Business Wars

Business Wars

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Netflix vs. HBO. Nike vs. Adidas. Business is war. Sometimes the prize is your wallet or your attention. Sometimes, it’s just the fun of beating the other guy. The outcome of these battles shapes what we buy and how we live. Business Wars gives you the unauthorized, real story of what drives these companies and their leaders, inventors, investors and executives to new heights — or to ruin. Hosted by David Brown, former anchor of Marketplace. From Wondery, the network behind Dirty John and American History Tellers.


Dating App Wars | Crimes of Passion | 4
Aug 3 • 22 min
What seemed like a run of the mill office romance gone very, very wrong will result in a devastating upheaval in the power structure at Tinder. And repercussions will be felt throughout the industry as Whitney Wolfe exacts some delicious corporate…
Dating App Wars | The Revolution Will Be Swiped | 3
Jul 29 • 25 min
A new app aimed at gay users is about to break open an entirely new feature that will redefine the cyber dating business. And a young man emerging from a shower gets his inspiration for a new hookup site as he wipes the steam from his mirror. Soon Tinder…
Dating App Wars | eHarmonic Convergence | 2
Jul 27 • 24 min
Dr. Neil Clark Warren is a 63-year-old theologian and clinical psychologist with a vision for a site he’s certain can lead to romantic success. eHarmony will be the first to take on the powerful Match.com. And Warren believes he is on—quite literally—a…
Dating App Wars | Lighting Up Match.com | 1
Jul 22 • 25 min
It’s 1995, and computer dating is in its infancy. Most people think it’s a dark, sleazy world for desperate losers and horny perverts. But that’s all about to change. Pioneer site Match.com paves the way for cyber dating to move toward mainstream culture,…
Diamond Wars | The Future of the Diamond Industry | 8
Jul 20 • 22 min
Today we conclude our Diamond Wars series. These precious stones are known to be undeniably beautiful, rare and a symbol of luxury. But diamonds have also been associated with war, human rights abuses and death. In response, consumers these days are…
Diamond Wars | The Alchemists | 7
Jul 15 • 26 min
It’s the 2000s and the diamond cartel is dead. Now, De Beers must adjust to its new status as the market leader rather than the monopoly. But the threats to its business aren’t going away. Diamonds are losing their luster with the young, and Zimbabwe’s…
Wondery Presents Blood Ties Season 2
Jul 15 • 12 min
Blood Ties Season 2 is out now! Blood Ties is a scripted audio drama starring Gillian Jacobs, Josh Gad, Dominic Monaghan, Amy Landecker, and Wayne Knight. After the sudden death of Michael and Eleonore Richland’s billionaire father, disturbing allegations…
Diamond Wars | Monopolies Aren’t Forever | 6
Jul 13 • 24 min
It’s the late 1990s and rebel armies in Angola, Sierra Leone and Congo are bankrolling campaigns of mass murder and terror with diamonds. Now, after years of turning a blind eye, the diamond-buying public is starting to notice the bloodshed. But as the…
Diamond Wars | Blood and Champagne | 5
Jul 8 • 27 min
It’s 1966 and De Beers is about to abandon its eleven-year search for diamonds in Botswana. But the geologist behind the search is far from ready to pack up his tools. And De Beers isn’t the only one searching for gemstones. Soon, a major diamond find in…
Diamond Wars | The Shadow World | 4
Jul 6 • 26 min
It’s the early 1950s and West Africa’s growing number of diamond smugglers is causing headaches for De Beers. Faced with millions of pounds in losses, the diamond monopoly decides it’s time to get tough with the smugglers. But while De Beers battles the…
Introducing the Wondery+ Exclusive Season of Business Wars: Playboy vs Penthouse
Jul 2 • 2 min
In our new after-dark exclusive series, we dive into the heyday of the 1970s, when Playboy and Penthouse rule the adult genre, and the line between sexy and obscene starts just below a woman’s belly button. But when it comes to the boundaries of good…
Diamond Wars | Diamond Dogfight | 3
Jul 1 • 26 min
It’s 1940, and the world is at war. The Allies and Axis powers are scrambling to lock down supplies of the industrial diamonds needed to mass produce their tanks, planes and submarines. But when the White House demands De Beers hands over a year’s supply…
Diamond Wars | The Puppet Master | 2
Jun 29 • 25 min
It’s 1914 and De Beers’s monopoly is under threat. Diamonds have been discovered on the desolate coast of the German colony of South West Africa. So it hired an ambitious diamond expert named Ernest Oppenheimer and gave him his orders: head to the beach…
Diamond Wars | The Diamond Rush | 1
Jun 24 • 30 min
It’s 1869 and diamonds have been found in Cape Colony. Now, diamond hunters from across the world are heading to this remote British outpost in southern Africa, seeking a glittering fortune. And among them are two wide-eyed hopefuls: streetwise Barney…
Uber vs Lyft | Examining Toxic Company Culture in the Rideshare Industry | 7
Jun 22 • 23 min
Uber and Lyft have made their mark as very different brands. Lyft was born out of a need for more environmentally friendly rideshare options. And is also seen as the “friendlier” of the two companies. While Uber’s former CEO, Travis Kalanick built a…
Uber vs Lyft | Evolve or Die | 6
Jun 17 • 24 min
New CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is cleaning house after the departure of Travis Kalanick. But after a disappointing IPO, Khosrowshahi has to boost the company’s ailing financials and fight against lawmakers who are siding with aggrieved drivers. Then COVID-19…
Uber vs Lyft | Damage Control | 5
Jun 15 • 25 min
February 2017, Super Bowl Sunday. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is taking a black car home when he gets in an altercation with the driver. LIttle does he know, the entire exchange has been captured on a dashcam recording. And when it goes viral, Kalanick will…
Uber vs Lyft | Kill or Be Killed | 4
Jun 10 • 25 min
Uber is facing blowback from all directions — the taxi industry, riders, and the most important man in tech: Apple’s Tim Cook. Uber’s been engaged in some disreputable activity, and it’s finally catching up with them. Lyft forges ahead and forms a new…
Uber vs Lyft | Race to the Bottom | 3
Jun 8 • 24 min
It’s 2013, and Lyft’s CEO John Zimmer is hosting a little celebration for drivers when some very unwelcome interlopers turn up to crash the party. Uber’s Travis Kalanick wants to destroy Lyft at any cost, and he’s willing to do what it takes to…
Uber vs Lyft | Revenge Business | 2
Jun 3 • 25 min
It’s the late ’90s, and Travis Kalanick is hanging out in his dorm room at UCLA. He’s having a file-sharing party with his friends that leads to his first business. But Kalanick’s forced to grow up quickly as he learns that naïveté can cost you millions…
Uber vs Lyft | Black Cars and Pink Mustaches | 1
Jun 1 • 27 min
It’s December 2008, and two friends and fellow tech entrepreneurs, Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick, can’t get a taxi. Camp’s already obsessed with the idea of a service that summons a private driver with the push of a button, but now Kalanick gets the…
Business Battles | Toilet Paper Wars: White Gold | 4
May 27 • 24 min
Quarantine restrictions during the coronavirus have induced toilet paper panic-buying as people scratch, claw and punch each other to get rolls. But why? What’s behind the frenzy, and how will that affect the TP industry? In the last 150 years, it’s grown…
Business Battles | Tetris: Soviet Blocks | 3
May 20 • 28 min
It’s 1988, and Tetris is making waves. It’s billed as the first Soviet video game, and it’s selling fast. But the man who introduced it to the West harbors a secret: he doesn’t own the rights. And when his subterfuge fails, a multi-million-dollar battle…
Business Battles | Cola Space Race: One Giant Sip for Mankind | 2
May 18 • 25 min
It’s 1984 and the cola war is neck and neck. After years of struggle, Pepsi looks ready to triumph over Coca-Cola. So Coke’s striking back by opening a new battlefront in the quest for soda supremacy: outer space. But its plan to send its world-famous…
Business Battles | Monopoly: Winner Takes All | 1
May 13 • 27 min
It’s 1902 and political campaigner Lizzie Magie is fighting a losing battle. For years, she’s pushed the idea of a land-value tax, but fewer and fewer people are listening. So she’s going to try something new to spread the word. She’s going to make a…
Amazon vs Walmart | How COVID-19 Could Change the Retail Landscape | 7
May 11 • 28 min
Since the novel coronavirus hit, Amazon and Walmart have seen a rise in profits, unlike many other retailers. But there have also been struggles to keep up with the flood of customer demands during the pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of workers have been…
Sponsored: When Small Businesses Think Big - Chobani & Wrigley (Dell Podference) | 2
