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Great Business Stories

Great Business Stories

Author: Caemin and Keith

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A great business story from the recent or distant past, thoroughly researched and brought to life by Caemin & Keith in each hour-long episode (released on the 1st of every month)

9 Episodes
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PayPal: The Greatest Startup Story of All Time This has been one of my favourite stories to cover, because you have such big characters who are now very much sitting on the top of the table business wise - we’re talking Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Reid Hoffman, David Sacks and many more. And it’s fascinating to recall how these guys started out and nearly didn’t make it There is so much drama in the story with boardroom coups,  Russian fraudsters, Musk being forced to merge his company against his will, the dotcom bubble bursting- I loved it  Click on the following link to go our article on this episode where we have links to our main sources as well as relevant photos: gbspod.com/blog/paypal-greatest-startup-story-of-all-time
In today's episode, we're digging into the Tyco scandal of the early 2000s, specifically focusing on Tyco's CEO Dennis Kozlowski, who was charged and convicted of stealing $132 million from Tyco to fund a lavish lifestyle. While other Tyco executives were also charged, and there were additional charges that we don't delve into, we do mention them briefly. However, our main focus is on the primary charges against Kozlowski. What's really unusual about this story is that both Keith and I started our research believing we knew the story - a tale of corporate greed. We expected to uncover why and how Kozlowski syphoned off so much money. But as we dug deeper, the actual story turned out to be quite different, and it makes for a great episode. We hope you enjoy it!
This is the fascinating story of how Jho Low, young Malaysian businessman educated in Harrow formed one of the most notorious and lucrative business partnerships with the Malaysian Prime minister and they syphoned off a jaw dropping $4.5 billion  It’s the story of how Jho Low and his friends spent their ill gotten gains by splashing out on parties, multi-million dollar properties, jewellery, art as well as financing Hollywood movies- 1 movie in particular that you’ll definitely know. And it’s a story of Malaysia and the endemic corruption that emanates from the very top- a prime minister who not only brazenly lootes the national coffers but who is also the main suspect in  the grisly murder of a young woman. This episode was recorded in April 2023, and even now in April 2024  there are still some court cases going on related to 1MDB because this is a business scandal that’s going to be with us for many more years- It’s a really fascinating story and we hope you enjoy it. Sources As we usually have way too many sources to link in here, please click on link below that brings you to an article that I wrote to accompany this episode- all of the sources used in this episode are at the end of the article : https://gbspod.com/blog/the-1mdb-heist-how-jho-low-the-prime-minister-stole-45-billion
We dig deep into Ray Kroc and how he and the Mcdonald brothers created the fast food revolution What was Ray Kroc really like? Was he a shyster, a lucky salesman or  true visionary? Is he really a villain as the movie made him out to be-And crucially, did Ray Kroc renege on an agreement to pay the McdOnalds brothers commission on all sales going forward?  I hope you enjoy this one and remember, a new episode is released on the first of every month 
This is the fascinating story of Ivar Kreuger, the most famous Swedish person and probably the most successful business person you’ve never heard of. In his prime during the roaring twenties Ivar built up a fortune worth $100 billion in today’s money He invented many of the financial instruments that are still being used to this day- the stocks and bonds of his companies were the most widely held securities in the world He lent billions to cash strapped governments and became a personal advisor to the US president. And yet, if you google him now, he’s mentioned in the same breath as Charles Ponzi and Bernie Madoff Was Ivar a scam artist or one of the most brilliant business minds of the 20th century? Or was he both?
The book "Barbarians at the Gate" is probably the best business story ever told. It’s a riveting account of the leveraged buyout of the tobacco and food giant  RJR Nabisco in the late 1980s,  The story gives a great insight into what exactly leveraged buyouts are. We learn how Henry Kravis and his cousin George Roberts formed the legendary LBO firm KKR. We see how banks and LBO firms manage to profit handsomely even when deals go bad. And we see how industry titans end up playing second fiddle when they open their doors to the sharks on wall street.  It’s full of drama, rivalries, big ego’s and lots and lots of money and we hope you enjoy it. 
This was one of the biggest business scandals of the 1980’s when British Airways financed a dirty tricks campaign in an attempt to publicly blacken Richard Bransons name and put his fledgling airline out of business We find out why Richard Branson got into the airline business? How he managed to get under the skin of British Airways We discuss why British Airways, one of the biggest and most respected companies at the time, decided to wage a dirty tricks campaign against Branson’s tiny new airline.And who were the people within BA behind it all? It's a cracking story and we hope you enjoy it as well
New Coke- probably the worst product launch in the history of business. This is the story of how, in 1985, Coke’s superstar CEO, the man who could do no wrong, decided to replace the 100 year old coke formula with a new sweeter tasting coke. Who was this CEO and what were the reasons that led to this decision? Why was there such an intense backlash? And how did Coke not anticipate the backlash? Was it all just a conspiracy? It was definitely one of the worst product launches in consumer history and it makes for a great story- we hope you enjoy it 
Do you love a great business story but don’t have the time to read every book? Join Caemin and Keith on The Great Business Stories podcast on the first of every month where we do a deep dive on a gripping business story spanning the recent past and history.
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