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Acquired

Acquired

192 EPISODE · 6 SUBSCRIBERS

Every company has a story. Learn the playbooks that built the world’s greatest companies — and how you can apply them as a founder, operator, or investor.

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Starbucks (with Howard Schultz)

Starbucks (with Howard Schultz)

Acquired

Starbucks. You’d be hard pressed to name any brand that’s more ubiquitous in the world today. With nearly half a billion global customer purchases per week across its stores and 3rd party retail channels, a significant portion of the human population gets their daily fix in the green and white paper cup. (Including our own Ben Gilbert who famously enjoys his daily spinach feta wrap. :) But it wasn’t always this way. Long before the frappuccinos and the PSLs and the cake pops, Starbucks was just a small-time Seattle roaster that only sold beans — and was started not by Howard Schultz but rather the guys who later ran Peet’s (!). Starting from six tiny stores when Howard took over in 1987, this quirky coffee company named after a character from Moby Dick has scaled to nearly 40,000 locations worldwide. Today, in a first for Acquired, the protagonist himself joins us as a third cohost to tell the whole story of Starbucks. And Howard is in the perfect moment to do this — after three separate stints as CEO he’s now retired, off the board of directors, and in his own words “not coming back.” So place a mobile order (or not! as you’ll hear Howard speak about), sit back with your own favorite Starbucks items, and enjoy. Sponsors: Many thanks to our fantastic Season 14 partners: J.P. Morgan Payments * ServiceNow Pilot The Biggest Thing We’ve Ever Done: San Francisco. September 10, 2024. Mark your calendars. Links: Howard’s letter “The Soul of a Brand” Worldly Partners’ multi-decade Starbucks analysis Starbucks S-1 More Acquired: Get email updates with hints on next episode and follow-ups from recent episodes Join the Slack Subscribe to ACQ2 Check out the latest swag in the ACQ Merch Store! ** Future capabilities of biometric payments are under development; features and timelines are subject to change at the bank’s sole discretion.* Note: references to Fortune in ServiceNow sponsor sections are from Fortune ©2023. Used under license. ‍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.

3 Jam, 15 Menit
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Microsoft

Microsoft

Acquired

Microsoft. After nearly a decade of Acquired episodes, we are finally ready to tackle the most valuable company ever created. The company that put a computer on every desk and in every home. The company that invented the software business model. The company that so thoroughly and completely dominated every conceivable competitor that the United States government intervened and kneecapped it… yet it’s STILL the most valuable company in the world today. This episode tells the story of Microsoft in its heyday, the PC Era. We cover its rise from a teenage dream to the most powerful business and technology force in history — the 20-year period from 1975 to 1995 that took Bill and Paul from the Lakeside high school computer room to launching Windows 95 alongside Jay Leno and the Rolling Stones. From BASIC to DOS, Windows, Office, Intel, IBM, Xerox PARC, Apple, Steve Jobs, Steve Ballmer… it’s all here, and it’s all amazing. Tune in and enjoy… Microsoft. Sponsors: Many thanks to our fantastic Season 14 partners: J.P. Morgan Payments ServiceNow Pilot Links: Congress changing copyright law in 1980 to include “computer programs” Acquired “classic” on Microsoft’s 1987 acquisition of Forethought / PowerPoint Quartr's charts on Microsoft's revenues, market cap, IBM comparison, and more All episode sources Carve Outs: LGR André 3000’s new album + GQ Interview Meta Ray-Bans Visual Designer Julia Rundberg Summer Health More Acquired: Get email updates with hints on next episode and follow-ups from recent episodes Join the Slack Subscribe to ACQ2 Check out the latest swag in the ACQ Merch Store! Note: references to Fortune in ServiceNow sponsor sections are from Fortune ©2023. Used under license. ‍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.

