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Down Round

Down Round

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The number one podcast about tech business and culture, from James "JR" Hennessy and Raph Dixon.

#Technology
#Business

Episodes


Down Round Q&A: Your Boneheaded Questions, Answered

It's time for another edition of DOWN ROUND Q&A. We solicited questions from both or premium members in Discord and our followers on X, and today we're answering them for you. We cover everything from macOS to LLMs to Boeing and smart homes. Links Down Round on X Down Round on Instagram Down Round on TikTok Sign up for Down Round Premium See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Down Round Q&A: Your Boneheaded Questions, Answered

It's time for another edition of DOWN ROUND Q&A. We solicited questions from both or premium members in Discord and our followers on X, and today we're answering them for you. We cover everything from macOS to LLMs to Boeing and smart homes. Links Down Round on X Down Round on Instagram Down Round on TikTok Sign up for Down Round Premium See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

51:49

21 May 24

The AAA Gaming Apocalypse (PREVIEW)

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To subscribe to Down Round Premium and get access, head here. The pain for the gaming industry doesn't seem over, with Xbox closing studios, more layoffs, Sony fighting with its fanbase and growth looking sluggish. It raises one big question: has blockbuster game development outrun its ability to actually make money? In this episode, we return to the world of gaming to discuss Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, the increasingly fraught big budget gaming financial model, and a few fun digressions along the way. Links Inside Microsoft’s Xbox turmoil – The Verge Down Round on X Down Round on Instagram Down Round on TikTok See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The AAA Gaming Apocalypse (PREVIEW)

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To subscribe to Down Round Premium and get access, head here. The pain for the gaming industry doesn't seem over, with Xbox closing studios, more layoffs, Sony fighting with its fanbase and growth looking sluggish. It raises one big question: has blockbuster game development outrun its ability to actually make money? In this episode, we return to the world of gaming to discuss Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, the increasingly fraught big budget gaming financial model, and a few fun digressions along the way. Links Inside Microsoft’s Xbox turmoil – The Verge Down Round on X Down Round on Instagram Down Round on TikTok See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

05:17

16 May 24

They're Putting AI In The Bloody Phones Now

Apple and Google are both on the precipice of announcing deeper integration of generative AI into their respective operating systems. Google's IO conference is this week, and reporting abounds that Apple has inked a deal with OpenAI to integrate GPT with iOS. There's a big question as to whether they're doing this because users actually want it, or because investors and the market thinks they should. In this episode, we talk about Google and Apple, what their AI implementations might look like, and just where this is all going. Also, a sad mea culpa for the Rabbit R1. Links Apple Nears Deal With OpenAI to Put ChatGPT on iPhone – Bloomberg Google I/O 2024 will be all about AI again – The Verge Sign up for Down Round Premium Down Round on X Down Round on Instagram Down Round on TikTo See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

They're Putting AI In The Bloody Phones Now

Apple and Google are both on the precipice of announcing deeper integration of generative AI into their respective operating systems. Google's IO conference is this week, and reporting abounds that Apple has inked a deal with OpenAI to integrate GPT with iOS. There's a big question as to whether they're doing this because users actually want it, or because investors and the market thinks they should. In this episode, we talk about Google and Apple, what their AI implementations might look like, and just where this is all going. Also, a sad mea culpa for the Rabbit R1. Links Apple Nears Deal With OpenAI to Put ChatGPT on iPhone – Bloomberg Google I/O 2024 will be all about AI again – The Verge Sign up for Down Round Premium Down Round on X Down Round on Instagram Down Round on TikTo See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

49:47

14 May 24

Into The Quantum Realm (PREVIEW)

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To subscribe to Down Round Premium and get access, head here. Quantum computing has been a research and academic pursuit for decades, but it has been picking up buzz over the last few years as both big tech companies and smaller startups get into the space. The Australian government recently announced a $1 billion investment into quantum startup PsiQuantum, which gives us an excuse to talk about it. What is quantum computing? Is it actually useful? Can I buy one? All will be answered, and more. WARNING: The words 'qubit' and 'entanglement' will be used.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Into The Quantum Realm (PREVIEW)

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To subscribe to Down Round Premium and get access, head here. Quantum computing has been a research and academic pursuit for decades, but it has been picking up buzz over the last few years as both big tech companies and smaller startups get into the space. The Australian government recently announced a $1 billion investment into quantum startup PsiQuantum, which gives us an excuse to talk about it. What is quantum computing? Is it actually useful? Can I buy one? All will be answered, and more. WARNING: The words 'qubit' and 'entanglement' will be used.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

05:19

9 May 24

OK Fine, We'll Talk About Hubbl

Anyone who lives in Australia would be aware of Foxtel's new streaming box Hubbl, thanks to an absolutely overwhelming ad campaign pitching it. We talk about the Hubbl, and use it as an excuse to dive into streaming more generally, and what's been going on since the last time we talked about it. Links Foxtel faces its streaming apocalypse – AFR Down Round on X Down Round on Instagram Down Round on TikTok Sign up for Down Round Premium See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

OK Fine, We'll Talk About Hubbl

Anyone who lives in Australia would be aware of Foxtel's new streaming box Hubbl, thanks to an absolutely overwhelming ad campaign pitching it. We talk about the Hubbl, and use it as an excuse to dive into streaming more generally, and what's been going on since the last time we talked about it. Links Foxtel faces its streaming apocalypse – AFR Down Round on X Down Round on Instagram Down Round on TikTok Sign up for Down Round Premium See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

52:21

7 May 24

TikTok Ban Watch 2024: The Final Chapter (?)

Well, it happened: the US passed legislation to force ByteDance to divest TikTok in the country. Now, the company technically has 12 months to make it happen. But is that the end of the story? In this episode, we discuss how we arrived at this point, what avenues TikTok has left, and who or what might acquire TikTok if it comes down to that. Links TikTok could soon be sold. Here's how much it's worth and who could buy it. – CBS Byte-Dance was told to sell TikTok or face a ban. There are legal complications – NPR Down Round on X Down Round on Instagram Down Round on TikTok See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

TikTok Ban Watch 2024: The Final Chapter (?)

Well, it happened: the US passed legislation to force ByteDance to divest TikTok in the country. Now, the company technically has 12 months to make it happen. But is that the end of the story? In this episode, we discuss how we arrived at this point, what avenues TikTok has left, and who or what might acquire TikTok if it comes down to that. Links TikTok could soon be sold. Here's how much it's worth and who could buy it. – CBS Byte-Dance was told to sell TikTok or face a ban. There are legal complications – NPR Down Round on X Down Round on Instagram Down Round on TikTok See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

49:39

30 Apr 24

Now It's Meta's Turn To Go All In On AI

Everything is chatbots now. Every company must become a purveyor of bespoke chatbots.The latest cab off the rank is Meta, which just unveiled Llama 3, the latest version of its open source LLM. But this time they have integrated it deeply into Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, whacking a big nasty chatbox over the searchbar in all these apps. In this episode, we talk about Meta's strategy in AI, and what Zuck might be cooking. Links The Dwarkesh pod with Zuckerberg Down Round on X Down Round on Instagram Down Round on TikTok See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Now It's Meta's Turn To Go All In On AI

Everything is chatbots now. Every company must become a purveyor of bespoke chatbots.The latest cab off the rank is Meta, which just unveiled Llama 3, the latest version of its open source LLM. But this time they have integrated it deeply into Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, whacking a big nasty chatbox over the searchbar in all these apps. In this episode, we talk about Meta's strategy in AI, and what Zuck might be cooking. Links The Dwarkesh pod with Zuckerberg Down Round on X Down Round on Instagram Down Round on TikTok See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

41:52

23 Apr 24

Have We Replaced The Smartphone Yet? (PREVIEW)

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To subscribe to Down Round Premium and get access, head here. As Downies will know well, one of the themes we're keeping an eye on is the number of products and product categories that are trying to replace the smartphone, which has been lagging in sales and hype of late. Two devices which pitched a bold new path forward are the Humane AI Pin and the Apple Vision Pro. Based on reviews, neither of them are looking very good at all. We discuss. Links Humane AI Pin review: not even close – The Verge See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Have We Replaced The Smartphone Yet? (PREVIEW)

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To subscribe to Down Round Premium and get access, head here. As Downies will know well, one of the themes we're keeping an eye on is the number of products and product categories that are trying to replace the smartphone, which has been lagging in sales and hype of late. Two devices which pitched a bold new path forward are the Humane AI Pin and the Apple Vision Pro. Based on reviews, neither of them are looking very good at all. We discuss. Links Humane AI Pin review: not even close – The Verge See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

05:58

19 Apr 24

The Coming Tsunami Of AI Music

Over the past few weeks, there has been a surprising amount of movement in the AI music space. Suno and Udio are two lavishly funded AI music generation startups which just launched new models, which allow you to make songs in a wide range of genres from prompts. While not perfect, they both sound pretty good. At the same time, Spotify is trialling AI-generated playlists, seemingly laying the groundwork for their own generative music. In this ep, we talk about the new models and what they might be used for. Links AI-Music Arms Race: Meet Udio, the Other ChatGPT for Music - Rolling Stone Former Google DeepMind researchers launch AI-powered music creation app Udio See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The Coming Tsunami Of AI Music

Over the past few weeks, there has been a surprising amount of movement in the AI music space. Suno and Udio are two lavishly funded AI music generation startups which just launched new models, which allow you to make songs in a wide range of genres from prompts. While not perfect, they both sound pretty good. At the same time, Spotify is trialling AI-generated playlists, seemingly laying the groundwork for their own generative music. In this ep, we talk about the new models and what they might be used for. Links AI-Music Arms Race: Meet Udio, the Other ChatGPT for Music - Rolling Stone Former Google DeepMind researchers launch AI-powered music creation app Udio See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

49:24

16 Apr 24

Capital Inferno Heaven (feat. Kyle Harrison)

This week, we're joined by Kyle Harrison, who is General Partner at Contrary, a US venture capital fund. As well as investing, Kyle writes the newsletter Investing 101 2.0, where he shares his various insights into the VC ecosystem – including where, in his view, it's all gone wrong. Kyle joins us to chat about the state of VC after the end of the tech boom, why he doesn't think anyone has learned their lesson, and what he thinks will happen with AI on both the tech and the investment side. Links The Puritans of Venture Capital – Kyle Harrison See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Capital Inferno Heaven (feat. Kyle Harrison)

This week, we're joined by Kyle Harrison, who is General Partner at Contrary, a US venture capital fund. As well as investing, Kyle writes the newsletter Investing 101 2.0, where he shares his various insights into the VC ecosystem – including where, in his view, it's all gone wrong. Kyle joins us to chat about the state of VC after the end of the tech boom, why he doesn't think anyone has learned their lesson, and what he thinks will happen with AI on both the tech and the investment side. Links The Puritans of Venture Capital – Kyle Harrison See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

01:03:08

9 Apr 24

The Worst Tech Acquisitions Of All Time (PREVIEW)

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To subscribe to Down Round Premium and get access, head here. Sometimes a company merges with or acquires another, and it turns out to be a bad idea. That's OK. We all make stupid decisions. There's nothing to be ashamed of, even when we're talking about multibillion-dollar deals. Some of these bad acquisitions aren't just about a culture mismatch or poor due diligence, though. Some of them speak to executives making a bet on the future of the economy – and betting wrong. In this ep, we go through some of the worst tech acquisitions of all time, and why they're interesting.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The Worst Tech Acquisitions Of All Time (PREVIEW)

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To subscribe to Down Round Premium and get access, head here. Sometimes a company merges with or acquires another, and it turns out to be a bad idea. That's OK. We all make stupid decisions. There's nothing to be ashamed of, even when we're talking about multibillion-dollar deals. Some of these bad acquisitions aren't just about a culture mismatch or poor due diligence, though. Some of them speak to executives making a bet on the future of the economy – and betting wrong. In this ep, we go through some of the worst tech acquisitions of all time, and why they're interesting.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

06:12

4 Apr 24

Vapes: Smoking, but less cool and more illegal

One of the great turnarounds in 21st century was the tobacco industry's shift toward a so-called 'smokeless' future – agreeing that cigs are pretty bad for you, and that a range of hi-tech vapes could be a less bad replacement. Of course, it hasn't actually worked out that well, with public health bodies and governments around the world cracking down on vapes for targeting kids with flashy influencer marketing campaigns and cool flavours. In this ep we talk about the rise of vapes, the changing tobacco industry, and new trends (Zyn, etc)See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Vapes: Smoking, but less cool and more illegal

One of the great turnarounds in 21st century was the tobacco industry's shift toward a so-called 'smokeless' future – agreeing that cigs are pretty bad for you, and that a range of hi-tech vapes could be a less bad replacement. Of course, it hasn't actually worked out that well, with public health bodies and governments around the world cracking down on vapes for targeting kids with flashy influencer marketing campaigns and cool flavours. In this ep we talk about the rise of vapes, the changing tobacco industry, and new trends (Zyn, etc)See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

