Episodes

  • It's 1984 and Ben & Jerry's is fighting for its life. Häagen-Dazs is pressuring distributors to stop carrying the Vermont ice cream brand and the deadline for distributors to comply is closing in fast. But with help from a lawyer with a hole in his shoe and a spate of publicity stunts, Ben & Jerry's hopes to pull off an unlikely victory.

    This series was originally released as a Wondery+ Exclusive in 2021.

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  • Since the pandemic began, many of us have traded our blazers for t-shirts and loafers for slippers as remote work has become the new normal. There’s been a fundamental shift in what employees expect from their workplace — and spoiler alert, going in five days a week isn’t it. So how can business owners adapt to this changing landscape without losing employees in this hot labor market?

    Stanford Economics Professor Nick Bloom has studied productivity and remote work for two decades. On this episode, Nick joins Business Wars host David Brown to explore the future of work, and the role technology will play in helping businesses keep up.

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  • It's 1958 and in New York City, Reuben Mattus is under fire. The big dairies are crushing his family's ice cream business and shutting him out of supermarkets. Desperate, he imagines a new, luxury ice cream with an eye-popping price tag. He calls it Häagen-Dazs and it's going to give his foes the chills.

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  • Startups search for pain points in the customer experience and design their product to solve these problems. There’s an art to knowing how to find that one thing the market needs and running with it. On the flip side, established businesses need to constantly reassess their products to avoid being disrupted and left behind.

    On this episode, Wharton School marketing professor Jonah Berger joins Business Wars host David Brown for a conversation about the art of disruption – how small businesses can gain the advantage and how legacy businesses can stay one step ahead.

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  • It's the '70s and best buddies Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield are about to open an ice cream parlor. These hungry hippies only want to have fun making ice cream. But as their business grows, they're going to find themselves on a collision course with the heavyweight champ of gourmet ice cream: Häagen-Dazs.

    This was originally released as a Wondery+ Exclusive

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  • Plant-based foods are no longer a tiny niche market. Consumers are hungry for more and even fast-food giants are eating up the trend. On this episode, we're joined by Wall Street Journal reporter Heather Haddon and comedy writer Halle Kiefer to look at stories about the changing food industry from our sister show, Business Wars Daily.

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  • Electric vehicles have come a long way over the past century, and now, with gas prices at record highs, more and more drivers are thinking about taking the plunge (if they can get their hands on one).

    Today, we’re road-tripping through the electric vehicle landscape of today and tomorrow with Aarian Marshall, a Staff Writer for Wired. Her piece, It’s a Perfect Time for EVs. It’s a Terrible Time for EVs, explores the tipping point we’ve reached in the EV world. Next up, Dana Hull, a reporter for Bloomberg covering Tesla, walks us through her coverage of the racial discrimination lawsuit Tesla faces, and what it means for the company’s future.

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  • After weathering an investigation by the government for their EVs catching on fire, Tesla is hit by another probe after things get deadly. But the company is dedicated to Autopilot, its self-driving system. And once again, nearly every iconic brand in Detroit is following along. Elon Musk amps up his Twitter commentary, offending multitudes and putting fear into investors. But company value skyrockets. As Tesla moves into the 2020s, its' facing hurdles that were unimaginable just a few years ago, from alleged racism to a worldwide pandemic. The effects of these and other crises are still playing out as Tesla heads into the future.

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  • Will Be Wild is a new 8-part series about the forces that led to the January 6th insurrection and what comes next. Through in-depth stories from a wide range of characters – from people who tried to stop the attack to those who took part – hosts Andrea Bernstein and Ilya Marritz explore the ongoing effort to bring autocracy to America, the lasting damage that effort is doing to our democracy, and the fate of our attempts to combat those anti-democratic forces. Because January 6th wasn't the end of the story, January 6th was just a practice run.

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  • The battle to dominate the EV market is on. Tesla’s market value is now around $20 billion. At this rate, Tesla could wipe the floor with GM in a decade. Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Chevrolet are taking notes. No one wants to be bringing up the rear. After near-devastating production issues, Tesla is finally churning out hundreds of its Model S every week from its newly acquired, five-acre factory, on par with any plant in Motor City. But Tesla has serious problems to solve. Like how to get cars to the people who want to buy them. And that’s something that Detroit and its vast network of dealerships does very, very well. And it will do whatever it can to keep that advantage to overtake Tesla in the EV market.

