How I Built This with Guy Raz

How I Built This with Guy Raz

www.npr.org/series/490248027/how-i-built-this
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.


How I Built Resilience: Brian Chesky of Airbnb
Aug 13 • 24 min
In the early stages of the lockdown, Airbnb was in a freefall: it lost 80 percent of its business and laid off a quarter of its staff. But CEO Brian Chesky tells Guy that as people start to travel again—in cars, and closer to home—the company is beginning…
Briogeo: Nancy Twine
Aug 10 • 72 min
In 2010, a tragic personal event changed the trajectory of Nancy Twine’s life. Suddenly, her promising job on the trading floor at Goldman Sachs no longer seemed fulfilling; she wanted something more. Drawing inspiration from the homemade hair treatments…
How I Built Resilience: Jessie Woolley-Wilson of DreamBox
Aug 8 • 21 min
Guy speaks with Jessie Woolley-Wilson, CEO of DreamBox, an online math learning program for K-8 students. The platform has added two million new users during the lockdown, but that rapid growth has created “stretch marks” and new challenges for…
How I Built Resilience: Alberto Perlman of Zumba
Aug 6 • 20 min
Within weeks after the pandemic lockdown, the fitness program Zumba rapidly shifted gears and launched its own online workout platform. Co-founder Alberto Perlman says it’s helping keep the community connected, fit, and—for instructors—employed. These…
Vita Coco: Michael Kirban
Aug 3 • 71 min
So—no joke: two guys really do walk into a bar. While sharing a few drinks on a winter night in New York City, best friends Michael Kirban and Ira Liran met two young women from Brazil. That chance encounter eventually led to a business idea: to sell…
How I Built Resilience: Sarah Harden and Lauren Neustadter of Hello Sunshine
Aug 1 • 17 min
Hello Sunshine—a production company founded by Reese Witherspoon—has created TV shows Little Fires Everywhere, The Morning Show, and Big Little Lies. Fresh off 18 Emmy nominations, Hello Sunshine’s CEO Sarah Harden and Head of Television & Film Lauren…
How I Built Resilience: Taha Bawa of Goodwall
Jul 30 • 18 min
As COVID-19 continues to affect the global economy, college graduates are entering a job market reminiscent of the 2008 financial crisis. Taha Bawa is hoping to help with Goodwall, the social networking site he co-founded that links students to jobs and…
The Laundress: Lindsey Boyd
Jul 27 • 68 min
In the late 1990s, while working in high-end fashion in NYC, Lindsey Boyd came to despise the weekly ritual of dry-cleaning; not only was it expensive, but it often did damage to her clothes. So she and college friend Gwen Whiting studied up on the…
How I Built Resilience: Jeremy Zimmer of United Talent Agency
Jul 25 • 21 min
With live events canceled and sound stages shuttered, the entertainment industry has to look for new ways to create content while cutting costs. Guy talks with Jeremy Zimmer, CEO and co-founder of United Talent Agency, about how the industry is trying to…
How I Built Resilience: Songe LaRon of Squire
Jul 23 • 25 min
When Songe LaRon founded Squire in 2016, his mission was to use modern technology to help run barbershops, which are using his app in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. With a recent funding round of $34 million, Songe is hopeful about expanding Squire’s reach,…
La Colombe Coffee Roasters: Todd Carmichael and J.P. Iberti
Jul 20 • 66 min
When Todd Carmichael and J.P. Iberti met at a grunge concert in Seattle in the 1980s, they were an unlikely pair. But they shared a love for great coffee, and the two friends began to dream about opening a cafe and premium roastery that would produce…
How I Built Resilience: Live with John Foley
Jul 18 • 19 min
While upending many businesses, the pandemic has benefited fitness brands like Peloton, which saw a surge in demand in mid-March. Peloton founder John Foley talks with Guy about the unique challenges and opportunities posed by this moment. These…
How I Built Resilience: Live with Julia Hartz
Jul 16 • 24 min
Founder Julia Hartz is reckoning with COVID-19’s impact on the live events industry, which uses her company, Eventbrite, to sell tickets and market events. While her users are quickly pivoting to virtual events, Julia has been making tough decisions,…
Tatcha: Vicky Tsai
Jul 13 • 80 min
In 2008, Vicky Tsai walked away from a startup job and set out to rediscover herself on a trip to Japan. In Kyoto, she had an unforgettable meeting with a geisha, and learned about the face creams and blotting papers that the traditional Japanese…
How I Built Resilience: Live with Morgan DeBaun
Jul 11 • 24 min
Morgan DeBaun founded Blavity as a media platform for Black millennials to convene and connect online. Today, amidst an economic crisis and a reawakening of concern over racial justice, Blavity’s mission is both more urgent and more challenging. These…
How I Built Resilience: Live with Sharon Chuter
Jul 9 • 22 min
In 2018, Sharon Chuter left her job at a legacy beauty brand to start UOMA Beauty, a cosmetics company that caters to a wide variety of skin tones. She recently launched a social media campaign called Pull Up or Shut Up, which asks beauty brands to…
Tempur-Pedic: Bobby Trussell (2018)
Jul 6 • 59 min
At age 40, Bobby Trussell’s promising career in horse racing hit a dead end. With bills to pay and a family to support, he stumbled across a curious product that turned into a lifeline: squishy-squashy memory foam. He jumped at the chance to distribute…
ClassPass: Payal Kadakia
Jun 29 • 79 min
In the late 2000s, Payal Kadakia was working a corporate job and running an Indian dance company on the side. When a search for a ballet class yielded a confusing jumble of computer tabs, she had an idea: create the Open Table of the fitness industry – a…
How I Built Resilience: Live with Melanie Perkins and Bill Creelman
Jun 27 • 28 min
This week, the online design platform Canva closed a new round of funding, bringing the company’s valuation to $6 billion. Founder Melanie Perkins is also focused on helping her employees work from home, while supporting more than 30 million users…
How I Built Resilience: Live with Deval Patrick
Jun 25 • 20 min
Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick talks to Guy about how the protests for racial justice have resonated with him personally, and how this moment can spark meaningful change for African Americans — in the world of business and beyond. These…
Ring: Jamie Siminoff
Jun 22 • 91 min
Jamie Siminoff spent much of his twenties and thirties as a serial entrepreneur, launching three tech businesses you’ve probably never heard of. When he finally landed on a breakthrough idea, he didn’t realize it at first; he was just trying to solve his…
How I Built Resilience: Live with Sadie Lincoln
Jun 20 • 25 min
While 70 percent of Barre3’s locations remain closed, founder Sadie Lincoln is noticing a surge in subscriptions for their online workout platform. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with…
How I Built Resilience: Live with Cathy Hughes
Jun 18 • 25 min
Cathy Hughes is the founder of Urban One, the largest African American-owned broadcast network with 54 radio stations around the United States. Cathy spoke with Guy about the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement and how Black entrepreneurs can meet…
Shake Shack: Danny Meyer
Jun 15 • 57 min
Back in 2001, as part of an initiative to revitalize Madison Square Park, Danny Meyer set up a simple hot dog cart. At that time, he had been a leader in New York City’s fine dining scene for years, and the hot dog cart was just a side project, something…
How I Built Resilience: Live with Y-Vonne Hutchinson
Jun 13 • 23 min
Y-Vonne Hutchinson is the founder of ReadySet, a consulting firm that helps companies make authentic commitments to diversity and inclusion. Y-Vonne spoke with Guy about the progress she’s starting to see on these issues, and the substantial work that…
How I Built Resilience: Live with Kevin Hart
Jun 11 • 18 min
Actor and comedian Kevin Hart speaks to Guy about the Black Lives Matter protests and offers advice to future activists, entertainers and entrepreneurs. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with…
Supergoop!: Holly Thaggard
Jun 8 • 73 min
In 2005, the trajectory of Holly Thaggard’s life completely changed when a good friend of hers was diagnosed with skin cancer. Holly realized that most people weren’t taking sunscreen seriously, so she sidelined her vocation as a harpist to dive headfirst…
How I Built Resilience: Live with Troy Carter
Jun 6 • 24 min
Troy Carter, the founder of Q&A and Atom Factory, speaks to Guy about the painful events of the past few months—and especially the past two weeks—and how they’ve affected the music industry and him personally. These conversations are excerpts from our How…
How I Built Resilience: Live with Jenn Hyman
Jun 4 • 23 min
As Rent the Runway faces the economic challenges of the pandemic, co-founder Jenn Hyman is focused on recovery and empowering women’s lives through clothing. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online…
Sub Pop Records: Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman
Jun 1 • 88 min
Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman were two rock-and-roll fans who met at exactly the right time and place: Seattle in the early 1980s, where a raw hybrid of metal and punk was finding its voice in dingy clubs. With borrowed money and bounced checks, the…
How I Built Resilience: Live with Alli Webb and Andy Puddicombe & Rich Pierson
May 30 • 31 min
Alli Webb, co-founder of Drybar, talks with Guy about why she believes that investing time into fashion and beauty is still worthwhile, even though many of us aren’t going out much. Founders of the meditation app Headspace, Andy Puddicombe and Rich…
How I Built Resilience: Live with Kyle Connaughton and Daniel Humm
May 28 • 25 min
Kyle Connaughton’s restaurant has been impacted by wildfires, floods, and now, the COVID-19 pandemic. Kyle spoke with Guy about keeping SingleThread Farms afloat while giving back to his community with free meals. When Eleven Madison Park closed its doors…
reCAPTCHA and Duolingo: Luis von Ahn
May 25 • 66 min
