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The Information's 411

Author: The Information

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A weekly podcast brought to you by The Information, an independent, highly regarded business news publication doing deep dives and investigative looks at how technology is transforming business and beyond. Each episode highlights some of the major happenings in the tech world, featuring the reporters at The Information. Interviews, analysis and behind-the-scenes info deliver insights into how the decision makers at the biggest companies in the industry think.
103 Episodes
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Gorillas in the Wild

Gorillas in the Wild

2021-07-1620:54

Why are so many instant delivery startups popping up? Cory talks to The Information's Mark Di Stefano about the buzzy sector and one controversial company in particular, Gorillas. Then, Steve LeVine, author of the new The Information newsletter The Electric, explains the geopolitical dynamics in the battery industry.
What happens when a small town becomes a choke point for tens of thousands of Amazon deliveries every day? Cory talks to The Information’s Paris Martineau about what residents’ struggles in a small Massachusetts town tell us about the challenges of Amazon’s rapid physical expansion. Then, Hong Kong bureau chief Shai Oster explains why the Chinese government cracked down on ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing just after it went public.
Benchmark’s Dilemma

Benchmark’s Dilemma

2021-07-0221:16

Does one of the most storied venture capital firms need to adapt to a changing startup environment? Cory talks to The Information’s Berber Jin about his profile of Benchmark, known for a deliberative style that could handcuff it amid more fast-paced dealmaking. Then, Josh Sisco breaks down what the latest antitrust news means for Facebook and Amazon.
Why did Amazon fail to protect an employee who disclosed labor violations at a Foxconn factory that makes Amazon devices? Cory talks to The Information’s Wayne Ma about the lack of corporate whistleblower protections in China and why U.S. tech companies aren’t living up to their own standards in the manufacturing hub. Wayne broke the news this week that Amazon continues to work with the Foxconn factory, even after the whistleblower was sent to prison.
Playbook of Jonah

Playbook of Jonah

2021-06-1820:47

BuzzFeed might become the first of its generation of digital media upstarts to go public. How is CEO Jonah Peretti trying to grow the company? Cory talks to The Information's Jessica Toonkel and Sahil Patel about Peretti's consolidation strategy. Plus, reporter Paris Martineau discusses the implications of Amazon's growing air cargo fleet. 
It’s been a difficult couple of years for self-driving car developers trying to bring robotaxis to the public. How do they get out of the so-called "trough of disillusionment?" Listen to highlights of The Information’s Autonomous Vehicles Summit. Amir Efrati interviews Argo AI CEO Bryan Salesky and former Zoox CEO Tim Kentley Klay about where the industry goes from here. 
Amazon's Next Chapter

Amazon's Next Chapter

2021-06-0421:19

Amazon has been making big moves in Hollywood. What does that tell us about the company's new CEO Andy Jassy? Cory talks to The Information's Kevin McLaughlin and Jessica Toonkel about their recent reporting on what Amazon's incoming boss is up to. Then, Cory and senior editor Wendy Pollack discuss the downfall of Katerra, the SoftBank-backed construction startup that burned through $2 billion on its way to shutting down. 
Tip Your Influencers

Tip Your Influencers

2021-05-2819:07

Why are Instagram, Snap and TikTok rushing to build ways for influencers to make money? Cory talks to The Information’s Kaya Yurieff about what she is tracking with her new creator economy newsletter. Then, did the momentum shift in the Apple–Epic trial? Josh Sisco covered the trial for The Information, and explains how the judge might rule in the antitrust case.
Fast deliveries by Amazon and other online retailers have brought tremendous convenience for consumers, but the e-commerce boom has come at a cost. A five-month investigation by The Information identified a pattern of serious and sometimes deadly crashes involving drivers moving freight for Amazon. We explore the toll of Amazon’s trucking surge. Related stories: The Deadly Toll of the Amazon Trucking Boom Amazon Expands Secretive Trucking Program
Apple and Uyghur Labor

