Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman

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Subscribers: 3850
Reviews: 4


 Jan 29, 2019

nicholas
 Jan 22, 2019

A Podcast Republic user
 Aug 26, 2018

Niki Vinogradoff
 Jul 24, 2018

Description

The best startup advice from Silicon Valley and beyond. Iconic CEOs — from Nike to Netflix, Starbucks to Slack — share the stories and 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, Bumble, Slack, Spanx, Shake Shack, Dropbox, TaskRabbit, 23andMe, Mailchimp, Evite, Flickr, CharityWater, Endeavor, IAC and many more.


Episode Date
Rapid Response: Launching a $500b startup, w/Jet.com's Marc Lore
00:22:22

Since stepping down as Walmart’s president of e-commerce at the beginning of the year, billionaire entrepreneur Marc Lore has had a busy year of big ideas. In the spring, it was announced that he reached a deal to purchase the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, alongside Alex Rodriguez. And then last month, he outlined his plans to build a new American city called Telosa, centered around sustainability and inclusion. Lore, who co-founded Jet.com, an e-commerce company that sold to Walmart in 2016, says that he approaches these moonshot ideas in the same manner: by reverting to the fundamentals and naming the mission and values. "VCP: vision, capital, people,” he says. “If you get VCP right, everything else falls in place."

Read a transcript of this interview at: mastersofscale.com

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Oct 21, 2021
62. A masterclass in crowdsourcing, w/Duolingo's Luis von Ahn
00:39:13

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 one knows this better than Luis von Ahn, founder and CEO of Duolingo. Duolingo is a language app with over 300 million users worldwide, who complete over 7 billion exercises a month. It’s their passion for learning that drives them to create even more content for the app – igniting the rocket fuel that Duolingo needs. Cameo appearance by Elizabeth Sampat (game designer and author). 

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/luis-von-ahn/

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Oct 19, 2021
Rapid Response: Overcoming institutional hurdles, w/ U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland
00:33:58

In the last year, Sarah Hirshland has had to face one daunting issue after another as the CEO of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee – each of which have required urgent, in-the-moment decisions. Most recently Sarah mandated that U.S. athletes be vaccinated against COVID-19 to participate in the upcoming Beijing winter games. But that’s just the latest of a slew of cultural issues she’s been tasked to act on. She’s faced pandemic disruptions, social action protests, sexual misconduct scandals, mental health stress, and more. Through all of it, Sarah has been motivating her team around an evolving mission to reflect not just where America is as a country today but where it’s going.  

Read a transcript of this interview at: mastersofscale.com

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Oct 14, 2021
99. The Honest Company’s Jessica Alba: Make your customer the star
00:30:38

Jessica Alba’s approach in founding and building The Honest Company revolves around three letters: IRL, a useful acronym for “In Real Life.” This phrase acts as a reminder for the company to shine the spotlight onto their customer’s real needs – not only to understand them, but to address them as well. Alba built the company around her passion to make childcare and household products that are safe and eco-friendly. By asking her team “What’s the IRL version of this?”, Alba focuses the company to make products that will enhance the customer’s everyday lives. “A lot of these product ideas come from: What do I wish I had to optimize the life experience – and then, how can we do it?” 

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com

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See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Oct 12, 2021
Rapid Response: SolarWinds: Urgent lessons from a cyberattack, w/ CEO Sudhakar Ramakrishna
00:29:11

Last year, SolarWinds became the subject of a massive and sophisticated cyberattack, potentially affecting thousands of organizations. CEO Sudhakar Ramakrishna, who joined the company soon after the breach was discovered, speaks with host Bob Safian about how he and the company responded, and how other companies should approach the ever-looming threat of cyber-risk. "There is no such thing as 'I won't be breached because I'm too secure or too smart,’ says Ramakrishna. “You could be breached. And when it happens, be humble. Learn from it, adapt, and act with a sense of urgency." 

Read a transcript of this interview at: mastersofscale.com

Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter at http://eepurl.com/dlirtX

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Oct 07, 2021
98. No data, no scale, w/Care.com’s Sheila Lirio Marcelo
00:35:52

No matter what phase of growth you’re in, data is essential to scale. Take it from Sheila Lirio Marcelo, the founder and former CEO of Care.com, the two-sided marketplace connecting working families with care providers. Marcelo scaled her business past the competition by getting the right data at the right time. Marketplaces are tricky flywheels to get started, and Marcelo used data to help her determine which markets Care.com should pursue first — and when to wait. "Something I coach a lot of entrepreneurs: You can have a great vision and idea, but start with a lot of data and testing,” says Marcelo.

Listen to Sonal Shah's Rapid Response episode. "Scaling a mission": https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/shah/

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com

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See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Oct 05, 2021
Rapid Response: How to scale tech responsibly, with former Google ad chief and Neeva founder Sridhar Ramaswamy
00:27:18

To compete against bigger players, you need a special edge. Sridhar Ramaswamy, who led Google’s huge ad business, is now going head-to head against his former employer with an ad-free subscription-based search engine called Neeva. Ramaswamy became disillusioned by Google’s priorities and practices and argues that big platforms – including Facebook and Amazon – have failed to scale responsibly. Sharing inside stories of how big tech makes decisions, and his own experiences with a startup, Ramaswamy offers lessons on growth, monopolistic threats, and why challenging even great companies is necessary right now. “I’m a tech optimist,” he says, “but we need to be conscious of the good and bad.” A renewed focus on responsible tech scaling is right for the businesses and for society. 

Read a transcript of this interview at: mastersofscale.com

Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter at http://eepurl.com/dlirtX

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Sep 30, 2021
97. How to unlock your team’s creative potential w/ Indra Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo
00:34:09

To get the most out of your talent, you need to create an environment that allows them to thrive. Nobody knows this better than Indra Nooyi who spent 12 years as the CEO of PepsiCo. It was her drive to support talent that underpinned all of the initiatives that transformed the company. Her approach, which she calls “Performance with Purpose,” centers around delivering great financial performance while simultaneously focusing on the company’s environmental impact and creating an environment where employees can bring their whole selves to work. “I looked at each person in my company, not as a tool of the trade,” she says, “but I looked at them as an individual asset that had to bring their head, heart, and hands to the company for us to be successful.”

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com

Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dlirtX

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Sep 28, 2021
Rapid Response: How to lead for enduring impact w/ Spelman’s Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell
00:29:08

Your ability to make quick decisions in the face of a crisis can define your career. That’s been the case for Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell, president of Spelman College, the all-women's HBCU in Atlanta. In her second appearance on Rapid Response, Dr. Campbell, who recently announced her plan to retire at the end of the academic year, discusses how listening to her community has led to resolving complex conflicts. As was the case at the beginning of the school year when the Spelman faculty threatened a last-minute boycott over COVID uncertainty – a potential crisis which Dr. Campbell was able to quickly defuse. From record fundraising to rising U.S. News ratings for Spelman, Dr. Campbell demonstrates how consistent leadership builds confidence and resilience. “I feel that when we have all of the voices and all of the wisdom from all over our campus involved in these big issues,” Dr. Campbell says, “the solutions are ones that end up being good for everybody.”

Read a transcript of this interview at: mastersofscale.com

Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter at http://eepurl.com/dlirtX

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Sep 23, 2021
Bonus: Five secrets to keeping your best employees
00:32:30

Managing your team right now requires fresh thinking. Learn what motivates the best performance, and how to build creative teams in remote, hybrid, and fluid conditions, from some of the sharpest minds in management. In this special episode, we share five moves that are essential to building a team right now. Tapping into lessons from top leaders at Apple, Canva, Delta, Uber and more – plus President Barack Obama – the episode offers a roadmap for getting the most from your talent, reconnecting them to your mission and vision, and sparking the future-focused teamwork that is at the core of every successful entrepreneurial organization. 

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com

Listen to the episode mentioned in this interview:

Angela Ahrendts (Apple, Burberry): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/AppleAngelaAhrendts

Adam Grant (author, psychologist): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/PsychologistAdamGrant

Dara Khosrowshahi (Uber): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/UberDaraKhosrowshahi

Melanie Perkins (Canva): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/CanvaMelaniePerkins

Claire Babineaux-Fontenot (Feeding America): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/FAClaireBabineaux-Fontenot

Ed Bastian (Delta): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/DeltaEdBastian

Barack Obama (44th U.S. President): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/PresidentBarackObama

Rachel Carlson (Guild Education): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/GuildEducationRachelCarlson

Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dlirtX

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Sep 21, 2021
Rapid Response: In hard times, the show must go on, w/BroadwayHD’s Bonnie Comley
00:26:29

18 months ago, the lights went out on Broadway. What can you learn as this $16bn industry begins to re-light the lights? Tony-winning producer Bonnie Comley, the CEO of BroadwayHD and board president of the Drama League, shows us how Broadway's 41 theaters are coming back to life — and how the 18-month pandemic closure created some breathing room for her industry to reimagine itself. At the core: broaden the customer base, embrace digital, and expand the touchpoints for each show as a brand.

Read a transcript of this interview at: mastersofscale.com

Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter at http://eepurl.com/dlirtX

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Sep 16, 2021
96. How setbacks create momentum w/ Robert Reffkin, Compass founder and CEO
00:30:48

As dangerous as obstacles and setbacks may appear, they can also present opportunities. Robert Reffkin, founder and CEO of the real estate platform, Compass, knows this well. He’s a perfect example of how to use challenges to generate a fresh burst of energy. Reffkin explains how he’s been able to reassess situations in the wake of setbacks, plan his next move, and successfully execute pivots. The trick isn't necessarily to avoid obstacles at all cost, but rather, quickly identify them as resources you can harness. “You can't do great things in the world if you don't have that entrepreneurial, ‘I can do it’ energy,” Reffkin says. “And how do you get that energy? You dream a big dream.” With Dr. Shini Somara, renowned mechanical engineer and science broadcaster.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com

Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dlirtX

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Sep 14, 2021
Rapid Response: When to build the company before the product, with Aurora CEO Chris Urmson
00:28:40

Chris Urmson has had to take a different approach in building his company Aurora, which develops self-driving technology. As opposed to creating and iterating a product with a handful of people, and then building a company around that product, Urmson says he’s had to do the opposite. “Given the scale of the problem we're trying to solve and the complexity and breadth of it, we really had to build the company almost ahead of the product,” he says in this interview with Rapid Response host and editor-at-large Bob Safian. Urmson is determined to transform transportation as it is today – a goal that has and will continue to require a great amount of energy and investment upfront, he says. However, if he’s able to pull it off, “the benefit and impact that we'll have socially and economically will be profound.”

Read a transcript of this interview at: mastersofscale.com

Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter at http://eepurl.com/dlirtX

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Sep 09, 2021
Strategy Session: When to leave the trenches? Can you pivot without losing customers? Can co-founders stay aligned remotely?
00:23:15

Host Reid Hoffman answers seven burning questions from a range of entrepreneurs facing universal and timeless challenges in this all-new Strategy Session. How do you expand to a country where you’re not located? What was the insight that led Reid from entrepreneur to investor? Should you shift from product development to customer acquisition? Plus, Reid gives advice to a recent graduate who wants to change the world. Co-hosted by Anne Kave, Capital One Business.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com

Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dlirtX

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Sep 07, 2021
Rapid Response: When you should require vaccinations w/ Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer
00:30:14

“You have to preserve your energy because this year has been about pace,” says iconic restaurateur Danny Meyer in his fourth Rapid Response interview. Meyer catches us up on the past seven-plus months of operating in the midst of the pandemic. In the beginning of the summer, when Covid rates were plummeting in New York City, he says he was full of optimism. His restaurants were back to indoor dining, and despite dealing with a limited workforce, “progress is progress.” Then came the Delta variant, leading Meyer to proactively require Covid-19 vaccinations for all staff and guests at his full service restaurants. All of this while overseeing the opening of two new Daily Provision locations and a full-service restaurant in New York City, called Ci Siamo, the three of which had been in development for three years. Meyer also walks us through his February launch of HUGS, a new SPAC that’s led him down a journey of meeting with a wide variety of businesses that share the notion of what he calls enlightened hospitality. As Meyer says, “This year's been a constant test of, can you stick with the progress? Can you win the game, despite getting the setbacks here and there?”

Read a transcript of this interview at: mastersofscale.com

Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter at http://eepurl.com/dlirtX

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Sep 02, 2021
95. Microsoft’s Satya Nadella: Why we need re-founders
00:36:40

To achieve massive scale, you don’t just need founders, you also need a re-founder – someone to come in at a later stage to keep the mission and culture on track. As Microsoft’s third CEO ever – after Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer – Satya Nadella is doing just that. He’s fostered a culture at Microsoft that rewards new ideas and makes room for feedback. Satya discusses how, as Chairman and CEO, he has transformed Microsoft from a cutthroat culture towards embracing social networks, collaboration, and cloud. Plus, Satya and Reid reminisce about the early conversations that led to Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn. With guest David Mandel, showrunner of Veep.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com

Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dlirtX

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Aug 31, 2021
Rapid Response: How Electronic Arts grows a metaverse, with CEO Andrew Wilson
00:32:15

Hollywood may build stars, but gaming is "the biggest, fastest-growing entertainment medium in the world," says CEO Andrew Wilson of Electronic Arts. That's why businesses from Netflix to Disney to Facebook are eyeing the space, along with creators and startups eager to tap into the entrepreneurial opportunities posed by the still-evolving "metaverse." Wilson, who oversees franchises from Apex Legends to FIFA to The Sims, explains how he's playing in this ever-changing field – and how an industry-wide cultural referendum on harassment keeps him up at night.

Read a transcript of this interview at: mastersofscale.com

Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter at http://eepurl.com/dlirtX

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Aug 26, 2021
Coming soon on Masters of Scale Season 9
00:03:26

Coming August 31st: An all-new season of Masters of Scale, with iconic leaders and rising stars of scale companies. This season, Reid Hoffman trades theories with Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, Robert Reffkin, founder and CEO of Compass, Indra Nooyi, former CEO of Pepsico, Jessica Alba, founder of The Honest Company, Beth Ford, CEO of Land O'Lakes, iconic investor and founder Marc Andreessen, Sheila Marcello, founder of Care.com, Lynn Jurich, co-founder and CEO of Sunrun – and many more. Plus, we’ve got live episodes coming up, your favorite Strategy Sessions, and a few surprises in store. Join us!   

Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter at http://eepurl.com/dlirtX

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Aug 24, 2021
Rapid Response: How mission fuels risk-taking, with Illumina CEO Francis deSouza
00:27:27

Facing off with the FTC isn't for the timid. But when your mission and your business model are aligned, the hard decisions – about risk, about investment, about priorities – become clearer. Francis deSouza is CEO of Illumina, the world’s dominant maker of gene sequencing technology. After playing a key role in the creation of Covid vaccines, Illumina is trying to acquire a company with a breakthrough cancer screening test, over the FTC's objections. DeSouza offers a personal reflection on the lessons and reality of grappling with regulators, highlighting levers that can help to accelerate scale. What underscores his entrepreneurial efforts is a passion for Illumina’s mission: improving human health by unlocking the power of the genome.

Read a transcript of this interview at: mastersofscale.com

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See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Aug 19, 2021
Bonus: Cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset, w/Reid, Bob & Sir Richard Branson
00:24:06

Reid’s personal advice on the most important success factor for any scale leader: your mindset. Talking with editor-at-large Bob Safian, Reid shares how he approaches every challenge with a learning mindset: ask the right questions, leverage networks, and build curiosity and resilience. To cement the idea, he shares Lesson One from the new Masters of Scale Courses app, starring Sir Richard Branson! You'll learn an exercise from Reid that you can practice daily.

Redeem code MINDSET at join.mastersofscale.com/mindset for a 25% discount on annual membership to the Masters of Scale Courses app.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com

Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dlirtX

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Aug 17, 2021
47. Make it epic, w/will.i.am
00:42:38

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 only identify big opportunities but compound them. From the Super Bowl to the first iTunes commercial; from the founding of Beats and his tech company i.am+ to a song beamed back from Mars, his ability to bring stakeholders together to leverage partnerships and compound possibilities will inspire founders at any stage of scale. Cameo appearance: Jeremy Siegel (urban designer, Bjarke Ingels Group).

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com

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Aug 10, 2021
8. Netflix’s Reed Hastings: Why culture matters
00:36:16

You need a strong culture to build a company that will scale beyond the early startup days. And strong company cultures only emerge when every employee feels they own the culture from Day One. Here's how Reed Hastings and his team at Netflix did it – and made their culture deck famous in the process. Cameo appearances: Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn), Aneel Bhusri (Workday), Margaret Heffernan (entrepreneur), Tristan Walker (Walker & Co.), Mariam Naficy (Minted).

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com

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Aug 03, 2021
Rapid Response: How Harley-Davidson set a foundation for the long term with CEO Jochen Zeitz
00:22:07

Even an 118-year-old company needs an entrepreneurial jolt. When Jochen Zeitz took over as CEO of motorcycle maker Harley Davidson in early 2020, he moved quickly to restructure the business – even in the midst of the pandemic's highest uncertainty. That defiance paid off, settling investors and refocusing the company. He's trimmed the product line, set up equity grants for employees including factory workers, and doubled-down on Harley’s brand power. Challenges persist, including ongoing supply chain delays, but Zeitz has his eyes on the road ahead. As a longtime motorcycle rider and a longtime champion of sustainability, he is setting out to square those two passions – and lead the company through an expansive second century.

