ZigZag

ZigZag

www.stableg.com
ZigZag takes an honest look at the culture of business and work—-and what needs to change.


End of A Partnership
May 7 • 35 min
Two years ago, Jen and Manoush quit their jobs and became business partners. Today their adventure comes to an end. Hear how financial and parenting pressures in the age of COVID-19 forced them to make a hard choice. And what happens to this podcast.
S4 EP22: Mailchimp’s CEO On Building a Multi-Billion Dollar Business Without Being an A$$hole
Dec 12, 2019 • 49 min
The newsletter company Mailchimp made an impressive $700 million dollars in revenue in 2019 and, after 20 years, it’s still owned and operated by co-founders, Ben Chestnut and Dan Kurzius. On this episode, Ben shares his tactics for staying focused and…
S4 EP21: Being Ethnically Ambiguous At Work
Dec 5, 2019 • 44 min
As co-host of NPR’s Code Switch, Shereen Marisol Meraji combines groundbreaking reporting on race and culture with her own personal experience as a half-Puerto Rican, half-Persian American. On this episode, she and Manoush discuss why the push for…
S4 EP20: How Valerie Jarrett Turned Her Misery Into Motivation
Nov 28, 2019 • 47 min
Valerie Jarrett‘s fascinating family defied racism to become some of the most influential African-Americans you’ve likely never heard of, including one of Louisiana’s first black legislators and MIT’s first black student. But Jarrett also shares how,…
S4 EP19: The Guy Who Quit Planes for Good
Nov 14, 2019 • 33 min
For millions of us, air travel comes with the job. NASA physicist Peter Kalmus was no different; he frequently flew to prestigious conferences around the globe to present his research. But then, on a routine flight in 2012, Kalmus had a personal…
S4 EP18: Don’t Tie a Pink Ribbon for Kate Pickert
Nov 7, 2019 • 27 min
After an onerous cancer diagnosis, Kate Pickert nearly skipped an interview for a job she desperately wanted. Her husband encouraged her to go, saying, “You never know. Maybe you won’t die!” Pickert got the job…and she lived. Now she’s a journalism…
S4 EP17: Helping Your Relationship Survive Your Job
Oct 31, 2019 • 42 min
Double-career couples are the norm these days. But when organizational behaviorist Jennifer Petriglieri looked for studies on how these couples manage their professional and personal responsibilities, she found little research. So Petriglieri did her own…
Bonus: “The Surveillance Economy” from IRL
Oct 28, 2019 • 26 min
This week, we’re featuring an episode from the IRL podcast called “The Surveillance Economy.” Learn about the rise of surveillance capitalism, and hear from guests like Harvard Business School’s Shoshana Zuboff. She says that Big Tech uses our personal…
EP16: Ari Weinzweig is Prototyping a New Kind of Delicious Capitalism
Oct 24, 2019 • 37 min
If you live in Michigan or run your company with a bit of an anarchist bent, you’ve likely heard of the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, including a coffee roaster, creamery, and candy factory, all co-owned and operated. On this episode, co-founder…
S4 EP15: The Secret Ex-Rock Star at The Ford Foundation
Oct 10, 2019 • 25 min
With her band Tsunami and record label Simple Machines, Jenny Toomey was a fixture on the ’90s Washington, D.C. indie music scene. On this episode, Toomey shares her evolution from rocker to founder of the Future of Music Coalition to director at the Ford…
S4 EP14: When Women Don’t Support Other Women at Work
Sep 26, 2019 • 37 min
In 2015, Katharine Zaleski wrote an op-ed for Fortune that went viral called I’m Sorry to All the Mothers I Worked With. In it, the former media exec apologized for “a long list of infractions against mothers,” whom she’d assumed couldn’t handle long…
Bonus: Manoush Guest Hosts the TED Radio Hour!