May 7 • 29 min
This episode is brought to you by Wondery in partnership with Dell Technologies. In honor of small businesses, we’re featuring inspiring stories of successful companies that started out small. In upstate New York, a Kurdish immigrant wants to make his…
Amazon vs Walmart - The Stealth Enemy | 6
May 6 • 27 min
As the COVID-19 virus spreads across the globe and forces people inside their homes for months, the world relies on online shopping more than ever. Amazon and Walmart both struggle to keep up with surging demand as their legendary infrastructures are put…
Sponsored: When Small Businesses Think Big - Atari & Red Bull (Dell Podference) | 1
May 5 • 31 min
This episode is brought to you by Wondery in partnership with Dell Technologies. In honor of small businesses, we’re featuring inspiring stories of successful companies that started out small. In 1972, pinball machines and mechanical games ruled the…
Amazon vs Walmart - Food Fight! | 5
May 4 • 23 min
Amazon decides to go after Walmart’s biggest category: fresh food. But moving into groceries is harder than Bezos expected. Meanwhile, Walmart has finally found success in marrying their online operation with their brick and mortar stores by allowing…
Amazon vs Walmart - There’s No Business Like Shoe Business | 4
Apr 29 • 22 min
Walmart finally decides to focus aggressively on its e-commerce division, but struggles with the best way to use the internet to reach consumers. They decide their best strategy is to buy up successful online retailers. Unbeknownst to Walmart, Amazon,…
Amazon vs Walmart - Priming the Public | 3
Apr 27 • 25 min
By the mid-2000s, Walmart is starting to show some cracks. They are still successful, but bad press and sluggish growth are taking a toll on their earnings. The company debates the best way to move forward, including focusing on online sales, something…
Amazon vs Walmart - Provoking the Giant | 2
Apr 22 • 25 min
In the late 1990s, Walmart is happily trucking along, dominating the American retail market. They’re expanding locations and increasing their own backend efficiencies to keep prices low. It’s a formula that’s worked for decades and they see no reason to…
Amazon vs Walmart - The Big Bang Theory of E-Commerce | 1
Apr 20 • 23 min
Ninety-six percent of Americans now shop online, snapping up everything from rare coins to industrial-sized barrels of hand sanitizer. Almost half of those purchases take place on one website: Amazon. But before sales were a click away, Walmart was the…
An Inside Look at The North Face with Former CEO Hap Klopp | 7
Apr 15 • 24 min
One of the key players in the story of The North Face is Hap Klopp, who in 1968, bought the then-burgeoning outdoor sports equipment store. He bought the company for the bargain price of $60,000. Klopp was CEO of The North Face for the next 20 years, and…
The North Face vs Patagonia - Eco-Samurai | 6
Apr 13 • 26 min
It’s 2010 and Yvon Chouinard is about to give Patagonia’s executives their toughest challenge yet: telling people to buy less Patagonia gear. Meanwhile, The North Face is playing catch up on environmental responsibility with a spate on new initiatives.…
The North Face vs Patagonia - Rescue Mission | 5
Apr 8 • 27 min
It’s the late 1990s and The North Face is seeking to attract mainstream customers by opening hundreds of Summit Shops within the nation’s stores. But when the expected avalanche of sales fails to materialize, the company finds itself slipping over the…
The North Face vs Patagonia - Zen and the Art of Business | 4
Apr 6 • 27 min
It’s the dawn of the 1990s and Yvon Chouinard is struggling to come to terms with his new status as a successful entrepreneur. He cannot decide what to do with the fast-growing monster he’s created. Meanwhile, The North Face’s new owner Odyssey…
The North Face vs Patagonia - Patagucci | 3
Apr 1 • 25 min
It’s the late 1970s and Patagonia’s living hand to mouth and looking for a way to stoke sales. But when founder Yvon Chouinard suggests making a jersey from an unusual fabric, Patagonia creates a mountain staple and finds its products becoming a favorite…
The North Face vs Patagonia - Blazing Trails | 2
Mar 30 • 26 min
It’s 1970 and The North Face’s new owner Hap Klopp is on a mission to turn the dirtbag outdoor store he bought into an industry trailblazer. But with outdoor activity still a niche pastime, he’s going to have to do more than create gear – he’s going to…
The North Face vs Patagonia - Dirtbags | 1
Mar 25 • 23 min
It’s the 1960s, and two climbing buddies are about to lay the foundations for a new industry. The older of the two is an outdoorsman and part-time blacksmith Yvon Chouinard. His younger buddy is Doug Tompkins, who abandoned his Connecticut rich-kid life…
Starbucks vs Dunkin - Luckin: China’s Coffee Dark Horse | 7
Mar 23 • 24 min
There’s no doubt that Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts have created empires throughout the U.S. and internationally. Starbucks has more than 15,000 locations in the U.S. alone, and Dunkin Donuts is now in 43 countries. But there could be yet ANOTHER brewing…
Starbucks vs Dunkin - The Cold Rush | 6
Mar 18 • 25 min
Dunkin and Starbucks are going full on 21st century, doing all they can to top each other with new concept stores, vast emporiums, vegan food options, oat milk lattes and “high- velocity innovations.” But the real world keeps intruding and they can’t get…
Starbucks vs Dunkin - A Grande Fail | 5
Mar 16 • 26 min
The Great Recession doesn’t play favorites and both Starbucks and Dunkin are hit hard. As more customers make coffee at home, Dunkin leans into its reputation as the “everyman’s brand” to lure them back. Meanwhile, Starbucks looks to cash in on an…
Starbucks vs Dunkin - Trouble is Brewing | 4
Mar 11 • 24 min
Howard Schultz can hardly believe the mess his company is in, with sales in free fall. To pull out of it, he’ll need to make a radical move. Yet no matter what he does, Starbucks’ problems only get worse. And Dunkin Donuts is in expansion mode, looking to…
Starbucks vs Dunkin - Schultz vs The Bean Counters | 3
Mar 9 • 28 min
Howard Schultz has found his mission. He’s burning to turn Starbucks into an espresso bar business, but he can’t convince Starbucks owners to get onboard. Back in the Northeast, Bill Rosenberg is frustrated too. His son, who’s now Dunkin Donut’s CEO, has…
Starbucks vs Dunkin - Mission Espresso | 2
Mar 4 • 25 min
While Dunkin Donuts expands and flourishes, Howard Schultz is bored. But then the 28-year-old New Yorker gets wind of a Seattle company with just four stores that’s selling more coffee makers than Macy’s. He’s got to know why. So he heads to Seattle to…
Starbucks vs Dunkin - A Steamy Culture Clash | 1
Mar 2 • 26 min
A former high school dropout named Bill Rosenberg has big dreams and a passion for coffee. In 1950, in the small town of Quincy, Massachusetts he’s got a thriving coffee and donut shop called Dunkin Donuts. In front of the store he proudly puts up a huge…
Nintendo vs Sony - No Surrender | 6
Feb 24 • 25 min
After years of sitting on the sidelines of the next-generation console war, Nintendo is finally ready to make its move. But, the years it’s spent building it’s reassuring family-friendly reputation is now a weakness. Nintendo children of the 80s are all…
Nintendo vs Sony - The Sleeping Giant | 5
Feb 19 • 22 min
Nintendo decided early on that the Nintendo 64 would be a cartridge console, instead of a CD console. But CDs are much cheaper to make and have much better graphics. Game companies are upset, and defect to Sony. In a few months time, Sony has two of the…
Nintendo vs Sony - Game Time | 4
Feb 17 • 24 min
This is a story about Sony and Nintendo, but it also involves a little company called Sega. Ever play Sonic the Hedgehog? That’s Sega. And during Nintendo’s domination of the US market, they were the only company able to fight back. That is, until they…
Nintendo vs Sony - Charm Offensive | 3
Feb 12 • 25 min
From the moment it began, the PlayStation project was in danger. The problem was none other than PlayStations knight and chief advocate: Kutaragi. He thought the now-iconic handlebar controller design was “too different” from the flat rectangles people…
Nintendo vs Sony - Man of Steel | 2
Feb 10 • 29 min
It’s 1949. 22-year old Hiroshi Yamauchi is the heir apparent for his family’s playing card company, Nintendo. From humble beginnings as a scrappy street stall founded in Kyoto’s back alleys to the largest card company in Japan by the time Yamauchi takes…
Nintendo vs Sony - Stabbed in the Back | 1
Feb 5 • 29 min
Once a symbol of 80s teenage nerdom, video games are now as common as television sets in American households. Can you imagine a world where the Sony PlayStation didn’t come out? That’s what almost happened. Originally conceived as a joint venture between…
Boeing vs Airbus - The Max Controversy | 7
Jan 27 • 26 min
