September 19, 2014

Origin Story (2014)

This week we bring you little-known and surprising stories of how all sorts of institutions began. An updated version of a 2009 episode.

An updated version of an episode from 2009.


Host Ira Glass talks to business professor Pino Audia and Fast Company magazine columnist Dan Heath about corporate creation myths, and why so many of them involve garages. (7 minutes)

Act One

Mad Man

Producer Sarah Koenig tells the story of her father, Julian Koenig, the legendary advertising copywriter whose work includes the slogan "Timex takes a licking and keeps on ticking" and Volkswagen's "Think Small" ads. For years Sarah has heard her dad accuse a former partner of stealing some of his best ideas, but until recently she never paid much attention. Then she started asking her dad for details of this fight for his legacy, and what she learned surprised her. Sarah is the host of our new spinoff podcast, Serial. (20 minutes)

Act Two

Silent Partner

Producer Sean Cole visits Chad's Trading Post in Southampton, Massachussetts. One person who works there wears a shirt that says "Chad's Brother;" other shirts say "Chad's Best Friend," "Chad's Cousin," and "Chad's Father." Pictures of Chad are everywhere. Chad's dead. The family explains. (14 minutes)