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Episodes

Monday Oct 17, 2022

We sit down with all five current Benchmark GPs for one of their legendary weekly dinners, during which we ask all of the unresolved burning questions from Part 1. How do THEY think about Benchmark v3? What are their day-to-day emotions trying to keep the equal partnership “bending toward greatness? Why is there no growth fund? What does it take to become the next Benchmark GP? Why is there a secret Principal program? We cover all these and much, much more. We also recorded the whole thing on video — which we highly recommend watching even if you normally only listen to the audio feed! If you want more Acquired, you can follow our public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!). Links: Please take our 2022 Acquired Survey if you have a minute. It'd mean the world to us! Dad hats are live in the Acquired Merch Store!    Sponsors: Thank you to our presenting sponsor for all of Season 11, Fundrise! If you’re considering raising a growth round of capital in the next year, you should definitely explore raising some of it with the Fundrise Innovation Fund. Just email notvc@fundrise.com, and tell them Ben & David sent you. And if you’re an individual looking for exposure to private growth-stage technology companies, you can invest in the Innovation Fund here. Thank you as well to Pilot. ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.

Tuesday Oct 04, 2022

We kick off ACQ Sessions with the-behind-the-scenes story of All-in, from the world’s greatest moderator himself Jason Calacanis. ACQ Sessions is our new, occasional “MTV Unplugged” version of Acquired: a great IRL guest, a bottle (or two) of wine, and no script. We talk about everything you’d imagine we would over wine with JCal — All-In, bestie relationships, money & politics in Silicon Valley, who his influences and mentors have been (one surprise — the great Fred Wilson of USV!), what motivates him to keep grinding and why, at age 50+ when he could easily be winding down he’s instead speeding up into the most productive phase of his entire career. Pour a beverage yourself, pull up a comfy seat and join us! If you want more Acquired, you can follow our public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!). Survey! Please take our 2022 Acquired Survey if you have a minute. It'd mean the world to us! Sponsors: Thanks to Vanta for being our presenting sponsor for this special episode. Vanta is the leader in automated security compliance – making SOC 2, HIPAA, GDPR, and more a breeze for startups and organizations of all sizes. You might say they’re like the “AWS of security and compliance”! Everyone in the Acquired community can get 10% off using this link. Thank you as well to Brex and to Tiny. ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.

Wednesday Sep 28, 2022

Benchmark Capital. We tell the tale of the legendary equal partnership that accomplished something no other venture firm can claim: twice it has produced the highest returning fund of its cycle, each time with a 100% different GP lineup. If ever there were a playbook for successful generational transfer of a generational-defining venture firm, this is it. We spend 3.5+ hours digging into how the dotcom “eBay eBoys” transformed into the rockstar Fab Four of the Uber, Instagram and Snap mobile gold rush (spoiler: not by a straight line!), and what the future holds for Benchmark’s next GP generation. If you’re a student of the venture game from any angle — founder, GP, LP, etc — this is a story you need to tune in for! If you want more Acquired, you can follow our public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!). Sponsors: Thank you to our presenting sponsor for all of Season 11, Fundrise! If you’re considering raising a growth round of capital in the next year, you should definitely explore raising some of it with the Fundrise Innovation Fund. Just email notvc@fundrise.com, and tell them Ben & David sent you. And if you’re an individual looking for exposure to private growth-stage technology companies, you can invest in the Innovation Fund here. Thank you as well to Pilot and NZS Capital! You can register for the next NZS Talkback here. Links: Benchmark’s website circa 1997 Benchmark’s website circa 2000 Benchmark’s website today Episode sources Carve Outs: Bill Gurley’s Runnin’ Down a Dream talk Smartless Podcast Mitch Lasky on Invest like the Best Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea Cycle ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.

