Big Technology Podcast

By Alex Kantrowitz

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The Big Technology Podcast takes you behind the scenes in the tech world featuring interviews with plugged-in insiders and outside agitators. Alex Kantrowitz, a Silicon Valley journalist who's interviewed the world's top tech CEOs — from Mark Zuckerberg to Larry Ellison — is the host.

Episode Date
SEC Comes For Coinbase, Hindenberg Comes For Block, Congress Comes For TikTok
Eric Newcomer is the founder and author of Newcomer. Louise Matsakis is the tech and China reporter for Semafor. Both join Big Technology podcast to break down the week's news. We cover: 1) The SEC's notice to Coinbase that enforcement action might be coming. 2) Hindenberg Research targeting Block. 3) Character AI raising $150 million at a $1 billion valuation with no revenue. 4) Tiktok's day before congress 5) TikTok's future in the U.S. 6) Cow and Zebra escapes this week. ---- Enjoying Big Technology Podcast? Please rate us five stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in your podcast app of choice. For weekly updates on the show, sign up for the pod newsletter on LinkedIn: Questions? Feedback? Write to:
Mar 24, 2023
Instagram’s Founder On Why All Social Media Looks The Same — With Kevin Systrom
Kevin Systrom is the co-founder of Instagram and co-founder of Artifact, a news app that uses AI to determine your preferences and show stories you might be interested in. Systrom joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss the implications of all social media — Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter — starting to look like each other. We speak about how the rise of AI recommendation feeds impacts the future of competition among these apps, creativity upon them, and distribution for people looking to get a message across. Tune in for a fun, in-depth discussion about social media's future in a new era. --- Enjoying Big Technology Podcast? Please rate us five stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in your podcast app of choice. For weekly updates on the show, sign up for the pod newsletter on LinkedIn: Questions? Feedback? Write to:
Mar 22, 2023
SVB Reexamined, GPT-4's Potential, TikTok's Potential Ban
Ranjan Roy of Margins is back for our weekly discussion of the week's tech news. We cover: 1) SVB's depositors' role in the collapse 2) The over-financialization of tech 3) The continuing risk to the rest of the banking system 4) The re-rerating of late-stage startup valuations 5) Stripe's down round 6) The release of GPT-4 7) GPT-4 in Microsoft Office 8) How AI might eliminate modern apps vs. be a feature 8) TikTok's potential sale or ban 9) How AI might help you date. -- Enjoying Big Technology Podcast? Please rate us five stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in your podcast app of choice. For weekly updates on the show, sign up for the pod newsletter on LinkedIn: Questions? Feedback? Write to:
Mar 17, 2023
The Fallout from Silicon Valley Bank's Failure — With Om Malik and Chris Tolles
Om Malik is a partner emeritus at True Ventures and a former tech journalist. Chris Tolles is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and former CEO of Topix. The two longtime tech insiders join Big Technology Podcast to discuss the aftermath of Silicon Valley Bank's collapse. We cover not only what the bank meant to the tech industry — and how its failure will change the landscape — but why so many people were happy to see it fail, and sought to prevent a bailout. Join us for a nuanced discussion of Silicon Valley's place in society, and whether it can continue operating effectively with its favorite bank in shambles.
Mar 15, 2023
Silicon Valley Bank Collapses — With Dan Primack and Ranjan Roy
Dan Primack is the business editor at Axios. He joins Ranjan Roy and Alex Kantrowitz for a special edition of our Friday podcast. We typically run through the week's news in this edition of the podcast, but there is really only one tech story this week, the demise of Silicon Valley Bank, and we dive into it in depth. This episode was recorded right before the government shut down SVB, so a sale was still an option, but as you listen you'll learn exactly what contributed to the bank's collapse and what it impacts from here.
Mar 10, 2023
Amazon's Ad Business Soars + AI APIs — With Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans is a star tech analyst who’s spent years at Andreessen Horowitz and is now independent. Evans joins Big Technology Podcast to highlight some big, surprising new shifts in the tech industry, which he covers in a new presentation called the New Gatekeepers. In this episode, we discuss how media and retail are blending, with a focus on Amazon's ad business. Stay tuned for the second half, where Evans goes into depth about the potential for AI APIs, especially ChatGPT's. --- Enjoying Big Technology Podcast? Please rate us five stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in your podcast app of choice. For weekly updates on the show, sign up for the pod newsletter on LinkedIn: Questions? Feedback? Write to: You can find Evans' presentation here.
Mar 08, 2023
Salesforce Tumult, The ChatGPT API, Tinder Robberies
The Wall Street Journal’s Tom Dotan joins Ranjan Roy and Alex Kantrowitz for our weekly news recap show. We cover: 1) Salesforce’s recent struggles 2) Salesforce’s ‘monster quarter’ 3) Amazon hitting pause on HQ2 4) State of the market 5) OpenAI’s ChatGPT API 6) OpenAI vs. Microsoft? 7) Tinder robberies. --- Enjoying Big Technology Podcast? Please rate us five stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in your podcast app of choice. For weekly updates on the show, sign up for the pod newsletter on LinkedIn: Questions? Feedback? Write to: Rajan and Alex at SXSW:
Mar 03, 2023
The Social Media Era Of News Is Over — With Ben Smith
Ben Smith is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Semafor, and the author of Traffic: Genius, Rivalry, and Delusion in the Billion-Dollar Race to Go Viral (available for preorder now). He joins Big Technology Podcast for a discussion of social media's divorce from the news industry, and what it means for the platforms and publishers. We talk plenty about Semafor, including how it's working to build an audience, distribute its work, run a business, and get scoops. Stay tuned for the second half where we discuss Elon's Twitter, chatbots, the lab leak hypothesis, and Trump's potential in 2024. Yes, we cover a lot. Hit play for a fun listen!
Mar 01, 2023
Paying For Social, RIP IPOs & Voice Computing, Four Day Work Weeks
The Information's Sr. Reporter Cory Weinberg joins Ranjan Roy and Alex Kantrowitz for our weekly news recap show. We cover 1) Paying for social media 2) What's next for the struggling IPO market 3) Whether private tech companies like Stripe can keep compensating through RSUs 4) DOJ moves to block Figma sale 5) What happened to voice computing? 6) The prospects of the four-day workweek. --- Enjoying Big Technology Podcast? Please rate us five stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in your podcast app of choice. For weekly updates on the show, sign up for the pod newsletter on LinkedIn: Questions? Feedback? Write to:
Feb 24, 2023
An AI Chatbot Debate — With Blake Lemoine and Gary Marcus
Blake Lemoine is the ex-Google engineer who concluded the company's LaMDA chatbot was sentient. Gary Marcus is an academic, author, and outspoken AI critic. The two join Big Technology Podcast to debate the utility of AI chatbots, their dangers, and the actual technology they're built on. Join us for a fascinating conversation that reveals much about the state of this technology. There's plenty to be learned from the disagreements, and the common ground as well. --- Enjoying Big Technology Podcast? Please rate us five stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in your podcast app of choice. For weekly updates on the show, sign up for the pod newsletter on LinkedIn: Questions? Feedback? Write to:
Feb 22, 2023
Bing Breaks Bad, Metaverse Fades, Tesla's Self-Driving Recall
Ranjan Roy of Margins is back for our weekly discussion of the week's tech news. We cover: 1) Bing's chatbot's dark side and its impact on Microsoft's business. 2) The Metaverse slowly seeming to fade away. 3) The New York Times' article on why ads are bad now. 4) Spotify's podcasting reality check. 5) Susan Wojcicki stepping down from YouTube. 6) Tesla's Full Self Driving Recall. 7) Why we don't live in the moment anymore. --- Enjoying Big Technology Podcast? Please rate us five stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in your podcast app of choice. For weekly updates on the show, sign up for the pod newsletter on LinkedIn: Questions? Feedback? Write to:
Feb 17, 2023
Can Technology Solve Our Climate Crisis — With David Friedberg
David Friedberg is a co-host of the All-In Podcast and the founder and CEO of The Production Board, a holding company focused on addressing the earth’s problems via technology. Friedberg joins Big Technology Podcast for a conversation about how, specifically, we might be able to solve our climate crisis with tech. Join us for an in-depth conversation on earth's most pressing issue, filled with concrete examples and a healthy dose of optimism. Stay tuned till the end where Friedberg discusses nuclear fusion's awesome potential. --- Enjoying Big Technology Podcast? Please rate us five stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in your podcast app of choice. For weekly updates on the show, sign up for the pod newsletter on LinkedIn: Questions? Feedback? Write to:
Feb 15, 2023
Google and Microsoft's Chatbot War, How AI Changes Hollywood, Disney In Crisis
The Wrap founder and CEO Sharon Waxman joins Ranjan Roy and Alex Kantrowitz for our weekly news recap show. We cover 1) Google and Microsoft's new chatbots. 2) How AI changes the entertainment industry 3) Yes, screenwriters are using AI too 4) Who's in better shape after this week: Google or Microsoft? 5) Why Disney is in crisis 6) How Disney stacks up against Netflix
Feb 10, 2023
Was The Creator Economy Way Overblown? — With Kaya Yurieff and Joe Caporoso
Kaya Yurieff is a reporter at The Information covering the Creator Economy. Joe Caporoso is the President of Team Whistle and founder of Badlands, a subscription podcast covering the New York Jets. Both join Big Technology Podcast to discuss whether the Creator Economy — a term for the online content creator business — was overblown. We dig into the motivations of platforms and VCs looking to build businesses off those who believed they could make a living by posting on social media. And we examine how creators who make it do so successfully. --- Enjoying Big Technology Podcast? Please rate us five stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in your podcast app of choice. For weekly updates on the show, sign up for the pod newsletter on LinkedIn: Questions? Feedback? Write to: My article that kicked off the discussion: The Creator Economy Was Way Overblown
Feb 08, 2023
Disinflation Begins, Snap's Cultural Roadblocks, Meta's 'Year Of Efficiency'
Ex-Snap and Instagram executive Meghana Dhar joins Ranjan Roy and Alex Kantrowitz for our weekly news recap show. We cover 1) The implications of the Fed's talk of "deflation." 2) Snap's disappointing earnings and operational challenges with an insider's perspective. 3) Meta's wooing of Wall Street and whether its pivot is real or just talk. 4) What the combination of layoffs and buybacks really mean. 5) Downturn as an excuse to kill ESG? 6) AI Hands! ---- Enjoying Big Technology Podcast? Please rate us five stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in your podcast app of choice. For weekly updates on the show, sign up for the pod newsletter on LinkedIn: Questions? Feedback? Write to:
Feb 03, 2023
What's Next For CNN — With Brian Stelter
Brian Stelter was the host of CNN's Reliable Sources until the network canceled it last summer. Stelter joins Big Technology Podcast to look back at his tenure and exit, examine where CNN is heading, and ponder the role of television news in a world filled with digital alternatives. Tune in for a deep conversation focused on the news industry, tech, and business worlds. And stay tuned till the end when we debate whether AI will be a better 'companion' to people than media personalities and influencers. ---- Enjoying Big Technology Podcast? Please rate us five stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in your podcast app of choice. For weekly updates on the show, sign up for the pod newsletter on LinkedIn: Questions? Feedback? Write to:
Feb 01, 2023
BuzzFeed Employs AI, Tesla Stock Goes Wild, Salesforce Is Challenged
Ranjan Roy of Margins is back for our weekly discussion of the week's tech news. We cover: 1) BuzzFeed creating content with AI 2) The tech industry's destiny to suffer alone in this economic drawback 3) Tesla stock's wild ride 4) Salesforce's challenge from an activist investor 5) Trump's return to Facebook 6) TikTok's recent lobbying efforts 7) Menswear guy on Twitter 8) Ticketmaster's Senate hearing. Enjoying Big Technology Podcast? Please rate us five stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in your podcast app of choice. For weekly updates on the show, sign up for the pod newsletter on LinkedIn: Questions? Feedback? Write to:
Jan 27, 2023
Is ChatGPT A Step Toward Human-Level AI? — With Yann LeCun
Yann LeCun is the chief AI scientist at Meta, a professor of computer science at NYU, and a pioneer of deep learning. He joins Big Technology Podcast to put Generative AI in context, discussing whether ChatGPT and the like are a step toward human-level artificial intelligence, or something completely different. Join us for a fun, substantive discussion about this technology, the makeup of OpenAI, and where the field heads next. Stay tuned for the second half, where we discuss the ethics of using others' work to train AI models. Enjoying Big Technology Podcast? Please rate us five stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in your podcast app of choice. For weekly updates on the show, sign up for the pod newsletter on LinkedIn: Questions? Feedback? Write to:
Jan 25, 2023
Google Layoffs, Netflix Shakeup, and Davos Recap
Ranjan Roy of Margins is back for our weekly discussion of the week's tech news. We cover: 1) Google Layoffs 2) Netflix's prospects and leadership change 3) Davos pros and cons 4) Media layoffs 5) Robinhood's new financial publication. For weekly updates on the show, sign up for the pod newsletter on LinkedIn:
Jan 20, 2023
Amazon's Identity Crisis — With Todd Bishop
Todd Bishop is the co-founder of Geekwire, a tech news site based in Seattle. Bishop joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss how Amazon will navigate its new dedication to efficiency without losing its inventive spirit. Can 'The Everything Store' become 'The Some Things Store?' That's the crucial question to ask about a tech behemoth that's lost 40% of its value over the past year and is struggling to find its footing under CEO Andy Jassy. Stay tuned for the second half where we touch on labor, Microsoft's relationship with OpenAI, and more.
