Masters of Scale

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Subscribers: 4154
Reviews: 4
Episodes: 390


 Jan 29, 2019

nicholas
 Jan 22, 2019

A Podcast Republic user
 Aug 26, 2018

Niki Vinogradoff
 Jul 24, 2018

Description

Award-winning business advice from Silicon Valley and beyond. Iconic CEOs, from Nike to Netflix, Starbucks to Slack, share the strategies that helped them grow from startups into global brands — and to weather crisis when it strikes. 

Our two formats help tell the complete story of how a business grows, survives and thrives, and the mindsets of growth that keep leaders in the game.

On each episode of our classic format, host Reid Hoffman — LinkedIn cofounder, Greylock partner and legendary Silicon Valley investor — proves an unconventional theory about how businesses scale, asking his guests to share their stories of entrepreneurship, leadership, strategy, management, fundraising. You’ll hear the human journey too — failures, setbacks, learnings. 

From our Rapid Response format, you can expect real-time wisdom from business leaders in fast-changing situations. Hosted by Bob Safian, past editor in chief of Fast Company, these episodes tackle crisis response, rebuilding, diversity & inclusion, leadership change and much more. 


Episode Date
129. Jimmy Iovine: Harness fear to drive innovation, part 2
00:30:26

With guest host Angela Ahrendts (Burberry, Apple). To innovate, you need to build an instinct to smash through barriers — especially the ones that terrify you. Music industry legend Jimmy Iovine has done this throughout his career working with legendary artists like John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, and Dr. Dre, working in innovative tech like Beats Electronics and Apple Music, as well as in his groundbreaking work educating the next generation of creatives.

In the final installment of this two part series, we learn how fear is the tailwind that Jimmy has harnessed to break down barriers and drive creative breakthroughs.

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.

Jun 06, 2023
128. Jimmy Iovine: Harness fear to drive innovation, part 1
00:27:32

With guest host Angela Ahrendts (Burberry, Apple). To innovate, you need to build an instinct to smash through barriers — especially the ones that terrify you. Music industry legend Jimmy Iovine has done this throughout his career working with legendary artists like John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, and Dr. Dre, working in innovative tech like Beats Electronics and Apple Music, as well as in his groundbreaking work educating the next generation of creatives.

In part one of this two-part episode, we learn how fear is the tailwind that Jimmy has harnessed to break down barriers and drive creative breakthroughs.

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

Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: https://mastersofscale.com/subscribe

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

May 31, 2023
Using failure as a launchpad, w/MoviePass’s Stacy Spikes
00:23:09

Rapid Response with Bob Safian: After an infamous fall, MoviePass co-founder Stacy Spikes is back to try again, applying hard-earned lessons and a revamped model to meet the same goal: make theater-going a habit for a new generation. As a passionate Black entrepreneur, Stacy shares the hidden powers of being an outsider and how anyone can re-take control of their narrative to spark a new and exciting chapter.  

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

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May 23, 2023
How the word "no" inspires change, w/Princess Reema
00:20:39

To change the status quo, we need to lean into whatever advantages we have. Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud of Saudi Arabia has privileges that many do not: She is a member of the royal family and Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States. But she is also a woman in a traditional culture who has encountered many obstacles — as an entrepreneur, a CEO, and in government. Princess Reema has deftly maneuvered to help expand women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, in ways few predicted. Recorded live at the Masters of Scale Summit in San Francisco, Princess Reema talks with host Bob Safian about how anyone can use their advantages to push the boundary of what’s possible.

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

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May 16, 2023
How great leaders respond in a crisis, w/Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky
00:23:58

After guiding the company through a near-death experience, Airbnb’s Brian Chesky talks with Rapid Response host Bob Safian about what he learned and how responding to a crisis both reveals your character and teaches you what’s most important. Recorded live on stage at the Masters of Scale Summit in San Francisco.

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

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May 09, 2023
Lessons from the demise of BuzzFeed News, w/CEO Jonah Peretti
00:25:53

Rapid Response with Bob Safian: If the most prestigious aspect of your business isn’t paying dividends, should you leave it in the past? BuzzFeed’s co-founder and CEO, Jonah Peretti discusses the surprising decision to shutter the Pulitzer Prize-winning BuzzFeed News, and how the company seeks to re-anchor toward the bright future of media. In his third appearance on Rapid Response, Peretti shares lessons about redefining the tool of social media, leading a private versus public business, and how to tune-out the external noise.

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

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May 04, 2023
ALL-STAR EP: Uber’s Dara Khosrowshahi — Bringing a culture back from the brink
00:43:47

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

"All-Star Episodes" are part of a special series designed to center some of the most timely — and timeless — business wisdom in the Masters of Scale feed. These episodes best encapsulate the kind of transformative, unconventional insights you hear in the series." Have an idea for an All-Star Episode from our library? Let us know at hello@mastersofscale.com.

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

Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: https://mastersofscale.com/subscribe

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

May 02, 2023
ALL-STAR EP: Taskrabbit’s Stacy Brown-Philpot — Keep humans in the equation
00:36:00

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 former 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.

"All-Star Episodes" are part of a special series designed to center some of the most timely — and timeless — business wisdom in the Masters of Scale feed. These episodes best encapsulate the kind of transformative, unconventional insights you hear in the series. Have an idea for an All-Star Episode from our library? Let us know at hello@mastersofscale.com.

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

Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: https://mastersofscale.com/subscribe

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

Apr 25, 2023
ALL-STAR EP: Shark Tank and FUBU’s Daymond John — How to partner like a shark
00:36:11

How do you create authentic partnerships to build scale? Daymond John, founder of FUBU and one of the original “sharks” on ABC’s Shark Tank, shares lessons from FUBU’s earliest days in Queens, where he partnered with bouncers, bodegas, his neighbor LL Cool J, and his earliest collaborator and investor (his mom) to turn a great idea into a billion-dollar urbanwear brand.

"All-Star Episodes" are part of a special series designed to center some of the most timely — and timeless — business wisdom in the Masters of Scale feed. These episodes best encapsulate the kind of transformative, unconventional insights you hear in the series. Have an idea for an All-Star Episode from our library? Let us know at hello@mastersofscale.com.

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

Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: https://mastersofscale.com/subscribe

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

Apr 18, 2023
ALL-STAR EP: Google's Eric Schmidt — Innovation is managed chaos
00:30:18

Google doesn’t tell its employees how to innovate; it manages their inventive chaos. Their secret? Mix free-flowing ideas with disciplined decision-making. 

In this week's All-Star Episode, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt shares his strategies to manage chaos. CEO of Google from 2001-2015, and now the co-founder of Schmidt Futures, Schmidt 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, the decision he made to support a crazy idea that he was certain would bankrupt the company.

"All-Star Episodes" are part of a special series designed to center some of the most timely — and timeless — business wisdom in the Masters of Scale feed. These episodes best encapsulate the kind of transformative, unconventional insights you hear in the series. Have an idea for an All-Star Episode from our library? Let us know at hello@mastersofscale.com.

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

Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: https://mastersofscale.com/subscribe

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

Apr 11, 2023
ALL-STAR EP: Burberry & Apple’s Angela Ahrendts — How to unite a team
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 with 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.

"All-Star Episodes" are part of a special series designed to center some of the most timely — and timeless — business wisdom in the Masters of Scale feed. These episodes best encapsulate the kind of transformative, unconventional insights you hear in the series. Have an idea for an All-Star Episode from our library? Let us know at hello@mastersofscale.com.

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

Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: https://mastersofscale.com/subscribe

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

Apr 04, 2023
ALL-STAR EP: 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 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 to. With cameo appearances from Gustav Söderström (Spotify's Chief Research & Development Officer) and Miles Daisher (Red Bull Air Force).

"All-Star Episodes" are part of a special series designed to center some of the most timely — and timeless — business wisdom in the Masters of Scale feed. These episodes best encapsulate the kind of transformative, unconventional insights you hear in the series. Have an idea for an All-Star Episode from our library? Let us know at hello@mastersofscale.com.

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

Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: https://mastersofscale.com/subscribe

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

Mar 28, 2023
Rapid Response: Live with urgency, w/Bozoma Saint John, former Netflix CMO
00:28:05

Being authentic defines strong leadership. Bozoma Saint John has continually challenged expectations, moving purposefully across multiple roles, from Uber’s chief brand officer to Netflix’s CMO, from Pepsico to Apple, from working for celebrated director Spike Lee to working for iconic Hollywood talent agent Ari Emmanuel. The wall between the personal and professional is artificial, Boz argues, and a barrier to leading what she calls The Urgent Life in a new book. The best leaders tap into their emotions and listen to their instincts, she says, which helps to drive a team and a business forward.

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

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Mar 16, 2023
62. 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 episode: https://mastersofscale.com/

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Mar 14, 2023
Rapid Response: Compassion in the face of crisis, w/Mercy Corps CEO Tjada McKenna
00:21:48

How do you stay focused and committed to putting out a fire while new fires ignite elsewhere? Mercy Corps CEO, Tjada D’Oyen McKenna returns to Rapid Response to discuss the expansive relief effort in Turkey and Syria since the earthquake, leading a grieving team, and how the org’s support strategy in Ukraine must pivot as the country enters its second year of war. Tjada also shares insights about the greater role businesses can play in societal improvement, and why altruism doesn’t mean sacrificing scale.

Support Mercy Corps’ relief effort in Syria: https://www.mercycorps.org/donate/catastrophic-earthquake-strikes-syria

Support families in Ukraine: https://www.mercycorps.org/donate/support-families-ukraine-and-40-countries-worldwide

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

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Mar 09, 2023
Rapid Response: Embrace tension, w/former IBM CEO Ginni Rometty
00:25:54

Hard challenges demand that we embrace tension. Former CEO of IBM Ginni Rometty argues that, right now, business has a responsibility to deploy what her new book calls Good Power — from putting skills first in hiring, as a way to close systemic opportunity gaps, to thoughtfully erecting guardrails around new technology. As an early pioneer in the AI space with IBM’s Watson, Ginni acknowledges the risk that disruptive technology can have on society. She offers her insider perspective on balancing what she calls “the teeter-totter” of marketplace demands with positive long-term impact.

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

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Mar 02, 2023
127. Dare to make unexpected moves, w/David Droga of Droga5 and Accenture Song
00:40:41

What drove the meteoric rise of David Droga’s trailblazing agency Droga5? A series of daring, unexpected leaps — tactics he’s now applying at mega-scale as head of Accenture Song. Conventional wisdom tells you to ‘climb the ladder’ of success linearly — as an individual or a company. But David’s unexpected moves — leaning into creative partnerships and controversial programs — accelerated his path to scale. David tells us: “I’m more scared of repetition than I am of failure.”

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/swing-on-the-jungle-gym-david-droga/

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Feb 28, 2023
Rapid Response: Finding windows of opportunity, w/Delta CEO Ed Bastian
00:27:18

With deserted airports, vaccine and mask mandates, and pandemic-prompted staff departures behind it, Delta Air Lines is once again soaring, recently sharing $563 million in profits with its employees. CEO Ed Bastian, in his third appearance on Rapid Response, talks about capitalizing on the big decisions made amid Covid darkness — from airport renovations to investing in free Wifi — and the opportunities and challenges of adding 25,000 new employees over the past year. Sharing insights on managing tumultuous shifts, as well as his evolving perspective on topics from wellness to business travel, Ed reveals the secrets to first class leadership, including the importance of a good night’s sleep.

