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Business Casual

Business Casual

Author: Morning Brew

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Morning Brew’s Kinsey Grant sits down with the biggest names in business and asks them the questions you’d want to ask yourself. From VCs and DTC to streaming and social media, Kinsey explores the stories behind the headlines you’re reading. Swap your coffee for a beer, swap your eyes for your ears, and join us—you know the dress code.

107 Episodes
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At what point does “participating in a new format” turn into “stealing an idea?” In the world of Big Tech, the line is incredibly fine.And given that we’ve deemed Big Tech the arbiters of morality in the modern business world, their decisions to borrow, steal, or innovate are incredibly impactful. What happens to entrepreneurship and innovation in a world that rarely gives credit where it’s due?That’s what we’re getting to the bottom of today with Casey Newton, writer of the Platformer newsletter and expert on the intersection of Big Tech and democracy.This is an important episode—Big Tech steals ideas from smaller upstarts in part as a means of insulation from competitive threats...because Facebook, as influential as it might be, has no guarantee of immortality. Don’t miss Casey’s insights.
You know I’m right—a Story on Snap is acutely different from one on Instagram or a Fleet on Twitter. If you post a story on Facebook, you’re due for a wellness check. And don’t even get me started on LinkedIn’s bid for ephemeral content. The “story” format is one all of Big Tech has tried in some way or another since Snap pioneered it back in 2013...and it’s the perfect example of Big Tech propensity for ripping off small competitors’ winning features to insulate themselves from future threats. But how is all of this knocking-off legal? Why don’t our antitrust regulators keep it from happening? And what does it mean for startup innovation if Big Tech just steals an idea as soon as it catches on?That’s what we’re talking about today with Patrick Spence, CEO of cult-favorite smart speaker company Sonos. He knows a thing or two (especially since he’s actively in a legal battle with Google over its alleged infringement on Sonos’s patents).Listen now for a look at Big Tech like you’ve never seen it before.
We’ve applied long-held principles of technology startups to industries across the board, from adult entertainment to transportation to retail. How come we can’t take the best the tech world has to offer and use it to improve our mental healthcare system?It’s high time we do just that. Today, get an in-depth understanding of the roles entrepreneurship, cutting-edge technology, and user experience can play in disrupting our deeply broken mental healthcare system in the U.S.And do it with Ariela Safira, founder and CEO of therapy startup Real. She’ll explain the impact the coronavirus has had on our mental health and why we can’t waste any time rethinking our traditional expectations of therapy in a post-Covid world.If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health, we encourage you to seek out professional help or find resources from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Young companies attempting to address our crippling mental health epidemic face a barrage of hurdles businesses with more traditional pursuits don’t—namely mass stigmatization and a serious lack of education around the core pain point they’re solving for: mental health issues.But where there’s white space, there are founders seeking to fill it. And investors seeking to arm them with the most tools possible. Mental health and addiction recovery are no exception. Today on Business Casual, get a better understanding of mental health as both an industry and a journey from Stephen Hays, founder of What If Ventures (a fund focused on investing in early stage mental health and addiction recovery startups).If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health, we encourage you to seek out professional help or find resources from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
It’s easy to buy something in a store—all it takes is the tap of a smartphone and you’re done. How come, then, buying things online is still such a clunky experience?Today on Business Casual, we’re investigating why online retail has been so slow to innovate with Domm Holland, co-founder and CEO of Fast (aka “world’s fastest online login and checkout platform”). Because unless retailers can learn to try new tech things, they’ll lose customers to the dreaded cart abandonment.And that has major repercussions. Listen to this episode to understand why.Check out more about Remote Works
For an economy that’s almost constantly buying things, we sure have a lot of struggling retailers. That’s due to a confluence of factors, not the least of which are a saturated field of competitors and a finicky consumer.Recently, though, retail has landed in something of a promised land with e-commerce. Our propensity to shop online has been the saving grace for IRL sellers put out by Covid-19 shutdowns. But can our inclination toward online shopping stick around?That’s what we’re asking this week on Business Casual in a deep dive into e-commerce: how the industry’s biggest players are innovating, why it matters for our economy as a whole, and what comes next in an uncertain holiday shopping season. Today’s guest: Etsy CEO Josh Silverman.