42:55

2 Apr 24

Apple Takes A Sideways Step On AI (PREVIEW)

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To subscribe to Down Round Premium and get access, head here. This week, we're back on Apple. There are two big reasons: one, they're being sued by the United States on antitrust grounds. And secondly, multiple news reports suggest they are looking for a partner in the generative AI space – which might be Google, or Anthropic, or any number of others. We dig into these two stories, and what they say about the current state of tech – and why AI might be at a low point of the hype cycle.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Apple Takes A Sideways Step On AI (PREVIEW)

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To subscribe to Down Round Premium and get access, head here. This week, we're back on Apple. There are two big reasons: one, they're being sued by the United States on antitrust grounds. And secondly, multiple news reports suggest they are looking for a partner in the generative AI space – which might be Google, or Anthropic, or any number of others. We dig into these two stories, and what they say about the current state of tech – and why AI might be at a low point of the hype cycle.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

05:50

28 Mar 24

Neuralink: No monkeys were harmed in the production of this episode

Last week, it was reported that Elon Musk's Neuralink had successfully allowed a patient to play chess with his mind. It represents a small – and maybe a tad overhyped – step towards the company's goal for a full brain computer interface. In this ep, we discuss Neuralink, brain-computer interfaces, and exactly what Musk and others in the space are trying to achieve. Also, the big question: who is the market? Links Elon Musk wants to merge humans with AI. How many brains will be damaged along the way? – Vox Elon's tweet about 'Blindsight' See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Neuralink: No monkeys were harmed in the production of this episode

Last week, it was reported that Elon Musk's Neuralink had successfully allowed a patient to play chess with his mind. It represents a small – and maybe a tad overhyped – step towards the company's goal for a full brain computer interface. In this ep, we discuss Neuralink, brain-computer interfaces, and exactly what Musk and others in the space are trying to achieve. Also, the big question: who is the market? Links Elon Musk wants to merge humans with AI. How many brains will be damaged along the way? – Vox Elon's tweet about 'Blindsight' See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

38:54

26 Mar 24

Dropbox: What's going on up there? (PREVIEW)

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To subscribe to Down Round Premium and get access, head here. Dropbox. There's a name you probably haven't thought about in a while. Once among the hottest startups on Earth, it lost some of its lustre once every major company in the world began offering consumer and enterprise cloud storage. But it's still alive, kicking and profitable – and making a pivot to AI. In this ep, we talk about Dropbox and the other cloud storage businesses of the 2000s and 2010s, and why they're between a rock and a hard place.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Dropbox: What's going on up there? (PREVIEW)

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To subscribe to Down Round Premium and get access, head here. Dropbox. There's a name you probably haven't thought about in a while. Once among the hottest startups on Earth, it lost some of its lustre once every major company in the world began offering consumer and enterprise cloud storage. But it's still alive, kicking and profitable – and making a pivot to AI. In this ep, we talk about Dropbox and the other cloud storage businesses of the 2000s and 2010s, and why they're between a rock and a hard place.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

03:23

21 Mar 24

BYD: How hard can a battery and four wheels be?

This week we're looking at BYD, the Chinese battery maker turned electric vehicle behemoth, which is now the world's biggest EV maker. Following on from our premium episode about the Apple Car a couple of weeks ago, we talk about the current state of the EV market, how BYD found success, and why the world is still relatively slow on the uptake of electric cars. Always remember: build your dreams, folks. Links Tesla overtaken by China’s BYD as world’s biggest EV maker – FT See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

BYD: How hard can a battery and four wheels be?

This week we're looking at BYD, the Chinese battery maker turned electric vehicle behemoth, which is now the world's biggest EV maker. Following on from our premium episode about the Apple Car a couple of weeks ago, we talk about the current state of the EV market, how BYD found success, and why the world is still relatively slow on the uptake of electric cars. Always remember: build your dreams, folks. Links Tesla overtaken by China’s BYD as world’s biggest EV maker – FT See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

46:39

19 Mar 24

TikTok Ban Watch 2024

Well folks, it's happening again. The US is threatening to ban TikTok. A bill is currently worming its way through Congress which would ban the app unless it fully divested itself from ByteDance, its Chinese parent company. This led TikTok to engage battle stations, and launch probably the stupidest PR campaign in recent history. In this episode, we talk TikTok, make predictions about a ban, and pontificate on its effect on politics and culture. Links TikTok Prompts Users to Call Congress to Fight Possible Ban – NY Times As TikTok Ban Looms, ByteDance Battles Oracle For Control Of Its Algorithm – Forbes TikTok Struggles to Protect U.S. Data From Its China Parent – WSJ See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

TikTok Ban Watch 2024

Well folks, it's happening again. The US is threatening to ban TikTok. A bill is currently worming its way through Congress which would ban the app unless it fully divested itself from ByteDance, its Chinese parent company. This led TikTok to engage battle stations, and launch probably the stupidest PR campaign in recent history. In this episode, we talk TikTok, make predictions about a ban, and pontificate on its effect on politics and culture. Links TikTok Prompts Users to Call Congress to Fight Possible Ban – NY Times As TikTok Ban Looms, ByteDance Battles Oracle For Control Of Its Algorithm – Forbes TikTok Struggles to Protect U.S. Data From Its China Parent – WSJ See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

45:17

12 Mar 24

Why Apple Scrapped Its Car (PREVIEW)

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To subscribe to Down Round Premium and get access, head here. The fabled Apple car – also known as Project Titan – is no more. After working on it for the last 10 years and blowing $10 billion, the company internally announced that it would scrap the project and reassign many of its staff to generative AI. In this ep, we talk about the Apple car project: why it was originally imagined, what it sought to do, and why it ultimately didn't work out.  Links How Apple Sank About $1 Billion a Year Into a Car It Never Built – Bloomberg See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Why Apple Scrapped Its Car (PREVIEW)

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To subscribe to Down Round Premium and get access, head here. The fabled Apple car – also known as Project Titan – is no more. After working on it for the last 10 years and blowing $10 billion, the company internally announced that it would scrap the project and reassign many of its staff to generative AI. In this ep, we talk about the Apple car project: why it was originally imagined, what it sought to do, and why it ultimately didn't work out.  Links How Apple Sank About $1 Billion a Year Into a Car It Never Built – Bloomberg See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

05:27

7 Mar 24

The AI Girlfriend Experience (feat. Tom Cashman)

One less discussed angle of the rise of AI and widely available LLMs is the relationship dimension. From ChatGPT's personalisation features to AI chatbots on Meta platforms, through to porn and sexbots, many people are using AI for companionship. It's big business too, with The Information reporting that pornbot providers are one category of AI company which are growing without the need for external investment. To unpack the weird world of AI companionship, some of the rising companies in the space, and what it means for society, we're joined by comedian Tom Cashman. (You can watch his brand new special here.) Links One Class of AI Startups That Can Thrive Without Funding: Porn Chatbots – The Information Snapchat’s new AI chatbot is already raising alarms among teens and parents – CNN ‘Sometimes, It Feels Real’: Character.AI Gives Humans the Chatbots They Desire – The Information Meta’s new AI lets people make chatbots. They’re using it for sex. – Washington Post  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The AI Girlfriend Experience (feat. Tom Cashman)

One less discussed angle of the rise of AI and widely available LLMs is the relationship dimension. From ChatGPT's personalisation features to AI chatbots on Meta platforms, through to porn and sexbots, many people are using AI for companionship. It's big business too, with The Information reporting that pornbot providers are one category of AI company which are growing without the need for external investment. To unpack the weird world of AI companionship, some of the rising companies in the space, and what it means for society, we're joined by comedian Tom Cashman. (You can watch his brand new special here.) Links One Class of AI Startups That Can Thrive Without Funding: Porn Chatbots – The Information Snapchat’s new AI chatbot is already raising alarms among teens and parents – CNN ‘Sometimes, It Feels Real’: Character.AI Gives Humans the Chatbots They Desire – The Information Meta’s new AI lets people make chatbots. They’re using it for sex. – Washington Post  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

54:29

5 Mar 24

The Nvidia Earnings Blowout (PREVIEW)

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To subscribe to Down Round Premium and get access, head here. Nvidia, the graphics card company turned into AI chip powerhouse, posted its earnings at the end of last week. Surprising no one, they were huge – propelling the company even higher up the charts of the most valuable companies on Earth. In this ep, we unpack the earnings and what they mean, as well as talking about Nvidia's future, and even incompetently attempting to put forward a bear case. Links Nvidia posts revenue up 265% on booming AI business – CNBC See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The Nvidia Earnings Blowout (PREVIEW)

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To subscribe to Down Round Premium and get access, head here. Nvidia, the graphics card company turned into AI chip powerhouse, posted its earnings at the end of last week. Surprising no one, they were huge – propelling the company even higher up the charts of the most valuable companies on Earth. In this ep, we unpack the earnings and what they mean, as well as talking about Nvidia's future, and even incompetently attempting to put forward a bear case. Links Nvidia posts revenue up 265% on booming AI business – CNBC See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

05:21

1 Mar 24

Unpacking the Reddit IPO

Reddit is going public. After a false start a couple of years ago, the online message board is undergoing the IPO process, setting markets up for the biggest social media IPO since Pinterest in 2019.  The company has filed its S1, which for the first time lets the world peek into Reddit's books, also revealing what it thinks are its biggest risks and opportunities. Join us as we pick through the document for revealing nuggets. Links Reddit S-1 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Unpacking the Reddit IPO

Reddit is going public. After a false start a couple of years ago, the online message board is undergoing the IPO process, setting markets up for the biggest social media IPO since Pinterest in 2019.  The company has filed its S1, which for the first time lets the world peek into Reddit's books, also revealing what it thinks are its biggest risks and opportunities. Join us as we pick through the document for revealing nuggets. Links Reddit S-1 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

53:02

27 Feb 24

The Great Xbox Surrender (PREVIEW)

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To subscribe to Down Round Premium and get access, head here. The gaming world was ablaze over the past few weeks over reports that Xbox was throwing in the towel and letting some of its biggest exclusive titles go to its eternal rival, the PlayStation. It riled up the Xbox ultras and raised questions about how committed Microsoft is to console gaming – despite its monster $75B acqusition of Activision-Blizzard. It ended up being a little less dramatic than anticipated. But it still raises questions about Microsoft's strategy in gaming, and how the world's biggest company is approaching the rapidly growing -- and increasingly unstable --  gaming market. Links Microsoft is slowly building to a future where ‘every screen is an Xbox - The Verge Microsoft: four Xbox-exclusive games are coming to PS5 and Nintendo Switch – The Verge Sony’s value reportedly dropped by $10 billion following ‘disappointing’ PlayStation financials See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The Great Xbox Surrender (PREVIEW)

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To subscribe to Down Round Premium and get access, head here. The gaming world was ablaze over the past few weeks over reports that Xbox was throwing in the towel and letting some of its biggest exclusive titles go to its eternal rival, the PlayStation. It riled up the Xbox ultras and raised questions about how committed Microsoft is to console gaming – despite its monster $75B acqusition of Activision-Blizzard. It ended up being a little less dramatic than anticipated. But it still raises questions about Microsoft's strategy in gaming, and how the world's biggest company is approaching the rapidly growing -- and increasingly unstable --  gaming market. Links Microsoft is slowly building to a future where ‘every screen is an Xbox - The Verge Microsoft: four Xbox-exclusive games are coming to PS5 and Nintendo Switch – The Verge Sony’s value reportedly dropped by $10 billion following ‘disappointing’ PlayStation financials See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

03:36

23 Feb 24

Sora: Watch out, Hollyweird!

Last week, OpenAI announced Sora, its text-to-video model. Only a few people have their hands on it, so all we have to go off are example videos provided by OpenAI. But it looks good – and like a leap forward for AI video creation. This has raised lots of questions. How does it work? How much crap is about to flood our internet feeds? And is Hollywood doomed? All these questions and more are answered to a base level of satisfaction in this episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Sora: Watch out, Hollyweird!