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

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Feb 23, 2023
46. 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/william-make-it-epic/

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Feb 21, 2023
Rapid Response: Kickstart your users from passive to passionate, w/Kickstarter’s Everette Taylor
00:25:54

To breathe fresh life into an established platform, Kickstarter’s new 33-year-old CEO Everette Taylor is shaking things up – and he’s unapologetic if it makes people uncomfortable. From bold new product lines to bold statements, Taylor is working to kickstart Kickstarter’s existing community while aggressively pursuing new users. Marketing is product and product is marketing, he says. “I want to build a juggernaut.”

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

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Feb 16, 2023
Need to Know: ChatGPT and AI’s inflection point, w/Reid & Bob
00:32:56

Reid Hoffman and Bob Safian sit down once more to discuss how today’s hot-button stories are impacting business. And right now, there's no hotter topic than ChatGPT and the race to bring transformative AI tools into the mainstream. So in this special AI deep-dive, Reid and Bob discuss how ChatGPT has reignited the search engine wars, how we can expect AI to transform our work and leisure, ways to see through the hype, and how business leaders should get the jump on the AI inflection point.

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

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Feb 14, 2023
Rapid Response: Betting on the Super Bowl, w/FanDuel CEO Amy Howe
00:25:02

Sports gambling is on track to grow into a $40 billion industry in the U.S., with FanDuel the lead player. CEO Amy Howe explains why the Super Bowl is so important to the company’s aspirations, even as it expands into wider gaming options and broader sports leagues. Leveraging its first-mover advantage, FanDuel is seeking to build an iconic brand around responsible gaming. With so much on the line, Super Bowl week is as make-or-break for Howe as it is for the two teams on the field.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/betting-on-the-super-bowl-amy-howe/

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Feb 09, 2023
Strategy Session: How to balance innovation with your core business? How to help others tell the story of your product? How to sell an audacious vision to risk-averse stakeholders?
00:30:07

How do you keep innovating while also making sure your core business stays on point? How do you turn your employees into impassioned storytellers? And how do you get even the most risk-averse stakeholders to get on board with your trailblazing new approach? Reid Hoffman and Bob Safian answer these questions and more, all posed live by entrepreneurs across many industries and stages of scale. Plus Reid reminds us the importance of staying grounded in our humanity amid the spate of big tech layoffs in our Need to Know segment.

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

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Feb 07, 2023
Rapid Response: Turning point for a climate-crisis solution, w/Climeworks' Christoph Gebald
00:27:18

The carbon-capture industry notched a breakthrough in early 2023, when Climeworks became the first company to be third-party certified for taking carbon out of the air and mineralizing it underground. Climeworks co-founder and co-CEO Christoph Gebald is now racing to scale this new potential, from Iceland to Oman to the United States, by convincing investors, corporate partners, and governments to support a new pillar in the quest for net-zero goals. Christoph points to both serendipity and learning from mistakes as key in helping Climeworks navigate the steep path required in addressing climate-crisis.

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Feb 03, 2023
126. When to seek advice and when to ignore it, w/LearnVest & Inspired Capital’s Alexa von Tobel
00:35:22

Smart entrepreneurs know one of the secrets to scale is leveraging wisdom from others. (In fact, that’s the mission of this show!) But not all advice is right for you right now — and some can even be disastrous. As the founder of the proto-fintech platform LearnVest, Alexa von Tobel scaled her business by seeking advice from mentors and friends … and then, taking only the advice that served her mission. Following Alexa’s story, you’ll learn how to become a good advice detective, with the power to sort the transformative advice from the traps.

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

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Jan 31, 2023
Rapid Response: Stay versatile, w/Lululemon Athletica CEO Calvin McDonald
00:24:26

While many retail businesses have struggled to cope with a wave of disruptions — from pandemic to supply chains to inflation — Lululemon has continued to scale, even when retail sales elsewhere dipped. CEO Calvin McDonald shares how mid-term strategic planning, control over inventory, and a culture that climbs mountains together has fueled agility and versatility. When it comes to brand-building and community building, Calvin says, it’s critical to lean into listening, so you can amplify what makes your business truly distinctive. 

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Jan 26, 2023
6 leadership traps and how to avoid them
00:43:43

For entrepreneurs and business leaders, the path to success is littered with traps. In this special episode of Masters of Scale, we go into the trenches with leaders from Google, Uber, LinkedIn, and more for inside stories on how to identify, decode, and surmount unexpected pitfalls — from organizational jams to overcommunication, from bloated meetings to bungled succession planning. Learn how to get out of, and avoid, these traps, for yourself and the entire organization.

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Jan 24, 2023
Rapid Response: Finding untapped value in multicultural consumers, w/Blavity CEO and AfroTech founder Morgan DeBaun
00:32:30

While media companies from CNN to Buzzfeed have faced layoffs, one digital network focused on Black millennials has continued to forge ahead. Morgan DeBaun, CEO of Blavity, which reaches some 100 million users through brands like Travel Noire and Afrotech, has defied the odds — repeatedly. Morgan’s experience offers lessons about financial discipline and focused patience, as well as the untapped value in multicultural consumers. An adviser to big companies like American Airlines and an advocate for the Black tech community, Morgan illuminates how openness and opportunity reinforce each other, for enterprises at all scales.

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Jan 19, 2023
8. Netflix’s Reed Hastings: Why culture matters
00:36:16

As Reed Hastings steps down from his co-CEO role at Netflix, we return to the leadership lessons he shared in his original Masters of Scale episode. This episode is all about how you need a strong culture to build a company that will scale beyond the early start-up days. And strong company cultures only emerge when every employee feels they own the culture from day 1. 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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Jan 18, 2023
87. J.J. Abrams: Make room for magic
00:37:36

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.

Read a transcript of this interview at: mastersofscale.com

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Jan 17, 2023
Rapid Response: How to cultivate a new industry, w/Upside Foods CEO Uma Valeti, MD
00:27:06

When the FDA blessed Upside Foods’ grown-from-cells chicken as safe to eat, it was a coming-of-age moment for cultivated meat. Upside founder and CEO Uma Valeti, MD, shares his journey of convincing skeptics, landing investors from Bill Gates to food giants Tyson and Cargill, and building a collaborative partnership with the FDA and USDA. Plus, his lessons on leadership from a career in cardiology and what it will take to convert consumers to a never-before-seen product. 

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/how-to-cultivate-a-new-industry-uma-valeti/

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Jan 12, 2023
125. Cisco's John Chambers: The essential playbooks — and when to use them
00:36:54

All great teams need to improvise under pressure, but underpinning this should be a set of tried-and-tested playbooks that let you orchestrate and replicate winning strategies. Cisco's John Chambers created a library of living playbooks — covering culture, acquisitions, crises, and more — to astounding effect as he took Cisco from a small tech supplier to the most valuable company on the planet.

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Jan 10, 2023
49. 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).

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Jan 05, 2023
5 ways to keep your brand relevant
00:36:30

Branding is at the heart of any organization’s identity, product, and mission. It's the narrative you weave throughout your scale journey. That’s why brand relevance isn't a nice-to-have — it's a need to have. This special episode of Masters of Scale shares key branding lessons from Nike, Disney, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, and more. Applying these insights can amplify your momentum, whether your brand is just starting out or firmly established. By refreshing your brand in dynamic ways, you'll make it relevant and keep it relevant.  

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Jan 03, 2023
Rapid Response: Loneliness at work, w/Noreena Hertz, author of The Lonely Century
00:31:04

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 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 29, 2022
10 unforgettable moments of 2022
00:30:44

Masters of Scale presents 10 must-hear moments from 2022! This special episode gathers the most valuable, lesson-packed, insight-filled moments from the past year across Masters of Scale and Masters of Scale: Rapid Response. From Ukraine to Covid, fashion to crypto, Pepsico to Planned Parenthood, these highlights illuminate timeless takeaways that every business person can learn from and be inspired by — for 2023 and beyond. Featuring: Shark Tank’s Daymond John, Ukrainian entrepreneur Alyona Mysko, Ford chairman Bill Ford, and more.

Listen to the full 10 episodes here:

Alyona Mysko: https://listen.mastersofscale.com/AlyonaEp

Natalie Massenet: https://link.chtbl.com/NatalieMassenetNL

Mauro Porcini: https://listen.mastersofscale.com/MauroProcini_Nov4

Alexis McGill Johnson: https://link.chtbl.com/AlexisMcGillJohnsonRREP

Need to Know (July): https://listen.mastersofscale.com/N2K_Jul26

Stacey Abrams: https://link.chtbl.com/StaceyAbrams_MoS

Stéphane Bancel: https://listen.mastersofscale.com/Moderna_Part1

Bill Ford: https://listen.mastersofscale.com/BillFordPart1

Live from Summit: https://listen.mastersofscale.com/LivefromSummit

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Dec 27, 2022
Rapid Response: Danny Meyer on the wrenching decision to do layoffs
00:27:20

Back in March of 2020, 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 shares 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.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/danny-meyer-layoffs/

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Dec 22, 2022
124. The co-founder effect, w/Rothy's Stephen Hawthornthwaite and Roth Martin
00:37:58

Running a business can be a lonely job. The long hours, the existential threats — it can feel like the weight of the entire company is on your back. That’s where the transformative power of co-founders comes in. Co-founders provide more than added manpower; they bring fresh perspectives and talents that help businesses conquer problems at speed. And the co-founder effect extends beyond the people who started the company: The lessons hold true for every team member that contributes in a foundational way. The more voices you add, the more resilience you build in yourself, and your organization.

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Dec 20, 2022
Rapid Response: The rise of the “wisdom worker,” w/Modern Elder Academy’s Chip Conley
00:25:17

As we live and work longer, leaders need to redefine how they think about attracting and developing intergenerational talent. Modern Elder Academy's Chip Conley is at the forefront of this mindset shift, explaining why “wisdom workers” will take the place of “knowledge workers.” A close mentor to Airbnb founder Brian Chesky, Chip stresses that those in mid-career face both more angst and more opportunity than ever. He provides a roadmap for reframing midlife from crisis to calling, and argues that five generations in the workplace requires a new generational compact.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. In the US, call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org. Here is a list of globally available resources: https://blog.opencounseling.com/suicide-hotlines

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Dec 15, 2022
Bonus: Stephen Colbert on DonorsChoose (The Complete Interview)
00:19:35

In June of 2020, executive producers June Cohen and Jordan McLeod sat down with comedian Stephen Colbert to discuss how, as host of The Colbert Report, Stephen pivoted a satirical run for U.S. president into a massive fundraiser for the nonprofit Donors Choose. They dive into how that presidential run came to be, and how Donors Choose helped Stephen solve the challenge of collecting “campaign contributions” without breaking federal election law. It’s a master class in “Yes-and”-ing your way to scale. Plus, Stephen describes daring his show’s parent company to stop him, when they tried to clip his electoral wings.

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Dec 13, 2022
Rapid Response: How Main Street retailers are out-pivoting big-box giants, w/Faire’s Max Rhodes
00:29:42

Small, independent store owners have been perpetually hit by waves of disruption: from malls to big box stores to e-commerce giants. But Max Rhodes, co-founder and CEO of the $12 billion online wholesale marketplace Faire, argues that Main Street retailers are actually better positioned right now to navigate today’s stormy shopping landscape than the competition. Max digs into how Faire is using technology and data to help stores maximize their advantages — nimbleness, adaptability, and smaller inventories — and combine them with the scale benefits enjoyed by the likes of Amazon and Target.

