The Critical Path

The Critical Path

The Critical Path is a talk show contemplating the causality of success and failure in the evolving story of mobile computing and related industries. Using Apple as a lens to look at existing and emerging tech markets, we try to understand what it means to be great.

Hosted by Anders Brownworth and Horace Dediu.



#106: Can Bitcoin Be Money?

December 19, 2013 at 4:00PM • 1 hour 2 minutes

Horace and Moisés discuss the sudden decline of Bitcoin due to a crackdown in China, from the purpose of Bitcoin's existence to the nature and concept of a functional currency. What do we hire currency to do?


#105: Subsidize This

December 14, 2013 at 6:15PM • 45 minutes

Horace unpacks the rumored, denied, and seemingly inevitable arrival of iPhone on China Mobile. Reflecting on smartphone adoption in the US, where does the unconventional logic take us from here?


#104: Cinematic Presentations

December 14, 2013 at 9:00AM • 1 hour 14 minutes

Fresh off of back-to-back AirShows, Horace discusses the future of his "cinematographic" presentation style and announces Airshow World Tour. We also look at episode #103's very prescient prediction of Amazon's move into delivering their own products.


#103: The Amazon Electric Car

December 2, 2013 at 1:15PM • 1 hour 33 minutes

A history of retail as a series of innovations in transportation. How to think about Amazon in a continuum of changing consumer behavior. The source of Amazon's market power and its hypothetical disruption. What would Amazon do and not do to improve its business.


#102: The Advertiser's Dilemma

December 2, 2013 at 1:00PM • 1 hour 46 minutes

A history of Cinema as seen through disruptive lenses. How did the medium evolve from novelty to experimentation to establishment of a predominant business model to concentration of power, regulation and ultimate stagnation. How to measure "performance" of a medium via the median age of the audience and how that affects the advertiser's calculus.


#101: The Genie is Out

November 17, 2013 at 1:00PM • 1 hour 27 minutes

The fascination with highly visible but largely unknown business models continues. How do infomercials work? What is the value of fashion? How can you make money when no creative idea can be protected? Why is Apple building a sapphire manufacturing facility? It's all part of a pattern.


#100: Fin du siècle

November 8, 2013 at 11:00AM • 1 hour 15 minutes

The closing of one and the onset of another era. In this hundredth episode of The Critical Path we look back to some of the big questions we asked and ask them again with hindsight and foresight. They are: 1. What happens to entertainment in the era of pervasive connectivity and computing? 2. What happens to privacy when citizenship requires divulging all your secrets to commercial entities? 3. What happens to the structure of computing when diffusions of innovations are instantly global?


#99: Grand Unified Theory

October 25, 2013 at 1:00PM • 46 minutes

In the wake of Apple's final announcement event of the year, Horace and Moisés discuss the cost of free software, the unification of file formats, and the cost/benefit of interoperability.


#98: Kicking and Streaming

October 16, 2013 at 11:30AM • 1 hour 15 minutes

Horace and Moisés look beyond Apple's rumored "watch" project to contemplate the real reasoning behind recent executive acquisitions from the world of high fashion (and what it signals). Is Apple now driving "lifestyle" more forcefully than ever? We examine redefinition, from public face to product, and Mac Pro to (possibly) iPod nano.


#97: Squealing in Delight

September 28, 2013 at 8:00PM • 1 hour 15 minutes

Horace discusses AirShow NYC and his appearance on Bloomberg Surveillance, alongside blockbuster opening weekend sales of 9 million iPhone 5s/c units. We look ahead to what else Apple may have in store through sustaining and disruptive innovation.