For more than 50 years, a version of Boeing’s 737 aircraft has sailed the skies, dominating the market for short-range, short-haul domestic planes. The 737 is the best-selling commercial aircraft of all time. But competition in the late 1980s got fierce…
Boeing vs Airbus - Mayday | 6
Jan 22 • 27 min
It’s 2011 and Airbus and Boeing are battling for the biggest deal in commercial aviation history. American Airlines is looking to buy 460 single-aisle airplanes and with the European jet giant going all out to win the contract, Boeing’s under pressure.…
Boeing vs Airbus - Losing Altitude | 5
Jan 20 • 25 min
It’s the 2000s and after years of talk, Airbus is pushing ahead with its plan to build the biggest passenger jet in the world. But while Airbus is thinking bigger, Boeing’s thinking faster. It’s designing a near-supersonic aircraft called the Sonic…
Boeing vs Airbus - An Unholy Alliance | 4
Jan 15 • 23 min
It’s the late 1980s and following the A320 crash at the Habsheim Air Show in eastern France, the safety of Airbus’s computerized flight system is being called into question. But Boeing’s got troubles too. Airlines aren’t warming to its latest product…
Boeing vs Airbus - Air Bandits | 3
Jan 13 • 24 min
It’s the late 1970s and Airbus is on cloud nine after securing a breakthrough deal with Eastern Airlines. But Boeing’s not taking the consortium’s intrusion into American airspace lightly. And it’s going to use every trick in the book to take down the…
Boeing vs Airbus - Cleared for Takeoff | 2
Jan 8 • 26 min
It’s 1970 and the Boeing 747 is finally airborne. But bringing this behemoth to market has taken Boeing to the edge of collapse. And it will take years of belt-tightening and perseverance to overcome this jumbo hangover. Luckily, the Seattle…
Boeing vs Airbus - Get Your Wings | 1
Jan 6 • 24 min
It’s the 1950s, the dawn of the jet age. And leading the world into this era of faster, less shaky flights is the British-made De Havilland Comet. But when disaster strikes, a hungry American military plane maker called Boeing spots a golden opportunity…
Ford vs Chevrolet - Technology in the Fast Lane | 4
Jan 1 • 31 min
It’s been a hard fought battle for decades, and in the 1970s there’s no signs of Ford or Chevrolet slowing down. But this time they’re fighting on new grounds, ones dominated by Japanese cars. Honda, Toyota and Datsun dominate the market, and Ford and…
Ford vs Chevrolet - Fast and Sexy | 3
Dec 30, 2019 • 27 min
In the 1960s, the biggest generation of Americans of all time are reaching driving age. They want cars, and they want them to be fast and powerful, and they want them now. The best showcase for these cars is by winning races, and in the 1960s, Ford and…
Ford vs Chevrolet - Detroit Joins the War | 2
Dec 25, 2019 • 28 min
FDR believed that WWII was a contest of mass production. Whoever could build the most trucks, tanks, guns and airplanes would come out on top. What power could defeat the United States of America and its massive automobile industry? But for Roosevelt’s…
Ford vs Chevrolet - Tin Lizzie Becomes Roadkill | 1
Dec 23, 2019 • 30 min
In 1896, Henry Ford puttered around Detroit streets testing his “Quadricycle.” This was the whimsical beginning to a revolution that redesigned the landscape of America. Cars changed the way America lived, worked, ate, shopped, and listened to music. And…
Macy’s vs Gimbels - Last Store Standing | 6
Dec 18, 2019 • 22 min
It’s the 1960s and as Americans flee cities for the suburbs, Macy’s and Gimbels face tough choices. How do they compete with the rise of discount retailers and the exciting new shopping palaces known as malls? Weakened by industry disruption, both stores…
Macy’s vs Gimbels - Wartime Wagers | 5
Dec 16, 2019 • 22 min
In the late 1930s Gimbels makes a risky bet by stockpiling goods likely to be scarce in wartime. They also snap up their rival’s star copywriter, who does the best work of her career at their shop. Their savvy planning and advertising strength position…
Macy’s vs Gimbels - Diversify or Die | 4
Dec 11, 2019 • 25 min
It’s the 1920s and wealthy flappers and captains of industry have money to burn for raccoon coats and monogrammed sterling silver hip flasks. Gimbels makes a risky acquisition of Saks Fifth Avenue, that ends up floating Gimbels through hard times and…
Macy’s vs Gimbels - Showdown over Manhattan | 3
Dec 9, 2019 • 20 min
It’s nearing the turn of the 19th century, and the Straus Brothers now run Macy’s emporium out of a dozen cobbled together stores in lower Manhattan. The next generation of Straus’s pressure the old guard to build a huge new Macy’s flagship on 34th…
Macy’s vs Gimbels - Fathers, Sons, and Civil War | 2
Dec 4, 2019 • 23 min
As R.H. Macy’s Manhattan emporium and reputation grow during the Civil War, his teenage son rebels and runs away to join the Union army. When the boy goes AWOL, the future of Macy’s burgeoning department store faces jeopardy. But salvation arrives in the…
Macy’s vs Gimbels - The Frontiersman and the Whaler | 1
Dec 2, 2019 • 21 min
It’s the mid 1800s and two very different young men set out in the world to make their fortunes. A young boy from Nantucket spends four years at sea on a whaling ship, the other becomes an itinerant peddler in the wilds of Indiana. These two adventurers,…
The Raisin Cartels - Gambling the Future | 3
Nov 27, 2019 • 22 min
In the midst of their heated negotiations over the price of raisins, the CEO of Sun-Maid and the head of the Raisin Bargaining Association face off, each making their pitch about the state of the raisin industry and the road forward. It’s the first time…
The Raisin Cartels - A New Sheriff in Raisin Land | 2
Nov 25, 2019 • 22 min
Facing a shrinking raisin market, Sun-Maid hires a new CEO with a mandate to make raisins popular with Millennials. He believes part of the reason consumers are spurning raisins is the price and is set on Sun-Maid paying less money to farmers. This puts…
The Raisin Cartels: A Desperate Brotherhood | 1
Nov 20, 2019 • 23 min
The humble raisin: it’s hard to imagine that dried grapes are at the center of one of the longest running business wars in the United States. But with almost all of the country’s raisins coming from a small area in California’s Central Valley, it is a…
Chocolate and Sustainability | 7
Nov 18, 2019 • 29 min
Growing the cocoa needed to produce chocolate on the scale a company like Mars or Hershey needs is an immense undertaking. One serious consequence chocolate producers are now facing is deforestation in countries that grow the cocoa for the world’s…
Hershey vs Mars - Global Chocolate Domination | 6
Nov 13, 2019 • 25 min
It’s a new century and Hershey’s facing unexpected trouble at home — a showdown between the company and its biggest shareholder that threatens its independence. Meanwhile, Mars is on a mission to become the world’s candy king. And with Hershey yet to…
Hershey vs Mars - A Chocolate Rolls Royce | 5
Nov 11, 2019 • 24 min
It’s the late 1970s and Mars is America’s top confectioner. But Hershey is hungry for a comeback. It’s plotting a return to the top powered by a rush of new candies it hopes can nibble away at Mars’ market share. Not that Mars has any intention of…
Hershey vs Mars - Mars Attacks! | 4
Nov 6, 2019 • 25 min
It’s 1965 and Forrest Mars has just become the manufacturer of Snickers and M&M’s. He is now – at last – ready to duke it out with Hershey in a battle to become the number one candy maker in America. And he knows Hershey is far from prepared for his…
Hershey vs Mars - A Candy-Coated Prayer | 3
Nov 4, 2019 • 25 min
It’s the 1940s and Forrest Mars’ plan to create a candy empire is stepping up a gear. He’s plotting to seize control of his dad’s company Mars and turn it into a Hershey killer. First he needs to get his new candy venture off the ground. But to do that he…
Hershey vs Mars - Blast Off | 2
Oct 30, 2019 • 24 min
It’s 1923 and the Hershey Chocolate Company dominates the candy bar business. With its milk chocolate Hershey bar and bite-sized Kisses, Hershey seems impossible to beat. But in a Chicago police station, an awkward father-son reunion is about to sire a…
Hershey vs Mars - Chocolate Town | 1
Oct 28, 2019 • 26 min
It’s 1886 and in New York City, a young confectioner called Milton Hershey is desperately trying to save his business. He’s been struggling for years. He founded his first candy business in Philadelphia, only to watch it collapse. His second venture…
Facebook vs Snapchat - TikTok, The New Social Media Sensation | 7
Oct 23, 2019 • 29 min
The social media world moves fast, and the next big thing is already upon us. It’s called TikTok. A video-based app where users create short clips to share with the world, TikTok is growing at a rapid rate. The app has already been downloaded a billion…
Facebook vs Snapchat - Snapchat’s Comeback | 6
Oct 21, 2019 • 24 min
It’s June 2018. Mark Zuckerberg is struggling and morale at the social media giant is low. Facebook has been battered by data breaches and there’s no end in sight. Meanwhile, Evan Spiegel has a chance to turn Snapchat around by refocusing on the teens…
