Oct. 24, 2022

How to Prepare for the Future...with Scott Galloway

What the future of workplace culture should look like


Scott Galloway, NYU Stern professor, podcast host and bestselling author, stops by to discuss his new book Adrift: America in 100 Charts, which makes the case that America is at a crossroads and on the brink of massive change. Along the way, he and Nora talk about everything from remote work and the benefits of the office to the power of big tech. Plus, why Scott doesn’t argue with strangers online anymore. 

 

Host: Nora Ali

Producers: Olivia Meade and Raymond Luu   

Video Editor: Sebastian Vega

Production, Mixing & Sound Design: Daniel Markus

Music: Daniel Markus & Breakmaster Cylinder

Fact Checker: Kate Brandt 

Senior Producer: Katherine Milsop

VP, Head of Multimedia: Sarah Singer 

 

Full transcripts for all Business Casual episodes available at https://businesscasual.fm

Transcript

Scott Galloway: The whole premise of a society...what do we all want, what shows that our society is working and our role in that society is working, is that our kids will do better than us. That's the basic agreement we all hope to have. When we shake hands with our society, we're hoping to come to a deal that says, "If I'm a good citizen, if I play by the rules, with a little bit of luck, I'm going to be able to afford the opportunities to my kids so they can do better than me." And for the first time in American history, that compact has been broken.

Nora Ali: For Morning Brew, this is Business Casual, bringing you convos with people you know and some you may not know yet, to make business less intimidating. Because money talks, but it does not have to be dull. I'm your host, Nora Ali. Now let's get down to business.

Today's guest is a special one for the show. Scott Galloway, best-selling author, NYU Stern professor, podcast host, was actually Business Casual's very first guest way back in September of 2019, when he talked about the need to break up Big Tech. Well, a lot has changed since then, even though still no one has solved how Big Tech should be regulated. As we continue to deal with the effects of the pandemic, we're facing some pretty big challenges, like the state of our economy as we stare down a looming recession and record inflation, questions around a burgeoning and sometimes problematic attention economy, a mental health crisis, still the power of Big Tech, and the list is endless. Sometimes it just feels like the world sucks a little bit...or a lot.

Scott Galloway has a new book laying out what sucks and what doesn't. It's called Adrift: America in 100 Charts, which elucidates the state of the country and provides context through a series of illustrative charts. Scott argues that America is at a crossroads and on the brink of massive change. So we got his take on a lot of topics that are on the brink. We also got into what he thinks about the changing relationship between work and non-work life, and the value, in his opinion, of going into an office, especially early in your career. "If you're young and capable," he says, "think of the office as a feature and not a bug."

One topic that Scott has opined on a lot over the years is social media. You'll have to listen to the rest of the episode to hear his latest take, but one sort of surprising and refreshing thing he said was this: Scott Galloway is trying, pretty recently, not to argue with strangers on the internet anymore. More of that attitude, please. We'll get into all of that and more after the break. Scott, there's about a million topics that I want to get to.

Scott Galloway: All right.

Nora Ali: But first, we'd like to start this podcast with an icebreaker for a segment called OG Occupations. Scott, what was your first ever job you've ever had?

Scott Galloway: I used to walk a Great Dane. I was about 90 pounds. The dog was 170. His name was Thor. I've always wanted a Great Dane. They're a difficult breed because they don't live very long. They have hip problems, and they're just exceptionally large. But as a gift to myself...for my whole life, I wanted a Great Dane, anyways. So as a birthday gift to myself, a year ago I got a Great Dane. So my first job was walking a Great Dane, and now I have a Great Dane.

Nora Ali: Oh my gosh. Did you ever get dragged by the Great Dane that was so much larger than you?

Scott Galloway: Oh no, it was really...it was super gentle. And I don't know if you're into dogs, Nora, but Great Danes are just giant, mushy pillows of emotion and affection. I'm really into dogs, and I have a small dog. I have a rescue. And small dogs are very purpose-driven. They're like basically purses with personality that come up to you, and they say, "Let's play. Let's eat." And then they go and they sleep. A Great Dane just sits on your lap and says, "Let's just love each other, and occasionally take breaks for snacks." They're just so emotional.

