Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman

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Subscribers: 3150
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 Jan 29, 2019

 Jan 22, 2019

A Podcast Republic user
 Aug 26, 2018

Niki Vinogradoff
 Jul 24, 2018


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

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

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

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

Episode Date
Special: Why Facebook and Hollywood aren't anti-racist, w/Color of Change's Rashad Robinson

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

Jul 09, 2020
4 core principles of crisis management, w/Ellen Kullman (DuPont, Carbon)

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).

Jul 07, 2020
Special: A new playbook for new times, w/ Ford Foundation president Darren Walker

"This was like 1918, 1929 and 1968 in one week," says Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. With the pandemic, economic crisis, and civil unrest all coming together after George Floyd's death, Walker found himself flooded with calls from CEOs struggling for how to respond. Walker's advice mixes clear-eyed messages — denying the trauma borne by communities of color is no longer option — with optimism about the opportunities ahead. At the Ford Foundation, they've accelerated giving and even exceeded their own KPIs. With more leaders dedicated to making a positive impact, he says, the wind is changing, for people of color and for America.

Jul 02, 2020
Stephen Colbert + DonorsChoose's Charles Best — The power of small goals

Startups are audacious. They’re big. They’re world-changing. But you can’t achieve scale on day one. Sometimes the best way to achieve that monumental success tomorrow is to take a teeny tiny step today. This is what Charles Best did when he founded one of the world’s first crowdfunding platforms, DonorsChoose. For 20 years, the nonprofit has been helping public school teachers get funding and supplies for classroom projects and it all started with just a handful of projects in the Bronx, where Charles was a public school teacher. Now it funds thousands of projects in all 50 states, raising almost a billion dollars in the process. Charles did it by adeptly creating a flywheel that matches for donors and grantees, allowing them to connect directly with one another, and doing it all one small step at a time. Cameo: Stephen Colbert.


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Jun 30, 2020
Special: Burning cash, accepting turbulence w/Delta CEO Ed Bastian

A surprisingly candid and upbeat interview on the industry hardest hit by the pandemic. Delta saw seat bookings fall to less than 5% of normal, had 40,000 employees go on unpaid leave, and raised $14 billion in funding – all to withstand a cash burn that still stands at $30 million a day. To rebuild traveler trust, Delta CEO Ed Bastian has enacted a slew of new safety standards, including capping flight loads at 60 percent and using hospital-grade HEPA filters on board – in fact, Bastian contends there's not a safer time to be on a plane than right now. He's also sped up forward-facing company initiatives, like phasing out less-efficient planes, building out airport terminals, and installing better wifi. Bastian acknowledges there will be fewer planes in the sky in years to come, but he believes Delta will come out of the pandemic as strong and essential as ever.

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

Every great founder has a second purpose — something outside their main business they're trying to get done in the world. And every successful company is like a Trojan Horse, carrying this second purpose forward. No one knows this better than Robert F. Smith. You may know him for his legendary Morehouse commencement speech (in which he promised to pay off the student loan debt of the entire graduating class), but Robert's scaling success and philanthropic work go far beyond that. As founder, chair, and CEO of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, Robert finds profound ways to serve both his business and his second purpose — liberating people to reach their true potential — at scale. Recorded live at Summit LA 2019.

Jun 23, 2020
Special: How business can engage against racism, w/Shellye Archambeau (MetricStream, Nordstrom, Verizon)

What can your business do right now in the struggle against racism? More than you think, says Shellye Archambeau, former CEO of MetricStream, now a board member at Verizon, Nordstrom and Okta. She returns to the show with her all-too-rare perspective as a Black woman at the top of some of the world’s largest businesses. The struggle is a marathon, but businesses are uniquely poised to demand accountability and transparency from their communities. Whether you're a CEO or a citizen, Shellye has heartfelt and hard-earned wisdom for us all.

Learn more about Shellye’s upcoming book Unapologetically Ambitious at

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Jun 19, 2020
Test. Measure. Repeat. — w/Eric Ries (Lean Startup; Long-Term Stock Exchange)

Forget writing that business plan. Design an experiment instead. So many products and companies fail because the assumptions in their beautiful business plans were just wrong. So stop writing and start testing. No one knows this better than Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup and founder of the Long Term Stock Exchange. After his first product failed, he developed a new method of product design based on running small, fast experiments, measuring the results, and learning from them. It’s a system built on data, not assumptions, and it works with almost everything, from app development to airplane design. It starts with establishing your own measure of success — then experimenting, improving, and trying over and over again. The feedback loop never stops.