Last week, OpenAI announced Sora, its text-to-video model. Only a few people have their hands on it, so all we have to go off are example videos provided by OpenAI. But it looks good – and like a leap forward for AI video creation. This has raised lots of questions. How does it work? How much crap is about to flood our internet feeds? And is Hollywood doomed? All these questions and more are answered to a base level of satisfaction in this episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

39:29

20 Feb 24

Why Is OpenAI's Sam Altman Raising $7 Trillion? (PREVIEW)

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To subscribe to Down Round Premiun and get access, head here. The word on the street is that Sam Altman, the once embattled and now seemingly fine CEO of OpenAI, is currently out in the market trying to raise money for a new microchip-related venture. The amount of money he's raising? Seven trillion dollars, which is about 10% of global GDP. In this episode, we discuss the insane computing requirements of a company like OpenAI, and why Sam might be looking to find a new friend other than Nvidia. Links Sam Altman Seeks Trillions of Dollars to Reshape Business of Chips and AI – The Wall Street Journal OpenAI Shifts AI Battleground to Software That Operates Devices, Automates Tasks – The Information See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Why Is OpenAI's Sam Altman Raising $7 Trillion? (PREVIEW)

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To subscribe to Down Round Premiun and get access, head here. The word on the street is that Sam Altman, the once embattled and now seemingly fine CEO of OpenAI, is currently out in the market trying to raise money for a new microchip-related venture. The amount of money he's raising? Seven trillion dollars, which is about 10% of global GDP. In this episode, we discuss the insane computing requirements of a company like OpenAI, and why Sam might be looking to find a new friend other than Nvidia. Links Sam Altman Seeks Trillions of Dollars to Reshape Business of Chips and AI – The Wall Street Journal OpenAI Shifts AI Battleground to Software That Operates Devices, Automates Tasks – The Information See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

03:14

15 Feb 24

23andme: 30% Irish, 30% English, 30% Scottish, 100% cringe

One of the big crazes of the last few years was consumer genetic testing. Through services like 23andme and AncestryDNA, regular punters could find out their ethnic background, link up with distant cousins, and find out what mysterious blood illnesses they were genetically predisposed to get. But there is trouble in paradise. 23andme has lost a staggering 98% of its value from its peak, and it has people asking: can you build a real, sustainable business from someone spitting into a tube and mailing to to a lab? We dive in. Links 23andMe’s Fall From $6 Billion to Nearly $0 – The Wall Street Journal See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

23andme: 30% Irish, 30% English, 30% Scottish, 100% cringe

One of the big crazes of the last few years was consumer genetic testing. Through services like 23andme and AncestryDNA, regular punters could find out their ethnic background, link up with distant cousins, and find out what mysterious blood illnesses they were genetically predisposed to get. But there is trouble in paradise. 23andme has lost a staggering 98% of its value from its peak, and it has people asking: can you build a real, sustainable business from someone spitting into a tube and mailing to to a lab? We dive in. Links 23andMe’s Fall From $6 Billion to Nearly $0 – The Wall Street Journal See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

36:20

13 Feb 24

Google Search: Why it sucks now, and what's coming next (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium episode. We're currently running a sale on Down Round Premium – head here to score an annual membership for $49 instead of $70. Only until Sunday Feb 11. Let's face it: Google Search sucks now. We've talked about it on many episodes, along with the broader conversation about how AI might disrupt it. In this episode, we dig a little deeper. What are the factors that made Google Search so successful, and what are the factors making it no longer fit for purpose? We look at new challengers, like Perplexity, and what Google is doing to prepare for the deprecation of its core business – whenever that may be.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Google Search: Why it sucks now, and what's coming next (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium episode. We're currently running a sale on Down Round Premium – head here to score an annual membership for $49 instead of $70. Only until Sunday Feb 11. Let's face it: Google Search sucks now. We've talked about it on many episodes, along with the broader conversation about how AI might disrupt it. In this episode, we dig a little deeper. What are the factors that made Google Search so successful, and what are the factors making it no longer fit for purpose? We look at new challengers, like Perplexity, and what Google is doing to prepare for the deprecation of its core business – whenever that may be.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

04:53

8 Feb 24

What's Going On In Australian VC? (feat. Damian Fox)

Hey! Down Round is still running a sale on premium membership until Friday February 9. Sign up using this link, and you can get an annual membership for $49 instead of the usual $70. Today we're diving into the world of Australian startups and venture capital. After the end of the post-COVID tech boom, you might find yourself wondering who is investing in what, and where all the money is going now. Well, you're in luck. To help us unpack what Australian tech investment looks like now – as well as give his hot takes on the tech fads and trends of the past few years – we're joined by Damian Fox, partner at Carthona Capital. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

What's Going On In Australian VC? (feat. Damian Fox)

Hey! Down Round is still running a sale on premium membership until Friday February 9. Sign up using this link, and you can get an annual membership for $49 instead of the usual $70. Today we're diving into the world of Australian startups and venture capital. After the end of the post-COVID tech boom, you might find yourself wondering who is investing in what, and where all the money is going now. Well, you're in luck. To help us unpack what Australian tech investment looks like now – as well as give his hot takes on the tech fads and trends of the past few years – we're joined by Damian Fox, partner at Carthona Capital. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

56:26

6 Feb 24

Apple vs The EU: Brussels goes sicko mode (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium episode. We're currently running a sale on Down Round Premium – head here to score an annual membership for $49 instead of $70. Amazing stuff. Last week, we talked about Apple shaky Vision Pro launch, thanks to a number of key developers saying they wouldn't be making apps for the mixed reality headset. This week, the story continues, with Apple officially unveiling its response to recent EU regulation which would force it to open up access to third-party app stores and payment processors in Europe. Of course, in true Apple fashion, the response is a poison chalice. And it's pissed off everyone from Spotify to Epic Games and all in-between. We discuss. Links Apple's response Thread by Spotify CEO Daniel Ek See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Apple vs The EU: Brussels goes sicko mode (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium episode. We're currently running a sale on Down Round Premium – head here to score an annual membership for $49 instead of $70. Amazing stuff. Last week, we talked about Apple shaky Vision Pro launch, thanks to a number of key developers saying they wouldn't be making apps for the mixed reality headset. This week, the story continues, with Apple officially unveiling its response to recent EU regulation which would force it to open up access to third-party app stores and payment processors in Europe. Of course, in true Apple fashion, the response is a poison chalice. And it's pissed off everyone from Spotify to Epic Games and all in-between. We discuss. Links Apple's response Thread by Spotify CEO Daniel Ek See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

05:29

2 Feb 24

Ozempic: The biggest Danish hit since the Smørrebrød

Hey! Down Round is running a sale on premium membership. Sign up in the next week using this link, and you can get an annual membership for $49 instead of the usual $70. This week we're talking about the much-hyped weight loss drug Ozempic and its producer, Danish pharma giant Novo Nordisk. Thanks to the crazy success of Ozempic, Novo Nordisk is now literally the biggest company in Europe by market cap. Now the vultures are circling, and a whole bunch of drugmakers are rushing competitors to market. We talk about the drug, the company, it's weirdly 'techy' marketing and where it fits into the incoming universe of biotech and pharma tech. Links Our episode from last year with Tim Doyle, founder of Australian online pharmacy Eucalyptus. Weight-loss drug maker Novo Nordisk becomes Europe’s most valuable company – FT Ozempic is on the rise. That could be a problem for food companies – CNN See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Ozempic: The biggest Danish hit since the Smørrebrød

Hey! Down Round is running a sale on premium membership. Sign up in the next week using this link, and you can get an annual membership for $49 instead of the usual $70. This week we're talking about the much-hyped weight loss drug Ozempic and its producer, Danish pharma giant Novo Nordisk. Thanks to the crazy success of Ozempic, Novo Nordisk is now literally the biggest company in Europe by market cap. Now the vultures are circling, and a whole bunch of drugmakers are rushing competitors to market. We talk about the drug, the company, it's weirdly 'techy' marketing and where it fits into the incoming universe of biotech and pharma tech. Links Our episode from last year with Tim Doyle, founder of Australian online pharmacy Eucalyptus. Weight-loss drug maker Novo Nordisk becomes Europe’s most valuable company – FT Ozempic is on the rise. That could be a problem for food companies – CNN See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

46:41

30 Jan 24

Twitch: Give me $20, now (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium episode of Down Round. To subscribe and listen to this episode and our full archives, go here. Twitch, the venerable video game livestreaming platform which has repeatedly attempted to become the livestreaming platform for everyone, recently announced a slew of layoffsf. It also confirmed that the company, owned by Amazon, has never been profitable.  Today, we're talking about Twitch: what it is, the escalating troubles it has faced, and why it and the livestreaming business in general has never quite managed to hit its stride.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Twitch: Give me $20, now (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium episode of Down Round. To subscribe and listen to this episode and our full archives, go here. Twitch, the venerable video game livestreaming platform which has repeatedly attempted to become the livestreaming platform for everyone, recently announced a slew of layoffsf. It also confirmed that the company, owned by Amazon, has never been profitable.  Today, we're talking about Twitch: what it is, the escalating troubles it has faced, and why it and the livestreaming business in general has never quite managed to hit its stride.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

05:56

25 Jan 24

The Vision Pro Developer Revolt

Apple is releasing its Vision Pro mixed reality headset in the US next month. But some of the biggest platforms in the world – from Netflix to Spotify – have announced they aren't supporting it from the get go. That's partially because it's a niche device with an uncertain chance of success... but could it also be a rebuke of Apple's notorious developer policies, which have pissed off many people over the past decade and a half? We discuss. Links Apple’s Testy Developer Relationships Threaten to Hamper Vision Pro – Bloomberg Vision Pro may have an app problem, with developers possibly unwilling to commit to Apple's 'revolutionary' new platform – TechRadar See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The Vision Pro Developer Revolt

Apple is releasing its Vision Pro mixed reality headset in the US next month. But some of the biggest platforms in the world – from Netflix to Spotify – have announced they aren't supporting it from the get go. That's partially because it's a niche device with an uncertain chance of success... but could it also be a rebuke of Apple's notorious developer policies, which have pissed off many people over the past decade and a half? We discuss. Links Apple’s Testy Developer Relationships Threaten to Hamper Vision Pro – Bloomberg Vision Pro may have an app problem, with developers possibly unwilling to commit to Apple's 'revolutionary' new platform – TechRadar See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

45:40

23 Jan 24

Rabbit R1: Another screen for you to look at -- but with AI!

The age of the AI device is upon us. At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, the undisputed star was the Rabbit R1, a standalone AI companion device which uses a 'large action model' to understand the things you like doing on your apps and platforms, and does them for you.  Will it work? Who knows. But Raph bought one. We discussed the hype about the Rabbit, as well as some of the other currents in AI devices which have emerged since the last time we talked about them. Links Say Hello to Rabbit R1: A Tiny Orange Box That Trades Phone Apps for AI – CNET See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Rabbit R1: Another screen for you to look at -- but with AI!

The age of the AI device is upon us. At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, the undisputed star was the Rabbit R1, a standalone AI companion device which uses a 'large action model' to understand the things you like doing on your apps and platforms, and does them for you.  Will it work? Who knows. But Raph bought one. We discussed the hype about the Rabbit, as well as some of the other currents in AI devices which have emerged since the last time we talked about them. Links Say Hello to Rabbit R1: A Tiny Orange Box That Trades Phone Apps for AI – CNET See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

43:52

16 Jan 24

The New York Times vs OpenAI: Whoever wins, we lose

Over the Xmas break, the New York Times announced it would be suing OpenAI for copyright infringement, alleging that its GPT platform is trained on copyrighted NYT content. This has become a problem, according to the NYT, because OpenAI is now a direct competitor. We dive into the lawsuit, and chat a bit about the media, AI and what the future of content looks like. If you're holding out for the last episode of The Down Round Experience... fear not, it's coming this week. Links The Times Sues OpenAI and Microsoft Over A.I. Use of Copyrighted Work – NY Times OpenAI's response Sports Illustrated Published Articles by Fake, AI-Generated Writers - Futurism See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The New York Times vs OpenAI: Whoever wins, we lose

Over the Xmas break, the New York Times announced it would be suing OpenAI for copyright infringement, alleging that its GPT platform is trained on copyrighted NYT content. This has become a problem, according to the NYT, because OpenAI is now a direct competitor. We dive into the lawsuit, and chat a bit about the media, AI and what the future of content looks like. If you're holding out for the last episode of The Down Round Experience... fear not, it's coming this week. Links The Times Sues OpenAI and Microsoft Over A.I. Use of Copyrighted Work – NY Times OpenAI's response Sports Illustrated Published Articles by Fake, AI-Generated Writers - Futurism See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

58:37

9 Jan 24

The Down Round Experience Pt. 4: Happy New Year

Happy New Year! We trust you're all well. Today, we're looking back on the 2023 that was – diving into some of the episodes we recorded and checking in how those things landed at the end of the year. These include: Afterpay/BNPL Crypto and NFTs Tech layoffs Instant groceries Dating apps See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The Down Round Experience Pt. 4: Happy New Year

Happy New Year! We trust you're all well. Today, we're looking back on the 2023 that was – diving into some of the episodes we recorded and checking in how those things landed at the end of the year. These include: Afterpay/BNPL Crypto and NFTs Tech layoffs Instant groceries Dating apps See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

