Cover art for podcast Land of the Giants

Land of the Giants

45 EpisodesProduced by Recode & The VergeWebsite

Big tech is transforming every aspect of our world. But how? And at what cost? In the latest season of Land of the Giants: The Facebook/ Meta Disruption, Recode senior reporter Shirin Ghaffary and The Verge deputy editor Alex Heath bring us inside the company that’s determined how the world interact… read more

45 Episodes | 2019 - 2022

The Rise of Amazon

July 22nd, 2019


Examine how the biggest tech companies rose to power, and what they're doing with that power. In season one, The Rise of Amazon, Recode's senior commerce correspondent Jason Del Rey traces how Jeff Bezos transformed …

Why You’ll Never Quit Amazon Prime

July 23rd, 2019


With over 100 million members, Prime is the engine that’s made Amazon a retailing juggernaut and one of the largest companies in the world. Jason Del Rey explores how Prime came to be, why it’s so effective at keeping …

Alexa, What's Amazon Doing Inside My Home?

July 30th, 2019


Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant can tell you the weather, operate home appliances, and video chat family members. Alexa aims to be the centerpiece of …

When Amazon Leaves Your Town

August 6th, 2019


In 1999, Amazon opened one of its first warehouses in the small town of Coffeyville, Kansas. Fifteen years later, it closed. We visit Coffeyville to learn what Amazon can bring and what it can take away, and what …

Why the Robot Revolution is Our Fault

August 13th, 2019


In recent years Amazon has quietly become one of the leaders in automation, reshaping its workforce of nearly 600,000 workers, and the way humans work with robots. We fear robots taking over the world, but do we …

How Amazon Charmed Wall Street

August 20th, 2019


When Amazon became a publicly traded company  in 1997, it was losing money. And it wouldn’t turn a profit for years. So how did it convince Wall …

Is Amazon Too Big? We Ask Its Sellers

August 27th, 2019


Small businesses and major brands alike rely on Amazon but are increasingly ambivalent about selling on the platform. The Amazon Marketplace is a battle royale of millions of sellers and declining profit margins. …

'I love Amazon. Let’s break it up'

September 12th, 2019


In the final episode of our season on Amazon, NYU professor and “Pivot” podcast co-host Scott Galloway tells Jason Del Rey that Amazon needs to be …

Amazon's Middlewomen

November 26th, 2019


Why do so many Amazon packages take a pitstop in the small town of Roundup, Montana? Find out in this episode of Reset, the new tech podcast from Recode and the Vox Media Podcast Network. Jason Del Rey and Reset host …

The Netflix Effect

June 15th, 2020


In Land of the Giants: The Netflix Effect, Recode’s Peter Kafka and Rani Molla examine how Netflix got where it is today and whether or not it can …

“Netflix is a team, not a family”

June 23rd, 2020


Is working on a team of all-stars, excellent pay, and unlimited vacation worth the stress of constant criticism from co-workers and the knowledge that your boss is considering whether to replace you? Netflix execs will …

Who really killed Blockbuster Video?

June 30th, 2020


Netflix killed our trips to the video store and ushered in the streaming era. But when Netflix started out, it was a fraction of the size of …

Did the algorithm make you watch Tiger King?

July 7th, 2020


Netflix’s recommendation algorithm is supposed to find you TV and movies that you’ll like — and that will keep you paying for Netflix. But is Netflix really showing you stuff you want to watch, or just stuff that …

Netflix vs. Hollywood | Part 1

July 14th, 2020


Loaning out shows and movies to Netflix used to be a great way for studios to make a little money on the side, until they realized they were training audiences everywhere to watch Netflix. In this episode, we look at …

Netflix is Hollywood | Part 2

July 21st, 2020


Netflix hasn’t just disrupted Hollywood, it has become Hollywood. How has that changed the lives of studio executives, movie producers and creators …

Money to burn; why Wall Street loves NFLX

July 28th, 2020


Netflix owes around $15 billion, yet it continues to spend money billions each year to fund its original programming. Is this a brilliant move to set …

World War Stream

August 4th, 2020


The "streaming wars" are here, but they're not what you think—or rather, where you think. While competitors are duking it out in the US, Netflix …

The Google Empire

February 9th, 2021


In Land of the Giants: The Google Empire, Recode’s Shirin Ghaffary and Big Technology's Alex Kantrowitz explore how a company that began with …

The Search Begins

February 16th, 2021


Some of the core values that built Google's runaway success — innovative technology to the max, an intellectually playful and open culture, and a …

Chrome and the Android Wars

February 23rd, 2021


Today, nearly all of the world's smartphones are powered by Android. Which means Google is the gatekeeper to the Internet for billions of people. The story of Android is the story of how Google became so big. And it …

Planet YouTube

March 2nd, 2021


When Google bought YouTube, it went from being a company that helps users search the Internet, to a company that shapes the Internet itself. With 2 …

The Moonshot Factory

March 9th, 2021


Since they were Stanford grad students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin have had big ideas for technologies that could change the world. Only now, they …

A Military Contract Tests Google's Open Culture

March 16th, 2021


One of Google’s long points of pride was its open, collaborative, and transparent company culture. But many Googlers feel like that's slipping away. …

Googlers vs. Google

March 23rd, 2021


On December 2nd, 2020, Dr. Timnit Gebru - co-lead of Google’s Ethical AI team - got an email that said Google had accepted her resignation. A resignation she didn’t think she made. Her exit is just the latest sign of …

Should We Break Up Google?