Nora Ali: Sounds perfect.

Scott Galloway: But yeah, my first job was walking a Great Dane.

Nora Ali: According to a recent New York Times story about you this summer, your first job out of college was at Morgan Stanley, and you said you had gotten it because, a), you were a personal trainer for someone at Morgan Stanley, but you also said that you lied about your grades. Have you ever lied on your resume since then, or that was the last time?

Scott Galloway: Yeah, so this podcast is the reason I can never run for senator. I lied. I had a 2.27 GPA out of UCLA, and yeah, I lied about my grades. And the reason I accepted a job at Morgan Stanley, just to dig the hole even deeper, was I heard they didn't drug test. And the only thing I really did in college was watch Planet of the Apes and smoke a shit ton of marijuana. So yeah, I didn't deserve that job for a lot of reasons.

Nora Ali: But it's okay. It's gotten you to where you are now. Just one little lie didn't hurt anyone, at the end of the day. Well, Scott, I would like to give our listeners a little bit of a heads-up on the topics we're going to cover, because there's just so much that we can talk about with you. So first, I would love to touch on work-life culture. It's a topic that comes up a lot in this podcast...highly relatable to our listeners. Then a little bit on marketing and social media. Obviously, that's your expertise, and we have a lot of marketers who are listeners as well. And then we'll get into your book Adrift: America in 100 Charts, which itself covers dozens of topics.

So first on work-life. I have been thinking about identity a lot, and being defined by your career and your work. You wrote recently, "Work has been the most important thing in my life. It's my identity, and has been the greatest source of reward." And you admitted that this mindset is both dysfunctional and American. How has your perspective changed over time on your relationship between your work and your identity?

Scott Galloway: Well, as you get older, hopefully, your identity gets a little bit more nuanced and has more texture, and you start to identify yourself through your relationships and your citizenship, how good you can be to the people around you, and some of the qualities you admire in yourself. I'm still a believer that America becomes more like itself every day. Capitalism essentially says we believe in winners and losers, mostly based on some influence. There's different currencies of power, but the ultimate currency in America is currency, specifically money. I think it's very important for young people, while they have the energy, while they have the physical stamina, and before they have dogs and kids, to be very focused on work and trying to set a trajectory for being really good at something, such that they can have the marketplace leverage to establish economic security. If you want to be economically secure, you need to be financially literate. You need to know how much money you have. You need to have a financial plan. You need to understand your investments. You need to be thinking about it a lot.

I grew up without a lot of money, and I was very focused at a very early age on having economic security, and I think it was a blessing for me. I had a health crisis in my family. My mom became very ill, and it was very upsetting and emasculating, as the only child and the son, that I couldn't take care of my mom to the same extent I wanted to. And I remember just thinking, "I wish I had more money." So I got, for the first time in my life in graduate school, I just got very focused. So I advise young people that, yeah, be a DJ, design a fashion brand on weekends, but chart a path to being outstanding at something that people will pay you for.

I had very little balance when I was your age, Nora, and as a function of that, I have a lot of balance now. So you can have it all. You just can't have it all at once. And I would argue that you want to burn a lot of fuel in the inner atmosphere to get to light speed, and my advice to people when they're young is to burn a lot of fuel. Having said that, if you decide you don't want to live to work, you want to work to live, fine. Move to a lower-cost area. Adjust your quality of life in terms of the economic expectations. I think there is nothing wrong with that.

But most of the young people I deal with, when you ask them how much money they expect to be making in 10 years, they usually want to be in the top 10%, if not the top 1%. Some of that is proximity bias, because I'm at a business school where there's a lot of very ambitious people. But I've never known anyone who hasn't been smart enough to inherit wealth...that's the smartest strategy. But if you're not smart enough to be born into money, that if you want to get there, that hasn't worked their ass off and sacrificed their life.

