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Business Casual

Business Casual

Author: Morning Brew

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

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

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

This is Business Casual.

22 Episodes
Did you have yesterday off from work? If you didn’t, we’re sorry. But even if you did, chances are you still answered a few emails, checked a few Slacks, and furrowed your brow thinking about all the things you’ve got to catch up on this morning. But what if work...didn’t have to be like that? This week on Morning Brew’s Business Casual podcast, we tear apart how work came to rule our lives—and what some in the business world are doing to fix it. Basecamp CEO, remote work enthusiast, and Bezos-approved founder Jason Fried explains why today’s idea of a work/life balance isn’t doing us any favors. Plus…How Silicon Valley’s ideas of “move fast and break things” broke the wrong thingsHow venture capital puts companies in “pressure cookers”And how tech could change the notion of 9–5Listen and let us know what you think.
For corporations, not everything about getting together is Russell Stover chocolates and long-stemmed roses. So to celebrate the Brew’s Merger Week (keep reading for today’s big piece)...Today on Business Casual: Axios Business Editor and author of the Pro Rata newsletter Dan Primack explains why mergers and acquisitions happen...and why they don’t.In addition to figuring out what today’s M&A means for bull market health, in the episode we...Navigate where the biggest red flags are for today’s megadeals, from unpredictable antitrust regulation to political nationalism to the 2020 electionDetermine the next big space for consolidationParse out the logistics of some of the most outlandish deals the internet’s dreamt up (looking at you, Apple/Tesla)Plus, Primack explains what options are left for Harry’s now that the FTC sued to block Edgewell’s acquisition of the razor maker—and then called off the deal. (FYI, this was recorded riiiight before Edgewell pulled the plug.)
Maybe you’re the kind of person who holds your plank an extra 15 seconds during 6am HIIT class (showoff). Maybe you need a full day to recover from 20 minutes on the elliptical.Either way, this one likely applies to you: tech obsession. The zeitgeist’s current fixation with new-wave, at-home, tech-enabled fitness is changing the way we define success, both in terms of personal health goals and in terms of happy business endings (read: IPOs).This week on Business Casual, we talk to Mirror CEO Brynn Putnam to understand exactly how tech’s influence on today’s fitness startups is impacting the business world. Brynn explains…What about the at-home fitness business model worksHow good tech and smart engineering can scale the unscalableWhy every company is fighting for a tech valuation, even if it doesn’t deserve oneOne parting idea: Putnam thinks in-home fitness streaming devices can become the next iPhone. Do you?
In five short days on Super Bowl Sunday, Americans will split into two distinct categories: those of us watching for the commercials and liars.Half kidding. But whatever your reason for tuning in, you’re supporting a massive revenue generating business when you watch the Super Bowl—ads during this year’s game sold out in November for prices up to $5.6 million per 30-second spot. And the Patriots aren’t even playing.This week on Morning Brew’s weekly Business Casual podcast, we tackle the massive business beast that is the National Football League. Famed NFL analyst and exec Michael Lombardi explains the ins and outs of the NFL as a business, including…Super Bowl hype sustainabilityInternational expansionLegalized sports bettingAnd the biggest threats to profitabilityEven if you didn’t play Pop Warner, you went to a D3 school, or you’re really only watching the Super Bowl so you can eat 13 wings without being judged, you’ll learn something from Lombardi’s episode.
Look—we all have goals. For some of us, that goal is not lying when we tell the dentist we floss 2x a week. For others, it’s getting a 183-year-old consumer goods giant to buy our 2.5-year-old company for $100 million.Moiz Ali belongs in the “others” category. As the founder of natural personal care (read: deodorant) brand Native, he brokered the kind of deal young startups only dream of when Procter & Gamble bought his company. But once the ink dried on the contract, the hard work began.This week on Morning Brew’s Business Casual podcast, Moiz takes us on a guided tour of the acquisition process—how to stand out, how to keep your head down, and how to make a graceful exit.Even if you aren’t shopping your growing business for billionaire buyers, this episode has something for you:How to communicate any message with the right audience (and not blow your $$)How to persevere when the odds are stacked against youAnd a whole lot moreFYI: When you make it to the end of the episode, you’ll be looking for a very specific link pertaining to Moiz’s daily routine. Here’s that link.FYI x2: Make sure you subscribe to Business Casual and leave us a rating + review on your platform of choice.