In 2000, Luis von Ahn was starting his PhD in computer science when he attended a talk and happened to learn about one of Yahoo’s biggest problems: automated bots were signing up for millions of free Yahoo email accounts, and generating tons of spam.…
How I Built Resilience: Live with Sarah LaFleur
May 23 • 17 min
When Sarah LaFleur started M.M.LaFleur, she wanted to help women dress efficiently and comfortably for the office. Now that most of her customers are working from home, Sarah has to rethink her brand and her marketing to stay relevant. These conversations…
How I Built Resilience: Live with Tony Xu and Marcia Kilgore
May 21 • 32 min
When Tony Xu started DoorDash in 2013, he wanted to help local restaurants stay afloat by introducing them to online delivery. Today, his quest remains the same, now that DoorDash has become an essential business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Marcia…
Jo Loves: Jo Malone CBE
May 18 • 83 min
As a girl in 1970s London, Jo Malone learned how to make face creams by going to work with her mom at a private skin care clinic. By the time she was in her 20’s, Jo was running her own skin care and cosmetics business, which eventually grew to include…
How I Built Resilience: Live with Tobias Lütke and Jon Stein
May 16 • 29 min
When Tobias Lütke started Shopify, he wanted to empower merchants to start small and build resilience. Tobi spoke with Guy about the relevance of those principles in 2020, as he explains the rise of Shopify sign-ups during the pandemic. Jon Stein spoke…
How I Built Resilience: Live with Samin Nosrat and Alice Waters & Fanny Singer
May 14 • 27 min
Samin Nosrat, the author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, talks with Guy about unintentionally writing the ultimate quarantine cookbook, and how she’s been inspired by the camaraderie among fellow home cooks. Chez Panisse founder Alice Waters and her daughter…
Impossible Foods: Pat Brown
May 11 • 64 min
When he was nearly 60, Pat Brown left a dream job to pursue an ambitious mission: to create delicious meat from plants. As a biochemist, he’d become alarmed at the destructive impact of meat production on the environment, so he set out to make a burger so…
How I Built Resilience: Live with Stewart Butterfield and Steve Holmes
May 9 • 21 min
Slack’s co-founder Stewart Butterfield wonders what the future of work will look like for his 12 million customers. Springfree Trampoline’s co-founder Steve Holmes says the company has seen a 300 percent increase in demand for its products. These…
How I Built Resilience: Live with Christina Tosi and Gary Erickson & Kit Crawford
May 7 • 30 min
Since March, only five of Milk Bar’s 18 locations have been up and running, but founder Christina Tosi tells Guy she is determined to bring the joy of baking to the doorsteps of family, friends, and healthcare workers. Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford have…
Cotopaxi: Davis Smith
May 4 • 66 min
By his mid-30’s, Davis Smith had co-founded two businesses. The first ended well, but the second was such a disappointment that he wondered if he should even bother trying again. But he did. In 2014, he launched Cotopaxi, an outdoor gear company with two…
How I Built Resilience: Live with José Andrés
Apr 30 • 28 min
When chef José Andrés isn’t running Michelin-starred restaurants, he’s feeding the masses through World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit he founded that brings food to people during humanitarian crises. The COVID-19 crisis has shut down his restaurants…
Fitbit: James Park
Apr 27 • 65 min
In 2006, James Park had what he describes as a “lightning bolt” moment when he first used a Nintendo Wii. Fascinated by its motion-tracking controller, James wondered if you could take the technology out of the living room and into the streets. Three…
How I Built Resilience: Live with Simon Sinek
Apr 23 • 19 min
Each week, Guy is hosting online conversations with founders and entrepreneurs about how they’re navigating these turbulent times. Today’s conversation is with Simon Sinek, whose books about business — including “Start with Why,” and “The Infinite Game” —…
Brooklinen: Vicki and Rich Fulop
Apr 20 • 70 min
On the first day of their Vegas vacation in 2012, Rich and Vicki Fulop sat down on their hotel bed and immediately had the same thought: “These sheets are really nice!” The fabric was the perfect blend of cool, crisp, and soft, but the sheets turned out…
How I Built Resilience: Live with David Neeleman and Tristan Walker
Apr 16 • 20 min
Each week, Guy will be hosting brief online conversations with founders and members of the How I Built This community about how they’re navigating these uncertain times. This past week, Guy spoke with two former guests: David Neeleman of JetBlue Airways,…
Sweetgreen: Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman
Apr 13 • 70 min
Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman met at Georgetown University in 2003 and quickly bonded over their frustration at the lack of healthy food on campus. So during their senior year, along with a third friend, Nathaniel Ru, they decided to open a 500…
How I Built Resilience: Live with Susan Griffin-Black
Apr 9 • 13 min
Each week, Guy will be hosting brief online conversations with founders and members of the How I Built This community about how they’re navigating these uncertain times. This past Friday, Guy spoke with Susan Griffin-Black, founder of EO Products. Susan’s…
S’well: Sarah Kauss
Apr 6 • 67 min
In 2009, Sarah Kauss had a well-paying job in real estate development, but she was itching to do something more. On a hike in Tucson with her mom, she got an idea for a business while swigging warm water from a metal thermos: why not design a water bottle…
How I Built Resilience: Live with Jeni Britton Bauer
Apr 2 • 14 min
Each week, Guy will be hosting brief online conversations with founders and members of the How I Built This community about how they’re navigating these uncertain times. This past Friday, Guy spoke with Jeni Britton Bauer, founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice…
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company: Ken Grossman
Mar 30 • 67 min
Ken Grossman was experimenting with beer before he was old enough to buy it. As a high school student in the late 1960s, he bought his first home brewing kit and mixed the ingredients in a bucket, hiding his early batches from his mother. About ten years…
Ben & Jerry’s: Ben Cohen And Jerry Greenfield (2017)
Mar 23 • 57 min
In the mid-1970s two childhood friends, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield decided to open an ice cream shop in Burlington, Vermont. Their quirky little shop packaged and sold unusual flavors like Honey Coffee, Mocha Walnut, and Mint with Oreo Cookies. In…
Birchbox: Katia Beauchamp
Mar 16 • 68 min
When Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna launched Birchbox from business school in 2010, they set out to disrupt the beauty industry by delivering monthly samples in a box. Even though people told them the idea would never work, Birchbox attracted hundreds…
Live From The HIBT Summit: Stacy Madison of Stacy’s Pita Chips
Mar 12 • 12 min
Our ninth episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Stacy Madison, co-founder of Stacy’s Pita Chips. In this live conversation with Guy, Stacy explains how pita chips became a passion—even though they didn’t start out that way. We’ll be…
Stripe: Patrick and John Collison (2018)
Mar 9 • 43 min
Brothers Patrick and John Collison founded and sold their first company before they turned 20. They created software to help eBay users manage inventory online, which set them on a path to help make e-commerce frictionless. Today, John and Patrick are the…
Video Artist: Casey Neistat
Mar 2 • 94 min
When Casey Neistat was a teenager, the odds were against him; he had dropped out of high school, was washing dishes to pay rent, and was a father by age 17. But he eventually scraped together enough money to buy a camera and an iMac, and began churning…
Live From The HIBT Summit: Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Feb 27 • 16 min
Our eighth episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Jeni Britton Bauer, the founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. In this live conversation with Guy, Jeni talks about maintaining authenticity while growing her company, and how Columbus,…
Lululemon Athletica: Chip Wilson (2018)
Feb 24 • 55 min
After noticing more and more people sign up for yoga in the late 1990s, Chip Wilson bet everything on an athletic apparel company aimed toward young professional women. What started as a small pop-up store in Vancouver eventually became the…
Eventbrite: Julia Hartz
Feb 17 • 65 min
In the early 2000s, Julia Hartz was helping develop TV shows for MTV and FX Networks, and seemed headed for a promising career in television. All of that changed in 2003 when she went to a wedding and found herself sitting next to a serial entrepreneur…
Live From The HIBT Summit: David Neeleman of JetBlue Airways
Feb 13 • 17 min
Our seventh episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features David Neeleman, the founder of JetBlue Airways. In this live conversation with Guy, David talks about the benefits of having ADD, and why he thinks it’s important to talk to the passengers…
Panera Bread/Au Bon Pain: Ron Shaich (2018)
Feb 10 • 43 min
In the early 1980s, Ron Shaich bought a small, struggling Boston bakery chain called Au Bon Pain, and built it out to 250 locations nationwide. Ron then saw an opportunity to build something even bigger: Panera Bread. It was the start of “fast casual” – a…
M.M.LaFleur: Sarah LaFleur
Feb 3 • 76 min
When she was working corporate jobs in New York City, Sarah LaFleur hated getting dressed in the morning; the choices in her closet felt overwhelming, many items didn’t fit right or wore out too quickly. So in 2011 she launched a line of clothing for…
Live From The HIBT Summit: Stewart Butterfield
Jan 30 • 16 min
Our sixth episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Stewart Butterfield, the co-founder of Flickr and Slack. Both companies emerged out of failure. In this live conversation with Guy, Stewart describes how he pivoted from two unsuccessful…
Wikipedia: Jimmy Wales (2018)
Jan 27 • 44 min