Read a transcript of this interview at: mastersofscale.com

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See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Jul 29, 2021
94. The beauty of emphasizing the obvious, w/Birchbox's Katia Beauchamp
00:31:48

Unconventional ideas define entrepreneurship: They fuel dreams but also spur naysayers and obstacles. Katia Beauchamp, co-founder and CEO of Birchbox, has repeatedly found ways to recast the unconventional as something obvious, enabling ongoing growth through repeated challenges. When Katia and her co-founder introduced Birchbox, its novel business model went against many beauty-industry norms. Then, as it caught on, competitors from Amazon to Sephora took direct aim by copying Birchbox's approach – and crushing margins in the process. To navigate the ups and downs, wooing investors, suppliers, and customers, Katia discovered how describing an industry-flipping idea in conventional terms could both accelerate and extend Birchbox's appeal. The road to differentiating the brand, it turned out, required emphasizing the obvious.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com

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See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Jul 27, 2021
Rapid Response: Inside J.Crew's purposeful pivot, with CEO Libby Wadle
00:22:29

"We have to reignite the energy and the fire and the love," says CEO Libby Wadle of J.Crew Group, which launched Madewell Forever this week, a dynamic bet on sustainability. The resale platform, in partnership with ThredUp, is part of a purpose-led pivot that Wadle first sparked as head of Madewell. Wadle takes us inside that journey, looking back to J.Crew's heyday and forward to the opportunities that she believes purpose can unlock. From a visit to a fair-trade factory in Vietnam to new insights on in-store versus online, Wadle says, "I've never felt more inspired and excited and invigorated."

Read a transcript of this interview at: mastersofscale.com

Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter at http://eepurl.com/dlirtX

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Jul 22, 2021
Strategy Session: When should founders step aside? Where can you find investors? Were pandemic pivots harmful?
00:25:34

When should you hire your replacement as CEO? Is blitzscaling still the best strategy, in today's context of uncertainty? What are the best fundraising options if you can't access a major VC firm? How do you balance long-term growth with short-term pressures? In this all-new Strategy Session, Reid answers critical in-the-moment questions from six entrepreneurs – all in different industries and at different stages of scale. "When you're in a crisis, everyone recognizes that you have to make a bunch of sharp decisions," Reid explains. "The key thing is building into the future. It's less focusing on the pandemic and more on the game in front of us." Co-hosted by Anne Kave, Capital One Business. Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com

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See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Jul 20, 2021
Rapid Response: Scaling a mission w/TAAF's Sonal Shah
00:26:03

"Hate is not a one community issue," says Sonal Shah, president of The Asian American Foundation, a nonprofit launched by business leaders in May, dedicated to addressing discrimination against Asian Americans. In just its first few weeks, TAAF raised $1 billion – and is now grappling with what all start-ups face: how to iterate fast, pivot, lose what's not working, and scale what is working, fast. Sonal, who launched the White House Office of Social Innovation in the Obama Administration, is applying the philosophy of business startups to the new effort, building networks between government, businesses, and other nonprofits to amplify impact.

Read a transcript of this interview at: mastersofscale.com

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Jul 15, 2021
22. How to find your big idea w/Spanx's Sara Blakely
00:40:16

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 billion-dollar company & women's wardrobes transformed. With cameos by National Geographic Explorer Andrés Ruzo, former director of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Michelle Lee, and Endeavor CEO Linda Rottenberg.

LINKS:

Learn more about The Boiling River Project: http://www.boilingriver.org

Read "The Boiling River" by Andrés Ruzo: https://amzn.to/36iHHNF

Learn more about the U.S. patent system: https://www.uspto.gov/

Meet Andre, who dresses Oprah Winfrey: https://andrewalkerhair.com

Listen to Linda Rottenberg on Masters of Scale: http://listen.mastersofscale.com/LindaRottenbergMoS

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Jul 13, 2021
Rapid Response: How BuzzFeed Bounced Back, w/Jonah Peretti
00:26:41

Millennials and Gen Z want different experiences, different content, different opportunities. But catering to those distinct needs wasn't enough, says BuzzFeed co-founder and CEO Jonah Peretti; the digital-media outfit also needed to create a flywheel for value. When the pandemic trimmed tens of millions in revenue, Peretti cut back on costs – but kept the flywheel spinning. By the end of 2020 his team had engineered a rebound, finishing the year with record profitability. Now, the company has announced plans to go public via SPAC at a $1.5 billion valuation. With the acquisitions of HuffPost and Complex Networks, Peretti has shown that his ambitions are just beginning.

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Jul 08, 2021
93. How to accelerate expertise, with Mellody Hobson, co-CEO of Ariel Investments, chair of Starbucks
00:35:40

To move at the speed of opportunity, you need to accelerate expertise. Mellody Hobson is co-CEO of Ariel Investments, the first Black-owned asset management firm in the United States, as well as board chair of Starbucks. Her incredible entrepreneurial journey – punctuated by deep societal and business impact – has been fueled by an intense attention to learning from every mentor, every opportunity, and every mistake. Mellody discovered early on the power of adapting both quickly and well, that rather than trading off between speed and accuracy, she needed both. Becoming both a fast and deep learner is rarely something you're born with, but as Mellody's story demonstrates, it’s a practice we can all develop and rely on.

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Jul 06, 2021
Rapid Response: Tapping into generosity (via Bitcoin), w/Charity: Water's Scott Harrison
00:27:50

The art of promotion can advance any enterprise, as Scott Harrison demonstrated even during the pandemic. As founder and CEO of Charity Water, Scott faced fundraising trouble a year ago but now the nonprofit is on track to bring in a record $100 million in 2021. Over the last 15 years, Scott has dramatically grown Charity Water’s footprint by taking far-sighted and often unconventional strategic steps. Just recently, he launched a Bitcoin Water Trust, to tap into a new community of potential donors. Scott’s success flows from an unwavering belief that there’s no better investment in people and communities than clean water.

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Jul 01, 2021
92. Asking the uncomfortable questions, w/ Michael Seibel, Y Combinator
00:33:07

Barreling full-speed ahead isn't always the key to scale. For Michael Seibel, managing director at Y Combinator and co-founder of Justin.tv and Socialcam, action sometimes needs to take a back seat to asking: "Is this working?" Michael learned early on that by stopping to ask the counterintuitive question, he gained the wisdom – and avoided time lost to big mistakes – that ultimately propelled him forward. At Y Combinator, he's helping other founders ask themselves uncomfortable questions. The answers aren't always obvious, and sometimes they seem downright irrational. But following where they lead, he says, feeds efficiency, confidence, and ambition. That's why the ability to ask the right questions at the right times of the right people is an essential skill for every entrepreneur.

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Jun 29, 2021
Rapid Response: Fighting through headwinds at Marriott, w/President Stephanie Linnartz
00:25:47

With Marriott's business already reeling due to Covid, beloved CEO Arne Sorenson was lost to cancer earlier this year. Stephanie Linnartz, president of Marriott International, shares how she and new CEO Tony Capuano have picked up the reins in the most challenging travel environment in modern times. Stephanie’s journey, and her prescriptions for Marriott’s future, reveal an unrelenting entrepreneurial spirit and an inspiring dedication to Sorenson's legacy.

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Jun 24, 2021
Unfiltered with Reid & Bob: Crypto craziness, ransomware attacks, "smart risks" & more
00:31:46

"Will some people lose their shirts with crypto? Absolutely. Will new great industries be built upon this? Absolutely," Reid Hoffman tells Rapid Response host Bob Safian, in a new, unfiltered conversation. The co-hosts dive into cryptocurrency strategy, why cybersecurity "is an emperor-has-no-clothes situation," weighing Target vs. the corner store, what's driving new climate-change habits, and more. Plus: What Reid missed most in the pandemic. Cameos: Compass CEO Robert Reffkin, Guild Education CEO Rachel Carlson.

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Jun 22, 2021
Rapid Response: Why business must be a force for good, w/former American Express CEO Ken Chenault
00:25:32

"Corporations can be a force for good – and they can also be very successful," says Ken Chenault, chair of investment firm General Catalyst and former longtime CEO of American Express. During the past year, Ken has been an outspoken advocate for business leaders to actively engage in societal matters. After George Floyd’s death, he and Merck CEO Ken Frazier launched OneTen, a coalition to create 1 million jobs for Black Americans that now includes major brands from IBM to Nike to Walmart. Chenault has pushed corporate chiefs to use their leverage to protect voting rights, and he's come out with a platform for Responsible Innovation that puts what he calls “social due diligence” alongside financial due diligence. Standing up for what's right, Ken says, fuels long-term success: "The most important thing is the quest for truth, character, and values."

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Jun 17, 2021
91. J.J. Abrams: Make room for magic
00:36:36

You can’t predict your next a-ha moment. but you can create favorable circumstances for serendipity to happen – for you, and for your team. No one knows this better than J.J. Abrams, director, producer, screenwriter, and co-founder and co-CEO of Bad Robot Productions, which has been behind some of the most successful TV series and films of the last 20 years, from Lost to Star Trek to the Star Wars sequel trilogy. J.J. explains how creativity and collaboration are things you cultivate, not conjure; and that making room for magic isn’t a luxury, it’s an essential part of entrepreneurship. Building the conditions for discovery emboldens and energizes a team, he shows, helping to accelerate the arrival of the next surprise-and-delight solution.

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Jun 15, 2021
The Complete Interviews from Masters of Scale
00:02:19

The never-before-released, original and uncut conversations between host Reid Hoffman and Masters of Scale guests. Each intimate, unedited conversation includes 60 minutes or more of content, including stories not included in Masters of Scale episodes. Subscribers will gain access to the archive, and to every new uncut interview, released in tandem with each new Masters of Scale episode. Now available via subscription on Apple Podcasts and via membership to Masters of Scale.

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Jun 14, 2021
Rapid Response: Fashioning a greener closet, w/Rent the Runway's Jenn Hyman
00:30:13

Fashion became secondary amid Covid lockdowns. Sweatpants-only life pressed apparel-subscription service Rent the Runway into layoffs and furloughs. But as co-founder and CEO Jenn Hyman explains, the business saw a surprising rebound early this year, fueled by new customers in unexpected places – and by a renewed consumer focus on sustainability. Building a “closet in the cloud,” as Jenn describes Rent the Runway, may not have been an essential pandemic service, but as we move into the next phase, her experience illuminates how accelerated change is remaking the marketplace.

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Jun 10, 2021
90. Build the right flywheel, w/Teach for America / Teach for All's Wendy Kopp
00:39:20

Not every platform turns into a flywheel for scale. Wendy Kopp founded two networks that each became flywheels for change: Teach for America and Teach for All, where she's currently CEO. Yet the shape of the two networks are surprisingly different. While they both feed similar goals – helping educators find what they need, share what they learn, build enthusiasm, and motivate talent – the two organizations operate under different rules and assumptions. Kopp's journey illuminates how listening, adjusting, and open rethinking are key to building a network that thrives. And how hard-won lessons can produce extraordinary impact.

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Jun 08, 2021
Rapid Response: The promise and peril of engineering biology, w/Ginkgo Bioworks Reshma Shetty
00:25:54

Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine would not have scaled without Ginkgo Bioworks. Reshma Shetty, co-founder and COO of Ginkgo – slated to go public via SPAC acquisition at a reported $15 billion valuation – explains how biotech innovation can build a better future now. Ginkgo's platform already serves industries from food and agriculture, to materials, to healthcare. Shetty acknowledges that engineering genes is a high stakes pursuit, and says Ginkgo is trying to pair the ambition of Silicon Valley with a "higher level of care" than consumer tech companies like social media have demonstrated. The key, Shetty says, is creating an unstable equilibrium – propelling progress but not at the expense of principles.

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Jun 03, 2021
5 essential moves for post-pandemic success, featuring Airbnb, Etsy, Sunrun, and more
00:34:58

Shift your mindset. Tighten your focus. Map your future. In this special episode, Reid Hoffman presents a five-step playbook for post-crisis success. Moving from chaos to calm requires a revised agenda, whether the pandemic crushed your business or boosted it. Peace-time strategies need to be just as sharp as wartime strategies. Featuring Airbnb's Brian Chesky, Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer, NBA all-star Jerry Stackhouse, and more.

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May 29, 2021
Rapid Response: Upskilling and the war for talent, w/Guild Education CEO Rachel Carlson
00:28:22

How do you win the post-pandemic war for talent? Send your frontline workers to online school. That's the pitch that Rachel Carlson has made – successfully – to big businesses from Chipotle to Disney, Walmart to Waste Management. As co-founder and CEO of Guild Education, Carlson runs a digital platform that enables workers to get degrees and certifications as a free employee benefit. Though virtual schooling for kids is under fire, virtual education for adults has caught on over the last year like never before. To meet the ongoing need for “upskilling” in the modern economy, Carlson says, company-sponsored digital classes should be as ubiquitous as company-sponsored health plans. The ROI, she explains, is astonishingly high.

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May 27, 2021
89. Alex Rodriguez: How mentorship provides an edge
00:34:12

Even all-star athletes are coached. So why not you? Alex Rodriguez, former professional baseball player, leaned into outside advice at the most challenging moments in his career – and in building his enormously successful business, A-Rod Corp. Rodriguez shares what he's learned from mentors like investing guru Warren Buffett and NBA icon Magic Johnson, and how mentorship can help sharpen your skills and open up opportunities. We spoke with A-Rod twice this year, including in a live Strategy Session that we released as an episode previously. Here, we dive deep into Alex's story, to explore how great mentors can be a driving force on your journey to scale – and how the best way to find great mentors is to always be learning and to have the mindset of a mentor yourself.

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May 25, 2021
Rapid Response: Why real estate matters more than ever, with Compass founder & CEO Robert Reffkin
00:28:07

"We may not be able to survive this," remarked Robert Reffkin, founder and CEO of real estate platform Compass, after pandemic lockdown rules essentially outlawed U.S. home selling. Yet today the housing market is booming, and Compass has successfully IPO'ed. Reffkin shares how he kept his team together, why he stayed optimistic, and what businesses lucky enough to have benefited from Covid times owe their communities. He also shares insights on housing prices – after correctly predicting last year that summer 2020 would be the most successful in the history of the real estate market – and on the future of big cities. It’s a house tour worth taking.

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May 20, 2021
88. President Barack Obama, part 2: How to adapt to changing rules
00:35:22

Creating a prototype in your garage isn't the same as leading a team of thousands. You need to keep your mission constant, but your tactics fluid as you scale. This is exactly the challenge President Barack Obama faced after winning the 2008 election. In the second episode of our two-part mini-series, we dive into how Obama grappled with the Great Recession once in office, what it took to secure the Affordable Care Act, and what was behind the disastrous roll out of the healthcare.gov website. Through it all, President Obama learned to let first principles guide the way, even as he and his staff adapted to new realities and changing rules.

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May 18, 2021
Rapid Response: Inside Google’s Pandemic Safety Squad, w/Chief Health Officer Dr. Karen DeSalvo
00:32:17

Google search may be the world’s most powerful public health platform. Dr Karen DeSalvo, Google's chief health officer, has built a team of doctors, scientists and clinicians who — alongside engineers and designers – determine what information and advice shows up when we search for answers about Covid-19, the pandemic, vaccines and more. She also heads Google’s employee health-safety efforts and leads external in-the-field efforts to broaden vaccine access in the US and across the globe. Her message to businesses is that we all have a role to play in combating the virus – and that, when it comes to return-to-work, our own personal risk assessment can’t be discounted.

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May 13, 2021
87. President Barack Obama: When the moment chooses you, part 1
00:37:47

Politics and entrepreneurship have much in common: Both versions of scale leadership require strategic patience, hard work, a clear vision of a better future, an unshakable belief that you can bring that future to life – and the ideal opportunity to make it all come together. President Barack Obama sits down with Reid Hoffman in Part 1 of our two-part episode on finding the right moment to act, and when the moment chooses you. Obama talks about how being in the right place, at the right time, with the right mindset enabled his political ascension. Fueled by what President Obama calls “preparation and perspiration,” his 2008 campaign was a startup that defied expectations. Then came the big pivot: figuring out how to move from renegade mode to leading one of the world's largest enterprises, the U.S. government. With guest will.i.am.

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May 11, 2021
Rapid Response: Surviving a close shave, with Harry's co-CEO Andy Katz-Mayfield
00:24:21

Harry's took a one-two punch in 2020 – right on the chin. First, the federal government blocked a $1.37 billion acquisition of the shaving and consumer products company; then Covid-19 lockdowns hit. Rather than reeling from the abrupt change in plans, though, Harry's kept its balance. Co-founder and co-CEO Andy Katz-Mayfield explains how the team launched new brands amid the pandemic, tapped into unexpected pockets of demand, and, most recently, raised fresh capital at a valuation well above the blocked merger deal. Now, with a war chest at their disposal, Andy and co-founder and co-CEO Jeff Raider, are looking to acquire brands, having switched from seller to buyer. It is a classic entrepreneurial feat, finding strength and new opportunities out of disappointment and disruption.

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May 06, 2021
30. The elusive formula for great hiring, w/Workday's Aneel Bhusri
00:40:48

Your first hires are your cultural cofounders. And it’s worth your time to get every one right. That's why Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri personally interviewed his first 500 employees. Today, with 12,500 employees and over $4b in annual revenue, Workday is consistently rated one of the best places to work. Learn the interview questions that can help you find the right employees to build your culture. With cameo appearances by Danny Meyer (founder, Shake Shack), Arianna Huffington (founder, Thrive Global), Michael Bush (CEO, Great Place to Work) and Joyce Nethry (founder of Jeptha Creed Distillery).

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May 04, 2021
Rapid Response: "A crucible moment for Instacart," with founder & CEO Apoorva Mehta
00:22:28

Five years of growth in five weeks. That's how Covid-19 lockdowns accelerated Instacart's business last spring. Now, a year later, the company faces another "crucible moment," says Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta. He's leaning into what he describes as a four-sided market – including software services for grocers and advertising for product vendors – to amplify the appeal of tech-enabled shopping, even as vaccinations proliferate and in-store buying revives. Instacart's focus, he says, will help it outpace a rising field of competitors, and create a distinctive advantage even against behemoth Amazon.