Jan 18, 2023
New Era Of Tech Accountability? + The Impending AI Ethics War
Ranjan Roy of Margins joins us for another Big Technology Podcast: Friday Edition covering the week's news. This week, we check in on the following stories: 1) JPMorgan's failed acquisition of Frank, a college financial planning platform with an exaggerated userbase 2) SBF's new Substack 3) The SEC vs. crypto 4) AI's impact on the tech giants 5) The impending 'AI ethics' war 6) Is anyone still using Mastodon? For weekly updates on the show, sign up for the pod newsletter on LinkedIn:
Jan 13, 2023
Crypto After FTX — With Kate Rooney
Kate Rooney is a star reporter at CNBC who covers crypto. She's reported deeply on crypto exchange FTX's collapse and spent time with its disgraced ex-CEO — Sam Bankman-Fried — in the Bahamas. Rooney joins Big Technology Podcast for a discussion about what happens to crypto now that its promise of 'trustless' finance has crumbled. Join us for a deep discussion of the industry's future, the responsibility for journalists covering it, and the lessons from the collapse. If you're enjoying Big Technology Podcast, please rate us five stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in your podcast app of choice. For weekly updates on the show, sign up for the pod newsletter on LinkedIn:
Jan 11, 2023
The Fed's PR Blitz + SBF And The Media — With Ranjan Roy
Ranjan Roy of Margins joins Big Technology Podcast for a new Friday series that will recap the week's business and tech news. We'll post a new show every Friday afternoon featuring a recap of the week's big tech and business stories. This week we cover The Fed's PR Blitz and what it says about our economy, why SBF seems to still have portions of the media wrapped around his finger, where the creator economy is heading, and OpenAI's association with Microsoft. Stay tuned for the end where we discuss Lex Fridman's book list. If you like Big Technology Podcast, please rate it five stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in your podcast app of choice. For weekly updates on the show, sign up for the pod newsletter on LinkedIn:
Jan 10, 2023
Tech’s Frothy Days Are Over. Now What? — With Eliot Brown
Eliot Brown is a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and co-author of The Cult of We. Brown joins us to check in on how the tech industry is adapting after years of zero-interest-rate-driven froth fades away. Tune in for a discussion of how real 'the end of froth' is, whether it was productive or not, and a company-by-company look at Softbank, Tiger Global, Andreessen Horowitz, Palantir, Tesla, and Twitter. If you like Big Technology Podcast, please rate it five stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in your podcast app of choice. For weekly updates on the show, sign up for the pod newsletter on LinkedIn: You can find The Cult of We here.
Jan 04, 2023
Is It Worth Switching To Encrypted Email And Messaging? — With Andy Yen
Andy Yen is the CEO of Proton, the maker of encrypted email service ProtonMail. He joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss the merits of encryption, why his service has doubled over the past two years, and whether it’s something we actually need. This episode gets into a fun debate, covering both the pros and cons of the movement.  If you like Big Technology Podcast, please rate it five stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in your podcast app of choice.  For weekly updates on the show, sign up for the pod newsletter on LinkedIn:
Dec 28, 2022
2022 In Review, 2023 Predictions — With Casey Newton
Casey Newton is the editor of Platformer and co-host of Hard Fork. He joins Big Technology Podcast to keep up an annual tradition of looking back on the year that was, and looking ahead to the year that will be. In this episode, we review the wild developments at Twitter, the decline of Web3, and Amazon and Meta's progress in 2022. Then, we predict what will take place with ChatGPT, state bans on content moderation, Substack's ad business, and Apple's App Store. Tune in for one of our most fun shows of the year. If you like Big Technology Podcast, please rate it five stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in your podcast app of choice. (Big thank you to all who rated in the past few weeks!!). For weekly updates on the show, sign up for the pod newsletter on LinkedIn:
Dec 21, 2022
Does It Get Even Worse for Tech in 2023? — With Stephanie Link
Stephanie Link is the chief investment strategist and portfolio manager at Hightower Advisors. She is also a senior CNBC contributor. Link joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss whether a tougher year awaits the tech industry in 2023 as unfavorable market conditions persist. Join us for a conversation about the broader market, how Link evaluates stocks, and a breakdown of some companies she's watching including Meta, Amazon, and Apple. Stay tuned for the second half where we examine the state of deglobalization and its impact on the economy. If you like Big Technology Podcast, please rate it five stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in your podcast app of choice. For weekly updates on the show, sign up for the pod newsletter on LinkedIn:
Dec 14, 2022
How ChatGPT Changes Tech + The End of Remote Work? — With Aaron Levie
Aaron Levie is the CEO of Box. He joins Big Technology Podcast to weigh in on all the big tech headlines: ChatGPT's emergence, Elon Musk's handling of Twitter, the future of Web3 following FTX, and the shakeup at Salesforce. Stay tuned for the second half where we discuss whether the worker empowerment movement is over and what that means for the future of remote work. Please rate ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ on your app of choice. Thank you! Listen to Aaron's last appearance: Web3 And The Future Of The Internet Sign up for Big Technology Podcast's LinkedIn newsletter:
Dec 07, 2022
Actually, The Metaverse Is An Enterprise Thing — With Peggy Johnson
Peggy Johnson is the CEO of Magic Leap. The company makes augmented reality technology and is now focused entirely on enterprise use cases after building for consumers for years. Johnson joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss the lessons Magic Leap has learned throughout its history, what its competitors (like Meta) are overlooking, and why it believes augmented reality technology is going to be most applicable to companies, governments, and non-profits (at least in the short term). Join us for a conversation that may well reframe the way you think about the Metaverse.
Nov 30, 2022
Is A Healing Supply Chain Fixing Our Economy? — With Ryan Petersen
Ryan Petersen is the Founder and Co-CEO of Flexport, a supply chain technology company. He joins Big Technology Podcast to talk about how the supply chain is rounding into shape and whether that will help cure our inflation problem. Stay tuned for a discussion that starts in the weeds of shipping and moves into broader areas including consumerism, climate, and Amazon Culture.
Nov 23, 2022
Venture Capital's FTX Mistake, Elon's Twitter Plan, Investing in Labor Tech— With Roy Bahat
Roy Bahat is the head of Bloomberg Beta, a venture capital firm that invests in companies building the future of work. Bahat joins Big Technology Podcast to explain why he — a VC — is investing in labor-organizing technology. We spend the first half speaking about how VCs trusted FTX, where the economy goes from here, and whether Elon Musk's plan for Twitter can work. Join us for a fun, lively discussion that takes some unexpected twists and turns.
Nov 16, 2022
How YouTube Shorts Picks Winners — With Todd Sherman
Todd Sherman is the product lead for YouTube Shorts. He's also a former group product manager at Twitter and Snap. He joins Big Technology Podcast for a discussion about YouTube's plans for Shorts, how the product works, and how it plans to compete with TikTok. We start with a discussion about whether Twitter bringing back Vine could work. YouTube Shorts are now available on YouTube's TV app, which Sherman discusses as well.
Nov 09, 2022
The U.S. And Tech After The Midterms — With Marshall Kosloff and Saagar Enjeti
Saagar Enjeti and Marshall Kosloff host The Realignment, a terrific podcast about politics and policy. They join Big Technology Podcast for a bonus episode ahead of the U.S. midterms, breaking down how they expect the voting to play out, what the consequences will be, and how tech will feel the impact. Join us for a dynamic conversation about inflation, the economy, the residual culture war, the war in Ukraine, and who's running in 2024. Stay tuned for the final segment where we discuss the future of TikTok, Web3, and the Metaverse.
Nov 06, 2022
Out At Twitter — With Simon Balmain
Simon Balmain was laid off by Twitter today. A former Twitter senior community manager, Balmain takes us through the last few weeks at the company, describing the atmosphere, employee reactions to the layoffs, and whether the company can still function after losing this many people. Join us for a tough but balanced look at a historic moment at the company.
Nov 04, 2022
Merits Of Metaverse + Big Tech Wipeout — With Eric Jackson
Eric Jackson is president and portfolio manager at EMJ Capital. He joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss Big Tech's terrible week on the public markets, with a focus on Meta, which is now down 71% on the year. We also cover Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Snap, and more. Tune in for a conversation that makes sense of these companies' punishing ride of late. And what the bottom might look like. Maybe we're already there.
Nov 02, 2022
How Figma Caught Adobe By Surprise — With Carmel DeAmicis
Carmel DeAmicis was the 20th employee at Figma, a startup that Adobe just acquired for $20 billion. A former journalist and editor at Figma, DeAmicis saw the company rise under the nose of Adobe — the giant in the space — and eventually grow so fast that Adobe acquired it in a defensive move. In this week's episode, DeAmicis explains how a startup caught a major, established company by surprise. And why changing design culture played a big part in it. You can find DeAmicis on Notion.
