Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman

By WaitWhat

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 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 & beyond. Iconic CEOs — from Nike to Netflix, Starbucks to Slack — share the stories & strategies that helped them grow from startups into global brands.

On each episode, host Reid Hoffman — LinkedIn cofounder, Greylock partner and legendary Silicon Valley investor — proves an unconventional theory about how businesses scale, while his guests share the story of how I built this company. Reid and guests talk entrepreneurship, leadership, strategy, management, fundraising. But they also talk about the human journey — with all its failures and setbacks. 

With original, cinematic music and hilariously honest stories, Masters of Scale is a business podcast that doesn’t sound like a business podcast.

Guests on Masters of Scale have included the founders and CEOs of Netflix, Google, Facebook, Starbucks, Nike, Fiat, Spotify, Instagram, Airbnb, Uber, Paypal, Huffington Post, Twitter, Medium, Bumble, Yahoo, Slack, Spanx, Shake Shack, Dropbox, TaskRabbit, 23&Me, Mailchimp, Evite, Flickr, CharityWater, Endeavor, IAC and many more.


Episode Date
LIVE! All founders have a 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)  

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

Dec 05, 2019
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 Amen Clinics).

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

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

Nov 26, 2019
The Money Episode w/Minted's Mariam Naficy
00:28:45

Every founder faces the same question when they start their entrepreneurial journey: How much money do I need to raise? And the answer is: A lot more than you think – but not for the reasons you think. In this classic episode, the founder and CEO of Minted, Mariam Naficy, talks about her decision to raise – and raise again. Not for a rainy-day slush fund, but because she understood that to outmaneuver the competition, to guard against economic downturns, and to take advantage of opportunities that may unfold late in the game, she’d need to have the capital. It was with that foresight that she raised more than $300 million – and grew Minted to the nine-figure revenue company it is today. Cameo appearances: Selina Tobaccowala (Evite, Gixo), Daniel Kahneman (Nobel-winning psychologist), Brian Chesky (Airbnb), Amos Kedmey (Wine and Cheese Place).

Nov 21, 2019
LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner – How to set the drumbeat
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. As CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff grew users from 33 million to 660 million. He grew revenue to more than $7 billion and ultimately stewarded LinkedIn through its acquisition by Microsoft. Jeff’s drumbeat? Compassionate management. Cameo appearances by: Chris Tomson (Vampire Weekend), Monica Worline (Stanford's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education), Keesa Schreane (host, "You've Been Served"). 

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

Nov 15, 2019
Bill Gates — How to accelerate history
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 one 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. Later this season, watch for part two, where Bill reflects on scaling the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the lessons learned between the two.

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

Nov 07, 2019
Make it epic — with 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 multiple 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).

Oct 31, 2019
LIVE! Tory Burch: Patience or Speed? Both.
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, she shows how this approach plays out in her global business – and in her impactful foundation that supports women business owners. With appearances by the Polynesian Voyaging Society's Lehua Kamalu and Affectiva's Rana el Kaliouby.

Show notes:

Learn more about the Tory Burch Foundation. Applications are open now to join the 5th annual Fellows Program for women entrepreneurs: Women in the United States are invited to apply online now through Tuesday, November 19, 2019, for a chance to be selected as one of the 50 Fellows to participate in the year-long program, including a five-day workshop at the Tory Burch Office in New York, a $5,000 grant for business education and the chance to be selected to pitch their business to investors and industry leaders.

Oct 17, 2019
Keep humans in the equation — with 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 champions 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"). 

Oct 10, 2019
A Strategy Session with Reid Hoffman
00:38:06

In this special episode, host Reid Hoffman answers questions from early-stage entrepreneurs – people in the trenches of startup life all over the world. How do you gain your users' trust? How do you build a team and company culture at the same time? This Strategy Session is co-hosted with Jason Feifer, editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur magazine.

Sep 26, 2019
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 Chairman John Elkann shares the principles that allow 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.

Sep 12, 2019
Dropbox's Drew Houston: How to take on Goliaths and win
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 guys – and what's next for Dropbox. Cameo appearances: Mark Pincus of Zynga, Shellye Archambeau of MetricStream.

