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Netflix vs. HBO. Nike vs. Adidas. Business is war. Sometimes the prize is your wallet or your attention. Sometimes, it’s just the fun of beating the other guy. The outcome of these battles shapes what we buy and how we live. Business Wars gives you the unauthorized, real story of what drives these companies and their leaders, inventors, investors and executives to new heights -- or to ruin. Hosted by David Brown, former anchor of Marketplace. From Wondery, the network behind Dirty John and A ...
 
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It's 1990 in Champaign, Illinois, and 15-year-old Tony Xu is washing dishes in the Chinese restaurant his mother manages. He wants to help people like his Mom, but it'll be many years before he hits on his solution for small businesses. Across the Atlantic, Bastian Lehmann forgets his snowboard while moving house. He can't find a way to get it ship…
 
It's December 2011 in San Francisco. Bastian Lehmann is getting ready to launch his courier app, Postmates. But when he and his co-founders discover people want food delivered, not objects, they pivot to a business already cornered by Grubhub. Meanwhile, 30 miles away in Palo Alto, a business school student called Tony Xu is trying to figure out ho…
 
WWE might have thwarted WCW’s effort to claim the pro wrestling crown, but after 20 years of unchallenged supremacy, a new competitor has entered the ring. Bankrolled by a billionaire sports owner and airing weekly on TNT, All Elite Wrestling is, in many ways, the second coming of WCW. But have they learned the lessons of their dearly departed pred…
 
It’s 1998 and the slugfest between Vince McMahon’s WWF and Ted Turner’s WCW is reaching a critical juncture. McMahon’s on a mission to pull wrestling fans back to his TV shows with a strategy focused on maximum controversy. And to help him in his mission, he’s getting back-up from a high-flying TV executive and a bunch of Wall Street bankers. WCW c…
 
It’s 1996 and with Monday Nitro topping the TV ratings, WCW is out to end WWF’s time as the biggest player in the wrestling business. It’s plotting to establish two brands: one that WCW boss Eric Bischoff hopes can suck away WWF’s family audience, another that will seek to capture the young males who crave more violent and outrageous entertainment …
 
She was many things: an actress, a dancer, a chemist, an artist, and a pioneer in stage lighting and choreography. She was inquisitive and energetic, full of creativity and drive. She was always looking for ways to help her friends and was the belle of Paris and the Art Nouveau movement...but she is best referred to as La Loïe, THE Loïe, one of a k…
 
It’s 1995 and the Monday Night Wars are underway. WCW’s new show Monday Nitro is grappling with the WWF’s Monday Night Raw to win TV viewers’ attention. WCW isn’t pulling its punches either. Under the command of Eric Bischoff, WCW is dropping spoiler bombs, luring away WWF’s top wrestlers and trashing the WWF brand. And as WCW gains momentum, Bisch…
 
It’s 1994 and WCW is stepping up its game. To get the jump on WWF, Ted Turner is writing big checks to steal away the WWF’s biggest stars and sponsors. And as WCW’s star power increases, so does its popularity with wrestling fans. But the WWF is in no position to fight back. It’s struggling to keep the lights on, there’s discontent among its roster…
 
Two young Silicon Valley entrepreneurs set out to rid the world of smoking with an incredible new product. The device stands to disrupt the tobacco industry and make them rich, until it falls into the wrong hands and lives are ruined. From classrooms to hospitals, boardrooms to the Oval Office, what can be done to protect teenagers and is it too la…
 
It’s the dawn of the 1990s and Vince McMahon’s WWF is the king of wrestling. But trouble’s brewing: a steroids scandal is about to deal a body blow to the WWF and its family-friendly reputation. The scandal will leave WWF stuck in damage control mode as it fights to stem the losses from falling TV ratings, ticket sales, and pay-per-view buys. Meanw…
 
This episode is brought to you by Wondery in partnership with Dell Technologies. In honor of small businesses, we're featuring inspiring stories of successful companies that started out small. It’s 1970 and Gert Boyle’s life is in ruins. Her husband’s just died, and now, as a middle-aged stay-at-home single mom, she’s become the boss of the family’…
 
It’s the early 1980s and there’s peace in the wrestling business. For years regional wrestling companies have maintained order by sticking to their own slices of US and Canadian territory. But that’s all about to change. Vince McMahon has just taken over the World Wrestling Federation, and he wants war. He’s on a mission to crush all opposition and…
 