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Apr 29, 2021
A Strategy Session w/A-Rod + Reid: Build a team of mentors
00:29:00

To win at scale, you need more than great players – you need a team of great coaches. This Strategy Session episode is full of great advice and tactics for building that deep bench of mentors, each with a role to play. Working with great coaches is a skill that Alex Rodriguez learned in his first career in baseball, working with legendary skippers like Lou Piniella, and he's brought that skill to his work as an investor at A-Rod Corp., where he has struck up a firm friendship with none other than Warren Buffet. Answering questions from the two co-leads of HBS Class of 2021, Alex and Reid, along with special guests Katia Beauchamp of Birchbox and Mihir Desai of the HBS faculty, show you how to get the most out of mentorship – and how to make sure your mentors also get something out of the deal too.

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Apr 27, 2021
Rapid Response: A pandemic is not a business model, w/Blue Apron's Linda Findley Kozlowski
00:25:42

With the pandemic, cooking at home got a renewed boost, and meal kit outfits saw a rise in demand. But a year in, the trend toward at-home dining now faces a new inflection point. We're talking with Linda Findley Kozlowski, CEO of meal-kit pioneer Blue Apron, because she’s on the frontlines of assessing which pandemic-fueled behaviors will persist, and in what ways. Early on, Linda made the choice NOT to sop up every ounce of demand, instead focusing on what she calls sustainable growth. Blue Apron has seen a flood of new competitors come onto the market, but her bet is that long-term trends and a differentiated product will matter more than crisis opportunity. As she puts it, a pandemic is not a business model.

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Apr 22, 2021
86. Frustration is your friend, w/Houzz founder Adi Tatarko
00:33:42

Frustration is an important signal: it indicates an opportunity, a problem to be solved. And if your solution also builds a community, you've unlocked a path to scale. Adi Tatarko founded the online home-design site Houzz with her husband as a hacked-together tool to find and share home design ideas, after their own home renovation turned into a frustrating time-waster. But by flipping frustration on its head, Houzz has grown into a bustling platform and marketplace with more than 65 million homeowners and home design enthusiasts, an essential (and delightful!) resource for homeowners, designers, architects, craftspeople. Learn how to identify frustration – and flip it. Special guests: Puzzle master Karen Kavett, Eventbrite cofounder Julia Hartz.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com

Listen to our episode featuring Julia Hartz, "Let Your Customers Be Your Scouts": http://listen.mastersofscale.com/EventbriteJuliaHartz 

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Apr 20, 2021
Rapid Response: Can bankruptcy save movie theaters? with Alamo Drafthouse CEO Shelli Taylor
00:23:46

"It's 12 months of no meaningful revenue," says Alamo Drafthouse CEO Shelli Taylor. "And then last weekend was phenomenal." Taylor returns to the podcast to explain why the hip, culture-forward movie theater chain recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, even as movie-goers began to return back to theaters, plus the unexpected lessons she learned about the process – and why she still sees great hope and opportunity ahead for the business.

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Apr 15, 2021
Unfiltered with Reid & Bob: GameStop, SPACs, gov't stimulus, and vaccines
00:34:51

"The future is sooner and stranger than you think," Reid Hoffman tells Rapid Response host Bob Safian in a frank, unfiltered conversation about the lessons of 2021 so far. "The rulebook will be changing month by month." The co-hosts dive into U.S. government stimulus efforts; GameStop, SPACs and potential froth in the investment markets; rising pressure on business leaders to engage on social and policy issues; and how vaccinations are impacting all of us. Plus: the 10-year anniversary of Reid's book "The Startup of You."

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com

Listen to Rapid Response episodes mentioned in this interview:

John Donahoe (Nike): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/NikeJohnDonahoe

Ed Bastian (Delta): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/DeltaEdBastian

Daniella Ballou-Aares (Leadership Now Project): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/LeadershipNowDBA

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Apr 13, 2021
Rapid Response: Delta CEO Ed Bastian: Turbulence, recovery, and risk
00:35:11

With 75% of U.S. customers saying they'll soon be vaccinated, Delta is embracing a new phase, opening up middle seats as of May 1. CEO Ed Bastian bet at the start of the pandemic that focusing on consumer confidence and reinforcing Delta’s brand would ultimately pay big rewards. Now that strategy will be put to the test -- even as Bastian clashes with Georgia officials over the state's new voting law. How quickly will domestic demand rebound? When will business and international travel return? And what blowback may Delta face for its political stance? For Bastian, being on the hot seat is just another day on the job.

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Apr 08, 2021
85. Beyond Meat's Ethan Brown: How to teach your customer
00:43:00

As the founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, Ethan Brown has spent years navigating misconceptions about plant-based foods. But smart entrepreneurs listen instead of arguing. Only by obsessing over what customers say they want has Brown been able to create a product that succeeds in the marketplace. What Brown has demonstrated, and what every entrepreneur should learn: You must first build trust from customers – making sure they feel heard – before you can educate them about the value of your innovation. Cameos: Chris Paul (professional basketball player).

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Apr 05, 2021
Rapid Response: The trampoline effect, w/ Morning Brew CEO Alex Lieberman
00:31:45

Revenue for Morning Brew's booming email newsletter operation dried up when the pandemic hit, but its audience remained devoted. Morning Brew CEO Alex Lieberman, who started the business with co-founder Austin Rief as undergraduates at the University of Michigan, leaned into the brand's distinctive personality, fueling a sharp rebound. By last fall, they sold a majority interest to Business Insider for a reported $75 million. Lieberman explains the roots of this "trampoline effect," the potential of the creator economy for entrepreneurs, and why an authentic voice is a shortcut to business success.

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Apr 01, 2021
84. Mark Cuban: What investors really look for
00:42:49

No one knows the fundraising game better than Mark Cuban, serial entrepreneur, investor, and star of Shark Tank. For founders, identifying the right source of capital, under the right terms, can provide a thermal updraft. But as Cuban explains, there are always strings attached when you bring on a financial partner – and those strings can pull you crashing down if you don't understand them properly. Cuban shares deep insights on the qualities investors look for in a founder, and what entrepreneurs should be looking for in return. Only the right value exchange, he says, will enable a business to leverage its way to new heights.

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Mar 30, 2021
Rapid Response: The business of democracy, w/Leadership Now's Daniella Ballou-Aares
00:32:36

In recent months, business leaders have been pressed to take public positions on politics in ways they never have before. That's good for business and good for democracy, says Daniella Ballou-Aares, co-founder and CEO of the Leadership Now Project. She argues that even businesses that don’t lobby are key players in building our communities of the future – and that business-style innovation offers the best chance of improving democratic processes. With trust in entrepreneurs outpacing that of other civic leaders, Ballou-Aares notes, corporate activism isn’t stepping out of your place; it's embracing both responsibility and opportunity.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/

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Mar 25, 2021
83. Disney’s Bob Iger: How acquisitions become an ecosystem, part 2
00:28:00

From Pixar to Marvel to Lucasfilm, Disney's Bob Iger defied expectations, acquiring world-renowned brands and meshing them seamlessly with the House of Mouse. In Part 2 of our epic conversation with Iger – Disney's executive chair and former CEO – we delve into the next phase of the process, how he helped build a diverse, sustainable ecosystem for Disney companies in the China market, and how all the lessons learned played out in the massive acquisition of 20th Century Fox.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/

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Mar 23, 2021
Airbnb's Brian Chesky: "We died and were reborn." A special Rapid Response
00:41:56

Headlines last April predicted death for Airbnb. How could it survive a pandemic that stopped their core business cold? As the business cratered (in 8 weeks, they lost 80% of revenue), CEO Brian Chesky realized: It was a moment to step back, rethink and do more than anyone expected. So after putting a planned IPO on hold, he and his team started planning Airbnb's "illogical rebound." In this special Rapid Response interview with Bob Safian, Brian shares candid, never-before-heard stories about the advice he got from Barack Obama, and about the eye-popping December 2020 IPO at a valuation that left even him speechless. He speaks truthfully about the uncertainty, the anxiety, and the loneliness entrepreneurs are feeling as they fight for the future of their teams, their companies, and their vision.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/

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Mar 16, 2021
82. Tyra Banks: Personal brand power
00:42:19

To succeed in the modern business environment, you need to strut your stuff: to cultivate a personal brand that supports career growth. No one represents this better than Tyra Banks. As a model, a producer, and an entrepreneur, Tyra has forged a personal brand that has enabled her to make multiple pivots, building fame, wealth, and meaningful impact on the issues that matter most to her. Startups can come and go, and so can employers. In our very uncertain landscape, the thing that remains constant is YOU: how you solve problems, how you learn from mistakes, how you build networks and relationships. And what you stand for. At its core a personal brand is a promise to a solution – and everyone, from your customers to your investors to your extended network, will want a clear and compelling picture of who you are and what you bring to the table. Cameo appearance: Andy Cunningham (Cunningham Collective).

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/tyra-banks/

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Mar 09, 2021
Rapid Response: A prescription for healthy growth, with FIGS Co-CEO Heather Hasson
00:26:04

How does a start-up geared to healthcare workers balance giving back during Covid with the desire for growth? FIGS, an emerging lifestyle brand for medical professionals that built its name around premium scrubs, faced key choices amid the pandemic. Co-founder and co-CEO Heather Hasson explains why a commitment to offering free PPE, isolation gowns, and more supported both FIGS's mission and its community. Shifting supply lines, leaning into a robust e-commerce system, and expanding internationally in response to demand, the FIGS team used the moment to reinforce their relationship with their customers – and saw annual revenue climb past $250 million. Hasson likens medical professionals to star athletes, under high pressure for hours on end, with huge stakes in the balance. By treating them with special care, and championing their contributions, FIGS has built enviable brand allegiance among a community that, until Covid hit, was often overlooked.

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Mar 04, 2021
81. Disney’s Bob Iger: How acquisitions become an ecosystem, part 1
00:40:00

For any distinctive brand or business, it can be a challenge to expand reach without diluting what makes you special. No one has a keener understanding of this issue than Bob Iger, executive chair and former CEO of the Walt Disney Company. In this special two-part episode, Iger takes us through how he supercharged the House of Mouse while acquiring Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 21st Century Fox. The trick, he explains, is setting up a diverse ecosystem that preserves the culture, methods, and core talent of both old parts and new parts – and fitting them together in ways that make everyone more successful.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/bob-iger/

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Mar 02, 2021
Nike’s CEO John Donahoe on wartime leadership (Rapid Response)
00:30:57

When he became CEO on the eve of the pandemic, Nike's John Donahoe starting game plan revolved around listening and being out in the marketplace. But when lockdowns began rolling through, he quickly adjusted, assuming what he calls a "wartime" approach to leadership. Donahoe's view is that top-down stewardship matters now more than ever. To not only survive the pandemic but come out in a stronger position, he is leaning into the brand’s legacy, his team’s strengths, and booming direct-to-consumer digital engagement. He's also tapped an innovation pipeline that's helped Nike release a new product every two weeks. The world needs sport to bring people together, Donahoe says, and Nike is at the center of that. Doubling down on that mission, he says, drives passion from both consumers and employees, pushing forward a message of hope and unity.

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Feb 25, 2021
80. Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson: The secret to big leaps
00:36:29

Successful daredevils aren't really winging it, even if it looks that way from the outside. They have a method. No one knows this better – or does this better – than Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. Sir Richard has been willing to take death-defying entrepreneurial leaps again and again, into new markets and industries, establishing himself as one of the most prolific and successful founders ever. You can't help but marvel at his bias to action: his eagerness to ask “What if?” and then follow up those fanciful thoughts with bold and decisive steps forward. You don't have to be born with Sir Richard’s bravado to cultivate a bias to action. Sir Richard shares how you too can learn to take the right leaps, in the right moments, to generate outsize opportunities.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/richard-branson/

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Feb 23, 2021
A taste of Masters of Scale Season 8
00:02:10

Our all-new season of Masters of Scale features iconic leaders and rising stars of scale companies. This season, Reid Hoffman trades theories with Disney CEO Bob Iger, model/mogul Tyra Banks, investor Mark Cuban, Houzz founder Adi Tatarko, Beyond Meat founder Ethan Brown, Sir Richard Branson – and many more. Plus, we’ve got Live episodes, your favorite Strategy Sessions, and a few surprises in store. Join us!   

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Feb 19, 2021
Rapid Response: Winning and losing, w/Vanderbilt University coach Jerry Stackhouse
00:26:12

Maintaining high performance in business has become harder than ever, between health challenges, economic obstacles, and political uncertainty. But we all still work to win. Jerry Stackhouse, coach of the Vanderbilt University men’s basketball team and former NBA all-star, is focused on winning – in the near-term, and the long term. His experience offers a compelling parable for every business leader these days. With Covid-19, his team has faced cancellations, testing protocols, and a pandemic reality of isolation and empty arenas. Coach Stackhouse is balancing the high stakes of health, racial equity, and media scrutiny with the quest for performance. Leading a team has never been more difficult, or more important.

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Feb 18, 2021
Rapid Response: Public-private opportunities, with Defense Innovation Unit's Mike Brown
00:32:10

Call him the unofficial U.S. ambassador to Silicon Valley. As director of the Defense Innovation Unit within the U.S. Department of Defense, Mike Brown is tasked with bridging the gap between technology innovators and the U.S. government. Formerly CEO of Symantec, Brown knows the significant opportunity public-private partnerships can offer entrepreneurs – if structured for speed not bureaucracy – and he's been setting up new ones at a rapid clip. He also knows the intense need to keep the U.S. government on the leading edge of tech, for cost reasons and competitive ones. Brown has a keen eye on China’s tech-and-government efforts, and the potential impact on U.S. companies and U.S. national security. Bringing the best of commercial tech into the government, Brown says, isn’t just a nice to have but a need to have.

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Feb 16, 2021
Rapid Response: Iterating under pressure, with Feeding America's Claire Babineaux-Fontenot
00:30:11

The pandemic era has ushered in a new wave of food insecurity, with some 50 millions Americans hungry for food aid. How could Feeding America, a nationwide network of food banks, meet the moment? CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot describes the immense challenge: volunteers unavailable, mass-distribution centers untenable, resources unreliable. But with one in six Americans in need (one in four kids), she leaned on Feeding America's assets in new ways, empowering local chapters, collecting data, accelerating tech, and continually reassessing logistics to meet developing needs – a lesson all entrepreneurs can learn from. And landing a $100 million gift from Jeff Bezos didn't hurt either!

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Feb 11, 2021
Strategy Session: 5 burning questions & their unexpected answers w/Reid Hoffman & Bob Safian
00:34:37

How do you build expertise in new tech like quantum, crypto and AI? How much attention should you be paying to the stock market right now? How do you keep your company's culture fresh if you don't have an influx of fresh talent? Host Reid Hoffman and editor-at-large Bob Safian dig into the most-often-whispered questions of entrepreneurs right now – questions that are both of the moment and timeless. Plus: Would Reid ever go on Shark Tank?

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/strategy-session-6/

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Feb 09, 2021
Rapid Response: Why we need to think again, w/Adam Grant
00:30:43

As we grapple with pandemic-charged change in business and as a society, we’ve become more fractured, more divisive, and more vulnerable. Adam Grant, best-selling author and professor at the Wharton School, argues that recognizing what we don't know is the key step on the road to insight, competitive advantage, and community peace. In his new book, "Think Again," Grant illuminates why taking a fresh look at our assumptions, about others and about ourselves, is such a powerful tool. His in-the-trenches research – from Silicon Valley's halls of power to the beliefs of anti-vaxxers – provides actionable advice for all of us.

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Feb 04, 2021
79. How to be the steward of your idea, w/Affectiva's Rana el Kaliouby
00:37:43

Great entrepreneurs aren't just product obsessed; they're impact obsessed. Rana el Kaliouby, co-founder and CEO of Affectiva, has spent most of her career thinking about how to project – and steward – the possible uses of artificial intelligence. Affectiva uses AI to read people's emotional states, but Rana won't put her software to work for just anyone. She's walking a fine line between thoughtfully nurturing her idea and being a cranky custodian: potentially throttling the scale of her business. It's a risk she's willing to take. She understands that entrepreneurship isn't just about providing a product or service that people love, or creating jobs; it's about asking: "Am I making a net contribution to society – not just right now, but for future generations?"

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/rana-el-kaliouby/

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Feb 02, 2021
Rapid Response: Aggressive sustainability, w/Lynn Jurich, CEO of Sunrun
00:30:51

Expectations for solar are high under a Biden administration, says Lynn Jurich, CEO of the solar power company Sunrun. While Sunrun's stock price has quadrupled in the past year, Jurich faces not only high-profile competition but the complexities of a new-style energy utility and the vagaries of politics and policy in the most partisan environment in generations. Her touchstone – in a key lesson for entrepreneurs – is to focus on long-term trends that she believes are favorable. In the teeth of the pandemic, she spent $3 billion to buy up one of the other key industry players, doubling down on her commitment, and extending a scale advantage. From Sunrun's internal culture to the undulating energy marketplace, Jurich is both pivoting in search of opportunity and holding fast to central principles.