Nora Ali: And one thing that you advise young people to do as well, in terms of burning that fuel, work super hard early on, is to work in an office if you can. You've said remote work for young people is often a bad idea. The office is where you build relationships and find mentors. So what do you think is the value of working in an office versus working remotely, particularly for people who are very early on in their careers?

Scott Galloway: There's some nuance here. I think remote work...First off, we're not going back to the before times. The notion that we're going to get up, as I did at Morgan Stanley right out of UCLA, and nurse my hangover and figure out a way to be in the office by 8:55, and put on a tie and get to the 55th floor of 1251 Avenue of the Americas, spend eight minutes from the time you enter the building to getting to my desk, it's just...and not leave the office until everyone senior to me had left the office. You literally weren't allowed to leave.

Nora Ali: I feel you, Scott. I started my career at Goldman Sachs, and you are speaking my language. Yeah, you have to get in before everyone else gets in, nurse that hangover, and wait until everyone else leaves.

Scott Galloway: Everyone's gone.

Nora Ali: And then you can depart. Everyone's gone.

Scott Galloway: I think there's certain industries that are going to demand full-time. And obviously, service workers have to be physically there. But I think we're going to hybrid. I think it'll be three days a week on average, two or three days, if you're trying to figure out what's going to happen or where the end state will be. Now, that will have huge ramifications, because you're talking about a gross demand destruction of an asset class that's multi-trillion dollars, called commercial office space, of 40%. So you might see the GDP of Germany move from commercial real estate to residential, because what everyone else is also deciding is that that ratty rug is now intolerable because I'm sitting at home so often.

Now, I think hybrid work or remote work is an enormous unlock for our society. And I think we should have a new classification of work, or loosely called a care worker. And that is if you have young kids at home and you're the primary caregiver, if you're taking care of an aging parent, if you are struggling with a mental or physical health issue, I'd like to think that companies see the social value and the opportunity to access a labor force and offer them the opportunity to save five or 10 hours a week by not putting on a pantsuit, blow-drying their hair, getting on the Long Island Railroad, and getting into work. That's just an enormous unlock, and it's the right thing to do for people who really need those hours to raise healthy, secure, confident children and to take care of an increasingly aging population.

So I'd like to see some sort of...I don't know if it's regulation or a general gestalt that says, women with young kids, a guy who's taking care of his father with dementia, we're just going to be as generous as we can in trying to figure out a way to adapt to a flexible work schedule. 

I think when you're young, I think you need to learn how to read a room. I think you need to learn how to work in a team. I think you need the guardrails of knowing, "Okay, I can't get that fucked up tonight because I've got to be up at 7:30. I've gotta figure out a way to make allies. I've gotta figure out a way to find mentors. I've gotta figure out the confidence to ask people for help." All of these wonderful things happen when we get together, and a wonderful place for people to get together traditionally has been in the office. I think it's a great place to find mentors, a great place to make friends, a great place to meet mates, potential mates. And I worry that young people, without that bumping off one another, are really losing out on what is the key to our species and happiness, and that is relationships. So a huge unlock...we're not going back to the before times. But if you're young, I would just encourage you to try and find...think of the office as a feature, not a bug, and get into the office, where you can find other ambitious young people and get to know them.

Nora Ali: We could have a whole episode just about the future of the workplace, but we have a lot of other topics to get to. So let's take a very quick break. More with Scott when we return.

On to marketing. At a recent conference for the digital advertising industry, you reportedly told the audience that most advertising sucks. So from your perspective as a marketing professor, what is the most wrong with advertising today? What are brands getting wrong?