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

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

Sep 05, 2019
Special: 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 - was designed to create calm amid an always-on schedule. The particular episode we’re sharing 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 - the way the episode makes you feel — subscribe to Meditative Story on the app you're using now.

Aug 06, 2019
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, sneak past or straight-up fight the FDA in the name of moving fast, Wojcicki made the call to work with regulators directly and collaboratively. Hear how (and why) she embraced red tape. Cameo appearance: Daniel Ek of Spotify.

Aug 01, 2019
Introducing Meditative Story
00:05:08

This short trailer offers a taste of a new podcast from the team that created Masters of Scale. And just like MoS, it's unlike anything you've heard before. In each episode of Meditative Story, you'll hear a storyteller who will transport you to a time and place where everything changed for them, telling a story you might find yourself relating to deeply. As the story unfolds, mindfulness guide Rohan will offer gentle prompts to settle you more deeply into the story, and calm your mind.The entire experience is elevated with breathtaking music — all giving you the headspace to feel restored and refreshed. Subscribe today

Jul 30, 2019
The Big Pivot w/Slack's Stewart Butterfield
00:37:22

Slack's Stewart Butterfield knows: There’s more to a pivot than a sharp left turn. First, there’s the opportunity you’re pivoting toward. Can you see it clearly enough to navigate toward it? Can you convince others to come along? Then you have to pivot away from your old idea. This can be incredibly difficult, because it involves humans. And humans don't tend to let go of old ideas easily. You risk blowback from your co-founders, your staff, your investors and your users. This will likely be be the single greatest test of your leadership skills, because your credibility will come under scrutiny. The moment you find the thing that your users cannot stop doing, you need to slash and burn the rest of your business.

Jul 26, 2019
Small Changes for Big Impact w/Bumble's Whitney Wolfe Herd
00:39:09

Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd knows: The smallest feature can make or break your product. The challenge is recognizing the impact of that feature – and making sure it’s actually positive. This is what Wolfe Herd tapped into when she founded a dating app that required a whole new way of communication. She has become a master of understanding what her users want, and then making the small changes to Bumble that help them achieve their goals. While small changes typically lead to incremental improvements, every so often the impact is exponential. With cameo appearances by Steve Spohn (AbleGamer), and Marissa Mayer (Google, Yahoo).

Jul 18, 2019
Entrepreneurship as a Second Act w/Gwyneth Paltrow
00:41:16

Would-be entrepreneurs, this one's for you. It’s never too late to join the entrepreneurial party. We've all heard the stories of young geniuses, but plenty of influential entrepreneurs founded companies in their 30s, 40s, 50s. There’s value to being a 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 Sara Blakely (Spanx), Brian Chesky (Airbnb), Boyd Martin (Olympic horse rider), and Ruben Harris (Career Karma).

Jul 02, 2019
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. Including clips from Instagram's Kevin Systrom, Yahoo's Marissa Mayer, Spotify's Daniel Ek, and more. 

Jun 21, 2019
How pirates become the navy w/Uber CEO 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. Dara Khosrowshahi, as Uber CEO, 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 – and Dara turned the company around. His method? Truth-telling and doing the right thing. Cameo appearances: Arianna Huffington (Thrive Global) and Ben Chestnut (Mailchimp).

Jun 05, 2019
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 (Generally: 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 for any set of reasons. Cameo appearances: LeVar Burton (Star Trek, Reading Rainbow, LeVar Burton Reads), Don MacKinnon (Milq), Karen Cahn (iFundWomen).

May 21, 2019
Open or closed? The answer is both—w/Joi Ito, MIT Media Lab Director
00:35:17

No organization that’s entirely closed – or entirely open – can scale as successfully as an organization that combines both. Yes, organizations that are open invite a bit of chaos – but that chaos breeds innovation. Knowing which aspects of your organization should be open and which should be closed will set you on a path to rapid scale. No one knows this better than Joi Ito. He has spent his career championing radically open systems, from Creative Commons to cyber currency. Now as Director of the famed MIT Media Lab, he's focused on facilitating open conversations so we can keep pace with the shifting challenges we face in our companies, institutions, and societies. Cameo appearance: Megan Smith (former U.S. Chief Technology Officer).