41:16

2 Jan 24

The Down Round Experience Pt. 3: Enter the Shark Tank (ft. Joyride)

This is part 3 of Down Round's Christmas and New Years production, all recorded in one session. To get every part, sign up to Premium here. The Down Round Community is overflowing with geniuses. The next trillion dollar company will no doubt be founded by someone who is currently paying us $7 a month, representing one of the highest ROI investments anyone could make. For today's episode of the Down Round Experience, we're taking your pitches. Our Discord community came with the ideas, and we're evaluating them in the inaugutal Down Round Shark Tank. Joining us is producer and musician Joyride (Rowan Dix) from The Meeting Tree, whose enterpreneurial nous fills out the panel.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The Down Round Experience Pt. 3: Enter the Shark Tank (ft. Joyride)

This is part 3 of Down Round's Christmas and New Years production, all recorded in one session. To get every part, sign up to Premium here. The Down Round Community is overflowing with geniuses. The next trillion dollar company will no doubt be founded by someone who is currently paying us $7 a month, representing one of the highest ROI investments anyone could make. For today's episode of the Down Round Experience, we're taking your pitches. Our Discord community came with the ideas, and we're evaluating them in the inaugutal Down Round Shark Tank. Joining us is producer and musician Joyride (Rowan Dix) from The Meeting Tree, whose enterpreneurial nous fills out the panel.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

36:35

28 Dec 23

The Down Round Experience Pt. 2: Hack the planet (PREVIEW)

This is part two of our marathon holiday record. This is a preview – the full episode is available for premium subs. Sign up here. The Down Round holiday episodes continue. As the beers continue to flow, we turn our critical attention to another major tech event of December: the hack and leak of Insomniac Games, a first-party developer owned by Sony.  Links Insomniac finally responds to hack that leaked ‘Wolverine’ game and more – The Verge GTA 6 hacker handed indefinite hospital order – BBC See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The Down Round Experience Pt. 2: Hack the planet (PREVIEW)

This is part two of our marathon holiday record. This is a preview – the full episode is available for premium subs. Sign up here. The Down Round holiday episodes continue. As the beers continue to flow, we turn our critical attention to another major tech event of December: the hack and leak of Insomniac Games, a first-party developer owned by Sony.  Links Insomniac finally responds to hack that leaked ‘Wolverine’ game and more – The Verge GTA 6 hacker handed indefinite hospital order – BBC See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

03:09

27 Dec 23

The Down Round Experience Pt. 1 - Bird, Figma/Adobe, and how we make this damned thing

Welcome to our holiday special. We have recorded a marathon 4 hour podcast with much holiday spirit (we got drunk), and will be dropping it in parts throughout the holiday season. We started with a quick reflection on the latest news: Bird Scooters has gone under, and Adobe's planned acquisition of Figma has collapsed.  Plus, due to listener demand, we explain our not particularly complex recording and editing process. Our original Adobe episode. Descript audio/video editorSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The Down Round Experience Pt. 1 - Bird, Figma/Adobe, and how we make this damned thing

Welcome to our holiday special. We have recorded a marathon 4 hour podcast with much holiday spirit (we got drunk), and will be dropping it in parts throughout the holiday season. We started with a quick reflection on the latest news: Bird Scooters has gone under, and Adobe's planned acquisition of Figma has collapsed.  Plus, due to listener demand, we explain our not particularly complex recording and editing process. Our original Adobe episode. Descript audio/video editorSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

34:51

23 Dec 23

The 10 Biggest Companies In The World

We had it all planned out. A huge Xmas bonanza episode featuring guests, fun, laughs and all you could ever want from a Down Round variety show. But then Raph was struck by a mystery illness and we had to delay it by several days. So, until then, enjoy this delightful backup episode where we dig into the world's biggest companies by market cap, and opine on our future. It isn't financial advice. But we would not blame you if you took it that way.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The 10 Biggest Companies In The World

We had it all planned out. A huge Xmas bonanza episode featuring guests, fun, laughs and all you could ever want from a Down Round variety show. But then Raph was struck by a mystery illness and we had to delay it by several days. So, until then, enjoy this delightful backup episode where we dig into the world's biggest companies by market cap, and opine on our future. It isn't financial advice. But we would not blame you if you took it that way.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

34:46

19 Dec 23

iMessage: Visiting the green bubble leper colony (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium post. To subscribe and get the full episode, go here. For many years, Apple has enforced iPhone dominance by refusing to adopt modern text messaging standards, meaning group chats and multimedia messages between iPhones and Android devices has been fundamentally broken. But last month, Apple announced it would adopt the RCS standard. But at the same time, it came down hard on Beeper Mini, an app which purported to bring the locked down iMessage experience to Android. In this ep, we dive into iMessage and the weird politics of the green bubble. Links Apple has seemingly found a way to block Android’s new iMessage app – The Verge Apple announces that RCS support is coming to iPhone next year - 9to5Mac Google's site pleading Apple to adopt RCS See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

iMessage: Visiting the green bubble leper colony (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium post. To subscribe and get the full episode, go here. For many years, Apple has enforced iPhone dominance by refusing to adopt modern text messaging standards, meaning group chats and multimedia messages between iPhones and Android devices has been fundamentally broken. But last month, Apple announced it would adopt the RCS standard. But at the same time, it came down hard on Beeper Mini, an app which purported to bring the locked down iMessage experience to Android. In this ep, we dive into iMessage and the weird politics of the green bubble. Links Apple has seemingly found a way to block Android’s new iMessage app – The Verge Apple announces that RCS support is coming to iPhone next year - 9to5Mac Google's site pleading Apple to adopt RCS See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

06:02

14 Dec 23

Google Has Another Red Hot Go At AI

Poor Google. What used to be possibly the best business in human history has taken a few heavy body blows after the rise of generative AI, with the folks in Mountain View no longer looking like the obvious winners of the internet age. Though they were instrumental in building our current AI moment, companies like OpenAI are hogging the limelight. But they've been trying to wrestle that crown back. This month, Google announced Gemini, the model it hopes will challenge OpenAI. But will it? It already seems like it won't be that easy. We discuss. Links The demonstration video Google just launched a new AI and has already admitted at least one demo wasn’t real - The Verge See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Google Has Another Red Hot Go At AI

Poor Google. What used to be possibly the best business in human history has taken a few heavy body blows after the rise of generative AI, with the folks in Mountain View no longer looking like the obvious winners of the internet age. Though they were instrumental in building our current AI moment, companies like OpenAI are hogging the limelight. But they've been trying to wrestle that crown back. This month, Google announced Gemini, the model it hopes will challenge OpenAI. But will it? It already seems like it won't be that easy. We discuss. Links The demonstration video Google just launched a new AI and has already admitted at least one demo wasn’t real - The Verge See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

53:23

12 Dec 23

The X Advertising Apocalypse (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium post. To subscribe and get the full episode, go here. You probably know the story by now. Elon Musk replied positively to a weirdo's anti-Semitic post, which led to an advertiser exodus and Elon melting down at the New York Times DealBook conference. Now, X seems increasingly loaded up with crap tier chum advertising, which is never usually a good sign for a platform. Is the company spiralling? Is it at death's door? Who knows, but it's fun to talk about with friends.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The X Advertising Apocalypse (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium post. To subscribe and get the full episode, go here. You probably know the story by now. Elon Musk replied positively to a weirdo's anti-Semitic post, which led to an advertiser exodus and Elon melting down at the New York Times DealBook conference. Now, X seems increasingly loaded up with crap tier chum advertising, which is never usually a good sign for a platform. Is the company spiralling? Is it at death's door? Who knows, but it's fun to talk about with friends.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

05:45

7 Dec 23

The Return of Sam Altman

We last updated you on the OpenAI drama a couple of weeks ago, right in the middle of it. Back when it looked like Sam Altman was gone, and the future of AI was up in the air. Ah well! Now that the dust has settled, we're reflecting on what we know about what went down, internet arguments about accelerationism vs decelerationism, and what the near future might hold for OpenAI and AI generally. Links Microsoft to Become Non-Voting Observer in Latest Shake-up of OpenAI Board – The Information Who Is @BasedBeffJezos, The Leader Of The Tech Elite’s ‘E/Acc’ Movement? – Forbes Our episode on AI Doom Become a premium member of Down Round See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The Return of Sam Altman

We last updated you on the OpenAI drama a couple of weeks ago, right in the middle of it. Back when it looked like Sam Altman was gone, and the future of AI was up in the air. Ah well! Now that the dust has settled, we're reflecting on what we know about what went down, internet arguments about accelerationism vs decelerationism, and what the near future might hold for OpenAI and AI generally. Links Microsoft to Become Non-Voting Observer in Latest Shake-up of OpenAI Board – The Information Who Is @BasedBeffJezos, The Leader Of The Tech Elite’s ‘E/Acc’ Movement? – Forbes Our episode on AI Doom Become a premium member of Down Round See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

53:41

5 Dec 23

It's Another Down Round Q&A

Welcome...to the silly season. We answer a bunch of your questions which allows us to prognosticate about the future with less constraints than the few there are usually. Topics covered include: Will AI stagnate? Biden's AI regulation framework Can I have $20? How many beers do we typically drink before a podcast? Will VC stop funding boneheads, or is it built into the system? Sorry if we didn't get to your question, join the discord and ask in there!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

It's Another Down Round Q&A

Welcome...to the silly season. We answer a bunch of your questions which allows us to prognosticate about the future with less constraints than the few there are usually. Topics covered include: Will AI stagnate? Biden's AI regulation framework Can I have $20? How many beers do we typically drink before a podcast? Will VC stop funding boneheads, or is it built into the system? Sorry if we didn't get to your question, join the discord and ask in there!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

46:17

28 Nov 23

🚨EMERGENCY POD🚨 Sam Altman Boned from OpenAI

The day James left for honeymoon, the unthinkable happened; Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT maker OpenAI, got boned by his board of directors like a dog. How can a man who took a product from 0 to 100 million users in less than a year, who is on top of the world be so unceremoniously dumped by a board of AI doomers and safety dorks? Well, we dragged James away from the margaritas and discussed all the crazy happenings in the first official Down Round emergency pod.  (Also our first remote recording on non-studio mics, soz)See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

🚨EMERGENCY POD🚨 Sam Altman Boned from OpenAI

The day James left for honeymoon, the unthinkable happened; Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT maker OpenAI, got boned by his board of directors like a dog. How can a man who took a product from 0 to 100 million users in less than a year, who is on top of the world be so unceremoniously dumped by a board of AI doomers and safety dorks? Well, we dragged James away from the margaritas and discussed all the crazy happenings in the first official Down Round emergency pod.  (Also our first remote recording on non-studio mics, soz)See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

46:37

21 Nov 23

The Great Airbnb Crying Tour (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium post. To become a member and get access to more episodes plus our lovely Discord server, go here. Since the last time we did an episode about Airbnb, the company has both done well and faced deeper problems. Earnings look pretty good. But it has also faced political problems – like being functionally banned in NYC – plus a general perception that it has gotten shittier.  So, CEO Brian Chesky says he's going to fix it. That means two things: AI, and putting the boot into hosts.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The Great Airbnb Crying Tour (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium post. To become a member and get access to more episodes plus our lovely Discord server, go here. Since the last time we did an episode about Airbnb, the company has both done well and faced deeper problems. Earnings look pretty good. But it has also faced political problems – like being functionally banned in NYC – plus a general perception that it has gotten shittier.  So, CEO Brian Chesky says he's going to fix it. That means two things: AI, and putting the boot into hosts.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

04:39

16 Nov 23

Grok, OpenAI and Humane: OK, it’s getting stupid now

Once again we’re brought back to the world of AI. Sorry, there’s simply no escape. A few things have happened over the past week: Elon Musk announced Grok, the first model for his new company xAI OpenAI released a new model as well as a host of new consumer features for ChatGPT - many of which put them in direct competition with the developers who are their API customers. We discuss whether the future of OpenAI is as an API, or a consumer tech play. Humane finally announced its ‘AI Pin’. Does this make the Down Round Hot Gadget Guide? Lots to go over. So we did.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Grok, OpenAI and Humane: OK, it’s getting stupid now

Once again we’re brought back to the world of AI. Sorry, there’s simply no escape. A few things have happened over the past week: Elon Musk announced Grok, the first model for his new company xAI OpenAI released a new model as well as a host of new consumer features for ChatGPT - many of which put them in direct competition with the developers who are their API customers. We discuss whether the future of OpenAI is as an API, or a consumer tech play. Humane finally announced its ‘AI Pin’. Does this make the Down Round Hot Gadget Guide? Lots to go over. So we did.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

53:21

14 Nov 23

Online Marketplaces: 2 podcast mics, poor condition, free to a good home (PREVIEW)