Scott Galloway: Essentially, advertising has become a tax on the poor and the technologically illiterate. How do you know your life hasn't worked out the way you'd hoped? You're subject to a lot of advertising. If you're watching ad-supported TV, it probably means you're not making a lot of money. If you're technically sophisticated or making a good living, you can avoid most advertising. Between Spotify and Netflix...if you only let your kids watch Netflix and not ad-supported TV, they save 11 days in commercials, watching commercials, a year. And what we found is that most programs...Modern Family, one of my favorite shows, they get 29 cents from you for interrupting you for nine minutes. So if my time is worth...if it's nine minutes to 29 cents of advertising, what that's basically saying is my time is worth a buck 80 an hour. No, it's not. So most advertising, broadcast advertising doesn't work. It isn't compelling, and people are opting out.

Now, there's been a bit of a renaissance because so many people have abandoned ad-supported marketing that if you can find them, like on a podcast...you're probably getting really good CPMs on Morning Brew because people your age are really hard to find now, because they're all taking their parents' Netflix account or they're ponying up and getting HBO Max. So there's a bit of an uptick because it's so hard for these advertisers to find that audience. But in general, advertising is a tax, and people are figuring out a way to avoid it.

Nora Ali: Well, you mentioned that broadcast advertising, TV advertising is so non-targeted that it feels pretty ineffective. But then you've got social media advertising, which is highly targeted and highly effective. And you've been very vocal about your distaste for social media, broadly. So if social media is so critical to businesses as an ad platform, but so harmful to users, from your perspective, what exactly is the role of social media in society? That is a very big question.

Scott Galloway: I think we're net gainers. On the whole, I think we're net gainers from social media. I think we're net gainers from Big Tech. If someone could say, "Here's a button, and you can get rid of all social media and all Big Tech," I wouldn't press it. The problem is with the word "net." I think we're net gainers from fossil fuels, but it doesn't mean we don't have emission standards. I think we're net gainers from pesticides, but it doesn't mean we don't have an EPA. I think targeted advertising and using their full stack and their processing power and...Privacy is something that I think is mostly a chant by people over the age of 50 in Brussels and DC. I think we want our privacy violated as long as there's a coupon or utility at the end.

What I am against is that an organization like Facebook or Meta shouldn't be able to serve a 14-year-old. There's a very famous case here, Molly [Russell], who was starting to search out content on suicide and hurting herself. Pinterest should not be able to send her an email saying, "Here's a board on suicide you might like." That's an email she received from Pinterest.

Nora Ali: Oh my gosh.

Scott Galloway: And they will throw up their arms and claim that these are really complex problems that we can't solve them, which is extraordinary bullshit. So anything that gets in the way of the scale of their revenues, they delay and obfuscate around. I think there should be carve-outs from 230 around health, around election misinformation, around vaccine misinformation.

Nora Ali: Oh, that's Section 230. Can you just explain Section 230 real quick?

Scott Galloway: Section 230 was initially legislation that was meant to protect nascent platforms, which essentially says the platform isn't liable for the content put on that platform. It's totally outdated, in my view, and it should be reformed. In addition, I think we should age-gate social media. We age-gate the military, alcohol, pornography, driver's licenses. I don't understand why any 14-year-old needs to be on social.

Nora Ali: What should the age be?

Scott Galloway: I don't know. I would want to get adolescent psychologists, or maybe even give them the opportunity to have a kid's version, but I don't know what the exact age would be.

Nora Ali: Yeah. So you said, "Enragement equals engagement," which brings me to a section in your book, Adrift, about the attention economy. So I'm just going to list out a few metrics for our listeners here. You wrote that YouTube videos identified as "disturbing" by users received 70% more views than the average video. You then cited a Wharton Business School analysis on which articles made the New York Times's most-emailed list. For every standard deviation increase of "anxiety elicited," the probability of an article making the most-emailed list went up by 21%. For "awe," it went up 30%. But the most powerful emotion was "anger," increasing virality by 34%. And then lastly, you cited an MIT study, which found that the time taken for falsehoods to reach 1,500 people was six times shorter than it was for the truth. So in summary, things that make us angry and feel bad, things that are untrue, those are the things that grab our attention and travel further faster online. Do you think we can stop it? Can we change course for what does well on social media?