During the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, Jimmy Wales was running an internet search company. That’s when he began to experiment with the idea of an online encyclopedia. In 2001, Wales launched Wikipedia, a website where thousands of community members…
Happy Family Organics: Shazi Visram
Jan 20 • 75 min
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…
Spindrift: Bill Creelman
Jan 13 • 66 min
Bill Creelman graduated from college in 1996 with a business plan — to sell smoked fish from Nantucket. But over time, that idea morphed unpredictably into a brand that sold cocktail seasonings and supplies. After selling that company to liquor giant…
Live From The HIBT Summit: Marcia Kilgore
Jan 9 • 15 min
Our fifth episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features serial entrepreneur Marcia Kilgore, founder of Bliss, FitFlop, BeautyPie and more. The animating question behind all of Marcia’s business ideas is ‘So What?’— if she can’t answer it, she…
Dell Computers: Michael Dell (2018)
Jan 6 • 49 min
Before it became fashionable to start a tech company in your dorm room, Michael Dell did exactly that. In 1983, he began selling upgrade kits for PC’s out of his dorm at UT Austin. A few months later he dropped out of school to focus full time on the PC…
Chicken Salad Chick: Stacy Brown (2018)
Dec 30, 2019 • 60 min
For many of us, chicken salad is just another sandwich filling, but Stacy Brown turned it into a $75 million business. In 2007, she was a divorced mother of three looking for a way to make ends meet. So she started making chicken salad in her kitchen and…
Live From The HIBT Summit: Tariq Farid Of Edible Arrangements
Dec 26, 2019 • 16 min
Our fourth episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Tariq Farid, founder of Edible Arrangements. In a live conversation with Guy, Tariq talks about flowers, fruit, and family—and how he wouldn’t be where he is without the sacrifices and…
Steve Madden: Steve Madden (2018)
Dec 23, 2019 • 55 min
Steve Madden fell in love with the shoe business in the 1970’s, when he sold platform shoes at a neighborhood store in Long Island, New York; that was in high school. About 15 years later, he struck out on his own, designing and selling shoes with a…
Live From The HIBT Summit: Kevin Systrom & Mike Krieger Of Instagram
Dec 19, 2019 • 22 min
Our third live episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, co-founders of Instagram. They talk to Guy about what they’ve been doing since they stepped down from the company, and whether they think social media…
Tate’s Bake Shop: Kathleen King
Dec 16, 2019 • 62 min
Kathleen King was 11 years old when she started baking cookies to sell at her family’s farm stand on Long Island. After college, she opened a small bake shop, and eventually started selling her cookies to gourmet grocery stores in Manhattan. But after…
Live From The HIBT Summit: Troy Carter
Dec 12, 2019 • 17 min
Our second episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features founder and investor Troy Carter, who re-started his career in the music business after becoming Lady Gaga’s manager. In a live conversation with Guy, he offers advice on staying hungry,…
Minted: Mariam Naficy
Dec 9, 2019 • 52 min
In 2000, Mariam Naficy sold her first company, an online cosmetics store called Eve.com, for $110 million. Several years later, she got the entrepreneurial itch once again: she founded Minted.com, an online stationery store that solicits designs from…
Live From The HIBT Summit: Sara Blakely Of Spanx
Dec 5, 2019 • 20 min
Our first episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx. In front of a live audience, she tells Guy how she stayed confident in the earliest days of building the business, and why one day she still wound up sobbing…
Live Episode! OtterBox: Curt Richardson
Dec 2, 2019 • 64 min
In the 1980s and 90s, Curt Richardson started making simple plastic boxes in his garage in Fort Collins, Colorado. They were originally designed to keep small items dry while you’re fishing or skiing, and Curt and his wife Nancy called them “Otter Boxes.”…
Outdoor Voices: Tyler Haney
Nov 25, 2019 • 67 min
In 2013, Tyler Haney was a 24-year-old graduate of the Parsons School of Design in New York. One day on a jog, she realized that her workout outfits looked, and felt, like they were made for competitive athletes. Tyler envisioned a brand of athletic wear…
Remembering Jake Burton Carpenter
Nov 21, 2019 • 37 min
The founder of Burton Snowboards, Jake Burton Carpenter, has died. He was 65 years old. We are grateful that Jake shared his story with us in 2017 and we are republishing it as a tribute to his life and career in which he elevated snowboarding into an…
Crate & Barrel: Gordon Segal
Nov 18, 2019 • 31 min
In 1962, Gordon Segal—with his wife Carole—opened a scrappy Chicago shop called Crate & Barrel. That store turned into a housewares empire that has shaped the way Americans furnish their homes. PLUS in our post-script “How You Built That,” we check back…
Evite: Selina Tobaccowala
Nov 11, 2019 • 65 min
At the height of the first dot-com boom, Selina Tobaccowala and college friend Al Lieb were determined to start a tech company. After a few false starts, they landed on the idea for Evite—an on-line invitation business that within its first year,…
Live Episode! Luke’s Lobster: Luke Holden and Ben Conniff
Nov 7, 2019 • 52 min
Luke Holden grew up in Maine, working on lobster boats and in his father’s lobster processing plant. But his parents pushed him to find a more stable career, so after college, he moved to New York and got a job in finance. One of the things he missed most…
FUBU: Daymond John
Nov 4, 2019 • 54 min
Daymond John grew up during the 1980s in the heart of hip hop culture: Hollis, Queens. In his early 20s, he was working at Red Lobster and trying to figure out how to start a business. Eventually, he stumbled on the idea of making clothes for fans of rap…
LÄRABAR: Lara Merriken
Oct 28, 2019 • 56 min
In 2000, Lara Merriken was 32, recently divorced, and without a job when she decided to make energy bars by mixing cherries, dates, and almonds in her Cuisinart. Eventually, she perfected the recipe and launched her company: LÄRABAR. After just two years,…
Gimlet Media: Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber
Oct 21, 2019 • 81 min
Alex Blumberg made his early career by helping build two of the most successful shows in radio and podcasting: Planet Money and This American Life. In 2014, convinced that podcasts could make money, he walked away from the safe umbrella of public media to…
Live Episode! Milk Bar: Christina Tosi
Oct 14, 2019 • 67 min
For Christina Tosi, baking wasn’t just a delicious childhood hobby – it was a daily creative outlet and a way to blow off steam. After college, she went to culinary school and honed her pastry technique at high-end restaurants in NYC. But she also craved…
The Knot: Carley Roney & David Liu
Oct 7, 2019 • 57 min
When Carley Roney and David Liu got married, they had a seat-of-the-pants celebration on a sweltering Washington rooftop. They never planned to go into the wedding business, but soon saw an opportunity in the market for a fresh approach to wedding…
Live Episode! Walker & Company: Tristan Walker
Sep 30, 2019 • 63 min
The very first time Tristan Walker shaved, he woke up the next morning with razor bumps all over his face. “I was like, what is this?” he remembers saying. “I am never shaving again—ever.” He soon discovered that like him, many men of color were…
Headspace: Andy Puddicombe and Rich Pierson
Sep 23, 2019 • 74 min
Andy Puddicombe is not your typical entrepreneur – in his early twenties, he gave away everything he owned to train as a Buddhist monk. But after ten years, he decided he wanted to bring the benefits of his meditation techniques to more people. While…
Stitch Fix: Katrina Lake
Sep 16, 2019 • 54 min
In 2010, Katrina Lake recruited 20 friends for an experiment: she wanted to see if she could choose clothes for them that accurately matched their style and personality. That idea sparked Stitch Fix, an online personal shopping service that aims to take…
Dippin’ Dots: Curt Jones
Sep 9, 2019 • 68 min
In the late 1980s, Curt Jones was working in a Kentucky lab, using liquid nitrogen to flash-freeze animal feed. He wondered if he could re-invigorate his favorite dessert by pouring droplets of ice cream into a vat of liquid nitrogen and – voila! – out…
The Life Is Good Company: Bert and John Jacobs
Sep 2, 2019 • 63 min
In the late 80s, brothers Bert and John Jacobs were living as nomads, traveling from college to college selling t-shirts out of their van. It wasn’t a sustainable living – until one day, they created a new design. It was a simple sketch of a grinning…
Aden + Anais: Raegan Moya-Jones
Aug 26, 2019 • 51 min
Cotton muslin baby blankets are commonplace in Australia, where Raegan Moya-Jones grew up. But when she started a new life and family in NYC, she couldn’t find them anywhere. So in 2006, she started the baby blanket company Aden + Anais, which now makes…
Stonyfield Yogurt: Gary Hirshberg
Aug 19, 2019 • 61 min
In 1983, two hippie farmers decided to sell homemade organic yogurt to help raise money for their educational farm in New Hampshire. As the enterprise grew into a business, it faced one near-death experience after another, but it never quite died. In fact…
Serial Entrepreneur: Marcia Kilgore
Aug 12, 2019 • 57 min
After high school, Marcia Kilgore moved to New York City with $300 in her pocket and no real plan. One step at a time, she became a successful serial entrepreneur. First, she used her high school bodybuilding experience to find work as a personal trainer.…
Shopify: Tobias Lütke
Aug 5, 2019 • 67 min
In 2004, German programmer Tobias Lütke was living in Ottawa with his girlfriend. An avid snowboarder, he wanted to launch an online snowboard shop, but found the e-commerce software available at the time to be clunky and expensive. So he decided to write…
Live Episode! Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP: Angie & Dan Bastian
Jul 29, 2019 • 65 min
Angie and Dan Bastian weren’t trying to disrupt an industry or build a massive company – they just wanted to put aside some money for their kids’ college fund. In 2001, Dan stumbled across an internet ad touting kettle corn as a lucrative side-business,…
Dyson: James Dyson