Oct 26, 2022
What Is Consciousness And Can Machines Achieve It — With Anil Seth
Anil Seth is a professor of cognitive and computational neuroscience at the University of Sussex and author of Being You. He joins Big Technology Podcast for a discussion of AI sentience grounded in science and research. In this conversation, we discuss the definition of consciousness, what it would take for AI to achieve it, and whether researchers should keep trying to get there. Stay tuned for the second half, where we cover AI avatars in the metaverse and, yes, simulation theory.
Oct 19, 2022
Will The Fed Blink And Save Tech — With Ranjan Roy
Ranjan Roy is the co-author of Margins, a Substack newsletter about the financial markets. He joins Big Technology Podcast for a conversation about the Federal Reserve's steep interest rate raises, how they've harmed tech valuations, and whether the Fed might reverse course and bring the party back. Stay tuned for the second half where we discuss the short-form video wars and the likely outcome of Elon Musk's pursuit of Twitter.
Oct 12, 2022
Inside Facebook's Plan To Fend Off TikTok — With Tom Alison
Tom Alison is the head of the Facebook app at Meta. He joins Big Technology Podcast for a discussion about the company's plan to compete with TikTok and appeal to younger users. Join us for a conversation about the Facebook product, one that veers into questions of its identity as a service that helps you keep in touch with friends and family while introducing you to content relevant to your interests. Stay tuned for the second half where we discuss Meta's plans to whether the bear and market and focus on its core while still experimenting.
Oct 05, 2022
Meta's Stock Decline, TikTok's Power, and Funding Transparency — With Frances Haugen
Frances Haugen is an ex-Facebook employee who shared thousands of internal documents with journalists in 2021 that revealed much about the company's decision-making and values. Haugen joins Big Technology Podcast for a live conversation at Unfinished Live in New York City that covers social media product, policy, funding, the stock market, and TikTok's power. Join us for a lively interview featuring debate, nuance, and a few good laughs.
Oct 03, 2022
Meet The Man Who Runs Google Search — With Prabhakar Raghavan
Prabhakar Raghavan is the Google senior vice president who oversees Search, Maps, Ads, Commerce, Payments, and Google Assistant. He joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss the evolution of these products, how they're integrating cutting-edge artificial intelligence, and why he's steering Google tech products toward more human-style interactions with users. Raghavan joins fresh off an appearance at Google's Search On launch event and breaks down the new features announced Wednesday.
Sep 28, 2022
The Rise And Fall Of Facebook's Big Transparency Acquisition — With Brandon Silverman
Brandon Silverman is the founder of Crowdtangle, which Meta (then Facebook) acquired in 2016. Crowdtangle was once the most useful tool for marketers and publishers looking to find out what was trending on Facebook. Then, it became a favorite resource for reporters looking into how Facebook treats political content, leading to some headlines Facebook didn't like. Crowdtangle subsequently lost of support within the company. Silverman left Facebook late last year and is now working with governments around the world on legislation that could mandate the type of transparency that he tried to push forward inside Meta. On this episode of Big Technology Podcast, Silverman tells the Crowdtangle story from start to finish. Sign up for my dedicated podcast email newsletter on LinkedIn.
Sep 21, 2022
Elon Goes To Delaware — With The Chancery Daily
The Chancery Daily is an independent, daily newsletter that covers the Delaware Court of Chancery, the place where Twitter is trying to force Elon Musk to buy it. As this case winds its way through the court's legal process, an editor from The Chancery Daily joins us to break down where the case stands, whether Musk's arguments are working, how Delaware Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick is approaching the case, and what the likely result is. Give this episode a listen and you'll be able to follow the case with far more context than you'd get through just the headlines.
Sep 14, 2022
Is AI Dangerously Overhyped? — With Gary Marcus
Gary Marcus is the author of Rebooting AI and an artificial intelligence entrepreneur who's a loud critic of many of the field's biggest promises. Marcus joins Big Technology Podcast this week to discuss the high profile breakthroughs such as LaMDA and Dall-E, and explain why putting too much faith in the field's ability may be dangerous. We begin with a discussion of the AI-generated art piece that won a competition in Colorado last week.
Sep 07, 2022
YouTube's Uneasy World Domination — With Mark Bergen
Mark Bergen is a Bloomberg reporter and author of Like, Comment, Subscribe: Inside YouTube's Chaotic Rise to World Domination. The book releases next week and Bergen joins to preview what's inside, delivering a wide range of insights on YouTube's battle with TikTok, its algorithmic programming, and its appeal (and peril) for kids. Stay tuned for the second half where we discuss whether old media can cover YouTube (and its fellow digital challengers) without bias. You can find the book here.
Aug 31, 2022
Kevin Kelly's Life Lessons — With Kevin Kelly
Kevin Kelly is the founding executive editor of Wired magazine and a longtime tech writer who's covered technology for decades. Kelly joins Big Technology Podcast for a fun episode, unpacking a series of lists of advice that he’s written. These lists contain short but insightful observations about life, and Kelly goes through a number of his points at greater length in this show. Stay tuned for the second half, where we discuss his essay about 1,000 true fans — a seminal work that helped launch the passion economy — and how it holds up today. Relevant links: 1,000 True Fans 68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice 99 Additional Bits of Unsolicited Advice 103 Bits of Advice I Wish I Had Known
Aug 24, 2022
This Is Your Brain On iPhone — With Dr. Anna Lembke
Dr. Anna Lembke is a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University's School of Medicine and chief of its Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic. She's also the author of Dopamine Nation, a bestseller that uses neuroscience to explain why the pursuit of pleasure so often leads to pain. In this episode, we discuss Dr. Lembke's fascinating thesis about what happens to our brain chemistry each time we pick a device. Stay tuned for the second half, where we discuss whether a more invigorating but less happy life is worth it.
Aug 17, 2022
What Social Media Influence Really Gets You — With Nuseir Yassin
Nuseir Yassin is the force behind Nas Daily — and CEO of Nas Company — which more than 50 million people follow across six different social media platforms. He joins Big Technology Podcast to talk about what such a large social media audience makes possible. Our conversation dives into why "YouTuber" is such a desirable occupation for kids today, what his fame really costs, and what it takes to build an audience online.
Aug 10, 2022
Meta's Awkward Pivot, Crypto's Future, Amazon's Challenge — Crossover With Techmeme Ride Home
Techmeme Ride Home is a top-rated tech news podcast and its host, Brian McCullough, joins us for a crossover episode airing on both feeds. In this bonus episode, we discuss Meta's attempts to turn Instagram into TikTok, how Amazon can handle its next chapter under CEO Andy Jassy, and what the future of crypto looks like after the crash. Stay tuned for our travel hacks at the end of the show!
Aug 06, 2022
Okay, Maybe Social Media Isn't That Bad For Us — With Brendan Nyhan
Brendan Nyhan is a presidential professor at Dartmouth College's department of government. He joins Big Technology Podcast for a discussion that pushes back on the notion that social media is destroying our society and making us stupid. With this thoughtful analysis, Nyhan adds a bunch of nuance to the discussion. This episode is effectively pt. 2 of our conversation with Prof. Jonathan Haidt a few weeks back. While Haidt believes social media is breaking our society and threatening democracy, Nyhan says hold up just a second. By the way, here's a new thing I did: For a behind-the-scenes look into some of my research for this episode, you check out my Pocket Collection (which is filled with the links) at:
Aug 03, 2022
Meet The Ex-Google Engineer Who Called Its AI Sentient — With Blake Lemoine
Blake Lemoine is an ex-senior software engineer at Google who was fired right before he taped this episode of Big Technology Podcast. Lemoine told his superiors at Google that he believed the company’s LaMDA chatbot technology was sentient. Then, after making little headway within Google, he went public. In this wide-ranging interview, Lemoine introduces us to LaMDA, which (or who?) he calls a friend, and explains why his belief in its sentience became too hot for Google to handle.  Washington Post: The Google engineer who thinks the company’s AI has come to life Big Technology: Google Fires Blake Lemoine, Engineer Who Called Its AI Sentient
Jul 27, 2022
Is Social Media Making Our Society Stupid? — With Jonathan Haidt
Jonathan Haidt is a professor of ethical leadership NYU's Stern School of Business and author of a number of books, including The Coddling of the American Mind. His recent story in The Atlantic, "Why The Past 10 Years Of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid," sparked a debate about whether social media was bad for society, and how we know for sure. Haidt joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss why he thinks social media is indeed responsible for our "structural stupidity," digging through the research and answering critics' objections. Stay tuned for the second half where we actually discuss some solutions. --- You can read Haidt's article here: Why The Past 10 Years Of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid You can review the collaborative Google Doc here: Social Media and Political Dysfunction: A Collaborative Review And here's my story on the Retweet button: The Man Who Built The Retweet: “We Handed A Loaded Weapon To 4-Year-Olds” Please review the podcast to help us get more great guests!
Jul 20, 2022
What Happens To Twitter After All This? — With Three Ex-Twitter Employees and Two Reporters
Three former Twitter employees (Jenna Golden, Brandon Borrman, Leslie Miley) and CNBC media & tech reporter Alex Sherman join Big Technology Podcast for a breakdown of Twitter v. Musk. While at Twitter, Golden ran political ad sales, Borrman ran communications, and Miley ran an engineering team. We do our best to make sense of this wild story, looking at how far Twitter should take its lawsuit, what's happening inside the company as it goes through this episode, and how Twitter's balancing the needs of shareholders with its users. Stay tuned for the second half, where we predict the outcome of the case.
Jul 13, 2022
How Twitter, Instagram, and Planet Build Products — With Kevin Weil
Kevin Weil is the ex-head of product at Twitter and Instagram. He's currently the president of business and product at Planet. Weil joins Big Technology Podcast to share an insider's view of how Twitter and Instagram build products, what their potential is, and how each product is dealing with big, imposing, outside forces (Elon Musk and TikTok). Stay tuned for the second half, where we discuss Planet, a fascinating company whose hundreds of satellites orbiting the earth capture a new, complete picture of our world daily.
Jul 06, 2022
The Ethics Of Fintech — With Dan Dolev
Dan Dolev is managing director and senior analyst at Mizuho, where he covers fintech companies Robinhood, SoFi, Affirm, Block, and others. He joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss fintech's ethics and opportunity, explaining who the industry serves, whether it's actually better than the current banking system, and how big it can get. Stay tuned for the second half where we dig into Coinbase's business and its recent turbulence.
Jun 29, 2022
Anatomy Of A Market Meltdown — With Joe Weisenthal
Joe Weisenthal is co-host of Odd Lots and an editor at Bloomberg. He joins Big Technology Podcast to make sense of the cratering stock market, discussing the various factors that led to this moment and when it might turn around. Stay tuned for the second half where we go rapid-fire, analyzing a bunch of tech companies that are getting absolutely hammered, and some big-time investors as well. We end with a meditation on crypto.
Jun 22, 2022
Which Startups (And VCs) Survive a Bear Market — With Nina Achadjian
Nina Achadjian is a partner at Index Ventures. She joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss how large declines in public market valuations impact startups and venture capitalists. Achadjian and I recorded with the S&P 500 down 13%. year to date. That was just last week! Now, we're in full-on bear market territory, with the S&P down more than 20%. Join us for a nuanced conversation on whether our period of oversized valuations was any good, and what to do now that it's over.