Apr 30, 2019
When your invention becomes a weapon – from Should This Exist
00:32:53

When former Wired Editor Chris Anderson launched DIY drones — an open source community for makers — drones were still considered a military technology. His drones were used by filmmakers, farmers and conservationists. He believes they were also used by ISIS to drop bombs. What is Chris's responsibility? Did he foster innovation for a community of like-minded do-gooders or democratize a weapon for a terrorist group across the globe? Chris, who's now CEO of 3DR, joins host Caterina Fake, Quartz Editor in Chief Kevin Delaney and Comedian Baratunde Thurston, to explore the inventor's dilemma: What happens when you accidentally create a weapon?

Apr 11, 2019
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 champion poker player Liv Boeree.

Mar 26, 2019
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 as you grow. 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 (host of the podcast American Innovations; and author of best-selling books, including the recent "Farsighted: How We Make the Decisions That Matter the Most").

Mar 12, 2019
Build a more human internet — w/ Caterina Fake (Host of “Should This Exist?")
00:40:26

How do you build a thriving online community? One human connection at a time. Caterina Fake is the host of our spinoff series "Should This Exist?” and she knows: Whatever you are when you're SMALL — gets amplified as you grow. So if you're building any kind of community (e-commerce, crowd-funding, social media), emphasize the human, and be careful what you cultivate. Caterina cofounded the pioneering photo site Flickr and helped build companies like Etsy, Kickstarter, Stack Overflow, and even Blue Bottle Coffee from their beginnings. Her wise words for every founder: You have has 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.

Mar 05, 2019
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 (Former Exec Producer, TED; Exec Producer, Masters of Scale & Cofounder of WaitWhat, the company behind it). Cameo appearances: Arianna Huffington (Thrive Global) and Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn).

Feb 26, 2019
Introducing: Should This Exist?
00:33:36

Introducing a brand new show from the team behind Masters of Scale: Should This Exist?

Neuroscientist Daniel Chao created a headset that hacks your brain with electricity so you can learn as fast as a kid again. It’s called Halo, and it helps you learn motor skills faster. Athletes use it; musicians too. But we’re not far from a future when Halo could help anyone master anything. Where will that take us? Host Caterina Fake leads the journey, joined by Comedian Baratunde Thurston and Quartz Editor in Chief Kevin Delaney, who help Daniel future-cast, and see his invention through the future best for humanity.

Feb 21, 2019
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. Guest Host is June Cohen, Executive Producer of Masters of Scale, CEO of WaitWhat, and former Executive Producer of TED. Cameo Apperance: Matthew Mercer, host of the web series Critical Role.

Jan 22, 2019
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-made RFID readers.

Jan 08, 2019
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.

Dec 18, 2018
Your Plan B Needs a Plan B — w/Nancy Lublin of Do Something and Crisis Text Line
00:33:14

[A favorite episode returns!] To succeed as an entrepreneur, you need grit. But grit is more than persistence. You’re not just charging up the same hill over and over. You're generating an endless supply of Plans B. And Nancy Lublin always has a Plan B, and C, and D. It’s this kind of grit that fueled her success scaling three not-for-profits: Dress for Success, DoSomething.org and Crisis Text Line. With practical wisdom and wicked humor, she shares the innovative approach to technology, financing, volunteers and staff development that helped her organizations scale.

Dec 04, 2018
The Millennial Episode — with 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. No one understands this better than Brit + Co Founder Brit Morin. 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. | With a cameo appearance 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.

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

Your first hires = cultural cofounders. And it’s worth your time to get every one right. Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri personally interviewed his first FIVE HUNDRED employees at Workday. He knows how to map back from the culture he wants, to employee attributes to interview questions. Today, with 8000+ employees and $2b in annual revenue, Workday is consistently rated one of the best places to work. 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).

Nov 05, 2018
Shake Shack's Danny Meyer — When to ignore conventional wisdom
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, New York’s 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 he’s scaled. From his first innovative restaurants, Union Square Café and Gramercy Tavern, to the dramatic scale story of Shake Shack, Danny cast off received wisdom and wrote his own rules: The staff comes first; investors comes last; the customer isn’t always right; and “service” is not the same as “hospitality.” His simple ideas have radical implications for any industry. With a cameo appearance from Rick Barry (Former NBA player.)

