Business/Disrupted

Business/Disrupted

Business is an everyday thing, but everyday things can have untold stories - the stories about the things we never stopped to think about. Anyone can pay attention to financial ratios and textbook principles, but the best information lives in the stories that happen. What are the stories others have created with their business challenges? From starting a new business from scratch to reinventing oneself for their second third act, this show explores how these personal stories translate into the business context. Everybody loves a good fraud story. Everybody loves a good war story. We can delight in the lessons provided by others’ experiences, both good and bad, funny and tragic, and even dumb. They all plant the seeds for good, compelling, interesting stories. Join us as we ask “What were they thinking?” and dive into the minds of business leaders who are out there, doing it every day. We’ll explore businesses as diverse as space to podcasting, sovereign citizens to Ponzi schemes. Our goal will be to make sure you enjoy it every step of the way, as we challenge the things you thought you always knew.

Episodes

July 31, 2022 60 min

In this episode, we look at the challenges of progressive criminal justice reform from the standpoint of the prosecutor, by looking at how the District Attorney's office functions. The ideals of criminal justice reform are sound, but there are deficiencies in their execution. If people don't feel like their safety has improved and they don't feel good about their environment, what does that mean for the progressive D.A....

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If we think about arbitration at all, we think of it in terms of a dispute resolution mechanism written into large, complex contracts. We don't think of ordering a pizza online, streaming a movie, or using our cellphone. We probably don't expect it to involve our workplace. Yet, here we are, with everyone likely subject to at least one binding arbitration agreement of which they're not even aware. Are there horror stori...

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Our story is one with a lot of facets: the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School; conspiracy theories bandied about for entertainment; the preternaturally unhinged and how they react to an equally unhinged media; the power of defamation lawsuits; the sheer absurdity of ignoring a court order to produce information and, finally; abusing the bankruptcy process. In other words, we're exploring the story of noted internet crackp...

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Boy Scouts, Purdue Pharma, and now Johnson & Johnson - all are cases that are in bankruptcy because of thousands upon thousands of negligence cases; all are typical class actions; all are in bankruptcy against the wishes of the injured parties, and all are going to have to learn to adapt because they're all staying in bankruptcy. How did mass torts end up in the bankruptcy court instead of the class action courtroom? How ca...

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February 21, 2022 56 min

On Presidents' Day 2022, we talk with the nation's foremost historical actor of George Washington about what it is to inhabit the character of America's first General of the Armies, first President, and the person who held the states together long enough to give a burgeoning nation a shot of its own. We dispel misconceptions, the things that a career in business and a career being George Washington have in common, and w...

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There's big money in employment - companies invest significantly in finding, onboarding and training the best employees they can get - it's good business to make sure those employees feel welcome. Diversity and inclusion; equality and equity; welcoming and affirming. We use these words in relation to workplaces, but what do they mean and how do firms earn these adjectives? The landscape of Diversity & Inclusion is an ev...

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The United States Senate has become the focus of a power struggle between, on the one hand, a minority resistant to challenge, and a bare majority seeking to respond to a watershed moment in history - the systematic effort in the states to curtail voting rights. Two bills, the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, have been passed by the House and are logjammed in the Senate due to Senate rules. But rules can be...

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January 10, 2022 55 min

They say that if you want to make a small fortune in auto racing, you have to start with a large fortune. Between politics, mechanical issues, human factors, and the unknown, it's tough for a person with the need for speed to make it in the fastest-paced sport there is. But what does it really take? Our guest broke into racing in the middle of a successful career as a bankruptcy lawyer - and what parallels might lurk in that co...

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December 20, 2021 56 min

With the stroke of a pen, a U.S. District Court Judge overturned the confirmed bankruptcy plan of Purdue Pharma, placing everything up in the air. What's at stake: $4.3 billion from Purdue's owners, the Sackler family, in exchange for the release of all claims against them from anyone, anywhere, for all time. Without those payments, no creditors other than the United States Government are likely to get anything at all - no ...

