I love this podcast but Ben’s App Store critique is wrong
Ben is making it sound like Apple is a gangster company for being allowed to curate the App Store and charge a reasonable fee. Developers know the rules going in and shouldn’t enter the business if they don’t like it. They are not victims.
“ Apple says that app developers get plenty for what they pay, including tools and software kits that make their apps usable and better, free marketing in the app store and camps for entrepreneurs. Consumers get quality control and security assurances, it says.
“We carefully review each app and require developers to follow strict guidelines on privacy, design, and business models,” the company says on a website dedicated to explaining and defending the store’s practices.
Its review team covers 81 languages and since 2016 has removed more than 1.4 million apps that were out of date or not working, Apple says. “This helps unclutter the search for new apps, and makes it easier for users to find quality apps.”
Thompson & Allworth Partnership is Engaging Without Peers. 10/10
Attentive tech watchers are doubtlessly familiar with Ben Thompson’s analysis by now. As a multi-year reader, I can attest to the volume and quality of his work. Ben also possesses the rare gift of communicating his ideas clearly — to the point where I can borrow his concepts to explain the value of Amazon Web Services to my grandparents who, bless their hearts, only know one type of server: those that work at Golden Corral.
At this point in their careers, Ben may be the more recognizable member of this duo. However, James Allworth provides Ben with what their audience deserves: a true peer. James has great breadth and is particularly adept at provoking engaging discussions. I have yet to listen to another podcaster who excels at going five levels deep to the extent that James does.
Listeners should know that once they hear the “Ben! How are you?” opening they are in for a 45 minute treat. I am gratefully working my way through their 180+ episode back catalog — and hopeful that we will have be able to listen to another 100+ episodes of the great partnership between these two.
💯add this to your listening list.
Knowledgeable and insightful
Enjoy the critical thinking and the approach to handle, review and break down issues, problems.
The approach to reveal information.
What “the media” should be unbiased.
The best tech perspective there is
Too annoying to listen to
The main speaker keeps talking for minutes uninterrupted at high speed and a bit of a slur (like having had too much coffee) which makes it soo much more diffcult and unpleasant to keep listening to the good content. I strongly recommend to make a few, simple changes: slow down, talk in sentences with brief pauses in betweeen, lke writing with full stops rather than one endless sentence, try to manage your level of excitement/nervousness when talking...will improve the quality a lot and the content will come across more impactful.
Consistently valuable information, presented clearly.
Key to understand modern industry landscape
Centered around aggregation theory, explains what's going on with companies like Facebook, Uber, Google through that lenses. Insightful and entertaining
I used to listen to this regularly but got sick of their sponsor plugs and one of the hosts speaking like he just drank too much coffee. Light on substance compared to others at this point.
You invest brah?
JFC I felt like I was somewhere between a frat party and American Psycho listening to the Lords of the Universe explain how the world works to the rabble.
Great premise but patronizing and bombastic
Although I’ve only listened to a few episodes thus far, the overwhelming impression I’ve gotten is that the hosts belong on an episode of Bill Maher — that is to say, that they are bombastic, highly opinionated pundits that are faking a “conversation” while peddling opinions without any set script or the listener in mind. If you like Joe Rogan-like experiences, are tech-obsessed, and dabble with the AM side of your car radio, then this might be for you. As such, this isn’t for me.
Boring as moldy toast
Just another in a cottage industry of analysts who profess insight yet perform a very slick form of intellectual slight of hand. There will always be a market for wannabe gurus peddling the keys to life (or, in this case, tech). Great at providing the illusion of knowledge but, in the end, it's as substantial as a magician's puff of smoke.
I’ve started to re-listen from the beginning (which I recommend to everyone because most of the episodes are timeless) and the I’ve changed my mind and/or saw a new perspective so many times. I’m writing this after I’ve listened to the Xiaomi episode and Ben and James’ discussion about the hypocritical views of the people getting on their soapbox about worker conditions in China just opened my mind and helped me view the whole situation from a new perspective. Thank you guys so much!
Great analysis of the intersection of tech + strategy
Probably the best podcast for an in-depth analysis of tech and its strategic drivers. Combine this podcast with Ben’s blog Stratechery and you’ll be all set!