Oct 22, 2018
Arianna Huffington—What great founders do at night
00:39:19

To survive your entrepreneurial journey, you have to learn to recharge. In fact, knowing when to turn the lights OUT may be the only way to keep the lights on. You need a sustainable strategy that maximizes your team's efficiency, while avoiding burnout. And for that — you have to know when and HOW to refuel. 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, Why We Sleep).

Oct 03, 2018
Spotify's Daniel Ek — How to build trust FAST
00:37:50

Normally, trust = consistency + time. But when you're scaling fast — you have to find shortcuts, with your partners and your users. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek knows a thing or two about this. When he founded Spotify, he did what no disruptor had ever done before: 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),

Sep 19, 2018
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).

Sep 06, 2018
Marissa Mayer — How to make the star employees you need
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 at 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 Yahoo CEO, a role she reflects on in the show. With a cameo by Karen Kirkland (Nickelodeon). 

Aug 08, 2018
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 up-ended 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, analyst at FiveThirtyEight, and comedian Matt Ruby, founder of Vooza.

Jul 25, 2018
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 champions 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").

Jul 11, 2018
Introducing Season 3
00:02:24

Masters of Scale returns on Wed July 11th with Season 3, featuring the entrepreneurs who wrote the rule book of Silicon Valley - as well as the ones who challenge those rules. We'll hear hard-won insights from the founders of Spotify, Instagram, TaskRabbit, Shake Shack, Glossier and Zynga. Plus Tory Burch, Gwyneth Paltrow, Arianna Huffington, Marissa Mayer, and Dara Khosrowshahi, the new CEO of Uber. You can learn more at MastersofScale.com.

Jul 09, 2018
How to find your big idea w/ Spanx's Sara Blakely
00:41:00

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.

Mar 21, 2018
How To Do Good And Do Good Business with 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, chairman and former CEO of Starbucks, not only changed how America wakes up, but set new standards for employee benefits. From offering free 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.

Mar 07, 2018
BONUS: The 10 Commandments of Startup Success with Guest Host Tim Ferriss
01:30:24

Guest host Tim Ferriss shares advice you'll want to etch into stone: The 10 Commandments of Startup Success. We teamed up with Tim's eponymous podcast, the Tim Ferriss Show, to bring you this special remix. You'll hear actionable lessons from every episode of Masters of Scale Season One, including previously unaired insights from Airbnb's Brian Chesky, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Endeavor's Linda Rottenberg, and more.

Feb 28, 2018
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 Blogger, before that), 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, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg

Feb 21, 2018
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.

Feb 14, 2018
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 Chairman John Elkann shares the principles that allow 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.

Feb 07, 2018
Why Customer Love is All You Need w/ Y Combinator's Sam Altman
00:40:05

Better to have 100 users love you than 1 million that kinda like you. The true seed of scale is love, and you can't buy it, hack it, or game it. Ask Sam Altman, the president of Y Combinator, Silicon Valley's legendary startup accelerator. He knows that a 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, famed inventor of the Cronut. Plus cameos from Sara Blakely of Spanx and Aubrie Pagano of fashion line Bow & Drape.

Jan 31, 2018
Model Behavior w/ entrepreneur/investor Caterina Fake (Etsy, Kickstarter, Flickr)
00:40:33

Whatever you are when you're small gets amplified when you grow. So if you're staring any kind of online community (social media, e-commerce, crowd-funding...), be careful what you cultivate. Caterina Fake has founded or invested in companies with 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.

Jan 24, 2018
Learn to Unlearn (Part 2) w/ IAC's 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, titan of "old" media (ABC, Paramount, Fox), mastered the new dot-com world—with everything from Expedia to Match.com. Part 2 of "Be an Infinite Learner." With Uber's Dara Khosrowshahi and serial entrepreneur Margaret Heffernan.

Dec 13, 2017
Infinite Learner (Part I) w/ IAC's Barry Diller
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. 

