Every company has a story.

Learn the playbooks that built the world’s greatest companies — and how you can apply them as a founder, operator, or investor.



  • about 1 month ago
  • 04:23:09

Microsoft. After nearly a decade of Acquired episodes, we are finally ready to tackle the most valuable company ever created. The company that put a computer on every desk and in every home. The company that invented the software business model. The company that so thoroughly and completely dominated every conceivable competitor that the United States government intervened and kneecapped it… yet it’s STILL the most valuable company in the world today.This episode tells the story of Microsoft in its heyday, the PC Era. We cover its rise from a teenage dream to the most powerful business and technology force in history — the 20-year period from 1975 to 1995 that took Bill and Paul from the Lakeside high school computer room to launching Windows 95 alongside Jay Leno and the Rolling Stones. From BASIC to DOS, Windows, Office, Intel, IBM, Xerox PARC, Apple, Steve Jobs, Steve Ballmer… it’s all here, and it’s all amazing. Tune in and enjoy… Microsoft.Sponsors:Many thanks to our fantastic Season 14 partners:J.P. Morgan PaymentsServiceNowPilotLinks:Congress changing copyright law in 1980 to include “computer programs”Acquired “classic” on Microsoft’s 1987 acquisition of Forethought / PowerPointQuartr's charts on Microsoft's revenues, market cap, IBM comparison, and moreAll episode sourcesCarve Outs:LGRAndré 3000’s new album + GQ InterviewMeta Ray-BansVisual Designer Julia RundbergSummer HealthMore Acquired:Get email updates with hints on next episode and follow-ups from recent episodesJoin the SlackSubscribe to ACQ2Check out the latest swag in the ACQ Merch Store!Note: references to Fortune in ServiceNow sponsor sections are from Fortune ©2023. Used under license.‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.