You know what happens when you assume: you make an investment mistake. So why are so many startup founders and everyday investors assuming today’s endless well of venture capital is...actually endless?This week on Morning Brew’s weekly podcast, Business Casual, Union Square Ventures managing partner Rebecca Kaden explains that, even though venture as a whole is armed with more capital than ever before, “nerves are spiking and we know change is coming.”But what does that change look like? When the change does come, where’s the opportunity in a venture-funded world packed with potential WeWorks? And what are the long-term implications of today’s multibillion-dollar private check-writing?In this episode, Kaden explains. Plus, we...Determine why the inherent risk of venture capital is so misconceived by the marketExplain why recessions are good for venture capitalists and bad for youCompare and contrast our economic predictions with those of Juicy J.Don’t miss it. While you’re here, subscribe to Business Casual and leave us a rating and review.
“Best always wins. But first is a great place to be.” “Build brand and bring value. And you basically karma and guilt people into doing business with you.”“If you’re a winner, you’re unemotional about where you market.”There’s only one person who would say all of that in the span of a half-hour: Gary Vaynerchuk, entrepreneur, branding expert, and serial angel investor.And this week on Morning Brew’s weekly podcast Business Casual, Gary V opens up about everything, from brand building (both personally and for your business) to managing an unwarranted reputation to cherry picking the next big thing in marketing. Plus...How exactly some companies are “putting dollars in the trash”What the next “most underpriced asset in the world” is (hint: it’s not traded on any exchange)And how even the worst internet trolls add valueSome people call Gary V an inspiration. Some people call Gary V a snake oil salesman.
This week on Morning Brew’s weekly podcast, Business Casual, we explore the inner workings of direct-to-consumer (DTC) retail with two of the best in the business: Zak Normandin, CEO of Iris Nova, and Nik Sharma, the strategist dubbed “The DTC Bro.”But this episode is about so much more than every suitcase, toothbrush, and mattress company’s effort to become a “lifestyle” brand (even though we cover that, too).We dive deep into the idea of conversational commerce—aka utilizing text messaging to create a more sincere 1-1 relationship with the consumer. Zak and Nik explain how an influx of venture capital funding in DTC retail can be a net negative on the space.We explain what “cutting out the middleman” actually means for retailers and for customers.After all, DTC accounts for 40% of e-commerce sales growth in consumer goods. to say this movement is going anywhere. Don’t you want to know the ins and outs from the brightest in the business?Want to text Nik? You can reach him at 917-905-2340.
Where were you 10 years ago? Morning Brew’s managing editor, Neal Freyman, was trolling Duke basketball players as a college freshman at the University of Maryland. But oh, how times have changed.This week on Morning Brew’s weekly podcast Business Casual, Neal joins host and fellow Brew editorial team member Kinsey Grant to discuss a decade’s worth of trends, themes, and breaking news in the business world. And after years of writing your daily Brew newsletter, Neal has seen a thing or two. In the episode, Neal covers...The rise of tech and how it’s impacted our interpersonal relationships, from Facebook to Fortnite.Amazon’s stealth mode world takeover.How his bar mitzvah money is doing in the longest ever U.S. bull market.You don’t want to miss this episode, especially if you’ve ever wanted a peek inside how the Brew covers everything in business, from the student loan crisis to Beyoncé’s greatest hits.Check out the rest of our decade in review coverage here.
What was the first thing you looked at when you woke up this morning? Chances are, it was a product from Facebook, Twitter, Google, or Apple. But who makes the rules for the very exclusive Big Tech club running our lives, from how we eat to when we travel to what we buy?This week on Morning Brew’s weekly podcast, Business Casual, we figure it out. Kara Swisher, who co-founded Recode and has been covering tech for as long as there’s been tech to cover, sits down in a wide-ranging conversation on tech ethics, futurism, and more.Some highlights:What company wins the title of “rapacious data thief”Elon Musk and the future of the mad scientist CEOWhy Uber’s top leadership might be misunderstoodAs Silicon Valley’s resident kingmaker, Swisher ranks as one of Business Casual’s most outspoken guests yet, and she pulls no punches explaining just how cleverly Big Tech fooled us when they said they’d do no evil.Check out the answer to this week's trivia here.