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Dec 08, 2022
123. Build the right incentives, w/VIPKid’s Cindy Mi
00:45:14

Businesses run on incentives — from attracting customers with great prices, to drawing in talent with great salaries. But incentives aren’t something you set once; you must constantly revisit them to adjust to changing times. Cindy Mi, founder and CEO of the learning platform VIPKid, has leveraged the power of incentives to build a thriving global learning community — and, to shepherd her organization through a black hole-sized disruption. 

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Dec 06, 2022
Rapid Response: Risking an iconic brand — and $40b — in a race to go all-electric, w/Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Källenius
00:28:33

How do you reinvent a world-renowned automaker for an all-electric future? At Mercedes-Benz, CEO Ola Källenius has set the jaw-dropping goal to put fossil-fuels in the rear-view mirror by 2030 — ahead of other competitors and well ahead of Paris Climate Accords recommendations. Pushing the company’s tech, customers, and workforce to operate in a new gear, Källenius says, is repositioning Mercedes for whatever challenges and opportunities are ahead. From strategizing for the luxury market — balancing volume with desirability — to grappling with the complications of economic disruption, Källenius takes us inside the epic transformation of an iconic brand. 

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

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Dec 02, 2022
Need to Know: Elon Musk at Twitter, Bob Iger’s return to Disney, FTX’s bankruptcy, and more, w/Reid & Bob
00:33:28

Reid Hoffman and Bob Safian sit down once more to discuss how today’s hot-button stories are impacting business. The co-hosts address the key trends that all entrepreneurs should be up to speed on, from the travails of Twitter to the triumphant return of Bob Iger. Featuring PepsiCo's Mauro Porcini, CNBC’s Julia Boorstin, and Color of Change's Rashad Robinson.

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

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Nov 30, 2022
79. 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.

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Nov 26, 2022
77. 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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Nov 23, 2022
How to unite a team around a shared mission: A story from Yo-Yo Ma on Spark & Fire
00:27:20

What can an entrepreneur learn from a world-class musician? How to create a world-class team, and unite around a clear mission. In this special crossover episode with our sister podcast, Spark & Fire, you’ll hear world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma tell the story of co-founding The Silk Road Project — a musical collective that brings together musicians from wildly different traditions to write and perform original music.

Yo-Yo Ma had to foster a collaborative atmosphere between musicians that didn’t speak the same language — literally or musically. This, of course, brought a set of unique challenges. So how did Yo-Yo build a shared vision that resonated with his whole team? He knew from the beginning that this project was bigger than just him.

On Spark & Fire, you’ll be led inside the creative process of high-achieving creators at the top of their game. These insights are relevant to anyone in any field – because creativity and innovation are just different words for the same idea.

Listen to the whole episode here: listen.sparkandfire.com/Season2_feed

Subscribe to the Spark & Fire weekly newsletter for images, stories and creative prompts: sparkandfire.com/silkroad

Spark & Fire is a WaitWhat original in partnership with the BBC. Follow us wherever you get your podcasts.

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Nov 21, 2022
Rapid Response: Don’t be a unicorn, be a dragon, w/Techstars CEO Maëlle Gavet
00:30:08

The tech industry and its investors have been captivated by the spell of the Unicorn for too long — and the ambitious goal of a billion-dollar valuation has done more harm than good. Instead, founders should aim to be resilient dragons. That's the view of Maëlle Gavet, who as CEO of early-stage investment business Techstars has unmatched insight into the hopes, dreams, and challenges of thousands of founders. Maëlle also shares her experience as a “Fixer and Scaler” and offers important lessons for all entrepreneurs, from pre-seed start-ups to corporate change agents.

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

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Nov 17, 2022
70. Nike’s Phil Knight: How to sell without selling
00:36:18

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 15, 2022
Rapid Response: Expand your definition of leadership, w/CNBC's Julia Boorstin
00:24:27

Despite only 8% of Fortune 500 companies with women CEOs, women leaders more often utilize leadership skills that are perfectly suited for the current business climate. Julia Boorstin, who created CNBC’s Disruptor 50 platform, argues in her new book When Women Lead that counterintuitive approaches used by women leaders can have a great impact on business, and can be learned by anyone. Julia, as a senior tech and media reporter, also offers her in-depth knowledge on big tech from Twitter, Meta, and TikTok. 

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

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Nov 10, 2022
122. Brand while you build, w/Warby Parker’s Neil Blumenthal & Dave Gilboa
00:45:52

Some aspects of your brand will be defined by what customers tell you; others, by what you tell them. In their stories of how they scaled Warby Parker from scrappy e-commerce site to comprehensive eyewear and eye care juggernaut, co-founder and co-CEOs Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa give a master class in how to articulate crystal-clear brand values while also building and iterating based on fast customer feedback. Their lesson? Branding isn’t static. It’s a conversation.

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Nov 08, 2022
Rapid Response: Why design matters more than ever, w/PepsiCo Chief Design Officer Mauro Porcini
00:32:34

Design is more than aesthetics. It is an essential competitive tool for an age of perpetual disruption. PepsiCo Chief Design Officer Mauro Porcini shares his 5-point system for sparking creativity at scale. Author of the new book The Human Side of Innovation, Porcini explains how anyone can deploy a designer’s mindset to improve their business and organization. Sharing stories from 3M to Mountain Dew, Porcini emphasizes the imperative of excellence and why innovation is "an act of love."

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Nov 03, 2022
121. Let waypoints guide you, w/Aurora's Chris Urmson
00:39:58

To complete an audacious journey, you need to set short, achievable goals — or waypoints — to avoid getting wildly lost. But waypoints also need to be flexible because when you're knocked off track, you need to be able to realign your waypoints to get back on course. Aurora's Chris Urmson shares how he keeps returning to short, flexible waypoints on his daunting journey to make autonomous vehicles part of our everyday lives.

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Nov 01, 2022
Rapid Response: Why we need to think again, w/Adam Grant
00:31:28

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.

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

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Oct 27, 2022
45. 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.

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Oct 25, 2022
How great cultures are built and rebuilt, w/Angela Ahrendts, Uber’s Dara Khosrowshahi & Eric Schmidt
00:34:17

Three legendary culture setters come together live on stage at the inaugural Masters of Scale Summit. In the first released recording from the sold-out event, Angela Ahrendts, Dara Khosrowshahi, and Eric Schmidt reveal how they’ve built and rebuilt great cultures at Apple, Uber, Google and more. Host Bob Safian delivers surprising stories, counterintuitive anti-lessons and live-show energy from the stage of San Francisco's Presidio Theatre. The first of many episodes from the Masters of Scale Summit stage.

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Oct 22, 2022
Rapid Response: The promise and peril of engineering biology, w/Ginkgo Bioworks Reshma Shetty
00:24:40

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.

Read a transcript of this interview at: mastersofscale.com

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Oct 20, 2022
21. How to do good and do good business, w/Starbucks' Howard Schultz
00:42:03

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.

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Oct 18, 2022
Rapid Response: Rally a team in turmoil, w/NFL Raiders president Sandra Douglass Morgan
00:24:04

As a new leader, how do you honor an established brand while trying to shepherd it into the next era? Las Vegas Raiders’ president Sandra Douglass Morgan took the helm amid a front office scandal and a team new to the desert. Morgan talks about prioritizing customers over all else, taking risks at the beginning of a new venture, and why to bet on yourself from the moment you apply for a job. 

Read a transcript of this interview at: mastersofscale.com

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Oct 13, 2022
120. Think like an intrapreneur, w/Mach49's Linda Yates
00:30:49

Innovation is the lifeblood of the startup — from product to processes and culture to creativity. But innovation is just as essential for scale companies. So how do you keep the innovation flywheel spinning at all levels of scale? The answer according to Linda Yates is to seed every level of your company with an intrapreneurial mindset. As CEO of Mach49, an incubator for large global companies, Linda shares her vast experience and strategies for injecting intrapreneurial thinking and bias-to-action across hundreds of large-scale organizations.

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/think-like-an-intrapreneur-linda-yates/

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Oct 11, 2022
Rapid Response: Mastering the hybrid workplace, w/Priya Parker, author of The Art of Gathering
00:30:30

Hybrid, remote, in-person, a little bit of everything? Work has transformed into a giant experiment. Priya Parker, expert facilitator and author of The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters, shares her advice on how to manage the new hybrid workplace. Where to start? Focus first, she suggests, on making your meetings better.

Read a transcript of this interview: https://mastersofscale.com/mastering-the-hybrid-workplace-priya-parker/

Get a free copy of Priya Parker's guide to hybrid gatherings: https://www.priyaparker.com/the-hybrid-gathering-guide

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Oct 06, 2022
5 ways to build your tolerance for risk
00:47:00

Taking risks can be the catalyst for immense scale or dire straits. Avoiding taking any risks at all leads to stagnancy and empowered competitors. The key is to know which risks are worth taking, and when and how to take them. This episode highlights the best conversations we’ve had recently about taking advantage of risk and how fortune favors the brave. 

Featuring New Georgia Project’s Stacey Abrams, Care.com’s Sheila Lirio Marcelo, Bankable Productions & SMiZE Cream’s Tyra Banks, MetricStream’s Shellye Archambeau, Moderna’s Stéphane Bancel, Digital Undivided’s Kathryn Finney, Ellevest’s Sallie Krawcheck, and American Express’s Ken Chenault. 

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Oct 04, 2022
Rapid Response: How Covid lessons get tested by inflation, w/Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer
00:32:18

After slashing his NYC restaurant team from 2,400 people to just 45 in the teeth of the pandemic, Danny Meyer has rebuilt Union Square Hospitality Group back to its former size. But in his fifth appearance on Rapid Response since Covid struck, Danny says he isn’t yet triumphant. With inflation creating fresh challenges even at Shake Shack, Danny shares lessons on the good and bad of leading through a crisis, plus explains why he’s handed off his CEO title — and where he finds inspiration to fuel new innovations.

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Sep 29, 2022
119. Why mission matters more than products, w/Noom’s Saeju Jeong
00:34:56

For truly sustainable long-term growth, you must prioritize your mission over your product — even if that means letting your product go. Noom founder and CEO Saeju Jeong has repeatedly turned his back on successful products in the name of his mission to help as many people as possible live healthier lives. In this episode, Saeju brings to life many of these make-or-break moments, and how his dedication to mission has driven his scale journey.

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Sep 27, 2022
Rapid Response: Flipping your strategy in a volatile market, w/Zillow's Susan Daimler
00:31:27

When markets are in turmoil, you can’t rely on business as usual, but that doesn’t mean you should panic. As the housing climate has turned volatile, rest estate marketplace Zillow has been forced to rethink some priorities, while doubling down on others. Zillow president Susan Daimler talks about the importance of a strategy focused on the future, despite layoffs and pullbacks, and how maintaining a clear shared mindset has enabled forward progress in a challenging climate. 

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Sep 22, 2022
Strategy Session: How to stay inspired while remote? Why do you celebrate wins? Is there a co-founder advantage?
00:40:11

Can a small entrepreneur make an impact within a massive, complex system, like healthcare or education? What's the best framework to amplify the positive side of having co-founders and avoid the negatives? Reid Hoffman and Bob Safian answer these and more questions from small business owners in the Masters of Scale community. Plus: in our Need to Know segment, Reid & Bob take on a burning question: How can Black founders beat the odds and find funding?

