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1. 143. Neil Hunt on the History of Netflix and Netflix Streaming

143. Neil Hunt on the History of Netflix and Netflix Streaming

For several months now, I've been complaining on Twitter and a bunch of other places that, for as ubiquitous as Netflix streaming has become—I think it's one of the most important technology products of the last decade at least— there's actually been comparatively little journalism or scholarship about how the product came about. That's why I was delighted to get acquainted with Neil Hunt, who is the Chief Product Officer at Netflix. Since he's been at Netflix since 1999, not only is he the perfect person to tell us how Netflix streaming came about (the technical hurdles, the strategic decisions, etc.) but he can also give us the whole history of Netflix, from basically the very beginning. Link to transcript.

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2. 98. Rob Lord, Founder Of The Internet Underground Music Archive

98. Rob Lord, Founder Of The Internet Underground Music Archive

Rob Lord was the founder of the Internet Underground Music Archive all the way back in 1993. This would become the first website devoted to the distribution of music via MP3 downloads, and very much paved the way for a lot of what came later. Before almost anyone else, Rob had a vision that digital would be the future of music distribution, and he has pursued that vision throughout his career, which includes such music related startups as N2K, Muse.net and the Songbird player. We’ve actually already mentioned Rob at length in the Justin Frankel episode, as Rob joined Justin to create Nullsoft and disseminate the Winamp player. There’s some great, never-before-discussed details here, about doing business with the music industry, with Napster, and even with a young Travis Kalanick. Today, Rob is working on a new startup called Shrines, which should be in public beta shortly.

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3. Ch. 2, Int. 2 - The True Story Behind AMC's Halt And Catch Fire

Ch. 2, Int. 2 - The True Story Behind AMC's Halt And Catch Fire

This Sunday, AMC is premiering a new original series called Halt And Catch Fire. Set in the early 1980s, it tells the story of a band of cowboy entrepreneurs and engineers who join the PC Wars by cloning an IBM machine and taking on Big Blue for control of the nascent personal computer industry. AMC’s show is fictional, but it turns out, there is a true life story that is similar to this course of events, and it led to the creation of one of the greatest technology companies of all time, Compaq Computers. Rod Canion was one of the co-founders of Compaq back in the early 80s, and he was there for the real world PC wars. He’s written a book about the time period, Open: How Compaq Ended IBM’s PC Domination and Helped Invent Modern Computing. In the interview below, I spoke to Rod about the book, the process of taking on Big Blue and cloning the IBM-PC, and how a series of incredible calculated gambles paid off to eventually build one of history’s most successful technology companies.

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4. 127. The History of the iPhone, On Its 10th Anniversary

127. The History of the iPhone, On Its 10th Anniversary

"So… Three things: A widescreen iPod with touch controls. A revolutionary mobile phone. And a breakthrough internet communications device. An iPod… a phone… and an internet communicator… An iPod, a phone… are you getting it? These are not three separate devices. This is one device! And we are calling it iPhone.” - Steve Jobs, January 9, 2007 Those words have become so famous in the history of technology that I imagine a large percentage of listeners have them memorized. Ten years ago this Monday, January 9, Steve Jobs stood on stage and announced the iPhone to the world. It was the crowning achievement in the career of the greatest technologist of our time, the moment that the modern era of computing began. On the ten year anniversary of the birth of the iPhone, this is the story of that moment and the history of that device which can take a rightful place alongside the original Macintosh, the first IBM PC, the Apple I, the Altair 8800, the DEC PDP-8, the IBM System/360 and the ENIAC as one of most important machines to have brought computing into everyday life.  

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5. 121. Chamath Palihapitiya @chamath on Facebook, AIM and WinAmp

121. Chamath Palihapitiya @chamath on Facebook, AIM and WinAmp

Summary Most of you know Chamath Palihapitiya as one of the most prominent and progressive venture capitalists working today. But before forming Social Capital, Chamath was an early employee at a startup we've already covered, WinAmp; was the head of AOL's Instant Messenger product; and of course, was an early employee at Facebook.