Sep 20, 2019 • 17 min
We’re excited that Manoush is guest hosting the Ted Radio Hour! To celebrate, we’re bringing you her 2017 TED Talk. It’s all about our relationship to technology, and how it sometimes helps us to avoid some very human states of mind, like boredom. It’s an…
S4 EP 13: The CEO Who Paid Everyone the $ame $alary. Including Himself.
Sep 19, 2019 • 50 min
Dan Price, the founder of Gravity Payments, became a media darling in 2015 after announcing that every employee would be paid a minimum of $70k. (Those salaries have consistently risen since then.) For most of his staff, the increase was dramatic (the…
S4 EP12: We’re Rethinking What Success Looks Like
Sep 12, 2019 • 36 min
ZigZag is back after a brief hiatus and kicking off a series of shows investigating how people are rethinking the notion of “success.” On this episode, listeners share their frustrations with an economy structured to thrive at the cost of the planet,…
S4 EP11: Pacing Yourself After Burnout
Jul 25, 2019 • 43 min
Two years ago, Helen Zaltzman and her husband, Martin Austwick, gave up their London apartment to travel the world. She paid the bills by continuing to produce her two podcasts, The Allusionist and Answer Me This, from the road. Things were going well…
S4 EP10: This is What a Male Identity Crisis Sounds Like
Jul 18, 2019 • 50 min
Eighteen months. That’s how long Khe Hy (pronounced Kay Hee) gave himself to figure out his life after quitting his extremely well-paid job at Blackrock Financials. His friends called him nuts. His immigrant parents thought they’d failed him. But his wife…
S4 EP09: Is Your Career Veering Off Course…Or Just Doing a Zigzag?
Jul 11, 2019 • 32 min
It can be hard to know if you’re on the right track for building your career or business. Manoush and Jen consider crucial lessons from entrepreneurs whom they’ve reported on over the past five years, including a CEO who changed his business model after…
S4 EP08: The Weird Kids At The Big Tech Party
Jun 27, 2019 • 44 min
Before Silicon Valley was dominated by the Big Five tech companies, there was Mozilla, an organization founded by a motley crew of coders and activists who believe the internet should be open to everyone. Those punk rock roots live on in Mozilla’s Firefox…
S4 EP07: 46, Female, and Ambitious. Is that so wrong?
Jun 20, 2019 • 42 min
You’ve probably heard her hundreds of times. Mallory Kasdan is the voice of dozens of ads, from Crest White Strips to Nickelodeon. For years, she made an excellent living sounding like the quintessential “hip mom” or sassy big sister, who happened to have…
S4 EP06: Why Craiglist’s Founder Just Wrote Consumer Reports a $6m Check
Jun 6, 2019 • 41 min
Consumer Reports, theOG‘s of product reviews, just got an upgrade: $6 million from Craigslist founder turned philanthropist,Craig Newmark. On this special episode, he and the CEO of Consumer Reports,Marta Tellado, announce their big plans to test all our…
S4 EP05: The Venture Capitalist Asking Existential Questions
May 30, 2019 • 40 min
We went looking for a venture capitalist who is investing in products or platforms that make money AND make our lives a bit saner: Caterina Fake co-founded Flickr, coined the acronym FOMO, and is now a partner at Yes VC. She’s putting her money behind…
S4 EP04: When Your Gut Tells You It’s Time to END Your Company
May 16, 2019 • 47 min
We hear a lot about how people start up companies but what about winding them down? After 15 years, media entrepreneur and “influencer” Grace Bonney has decided to close her lifestyle blog Design*Sponge. In this episode, Grace explains why she decided not…
S4 EP03: Adam Grant Says Your Next Boss Might Want You to “Self Manage”
May 2, 2019 • 41 min
The workplace has become a place of sociological experimentation. But what are the pros and cons to “flattening” hierarchy or employees giving each other “radically transparent” feedback? Organizational psychologist Adam Grant (and host of TED’s WorkLife…
Bonus: Our Old Podcast is Back! Here’s a Taste.