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Jan 28, 2021
78. How to master your emotions, w/Sam Harris
00:33:36

The biggest challenge for founders often isn’t winning the strategic game – it’s winning the mental game. For a master class in mastering your emotions, we turn to Sam Harris, author, neuroscientist, and philosopher. His podcast “Making Sense,” his app “Waking Up,” and his many books have drawn a devoted following among entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and beyond. Leadership experts often talk about the importance of adding new skills to your metaphorical toolbox, but less attention is paid to the actual toolbox itself: your mind. Sam shares how you can manage your own emotions, and master your own runaway thoughts, to not only make it through the entrepreneurial journey but learn more, and scale faster along the way.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/sam-harris/

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Jan 26, 2021
Rapid Response: Ten months of pain and hope, w/restaurateur Danny Meyer
00:29:49

It's been an epic journey for iconic New York City restaurateur and Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer. Forced by the pandemic into closures and layoffs last spring, as he poignantly shared in two previous episodes, Danny stayed optimistic and was rewarded through the summer and fall, as new menu innovations and new dining protocols brought back customers.

But then a fresh wave of infections inflicted fresh pain, with harder choices than ever and renewed layoffs and closings – one of them permanent. The restaurant industry overall is teetering on the edge, he says, desperate for federal help and active intervention to be able to return to the communities they once served. Danny still believes that restaurants will come back; that, in fact, the coming months will provide a unique opportunity for new restaurant launches. Yet his own spirit is being tested, as unrelenting challenges face off against defiant hope.

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Jan 21, 2021
6. Innovation is managed chaos, w/Eric Schmidt of Google/Alphabet
00:30:18

Google has succeeded by innovating again and again. Their secret? They don’t tell their employees how to innovate; they manage the chaos. Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google since 2001 and now chair of parent company Alphabet, shares the controversial management techniques he created to lead an environment of free-flowing ideas – and the disciplined decision-making that helps to make a breakthrough idea into a profitable product. He reveals the secret to Google’s former “20% time” policy, their approach to hiring smart creatives, and the parallels between leading Google and piloting small aircraft. Plus, his “roommate” at Google, and the decision he made to support a crazy idea that he was certain would bankrupt the company.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/eric-schmidt-innovation-managed-chaos/

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Jan 19, 2021
Rapid Response: What the pandemic has cost women, w/Ellevest's Sallie Krawcheck
00:31:17

Amidst the devastating effects of the pandemic, one in five women has left the workforce, and the gender pay gap and wealth gap are expanding. There's a long-term cost to that inequity, says Sallie Krawcheck, co-founder and CEO of Ellevest, a fintech platform dedicated to serving women investors – and businesses can help to address that cost. A long-time C-suite leader at financial behemoths like Citi and Bank of America, Krawcheck knows firsthand the obstacles women face as well as the struggles big institutions can have in reconfiguring their practices to help. Today, she says, we can no longer look away from the harsh numbers. She believes the agility of startups provides a key part of the solution, demonstrating the impact that entrepreneurship can have, for all of us.

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Jan 14, 2021
54. What's the hidden business behind your business? w/Rent the Runway's Jenn Hyman
00:40:03

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 status by mastering a few less glamorous businesses — including the world’s largest dry-cleaning operation, and a data insights practice that’s changing the fashion industry. Cameo appearance: Kevin Venardos (Venardos Circus); Stewart Butterfield (Slack).

Read Jenn Hyman's essay on the making of this episode: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/mastering-businesses-behind-our-business-jennifer-hyman/

Learn more about the Venardos Circus: https://www.venardoscircus.com/

Listen to Stewart Butterfield on Masters of Scale: http://listen.mastersofscale.com/StewartButterfield

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/jenn-hyman-the-secret-business-behind-the-business/

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Jan 12, 2021
8 reliable lessons for unreliable times
00:54:50

If 2021 is even half as unpredictable as 2020 was, you'll need to dig deep into your resilience and wisdom to get through. We've pulled together this special episode of Masters of Scale to serve as a sort of primer for the new year, full of lessons learned from the sometimes devastating, sometimes inspiring year we just put behind us. These lessons come from a range of guests we've spoken to in a time of incredible change. Some are stories about doing everything right – and still ending up in crisis. Others are about overcoming the odds with grit, heart, and compassion. Featuring GM's Mary Barra, Jeff Wiener, Jonah Peretti, Rashad Robinson, Colleen DeCourcy, Susan Wojcicki, and more. 

Read a transcript of this episode at: https://mastersofscale.com/8-lessons/

Listen to Masters of Scale episodes mentioned in this interview:

Nick Means (GitHub): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/GitHubNickMeans

Mary Barra (GM): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/GMMaryBarra

Ellen Kullman (Dupont, Carbon): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/CarbonEllenKullman

Jonah Peretti (BuzzFeed): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/BuzzFeedJonahPeretti

Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/LinkedInJeffWeiner

Hans Vestberg (Verizon): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/VerizonHansVestberg

Brian Cornell (Target): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/TargetBrianCornell

Rashad Robinson (Color of Change): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/ColorofChangeRashadRobinson

Baratunde Thurston (Host, Author): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/HostBaratundeThurston

Eddy Lu (GOAT): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/GOATEddyLu

Colleen DeCourcy (Wieden+Kennedy): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/Wieden-KennedyColleenDeCourcy

Eva Moskowitz (Success Academy): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/SuccessAcademyEvaMoskowitz

Drew Houston (Dropbox): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/DropboxDrewHouston

Mary Schmidt Campbell (Spelman College): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/SpelmanCollegeSchmidtCampbell

Susan Wojcicki (YouTube): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/YouTubeSusanWojcicki

Sarah Friar (Nextdoor): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/NextdoorSarahFriar

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Jan 07, 2021
2020: The Year in Review w/Reid Hoffman & Bob Safian
00:48:35

Our host, Reid Hoffman, and our editor at large, Bob Safian, in conversation about a pandemic-disrupted year filled with unexpected twists and lessons. From the rise (and risks) of remote work to accelerations in tech; from supply-chain disruption to opportunities in manufacturing; from stock-market fluctuations to social justice demonstrations, 2020 was a turning point in so many realms. Reid and Bob talk about the rising responsibility of business – now is the time, says Reid, to speak up on civic and cultural matters – and the many opportunities in the year to come. While 2020 has been devastating, says Reid, we have reached a moment for entrepreneurs to rise, to create, and to blaze the path forward.

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Dec 22, 2020
Rapid Response: Why Salesforce bought Slack, w/Salesforce's Bret Taylor
00:31:25

Salesforce's much-buzzed-about deal to acquire Slack for $28 billion goes back a decade, when Friendfeed founder Bret Taylor met Flickr founder Stewart Butterfield. Now Taylor is Salesforce's president, while Butterfield runs Slack. In this episode, Taylor talks about how the pandemic helped the two friends bring their businesses together, and what a Salesforce-Slack combination means for the future of work. Taylor explains how an initial paralysis within Salesforce when the pandemic hit turned into a new operating model based more than ever on digital work tools. With vaccines in sight, Taylor also shares inside data on our love-hate relationship with the office. In the end, he argues, the workplace of tomorrow will depend as much on human choices as it does on software.

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Dec 17, 2020
57. Be a platform, w/Shopify's Tobi Lütke
00:32:10

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, Eric Schmidt (Google), Julia Hartz (Eventbrite), and Gustav Söderström (Spotify).

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/tobi-lutke-be-a-platform/

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Dec 15, 2020
Rapid Response: Why take on a turnaround, w/Magic Leap’s Peggy Johnson
00:27:14

Why leave a storied tech icon to lead a troubled brand? As the pandemic deepened this summer, Peggy Johnson left a safe perch at Microsoft to take the helm of one-time startup darling Magic Leap, which had just barely avoided bankruptcy. Yet with CEO roles for women in tech still unfortunately rare, Johnson felt compelled to take a risk. Now she's betting that the accelerated tech adoption prompted by Covid-19 will boost emerging areas like Magic Leap's AR. All entrepreneurs face moments when the bar seems impossibly high. But even in difficult times, Johnson knows, we can make our own opportunities.

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Dec 10, 2020
77. The secret power of onboarding, w/Canva's Melanie Perkins
00:43:40

Onboarding isn't just about employees. The often overlooked step-by-step process – to join a product or company – lays the foundation for everything that follows. No one knows this better than Melanie Perkins, co-founder and CEO of Canva. From the moment she started the Australia-based graphic design platform, she knew she had to engage newcomers with simplicity and speed. It took a series of steps: onboard users to her product, one-by-one; onboard investors to help her build; onboard employees in a way that would pass along her values and her vision. Then onboard new investors, new features, new partners, new markets with the same care and ease-of-use – but at scale. With more than 40 million monthly active users and 3 billion designs created, Canva is proof for the magic of onboarding. Cameos: Ron White (Memory Expert).

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Dec 08, 2020
Rapid Response: Loneliness at work, w/Noreena Hertz
00:32:47

This is the loneliest century, says economist Noreena Hertz. Even before the pandemic forced us to stay home, loneliness was snaking its way through our lives, affecting everything from how we vote to how we work. Professor at University College London and author of the upcoming book, The Lonely Century, Noreena has some sage advice for businesses: about how less loneliness fuels more productivity, the bottom-line advantages of in-person connection over virtual interactions, and why values like kindness, community, and care are key to attracting and retaining talent. Technology is a double-edged sword, Noreena says, but we can use it to turn our isolation around, if we embrace the opportunity.

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Dec 03, 2020
76. Building bridges to scale, w/Kind’s Daniel Lubetzky
00:37:32

Scaling isn’t only about scaling UP – it’s about scaling OUT: to new products, new verticals, new customers. And to do this, you’ll need to build bridges. No one knows this better than Daniel Lubetzky, the founder and executive chair of snack food company KIND. Daniel has spent his whole life working to bring together disparate supply chains, products, and communities. Through it, he’s learned the right – and the wrong – way to connect. That means building bridges that people actually want, letting people meet him halfway, and focusing on the foundations so those bridges last forever. Cameo appearance: Bianca Wylie (Public tech advocate).

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Dec 01, 2020
Rapid Response: Balancing Data with Gut Feeling, w/JetBlue's Joanna Geraghty
00:32:31

After suffering record shattering drops in revenue from Covid-19, JetBlue has had to rethink every plan and every assumption. Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue's president and chief operating officer, explains how the airline built a new system for flexing the business, to ramp up only when demand arises, deploying cost cuts but no furloughs, and looking for opportunity amid the downdraft. With JetBlue and airlines across the board now grappling with a renewed global infection surge, Geraghty says her decisions rely on new types of data as well as gut feeling – from re-opening middle seats starting in January to expanding flights to London. The volume of choices Geraghty has to make and the uncertainty around the risks are dizzying. But despite the challenges, she says, JetBlue is rising up.

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Nov 25, 2020
3. Learn from every “no,” w/Walker & Company’s Tristan Walker
00:29:36

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 rejection. Instead, learn to hear the nuance in the different kinds of “no.” That’s what Tristan Walker did. After stints at two successful startups, he launched out on his own with Walker & Company, makers of the Bevel razor – and learned to navigate the world of investors who may or may not share your vision.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/tristan-walker-beauty-of-a-bad-idea/

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Nov 24, 2020
Rapid Response: Why brands must take a stand, w/Wieden+Kennedy's Colleen DeCourcy
00:36:43

Legendary ad agency Wieden+Kennedy pioneered some of the most successful campaigns in history. But 2020 has raised the stakes for companies—and fundamentally changed how advertising works, W+K president Colleen DeCourcy tells us. Even as her own business adapts to financial and cultural strains, DeCourcy and her team have been guiding brands from Nike to Coca-Cola to Uber in selecting the right messages in a turbulent world. Meshing an economic goal with an emotional message has never demanded more creativity. Brands should take a stand, she argues, but not on everything.

Want to learn more about Wieden+Kennedy's work with Nike? Check out our episode with Nike founder Phil Knight: http://listen.mastersofscale.com/PhilKnight_WK

Read the full transcript at mastersofscale.com

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Nov 19, 2020
75. How to find hidden value that others miss, w/The Black List's Franklin Leonard
00:42:25

Forget looking for a needle in a haystack – instead, build a new type of metal detector, to find undervalued assets that others don’t see. That’s exactly what Franklin Leonard did when he started The Black List, an annual survey of screenplays everyone loved (but no one was making). Devise ways to find things no one else has found – or didn’t think to look for – and it could be the difference that drives you to scale. Cameo: Software engineer Tatiana Mac.

Learn more about The Black List: https://blcklst.com/

Learn more about Tatiana Mac: https://tatianamac.com/

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Nov 17, 2020
Rapid Response: A virtual-first workplace, w/Dropbox's Drew Houston
00:31:08

In-office engagement or remote flexibility? We don't need to choose, says Dropbox co-founder and CEO Drew Houston. Facing the biggest shift in work habits in half a century, Houston has embarked on a radical experiment to reimagine how work gets done. The company's recently announced Virtual First plan dedicates all in-office activity to creative, team-based efforts, rebranding its offices as Dropbox Studios. Individual work will happen offsite, either at home or a self-chosen co-working space. Project teams set their own schedules. The unique opportunity of this moment, Houston says: How do we make work better? Yes, he admits, remote work feeds Dropbox's business, which now includes a collaboration with Zoom as part of a re-thought product roadmap. If Dropbox is going to design for the future of work, says Houston, then its own workforce needs to live in that future, right now.

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Nov 12, 2020
74. Nike’s Phil Knight: How to sell without selling
00:35:40

Great branding is about identity – and it’s about matchmaking too. No one knows this better than the legendary co-founder of Nike, Phil Knight. When he and his partner, Hall of Fame track coach Bill Bowerman, started the sneaker company, they never tried to force-feed customers a product just to drive up the bottom line. They focused on one thing: making an excellent product for people who believed in the edgy Nike ethos. Because they knew, when there’s a mismatch between product and market, the bottom usually drops out. Instead, they told the world who the are, and then did everything they could to find their ideal customers. And made history. Cameo appearance: Eddy Lu (GOAT).

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Nov 10, 2020
Rapid Response: Pandemic Planning, Phase Two, w/Dr. Bon Ku (Jefferson University Hospital)
00:34:47

With Covid-19 cases surging, businesses may be forced into a new wave of adjustments. Will the crisis-management tactics of spring and summer be successful as winter unfolds? Dr. Bon Ku, an ER physician at Jefferson University Hospital and director of the Health Design Lab, returns to the podcast to share what he’s seeing as we enter a new season and how we might respond. His proposals for health care delivery – about both heightened vigilance and creative shifts to financing, supply chains, digital tools, etc. – provide a bracing wake-up call. While doctors and hospitals have gotten much better at information sharing, testing, and treatment, Dr. Ku warns that without significant change we might be looking at a devastating period ahead.

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Nov 05, 2020
Rapid Response: Small business – more stressed than ever, w/H&R Block's Jeff Jones
00:32:06

Small business is being taxed emotionally as well as financially, and that tax is rising, says H&R Block CEO Jeff Jones. As the pandemic hit, entrepreneurs did what entrepreneurs do: solved problems, protected teams, served customers. But as uncertainty has persisted, anxiety among business owners has risen, even since the summer, according to a major new H&R Block study. With small enterprises the backbone of his customers, Jones has a unique vantage to offer advice and lessons: about asking for help, prioritizing needs, and finding calm. Jones sees small businesses as key to thriving economies, convinced that entrepreneurial resilience can eventually overcome all hurdles.

Read the transcript at mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse

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Nov 02, 2020
16. Build a more human internet, w/Caterina Fake
00:36:56

Internet pioneer Caterina Fake knows: Online communities are built one human connection at a time. As the founder, you need to establish guidelines and norms from Day One – because the tone you set is the tone you’re going to keep, even as you go viral.

Read the transcript at mastersofscale.com/community

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Oct 27, 2020
Rapid Response: When your business disappears overnight, w/Marriott’s Arne Sorenson
00:29:19

95% of your business disappears. What do you do? Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson recounts how the travel industry drastically changed last spring, with hotel bookings all but disappearing overnight. In the midst of his own battle with cancer, Arne has spent the year balancing the needs of his workforce against those of his partners; having blunt but critical conversations; and empowering his team to make tough decisions. He has wise words about the role of business leaders in times of social unrest, including how to think about who you speak for – and when to speak up. Arne admits the hotel industry will take years to recover. That hasn't dimmed his personal belief that travel matters more than ever.

Read the transcript at mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse

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Oct 22, 2020
73. The Empathy Flywheel, w/Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar
00:37:47

A social network that limits your network? Yes. Meet Nextdoor, a hyperlocal social network that’s all about who you really are and where you really live. Although it goes against everything that we've come to expect from social networks, Nextdoor’s secret to scale lies in real personal connections based on empathy and kindness. And this is what Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar knows: No, these connections don’t scale as fast – but they tend to be stronger. And they can be the flywheel that drives you to scale. 

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Oct 20, 2020
Rapid Response: Movie-theater drama has come to every business, w/Shelli Taylor, CEO, Alamo Drafthouse
00:28:36

As big movie chains shut down, Shelli Taylor's determined to keep her theaters open. With revenue at a trickle, the CEO of Alamo Drafthouse is negotiating daily with landlords and banks, and even tried her own video-on-demand service. Her balancing act – a conviction that long-term demand will be strong, while near-term economics are dismal – is familiar among entrepreneurial leaders. By defiantly keeping the movie magic alive, she's leaning into hope, the human need for community, and a creative new model. Yet there's no guarantee how this story will end.

Read the transcript at mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse

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Oct 15, 2020
72. Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales: To scale, find the right values
00:31:08

What's more important than product-market fit? Product-VALUE fit. If you choose the right values to drive product development, you'll draw the people, resources, and speed you need. It’s true for for-profits and for nonprofits. And Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales knows this well. Since its launch in 2001, Wikipedia has famously stuck to its values of openness, neutrality, and remaining not-for-profit. But he arrived at those precise values through trial and error – on an earlier free encyclopedia project that stalled. Once he found the right product-value fit, Wikipedia rapidly scaled from a niche side project to one of the most valued treasures on the internet.