March 30th, 2021


Google is now facing antitrust scrutiny at a level it's never experienced before, from both sides of the political aisle. Which means we’re in an …

Delivery Wars

June 15th, 2021


Big tech is changing every aspect of our world. But how? And at what cost? In this special four-part series, Recode teams up with Eater to unbox the …

The Cost of Convenience 

June 22nd, 2021


Restaurant delivery apps have made it possible for many of us to order pretty much anything we want to eat with the click of a button. And during the pandemic that convenience became even more valuable. But at what …

The Race for Your Dollars

June 29th, 2021


The restaurant delivery industry is worth more than $100 billion. But none of the major apps are profitable. In this episode, the key battles that have shaped the delivery wars from the point of view of founders, …

Who's Driving Whom?

July 6th, 2021


Without delivery workers, there is no DoorDash or UberEats or Grubhub. And workers in this slice of the gig economy get access to a level of flexibility that most people in traditional employment situations can only …

The Virtual Future of Restaurants

July 13th, 2021


There's a secret world of restaurants that you can only find when you open up the delivery apps. This brave new world of ghost kitchens and virtual brands has allowed traditional restaurants to access new revenue …

'The Apple Revolution' is here

September 15th, 2021


From its beginnings as a niche personal computer company, Apple became the preeminent maker of consumer tech products, a cultural trendsetter, and …

This Changes Everything

September 22nd, 2021


In 2007 Steve Jobs took the stage and introduced something that would change our lives forever -- a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a …

How Apple Got Its Groove Back

September 29th, 2021


In 1997 Apple was on the verge of bankruptcy and falling far behind its biggest competitor, Microsoft. But that all changed when Apple started …

"He's No Steve Jobs"

October 6th, 2021


Steve Jobs co-founded Apple and infused it with his love of product design and attention to detail. His successor, Tim Cook, is widely perceived as lacking Jobs’ vision and innovation. But he managed to do something …

Apple's China Problem

October 13th, 2021


Much of Apple’s success is built around its relationship with China, which is both one of Apple’s largest markets as well as where most of its products are manufactured. It’s a complicated relationship that has seen …

Apple Saved Music. Why Not TV?

October 20th, 2021


Back in the early 2000s, file sharing services like Napster devastated the music industry. Steve Jobs threw it a lifeline with the iTunes Store, offering people an easy way to download songs legally. That saved the …

One App Store to Rule Them All

October 27th, 2021


Apple has always maintained it knows what’s best for its customers. But now governments and developers are trying to change the way Apple runs its highly profitable iPhone App Store. What happens if Apple can no longer …

The Facebook / Meta Disruption

July 6th, 2022


Land of the Giants: The Facebook/ Meta Disruption explores how the social media juggernaut has arrived at this unprecedented moment of transition. Senior reporters Shirin Ghaffary of Recode and Alex Heath of The Verge …

"Facebook Gets A Facelift"

July 13th, 2022


Long before Mark Zuckerberg renamed Facebook Meta and made an unprecedented pivot into the metaverse, he invented a feature that turned Facebook into a social network behemoth. The News Feed, which put your friends’ …

Don't Be Afraid To Break Things

July 20th, 2022


If our first episode brought you into the beginning of Zuckerberg’s vision for connecting at scale, this story is about the consequences of pursuing …

Why Instagram Broke Its Square

July 27th, 2022


When Mark Zuckerberg bought Instagram in 2012, he promised he would be hands-off with the company’s curated aesthetic and simple features. But as …

The Facebook Election

August 10th, 2022


Facebook used to brag about how its tools helped politicians swing elections. Now, the platform’s relationship to politics is much more complicated. …

Facebook's Plan To Be Cool Again

August 17th, 2022


Facebook defined an era of social media built on our connections, our social lives. We’re watching that era come to a close. Now, your main feeds of both Facebook and Instagram will use AI to start increasingly …

It's A WhatsApp World

August 24th, 2022


Meta’s most expensive acquisition ever and one of the most used communication apps in the world: WhatsApp. With over 2 billion users, WhatsApp is …

Zuckerberg's Biggest Bet

August 31st, 2022


Mark Zuckerberg has a vision for the future -- that in a few years, we’ll be living our digital lives in a blend of augmented and virtual reality. The metaverse. To pursue that vision, Zuckerberg’s renamed his entire …

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