ZigZag

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ZigZag takes an honest look at the culture of business---and what needs to change.  Journalists-turned-entrepreneurs, Manoush Zomorodi and Jen Poyant, share their struggles to build an ethically-minded company, Stable Genius Productions, all while investigating how other founders and creators are resisting the “winners take all” mindset of Silicon Valley. From techies putting humanity at the heart of their products, to artists looking beyond ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ for validation, and investors who value empathy over 100 X returns...there’s a new movement to chart a kinder, sustainable, and collective path forward for work and life.

43 épisodes

20 juin 2019 - 00:42:22
You've probably heard her hundreds of times. Mallory Kasdan is the voice of dozens of ads, from Crest White Strips to Nickelodeon. For years, she made an excellent living sounding like the quintessential "hip mom" or sassy big sister, who happened to have a product to shill. But recently, as social media and celebs upended the advertising industry, Mallory stopped booking jobs. She's had to find new ways to pay the bills and get health insurance for her family. And she's doing it by sounding like...herself.***Season 4 of ZigZag is about examining the current culture of business and work, figuring out what needs to change, and experimenting with new ways to do it. *****Who You’ll Hear: **@manoushz (Manoush Zomorodi, host of ZigZag and cofounder of Stable Genius Productions), @jpoyant (Jen Poyant, cohost of ZigZag and cofounder of Stable Genius Productions) @MalloryKasdan (Mallory Kasdan, host & producer of MILK Podcast: Moms I'd Like to Know. Voiceover person. Author of ELLA. Mom of people.)Sign up for our newsletter and subscribe to the podcast for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, RadioPublic, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify, or Breaker.
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6 juin 2019 - 00:41:33
Consumer Reports, theOG‘s of product reviews, just got an upgrade: $6 million from Craigslist founder turned philanthropist,Craig Newmark. On this special episode, he and the CEO of Consumer Reports,Marta Tellado, announce their big plans to test all our apps and connected devices with a new set of criteria: one that takes people’s personal privacy and the collective good into account.Plus, Craig shares his thinking behind funding journalism start-ups likeThe Markup.***Season 4 of ZigZag is about examining the current culture of business and work, figuring out what needs to change, and experimenting with new ways to do it. ***@manoushz (Manoush Zomorodi, host of ZigZag and cofounder of Stable Genius Productions), @jpoyant (Jen Poyant, cohost of ZigZag and cofounder of Stable Genius Productions) @craignewmark (Craig Newmark, Founder of Craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies), @MLTellado (Marta Tellado, CEO of Consumer Reports)Learn more about our awesome bi-weekly newsletter and get the podcast for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, RadioPublic, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify, or Breaker.
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30 mai 2019 - 00:40:58
We went looking for a venture capitalist who is investing in products or platforms that make money AND make our lives a bit saner: Caterina Fake co-founded Flickr, coined the acronym FOMO, and is now a partner at Yes VC. She’s putting her money behind companies that she thinks will grow big and fast…but in ethical ways. Caterina explains why she said ‘no’ to joining the fancy VC firms on Sand Hill Road, what she’s looking for in entrepreneurs, and how to focus on what matters to you online.Plus, Jen and Manoush discuss some astounding statistics about where money goes in Silicon Valley and Dr. Ernie, a longtime listener who leaves them the. best. voice memos. ever.WHO YOU’LL HEAR:@manoushz (Manoush Zomorodi, host of ZigZag and cofounder of Stable Genius Productions), @jpoyant (Jen Poyant, cohost of ZigZag and cofounder of Stable Genius Productions), @Caterina‏ (Caterina Fake, Host, Should this Exist? Investor, Yes VC. Cofounder: Flickr, Hunch, Sesat School. Etsy).Season 4 of ZigZag is about examining the current culture of business and work, figuring out what needs to change, and experimenting with new ways to do it.Sign up for our newsletter and subscribe to the podcast for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, RadioPublic, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify, or Breaker.CREDITS: Matt Boynton, Audio Engineer and Sound Designer David Herman, Composer Maria Wurttele, Production Coordinator
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16 mai 2019 - 00:47:07