Jun 15, 2022
Meta Exit Interview — With Mike Schroepfer
Mike Schroepfer is Meta's former chief technology officer and currently a senior fellow at the company. He joins Big Technology Podcast for a look back at his time as CTO: What went well? What could've been better? What changes would he have made in retrospect? Listen for an episode about the challenges of enabling massive scale, both from a technical and societal standpoint.
Jun 08, 2022
Wait, The Robots Didn't Take Our Jobs? — With Erik Brynjolfsson
Erik Brynjolfsson is the director of the Stanford Digital Economy Lab and professor at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI. He joins Big Technology Podcast for a discussion of why our fears that artificial intelligence would take human jobs haven't yet come to fruition. We also cover how humans and AI can work together and how AI is changing work already. Stay tuned for the second half where we discuss the latest on robotic process automation and address why we're working at all in the age of machines. Check out Prof. Brynjolfsson's paper: The Turing Trap: The Promise & Peril of Human-Like Artificial Intelligence
Jun 02, 2022
Can The Media Fix Its Trust Problem? — With Nicholas Thompson
Nicholas Thompson is the CEO of The Atlantic and former editor-in-chief of Wired. He joins Big Technology Podcast for a nuanced conversation about why the media is losing the public's trust and whether it has a chance to regain it. Listen for a wide-ranging discussion on business models, politics, and the tech press's relationship with the industry's builders.
May 31, 2022
Why Elites Are Losing Trust — With Vivian Schiller
Vivian Schiller is the executive director of Aspen Digital, former head of news at Twitter, and former CEO of NPR. She joins Big Technology Podcast for a discussion of why the public distrusts elites. This conversation takes place in Davos — as the World Economic Forum conducts its annual meeting — and dissects its controversial initiatives such as the "Great Reset." Stay tuned for the second half where we discuss the latest with big tech and Joe Biden's tech agenda.
May 27, 2022
Do We Need Web3? — With Gavin Wood
Gavin Wood is the co-founder of Ethereum and creator of Polkadot. He joins Big Technology Podcast from Davos for a discussion about whether we need Web3 — a new web built with blockchain technology. Joins us for a broad conversation on what inspired Wood to dedicate himself to the Web3, movement, how the technology works in practice, and whether the economic downturn may actually help the crypto movement.
May 25, 2022
Do We Need The Metaverse? — With Nick Clegg
Nick Clegg is the president for global affairs at Meta and former deputy prime minister of the UK. He joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss his company's vision for the Metaverse, how it should be governed, and whether we actually need it. Stick around for the second half where we speak about Meta's app store fees, whether the company should instead focus on winning over younger users, and the ethics of its lobbying effort. This podcast was recorded live from Davos during the World Economic Forum's annual meeting.
May 24, 2022
Optimism In A Tech Downturn — With Packy McCormick and Austin Rief
Austin Rief is the CEO of Morning Brew. Packy McCormick is the author of Not Boring on Substack and founder of Not Boring Capital. The two join Big Technology Podcast for a discussion of why the economic downturn has hit tech disproportionately hard and how bad it's going to get. They also look for places of optimism, and areas of opportunity. Stay tuned for the second half where we discuss whether their own investing has changed, how their media businesses will get through this moment, and the latest on Elon Musk's plan to buy Twitter.
May 18, 2022
A Debate About NFTs — With Jason Stein
Jason Stein is the founder and managing partner at SC Holdings, a private equity and strategic advisory firm based in New York. He joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss the merits of NFTs, of which he is bullish and I am skeptical. This isn't a shouting match debate, but a reasonable back and forth between two people with different views on the issue. Stay tuned for the second half where we discuss how a struggling economy will impact risky assets.
May 11, 2022
Was Tim Cook The Right Choice For Apple? — With Tripp Mickle
Tripp Mickle is a reporter for The New York Times and author of After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul. He joins Big Technology Podcast for a special episode looking inside Apple after the death of Steve Jobs and evaluating its leadership's performance. Join us for a broad, deep discussion leaning on Tripp's years of reporting on one of the world's most fascinating companies.
May 07, 2022
Tech Stock Armageddon — With Rich Greenfield
Rich Greenfield is a founding partner at LightShed Partners, and a preeminent analyst in the tech and media world. He joins Big Technology Podcast this week to discuss why companies like Netflix, Snap, Meta, and Spotify are getting crushed in the public markets. Join us for a discussion about tech stocks that digs into the broader story of what's happening to the global economy.
May 04, 2022
Elon's Plan to Fix Twitter — With Alex Roetter
Alex Roetter ran engineering at Twitter from 2014 to 2016 and is currently a general partner at Moxxie Ventures. He joins Big Technology Podcast to evaluate the product changes Elon Musk has expressed interest in, looking at whether they are feasible and could actually help the company. We go point by point through six potential changes and then discuss whether society, Twitter users, and Musk himself will be happy with the deal five years from now.
Apr 27, 2022
What The Heck Happened To SPACs — With Charles Duhigg
Charles Duhigg is a Pulitzer-prize-winning reporter and the author of Smarter Faster Better and The Power of Habit. He joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss what's happened with SPACs — special purpose acquisition companies — that seemed ready to revolutionize the IPO process just last year but have now fallen out of favor. Duhigg explains SPACs' rise, their decline, and what the financial world will look like once they settle into place. We also spend the first ten minutes discussing Elon Musk's Twitter bid and whether he's flying a bit too close to the sun. Come chat with about this episode with me here on LinkedIn: You can find Duhigg's story here:
Apr 20, 2022
Emergency Podcast: Elon Musk Offers To Buy Twitter — With Ranjan Roy
Ranjan Roy is the co-author of Margins, a Substack newsletter about the financial markets. He joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss Elon Musk's bid to buy Twitter and its implications. Join us for this 'emergency' episode where we discuss whether Musk will improve the service, whether he can pull it off, and why he's making the move.
Apr 14, 2022
God, 'The Current Thing,' And Apple — With Antonio Garcia Martinez
Antonio Garcia Martinez is an early Facebook employee, author of Chaos Monkeys, former Apple engineer, and writes the Pull Request on Substack. He joins Big Technology Podcast for a wide-ranging discussion touching on what he learned about Apple's ad platform in his short tenure at the company, how he's navigated being held as a symbol for new-right politics and then pushed back on its pro-Putin narrative, what the meme about Ukraine support being "the current thing" really means, and why he's converting to Judaism if he disdains dogma.
Apr 13, 2022
Twitter's Elon Musk Era Begins — With Christopher Mims
Christopher Mims is a tech columnist for the Wall Street Journal. He joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss Elon Musk's ascent to Twitter's board this week and purchase of 9.2% of the company's shares. Join us for a deep conversation about what Elon might be up to, how much power he'll have, how Twitter employees are responding, and where this likey leads.
Apr 06, 2022
Can Apple's Culture Handle Dissent? — With Cher Scarlett
Cher Scarlett is an ex-Apple engineer who led a movement for pay transparency within the company — and suffered consequences. She joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss why she spoke out, how Apple responded, and whether the company's culture can handle dissent. Listen for an inside perspective on Apple's culture and a conversation about the future of dissent within the tech giants.
Mar 30, 2022
Of Oligarchs and Billionaires — With Teddy Schleifer
Teddy Schleifer covers billionaires as a reporter and founding partner at Puck. He joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss the sanctions against Russian oligarchs, how (and if) oligarchs differ from billionaires, and whether putting pressure on the oligarchs can help end Russia's war in Ukraine. Stay tuned for the second half where we discuss tech's connection to the oligarchs, and whether their money plays a role in Silicon Valley.
Mar 23, 2022
How Apple Upended Digital Advertising — With Orchid Bertelsen and David Herrmann
Orchid Bertelsen and David Herrmann are two senior advertising professionals who’ve watched Apple’s anti-tracking changes upend the digital ad industry from the ground. They join Big Technology Podcast to discuss how what Apple’s “ask not to track” notification actually works, how it’s changed the way advertisers do business, how small businesses have felt the impact, and which platforms it's empowered at Facebook’s expense. Stay tuned for the second half where we discuss how Apple, TikTok, and Amazon’s businesses have changed thanks to this massive, underrated power move. This week's direct-to-consumer article: “A Reckoning.” The Direct To Consumer Craze Is Slamming Into Reality.
Mar 16, 2022
Russia and The Information War — With Miriam Elder
Miriam Elder is the executive editor at Vanity Fair Hive and former Moscow correspondent at The Guardian. She joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss Russia's information war, which the Kremlin is running alongside its physical war in Ukraine. Russia's supposedly formidable social media power seems to be falling flat, and Miriam explains why — and what's to come. Stick around for the second half where we discuss the impact of sanctions and why Bitcoin is failing to capitalize on this moment.
Mar 09, 2022
What's Next For Our Crazy Economy — With Square Co-Founder Jim McKelvey
Jim McKelvey is the co-founder of Square, chair of the St. Louis Fed, and founder of Invisibly. He joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss whether the Fed should still hike interest rates given the markets' slowdown and the conflict in Ukraine. Stay tuned for a discussion of how Jim tolerates risk, why he's not building his new startup on the blockchain (aka: Web3), and a preview of our SXSW featured session: The Future of The Data Economy: Putting People First, taking place March 11 in Austin.
Mar 02, 2022
Doing Business With Zuckerberg and Bezos — With Donald Graham
Don Graham is the former owner of the Washington Post. He's spent countless hours working with Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos, and he joins Big Technology Podcast to share inside stories about how they operate. Graham met Zuckerberg when the Facebook founder was 20. He then proposed an investment — which Zuckerberg turned down — and eventually joined Facebook's board. Graham also sold the Washington Post to Jeff Bezos in 2013. Join us for a rare view into how these founders do business, and stick around for the end where we discuss the true definition of success.
Feb 23, 2022
Programming The Code of Life With CRISPR — With Trevor Martin, CEO of Mammoth Biosciences
Trevor Martin is the CEO and co-founder of Mammoth Biosciences, a $1 billion company that develops CRISPR technology to edit genes. Martin joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss how CRISPR is working in production today — not in some distant future — and what the ethical ramifications of this technology will be as it gets more advanced. You can find Trevor on Twitter: And here's Mammoth Biosciences:
Feb 16, 2022
Crypto Scams, Big Tech Tumult, and Tech Optimism— With Kara Swisher
Kara Swisher is the co-founder of Recode, a New York Times columnist, the co-host of Pivot, and the host of Sway. She joins BigTechnology Podcast for a special edition tackling the biggest tech headlines, her major career decisions, and reasons to be optimistic about technology. Kara and Scott Galloway are hosting Pivot MIA, a three-day event in Miami, from Feb. 14 - Feb. 16. You can learn more here:
Feb 11, 2022
Meta's Stock Plunge + Market Volatility — With Josh Brown of Ritholtz Wealth Management
Josh Brown is the CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management and a regular CNBC contributor. Brown joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss what's behind Meta's historic $251 billion stock plunge, and Amazon's equally shocking $190 billion rise. This is a discussion about Meta and Big Tech, but as you listen you'll get a window into market fundamentals like "whisper" earnings targets and why growth stocks are going out of style. We also discuss what happens inside companies when their stock prices plummet. You can find Josh's podcast — The Compound and Friends — here: And here's my 'Metaverse or Bust' story:
Feb 09, 2022
Digital Publishing’s Next Evolution — With Brian Morrissey
Brian Morrissey writes The Rebooting on Substack and hosts The Rebooting Show, a podcast. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digiday and digital editor of Adweek. He joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss how digital publishing is evolving from an industry reliant on social media for distribution to one that prioritizes focus and dedicated audiences. Stay tuned for the third segment where we discuss Brian's views on Web3, crypto, and how these new technologies may help the industry.