Jul 22, 2019 • 46 min
In 1979, James Dyson had an idea for a new vacuum cleaner — one that didn’t use bags. It took him five years to perfect the design, building more than 5,000 prototypes in his backyard shed. He then tried to convince the big vacuum brands to license his…
EO Products: Susan Griffin-Black & Brad Black
Jul 15, 2019 • 62 min
In the early 1990s, Susan Griffin-Black was working for Esprit in San Francisco. On a business trip to London, she walked into a Covent Garden apothecary shop, picked up a bottle of lavender oil and took a whiff. The aroma — “like being in a beautiful…
Teach For America: Wendy Kopp
Jul 8, 2019 • 46 min
In 1989, college senior Wendy Kopp was trying to figure out how to improve public education in the US. For her senior thesis, she proposed creating a national teaching corps that would recruit recent college grads to teach in needy schools. One year…
Dave’s Killer Bread: Dave Dahl
Jul 1, 2019 • 69 min
Dave Dahl’s entrepreneurial journey began in prison. In 1987, he was addicted to drugs and incarcerated for home burglary. For 15 years he bounced from one sentence to the next. But in the mid-2000s, Dave returned to his family bakery where he was…
Yelp: Jeremy Stoppelman
Jun 24, 2019 • 62 min
In 2004, two former Paypal engineers, Jeremy Stoppelman and Russ Simmons, were spit-balling new internet ideas. Out of their brainstorm came a site where you would email your friends asking for local business recommendations. The launch was a flop, but…
Chesapeake Bay Candle: Mei Xu
Jun 17, 2019 • 44 min
Twenty-five years ago, after Mei Xu emigrated from China to the U.S., she loved going to Bloomingdale’s to gaze at their housewares. She eventually started making candles in her basement with Campbell’s Soup cans, an experiment that led to the…
Allbirds: Tim Brown & Joey Zwillinger
Jun 10, 2019 • 71 min
Growing up, Tim Brown discovered he was very good at two things: design and soccer. While playing professional soccer in New Zealand, he was turned off by the flashy logos on most athletic gear. He started making simple canvas shoes for his teammates, but…
Live Episode! Tofurky: Seth Tibbott
Jun 3, 2019 • 48 min
Seth Tibbott may be the only founder in the world who grew his business while living in a barn, a teepee, and a treehouse. His off-the-grid lifestyle helped him save money as he started to sell tempeh, a protein made of fermented soybeans. Throughout the…
Stacy’s Pita Chips: Stacy Madison
May 27, 2019 • 66 min
In the 1990’s, Stacy Madison and her boyfriend Mark Andrus were selling pita sandwiches from a converted hot dog cart in Boston. They decided to bake the leftover pita into chips, adding a dash of parmesan or cinnamon-sugar. At first they handed them out…
Zappos: Tony Hsieh
May 20, 2019 • 34 min
Computer scientist Tony Hsieh made millions off the dot-com boom. But he didn’t make his mark until he built Zappos — a customer service company that “happens to sell shoes.” Now Zappos is worth over a billion dollars and known for its completely…
Belkin International: Chet Pipkin
May 13, 2019 • 54 min
Chet Pipkin was the kind of kid who loved to take things apart and put them back together. As a young man in the early 1980s, he started hanging out in mom-and-pop computer shops, where he realized he could meet a growing need by selling the cables that…
Framebridge: Susan Tynan
May 6, 2019 • 60 min
Susan Tynan’s experience in the ephemeral e-market of LivingSocial made her want to start a business that she could touch and feel. After being charged $1600 to frame four posters at her local framing store, she decided to create a mail-order framing…
Live Episode! Peloton: John Foley
Apr 29, 2019 • 56 min
John Foley started climbing the rungs of the corporate ladder at a young age, first as a fast food server and eventually as an e-commerce executive. Still, at 40, he couldn’t climb out of bed fast enough to make it to his favorite spin class. John…
Bumble: Whitney Wolfe
Apr 22, 2019 • 44 min
At age 22, Whitney Wolfe helped launch Tinder, one of the world’s most popular dating apps. But a few years later, she left Tinder and filed a lawsuit against the company alleging sexual harassment. The ensuing attention from the media – and cyberbullying…
Men’s Wearhouse: George Zimmer
Apr 15, 2019 • 65 min
In 1970, George Zimmer was a college graduate with no real job prospects and little direction. That’s when his father, an executive at a boy’s clothing company, asked him to go on an important business trip to Asia. It was that trip that propelled him…
Chez Panisse: Alice Waters
Apr 8, 2019 • 62 min
In the 1960s, Alice Waters studied abroad in France – and discovered a culinary world far from the processed food popular in America. When she returned to California, she tried to find restaurants to recreate her experiences abroad, but she couldn’t. In…
Springfree Trampoline: Keith Alexander & Steve Holmes
Apr 1, 2019 • 63 min
In the late 1980s, a New Zealand engineer named Keith Alexander wanted to buy a trampoline for his kids. After his wife said trampolines were too dangerous, Keith set out to design his own — a safer trampoline, without metal springs. He tinkered with and…
Compaq Computers: Rod Canion
Mar 25, 2019 • 41 min
In 1981, engineer Rod Canion left Texas Instruments and co-founded Compaq, which created the first IBM-compatible personal computer. This opened the door to an entire industry of PCs that could run the same software. PLUS for our postscript “How You Built…
Away: Jen Rubio
Mar 18, 2019 • 68 min
In early 2015, Jen Rubio was racing through an airport to catch a flight when her suitcase broke, leaving a trail of clothing behind her. She tried to replace it with a stylish, durable, affordable suitcase — but she couldn’t find one. So she decided to…
Logic: Logic & Chris Zarou
Mar 11, 2019 • 74 min
In 2010, Logic the rapper, born as Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, released his first official mixtape titled “Young, Broke & Infamous.” At 20 years old, Logic certainly was young and broke, and while crashing on a friend’s couch, he poured himself into his…
Squarespace: Anthony Casalena
Mar 4, 2019 • 55 min
Like many classic technology stories, Squarespace started in a college dorm room. In 2003, 21-year-old Anthony Casalena created a website-building tool for himself. But after hearing some positive feedback from friends, he decided to put the tool online…
Eileen Fisher: Eileen Fisher
Feb 25, 2019 • 46 min
In 1983, Eileen Fisher signed up for a fashion trade show with no experience, no garments, no patterns or sketches – nothing but a few ideas for a women’s clothing line focused on simplicity. Within three weeks, she came up with 12 pieces, a logo, and a…
Burt’s Bees: Roxanne Quimby
Feb 18, 2019 • 60 min
In the 1970s, Roxanne Quimby was trying to live a simpler life – one that rejected the pursuit of material comforts. She moved to Maine, built a cabin in the woods, and lived off the grid. By the mid-80s, she met a recluse beekeeper named Burt Shavitz and…
TOMS: Blake Mycoskie
Feb 11, 2019 • 56 min
Blake Mycoskie started and sold four businesses before age 30. But only in Argentina did he discover the idea he’d want to pursue long term. After seeing a shoe drive for children, he came up with TOMS — part shoe business, part philanthropy. PLUS for our…
JetBlue Airways: David Neeleman
Feb 4, 2019 • 70 min
In the mid-90s, David Neeleman wanted to launch a new airline. He had already co-created a regional airline out of Salt Lake City that was acquired by Southwest. And despite his admiration of Southwest’s business model, Neeleman felt there was a market…
Canva: Melanie Perkins
Jan 28, 2019 • 49 min
When she was just 19 years old, Melanie Perkins dreamt of transforming the graphic design and publishing industries. But she started small, launching a site to make yearbook design simpler and more collaborative. Her success with that first venture — and…
Bonobos: Andy Dunn
Jan 21, 2019 • 71 min
When Andy Dunn was in business school, his housemate Brian Spaly created a new type of men’s pants: stylish, tailored trousers that fit well in both the hips and thighs. Together, they started the men’s clothing company Bonobos, which became an instant…
Five Guys: Jerry Murrell
Jan 14, 2019 • 39 min
Jerry Murrell’s mother used to tell him, you can always make money if you know how to make a good burger. In 1986 — after failing at a number of business ideas — Murrell opened a tiny burger joint in Northern Virginia with his four sons. Five Guys now has…
SoulCycle: Julie Rice & Elizabeth Cutler
Jan 7, 2019 • 57 min
Before Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice met, they shared a common belief: New York City gyms didn’t have the kind of exercise classes they craved, and each of them wanted to change that. A fitness instructor introduced them over lunch in 2005, and before…
Remembering Herb Kelleher
Jan 4, 2019 • 31 min
The co-founder and former CEO of Southwest Airlines, Herb Kelleher, has died. He was 87. We are grateful Herb shared his story with us in 2016. We are republishing it as a tribute to his life and career, in which he transformed the US airline industry.…
Kickstarter: Perry Chen
Dec 31, 2018 • 42 min
In the early 2000s, Perry Chen was trying to put on a concert in New Orleans when he thought, what if fans could fund this in advance? His idea didn’t work at the time, but he and his co-founders spent the next eight years refining the concept of…
The Chipmunks: Ross Bagdasarian Jr. & Janice Karman
Dec 24, 2018 • 60 min
Years after his father created a hit singing group of anthropomorphic rodents called The Chipmunks, Ross Bagdasarian Jr. made it his mission to revive his dad’s beloved characters. Over the last 40 years, Ross Jr. and his wife Janice have built The…
Lisa Price Of Carol’s Daughter At The HIBT Summit
Dec 20, 2018 • 19 min
It’s our final episode in our series from this year’s How I Built This Summit! Today, we’re featuring Lisa Price of the beauty brand Carol’s Daughter. When Lisa sat down with Guy Raz in October, she described how her business expanded well beyond her…
Live Episode! Dollar Shave Club: Michael Dubin
Dec 17, 2018 • 51 min
At the end of 2010, Michael Dubin was working in marketing when he met a guy named Mark Levine at a holiday party. Mark was looking for ideas to get rid of a massive pile of razors he had sitting in a California warehouse. Michael’s spontaneous idea for…