Monday Sep 12, 2022

Welcome to a new experiment here at Acquired: Replays! We realized many of you have joined us recently and haven’t heard older episodes — so we’re re-releasing some of our “greatest hits”. Today we’re starting with one of our very favorite Acquired series: the legendary Sequoia Capital. This is a 2-part series that we’ve edited into one episode: the first part is the story of the firm and its founder, Don Valentine, and the second is our interview with Doug Leone. Let us know what you think about this experiment, and tell us in Slack what episodes we should revisit in the future! If you want more Acquired, you can follow our newly public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!). Sponsor: Thank you to Tegus for sponsoring this episode! Tegus is the world’s leading company intelligence platform, containing thousands of fully transcribed, searchable interviews with experts on companies of every stage and sector – all accessible online and on-demand. They’re trusted by great firms like Benchmark, Spark, Thrive, First Round, Redpoint, MITIMCo, IGSB and more. You can learn more and get a free trial by clicking here. Just tell them that David and Ben sent you when you get in touch! Links: Silicon Valley’s “Traitorous Eight” Don Valentine’s lecture at Stanford GSB Berkeley’s oral history with Don ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.

Tuesday Sep 06, 2022

So, how DID an online book retailer end up building the infrastructure layer that powers the entire internet? (Or at least 39% of it, per latest market share data.) While many myths, legends, and some downright falsehoods exist, the real answer to that question deserves a full Acquired episode of its very own. So here it is: the story of Amazon Web Services. Who’s got the truth? Tune in and find out. :) If you want more Acquired, you can follow our newly public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!). Sponsors: Thank you to our presenting sponsor for all of Season 11, Fundrise! If you’re considering raising a growth round of capital in the next year, you should definitely explore raising some of it with the Fundrise Innovation Fund. Just email notvc@fundrise.com, and tell them Ben & David sent you. And if you’re an individual looking for exposure to private growth-stage technology companies, you can invest in the Innovation Fund here. Thank you as well to Pilot and NZS Capital! You can register for the next NZS Talkback here. Links: Steve Yegge’s Platforms Rant (so good!) Ben Thompson on AWS and Snowflake Episode sources Carve Outs: Moon Knight John Carmack on The Lex Fridman Podcast ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.

Tuesday Aug 30, 2022

We sit down with legendary investor Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital and his son Andrew who, while less-well-known, is also an incredibly accomplished investor in a very different arena: early-stage VC. The purpose of the conversation was to discuss their joint work together on Howard’s all-time most popular memo, “Something of Value”, which made the then-shocking argument that Value and Growth investing are not diametric opposites but rather two sides of the same investing coin. We of course dive deep into that, and also cover plenty of fun Oaktree and investing history, as well as Andrew’s favorite topic: selling (or not selling, as the case may be). This is not one to miss! If you want more Acquired, you can follow our public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!). Links: The Original “Something of Value” Memo Howard and Andrew on Oaktree’s “The Memo” podcast Sponsors: Thanks to Vanta for being our presenting sponsor for this special episode. Vanta is the leader in automated security compliance – making SOC 2, HIPAA, GDPR, and more a breeze for startups and organizations of all sizes. You might say they’re like the “AWS of security and compliance”! Everyone in the Acquired community can get 10% off using this link. Thank you as well to Brex and to Tiny. ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.

Tuesday Aug 16, 2022

Amazon. No company has impacted the internet — and all of modern life — more than this one. We’ve waited seven years to do this episode, and are so, so excited to finally dive into every nook and cranny of this legendary company. And of course because we’re Acquired and this is Amazon, we couldn’t contain it all to just one episode… even a 4+ hour one! So today we focus on Amazon.com the retail business, and we’ll have another full episode on AWS coming soon. And because all great series are trilogies, to fully understand Amazon we highly recommend starting first with our previous episode on Walmart, which truly is the giant’s shoulder that Jeff Bezos stood upon. Let’s go!! **Big News** We've got merch! Check it out at https://www.acquired.fm/store ! If you want more Acquired, you can follow our newly public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!). Sponsors: Thank you to our presenting sponsor for all of Season 11, Fundrise! If you’re considering raising a growth round of capital in the next year, you should definitely explore raising some of it with the Fundrise Innovation Fund. Just email notvc@fundrise.com, and tell them Ben & David sent you. And if you’re an individual looking for exposure to private growth-stage technology companies, you can invest in the Innovation Fund here. Thank you as well to Pilot and NZS Capital! You can register for the NZS Talkback here. Links: Jeff’s first public Amazon interview Our early-Acquired-days interview with Tom Alberg Episode sources Carve Outs: Rick Rubin on the Lex Fridman Podcast Ursula Le Guin Dissect Season 2 on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Elden Ring (again) ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.