Facebook vs Snapchat - Stock Market Tailspin | 5
Oct 16, 2019 • 23 min
It’s April 2017, and Mark Zuckerberg is issuing a new challenge to Snapchat. By making its face filters open source, the tech giant is coming directly for Snapchat’s most popular feature. But founder Evan Spiegel has other things to worry about: Snapchat…
Facebook vs Snapchat - Facebook Fights Back | 4
Oct 14, 2019 • 23 min
It’s September 2015 and Snapchat has just hit on a game-changer for the young company: filters that augment users’ faces. Thanks to some celebrity love, the new feature becomes wildly popular. But Mark Zuckerberg is watching closely, and acquires a…
Facebook vs Snapchat - The Offer | 3
Oct 9, 2019 • 27 min
It’s November 2013, and Mark Zuckerberg is about to make Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy an offer he thinks they can’t refuse. But when Spiegel and Murphy do the unimaginable, it prompts Facebook to compete — by copying. Snapchat is gathering steam, but…
Facebook vs Snapchat - Children of Privilege | 2
Oct 7, 2019 • 27 min
It’s the new millennium and Mark Zuckerberg is bored in high school. He’s a prodigious student so smart he’s already taking graduate level coding classes at Mercy College. Soon, he’s going to build a product that will change the Internet forever. Now he…
Facebook vs Snapchat - Vanishing Act | 1
Oct 2, 2019 • 26 min
It’s April 2011, and Evan Spiegel is about to present his class project. Right now, it’s called Picaboo. Soon, it’s going to become Snapchat. But for Spiegel, this is more important than grades—at stake are potential investors and the future of…
WWF vs WCW - The Future of Pro Wrestling | 7
Sep 30, 2019 • 28 min
World Wrestling Entertainment is the dominant name in professional wrestling but new promotions are now challenging the WWE’s dominance. We conclude our series on WWF vs WCW with David Shoemaker, author of The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional…
WWF vs WCW - Down for the Count | 6
Sep 25, 2019 • 30 min
It’s 1998 and the slugfest between Vince McMahon’s WWF and Ted Turner’s WCW is reaching a critical juncture. McMahon’s on a mission to pull wrestling fans back to his TV shows with a strategy focused on maximum controversy. And to help him in his mission,…
WWF vs WCW - Shock Tactics | 5
Sep 23, 2019 • 27 min
It’s 1996 and with Monday Nitro topping the TV ratings, WCW is out to end WWF’s time as the biggest player in the wrestling business. It’s plotting to establish two brands: one that WCW boss Eric Bischoff hopes can suck away WWF’s family audience, another…
WWF vs WCW - New World Order | 4
Sep 18, 2019 • 26 min
It’s 1995 and the Monday Night Wars are underway. WCW’s new show Monday Nitro is grappling with the WWF’s Monday Night Raw to win TV viewers’ attention. WCW isn’t pulling its punches either. Under the command of Eric Bischoff, WCW is dropping spoiler…
WWF vs WCW - Prime Time | 3
Sep 16, 2019 • 26 min
It’s 1994 and WCW is stepping up its game. To get the jump on WWF, Ted Turner is writing big checks to steal away the WWF’s biggest stars and sponsors. And as WCW’s star power increases, so does its popularity with wrestling fans. But the WWF is in no…
WWF vs WCW - Bulking Up | 2
Sep 11, 2019 • 26 min
It’s the dawn of the 1990s and Vince McMahon’s WWF is the king of wrestling. But trouble’s brewing: a steroids scandal is about to deal a body blow to the WWF and its family-friendly reputation. The scandal will leave WWF stuck in damage control mode as…
WWF vs WCW - Titan Rising | 1
Sep 9, 2019 • 29 min
It’s the early 1980s and there’s peace in the wrestling business. For years regional wrestling companies have maintained order by sticking to their own slices of US and Canadian territory. But that’s all about to change. Vince McMahon has just taken over…
Electric Bikes | 7
Sep 4, 2019 • 28 min
Harley Davidson built its brand on big, loud and heavy bikes. So why is the company staking its future on an electric motorcycle? It turns out Harley’s main demographic, baby boomers, are aging out of the motorcycle scene and the company is looking for…
Harley and the Biker Wars - Live to Ride | 6
Sep 2, 2019 • 25 min
By the early 1980s, Harley-Davidson is fighting to survive. Japan has glutted the American market with bikes, creating a war Harley can’t fight alone. The company turns to the U.S. government. It’s something they tried in the ‘50s with no success, but now…
Harley and the Biker Wars - The Freedom Machine | 5
Aug 28, 2019 • 25 min
It’s 1969, and the iconic film Easy Rider stars Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson and—most prominently—Harley choppers. It boosts the brand’s cool cred even higher with the American counterculture, much to the chagrin of the aging, conservative company owners…
Harley and the Biker Wars - Japan Takes No Prisoners | 4
Aug 26, 2019 • 27 min
It’s 1963. After battling the wave of British bikes vying for the high-dollar U.S. motorcycle market, Harley-Davidson is slammed by a tsunami of machines from Japan. Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki and—the biggest, most popular of them all—Honda. It’s a…
Harley and the Biker Wars - Uneasy Riders | 3
Aug 21, 2019 • 20 min
By the late 1940s, World War II has ended, but Harley’s battle with a few disenfranchised veterans is just beginning. Bored and looking for kicks, these men are forming clubs based around a love of boozing, brawling and Harley Hogs. The motorcycle riots…
Harley and the Biker Wars - The Hog Is Born | 2
Aug 19, 2019 • 24 min
It’s 1903, and Harley-Davidson is entering the spanking new motorcycle market. Of the hundreds of fledgling brands, the bike to beat is Indian, and Harley has the company in its crosshairs. But a decade later, Harley is on the defensive, scrambling to…
Harley and the Biker Wars - The British Invaders | 1
Aug 14, 2019 • 25 min
By the late 1940s, Harley-Davidson has become America’s leading motorcycle manufacturer. The family-owned Milwaukee brand has battled hundreds of companies since its first bike rolled out of a backyard shack in 1903. Now they’re facing the birth of the…
Business Battles - Monster vs Beats by Dre | 1
Aug 7, 2019 • 26 min
With all the hype around portable and smart speakers, it’s easy to forget that they didn’t always exist. In fact, it took one fateful meeting with Monster Cables and Interscope Records to really kick the industry off. In this one-episode Business Battle,…
Cereal Wars-The Most Important Meal | 7
Aug 5, 2019 • 28 min
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Or is it? While that phrase sounds scientifically and nutritionally sound, it’s origins can be traced back to cereal company marketing departments. We conclude our series on the cereal wars with Alex…
Cereal Wars - Going Soggy | 6
Jul 31, 2019 • 24 min
It’s the year 2000 and, for the first time in almost a century, Kellogg’s is no longer America’s top cereal maker. Now a new CEO is in the driving seat, and he’s on a mission to win back the cereal crown from General Mills. But even as the two rivals slug…
Cereal Wars - Trix of the Trade | 5
Jul 29, 2019 • 26 min
It’s the 1980s and General Mills is making waves with a new cereal based on the world’s hottest video game: Pac-Man. But Kellogg’s is hoping to cash in on a different trend: the growing clamour among adults for healthier breakfasts. So it’s plotting a…
Cereal Wars - Cereal Offenders | 4
Jul 24, 2019 • 27 min
It’s the late 1950s and General Mills is playing catch-up. While Kellogg’s and Post are thriving on the back of animated characters and sugary cereals, General Mills’ cereals are looking stale. So now the Cheerios maker is on a mission to create its own…
Cereal Wars - Sugar Rush | 3
Jul 22, 2019 • 25 min
World War II is in the rearview mirror, and breakfast cereal is on the brink of a new calorific era. Post Cereals decides to break from its healthful past and start sugar coating its cereals. It’s a move that leaves Kellogg’s and General Mills in a…
Cereal Wars - Breakfast of Champions | 2
Jul 17, 2019 • 25 min
It’s 1904 and Quaker Oats is about to make an, ahem, explosive entry into the cold cereal business. With the Kellogg brothers at risk of being left behind, Will Kellogg finally decides it’s time to stand up to his brother. He cuts ties and brings the…
Cereal Wars - A Divine Mission | 1
Jul 15, 2019 • 24 min
It’s the late 1800s and America is in the grip of a bellyache epidemic. But, thanks to a divine revelation, help is on the way in the form of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and his sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan. In his quest to calm the nation’s bowels,…
Gibson vs Fender - The Future of the Electric Guitar | 7
Jul 10, 2019 • 26 min
Ian S. Port, author of The Birth of Loud: Leo Fender, Les Paul, and the Guitar-Pioneering Rivalry That Shaped Rock ‘n’ Roll joins us to talk about the future of the electric guitar as music creation becomes increasingly digital.