This episode is brought to you by Wondery in partnership with Dell Technologies. In honor of small businesses, we're featuring inspiring stories of successful companies that started out small. It’s 1961 and Tom Monaghan is about to drop out of college and put his all into the hole-in-the-wall pizzeria he founded with his brother. But the recipe for…
 
For International Nurses Day, we're revisiting our coverage of Mary Seacole. While, technically, she wasn't a nurse, she was very much a brave medical caregiver, a "doctress," an entrepreneur, and one heck of a jam-maker who served those fighting at the front of the Crimean War (and so much more.) If you are interested in a more directly related nu…
 
BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca. These companies are now household names thanks to their COVID-19 vaccines. The gambles these businesses took are paying off. The pharmaceutical giants are in line to profit heavily from their life-saving work, but the system of distributing the vaccines has seen its fair share of hiccups and contro…
 
It’s late 2020 and the first vaccines are going into arms across the world. With supplies tight, the nations of the world are pushing and shoving to get their shots, and investors are salivating at the thought of the profits to be made now that humanity’s got Covid’s on the run. But this virus isn’t going down without a fight. And in South Africa, …
 
It’s fall 2020 and the world’s waiting for the first results from the vaccine trials. But as the moment of truth nears, the pressure on the vaccine makers intensifies. And while AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson get hit with curveballs, Pfizer finds itself caught in the crossfire of the U.S. Presidential election. Listen to new episodes 1 week earl…
 
It’s summer 2020 and with Covid infections surging across America, the Trump administration’s ready to spend billions to get a vaccine fast. For vaccine makers — who face the enormous costs of rapidly upscaling manufacturing and pushing their shots through large-scale human trials — the government funding is a lifeline. But as the push to create va…
 
It’s February 2020 and drugmaker Moderna’s sprinting ahead – its Covid vaccine is already poised to enter human trials. But Moderna and its rivals know plenty of vaccines never make it out of trials alive. It’s also going to take a lot of manufacturing muscle to inoculate the world. All of which costs a lot of moolah. And if the vaccine makers can’…
 
It’s 25 years before the pandemic and at the University of Pennsylvania a Hungarian biochemist is fighting a one-woman campaign to figure out how to create mRNA vaccines. But no one wants to fund her research and every lab rat she injects with mRNA dies. Now, she must decide between her career and her belief in mRNA’s medical potential. And her cho…
 
It’s early January 2020, and a mysterious new virus is overtaking the city of Wuhan, China. At first the outbreak barely makes the news, but as the threat comes into focus, scientists spring into action to make a vaccine. But the outlook’s grim – vaccines take years to create, test and approve. No one expects one to arrive anytime soon. But for two…
 
After decades in KFC’s shadow, Chick-fil-A rode a wave of chicken sandwich obsession to industry dominance. But for how long? Will consumers tire of the relative simplicity of fried chicken in between two pieces of bread? For more on the emergence of the chicken sandwich as fast food’s favorite son, we speak to Nick Wiger — writer, comedian, and ho…
 
Our new book, The Art of Business Wars, takes fans through stories they've heard on Business Wars and some that are completely new. Host David Brown is joined by Next Big Idea's Rufus Griscom to discuss how the book came together, what makes a great Business Wars story, and preview some of the never-before-seen rivalries sure to thrill long-time li…
 
It’s the the early 2000’s and the animal rights group PETA accuses KFC of cruelty in their poultry processing and creating “Frankenchickens.” As KFC revenues tumble, Chick-fil-A surges ahead, cultivating fanatic customers with opening day parties and lavish food giveaways. But when President Dan Cathy makes controversial remarks against same-sex ma…
 
It’s the 1970’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken has yet another new owner: Heublein, the company known for introducing Americans to Smirnoff’s vodka. But KFC brand ambassador Harland Sanders creates a PR fiasco by accusing his new corporate bosses of letting standards slide and ruining the company. As the recession and Sanders wrath hammer revenues, the…
 
It’s the late 1960s and Kentucky Fried Chicken’s new owner takes the rapidly expanding franchise public. America’s hottest new IPO makes dozens of employees instant millionaires, but not Harland Sanders, who sold his company for cash. Now brand ambassador, Sanders regrets his decision and attempts a coup. As civil war rages at Kentucky Fried Chicke…
 
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