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6. Chapter 1, Part 3 - Netscape's IPO As The Big Bang

Chapter 1, Part 3 - Netscape's IPO As The Big Bang

www.InternetHistoryPodcast.com Summary: Netscape launches and is a smashing success. Jim Barksdale officially comes on as CEO. Netscape fights off legal threats from the NCSA and the University of Illinois. Despite it’s young age and lack of profits, Netscape files to go public in THE historic IPO of the era. Flush with cash, flush with fame, Netscape girds for battle with a new foe: Microsoft. Bibliography: http://www.jwz.org/gruntle/newsrelease1.html http://www.businessweek.com/stories/1994-10-23/from-the-man-who-brought-you-silicon-graphics-dot-dot-dot http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2005/07/25/8266639/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Layout_engine_usage_share-2009-01-07.svg Speeding the Net: The Inside Story of Netscape and How It Challenged Microsoft; Quittner, Joshua; Michelle Slatalla; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1998 http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,984131,00.html http://books.google.com/books?id=fzoEAAAAMBAJ&q=mundane+collection+of+not+entirely+debugged+device+drivers#v=snippet&q=mundane%20collection%20of%20not%20entirely%20debugged%20device%20drivers&f=false

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7. Chapter 3, Supplemental 1 - The Forgotten Online Pioneer, Bill Von Meister

Chapter 3, Supplemental 1 - The Forgotten Online Pioneer, Bill Von Meister

What If I Told You… … there was a crazy entrepreneur who was the true founder of what would become America Online? He was the guy who hired Steve Case back before AOL was AOL. What if I told you that same entrepreneur invented true, networked, online gaming—not in the era of the Xbox 360, but back in the days of the Atari 2600? What if I then told you that same entrepreneur invented a Napster/Pandora/Spotify/Sirius-like music service, all the way back in 1981, before the compact disc was even widely available? That Man Is William von Meister And he is the subject of this episode. I’ve enjoyed all of the episodes we’ve done so far, but I have to say this has been the most fun. It’s exciting to shed some light on a bit of history that I think has been criminally overlooked. And to be honest, it’s just such a crazy story, about a hard drinking, heavy-smoking, women-chasing entrepreneur, seemingly from the Mad Men cloth, who was “a pathological entrepreneur” with a “reality-distortion-field” that would give Steve Jobs a run for his money. It’s a story of about a dozen harebrained businesses, none of which were really successful (excepting of course that some or all of them lent their DNA to the company that would become AOL) but all of which were way ahead of their time, and in many ways, presaged technologies we take for granted today.

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8. 46. A History Of Internet Porn

46. A History Of Internet Porn

A history of the pornography industry on the Internet.

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9. She Gave The World A Billion AOL CDs - AOL Marketing Legend Jan Brandt

She Gave The World A Billion AOL CDs - AOL Marketing Legend Jan Brandt

Jan Brandt is a legend in the world of marketing. She singlehandedly led the famous AOL “carpet-bombing” campaign that put millions of AOL trial discs and CDs in everything from magazines to popcorn boxes to banks. AOL was able to leap to the front of the online pack, over competitors like CompuServe and Prodigy largely on the success of this campaign. Jan tells us how this strategy developed, the thinking that went into it and goes into great detail about what worked and what didn’t. But she was also a very early AOL executive, so she is able to give us some fantastic background about AOL the company: its culture, its people and its visionaries–people like Steve Case. She takes us from AOL’s beginnings, through its considerable growing pains (remember “America On Hold?”) its rise to dominance in the dot-com era, and even gives us her perspective on the legacy of the AOL/Time Warner merger.

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10. 137. (Ch. 9.1) The History of Google Part 1

137. (Ch. 9.1) The History of Google Part 1

When Larry and Sergey first met, they didn’t like each other much... BIBLIOGRAPHY: In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives The Google Story How Google Works The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture Googled: The End of the World As We Know It The Google Guys: Inside the Brilliant Minds of Google Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin I’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2000/05/29/search-and-deploy http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1999/11/08/268521/index.htm

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11. 61. Ch 7.2 Amazons Dominance Of ECommerce

61. Ch 7.2 Amazons Dominance Of ECommerce

Summary: It’s part two of our Amazon founding story. How did Amazon come to completely dominate e-commerce? How did Jeff Bezos’ “Get Big Fast” strategy evolve? How and why did Amazon become the quintessential “dot com” and dot-com-era stock? The answers are within. :)

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12. 126. (Ch. 8) How the Dotcom Bubble Happened

126. (Ch. 8) How the Dotcom Bubble Happened

The background, root causes and rough outline of the dotcom bubble. How it happened, why it happened and why it's unlikely to happen again anytime soon.