Gibson vs Fender - Attack of the Robot Guitars | 6
Jul 8, 2019 • 24 min
In the ’90s and 2000s, new ownership has revitalized both Fender and Gibson and rekindled their rivalry. Through acquisitions, artist endorsements and their rapidly expanding custom shops, both brands are in a heated battle to win the hearts and minds of…
Gibson vs Fender - Back From the Brink | 5
Jul 3, 2019 • 24 min
It’s the early 1980s, and for the first time in 30 years, the U.S. guitar market has gone cold. Bands are switching to synthesizers and kids are ditching their garage bands for computers and video games. A group of employees has bought the Fender brand…
Gibson vs Fender - Les Pauls Unleashed | 4
Jul 1, 2019 • 22 min
In the 1960s, rock’n roll’s popularity continues to grow. But one of the genre’s most popular guitars, the Les Paul, is no longer being made. Now the guitar’s namesake must convince an out-of-touch Gibson to put the favorite guitar of Eric Clapton and…
Gibson vs Fender - The Stratocaster Blasts Off | 3
Jun 26, 2019 • 24 min
Gibson’s Les Paul sets a new standard for the solid-body electric guitar, and rival guitar maker Fender needs to respond. The company does so in 1954 with a sleek, futuristic guitar unlike anything else on the market: the Stratocaster. It’s a hit. With…
Gibson vs Fender - Loud and Clear | 2
Jun 24, 2019 • 27 min
It’s 1950, and Fender’s first solid-body guitar, the Esquire, is the laughingstock of the music industry. To guitar makers used to elegantly made hollow-body guitars, Fender’s thin, simple plank of solid wood is a joke. But its bright, powerful sound and…
Gibson vs Fender - Les and Leo | 1
Jun 19, 2019 • 25 min
In the 1930s and ’40s the market for electric guitars is growing, but it’s hindered by the instruments’ flawed designs. But a small group of mavericks is rethinking the guitar for the electronic age. One of them, guitarist Les Paul, tries unsuccessfully…
Anheuser-Busch vs Miller - Fighting the Crocodile | 6
Jun 17, 2019 • 25 min
It’s a new century and the beer industry is changing fast. Beyond America, new brewery empires are forming and they want to buy their way into the lucrative U.S. market. And Miller is the first to fall, bought out by a South African company that wants to…
Anheuser-Busch vs Miller - Surprise Attack Dog | 5
Jun 12, 2019 • 24 min
It’s the 1980s and Miller’s glory days are over. Drinkers are deserting High Life and Anheuser-Busch is about to launch a $50 million attack on Miller Lite. With the pressure mounting, Miller hunts for a way to revive its momentum. It’s a search that see…
Anheuser-Busch vs Miller - Miller Killers | 4
Jun 10, 2019 • 23 min
It’s the late 1970s and Miller is hurtling towards the top of the brewing industry on the back of High Life and Lite. Anheuser-Busch’s new leader August Busch III knows he must act fast to stop the threat. But before he can do that there’s internal…
Anheuser-Busch vs Miller - It’s Miller Time! | 3
Jun 5, 2019 • 23 min
Come the early 1970s, Miller has a new owner: tobacco giant Philip Morris. Armed with the Marlboro maker’s millions and marketing skills, Miller is about to shake up the beer business with a campaign targeting blue-collar workers thirsty for a cold…
Anheuser-Busch vs Miller - Swinging for the Majors | 2
Jun 3, 2019 • 25 min
By 1933 Prohibition is over, and that means the race is on to dominate a beer market that’s been reset. Under the leadership of Anheuser-Busch heir Gussie Busch, the company is out to reclaim the beer throne. But there’s a challenger for the crown —…
Anheuser-Busch vs Miller - The Beer Barons | 1
May 29, 2019 • 27 min
It’s 1893 and Chicago is about to host The World’s Columbian Exposition. It’s going to be the biggest show the world’s ever seen, and that means it’s time for Adolphus Busch to shine. He’s the owner of Budweiser brewery Anheuser-Busch and the most…
Netflix vs Blockbuster Revisited - What’s Next for Digital Streaming | 9
May 27, 2019 • 32 min
On today’s special interview episode, renowned media futurist Rich Greenfield returns to fill us in on the latest developments in the streaming wars and how these changes might impact viewers in the coming years. Greenfield is a media and tech analyst…
Netflix vs Blockbuster Revisited - Streamers Everywhere | 8
May 22, 2019 • 20 min
It’s spring 2019, and the Mouse House is determined to challenge Netflix for streaming supremacy. Disney CEO Bob Iger draws gasps at an industry event when he announces the new Disney Plus streaming service will cost just seven bucks a month. Then the…
Netflix vs Blockbuster Revisited - Break the Wheel | 7
May 20, 2019 • 23 min
Netflix goes from being a streaming company to a movement in which consumers all over the world decide what to watch, and when and how they watch. The future that Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph envisioned two decades earlier has arrived. The unfettered…
Netflix vs Blockbuster Revisited - Binge | 6
May 15, 2019 • 23 min
Hollywood execs thought Netflix was crazy to give up advertising and spin off opportunities by letting viewers flop on a couch and watch a whole season of a show all at once. But Netflix knew it was onto something. All of their studies and focus groups…
Netflix vs Blockbuster Revisited - HBO Gets in the Game | 5
May 13, 2019 • 27 min
We take a step back to explore how a little company called Home Box Office went from serving B-movies to 325 homes in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania to become the juggernaut that we know as HBO. In the process, HBO, became the standard by which all other…
Netflix vs Blockbuster Revisited - The Digital Divide | 4
May 8, 2019 • 23 min
You know the expression “content is king”? Well it turns out, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s a hard-working algorithm that burrows into customer habits and viewing patterns. With that, Netflix had a clear upper hand on Blockbuster. That, and the fact…
Netflix vs Blockbuster Revisited - Dirty Tricks | 3
May 6, 2019 • 23 min
Thinking like your enemy is the best way to beat them, and during the war, Blockbuster tried every trick in the book to get inside Netflix. Sometimes they succeeded — sending “housewives” into warehouses as spies — and sometimes things didn’t go as…
Netflix vs Blockbuster Revisited - Origins | 2
May 1, 2019 • 20 min
After Hastings pleaded with Antioco to buy Blockbuster online, Antioco agreed to present Hasting’s proposal to the board. What he didn’t tell him was that he was pushing the board to reject the offer so Netflix would wither and die. Meanwhile, Netflix was…
Netflix vs Blockbuster Revisited - Sudden Death | 1
Apr 29, 2019 • 27 min
The way we watch is changing so rapidly that we’ve decided to revisit our very first and most popular Business War: Netflix versus Blockbuster. We’re re-airing an expanded eight-part series following Netflix’s battles against HBO and today’s new entrants…
Ferrari vs. Lamborghini - The Future of Cars | 4
Apr 24, 2019 • 24 min
Electric. Diesel. Driverless. Automobile Magazine’s New York Bureau Chief, Jamie Kitman, joins to talk about the latest developments in the car industry and what’s next for Ferrari and Lamborghini. Support us by supporting our sponsors!
Ferrari vs. Lamborghini - Supercar Speed Freaks | 3
Apr 22, 2019 • 23 min
It is 1997. For decades, Lamborghini has struggled to survive as a company, and to compete with its nemesis Ferrari. All that is about to change. Volkswagen buys Lambo and injects it with cash and bulletproof German engineering. For the first time ever,…
Ferrari vs. Lamborghini - Lamborghini Spawns an Icon | 2
Apr 17, 2019 • 28 min
It’s 1970. At his factory in Italy, Ferruccio Lamborghini is desperate to build a car that can outdo his rival, Enzo Ferrari, whose Ferrari factory is just 20 miles away. With the help of genius designers and engineers, Lamborghini comes up with what many…
Ferrari vs. Lamborghini - The Gauntlet | 1
Apr 15, 2019 • 25 min
It’s the early 1960s. In Maranello, Italy, Enzo Ferrari has made a name for himself building the most exotic road cars in the world. But when a dissatisfied customer named Ferruccio Lamborghini shows up to complain about his Ferrari’s busted clutch, Enzo…
Hasbro vs Mattel - Today’s Toys | 7
Apr 10, 2019 • 31 min
Bratz. Monster High. Funko. These are the toys that rule the roost in 2019. Veteran toy industry analyst Sean McGowan joins to discuss the big business of toys today, how Hasbro and Mattel can compete, and what’s going on with Lego. You can find new…
Hasbro vs Mattel - Screen Dreams | 6
Apr 8, 2019 • 29 min
With the world plugging into the Internet, toys are under pressure. Kids are swapping plastic play for screen-based entertainment and both Mattel and Hasbro need to adapt. The question is: how? Mattel’s also finding out the hard way that Barbie’s reign as…
Hasbro vs Mattel - The Shotgun Wedding | 5
Apr 3, 2019 • 24 min
A few months ago, Mattel’s revenues were just fifty million dollars behind Hasbro’s. But now that Hasbro’s swallowed Tonka—the classic maker of Nerf, Play-Doh, and Monopoly—Mattel is half a billion dollars behind, and CEO John Amerman isn’t happy about…
Hasbro vs Mattel - Resurrection Joe | 4
Apr 1, 2019 • 24 min
It’s the early 1980s and things are not looking good for Hasbro. The company hasn’t had a hit since Hungry Hungry Hippos; its founding CEO Merrill Hassenfeld has just died; now Star Wars dolls have just about gobbled up the entire action figure market.…
Hasbro vs Mattel - The House of Cards | 3
Mar 27, 2019 • 24 min
Sizzlers, Mattel’s new motorized Hot Wheels, were supposed to be the top toy this Christmas. But sales have fizzled, leaving Mattel $30 million below target. For the last ten years, Mattel’s done exceptionally well by its investors, but now the toymaker…