Feb 02, 2022
How Tech Can Actually Help Mental Health — With Ex-National Institute of Mental Health director Dr. Tom Insel
Dr. Tom Insel led the National Institue of Mental Health for 13 years, departing toward the end of the Obama administration for a career in tech. Insel joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss how the data on our devices may unlock the key to treatment. Our conversation covers how tech can help manage and treat illness, the privacy ramifications of collecting this data, and whether social media is actually harmful for our mental health. You can pre-order Dr. Insel's forthcoming book, Healing: Our Path From Mental Illness To Mental Health, here: Subscribe to Big Technology to read Dr. Insel's opinion piece:
Jan 26, 2022
The Rise Of Conservative Social Media — With The New Yorker's Clare Malone and Stanford's David Thiel
Clare Malone is a staff writer at The New Yorker who recently wrote about Gettr, a rising conservative social network. David Thiel is the big data architect and chief technology officer of the Stanford Internet Observatory, where he's researched Gettr's usage. The pair join Big Technology Podcast to discuss Gettr — and its counterparts' — potential to take on incumbent social networks. We dig into the network's growth, its funding sources, and how mainstream social network policies open the door for its success. Here's Clare's story: Here's David's research:
Jan 19, 2022
Tech Regulation's Crucial Year — With Sen. Mark Warner
Senator Mark Warner takes us inside the battle to regulate Big Tech. Elected in 2008 and serving his third term in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Warner joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss whether we should regulate Big Tech and how the companies are fighting back — overtly and covertly. Ahead of the midterm elections, this year is crucial. In the second half, we also discuss whether members of Congress should trade individual stocks.
Jan 12, 2022
Web3 And The Future Of The Internet — With Box CEO Aaron Levie
Aaron Levie is the CEO of Box, a $3.95 billion publicly-traded tech company. He joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss the rise of Web3 — a crypto-based vision for the internet — and where it can go wrong. Levie raises several important questions about where the Web3 theory and promise might slam into obstacles in the real world. Listen and you'll get a more nuanced view of Web3, something that goes beyond "This is the future" or "This will never work." Support this podcast at — Inquiries: & Opt-Out:
Jan 05, 2022
2021 In Review, 2022 Predictions — With Casey Newton
Casey Newton is the editor of Platformer, a CNBC Contributor, and a friend of Big Technology Podcast. He joins us for our final show of the year, where we look back on the biggest stories of 2021 and predict what's coming in 2022. Join us for a conversation about Big Tech's year of transition, the upcoming Web3 wars, and whether the cult of the founder is falling apart.
Dec 29, 2021
The Theranos Trial Concludes — With NPR's Bobby Allyn
Bobby Allyn is an NPR tech reporter based in San Francisco. He's been waking up at 2 a.m. to watch the trial of ex-Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes from the courthouse. In this episode, Allyn breaks down the case for and against Holmes, the biggest moments in the trial, and the potential outcomes now that the jury is deliberating.
Dec 22, 2021
Apple Nears $3 Trillion + The Truth About Web3 — With Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans is an independent analyst who covers big tech and the broader technology landscape. He joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss Apple's move to $3 trillion, how the rest of the Big Tech companies stack up, what Web3 is really all about, and his former employer Andreessen Horowitz. Stick around for the third segment where he answers questions from Twitter.
Dec 15, 2021
Getting AI To Think And Learn Like Humans — With Daniel Kahneman and Yann LeCun
Daniel Kahneman is a Nobel prize-winning psychologist and economist and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow, a landmark book that decodes human decision-making. Yann LeCun is the chief AI scientist at Meta (Facebook) and a pioneer in the field of deep learning, which the cutting edge of AI is based on today. The two come together on Big Technology Podcast this week to discuss how machines and humans learn, whether there are parallels, and what each field can learn from each other.
Dec 08, 2021
Managing Omicron With Data From Wastewater? — With Newsha Ghaeli and Mariana Matus of Biobot Analytics
As companies head back to the office, and communities try to figure out the right Covid mitigation measures, data from sewage can help them get it right. Newsha Ghaeli and Mariana Matus are the co-founders of Biobot Analytics. Their company uses data from wastewater to alert companies and communities when they’re in the early stages of Covid outbreaks. Then they can adjust appropriately. Founded out of MIT, Biobot initially took on the Opioid epidemic, helping communities figure out the right way to respond, then it expanded to Covid as the pandemic set in.
Dec 01, 2021
Inflation and The Great Resignation — With SoFi Head of Investment Strategy Liz Young and Margins’ Ranjan Roy
Inflation is skyrocketing and everyone’s quitting their jobs. What does it mean? Liz Young, the head of Investment Strategy at SoFi, and Ranjan Roy, the co-author of Margins, help us figure it out in this week’s Big Technology Podcast. Come for an exploration of the source of the price hikes (Turkeys are 14% more expensive this year!) and a wild theory connecting interest rates with quitting. Stay for where to find savings (Hot Dogs!).
Nov 24, 2021
Inside Spotify's War With Apple — With Spotify Chief Legal Officer Horacio Gutierrez
Horacio Gutierrez is Spotify's head of global affairs and chief legal officer. He's a relentless critic of the way Apple treats smaller companies, testifying before the Senate in April that the company is abusing its power and harming competition. He joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss how Spotify has experienced Apple's behavior, why it's decided to speak up, and whether anything will come of this latest round of antitrust scrutiny for the tech giants.
Nov 17, 2021
The Venture Capitalist Who Can't Lose — With Zach Coelius
Zach Coelius is the managing partner of Coelius Capital. He's participating in an unprecedented moment where venture capitalists like him simply can't lose. There's so much money flooding the private markets that, as he put it, "any idiot with a checkbook looks like a genius right now." Coelius joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss why this is happening, where it will lead, and who gets hurt when the party ends. Stay tuned for the third segment where we read his tweets and mostly talk about San Francisco's many challenges.
Nov 10, 2021
The Motivations of Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen — With Her Lawyer Lawrence Lessig
Lawrence Lessig is Frances Haguen's lawyer and a Harvard Law School professor. He joins Big Technology Podcast to address the various questions about Haugen's motivations, backers, and intent that have percolated since she came forward. We start by addressing whether the the leaked documents should be available to all and move into the conspiracies about her. A lively discussion follows.
Nov 03, 2021
Are We Having a Moral Panic About Instagram? — With NYT's Farhad Manjoo
Farhad Manjoo is an opinion columnist for the New York Times. He joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss whether the criticism of Instagram's impact on kids is overblown, the subject of a recent column. Stay tuned for the third segment, where we discuss Farhad's views of virtual reality, his Thanksgiving column, and his cats. Subscribe to Big Technology: Farhad's story about Instagram:
Oct 27, 2021
Amazon Rigs Search, Social Media 'Ampliganda,' Netflix Protests — With Adrianne Jeffries, Renee DiResta, and Zoë Schiffer
Join us for a 'mega' episode with three guests! The Markup investigative reporter Adrianne Jeffries leads off with a discussion of Amazon's self-preferencing in search. Stanford Internet Observatory's Renee DiResta joins for our second segment to discuss her story on bottom-up propaganda on social media, something she calls 'ampliganda.' Verge Reporter Zoë Schiffer rounds out the week with a look into the state of worker activism at Netflix and Apple. Check out Adrianne's story on The Markup, Renee's in The Atlantic, and Zoe's on The Verge.
Oct 20, 2021
Is Social Media A Scapegoat For Bigger Problems? — With Charlie Warzel at Unfinished Live
Charlie Warzel writes the Galaxy Brain newsletter on Substack, a publication he started after a career at The New York Times and BuzzFeed. Warzel joins Big Technology Podcast in a live recording at Unfinished Live to discuss what a nuanced conversation about social media's harms should look like. Stay tuned for the second half where we discuss Warzel's views on post-Covid workplace culture, the subject Out of Office, a forthcoming book for which he is a co-author.
Oct 13, 2021
Why Facebook Will Keep Building For Kids — With Michael Sayman
Michael Sayman was 16 years old when Facebook recruited him to join the company. The overture arrived as he was sitting in math class, and the teacher promptly took away his iPad. Sayman joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss why and how Facebook builds products for kids and teens (something he has intimate knowledge of) and the reasons why it won't stop. You can find Sayman's new book, App Kid, here:
Oct 06, 2021
Amazon Builds a Robot and Threatens Apple — With Wired's Lauren Goode
Wired senior writer Lauren Goode was on hand this week as Amazon introduced Astro, a home robot, and a Ring home-monitoring drone. Goode joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss her reaction to the products. And in the second half, stay tuned for a discussion of how Apple and Amazon are on a collision course even though they build products very differently. 
Sep 30, 2021
Unraveling The Mystery Of Peter Thiel — With Max Chafkin
Max Chafkin is the author of The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley's Pursuit of Power, which debuts this week. The book is a fascinating, inside look into the life and rise of Silicon Valley’s most powerful and controversial venture capitalist. In this interview, we discuss whether Thiel is representative of Silicon Valley or an anomaly, and dig into who he really is and what motivates him. You can find the book here:
Sep 22, 2021
A Look Into Facebook's Soul — With WSJ's Jeff Horwitz and Ex-FB Exec. Brian Boland
Jeff Horwitz is the Wall Street Journal reporter who unearthed a trove of internal Facebook documents that reveal a damning disconnect between what the company says in public and its actions inside. Brian Boland is a former Facebook executive who spent more than 11 years inside the company. The two come on to discuss Horowitz's bombshell series of reports, unpacking what they tell us about Facebook, dissecting the company's responses, and looking at potential solutions. Enjoy this bonus episode!