Stitch Fix’s Katrina Lake At The HIBT Summit
Dec 13, 2018 • 15 min
Today we have another live episode from the How I Built This Summit, featuring Katrina Lake of Stitch Fix. Katrina sat down with Guy Raz in front of a live audience in San Francisco in October to discuss building culture at a billion-dollar company, and…
Burton Snowboards: Jake Carpenter
Dec 10, 2018 • 48 min
In 1977, 23-year-old Jake Carpenter set out to design a better version of the Snurfer, a stand-up sled he loved to ride as a teenager. Working by himself in a barn in Londonderry, Vermont, he sanded and whittled stacks of wood, trying to create the…
Airbnb’s Joe Gebbia At The HIBT Summit
Dec 6, 2018 • 17 min
Next in our series of episodes from the How I Built This Summit: Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb. Joe sat down with Guy Raz in front of a live audience in San Francisco, and talked about why he and his co-founders pursued their idea despite overwhelming…
ActOne Group: Janice Bryant Howroyd
Dec 3, 2018 • 52 min
In the late 1970s Janice Bryant Howroyd moved to Los Angeles and began temping as a secretary. She soon realized there were many other young people in situations similar to hers. So with $1,500 in her pocket, Janice rented an office in Beverly Hills and…
Lyft’s John Zimmer At The HIBT Summit
Nov 29, 2018 • 18 min
Next up in our series of episodes from the How I Built This Summit: John Zimmer, co-founder of Lyft. John sat down with Guy Raz in front of a live audience in San Francisco last month to talk about Lyft’s visions for the future of transportation – and…
Live Episode! Glossier: Emily Weiss
Nov 26, 2018 • 52 min
In 2010, while working as a fashion assistant at Vogue, Emily Weiss started a beauty blog called Into The Gloss. She quickly attracted a following of devoted readers hooked on the blog’s intimate snapshots of style makers’ beauty routines. Within a few…
Method’s Adam Lowry And Eric Ryan At The HIBT Summit
Nov 22, 2018 • 16 min
This episode from the How I Built This Summit features Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan, co-founders of Method cleaning products. Adam and Eric joined Guy Raz live on stage at the Summit in San Francisco, to talk the highs and lows of their business partnership.…
Whole Foods Market: John Mackey
Nov 19, 2018 • 46 min
In 1978, college drop-out John Mackey scraped together $45,000 to open his first health food store, “Safer Way.” A few years later he co-founded Whole Foods Market — and launched an organic food revolution that helped change the way Americans shop. PLUS…
Rent The Runway’s Jenn Hyman At The HIBT Summit
Nov 15, 2018 • 15 min
Our first episode from the How I Built This Summit features Jenn Hyman, co-founder of Rent The Runway, a designer clothing rental service that pulls in $100 million a year. When Jenn sat down with Guy Raz for a live interview at the Summit in San…
DoorDash: Tony Xu
Nov 12, 2018 • 52 min
In 2013, Tony Xu was brainstorming ideas for a business school project when he identified a problem he wanted to solve: food delivery. For most restaurants, it was too costly and inefficient, leaving most of the market to pizza and Chinese. Tony and his…
Barre3: Sadie Lincoln
Nov 5, 2018 • 49 min
Sadie Lincoln and her husband, Chris, had what seemed like the perfect life – well-paying jobs, a house in the Bay Area, two kids. But one day they decided to sell everything and start a new business called Barre3: a studio exercise program that blends…
Betterment: Jon Stein
Oct 29, 2018 • 56 min
When Jon Stein realized he couldn’t stand the sight of blood, he gave up the idea of becoming a doctor. Instead, he went into finance, but soon grew restless with “helping banks make more money.” So he decided to build a business where he could help…
Tempur-Pedic: Bobby Trussell
Oct 22, 2018 • 63 min
At age 40, Bobby Trussell’s promising career in horse racing hit a dead end. With bills to pay and a family to support, he stumbled across a curious product that turned into a lifeline: squishy-squashy memory foam. He jumped at the chance to distribute…
Rent The Runway: Jenn Hyman
Oct 15, 2018 • 57 min
Jenn Hyman got the idea for Rent the Runway in 2008, after she watched her sister overspend on a new dress rather than wear an old one to a party. Jenn and her business partner built a web site where women could rent designer dresses for a fraction of the…
method: Adam Lowry & Eric Ryan
Oct 8, 2018 • 57 min
In the late 1990s, Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan took on the notion that “green doesn’t clean” by setting out to make soap that could clean a bathtub without harming the environment. Adam started experimenting with baking soda, vinegar, and scented oils, while…
Cisco Systems & Urban Decay: Sandy Lerner
Oct 1, 2018 • 61 min
In the pre-Internet 1970’s, Sandy Lerner was part of a loosely-knit group of programmers that was trying to get computers to talk to each other. Eventually, she and Len Bosack launched Cisco Systems, making the routing technology that helped forge the…
Power Rangers: Haim Saban
Sep 24, 2018 • 44 min
As a refugee growing up in Tel Aviv, Haim Saban remembers not having enough money to eat. As an adult, he hustled his way into the entertainment business, writing theme songs for classic cartoons like Inspector Gadget and Heathcliff. But producing the…
Bobbi Brown Cosmetics: Bobbi Brown
Sep 17, 2018 • 53 min
Bobbi Brown started out as a makeup artist in New York City, but hated the gaudy color palette of the 1980s. She eventually shook up the industry by introducing “nude makeup” with neutral colors and a natural tone. In 1995, Estée Lauder acquired Bobbi…
Live Episode! New Belgium Brewing Company: Kim Jordan
Sep 10, 2018 • 46 min
In 1991 newlyweds Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch took out a second mortgage on their home in Fort Collins, Colorado to start a craft brewery in their basement. Jeff had been inspired by the fruit and spice-infused beers he had tasted on a bike trip to…
WeWork: Miguel McKelvey
Sep 3, 2018 • 53 min
In 2007, architect Miguel McKelvey convinced his friend Adam Neumann to share an office space in Brooklyn. That was the beginning of WeWork: a shared workspace for startups and freelancers looking for an inspiring environment to do their work. Today,…
TRX: Randy Hetrick
Aug 27, 2018 • 44 min
In 1997, Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick was deployed in Southeast Asia, where he was stationed in a remote warehouse for weeks with no way to exercise. So he grabbed an old jujitsu belt, threw it over a door, and started doing pull-ups. Today, TRX exercise…
Angie’s List: Angie Hicks
Aug 20, 2018 • 33 min
In 1995, Angie Hicks spent months going door-to-door in Columbus, Ohio, trying to get people to sign up for a new home services referral business. Today, Angie’s List is a household name, referring millions of members to plumbers, painters, and more. PLUS…
Live Episode! RXBAR: Peter Rahal
Aug 13, 2018 • 48 min
In 2013, Peter Rahal was obsessed with CrossFit, but noticed it didn’t sell any snacks to align with its pro-paleo philosophy. So instead of joining his family’s business, Rahal Foods, he recruited his friend Jared Smith to start making their own protein…
Carol’s Daughter: Lisa Price
Aug 6, 2018 • 43 min
Lisa Price worked in television but had a passion for beauty products. At her mother’s suggestion, she began selling her homemade moisturizer at a church flea market. Twenty years later, Carol’s Daughter is one of the leading beauty brands catering to…
Slack & Flickr: Stewart Butterfield
Jul 30, 2018 • 64 min
In the early 2000s, Stewart Butterfield tried to build a weird, massively multiplayer online game, but the venture failed. Instead, he and his co-founders used the technology they developed to create the photo-sharing site Flickr. After Flickr was…
Drybar: Alli Webb
Jul 23, 2018 • 34 min
A decade ago, full-time mom Alli Webb noticed a gap in the beauty market: there was no place that just focused on blow-drying hair. Now with more than 100 locations, Drybar is testament to Webb’s motto: Focus on one thing and be the best at it. PLUS in…
Steve Madden: Steve Madden
Jul 16, 2018 • 52 min
Steve Madden fell in love with the shoe business in the 1970’s, when he sold platform shoes at a neighborhood store in Long Island, New York. That was in high school. About 15 years later, he struck out on his own, designing and selling shoes with a…
Lonely Planet: Maureen & Tony Wheeler
Jul 9, 2018 • 38 min
In 1972, Maureen and Tony Wheeler bought a beat-up car and drove from London “as far east as we could go.” They wound up in Australia, by way of Afghanistan, India and Thailand. Their notes on how to travel on a shoestring became a book, which grew into…
Chicken Salad Chick: Stacy Brown
Jul 2, 2018 • 57 min
For many of us, chicken salad is just another sandwich filling, but Stacy Brown turned it into a $75 million business. In 2007, she was a divorced mother of three looking for a way to make ends meet. So she started making chicken salad in her kitchen and…
Lyft: John Zimmer
Jun 25, 2018 • 42 min
In 2006, John Zimmer was a college student and ride-hailing wasn’t yet “a thing.” But a class on green cities got him thinking about the glut of underused cars on the road. Eventually, he co-founded Lyft, a company that has helped make ride-hailing a…
Lululemon Athletica: Chip Wilson
Jun 18, 2018 • 53 min
After noticing more and more people sign up for yoga in the late 1990s, Chip Wilson bet everything on an athletic apparel company aimed toward young professional women. What started as a small pop-up store in Vancouver eventually became the…
Honest Tea: Seth Goldman
Jun 11, 2018 • 31 min
In 1997, after going for a long run, Seth Goldman was frustrated with the sugar-filled drinks at the corner market. So he brewed up a beverage in his kitchen, and turned it into Honest Tea. PLUS, for our postscript “How You Built That,” we check back in…
Remembering Kate Spade
Jun 5, 2018 • 36 min
We are incredibly saddened by the loss of the brilliant designer and entrepreneur Kate Spade. We are grateful she and her husband Andy Spade shared their story with us in 2017. The origins of the Kate Spade brand can be drawn back to a 1991 conversation…
Minted: Mariam Naficy