Read the transcript at mastersofscale.com/

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Oct 13, 2020
Rapid Response: The Covid test facts every CEO needs, w/Rajiv Shah (Rockefeller Foundation)
00:36:28

To safely re-open a business, you need more than masks. Covid testing is key – and the options are changing quickly. We found the most in-the-know person in public health to walk us through the choices, costs, and protocols to keep an entrepreneurial team, and all of us, safe. Rajiv Shah is president of the Rockefeller Foundation, which has led response to health crises in the United States and around the world for 100 years (including the 1918 flu pandemic). Applying what he learned fighting the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Shah has brought together business, government, and health officials to turbo-charge Covid testing development. Next-gen test kits are coming soon: cheaper, easier, more abundant. If deployed correctly, says Shah, they can make us all safer and healthier in 2021.

Read the transcript at mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse

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Oct 08, 2020
71. YouTube's Susan Wojcicki: How to find – and keep – true north
00:43:35

When you scale at warp speed, it’s easy to lose your bearings. You have to establish your company’s true north, or the dizzying pace of growth will push you off course. No one knows this better than Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube. Under her leadership, YouTube has grown to be the world’s largest video platform. And in her previous role at Google, she was a chief architect of its advertising and analytics model. In both roles, she achieved massive scale – and grappled with massive challenges. Susan shares the guiding principles that help them stay the course – as well as stories from Google’s early years that you’ll hear first here. Cameo appearances: Dr. Becky Smethurst (astrophysicist, Oxford), Shishir Mehrotra (Coda, Google, YouTube).

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Oct 06, 2020
Rapid Response: Your company is a citizen – it can act like one, w/Baratunde Thurston
00:40:15

The pandemic, social unrest, the U.S. election – everything affects your team and your business. And the stakes are only getting higher. How do you address race and diversity? Should your business take a stand in the upcoming election? What role should your company play? If you're debating how political to get right now, this is your must-listen. We're talking with writer / thinker Baratunde Thurston on how companies can show up as citizens – citizens with the potential for outsize impact.

Baratunde Thurston is host of the podcast "How to Citizen with Baratunde" and an advisor to business leaders.

Read the transcript at mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse

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Oct 01, 2020
70. How to build authentic connection at scale, w/Trevor McFedries & Lil Miquela
00:43:45

You might not know Trevor McFedries yet, but if you're on Instagram, you've probably met Miquela. She has millions of followers, hit singles and lucrative contracts with brands. But she’s not actually real. Miquela’s the creation of Trevor’s stealthy creative media studio Brud, and the delicate balance they strike between artificial and authentic is a master class for any scaling company. In this first-ever in-depth interview with Trevor, he shares his bold plan to create celebrity at massive, multilingual scale; his advice for entrepreneurs of color as they fundraise; and his guidance for anyone connecting at scale: That once you build that connection with your audience, they don't care HOW you made it. All they care about is how it makes them feel. Cameo: Alison Darcy (Woebot).

Get the transcript: https://mastersofscale.com/trevor-mcfedries/

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Sep 29, 2020
Rapid Response: Healthy offices and the myth of remote-work productivity, w/Diane Hoskins (Gensler)
00:38:21

Is your office safe to re-open? How much space do you need? Is remote-work really more productive? Diane Hoskins is co-CEO of architecture firm Gensler, which advises businesses from Google to Bank of America. With the pandemic, Hoskins explains, now is a critical moment to ask important questions about what your team needs to work smarter and successfully, and to build a physical space that is not just healthy but enables both collaboration and individual work. From new technology tools to insightful data, Hoskins shares insights that help us move toward the answers we need.

Read the full survey from Gensler: https://www.gensler.com/research-insight/blog/insights-from-genslers-u-s-work-from-home-survey-2020

Read the transcript at mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse

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Sep 22, 2020
Rapid Response: Nothing matters but this. w/Eric Schmidt (frmr Google CEO)
00:36:15

"Until this problem gets fixed, all the other things that I care about, that you care about, are on hold.” In this must-hear interview, Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO (and now co-founder of Schmidt Futures) shares why he's 100% focused on addressing the challenges of Covid-19. From vaccines and testing protocols to best practices for businesses, Schmidt shares a clear-eyed roadmap for moving toward a healthy, just, and economically vibrant post-pandemic world.

Listen to the "Reimagine" podcast: https://www.reimaginepod.org

Download the transcript for this episode: http://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse

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Sep 15, 2020
Rapid Response: What you can learn from how schools are pivoting, w/ Success Academy's Eva Moskowitz
00:31:45

The first day of school doesn't look the way it used to – in some cases, it might not be happening at all. As schools across the country start a new year, we're kicking off a new season with Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy, a charter school network that serves 20,000 kids across New York City. In the spring, Success Academy pivoted to remote learning days before the City shut down schools and as they start a new semester, Success Academy is pivoting to "Remote Learning 2.0." Though Eva runs charter schools, any leader or entrepreneur can learn from her experience: how and when to make decisions in an uncertain environment, how and why to communicate with constituents, why to celebrate remote work – and who we should all prioritize.

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Sep 08, 2020
69. Peloton’s John Foley – How to turn skeptics into fans
00:44:24

Casual fans come and go. But converts stick with you – and spread the word. The trick is knowing how – and WHEN – to convert skeptics into super-fans. No one knows this better than Peloton co-founder and CEO John Foley, who has one of the most epic “No-to-Yes” stories in startup history. When he founded the company in 2012, skeptics abounded – especially among investors. But John pushed forward, convincing co-founders, angel investors, and then riders, one at a time. As he converted those skeptical customers – in their flagship fitness studio, in their stores, and on their at-home bikes – the feedback loops kicked in. After pedaling in place for years, Peloton rocketed up the hill to its 2019 IPO. Cameo appearances: Melanie Curtis (professional skydiver).

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/john-foley/

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Aug 25, 2020
68. Why your company needs new rituals w/Shishir Mehrotra (YouTube, Coda)
00:41:59

You need more than a good product to scale – you need strong rituals. All companies have rituals, from holding all-hands meetings to measuring KPIs. The right rituals in the right places help build your culture, cohere your team, and home in on your targets. The wrong ones can lead you horribly astray. Shishir Mehrotra, former head of YouTube and co-founder of Coda, learned this when he scaled YouTube to a billion hours of watch time each day. He kept the team focused on that audacious goal by establishing fresh new rituals. And in his new role as CEO and founder of Coda, he's learned to constantly ask: What old rituals are holding us back? And what new rituals can we create together that will be inclusive, empowering — and keep us all moving forward? Cameo appearances: George Kembel (Stanford's d.School), Tobi Lütke (Shopify), and Dr. Akhila Cadet (Change Cadet).  

Read more about the rituals at Coda — and add your own here: https://coda.io/@shishir/masters-of-scale-rituals

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/shishir-mehrotra/

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Aug 18, 2020
14. The infinite learner, w/Barry Diller (Part 1 of our interview)
00:42:14

Tinder. Top Gun. Roots. The Simpsons. What do they have in common? Media icon Barry Diller. We're re-airing a classic episode with some wise words. 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 succeeds by embracing that he is, in fact, a master of nothing. Entrepreneurs, take note: You just might be an infinite learner yourself, and Barry shares a lesson or two you can use.

Listen to Part 2 of this interview, "Learn to unlearn": https://mastersofscale.com/learn-to-unlearn/

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/barry-diller-infinite-learner/

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Aug 11, 2020
19. How to price your product to scale, w/ClassPass's Payal Kadakia
00:40:07

The price that bleeds your business could also save it. We're revisiting a classic episode with ClassPass' Payal Kadakia to focus something every entrepreneur struggles with: pricing. When you invent something innovative, you can’t know how to price it on Day One. But you need to get people in the door — a LOT of people — even if you have to price your product fatally low at first. In this episode, ClassPass founder and chair Payal Kadakia shares the winding path to the right price — and how the journey revealed what was most valuable about their service.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/payal-kadakia-how-to-price-your-product-to-scale.

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Aug 04, 2020
67. Be a painkiller AND a vitamin, w/Clara Shih (Hearsay Systems)
00:33:37

Some products are vitamins and some are painkillers – the best, though, are both. This is what Clara Shih, founder and CEO of Hearsay Systems, learned in the early years of her software startup. To survive, she needed to shift her platform from a nice-to-have into a can’t-live-without. And in doing so, she learned a secret to scale: Solve your customers’ urgent needs now ... while looking ahead to their future wishlists. Cameo appearances: Shellye Archambeau (MetricStream), Gary Alexander (MyImprov driving school).

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/clara-shih/

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Jul 28, 2020
10. Let fires burn w/Selina Tobaccowala (Evite, SurveyMonkey, Gixo)
00:34:30

It's the opposite of what you were taught. The best entrepreneurs — they let fires burn. Knowing which problems NOT to solve is as critical as knowing how to solve them. We're revisiting this episode with serial entrepreneur Selina Tobaccowala (Evite, SurveyMonkey, TicketMaster, Gixo) to underscore the one thing every entrepreneur needs to know right now: You have to conserve energy for the biggest blazes, and learn how to sleep easy while other fires smolder around you. Cameo appearances: Cheryl Kellond (Apostrophe, Inc.), Brian Chesky (Airbnb), Lisa Curtis (Kuli Kuli), Hadi Partovi (Code.org), Jerry Chen (Greylock Partners).

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Jul 21, 2020
Rapid Response: Building a bridge over troubled waters, with Spelman College president Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell
00:41:34

How to keep students learning – and building their vital lifelong community bonds – in the middle of a pandemic? This is the question for Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell, president of Spelman College. Late in July, Dr. Campbell announced Spelman's plan for the upcoming academic year – with 100% online classes (and lower fees). Meanwhile, as the head of a leading HBCU, based in the protest hotbed of Atlanta, she's also been grappling with social unrest and calls for change. Spelman is taking this moment to experiment with how best to support virtual learning and community-building — combining emergent innovations and best-of-class design thinking — as they continue to push for equity in higher education.

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Jul 18, 2020
Strategy Session 5: How transparent should you be with your board? How do you boost morale in dark days? Is it time to blitzscale?
00:28:54

How do you take smart risks, how can you be transparent – but inspiring – with your board and your team, how do you keep up morale in what seem like the darkest days, and what does the future of blitzscaling look like now? Reid answers all in another Strategy Session. This session is a little different – what you're about to hear is actually a portion of Reid’s virtual fireside chat with Linda Rottenberg, the CEO and co-founder of Endeavor, an organization that supports and invests in entrepreneurs worldwide, and especially in emerging markets. The fireside chat happened in the early Spring and you'll hear a certain amount of urgency in the questions from entrepreneurs. Then – and now – there is so much we are still learning. Reid and Linda share important, clear insight; honest answers; and encouragement. Because as Linda says: “When economies turn down, entrepreneurs turn up.”

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/endeavor/

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Jul 14, 2020
Rapid Response: Inside PayPal's $530M plan to close the racial wealth gap, with CEO Dan Schulman
00:30:19

The pandemic has hurt many businesses – but PayPal isn't one of them. PayPal has boomed as e-commerce has swelled, with stock up more than 50% this year and a huge new demographic joining the platform. That doesn't mean, though, that CEO Dan Schulman has been sitting back. PayPal recently committed more than $500 million to support Black and minority-owned businesses, after facilitating some $1.9 billion in PPP loans to largely underbanked communities. Dan says PayPal has a unique opportunity to spur emerging economic recovery – and to make a longterm impact in the fight for racial justice. Interviewed by editor Bob Safian.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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Jul 11, 2020
Rapid Response: What it will take for tech and Hollywood to be anti-racist, w/Color Of Change's Rashad Robinson
00:32:56

There's no quick fix to 400 years of oppression, says Color Of Change president Rashad Robinson. One of the largest racial justice organizations in the US, Color Of Change works with decision-makers in business and government to enact systemic change. In 2020, Color Of Change has seen its membership swell — along with its impact. Rashad's group railed against Hollywood's reflexive pro-police agenda, forcing TV shows "Cops" and "Live PD" off the air, and launched the Stop Hate For Profit campaign to hold tech companies accountable for what happens on social platforms. By working together, says Rashad, we can make a lasting difference. Interviewed by editor Bob Safian.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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Jul 09, 2020
66. The 4 core principles of crisis management, w/Ellen Kullman (DuPont, Carbon)
00:36:26

To survive a crisis, you have to double down on who you already are as a company. This is something Ellen Kullman knows, having led DuPont through the 2008-2009 financial crisis, and taken the CEO role at 3D-printing unicorn Carbon only weeks before Covid hit. Through her years as a leader, Ellen has developed four crisis principles that allowed her to lead teams and thrive through pandemic, economic meltdown, and beyond. The key? Practicing the principles in calmer times, before crisis hits. Because as Reid says: there's no such thing as a crisis playbook. There's just your playbook. Cameos: Amy Shira Teitel (spaceflight historian), Jonah Peretti (BuzzFeed), Brian Chesky (Airbnb), Neil Blumenthal (Warby Parker), Stacy Brown-Philpot (TaskRabbit).

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/ellen-kullman/

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Jul 07, 2020
Rapid Response: A new playbook for new times, w/Ford Foundation president Darren Walker
00:26:45

"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 struggling for how to respond. Walker's advice mixes clear-eyed messages — denying the trauma borne by communities of color is no longer option — with optimism about the opportunities ahead. At the Ford Foundation, they've accelerated giving and even exceeded their own KPIs. With more leaders dedicated to making a positive impact, he says, the wind is changing, for people of color and for America. Interviewed by editor Bob Safian.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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Jul 02, 2020
65. Stephen Colbert + DonorsChoose's Charles Best — The power of small goals
00:48:40

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 of the world’s first crowdfunding platforms, DonorsChoose. For 20 years, the nonprofit has been helping public school teachers get funding and supplies for classroom projects and it all started with just a handful of projects in the Bronx, where Charles was a public school teacher. Now it funds thousands of projects in all 50 states, raising almost a billion dollars in the process. Charles did it by adeptly creating a flywheel that matches for donors and grantees, allowing them to connect directly with one another, and doing it all one small step at a time. Cameo: Stephen Colbert!!!

Visit DonorsChoose.org

Learn more about US campaign funding laws: https://www.fec.gov/introduction-campaign-finance/understanding-ways-support-federal-candidates

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/charles-best/

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Jun 30, 2020
Rapid Response: Burning cash, accepting turbulence w/Delta CEO Ed Bastian
00:33:58

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 still stands at $30 million a day. To rebuild traveler trust, Delta CEO Ed Bastian has enacted a slew of new safety standards, including capping flight loads at 60 percent and using hospital-grade HEPA filters on board – in fact, Bastian contends there's not a safer time to be on a plane than right now. He's also sped up forward-facing company initiatives, like phasing out less-efficient planes, building out airport terminals, and installing better wifi. Bastian acknowledges there will be fewer planes in the sky in years to come, but he believes Delta will come out of the pandemic as strong and essential as ever. Interviewed by editor Bob Safian.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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Jun 27, 2020
51. Liberating the human spirit, w/Robert F. Smith (Vista Equity, Morehouse Commencement), Recorded live at Summit LA 2019
00:59:46

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. Smith. You may know him for his legendary Morehouse commencement speech (in which he promised to pay off the student loan debt of the entire graduating class), but Robert's scaling success and philanthropic work go far beyond that. As founder, chair, and CEO of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, Robert finds profound ways to serve both his business and his second purpose — liberating people to reach their true potential — at scale. Recorded live at Summit LA 2019.

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Jun 23, 2020
Rapid Response: How business can engage against racism, w/Shellye Archambeau (MetricStream, Nordstrom, Verizon)
00:39:29

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 Black woman at the top of some of the world’s largest businesses. The struggle is a marathon, but businesses are uniquely poised to demand accountability and transparency from their communities. Whether you're a CEO or a citizen, Shellye has heartfelt and hard-earned wisdom for us all. Interviewed by editor Bob Safian.

Learn more about Shellye’s upcoming book Unapologetically Ambitious at unapologeticallyshellye.com

Follow Shellye on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/ShelArchambeau

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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Jun 19, 2020
64. Build. Measure. Learn, w/Eric Ries of The Lean Startup and the LTSE
00:45:48

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, author of The Lean Startup and founder of the Long-Term Stock Exchange. After his first product failed, he developed a new method of product design based on running small, fast experiments, measuring the results, and learning from them. It’s a system built on data, not assumptions, and it works with almost everything, from app development to airplane design. It starts with establishing your own measure of success — then experimenting, improving, and trying over and over again. The feedback loop never stops.

Learn more about the Long Term Stock Exchange: ltse.com

Learn more about The Lean Startup: leanstartup.co

Read Eric’s blog, Startup Lessons Learned: startuplessonslearned.com

Listen to Eric’s new podcast, Out of the Crisis, on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/out-of-the-crisis/id1505392824

Read a transcript of the episode: https://mastersofscale.com/eric-ries/

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Jun 16, 2020
Rapid Response: GM's Mary Barra: "Going ventilator fast"
00:28:44

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 Mary Barra speaks to her “profound feeling of sadness,” but also to her optimism that the country and her company will bounce back. Though there is work to be done, says Mary, we're poised for transformation. Interviewed by editor Bob Safian.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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Jun 13, 2020
63. Strategy Session 4: The post-pandemic business, w/questions from Village Global and co-host Bob Safian, editor-at-large
00:39:32

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 questions from six entrepreneurs with Village Global, and co-hosted by our own Bob Safian.

Village Global is an early-stage venture capital firm backed by some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs.