Jun 16, 2020
Special: GM's Mary Barra: "Deep, profound sadness" and "going ventilator fast"

GM is now reopening auto plants, after shutting them in March, temporarily reducing pay for 69,000 employees, and making a fast pivot to produce masks and ventilators. But with the killing of George Floyd, things are hardly back to normal. Chair and CEO Mary Barra speaks to her “profound feeling of sadness,” but also to her optimism that the country and her company will bounce back. Though there is work to be done, says Mary, we're poised for transformation.

Jun 13, 2020
Strategy Session: The Post-Pandemic Business

How do you 👀find new markets when your old ones stall? How do you stay agile when your team is overwhelmed? And do constraints always lead to creativity — really? In this Strategy Session recorded in the height of the global pandemic, Reid fields smart questions from six entrepreneurs with Village Global, an early stage VC that’s backed by some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs.

Jun 09, 2020
Special: BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti: Record-high audience, record-low revenue

Generation Covid has swarmed Buzzfeed, with audience numbers at record highs. Yet the pandemic's economic effects have crushed the bottom line. BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti explains how he's enduring near-term pain with an eye toward long-term opportunity. “But the transition is painful,” he says. Buzzfeed is leaning into food vertical Tasty, new e-commerce habits, and Buzzfeed News — which covered the frontline action after the death of George Floyd. Jonah laments that businesses like his don't have more resources to provide social support. But, he says, there's a clarity of purpose in crisis, in bearing witness to the things that are happening in the world.

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

New graduates 🎓are like entrepreneurs — standing on the edge of that cliff, ready to build their own plane and fly. But what if the blue skies and calm winds disappear? In a commencement speech for 2020 graduates — and anyone embarking on something new — our host Reid Hoffman says: Be optimistic. Be bold. But most of all, steer toward the opportunities emerging in this new world. How do you find them? Cultivate a network of people smart, curious people. This network creates a map of the world. And at uncertain times like these, you’ll definitely need that map.

Jun 03, 2020
Special: Danny Meyer, 10 wks later: How to revive restaurants

"Being the first to close is one thing. But I don't want to be the last to open,” says iconic restaurateur Danny Meyer in his second Rapid Response interview. After shutting his iconic New York City restaurants, laying off 2,000 staffers (with hopes to re-hire) and returning a $10m PPP, Danny finds himself reconsidering nearly everything about his business model. Even before the coronavirus lockdown, the restaurant industry had a slew of “preexisting conditions,” Danny says. Now those weaknesses have become exposed, putting at risk the future of hospitality — one of America’s core industries. Danny’s Union Square Hospitality Group is reimagining what and HOW their restaurants serve; rethinking how they generate revenue; and exploring new cost structures, like a bold new relationship with landlords. It’s all in the hopes, says Danny, of getting back to business, with customers safely at their tables, and the teams back together.

May 30, 2020
Special: How "startup DNA" helped One Medical respond to Covid, with CEO Amir Rubin

Since One Medical’s IPO in January, CEO Amir Rubin has been forced to constantly adapt to the coronavirus pandemic, as healthcare needs, expectations, and behaviors shifted. From telemedicine to Covid-19 testing, One Medical has leaned into existing advantages to scale quickly: standing up respiratory care clinics and testing centers; revamping virtual and in-person visits; vetting labs and data. One Medical is now helping other businesses identify new practices to safely bring employees back to work. If you have a consistent platform and mission, explains Amir, that operating system can be applied to even fast-changing environments.

May 28, 2020
Duolingo’s Luis von Ahn — A masterclass in crowdsourcing

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). 

May 26, 2020
Special: How Warby Parker is making decisions in uncertainty, with CEO Neil Blumenthal

"It's like getting hit in the face over and over and over,” says Warby Parker co-CEO Neil Blumenthal. But “crisis brings out clarity.” At Warby, planning for the future has meant leaning into the present — from physical changes in their factory and stores that ensure social distancing to optimizing online vision tests. Blumenthal shares the complex factors they consider in deciding which stores to re-open and when, and relates the human challenge of inspiring their on-the-ground factory employees — at times of increased risk. For Blumenthal, it's all about recognizing new priorities (safety) and fitting them into ongoing strategy.