Like building something from Ikea or responding to an “are you in the right headspace to receive information that could possibly hurt you” text, getting insurance can be complicated. But does it need to be?This week on Business Casual, we hear the argument that it does not. Lemonade CEO Daniel Schreiber suggests the traditional broker-based insurance business model is “fundamentally and structurally” flawed.Because when there exists a misalignment of incentives that egregious (insurer and insuree fighting for the same dollar), we’ve got no choice but to fire off those “it’s so ducking annoying” messages to the group chat after making a claim.Schreiber wants to reinstate insurance in the realm of social goods. To do that, he’s leaning hard into technology, behavioral economics, and 100x the data of traditional insurers. Hear Schreiber’s theses on the promise of the insurance sector, the future of the IPO market for tech startups, and what it’s like to know Masayoshi Son on a first-name basis.P.S. Did you stick around to the end? This week’s trivia: Rank these insurance types by market size—health insurance, auto insurance, home and renter’s insurance, life insurance, and disability insurance. Check for the answer today on my Twitter.
A few weeks back, Apple came under fire for allegedly deploying biased algorithms to determine credit limits for its Apple Card. Some women were given lower spending limits than male counterparts (counterparts who made less money or even had worse credit).We don’t have to be the ones to tell you that’s a problem, but...that’s a problem. There is a gender gap in tech, and that gender gap leads to worse products for everyone. So...This week on Morning Brew’s weekly podcast Business Casual, we pick apart how that gender gap came to be, how it’s affecting the bottom line, and why the whole of society should care. To explain it all, Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code.Boiling it down: You’ve read the stories of gender bias, sexual harassment, and more at companies like Google, Uber, etc. And those stories tend to sink stock prices. So even if you’re not a woman, your Robinhood account could suffer if tech companies don’t get their diversity initiatives in check.
Let’s face it, no matter how many times you’ve unsuccessfully explained to your mom what bitcoin is, you probably don’t even *really* know yourself. Throw words like distributed ledger technology, initial coin offering, and blockchain in? Yeah, no.So this week on Morning Brew’s weekly podcast, Business Casual, we’re breaking down everything crypto—from bitcoin’s $20,000 ride to Facebook’s misadventures in “reinventing money and transforming the global economy.”Because crypto memes are big, but crypto’s lasting impacts on the future of the worldwide financial system could be bigger.Is bitcoin really the favored currency of the black market, and if so...does that matter?Can Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook deliver on their promises of a new digital currency with the Libra project, and if so...can we trust it?Is “blockchain tech” really just overhype, and if so...why do we still fall for the headline every time?To answer it all, Business Casual speaks with Arianna Simpson of Autonomous Partners, an investment fund focused on crypto and digital assets.Follow @KinseyGrant and @AriannaSimpson on Twitter
It’s been a big week for TikTok. The social video app reportedly passed 1.5 billion downloads worldwide, putting it ahead of both Facebook and Instagram. It started testing online shopping in the U.S. It’s under the microscope in D.C. as a Chinese-owned entity.And now, it’s getting the Business Casual treatment. This week on Morning Brew’s weekly podcast, we attempt to understand TikTok—what makes it work, why it blew up, and how companies are making money off of it.Because TikTok isn’t like Facebook or Google, the de facto demigods of social media advertising. According to viral TikTok superstar Spencer X (follower count: 9.8 million), TikTok’s got a few competitive advantages that have Zuck shaking.Spencer X tells us...a) how TikTok has made live streaming work in both theory and practice b) what brands are best suited to monetize TikTok and c) why influencer marketing is a force to be reckoned with.
Int. Morning Brew office, content team weekly check-in:[Writer 1] Question: What kind of streaming service is best?[Writer 2] That’s a ridiculous question.[Writer 1] False. Black bear.Any fan of The Office recognizes that reference. And any fan of business news knows the streaming wars are in the process of fundamentally changing the way you get your Dunder Mifflin fix, or any other media for that matter.Today on Morning Brew’s weekly podcast, Business Casual, we’re picking apart precisely what’s made the streaming wars just that—wars, from Disney to Netflix, Apple to Amazon. How do subscriber counts, ad dollars, and content spend equate to small, individual battles, each with winners and losers? Matt Ball, verified media guru and former global head of strategy for Amazon Studios, has the answers. Plus...How Amazon has impacted the media landscape.When we’ll be able to declare who owns the future of streaming.Why Netflix is still the streamer to beat.