Dec 06, 2017
Learn From Every 'No' w/ Bevel Razor's Tristan Walker
00:29:17

“If you’re laughed out of the room, it might actually be a good sign.” Entrepreneurs inevitably face a lot of rejection — as does anyone championing a big new idea. But the different ways that investors say “no” could reveal valuable clues about your idea’s potential. Sometimes, it's proof you’re in a space that’s ripe for the taking. Featuring Bevel Razor/Walker & Company's Tristan Walker, The Muse's Kathryn Minshew & Hint Water's Kara Goldin.

Nov 29, 2017
The Big Pivot with 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 turned into game-changing communications platforms (Flickr and Slack).

Nov 15, 2017
Look sideways with Google / VMware’s Diane Greene
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.

Nov 10, 2017
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. “Competition is for losers,” he’s been known to say. Thiel is a former colleague, frequent co-investor and long-time intellectual sparring partner with host Reid Hoffman. Their combined thinking on the competitive landscape is unmissable.

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

Aug 26, 2017
Let Fires Burn w/ Gixo's Selina Tobaccowala
00:34:08

If you try to put out every fire, you’ll only burn yourself out. The best entrepreneurs? They let fires burn. Knowing which problems not to solve is just as critical as knowing which problems must be solved. You won’t have time to sit down and assess every blaze burning around you. And good luck ranking your startup’s problems from most to least severe. The reality is problems flare up unexpectedly and on a daily basis — yesterday’s whisp of smoke might be today’s five-alarm fire. So you have to conserve energy for the biggest blazes, and learn how to sleep easy while other fires smolder around you. That means you can ignore emails, tolerate buggy code, risk server outages and even ignore customers until their complaints hit fever pitch.

Jul 19, 2017
The Next Silicon Valley Is...? W/ Endeavor's Linda Rottenberg
00:41:47

What’s the secret to Silicon Valley? And can any other region nurture such a thriving startup scene? Linda Rottenberg, CEO of Endeavor, makes the case that a startup culture can be nurtured almost anywhere, so long as you have the raw ingredients — namely, a few initial entrepreneurs with access to capital and a willingness to pay it forward. Bear in mind that Silicon Valley is so much more than an archipelago of thriving tech companies. It’s actually an ecosystem — one that’s deeply  interconnected and self-reinforcing. Silicon Valley companies constantly swap talent — investors, entrepreneurs, hackers and managers  — as they grow from seedlings to huge proportions.  And any up-and-comer would have to do the same. Today,  no region can match Silicon Valley’s collective wisdom for scaling a business. But — from Buenos Aires to Boston, Tel Aviv to Shenzen — there are fledgling startup scenes that could ultimately give Silicon Valley a run for its money.

Jul 12, 2017
Bonus Episode: The Ten Commandments of Startup Success
01:30:24

Guest host Tim Ferriss shares advice you’ll will want to etch into stone: the Ten Commandments of Startup Success. We teamed up with Tim’s eponymous podcast, the Tim Ferriss Show, to bring you this special remix of actionable lessons from every episode of 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 an accomplished speaker who’s given multiple TED Talks and author of The 4 Hour Work Week. He’s masterful at extracting tips, tricks and lifehacks for busy entrepreneurs.

Jul 05, 2017
BONUS: Uncut interview w/ Netflix's Reed Hastings
00:51:56

Host Reid Hoffman visits Netflix's headquarters for an extended interview with the company's founding CEO, Reed Hastings. They discuss the distinctive culture that enabled Netflix to leap from DVD's to online streaming to becoming a content-production studio that blends the wisdom of Hollywood and Silicon Valley.

Jun 29, 2017
Netflix's Reed Hastings in Culture Shock
00:36:29

I believe strong company cultures only emerge when every employee feels they own the culture — and this begins even before the first job interview. CEO Reed Hastings has built an adaptive, high-performing culture at NetFlix by being unabashedly upfront about who they are and who they aren’t. The company’s famous “culture deck” offers a 100-slide description of how NetFlix sees itself — not a “family” but a high performing sports team. It won’t appeal to everyone — and that’s the point. If you can define your culture tightly, while also resonating deeply with a diverse group of employees, you have a winning formula.