May 23, 2020
Part 2: Apple’s Angela Ahrendts — How to unite a team

In Part 2, Angela arrives at Apple, which feels like another planet after her years in fashion. In never-before heard stories, Angela shares how she learned the language of tech (the physical store is the ‘hardware’; the experience inside the ‘software’), then introduces innovations that change the face of Apple retail, from an app (The Loop) that let store managers collaborate to the landmark “Today at Apple” program, building community through free classes inside each Apple store. Throughout, Angela shows her team, through words and actions, that each person matters, and that they're all a part of something much bigger than themselves. Cameo: Eric Trigg (Trigg Ranch).

May 19, 2020
Special: Future-proofing Verizon, with CEO Hans Vestberg

Data streaming, videoconferencing – even phone calls are way up at Verizon amid Covid-19, as digital interaction steps in for IRL. But boom times don't mean easy times for CEO Hans Vestberg, who moved over 100,000 employees remote in two weeks. As coronavirus hit and pressure on the Verizon network skyrocketed, Vestberg split his leadership team in two: one to deal with the specifics of the crisis and one to focus on pursuing present-and-future business goals. From new customer initiatives (like free bandwidth and FIOS-in-a-box) to future bets (like the acquisition of video conferencing service BlueJeans), Vestberg has championed that meeting customers' needs today – even if not fully compensated for them – will pay off for the business tomorrow.

May 16, 2020
Season 6! Apple’s Angela Ahrendts: How to unite a team

The Apple logo. The iconic Burberry check. These images inspire loyalty of customers and employees alike. But it takes more than a beloved brand to power a company and motivate a team. No one knows this better than Angela Ahrendts, former SVP of retail at Apple, and the former CEO of Burberry. Angela has spent most of her career learning how to imbue those logos with meaning – and support them by down-to-earth, everyday, human connection. Why? Because to unite a team – especially one that’s large, global and dispersed – you need to turn them into mission-driven families.

May 12, 2020
Special: Operating in a fishbowl w/Philly 76ers & NJ Devils CEO Scott O’Neil

In sports, everyone has an opinion on every hire, every trade, every price change. That’s the reality – and also the privilege, says Scott O'Neil, CEO of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils. When the NBA dramatically shut down its season MID-PLAY, O'Neil's life changed in a very public way. He has faced new leadership challenges that include missteps, like the decision (and sudden reversal) of cutting employee salaries, and discoveries, like knowing it’s ok to tap out when you need to recharge. With no players on the court or fans in the arena, O'Neil is shifting his focus on what the new era of sports and entertainment can look like. 

May 09, 2020
Special: Crisis lessons from inside the ER, with Dr. Bon Ku

In the Covid-19 storm, treating hospital patients requires constant iteration, creative information-sharing, and worst-case-scenario planning. Dr. Bon Ku, an ER physician and director of the Health Design Lab at Jefferson University in Philadelphia, takes us inside the practice and mindset required to perform under extraordinary pressure. He offers on-the-ground business insights we can all learn from, as he looks toward the future and reflects on a possible second wave of infections and the faulty incentives in the medical system.

May 07, 2020
Special: Food security in a pandemic, w/Sara Menker of Gro Intelligence

Will the U.S. run out of food? Can the world's food supply chains survive coronavirus? Sara Menker, founder and CEO of Gro Intelligence, which parses 650 trillion agricultural data points daily, shares eye-opening insights based on real-time facts. Learn about the hidden forces that impact what we see on shelves -- and why we might be worrying about the wrong things.

May 05, 2020
Special: Inside Panera’s pandemic pivot, with CEO Niren Chaudhary

What do you do when you can’t serve customers in cafes and carry on business as usual? You try unusual things, says Panera CEO Niren Chaudhary. Forced to close cafes and restructure teams, Panera is leveraging its advantages (like a robust e-commerce system) to launch a slew of initiatives, from Panera Grocery to contactless delivery to Together Without Hunger, providing 500,000 meals to food banks across the U.S. It’s not the same Panera, says Chaudhary, but a Panera that will make it into the post-pandemic world.