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Sep 20, 2022
Rapid Response: Charging toward a clean energy future, w/EVgo's Cathy Zoi
00:35:31

Partnerships can be the secret weapon to rocketing your company to the next level. That’s what Cathy Zoi discovered when she became the CEO of charging station network, EVgo. Whether it be partnering with grocery and department stores, or aligning with the Tesla customer-base, targeting allies and collaborators are a crucial catalyst for how EVgo has grown to become the nation’s largest public EV charging network. 

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Sep 15, 2022
91. Microsoft’s Satya Nadella: Why we need re-founders
00:37:43

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.

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Sep 13, 2022
Rapid Response: How we served 150 million meals in Ukraine, w/José Andrés of World Central Kitchen
00:30:20

Too many businesses and organizations spend time planning and not enough in action, especially in times of emergency. José Andrés, world-famous chef and founder of the nonprofit World Central Kitchen, proves the value of fast action through his work, including his recent time in Ukraine serving over 150 million meals. José thinks businesses should flatten their power structure and treat food as a national security issue, even in places like the U.S.  

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Sep 08, 2022
118. The Wrongness Playbook, part 2, w/Patreon's Jack Conte
00:34:03

When is it time to double down on your instincts, and when is it time to open yourself up to feedback? Sometimes it comes down to a hard call… that you might get totally wrong. In Part Two of our episode with Patreon’s Jack Conte, you’ll hear how he was able to raise capital by telling his authentic story after a series of pitches that went disastrously wrong! And you’ll hear how his worst mistake as a founder helped him reconnect with Patreon’s mission and community, and build Patreon into a $4B company. How can being wrong accelerate your business? It takes running at the solution with insatiable curiosity. 

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Sep 06, 2022
Rapid Response: Holding business accountable from Meta to McDonald’s, w/Color of Change’s Rashad Robinson
00:29:08

When it comes to racial justice, many companies and organizations haven't matched their reality to their words. Rashad Robinson, the president of Color of Change, the largest online racial justice organization in the U.S., is holding major corporations accountable. Hear Rashad talk through the difficulties of changing systems from Hollywood, Silicon Valley, to Washington DC, getting help from President Barack Obama, and what business leaders can do to actively change racial injustice.

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Sep 01, 2022
117. The Wrongness Playbook, part 1, w/Patreon's Jack Conte
00:37:26

Building a business means making mistakes. Lots of them. But how you’re wrong isn’t always obvious. Jack Conte has learned this lesson as a working musician — and while scaling Patreon into a company worth $4b. In Part One of a two-part series, you’ll hear how Jack wrote his own Wrongness Playbook, as he learned to answer questions like: If something isn’t working, is it time to trust your instincts? Or is there critical feedback you’ve been ignoring? 

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Aug 30, 2022
Rapid Response: Amazon’s plan to be big, green, and beloved, w/AWS CEO Adam Selipsky
00:29:23

Amazon wants to get bigger, but with that scale comes great responsibility. So says Adam Selipsky, CEO of Amazon Web Services, the most profitable and fastest growing part of the tech giant. Selipsky, who also oversees Amazon’s climate change efforts, points to two additions to the company’s vaunted “Leadership Principles” as evidence of Amazon’s commitment. Arguing that AWS is still in early days, he shares what he’s hearing from other CEOs about their biggest concerns, why “carbon intensity” is the best measure of climate progress for businesses, and what Amazon's aspiration to be “Earth’s best employer” really means. 

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Aug 25, 2022
Strategy Session: How to build trust in a brand-new space? How do you balance limited cash and big ambitions?
00:46:46

How can small businesses survive in times of volatility? How should an entrepreneur balance limited resources with big ambitions? Reid Hoffman and Bob Safian answer questions from small business owners in the Masters of Scale community. Plus: another round of Pivot Point, and a Need to Know segment.

Learn more about becoming a Masters of Scale Member: www.mastersofscale.com/members

Read a transcript of Strategy Session 13 at https://mastersofscale.com/strategy-session-13-how-to-build-trust-in-a-brand-new-space/

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Aug 23, 2022
Rapid Response: "You should be running toward AI," w/Eric Schmidt (frmr Google CEO)
00:32:57

Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, breaks down his deep insights around artificial intelligence on Rapid Response. Schmidt, co-author of the book "The Age of AI: And Our Human Future," alongside Dr. Henry Kissinger and MIT’s Daniel Huttenlocher, says that we’re entering an unknown era with technology – one that requires extra vigilance to ensure that we amplify the positives and de-amplify the negatives. His advice to businesses: You need to be running as fast as you can toward AI applications. If your competitor gets there first, you'll be in trouble. Schmidt argues that AI will change business, society, and potentially humanity itself. "It's important that our systems not enable the worst of us, but instead promote the best of us,” he says.

Read the book "The Age of AI: And Our Human Future" from Henry Kissinger, Eric Schmidt, and Daniel Huttenlocher: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-age-of-ai-henry-a-kissinger/1139558876?ean=9780316273800

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Aug 18, 2022
116. How to take creative leaps — and land them, w/Future Shape's Tony Fadell
00:35:40

Creative energy is the raw fuel of entrepreneurship, but if you fail to direct that energy effectively, you risk chasing multiple ideas and delivering none. Tony Fadell learned this lesson time and again through his journey to co-create the iPod, iPhone, and Nest. He shares how he struck the tricky balance of channeling his creative experimentation into world-changing products.

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Aug 16, 2022
Rapid Response: Playing offense in adversity, w/Target’s Brian Cornell
00:23:52

The fallout from the pandemic is proving to be as challenging for business leaders to navigate as the pandemic’s onset. Target’s CEO Brian Cornell had to make difficult decisions in the second quarter of this year to manage an unexpected surplus of goods and home technology. He shares his most recent learnings, as well as lessons for handling skepticism, the need for agility, and why mental wellness is key to a successful team. 

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Aug 11, 2022
47. 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.

Listen to Part 2: https://listen.mastersofscale.com/Bill-Gates-Part-2

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Aug 09, 2022
Rapid Response: How to decarbonize your business, w/John Doerr, partner at Kleiner Perkins
00:30:45

“Go for the megatons.” That’s John Doerr’s recommendation for how we need to combat the existential threat of climate change. Doerr, a venture capitalist and author of the new book Speed and Scale, joins host Bob Safian to discuss our decarbonization efforts, what he calls “the greatest economic opportunity of the next century.” The book quantifies the specific societal needs, in six discrete areas, to achieve a carbon-neutral world. John isn’t arguing that we all need to be vegan ascetics, but rather, the need for collective action – and the critical role that business plays in advancing that movement. 

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Aug 04, 2022
Bonus: Five ways to burnout-proof your organization
00:37:50

If you’re a leader right now navigating the global pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and your own mental list of what’s keeping you up at night, the issue of burnout is probably on your mind. You can’t shield your team from all stress, but you can find effective ways of supporting your employees through it. This episode highlights the best conversations we’ve had recently about stopping burnout in your organization, before it takes hold. 

Featuring BetterUp’s Alexi Robichaux, Upwork’s Hayden Brown, Merck’s Ken Frazier, Chobani’s Hamdi Ulukaya, director J.J. Abrams, Girls Who Code’s Reshma Saujani, BW4BL’s Tokunbo Koiki, and FuelFinance’s Alyona Mysko.

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Aug 02, 2022
Rapid Response: What the crypto crash teaches us all, w/Chainalysis’s Michael Gronager
00:23:45

Crypto winter isn’t a disaster, it's an opportunity. That’s how Michael Gronager, CEO of $8 billion crypto data company Chainalysis, describes the crashing prices and bankruptcies that have roiled the cryptocurrency sector. Gronager offers an insider’s perspective on operating in a volatile marketplace, providing lessons on dreaming too big in boom times and on leaning into building and creating when lulls emerge. Chainalysis helps track financial flows on blockchains, including crypto criminals from North Korea and Russia. Despite current risks, Gronager argues, the still-emerging crypto sector is maturing, and he’s as confident as ever about its future. 

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Jul 28, 2022
Need to Know, w/Reid & Bob: Business withdrawals from Russia, strife at Netflix, Musk vs Twitter, the business world’s role in democracy, Crypto’s future, & more
00:30:02

Reid Hoffman and Bob Safian sit down to discuss how today’s hot-button stories are impacting business. The co-hosts address the key trends that all entrepreneurs should be up to speed on, from the looming recession and cryptocurrency’s possible demise to the hybrid workplace and moral leadership. Featuring Mercy Corps’ Tjada McKenna, PwC’s Tim Ryan, and Girls Who Code’s Reshma Saujani.

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Jul 26, 2022
Rapid Response: Turning tears to action, w/Planned Parenthood’s Alexis McGill Johnson
00:28:26

“Hope is a practice. It comes from doing.” As the head of Planned Parenthood, Alexis McGill Johnson is regrouping in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to remove the federal right to safe abortion. Johnson is now faced with the challenge to move her team from tears and shock to action. Any leader faced with a worst-case scenario can learn from her vision: “to fight and stay courageous, and maintain ourselves.”

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Jul 21, 2022
115. Drive full-speed at opportunity, w/AKQA’s Ajaz Ahmed
00:35:28

If you want to capitalize on an opportunity that you think could change the world, you need to drive full speed toward it. Back in 1994, when Ajaz Ahmed dropped out of college to start one of the first digital ad agencies, AKQA, he knew he was at the cusp of the next revolution in tech. And if he wanted to be part of it, he’d have to move fast. Ahmed shares stories about how a band of 21-year-old dropouts built the agency from ground up, winning over early clients by building prototypes ahead of the competition. He dives into how his inner voice demanding him to “get big or die trying” led him to transform AKQA into a global agency with thousands of employees and the biggest clients in the world, like Nike, Virgin, and Usher.

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Jul 19, 2022
Rapid Response: Waging a $1.4 trillion food fight, w/Impossible Foods CEO Peter McGuinness
00:27:05

What’s the difference between an activist brand and an active brand? Impossible Foods CEO Peter McGuinness says that acting on your values defines a business — from climate change to Roe v. Wade. To unleash the next wave of growth for plant-based meat purveyor Impossible, McGuiness is rethinking how the whole category presents itself, taking aim at what he calls “safe and lame” approaches, partnering with the likes of Billie Eilish, and targeting the $1.4 trillion global meat industry.

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Jul 14, 2022
114. Harness the passion of internal factions, w/Padmasree Warrior of Fable, Cisco, Motorola
00:36:05

Every company has its own internal factions: engineers vs. designers, East Coast vs. West, IT vs. everybody. The trick is turning factionalism into healthy competition that propels you toward your shared mission. At Motorola, Cisco, and now her start-up Fable, Padma Warrior has tapped into the power of internal divisions. It's not about separating people into warring camps; it's about building bridges from our differences, rather than divisions.

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Jul 12, 2022
Rapid Response: Volunteer for impact, w/AmeriCorps’ Michael Smith, live at the Social Innovation Summit
00:25:37

Volunteering and service are muscles that can close America’s divides and push social change. Speaking live at the 2022 Social Innovation Summit in Washington, D.C., AmeriCorps’ new CEO, Michael Smith, shares a vision for healing sociopolitical divides through partnerships and on-the-ground experiences. When it comes to tackling natural and social crises, he’s prioritizing impact over volume. 