4 Jam, 23 Menit
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Renaissance Technologies

Renaissance Technologies

Acquired

Renaissance Technologies is the best performing investment firm of all time. And yet no one at RenTec would consider themselves an “investor”, at least in any traditional sense of the word. It’d rather be more accurate to call them scientists — scientists who’ve discovered a system of math, computers and artificial intelligence that has evolved into the greatest money making machine the world has ever seen. And boy does it work: RenTec’s alchemic colossus has posted annual returns in the firm’s flagship Medallion Fund of 68% gross and 40% net over the past 34 years, while never once losing money. (For those keeping track at home, $1,000 invested in Medallion in 1988 would have compounded to $46.5B today… if you’d been allowed to keep it in.) Tune in for an incredible story of the small group of rebel mathematicians who didn’t just beat the market, but in the words of author Greg Zuckerman “solved it.” Sponsors: Many thanks to our fantastic Season 14 partners: J.P. Morgan Payments ServiceNow Vanta Links: The Man Who Solved the Market The Quants Bloomberg’s 2016 RenTec profile Quartr's visualization of RenTec's returns All episode sources Carve Outs: Modern Treasury’s Transfer Conference Registration The New Look Cole Haan x Acquired! Class of Palm Beach (and the Mini Kelly inside the Birkin!!) More Acquired: Get email updates with hints on next episode and follow-ups from recent episodes Join the Slack Subscribe to ACQ2 Check out the latest swag in the ACQ Merch Store! Note: references to Fortune in ServiceNow sponsor sections are from Fortune ©2023. Used under license. ‍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.

3 Jam, 10 Menit
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Hermès

Hermès

Acquired

In luxury, there’s Hermès… and there’s everyone else. Stewarded by one French family over six generations, Hermès sells the absolute pinnacle of the French luxury dream. Loyal clients will wait years simply for the opportunity to buy one of the company’s flagship Birkin or Kelly bags. Unlike every other luxury brand, Hermès: Doesn’t increase supply to meet demand (hence the waitlists) Doesn’t loudly brand their products (IYKYK) Doesn’t do celebrity endorsements (stars buy their bags just like everyone else) Doesn’t even have a marketing department! (they barely advertise at all) And yet everyone knows who they are and what they represent. But, despite all their iconoclasm, this is not a company that’s stood still for six generations. Unbeknownst to most, Hermès has completely reinvented itself at least three times in its 187-year history. Including most recently (and most dramatically) by the family’s current leaders, who responded to LVMH and Bernard Arnault’s 2010 takeover attempt by pursuing a radical strategy — scaling hand craftsmanship. And in the process they turned the company from a sleepy, ~$10B family enterprise into a $200B market cap European giant. Tune in for one incredible story! Sponsors: Many thanks to our fantastic Season 14 partners: J.P. Morgan Payments ServiceNow Vanta NVIDIA GTC (Code "ACQUIRED" for 20% off) Links: Visuals for:  Quartr's Hermès: Two Centuries of Craftsmanship and Excellence (with graphs) 00:23: Haut a Courroies, the “high-belted bag” to carry saddles and boots 00:45: Chaine d'ancre, “Chain of anchors” 00:49: Jeu des Omnibus et Dames blanches, “White ladies at play” 00:53: Screen printing each color on a scarf individually 00:57: The Hermès oranges 01:06: Sac à Dépêches (today: the Kelly Bag) 01:07: Grace Kelly photo in LIFE Magaine 01:26: Steps to sew a saddle stitch 01:48: The Birkin Bag 03:17: Petit h The saddle stitch (video) Inside the Saddlery at the Faubourg Hermès 2022 Annual Report Axel Dumas Interview All episode sources Carve Outs: Anker GaN Prime 100W charger Matter Perplexity The Score Takes Care of Itself More Acquired: Get email updates with hints on next episode and follow-ups from recent episodes Join the Slack Subscribe to ACQ2 Check out the latest swag in the ACQ Merch Store! ‍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.

4 Jam, 10 Menit
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