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New episodes on Mondays and Thursdays for free, with 1-week early access for Wondery+ subscribers. Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world's best known companies. How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists—and the movements they built. Order the How I Built This book at https://www.guyraz.com.
 
From the creator of How I Built This, host Guy Raz invites you to listen in as he talks to leadership experts and the visionary leaders of some of the world's biggest brands. Along the way, you'll hear accounts of crisis, failure, turnaround, and triumph, as the leaders reveal their secrets on their way to the top. These are stories that didn't make it into their company bios, and valuable lessons for anyone trying to make it in business.
 
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In 2003, David Baszucki wanted to go viral. He had already sold a company that made educational software, and now he wanted to build something with mass appeal; with build-your-own avatars and myriad opportunities for users to compete and connect online. So in 2006, he and his co-founder Erik Cassel launched Roblox, a platform where you can play mi…
 
Carl Bass, a renegade and reluctant executive, took the helm at Autodesk, and steered the company out of the global economic crisis. At one point, he was so sure it would fail that he was desperate to find a buyer. Instead, he put his own money at risk to try a whole new business model.NPR
 
In 2014, friends Polina Veksler and Alex Waldman went clothes shopping at a major department store. To Polina’s surprise, Alex’s options were quite limited, and tucked away in one of the store’s less-traveled upper levels: the ‘plus-size’ section. This unnerving realization that women could have such completely different shopping experiences at the…
 
When Saeju Jeong moved from South Korea to the U.S. in his mid-20's, he barely knew anyone, didn't speak much English, and had only $5,000 in savings. Today, he's the CEO of Noom, one of the most popular weight loss/wellness apps in the U.S. Inspired by his late father—a doctor who criticized the profession for treating people only after they got s…
 
Growing up in Colombia, Carlos Araque and his father liked to take apart bicycles and motorcycles then put them back together. This love of tinkering led Carlos to study engineering at MIT and eventually launch a career in the oil and gas industry. After 15 years of this work, Carlos realized he was uniquely suited to be a part of the global energy…
 
David Novak has been a driving force behind brands like Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC, and he co-founded YUM! Brands Inc., one of the biggest players in the quick service restaurant industry. He's written bestsellers including Taking People With You, The Education of an Accidental CEO, and his latest, co-authored with Jason Goldsmith, titled Take Charg…
 
Sam and Mariah Calagione started dating in high school, and have been on a wild ride ever since. Their biggest, craziest adventure? Founding Dogfish Head Brewery and forever changing the landscape of American craft beer. From the moment Sam started home-brewing in his NYC apartment, he infused his beer with unusual ingredients like cherries, maple …
 
It wasn’t unusual for David Kelley to take calls from Steve Jobs in the middle of the night. This came with the territory, as David worked on designing dozens of products for Apple over the years – including their first computer mouse back in 1980. Since then, David and his firm, IDEO, have helped all sorts of companies design new products. David a…
 
When Lou Gerstner became the CEO of IBM in 1993, he had never worked for a technology company, and IBM was in big trouble: competitors like Microsoft, Dell, and Compaq were eating up market share. Gerstner took the challenge head-on by reimagining IBM's structure and culture, and eventually helped IBM reclaim its position as a dominant force in the…
 
Over nearly 50 years in the luggage business, Charlie Clifford has built two premium brands and weathered three existential crises: the recession of 1982, the travel slowdown post- 9/11, and the extreme aftershocks of Covid. His fist luggage company, Tumi, was inspired by his time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru. Charlie began by importing hand-…
 
This week on How I Built This Lab, we're throwing it back to our very first Lab episode. In this episode, Guy sits down with Colin Rosenblum and Samir Chaudry, or better known as YouTubers Colin and Samir—a pair of creators who create content for other creators. (We know, pretty meta.) The creator economy barely existed a decade ago, but has quickl…
 
Explorer, writer, and publisher Erling Kagge was the first person to complete the Three Poles Challenge ⁠— reaching the South Pole, the North Pole, and the top of Mt. Everest ⁠— on foot. He talks about what a life of extreme exploration has taught him about silence and the value of failure.NPR
 
In 2011, when Emmett Shear pivoted the live streaming service Justin.tv into the video game platform Twitch, people warned him that gaming was just a niche. But unlike his first two ventures, video games were something Emmett instinctively understood: he and his co-founder Justin Kan had been playing them together since they were kids. Emmett built…
 
Chelsea Fagan got her first credit card when she was a senior in high school. She quickly maxed it out, racking up debt that would burden her through her early twenties. Then, in 2014, Chelsea started a blog as a way to keep track of her spending habits and get her financial life back on track. She called it “The Financial Diet.” This week on How I…
 
Black Entertainment Television helped make the first Black billionaire in the US and was the first Black-owned business traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Debra Lee, a young lawyer drawn to the company's mission, was pivotal in turning the small, revolutionary cable station into an industry staple. Growing BET and finding confidence as a CEO am…
 
One snowy night in Boston, Leah Solivan ran out of dog food for her 100-pound yellow lab. She wondered: shouldn’t I be able to resupply Kobe without going to the store? That was the origin of TaskRabbit, an online errand service that matches users with “taskers” to do deliveries and other chores. When Leah left her IBM job to start coding the servi…
 
When Donnel Baird was a child, his parents would regularly use the oven to heat their Brooklyn apartment ⁠— a dangerous and energy-inefficient practice that’s unfortunately not unique to New York City. As an adult traveling the country with the Obama for America campaign, Donnel saw countless homes and apartments wasting power and jeopardizing resi…
 
Yahoo had been churning through executives when Marissa Mayer became its 7th CEO in just over 5 years. She left a track record of success at Google to take on a floundering company faced with obsolescence. How she infused value into Yahoo on the eve of its acquisition and why failure should be embraced, not feared.…
 
While she was a student at business school, Shazi Visram ran into an old friend—a new mother of twins. The friend confided she felt like a bad mom because she had no time to make her kids healthy meals. That gave Shazi her initial idea: why not make organic pureed baby food, and sell it frozen instead of jarred? People told her she was crazy to tak…
 
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