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Jul 07, 2022
17. Customer love is all you need, w/Y Combinator's Sam Altman
00:41:51

The true seed of scale is customer love, which you can’t buy, hack, or game. Sam Altman, former president of Y Combinator, scaled countless start-ups by focusing on this one idea: Finding 100 users who love you is better than 1 million who kinda like you. As CEO of OpenAI, Sam leads the creation of genuinely useful AI products. He shares timeless insights in his interview from 2018 on how to build on the love of passionate customers to create world-shifting tools.

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Jul 05, 2022
Rapid Response: From ‘delusion’ to criminal justice revolution, w/Ameelio’s Zo Orchingwa
00:27:47

When a tech nonprofit competes against a $2 billion incumbent dominating the market, its odds are slim. But Zo Orchingwa took that bet, founding Ameelio, believing that access to communication and education for the incarcerated is needed for their future success. Ameelio is on a quest to partner with every prison district in the country until one day, it scales enough to be redundant.   

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Jun 30, 2022
113. Michael Dell: Break it ’til you make it
00:33:05

The first stage of building up a business is to break things down. Michael Dell started a computer company in his dorm room by cracking open some early IBM PCs and figuring out what he could do better, faster, and cheaper. Then he did the same thing to the entire model of computer sales. Learn from Dell how to revolutionize an industry — using deconstruction to gain insight your competitors lack, and then building something bigger and better.

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Jun 28, 2022
Rapid Response: Solar energy’s time to shine, w/Sunrun’s Mary Powell
00:25:19

While gasoline prices soar, solar company Sunrun is poised to usher in a customer-led revolution of distributed energy technologies. Sunrun’s CEO Mary Powell combats a “no and slow” culture to transform more homes into virtual energy plants by preaching optimism and scorning bureaucracy. She’s moving with urgency to create a cleaner and more cost-effective future as fast as possible.

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Jun 25, 2022
112. Improving human dignity is an engine of scale, w/Promise CEO Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins
00:41:39

Delivering human dignity to your customers is more than just good practice. It can be a powerful engine of scale. This insight has inspired Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins her whole career, as a labor leader, a music manager, and now as a fin-tech entrepreneur with Promise. Her secret? Take a contrarian lens to existing systems. Find a space where human dignity is lacking, create a product that gives your customers flexibility, options, access they didn’t have before — and unlock new value.

Watch the signed version of Amber Galloway's story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F24FZz1DczA

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Jun 21, 2022
Above all else, invest in friendship: Reid Hoffman’s 2022 commencement speech
00:19:13

For Reid Hoffman, the way to live a meaningful and productive life is to focus on one key area: friendships. Speaking at Vanderbilt University’s 2022 commencement, he shares four lessons on why friendships are crucial for helping us achieve our potential and enact meaningful change. 

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Jun 18, 2022
Rapid Response: Redesigning work in a crisis, w/Upwork CEO Hayden Brown
00:38:18

Most future of work conversations revolve around the “where,” but Upwork CEO Hayden Brown says it’s more important to focus on the “who.” 10% of the workforce at Upwork, the global tech platform for millions of freelance workers, was directly impacted by the Ukrainian war. Hayden’s people-focused approach to the difficult decision of how to manage remote employees in Russia is the same mindset she applies to meet the needs of all workers, from people feeling conflict to working mothers.

Learn more about scaling your hybrid workforce with highly skilled talent: www.upwork.com/masters-of-scale

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Jun 16, 2022
Strategy Session Live!: How can a start-up beat a Goliath? What gets top talent to stay put? How do you keep multiple stakeholders happy?
00:40:47

How can a small business survive a David vs. Goliath competition? If two sets of stakeholders have opposing needs, how can a startup pivot to keep them both happy? Reid Hoffman and Bob Safian answer these questions and more from small business owners in the Masters of Scale community. Plus: another round of Pivot Point!

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Jun 14, 2022
Rapid Response: Don’t wait for the system, build it!, w/Genius Guild’s Kathryn Finney
00:30:17

Entrepreneurship is an essential tool for building a more equitable society — which is why Kathryn Finney is laser-focused on encouraging people who don’t fit the mold of the stereotypical founder to jump in. Her new book, “Build the Damn Thing,” taps into wisdom from her years at the venture studio Genius Guild and beyond. She brings a message to founders: The universe is conspiring for your greatness. 

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Jun 09, 2022
5. Lead, lead again, w/Meta's Sheryl Sandberg
00:35:02

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 Meta.

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Jun 07, 2022
Rapid Response: Why business must be a force for good, w/former American Express CEO Ken Chenault
00:29:01

"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."

Read a transcript of this interview at: mastersofscale.com

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Jun 02, 2022
111. Extraordinary leaps need solid foundations, part 2, w/Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel
00:32:16

A diverse network of collaborators is key when making scale leaps. Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel has cultivated a wide network of scientists, business leaders, and government officials across his career. When COVID-19 struck, Bancel called upon this nexus of experts to aid the warp-speed development of the mRNA-based vaccine in the race to save millions of lives.

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May 31, 2022
Rapid Response: A global benefit concert for Ukraine, w/World Unite for Ukraine’s Victoria Yampolsky
00:24:44

It’s easy to have a grand idea; putting that plan into action is not. Victoria Yampolsky conceived of a global concert in support of Ukraine. Without any experience in entertainment or international aid, she shares how she didn’t accept “no” for an answer in her quest to book big-name guests like Pink Floyd and negotiate a streaming deal — to pursue a fundraising goal of $10 million.

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May 26, 2022
110. Extraordinary leaps need solid foundations, part 1, w/Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel
00:34:03

If you're launching a moonshot, success depends on how you manage the trajectory of risk. When Stéphane Bancel became Moderna's first CEO, the biotech start-up was chasing a way-out idea many experts thought was impossible. Stéphane built a culture of calculated risk-taking to create a platform for extraordinary leaps — one that enabled life-saving mRNA vaccines when Covid-19 struck.

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May 24, 2022
Rapid Response: Inside a $2.4 billion bet on talent, w/PwC's Tim Ryan
00:33:44

With the workplace in historic flux, consulting firm PwC is committing a whopping $2.4 billion to create an employee engagement platform offering a radically new level of choice. PwC’s U.S. chair, Tim Ryan, shares why the bold initiative is necessary in the face of the Great Resignation. It's just one of several evolving crises, Ryan says, that has made leading a business more complex and demanding than ever.

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May 19, 2022
109. Ford’s Bill Ford: The Refounder Mindset, part 2
00:33:05

Massive change isn’t something you can brute-force — you need to ignite buy-in, again and again, up and down your organization. Because even if your changes will make things more fun, more interesting, and more profitable, you’re going to face defiance and inertia until you clue everyone in. That’s what Bill Ford learned while working to remake Ford Motor Company as an environmental powerhouse — against surprising internal and even national-level resistance. 

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May 17, 2022
Rapid Response: Stay scrappy, deliver fast, w/Gopuff’s Yakir Gola
00:28:57

Has Gopuff cracked the code of instant delivery — a field where even Amazon has struggled? Co-founder Yakir Gola talks about the challenge of owning the customer journey from app to warehouse to doorstep, and the reasons why being outside Silicon Valley is giving Gopuff a big advantage as it expands across the United States and around the world. Yakir talks with host Bob Safian about why moving fast is only one piece of the growth puzzle.

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May 12, 2022
108. Ford’s Bill Ford: The Refounder Mindset, part 1
00:34:17

We often hear the story about the great leader who joins a legacy company and guides it through massive transformation. But massive transformation can also start from the inside. Bill Ford, the executive chair of the Ford Motor Company, founded by his great-grandfather, is proof that great change can come from within. He has led not just one but multiple refreshes of Ford’s mission, culture, and, especially, their approach to sustainability. In Part One of a two-part series, you’ll hear about Bill Ford’s unusual entry into the family business and how he learned to drive change against internal resistance.

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May 10, 2022
Rapid Response: Protecting against the next bio threat, w/The Public Health Company's Charity Dean
00:30:22

Charity Dean was one of the first public health officials to set the alarm on COVID. When she searched for a tool to forecast future bio threats, she realized that it didn’t exist yet. So she co-founded the Public Health Company, where she uses lessons from her government experiences, but without the same rules or limits. She speaks with Bob Safian about why all companies must be public health companies.

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May 05, 2022
1. Airbnb's Brian Chesky: Do things that don’t scale
00:30:26

In honor of our five year anniversary of Masters of Scale, we're revisiting our first episode ever, featuring Airbnb's Brian Chesky.

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.”

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May 03, 2022
Rapid Response: Rebooting global crisis response, w/ONE Campaign CEO Gayle Smith
00:32:20

Gayle Smith is the CEO of the ONE Campaign, the advocacy group founded by U2’s Bono — and last year, she was tapped by the U.S. State Department to coordinate America’s COVID response and vaccine distribution globally. Her experience both inside and outside government gives her a distinctive outlook on how business can and should help on humanitarian issues, from Ukraine dislocation to climate change. She also shares lessons about effective advocacy: tactics pioneered by ONE that can be useful to any organization trying to generate impact.

Learn more about the ONE Campaign: https://www.one.org/

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Apr 30, 2022
Rapid Response: How Chief became a phenomenon, w/CEO Carolyn Childers
00:30:02

Amid pandemic disruption, Chief turned a small, NYC-based club for women executives into a national phenomenon with more than 12,000 members. Co-founder and CEO Carolyn Childers joins Rapid Response to share how she and co-founder Lindsay Kaplan managed the unlikely transformation, which recently yielded a $100 million Series B funding round. She reveals how the company leveraged existing tech and their own innovations to build connections, identifying not just a gap in the marketplace but a need for a whole new set of tools to support business leaders.

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Apr 21, 2022
78. 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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Apr 19, 2022
Rapid Response: Lessons from an entrepreneur in Ukraine, w/Alyona Mysko, CEO of Fuelfinance
00:26:43

Meet Alyona Mysko, the CEO of a B2B startup in Ukraine called Fuelfinance, as she walks us through the lessons she’s learned while leading her company in a war. Her experience — which sometimes requires her and her team to work from bomb shelters during the day — offers lessons for every leader about communication, collaboration, and creativity in crisis. All of Ukraine is running like a start-up now, she says: Each citizen takes the initiative to pick up what needs to be done. Alyona talks about the importance of following a mission in a crisis, and makes a plea to all our listeners to buy from Ukrainian business.

Learn more about Fuelfinance here.

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Apr 14, 2022
Bonus: Five surprising ways to rethink your hiring
00:32:11

Learn the 5 mindsets that will reshape the way you hire, train, and retain — to build the team of superheroes that will power your business to scale. Hear real-world advice and great stories from Reid, Bob, and legendary leaders like PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi, GoFundMe’s Tim Cadogan, Burberry and Apple’s Angela Ahrendts, and Vanderbilt basketball coach Jerry Stackhouse. 

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Apr 12, 2022
Rapid Response: Supporting Ukraine's tech workers, w/Emburse CEO Eric Friedrichsen
00:25:51

“Don't let the roadblocks get in the way when there are people who need you desperately.” Eric Friedrichsen, the CEO of Emburse, a B2B software provider, has navigated around risks and financial costs to meet the needs of tech contractors based in Ukraine. Part of that response includes the company’s offer to relocate people and families to Spain, where Emburse’s European headquarters is located. The company’s executives are also personally funding housing costs for colleagues taking refuge in Poland. These choices haven’t come without obstacles for Emburse. But as Friedrichsen explains, the benefits are moral, communal, and even quantifiable for the business.