Check out the first episode of Morning Brew's podcast with Fidelity, Fresh Invest.Morning Brew’s CEO, Alex Lieberman, is many things: A founder, a media mogul (his words), and as of late, a young investor with a lot of questions. So he’s sitting down with the best and brightest from Fidelity to tackle some of the biggest questions on the minds of young investors today. From market shifts to the future of work, these conversations break down the current financial climate, what it means to you as an investor, and actionable steps you can take when it comes to managing your money.
You might not know it, but the video gaming industry has long been the harbinger of life-changing, widespread tech we almost always take for granted.Now that the gaming industry has gone all in on metaverses—the alternate realities built online complete with social experiences and their own economies—what does it mean for the future of consumer tech? If you’ve ever pondered a future in which your online life is just as rich and fulfilled as your IRL one...which it probably will be in due time...listen to this episode with gaming expert and consumer tech investor Ethan Kurzweil, partner at Bessemer.This is a good one. Don’t miss it.Check out more about Remote Works
By some estimates, there will be about 3 billion gamers worldwide by 2023. For comparison, Netflix has 170 million subscribers globally.It’s clear: Gaming is the streaming wars winner we’re not talking about. In our attention economy, video games have virtually endless potential to keep us enraptured. But the business models and tech standards that have long governed the gaming world are in flux.Listen to today’s episode with Larry Hryb, Director of Programming for Microsoft’s Xbox Live, for a complete picture of how the gaming space has shifted with its consumers, why competition matters and doesn’t matter, and when next-gen tech will start infiltrating your life, gamer or not.
Like any gold rush opportunity, legal marijuana will have fewer success stories than it will tales of failure. So how do we determine which entrepreneurs might come out on top?That’s one of the questions we’re answering on this episode of Business Casual with Bruce Linton, ex-CEO of Canopy Growth Corporation and one of the most widely regarded cannabis entrepreneurs around.If you’ve ever wanted to know more about the importance of marijuana regulation for consumers and entrepreneurs, decipher what makes a good or bad cannabis business opportunity, or—stick with us here—understand how the nascent marijuana industry isn’t all that different from Amazon...this episode is for you.Plus, you’ll hear what Bruce considers the “single worst economic advantage provided to U.S. entrepreneurs in the last hundred years.”Check out more about Remote Works
We’re all but certain that recreational adult-use marijuana will become legal in all 50 states at some point. We’re not sure when...but we are sure there’s money to be made on the inevitable.Who makes that money, though, is another question entirely. Will it be small marijuana startups that have cornered one small, specific part of the market? Will it be major multinational corporations that got in on cannabis early with paradigm-shifting investments? Will it be both?That’s what we’re taking on in this episode with Karan Wadhera, managing partner at Casa Verde Capital.If you’re seeking an insightful guide to the legal weed world, chock full of predictions for profitability, look no further. We’ve got you.
Rethinking the entire economic paradigm of any country would be almost impossibly difficult. Try to do it in the midst of a dual recession and pandemic, and you’re facing unbeatable odds.But the truth of the matter is that we’re inching closer to thinking the deficit actually doesn’t matter each day here in the U.S., especially after Congress passed enormous stimulus to keep Americans afloat with alarmingly few chirps of “who pays for it.”Last episode, we learned about the effort to debunk the deficit myth. This time around, we’re talking about how realistic or unrealistic that mindset shift really is with Kai Ryssdal, famed radio journalist and host of Marketplace and Make Me Smart.Listen if you want an honest conversation about inflation, a jobs guarantee, monetary vs. fiscal policy, wealth inequality...and how only some economic indicators matter in a year as unprecedented as this one.
Who pays for it? It’s a question you hear all the time, especially when we’re talking about trillions of dollars in government spending.And with the U.S. government operating at a $3.1 trillion deficit in 2020, it’s an especially relevant question. But more and more, economists are beginning to wonder if it’s worth asking. Since the U.S. issues its own currency, does it need to bother thinking about who foots the bill?That’s what we’re exploring today on the show with Stephanie Kelton, professor, economist, author of The Deficit Myth, and face of the modern monetary theory movement.You might not agree with what Stephanie has to say...but she’ll certainly give you some food for thought. Listen now.
