports betting
  • And the biggest threats to profitability


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
00:38:12

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:

  • How to communicate any message with the right audience (and not blow your $$)
  • How to persevere when the odds are stacked against you
  • And a whole lot more


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?
00:39:11

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...

  • Determine why the inherent risk of venture capital is so misconceived by the market
  • Explain why recessions are good for venture capitalists and bad for you
  • Compare and contrast our economic predictions with those of Juicy J.


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
00:37:25

“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...

  • How exactly some companies are “putting dollars in the trash”
  • What the next “most underpriced asset in the world” is (hint: it’s not traded on any exchange)
  • And how even the worst internet trolls add value


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
00:40:04

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).

  • We dive deep into the idea of conversational commerce—aka utilizing text messaging to create a more sincere 1-1 relationship with the consumer. 
  • Zak and Nik explain how an influx of venture capital funding in DTC retail can be a net negative on the space.
  • We explain what “cutting out the middleman” actually means for retailers and for customers.


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
00:41:43

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...

  • The rise of tech and how it’s impacted our interpersonal relationships, from Facebook to Fortnite.
  • Amazon’s stealth mode world takeover.
  • How his bar mitzvah money is doing in the longest ever U.S. bull market.


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
00:41:35

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.


Some highlights:

  • What company wins the title of “rapacious data thief”
  • Elon Musk and the future of the mad scientist CEO
  • Why Uber’s top leadership might be misunderstood


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
00:41:56

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.

  • Schreiber wants to reinstate insurance in the realm of social goods. To do that, he’s leaning hard into technology, behavioral economics, and 100x the data of traditional insurers. 


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
00:33:07

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
00:42:44

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.

  • Is bitcoin really the favored currency of the black market, and if so...does that matter?
  • Can Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook deliver on their promises of a new digital currency with the Libra project, and if so...can we trust it?
  • Is “blockchain tech” really just overhype, and if so...why do we still fall for the headline every time?


To answer it all, Business Casual speaks with Arianna Simpson of Autonomous Partners, an investment fund focused on crypto and digital assets.


Follow @KinseyGrant and @AriannaSimpson on Twitter

Nov 26, 2019
A Different Beast: How TikTok’s Changing Social Media
00:37:21

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
00:46:45

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...

  • How Amazon has impacted the media landscape.
  • When we’ll be able to declare who owns the future of streaming.
  • Why Netflix is still the streamer to beat.
Nov 12, 2019
Take the money and run: Ben Sun on venture capital
00:44:09

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…

  • Why profitability only matters sometimes. Hint: Jeff Bezos.
  • The SoftBank effect. Has Masayoshi Son put a chill on venture capital, or has he been the rising tide that lifts all ships?
  • How venture capital thrives in a recession. It has a lot to do with weeding out the weaklings.


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
00:39:39

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.

  • What we know: So far, the U.S. has imposed tariffs on about $360 billion worth of Chinese imports, while China has put levies on about $110 billion worth of U.S. goods.
  • What we don’t know: Everything else.


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
00:31:57

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…

  • What companies and CEOs are doing things right
  • Why women-founded startups (think The Wing, Outdoor Voices, Glossier) are thriving
  • Why impact investing doesn’t mean sacrificing returns


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
00:33:14

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:

  • Sarva explains the difficulties of cauterizing “ethical rot” vs. “financial rot.”.
  • He makes a case for celebrating the coming recession. Sarva argues that despite how capital intensive real estate is, flexible office space will thrive when things go south.
  • For anyone looking to optimize your life—Sarva’s point about why we don’t build our own iPhones is for you.


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
00:37:07

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
00:36:51

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
00:40:29

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