Apple and Uyghur Labor

2021-05-1421:36

The Information found evidence of Apple working with suppliers suspected of using forced labor. How? Cory talks to Wayne Ma about how he discovered Apple's links to the Xinjiang region of China. Then, an interview with scholar Laura T. Murphy about how tech companies can look for evidence of forced labor in their supply chains.  Read the story: Seven Apple Suppliers Accused of Using Forced Labor From Xinjiang
How is Mark Zuckerberg planning to revamp his public image? Cory talks to The Information's Sylvia Varnham O'Regan and Alex Heath about why Facebook's co-founder is going on another charm offensive. Then, Cory interviews Justin Bedecarre, CEO of Raise Commercial Real Estate, a Founders Fund-backed startup, about how tech firms are experimenting with sending their workers back to offices, with more flexibility to work from home. "Running a hybrid workplace is the hardest workplace to run," he said. 
Will Epic Fail?

Will Epic Fail?

2021-04-3022:05

Apple's app store in on trial. Will Epic Games be able to loosen Apple's grip on app developers? Cory talks to The Information's legal reporter Josh Sisco about how Apple got in this situation and why it's likely to pull out a victory next month. Then, Cory and The Information's senior editor Wendy Pollack discuss whether Philadelphia-based delivery startup Gopuff can ditch its juvenile reputation to reach a more mainstream audience. Further reading: Why Apple Has the Edge in Epic Antitrust Trial The Guardians of Apple’s App Store Gird for Battle Gopuff Revenue Triples, but Growing Competition to Test Expansion
The Andreessen Effect

The Andreessen Effect

2021-04-2320:01

Cory talks to Kate Clark about what her recent reporting on Andreessen Horowitz tells us about the firm's history and strategy to win deals. Then, Kevin McLaughlin discusses his story on why high-profile artificial intelligence startup DataRobot ousted its CEO. 
Jab Credentials

Jab Credentials

2021-04-1617:37

We dive into some of the tech questions facing the potential rollout of vaccine passports. Paul Meyer, CEO of the nonprofit Commons Project, discusses why it is important that people's proof of vaccination not get locked up in walled gardens. Then, Cory talks to The Information's Juro Osawa about Grab's $40 billion SPAC deal and Didi Chuxing's struggles to develop autonomous vehicles. 
Tech's Tiger King

Tech's Tiger King

2021-04-0917:57

Cory talks to Kate Clark about the new king of venture capital deals: Tiger Global Management. The New York hedge fund has invested at a rapid pace, at higher and higher valuations. What does it mean for venture capital in 2021? Plus, Wendy and Cory discuss whether venture-backed travel firms will get a lift after a bleak year. 
Why are startups like Stripe, Plaid, Brex, Ramp and Fast raising so much money so quickly? Cory talks about the phenomenon with Bain Capital Ventures partner Merritt Hummer and The Information's venture capital reporters Kate Clark and Berber Jin. Plus, an interview with Henrique Dubugras, co-CEO of Brex, a corporate credit card startup, about the pandemic, fintech valuations and company's future strategy.
Google’s Cloudy Future

Google’s Cloudy Future

2021-03-2625:061

Cory and Kevin McLaughlin talk about why Google Cloud loses so much money, and why this year will be crucial for the company. Then, The Information’s Kevin Delaney talks with former Google executive and “Radical Candor” author Kim Scott about how women and non-white employees sometimes face prejudice when being candid at work, and what organizations can do about it.
Cory and Wendy dive into the disaster that befell Katerra, the construction tech startup that's struggling to stay alive. They also explore what the future of construction tech is. Also, co-host Tom bids a fond farewell to the podcast we launched 5 years ago.
Tom speaks to Roger Lynch, the CEO of magazine giant Conde Nast about how he's trying to turn the company around and build out newer businesses like e-commerce, longform video and digital subscriptions. He also talks about how the company handled its cultural reckoning last year. Then Alex and Mat join to recap their interview with Mark Zuckerberg and his plans around AR and VR.
Alex Heath and Mathew Olson interview Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about the promise of augmented and virtual reality. They discuss why he's investing so much time and money on the technology, how it could forever change entertainment and the workplace and what technical hurdles still need to be overcome for the technology to reach its potential.
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