Hasbro vs Mattel - Boy Toy | 2
Mar 25, 2019 • 24 min
It’s the 1960s and Hasbro is struggling. The pencil manufacturer turned toymaker hasn’t had a major success since Mr. Potato Head hit the shelves in 1952, and it’s starting to lose money. If the company doesn’t act fast, it’ll be headed for bankruptcy in…
Hasbro vs Mattel - Dream Doll | 1
Mar 20, 2019 • 25 min
It’s the late 1940s and two small toymakers are taking their first uneasy steps. The names of these young hopefuls are Hasbro and Mattel. One’s an offshoot of a pencil manufacturer. The other a husband-and-wife garage start-up. But toy-mayking, they soon…
USFL vs NFL - Risky Business | 7
Feb 25, 2019 • 30 min
Mike Pesca, Slate, joins to talk about the biggest risks facing the NFL, whether the Patriots are good or bad for the league, and what our culture would look like if football never took off as a professional sport in the first place. Plus, he talks about…
USFL vs NFL - Football Day in Court | 6
Feb 20, 2019 • 24 min
The battle between the NFL and the USFL finally comes to a head. Donald Trump has bullied his way to the top of the USFL and pressured his league into suing the NFL for violating the Sherman Antitrust Act. But the NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle is not…
USFL vs NFL - The Empire Strikes Back | 5
Feb 18, 2019 • 25 min
For nearly two full years, the mighty NFL sat idly by as the upstart USFL tried to chip away at its status, talent, and reputation as the most powerful sports league on the planet. Now, the NFL is ready to settle the score, once and for all. The league…
USFL vs NFL - Making Spring Football Great Again | 4
Feb 13, 2019 • 22 min
Description: It’s 1984, and at USFL franchise offices across the country, multi-million dollar contracts are flowing like Gatorade. As the United States Football League prepares for kickoff on its second season, owners race to recruit the best college…
USFL vs NFL - A Challenge to the King | 3
Feb 11, 2019 • 23 min
By most measures, the USFL’s debut season is a success. The games post solid numbers—in both ticket sales and television ratings—offering undeniable proof that there’s an audience for professional spring football. Still, the league is hemorrhaging money.…
USFL vs NFL - A General Triumph | 2
Feb 6, 2019 • 22 min
Description: The NFL has faced rival leagues in the past, and routinely squashed them without breaking so much as a sweat. The NFL’s powerful commissioner, Pete Rozelle, assumes the USFL will be no different. He sees the rival league as a joke. A blip on…
USFL vs NFL - Birth of a Spring Football League | 1
Feb 4, 2019 • 25 min
For years, David Dixon has been trying to convince the National Football League to launch an expansion team in New Orleans, but he always comes up empty-handed. Finally, after one too many letdowns, Dixon realizes his only hope for a hometown team is to…
McDonald’s vs Burger King - Breakfast Wars | 7
Jan 28, 2019 • 23 min
Egg McMuffins, Croissan’wiches and coffee. Today’s fast food fight is all about breakfast time. Wall Street Journal reporter Julie Jargon joins to talk about where Burger King and McDonald’s are headed, the rise of eating at home, and how fast-casual…
McDonald’s vs Burger King - Super Fan Supernova | 6
Jan 23, 2019 • 24 min
It’s a new century and times are tough for the burger giants. Burger King’s in a rut and McDonald’s is about to report its first loss in nearly 40 years. Both brands need to reinvent themselves fast. But can they come up with strategies robust enough to…
McDonald’s vs Burger King - Battle of the Burgers | 5
Jan 21, 2019 • 25 min
Burger King is under pressure. McDonald’s is wowing the nation with a new way to eat chicken and Wendy’s is quickly closing in on the number two fast food spot. Backed into a corner, Burger King prepares to bite back with an ad campaign attacking its…
McDonald’s vs Burger King - Have It Your Way | 4
Jan 16, 2019 • 24 min
It’s the 1970s, and the burger barons are turning to TV advertising to propel profits skyward. McDonald’s is betting that a little song and dance can give it the competitive edge, but Burger King is stepping up their ads as well: debuting a killer new…
McDonald’s vs Burger King - Feeding Frenzy | 3
Jan 14, 2019 • 23 min
By the mid-1960s, Americans have developed a taste for fast, delicious, affordable food — and they’re demanding more. U.S. fast food franchises — McDonald’s, Burger King and Burger Chef — know that if they want to feed America and win the burger wars,…
McDonald’s vs Burger King - Cooking with Gas | 2
Jan 9, 2019 • 25 min
It’s the late 1950s and fry cooks are flipping as fast as they can. But McDonald’s and Insta-Burger King’s desire for national success far outstrips their ability to deliver. It’s not enough to just make a better burger: bad contracts, bad equipment,…
McDonald’s vs Burger King - Fastest Burger in the West | 1
Jan 7, 2019 • 24 min
It’s 1948, and somewhere around the edge of the Mojave Desert, a drive-in restaurant is making waves. It’s called McDonald’s and it’s like no burger joint anyone’s seen before—a carhop-free eatery with lightning fast service, and shockingly low prices.…
Zankou Chicken Murders - The Death of an American Dream | 2
Dec 20, 2018 • 28 min
Mardiros Iskenderian was known for two things: the unbelievable generosity he showed to the Armenian community, and the deep love he expressed for his family—particularly for his mother, whom he treated like a queen. So why did Mardiros try to cut his…
Zankou Chicken Murders - Out of Beirut | 1
Dec 18, 2018 • 21 min
It’s January 14th, 2003, and 56-year-old Mardiros Iskenderian, the founder of the family-owned chain of rotisserie restaurants Zankou Chicken, is leaving the house for the first time in months. Twenty years ago, the Iskenderians transplanted their…
Waze vs Apple Maps | 1
Dec 17, 2018 • 28 min
The debut of the Apple iPhone in 2007 means unprecedented changes for human communication. But even its inventor Steve Jobs at first fails to realize that the most powerful part of his invention isn’t the music player or the web browser. It’s the map. The…
Browser Wars - Even When They Lose They Win | 6
Dec 13, 2018 • 25 min
Microsoft has officially won the battle against Netscape, but for Bill Gates, the browser war is far from over. The federal government has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft, and called Gates to Washington, D.C. for questioning. Hotshot…
Browser Wars - Microsoft on the Hot Seat | 5
Dec 11, 2018 • 26 min
To compete with Netscape, Bill Gates is forced to do the one thing he hates most: give tech away for free. He bundles Internet Explorer with Windows, effectively making his browser ubiquitous—and Netscape’s redundant. Suddenly, Netscape, the company that…
Browser Wars - An Offer They Can’t Refuse | 4
Dec 6, 2018 • 23 min
It’s summer 1995, and Bill Gates is worried about the sudden rise of the Internet. In the world of computers, Gates is used to being in the driver’s seat. Now it seems he’s not even in the car.  Marc Andreessen has just launched the latest version of…
Browser Wars - Poker Face | 3
Dec 4, 2018 • 23 min
It’s 1974, and a young programmer named Paul Allen has just caught a glimpse of the world’s first personal computer, the Altair 8800. It has the potential to change the computing landscape forever — but it doesn’t yet have an operating system. Altair’s…
Browser Wars - The Birth of a Dot Com Giant | 2
Nov 29, 2018 • 20 min
Two disgruntled tech whizzes, Jim Clark and Marc Andreessen, join forces to exact revenge on the companies that wronged them, building a browser so fast and powerful that it wipes their competitors off the face of the web. In private, they call it a…
Browser Wars - Kickstarting a Revolution | 1
Nov 27, 2018 • 22 min
It’s 1992, and in the basement of the chemistry building at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, two computer science students are working on a new web browser. Up to this point, browsing has made up less than one percent of all internet…
Red Bull vs Monster - Buzzkill | 3
Nov 20, 2018 • 27 min
As the extreme marketing battle between Red Bull and Monster reaches unprecedented heights (128,000 feet above sea level, to be precise), a new challenger steps onto the scene. 5-hour Energy, the tiny titan in the two ounce can, quickly plows through the…
Red Bull vs Monster - Beast Gores Bull | 2
Nov 15, 2018 • 26 min
As Red Bull plans its U.S. invasion, an unlikely upstart vies to beat it to market. Led by branding guru Mark Hall, the wholesome Hansen Beverage Company launches Monster, a grungy, all-American alternative to its yuppie European competitor. Not only does…
Red Bull vs Monster - Get Your Wings | 1
Nov 13, 2018 • 26 min
It’s the early 1980s, and in Bangkok, Thailand, a jet-lagged toothpaste marketing exec named Dietrich Mateschitz has just tasted Krating Daeng, an energy tonic popular with rickshaw drivers. The flavor is repellant—it’s sickly sweet—but to Mateschitz’s…
Xbox vs Playstation - Interview with Tristan Donovan | 4
Oct 16, 2018 • 22 min
Host David Brown sits down with Tristan Donovan, series writer and author of Replay: The History of Video Games, just as this console war enters uncharted territory. What’s next for Xbox, PlayStation and wild card Nintendo Switch? Hint: probably not three…
Xbox vs Playstation - Tear Down This Wall | 3
Oct 11, 2018 • 25 min
As Nintendo burns with the failure of Wii U, Sony can’t woo PS2 users to the new Playstation 3. It vows to not make that mistake again, and the Playstation 4 prioritizes on what the gamers want: a better gaming experience. But it’s not just the focus on…
Xbox vs Playstation - The Red Ring of Death | 2
Oct 9, 2018 • 23 min
