Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman

Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman

www.mastersofscale.com
The best startup advice from Silicon Valley & beyond. Iconic CEOs — from Nike to Netflix, Starbucks to Slack — share the stories & strategies that helped them grow from startups into global brands.On each episode, host Reid Hoffman — LinkedIn cofounder, Greylock partner and legendary Silicon Valley investor — proves an unconventional theory about how businesses scale, while his guests share the story of how I built this company. Reid and guests talk entrepreneurship, leadership, strategy, management, fundraising. But they also talk about the human journey — with all its failures and setbacks. With original, cinematic music and hilariously honest stories, Masters of Scale is a business podcast that doesn’t sound like a business podcast. Guests on Masters of Scale have included the founders and CEOs of Netflix, Google, Facebook, Starbucks, Nike, Fiat, Spotify, Instagram, Airbnb, Uber, Paypal, Huffington Post, Twitter, Medium, Bumble, Yahoo, Slack, Spanx, Shake Shack, Dropbox, TaskRabbit, 23&Me, Mail


Special: A new playbook for new times, w/ Ford Foundation president Darren Walker
Jul 2 • 26 min
“This was like 1918, 1929 and 1968 in one week,” says Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. With the pandemic, economic crisis, and civil unrest all coming together after George Floyd’s death, Walker found himself flooded with calls from CEOs…
Stephen Colbert + DonorsChoose’s Charles Best — The power of small goals
Jun 30 • 48 min
Startups are audacious. They’re big. They’re world-changing. But you can’t achieve scale on day one. Sometimes the best way to achieve that monumental success tomorrow is to take a teeny tiny step today. This is what Charles Best did when he founded one…
Special: Burning cash, accepting turbulence w/Delta CEO Ed Bastian
Jun 27 • 33 min
A surprisingly candid and upbeat interview on the industry hardest hit by the pandemic. Delta saw seat bookings fall to less than 5% of normal, had 40,000 employees go on unpaid leave, and raised $14 billion in funding – all to withstand a cash burn that…
Liberating the human spirit, w/Robert F. Smith (Vista Equity, Morehouse Commencement), Recorded live at Summit LA 2019
Jun 23 • 59 min
Every great founder has a second purpose — something outside their main business they’re trying to get done in the world. And every successful company is like a Trojan Horse, carrying this second purpose forward. No one knows this better than Robert F.…
Special: How business can engage against racism, w/Shellye Archambeau (MetricStream, Nordstrom, Verizon)
Jun 19 • 39 min
What can your business do right now in the struggle against racism? More than you think, says Shellye Archambeau, former CEO of MetricStream, now a board member at Verizon, Nordstrom and Okta. She returns to the show with her all-too-rare perspective as a…
Test. Measure. Repeat. — w/Eric Ries (Lean Startup; Long-Term Stock Exchange)
Jun 16 • 45 min
Forget writing that business plan. Design an experiment instead. So many products and companies fail because the assumptions in their beautiful business plans were just wrong. So stop writing and start testing. No one knows this better than Eric Ries,…
Special: GM’s Mary Barra: “Deep, profound sadness” and “going ventilator fast”
Jun 13 • 28 min
GM is now reopening auto plants, after shutting them in March, temporarily reducing pay for 69,000 employees, and making a fast pivot to produce masks and ventilators. But with the killing of George Floyd, things are hardly back to normal. Chair and CEO…
Strategy Session: The Post-Pandemic Business
Jun 9 • 39 min
How do you 👀find new markets when your old ones stall? How do you stay agile when your team is overwhelmed? And do constraints always lead to creativity — really? In this Strategy Session recorded in the height of the global pandemic, Reid fields smart…
Special: BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti: Record-high audience, record-low revenue
Jun 6 • 31 min
BuzzFeed audience is at record highs. But the pandemic’s economic effects have crushed the bottom line. BuzzFeed co-founder and CEO Jonah Peretti shares how his company is making hard decisions to build long-term stability. “But the transition is…
Reid’s 2020 Commencement Speech: In a crisis, steer toward the emerging opportunities
Jun 3 • 28 min
New graduates 🎓are like entrepreneurs — standing on the edge of that cliff, ready to build their own plane and fly. But what if the blue skies and calm winds disappear? In a commencement speech for 2020 graduates — and anyone embarking on something new —…
Special: Danny Meyer, 10 wks later: How to revive restaurants
May 30 • 37 min
“Being the first to close is one thing. But I don’t want to be the last to open,” says iconic restaurateur Danny Meyer in his second Rapid Response interview. After shutting his iconic New York City restaurants, laying off 2,000 staffers (with hopes to…