Apr 25, 2019 • 35 min
The tech show about being human returns with an all new season exclusively on the new Luminary app. Manoush kicks things off with the latest on the battle between kids and parents over their screens: do we know how kids are impacted by tech? Does it make…
S4 EP02: An Alternative To Silicon Valley’s “Unicorn” Bullsh*t
Apr 25, 2019 • 44 min
Founded by Jenn Brandel and Mara Zapeda, the growing Zebras Unite network is a backlash against Silicon Valley’s so-called “unicorn” companies. Many of these entrepreneurs are saying no to venture capital investors and attempting to build sustainable…
S4 EP01: Manoush and Jen Became Entrepreneurs One Year Ago
Apr 11, 2019 • 43 min
On the launch episode of Season Four, Jen and Manoush celebrate the first anniversary of their company, Stable Genius Productions, and share the most important and difficult entrepreneurial lessons they’ve learned over the past year. They also explain…
S3 EP06: The Plateau of Productivity
Mar 28, 2019 • 25 min
What IS that anti-climactic feeling we get after completing a big project? Shouldn’t we be patting ourselves on the back and mixing celebratory martinis? Perhaps you’ve simply entered the final phase of the Hype Cycle: the rather dull Plateau of…
S3 EP5: The Slope of Enlightenment
Mar 14, 2019 • 30 min
We’re almost at the end of our deep-dive into the lifecycle of innovation, or the so-called Hype Cycle. Phase Four, aka the Slope of Enlightenment, is when the breakthrough happens, you get out of the trough, and start moving forward. We’re using this…
S3 EP4: The Trough of Disillusionment
Feb 28, 2019 • 30 min
Our journey through the Hype Cycle takes a dark turn this week. Because every innovative idea, sadly, must pass through the third (and most miserable) phase of the cycle: the Trough of Disillusionment. This is when you start questioning why you ever…
S3 EP3: The Peak of Expectations
Feb 14, 2019 • 36 min
As we continue through the Hype Cycle, we reach the fun, thrilling, titillating phase: the Peak of Expectations. It generates the vital inspiration and adrenaline that keeps every entrepreneur or visionary going (that includes the listener who is in the…
S3 EP2: What Triggers Innovation
Jan 31, 2019 • 22 min
Question: what SPARKS us to *act *on an idea, rather than let it fade away? Answer: an “Innovation Trigger,” also known as Phase 1 of the Hype Cycle. Hear listeners detail what triggered them to pursue a project, more from Gartner analyst Jackie Fenn, and…
S3 EP1: The Lifecycle of an Idea
Jan 17, 2019 • 33 min
You may *feel *like a special snowflake, but even our best ideas usually take a predictable path: they’ll pass through the 5 Phases of the Hype Cycle. Tech analyst Jackie Fenn created this iconic graph (see below) 25 years ago, and it’s been used to track…
S2 EP12: Lessons Learned from a Risky Crypto Experiment
Dec 20, 2018 • 41 min
The co-founders of Stable Genius Productions have a candid conversation about their current financial situation (hint: their grant is running out soon), the highs/lows of making this season of the podcast (another hint: they had a fallout over email), and…
S2 EP11: If Capitalism and Socialism Had a Baby
Dec 20, 2018 • 26 min
The richest 1 percent of the world’s population now owns more than half of the world’s wealth. The calls for breaking up Big Tech companies are growing louder. On this episode, the author of Open Revolution, Rufus Pollock, proposes a solution (think…
S2 EP10: An App for Information Overload?