Jun 4, 2018 • 51 min
In 2000, Mariam Naficy sold her first company, an online cosmetics store called Eve.com, for $110 million. Several years later, she got the entrepreneurial itch once again: she founded Minted, an online stationery store that solicits designs from artists…
Lady Gaga & Atom Factory: Troy Carter
May 28, 2018 • 49 min
As a kid, Troy Carter dreamed of being a rapper, but soon discovered he was a better manager than a musician. He took Lady Gaga from obscurity to stardom – helping shape both her music and her brand. Then he turned his gift for spotting talent to spotting…
Bob’s Red Mill: Bob Moore
May 21, 2018 • 46 min
In the 1960s, Bob Moore read a book about an old grain mill and was inspired to start his own. Using giant quartz stones from the 19th century, he made dozens of different cereals and flours, positioning his company at the forefront of the health food…
Real Estate Mogul: Barbara Corcoran
May 14, 2018 • 52 min
Barbara Corcoran grew up in a working-class Irish Catholic family in Jersey – with nine brothers and sisters. But she used her charisma to conquer the streets of Manhattan and build the real estate company, The Corcoran Group. She then reinvented herself…
Stripe: Patrick and John Collison
May 7, 2018 • 43 min
Brothers Patrick and John Collison founded and sold their first company before they turned 20. They created software to help eBay users manage inventory online, which set them on a path to help make e-commerce frictionless. Today, John and Patrick are the…
Panera Bread/Au Bon Pain: Ron Shaich
Apr 30, 2018 • 43 min
In the early 1980s, Ron Shaich bought a small, struggling Boston bakery chain called Au Bon Pain, and built it out to 250 locations nationwide. Ron then saw an opportunity to build something even bigger: Panera Bread. It was the start of “fast casual” – a…
Dermalogica: Jane Wurwand
Apr 23, 2018 • 41 min
Jane Wurwand moved to Los Angeles with a suitcase and a beauty school diploma. She started what would become Dermalogica, an international beauty empire that set the standard for skin care. PLUS in our postscript “How You Built That,” we check back with…
Wayfair: Niraj Shah & Steve Conine
Apr 16, 2018 • 48 min
After selling their first small business and shuttering their second, former college roommates Niraj Shah and Steve Conine thought about getting “normal” jobs. But in the early 2000s, they stumbled across an unexpected trend: people were buying furniture…
FUBU: Daymond John
Apr 9, 2018 • 54 min
Daymond John grew up during the 1980s in the heart of hip hop culture: Hollis, Queens. In his early 20s, he was working at Red Lobster and trying to figure out how to start a business. Eventually, he stumbled on the idea of making clothes for fans of rap…
Stitch Fix: Katrina Lake
Apr 2, 2018 • 53 min
In 2010, Katrina Lake recruited 20 friends for an experiment: she wanted to see if she could choose clothes for them that accurately matched their style and personality. That idea sparked Stitch Fix, an online personal shopping service that aims to take…
Atari & Chuck E. Cheese’s: Nolan Bushnell
Mar 26, 2018 • 51 min
Before he turned 40, Nolan Bushnell founded two brands that permanently shaped the way Americans amuse themselves: the iconic video game system Atari, and the frenetic family restaurant Chuck E. Cheese’s. PLUS in our postscript “How You Built That,” an…
LÄRABAR: Lara Merriken
Mar 19, 2018 • 55 min
In 2000, Lara Merriken was 32, recently divorced, and without a job when she decided to make energy bars by mixing cherries, dates, and almonds in her Cuisinart. Eventually, she perfected the recipe and launched her company: LÄRABAR. After just two years,…
The Knot: Carley Roney & David Liu
Mar 12, 2018 • 56 min
When Carley Roney and David Liu got married, they had a seat-of-the-pants celebration on a sweltering Washington rooftop. They never planned to go into the wedding business, but soon saw an opportunity in the market for a fresh approach to wedding…
1-800-GOT-JUNK?: Brian Scudamore
Mar 5, 2018 • 41 min
Brian Scudamore didn’t dream of a life hauling away other people’s trash. But when he needed to pay for college, he bought a $700 pickup truck, painted his phone number on the side, and started hauling. Now 1-800-GOT-JUNK? makes close to $300 million in…
Live Episode! Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams: Jeni Britton Bauer
Feb 28, 2018 • 48 min
Even as a kid, Jeni Britton Bauer knew she was going to start a business one day. But she had no idea that her love for perfume would inspire her to start experimenting with ice cream. After years of hustling, she eventually launched Jeni’s Splendid Ice…
Wikipedia: Jimmy Wales
Feb 26, 2018 • 43 min
During the dot com boom of the late 1990s, Jimmy Wales was running an internet search company. That’s when he began to experiment with the idea of an online encyclopedia. In 2001, Wales launched Wikipedia, a website where thousands of community members…
Warby Parker: Dave Gilboa & Neil Blumenthal
Feb 19, 2018 • 32 min
In 2008, it was nearly impossible to buy a fashionable, affordable pair of glasses online. That simple frustration inspired the idea behind Warby Parker – and disrupted the eyewear industry. PLUS for our postscript “How You Built That,” an update on…
Dyson: James Dyson
Feb 12, 2018 • 44 min
In 1979, James Dyson had an idea for a new vacuum cleaner — one that didn’t use bags. It took him five years to perfect the design, building more than 5,000 prototypes in his backyard shed. He then tried to convince the big vacuum brands to license his…
Melissa & Doug: Melissa And Doug Bernstein
Feb 5, 2018 • 39 min
Melissa and Doug Bernstein’s first success was a wooden ‘fuzzy puzzle’ of farm animals. Today, Melissa & Doug makes over 2,000 kinds of toys and serves as an antidote to the rise of digital toys. PLUS for our postscript “How You Built That,” an update on…
Dell Computers: Michael Dell
Jan 29, 2018 • 50 min
Before it became fashionable to start a tech company in your dorm room, Michael Dell did exactly that. In 1983, he began selling upgrade kits for PC’s out of his dorm at UT Austin. A few months later he gave up his plan of being Pre-Med, and dropped out…
Serial Entrepreneur: Marcia Kilgore
Jan 22, 2018 • 54 min
After high school, Marcia Kilgore moved to New York City with $300 in her pocket and no real plan. One step at a time, she became a successful serial entrepreneur. First, she used her high school bodybuilding experience to find work as a personal trainer.…
LinkedIn: Reid Hoffman
Jan 15, 2018 • 43 min
In the early 1990s, Reid Hoffman had a vision for the future of the Internet: people would connect through social networks using their real names, and their online lives would be completely merged with their real ones. After several early attempts, he…
Kate Spade: Kate & Andy Spade
Jan 8, 2018 • 41 min
We’re hard at work planning our next live show, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Kate Spade. A 1991 conversation at a Mexican restaurant led Kate & Andy Spade to ask, “What’s missing in designer handbags?” Kate’s answer was a simple…
Clif Bar: Gary Erickson
Jan 1, 2018 • 33 min
We’re taking a break for the holidays, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Clif Bar. Gary Erickson asked his mom, “Can you make a cookie without butter, sugar or oil?” The result was an energy bar named after his dad — now one of the most…
Live Episode! The Home Depot: Arthur Blank
Dec 28, 2017 • 33 min
In 1978, Arthur Blank and his business partner Bernie Marcus were running a successful chain of hardware stores called Handy Dan – but then, they were unexpectedly fired. The next year, they conceived and launched a new kind of home improvement store that…
Patagonia: Yvon Chouinard
Dec 25, 2017 • 28 min
We’re taking a break for the holidays, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Patagonia. In 1973, Yvon Chouinard started the company to make climbing gear he couldn’t find elsewhere. Over decades of growth, he has implemented a unique…
LearnVest: Alexa von Tobel
Dec 18, 2017 • 41 min
When Alexa von Tobel was just 14, her father passed away unexpectedly, leaving her mother to manage the family’s finances. The tragedy made Alexa determined to understand money – and help others plan for periods of uncertainty. In her mid-twenties, she…
Live Episode! Black Entertainment Television: Robert Johnson
Dec 14, 2017 • 42 min
In 1979, Robert Johnson was a lobbyist for the burgeoning cable industry. That’s when he got an idea for a channel called Black Entertainment Television. He started small, just a few hours of programming a week. But by the 1990s BET had become a cultural…
Tom’s Of Maine: Tom Chappell
Dec 11, 2017 • 38 min
In 1970, Tom Chappell took out a $5000 loan to launch a natural products company called Tom’s of Maine. Working out of a warehouse in Kennebunk, Maine, he created soaps, shampoos, and toothpaste free from added chemicals, and sustainable for the…
Zumba: Beto Perez & Alberto Perlman
Dec 4, 2017 • 42 min
We’re hard at work planning our upcoming live show, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Zumba. Zumba began as a mistake: aerobics teacher Beto Perez brought the wrong music to class, then improvised a dance routine to go with it. For his…
Framebridge: Susan Tynan
Nov 27, 2017 • 59 min
Susan Tynan’s experience in the ephemeral e-market of LivingSocial made her want to start a business that she could touch and feel. She got her idea after experiencing sticker shock at her local framing store: she was charged $1600 to frame four cheap…
Ben & Jerry’s: Ben Cohen And Jerry Greenfield
Nov 20, 2017 • 58 min
In the mid-1970s two childhood friends, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield decided to open an ice cream shop in Burlington, Vermont. Their quirky little shop packaged and sold unusual flavors like Honey Coffee, Mocha Walnut, and Mint with Oreo Cookies. In…
Instagram: Kevin Systrom & Mike Krieger
Nov 13, 2017 • 33 min
We’re hard at work planning our upcoming live shows, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Instagram. Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger launched their photo-sharing app with a server that crashed every other hour. Despite a chaotic start, it…
Eileen Fisher: Eileen Fisher
Nov 6, 2017 • 48 min