Read a transcript of this Strategy Session at: https://mastersofscale.com/village-global/

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Jun 09, 2020
Rapid Response: BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti: Record-high audience, record-low revenue
00:31:53

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 painful,” he says. While BuzzFeed is leaning into food vertical Tasty, new e-commerce habits, and BuzzFeed News, he worries that businesses like his don't have more resources to support staffers of color. But, he says, there's a clarity of purpose in crisis, in bearing witness to the things that are happening in the world. Interviewed by editor Bob Safian.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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Jun 06, 2020
Bonus: Reid’s 2020 Commencement Speech: In a crisis, steer toward the emerging opportunities
00:28:59

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 — our host Reid Hoffman says: Be optimistic. Be bold. But most of all, steer toward the opportunities emerging in this new world. How do you find them? Cultivate a network of people smart, curious people. This network creates a map of the world. And at uncertain times like these, you’ll definitely need that map.

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Jun 03, 2020
Rapid Response: Danny Meyer, 10 weeks later: How to revive restaurants
00:37:37

"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 re-hire) and returning a $10m PPP, Danny finds himself reconsidering nearly everything about his business model. Even before the coronavirus lockdown, the restaurant industry had a slew of “preexisting conditions,” Danny says. Now those weaknesses have become exposed, putting at risk the future of hospitality — one of America’s core industries. Danny’s Union Square Hospitality Group is reimagining what and HOW their restaurants serve; rethinking how they generate revenue; and exploring new cost structures, like a bold new relationship with landlords. It’s all in the hopes, says Danny, of getting back to business, with customers safely at their tables, and the teams back together. Interviewed by editor Bob Safian.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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May 30, 2020
Rapid Response: How "startup DNA" helped One Medical respond to Covid, with CEO Amir Rubin
00:37:42

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 advantages to scale quickly: standing up respiratory care clinics and testing centers; revamping virtual and in-person visits; vetting labs and data. One Medical is now helping other businesses identify new practices to safely bring employees back to work. If you have a consistent platform and mission, explains Amir, that operating system can be applied to even fast-changing environments. Interviewed by editor Bob Safian.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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May 28, 2020
62. A masterclass in crowdsourcing, w/Duolingo's Luis von Ahn
00:39:13

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 one knows this better than Luis von Ahn, founder and CEO of Duolingo. Duolingo is a language app with over 300 million users worldwide, who complete over 7 billion exercises a month. It’s their passion for learning that drives them to create even more content for the app – igniting the rocket fuel that Duolingo needs. Cameo appearance by Elizabeth Sampat (game designer and author). 

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/luis-von-ahn/

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May 26, 2020
Rapid Response: How Warby Parker is making decisions in uncertainty, with CEO Neil Blumenthal
00:31:37

"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 that ensure social distancing to optimizing online vision tests. Blumenthal shares the complex factors they consider in deciding which stores to re-open and when, and relates the human challenge of inspiring their on-the-ground factory employees — at times of increased risk. For Blumenthal, it's all about recognizing new priorities (safety) and fitting them into ongoing strategy. Interviewed by editor Bob Safian.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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May 23, 2020
61. How to unite a team, Part 2 w/Angela Ahrendts of Burberry, Apple
00:31:40

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’), then introduces innovations that change the face of Apple retail, from an app (The Loop) that let store managers collaborate to the landmark “Today at Apple” program, building community through free classes inside each Apple store. Throughout, Angela shows her team, through words and actions, that each person matters, and that they're all a part of something much bigger than themselves. Cameo: Eric Trigg (Trigg Ranch).

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/angela-ahrendts-part-two-2/

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May 19, 2020
Rapid Response: Future-proofing Verizon, with CEO Hans Vestberg
00:29:52

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 coronavirus hit and pressure on the Verizon network skyrocketed, Vestberg split his leadership team in two: one to deal with the specifics of the crisis and one to focus on pursuing present-and-future business goals. From new customer initiatives (like free bandwidth and FIOS-in-a-box) to future bets (like the acquisition of video conferencing service BlueJeans), Vestberg has championed that meeting customers' needs today – even if not fully compensated for them – will pay off for the business tomorrow. Interviewed by editor Bob Safian.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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May 16, 2020
60. Apple's Angela Ahrendts: How to unite a team (Part 1)
00:32:02

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 Apple, and the former CEO of Burberry. Angela has spent most of her career learning how to imbue those logos with meaning – and support them by down-to-earth, everyday, human connection. Why? Because to unite a team – especially one that’s large, global and dispersed – you need to turn them into mission-driven families.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/angela-ahrendts/

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May 12, 2020
Rapid Response: Operating in a fishbowl w/Philly 76ers & NJ Devils CEO Scott O’Neil
00:33:11

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, O'Neil's life changed in a very public way. He faced leadership challenges that include missteps, like the decision (and sudden reversal) of cutting employee salaries, and discoveries, like knowing it’s okay to tap out when you need to recharge. With no players on the court or fans in the arena, O'Neil is shifting his focus on what the new era of sports and entertainment can look like. Interviewed by editor Bob Safian.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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May 09, 2020
Rapid Response: Crisis lessons from inside the ER, with Dr. Bon Ku
00:34:45

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 us inside the practice and mindset required to perform under extraordinary pressure. He offers on-the-ground business insights we can all learn from, as he looks toward the future and reflects on a possible second wave of infections and the faulty incentives in the medical system. Interviewed by editor Bob Safian.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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May 07, 2020
Rapid Response: Food security in a pandemic, w/Sara Menker of Gro Intelligence
00:29:53

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 about the hidden forces that impact what we see on shelves -- and why we might be worrying about the wrong things. Interviewed by editor Bob Safian.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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May 05, 2020
Rapid Response: Inside Panera’s pandemic pivot, with CEO Niren Chaudhary
00:30:21

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 system) to launch a slew of initiatives, from Panera Grocery to contactless delivery to Together Without Hunger, providing 500,000 meals to food banks across the U.S. It’s not the same Panera, says Chaudhary, but a Panera that will make it into the post-pandemic world. Interviewed by editor Bob Safian.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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Apr 30, 2020
Rapid Response: A crisis leadership session with General Stanley McChrystal
00:37:23

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 basis: Be honest about the path ahead, communicate clearly and build your team up. With calm reassurance, he encourages founders to keep their eyes on the future. Prepare for the post-pandemic world now, so you and your team can spring to action when the time comes. Retired General McChrystal is now the founder of the McChrystal Group. Interviewed by editor Bob Safian.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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Apr 28, 2020
Rapid Response: Pet adoptions: Up. Delivery business: Up. What that means to Chewy’s Sumit Singh
00:27:53

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 to by: hiring (at 13,000 employees, with plans to add another 6,000 to 10,000 by end of year.); setting up a COVID task team that meets daily; instituting health and safety checks; rolling out customer-facing innovations in a weekend, and more. Why? Because a leader's job during a crisis, Singh says, is to first communicate with the team, and then innovate for a post-pandemic world. Interviewed by editor Bob Safian.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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Apr 25, 2020
Rapid Response: Build government back – better, w/Jen Pahlka (Code for America, USDR)
00:37:27

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 U.S. Digital Response, a nonpartisan group that matches experts with local governments to work on tech, comms and operations. She shares what she's seeing right now – and paints a bold, big-picture vision of what a modern government could do in the years to come. Interviewed by editor Bob Safian.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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Apr 23, 2020
Rapid Response: Target’s Brian Cornell: “I want to see retail survive this”
00:25:07

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 CEOs, staying flexible, and meeting daily to make decisions on an ever changing list of priorities, the first of which is to keep both the team and the guests safe. To date, they’ve made a $300 million investment in pay and benefits, back up childcare, elder care, enhanced store cleanings, and more. No one knows what will happen, says Brian, but he believes that by putting his team first, he is putting the customer first – and serving the larger community. Interviewed by editor Bob Safian.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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Apr 20, 2020
Rapid Response: TaskRabbit's Stacy Brown-Philpot: “A pandemic doesn’t see money.”
00:33:42

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 to those who need them and empowering Taskers with new opportunities for income, including virtual tasks, and Tasks for Good, which connects vulnerable individuals in need with local volunteer Taskers. TaskRabbit was founded during the 2008 financial crisis and then and now, says Stacy, the business remains a necessity, for the community, and for the gig economy. Interviewed by editor Bob Safian.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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Apr 18, 2020
Rapid Response: Lyft’s John Zimmer: How to keep an essential business running
00:27:20

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 John. They recently launched a delivery service so they can help get supplies where they need to go – and put drivers on the road. They’ve also spent over a million dollars on protective equipment so that both drivers and riders can be protected; and began providing free and discounted rides to both essential workers and people in need of transportation. John’s hope is that by Lyft staying true to its mission, they’ll come out successful on the other side. Interviewed by editor Bob Safian.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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Apr 16, 2020
Rapid Response: Airbnb’s Brian Chesky: "Crisis is pushing us back to our roots"
00:34:24

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 responded quickly, announcing that they'd override host rules and allow for guest cancellations. They went on to establish a relief fund for hosts, lobby the U.S. Congress to include hosts in the CARES stimulus package; open up a new business line of virtual experiences, and raise an astounding one billion dollars in new capital — all with the goal of both weathering the storm and laying the groundwork for the new era of travel that Chesky firmly believes will follow. Chesky takes our co-host Bob Safian through the last few weeks, shares what gives him hope and explains why he’s bringing Airbnb back to its roots as a scrappy, resilient startup that can adapt and evolve.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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Apr 13, 2020
Rapid Response: Fast pivots for changing needs w/DonorsChoose Charles Best
00:18:12

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. Through it all, he’s learned how to listen what to donors – and grantees – really want, and how to pivot to address changing needs. In the last few weeks DonorsChoose has completely reimagined how it connects grantees with the resources they need, and built a new platform to do it. Because the value of a donation, he says, goes far beyond what money can buy.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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Apr 07, 2020
Rapid Response: Relief funding & crowdfunding in a crisis w/Karen Cahn of IFundWomen
00:34:48

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 and traditional loans within this $2.2 trillion stimulus package? Do you have to apply today? How much money could you get? And is a loan a good idea? Karen gives us the details – and makes the case that now is the best time to crowdfund. Hosted by editor-at-large Bob Safian. 

Learn what IFW is doing to help entrepreneurs during COVID: ifundwomen.com/covid-19

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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Apr 04, 2020
Rapid Response: Crisis data is the story of our times, says Crisis Text Line founder
00:27:05

"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 Nancy Lublin makes the case for not losing sight of data — especially at extreme moments like this. Crisis Text Line provides free, confidential crisis counseling via text, 24/7 and to help counselors meet the moment, they anonymize and analyze real-time data on how their users are feeling. That data, Nancy says, is telling them the story of right now. Hosted by editor-at-large Bob Safian.

Jaw-dropping data reporting here: "How Is America Feeling?" Read: https://www.crisistextline.org/everyday-empathy/

Want to support Crisis Text Line?

  • Share the link. We want to help. Share CrisisTextLine.org
  • Suggest partners. We want more people to know we are here and 100% operational. Media partners, companies, influencers, hotlines. Find us at CrisisTextLine.org
  • Volunteer. People can be part of a solution, from their couch, in their jammies. CrisisTextLine.org/volunteer


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Apr 02, 2020
Rapid Response: Hourly workers are a ‘hero class’ w/Cue Ball’s Tony Tjan
00:38:09

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 asking: How can we protect hourly workers and help them prepare for an uncertain future? And how can we plan for the long term, when the daily keeps changing? Co-hosted by Masters of Scale editor-at-large Bob Safian. 

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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Mar 31, 2020
Rapid Response: First, be human – Thoughts on the crisis from Reid Hoffman
00:33:47

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 mic, contextualizing the crisis and offering a hopeful viewpoint. Interviewed by editor Bob Safian.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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Mar 26, 2020
Rapid Response: Danny Meyer on the wrenching decision to do layoffs
00:34:35

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 – or as much as can possibly be known in this volatile time. In this special episode, Danny returns to the show to share why and how he acted so quickly, the process he and his team used to make this decision, the impact of the layoff, and what comes next for his industry.  Interviewed by editor Bob Safian.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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Mar 24, 2020
Rapid Response: Remote teams, w/WordPress/Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg
00:17:52

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 thrive as a successful remote team. As founder of Automattic (creators of WordPress etc.), Matt runs a 1,000-person team that’s almost entirely remote. How do they do it? Matt shares his best practices here. It won't sound like our typical episodes. This is just Reid and Matt, sharing insights on how to run fully distributed teams that build culture and trust — and succeed.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/rapidresponse/

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Mar 18, 2020
59. How to start a revolution, w/Bitcoin pioneer Wences Casares (Xapo)
00:15:51

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 to get consumers on board. No one knows this better than Wences Casares, the trailblazing entrepreneur credited with bringing crypto to Silicon Valley (and convincing Reid himself). With his unicorn startup Xapo, a Bitcoin wallet, Wences aims to reassure the masses that Bitcoin isn’t as different or as dangerous as they may think. Cameo appearances: Linda Rottenberg (Endeavor), Anne Wojcicki (23andMe).

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/wences-casares-how-to-start-a-revolution/

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Feb 27, 2020
58. Strategy Session 3: When to replace the founder, how to be a learn-it-all, when to take the "venture bet," w/questions from Endeavor Outliers and co-host Bob Safian, editor-at-large
00:50:30

Growth vs. innovation, scale vs. stability, founders vs, CEOs? Entrepreneurs want to know! In this month's Strategy Session, high-performing scale-ups from around the world ask Reid their most urgent strategic questions. This episode features Endeavor's "Outliers" – the fastest-growing, highest-performing entrepreneurs from this global incubator. They want to know: What do they do next? 

Co-hosted by Bob Safian, the host of our sister podcast, Masters of Scale: Rapid Response, and the former editor-in-chief at Fast Company magazine.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/endeavor-strategy-session/

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Feb 20, 2020
57. Be a platform, w/Shopify's Tobi Lütke
00:32:13

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, Eric Schmidt (Google), Julia Hartz (Eventbrite), and Gustav Söderström (Spotify).

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/tobi-lutke-be-a-platform/

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Feb 13, 2020
8. Netflix’s Reed Hastings: Why culture matters
00:36:16

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 made Netflix culture (and its “culture deck”) famous in the process. Cameo appearances: Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn), Aneel Bhusri (Workday), Margaret Heffernan (entrepreneur), Tristan Walker (Walker & Co.), Mariam Naficy (Minted).

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Feb 06, 2020
56. When to zoom in, when to zoom out, w/Josh Silverman (Etsy/eBay/Skype/Evite)
00:39:34

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, eBay, Skype, and now Etsy. What he’s learned: Success isn’t just about zooming in on the details or taking the long view – but about knowing when to switch between perspectives.

Read Nik Money's book The Selfish Ape: Human Nature and Our Path to Extinction.

Watch Scott Suko topple dominoes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IuUp-rI0VU&feature=youtu.be

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/josh-silverman-when-to-zoom-in-when-to-zoom-out/

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Jan 23, 2020
55. Strategy Session 2: When not to blitzscale, how to persuade your board to let you slow down, and: Are you in a Glengarry Glen Ross market? w/questions from Endeavor,and co-host Youngme Moon of HBS
00:38:26

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, bootstrapping vs. blitzscaling and more. Featuring six entrepreneurs from Endeavor, and cohosted by Harvard professor Youngme Moon, of the great HBS podcast After Hours.

Youngme Moon is the Donald K. David Professor of Business at Harvard Business School; the author of the bestselling book Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd; and co-host of After Hours, presented by Harvard Business Review.

Read a transcript of this Strategy Session at: https://mastersofscale.com/global-strategy-session/

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Jan 17, 2020
Bonus: A Meditative Story from Reid Hoffman
00:28:59

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 passion for connecting with others by asking big questions.

Read a transcript of Reid Hoffman's Meditative Story at: https://podcast.meditativestory.com/ReidHoffman/

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Jan 13, 2020
54. What's the hidden business behind your business? w/Rent the Runway's Jenn Hyman
00:40:05

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 status by mastering a few less glamorous businesses — including the world’s largest dry-cleaning operation, and a data insights practice that’s changing the fashion industry. Cameo appearance: Kevin Venardos (Venardos Circus); Stewart Butterfield (Slack).

Read Jenn Hyman's essay on the making of this episode: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/mastering-businesses-behind-our-business-jennifer-hyman/

Learn more about the Venardos Circus: https://www.venardoscircus.com/

Listen to Stewart Butterfield on Masters of Scale: http://listen.mastersofscale.com/StewartButterfield

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/jenn-hyman-the-secret-business-behind-the-business/

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Jan 09, 2020
22. How to find your big idea w/Spanx's Sara Blakely
00:40:24

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 billion-dollar company & women's wardrobes transformed. With cameos by National Geographic Explorer Andrés Ruzo, former director of the US Patent & Trademark Office Michelle Lee, and Endeavor CEO Linda Rottenberg.

LINKS:

Learn more about The Boiling River Project: http://www.boilingriver.org

Read "The Boiling River" by Andrés Ruzo: https://amzn.to/36iHHNF

Learn more about the U.S. patent system: https://www.uspto.gov/

Meet Andre, who dresses Oprah Winfrey: https://andrewalkerhair.com

Listen to Linda Rottenberg on Masters of Scale: https://mastersofscale.com/linda-rottenberg-the-next-silicon-valley-is/

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com

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Jan 03, 2020
53. Bill Gates: The biggest success story you haven't heard (Part 2)
00:41:33

In Part 2 of this special two-part conversation, we’re talking with Bill Gates about the biggest success story ever told on the podcast. It was achieved not through Microsoft, but through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Bill and Melinda have built theit foundation into one of the world’s single largest private philanthropies, and they’ve done it by taking lessons learned at Microsoft – on how to massively capitalize on inflection points – and applied them to the nonprofit world. With some surprises along the way. Here's their story. 