Dec 13, 2018 • 33 min
Journalists-turned-entrepreneurs Mark Little and Áine Kerr believe the experience of getting news online is broken. (And they should know: Mark worked at Twitter and Áine at Facebook.) So, they’re building an app called Kinzen which they hope can reboot…
S2 BONUS: The Story of ZigZag Through Voice Memos
Dec 6, 2018 • 13 min
It’s been an extraordinarily weird year. This mini episode compresses Manoush and Jen’s story so far into a strange mash-up of voice memos that documents their leap from public radio producers to audio entrepreneurs (who often are very stressed and seem…
S2 EP9: Julia Angwin’s Investigations Haunt Facebook
Dec 5, 2018 • 38 min
Julia Angwin, the award-winning reporter whose investigations make Facebook sweat, just got $20 million from Craig Newmark (yes, as in Craig’s List) to start her own publication. Hear her vision for The MarkUp, why we need a new kind of watchdog…
S2 EP8: The Women Who Make CRIMINAL
Nov 28, 2018 • 37 min
CRIMINAL was a mega-hit long before the genre of true-crime took off in podcasting. On this episode, Manoush and Jen talk to the show’s co-creators, Phoebe Judge and Lauren Spohrer, about quitting their stable public radio jobs to start a company (sound…
S2 EP7: Forget Inbox Zero
Nov 22, 2018 • 21 min
This week, we explain how the ZigZag inbox works and Manoush answers two very special letters: one from a listener with an unusual financial frustration and another who has an existential entrepreneurial query. Because in the daily cacophony of signals,…
S2 EP6: A Secret #MeToo Weapon
Nov 15, 2018 • 28 min
Can you scrub the truth from the web? Or will people always find a workaround? An extraordinary tale this week about the intersection of new tech, personal stories, human rights, and repressive regimes. Plus, producer Thalia Beaty explains how governments…
S2 EP5: Meat World Matters
Nov 7, 2018 • 30 min
Meat world, real life, ‘social infrastucture’…whatever you want to call it, human contact with our neighbors is crucial to mending divided communities, according to sociologist Eric Klinenberg, author of Palaces for the People. On this episode, Eric…
S2 EP4: What IS Fact-Checking?
Nov 1, 2018 • 27 min
This week’s episode is focused on a very specialized job in journalism: the Fact-Checker. Our guide is journalism’s OG of information verification, Pulitzer Prize winner Bill Adair. He explains the origins, methodology, and challenges of fact-checking in…
S2 EP3: Trusting Yourself in Startup-Entrepreneurland
Oct 24, 2018 • 34 min
Hear from three entrepreneurs (Jen, Manoush, and Civil Media CEO Matthew Iles) on how each is coping with uncertainty, deciding how to grow, and bouncing back when things go…well, badly, like that token sale you heard about in the previous episode.…
S2 EP2: Why Civil’s Token Sale Failed
Oct 18, 2018 • 43 min
Civil couldn’t convince enough people that blockchain and crypto-economics were the answer to journalism’s problems. It didn’t even come close to its $8m goal. But, #failure is common in the tech world. And so are pivots. On this episode, Civil Media CEO…
S2 EP1: How Misinformation Spreads
Oct 11, 2018 • 36 min
Manoush and Jen kick off the season with surprising new research from the Knight Foundation into how false information spreads on Twitter and its effect on society. They also have news about Civil, the blockchain startup for journalism, which is…
Announcing Season Two of ZigZag
Oct 4, 2018 • 2 min
ZigZag is BACK on October 11 for Season Two. The theme is Trust + Information. Listen to the trailer to hear what Jen and Manoush have planned…and click here to learn how to get the podcast delivered to you every Thursday. *Never heard ZigZag? *Give…
The Civil Token Sale is Live
Sep 20, 2018 • 23 min
Manoush and Jen explain the latest news on Civil’s token sale. They also admit why they’re a little uneasy about some recent press coverage of their endeavors, and try to make sense of one man’s failed attempt at #MeToo redemption. Who you’ll hear:…
Update: It’s Hard Going Back to School, Work, and Saving Journalism
Sep 6, 2018 • 23 min