Apr 30, 2020
Special: A crisis leadership session with General Stanley McChrystal

Everyone's looking for a box of crisis tricks. But the hard truth is that it simply doesn’t exist, says retired General Stanley McChrystal. Instead of looking for a new style, McChrystal says, lead with the same things that motivate people on a normal basis: Be honest about the path ahead, communicate clearly and build your team up. With calm reassurance, he encourages founders to keep their eyes on the future. Prepare for the post-pandemic world now, so you and your team can spring to action when the time comes. Retired General McChrystal is now the founder of the McChrystal Group.

Apr 28, 2020
Special: Pet adoptions: Up. Delivery business: Up. What that means to Chewy’s Sumit Singh

Pet adoptions have soared during the coronavirus lockdown, as people seek companionship and solace. For Chewy, the pet-supply company, that’s driving unprecedented demand. Ultra-rapid growth has its own set of challenges that CEO Sumit Singh is responding to by: hiring (at 13,000 employees, with plans to add another 6,000 to 10,000 by end of year.); setting up a COVID task team that meets daily; instituting health and safety checks; rolling out customer-facing innovations in a weekend, and more. Why? Because a leader's job during a crisis, Singh says, is to first communicate with the team, and then innovate for a post-pandemic world. 

Apr 25, 2020
Special: Build government back – better, w/Jen Pahlka (Code for America, USDR)

In the US, local governments are leading the response to COVID-19 – making decisions and gathering data at a speed and scale never before seen. And many of them are asking Jen Pahlka for help. The founder and past chair of Code for America, she co-founded U.S. Digital Response, a nonpartisan group that matches experts with local governments to work on tech, comms and operations. She shares what she's seeing right now – and paints a bold, big-picture vision of what a modern government could do in the years to come.

Apr 23, 2020
Special: Target’s Brian Cornell: “I want to see retail survive this”

Every day in a pandemic is different, and that’s true for people and for corporations. CEO Brian Cornell has promised Target will keep its doors open. To do that, Target is becoming "a good student," says Brian, listening to experts, collaborating with CEOs, staying flexible, and meeting daily to make decisions on an ever changing list of priorities, the first of which is to keep both the team and the guests safe. To date, they’ve made a $300 million investment in pay and benefits, back up childcare, elder care, enhanced store cleanings, and more. No one knows what will happen, says Brian, but he believes that by putting his team first, he is putting the customer first – and serving the larger community.

Apr 20, 2020
Special: TaskRabbit's Stacy Brown-Philpot: “A pandemic doesn’t see money.”

TaskRabbit remains open for business, says CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot. As the magnitude and severity of the pandemic became clear – and as workers across the U.S. were furloughed and services cut – TaskRabbit leaned into the work they do: providing services to those who need them and empowering Taskers with new opportunities for income, including virtual tasks, and Tasks for Good, which connects vulnerable individuals in need with local volunteer Taskers. TaskRabbit was founded during the 2008 financial crisis and then and now, says Stacy, the business remains a necessity, for the community, and for the gig economy.

Apr 18, 2020
Special: Lyft’s John Zimmer: How to keep an essential business running

Everything starts with transportation, says John Zimmer, co-founder and president of Lyft. And even though ride sharing is sharply down, transportation remains key – for essential workers and for our supply chain. So Lyft is flexing some new muscles, says John. They recently launched a delivery service so they can help get supplies where they need to go – and put drivers on the road. They’ve also spent over a million dollars on protective equipment so that both drivers and riders can be protected; and began providing free and discounted rides to both essential workers and people in need of transportation. John’s hope is that by Lyft staying true to its mission, they’ll come out successful on the other side.