Special: How “startup DNA” helped One Medical respond to Covid, with CEO Amir Rubin
May 28 • 37 min
Since One Medical’s IPO in January, CEO Amir Rubin has been forced to constantly adapt to the coronavirus pandemic, as healthcare needs, expectations, and behaviors shifted. From telemedicine to Covid-19 testing, One Medical has leaned into existing…
Duolingo’s Luis von Ahn — A masterclass in crowdsourcing
May 26 • 39 min
Crowdsourcing is more than a group of people interested in the same cause, it’s a way to tap skills – and scale – that you don’t have. And when it works, it can be the rocket fuel that launches you to scale further than you could have ever imagined. No…
Special: How Warby Parker is making decisions in uncertainty, with CEO Neil Blumenthal
May 23 • 31 min
“It’s like getting hit in the face over and over and over,” says Warby Parker co-CEO Neil Blumenthal. But “crisis brings out clarity.” At Warby, planning for the future has meant leaning into the present — from physical changes in their factory and stores…
Part 2: Apple’s Angela Ahrendts — How to unite a team
May 19 • 31 min
In Part 2, Angela arrives at Apple, which feels like another planet after her years in fashion. In never-before heard stories, Angela shares how she learned the language of tech (the physical store is the ‘hardware’; the experience inside the ‘software’),…
Special: Future-proofing Verizon, with CEO Hans Vestberg
May 16 • 29 min
Data streaming, videoconferencing – even phone calls are way up at Verizon amid Covid-19, as digital interaction steps in for IRL. But boom times don’t mean easy times for CEO Hans Vestberg, who moved over 100,000 employees remote in two weeks. As…
Season 6! Apple’s Angela Ahrendts: How to unite a team
May 12 • 32 min
The Apple logo. The iconic Burberry check. These images inspire loyalty of customers and employees alike. But it takes more than a beloved brand to power a company and motivate a team. No one knows this better than Angela Ahrendts, former SVP of retail at…
Special: Operating in a fishbowl w/Philly 76ers & NJ Devils CEO Scott O’Neil
May 9 • 33 min
In sports, everyone has an opinion on every hire, every trade, every price change. That’s the reality – and also the privilege, says Scott O’Neil, CEO of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils. When the NBA dramatically shut down its season…
Special: Crisis lessons from inside the ER, with Dr. Bon Ku
May 7 • 34 min
In the Covid-19 storm, treating hospital patients requires constant iteration, creative information-sharing, and worst-case-scenario planning. Dr. Bon Ku, an ER physician and director of the Health Design Lab at Jefferson University in Philadelphia, takes…
Special: Food security in a pandemic, w/Sara Menker of Gro Intelligence
May 5 • 29 min
Will the U.S. run out of food? Can the world’s food supply chains survive coronavirus? Sara Menker, founder and CEO of Gro Intelligence, which parses 650 trillion agricultural data points daily, shares eye-opening insights based on real-time facts. Learn…
Special: Inside Panera’s pandemic pivot, with CEO Niren Chaudhary
Apr 30 • 30 min
What do you do when you can’t serve customers in cafes and carry on business as usual? You try unusual things, says Panera CEO Niren Chaudhary. Forced to close cafes and restructure teams, Panera is leveraging its advantages (like a robust e-commerce…
Special: A crisis leadership session with General Stanley McChrystal
Apr 28 • 37 min
Everyone’s looking for a box of crisis tricks. But the hard truth is that it simply doesn’t exist, says retired General Stanley McChrystal. Instead of looking for a new style, McChrystal says, lead with the same things that motivate people on a normal…
Special: Pet adoptions: Up. Delivery business: Up. What that means to Chewy’s Sumit Singh
Apr 25 • 27 min
Pet adoptions have soared during the coronavirus lockdown, as people seek companionship and solace. For Chewy, the pet-supply company, that’s driving unprecedented demand. Ultra-rapid growth has its own set of challenges that CEO Sumit Singh is responding…
Special: Build government back – better, w/Jen Pahlka (Code for America, USDR)
Apr 23 • 37 min
In the US, local governments are leading the response to COVID-19 – making decisions and gathering data at a speed and scale never before seen. And many of them are asking Jen Pahlka for help. The founder and past chair of Code for America, she co-founded…
Special: Target’s Brian Cornell: “I want to see retail survive this”
Apr 20 • 25 min
Every day in a pandemic is different, and that’s true for people and for corporations. CEO Brian Cornell has promised Target will keep its doors open. To do that, Target is becoming “a good student,” says Brian, listening to experts, collaborating with…
Special: TaskRabbit’s Stacy Brown-Philpot: “A pandemic doesn’t see money.”