One of the very first things people realised they could do online was sell their crap. Since that realisation, e-commerce has gotten a little more advanced. But online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace, eBay and Gumtree still kick along, promising you the opportunity to find great deals as long as you're willing to drive 40 minutes to some guys house. We go through a whirlwind tour of the online marketplace, how it got to where it is, and the forces making them less essential.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Online Marketplaces: 2 podcast mics, poor condition, free to a good home (PREVIEW)

One of the very first things people realised they could do online was sell their crap. Since that realisation, e-commerce has gotten a little more advanced. But online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace, eBay and Gumtree still kick along, promising you the opportunity to find great deals as long as you're willing to drive 40 minutes to some guys house. We go through a whirlwind tour of the online marketplace, how it got to where it is, and the forces making them less essential.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

02:55

9 Nov 23

The SBF Trial: Confessions of a spreadsheet criminal

It's official: Sam Bankman-Fried is GUILTY of committing fraud while running his doomed crypto empire at FTX. The crazy-haired freak took down the credibility of the whole sector while doing it.  The trial -- particularly the testimony of Sam's fellow execs at FTX and Alameda -- turned up all sorts of juicy little details. In this ep, we go through them and reminisce on the crypto exchange that was.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The SBF Trial: Confessions of a spreadsheet criminal

It's official: Sam Bankman-Fried is GUILTY of committing fraud while running his doomed crypto empire at FTX. The crazy-haired freak took down the credibility of the whole sector while doing it.  The trial -- particularly the testimony of Sam's fellow execs at FTX and Alameda -- turned up all sorts of juicy little details. In this ep, we go through them and reminisce on the crypto exchange that was.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

38:21

7 Nov 23

Twitter/X: Checking in on the world's best website (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium episode. To become a member and get access, go here.   It's been a minute since we've checked in on Twitter/X, which has become a playground for whatever Elon Musk thinks is cool at any given moment and yet still has many millions of users. But it certainly hasn't collapsed as some predicted. That said, the situation doesn't look great. The ads haven't come back, users seem to be slipping away, investors are writing down their stake – all while the Israel/Palestine conflict really kicks the tyres of Twitter as an information platform. We dig in.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Twitter/X: Checking in on the world's best website (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium episode. To become a member and get access, go here.   It's been a minute since we've checked in on Twitter/X, which has become a playground for whatever Elon Musk thinks is cool at any given moment and yet still has many millions of users. But it certainly hasn't collapsed as some predicted. That said, the situation doesn't look great. The ads haven't come back, users seem to be slipping away, investors are writing down their stake – all while the Israel/Palestine conflict really kicks the tyres of Twitter as an information platform. We dig in.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

04:24

2 Nov 23

Snitch Tech: You haven't been talking to the cops have ya mate?

Snitch Tech. One of the weirdest trends in tech over the last decade has been the spread of surveillance tech for consumers. Everything from Ring doorbells from Amazon to facial recognition AI and family location tracking software has made it a breeze to film, track and trace your fellow citizens. But it goes deeper. Social networks for ratting out your neighbour. Weird Nextdoor threads. Number plate recognition software for landlords. We're coining it SNITCH TECH, and we're talking about it today.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Snitch Tech: You haven't been talking to the cops have ya mate?

Snitch Tech. One of the weirdest trends in tech over the last decade has been the spread of surveillance tech for consumers. Everything from Ring doorbells from Amazon to facial recognition AI and family location tracking software has made it a breeze to film, track and trace your fellow citizens. But it goes deeper. Social networks for ratting out your neighbour. Weird Nextdoor threads. Number plate recognition software for landlords. We're coining it SNITCH TECH, and we're talking about it today.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

50:10

31 Oct 23

Nintendo: Oh yeah, that Italian fella (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium episode. To become a member of Down Round Premium, head here. Nintendo has made some of the most popular consumer products of all time, and also invented Mario. Pretty great run! But it's also an interesting business, with a relatively unique approach within the gaming industry and beyond. As the rumoured announcement of the Switch 2 draws ever nearer, we chat about the House of Mario and what makes it tick.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Nintendo: Oh yeah, that Italian fella (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium episode. To become a member of Down Round Premium, head here. Nintendo has made some of the most popular consumer products of all time, and also invented Mario. Pretty great run! But it's also an interesting business, with a relatively unique approach within the gaming industry and beyond. As the rumoured announcement of the Switch 2 draws ever nearer, we chat about the House of Mario and what makes it tick.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

04:57

26 Oct 23

iPad: The optimal device for concert photography

The first iPad was released over a decade ago and pitched as a bold new frontier for consumer computing. It helped kill the netbook and spawned generations of copycat tablets from Android manufacturers and Microsoft. But it hasn't really played out all that well. In fact – despite selling a healthy number of them – the iPad sometimes seems like a mostly forgotten product range, with confusing options and not much by way of innovation. What gives? Are tablets in general a dead end? We discuss.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

iPad: The optimal device for concert photography

The first iPad was released over a decade ago and pitched as a bold new frontier for consumer computing. It helped kill the netbook and spawned generations of copycat tablets from Android manufacturers and Microsoft. But it hasn't really played out all that well. In fact – despite selling a healthy number of them – the iPad sometimes seems like a mostly forgotten product range, with confusing options and not much by way of innovation. What gives? Are tablets in general a dead end? We discuss.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

45:19

24 Oct 23

OpenAI: I'm sorry, I can't help with that request

Wow! We're checking in on OpenAI again. Reporting over the weekend confirmed that the company is on track to book over $1 billion of revenue this year – suggesting this whole AI thing might have an actual consumer base. Meanwhile, the company released a handful of new features for ChatGPT which demonstrate just how hard they're going for it. We discuss. Links OpenAI’s Revenue Crossed $1.3 Billion Annualized Rate, CEO Tells Staff - The Information DALL·E 3 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

OpenAI: I'm sorry, I can't help with that request

Wow! We're checking in on OpenAI again. Reporting over the weekend confirmed that the company is on track to book over $1 billion of revenue this year – suggesting this whole AI thing might have an actual consumer base. Meanwhile, the company released a handful of new features for ChatGPT which demonstrate just how hard they're going for it. We discuss. Links OpenAI’s Revenue Crossed $1.3 Billion Annualized Rate, CEO Tells Staff - The Information DALL·E 3 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

04:23

19 Oct 23

SpaceX: Two idiots go to Mars

Elon Musk may be a complete weirdo these days, but SpaceX is still a pretty cool company. Started to assist mankind in its journey to Mars, it has been the leading company in the world of private spaceflight, and the undisputed king of satellite tech.  In this ep we talk about SpaceX, Starlink, the various forces which made it successful, and speculate on what jobs we will have on Mars.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

SpaceX: Two idiots go to Mars

Elon Musk may be a complete weirdo these days, but SpaceX is still a pretty cool company. Started to assist mankind in its journey to Mars, it has been the leading company in the world of private spaceflight, and the undisputed king of satellite tech.  In this ep we talk about SpaceX, Starlink, the various forces which made it successful, and speculate on what jobs we will have on Mars.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

32:48

17 Oct 23

YouTube: Please, hit that like and subscribe

YouTube is indisputably the king of online video, and has been virtually since it launched in 2005. It's part of the infrastructure of the internet, and has imprinted itself on the culture through a combo of its algorithmic recommendations engine and sheer scale. But in the age of TikTok, can YouTube be toppled? In this episode, we talk through YouTube's history, key points in its development, and what its future might look like. Also, sadly, YouTubers.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

YouTube: Please, hit that like and subscribe

YouTube is indisputably the king of online video, and has been virtually since it launched in 2005. It's part of the infrastructure of the internet, and has imprinted itself on the culture through a combo of its algorithmic recommendations engine and sheer scale. But in the age of TikTok, can YouTube be toppled? In this episode, we talk through YouTube's history, key points in its development, and what its future might look like. Also, sadly, YouTubers.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

01:01:59

10 Oct 23

Audio & Video Production: Boops, bleeps, etc (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium episode. To subscribe and get an extra episode every week, go here. These days it seems just about everyone can make professional looking video. Thanks to the video production tools available to the average user of TikTok, Zoomers are better at editing video than millennials ever were. It leaves the question: what are the classic pro video platforms like Avid, Adobe Premiere and Apple Final Cut Pro doing? At the same time, music production seems like a harder problem to make simple for the masses. In this ep, we dive into the current situation around audio and video production. Links Bill Gates tries to install Movie Maker – Internal Tech Emails See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Audio & Video Production: Boops, bleeps, etc (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium episode. To subscribe and get an extra episode every week, go here. These days it seems just about everyone can make professional looking video. Thanks to the video production tools available to the average user of TikTok, Zoomers are better at editing video than millennials ever were. It leaves the question: what are the classic pro video platforms like Avid, Adobe Premiere and Apple Final Cut Pro doing? At the same time, music production seems like a harder problem to make simple for the masses. In this ep, we dive into the current situation around audio and video production. Links Bill Gates tries to install Movie Maker – Internal Tech Emails See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

05:15

5 Oct 23

AI Devices: Hitting the discotheque in your Facebook Ray-Bans

Among the numerous announcements made at this year's Meta Connect was a new generation of its smart glasses, developed with Ray-Bans. Aside from the usual stuff about capturing photos and listening to audio, Mark Zuckerberg casually dropped that he thinks they will soon be an interface into conversational AI. It comes as there are rumours of other companies considering AI devices, like OpenAI working with former Apple design boss Jony Ive. In this ep, we dive in.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

AI Devices: Hitting the discotheque in your Facebook Ray-Bans

Among the numerous announcements made at this year's Meta Connect was a new generation of its smart glasses, developed with Ray-Bans. Aside from the usual stuff about capturing photos and listening to audio, Mark Zuckerberg casually dropped that he thinks they will soon be an interface into conversational AI. It comes as there are rumours of other companies considering AI devices, like OpenAI working with former Apple design boss Jony Ive. In this ep, we dive in.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

38:34

4 Oct 23

Digital identity: Show us yer licence, guvna (PREVIEW)

Digital identity references a simple idea: how much a computer system knows about you. But, just like everything else, it's a bit weird these days. People have increasingly fractious online identities, even as the platforms we use and our own governments collect more and more data about us. This episode, we discuss changes in digital identity, and Raph gets to go off about his deep and unabiding love of the surveillance state.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Digital identity: Show us yer licence, guvna (PREVIEW)

Digital identity references a simple idea: how much a computer system knows about you. But, just like everything else, it's a bit weird these days. People have increasingly fractious online identities, even as the platforms we use and our own governments collect more and more data about us. This episode, we discuss changes in digital identity, and Raph gets to go off about his deep and unabiding love of the surveillance state.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

05:58

28 Sep 23

Phone Cameras: But like... what is a photo, man?

The smartphone camera arms race seems to be a little less intense these days, but the quality of a phone camera remains one of the major reasons people choose to upgrade – especially when most iPhone and Android devices have been basically the same black glass rectangle for a decade now.  But there's only so much circuitry and lens technology you can cram into a phone. So much of the development has been software level, with machine learning and AI doing heavy algorithmic work to make your photos pop. This ranges from automatic red eye removal and saturation adjustment all the way up to faked photos of the moon. So we ask the bold question: where does smartphone photography go from here? And does it really matter if the photos your phone is taking don't really reflect reality? Links Samsung caught faking zoom photos of the Moon - The Verge Artificial intelligence and the future of smartphone photography - ZDNet Your smartphone photos are totally fake – and you love it - Washington Post See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Phone Cameras: But like... what is a photo, man?