In 1983, Eileen Fisher signed up for a fashion trade show with no experience, no garments, no patterns or sketches – nothing but a few ideas for a women’s clothing line focused on simplicity. Within three weeks, she came up with 12 pieces, a logo, and a…
Chipotle: Steve Ells
Oct 30, 2017 • 52 min
In 1992, Steve Ells was a classically trained chef working in a high-end restaurant in San Francisco. But after eating a burrito at a local taqueria, he got an idea: to sell burritos and earn enough money to open his own gourmet restaurant. The first…
Burton Snowboards: Jake Carpenter
Oct 23, 2017 • 46 min
In 1977, 23-year-old Jake Carpenter set out to design a better version of the Snurfer, a stand-up sled he loved to ride as a teenager. Working by himself in a barn in Londonderry, Vermont, he sanded and whittled stacks of wood, trying to create the…
Bumble: Whitney Wolfe
Oct 16, 2017 • 42 min
At age 22, Whitney Wolfe helped launch Tinder, one of the world’s most popular dating apps. But a few years later, she left Tinder and filed a lawsuit against the company alleging sexual harassment. The ensuing attention from the media – and cyberbullying…
Teach For America: Wendy Kopp
Oct 9, 2017 • 45 min
In 1989, college senior Wendy Kopp was trying to figure out how to improve American public schools. For her senior thesis, she proposed creating a national teaching corps that would recruit recent college grads to teach in underserved schools. One year…
Stonyfield Yogurt: Gary Hirshberg
Oct 2, 2017 • 61 min
In 1983, two hippie farmers decided to sell homemade organic yogurt to help raise money for their educational farm in New Hampshire. As the enterprise grew into a business, it faced one near-death experience after another, but it never quite died. In fact…
Live Episode! Starbucks: Howard Schultz
Sep 28, 2017 • 49 min
During his first visit to Seattle in 1981, Howard Schultz walked into a little coffee bean shop called Starbucks and fell in love with it. A few years later, he bought the six-store chain for almost 4 million dollars, and began to transform it into a…
Southwest Airlines: Herb Kelleher
Sep 25, 2017 • 37 min
We’re hard at work planning more live shows, so we bring you one of our favorites from last year: Southwest Airlines. In 1968, competitors sued to keep Herb Kelleher’s new airline grounded. After a 3-year court fight, the first plane took off from Dallas.…
The Chipmunks: Ross Bagdasarian Jr. & Janice Karman
Sep 18, 2017 • 58 min
Years after his father created a hit singing group of anthropomorphic rodents called The Chipmunks, Ross Bagdasarian Jr. made it his mission to revive his dad’s beloved characters. Over the last 40 years, Ross Jr. and his wife Janice have built The…
Barre3: Sadie Lincoln
Sep 11, 2017 • 48 min
Sadie Lincoln and her husband, Chris, had what seemed like the perfect life – well-paying jobs, a house in the Bay Area, two kids. But one day they decided to sell everything and start a new business called Barre3: a studio exercise program that blends…
VICE: Suroosh Alvi
Sep 4, 2017 • 40 min
We’re hard at work planning our upcoming live show, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: VICE. Suroosh Alvi was a recovering addict when he started a scrappy underground magazine in Montreal. It grew into a multi-billion dollar company that…
Live Episode! Reddit: Alexis Ohanian & Steve Huffman
Aug 31, 2017 • 53 min
With $12,000 and a mascot named Snoo, two former college roommates designed a web site they hoped would become “the front page of the Internet.” Today, despite growing pains, personal issues and persistent trolls, Reddit has over 300 million monthly users…
Airbnb: Joe Gebbia
Aug 28, 2017 • 44 min
We’re hard at work planning our upcoming live show, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Airbnb. A chance encounter with a stranger gave Joe Gebbia an idea to help pay his rent. That idea grew into a company that now has more rooms than the…
Edible Arrangements: Tariq Farid
Aug 21, 2017 • 49 min
When Tariq Farid was 12, he emigrated from Pakistan to the U.S. – and quickly found a job at a local flower shop. Eventually he opened his own shop, which eventually led to the crazy idea to make flower bouquets out of fruit. Edible Arrangements has now…
Radio One: Cathy Hughes
Aug 14, 2017 • 38 min
We’re hard at work planning our upcoming live show, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Radio One. As a kid, Cathy Hughes practiced her DJ routine while her siblings banged on the bathroom door. As an adult, she founded Radio One—now Urban…
Rent The Runway: Jenn Hyman
Aug 7, 2017 • 56 min
Jenn Hyman got the idea for Rent the Runway in 2008, after she watched her sister overspend on a new dress rather than wear an old one to a party. Jenn and her business partner built a web site where women could rent designer dresses for a fraction of the…
Kickstarter: Perry Chen
Jul 31, 2017 • 43 min
In the early 2000s, Perry Chen was trying to put on a concert in New Orleans when he thought, what if fans could fund this in advance? His idea didn’t work at the time, but he and his co-founders spent the next eight years refining the concept of…
Live Episode! BuzzFeed: Jonah Peretti
Jul 27, 2017 • 49 min
In 2001, when most of us had no idea what it meant to “go viral,” Jonah Peretti shared an email prank among his friends — and saw it spread to millions. That began his fascination with how information spreads, and set him on the path to launch two of the…
Samuel Adams: Jim Koch
Jul 24, 2017 • 38 min
We’re hard at work planning our upcoming live shows, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Samuel Adams. In 1984, Jim Koch felt suffocated by his cushy but boring corporate job. So he left, dusted off an old family beer recipe, started Sam…
Aden + Anais: Raegan Moya-Jones
Jul 17, 2017 • 43 min
Cotton muslin baby blankets are commonplace in Australia, where Raegan Moya-Jones grew up. But when she started a new life and family in NYC, she couldn’t find them anywhere. She was sure Americans would love muslin blankets as much as Australians. So in…
Rolling Stone: Jann Wenner
Jul 10, 2017 • 48 min
After being involved in Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement, Jann Wenner wanted to start a publication to capture the exploding counterculture scene of the 1960s. The result was Rolling Stone, a gritty music magazine that – for 50 years — has left an…
Spanx: Sara Blakely
Jul 3, 2017 • 31 min
We’re hard at work planning our upcoming live shows, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Spanx. At 27, Sara Blakely was selling fax machines and desperate to reinvent her life. So she came up with Spanx — hosiery that eliminates panty lines…
TRX: Randy Hetrick
Jun 26, 2017 • 44 min
In 1997, Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick was deployed in Southeast Asia, where he was stationed in a remote warehouse for weeks with no way to exercise. So he grabbed an old jujitsu belt, threw it over a door, and started doing pull-ups. Today, TRX exercise…
WeWork: Miguel McKelvey
Jun 19, 2017 • 48 min
In 2007, architect Miguel McKelvey convinced his friend Adam Neumann to share an office space in Brooklyn. That was the beginning of WeWork: a shared workspace for startups and freelancers looking for an inspiring environment to do their work. Today,…
Carol’s Daughter: Lisa Price
Jun 12, 2017 • 43 min
Lisa Price worked in television but had a passion for beauty products. At her mother’s suggestion, she began selling her homemade moisturizer at a church flea market. Twenty years later, Carol’s Daughter is one of the leading beauty brands catering to…
Five Guys: Jerry Murrell
Jun 5, 2017 • 36 min
Jerry Murrell’s mother used to tell him, you can always make money if you know how to make a good burger. In 1986 — after failing at a number of business ideas — Murrell opened a tiny burger joint in Northern Virginia with his four sons. Five Guys now has…
TOMS: Blake Mycoskie
May 29, 2017 • 54 min
Blake Mycoskie started and sold four businesses before age 30. But only in Argentina did he discover the idea he’d want to pursue long term. After seeing a shoe drive for children, he came up with TOMS — part shoe business, part philanthropy. PLUS in our…
Compaq Computers: Rod Canion
May 22, 2017 • 40 min
In 1981, engineer Rod Canion left Texas Instruments and co-founded Compaq, which created the first IBM-compatible personal computer. This opened the door to an entire industry of PCs that could run the same software. PLUS in our postscript “How You Built…
Whole Foods Market: John Mackey
May 15, 2017 • 47 min
In 1978, college drop-out John Mackey scraped together $45,000 to open his first health food store, “Safer Way.” A few years later he co-founded Whole Foods Market — and launched an organic food revolution that helped change the way Americans shop. PLUS…
Lonely Planet: Maureen & Tony Wheeler
May 8, 2017 • 41 min
In 1972, Maureen and Tony Wheeler bought a beat-up car and drove from London “as far east as we could go.” They wound up in Australia, by way of Afghanistan, India and Thailand. Their notes on how to travel on a shoestring became a book, which grew into…
Lady Gaga & Atom Factory: Troy Carter
May 1, 2017 • 45 min
As a kid, Troy Carter dreamed of being a rapper, but soon discovered he was a better manager than a musician. He took Lady Gaga from obscurity to stardom – helping shape both her music and her brand. Then he turned his gift for spotting talent to spotting…
Real Estate Mogul: Barbara Corcoran
Apr 24, 2017 • 52 min
Barbara Corcoran grew up in a working-class Irish Catholic family in Jersey – with nine brothers and sisters. But she used her charisma to conquer the streets of Manhattan and build the real estate company, The Corcoran Group. She then reinvented herself…
1-800-GOT-JUNK?: Brian Scudamore
Apr 17, 2017 • 41 min
Brian Scudamore didn’t dream of a life hauling away other people’s trash. But when he needed to pay for college, he bought a $700 pickup truck, painted his phone number on the side, and started hauling. Now 1-800-GOT-JUNK? makes over $200 million in…
Instacart: Apoorva Mehta
Apr 10, 2017 • 40 min
App developer Apoorva Mehta almost gave up on being an entrepreneur until he figured out what he really wanted to do: find a hassle-free way to buy groceries. Five years after launch, the grocery delivery app Instacart is valued at $3 billion.