We hear a lot about how people start up companies but what about winding them down? After 15 years, media entrepreneur and "influencer" Grace Bonney has decided to close her lifestyle blog Design*Sponge. In this episode, Grace explains why she decided not to sell her business and has no plans beyond the farewell party...other than rethinking her relationship to the web.Plus, Manoush and Jen debate whether being a woman online means having to "perform" vulnerability and wonder if men also use entrepreneurship as a way to carve out their identity.**Season 4 of ZigZag is about examining the current culture of business and work, figuring out what needs to change, and experimenting with new ways to do it. **Sign up for our newsletter and subscribe to the podcast for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, RadioPublic, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify, or Breaker.CREDITS: Matt Boynton, Audio Engineer and Sound Designer David Herman, Composer Maria Wurttele, Production Coordinator
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2 mai 2019 - 00:41:01
The workplace has become a place of sociological experimentation. But what are the pros and cons to “flattening” hierarchy or employees giving each other "radically transparent" feedback? Organizational psychologist Adam Grant (and host of TED's WorkLife podcast) explains some of the most cutting-edge workplace behavioral changes, how they reflect other societal changes like the #MeToo movement, and what each of us can do to evolve while GETTING OUR WORK DONE.Plus, Jen and Manoush consider how working remotely has affected their creative process and caused some hiccups with team coordination.Season 4 of ZigZag is about examining the current culture of business, figuring out what needs to change, and experimenting with new ways to do it.Sign up for our newsletter and subscribe to the podcast for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, RadioPublic, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify, or Breaker.WHO YOU’LL HEAR:@manoushz (Manoush Zomorodi, host of ZigZag and cofounder of Stable Genius Productions), @jpoyant (Jen Poyant, cohost of ZigZag and cofounder of Stable Genius Productions) @AdamMGrant (Adam Grant, Organizational Psychologist @wharton and host of the Work Life Podcast)EDITS: Matt Boynton, Audio Engineer and Sound Designer David Herman, Composer Maria Wurttele, Production Coordinator
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25 avril 2019 - 00:35:59
The tech show about being human returns with an all new season exclusively on the new Luminary app. Manoush kicks things off with the latest on the battle between kids and parents over their screens: do we know how kids are impacted by tech? Does it make them less empathetic? Are they being constantly bullied online? Even if we can help kids figure out their digital habits, are we adults totally screwed? Researcher Elizabeth Englander joins Manoush to share new findings and give the most pragmatic advice about how kids and adults can build better relationships with their tech and each other.
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25 avril 2019 - 00:44:43
Founded by Jenn Brandel and Mara Zapeda, the growing Zebras Unite network is a backlash against Silicon Valley's so-called "unicorn" companies.Many of these entrepreneurs are saying no to venture capital investors and attempting to build sustainable companies that fit their lives and values. But Jenn and Mara's inspiring real talk about making money AND doing good isn't just for "founders." It's about rethinking the role that all companies--and YOU--have in society. Zebras epitomize what we're doing this season: examining the current culture of business, figuring out what needs to change, and experimenting with new ways to do it.Sign up for our newsletter and subscribe to the podcast for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, RadioPublic, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify, or Breaker.*Who You’ll Hear: *CREDITS: Matt Boynton, Audio Engineer David Herman, Composer Maria Wurttele, Production Coordinator
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11 avril 2019 - 00:43:14
On the launch episode of Season Four, Jen and Manoush celebrate the first anniversary of their company, Stable Genius Productions, and share the most important and difficult entrepreneurial lessons they've learned over the past year.They also explain how, after a year of experimentation with format and blockchain technology, ZigZag is evolving into a podcast that takes an honest look at the culture of business--and what needs to change.*Sign up for our newsletter and subscribe to the podcast for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, RadioPublic, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify, or Breaker. *WHO YOU’LL HEAR:@manoushz (Manoush Zomorodi, host of ZigZag and cofounder of Stable Genius Productions), @jpoyant (Jen Poyant, cohost of ZigZag and cofounder of Stable Genius Productions)