Analyist Opinion Hammer
I want to like this podcast, I like Ben Thompson on other podcasts I've heard him on, I think James has a lot of well considered things to say. Unfortunately on this show Ben assumes the persona of a late night conspiracy peddler bullying his cohost with a staccato of opinion. There is no subtlety to his monologues and he seems disinterested in considering other perspectives. Ben is a hammer and everything is a nail.
Truly insightful tech business analysis
Wow. I listen to a lot of podcasts, and these guys are really the best. They go beyond the superficial, consider multiple sides of every argument, and embrace ambiguity. If you like nuance and want an interpretation of tech that isn’t cookie-cutter, this is your best choice. Two smart guys with the gift of gab, deeply versed in the subject, who often disagree but respect each other’s positions and are open to changing their own.
lazarillo de tucson
Sometimes a bit redundant, but you’ll always learn something.
One of 10,000
I do enjoy both of your opinions and thoughts, and will be looking forward to your return.
Sad to see you guys are ending the pod
(for now🤞) I’ve been a listener for the past 2 years and was looking forward to the fall return. Thank you both for your time, effort, and incredible insight. Here’s to hoping you make a comeback sometime down the road!
Ben & James are just great.
They are so smart. Their analysis of the industry(s) is so eye-opening. Every single time. I’m really not exaggerating. For example, I thought I would never listen to anything about real-estate market but when they talked about Zillow and competitors in that space it was just so insightful. I couldn’t believe my ears!
But it goes way way beyond this because they every now and then go fully meta and zoom out to paint and debate a picture of our society and humanity of today and where we are going. And when they do it it’s so deep I’m like “again, who are these guys?!?!” So so smart.
The post-Brexit episode “Ballots Versus Guillotines” is one of the wisest things I heard on the “radio” ever!!!
Thank you for your work, I feel reply indebted to you.
Great content, but slow down
level 3 woodcutter
Ben has wonderful analysis, but sometimes it sounds like he’s on 3 cups of coffee. He tends to speak whatever is on his mind, which is good, but can be bad when he assumes everyone knows what he is talking about. If you’re going to speak your mind you need to explain your thought process.
The most insightful business podcast period.
I am amazed by Ben's grasp of strategy and his ability to communicate it across a myriad of issues. Nearly every podcast is worth your attention if your are interested in business, strategy and technology. Thank you Ben.
Good Ideas but Constant Interruption
I appreciate the frameworks discussed on this podcast by Ben and James. The in-depth big picture analysis of moves by ‘big tech’ provides a perspective that is frequently absent from tech media coverage. However, the listening experience is reduced by the constant interruption of James by Ben. I would love to listen to James speak uninterrupted for longer than 30 seconds. This harms the flow of ideas and makes me feel like I am listening to a monologue versus a conversation. Just my 2 cents.
Good but needs to sharpen its content
Two white guys sitting around talking... and talking and talking and ...
The content selection is solid. The discussions can be much sharper and more focused. Problems it needs to address in the podcast quality: (A)Both guys agree too often (Ben talks too long, and James seems to only come at the topic from an academic viewpoint); (B) Podcasts are too long; as I noted, too often the focus winds back to earlier episodes, with all too often statements about why "in episode X we really explained this well and it's now even more clear that I was right about ...." and James all too often chimes in, "Yeah, that's so true and it's so spot-on...." (C) Finding some other voices and resources to bring in a touch of the real world. Too oten what's being done is a lot of chewing and overanalyzing of tech issues but seldom with any on-the-ground context or personal insight from the real world that would establish some authority for their discussion.
In sum, this is two guys in the next booth rambling on about some interesting topic and you might want to eavesdrop except, my God, you have too many other things to do to sit there for more than an hour listening.
“Actually, monopolies are good!!”
I had to stop listening recently. It’s just blind worship of profit, never questioning the human costs.
Would like more James
Seems that Ben does most of the talking. I would like more James. He seems pretty smart in his own right, but he seems to be relegated to sidekick on the show.
Against Net Neutrality
Just that. How dare you? The internet made who you are.
Good insights, but could be more focused
Good insights, but the podcast does not have the polish and focus of Freakanomics or How I Built This. Hosts are all over the place and take an hour making pretty much the same points.
Great dynamic between Ben and James. Love the energy and sense of self awareness.
