DiscoverLand of the Giants
Land of the Giants

Land of the Giants

Author: Recode

Subscribed: 3,215Played: 23,154


Facebook. Apple. Amazon. Netflix. Google. These five tech giants have changed the world. But how? And at what cost? Recode’s Jason Del Rey starts with The Rise of Amazon. Over two decades, an online marketplace for books became the world’s most valuable company. We examine how it got its power, what it’s doing with it, and what might happen to it in the future. Produced by the Vox Media Podcast Network.

9 Episodes
In the final episode of our season on Amazon, NYU professor and “Pivot” podcast co-host Scott Galloway tells Jason Del Rey that Amazon needs to be broken up - and which parts of the company should be spun off first. They discuss Amazon’s ultimate impact on us as consumers, who are the companies left that can really compete with Amazon, and question the idea that we live in an era of innovation. Recorded live on September 9, 2019 at Code Commerce in New York City.
Small businesses and major brands alike rely on Amazon but are increasingly ambivalent about selling on the platform. The Amazon Marketplace is a battle royale of millions of sellers and declining profit margins. Meanwhile, Amazon is building its own branded line of competing products, called AmazonBasics. That, and other practices, make Amazon their frenemy -- a major competitor as well as their most important partner. From a societal standpoint, is this a good thing?
When Amazon became a publicly traded company  in 1997, it was losing money. And it wouldn’t turn a profit for years. So how did it convince Wall Street to do something unprecedented: Turn a blind eye to profit? And how did that help Amazon become one of the world’s most valuable companies today -- and how did it change the way tech companies grow?
In recent years Amazon has quietly become one of the leaders in automation, reshaping its workforce of nearly 600,000 workers, and the way humans work with robots. We fear robots taking over the world, but do we understand just how we as consumers are making that future happen?
When Amazon Leaves Your Town

When Amazon Leaves Your Town


In 1999, Amazon opened one of its first warehouses in the small town of Coffeyville, Kansas. Fifteen years later, it closed. We visit Coffeyville to learn what Amazon can bring and what it can take away, and what lessons Coffeyville might have for a community that’s just getting started with an Amazon warehouse: Staten Island, New York.
Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant can tell you the weather, operate home appliances, and video chat family members. Alexa aims to be the centerpiece of the “smart home” connected to the Internet. It can lull us with the convenience, but what’s the downside to letting Alexa run your entire home? And why is Amazon making a microwave oven powered by Alexa?
With over 100 million members, Prime is the engine that’s made Amazon a retailing juggernaut and one of the largest companies in the world. Jason Del Rey explores how Prime came to be, why it’s so effective at keeping us locked into the Amazon ecosystem, and how it became the source of the company’s power.Enjoyed this episode?Rate us ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐and leave a review on Apple Podcasts.Want to get in touch?Tweet @recode or send an email to for free.Be the first to hear next week's episode by subscribing in your favorite podcast app.
The Rise of Amazon

The Rise of Amazon


Examine how the biggest tech companies rose to power, and what they're doing with that power. In season one, The Rise of Amazon, Recode's senior commerce correspondent Jason Del Rey traces how Jeff Bezos transformed Amazon from an online bookseller to one of the largest companies in the world, and what that means for how we shop, work, and live.Tuesdays starting July 23rd.Subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast app.
Recode's Kara Swisher and Jason Del Rey preview Land of the Giants, a new narrative podcast that examines the unparalleled power of the world’s biggest tech companies, and how they've changed the way we live today.
Comments (10)

Best of US Homes Birmingham, AL

I believe that if Alexa have been round in the early 2000's my daughter would be alive today. I can't wait to turn my home into a smart home in improve on my life.

Sep 16th


i appreciate this work but calling the question of whether Amazon is too big "the question of our time" strikes me as an unnecessary reach

Aug 30th

Paul Stuefer

totally love the detail you put into every episode. really interested and a recommendation to all my friends already

Aug 29th

Shawn Ronakov

Searching for a specific product by name and being shown search results that have nothing to do with that product is the most frustrating thing on Amazon and it's horribly dumb.

Aug 28th
Reply (1)

Elijah Claude

It's utterly ridiculous and foolish to not be forthright in admitting how fast robotics/automation will take over almost every job field in the next decade or two. Nobody ever even seriously answers the question of what people will do instead either. We need to get on with #UBI @AndrewYang

Aug 21st
Reply (1)

Jess D

this is literally any factory though. I worked for a company called Reckitt Benkeizer which repackaged things like Lysol wipes. Their factory still isn't air conditioned. A lot of this is fairly industry standard. So to act like it sets Amazon apart as a bad actor is fairly disingenuous.

Aug 8th
Reply (2)
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