Welcome to the 182nd episode of the Inc. Uncensored podcast, hosted by Inc.'s editor-in-chief James Ledbetter.

This week, I talk about my feature on Marcus Lemonis, the CEO of Camping World and the star of CNBC's reality TV show "The Profit." While the show has produced success stories, twenty small business owners who appeared on "The Profit" allege that Marcus Lemonis took advantage of some of the companies he's claimed to save. Some participants feel they were exploited to make entertaining television, but others claim Lemonis took advantage of their weak financial positions for his own monetary gain.

Staff writer Emily Canal discusses her story about what the only paper straw manufacturer in the U.S. had to do in order to keep up with a surge in demand. Over the last year, a growing public backlash against plastic straws has contributed to an insane 4,900 percent increase in demand for Aardvark's more eco-friendly paper straws. Struggling to keep up with orders and shipments, the company decided to sell to a large disposable tableware manufacturer.  

Lastly, author Liza Featherstone comes to the studio to talk about her book Divining Desire, which is about the history of the focus group and how it transformed from being a tool to determine what things people want to a way to sell us stuff we don't need.

If you want to read up on this week's Like Buttons, check out the Inc. 5000 package, read Erin Griffith's piece in The New York Times about how raising a $100 million in venture capital is now easier than ever, catch up up on the fallout around MoviePass and its parent company's stock woes, and go see the newly released movie "Crazy Rich Asians."

As always, you can listen to individual episodes of the Inc. Uncensored podcast on the Panoply Network or on Apple Podcasts, where you can also subscribe.

Published on: Aug 17, 2018