Scott Galloway: I don't think you're going to eliminate it, but you could reduce it dramatically. I would argue that probably of the six times I've really been down or depressed in the last 12 months, it's usually one of two things: One of my kids isn't doing well, or something's happened on Twitter that's really upset me. Someone said something really vile, and I can't shake it. I also think we should enforce identity. I've gotten huge pushback for that because people bring up the notion that, well, a lot of people in emerging nations would be punished if their identity was known. But I think in a wealthy country, in terms of US users, I think there should be absolutely greater identity enforcement. I think these platforms should be held accountable. But I also think we all have a responsibility, especially people who have a decent following, to just take the temperature down. And what I tell young people is, "You don't have to respond to every slight. It's okay if occasionally someone gets the better of you." And I think we need to be thoughtful about regulation in technology and incentives.

Nora Ali: I love hearing that you yourself, Scott Galloway, are taking the temperature down a little bit in terms of your interactions.

Scott Galloway: Trying. Trying.

Nora Ali: Is this recent for you? This is kind of a new thing?

Scott Galloway: You know, I'm really inspired by...one of the wonderful things about teaching, I have really some remarkable colleagues. And one of my mentors, even though I think he's younger than me, or maybe he's a year older than me, is Jonathan Haidt. And I said to Jon, I said, "How can I play a role here, because I want to get..." And he said, "Well, we all have a role, and that is, take the temperature down." He's like, "I've just seen your Twitter feed." He's like, "You like clapping back." And he's like, "It's funny. It's fun to watch," but he's like, "Is it really helping?" And he's right. I don't argue with strangers any longer, and I also don't...I try never to argue with anyone who's less powerful than me. The only time I'll ever say something back is when, I don't know, Elon Musk calls me names or something like that.

Nora Ali: I feel like I saw an interaction maybe recently where you were actually kind of nice. He said something mean about you. You were like, "I actually own..."

Scott Galloway: Shocking.

Nora Ali: You were like, "I own Teslas. I like my Teslas."

Scott Galloway: Yeah, I own a Tesla. I sold it, by the way. I sold it. I thought, "Do I need to spend $120,000 on a product where the CEO calls me names?" So I sold it. It's a great car. It's a great car.

Nora Ali: So you took it offline basically to...

Scott Galloway: Yeah, that's right.

Nora Ali: ...to fix it.

Scott Galloway: My revenge.

Nora Ali: Your revenge. We're going to take another very quick break. More with Scott when we come back. Okay, Scott, a little bit of a lightning round to hit on a bunch of topics from your book. First, on tech and entrepreneurship, since we started touching on it. In chapter three, called The Idolatry of Innovators, you discuss the risks of tech obsession and entrepreneur worship, speaking of Elon Musk. So why is tech obsession and admiring someone like Elon Musk, for example, such a bad thing? What is at stake right now?

Scott Galloway: I think we have decided that these individuals get to play by a different set of rules, and also their companies aren't subject to the same scrutiny as other businesses. So, power corrupts. I want Antony Blinken or President Biden negotiating with Putin. I want NASA or the Defense Department deciding what communications technology gets turned off or on in Crimea, not a raging narcissist who has his head up his ass. So I find this dangerous that we have decided...Thomas Friedman predicted this 20 years ago, that these people were becoming so powerful, our idolatry and fetishization of them. They're the new Jesus Christ. Steve Jobs and now Elon Musk are the closest thing we have to a super-being. And the guy could literally go out, could start killing puppies, and somebody, millions of people would say that it's good for the world. I think unelected people shouldn't be having negotiations with Putin. I think it's dangerous.

Nora Ali: I have a lot of follow-up questions, but we're going to move on to the next topic because this is a lightning ground. So on healthcare, in regards to healthcare cutbacks in modern history, you wrote, "One change with profound long-term effects on our communities was cutting public mental healthcare. In the 1960s and '70s, the national movement to deinstitutionalize mental health patients drastically reduced the availability of psychiatric care." What are the economic implications here, and are there anything employers can do if governments aren't focusing so much on mental health care?