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/bill-gates-biggest-success-story-you-havent-heard/

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Dec 20, 2019
52. How to solve an impossible challenge, w/Megan Smith (US CTO, Google, shift7)
00:33:00

Faced with an impossible challenge? Don’t reinvent the wheel. Look for someone who’s already solved the problem, and lift them up. Megan Smith calls that technique “scout and scale.” She used it as the United States' CTO. She did it as an exec at Google. She did it as CEO of PlanetOut. And she continues today with the company she co-founded, shift7. Cameo appearance: Monique Sternin (co-founder of the Positive Deviance Approach & Initiative).

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/megan-smith-how-to-solve-an-impossible-challenge/

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Dec 13, 2019
51. LIVE! Find your Trojan horse, w/Robert F. Smith
01:07:09

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 this better than Robert F. Smith. You may know him for his legendary Morehouse commencement speech (in which he promised to pay off the student loan debt of the entire graduating class), but Robert's scaling success and philanthropic work go far beyond that. As founder, chairman and CEO of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, Robert finds profound ways to serve both his business and his second purpose — liberating people to reach their true potential — at scale. Cameo appearance: Sir Ken Robinson.

Live stage photography: Jaime Fernandez (@jaymoxias)  

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Dec 05, 2019
50. Ray Dalio: How to embrace conflict
00:43:04

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 conflict, a team has a shared goal, whether or not they have differing opinions. And this is the key to success. Cameo appearances: Steve Horgan (USA Field Hockey Director of Umpiring), Daniel Amen (psychiatrist, founder of Amen Clinics).

Ray's latest book, Principles for Success, is out now.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com

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Vote for us to win Best Business Podcast in the 2021 Webby Awards! https://vote.webbyawards.com/PublicVoting#/2021/podcasts/general-series/business

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Nov 26, 2019
2. Raise more money than you need, w/Minted's Mariam Naficy
00:28:45

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 — or if you'll need to make an unexpected, expensive pivot to stay afloat. So always, always raise more money than you think you need. Mariam Naficy shares her white-knuckle experiences founding startups that survived two financial crashes — the online cosmetic company Eve.com in the dotcom-boom ’90s, and founder and the design marketplace Minted.com today. Cameo appearances: Selina Tobaccowala (Evite, Gixo), Daniel Kahneman (Nobel-winning psychologist), Brian Chesky (Airbnb), Amos Kedmey (Wine and Cheese Place).

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/mariam-naficy-the-money-episode/

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Nov 21, 2019
49. How to set the drumbeat, w/LinkedIn's Jeff Weiner
00:39:41

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. When he was the CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff grew users from 33 million to 660 million, and grew revenue to more than $7 billion. His drumbeat? Compassionate management. Cameo appearances by: Chris Tomson (Vampire Weekend), Monica Worline (Stanford's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education), and Keesa Schreane (host, "You've Been Served"). 

Chris Tomson is a drummer, singer, and songwriter best known as the drummer of indie rock band Vampire Weekend. He is the lead vocalist and guitarist for Dams of the West, and cohost of the podcast The Road Taken.

Monica Worline, PhD, is CEO of EnlivenWork. She’s the co-author of Awakening Compassion at Work: The Quiet Power that Elevates People and Organizations.

Keesa Schreane is Global Partner Director at Refinitiv and the host and executive producer of Refinitiv Sustainability Perspectives and the host of the podcast You’ve Been Served.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/jeff-weiner-how-to-set-the-drumbeat/

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Nov 15, 2019
48. Bill Gates: How to accelerate history (Part 1)
00:40:34

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 alone. In Part 1 of this special two-part episode, Bill reflects with Reid on the founding and growth of Microsoft — how he not only spotted an inflection point (hello, personal computers) but accelerated it to massive scale (forget computers, let's talk platforms). There’s timeless wisdom in Bill’s ability to identify inflection points, build strategic partnerships and just work harder than everyone else. (In Part 2, Bill reflects on scaling the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the different lessons learned between the two.)

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/bill-gates-how-to-accelerate-history/

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Nov 07, 2019
47. Make it epic, w/will.i.am
00:42:38

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 only identify big opportunities but compound them. From the Super Bowl to the first iTunes commercial; from the founding of Beats and his tech company i.am+ to a song beamed back from Mars, his ability to bring stakeholders together to leverage partnerships and compound possibilities will inspire founders at any stage of scale. Cameo appearance: Jeremy Siegel (urban designer, Bjarke Ingels Group).

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Oct 31, 2019
46. LIVE! Patience or speed? Both. w/Tory Burch
00:59:12

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, Tory shows how this approach plays out in her global business – and in her impactful foundation that supports women business owners. Live audience energy and great music make this first-ever event a fun listen. Cameo appearances by the Polynesian Voyaging Society's Lehua Kamalu and Affectiva's Rana el Kaliouby.

Learn more about the Tory Burch Foundation.

Listen to a Meditative Story from Lehua Kamalu: http://listen.meditativestory.com/Kamalu

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/tory-burch-live-from-boston/

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Oct 17, 2019
23. Keep humans in the equation, w/TaskRabbit's Stacy Brown-Philpot
00:35:56

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 Stacy Brown-Philpot championed for this community of people who work with each other, teach each other, and continually learn from each other. With cameos by DeLashea Strawder (Mosaic Youth Theater in Detroit) and Whitney Johnson (Author, Build an A-Team).

Read Build an A-Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve by Whitney Johnson

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/stacy-brown-philpot-keep-humans-in-the-equation-masters-of-scale-podcast/

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Oct 10, 2019
45. Strategy Session 1: How do you gain your users' trust? How do you build a team and company culture at the same time? w/questions from Entrepreneur First and co-host Jason Feifer of Entrepreneur magazine
00:38:06

How can I scale during a downturn? Should my company be a pirate or the navy? Reid Hoffman answers questions from early-stage entrepreneurs all over the world, asking questions specific to their business – and meaningful for you too: How do you gain trust? How do you build a company culture? Co-hosted with Jason Feifer, editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur magazine and "Problem Solvers." Featuring eight entrepreneurs from the global network Entrepreneur First.

Jason Feifer is the editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur magazine and host the podcasts “Problem Solvers,”“Pessimists Archive,” and "Hush Money." He’s also the co-author of Mr. Nice Guy. Check him out at @HeyFeifer.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/strategy-session/

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Sep 26, 2019
18. How to build your company to last, w/Fiat's John Elkann
00:45:06

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 chair John Elkann shares the principles that helped the "horseless carriage" company founded by his great-grandfather survive the ups and downs of a century of business — including competitor attacks, leader shakeups, financial crises and more. One key: Resilience. Another: Deciding which company traditions to keep, and which to leave in the past. Featuring cameos from Radio Flyer's Robert Pasin, Cue Ball Ventures' Tony Tjan and ABC Home & Kitchen's Paulette Cole.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/john-elkann-how-to-build-your-company-to-last/

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Sep 12, 2019
44. Take on Goliath — and win, w/Dropbox's Drew Houston
00:42:20

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 never exploit: Dropbox was lean, focused and fast. Hear how he outmaneuvered the big dogs – and what's next for Dropbox.

Drew Houston's reading list! Books mentioned in this episode:

Competing Against Luck, by Clay Christensen and Karen Dillon

The Effective Executive, by Peter Drucker

The Hard Thing About Hard Things, by Ben Horowitz

Becoming Steve Jobs, by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli

Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire, by James Wallace and Jim Erickson

Founders at Work, by Jessica Livingston

High Output Management, by Andy Grove

Music: "Exciting Trailer" by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/drew-houston-how-to-take-on-goliaths-and-win/

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Sep 05, 2019
Bonus: Recharge your brain with a Meditative Story by Arianna Huffington
00:23:57

As an entrepreneur, you have to find a way to recharge. This new podcast, from the creators of Masters of Scale, is designed to create calm amid an always-on schedule. The episode was inspired by Reid’s interview with Arianna Huffington, where she told a sliver of this story: it starts in the tiny Athens apartment where she grew up, and takes her to the University of Cambridge. Listen for the lesson she learned from her mother, about embracing life’s journey without being attached to the outcome — a lesson every founder needs to hear. Interspersed with the story, you'll hear prompts from a guide to help you center your mind; after the story, your guide leads you on a quiet meditation to help you recharge and refresh. If you like the effects, you can subscribe to Meditative Story on the app you're using now.

Read the transcript of Arianna Huffington's Meditative Story at: https://meditativestory.com/ariannahuffington/

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Aug 06, 2019
43. 23andMe's Anne Wojcicki: Embrace the gatekeepers
00:39:02

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 the FDA in the name of moving fast, Wojcicki made the call to work with regulators directly and collaboratively. Hear how she embraced "red tape" as a tool to scale — not swiftly, but sustainably.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/anne-wojcicki-how-and-why-to-embrace-gatekeepers/

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Aug 01, 2019
13. The Big Pivot w/Slack's Stewart Butterfield
00:37:22

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 different game companies, which both (surprise!) turned into game-changing communications platforms: Flickr and Slack. Hear the thinking behind making a hard left turn —and bringing your team along with you.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/stewart-butterfield-the-big-pivot/

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Jul 26, 2019
42. Small changes with big impact w/Whitney Wolfe Herd of Bumble
00:39:09

Often a small tweak, a rethink of a feature, is what helps your product break out of the pack. Just ask the founder of the Bumble dating app, Whitney Wolfe Herd. She rebounded from one dating app startup (that you may have heard of) with a brilliant idea for a whole new way of connecting. Hear how the small tweaks along the way helped her move into huge new markets. With cameo appearances by Steve Spohn (AbleGamer) and Marissa Mayer (Google, Yahoo).

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/whitney-wolfe-herd-small-changes-for-big-impact/

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Jul 18, 2019
41. Entrepreneurship as a second act w/Gwyneth Paltrow
00:41:16

t’s never too late to join the entrepreneurial party. We've heard all the stories of young geniuses, but plenty of influential entrepreneurs founded companies in their 30s, 40s, 50s. There’s value to being a late-stage founder -- like the fact that you’re bringing along all your life experience. That’s what Gwyneth Paltrow did when she launched Goop. Paltrow transitioned from Hollywood star to startup founder with her lifestyle brand, which now has over 8 million subscribers -- and she did it by leaning in to what she knew, embracing what she didn’t, and coming up with strategies to fill the gap. With cameo appearances by Boyd Martin (Olympic equestrian), Ruben Harris (Career Karma), Sara Blakely (Spanx) and Brian Chesky (Airbnb).

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/gwyneth-paltrow-entrepreneurship-as-a-second-act/

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Jul 02, 2019
Bonus: 10 New Rules for Big Career Changes (The Graduation Episode) w/Jordan Harbinger
01:14:51

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 Episode, guest host Jordan Harbinger teams up with Reid Hoffman to share advice that will help you navigate choices in your career, with insights from Instagram's Kevin Systrom, Yahoo's Marissa Mayer, Spotify's Daniel Ek, and more. 

Get more from Jordan Harbinger: https://www.jordanharbinger.com/

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com

Listen to Masters of Scale episodes mentioned in this interview:

Kevin Systrom (Instagram): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/InstagramKevinSystrom

Daniel Ek (Spotify): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/SpotifyDanielEk

Linda Rottenberg (Endeavor): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/EndeavorLindaRottenberg

Danny Meyer (Shake Shack): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/ShakeShackDannyMeyer

Shellye Archambeau (MetricStream): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/MetricStreamShellyeArchambeau

Marissa Mayer (Yahoo!): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/YahooMarissaMayer

Stacy Brown-Philpot (TaskRabbit): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/TaskRabbitStacyBrown-Philpot

Mark Pincus (Zynga): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/ZyngaMarkPincus

Julia Hartz (Eventbrite): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/EventbriteJuliaHartz

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Jun 21, 2019
40. How pirates become the navy, w/Uber's Dara Khosrowshahi
00:43:56

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. As the new CEO of Uber, Dara Khosrowshahi took on the most extreme pirate-to-navy transition in startup history. Though Uber blitzscaled to become the most valuable startup in the world, it was also notorious for its toxic culture. Dara turned the company around. His method? Truth-telling and doing the right thing. Cameo appearances: Arianna Huffington (Thrive Global) and Ben Chestnut (Mailchimp).

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/dara-khosrowshahi-how-pirates-become-the-navy/

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Jun 05, 2019
39. The case for bootstrapping, w/Mailchimp's Ben Chestnut
00:44:56

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 the exception to Reid's rule (always raise more money than you think you need!). The episode explores a range of options for those who don't fit the VC-funding mold. Cameo appearances: LeVar Burton (Star Trek, Reading Rainbow, LeVar Burton Reads), Don MacKinnon (Milq), Karen Cahn (iFundWomen).

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/ben-chestnut-the-case-for-bootstrapping/

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May 21, 2019
38. Open or closed? The answer is both, w/Joi Ito
00:35:17

No organization that’s entirely closed — or entirely open — can scale as successfully as an organization that combines both. Yes, it invites a bit of chaos – but chaos breeds innovation. Joi Ito has spent his career championing radically open systems, from Creative Commons to cyber currency. As a past director of the famed MIT Media Lab, he focused on facilitating conversations that keep pace with the shifting challenges we face in our companies, institutions and societies. Cameo appearance: Megan Smith (former U.S. Chief Technology Officer).

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Apr 30, 2019
37. Take bigger risks, w/Shellye Archambeau
00:38:10

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 bankruptcy. Through a series of calculated risks, she led it through a complex merger, a head-spinning pivot, and grew it into MetricStream, which now boasts 1,200 employees and a valuation in the hundreds of millions. How? Clear goals and big risks — the same principles that have defined her career. With a cameo appearance by poker champion Liv Boeree.

Our 2020 Rapid Response interview with Shellye is so good! Listen: http://listen.mastersofscale.com/ShellyeRR_

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/shellye-archambeau-take-bigger-risks/

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Mar 26, 2019
36. Check your blindspot, w/Sallie Krawcheck (Ellevest)
00:44:04

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. Truly scalable companies need a diverse portfolio of viewpoints to see the opportunities others miss. Sallie Krawcheck knows this well. She rose through the ranks of Wall Street and saw firsthand the challenges a lack of diversity brings. After serving as CEO of Sanford Bernstein, Smith Barney, Citi's Wealth Management and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Sallie went on to found Ellevest, an investment platform aimed at women. Her straight talk — and hilarious asides — create the clear business case for diversity of all kinds. Cameo appearance: Steven Johnson

Read Stephen Johnson's book Farsighted: How We Make the Decisions That Matter the Most

Learn more about Stephen's books and podcasts at https://stevenberlinjohnson.com/

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/sallie-krawcheck-check-your-blindspot/

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Mar 12, 2019
35. The Reid Hoffman Story (Part 2): Make everyone a hero
00:55:30

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 proving our theory that you can chart an epic journey to scale if you make everyone you enlist a hero — in their OWN story and not just yours. Guest host: June Cohen, the executive producer of Masters of Scale and the cofounder of WaitWhat, the company behind it). Cameo appearances: Arianna Huffington (Thrive Global) and Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn).

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/reid-hoffman-make-everyone-a-hero-part-two/

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Feb 26, 2019
34. The Reid Hoffman Story (Part 1): Make everyone a hero
00:43:17

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. Our guest host is June Cohen, executive producer of Masters of Scale, CEO of WaitWhat, and former executive producer of TED Talks. Cameo: Matthew Mercer, host of the web series Critical Role.

Listen to Critical Role: https://critrole.com/

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/reid-hoffman-make-everyone-a-hero/

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Jan 22, 2019
33. Let your customers be your scouts, w/Eventbrite's Julia Hartz
00:34:56

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 embodies this principle. She believes passionately in learning from her customers, and has made rapid response to user feedback the driving force behind Eventbrite’s strategy — as it grew from a simple ticketing app to a full-service platform for event creators, offering everything from ticket sales to custom RFID readers.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/julia-hartz-let-your-customers-be-your-scouts/

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Jan 08, 2019
32. To scale, you must master the skill of storytelling, w/Charity: Water's Scott Harrison
00:47:40

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: (1) 100% of donations would go to water projects (not overhead). (2) Progress reports would be utterly transparent, sharing victories, defeats and even GPS coordinates of water wells. (3) The brand’s storytelling would lead with hope instead of guilt, inspiring joyful participation without sacrificing honesty.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/scott-harrison-to-scale-you-must-master-the-art-of-storytelling/

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Dec 18, 2018
31. The Millennial Episode, w/Brit + Co's Brit Morin
00:37:29

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. Brit + Co founder Brit Morin understand this: As a maker and media creator, Brit is constantly co-evolving with her (mostly millennial) audience and team. It’s a secret to scale with the generation adapted to a world of constant change. Cameo by relationship therapist Esther Perel (bestselling author and host of the podcast “Where Should We Begin”). Esther has lately turned her eye toward work relationships; her perspective on the millennial generation — and the broad social trends that have shaped their collective character — may give you an “Aha!” moment.

Listen to Esther Perel's “Where Should We Begin”: https://whereshouldwebegin.estherperel.com/

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/brit-morin-the-millennial-episode/

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Nov 19, 2018
30. The elusive formula for great hiring, w/Workday's Aneel Bhusri
00:40:48

Your first hires are your cultural cofounders. And it’s worth your time to get every one right. That's why Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri personally interviewed his first 500 employees. Today, with 8,000+ employees and $2b in annual revenue, Workday is consistently rated one of the best places to work. Learn the interview questions that can help you find the right employees to build your culture. With cameo appearances by Danny Meyer (founder, Shake Shack), Arianna Huffington (founder, Thrive Global), Michael Bush (CEO, Great Place to Work) and Joyce Nethry (founder of Jeptha Creed Distillery).

