Decoder with Nilay Patel

Decoder is a show from The Verge about big ideas — and other problems. Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel talks to a diverse cast of innovators and policymakers at the frontiers of business and technology to reveal how they’re navigating an ever-changing landscape, what keeps them up at night, and what it all means for our shared future.


How Amazon runs Alexa, with Dave Limp

My guest today is Dave Limp, the senior vice president of devices and services at Amazon – or, more simply, the guy in charge of Alexa. Dave’s group at Amazon also includes the Kindle e-reader, the Ring and Blink security camera systems, the Eero wifi router, and a host of other products that connect to Amazon services. 

We wanted to know what the business behind Alexa looks like — Amazon sells Echo products at basically break even, it runs the Alexa for all of them for free, and it employs thousands of engineers who work on it. How does that make money? How might it make money in the future? How should we think about Alexa competing with other smart assistants, and for what kinds of business? The answers were not what you’d expect.


Why the global chip shortage is making it so hard to buy a PS5

Amazon's new Ring Alarm Pro combines a security system with an Eero Router

Say Hello to Astro, Alexa on wheels

Amazon is now accepting your applications for its home surveillance drone

Amazon Glow is a video chat gadget with built-in games to keep kids engaged

Amazon’s new Echo Show 15 is meant to hang on your wall

Amazon’s new Kindle Paperwhite adds a bigger screen, longer battery life, and USB-C

Amazon starts making its own TVs with new Fire TV Omni and 4-Series

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max review: the one to buy

How to connect Alexa to Spotify, Apple Music, and more

Amazon's race to create the disappearing computer



This episode was produced by Creighton DeSimone, Alexander Charles Adams, and Andru Marino. And we are edited by Callie Wright. Our music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. 

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 2021-10-12  1h17m