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Apr 07, 2022
106. Chobani's secret to scale: Tap into community, w/founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya
00:34:41

Your local community can be the power behind an epic scale story — because smart community investment always maximizes returns. No one knows this like Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder and CEO of Chobani. He turned a small Upstate New York town into an epicenter of Greek yogurt by mobilizing a community to revive a mothballed dairy plant. In creating opportunities for new jobs, he created opportunities for massive scale. This story repeats over and over as the company grows, building communities with a sense of co-ownership. “This is not really a Hamdi story,” Ulukaya says. “This is a story about the people in our communities, what they're made of, and the values and capability that they have.”

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Apr 05, 2022
Rapid Response: Inside "the most radical supply chain shift since World War II," w/Interos CEO Jennifer Bisceglie
00:21:38

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the sanctions that followed, have radically impacted supply chains around the world. Jennifer Bisceglie, CEO of Interos, a risk-management firm focused on supply chains, has seen her company’s risk dashboards light up in new and far-reaching ways. Many businesses are more exposed than they realize, she says, with tech businesses surprisingly facing some of the highest risk. Driven by this disruption, a more sophisticated supply chain is coming together in real-time. Those who get on board now, she says, will have a competitive advantage in the long run.

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Apr 02, 2022
Rapid Response: How Airbnb.org is housing Ukrainian refugees, w/Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia
00:28:29

Airbnb’s charitable arm, Airbnb.org, has committed to offer free, temporary housing for up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine. Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia joins Rapid Response to discuss how the company is deploying business tools for humanitarian benefit. He also shares how Airbnb’s platform has become a surprising tool to transfer money directly to individual Ukrainians, already generating $15 million. Along with co-founders Brian Chesky and Nate Blecharczyk, Joe is a fierce believer that companies should be responsible to “participate in the world around us” and the importance, as leaders, to ask: What would make us proud?

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Mar 31, 2022
73. 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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Mar 29, 2022
Rapid Response: Putting an end to hustle culture, w/Reshma Saujani, author of Pay Up
00:32:10

“It’s not about fixing women. It’s about fixing the system,” says Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code and Marshall Plan for Moms. As the author of the new book Pay Up: The Future of Women and Work, Reshma calls out corporate feminism and society’s assumption that women have to solve the problems of workplace achievement on their own. She argues that childcare is an economic issue that should be subsidized by employers, and that the discourse around the “future of work” needs to move beyond employees’ return to the workplace. Reshma also takes Silicon Valley to task for not diversifying their tech force.

Read Pay Up: The Future of Women and Work: https://amzn.to/3ye1df5

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Mar 24, 2022
105. Daymond John, Part 2: How to partner like a shark
00:30:09

Good partnerships transcend the transactional. In Part 2 of our two-part series featuring Daymond John, founder of FUBU and one of the original “sharks” on ABC’s Shark Tank, Daymond shows how aligning your mission with partners builds trust that can take your scale to a new level. Featuring stories about Shark Tank, the Kardashians, Coogi, Pharrell Williams, Trainual and more, Daymond delivers lessons on unexpected and unconventional partnerships that continue to fuel his personal brand and define his distinctive model for success.

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Mar 22, 2022
Rapid Response: Transforming an idea into a movement overnight, w/Black Women For Black Lives co-founder Tokunbo Koiki
00:32:10

Watching the news out of Ukraine, Tokunbo Koiki saw alarming reports of African and Caribbean students struggling because of racism to flee the country. The news both outraged and inspired her to take action — fast. Tokunbo, an entrepreneur and social worker, shares the real-time story of how she linked up with two strangers, Patricia Daley and Korrine Sky, to build a full-fledged aid organization for Black refugees, in a single weekend. Using only the tools and networks at their disposal, Black Women for Black Lives has helped some 1,200 Black students so far with direct assistance in cash and cryptocurrency — and amplified their harrowing stories to the world. This fast-scaling organization is the perfect illustration of how entrepreneurial thinking can mobilize action faster than you think it can.

You can donate to blackwomenforblacklives.org here: https://bit.ly/blackinukraine

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Mar 19, 2022
Rapid Response: The logistical challenge of supporting refugees, w/Susy Schöneberg, head of Flexport.org
00:29:51

“My big call to action would be to support existing organizations,” says Susy Schöneberg, the founder and head of Flexport.org, the nonprofit arm of the logistics firm Flexport. Schöneberg and her team are organizing complex shipments of relief goods to Ukrainian refugee sites across Eastern Europe; she breaks down how her organization has been safely managing the flow of goods toward displaced refugees and the best way you can get involved — as a citizen or company. She leaves us with a lesson that applies to any crisis: joining together can produce far better results than trying to do it alone.

You can donate to the Flexport.org Fund here: www.flexport.org/donate

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Mar 17, 2022
104. Daymond John, Part 1: How to partner like a shark
00:36:11

How do you create authentic partnerships to build scale? In Part 1 of our two-part series featuring Daymond John, founder of FUBU and one of the original “sharks” on ABC’s Shark Tank, Daymond shares lessons from FUBU’s earliest days in Queens, where he partnered with bouncers, bodegas, his neighbor LL Cool J, and his earliest collaborator and investor (his mom) to turn a great idea into a billion-dollar urban wear brand. Coming in Part 2: Transcending the transactional with Shark Tank, the Kardashians, and more.

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Mar 15, 2022
Rapid Response: “We have an all-out cyber war right now,” w/Bipul Sinha, Rubrik CEO
00:27:39

“We have to assume that cyberattacks will happen,” says Bipul Sinha, CEO of the cybersecurity firm Rubrik. He joins Rapid Response to discuss the dramatic escalation of cyberthreats in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Bipul explains how state-sponsored actors and cybercriminals are both heightened threats, and how traditional cybersecurity approaches are adjusting to counter them. He also shares what we can do to protect ourselves — from basic cyber hygiene to recovery strategies.

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Mar 14, 2022
Rapid Response: How global markets are reacting to Russia's war on Ukraine, w/Sara Menker, CEO of Gro Intelligence
00:21:23

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine presents a new level of disruption to an already fragile global trade system. Sara Menker, the CEO of Gro Intelligence, a data research firm with deep insights on global supply and demand, joins Rapid Response for the second time to discuss these disruptions. While her biggest focus is agriculture, Sara’s insights provide a window into how things are shifting across all parts of the economy. She also discusses what we need to understand about Russia’s trade with China and the largely overlooked impacts in the Middle East.

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Mar 12, 2022
Rapid Response: On the ground in Ukraine w/Mercy Corps’ Tjada D'Oyen McKenna
00:27:57

Tjada D'Oyen McKenna, the CEO of Mercy Corps, an NGO on the front lines of the Ukrainian crisis, provides an inside look on how they’re helping address the needs of refugees. Mercy Corps began scenario planning well in advance of Russia’s aggression, and they’re now deploying food, cash, and social services to those in need. She also cautions about potential negative impacts elsewhere, as troubles in Ukraine pull resources from other struggling populations.

Learn more about Mercy Corps: https://www.mercycorps.org

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Mar 10, 2022
103. Stacey Abrams: How to harness risk
00:43:29

For some entrepreneurs, risk is just part of the game. But for the reluctant entrepreneur, whose endeavors come as a response to a need they've identified, risk can feel more like a necessary evil. That’s why you need to learn to harness risk. Stacey Abrams, an entrepreneur and scale leader both in and outside of politics, is a perfect example of how harnessing risk can be key to your success. Outside of politics, she’s started three companies with her business partner, Lara Hodgson. Their new book, Level Up: Rise Above the Hidden Forces Holding Your Business Back, dives into the lessons learned from those experiences. She also founded and scaled two voting rights organizations: the New Georgia Project and Fair Fight Action, as well as the census mobilization effort Fair Count and the Southern Economic Advancement Project.

Read Level Up: Rise Above the Hidden Forces Holding Your Business Back, by Stacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson

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Mar 08, 2022
Rapid Response: Make mistakes to make progress, w/GM's Gerald Johnson
00:33:32

General Motors’ Gerald Johnson shares the process and progress of trying to accomplish two daunting goals: an all-electric vehicle future, and to become the world’s most inclusive company. One thing that Johnson, the Executive Vice President of manufacturing and sustainability, has learned: “If you're not making mistakes, you're not making progress.” He adds that progress requires us to embrace being uncomfortable — and to learn from it. Johnson, who is a pastor as well, also discusses why he believes work-life integration is more realistic than work-life balance.

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Mar 03, 2022
Need to Know, w/Reid & Bob: Ukraine reverberations, inflation volatility, lessons from Peloton, Theranos, Meta, & more
00:50:05

“We should expect more volatility,” Reid Hoffman tells Rapid Response host Bob Safian in the first Need to Know session of the year, covering news and business topics impacting entrepreneurs right now. Reid and Bob discuss the implications of the Ukraine invasion, then dive into the pandemic-fueled troubles at Peloton, PayPal, and Meta, new climate-change urgencies — including Reid’s recent trip to Antarctica, and how Activision will be different after merging with Microsoft. Plus: pay transparency; the lessons of Theranos; and the business case for democracy. Cameos: John Doerr (author of Speed & Scale), Jeremy Farrar (Wellcome Trust), Daniella Ballou-Aares (Leadership Now Project).

Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/masters-of-scale-episode-transcript_-need-to-know-february-2022.pdf

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Mar 01, 2022
Rapid Response: Invest in first principles, w/Sarah Levy, Betterment CEO
00:30:31

It may appear off-brand for Betterment, a digital investment adviser, to acquire a cryptocurrency investing platform. But CEO Sarah Levy explains that Betterment, positioned around its long-term diversification philosophy, has approached this volatile space with their tried-and-true principles top of mind. “Once we believe that an asset class is here to stay,” she says, “the question is: how do we responsibly incorporate that alongside a traditional investment strategy?” Levy, who became CEO in the midst of the pandemic, offers an intriguing perspective on how new, fast-moving digital finance platforms are shifting the norms of the industry. “We are not saddled with legacy businesses here that prevent us from chasing new dreams.”

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Feb 24, 2022
Announcing the Masters of Scale Summit
00:12:26

Go to summit.mastersofscale.com to learn how to join a pantheon of scale leaders gathering in San Francisco Oct. 18-20, 2022 at the Masters of Scale Summit. The early confirmed stage program includes the likes of Bill Gates, Tyra Banks, Satya Nadella, Arianna Huffington, Ted Sarandos, Mellody Hobson, and more. The event is uniquely designed for both executives in the room and their teams back home — offering a beautifully filmed, hosted livestream that will empower your team to bring new ideas to life. You can apply to attend in-person as either a general applicant or early-stage leader, as well as purchase livestream packages for your team at summit.mastersofscale.com.

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Feb 23, 2022
Rapid Response: "Be confident enough to show your vulnerability," w/Ken Frazier (Merck/General Catalyst)
00:33:53

Ken Frazier, the longtime CEO of pharmaceutical giant Merck, was one of the few Black CEOs at the top of Corporate America. Now as an adviser at General Catalyst and co-founder of the social impact organization OneTen, he’s re-shaping how business addresses racial and health equity. He joins host Bob Safian to discuss crisis adjustment, the positive side of fear, and the importance of vulnerability. Plus, he addresses the rising divisiveness in American culture, and the important role that business can play – by stressing our commonality and emphasizing kindness.