Apr 18 • 33 min
TaskRabbit remains open for business, says CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot. As the magnitude and severity of the pandemic became clear – and as workers across the U.S. were furloughed and services cut – TaskRabbit leaned into the work they do: providing services…
Special: Lyft’s John Zimmer: How to keep an essential business running
Apr 16 • 27 min
Everything starts with transportation, says John Zimmer, co-founder and president of Lyft. And even though ride sharing is sharply down, transportation remains key – for essential workers and for our supply chain. So Lyft is flexing some new muscles, says…
Special: Airbnb’s Brian Chesky: “Crisis is pushing us back to our roots”
Apr 13 • 34 min
As the pandemic hit, Airbnb was preparing for an IPO. Within a matter of days, everything changed dramatically, as travel worldwide screamed to a halt. “I felt like I was captain of a ship and a torpedo hit the side,” says CEO Brian Chesky. Airbnb…
Special: Fast pivots for changing needs w/DonorsChoose Charles Best
Apr 7 • 18 min
People are altruistic – even more so in times of uncertainty. This is what Charles Best, founder and CEO of DonorsChoose, has learned through 20 years of leading his nonprofit through the terrorist attacks of 9/11, multiple recessions, and now a pandemic.…
Special: Relief funding & crowdfunding in a crisis w/Karen Cahn of IFundWomen
Apr 4 • 34 min
What are your options for emergency funding in the US? Can you use the U.S. CARES Act to get financial assistance? Should you consider crowdfunding? We talk to Karen Cahn, CEO of IFundWomen, about what you need to know. Who qualifies for the forgivable…
Crisis data is the story of our times, says Crisis Text Line founder
Apr 2 • 27 min
“Anxiety,” “grief,” “mom”: These are the words surfacing at this extreme moment in time. That data comes from Crisis Text Line, whose online counselors are using both empathy and aggregated data to help people through this pandemic. Founder and former CEO…
Special: Hourly workers are a ‘hero class’ w/Cue Ball’s Tony Tjan
Mar 31 • 38 min
Hourly workers are the ‘hero class’ says VC Tony Tjan. And the pandemic is wreaking havoc on their financial stability. At Boston’s Cue Ball Group, Tony’s portfolio includes companies that employ hundreds of nail care workers, cooks and servers, and he’s…
Special: First, be human – Thoughts on the crisis from Reid Hoffman
Mar 26 • 33 min
Can you blitzscale when the world grinds to a halt? How do you do right by your team AND your investors? What will the entrepreneurial world look like on the other side of this? In this special episode, our host Reid Hoffman, sits on the other side of the…
Special: Danny Meyer on the wrenching decision to do layoffs
Mar 24 • 34 min
Last week, Danny Meyer laid off 2,000 people – that’s 80 percent of staff at Union Square Hospitality Group, representing 20+ restaurants across the country. It was a heartbreaking decision made with full understanding of the impacts, short and long-term…
Special: Remote teams with WordPress/Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg
Mar 18 • 17 min
The first in a series of special episodes with tools you need RIGHT NOW | Suddenly, many of us are remote workers. As companies radically reimagine their day-to-day in response to the pandemic, we all need to know what Matt Mullenweg has learned: How to…
How to start a revolution – Bitcoin pioneer Wences Casares (Xapo)
Feb 27 • 15 min
What if your idea is so radical that people have trouble grasping what it is – or even believing it won’t harm them? Every founder believes their product is revolutionary – and the more revolutionary their product, the more reassuring they’ll need to be…
Strategy Session: When to replace the founder, how to be a learn-it-all, when to take the “venture bet”
Feb 20 • 50 min
Growth vs innovation, scale vs stability, founders vs CEOs? Entrepreneurs want to know! We’re back with another Strategy Session episode, featuring fast-growing, high-performing scale-ups from around the world, and they’re asking Reid their biggest…
Shopify’s Tobi Lütke: Be a platform
Feb 13 • 32 min
The secret to massive scale? Be a platform. Build a virtuous cycle where everyone wins, and you’ll emerge the biggest winner of all. This is what Tobi Lütke did when he built Shopify – and then opened it up to the world. Cameo appearances by: Bill Gates,…
Netflix’s Reed Hastings: Why culture matters
Feb 6 • 36 min
Classic episode: You need a strong culture to build a company that will scale beyond the early days of start up. And strong company cultures only emerge when every employee feels they own the culture from day one. Here’s how Reed Hastings did it – and…
When to Zoom In, When to Zoom Out, with Josh Silverman (Etsy / eBay / Skype / Evite)
Jan 23 • 39 min
When do you see the forest? And when do you see the trees? Building a company to scale requires a delicate balance of macro and micro focus – and the skill to know where to focus when. Josh Silverman has built that skill in leadership roles at Evite,…
Strategy Session: When not to blitzscale, how to persuade your board to let you slow down, and: Are you in a Glengarry Glen Ross market?