Sep 18, 2021
Inside The Theranos Trial — With Erin Griffith of The New York Times
Erin Griffith is the New York Times reporter at the trial for Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes. She joins Big Technology Podcast to bring us inside the courtroom, explaining why Holmes is on trial and whether she'll be a rare founder to face consequences for misleading investors. We also discuss whether Holmes is emblematic of the venture capital world's downsides, or an outlier. You can find Erin on Twitter, @eringriffith
Sep 15, 2021
How The Music Industry Predicts The Future — With Zack O'Malley Greenburg
Zack O'Malley Greenburg is a music journalist who's spent time with everyone from Katy Perry to Kanye West. He joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss how the music industry seems to go through every major technology-driven shift before everyone else, including the decline of brick-and-mortar retail (see: Tower Records), to the rise of streaming content (Spotify), and even NFTs (WuTang's Once Upon a Time in Shaolin). Greenburg also discusses how he's applied lessons from some of the world's most successful musicians in his own career. You can follow Zack's book, We Are All Musicians Now, on Substack here:
Sep 08, 2021
The Platform Delusion — With Columbia Business Professor Jonathan Knee
Jonathan Knee is a professor at Columbia Business School and senior advisor at the investment bank Evercore. He joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss The Platform Delusion, his forthcoming book about how the term "platform" has become overused to the point that it has little meaning. Is Sweetgreen really a platform. Well, Sweetgreen thinks so (c'mon now). Listen for a discussion covering what should actually be called a platform, the fundamentals of the tech giants' businesses, and whether students should go to startups coming out of school.
Sep 02, 2021
Are We Actually Addicted To Our Phones? — With Nir Eyal
Nir Eyal is the bestselling author of Hooked and Indistractable. He joins Big Technology Podcast for a spirited debate over whether we're actually addicted to our phones, the ethics of app developers who use tricks to keep us coming back, and what to do about it. You can find Nir's books here: and Here's an Indistractable summary article: And a distraction guide: And a schedule maker tool:
Aug 26, 2021
Can We Still Be Optimistic About The Internet? — With Meetup Founder Scott Heiferman
Scott Heiferman is the founder of Meetup, a website that connects people online and gets them to meet each other offline. Heiferman joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss whether the internet can still bring people together vs. tear them apart, the latter of which it's done plenty of recently. This wide-ranging conversation gets into people's declining faith in institutions, our friendships and loneliness, Facebook's role in all this, virtual reality's potential, and the new company Heiferman is building today.
Aug 18, 2021
The Motivations Of Facebook Reporters, And Their Sources — With Ugly Truth Author Sheera Frenkel
Sheera Frenkel is a New York Times reporter and author of the best-selling book, An Ugly Truth. She joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss her hit book and her reporting process. We address critics's claims that Facebook reporters are harsh to the company because they’re mad Trump won, and they’re also upset that social media is eroding their gatekeeping power. Frenkel listens to these critiques and shares her perspective.
Aug 11, 2021
The Risks of TikTok's Rise — With Bloomberg's Shelly Banjo
Shelly Banjo is Bloomberg's New York Bureau Chief. She's also the host of Foundering, a podcast mini-series that documents TikTok's rise. Banjo joins Big Technology Podcast for a conversation about how TikTok's massive global reach creates serious data security risks and also opens up rival countries to influence operations from the Chinese government.
Aug 04, 2021
Regime Change In Cuba, Through Internet Access? — With FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr
FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr wants to provide internet access to the people in Cuba so they can document and share the abuses of their government without censorship. Commissioner Carr, who rose to his rank after initially serving as an FCC intern, joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss his plan, how the technology would work, and the ethics and advisability of accelerating regime change by providing internet access to a population.
Jul 28, 2021
The Definitive WeWork Story — With Eliot Brown And Maureen Farrell
Eliot Brown And Maureen Farrell are the authors of The Cult of We: WeWork and the Great Start-Up Delusion. The new book digs into the rise and fall of Adam Neumann's WeWork. And though it's the story of one company, it's really a lens through which you can see all the markets' irrationality. The authors join for a macro discussion of the factors that led WeWork — a real estate company — to become the world's most valuable "tech" startup. And why it couldn't keep the show rolling. Check out the book:
Jul 21, 2021
Newsletters and The Culture Wars — With Substack CEO Chris Best
Chris Best is the CEO of Substack, an email newsletter platform that lets writers send newsletters and charge subscribers a monthly fee. The platform — which I use for my Big Technology newsletter — is squarely in the middle of the battle over online speech, looked at by some as an alternative that will displace professional media. Best joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss his company's position in these speech battles, how he personally feels about the professional media, his investor Andressen Horowitz, and whether paid subscriptions are a better model than advertising. You can subscribe to my Big Technology Newsletter here: The OneZero story
Jul 14, 2021
She Advocated For Women, Then Microsoft Pushed Her Off Its Board — With Maria Klawe
“Are you trying to fucking destroy the company?” That’s what Bill Gates told Microsoft board member Maria Klawe when she asked why Microsoft wouldn’t consider a single women out of 50 candidates it was evaluating to replace then-CEO Steve Ballmer. When Microsoft settled on Satya Nadella, he later joined Klawe at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women In Computing and told her that instead of asking for a raise, women should just have faith in the system to get it right. The incident caused an uproar, and Nadella apologized and promised to do better. One year later, Microsoft’s board pushed Klawe out, telling her it was looking for more “conventional” women in business. Klawe joins Big Technology Podcast to tell the full, shocking, uncut story.  The BI story: Always Day One:
Jul 07, 2021
How Gen Z Dates Online — With Tinder CEO Jim Lanzone
Jim Lanzone is the CEO of Tinder. He took over the world’s most popular dating app last summer, in the heart of the pandemic, and is starting to evolve its product to give people new ways to connect. Lanzone joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss how Gen Z wants to date online, how their behavior differs from millennials, and how that factors into his product vision. We also talk about the business of Tinder, whether Lanzone lets his kids use the app, and where its next challenger might come from.
Jun 30, 2021
How Big Tech Influence Shops Shape The Antitrust Conversation In Washington — with Adam Kovacevich
Adam Kovacevich is the CEO of the Big Tech-funded Chamber of Progress. The former Google policy executive joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss the origins of his organization and why Big Tech would rather fund him vs. stick their own necks out. Tune in for a revealing conversation of what happens behind the scenes in Big Tech's battle against regulation.
Jun 24, 2021
Crossover With The Realignment: Can Tech Survive Washington’s Onslaught?
Marshall Kosloff and Saagar Enjeti host The Realignment, an excellent podcast about politics and tech in our fast-changing world. I joined the show his week to talk about the new set of bills in Congress aimed at Big Tech and asked them if we could air the show here on the Big Technology feed as well. Graciously, they agreed! So this week, we'll run this episode as a bonus on a Tuesday, and then we’ll be back on Thursday with our regularly scheduled show, with Adam Kovacevich, who runs a big-tech funded organization called the Chamber of Progress.
Jun 22, 2021
Andrew Ross Sorkin on Meme Stocks, Bitcoin, SPACs, and Elon Musk
Andrew Ross Sorkin is the co-anchor of Squawk Box on CNBC, founder and editor of Dealbook at the New York Times, and the author of Too Big To Fail. He joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss the wild state of the market, the rise of meme stocks, the promise and drawbacks of bitcoin, SPACs, Big Tech antitrust, Elon Musk, and when the party will come to an end. Tune in for a wide-ranging interview about the world's most pressing financial and tech issues. Buy Andrew's book: The Michael Lewis article Andrew references:
Jun 16, 2021
Andrew Callaghan of All Gas No Breaks Goes Independent
Andrew Callaghan is the force behind All Gas No Breaks, a hit YouTube show that featured Callaghan putting a mic in front of people and just... letting them talk. Callaghan's recently gone independent, taking his unique interviewing style to a new home, Channel 5 with Andrew Callaghan, and building a substantial following there. Callaghan joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss why his alternative to traditional news is hitting a nerve, what he's learned about the American people from his travels across the country, and the factors that led to his decision to strike out on his own. Check out Channel 5 with Andrew Callaghan:
Jun 09, 2021
The Rise and Fall of Juul, With The Devil's Playbook Author Lauren Etter
You've heard this story before: Two Stanford kids take on a big bad industry, one that harms people, and they disrupt it. Typically, these stories are portrayed as heroic in Silicon Valley. Yet the story of Juul is different. The company sells sleek e-cigarettes packed with nicotine to cigarette smokers looking for a less harmful solution. But flush with VC cash and determined to grow, the company ended up addicting millions of kids, leading to a serious backlash and decline. Lauren Etter, a Bloomberg reporter and author of The Devil's Playbook, which covers the Juul saga, joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss the company's rise and fall. You can buy The Devil's Playbook here:
Jun 02, 2021
New York Times Reporter Jack Nicas On Apple Vs. Epic Games and Apple In China
Jack Nicas joins Big Technology Podcast fresh out of the Epic v. Apple trial, where the Fortnight maker is suing Apple over the 30% cut it takes out of every dollar we spend on apps downloaded from the App Store. Nicas takes us inside the courtroom, explains what’s at stake, and makes a prediction for where things net out. In the second half, Nicas breaks down his reporting on Apple’s questionable privacy practices in China, where the company stores user data in servers all but owned by the Chinese government.  Jack's stories On Epic vs. Apple: On Apple in China:
May 26, 2021
Professor Scott Galloway On Whether Our Economy Is Rigged (And What To Do About It)
Professor Scott Galloway swings by to discuss how our economy can at once feel rigged yet loaded with opportunity. Galloway describes a “tilted” system that makes life difficult for young people and wage workers while lifting up assets like stock and equity and helping older generations. We talk not only about the problems, but the solutions for the system and the individuals within it. As usual, Galloway is a tour de force who comes loaded with insights and keen observations. Check out our sponsor, Flatfile: Scott's New York Magazine Q&A:
May 19, 2021
Amazon Unbound Author Brad Stone On How Nerdy Bezos Turned Into Ripped Bezos
Brad Stone is the author of Amazon Unbound, a new book about the inner workings of Amazon, which releases this week. Stone joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss the book, Bezos's transformation, Amazon's culture, and what's in store for the company now that Bezos is leaving the CEO role. Check out our sponsor, Flatfile:
May 12, 2021
Why Ex-Google Ads Boss Sridhar Ramaswamy is Building An Ads-Free Search Engine
Sridhar Ramaswamy is CEO of Neeva, an ads-free search engine he helped found after running Google's ads and commerce business. Ramaswamy spent seventeen years inside Google, and eventually grew disillusioned with its business. Now he's trying to create the solution with $77.5 million in funding. In this conversation, we discuss his evolving view on advertising, what decoupling search from ads allows from a product standpoint, and how the current anti-trust environment is opening Google up to the competition.
May 06, 2021
Facebook Oversight Board Member Julie Owono Takes Us Inside The Trump Decision
Julie Owono is a member of the Facebook Oversight Board, which today announced it's leaving Donald Trump's indefinite suspension in place. Owono joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss the decision, the board's deliberations, and what comes next for Facebook and Trump.
May 05, 2021
Doge, Bitcoin, NFTs, and Capital Gains: Ranjan Roy and Can Duruk of Margins Demystify Our Economy
Today's economy is a wild ride, and it's time to demystify it with Ranjan Roy and Can Duruk from Margins. Consider the following: Doge, a joke cryptocurrency, seems to be minting new millionaires daily. NFTs, tokens that enable the buying and selling of digital art, are going for millions. Bitcoin's price is volatile, up $10,000 one week, down by the same amount the next. The overall market, meanwhile, is cranking. In this week's episode, we go deep into what's actually taking place, and discuss whether Joe Biden's proposed capital gains tax increase will bring an end to the party.