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

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Feb 17, 2022
Strategy Session: How to make the most of tough pivots? What are the right growth targets? How do you best prepare for entrepreneurship?
00:23:22

In this special edition of Strategy Session, Reid Hoffman answers five burning questions from our Masters of Scale Members. Each asks Reid a critical question about the business challenges that they’re facing right now – from how to best prepare yourself for entrepreneurship to growth metrics and name changes. Featuring Members Antoni Gruca (HEC-42 Launchpad), Krystal Lucado, Tudor Mihailescu (SpeechifAI, Inc.), Hoda Mehr (Stock Card), and Shamini Dhana (D/Sphere).

Do you want to submit your question for the next Strategy Session? Visit mastersofscale.com/membership to become a Member. You’ll also get access to the Masters of Scale Courses app, and you’ll be able to join the private Masters of Scale LinkedIn group where you can connect with every Masters of Scale Member.

Read a transcript of Strategy Session 11 at https://mastersofscale.com/strategy-session-members/

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Feb 15, 2022
Rapid Response: Scaling when you’re already at scale, w/Qualcomm's Cristiano Amon
00:27:15

As the global chip shortage unfolded last year, Qualcomm’s engineers quickly redesigned their products – an effort that tapped into “every possible capacity we could find,” says CEO Cristiano Amon. Their story is a great lesson in how an established company can and must move with the speed of a startup. One key to moving at speed, says Amon: aligning the entire organization around a single strategy. But along with an all-hands effort, he insists, must also come time to rest. “Everything's new, everything's always changing, we have to move fast, but at the end of the day, we also need time for ourselves and our family,” he reminds us.

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Feb 10, 2022
28. What great founders do at night, w/Arianna Huffington
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 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 a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com

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Feb 08, 2022
Rapid Response: Tapping a new generation of consumers, w/The Drone Racing League's Rachel Jacobson
00:24:27

With their eyes fixed on what’s next, the Drone Racing League has established a fresh fanbase, previously left untapped by professional sports. President Rachel Jacobson, formerly an NBA executive, refers to this audience as “techsetters” – young, enthusiastic, tech-driven fans who are “invested in what the future looks like.” It’s a new demographic that could have only emerged from the league’s unique positioning that intersects sports, entertainment, and technology. As Rachel says, the companies that aren’t planning for their future demographics of consumers will “age out really quickly.” She spoke with Rapid Response host Bob Safian about diving into future ideas that may first appear unrealistic – and spinning them into realities. The Drone Racing League has successfully secured partnerships with some of the biggest media and commercial organizations in the world, such as NBC, Twitter, T-Mobile, and DraftKings. 

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

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Feb 03, 2022
102. Don’t predict the future. Create it, w/Net-a-Porter's Natalie Massenet
00:37:58

You’ve had a glimpse into the future, and you’re sitting on an idea that could change the world. Now what? Well, prepare for layers of resistance, and be ready to spring into action. Throughout her career, Natalie Massenet has proved her ability to spot – and act on – a trend, first as a fashion journalist and then as founder of the luxury e-commerce site Net-a-Porter, which pioneered online shopping for high fashion. Now, she’s at the helm of the new fund Imaginary Ventures, with $1 billion under management. Natalie and Reid share tactics about how to deliver the future to consumers, manage pushback, and navigate uncharted territory.

Listen to the audio story "Give Me Away" by Mac Rogers: https://www.gideon-media.com/give-me-away

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Feb 01, 2022
Rapid Response: Be relentless – so your team can be fearless, w/Planned Parenthood’s Alexis McGill Johnson
00:30:12

Faced with long odds, how do you keep your team motivated and moving forward? As a leader, Alexis McGill Johnson is focused on building hope. As the president of Planned Parenthood, Johnson is preparing for the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. But in the meantime, she’s modeling a sense of relentlessness for her team – so they can be fearless and unapologetic. Since she took over at Planned Parenthood, she’s faced both internal and external challenges. Something she learned early: "You really need to drive it like you stole it,” she says. “And don't wait for permission to make the transformations that you need to see.” She’s chosen to speak boldly, emphasizing equity and addressing the organization’s legacies of racism head on. The lessons she offers can be focused as a refusal to shy away from disappointments – and impossible dreams. 

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

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Jan 27, 2022
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), and Stacy Brown-Philpot (TaskRabbit).

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

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Jan 25, 2022
Rapid Response: Lessons of Omicron, w/Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of Wellcome Trust
00:28:17

Sir Jeremy Farrar is UK’s pre-eminent scientific authority on Covid-19 and the chief executive at the research foundation Wellcome Trust. He joins Rapid Response to discuss the latest learnings of the Omicron variant – and offers a framework for reacting to the uncertainty. Farrar, whose research specializes in infectious diseases, also shares the two most important leadership lessons he’s learned during the pandemic: find time for yourself, and take warnings seriously. “Humanity often finds ways of going through some really bad periods to get to a good place. And I think we're going through a bad period at the moment,” Farrar says.

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

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Jan 20, 2022
101. Always be recruiting, w/Paul English, co-founder of Kayak
00:34:42

The more your business scales, the more tempting it is to delegate your company’s recruiting efforts. Resist that urge! You should always be recruiting. Featuring Paul English, co-founder of travel search platform Kayak, this episode guides us through five critical lessons for the hiring journey. English is passionate and relentless about the subject of recruiting – and the scale of the stakes: “The first 10 people you hire set the tone for the next thousand people you hire."

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

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Jan 18, 2022
100. Lessons that matter most: What we’ve learned from 100 episodes of Masters of Scale
00:44:32

What’s harder about entrepreneurship than most people realize? How do you overcome your own doubts? Can you really trust your team? In this special episode, Reid Hoffman and Masters of Scale executive producer June Cohen gather five of their favorite guests – Brian Chesky, Tyra Banks, Angela Ahrendts, Sallie Krawcheck, and Franklin Leonard — for a raw, honest, open dialogue filled with nonstop insights on those questions and many more. Sharing personal confessions and in-the-trenches stories, Reid’s guests provide unforgettable lessons from their leadership journeys. In commemoration of Reid’s 100th episode. 

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

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Jan 15, 2022
Rapid Response: How to decarbonize your business, w/John Doerr, partner at Kleiner Perkins
00:29:49

“Go for the megatons.” That’s John Doerr’s recommendation for how we need to combat the existential threat of climate change. Doerr, a venture capitalist and author of the new book Speed and Scale, joins host Bob Safian to discuss our decarbonization efforts, what he calls “the greatest economic opportunity of the next century.” The book quantifies the specific societal needs, in six discrete areas, to achieve a carbon-neutral world. John isn’t arguing that we all need to be vegan ascetics, but rather, the need for collective action – and the critical role that business plays in advancing that movement. 

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

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Jan 13, 2022
99. Leap before you look, w/Marc Lore (Jet.com)
00:36:56

Marc Lore is all too familiar with leaping into the unknown. He’s made leaps of faith as the founder of Diapers.com, Jet.com, the CEO of Walmart U.S. e-commerce, and now, as a part owner of NBA/WNBA teams, along with Telosa, a city that he’s announced he’s building from scratch. One thing he’s learned from all of these audacious endeavors: you can’t leap alone. You need to convince your team, and more importantly, your customers to leap with you. As you’ll hear in this episode, Lore’s many leaps have evolved the way he assesses the risk involved. And each time, he's refined his method for bringing others – including customers, investors, co-founders and suppliers – along with him.

Listen to Mark Lore on Rapid Response: https://link.chtbl.com/LoreMoSBlurb

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Jan 11, 2022
Marc Andreessen: The 6 secrets of great timing
00:37:22

As an early internet founder and iconic venture capitalist, Marc Andreessen has thought deeply about the role timing plays in a startup's success. Timing is of vital importance to any business: when to launch that first product; when to ramp up scale; when to make the move into a new market; when to pivot. Getting the timing wrong on any of these can have a catastrophic effect on your business. Getting it right will give you a key opportunity to get to scale ahead of your competitors. We've broken down some of these deep learnings about timing into today’s episode.

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Jan 04, 2022
83. President Barack Obama: When the moment chooses you, part 1
00:38:47

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.

Listen to part 2 with President Barack Obama here: https://link.chtbl.com/Obama-Part-2

Read a transcript of this interview at: mastersofscale.com

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Dec 21, 2021
Rapid Response: How flexibility creates momentum, w/Crate & Barrel CEO Janet Hayes
00:26:56

Crate & Barrel CEO Janet Hayes has been on a mission to modernize the home decor company since she took over as CEO in August, 2020. When she first joined the company, stores were closed and the future of retail was uncertain as Covid-19 put in-person experiences to a screeching halt. She’s responded by leaning into digital and sustainability for her brands, and flexibility for her employees. “As soon as I said, ‘It's a flexible workplace, and I'm going to value talent, collaboration, and results over location,’ everybody has been working faster and smarter than ever,” she says.

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

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Dec 16, 2021
Strategy Session LIVE!: How to protect yourself from copycat businesses? When should you seek funding? How to entice funders to invest in a niche business?
00:47:40

This special rendition of Strategy Session stars small business owners who Masters of Scale fans might recognize. That’s because a number of them have been featured in our signature three-act ads. You’ll hear them ask host Reid Hoffman critical questions for challenges they’re facing now. This Strategy Session was live, recorded remotely in-front of a virtual audience full of entrepreneurs. Plus: You’ll hear the premiere of our strategic game show called the Pivot Point. Featuring Rapid Response host Bob Safian, Masters of Scale Executive Producer June Cohen, John and Kendall Antonelli (Antonelli's Cheese Shop), Tara Wilson (Fierce Lab), Tudor Mihailescu (SpeechifAI), Greg Gallimore (Gensler Group & WUBI), Becky Pallack (Arizona Luminaria), Brit Rettig Wold (GRIT Fitness), Matthew Goins (Puzzle Huddle), Monisha Edwards (Scent & Fire Candle Company), and Ricardo Regalado (Rozalado Services & Route).

Read a transcript of Strategy Session 10 at https://mastersofscale.com/strategy-session-copycat-business/

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Dec 14, 2021
Rapid Response: How GoFundMe has facilitated $15 billion in giving, w/CEO Tim Cadogan
00:34:26

From the start of the pandemic, GoFundMe has served as a consistent global outlet for help. Since its inception, the for-profit crowdsourcing platform has facilitated $15 billion in giving through more than 200 million donations. It’s also attracted big names to the platform, including Taylor Swift, the Dalai Lama, and will.i.am. The key to the company’s success? According to CEO Tim Cadogan: "You need great people who are really ambitious in service of the mission.” Cadogan argues that the difference between GoFundMe and other businesses is that GoFundMe is about “people helping each other,” as opposed to commercial transactions. Asking for help, he says, unlocks more possibilities than people realize – a lesson for GoFundMe users, and for businesses overall.