Jan 16 • 38 min
When’s the right time for hypergrowth? Should you take investment when you don’t need the money? How do you deal with an exhausted team? Global entrepreneurs facing hyperfast growth ask Reid their questions about raising capital, pivoting their product,…
Special: A Meditative Story from Reid Hoffman
Jan 13 • 28 min
How do you find joy in your life? Our host, Reid Hoffman, finds it through friendship, and the genuine, honest, and intimate conversations it brings. In this special episode of Meditative Story, from the same producers as Masters of Scale, Reid shares his…
What’s the hidden business behind your business? w/Rent the Runway’s Jenn Hyman
Jan 8 • 40 min
Rent the Runway co-founder Jenn Hyman knows: Behind every successful business is another business backstage, one you might not expect. Rent the Runway is known for creating a glamorous “closet in the cloud,” but as Hyman explains, it achieved unicorn…
How to find your big idea w/ Spanx’s Sara Blakely
Jan 2 • 40 min
To find your big idea? Look for it. And look for it. And be ready to act. Spanx founder Sara Blakely was actively seeking a business idea when she thought of Spanx. Then she moved fast, found help in the right places, and went all-in. The result: A…
Master the art of storytelling w/charity: water’s Scott Harrison
Dec 25, 2019 • 47 min
You need a great story to build a great company. And great stories are unwaveringly TRUE. No one embodies this principle more fully than Scott Harrison, founder of Charity: Water. A master storyteller, Scott built his nonprofit on 3 radical principles:…
Bill Gates — The biggest success story you haven’t heard
Dec 20, 2019 • 41 min
In part two of this special two-part episode with Bill Gates, we’re talking about the biggest success story ever told on the podcast – and not just for Bill Gates, but for humanity. And it was achieved not through Microsoft, but through the Bill & Melinda…
How to solve an impossible challenge w/Megan Smith (U.S. CTO, Google, shift7)
Dec 13, 2019 • 33 min
Faced with an impossible challenge? Don’t reinvent the wheel. Find someone who’s already solved the problem – and help those inventors keep inventing. Megan Smith calls that technique “scout and scale.” She used it as the United States’ CTO. She did it as…
LIVE! All founders have a Trojan Horse w/Robert F. Smith
Dec 4, 2019 • 67 min
Recorded live at Summit LA: Every great founder has a second purpose — something outside their main business they’re trying to get done in the world. And every successful company is like a Trojan horse, carrying this second purpose forward. No one knows…
Ray Dalio - How to embrace conflict
Nov 25, 2019 • 43 min
Want to improve any idea? Find someone who disagrees with it. This is something legendary investor Ray Dalio knows. But there’s a difference between constructive and destructive conflict – and Dalio is a master at spotting the difference. In constructive…
The Money Episode w/Minted’s Mariam Naficy
Nov 20, 2019 • 28 min
Every founder faces the same question when they start their entrepreneurial journey: How much money do I need to raise? And the answer is: A lot more than you think – but not for the reasons you think. In this classic episode, the founder and CEO of…
LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner – How to set the drumbeat
Nov 14, 2019 • 39 min
Every leader has to set the drumbeat for their company — the culture, mission, and values that get the entire team in sync. And the rhythm has to be true to them. Jeff Weiner is a master at this. As CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff grew users from 33 million to 660…
Bill Gates — How to accelerate history
Nov 6, 2019 • 40 min
How did Bill Gates scale BOTH a global business and a global philanthropy? He spotted an inflection point in history — and accelerated it. What does that take? A great idea, great timing and also: Great partners. Because even Bill Gates doesn’t go it…
Make it epic — with will.i.am
Oct 30, 2019 • 42 min
What can entrepreneurs learn from a genre-crossing, multi-platinum musician? How to take a big opportunity — and leverage it into something epic. From his earliest days as a founding member of the Black Eyed Peas, will.i.am learned from mentors how to not…
LIVE! Tory Burch: Patience or Speed? Both.
Oct 16, 2019 • 59 min
Tory Burch built a billion-dollar business from the ground up, by speeding forward when others might have hit pause, and showing watchful patience when others may have gone full tilt. In our live onstage interview, she shows how this approach plays out in…
Keep humans in the equation — with TaskRabbit’s Stacy Brown-Philpot
Oct 9, 2019 • 35 min
You may think that to scale you need to cut humans out of the equation. The opposite is true. You can harness the power of the “human cloud” to solve almost any problem — as long as you keep the word “human” in the equation. That’s what TaskRabbit CEO…
A Strategy Session with Reid Hoffman
Sep 25, 2019 • 38 min
In this special episode, host Reid Hoffman answers questions from early-stage entrepreneurs – people in the trenches of startup life all over the world. How do you gain your users’ trust? How do you build a team and company culture at the same time? This…
How to Build Your Company to Last w/Fiat’s John Elkann
Sep 11, 2019 • 45 min
Forget being a unicorn. Learn to be a “Phoenix.” Your company can last 100+ years – but you’ll need the resilience to rise and fall, and rise again. Fiat’s Chairman John Elkann shares the principles that allow the “horseless carriage” company founded by…