I think it’s running out of material
Mostly about Facebook and disruption and Uber and disruption and regulation and disruption and Clay Christianson and disruption. Listen to the first 40 and then beg out.
After explicit discussion and justification of material on episode 130, upgrading my review to 4 stars ;)
Hard on the ears
Listened to most recent episode (Worst Case Scenario) and couldn't make it through. The American host was so eager to prove himself that he continuously tripped over his words trying to get them out. Dude barely gave himself time to breathe. On top of that, he interrupted the Australian host several times. I think the content was probably good, but I was too distracted by his pushiness and poor enunciation. Sounded amateurish compared to some of the higher quality pods I listen to.
Deeper than the Mariana trenches
That’s how deep these 2 fellas dive into tech world
Would pay for this
Hands down the most insightful and thought provoking tech/business podcast available. Be sure to sign up for Ben’s newsletter, too.
Highest value per minute podcast available
If you are a business person you should listen to this podcast. If you are an investor you HAVE to listen to this podcast. Entrepreneurs? Listen also, important discussions around culture and strategy. Deep thinking, contrarian insight.
Listen to every episode. Start at 001. Enjoy.
Way too self-aggrandizing
Maybe self-aggrandizing is the wrong term, since most of this podcast seems to consist of one host, James, telling the other, Ben, how incredibly smart and talented he is. A very uncomfortable experience.
Interesting and Accessible
Plains Podcast Listener
Exponent, like Thompson's writing forum Stratechery, is highly interesting and insightful, while being accessible to a relative layman in tech and global business.
The best out there.
I listen to 4-8 podcasts a day and Stratechory is by far the best I've found.
Know It All
Ben Monday-morning-quarterbacks issues and is rude in emails.
My favorite tech podcast
I can't live without this one. I love that it's different from your go-to interviews with tech celebrities. Ben and James talk about issues in tech and the world, really, that are important, and critically think through them from all different angles. Well done!!
I learn something new each week about the world of technology from Ben and James. It's something a greatly appreciate and it's one of the biggest gifts they both provide to people across the globe.
Intelligent discussions on tech, business and life
As an investor and as someone with a general interest in tech,
business and economics, I find this to be an invaluable podcast. Keep up the great work!
Best Business Analysis Out There
Ben and James are looking at the tech industry from a business analyst perspective, which is sorely needed in this world of superficial analysis. They take a deep dive of the latest weekly Stratechery blog post and attack the ideas from all angles. This type of analysis is transferable to any other industry. You will enjoy listening to what these two have to say.
It's great to hear Ben and James talk about current happenings in the tech industry and offer their unique point of view.
Too complex, start a blog
The topics are too complex. You should start a blog.
Look forward to this every Friday. Best business podcast by a longshot
Exponent is an invaluable resource for not only understanding what is happening in the technology sector but also for anticipating what developments are likely to occur in the future. Unlike the mass of podcasts that attempt to predict products and services based on what would be technically "neat" for the companies to do next, this podcast helps to analyze what makes sense for the vendors as a business strategy and, therefore, why the management of the companies are likely to take different tacks going forward. After listening to this analysis, it's hard not to get frustrated with the silliness of the standard tech "pundits" when they get on their rants about an Apple or Google move they'd like to see that would make no business sense for the company.
Most of all, it's a delight to listen to a discussion that makes you think versus all those that just rehash foolish rumors.
Never a miss
Insightful thoughts on how the business of technology impacts culture and society. With deep insights on Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and many other technology industry players. Awesome digressions and rants that dive deeper in the rabbit hole of our technoogialy driven lives.
Update your MBA
I don't work in the tech industry but enjoy ongoing learning in the areas of strategy and innovation. I completely enjoy this long form weekly podcast by Ben Thompson and James Allworth. James was a student of Clay Christensen so it is great to hear these theories woven into the conversation without being overly reliant upon them. These are two really smart and thoughtful guys talking and debating about things that matter. They also do it in a really genuine and respectful manner. (Despite what the few lower reviews say)
I've actually found it worthwhile to go back from the beginning in 2014 after catching onto this podcast earlier this year (2016). In Jobs to be Done parlance, I've fired sports talk and ESPN to help me unwind when I get home from work and hired Exponent. I've certainly learned more and refreshed my 20+ year old MBA. If you appreciate technology and strategy, and can spend an hour or so on it, it's well worth your time.