Scott Galloway: So the reality is, we haven't cut expenditures. We've just reallocated them from mental health facilities to prisons. I think technology could be a huge unlock for mental health in the sense that pre-pandemic, 3% of doctors' visits were virtual. Now it's almost a third, and about 40% or 50% of those are around mental health. And just as we de-stigmatized cancer, we're now mostly de-stigmatizing mental health, although I would argue we've de-stigmatized it for women. If a senior-level executive at a company who's a woman says, "You know what? I'm feeling depressed. I'm kind of down. This is why," I think that would evoke a different reaction than if a senior-level man said, "I'm depressed, and I'm down, and I need some time off work." I think some other men around that person would go, "Well, maybe he's not up to the job." I think there's a different expectation from men or their willingness to...I don't know what it is, but the patriarchy or this notion that at some point the kid has to be stopped being coddled by the mother. I don't know what it is, but men aren't comfortable talking about their mental health.

But in terms of the expense of mental health, we haven't reduced the cost. We've just reallocated it from hospital and healthcare to our incarceration system. In terms of what companies can do, I think it's funding and encouraging covering it in terms of health insurance and paying for mental health and recognizing that it's a thing. But I also think we have a huge role to play as a society and as parents. I try to be very open with my emotions, and I think it's okay to be sad. I think one of the biggest unlocks for a man, mostly men, is to really lean into your emotions.

From the age of 29 to 44, I never cried. I didn't cry once in 15 years. I didn't cry when my mom died. I didn't cry when I got divorced. I didn't cry when my businesses failed. I just forgot how to cry. And now I really lean into emotions and laughing out loud. And I find that if you don't do this, you lose touch with what's important to you. You lose touch with the people who are meaningful to you. You lose touch with the ability to discern what is really wonderful in your life. And so an enormous unlock for men, I think, is to lean into your emotions and really think about, what is it about this situation that makes me so inspired I get emotional?

Nora Ali: I know you're talking about men here, but it's funny. It's something I'm working on with my therapist, is if I feel negative emotions, my instinct is to just get rid of it. Like, go away. I'm not going to feel it. So I'm working on trying to actually feel it, let myself cry, let myself experience it, instead of just trying to remove myself from it. So I'm glad you brought that up.

Okay, last lightning-round topic, on housing. Very top of mind right now. And this, I think, will resonate with our listeners. This is from your book. "For the first time in US history, young people are no longer better off economically than their parents were at the same age. An American born in 1940 had a 92% chance of doing better than his or her parents. Someone born in 1970 had a 61% chance. And a millennial born in 1984, who would be 37 today, only has a 50% chance of doing better than their parents." What does this mean for millennials and for Gen Z with career and home-ownership aspirations, and Gen Zers in the workforce? What are the implications here?

Scott Galloway: Yeah, you zeroed in on what is probably the most important chart in the book. And that is the whole premise of a society...what do we all want, what shows that our society is working and our role in that society is working, is that our kids will do better than us. That's the basic agreement we all hope to have. When we shake hands with our society, we're hoping to come to a deal that says, "If I'm a good citizen, if I play by the rules, a little bit of luck, I'm going to be able to afford the opportunities to my kids so they can do better than me." And for the first time in American history, that compact has been broken.

And what's really tragic about it is there's no excuse for it, because our GDP continues to grow. Our productivity continues to grow. And the wealthy incumbents and people my age who have garnered a disproportionate amount of wealth...People over the age of 70 are 72% wealthier than they were 40 years ago. People your age, people under the age of 30, are 22% less wealthy. The percentage of wealth as a percent of GDP controlled by people under the age of 40 has gone from 19% to 9%. We have cut the wealth, in the face of unprecedented prosperity, of people under the age of 40 in half the last 40 years.