Dropbox’s Drew Houston: How to take on Goliaths and win
Sep 4, 2019 • 42 min
When Drew Houston founded Dropbox, he knew he faced some fierce competition (hello, Google, Apple and Microsoft). But he didn’t back down. Why? Because he believed in his product, and he knew he had an advantage those big, cumbersome competitors could…
Special: Recharge your brain with a Meditative Story by Arianna Huffington
Aug 5, 2019 • 23 min
As an entrepreneur, you have to find a way to recharge. This new podcast — from the creators of Masters of Scale - was designed to create calm amid an always-on schedule. The particular episode we’re sharing was inspired by Reid’s interview with Arianna…
23andMe’s Anne Wojcicki: Embrace the gatekeepers
Jul 31, 2019 • 39 min
When Anne Wojcicki co-founded 23andMe, she carved out a brand-new space in personal health — helping people become experts on their bodies right down to the DNA level. Then the federal regulators came calling. But instead of trying to outwit, sneak past…
Introducing Meditative Story
Jul 29, 2019 • 5 min
This short trailer offers a taste of a new podcast from the team that created Masters of Scale. And just like MoS, it’s unlike anything you’ve heard before. In each episode of Meditative Story, you’ll hear a storyteller who will transport you to a time…
The Big Pivot w/Slack’s Stewart Butterfield
Jul 25, 2019 • 37 min
Slack’s Stewart Butterfield knows: There’s more to a pivot than a sharp left turn. First, there’s the opportunity you’re pivoting toward. Can you see it clearly enough to navigate toward it? Can you convince others to come along? Then you have to pivot…
Small Changes for Big Impact w/Bumble’s Whitney Wolfe Herd
Jul 17, 2019 • 39 min
Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd knows: The smallest feature can make or break your product. The challenge is recognizing the impact of that feature – and making sure it’s actually positive. This is what Wolfe Herd tapped into when she founded a dating…
Entrepreneurship as a Second Act w/Gwyneth Paltrow
Jul 1, 2019 • 41 min
Would-be entrepreneurs, this one’s for you. It’s never too late to join the entrepreneurial party. We’ve all heard the stories of young geniuses, but plenty of influential entrepreneurs founded companies in their 30s, 40s, 50s. There’s value to being a…
10 New Rules for Big Career Changes (The Graduation Episode) w/ Jordan Harbinger
Jun 20, 2019 • 74 min
On Masters of Scale, we talk a lot about how businesses grow. But we also talk about how people grow: How key decisions (and happy accidents) can shape your future, and how your setbacks can actually set you up for success. On this special Graduation…
How pirates become the navy w/Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi
Jun 4, 2019 • 43 min
Early-stage startups are a lot like pirate ships – they need a buccaneering spirit to survive. But every startup needs to shed its pirate nature at some point, and evolve into something more akin to a navy – no less heroic, but more disciplined. Dara…
The case for bootstrapping w/Mailchimp’s Ben Chestnut
May 20, 2019 • 44 min
You can bootstrap your business to scale, but you’ll have to make your own luck. Nobody knows this better than Mailchimp’s Ben Chestnut. He used a DIY ethos to grow a $600M company without ever raising a dollar of outside funding. The Mailchimp story is…
Open or closed? The answer is both—w/Joi Ito, MIT Media Lab Director
Apr 29, 2019 • 35 min
No organization that’s entirely closed – or entirely open – can scale as successfully as an organization that combines both. Yes, organizations that are open invite a bit of chaos – but that chaos breeds innovation. Knowing which aspects of your…
When your invention becomes a weapon – from Should This Exist
Apr 10, 2019 • 32 min
When former Wired Editor Chris Anderson launched DIY drones — an open source community for makers — drones were still considered a military technology. His drones were used by filmmakers, farmers and conservationists. He believes they were also used by…
Take bigger risks w/Shellye Archambeau
Mar 25, 2019 • 38 min
If you try to avoid risk, you actually risk total failure. Or worse: mediocrity. Take it from Shellye Archambeau. She led the most stunning Silicon Valley turnaround you’ve never heard of. She took the role of CEO for a failing tech company, months from…
Check your blindspot w/Sallie Krawcheck (Ellevest)
Mar 11, 2019 • 44 min
If your company’s dominated by one type of person, you run the risk of tunnel vision. You might move fast — but you’ll often drive straight into traps as you grow. Truly scalable companies need a diverse portfolio of viewpoints to see the opportunities…
Build a more human internet — w/ Caterina Fake (Host of “Should This Exist?”)
Mar 4, 2019 • 40 min
How do you build a thriving online community? One human connection at a time. Caterina Fake is the host of our spinoff series “Should This Exist?” and she knows: Whatever you are when you’re SMALL — gets amplified as you grow. So if you’re building any…
The Reid Hoffman Story (Part 2) — Make everyone a hero
Feb 25, 2019 • 55 min
We’re back with Part 2 of our special turn-the-tables episode with Reid Hoffman. In this episode, we follow Reid through PayPal, LinkedIn, the Microsoft acquisition, his angel investments, Greylock, and his hosting of Masters of Scale — all the while…
Introducing: Should This Exist?