We know there’s an ungodly amount of money tied up in politics, much of it collected in the campaign finance stage. What we often don’t know is where it comes from and what its aims are.What if we could shift the way we interpret and regulate campaign spending? That kind of shift might just root out deep-seated corruption in our electoral process...according, at least, to today’s guest: Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard Law professor who ran for president in 2016 on a campaign finance reform platform.You don’t want to miss this one. You might not agree with Lessig’s unorthodox ideas of campaign finance reform...but I guarantee his views will make you think differently.
How often do you think the biggest spender wins the election here in the U.S.? Would you be surprised to find out it’s 88.5% of the time in the House and 82.9% of the time in the Senate?Far more often than not, the best fundraiser wins. As a result, campaign finance stateside has exploded in recent years to records we could scarcely imagine. Where does the money come from, where is it going, and how has it impacted our democratic process?That’s what we’re answering today with Sheila Krumholz, executive director for the Center for Responsive Politics, the organization behind OpenSecrets.Listen for an honest, nonpartisan account of how money begets influence in politics. There’s never been a better time to learn about the relationship than now.
For decades, we’ve assumed geographic proximity to other innovators was a prerequisite for innovation—to change the world, you need to be in a coastal tech hub like NYC or Silicon Valley. You know what happens when we assume.Today on Business Casual, you’ll hear from Steve Case, the co-founder and former CEO of AOL who cofounded the investment firm Revolution, which funds startups from non-coastal states. Case, who’s practically entrepreneurial royalty in the tech industry, argues that funding innovators outside our coastal hubs begets more economic success for more people.Listen for an insightful and analytical temperature check of the ways our assumptions hold us back and an honest proposition for how we change them. 
You’re going to need more than a good idea to become the next Jeff Bezos. It takes resources, information, connections, talent, and so much more to win...and even just to survive year one. So where do those resources come from? And who gets access to them? That’s what we’re talking about today on Business Casual with Michael Seibel, partner at Y Combinator and CEO of the YC startup accelerator program. Aka principal of Silicon Valley’s unicorn finishing school.If you want 1) an honest look at how the cards are stacked in entrepreneurship and 2) the tl;dr on what it takes to catch the eye of the wealthiest backers in tech and beyond, listen to this episode.Want to keep up with Kinsey over email? Sign up here: businesscasual.fm/signup.
By the end of April of this year, women’s job losses had erased a decade of employment gains...in a matter of months. The numbers for people of color are no less disheartening. But why? How did we end up in a recession so deeply skewed against already marginalized groups? Let’s figure it out with Dr. C. Nicole Mason, president and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.If you’re wondering 1) how we created an economic system capable of discrimination 2) why marginalized groups are suffering most right now and 3) what this all means for efforts to shrink gender and racial pay gaps...listen to this episode. Want to keep up with Kinsey over email? Sign up here: businesscasual.fm/signup.
Every recession causes its economic fractures in different ways. This one has disproportionately wrecked the service economy...and along with it, the young workers, women, and people of color who make it tick.Listen to today’s episode with NYT econ reporter Eduardo Porter for an honest understanding of how we ended up in this recession, who stands to lose the most, and how we stage a recovery.Want to keep up with Kinsey over email? Sign up here: businesscasual.fm/signup.
Technology in its endless forms has given us so much—fire to make food, language to communicate feelings, and iPhones to look at in the bathroom. But for each of these technology-enabled pros, there’s a technology-enabled con.So how do we make sure that technology is used more for good than for bad? For starters, we focus on the ways the public and private sectors are working to ensure inevitable bad actors are kept in check. It’s a joint effort, and it has to be—especially as high tech like artificial intelligence learns to mimic and outperform human decision making.To help us get to the bottom of a complicated, interesting, nuanced idea, I’m welcoming to Business Casual Kevin Roose, tech columnist for the New York Times.Kevin brings up a lot of mind-boggling questions...but he’s quick with an answer, too. Some thought starters from the interview:Where’s the real danger in tech? It might be a little less apocalyptic and a little more pedestrian than you think.What would our biggest tech firms look like if they’d been created in China, Myanmar, Brazil, or anywhere else in the world? Different.Listen now.Want to keep up with Kinsey over email? Sign up here: businesscasual.fm/signup.
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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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