Apr 28, 2021
Facebook vs. Clubhouse vs. Spotify vs. Apple: Casey Newton Returns
Platformer's Casey Newton returns to Big Technology Podcast to discuss the intensifying battle among Facebook, Clubhouse, Spotify, Apple, and Twitter in the new, social audio space. Fresh off a conversation with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Newton discusses Facebook's plans, Clubhouse's potential for longevity, and what empowering the individual vs. the institution really means. Plus we discuss this week's big Apple release event.
Apr 21, 2021
How Amazon Automated My Job: A Conversation With Elaine Kwon
Elaine Kwon was a vendor manager in Amazon's retail organization when the company started to turn her tasks over to machine learning in a program called "Hands Off The Wheel." She joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss how and why Amazon rolled the program out, how she and her fellow vendor managers reacted, and what it portends for the rest of us.
Apr 14, 2021
The Uneasy Amazon Coalition, With Fulfillment Author Alec MacGillis
ProPublica senior reporter Alec MacGillis highlights the growing economic divide in the U.S. — through the lens of Amazon — in his new book, Fulfillment. MacGillis joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss the state of the union push inside Amazon, how labor has changed more broadly in the U.S., and the uneasy political coalition between those packing and delivering Amazon packages and those receiving them.
Apr 07, 2021
Carole Cadwalladr and Yael Eisenstat on The Criticism of Tech Criticism
Carole Cadwalladr and Yael Eisenstat are two of the most prominent Facebook critics worldwide. Cadwalladr is the journalist who broke open the Cambridge Analytica story for the Guardian and The Observer. Eisenstat, a former CIA officer, worked on election integrity inside Facebook for six months before quitting and speaking out against the company. The two Facebook critics join Big Technology Podcast to discuss some people’s disenchantment with tech criticism, the role of Facebook’s Oversight Board, and how the company might fix its product.
Mar 31, 2021
BuzzFeed News executive editor Mat Honan on the "Zoom Class," NFTs, and San Francisco
BuzzFeed News executive editor Mat Honan has long covered the way society interacts with technology. He joins Big Technology Podcast this week to discuss the “Zoom Class,” the rise of NFTs, and how San Francisco may change after the pandemic.
Mar 24, 2021
Why Rest of World wants to change international tech news, with Sophie Schmidt and Louise Matsakis
Rest Of World is a new publication that covers technology outside of North America and Europe. Sophie Schmidt and Louise Matsakis join Big Technology Podcast to discuss why they believe it's setting a new path forward for international tech coverage. Schmidt founded the publication in 2019 after growing convinced that the next tech decade belongs to the rising giants outside of the Western world. Growing up while her father, Eric Schmidt, ran Google taught her some important lessons along the way. Matsakis, formerly of Wired, joined the publication after pitching Schmidt on a role for herself. She is now a senior editor. In this conversation, we discuss the publication's editorial philosophy, along with tech in China, South Korea, Kenya, Nigeria, and elsewhere.
Mar 17, 2021
Bonus: Senator Amy Klobuchar On How Congress Will Take On Big Tech
Senator Amy Klobuchar will be leading the charge in Congress as the legislature interrogates the power of big tech, and potentially takes action to restrain it. She's the new Chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, so it's in her hands now. Klobuchar and I spoke this past week ahead of the first hearing she held to kick the off process. And rather than simply writing the conversation up, which I did on the Big Technology newsletter this week, I wanted to make it available for you to listen to, in full.
Mar 13, 2021
Twitter Product Head Kayvon Beykpour On The Story Behind Twitter’s Revival
Kayvon Beykpour is one of Silicon Valley’s busiest product executives. As Twitter’s head of product, he’s survived for years in a formerly-cursed role that seemed to turn over every few months. Now, Beykpour’s team is shipping. Twitter just released a Clubhouse clone, called Spaces. It bought Revue, a newsletter platform. And it just announced Super Follow, a feature that wraps it all together by letting you pay for added access and content from people you follow on Twitter. This is new territory for Twitter, which spent the past few years 
Mar 10, 2021
Will Artificial Intelligence Take Our Jobs? A Conversation with Kevin Roose, NYT Columnist and Futureproof author
Artificial intelligence may take our jobs, or it may give us new freedom in the workplace. The debate is heating up as this technology is starting to enter the workplace in a real way. New York Times columnist Kevin Roose returns to Big Technology Podcast for a bonus episode for a discussion on what's actually happening based on the research. His book on the subject — Futureproof: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation — comes out today. You can order Futureproof here: If you liked this episode, would you be willing to rate us? ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Mar 09, 2021
WhatsApp Head Will Cathcart on Privacy, Content Moderation, and Apple
Will Cathcart runs WhatsApp, the 2 billion user app that's the de facto tool for messaging and calling for many across the globe. Cathcart joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss Facebook's feud with Apple, its battle with Signal, its bungled privacy update, new laws in India that might force it to break encryption, the way it thinks about content moderation and advertising, and plenty more.
Mar 03, 2021
Arab Spring Leader Wael Ghonim on Modern Social Media's Promise And Peril
In 2011, Wael Ghonim created a Facebook page that sparked the overthrow of the Egyptian regime. Since then, the former Google marketing director has kept a close eye on social media's evolution, and has plenty to say about where it's gone wrong, and how it can get better. Ten years after Cairo residents painted "Facebook" on the walls after the revolution, Ghonim stops by Big Technology Podcast to revisit what happened and where we go from here.
Feb 24, 2021
Three Mayors On The Future Of Tech in the U.S.
Mayor Francis Suarez of Miami, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway of Madison, and Mayor Steve Adler of Austin join Big Technology Podcast to discuss the future of tech in the U.S. They’re showing up on a tech podcast because they see an opportunity to take some of the growth once headed to the Bay Area, and bring it home. They may have a chance. Out of the four mayors I asked to be on the show, only San Francisco Mayor London Breed declined. That says something. What’s clear from speaking with the mayors is that remote work is not going away anytime soon, and that presents opportunities for people and cities that simply were not there before. This will have an impact on the country’s economy, and the tech industry as well, for reasons we discuss.
Feb 16, 2021
Bonus: India vs. Twitter, with Pranav Dixit of BuzzFeed News
In India, the Narendra Modi government is threatening to put Twitter officials in jail unless they block approximately 250 accounts of people they don’t like. They include activists, political commentators, a movie star, and an investigative news magazine. That’s why we’re doing a bonus, emergency podcast on this quick developing situation, and what it means for the future of speech on the internet, and social media more broadly.  Joining us to discuss is Pranav Dixit, a reporter at BuzzFeed News based in India who has been covering this closely and brings us the perspective from the ground.
Feb 13, 2021
Will Amazon Be Kinder After Jeff Bezos? A Conversation With Recode's Jason Del Rey
Jeff Bezos is headed for the door at Amazon, and because 2021 is the craziest news year on record, we mostly haven’t stopped to consider this seismic story and what it means for the business world.  Joining us to discuss what Amazon looks like after Bezos is Jason Del Rey, a senior correspondent at Recode and author of a forthcoming book on Amazon’s battle with Walmart. Here's Jason's story on what to expect from incoming CEO Andy Jassy:
Feb 10, 2021
Glenn Greenwald on Substack, Content Moderation, and Joe Rogan
In January, I wrote a story for OneZero about the content moderation war in store for smaller social platforms like Clubhouse, Spotify, and Substack. As part of my reporting, I reached out to Glenn Greenwald, a strident voice against moderation who left The Intercept for Substack last year. While I'm not in lockstep with Greenwald ideologically, I wanted to hear his thoughts at length. This week’s Big Technology Podcast features my full conversation with Greenwald, where we discuss his move to Substack, the line between content moderation and censorship, and Joe Rogan. Story:
Feb 03, 2021
Emergency Podcast: The Story Behind Gamestop, A Conversation With Ranjan Roy of Margins
Ranjan Roy has documented the fundamental issues driving today's market volatility, from Zero Interest Rate Policy to the rise of Robinhood. He joins Big Technology Podcast for an emergency episode on the Gamestop madness, explaining the forces behind the surge.  You can read Margins here on Substack: And two specific articles we discuss:
Jan 29, 2021
The U.S. and Tech After Trump: A Conversation With the Realignment's Marshall Kosloff and Saagar Enjeti
Marshall Kosloff and Saagar Enjeti, hosts of the hit podcast The Realignment, speak about the shifting state of U.S. politics on their show each week. And while they focus on political change, they spend a surprising amount of time focusing on technology, recognizing the industry’s power. The two joined this week’s Big Technology Podcast to discuss how they see the U.S. political system realigning after Trump and what that will mean for the tech industry.
Jan 27, 2021
Under Biden, Bipartisan Vengeance On Social Media? A Conversation With Bradley Tusk
As Joe Biden takes office, big tech’s rough and tumble four years under Donald Trump will not come to an end. Democrats and Republicans, each for their own reasons, will now be looking to exact vengeance on the platforms. With some compromise, they may even get somewhere.  Bradley Tusk, a VC who works with startups facing regulatory hurdles, has a few thoughts about what regulation the tech giants may face. Tusk joins the Big Technology Podcast to break it all down, starting with a bold prediction and ending with some thoughts about Andrew Yang’s candidacy for New York Mayor, which he is advising.
Jan 20, 2021
Should Facebook and Twitter Have Banned Donald Trump? A Conversation With Ryan Mac of BuzzFeed News
Over the past week, both Facebook and Twitter suspended President Donald Trump’s account. These companies don’t take such aggressive action lightly, and it took Trump sending a mob toward the U.S. Capitol, which they eventually breached, to force the issue.  For years, BuzzFeed News senior reporter Ryan Mac and I have been watching these companies’ every move. Previously as colleagues at BuzzFeed. Ryan joined me this week on the Big Technology Podcast for a discussion on whether the social platforms’ moves were merited, where they go from here, and how he thinks about all the internal Facebook communication he’s obtained in his reporting. 
Jan 13, 2021
Does YouTube Radicalize? A Debate Between NYT's Kevin Roose and Software Engineer Mark Ledwich
In June 2019, New York Times reporter Kevin Roose wrote The Making of a YouTube Radical, a story about how a 26-year-old man, Caleb Cain, was radicalized through YouTube. For the story, Roose examined Cain’s entire YouTube history, and plotted the path he took toward radicalization. Software engineer and researcher Mark Ledwich took issue with the story, citing his own research and claiming the notion that YouTube could radicalize was a myth.   Instead of yelling at — and past — each other, Ledwich and Roose came together for a moderated debate on the Big Technology Podcast, where both stated their points of view, got a chance to respond to each other’s points, and ask each other questions.  Further reading: Kevin's story: Rabbit Hole podcast: Ledwich's story: Ledwich's research visualization:
Jan 06, 2021
Cult Deprogrammer Rick Alan Ross On NXIVM, QAnon, and What Makes Us Vulnerable
Community as we know it is in a state of decline. People today have fewer friendships than ever, they are lonelier than ever, and religious participation is at an all-time low, with 23% of people in the US declaring themselves as having no religion. Technology has played a big role in this decline in community, with most people preferring to sink into the internet instead of strengthening physical bonds. And with such a gaping hole in our lives, cults are filling the void. Joining us to discuss what's happening is Rick Alan Ross, the world's preeminent authority on cults and head of the Cult Education Institute. He recently appeared on HBO's The Vow, which examined NXIVM, a self-help organization-turned-sex cult.