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28 mars 2019 - 00:25:23
What IS that anti-climactic feeling we get after completing a big project? Shouldn’t we be patting ourselves on the back and mixing celebratory martinis? Perhaps you’ve simply entered the final phase of the Hype Cycle: the rather dull Plateau of Productivity. This is when an idea just WORKS, maybe even becomes a cultural norm. All season long we’ve been tracking how ideas spark, evolve, and grow. Our final episode includes some harsh listener feedback, a conversation between women new to their local legislature, and late-breaking news from the Rust Belt town of Massena, NY.*Season 4 debuts April 11 with a special series on redefining goals, ambition, and success in turbulent times. *WHO YOU’LL HEAR:@manoushz (Manoush Zomorodi, host of ZigZag and cofounder of Stable Genius Productions), @tkbeaty (Thalia Beaty, producer of ZigZag), @JackieFenn (Jackie Fenn, Gartner Analyst), @NArquiettd11 (Nance Arquiett St. Lawrence County legislator for District 11), @**ElectCurran2018 (**Rita Curran St. Lawrence County legislator for District 15)
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14 mars 2019 - 00:30:07
We're almost at the end of our deep-dive into the lifecycle of innovation, or the so-called Hype Cycle. Phase Four, aka the Slope of Enlightenment, is when the breakthrough happens, you get out of the trough, and start moving forward. We're using this phase to share big news from Stable Genius Productions and talk to Katrina Kelly-Pitou, an environmental economist, on the truth behind blockchain's energy-guzzling reputation. Plus, the mayor who made history by banning Bitcoin operations in his city. And then decided to allow them back in. Get ready to be enlightened.*Also, our email newsletter is a must read. **Sign up for a bi-weekly letter from Manoush with links to her favorite articles and podcasts, a look behind-the-scenes at Stable Genius Productions, and upcoming events. (For example, our guest Jackie Fenn wrote a novel about a programmer whose algorithm goes rogue!)Who You’ll Hear: Katrina Kelly-Pitou Professor Resilient Energy and Power Systems, Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh (@manoushz) Manoush Zomorodi, host of ZigZag (@tkbeaty) Thalia Beaty, producer of ZigZag
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28 février 2019 - 00:30:49
Our journey through the Hype Cycle takes a dark turn this week. Because every innovative idea, sadly, must pass through the third (and most miserable) phase of the cycle: the Trough of Disillusionment. This is when you start questioning why you ever decided to INSERT GOAL HERE in the first place.Hear Professor Kevin Werbach explain the difference between full-on failure and simply measuring success on a longer timeline, as related to tech and blockchain. (Because this podcast loves using blockchain as a metaphor for life.)Plus, a local union rep, Dave LaClair, gives producer Thalia Beaty a personal tour of Massena, NY, a town definitely in the “trough.” Their afternoon together ends with an insightful conversation about the people left behind in the U.S economy and how society has gotten to a place where real talk is rare.**Also, our email newsletter is a must read. **Sign up for a bi-weekly letter from Manoush with links to her favorite articles and podcasts, a look behind-the-scenes at Stable Genius Productions, and upcoming events. (For example, our guest Jackie Fenn wrote a novel about a programmer whose algorithm goes rogue!)Who You’ll Hear: (@kwerb‏) Kevin Werbach, Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics at the Wharton School of Business, Dave La Clair of Massena, NY, (@manoushz) Manoush Zomorodi, host of ZigZag (@tkbeaty) Thalia Beaty, producer of ZigZag
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14 février 2019 - 00:36:04
As we continue through the Hype Cycle, we reach the fun, thrilling, titillating phase: the Peak of Expectations. It generates the vital inspiration and adrenaline that keeps every entrepreneur or visionary going (that includes the listener who is in the midst of sleep training her baby daughter). On this episode, Manoush and Jen analyze their start-up highs and wonder whether exciting industry news means podcasting has hit its peak. Plus, more from Massena, NY, as we go inside cavernous Bitcoin factories to hear what extreme optimism sounds like. Just beware: after every high comes a low.Are you signed up for our newsletter? We’ve got links to articles and other great podcasts plus a personal note from Manoush. Go to ZigZagPod.com or just email us at [email protected] and we’ll sign you up.