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  • In 2010, Tesla Motors has already experienced tremendous highs and devastating lows. Elon Musk is a polarizing figure whose goal is to change the way the traditional auto industry works. It’s been a struggle, but Detroit is finally bowing to the Tesla vision, moving electric vehicles to the top of production slates. But now Motor City wants to control the EV market. The limited run Tesla Roadster brought attention and kudos. Now ,Musk is pinning his hopes on the new Model S. But he still needs some place to actually make the cars. If he can’t score a factory, the car is just a cool concept. Things have to come together quickly – or Tesla is toast.

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  • You never really know someone…especially online. In today’s world, the power of influence can be the quickest path to money and fame, and it often ends in ruin. These are the stories of the world’s most insidious Scamfluencers. And we are their prey. On Wondery’s new weekly series, join co-hosts Scaachi Koul and Sarah Hagi as they unpack epic stories of deception from the worlds of social media, fashion, finance, health, and wellness. These influencers claim to be everything from charismatic healers to trusted financial insiders to experts in dating. They cast spells over millions. Why do we believe them, and how does our culture allow them to thrive? From Black Swan Murder to a fake social media influencer to an audacious Hollywood Ponzi schemer, each season will take the listener along the twists and turns, the impact on victims, and what’s left when the facade falls away.

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  • While the U.S. government pushed automakers to make low-emission vehicles in the 1990s, consumers loved their gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs. But in 2003, Elon Musk's Tesla Motors arrives with environmentally friendly, high-performance cars that people actually want.

    Motor City smirks as Musk pilots Tesla through crushing financial crises, spectacular quality control disasters and his own shocking public displays of bad behavior. But his pricey cars are catching on. Detroit is taking notice. Musk and Tesla are on a path of disruption that will change the industry and put EVs on the map.

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  • The electric vehicle market is experiencing massive growth, but more players means more competition for the vanguard. On this episode, we're joined by Insider editor Alex Davies and TV writer Josh Gondelman to look back at some of our "green" automotive industry stories from our sister show, Business Wars Daily.

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  • In 2022, you’d be hard-pressed to find somebody who hasn’t spent at least a couple of days in an Airbnb. It’s cheap, convenient and easy to use. But as you settle into your temporary home-away-from-home, you’re probably paying little mind to what’s playing out behind the scenes.

    Business Wars writer Natalie Robehmed joins host David Brown to unpacks Airbnb’s battle with New York City, and what it means for the company’s future. And later, Bloomberg journalist Olivia Carville discusses her investigative piece, Airbnb is Spending Millions of Dollars to Make Nightmares Go Away, which pulled back the curtain on Airbnb’s safety practices.

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  • By 2017, Airbnb's legal troubles are snowballing so fast, it’s not clear whether it will survive. But there’s another gathering storm that nobody could have forecast – the COVID-19 pandemic. And it will make a direct hit on Airbnb.

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  • By 2013, New York’s Attorney General is coming for Airbnb. And hoteliers, hotel worker unions, affordable housing activists and politicians come together to form an alliance against the home-sharing startup. Airbnb fights back in the courtroom — and the court of public opinion. Airbnb is forced to launch an expensive battle to win over the hearts, minds and homes of New Yorkers.

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  • Airbnb has changed the way we travel and upended the hotel industry, but it has also sparked one of the messiest fights ever between a startup and city government. When Airbnb arrived in New York City in 2009, it began operating in neighborhoods where affordable housing was already in short supply. Angry renters complained, and city officials decided to do something about it. But they find themselves up against an equally determined foe, one with deep pockets and powerful allies.

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  • While the housing market continues its hot streak, technology is disrupting the industry on every level. On this episode, we're joined by Business Wars writer Natalie Robehmed and comedian Ed Herro to look back at some of our best real estate stories from our sister show, Business Wars Daily.

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  • Heavyweight champions ESPN and FS1 are competing for cable, as legacy networks hop off the bench and onto the field. On-air talent remain caught in the middle. Throw in a global pandemic and an increasingly digital-first media landscape, and you’re in for one heck-of-game.

    For our very own post-season analysis, we’re talking to Richard Deitsch, a sports writer at The Athletic and host of the Sports Media Podcast. He’s guiding us through the wide world of sports broadcasting both on screen and behind the scenes, plus what the future has in store.

    Sports Media Podcast with Richard Deitsch: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/sports-media-with-richard-deitsch/id1366264191

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