What would you do if you’d just raised a $100 million investment fund? If you’re Ben Sun, co-founder and general partner at NY-based Primary Venture Partners, you don’t hop a Blade whenever you’re craving an iced coffee from the Golden Pear in Easthampton. You make sure small startups with big ideas get the money they need to succeed.This week on Business Casual, Sun explains the ins and outs of venture capital—and how exactly the U.S. VC scene has managed to do $100 billion in investing this year.What’s that? You want an idea of what Sun talks about in the episode? Because he’s had a crazy successful career in serial entrepreneurship and investing? Fine…Why profitability only matters sometimes. Hint: Jeff Bezos.The SoftBank effect. Has Masayoshi Son put a chill on venture capital, or has he been the rising tide that lifts all ships?How venture capital thrives in a recession. It has a lot to do with weeding out the weaklings.Don’t wait another minute. Listen to the episode now.Follow me on Twitter @KinseyGrant
You knew it was coming. It’s time for Morning Brew’s weekly podcast, Business Casual, to jump right into the belly of the beast: the U.S.-China trade war.What we know: So far, the U.S. has imposed tariffs on about $360 billion worth of Chinese imports, while China has put levies on about $110 billion worth of U.S. goods.What we don’t know: Everything else.That’s why this week, we’re bringing in the Chairman of the Twitter Federal Reserve and CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management, Josh Brown. Remember all those piping hot takes about Big Tech a few episodes back? Josh is bringing even more heat this episode.A small sampling of what you’ll get re: the U.S.-China trade war this episode...Finally, an answer to the age old question: what came first, the trade war headline or the stock market meltdown? A real-world example to show who pays for tariffs, really. An explanation for how President Trump and Jerome Powell became oil and water. And so much more.
You know what the right thing to do is...but can you act on it? Today on Morning Brew’s podcast Business Casual, Ellevest co-founder and CEO Sallie Krawcheck is tackling one of the biggest questions in business: workplace diversity.As Krawcheck sees it, we’ve read enough studies proving a more diverse workplace yields higher returns for investors (15% higher, per recent reports). Now, it’s time to do something about the pay gaps, investing gaps, savings gaps, and more that hold top talent back. In this episode of Business Casual, Krawcheck also explains…What companies and CEOs are doing things rightWhy women-founded startups (think The Wing, Outdoor Voices, Glossier) are thrivingWhy impact investing doesn’t mean sacrificing returnsShe knows what she’s talking about: Prior to building Ellevest, Krawcheck was CEO of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, CEO of Citi Wealth Management, and CEO at Smith Barney.
While MySpace was busy ruining friendships in the early aughts, Facebook was readying to upend life as we know it. Knotel CEO Amol Sarva thinks his flexible workspace platform is the Facebook to WeWork’s MySpace.This week on Business Casual, we’re getting into the nitty gritty of flexible space and the future of work. Sarva isn’t afraid to name names...and cast doubt on WeWork’s financials.More high points from the conversation:Sarva explains the difficulties of cauterizing “ethical rot” vs. “financial rot.”.He makes a case for celebrating the coming recession. Sarva argues that despite how capital intensive real estate is, flexible office space will thrive when things go south.For anyone looking to optimize your life—Sarva’s point about why we don’t build our own iPhones is for you.In addition to out-Zuckerberging WeWork, Sarva 1) got his Ph.D. in cognitive science at Stanford 2) co-founded Virgin Mobile USA and 3) uses both “Faustian” and “schadenfreude” in the you know you’re going to learn something.
Trends come and go, but lunch is forever. Unless you’re Samantha Wasser, founder of the plant-based and vegan restaurant chain by CHLOE. In that case, trends are forever, too.This week on Business Casual, Wasser explains exactly how making the most of food trends and taking the “polar opposite” approach of most vegan restaurants helped her fledgling salad shop grow to an international chain with an enviable Instagram following. And really good tempeh patties.But this is Business Casual, and Business Casual is about more than tempeh patties. Wasser explains why a boom in business for plant-based meats like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods is good for all restaurateurs hoping to get more sustainable.What else is on tap in this episode? Tips and tricks to optimize your phone eats first attitude. An argument in favor of sweating the small stuff. How to pitch venture capital on the long-shunned restaurant space, massive capital investments and all. And three letters: CBD.Sign up for Morning Brew here:
Comments (5)

Bicycle World

The fake news is not bull shit! CNN will report on a take then retract it when the truth comes out. Take James Comey now he's backpedaling over the recent Senate testimony saying "I made a mistake". What's CNN's take on it now?

Dec 17th
Reply (3)

Nana Yaw Sasu Appiah-Miracle

I'm really excited about this! Can't wait to hear what you have lined up

Sep 20th
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