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31 janvier 2019 - 00:22:58
Question: what SPARKS us to *act *on an idea, rather than let it fade away? Answer: an "Innovation Trigger," also known as Phase 1 of the Hype Cycle. Hear listeners detail what triggered them to pursue a project, more from Gartner analyst Jackie Fenn, and how a hydroelectric dam prompted one small town to start manufacturing Bitcoin, for better and worse.All this season, we're exploring the lifecycle of ideas, including a visit to a town by the Canadian border where one of the biggest Bitcoin mining operations in the world is ramping up, and some claim crypto can save a community in financial ruin.Tell us what's going on in your life and where YOU are on the Hype Cycle right now: record a voice memo and send it to [[email protected]]([email protected]).**Also, our email newsletter is a must read. **Sign up for a bi-weekly letter from Manoush with links to her favorite articles and podcasts, a look behind-the-scenes at Stable Genius Productions, and upcoming events. (For example, our guest Jackie Fenn wrote a novel about a programmer whose algorithm goes rogue!)Who You’ll Hear: (@jackiefenn) Jackie Fenn, Senior Analyst at Gartner, (@manoushz) Manoush Zomorodi, host of ZigZag (@tkbeaty) Thalia Beaty, producer of ZigZag
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17 janvier 2019 - 00:33:02
You may *feel *like a special snowflake, but even our best ideas usually take a predictable path: they'll pass through the 5 Phases of the Hype Cycle. Tech analyst Jackie Fenn created this iconic graph (see below) 25 years ago, and it's been used to track innovations (yes, like blockchain) ever since. But the Hype Cycle isn't just for tech: understanding it can help you decide when to press ahead with a job, relationship, or New Year's resolution... or cut your losses and move on.All this season, we're exploring the lifecycle of ideas, including a visit to a town by the Canadian border where one of the biggest Bitcoin mining operations in the world is ramping up, and some claim crypto can save a community in financial ruin.Tell us what's going on in your life and where YOU are on the Hype Cycle right now: record a voice memo and send it to [[email protected]]([email protected]).**Also, our email newsletter is a must read. **Sign up for a bi-weekly letter from Manoush with links to her favorite articles and podcasts, a look behind-the-scenes at Stable Genius Productions, and upcoming events. (For example, our guest Jackie Fenn wrote a novel about a programmer whose algorithm goes rogue!)Who You’ll Hear: (@jackiefenn) Jackie Fenn, Senior Analyst at Gartner, (@manoushz) Manoush Zomorodi, host of ZigZag
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20 décembre 2018 - 00:42:01
The co-founders of Stable Genius Productions have a candid conversation about their current financial situation (hint: their grant is running out soon), the highs/lows of making this season of the podcast (another hint: they had a fallout over email), and Civil's plans to resurrect itself in 2019 (final hint: the token lives on).GO DEEPER:  Blockchain has not yet added value to international development projects, USAID finds. After mindfulness, tech takes on information overload, Manoush's forecast for Neiman Lab. Indiewire calls Season 2 Episode 2, one of the best podcast episodes of 2018! Radiotopia reaches 25,000 new contributors!WHO YOU’LL HEAR:@manoushz (Manoush Zomorodi, host of ZigZag and cofounder of Stable Genius Productions), @jpoyant (Jen Poyant, producer of ZigZag and cofounder of Stable Genius Productions)MANOUSH'S TOP 10 READS OF 2018: **10. Empress of Facebook: My Befuddling Dinner with Sheryl Sandberg (WIRED) 9. Lena Dunham Comes to Terms with Herself (The Cut) 8. A Guide to Worrying in the 21st Century (Bill Gates) 7. Barcelona's Experiment in Radical Democracy (New Yorker) 6. Cryptopia in Crisis: Joe Lubin's Ethereum is a Mess (Forbes)  5. The Gift of Menopause (NYTimes) -TIE- **Jennalee (Popula) 4. The Devastating Illusion of Control (The Cut) 3. The Plastic Backlash: What's Behind Our Sudden Rage- and Will It Make a Difference? (The Guardian) 2. Estranged in America: Both Sides Feel Left Out (NYTimes) 1. The Prophets of Cryptocurrency Survey the Boom and Bust (New Yorker)
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20 décembre 2018 - 00:26:26