And people say, "Well, it's network effects. It's globalization." No, it's not. What bullshit! It's purposeful legislation that takes money from young people and transfers it to old. The two biggest tax deductions in America are mortgage interest rate tax deduction and capital gains. Who owns homes and stocks? People my age. Who makes all of their money from current income, and rents? People your age. And we have decided that you don't get the tax breaks we get. The largest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind happens every year. It's a $1.5 trillion transfer from young people to the wealthiest generation in history, old people, called Social Security. Why on earth would old people, who have aggregated more wealth than any other cohort on the planet, not be paying into something called Social Security tax and transferring money to young people?

The first two states in the presidential primary happen to be the oldest states in the union. So what do you know? Everyone talks about programs to give more money, such that Nana and Pop-Pop can upgrade from Carnival to Crystal Cruises. Income inequality gets a lot of warranted attention. What doesn't get enough attention is age inequality. America used to be the best place to get rich. It's now the best place to stay rich.

Nora Ali: Wow! Yeah. Oh my gosh.

Scott Galloway: That was a rant. No lightning. That was a slow rainstorm. That wasn't a lightning round.

Nora Ali: That was amazing. Okay, a couple of things before I let you go. Scott, we have a segment called Shoot Your Shot. So we'd like to know, what is your moonshot idea? This is your biggest ambition, your wildest dream. It could be professional, personal. Very quickly, shoot your shot.

Scott Galloway: Selfishly, I'd like to own the Glasgow Rangers. My father grew up watching the Rangers in Glasgow. I'd like to...I would just think it'd be a ton of fun. I really want to be...But meaningfully, I want to play a role. I want to be an evangelist for the well-being of young men, who I think are struggling as a cohort. Nobody feels sorry for them because they've had a 400-year head start. Four times more likely to be addicted. Three times more likely to commit suicide. 12 times more likely to be incarcerated. I think young men are struggling in our nation. And if I can do anything to slightly nod to all the wonderful men in my life who were not related to me, who took an interest in my life and really meant a lot to me, I want to figure out a way to kind of do the same thing and nod to them.

Nora Ali: Last thing, Scott, is a fun little game. It's called Business Battle Royale.

Scott Galloway: All right.

Nora Ali: I made this up. So I'm going to present you with two things. It could be a person, a business, an entity, and they're battling each other. And you have to tell me whose side you're on and who ultimately wins. Okay? So the first one is a battle that I...I don't know why, but I'm obsessed with it. I think it's so interesting. It's Apple versus Epic Games. So for context for our listeners, Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, had sued Apple in 2020 for not letting Epic Games use its own payments platform, because it's trying to circumnavigate Apple taking a 30% cut, essentially, in revenue, because that's what it does for apps in its app store. So Scott Galloway, whose side are you on, the app developers or Apple?

Scott Galloway: 100% Epic. And by the way, a disclosure, I own shares in Apple, and I own shares in Epic. I invested in Epic. If we don't have companies disrupting big companies, our economy's going to sputter and stall. The App Store is a monopoly. It should be regulated. If it's not broken up, it should actually be harshly regulated in terms of the prices it can charge. So I'm 100% with Epic.

Nora Ali: All right, next one. I know you have thoughts on this: Twitter versus Elon Musk. Again, for our listeners, the context. Elon Musk had proposed buying Twitter. Then his team had cited reasons to call off the acquisition. Supposedly, the deal is back on as of this recording. This today is Wednesday, October 12. But Scott, you said on your podcast that this still doesn't mean it's a done deal. So the “whose side you're on” can mean a lot of things in this case. A, do you hope the deal goes through? And B, if it does, who is the winner? Do users win? Is Elon Musk the only winner? Interpret winning as you so please.

Scott Galloway: Sure. So what I think will happen, and I think it's a good thing, is I think the deal will close under the auspices of Elon Musk having to provide a deposition, which he doesn't want to do, because he has lied so much that committing perjury scares the shit out of him and his lawyers. And I think his lawyers have said to him, "Boss, you're going to lose. You're all wet here." So they keep trying to delay and obfuscation. So I hope it closes. I think it will.