Tuesday Aug 02, 2022

This episode is a first for Acquired: we’re joined by a sitting US Congressman (from Ben’s home state of Ohio!), Republican House Representative Anthony Gonzalez. Anthony serves on the House Financial Services Committee and is deeply involved in crypto and Web3 regulation, as well as on the Climate and Science, Space & Technology Committee where he oversees NASA among many other agencies. His also has an absolutely incredible story — his family immigrated from Cuba to Ohio, he played in the NFL, he was COO of an Investment Group of Santa Barbara backed startup, and he was one of a small number of Republican congresspeople who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump after the events January 6th. If you want more Acquired, you can follow our public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!). Links: Schoolhouse Rock “I’m Just a Bill” Nick Howley and TransDigm on Will Thorndike's new podcast 50x Sponsors: Thanks to Vanta for being our presenting sponsor for this special episode. Vanta is the leader in automated security compliance – making SOC 2, HIPAA, GDPR, and more a breeze for startups and organizations of all sizes. You might say they’re like the “AWS of security and compliance”! Everyone in the Acquired community can get 10% off using this link. Thank you as well to Brex and to Tiny. ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.

Tuesday Jul 19, 2022

We kick off Season 11 with the incredible story of the retail “granddaddy of them all” Walmart, and its founder Sam Walton. Once you study Walmart, you realize just how deep its heritage runs through Amazon and so many iconic modern companies we cover on Acquired. This episode was an absolute blast, and we even uncovered a new addendum to the hallowed “focus on what makes your beer taste better” playbook theme! If you want more Acquired, you can follow our newly public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!). Sponsors: Thank you to our presenting sponsor for all of Season 11, Fundrise! If you’re considering raising a growth round of capital in the next year, you should definitely explore raising some of it with the Fundrise Innovation Fund. Just email to notvc@fundrise.com, and tell them Ben & David sent you. And if you’re an individual looking for exposure to private growth-stage technology companies, you can invest in the Innovation Fund here. Thank you as well to Pilot and NZS Capital! You can register for the NZS Talkback here. Links: Walmart’s 1972 Annual Report Episode sources Carve Outs: Ted Weschler on the Nebraska Furniture Mart podcast!!! Mario Puzo’s The Godfather (the book) ‍ Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.

Monday Jun 20, 2022

When Patrick O'Shaughnessy and Brent Beshore asked us to give a talk at their incredible Capital Camp conference, we knew we had to bring something special. So we spent months combing through the Acquired back catalog and cataloged our 12 favorite lessons from the 200+ stories we’ve told over the past 7 years. From Sequoia through Sony, TSMC, Nvidia, The New York Times, the NBA and Oprah — we revisited all the classics and pulled out the common threads that weave the tapestry of great companies we’ve covered on Acquired. This episode was truly a joy to put together… huge thank you to Patrick and Brent for giving us the perfect stage on which to present it! This episode has video! You can watch it on Spotify (right in the main podcast interface) or on YouTube. Sponsors: Thanks to the Solana Foundation for being our presenting sponsor for this special episode. Solana is the world’s most performant blockchain, the BEST place for developers to build Web3 applications, and of course very near & dear to the Acquired community’s heart. You get in touch with them here. Just tell them them Ben and David sent you! Thank you as well to Modern Treasury and to Mystery. Register here for the Acquired Mystery on July 7th 2022 at 3pm PT! ‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.

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