Never heard ZigZag? Start with Season One, Chapter One. This is an update episode between Seasons 1 and 2 of ZigZag. On Sept 20, we’ll have a special report on the Civil token sale. Season Two officially starts on Oct 11, 2018. This week, Manoush and…
Chapter 12: Enter the Mesh
Aug 23, 2018 • 40 min
Manoush and Jen wrap up Season One* by interviewing Joe Lubin, co-founder of the Ethereum blockchain, about his involvement with Civil and whether the tech is up to the task of supporting a new platform for journalism. They also have honest answers for…
Chapter 11: Ten Things You Should Know About Crypto
Aug 16, 2018 • 29 min
From Crypto Kitties to Bitcoin Carnivores, the world of crypto is like a weird parallel reality, hidden just out of plain sight from most of us. This top ten countdown will grant you powers to see previously-invisible blockchain subcultures and…
Chapter 10: Listening to Anthony Bourdain
Aug 9, 2018 • 32 min
Anthony Bourdain did a very unusual interview a few months before his death: he spent an afternoon with Maria Bustillos, founder of Popula.com and the first journalist to join the Civil platform. Bourdain Confidential, her piece about their wonderfully…
Chapter 9: Letter from Startup-Blockchain-Women-Entrepreneurland
Aug 2, 2018 • 19 min
Civil postpones its token sale until September and lowers expectations of how much the sale can generate. Meanwhile, Manoush and Jen are floored by emails from listeners about the changes they’ve made in their lives since #MeToo. Plus, Manoush responds to…
Chapter 8: Putting Crypto Pioneers to the Test
Jul 26, 2018 • 29 min
It’s true. ZigZag listeners agree that registering to buy CVL tokens is a pain in the ass. And yet, many still plan to join Civil’s experimental social network for journalism. On this episode, listeners ask tough question and explain why they’re…
Chapter 7: A New Frontier for Journalism?
Jul 19, 2018 • 38 min
The time has come. Civil, the blockchain startup for journalism, made its big announcement: members of the public can now register to buy its digital currency, the CVL token. But Manoush and Jen are surprised by the strict parameters Civil has set for the…
Chapter 6: What’s a CVL Token?
Jul 12, 2018 • 20 min
A heady cocktail of cryptoeconomics and game theory is fueling Civil’s big plan to save journalism. Add a “token curated registry” to the mix and it’s enough to give everyone a virtual hangover. Luckily, economist Stephanie Hurder, obsessive…
Chapter 5: Men, Women and Vulnerability
Jul 5, 2018 • 26 min
With Civil’s token launch looming, Manoush and Jen go for one last gut check with the guys who helped inspire their meta journey: Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber, co-founders of Gimlet Media. Season One of their hugely successful podcast StartUp documented…
Chapter 4: Hedging Your Bets
Jun 28, 2018 • 34 min
Manoush and Jen give themselves 36 hours in San Francisco to come up with a financial backup plan, just in case this whole blockchain-token-thing doesn’t work out. Silicon Valley runs on VC money so maybe Stable Genius Productions should too? First, they…
Chapter 3: Higher Than We Knew
Jun 21, 2018 • 27 min
In Chapters 1 and 2, Jen and Manoush decide to gamble their future on new technology that hasn’t been proven and a virtual currency that doesn’t exist yet. In this chapter, they meet up with another pair of female co-founders to confide their fears about…
Chapter 2: Blockchain. Blockwhat?!
Jun 14, 2018 • 25 min
Manoush and Jen have a LOT of questions. Should they stake their careers on the blockchain? How can they explain it without sounding like techno-utopians who have bought into a pyramid scheme? And anyway, can the blockchain really upend how society…
Chapter 1: Meet the Stable Geniuses
Jun 14, 2018 • 21 min
Manoush and Jen just formed a new kind of media company. But is it possible for them to simultaneously be entrepreneurs, mission-driven journalists, and good mothers without falling off a financial cliff? They quit their public radio jobs to find out.…
Introducing ZigZag!
May 29, 2018 • 2 min
A new podcast about women and tech. And the blockchain. And anxiety. First two episodes drop June 14th! But meanwhile come say hi at Stableg.com and sign up for our newsletter. ZigZag is the business show about being human. Join a community of listeners…