The smartphone camera arms race seems to be a little less intense these days, but the quality of a phone camera remains one of the major reasons people choose to upgrade – especially when most iPhone and Android devices have been basically the same black glass rectangle for a decade now.  But there's only so much circuitry and lens technology you can cram into a phone. So much of the development has been software level, with machine learning and AI doing heavy algorithmic work to make your photos pop. This ranges from automatic red eye removal and saturation adjustment all the way up to faked photos of the moon. So we ask the bold question: where does smartphone photography go from here? And does it really matter if the photos your phone is taking don't really reflect reality? Links Samsung caught faking zoom photos of the Moon - The Verge Artificial intelligence and the future of smartphone photography - ZDNet Your smartphone photos are totally fake – and you love it - Washington Post See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

27:37

26 Sep 23

Flexport: Container go on ship (PREVIEW)

If you pay any attention to tech or VC Twitter, Flexport will have crossed your radar. A freight forwarding business which wants to do for supply chains what Stripe did for payments, Flexport (and its founder Ryan Petersen) has become one of the most hyped startups among a certain flavour of tech poster. Petersen also became a well-known talking head during the COVID supply chain crisis. The company is in the news because Petersen sacked his successor, former Amazon logistics boss Dave Clarke, and has returned to the helm amid a revenue collapse. In this ep, we talk about Flexport, logistics, and what the heck's going on. Links Flexport CEO Dave Clark resigns from logistics startup after one year in the role - CNBC Can Ryan Petersen Fix Flexport? - The Information See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Flexport: Container go on ship (PREVIEW)

If you pay any attention to tech or VC Twitter, Flexport will have crossed your radar. A freight forwarding business which wants to do for supply chains what Stripe did for payments, Flexport (and its founder Ryan Petersen) has become one of the most hyped startups among a certain flavour of tech poster. Petersen also became a well-known talking head during the COVID supply chain crisis. The company is in the news because Petersen sacked his successor, former Amazon logistics boss Dave Clarke, and has returned to the helm amid a revenue collapse. In this ep, we talk about Flexport, logistics, and what the heck's going on. Links Flexport CEO Dave Clark resigns from logistics startup after one year in the role - CNBC Can Ryan Petersen Fix Flexport? - The Information See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

05:08

21 Sep 23

Unity: How to piss off developers with one simple trick

Unity is one of the most popular game engines in the world, powering everything from a solid chunk of the mobile gaming universe to bigger console and PC games. Last week, it managed to annoy basically all of its customers by announcing a new, highly extractive pricing model. In this episode, we dive into what a game engine does, the rise of Unity, and why making everyone who uses your product homicidally angry is the bold marketing move of 2023. Links Unity plan pricing and packaging updates - Unity Unity plans to change its disastrous new pricing program - The Verge See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Unity: How to piss off developers with one simple trick

Unity is one of the most popular game engines in the world, powering everything from a solid chunk of the mobile gaming universe to bigger console and PC games. Last week, it managed to annoy basically all of its customers by announcing a new, highly extractive pricing model. In this episode, we dive into what a game engine does, the rise of Unity, and why making everyone who uses your product homicidally angry is the bold marketing move of 2023. Links Unity plan pricing and packaging updates - Unity Unity plans to change its disastrous new pricing program - The Verge See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

30:06

19 Sep 23

Social Audio: Kicked out of the Clubhouse (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium episode. To sign up for Down Round Premium and get an extra episode every week, go here.  This week brought news that Clubhouse, the social audio streaming platform endlessly hyped during the early pandemic, has pivoted away from its original purpose and is now trying to become sort of a group chat for audio instead. It's as good a time as any to talk about social audio, the way people share audio online, and why it's such a tough nut to crack. Links Clubhouse reinvents itself as an audio messaging app - The Verge See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Social Audio: Kicked out of the Clubhouse (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium episode. To sign up for Down Round Premium and get an extra episode every week, go here.  This week brought news that Clubhouse, the social audio streaming platform endlessly hyped during the early pandemic, has pivoted away from its original purpose and is now trying to become sort of a group chat for audio instead. It's as good a time as any to talk about social audio, the way people share audio online, and why it's such a tough nut to crack. Links Clubhouse reinvents itself as an audio messaging app - The Verge See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

05:44

14 Sep 23

Wikipedia: Leave your citations at the door (feat. Richard Cooke)

Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites on earth, and an example of a quasi-utopian internet project which has kind of worked out in the end – and managed to stick around too. Despite some evident problems, it all works surprisingly well. To help us understand Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation which manages it – and the weird world of the editors who keep it functional – we're joined by author Richard Cooke, who is currently writing a book about it. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Wikipedia: Leave your citations at the door (feat. Richard Cooke)

Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites on earth, and an example of a quasi-utopian internet project which has kind of worked out in the end – and managed to stick around too. Despite some evident problems, it all works surprisingly well. To help us understand Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation which manages it – and the weird world of the editors who keep it functional – we're joined by author Richard Cooke, who is currently writing a book about it. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

52:33

13 Sep 23

Canva: Graphic designers, your terrible reign is over (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium episode. To sign up for Down Round Premium and get an extra episode a week, go here.  Canva is one of Australia's most successful tech companies. It has proven pretty disruptive to the global design landscape, with its template-based offering making it relatively easy for even novices with zero taste to make stuff that looks pretty good. In this ep, we talk about Canva's effect on design, and where it might go next to justify its sky-high valuation.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Canva: Graphic designers, your terrible reign is over (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium episode. To sign up for Down Round Premium and get an extra episode a week, go here.  Canva is one of Australia's most successful tech companies. It has proven pretty disruptive to the global design landscape, with its template-based offering making it relatively easy for even novices with zero taste to make stuff that looks pretty good. In this ep, we talk about Canva's effect on design, and where it might go next to justify its sky-high valuation.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

05:48

7 Sep 23

MrBeast: Staring into the YouTube abyss (feat. Max Read)

MrBeast is the most popular individual YouTuber, with over 180 million subscribers. He makes a lot of sleekly produced videos where he gives away money, cars, islands and life-altering surgeries. To some, he is history's greatest philanthropist. To others, he's deeply evil in a way that is hard to articulate. Which side of the divide you fall on is mostly a generational thing. To help us understand the man, the business and the phenomenon that is MrBeast, we're joined by writer Max Read, who formerly edited Gawker and has written for New York Magazine, The New York Times, and The New York Times Magazine. (And possibly other New York related publications.) Max recently authored a feature article for the NYT on MrBeast, making him well-placed to take us on this dark odyssey into the heart of YouTube. Max also writes a newsletter called Read Max, which you should subscribe to.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

MrBeast: Staring into the YouTube abyss (feat. Max Read)

MrBeast is the most popular individual YouTuber, with over 180 million subscribers. He makes a lot of sleekly produced videos where he gives away money, cars, islands and life-altering surgeries. To some, he is history's greatest philanthropist. To others, he's deeply evil in a way that is hard to articulate. Which side of the divide you fall on is mostly a generational thing. To help us understand the man, the business and the phenomenon that is MrBeast, we're joined by writer Max Read, who formerly edited Gawker and has written for New York Magazine, The New York Times, and The New York Times Magazine. (And possibly other New York related publications.) Max recently authored a feature article for the NYT on MrBeast, making him well-placed to take us on this dark odyssey into the heart of YouTube. Max also writes a newsletter called Read Max, which you should subscribe to.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

52:10

5 Sep 23

What's up with the anti-ageing vampire billionaire? (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium episode. To sign up for Down Round Premium and get an extra episode a week, go here.  A fun one for you this week. Over the past few weeks, we've been blessed with many news stories about Bryan Johnson, the tech billionaire who is putting his considerable wealth towards becoming functionally immortal through a weird diet, militant sleep schedule, and injecting himself with his son's blood. Pretty neat! On this episode, we discuss Johnson's quest, and where it fits in with recent Silicon Valley fixation on biotech and the physical sciences.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

What's up with the anti-ageing vampire billionaire? (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium episode. To sign up for Down Round Premium and get an extra episode a week, go here.  A fun one for you this week. Over the past few weeks, we've been blessed with many news stories about Bryan Johnson, the tech billionaire who is putting his considerable wealth towards becoming functionally immortal through a weird diet, militant sleep schedule, and injecting himself with his son's blood. Pretty neat! On this episode, we discuss Johnson's quest, and where it fits in with recent Silicon Valley fixation on biotech and the physical sciences.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

06:14

31 Aug 23

Snap: We're bringing the dog ears filter back

Snapchat was one of the major social media platforms of the 2010s, and still remains pretty popular with the kids. It helped create much of the modern social media landscape, but hasn't been able to turn that into lasting wins -- in no small part because every innovation it comes up with is pretty quickly cloned by its biggest rival, Instagram. Now it finds itself in a precarious position, with parent company Snap Inc reporting a decline in revenue and the company trying just about every pivot Down Round loves to see, from AI to augmented reality. Links Snap plunges on first-quarter revenue miss - CNBC Snapchat is releasing its own AI chatbot powered by ChatGPT - The Verge See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Snap: We're bringing the dog ears filter back

Snapchat was one of the major social media platforms of the 2010s, and still remains pretty popular with the kids. It helped create much of the modern social media landscape, but hasn't been able to turn that into lasting wins -- in no small part because every innovation it comes up with is pretty quickly cloned by its biggest rival, Instagram. Now it finds itself in a precarious position, with parent company Snap Inc reporting a decline in revenue and the company trying just about every pivot Down Round loves to see, from AI to augmented reality. Links Snap plunges on first-quarter revenue miss - CNBC Snapchat is releasing its own AI chatbot powered by ChatGPT - The Verge See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

39:58

29 Aug 23

Should Apple buy Disney? (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium episode. Sign up for Down Round Premium here. One of the most enduring rumours in tech markets and investing subreddits is that Apple is on the cusp of buying Disney and integrating its IP and content into Apple's tech and distribution network. It's like a sick fantasy for guys with no lives and ZERO swag. It seems pretty unlikely. But with news that returned CEO Bob Iger could be planning to break up the empire and sell off assets like ESPN, the rumour mill is kicking back into gear. We ask the question: should Apple buy at least PART of Disney?See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Should Apple buy Disney? (PREVIEW)

This is a preview of a premium episode. Sign up for Down Round Premium here. One of the most enduring rumours in tech markets and investing subreddits is that Apple is on the cusp of buying Disney and integrating its IP and content into Apple's tech and distribution network. It's like a sick fantasy for guys with no lives and ZERO swag. It seems pretty unlikely. But with news that returned CEO Bob Iger could be planning to break up the empire and sell off assets like ESPN, the rumour mill is kicking back into gear. We ask the question: should Apple buy at least PART of Disney?See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

05:04

24 Aug 23

QR Code Menus: Parma Button Activated

QR code menus became popular during the pandemic, when everyone collectively decided it was much safer to have your beers delivered to the table at the pub instead of walking up yourself. Now there are a million different providers of QR code menus. But but how does it all work, and is it actually a good business? We dig in. For an extra episode each week, and no ads, subscribe to Down Round premium here.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

QR Code Menus: Parma Button Activated

QR code menus became popular during the pandemic, when everyone collectively decided it was much safer to have your beers delivered to the table at the pub instead of walking up yourself. Now there are a million different providers of QR code menus. But but how does it all work, and is it actually a good business? We dig in. For an extra episode each week, and no ads, subscribe to Down Round premium here.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

29:34

22 Aug 23

WeWork: A pre-post-postmortem

Big news, WeWork fans! The company has announced that it is hurtling towards bankruptcy, with serious doubts about its capacity to continue as a “going concern”. For those who haven’t been paying attention for the past couple of years and assumed it was bankrupt and out of business anyway, this will be a shock. In today’s ep, we take a tour through the WeWork story — particularly what it has been up to since its famous IPO collapse in 2019.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

WeWork: A pre-post-postmortem

Big news, WeWork fans! The company has announced that it is hurtling towards bankruptcy, with serious doubts about its capacity to continue as a “going concern”. For those who haven’t been paying attention for the past couple of years and assumed it was bankrupt and out of business anyway, this will be a shock. In today’s ep, we take a tour through the WeWork story — particularly what it has been up to since its famous IPO collapse in 2019.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

33:20

18 Aug 23

Press Button, Receive Pharmaceuticals (feat. Tim Doyle)

Recent years have seen a surge in telehealth and online health delivery — from essential prescriptions to more discretionary health spending. Everyone from smaller boutique startups to Amazon want a slice of the pie. There’s a big debate in the medical community about so-called ‘asynchronous care’ — where a patient and doctor communicate through non-live online services. Pharmacists, already rattled by the retail revolution led by Chemist Warehouse, are also mad about this stuff. Today we’re joined by Tim Doyle, founder of online healthcare company Eucalyptus, who gives a window into how this stuff works in Australia. And maybe beyond. (No promises.)See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Press Button, Receive Pharmaceuticals (feat. Tim Doyle)

Recent years have seen a surge in telehealth and online health delivery — from essential prescriptions to more discretionary health spending. Everyone from smaller boutique startups to Amazon want a slice of the pie. There’s a big debate in the medical community about so-called ‘asynchronous care’ — where a patient and doctor communicate through non-live online services. Pharmacists, already rattled by the retail revolution led by Chemist Warehouse, are also mad about this stuff. Today we’re joined by Tim Doyle, founder of online healthcare company Eucalyptus, who gives a window into how this stuff works in Australia. And maybe beyond. (No promises.)See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

49:29

18 Aug 23

Elon Musk, X and the promise of the 'everything app'

Twitter is no more. From the ashes rises X, Elon Musk’s cringely-named attempt to actualise one of his long term goals: building an everything app. Musk wants X to be the central place where you post, shop, send money, access financial services and do whatever else it is you do as part of being alive on the planet. In this episode we dive into the idea of the everything app, and why tech companies have been chasing that dream for at least a decade.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Elon Musk, X and the promise of the 'everything app'