Microsoft put all its efforts into it’s new console, the Xbox 360 to beat combat Sony’s market share and it looked like it was working. Thousands of consoles sold, and then suddenly, mysteriously, thousands of consoles died. Meanwhile Sony announces their…
Xbox vs Playstation - The Biggest Cannon in the World | 1
Oct 4, 2018 • 24 min
Sony was preparing Playstation to eventually replace personal computers. Microsoft sees that coming and goes into combat mode. Bill Gates spends more than two billion dollars to launch Microsoft’s Xbox console with innards that Gates hopes will not only…
Southwest vs American - Interview with Joseph Guinto | 7
Oct 2, 2018 • 25 min
Host David Brown chats with freelance journalist and series writer Joseph Guinto about the 22 years he’s spent covering Southwest Airlines… including his memories meeting and interviewing Southwest’s major players, from Rollin King to Herb Kelleher…
Southwest vs American - Free LUV | 6
Sep 27, 2018 • 25 min
Thanks to deregulation, no-frills knock offs of Southwest take to the skies like crows. About 120 airlines have gone out of business or filed for bankruptcy since the industry was deregulated in 1978. American’s SABRE system optimizes…everything. It…
Southwest vs American - The Cult of Herb | 5
Sep 25, 2018 • 24 min
Everyone loves Herb Kelleher—even FAA regulators. The onetime corporate counsel-turned-CEO is coming into his own at the helm of Southwest. But his latest challenge is coming up with a way to skirt the FAA’s pesky “slot” system, designed to limit air…
Southwest vs American - The Darling of Deregulation | 4
Sep 20, 2018 • 24 min
As deregulation dawns, Southwest Airlines’ founder and CEO are locked in a power struggle. In the middle is Herb Kelleher, Southwest’s corporate attorney. And after 18 months serving as a punching bag for the company’s top brass, he’s had enough. But as…
Southwest vs American - Aviation Cyber Wars | 3
Sep 18, 2018 • 20 min
The computer age is on the horizon, and American Airlines has a secret weapon: SABRE. Sure, the airline is top of the heap under the current pen-and-paper reservation system — the one where travel agents use a massive phonebook to look up flights, then…
Southwest vs American - Dogfight Over Dallas | 2
Sep 13, 2018 • 22 min
Baniff and Southwest battled in court for domination over the skies. Southwest came out on top for a little while, but Baniff pushed back with prices Southwest just couldn’t beat. The only way Southwest could fight back was to give the mostly male, mostly…
Southwest vs. American - Clearing the Runway | 1
Sep 11, 2018 • 23 min
In Texas in the 1960s, Rollin King had a crazy idea. He wanted to create a no-frills airline service that served San Antonio, Dallas and Houston. All he and his lawyer had to do was convince the Federal Regulations Bureau that they had no jurisdiction on…
Coke vs Pepsi - Interview with Tristan Donovan | 7
Sep 6, 2018 • 25 min
Host David Brown chats with series writer Tristan Donovan, author of Fizz: How Soda Shook Up the World, about some of the juicy tidbits that didn’t make the final series. Like Fanta’s roots in Nazi Germany, Pepsi’s frantic struggle to make sure Coca-Cola…
Coke vs Pepsi - The Soda Revolt | 6
Sep 4, 2018 • 27 min
Coke continues to grapple with Pepsi’s winning ads, but as Y2K nears both companies realize this isn’t just a cola war anymore. There’s more backlash for both companies, this time from schools. Coke and Pepsi are now seen as allies in America’s obesity.…
Coke vs Pepsi - No Sacred Cows | 5
Aug 30, 2018 • 26 min
With the Pepsi Challenge under attack by Coke, Pepsi needs a new ad campaign. So the company turns for inspiration to the biggest pop star in the world: Michael Jackson. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola has a new chief executive who’s convinced tinkering with…
Coke vs Pepsi - The Imitator’s Revenge | 4
Aug 28, 2018 • 24 min
Welcome to the Pepsi Generation. As Pepsi fires up a hot new ad campaign, Coca-Cola starts getting nervous. But a sudden plane detour through Ireland gives Coke executive Bill Backer inspiration for one of the most iconic ads of the 20th century. It seems…
Coke vs Pepsi - Cola über Alles | 3
Aug 23, 2018 • 24 min
With world war on the horizon, Coca-Cola and Pepsi face a supply crisis. How to get enough sugar to continue bottling their sweet fizzy goodness? One man has the answer — to secure its supply line, Coke must sell itself as the all-American cola. For GIs…
Coke vs Pepsi - Candy Monster | 2
Aug 21, 2018 • 26 min
The cola cops are coming. Pepsi, an upstart Coca-Cola imitator, grabs its rival’s attention by serving up its own beverage to unsuspecting soda fountain customers. Coca-Cola moves fast — but it’s not enough to stop Charles Guth, Pepsi-Cola’s new owner and…
Coke vs Pepsi - Cocaine is King | 1
Aug 16, 2018 • 26 min
In turn of the century Atlanta, pharmacist John Pemberton has invented a dynamite health tonic with some secret ingredients his customers can’t get enough of. There’s only one problem. With the city about to go dry, the temperance authorities are coming…
eBay vs PayPal - Interview with Kara Swisher | 7
Aug 14, 2018 • 25 min
We hope you enjoyed our series on eBay vs PayPal. Here to discuss her thoughts on the PayPal mafia alums is Kara Swisher. Swisher is the self-described “grumpy lady of tech” and host of the podcast Recode Decode. She’s known for her tough takes on Silicon…
eBay vs PayPal - Outta the Gate | 6
Aug 9, 2018 • 24 min
PayPal is running out of time. The online payment service is hauling in new users, but its bottom line is bleeding red. Without a buyer to pump it full of cash soon, the company could go under. Should it take the safe route and sell out to its longtime…
eBay vs PayPal - Breaking Up Is Hard To Do | 5
Aug 7, 2018 • 25 min
By late 2000, PayPal and X.com are yoked together, with X.com CEO Elon Musk leading the newly combined company. But it’s a rocky marriage: PayPal’s founders clash with their new leader over everything from his imperious management style to his choice of…
eBay vs PayPal - How Bad Is It? | 4
Aug 2, 2018 • 23 min
Remember the summer of 2000? The Olympics were in full swing and PayPal was under attack. Not from eBay, but Russian hackers. In looking for soft targets in the early days of the untethered Internet, PayPal was the fattest cow. On top of that, there are…
eBay vs PayPal - PayPal Goes Viral | 3
Jul 31, 2018 • 24 min
In the midst of the dot-com boom, there’s also a lot of dot-com bust. PayPal desperately needed to grow but they companies who’d raised millions more suddenly disintegrate. The solution was so simple it seemed almost illegal - let the converted…
eBay vs PayPal - The E-commerce Revolution | 2
Jul 26, 2018 • 25 min
As eBay gathers steam, a libertarian chess champion and a programmer who fled Communist Ukraine team up to change the world with their encryption software. But when their plan to piggyback on the ubiquitous Palm Pilot hits a snag, they stumble upon a new…
eBay vs PayPal - Going Once, Going Twice | 1
Jul 24, 2018 • 24 min
At the dawn of the dotcom era, a Silicon Valley tech geek on a personal vendetta rolls out the world’s first e-commerce site. Vintage lunchboxes? Second-hand guitars? B-list celebrity autographs? It all finds a home on AuctionWeb, and before long the…
Hearst vs Pulitzer - Interview with Gabriel Kahn | 7
Jun 28, 2018 • 24 min
Joining us today is Gabriel Kahn, a professor of journalism at the University of Southern California. He’s a former Los Angeles bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal and a frequent commentator on monetization and the media. He’s also taught courses on…
Hearst vs Pulitzer - Days of Atonement | 6
Jun 26, 2018 • 24 min
By 1900, the days of yellow journalism were already fading, and both William Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer were searching for a new direction even as their newspapers diverged. Hearst tries for a political career, but finds himself defeated and dragging back…
Hearst vs Pulitzer - Newsies | 5
Jun 21, 2018 • 20 min
A close up look at a crisis of their own making. One that nearly cost Hearst and Pulitzer their grip on the country’s first media empires. Instead of pitting them against each other, the crisis would see the two media moguls finding rare common ground. At…
Hearst vs Pulitzer - War Drums | 4
Jun 19, 2018 • 25 min
What happens when there’s no news? You have to MAKE the news. When Hearst heard from his top reporter that the Spanish-Cuban tension wasn’t looking like anything would happen, Hearst wasn’t just going to wait around for an explosion. He already bought and…
Hearst vs Pulitzer - The Price of News | 3
Jun 14, 2018 • 22 min
In 1883, 15 years before the Headless Torso Murder, New York City’s population was rapidly growing and the newspaper scene was pretty sleepy. The city’s nearly 50 daily papers, even the small New York Times, was a pretty sedate bunch, informing citizens…
Hearst vs Pulitzer - The Headless Torso, Part 2 | 2
Jun 12, 2018 • 23 min
In 1897, America looked very different. Carriages rolled through the streets of New York. Mass media was just growing up, and Hearst was convinced that carrier pigeons - hunted to extinction by 1914 - were what would give his paper the edge during the…
Hearst vs Pulitzer - The Headless Torso, Part 1 | 1
Jun 7, 2018 • 24 min
This is the beginning of a mystery, a great business rivalry, and a look into American history. To tell the story of Hearst vs Pulitzer, we called our friend Lindsay Graham over at American History Tellers for help. The Headless Torso mystery is about a…
Gregor Mendel vs the World - American Innovations | 1
May 10, 2018 • 35 min
Host David Brown interviews Steven Johnson, the host of the new podcast American Innovations. Support us by supporting our sponsors!