Feb 20, 2019 • 33 min
Introducing a brand new show from the team behind Masters of Scale: Should This Exist? Neuroscientist Daniel Chao created a headset that hacks your brain with electricity so you can learn as fast as a kid again. It’s called Halo, and it helps you learn…
The Reid Hoffman Story (Part 1) — Make everyone a hero
Jan 21, 2019 • 43 min
In this special episode, we turn the tables on host Reid Hoffman. He’s the guest and we tell his story, while proving a theory that’s perfect for Reid: You can chart an epic journey to scale, if you make everyone a hero along the way. Guest Host is June…
Let your customers be your scouts – w/Eventbrite’s Julia Hartz
Jan 7, 2019 • 34 min
That constant roar of customer feedback? Be thankful for it. It holds all the secrets to your success, if you learn how to read the signs. Listen to what users say, sure. But also watch what they do and interpret what they need. Eventbrite’s Julia Hartz…
To scale, you must master the skill of storytelling w/Charity: Water’s Scott Harrison
Dec 18, 2018 • 47 min
You need a great story to build a great company. And great stories are unwaveringly TRUE. No one embodies this principle more fully than Scott Harrison, founder of Charity: Water. A master storyteller, Scott built his nonprofit on 3 radical principles:…
Your Plan B Needs a Plan B — w/Nancy Lublin of Do Something and Crisis Text Line
Dec 3, 2018 • 33 min
[A classic episode returns.] To succeed as an entrepreneur, you need grit. But grit is more than persistence. You’re not just charging up the same hill over and over. You’re generating an endless supply of Plans B. And Nancy Lublin always has a Plan B,…
The Millennial Episode — with Brit + Co’s Brit Morin
Nov 18, 2018 • 37 min
You can marshal the power of millennials to grow your company, but you have to redefine your concept of loyalty. To keep millennials as users (and employees), you’ll need to keep evolving — and help them evolve. No one understands this better than Brit +…
The elusive formula for great hiring w/Workday’s Aneel Bhusri
Nov 4, 2018 • 40 min
Your first hires = cultural cofounders. And it’s worth your time to get every one right. Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri personally interviewed his first FIVE HUNDRED employees at Workday. He knows how to map back from the culture he wants, to employee…
Shake Shack’s Danny Meyer — When to ignore conventional wisdom
Oct 22, 2018 • 38 min
To revolutionize an industry, you have to cast off received wisdom. Shake Shack’s Danny Meyer knows this well. When he opened his first high-end restaurant, New York’s Union Square Cafe, received wisdom told him food was the star attraction. But Danny…
Arianna Huffington—What great founders do at night
Oct 2, 2018 • 39 min
To survive your entrepreneurial journey, you have to learn to recharge. In fact, knowing when to turn the lights OUT may be the only way to keep the lights on. You need a sustainable strategy that maximizes your team’s efficiency, while avoiding burnout.…
Spotify’s Daniel Ek — How to build trust FAST
Sep 18, 2018 • 37 min
Normally, trust = consistency + time. But when you’re scaling fast — you have to find shortcuts, with your partners and your users. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek knows a thing or two about this. When he founded Spotify, he did what no disruptor had ever done…
Instagram’s Kevin Systrom — Keep it simple while scaling big
Sep 5, 2018 • 35 min
You can scale big with a simple idea (and a tiny team!) — but only if you catch the prevailing winds. That’s what Kevin Systrom did when he co-founded Instagram: The simple photo app tapped the right trends, built on larger social networks, and dodged the…
Marissa Mayer — How to make the star employees you need
Aug 7, 2018 • 41 min
Can’t find the star employees you need? Then make them. That’s what Marissa Mayer did when she founded the Associate Product Manager program at Google — one of the company’s crown jewels. She mentored a team of young, hungry, talented employees in the…
How to kill your bad ideas w/ Zynga’s Mark Pincus
Jul 24, 2018 • 32 min
To succeed, you have to be relentless about pursuing a big opportunity — and ruthless about killing your own bad ideas along the way. Zynga founder Mark Pincus up-ended the gaming industry with social games like Farmville and Words with Friends. And he…
Keep Humans In the Equation w/ TaskRabbit’s Stacy Brown-Philpot
Jul 10, 2018 • 35 min
You may think that to scale you need to cut humans out of the equation. The opposite is true. You can harness the power of the “human cloud” to solve almost any problem — as long as you keep the word “human” in the equation. That’s what TaskRabbit CEO…
Introducing Season 3
Jul 9, 2018 • 2 min
Masters of Scale returns on Wed July 11th with Season 3, featuring the entrepreneurs who wrote the rule book of Silicon Valley - as well as the ones who challenge those rules. We’ll hear hard-won insights from the founders of Spotify, Instagram,…
How to find your big idea w/ Spanx’s Sara Blakely
Mar 20, 2018 • 41 min
To find your big idea? Look for it. And look for it. And be ready to act. Spanx founder Sara Blakely was actively seeking a business idea when she thought of Spanx. Then she moved fast, found help in the right places, and went all-in. The result: A…