Jun 28, 2017
BONUS: Uncut Interview w/ Crisis Text Line's Nancy Lublin
01:00:54

In this extended interview, Nancy Lublin, founding CEO of Crisis Text Line, shares insights from her restless career as a serial entrepreneur, recruiting armies of volunteers to the causes she’s passionate about.

Jun 15, 2017
Grit Happens with Crisis Text Line's Nancy Lublin
00:33:22
To succeed, entrepreneurs need a good idea, timing, money, luck. But more than anything, they need grit. Don’t confuse grit with sheer persistence; it’s not about charging up the same hill, again and again. The sort of grit you need to scale a business is less reliant on brute force. It’s actually one part determination and one part ingenuity — the ability to generate an endless supply of Plans B. And Nancy Lublin has a boundless supply of grit, which fueled her success scaling three successful not-for-profits: Dress for Success, DoSomething.org and Crisis Text Line. With practical wisdom and wicked humor, she shares the innovative approach to technology, financing, volunteers and staff development that have given her organizations such scale. If you think the for-profit world has a monopoly on scale thinking, think again.
Jun 14, 2017
Google/Alphabet's Eric Schmidt in Innovation = Managed Chaos
00:30:03
Google has succeeded by innovating again and again. Not just search, but Gmail and Google Docs and even self-driving cars. Their secret? They don’t tell their employees how to innovate; they manage the chaos. Eric Schmidt—CEO of Google since 2001 and now Chairman of parent company Alphabet—shares the controversial management techniques he created to cultivate an environment of free-flowing ideas plus disciplined decision making that lead to breakthrough ideas. He reveals the hidden secret in Google’s famous “20% time” policy, their approach to hiring smart creatives, and the parallels between leading Google and piloting small airplanes. Plus, his “roommate” at Google, and the decision he made to support a crazy idea that he was certain would bankrupt the company.
Jun 07, 2017
BONUS: Uncut Interview w/ Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg
00:46:45

Host Reid Hoffman met Sheryl in a conference room at One Facebook Way to discuss a vexing subject: How does she lead an organization that doubles or triples in size each year? She also reveals previously unaired insights from her new book, Option B, and how her first book, Lean In, morphed into a grassroots movement.

Jun 01, 2017
Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg in Lead, Lead Again
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. Every day, there are new competitors, new threats, new opportunities. There’s no simple, straightforward set of marching orders. It’s more like a dogfight. You and your team will be flying upside down and at an angle sometimes. Sandberg shares her practical, tactical on-the-ground lessons she learned at both Google and Facebook — everything from hiring people for roles that never existed before, celebrating birthdays for an enormous team, and navigating make-or-break crises as a management team. She also reveals the slow, professional courtship of Mark Zuckerberg.
May 31, 2017
BONUS: Uncut interview w/ Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg
01:04:56

This is the extended, uncut version of Reid Hoffman's rare, hour-long interview with Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg from Ep. 4 “Imperfect is Perfect". Our recommendation: Listen to the episode first. Then enjoy the full interview, with its previously unheard material — including our Masters of Scale “Lightning Round.”

May 25, 2017
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg in Imperfect is Perfect
00:29:15
If you’re Steve Jobs, you can wait for your product to be perfect. But there are almost no Steve Jobs’ in the world. For the rest of us, If you’re not embarrassed by your first product release, you’ve released it too late. Imperfect is perfect. Why? 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 famous mantra, “move fast and break things” and how this ethos applied as Facebook evolved from student project to tech giant.
May 24, 2017
Beauty of A Bad Idea 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 between 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 entrepreneurial minefield of investors who may or may not share your vision.
May 17, 2017
The Money Episode 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. 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 — online cosmetic company Eve.com in the 90s, and founder and designer boutique Minted.com today.
May 10, 2017
BONUS: Uncut Interview w/ Airbnb's Brian Chesky
01:20:31

Host Reid Hoffman interviews Brian Chesky, the co-founder and CEO of Airbnb. In this extended interview, Chesky explains how a willingness to work with his hands laid the foundation for Airbnb’s growth. He also shares previously unaired stories about pitches that went terribly awry and a guest appearance on a reality television series.

May 04, 2017
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.”

Mentioned in this episode:

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



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.
Apr 18, 2017