Twitter is no more. From the ashes rises X, Elon Musk’s cringely-named attempt to actualise one of his long term goals: building an everything app. Musk wants X to be the central place where you post, shop, send money, access financial services and do whatever else it is you do as part of being alive on the planet. In this episode we dive into the idea of the everything app, and why tech companies have been chasing that dream for at least a decade.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

43:38

18 Aug 23

Down Round Q&A: Zero tolerance for stupid questions

It’s been a while since we’ve done a Q&A episode, and we know your pressing questions have been accumulating for months. We’re sorry we let it get so desperate. Thank you to our subscribers on Substack and Twitter (X???) who sent in questions. If we didn’t make it to you, there’s a good chance we’ve got a whole ep planned in future.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Down Round Q&A: Zero tolerance for stupid questions

It’s been a while since we’ve done a Q&A episode, and we know your pressing questions have been accumulating for months. We’re sorry we let it get so desperate. Thank you to our subscribers on Substack and Twitter (X???) who sent in questions. If we didn’t make it to you, there’s a good chance we’ve got a whole ep planned in future.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

51:01

18 Aug 23

IMPORTANT! Down Round is moving from Substack

Hello to our Down Round Premium subscribers. Thanks for being with us on this journey so far.Some news: we’re moving off Substack for our paid podcast offering. There are a few little quirks on the platform which have been more annoying than they should be, and we wanted to move to a more flexible platform as we continue to grow. So, we’re moving from Substack to Memberful.Hopefully this will be a relatively painless procedure. Because your payment details are stored in Stripe, we can move your membership over pretty easily. Unfortunately, you will have to add a new premium RSS feed to your podcast player of choice. (The good news for our Spotify users is that you’ll be able to add Down Round Premium to Spotify, which is something Substack didn’t allow.)This episode will be the last one you see on your feed before we make the transition over to Memberful. Stay tuned for an email which will instruct you on how to add the new Down Round Premium feed to your player. Memberful makes it pretty easy.Apologies for the inconvenience, but hopefully this will be a better experience in the long run. This should all be sorted in time for next week’s episode. Feel free to send us an email at [email protected] if you have any questions.Looking forward to another 100 episodes with you all.James + Raph Thank you for subscribing. Leave a comment or share this episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

IMPORTANT! Down Round is moving from Substack

Hello to our Down Round Premium subscribers. Thanks for being with us on this journey so far.Some news: we’re moving off Substack for our paid podcast offering. There are a few little quirks on the platform which have been more annoying than they should be, and we wanted to move to a more flexible platform as we continue to grow. So, we’re moving from Substack to Memberful.Hopefully this will be a relatively painless procedure. Because your payment details are stored in Stripe, we can move your membership over pretty easily. Unfortunately, you will have to add a new premium RSS feed to your podcast player of choice. (The good news for our Spotify users is that you’ll be able to add Down Round Premium to Spotify, which is something Substack didn’t allow.)This episode will be the last one you see on your feed before we make the transition over to Memberful. Stay tuned for an email which will instruct you on how to add the new Down Round Premium feed to your player. Memberful makes it pretty easy.Apologies for the inconvenience, but hopefully this will be a better experience in the long run. This should all be sorted in time for next week’s episode. Feel free to send us an email at [email protected] if you have any questions.Looking forward to another 100 episodes with you all.James + Raph Thank you for subscribing. Leave a comment or share this episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

04:29

17 Aug 23

Zoom: You're muted, mate

Zoom was basically the very definition of a COVID stock, briefly becoming one of the most valuable companies in the world. After the pandemic — and amid intense competition from other video conferencing platforms — it looks much less strong.In this ep, we look at Zoom’s rise to power, what it’s been up to over the past couple of years, and how it’s look… Thank you for subscribing. Leave a comment or share this episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Zoom: You're muted, mate

Zoom was basically the very definition of a COVID stock, briefly becoming one of the most valuable companies in the world. After the pandemic — and amid intense competition from other video conferencing platforms — it looks much less strong.In this ep, we look at Zoom’s rise to power, what it’s been up to over the past couple of years, and how it’s look… Thank you for subscribing. Leave a comment or share this episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

34:59

17 Aug 23

WeWork: A pre-post-postmortem

Big news, WeWork fans! The company has announced that it is hurtling towards bankruptcy, with serious doubts about its capacity to continue as a “going concern”. For those who haven’t been paying attention for the past couple of years and assumed it was bankrupt and out of business anyway, this will be a shock.In today’s ep, we take a tour through the WeWork story — particularly what it has been up to since its famous IPO collapse in 2019. Thank you for subscribing. Leave a comment or share this episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

WeWork: A pre-post-postmortem

Big news, WeWork fans! The company has announced that it is hurtling towards bankruptcy, with serious doubts about its capacity to continue as a “going concern”. For those who haven’t been paying attention for the past couple of years and assumed it was bankrupt and out of business anyway, this will be a shock.In today’s ep, we take a tour through the WeWork story — particularly what it has been up to since its famous IPO collapse in 2019. Thank you for subscribing. Leave a comment or share this episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

33:20

15 Aug 23

LK-99: Why tech went nuts for a floating rock

The internet — and particularly Twitter/X — was ablaze last week over LK-99, a new new compound that was being heralded as a possible room-temperature superconductor, which is the holy grail of materials science. It turns out it almost certainly isn’t, but that didn’t stop everyone going absolutely berko.That weird social phenomenon was worth a look tho… Thank you for subscribing. Leave a comment or share this episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

LK-99: Why tech went nuts for a floating rock

The internet — and particularly Twitter/X — was ablaze last week over LK-99, a new new compound that was being heralded as a possible room-temperature superconductor, which is the holy grail of materials science. It turns out it almost certainly isn’t, but that didn’t stop everyone going absolutely berko.That weird social phenomenon was worth a look tho… Thank you for subscribing. Leave a comment or share this episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

22:26

10 Aug 23

Press Button, Receive Pharmaceuticals (feat. Tim Doyle)

Recent years have seen a surge in telehealth and online health delivery — from essential prescriptions to more discretionary health spending. Everyone from smaller boutique startups to Amazon want a slice of the pie. There’s a big debate in the medical community about so-called ‘asynchronous care’ — where a patient and doctor communicate through non-live online services. Pharmacists, already rattled by the retail revolution led by Chemist Warehouse, are also mad about this stuff. But many patients do like to do medicine on the computer.Today we’re joined by Tim Doyle, founder of online healthcare company Eucalyptus, who gives a window into how this stuff works in Australia. And maybe beyond. (No promises.) Thank you for subscribing. Leave a comment or share this episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Press Button, Receive Pharmaceuticals (feat. Tim Doyle)

Recent years have seen a surge in telehealth and online health delivery — from essential prescriptions to more discretionary health spending. Everyone from smaller boutique startups to Amazon want a slice of the pie. There’s a big debate in the medical community about so-called ‘asynchronous care’ — where a patient and doctor communicate through non-live online services. Pharmacists, already rattled by the retail revolution led by Chemist Warehouse, are also mad about this stuff. But many patients do like to do medicine on the computer.Today we’re joined by Tim Doyle, founder of online healthcare company Eucalyptus, who gives a window into how this stuff works in Australia. And maybe beyond. (No promises.) Thank you for subscribing. Leave a comment or share this episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

49:29

8 Aug 23

BlackBerry: Investigating a bag fumble

By popular request from at least two of you, we’re digging into the BlackBerry. The first popular smartphone and mobile email device, BlackBerry was too professional, too keyboardy, and simply too Canadian for this world. In this episode, we dig into to what made the BlackBerry work, right up until it didn’t. Thank you for subscribing. Leave a comment or share this episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

BlackBerry: Investigating a bag fumble

By popular request from at least two of you, we’re digging into the BlackBerry. The first popular smartphone and mobile email device, BlackBerry was too professional, too keyboardy, and simply too Canadian for this world. In this episode, we dig into to what made the BlackBerry work, right up until it didn’t. Thank you for subscribing. Leave a comment or share this episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

28:53

3 Aug 23

Elon Musk, X and the promise of the 'everything app'

Twitter is no more. From the ashes rises X, Elon Musk’s cringely-named attempt to actualise one of his long term goals: building an everything app. Musk wants X to be the central place where you post, shop, send money, access financial services and do whatever else it is you do as part of being alive on the planet.In this episode we dive into the idea of the everything app, and why tech companies have been chasing that dream for at least a decade. Thank you for subscribing. Leave a comment or share this episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Elon Musk, X and the promise of the 'everything app'

Twitter is no more. From the ashes rises X, Elon Musk’s cringely-named attempt to actualise one of his long term goals: building an everything app. Musk wants X to be the central place where you post, shop, send money, access financial services and do whatever else it is you do as part of being alive on the planet.In this episode we dive into the idea of the everything app, and why tech companies have been chasing that dream for at least a decade. Thank you for subscribing. Leave a comment or share this episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

43:38

2 Aug 23

Scams: You're the 1,000,000th Down Round listener!

Scams are pretty bad these days. Social media is polluted with them, you can’t answer your phone without hearing a robot voice which claims your PayPal account is being debited $200, and companies everywhere are being hit with ransomware attacks.What’s to be done? This week, we’re talking scams. Thank you for subscribing. Leave a comment or share this episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Scams: You're the 1,000,000th Down Round listener!

Scams are pretty bad these days. Social media is polluted with them, you can’t answer your phone without hearing a robot voice which claims your PayPal account is being debited $200, and companies everywhere are being hit with ransomware attacks.What’s to be done? This week, we’re talking scams. Thank you for subscribing. Leave a comment or share this episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

31:27

27 Jul 23

Down Round Q&A: Zero tolerance for stupid questions

It’s been a while since we’ve done a Q&A episode, and we know your pressing questions have been accumulating for months. We’re sorry we let it get so desperate.Thank you to our subscribers on Substack and Twitter (X???) who sent in questions. If we didn’t make it to you, there’s a good chance we’ve got a whole ep planned in future. Thank you for subscribing. Leave a comment or share this episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Down Round Q&A: Zero tolerance for stupid questions

It’s been a while since we’ve done a Q&A episode, and we know your pressing questions have been accumulating for months. We’re sorry we let it get so desperate.Thank you to our subscribers on Substack and Twitter (X???) who sent in questions. If we didn’t make it to you, there’s a good chance we’ve got a whole ep planned in future. Thank you for subscribing. Leave a comment or share this episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

51:01

26 Jul 23

Browsers: Internet Explorer Appreciation Society

The humble internet browser doesn’t get much love these days. There used to be new browser innovations coming out more regularly, as people switched between Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari as their previous one got too slow and clunky.Turns out it’s pretty hard to innovate in this area. But companies like The Browser Company have been tryi… Thank you for subscribing. Leave a comment or share this episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Browsers: Internet Explorer Appreciation Society

The humble internet browser doesn’t get much love these days. There used to be new browser innovations coming out more regularly, as people switched between Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari as their previous one got too slow and clunky.Turns out it’s pretty hard to innovate in this area. But companies like The Browser Company have been tryi… Thank you for subscribing. Leave a comment or share this episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

36:35

20 Jul 23

The Hollywood Strikes: Please help me budget, my streaming industry is dying

Hollywood actors and writers are both on strike for the first time since 1960. Two of the primary reasons they’re hitting the picket line are core Down Round areas: the economics of streaming, and the future of AI content. Working actors are mad that they’re not being compensated properly for appearances in streaming content, where audience figures are much more opaque, and they’re staring down the barrel of having their likenesses reused with AI.Ah well. Guess it’s up to us to figure it out then… This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit downround.substack.com/subscribeSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The Hollywood Strikes: Please help me budget, my streaming industry is dying

Hollywood actors and writers are both on strike for the first time since 1960. Two of the primary reasons they’re hitting the picket line are core Down Round areas: the economics of streaming, and the future of AI content. Working actors are mad that they’re not being compensated properly for appearances in streaming content, where audience figures are much more opaque, and they’re staring down the barrel of having their likenesses reused with AI.Ah well. Guess it’s up to us to figure it out then… This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit downround.substack.com/subscribeSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

36:59

18 Jul 23

Drones: A threatening buzzing sound from 50 metres up

This is a free preview of a paid episode. Want to join? Sign up for Down Round Premium! The rise of the consumer-available drone over the past decade has been a huge win for real estate agents and YouTube fail compilations. But what about the rest of us chumps?! In this episode, we talk about the drone — from the dominance of Chinese companies in their production, to the (possible) promises of drone delivery.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Drones: A threatening buzzing sound from 50 metres up

This is a free preview of a paid episode. Want to join? Sign up for Down Round Premium! The rise of the consumer-available drone over the past decade has been a huge win for real estate agents and YouTube fail compilations. But what about the rest of us chumps?! In this episode, we talk about the drone — from the dominance of Chinese companies in their production, to the (possible) promises of drone delivery.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

07:19

13 Jul 23

Threads: Glory to Meta! Glory to Meta!