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Companion Dogs, Assistance Dogs, Seeing-Eye Dogs, Emotional Support Dogs - they seem the same to the uninitiated, but they're very different. We talk with two of the most respected leaders in the Service Dogs field about the business of making incredibly skilled canine companions - what goes into the breeding, the training, and the mating with a person in need. We'll explore the risks to the system, from un- and under-train...

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November 1, 2021 55 min

Every day, prisoners are released from imprisonment back into society without so much as a thought as to what they do to become productive again. How do we help the newly returning citizens start being unincarcerated? How does the recently released get past the checkbox on a job application and become self-sufficient? What does prison do to your outlook and your view of your prospects? Our guest knows the answers to these questions...

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September 13, 2021 55 min

Adoption is a process that brings adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees into a common set of events, but in wildly differing and often unpredictable ways. Things that those outside the adoption experience rarely need to consider - tax structure, legislation, and the always-evolving efforts restrict and protect women's bodily autonomy - all influence and impact the adoption process, impact options available to adoptive p...

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August 9, 2021 55 min

Porn, adult entertainment, pornography, smut, whatever you call it, is big business. More than $97 Billion per year big. And, amusingly enough, much of it is consumed only ten minutes at a time. We speak with Lux Alptraum, writer, blogger and expert on sexuality, technology, and adult entertainment about the business that few admit to consuming, yet someone's gotta be clicking Pay because business is booming. We'll explore ...

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July 26, 2021 55 min

In our continuing series on the business of politics, we look to state political parties - where the real action happens. Dealing with state, local and national races, state political parties are where volunteerism in politics starts, and where fundraising rubber meets the road. Running a state political parties is the work if being a candidate for office onesself - and it involves managing people, dollars, public perception and a ...

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July 19, 2021 55 min

Politics happens because of people - very skilled, dedicated people. So do political operations in labor unions, in elected officials’ offices, in national political parties. We discuss the ins and outs of a career in politics with Amy K. Dacey, who has done just about everything in professional politics, including roles with Senator John Kerry, Executive Director of EMILY’s List, and CEO of the Democratic National Committee.

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From world-class skier to waitress, to administrative help to a real estate developer to the creator of a $4 million business - a poker game for the rich and powerful; only to pick up, change coasts and start it over again, only bigger. Join us as we talk with Molly Bloom - athlete, entrepreneur, inspirational speaker and general badass, and get the story on where she's been, what she's done, how she got Aaron Sorkin to mak...

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The path to elected office starts years before a candidate declares and starts raising money, knocking on doors, giving speeches and, yes, kissing some babies. But once the campaign starts, it's a complex business with many moving parts - few that the candidate can actually control. Find out how a campaign gets off the ground and how the path to elected office really works from a dollars and cents and organizational perspective...

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June 14, 2021 55 min

Purdue Pharma. Asbestos. Boy Scouts. Tobacco. Birth Defects. Medical Devices. The Opioid Crisis. Airline accidents. The common thread tying all of these things together is that they generate litigation - a lot of it. Mass Torts are big business - if the plaintiffs can survive the decades it takes to finally see the start of a trial. Join us as we learn, from the inside, exactly what is involved in seeking and obtaining justice for ...

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June 7, 2021 55 min

In early 2021, lobbying behemoth the National Rifle Association filed a chapter 11 case in Texas, intending to use the bankruptcy process not for financial or operational reorganization, but to escape the reach of the New York Attorney General. Immediately thereafter, the organization issued a press release in which it proudly stated that they were as financially strong as ever, prompting questions from creditors as to why they wer...

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Musicians invented the gig economy. Living one job to another, having to be performer, CEO, marketing, advertising, and HR, and still find time to keep their skills honed and practice. Add to this the complexities of a global pandemic and it's no wonder life has gotten impossibly complex for working musicians. Our guests (coincidentally, a father and son) speak from the experience of two different stages of their careers - one ...

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