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13. Chapter 1, Part 2 - The Creation of Netscape

Chapter 1, Part 2 - The Creation of Netscape

www.InternetHistoryPodcast.com Summary: Marc Andreessen heads out to Silicon Valley. He hooks up with startup legend Jim Clark. They decide to form a company, Netscape, to build upon Mosaic’s previous success. They “get the band back together” by recruiting most of the original Mosaic development team. Netscape Navigator is developed. The company hustles to establish itself before other, larger competitors catch on to the opportunity that is the web browser market. Bibliography: Architects of the Web: 1,000 Days that Built the Future of Business; Reid, Robert H.; Wiley, 2nd Edition, 1999 The Silicon Boys: And Their Valley of Dreams; Kaplan, David A.; William Morrow, 1999 Netscape Time: The Making of the Billion-Dollar Start-Up That Took on Microsoft; Clark, Jim; Edwards, Own; St. Martin’s Press, 1999 http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2005/07/25/8266639/ http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/ik5mk/iama_coauthor_of_the_first_widely_used_web/ http://www.jwz.org/gruntle/nscpdorm.html Speeding the Net: The Inside Story of Netscape and How It Challenged Microsoft; Quittner, Joshua; Michelle Slatalla; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1998

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14. 113. Joel Johnson on Gawker and the Rise of Professional Blogging

113. Joel Johnson on Gawker and the Rise of Professional Blogging

Joel Johnson has spent nearly his entire professional career, working in digital media. He went from being an anonymous online commenter to being an early editor of Gizmodo, to eventually becoming editorial director of Gawker Media. Essentially, Joel was there from the very beginning when blogging began to “go pro” and evolved into modern media as we know it today. Joel recounts the history of the blogging “industry,” Gawker Media especially, and gives us his own perspective on where digital media has been, and where it might be going.

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16. 48. Amazon Director, Customer Service Strategy, Jane Slade

48. Amazon Director, Customer Service Strategy, Jane Slade

Summary: Jane Slade joined Amazon.com's nascent customer service team when it was a couple of people, some computers, and one phone line. Over the coming years, she helped to build the customer service operations at Amazon into the enormous team it is today. Jane recalls for was what it was like in the early days and why keeping customer experience central to everything Amazon does is probably the key driver for the company's success.

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17. 55. The Watershed Year Of 1995 With W. Joseph Campbell

55. The Watershed Year Of 1995 With W. Joseph Campbell

Summary: W. Joseph Campbell is a Professor in the School of Communication at American University. He is the author of six nonfiction books, including Getting It Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism. Just this year, he came out with an excellent new book called 1995: The Year the Future Began. As soon as I heard about this book, I read it, because, as you’ve heard if you’ve been listening to this show, 1995 was a seminal year, especially for Internet history. In fact, the conceit of this project, of course, is that the modern Internet Era began in 1995. So, I was thrilled to talk with Dr. Campbell about how 1995 became the year that the Internet entered the mainstream. We also talk about a lot of the other events from 1995 that made that year such a watershed of recent American history.

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18. 120. Jason Calacanis @jason on Silicon Alley, The Dot-Com Bubble and Web 2.0

120. Jason Calacanis @jason on Silicon Alley, The Dot-Com Bubble and Web 2.0

Most of you will know Jason Calacanis from his many high profile endeavors such as his podcasts (especially This Week in Startups) his Launch conference and Inside.com. But older listeners will remember Jason as one of the most colorful personalities of the dot-com era in New York, as the publisher of Silicon Alley Reporter. And Jason also played a key role in forming the modern media landscape as the founder of Weblogs Inc. We talk about all of that much more.

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19. Transfer Day

Transfer Day

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