Dec 23, 2020
Peloton Instructor Emma Lovewell on At-Home Fitness and Stadium-Sized Rides
With the pandemic forcing people to stay home for nearly 10 months now, many have turned to interactive fitness companies, such as Peloton, to stay active and perhaps fill a social void. Peloton has more than 3 million users, members are averaging 24 workouts per month, and this past September, the company announced its first profitable quarter. This week, it became more valuable than Ford Motor Company. Emma Lovewell, a full-time fitness instructor for Peloton, joins the Big Technology Podcast to discuss her experience working with the company, its explosive rise, and, yes, that Peloton ad.
Dec 16, 2020
Gary Vaynerchuk and TikTok’s Blake Chandlee on the ‘Ban’ and TikTok’s Future
TikTok is in a state of limbo as the U.S. government decides whether to ban it. In August, President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning the app from operating in its current form in the U.S. The order gave TikTok a 45-day deadline, but after a few extensions, we’re now in December, and TikTok is still running. As TikTok twists in the wind, Gary Vaynerchuk, owner of digital ad agency VaynerMedia, and Blake Chandlee, TikTok’s head of global business solutions, join the Big Technology Podcast in a recording at Web Summit to discuss the app’s present and future. 
Dec 09, 2020
Ex-Uber Chief Business Officer Emil Michael on Autonomous Driving, Saudi Arabia, and Uber’s Culture
Uber is facing a difficult moment amid the coronavirus pandemic. The service, built on the belief that people would forsake car ownership in favor of its ride hailing service, is watching many of its customers buy cars and stay home. The new trouble for Uber comes after the company worked to right itself after years of turbulence under ex-CEO Travis Kalanick’s leadership. Emil Michael, the former Uber chief business officer and confidant to Kalanick, joins the Big Technology Podcast to discuss Uber's business prospects, its culture, its current leadership, and its controversies.
Dec 02, 2020
Will the Government Break Up Instagram and Facebook? A Conversation With ‘No Filter’ Author Sarah Frier
The Federal Trade Commission is preparing an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, and Instagram is in its sights. The agency is poised to revisit Facebook’s 2012 acquisition of the popular mobile app, and a long fight may await. Bloomberg reporter Sarah Frier wrote the most in-depth account of Facebook’s Instagram acquisition in her April 2020 book No Filter. She joins the Big Technology Podcast to tell the story of what happened and what may be in store next.
Nov 25, 2020
Investor, Activist Swati Mylavarapu: Tech World Must “Get Uncomfortable” With Its Impact On Society
Swati Mylavarapu is a tech investor and activist who spent $2 million in the 2020 election cycle on Democratic causes, in partnership with her husband, Nest co-founder Matt Rogers. Mylavarapu isn’t your typical Silicon Valley investor. She’ll explicitly admit that the tech industry has some culpability in the hollowing out of the middle of our economy, delivering wealth to the few while leaving the rest in a tough spot. She also served as Pete Buttigeg’s national finance chair in the 2020 Democratic primaries, playing a key role in his surprising upstart campaign.  Mylavarapu joined the Big Technology Podcast fresh off a bout with Covid-19 to discuss the tech industry’s role in our society, and how it can be a force for good moving forward. 
Nov 18, 2020
Homebrew VC Hunter Walk Talks Twitter, TikTok, and Tech in the Time of Biden
During Donald Trump’s presidency, tech products became explicitly political. Operatives from both sides picked apart their algorithms and features, examining how they shaped society’s beliefs. And the companies, meanwhile, made choices about what parts of the administration they’d work with. Hunter Walk, who spent nearly a decade at Google and is now a partner at Homebrew, has watched the evolutions firsthand. He joins the Big Technology Podcast to discuss tech’s impact on politics and where it goes next under a Joe Biden presidency. 
Nov 11, 2020
Election Results Breakdown With The Daily Beast Editor In Chief Noah Shachtman
As the election results come in, Noah Shachtman, the editor in chief of The Daily Beast, joins the Big Technology Podcast for an 'Emergency' show to dive into the results, the future of the Democratic Party, and how the tech platforms handled the election. Recorded on 11/4/2020.
Nov 04, 2020
Lincoln Project Co-Founder Steve Schmidt: “The Pro-Democracy Side Of This Argument Cannot Be Gentle”
When Steve Schmidt was a senior advisor on John McCain’s campaign in 2008, Twitter was a curiosity. Now, he and a number of former Republican establishment members are using social media deftly to make the case against President Trump with the Lincoln Project. Their anti-Trump ads seem to go viral at least once a week, and may indeed influence the outcome of the election. Schmidt, a Lincoln Project cofounder, joins the Big Technology Podcast to discuss the evolution of the Republican Party since the McCain days, and how social media is changing politics. 
Oct 28, 2020
Google Protest Leader Meredith Whittaker on the Future of Tech Activism and the Deep Flaws of ‘The Social Dilemma’
When I interviewed Tristan Harris about The Social Dilemma earlier this month, my mentions filled with people saying, "You should speak to the people who were critical of the social web long before the film.” One name, Meredith Whittaker, stood out. An A.I. researcher and former big tech employee, Whittaker helped lead Google’s walkout in 2018 amid a season of activism inside the company. On this edition of the Big Technology Podcast, we spoke not only about her views on the film, but of the future of workplace activism inside tech companies in a moment where some are questioning if it belongs at all.
Oct 21, 2020
Emergency Podcast: Department of Justice vs. Google with Yelp's Luther Lowe
The U.S. Department of Justice filed suit against Google on Tuesday, alleging the company unlawfully maintained a monopoly in search and search advertising. The antitrust action was the most significant since the DOJ's case against Microsoft, and is sure to send ripples through Silicon Valley where Facebook, Apple, and Amazon will be paying close attention since they might be next. To talk about what it all means, Yelp's senior vice president of public policy Luther Lowe joined the Big Technology Podcast on extremely short notice. Lowe has been pushing the case against Google forward for years, and his on the ground perspective can help shed light on what's at stake and what comes next.
Oct 20, 2020
New York Times’ Ben Smith Talks Slack, Newsroom Politics, And Tech Regulation
As the Media Equation columnist at The New York Times, Ben Smith is covering an industry going through transformation and turbulence. And as the former editor in chief of BuzzFeed News — a place I worked until this June — he lived that change while managing a newsroom of reporters who lived online in a VC funded media company.    In this week’s edition of the Big Technology Podcast, I caught up with Smith for a discussion focused on how tech is changing journalism, what media companies can do to connect with people that have shut them out, and where big tech regulation may lead.
Oct 14, 2020
Netflix's 'Social Dilemma' Star Tristan Harris on the Film and Its Criticisms
You won’t find a more controversial film in Silicon Valley than The Social Dilemma. The film, now available on Netflix, features confessions from early consumer internet employees who rue the destruction their inventions have wrought.    To address the film and its critiques, Tristan Harris, its star and the co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology, sat down for an interview on the Big Technology Podcast with no questions off limits. 
Oct 07, 2020
Reporter Roundtable: Discussing Media Narratives and Tech Industry Attacks On The Press
When the Big Technology Podcast debuted last month, The Verge’s Casey Newton joined to talk about why people can’t stand the tech press. Our wide-ranging discussion explored how tech reporters should be more upfront about their values, how algorithms and social media reframe their work, and why some go astray in the quest for retweets. But there was more to discuss.  This week, three talented reporters—Bloomberg’s Eric Newcomer, the Financial Times’ Hannah Murphy, and OneZero’s Brian Merchant—join the show to pick up where Newton left off. 
Sep 30, 2020
Why Venture Capitalists Are Mad, With Bloomberg Beta Venture Capitalist Roy Bahat
Venture capitalists, founders, and others in the tech industry are feeling pretty raw these days. Once admired as upstarts fighting the status quo, they now feel under siege, under attack for the negative things their products do without being appreciated for how they improve our lives. Bloomberg Beta head Roy Bahat, a veteran venture capitalist, joins the Big Technology Podcast for a nuanced conversation about what's going with the tech world, how it's innovation may be connected to its problems, and how it should handle the criticism.
Sep 23, 2020
An Inside Look At China’s Internment of Muslims, with BuzzFeed News’ Megha Rajagopalan
China’s mass internment of Muslims in its Xinjiang region is one of the world's most under-covered stories The country has detained one million people there, putting them through a “re-education” program meant to erase their language and culture, sometimes through forced labor and sterilization. Though comprehensive, on-the-ground reporting from Xinjiang is sparse, BuzzFeed News reporter Megha Rajagopalan has been on the story from the beginning. She joins the podcast to discuss her reports from Xinjiang itself, and how she worked with BuzzFeed contributors to monitor the internment camps using satellite imagery, finding that they are expanding.
Sep 16, 2020
Apple At A Crossroads: An Interview With GV Partner M.G. Siegler
For years, Apple had a clear identity: It was the world’s best devices maker. Today, the company is trying to balance that identity with a new emphasis on software and services. To discuss this shift and what it means for Apple’s future, I sat down with my favorite Apple writer, GV Partner M.G. Siegler, who once covered the company for Techcrunch and continues to write about it on Medium while still working his day job.
Sep 09, 2020
Box CEO Aaron Levie on Trump, the Tech Giants, and the Stock Market
As the pandemic flattens much of the U.S. economy, many technology firms are doing just fine. Business is moving online, and they’re well positioned to benefit. For tech CEOs like Box’s Aaron Levie, the experience can be bewildering. While you’re riding a wave most companies can only dream about, you’re watching the rest of the economy — including many of your customers — struggle to get by. In this conversation, Levie says this economy is “not sustainable,” and offers a look into his mindset as he tries to make sense of where this is all heading.
Sep 02, 2020
“It Just Felt Wrong.” Ex-Amazon VP Tim Bray On Why He Left
In May, Amazon VP and distinguished engineer Tim Bray said he was leaving the company. Amazon had just fired employees who spoke out against its working conditions, and Bray couldn’t tolerate it. He handed in his resignation and published an astonishing blog post detailing his decision—an unprecedented move for an executive inside the tech giants. “I choose neither to serve nor drink that poison," he wrote. By listening to Bray, we can learn a bit more about how people inside the tech giants view their power, and how they might drive change as Congress and regulators stand still.
Aug 26, 2020
Is the Tech Press Bad? With The Verge's Casey Newton
The Verge's Casey Newton writes The Interface, a daily newsletter about social media and democracy. He joins the podcast to talk about the tech press, Facebook, and the newsletter life.
Aug 19, 2020
From Gezi Park to Black Lives Matter, with Zeynep Tufekci
Social media-fueled protests are a force to be reckoned with in politics today. Movements like Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring, and Black Lives Matter have drawn millions into the streets in protest of central authorities. But can these movements be effective in the long term? Alex sits down with the field's leading writer and researcher, Zeynep Tufekci, to talk it through.
Aug 19, 2020
Introducing Big Technology Podcast with Alex Kantrowitz
Here's a little preview of what's coming your way on the Big Technology Podcast. Don't miss the BTP, subscribe today!
Jul 09, 2020