46 EpisodesProduced by Stable Genius Productions

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 … read more

46 Episodes | 2018 - 2019

Introducing ZigZag!

May 29th, 2018


A new podcast about women and tech. And the blockchain. And anxiety. First two episodes drop June 14th! But meanwhile come say hi at Stableg.com and sign up for our newsletter.

Chapter 1: Meet the Stable Geniuses

June 14th, 2018


Manoush and Jen just formed a new kind of media company. But is it possible for them to simultaneously be entrepreneurs, mission-driven journalists, …

Chapter 2: Blockchain. Blockwhat?!

June 14th, 2018


Manoush and Jen have a LOT of questions. Should they stake their careers on the blockchain? How can they explain it without sounding like …

Chapter 3: Higher Than We Knew

June 21st, 2018


In Chapters 1 and 2, Jen and Manoush decide to gamble their future on new technology that hasn’t been proven and a virtual currency that doesn’t …

Chapter 4: Hedging Your Bets

June 28th, 2018


Manoush and Jen give themselves 36 hours in San Francisco to come up with a financial backup plan, just in case this whole blockchain-token-thing …

Chapter 5: Men, Women and Vulnerability

July 5th, 2018


With Civil’s token launch looming, Manoush and Jen go for one last gut check with the guys who helped inspire their meta journey: Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber, co-founders of Gimlet Media. Season One of their hugely …

Chapter 6: What's a CVL Token?

July 12th, 2018


A heady cocktail of cryptoeconomics and game theory is fueling Civil’s big plan to save journalism. Add a “token curated registry” to the mix and it’s enough to give everyone a virtual hangover. Luckily, economist

Chapter 7: A New Frontier for Journalism?

July 19th, 2018


The time has come. Civil, the blockchain startup for journalism, made its big announcement: members of the public can now register to buy its digital currency, the CVL token. But Manoush and Jen are surprised by the …

Chapter 8: Putting Crypto Pioneers to the Test

July 26th, 2018


It’s true. ZigZag listeners agree that registering to buy CVL tokens is a pain in the ass. And yet, many still plan to join Civil’s experimental social network for journalism. On this episode, listeners ask tough …

Chapter 9: Letter from Startup-Blockchain-Women-Entrepreneurland

August 2nd, 2018


Civil postpones its token sale until September and lowers expectations of how much the sale can generate. Meanwhile, Manoush and Jen are floored by emails from listeners about the changes they’ve made in their lives …

Chapter 10: Listening to Anthony Bourdain

August 9th, 2018


Anthony Bourdain did a very unusual interview a few months before his death: he spent an afternoon with Maria Bustillos, founder of Popula.com and …

Chapter 11: Ten Things You Should Know About Crypto

August 16th, 2018


From Crypto Kitties to Bitcoin Carnivores, the world of crypto is like a weird parallel reality, hidden just out of plain sight from most of us. This top ten countdown will grant you powers to see previously-invisible …

Chapter 12: Enter the Mesh

August 23rd, 2018


Manoush and Jen wrap up Season One* by interviewing Joe Lubin, co-founder of the Ethereum blockchain, about his involvement with Civil and whether …

Update: It’s Hard Going Back to School, Work, and Saving Journalism

September 6th, 2018


Never heard ZigZag? Start with Season One, Chapter One.

This is an update episode between Seasons 1 and 2 of ZigZag. 
On Sept 20, we'll have a special report on the Civil token sale.

Season Two officially starts on …

The Civil Token Sale is Live

September 20th, 2018


Manoush and Jen explain the latest news on Civil’s token sale. They also admit why they're a little uneasy about some recent press coverage of their endeavors, and try to make sense of one man’s failed attempt at #MeToo …

Announcing Season Two of ZigZag

October 4th, 2018


ZigZag is BACK on October 11 for Season Two. The theme is Trust + Information. Listen to the trailer to hear what Jen and Manoush have planned...and click here to learn how to get the podcast delivered to you every …

S2 EP1: How Misinformation Spreads

October 11th, 2018


Manoush and Jen kick off the season with surprising new research from the Knight Foundation into how false information spreads on Twitter and its effect on society. They also have news about Civil, the blockchain …

S2 EP2: Why Civil's Token Sale Failed

October 18th, 2018


Civil couldn't convince enough people that blockchain and crypto-economics were the answer to journalism’s problems. It didn't even come close to its …

S2 EP3: Trusting Yourself in Startup-Entrepreneurland

October 25th, 2018


Hear from three entrepreneurs (Jen, Manoush, and Civil Media CEO Matthew Iles) on how each is coping with uncertainty, deciding how to grow, and bouncing back when things go...well, badly, like that token sale you heard …

S2 EP4: What IS Fact-Checking?