At the end of last week, Mark Zuckerberg decided to take advantage of the chaos over in Twitterland by surprise dropping Meta’s own text-based social media platform, Threads. Because it leverages the Instagram social graph, it quickly exploded to over 100 million users.In today’s ep, we dig into Threads and make a series of wild predictions which are sure to never be vindicated. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit downround.substack.com/subscribeSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Threads: Glory to Meta! Glory to Meta!

At the end of last week, Mark Zuckerberg decided to take advantage of the chaos over in Twitterland by surprise dropping Meta’s own text-based social media platform, Threads. Because it leverages the Instagram social graph, it quickly exploded to over 100 million users.In today’s ep, we dig into Threads and make a series of wild predictions which are sure to never be vindicated. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit downround.substack.com/subscribeSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

55:07

11 Jul 23

Twitter: You have exceeded your podcast rate limit

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To hear more, join Down Round Premium. The ongoing freakout at Twitter culminated this week in the platform limiting the number of tweets users could see per day, which Elon Musk claimed was to stop an onslaught of AI bots training themselves on Twitter data. That caused a brief exodus to Bluesky, the wonky alternative currently being hyped by Twitter refugees and former addicts.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Twitter: You have exceeded your podcast rate limit

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To hear more, join Down Round Premium. The ongoing freakout at Twitter culminated this week in the platform limiting the number of tweets users could see per day, which Elon Musk claimed was to stop an onslaught of AI bots training themselves on Twitter data. That caused a brief exodus to Bluesky, the wonky alternative currently being hyped by Twitter refugees and former addicts.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

03:16

6 Jul 23

Ticketing: The Swifties will see justice, in this life or the next

The ticket industry is one of the most confusing online industries in 2023, a rentseeking behemoth which doesn’t seem to offer much for fans or artists alike. Thanks to the suggestion of a few listeners who seem to have missed out on Taylor Swift tickets last week, we’re diving in. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit downround.substack.com/subscribeSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Ticketing: The Swifties will see justice, in this life or the next

The ticket industry is one of the most confusing online industries in 2023, a rentseeking behemoth which doesn’t seem to offer much for fans or artists alike. Thanks to the suggestion of a few listeners who seem to have missed out on Taylor Swift tickets last week, we’re diving in. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit downround.substack.com/subscribeSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

35:08

4 Jul 23

AI Update: ChatGPT please generate a mid joke for this subtitle

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To hear more, join Down Round Premium. It’s been a hot minute since we’ve checked in on the world of AI, and things have been chugging along at rapid pace in the buzziest sector of tech. This week, we dive into the current AI landscape, including the world of open-source AI.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

AI Update: ChatGPT please generate a mid joke for this subtitle

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To hear more, join Down Round Premium. It’s been a hot minute since we’ve checked in on the world of AI, and things have been chugging along at rapid pace in the buzziest sector of tech. This week, we dive into the current AI landscape, including the world of open-source AI.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

04:51

29 Jun 23

LinkedIn: 2 executives at Down Round viewed your profile

Let’s face it: LinkedIn is one of the most annoying websites ever to exist. Terrible emails, armies of recruiters, and some of the worst posts you’ve ever seen.And yet it’s also one of the most successful social media platforms, a genuine moneymaker for Microsoft, and now completely integral to modern white collar life. In this episode, we talk through LinkedIn and the horrible posters who populate it. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit downround.substack.com/subscribeSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

LinkedIn: 2 executives at Down Round viewed your profile

Let’s face it: LinkedIn is one of the most annoying websites ever to exist. Terrible emails, armies of recruiters, and some of the worst posts you’ve ever seen.And yet it’s also one of the most successful social media platforms, a genuine moneymaker for Microsoft, and now completely integral to modern white collar life. In this episode, we talk through LinkedIn and the horrible posters who populate it. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit downround.substack.com/subscribeSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

34:32

27 Jun 23

Reddit Blackout: Understanding the twisted mind of a mod

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To hear more, join Down Round Premium. Reddit, one of the internet’s last largely functional online communities, is undergoing something of a political revolution. Thanks to the company’s plans to implement charge for API access — potentially affecting everything from third-party apps to moderation bots — subreddits large and small have gone dark, with the platform’s army of uncompensated …See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Reddit Blackout: Understanding the twisted mind of a mod

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To hear more, join Down Round Premium. Reddit, one of the internet’s last largely functional online communities, is undergoing something of a political revolution. Thanks to the company’s plans to implement charge for API access — potentially affecting everything from third-party apps to moderation bots — subreddits large and small have gone dark, with the platform’s army of uncompensated …See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

04:52

22 Jun 23

Vision Pro: Wearing VR goggles to a funeral

It’s been a couple of weeks since Apple announced the Vision Pro, the ‘spatial computing’ headset it believes is the future of going on the computer, getting online, and posting up a storm.Now the dust has settled, it’s time for the boys to go in. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit downround.substack.com/subscribeSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Vision Pro: Wearing VR goggles to a funeral

It’s been a couple of weeks since Apple announced the Vision Pro, the ‘spatial computing’ headset it believes is the future of going on the computer, getting online, and posting up a storm.Now the dust has settled, it’s time for the boys to go in. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit downround.substack.com/subscribeSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

42:22

20 Jun 23

Sport Streaming: Bringing back the biff

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To hear more, join Down Round Premium. Despite the fact the entertainment world at large is — for better or worse — piling in to the streaming model, sport has proven much more difficult. A headache-inducing labyrinth of rights deals, blackouts and other thorny problems have kept sport broadcasting from fully leaning into streaming. But that is changing, with streamers from Apple to Amazon d…See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Sport Streaming: Bringing back the biff

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To hear more, join Down Round Premium. Despite the fact the entertainment world at large is — for better or worse — piling in to the streaming model, sport has proven much more difficult. A headache-inducing labyrinth of rights deals, blackouts and other thorny problems have kept sport broadcasting from fully leaning into streaming. But that is changing, with streamers from Apple to Amazon d…See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

04:12

15 Jun 23

#90 - Swimply: The Way Of Water (ft. Becky Lucas)

James is in the US this week, so we're digging an episode from the deep and forgotten archives.Swimply is, to put it simply, Airbnb but for pools. As in, you can go to a strangers house and swim in their pool for a small fee. It has tried to launch in Australia three times now, so obviously it deserved our attention. Comedian Becky Lucas joined us to discuss. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit downround.substack.com/subscribeSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

#90 - Swimply: The Way Of Water (ft. Becky Lucas)

James is in the US this week, so we're digging an episode from the deep and forgotten archives.Swimply is, to put it simply, Airbnb but for pools. As in, you can go to a strangers house and swim in their pool for a small fee. It has tried to launch in Australia three times now, so obviously it deserved our attention. Comedian Becky Lucas joined us to discuss. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit downround.substack.com/subscribeSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

30:53

14 Jun 23

#89 - Yahoo!: Pouring one out for the OG

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To hear more, join Down Round Premium. At every major juncture of internet development since 1994, you’re guaranteed to find one company making baffling decisions: Yahoo. From one of the biggest stocks of the dotcom boom to the laughingstock of the mobile era, Yahoo has managed to stumble ungracefully through internet history in a way we simply had to chronicle. In this episode, we look back …See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

#89 - Yahoo!: Pouring one out for the OG

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To hear more, join Down Round Premium. At every major juncture of internet development since 1994, you’re guaranteed to find one company making baffling decisions: Yahoo. From one of the biggest stocks of the dotcom boom to the laughingstock of the mobile era, Yahoo has managed to stumble ungracefully through internet history in a way we simply had to chronicle. In this episode, we look back …See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

04:17

8 Jun 23

#88 - Esports: This is our application to join FaZe Clan

Esports was one of the weirdest hype cycles of the last tech boom. A surge of venture capital and investment led to a frothy market which somehow convinced people that ‘watching Apex Legends’ was not only the next frontier in video gaming, but also in sports and entertainment generally. This unstoppable hype train culminated in FaZe Clan, an esports influencer house, listing on the public markets via a SPAC.Turns out it didn’t really work, and esports has not remotely lived up to its promise of being the future of sport. What went wrong? Down Round discusses. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit downround.substack.com/subscribeSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

#88 - Esports: This is our application to join FaZe Clan

Esports was one of the weirdest hype cycles of the last tech boom. A surge of venture capital and investment led to a frothy market which somehow convinced people that ‘watching Apex Legends’ was not only the next frontier in video gaming, but also in sports and entertainment generally. This unstoppable hype train culminated in FaZe Clan, an esports influencer house, listing on the public markets via a SPAC.Turns out it didn’t really work, and esports has not remotely lived up to its promise of being the future of sport. What went wrong? Down Round discusses. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit downround.substack.com/subscribeSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

37:36

6 Jun 23

#87 - Netflix: Stranger Things season 1-4 recap [AD-SUPPORTED]

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To hear more, join Down Round Premium. Netflix was once the golden child of the tech industry, with its streaming model held up as the future of content consumption. Now that every rightsholder has a streaming platform, and the end of the tech boom has led to drastic cuts in content budgets and the return of advertising, where does that leave Netflix? The boys chat. Raph offers his strident view as a man who does not watch scripted television.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

#87 - Netflix: Stranger Things season 1-4 recap [AD-SUPPORTED]

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To hear more, join Down Round Premium. Netflix was once the golden child of the tech industry, with its streaming model held up as the future of content consumption. Now that every rightsholder has a streaming platform, and the end of the tech boom has led to drastic cuts in content budgets and the return of advertising, where does that leave Netflix? The boys chat. Raph offers his strident view as a man who does not watch scripted television.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

04:59

1 Jun 23

#86 - Nvidia: From sexy elves to a $1 trillion company

This week, GPU maker Nvidia was briefly valued at $1 trillion, which is pretty wild for a company founded to cater to the whims of one of God’s most pathetic creatures: PC gamers.The surge in value is largely thanks to Nvidia’s critical position in the emerging AI economy. It turns out the company’s graphics cards technology, originally intended to support high-performance gaming, are actually very good at training the neural networks that drive platforms like ChatGPT.In this ep, we dive into how we got here. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit downround.substack.com/subscribeSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

#86 - Nvidia: From sexy elves to a $1 trillion company

This week, GPU maker Nvidia was briefly valued at $1 trillion, which is pretty wild for a company founded to cater to the whims of one of God’s most pathetic creatures: PC gamers.The surge in value is largely thanks to Nvidia’s critical position in the emerging AI economy. It turns out the company’s graphics cards technology, originally intended to support high-performance gaming, are actually very good at training the neural networks that drive platforms like ChatGPT.In this ep, we dive into how we got here. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit downround.substack.com/subscribeSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

38:14

31 May 23

#85 - AR/VR Headsets: Yet more exciting ways to play Beat Saber

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To hear more, join Down Round Premium. Apple’s developer conference is in a couple of weeks, and all signs suggest it is about to announce an insanely expensive AR/VR headset, which it hopes will be their next computing platform and maybe a smartphone successor somewhere down the line. In this ep we talk about headsets generally, the companies trying to make them happen, and why no one seems …See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

#85 - AR/VR Headsets: Yet more exciting ways to play Beat Saber

This is a free preview of a premium episode. To hear more, join Down Round Premium. Apple’s developer conference is in a couple of weeks, and all signs suggest it is about to announce an insanely expensive AR/VR headset, which it hopes will be their next computing platform and maybe a smartphone successor somewhere down the line. In this ep we talk about headsets generally, the companies trying to make them happen, and why no one seems …See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

05:01

25 May 23

#84 - Text: This one is for the posters

Despite the fact the social web seems inexorably on the march towards TikTok-style video feeds, there’s still a happy home on the web for big-brained lovers of text. Twitter, despite never being the biggest social network, has outsized influence. Now that Elon Musk is slowly transforming it into a big toilet, other challengers are poking their head above the parapets.In this episode we’re talking through the vultures who are circling Twitter’s instability and trying to become the next place where text-heads congregate — from Meta to Bluesky. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit downround.substack.com/subscribeSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

#84 - Text: This one is for the posters

Despite the fact the social web seems inexorably on the march towards TikTok-style video feeds, there’s still a happy home on the web for big-brained lovers of text. Twitter, despite never being the biggest social network, has outsized influence. Now that Elon Musk is slowly transforming it into a big toilet, other challengers are poking their head above the parapets.In this episode we’re talking through the vultures who are circling Twitter’s instability and trying to become the next place where text-heads congregate — from Meta to Bluesky. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit downround.substack.com/subscribeSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

51:14

23 May 23

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