How To Do Good And Do Good Business with Starbucks’ Howard Schultz
Mar 6, 2018 • 42 min
You can make your social impact and your bottom line work hand-in-hand. But you’ll have to be as creative and innovative about your company’s values as you are about the business itself. Howard Schultz, chairman and former CEO of Starbucks, not only…
BONUS: The 10 Commandments of Startup Success with Guest Host Tim Ferriss
Feb 27, 2018 • 90 min
Guest host Tim Ferriss shares advice you’ll want to etch into stone: The 10 Commandments of Startup Success. We teamed up with Tim’s eponymous podcast, the Tim Ferriss Show, to bring you this special remix. You’ll hear actionable lessons from every…
Never Underestimate Your First Idea w/ Twitter/Medium’s Ev Williams
Feb 20, 2018 • 43 min
Never put a limit on your first idea. It could span your entire career. Ev Williams, co-founder of Twitter and Medium (and Blogger, before that), shares what he learned in every iteration of his grand vision to connect the world’s brains. A reminder that…
How to Price Your Product to Scale w/ ClassPass’ Payal Kadakia
Feb 13, 2018 • 41 min
The price that bleeds your business could also save it. When you invent something innovative, you can’t know how to price it on day one. First, get people in the door — get a LOT of people in the door — even if you have to price your product fatally low…
How To Build Your Company To Last w/ Fiat’s John Elkann
Feb 6, 2018 • 45 min
Forget being a unicorn. Learn to be a “Phoenix.” Your company can last 100+ years — but you’ll need the resilience to rise and fall, and rise again. Fiat’s Chairman John Elkann shares the principles that allow the “horseless carriage” company founded by…
Why Customer Love is All You Need w/ Y Combinator’s Sam Altman
Jan 30, 2018 • 40 min
Better to have 100 users love you than 1 million that kinda like you. The true seed of scale is love, and you can’t buy it, hack it, or game it. Ask Sam Altman, the president of Y Combinator, Silicon Valley’s legendary startup accelerator. He knows that a…
Model Behavior w/ entrepreneur/investor Caterina Fake (Etsy, Kickstarter, Flickr)
Jan 23, 2018 • 40 min
Whatever you are when you’re small gets amplified when you grow. So if you’re staring any kind of online community (social media, e-commerce, crowd-funding…), be careful what you cultivate. Caterina Fake has founded or invested in companies with…
Learn to Unlearn (Part 2) w/ IAC’s Barry Diller
Dec 12, 2017 • 29 min
To move from one success to another, you have to learn to unlearn. Take everything that helped you win the first time, then discard it and learn a new way. That’s how Barry Diller, titan of “old” media (ABC, Paramount, Fox), mastered the new dot-com…
Infinite Learner (Part I) w/ IAC’s Barry Diller
Dec 5, 2017 • 42 min
Tinder. Top Gun. Roots. The Simpsons. What do they have in common? Media icon Barry Diller. Barry is what we call an “infinite learner.” He’s only interested in things he’s never done before. And if they’ve never been done by ANYONE? Better yet. He…
Learn From Every ‘No’ w/ Bevel Razor’s Tristan Walker
Nov 28, 2017 • 29 min
“If you’re laughed out of the room, it might actually be a good sign.” Entrepreneurs inevitably face a lot of rejection — as does anyone championing a big new idea. But the different ways that investors say “no” could reveal valuable clues about your…
The Big Pivot with Slack’s Stewart Butterfield
Nov 14, 2017 • 37 min
In your company’s darkest moment, remember: You CAN pivot from failure to success. But only if you slash and burn everything that isn’t working. Slack’s co-founder and CEO, Stewart Butterfield, has twice navigated this kind of Big Pivot. He launched two…
Look sideways with Google / VMware’s Diane Greene
Nov 9, 2017 • 35 min
Business plan not entirely clear? Not sure how you’ll make enough money or find your users? That’s OK. Really. The most scalable ideas often come at you sideways. You’ll find yourself crabwalking from a small market to a bigger one to one of unimaginable…
Escape the Competition w/ PayPal’s Peter Thiel
Nov 7, 2017 • 41 min
If you want to grow your business, your goal isn’t to beat the competition — it’s to escape the competition altogether. No one knows this better than Paypal founder Peter Thiel. “Competition is for losers,” he’s been known to say. Thiel is a former…
BONUS: Seven Lesser Known Laws of Leadership
Aug 26, 2017 • 9 min
The Masters of Scale team brings you a special blend of leadership tips from season one guests — including clips we haven’t aired yet. In this bonus episode, we’ll share our favorite insights from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Y Combinator’s Sam Altman,…
Let Fires Burn w/ Gixo’s Selina Tobaccowala
Jul 19, 2017 • 34 min
If you try to put out every fire, you’ll only burn yourself out. The best entrepreneurs? They let fires burn. Knowing which problems not to solve is just as critical as knowing which problems must be solved. You won’t have time to sit down and assess…
The Next Silicon Valley Is…? W/ Endeavor’s Linda Rottenberg
Jul 12, 2017 • 41 min