November 1st, 2018


This week's episode is focused on a very specialized job in journalism: the Fact-Checker. Our guide is journalism's OG of information verification, …

S2 EP5: Meat World Matters

November 8th, 2018


Meat world, real life, 'social infrastucture'...whatever you want to call it, human contact with our neighbors is crucial to mending divided …

S2 EP6: A Secret #MeToo Weapon

November 15th, 2018


Can you scrub the truth from the web? Or will people always find a workaround? An extraordinary tale this week about the intersection of new tech, personal stories, human rights, and repressive regimes. Plus, producer

S2 EP7: Forget Inbox Zero

November 22nd, 2018


This week, we explain how the ZigZag inbox works and Manoush answers two very special letters: one from a listener with an unusual financial frustration and another who has an existential entrepreneurial query. Because …

S2 EP8: The Women Who Make CRIMINAL

November 28th, 2018


CRIMINAL was a mega-hit long before the genre of true-crime took off in podcasting. On this episode, Manoush and Jen talk to the show's co-creators, Phoebe Judge and Lauren Spohrer, about quitting their stable public …

S2 EP9: Julia Angwin's Investigations Haunt Facebook

December 6th, 2018


Julia Angwin, the award-winning reporter whose investigations make Facebook sweat, just got $20 million from Craig Newmark (yes, as in Craig's List) …

S2 BONUS: The Story of ZigZag Through Voice Memos

December 6th, 2018


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 …

S2 EP10: An App for Information Overload?

December 13th, 2018


Journalists-turned-entrepreneurs Mark Little and Áine Kerr believe the experience of getting news online is broken. (And they should know: Mark …

S2 EP11: If Capitalism and Socialism Had a Baby

December 20th, 2018


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 …

S2 EP12: Lessons Learned from a Risky Crypto Experiment

December 20th, 2018


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: …

S3 EP1: The Lifecycle of an Idea

January 17th, 2019


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 …

S3 EP2: What Triggers Innovation

January 31st, 2019


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

S3 EP3: The Peak of Expectations

February 14th, 2019


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 …

S3 EP4: The Trough of Disillusionment

February 28th, 2019


Our journey through the Hype Cycle takes a dark turn this week. Because every innovative idea, sadly, must pass through the third (and most …

S3 EP5: The Slope of Enlightenment

March 14th, 2019


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, …

S3 EP06: The Plateau of Productivity

March 28th, 2019


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 …

S4 EP01: Manoush and Jen Became Entrepreneurs One Year Ago

April 11th, 2019


On the launch episode of Season Four, Jen and Manoush celebrate the first anniversary of their company, Stable Genius Productions, and share the most …

S4 EP02: An Alternative To Silicon Valley's "Unicorn" Bullsh*t

April 25th, 2019


Founded by Jenn Brandel and Mara Zapeda, the growing Zebras Unite network is a backlash against Silicon Valley's so-called "unicorn" companies.

Many …

Bonus: Our Old Podcast is Back! Here's a Taste.

April 25th, 2019


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 …

S4 EP03: Adam Grant Says Your Next Boss Might Want You to "Self Manage"

May 2nd, 2019


The workplace has become a place of sociological experimentation. But what are the pros and cons to “flattening” hierarchy or employees giving each …

S4 EP04: When Your Gut Tells You It's Time to END Your Company

May 16th, 2019


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 …

S4 EP05: The Venture Capitalist Asking Existential Questions

May 30th, 2019


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

S4 EP06: Why Craiglist's Founder Just Wrote Consumer Reports a $6m Check

June 6th, 2019


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, …

S4 EP07: 46, Female, and Ambitious. Is that so wrong?

June 20th, 2019


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 …

S4 EP08: The Weird Kids At The Big Tech Party

June 27th, 2019


Before Silicon Valley was dominated by the Big Five tech companies, there was Mozilla, an organization founded by a motley crew of coders and …

S4 EP09: Is Your Career Veering Off Course...Or Just Doing a Zigzag?

July 11th, 2019


It can be hard to know if you're on the right track for building your career or business. Manoush and Jen consider crucial lessons from entrepreneurs whom they've reported on over the past five years, including a CEO

S4 EP10: This is What a Male Identity Crisis Sounds Like

July 18th, 2019


Eighteen months. That's how long Khe Hy (pronounced Kay Hee) gave himself to figure out his life after quitting his extremely well-paid job at Blackrock Financials. His friends called him nuts. His immigrant parents …

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