Origin Stories

A curated episode list by

Creation Date January 29th, 2020
Updated Date Updated April 19th, 2021
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About This List

Stories of organizations coming into existence
  1. The Story: A group of friends moves across the country to launch an unlikely website that they think could replace television. The media loves them. They just need to figure out how to get their users to feel the same way. This is part one of a two-part series that originally aired in April of 2016. The Facts: Matthew Boll and Peter Leonard mixed the episode. Our theme song was written and performed by Mark Phillips. For a list of our sponsors and show related offer codes, go to gimlet.media/OurAdvertisers 
  2. The Story: At the end of the last episode, co-founders Justin, Emmett, Michael, and Kyle had a big problem on their hands. Streaming Justin's life 24/7—the very idea their company was founded on—turned out to be kind of boring. Pretty soon people stopped watching. In this episode, the four friends try desperately to extend the life of their company by making some risky but important decisions. In the process, their scrappy startup catches the eye of some very powerful people who challenge everything they’ve built. The road of a startup is a bumpy one and, as Justin and his team are finding out, they have only just gotten started. This is the second part of a two-part story that originally aired in April of 2016. Listen to Part 1 https://gimlet.media/2N80DUE.    The Facts: Matthew Boll and Peter Leonard mixed the episode. Our theme song was written and performed by Mark Phillips. The special ad music, Microliters, was written and performed by Build Buildings. Additional music by Kevin Sparks and the band hotmoms.gov. For a list of our sponsors and show related offer codes, go to gimlet.media/OurAdvertisers 
  3. In the early 2000s, Stewart Butterfield tried to build a weird, massively multiplayer online game, but the venture failed. Instead, he and his co-founders used the technology they developed to create the photo-sharing site Flickr. After Flickr was acquired by Yahoo in 2005, Butterfield went back to the online game idea, only to fail again. But the office messaging platform Slack rose from the ashes of that second failure — a company which, today, is valued at over $5 billion. PLUS, for our postscript "How You Built That," how a peanut butter obsession turned teenager Abby Kircher into a CEO before she was old enough to drive.
  4. A special live edition of The Moth's collaboration with The World Science Festival. An astrophysicist discovers wild parallels in her research and romantic life; a surgeon details his involvement in one of the world's first-ever hand transplants; and a geneticist is called to testify in a murder case and lays the groundwork for DNA fingerprinting as forensic evidence. Hosted by Jay Allison. The Moth Radio Hour is produced by The Moth and Jay Allison of Atlantic Public Media. Storytellers: Janna Levin, Kodi Azari, Eric S. Lander Sponsored by: www.rocketmortgage.com/Moth www.squarespace.com/Moth www.ziprecruiter.com/Moth
  5. We’ve spent the past five weeks trying to make sense of this moment, where the inequalities of our society have been suddenly set in high relief. In that time, you all have written in with a bunch of questions big and small. Today, we’re going to cap off this pop-up season by answering a few of them. Questions like: What would chicken cost if plant workers got better wages and benefits? And how did health insurance get tied to our jobs anyway? We’ll also look back at two very clear moments, both after pandemics, when economic inequality started to fall dramatically. Thanks so much to everyone who listened and sent in questions. We’ll be back later this year with new episodes. Until, then, there’s always our first three seasons.
  6. John Law killed a man in a duel, brought the first paper money to France, and became one of the richest people in the world. Then it all collapsed.

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