I don't think Twitter is a national treasure. I think we should have laws such that it doesn't matter who owns it. I think Elon is very creative. If he does figure out interesting things around payment, subscription, or super-app, I think there could be a big unlock there. He's overpaying by about $30 billion. He shows up, and he's down 60%. If he hadn't come in, Twitter stock would be somewhere between $10 and $20, based on the performance of its peer group. The only or the biggest winners here, hands down, are...If it's enforced, is rule of law. That's important. But the really biggest winners here are Twitter shareholders get to sell their shares in a company for $54.20, of a company that's worth probably 12 to 15 bucks a share.

Nora Ali: Wow! Do you think he'll be able to turn Twitter into the super-app that he wants to turn it into, like a WeChat?

Scott Galloway: I think there's a decent opportunity there because his background's in payments. First of all, he's brilliant, and his background is in payments. Started a company that got sold to PayPal. So I've always thought the opportunity for Twitter is one around more moderation, subscription, and to try and become the WeChat, as you've said, and offer...use it as a platform for payments. His investors and he are probably going to lose a shit ton of money. I mean, it's like when I bought a house in the UK for cash, I moved in...I moved to London once. The Queen dies, and the pound drops 20%. When I moved into my house, I was down 20% just because of the devaluation of the pound. But when he moves into Twitter, when he owns Twitter and it closes, he's down 60% from day one. Massively overpaid. And that's why he's been trying every which way but loose to try and get out of this deal, because he knows he's massively overpaid for this thing.

Nora Ali: Yeah. All right. Final Business Battle Royale match-up. This is social media: TikTok versus Instagram, versus BeReal, versus any other social media platform besides Twitter. Whose side are you on, i.e., which do you think is maybe the least harmful? And then secondarily, who do you think wins? And by that I mean, let's say, who gets the majority of Gen Z and Gen Alpha attention in the next 10 years?

Scott Galloway: If you had to bet on one, it's probably YouTube. It actually commands more time of people under the age of 18 than TikTok. But TikTok commands more time of people under the age of 18 than all streaming media platforms combined. Google has benefited from the mendacious behavior of Meta, and as a result, YouTube hasn't received the scrutiny it should. It still is radicalizing young men. I think Meta has shown itself to be incredibly mendacious. I think Meta is actually a net negative for society. I think all of the rest of Big Tech has its issues, but are net positives. I do think Meta is at this point a net negative. I'd like to see substantially more criminal civil action against Meta.

Nora Ali: Scott, it's been a pleasure chatting with you. Thank you so much for joining us on Business Casual.

Scott Galloway: Thank you, Nora. I love Morning Brew. I read it every morning.

Nora Ali: Woo-hoo!

Scott Galloway: Love it.

Nora Ali: Love to hear it. This is Business Casual, and I'm Nora Ali. You can follow me on Twitter @NoraKAli. That's Nora, the letter K, Ali. And I would love to hear from you. If you have ideas for episodes, comments and thoughts on episodes you loved, fun segment ideas, just shoot me a DM, and I will do my very best to respond. You can also reach the BC team by emailing businesscasual@morningbrew.com, or call us. That number is 862-295-1135. And if you haven't already, be sure to subscribe to Business Casual on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen. And if you like the show, please leave a rating and a review. It really, really helps us. And guess what? We are on YouTube. So if you've ever wondered what I look like, what our guests look like, or what anything else looks like, full episodes are available on our very own YouTube channel. That's Business Casual with Nora Ali. Again, Business Casual with Nora Ali on YouTube. Business Casual is produced by Katherine Milsop, Olivia Meade, and Raymond Luu. Additional production, sound design, and mixing by Daniel Markus. Kate Brandt is our fact checker, and AB Silver is our senior booking producer. Sebastian Vega edits our videos. Our VP of multimedia is Sarah Singer. Music in this episode from Daniel Markus and the Mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder. Thanks for listening to Business Casual. I'm Nora Ali. Keep it business, and keep it casual.