The How Things Grow Podcast
About This Show
How Things Grow is a podcast about, well, how things grow.
Each episode features an interview with one of the leading growth practitioners, entrepreneurs, experts or historians in the world today. Host Shamanth Rao talks to these amazing people about the growth trajectories of some of the companies, trends or economic systems that absolutely took off - either in recent times or way back in the past.
Most Recent Episode
#7 - Tale Of A City; Part 1/2 - New York: The New Amsterdam Days; With Russell Shorto(author - The Island At The Center Of The World)
5 days ago
Today’s episode is a special one. Past episodes of How Things Grow have told the stories of how technologies and companies have taken off. Today’s episode tells the improbable story of the rise of a physical ecosystem. This episode is the first of a two part story. This episode features the story of New York City - and how it went from a wilderness island in 1600 to the burgeoning trading town of New Amsterdam that was renamed New York. In our next episode, we'll talk about New York's story from the British rule in the 17th century to today. Before I moved from Bangalore, India to New York City for the first time, I knew nothing about this metropolis. As I Googled and poked around online about the city and its origins from a faraway land, one book kept showing up time and again. This book was ‘The island at the center of the world’ - and the author Russell Shorto, is my guest for today. Russell is an author, historian and journalist. The NYT Books Review has said: “Masterly…. A new foundation myth….. Shorto writes at all times with passion, verve, nuance and considerable humor.” He’s written six books. His most recent book ‘Revolution Song: A Story of American Freedom’ was released in 2017. This is the first of a two part series that covers the time period from before Manhattan’s prehistory to its annexation by the British in 1664, the point when its name changed from New Amsterdam to New York. We talk about Henry Hudson’s attempts to reach Japan through the center of North America. We talk about why the Dutch colonized this wilderness island to expand their trading empire, and how the Dutch West India Company’s corporate failures led to the explosion of trade in New York City. We’ll go into how power, money and geography prompted the British to capture the city from the Dutch. We’ll conclude this episode in the late 18th century at the point of time when the British took over the city and changed its name from New Amsterdam to New York. We'll pick up New York’s story from the British rule to the present day in next week’s episode.