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/aneel-bhusri-the-elusive-formula-for-great-hiring/

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Nov 05, 2018
29. When to ignore conventional wisdom, w/Shake Shack's Danny Meyer
00:38:19

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 in New York, Union Square Cafe, received wisdom told him food was the star attraction. But Danny knew to focus on how customers FEEL. And it’s this feeling – Danny calls it “enlightened hospitality” — that can scale. From his first innovative restaurants to the dramatic scale story of Shake Shack, Danny cast off received wisdom and wrote his own rules. His simple ideas have radical implications for any industry. With a cameo appearance from Rick Barry (retired NBA player).

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/danny-meyer-when-and-how-to-ignore-conventional-wisdom/

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Oct 22, 2018
28. What great founders do at night, w/Arianna Huffington of Thrive Global
00:39:19

To survive your entrepreneurial journey, you have to learn to recharge. Knowing when to turn the lights out may be the only way to keep the lights on. Few know this better than Arianna Huffington, who dramatically scaled the Huffington Post — and then experienced profound physical burnout. Her new venture, Thrive Global, scales the idea of balance across an organization. With cameo appearances from Chris Yeh (co-author, Blitzscaling) and Dr. Matt Walker (author of Why We Sleep).

Read Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington: https://amzn.to/39IFfCx

Read Why We Sleep by Matt Walker: https://amzn.to/2Xfxi2w

Read Blitzscaling by Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh: https://amzn.to/39IFfCx

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/arianna-huffington-what-great-founders-do-at-night/

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Oct 03, 2018
27. How to build trust fast, w/Spotify's Daniel Ek
00:37:50

Normally, trust = consistency + time. But when you're scaling fast, you have to find shortcuts to trust, with your partners and your users. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek knows a thing or two about this. When he founded Spotify, he did what few disruptors ever do: He worked with the industry he was trying to reinvent. How did Ek build a relationship with a music industry wary of piracy? He found shortcuts to trust. And not just with the music industry, but users too: 140M of them. With cameo appearances from Gustav Söderström (Spotify's Chief Research & Development Officer) and Miles Daisher (Red Bull Air Force).

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com

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Sep 19, 2018
26. Instagram's Kevin Systrom: Keep it simple while scaling big
00:35:27

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 complexities that would have slowed them down. The result? 30M users in 18 months. And a $1B sale of a 13-person company. With a cameo by Rohan Gunatillake (Buddhify).

Listen to Rohan Gunatillake on the Meditative Story podcast: listen.meditativestory.com/MedStory

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/kevin-systrom-how-to-keep-it-simple-while-scaling-big/

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Sep 06, 2018
25. How to make the star employees you need, w/Marissa Mayer
00:41:13

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 in the early days of Google — one of the company's crown jewels. She mentored a team of young, hungry, talented employees in the ways of Google, and they helped drive its success. She followed that same mindset when she became CEO of Yahoo!, and in all of her leadership roles since then. With a cameo by Karen Kirkland (Nickelodeon). 

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com

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Vote for us to win Best Business Podcast in the 2021 Webby Awards! https://vote.webbyawards.com/PublicVoting#/2021/podcasts/general-series/business

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Aug 08, 2018
24. How to kill your bad ideas, w/Zynga's Mark Pincus
00:32:58

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 upended the gaming industry with social games like Farmville and Words With Friends. And he did it by gathering data; killing ideas that didn't move the needle, and going all-in on the ones that did. With cameos by Andrea Jones-Rooy, data scientist and comedian, and Matt Ruby, founder of Vooza.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/mark-pincus-how-to-kill-your-bad-ideas-masters-of-scale-podcast/

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Jul 25, 2018
23. Keep humans in the equation, w/TaskRabbit's Stacy Brown-Philpot
00:35:46

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 Stacy Brown-Philpot championed for this community of people who work with each other, teach each other, and continually learn from each other. With cameos by DeLashea Strawder (Mosaic Youth Theater in Detroit) and Whitney Johnson (Author, Build an A-Team).

Read Build an A-Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve by Whitney Johnson

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/stacy-brown-philpot-keep-humans-in-the-equation-masters-of-scale-podcast/

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Jul 11, 2018
22. How to find your big idea, w/Spanx's Sara Blakely
00:41:00

How 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 (she shares a never-fail technique). Then she moved fast, found help in the right places, and went all-in. The result: A billion-dollar company and women's wardrobes transformed.. With cameos by National Geographic Explorer Andrés Ruzo, and the former director of the US Patent & Trademark Office Michelle Lee.

Read The Boiling River by Andrés Ruzo.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com

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Mar 21, 2018
21. How to do good and do good business, w/Starbucks' Howard Schultz
00:42:31

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, chair and former CEO of Starbucks, not only changed how America wakes up, but set new standards for employee benefits. From offering college tuition to American employees to providing health care for employees' parents in China, Howard has always been one step ahead of the social impact curve.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/howard-schultz-how-to-do-good-and-do-good-business/

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Mar 07, 2018
Bonus: The 10 Commandments of Startup Success w/guest host Tim Ferriss
01:30:24

Guest host Tim Ferriss shares advice you’ll want to etch into stone: the Ten Commandments of Startup Success. We teamed up with Tim’s own podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show, to bring you this special remix of actionable lessons from Masters of Scale Season One, including previously unaired insights from Airbnb’s Brian Chesky, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Endeavor’s Linda Rottenberg. Tim is the author of The 4-Hour Work Week and Tools of Titans, and a veteran TED speaker. He’s masterful at extracting tips, tricks and lifehacks for busy entrepreneurs.

Listen to The Tim Ferriss Show: https://tim.blog/podcast

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com

Listen to Masters of Scale episodes mentioned in this interview:

Brian Chesky (Airbnb): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/AirbnbBrianChesky

Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/FacebookMarkZuckerberg

Linda Rottenberg (Endeavor): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/EndeavorLindaRottenberg

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Feb 28, 2018
20. Never underestimate your first idea, w/Twitter/Medium's Ev Williams
00:43:29

Never put a limit on your first idea. It could span your entire career. Ev Williams, co-founder of Twitter and Medium (and before that: Blogger), shares what he learned in every iteration of his grand vision to connect the world’s brains. A reminder that passion and perseverance can be paths to scale. Cameos: "grit" expert Angela Duckworth and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Read Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/ev-williams-never-underestimate-your-first-idea/

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Feb 21, 2018
19. How to price your product to scale, w/ClassPass' Payal Kadakia
00:41:40

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 at first. In this episode, ClassPass founder and chair Payal Kadakia shares their winding path to pricing and how it revealed what was invaluable about their service.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/payal-kadakia-how-to-price-your-product-to-scale/

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Feb 14, 2018
18. How to build your company to last, w/Fiat's John Elkann
00:45:28

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 chair John Elkann shares the principles that helped the "horseless carriage" company founded by his great-grandfather survive the ups and downs of a century of business — including competitor attacks, leader shakeups, financial crises and more. One key: Resilience. Another: Deciding which company traditions to keep, and which to leave in the past. Featuring cameos from Radio Flyer's Robert Pasin, Cue Ball Ventures' Tony Tjan and ABC Home & Kitchen's Paulette Cole.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/john-elkann-how-to-build-your-company-to-last/

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Feb 07, 2018
17. Customer love is all you need, w/Y Combinator's Sam Altman
00:40:05

Better to have 100 users who love you than 1 million who 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 head of Y Combinator, Silicon Valley's legendary startup accelerator. He knows that a product that's deeply loved — even by a tiny base of users — is one that can scale. We also hear an epic story of customer love from chef Dominique Ansel, the inventor of the Cronut. Plus cameos from Sara Blakely of Spanx and Aubrie Pagano of fashion line Bow & Drape.

Read a transcript of this interview at: hhttps://mastersofscale.com/sam-altman-why-customer-love-is-all-you-need/

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Jan 31, 2018
16. Build a more human internet, w/Caterina Fake (Etsy, Kickstarter, Flickr, "Should This Exist?")
00:40:33

Whatever you are when you're small gets amplified when you grow. So if you're starting any kind of online community (social media, ecommerce, crowdfunding), be careful what you cultivate. Caterina Fake has founded or invested in companies with interesting and influential communities — Flickr, Etsy, Kickstarter, Stack Overflow, even Blue Bottle Coffee. Her wise words for every founder: You have a responsibility to shape the community from day one -- because the tone you set is the tone you’re going to keep, even as you go viral.

Hear Caterina's own brilliant podcast, Should This Exist? https://shouldthisexist.com/

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/caterina-fake-build-a-more-human-internet/

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Jan 24, 2018
15. Learn to unlearn (Part 2) w/Barry Diller
00:29:29

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, a titan of "old media" (at ABC, Paramount and Fox), mastered the new dot-com world — with everything from Expedia to Match.com. This is Part 2 of our epic interview with Barry Diller, and it features cameos from Uber's Dara Khosrowshahi and serial entrepreneur Margaret Heffernan.

Listen to Part 1 of this interview: "Infinite Learner": https://mastersofscale.com/barry-diller-infinite-learner/

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/learn-to-unlearn/

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Dec 13, 2017
14. The infinite learner, w/Barry Diller (Part 1 of our interview)
00:42:58

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 succeeds by embracing that he is, in fact, a master of nothing. Entrepreneurs, take note: You just might be an infinite learner yourself, and Barry shares a lesson or two you can use. This is Part 1 of our epic interview with Barry Diller, and it features cameos from Drew Houston (Dropbox) and Alexa Christon (GE).

Listen to Part 2 of this interview, "Learn to unlearn": https://mastersofscale.com/learn-to-unlearn/

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/barry-diller-infinite-learner/

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Dec 06, 2017
13. The Big Pivot, w/Slack's Stewart Butterfield
00:37:54

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 different game companies, which both (surprise!) turned into game-changing communications platforms: Flickr and Slack. Hear the thinking behind making a hard left turn —and bringing your team along with you.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/stewart-butterfield-the-big-pivot/

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Nov 15, 2017
12. Look for the ideas that come at you sideways, w/Diane Greene of Google, VMware
00:35:04

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 scale. We talk to the master of the entrepreneurial crabwalk, Diane Greene, who brought us into the age of cloud computing. As the founding CEO of VMWare and now the head of Google’s cloud division, she shares how she scampered sideways into a market of boundless potential.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/diane-greene-look-sideways/

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Nov 10, 2017
11. Escape the competition, w/PayPal's Peter Thiel
00:41:39

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. His theory? “Competition is for losers.” Thiel is a former colleague, frequent co-investor and longtime intellectual sparring partner with host Reid Hoffman. Their combined thinking on the competitive landscape is unmissable.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/peter-thiel-escape-the-competition/

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Nov 08, 2017
Bonus: Seven lesser-known laws of leadership
00:09:42

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 Y Combinator’s Sam Altman, Zynga’s Mark Pincus and more.

Listen to Masters of Scale episodes mentioned in this interview:

Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/FacebookMarkZuckerberg

Mark Pincus (Zynga): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/ZyngaMarkPincus

Margaret Heffernan (Entrepreneur, writer): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/EntrepreneurMargaretHeffernan

Josh Kopelman (Entrepreneur, venture capitalist): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/JoshKopelman

Sam Altman (Y Combinator): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/YCombinatorSamAltman

Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/FacebookSherylSandberg

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Aug 26, 2017
10. Let fires burn, w/Selina Tobaccowala of Gixo
00:34:08

In the early days of your startup, it feels like everything's on fire all the time. Real talk: if you try to put out every fire, every day, you’ll only burn yourself out. The best entrepreneurs know how to let some fires burn. Selina Tobaccowala, veteran leader of Evite, SurveyMonkey and the fitness startup Gixo, shares her insights on how to choose which problems not to solve, and how to conserve your energy for the biggest blazes.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com

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Vote for us to win Best Business Podcast in the 2021 Webby Awards! https://vote.webbyawards.com/PublicVoting#/2021/podcasts/general-series/business

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Jul 19, 2017
9. The next Silicon Valley is...? w/Endeavor's Linda Rottenberg
00:41:47

What’s the secret to Silicon Valley's thriving startup scene? And can that kind of ecosystem happen anywhere else in the world? 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 — starting with a few initial entrepreneurs with access to capital and a willingness to pay it forward. From Buenos Aires to Boston, Tel Aviv to Shenzen, hear Linda's stories of global startup scenes that could give Silicon Valley a run for its money.

Intrigued by the global startup scene? Meet entrepreneurs from the Endeavor program in our Global Strategy Session: http://listen.mastersofscale.com/StrategySessionGlobalWW

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/linda-rottenberg-the-next-silicon-valley/

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Jul 12, 2017
Bonus: The 10 Commandments of Startup Success w/guest host Tim Ferriss
01:30:24

Guest host Tim Ferriss shares advice you’ll want to etch into stone: the Ten Commandments of Startup Success. We teamed up with Tim’s own podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show, to bring you this special remix of actionable lessons from Masters of Scale Season One, including previously unaired insights from Airbnb’s Brian Chesky, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Endeavor’s Linda Rottenberg. Tim is the author of The 4-Hour Work Week and Tools of Titans, and a veteran TED speaker. He’s masterful at extracting tips, tricks and lifehacks for busy entrepreneurs.

Listen to The Tim Ferriss Show: https://tim.blog/podcast

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com

Listen to Masters of Scale episodes mentioned in this interview:

Brian Chesky (Airbnb): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/AirbnbBrianChesky

Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/FacebookMarkZuckerberg

Linda Rottenberg (Endeavor): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/EndeavorLindaRottenberg

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Jul 05, 2017
8. Why culture matters, w/Netflix's Reed Hastings
00:36:29

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 about who they are and who they aren’t. The company’s famous “culture deck” offered a 100-slide description of how Netflix sees itself — not as a family, but as a high-performing sports team. It won’t appeal to everyone — and that’s the point. If you can define your culture tightly, while resonating with a diverse group of employees, you have a winning formula.

Read Netflix's latest culture deck: https://jobs.netflix.com/culture

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com

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Jun 28, 2017
7. Your plan B needs a plan B, w/Crisis Text Line founder Nancy Lublin
00:33:22

To succeed, entrepreneurs need a good idea, timing, money, luck. But more than anything, they need the ability to generate an endless supply of Plans B, C, and D when Plan A doesn't come through. Nancy Lublin has scaled three successful not-for-profits: Dress for Success, DoSomething.org and Crisis Text Line. She shares the tenacious approach to technology and financing that have helped these organizations scale.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/nancy-lublin-grit-happens/

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Jun 14, 2017
6. Innovation is managed chaos, w/Eric Schmidt of Google/Alphabet
00:30:03

Google has succeeded by innovating again and again. Their secret? They don’t tell their employees how to innovate; they manage the chaos. Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google since 2001 and now chair of parent company Alphabet, shares the controversial management techniques he created to lead an environment of free-flowing ideas — and the disciplined decision-making that helps to make a breakthrough idea into a profitable product. He reveals the secret to Google’s former “20% time” policy, their approach to hiring smart creatives, and the parallels between leading Google and piloting small aircraft. Plus, his “roommate” at Google, and the decision he made to support a crazy idea that he was certain would bankrupt the company.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/eric-schmidt-innovation-managed-chaos/

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Jun 07, 2017
5. Lead, lead again, w/Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg
00:33:39

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 scale leaders know how to pivot, because every day there are new competitors, new threats, new opportunities. Sandberg shares the practical, tactical on-the-ground leadership lessons she learned while scaling at Google and Facebook.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/sheryl-sandberg-lead-lead-again/

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May 31, 2017
4. Imperfect is perfect, w/Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg
00:29:15

If you’re Steve Jobs, you can wait for your product to be perfect. 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? Because your assumptions about what people want are never exactly right. Most entrepreneurs create great products through a tight feedback loop with real customers using a real product. So don’t fear imperfections; they won’t make or break your company. What will make or break you is speed. And no one knows this better than Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. He shares the origin story of his mantra “move fast and break things” and how this ethos applied as Facebook evolved from student project to tech giant.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com

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May 24, 2017
3. Learn from every "no," w/Walker & Company's Tristan Walker
00:29:18

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 rejection. Instead, learn to hear the nuance in the different kinds of “no.” That’s what Tristan Walker did. After stints at two successful startups, he launched out on his own with Walker & Company, makers of the Bevel razor — and learned to navigate the world of investors who may or may not share your vision.

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/tristan-walker-beauty-of-a-bad-idea/

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May 17, 2017
2. Raise more money than you need, w/Minted's Mariam Naficy
00:28:48

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 — or if you'll need to make an unexpected, expensive pivot to stay afloat. So always, always raise more money than you think you need. Mariam Naficy shares her white-knuckle experiences founding startups that survived two financial crashes — the online cosmetic company Eve.com in the dotcom-boom ’90s, and founder and the design marketplace Minted.com today. Cameo appearances: Selina Tobaccowala (Evite, Gixo), Daniel Kahneman (Nobel-winning psychologist), Brian Chesky (Airbnb), and Amos Kedmey (Wine and Cheese Place).

Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/mariam-naficy-the-money-episode/

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May 10, 2017
1. Airbnb's Brian Chesky in Handcrafted
00:29:48

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 did. As CEO of Airbnb, Brian’s early work was more akin to a traveling salesman. He takes us back to his lean years – when he went door-to-door, meeting Airbnb hosts in person – and shares the imaginative route to crafting what he calls an "11-star experience.”

Read Paul Graham: "In order to scale, you have to do things that don't scale."

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com

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May 03, 2017
Coming Soon: Masters of Scale
00:02:08
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. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Apr 18, 2017