AOL: Steve Case
Apr 3, 2017 • 34 min
When Steve Case started out in the tech business in the mid-80s, the idea of the internet — as we think of it today — didn’t exist. But with AOL, Case saw an opportunity to connect millions of people, through chat rooms, news updates, and the iconic…
Power Rangers: Haim Saban
Mar 27, 2017 • 43 min
As a refugee growing up in Tel Aviv, Haim Saban remembers not having enough money to eat. As an adult, he hustled his way into the entertainment business, writing theme songs for classic cartoons like Inspector Gadget and Heathcliff. But producing the…
Kendra Scott: Kendra Scott
Mar 20, 2017 • 44 min
Ever since she was a little girl playing dress-up in her aunt’s closet, Kendra Scott loved fashion. Her first business was a hat shop, which she started at 19 – it failed. A few years later, she started a jewelry business out of her spare bedroom. Today…
5-Hour Energy: Manoj Bhargava
Mar 13, 2017 • 35 min
After living as a monk in India and running a plastics company in Florida, Manoj Bhargava decided to launch something new: a one-shot energy drink in a bright, battery-shaped bottle. Today, 5-Hour ENERGY is one of the most recognizable energy drinks in…
Chesapeake Bay Candle: Mei Xu
Mar 6, 2017 • 42 min
Twenty-five years ago, when Mei Xu emigrated from China to the U.S., she loved going to Bloomingdale’s to gaze at their housewares. She eventually started making candles in her basement with Campbell’s Soup cans, an experiment that led to the…
Atari & Chuck E. Cheese’s: Nolan Bushnell
Feb 27, 2017 • 50 min
Before he turned 40, Nolan Bushnell founded two brands that permanently shaped the way Americans amuse themselves: the iconic video game system Atari, and the frenetic family restaurant Chuck E. Cheese’s.
Crate & Barrel: Gordon Segal
Feb 20, 2017 • 31 min
In 1962, Gordon Segal — with his wife Carole — opened a scrappy Chicago shop called Crate & Barrel. That store turned into a housewares empire that has shaped the way Americans furnish their homes.
Live Episode! Beyond Meat: Ethan Brown
Feb 16, 2017 • 26 min
As founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, Ethan Brown believes he can turn peas and lentils into protein that tastes — and feels – exactly like beef and chicken. He says they’re not quite there yet, but after 8 years in business, their products are sold in…
Lyft: John Zimmer
Feb 13, 2017 • 41 min
Ridesharing wasn’t a thing 12 years ago when John Zimmer was in college. But a class on green cities got him thinking about the glut of underused cars on the road, and eventually led him to co-found Lyft, a company that has helped make ridesharing a way…
Kate Spade: Kate & Andy Spade
Feb 6, 2017 • 41 min
A 1991 conversation at a Mexican restaurant led Kate & Andy Spade to ask, “What’s missing in designer handbags?” Kate’s answer was a simple modern-shaped handbag that launched the iconic fashion brand: Kate Spade.
Virgin: Richard Branson
Jan 30, 2017 • 34 min
Richard Branson took a record shop and built it into a label, a bank, an airline, space tourism, and 200 other businesses — all under the name Virgin. But the serial entrepreneur has also had his share of failures.
Zappos: Tony Hsieh
Jan 23, 2017 • 30 min
Computer scientist Tony Hsieh made millions off the dot-com boom. But he didn’t make his mark until he built Zappos — a customer service company that “happens to sell shoes.” Now Zappos is worth over a billion dollars and known for its completely…
Honest Tea: Seth Goldman
Jan 16, 2017 • 31 min
In 1997, after going for a long run, Seth Goldman was frustrated with the sugar-filled drinks at the corner market. So he brewed up a beverage in his kitchen, and turned it into Honest Tea.
Drybar: Alli Webb
Jan 9, 2017 • 34 min
A decade ago, full-time mom Alli Webb noticed a gap in the beauty market: there was nowhere that just focused on blow-drying hair. Now with 70 locations, Drybar is testament to Webb’s motto: Focus on one thing and be the best at it.
Zumba: Beto Perez & Alberto Perlman
Jan 2, 2017 • 39 min
Zumba began as a mistake: aerobics teacher Beto Perez brought the wrong music to class, then improvised a dance routine to go with it. For his students, it was more fun than work — and it eventually grew into one of the biggest fitness brands in the world.
Warby Parker: Dave Gilboa & Neil Blumenthal
Dec 26, 2016 • 32 min
In 2008, it was nearly impossible to buy a fashionable, affordable pair of glasses online. That simple frustration inspired the idea behind Warby Parker – and disrupted the eyewear industry.
Melissa & Doug: Melissa And Doug Bernstein
Dec 19, 2016 • 37 min
Melissa and Doug Bernstein’s first success was a wooden ‘fuzzy puzzle’ of farm animals. Today, Melissa & Doug makes over 2,000 kinds of toys and serves as an antidote to the rise of digital toys.
Patagonia: Yvon Chouinard
Dec 12, 2016 • 27 min
In 1973, Yvon Chouinard started Patagonia to make climbing gear he couldn’t find elsewhere. Over decades of growth, he has implemented a unique philosophy about business, leadership and profit.
Serial Entrepreneur: Mark Cuban
Dec 5, 2016 • 35 min
Mark Cuban made millions off of tech startups, then billions off of stocks — and later went on to buy and revive the Dallas Mavericks. He has come to define the persona of the serial entrepreneur.
Angie’s List: Angie Hicks
Nov 28, 2016 • 30 min
In 1996, Angie Hicks spent hours reading contractor reviews to members over the phone. Today, the online review and referral service, Angie’s List, is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Southwest Airlines: Herb Kelleher
Nov 21, 2016 • 35 min
In 1968, competitors sued to keep Herb Kelleher’s new airline grounded. After a 3-year court fight, the first plane took off from Dallas. Today Southwest Airlines operates nearly 4,000 flights a day.
Celebrity Chef: José Andrés
Nov 14, 2016 • 28 min
As a kid, José Andrés tended fires for his father’s backyard paella cookouts. Later, he trained with the best Spanish chefs, and began building a restaurant empire that would transform the way many Americans dine out.
Music Mogul: L.A. Reid
Nov 7, 2016 • 33 min
L.A. Reid began his music career as a drummer. Then he co-founded LaFace Records, discovering dozens of future pop superstars. Reid is now one of the most influential executives in the music industry.
Samuel Adams: Jim Koch
Oct 31, 2016 • 34 min
In 1984, Jim Koch felt suffocated by his cushy but boring corporate job. So he left, dusted off an old family beer recipe, started Sam Adams, and helped kickstart the craft beer movement in America.
Dermalogica: Jane Wurwand
Oct 24, 2016 • 40 min
Jane Wurwand moved to Los Angeles with a suitcase and a beauty school diploma. She started what would become Dermalogica, an international beauty empire that set the standard for skin care.
Airbnb: Joe Gebbia
Oct 17, 2016 • 42 min
A chance encounter with a stranger gave Joe Gebbia an idea to help pay his rent. That idea turned into Airbnb — a company that now has more rooms than the biggest hotel chain in the world.
VICE: Suroosh Alvi
Oct 10, 2016 • 37 min
Suroosh Alvi was a recovering addict when he started a scrappy underground magazine in Montreal. It grew into VICE Media — a multi-billion dollar company that has shaken up the world of journalism.
Clif Bar: Gary Erickson
Oct 3, 2016 • 28 min
Gary Erickson asked his mom, “Can you make a cookie without butter, sugar or oil?” The result was Clif Bar, an energy bar named after his dad — now one of the most popular energy bars in the U.S.
Radio One: Cathy Hughes
Sep 26, 2016 • 33 min
As a kid, Cathy Hughes practiced her DJ routine while her siblings banged on the bathroom door. As an adult, she founded Radio One, the country’s largest African-American owned broadcasting company.
Instagram: Kevin Systrom & Mike Krieger
Sep 19, 2016 • 29 min
Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger launched their photo-sharing app with a server that crashed every other hour. Despite a chaotic start, Instagram became one of the most popular apps in the world.
Spanx: Sara Blakely
Sep 12, 2016 • 30 min
At 27, Sara Blakely was selling fax machines and desperate to reinvent her life. So she came up with Spanx — hosiery that eliminates panty lines — and set to work building her business.
Coming Soon: How I Built This
Sep 2, 2016 • 2 min
On September 12, NPR launches a new podcast, How I Built This, hosted by Guy Raz. The show features innovators, entrepreneurs, idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built.