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

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Dec 09, 2021
98. How redefining boundaries drives performance, w/former Unilever CEO Paul Polman
00:33:36

When Paul Polman joined Unilever as CEO in 2009, the consumer goods company – home to 400-plus brands including Dove soap, Ben & Jerry’s, and Vaseline – had been stagnated with years of lackluster performance. His famous turnaround of the company centered around his ability to redraw the boundaries of Unilever’s mission to emphasize sustainability and long-term growth. He’s a perfect example of why every leader should consistently reexamine the boundaries that limit their business – and be prepared to redraw them as you grow. By redrawing boundaries, you can reinvigorate your team with a new sense of power. As Polman says, “You cannot change people's behaviors if you only work on the purpose – and don’t change the boundaries around it that drive people's behavior.”

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

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Dec 07, 2021
Rapid Response: Re-founding Instacart, w/first-time CEO Fidji Simo
00:31:41

This past summer, Fidji Simo departed from Facebook – where she stood among the highest-ranking female executives, serving as the head of their app – for the opportunity to become a first-time CEO at Instacart. She replaced founder Apoorva Mehta, who appeared on this show last spring to talk about Instacart’s incredible COVID-fueled growth. Since then, Fidji has emphasized an evolved company mission, diversifying the company’s leadership and focusing on providing the necessary technology to help grocery retailers best serve their customers. As you’ll hear Fidji mention in the episode, she was raised in a French-Sicilian family where food anchored their daily life. “To me, Instacart’s mission resonated deeply, and I saw a very big opportunity.”

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Dec 02, 2021
39. The case for bootstrapping, w/Mailchimp's Ben Chestnut
00:44:56

This week, we’re returning to an episode of Masters of Scale featuring Ben Chestnut, the co-founder and CEO of Mailchimp. The email marketing platform was acquired this year by Intuit in a multi-billion-dollar deal that closed this month. Hear how Chestnut used a DIY ethos to grow the 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 episode: https://mastersofscale.com

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Nov 30, 2021
Three tools for happy, healthy gatherings, by Meditative Story
00:13:01

Many of us attempt to shift gears during the holidays, spend quality time with people we love, and refresh. But too often, we end up glued to our devices – catching up on work, avoiding complex people, or simply addicted to that screen. 

In an episode from our sister podcast, Meditative Story, host Rohan Gunatillake shares three calming techniques to help you navigate tricky family dynamics, the challenges of disconnecting from work, and the loneliness that can arise at even the most joyful times of year.

Meditative Story combines immersive first-person stories and music with the science-backed benefits of mindfulness practice. The lessons are just as vital as the ones we explore in Masters of Scale. And you can find much more at meditativestory.com

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Nov 24, 2021
Need to Know, w/Reid & Bob: Metaverse mania, the great resignation, Facebook quandaries, and more
00:47:51

Reid Hoffman and Rapid Response host Bob Safian break down what you need to know right now about the most important issues and opportunities impacting entrepreneurs. The co-hosts dive into inflation reactions, Facebook quandaries, metaverse mania, AI & crypto trends, and lessons from the Great Resignation. Plus: why LinkedIn pulled back in China, and what pundits are missing in the big tech backlash. "We should be playing into the future with ambition, with heart, with soul, with speed," says Reid.

Listen to the episodes mentioned in this interview:

Andrew Wilson (Electronic Arts): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/EAsAndrewWilsonRR

Sarah Hirshland (U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee): http://listen.mastersofscale.com/USOPCsSarahHirshlandRR

Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo: http://listen.mastersofscale.com/PepsiCoIndraNooyi

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

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Nov 22, 2021
Rapid Response: How to turn intentions into action, w/Aurora James, founder of the 15 Percent Pledge
00:33:35

In May 2020, as companies began making promises about how they’d help Black-owned businesses in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, Aurora James launched the 15 Percent Pledge initiative with an Instagram post. Tagging major retailers, she declared that 15% of retail shelf space should belong to Black-owned businesses. And she's helped these companies turn promise into action, unlocking $10 billion in revenue for Black-owned businesses. It's a relatable story for any small business or team: the tactics and strategies that allow one small but dedicated effort to deliver outsized results.  

Read a transcript of this interview at: mastersofscale.com

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Nov 18, 2021
97. Build a better board, w/Mellody Hobson, Lisa Shalett, & Shishir Mehrotra
00:37:14

Your board of directors can make or break you. In fact, Reid believes, the wrong board member can break your company faster than the right board member can make it. Learn the five vital mindset shifts that can help you create a better board, with insights from Mellody Hobson, the co-CEO of Ariel Investments and the chair of the Starbucks board, along with Lisa Shalett, co-founder of Extraordinary Women on Boards, and Shishir Mehrotra, founder and CEO of Coda (Reid's on their board). These universal lessons don’t only speak to founders assembling their very first board, or board directors looking for best practices – they also offer important advice for team-building across the board.

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

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Nov 16, 2021
Rapid Response: "You should be running toward AI," w/Eric Schmidt (frmr Google CEO)
00:32:03

Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, breaks down his deep insights around artificial intelligence on Rapid Response. Schmidt, co-author of the new book "The Age of AI: And Our Human Future," alongside Dr. Henry Kissinger and MIT’s Daniel Huttenlocher, says that we’re entering an unknown era with technology – one that requires extra vigilance to ensure that we amplify the positives and de-amplify the negatives. His advice to businesses: You need to be running as fast as you can toward AI applications. If your competitor gets there first, you'll be in trouble. Schmidt argues that AI will change business, society, and potentially humanity itself. "It's important that our systems not enable the worst of us, but instead promote the best of us,” he says.

Read the new book "The Age of AI: And Our Human Future" from Henry Kissinger, Eric Schmidt, and Daniel Huttenlocher: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-age-of-ai-henry-a-kissinger/1139558876?ean=9780316273800

Read a transcript of this interview at: mastersofscale.com

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Nov 11, 2021
96. Focus on the scale that your customers can’t see, w/Land O'Lakes CEO Beth Ford
00:31:17

Too often, companies only focus on the type of scale that’s visible: massive campuses, thousands of workers, offices around the globe. But as Land O’Lakes proves, there are less conspicuous ways to scale – ways that supply your business with structural integrity. This is something CEO Beth Ford knows well. She’s strategically scaled Land O’Lakes – often beneath the surface of what the average consumer sees. As she puts it: “We have to treat our business like the ecosystem it is." Cameo appearances by: Tim Maltin (Titanic expert) and Lukas Fricke (farmer).

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

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Nov 09, 2021
Rapid Response: How Peloton keeps pushing through resistance, w/CEO John Foley
00:31:01

Skepticism and doubt are no strangers to John Foley, the CEO of Peloton. As he says, it’s been part of the company’s DNA “since the first time I pitched the business to an investor back in 2012.” Last year, the company was supercharged by pandemic demand. However, in 2021, the company has faced a slew of new headwinds, from product-safety issues to investor skepticism. In the face of these challenges, Peloton has doubled down on innovation and ambition. Foley doesn’t see skepticism about Peloton as a sign of weakness. He expects it, and learns from it.

Read a transcript of this interview at: mastersofscale.com

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Nov 04, 2021
Rapid Response: The truth about what we watch, with Nielsen’s David Kenny
00:31:35

How do you respond when your own users resist your data? That question is top-of-mind for Nielsen CEO David Kenny. For decades, Nielsen has measured ratings and demographics across TV and media – the ultimate designator of success and failure. But as industry norms shift to streaming, Kenny has had to revamp processes and expectations, absorbing heat from traditional customers. As he notes, nostalgia is the opposite of optimism – it assumes that a known past is better than an unknown future. And for Kenny, he’s choosing optimism.

Read a transcript of this interview at: mastersofscale.com

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Oct 28, 2021
49. 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).

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

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Oct 26, 2021
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."

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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.  

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Oct 14, 2021
95. 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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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

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Oct 07, 2021
94. 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/

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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. 

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Sep 30, 2021
93. 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.”

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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.”

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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

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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

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Sep 16, 2021
92. 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.

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Sep 14, 2021
Rapid Response: When to build the company before the product, with Aurora CEO Chris Urmson
00:30:00

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

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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?
00:24:19

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 Strategy Session 9 at https://mastersofscale.com/strategy-session-pivot-losing-customers/

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Sep 07, 2021
Rapid Response: When you should require vaccinations w/ Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer
00:31:34

“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: https://mastersofscale.com/when-you-should-require-vaccinations-danny-meyer/

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Sep 02, 2021
91. Microsoft’s Satya Nadella: Why we need re-founders
00:37:43

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.

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Aug 31, 2021
Rapid Response: How Electronic Arts grows a metaverse, with CEO Andrew Wilson
00:33:35

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

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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!   

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Aug 24, 2021
Rapid Response: How mission fuels risk-taking, with Illumina CEO Francis deSouza
00:28:46

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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Aug 19, 2021
Bonus: Cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset, w/Reid, Bob & Sir Richard Branson
00:25:06

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.

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Aug 17, 2021
46. Make it epic, w/will.i.am
00:43:05

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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Aug 10, 2021
Rapid Response: How Harley-Davidson set a foundation for the long term with CEO Jochen Zeitz
00:23:26

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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Jul 29, 2021
90. The beauty of emphasizing the obvious, w/Birchbox's Katia Beauchamp
00:32:48

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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Jul 27, 2021
Rapid Response: Inside J.Crew's purposeful pivot, with CEO Libby Wadle
00:23:48

"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

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Jul 22, 2021
Strategy Session: When should founders step aside? Where can you find investors? Were pandemic pivots harmful?
00:26:34

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 Strategy Session 8 at https://mastersofscale.com/strategy-session-founders-step-aside/

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Jul 20, 2021
Rapid Response: Scaling a mission w/TAAF's Sonal Shah
00:27:23

"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
00:28:01

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
89. How to accelerate expertise, with Mellody Hobson, co-CEO of Ariel Investments, chair of Starbucks
00:36:40

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
00:29:09

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
88. Asking the uncomfortable questions, w/ Michael Seibel, Y Combinator
00:34:07

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
00:27:06

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
Need to Know, w/Reid & Bob: Crypto craziness, ransomware attacks, "smart risks" & more
00:32:46

"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
00:26:51

"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
87. J.J. Abrams: Make room for magic
00:37:36

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
00:31:32

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
86. Build the right flywheel, w/Teach for America / Teach for All's Wendy Kopp
00:40:20

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
00:27:14

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
00:35:58

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
00:29:41

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
85. Alex Rodriguez: How mentorship provides an edge
00:35:12

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
84. President Barack Obama, part 2: How to adapt to changing rules
00:36:22

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
83. President Barack Obama: When the moment chooses you, part 1
00:38:47

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.

Read a transcript of Strategy Session 7 at https://mastersofscale.com

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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
82. 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.

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
Need to Know, w/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."

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
81. 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
80. 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.

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Mar 25, 2021
79. 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.

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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.

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Mar 16, 2021
78. 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).

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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
77. 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.

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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
76. 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.

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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 Strategy Session 6 at https://mastersofscale.com

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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
75. 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?"

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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
74. 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.

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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.

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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

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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. 

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
55. 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).

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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
73. 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
72. 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 record-shattering drops in revenue from Covid-19, JetBlue had to rethink every plan and every assumption. Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue's president and chief operating officer, shares how the airline built a new system for flexing the business, to ramp up only when demand rises, deploying cost cuts but no furloughs. As airlines grapple with a new 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 2021 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.

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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

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Nov 19, 2020
71. 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
70. 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.

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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.

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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.

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Oct 22, 2020
69. 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.

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Oct 15, 2020
68. 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.

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