The richest 1 percent of the world's population now owns more than half of the world's wealth. The calls for breaking up Big Tech companies are growing louder. On this episode, the author of Open Revolution, Rufus Pollock, proposes a solution (think regulation, but on steroids) for wrangling monopolies, sparking innovation, and getting profits into the hands of more people.GO DEEPER: "What the California Wildfires Can Teach Us About Data Sharing," Joi Ito writes in Wired. An old monopoly story: the Hush-a-Phone vs AT&T debacle from Atlas Obscura. And a new one: Infinite choices, few distributors in the digital economy from The Open Markets Institute. And the Senate Intelligence Committee's two reports on news manipulation on social media: The Disinformation Report and The Internet Research Agency and Political Polarization in the US.Who You’ll Hear:@manoushz (Manoush Zomorodi, host of @zigzagpod and cofounder of Stable Genius Productions), @rufuspollock‏ (Rufus Pollock, author of The Open Revolution)
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13 décembre 2018 - 00:33:37
Journalists-turned-entrepreneurs Mark Little and Áine Kerr believe the experience of getting news online is broken. (And they should know: Mark worked at Twitter and Áine at Facebook.) So, they're building an app called Kinzen which they hope can reboot our daily news habit by delivering trustworthy journalism without overwhelming us. Afterall, they reason, we have apps to track our sleep, steps, and calories... Why not news consumption? But can there really be an app for that?GO DEEPER: You can sign up to help develop Kinzen. An ode to Tumblr after it bans NSFW content. Look up which location data those free Android apps collect from phones (and read the New York Times investigation). Blockchain hits the "trough of disillusionment." ConsenSys, the backer of Civil, cuts 13 percent of its staff. Forbes asks: will the crypto bear market take down Ethereum? Twitter gives us crypto Christmas carols.WHO YOU’LL HEAR:Manoush Zomorodi, cofounder of Stable Genius Productions and host of ZigZag Podcast (@manoushz), Mark Little, cofounder of Kinzen (@marklittlenews) Aine Kerr, cofounder of Kinzen (@AineKerr)
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6 décembre 2018 - 00:13:00
It's been an extraordinarily weird year. This mini episode compresses Manoush and Jen's story so far into a strange mash-up of voice memos that documents their leap from public radio producers to audio entrepreneurs (who often are very stressed and seem to rarely sleep). Think of it as an audio thank you note for being on this ZigZag ride. We're so glad you're here with us. We hope you'll also consider supporting Radiotopia, the podcast collective that helps make ZigZag possible. Go to radiotopia.fm where you can choose from an unusual array of donation gifts (including an outing to the Stable Genius' favorite bar).
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6 décembre 2018 - 00:38:16
Julia Angwin, the award-winning reporter whose investigations make Facebook sweat, just got $20 million from Craig Newmark (yes, as in Craig's List) to start her own publication. Hear her vision for The MarkUp, why we need a new kind of watchdog journalism, and how she plans to combine hardcore data analysis with shoe-leather reporting. Plus, the honest lowdown on how Julia beats decision fatigue, as a startup founder and a parent. It's not all black turtlenecks and green smoothies, but it's close.GO DEEPER: Julia Angwin's investigations for ProPublic. Mark Zuckerberg Doesn’t Understand Journalism. Looking back at Craig's List. Jessica Lessin left the Wall Street Journal five years ago to found The Information. Closing Rookie: hard truths about digital media from teenage entrepreneur Tavi Gevinson.Who You’ll Hear:@manoushz (Manoush Zomorodi) @JuliaAngwin (Investigative journalist and Cofounder of The MarkUp)
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6 décembre 2018 - 00:38:16
Julia Angwin, the award-winning reporter whose investigations make Facebook sweat, just got $20 million from Craig Newmark (yes, as in Craig's List) to start her own publication. Hear her vision for The MarkUp, why we need a new kind of watchdog journalism, and how she plans to combine hardcore data analysis with shoe-leather reporting. Plus, the honest lowdown on how Julia beats decision fatigue, as a startup founder and a parent. It's not all black turtlenecks and green smoothies, but it's close.GO DEEPER: Julia Angwin's investigations for ProPublic. Mark Zuckerberg Doesn’t Understand Journalism. Looking back at Craig's List. Jessica Lessin left the Wall Street Journal five years ago to found The Information. Closing Rookie: hard truths about digital media from teenage entrepreneur Tavi Gevinson.Who You’ll Hear:@manoushz (Manoush Zomorodi) @JuliaAngwin (Investigative journalist and Cofounder of The MarkUp)
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