The First Computer War - Computing Gets Personal | 6
May 8, 2018 • 26 min
After all that IBM has been through over the decades, it would have never in a million years guessed that their undoing would be at the hands of a scrawny and unknown computer nerd named Bill Gates. Gates sees the future, but can IBM catch up? Will they…
The First Computer War - Betting the Store | 5
May 3, 2018 • 25 min
It’s 1961. Since his father retired 5 years earlier, Thomas Watson Jr pushed to modernize IBM from the top down. New management, new ideas, newer, faster, machines. The company has grown, employing 1,000 people, they’ve dominated the emerging computer…
The First Computer War - Abdication | 4
May 1, 2018 • 26 min
In Episode 1 the UNIVAC successfully predicted that Eisenhower would win the 1952 election. In Philadelphia, a champagne hangover quickly settled in over the Remington Rand building, the company elated at its success. But over at IBM, a company that…
The First Computer War - IBM versus The UNIVAC | 3
Apr 26, 2018 • 24 min
What’s a 16% market share when the public thinks you have more? A potential anti-trust suit, if you’re IBM. Watson Jr. sees a potential lawsuit as a way out from under his father’s control. Sr. sees his company rotting away in the hands of a kid who can’t…
The First Computer War - Father, Son, and The Future | 2
Apr 24, 2018 • 25 min
How do you really “get ahead” in a war? Sometimes you don’t have to do anything, you just wait for your opponent to fumble. And in the late 1940s, IBM’s CEO Thomas Watson Sr., did. He’s just beginning to grasp the potential of these electronic machines,…
The First Computer War - The Electronic Brain | 1
Apr 19, 2018 • 23 min
With so much information at our fingertips, it’s hard to remember that we haven’t always walked around with supercomputers in our pockets. In fact, in 1952, CBS thought that Americans would find it SO hard to imagine that a machine could even predict…
Marvel vs DC - Interview with Jason Mewes and Reed Tucker | 7
Apr 12, 2018 • 43 min
What’s that? Up in the sky? It’s another episode of Business Wars. Today we’re talking to two super guests, Reed Tucker is a journalist living in New York City, and the author of the book Slugfest: Inside the Epic 50-Year Battle Between Marvel and DC and!…
Marvel vs DC - The Cinematic Universe | 6
Apr 10, 2018 • 26 min
After more than 50 years of fighting for the hearts and attention spans of millions of readers, television viewers, and movie-goers - who wins this war? Is it DC, the original comic company company behind classic American heroes that defined the dreams of…
Marvel vs DC - Big Screen Heroes | 5
Apr 5, 2018 • 24 min
Appearances on radio programs, television shows and thousands of comic books - all just another day in the life of a superhero. But to get a larger than life hero onto a larger than life screen, there’s one secret ingredient: verisimilitude. As both…
Marvel vs DC - Schemes, Scans, and Double Crosses | 4
Apr 3, 2018 • 23 min
It’s 1970 and the unthinkable just happened. Jack Kirby, one of the men who made Marvel, has defected to DC. With him he brought an idea that may just end Marvel for good. But as soon as DC seems to be pulling back into the lead, something else goes wrong…
Marvel vs DC - Copycat | 3
Mar 29, 2018 • 21 min
As Marvel’s richer storylines captivate more readers, DC just can’t keep up, or fully understand Marvel’s success. They even try directly copying Marvel’s style, but go about it in the worst way. Just when it looks like DC’s days at the top are numbered,…
Marvel vs DC - The Fantastic Mr. Lee | 2
Mar 27, 2018 • 23 min
We’ve talked about several wars on this series, but here’s a first: DC and Marvel engaging with each other, sniping, making fun, and getting their fans involved in the argument. A series of editor’s letters, guest columns, and fan mail printed in the…
Marvel vs DC - Origin Stories | 1
Mar 21, 2018 • 22 min
In the early 1960s, the Space Race was on, Chubby Checkers got everyone doin’ the twist and Superman was turning 25. DC has it all - a legacy comic, the talented writers and illustrators, and plush offices in Manhattan. Marvel is around but it’s much…
Nike vs Adidas - Interview with Liz Dolan and David Meltzer | 7
Mar 20, 2018 • 45 min
Today we talked to Liz Dolan, former Nike CMO, and David Meltzer, sports marketing guru and agent about this vicious war. If you loved them here, you’ll love their podcasts even more. Liz co-hosts Safe For Work, a show that answers your burning business…
Nike vs Adidas - The Defectors | 6
Mar 15, 2018 • 19 min
The rivalry between Nike and Adidas has been intense for decades, but always respectful. But with intensity comes… defectors. Just three at the beginning, who set out to create a “Disneyland for designers.” And it worked. For the first time in a long…
Nike vs Adidas - Rebound | 5
Mar 13, 2018 • 26 min
Nike, the late starter struck gold with its “Just Do It” campaign. Launched in 1988, the shoe giant finally had a tagline as good as its shoes. Meanwhile, Adidas, the brand that started and found success long before Nike was even a dream, finds itself as…
Nike vs Adidas - Nike Air | 4
Mar 8, 2018 • 27 min
Every new Nike employee gets a list of principles that serves as the company’s philosophy. One: Our business is change. Two: We’re on offense, all the time. With those principles Nike sprinted from $29 million in revenue in 1973 to more than $850 million…
Nike vs Adidas - Walking Billboards | 3
Mar 6, 2018 • 21 min
As long as there have been professional sports, there have been professional athletes, willing to accept money to wear certain brands, but the biggest endorsement deals were only made possible by a mid-20th century invention: the television. Fans realized…
Nike vs Adidas - The Starting Line | 2
Mar 1, 2018 • 23 min
Rudi and Adi Dassler started the “Dassler Business” in the 1920s in their parent’s garage, recycling materials from WWI military gear and uniforms. They got a pair of their track spikes on an athlete named Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics and the company…
Nike vs Adidas - Sneakerheads | 1
Feb 27, 2018 • 21 min
In 2015, Kanye West turned his back on Nike, an all out battle in the ongoing war for sneaker supremacy. Nike and Adidas are two multinational companies worth billions in an industry estimated to be valued at $220 Billion by 2020 (which is double the GDP…
Netflix vs Blockbuster - Interview with Rich Greenfield | 8
Feb 22, 2018 • 23 min
Rich Greenfield is a tech and media analyst with BTIG who’s been covering this battle in some capacity for decades. We had the chance to talk to him in depth on today’s episode. Follow Rich on Twitter @RichBTIG Support us by supporting our sponsors!
Netflix vs Blockbuster - The Way We Watch | 7
Feb 20, 2018 • 25 min
Netflix goes from being a streaming company to a movement in which consumers all over the world decide what show to watch — and when and how they watch them. The future that Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph envisioned two decades earlier has arrived. The…
Netflix vs Blockbuster - Binge | 6
Feb 15, 2018 • 23 min
Hollywood execs thought Netflix was crazy to give up advertising and spin off opportunities by letting viewers flop on a couch and watch a whole season of a show all at once. But Netflix knew it was on to something. All of their studies and focus groups…
Netflix vs Blockbuster - HBO Gets In The Ring | 5
Feb 13, 2018 • 29 min
We take a step back to explore how a little company called Home Box Office went from serving B-movies to 325 homes in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania to become the juggernaut that we know as HBO. In the process, HBO, become the standard by which all other…
Netflix vs Blockbuster - The Digital Divide | 4
Feb 8, 2018 • 22 min
You know that expression “content is king”? Well it turns out, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s a hard-working algorithm that burrows into customer habits and viewing patterns. With that, Netflix had a clear upper hand on Blockbuster. That, and the fact…
Netflix vs Blockbuster - Dirty Tricks | 3
Feb 6, 2018 • 22 min
Thinking like your enemy is the best way to beat them, and during the war, Blockbuster tried every trick in the books to get inside Netflix. Sometimes they succeeded - sending “housewives” into warehouses as spies, and sometimes things didn’t go as…
Netflix vs Blockbuster - Origins | 2
Feb 6, 2018 • 19 min
After Hastings pleaded with Antioco to buy Blockbuster Online, Antioco agreed to present Hasting’s proposal to the board. What he didn’t tell him was that he was pushing the board to reject the offer so Netflix would wither and die. Meanwhile, Netflix was…
Netflix vs Blockbuster - Sudden Death | 1
Feb 6, 2018 • 27 min
This is Episode 1 of an 8-part series on the brutal business battle between Netflix and Blockbuster, and later HBO. It all started around 1997, with a guy named Marc Randolph and his mathematician friend Reed Hastings. Randolph and Hastings knew they’d…
Introducing: Business Wars
Jan 19, 2018 • 1 min
Netflix-HBO. Nike-Adidas. Business is war. Sometimes the prize is your wallet. Sometimes your attention. Sometimes just the fun of beating the other guy. From Wondery, the network behind Dirty John and American History Tellers.