What’s the secret to Silicon Valley? And can any other region nurture such a thriving startup scene? Linda Rottenberg, CEO of Endeavor, makes the case that a startup culture can be nurtured almost anywhere, so long as you have the raw ingredients —…
Bonus Episode: The Ten Commandments of Startup Success
Jul 5, 2017 • 90 min
Guest host Tim Ferriss shares advice you’ll will want to etch into stone: the Ten Commandments of Startup Success. We teamed up with Tim’s eponymous podcast, the Tim Ferriss Show, to bring you this special remix of actionable lessons from every episode of…
BONUS: Uncut interview w/ Netflix’s Reed Hastings
Jun 29, 2017 • 51 min
Host Reid Hoffman visits Netflix’s headquarters for an extended interview with the company’s founding CEO, Reed Hastings. They discuss the distinctive culture that enabled Netflix to leap from DVD’s to online streaming to becoming a content-production…
Netflix’s Reed Hastings in Culture Shock
Jun 28, 2017 • 36 min
I believe strong company cultures only emerge when every employee feels they own the culture — and this begins even before the first job interview. CEO Reed Hastings has built an adaptive, high-performing culture at NetFlix by being unabashedly upfront…
BONUS: Uncut Interview w/Nancy Lublin
Jun 15, 2017 • 60 min
In this extended interview, Nancy Lublin, founder and former CEO of Crisis Text Line, shares insights from her restless career as a serial entrepreneur, recruiting armies of volunteers to the causes she’s passionate about.
Grit Happens w/Nancy Lublin
Jun 14, 2017 • 33 min
To succeed, entrepreneurs need a good idea, timing, money, luck. But more than anything, they need grit. Don’t confuse grit with sheer persistence; it’s not about charging up the same hill, again and again. The sort of grit you need to scale a business is…
Google/Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt in Innovation = Managed Chaos
Jun 7, 2017 • 30 min
Google has succeeded by innovating again and again. Not just search, but Gmail and Google Docs and even self-driving cars. Their secret? They don’t tell their employees how to innovate; they manage the chaos. Eric Schmidt—CEO of Google since 2001 and now…
BONUS: Uncut Interview w/ Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg
Jun 1, 2017 • 46 min
Host Reid Hoffman met Sheryl in a conference room at One Facebook Way to discuss a vexing subject: How does she lead an organization that doubles or triples in size each year? She also reveals previously unaired insights from her new book, Option B, and…
Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg in Lead, Lead Again
May 31, 2017 • 33 min
In just 6 years, Facebook grew to 2 billion users and 14,000 employees. How? Well first, they hired COO Sheryl Sandberg. And she knew that to lead a fast-changing organization, you have to be as skilled at breaking plans as you are at making them. Great…
BONUS: Uncut interview w/ Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg
May 25, 2017 • 64 min
This is the extended, uncut version of Reid Hoffman’s rare, hour-long interview with Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg from Ep. 4 “Imperfect is Perfect”. Our recommendation: Listen to the episode first. Then enjoy the full interview, with its…
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg in Imperfect is Perfect
May 24, 2017 • 29 min
If you’re Steve Jobs, you can wait for your product to be perfect. But there are almost no Steve Jobs’ in the world. For the rest of us, If you’re not embarrassed by your first product release, you’ve released it too late. Imperfect is perfect. Why?…
Beauty of A Bad Idea w/ Walker & Company’s Tristan Walker
May 17, 2017 • 29 min
The best business ideas often seem laughable at first glance. So if you’re hearing a chorus of “No’s” it may actually be a good sign… Google, Facebook, LInkedIn, Airbnb — they all sounded crazy before they scaled spectacularly. So don’t be discouraged by…
The Money Episode w/ Minted’s Mariam Naficy
May 10, 2017 • 28 min
Think you’ve raised enough money for your startup? Think again. You have to run through a minefield of unexpected expenses as an entrepreneur. And you never know where the big opportunity will come from. So always, always raise more money than you think…
BONUS: Uncut Interview w/ Airbnb’s Brian Chesky
May 4, 2017 • 80 min
Host Reid Hoffman interviews Brian Chesky, the co-founder and CEO of Airbnb. In this extended interview, Chesky explains how a willingness to work with his hands laid the foundation for Airbnb’s growth. He also shares previously unaired stories about…
Airbnb’s Brian Chesky in Handcrafted
May 3, 2017 • 29 min
If you want your company to truly scale, you first have to do things that don’t scale. Handcraft the core experience. Get your hands dirty. Serve your customers one-by-one. And don’t stop until you know exactly what they want. That’s what Brian Chesky…
Coming Soon: Masters of Scale
Apr 18, 2017 • 2 min
Coming May 3rd, Reid Hoffman, legendary Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor, explains how famous founders take their companies from zero to a gazillion. In this trailer for Season One, a taste of this straight-from-Silicon Valley podcast.