Foundering

Foundering

Foundering is an award-winning, serialized podcast from the journalists at Bloomberg Technology. Each season, Foundering brings you inside a different high-stakes drama from the technology industry, where its companies are wielding unprecedented capital and power.

Episodes

October 4, 2016 2 min

The global technology industry is a powerful engine of innovation that drives the economy. It's also a collection of insular communities full of hidden projects, quiet rivalries, and uncomfortable truths. Join Bloomberg Technology's Brad Stone each week as he and the team's reporters uncover what actually happens behind closed doors.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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Just a few years ago, Fab.com was valued at $1 billion. Today, it's remembered as one of the most epic flame-outs in the history of U.S. technology startups. Bloomberg's Sarah Frier, who in 2013 was the first to report on Fab's internal turmoil, talks to founder Jason Goldberg about how he felt as the company soared and then collapsed. Jason also recounts the lessons he's learned -- so he won't repeat them as he...

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October 17, 2016 15 min

Very few things have stopped Uber in its quest for world domination -- except Didi, the Chinese ride-hailing startup that in August announced it will buy Uber's China operations. This week Lulu Chen and Brad Stone tell the story of how Didi rose to prominence, and the battles its founder Cheng Wei waged to defeat dozens of Chinese rivals before taking on Uber. Now that it's conquered the world's largest ride-hailing mar...

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Donald Trump insists that we don't know who was behind the cyber attack on the Democratic National Committee. Is he right? Bloomberg Technology's Jordan Robertson talks to Mike Buratowski, who oversaw the investigation into malicious code that spied on emails sent by DNC officials and others. After examining the hints left behind, they tackle the big issue: If hackers backed by Russia really were the perpetrators, what more...

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When Antonio Garcia Martinez was trying to raise money for his fledgling tech company, he worried that an honest pitch wouldn't get him the funds he needed. So he lied. This week, Brad and Bloomberg Technology's Ellen Huet explore the murky world of early-stage startups -- not just with Antonio but also with one of his startup's investors, as well a business school professor. In the absence of the strict rules governing...

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A handful of websites have launched in the U.K. over the last few years, allowing not only the rich but also the rest of us to invest in startups. How likely is it that you'll end up striking gold on the next Facebook? This week, Bloomberg Technology's Adam Satariano travels to Scotland to meet one man keeping track -- and at least so far, the results are not promising.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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November 14, 2016 30 min

Virtual assistants such as the iPhone's Siri are now everywhere, reading us the news, recommending restaurants and navigating a path to our jobs. But any casual user knows they're far from perfect. This week, Bloomberg Technology's Aki Ito and Alistair Barr visit Professor Terry Winograd, a pioneer in artificial intelligence who amazed the world with a precursor to these assistants half a century ago. Terry tests the as...

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On the night of the U.S. presidential elections, one of Facebook’s former product designers turned to Facebook to vent. His claim: The social media platform may have helped inaccurate and partisan news stories reach more voters, setting the stage for Donald Trump’s victory. Two weeks later, Facebook’s fake news problem has become one of the most hotly debated issues in America. This week, Bloomberg Technology’s Aki Ito and Sarah Fr...

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(Bloomberg) -- Now that the holidays are approaching, chances are you'll be doing at least some of your gift shopping on Amazon.com. But before you click "buy" on the first favorably-reviewed item you find, take a minute to learn about how you can avoid getting duped by the site's fake reviews and phony products. This week, Bloomberg Technology's Brad Stone and Spencer Soper report on the extreme tactics some ve...

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Coding boot camps are everywhere these days, promising to arm you with the most highly sought skill in the modern economy: computer programming. While many programs charge thousands of dollars for just a few months of instruction, one school, started in Paris by the French billionaire Xavier Niel, offers a three-year curriculum for free. This week Bloomberg Technology's Sarah McBride and Marie Mawad report on Ecole 42's new...

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Computer animated movies are everywhere these days. But in 1995 when Pixar was preparing to release Toy Story, the public had never seen a fully computer-animated movie before. Toy Story was years in the making and for Pixar everything was on the line. This week, Bloomberg Technology's Brad Stone and Pia Gadkari take us back to those final months, when CEO Steve Jobs, CFO Lawrence Levy and Pixar's other employees were racin...

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A lot of people in the tech industry have a fascination with defying death. But only a few of them are actually working on ways to achieve it. This week, Bloomberg Technology's Ashlee Vance goes to Russia to meet one of the pioneers of the cryonics movement. We'll take a look at the technology he's developing, and see how close really he is to cracking the code to eternal life.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy inf...

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It's been a year full of surprising developments, from Brexit to the election of Donald Trump. This week we're bringing you our pessimist's guide to 2017: What might happen in the tech industry if it all goes horribly wrong? These are the most dire scenarios our team of reporters could come up with.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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It's something that just about every technology company says it wants to address -- diversifying its workforce. So why is the industry so full of men, most of whom are white or Asian? Bloomberg Technology's Ellen Huet and Aki Ito follow Mitchell Lee, co-founder of a startup called Penny, as he tries to hire someone who doesn't look like your typical Silicon Valley programmer. The process raises some surprising challenge...

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As cyber-spying gets ever more sophisticated, governments worldwide are rushing to get equipped with the most cutting-edge technology. This week, Bloomberg Technology's Jordan Robertson and Aki Ito take you into the heart of a multimillion-dollar deal to help a West African nation spy on its own people. But the deal goes south -- offering a rare glimpse into the shadowy world of the global cyber weapons industry.

See omnystudio....

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We still don't know what Trump's presidency means for the broader tech industry, but one thing is clear: He loves Twitter. On the one hand, a president speaking directly with the people seems like a good thing. But will there be unintended consequences? This week, Bloomberg Technology's Brad Stone and Josh Brustein dig deep with two former Twitter employees, and also ask why a tool that's cemented its role in our pu...

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More than 1.5 million people drive for Uber in cities all over the world. And yet, as the company finds new ways to make rides cheaper for customers, it's become harder for the app's contractors to make a decent living. This week, Brad visits one of Uber's very first drivers, and, together, they explore the complicated history between the ride-sharing app and its workers. Brad and Bloomberg Technology's startups rep...

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On his eighth day in office, President Trump signed an executive order banning the U.S. entry of people from seven Muslim-majority countries. The move sparked outrage from several tech companies, which rely heavily on the talent of skilled foreigners. This week, Bloomberg Technology’s Aki Ito and Olivia Zaleski speak to both tech workers directly affected by this ban as well as company executives who fear the order will hurt their ...

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In the past two years, Cuba has started rolling out public access to the internet. Wifi is now available through a network of hotspots-- but access is expensive, and the connection can be patchy and slow. This week, Bloomberg Technology's Pia Gadkari visits Cuba, exploring what life looks like when a country's just starting to get online. Pia and Aki hear from local entrepreneurs how the Internet is helping them grow their ...

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Ever since it was a tiny startup, Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, has been based in the quirky, bohemian Los Angeles beach town of Venice. Now, the social media app maker employs almost 2,000 workers and is about to become a publicly traded company. This week, Bloomberg Technology's Sarah Frier and Aki Ito visit Venice to hear from longtime residents and business owners, some of whom worry they're getting priced out o...

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