Apr 16, 2020
Special: Airbnb’s Brian Chesky: "Crisis is pushing us back to our roots"

As the pandemic hit, Airbnb was preparing for an IPO. Within a matter of days, everything changed dramatically, as travel worldwide screamed to a halt. “I felt like I was captain of a ship and a torpedo hit the side,” says CEO Brian Chesky. Airbnb responded quickly, announcing that they'd override host rules and allow for guest cancellations. They went on to establish a relief fund for hosts, lobby the U.S. Congress to include hosts in the CARES stimulus package; open up a new business line of virtual experiences, and raise an astounding one billion dollars in new capital — all with the goal of both weathering the storm and laying the groundwork for the new era of travel that Chesky firmly believes will follow. Chesky takes our co-host Bob Safian through the last few weeks, shares what gives him hope and explains why he’s bringing Airbnb back to its roots as a scrappy, resilient startup that can adapt and evolve.

Apr 13, 2020
Special: Fast pivots for changing needs w/DonorsChoose Charles Best

People are altruistic – even more so in times of uncertainty. This is what Charles Best, founder and CEO of DonorsChoose, has learned through 20 years of leading his nonprofit through the terrorist attacks of 9/11, multiple recessions, and now a pandemic. Through it all, he’s learned how to listen what to donors – and grantees – really want, and how to pivot to address changing needs. In the last few weeks DonorsChoose has completely reimagined how it connects grantees with the resources they need, and built a new platform to do it. Because the value of a donation, he says, goes far beyond what money can buy.

Apr 07, 2020
Special: Relief funding & crowdfunding in a crisis w/Karen Cahn of IFundWomen

What are your options for emergency funding in the US? Can you use the U.S. CARES Act to get financial assistance? Should you consider crowdfunding? We talk to Karen Cahn, CEO of iFundWomen, about what you need to know. Who qualifies for the forgivable and traditional loans within this $2.2 trillion stimulus package? Do you have to apply today? How much money could you get? And is a loan a good idea? Karen gives us the details – and makes the case that now is the best time to crowdfund. Hosted by editor-at-large Bob Safian. 

Learn what IFW is doing to help entrepreneurs during COVID:

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Apr 04, 2020
Crisis data is the story of our times, says Crisis Text Line founder

"Anxiety," "grief," "mom": these are the words that are coming up at this extreme moment in time. That data comes from Crisis Text Line’s Nancy Lublin, whose online counselors are using both empathy and aggregated data to help people through this pandemic. Crisis Text Line provides free, confidential crisis counseling via text, 24/7. To help counselors meet the moment, they anonymize and analyze real-time data on how their users are feeling – and that data is telling them the story of right now. Hosted by editor-at-large Bob Safian.

Jaw-dropping data reporting here: "How Is America Feeling?" Read:

Want to support Crisis Text Line? Here's what Nancy suggests:

  • SEND US MORE PEOPLE IN PAIN. We want to help. Share
  • SEND US MORE PARTNERS. We want more people to know we are here and 100% operational. Media partners, companies, influencers, hotlines. Find us at
  • SEND US MORE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO VOLUNTEER. People can be part of a solution, from their couch, in their jammies.

Apr 02, 2020
Special: Hourly workers are a ‘hero class’ w/Cue Ball’s Tony Tjan

Hourly workers are the 'hero class' says VC Tony Tjan. And the pandemic is wreaking havoc on their financial stability. At Boston’s Cue Ball Group, Tony’s portfolio includes companies that employ hundreds of nail care workers, cooks and servers, and he's asking: How can we protect hourly workers and help them prepare for an uncertain future? And how can we plan for the long term, when the daily keeps changing? Co-hosted by Masters of Scale editor-at-large Bob Safian. 

Mar 31, 2020
Special: First, be human – Thoughts on the crisis from Reid Hoffman

Can you blitzscale when the world grinds to a halt? How do you do right by your team AND your investors? What will the entrepreneurial world look like on the other side of this? In this special episode, our host Reid Hoffman, sits on the other side of the mic, contextualizing the crisis and offering a hopeful viewpoint. Hosted by Masters of Scale editor-at-large Bob Safian.

Mar 26, 2020
Special: Danny Meyer on the wrenching decision to do layoffs

Last week, Danny Meyer laid off 2,000 people – that's 80 percent of staff at Union Square Hospitality Group, representing 20+ restaurants across the country. It was a heartbreaking decision made with full understanding of the impacts, short and long-term – or as much as can possibly be known in this volatile time. In this special episode, Danny returns to the show to share why and how he acted so quickly, the process he and his team used to make this decision, the impact of the layoff, and what comes next for his industry. Co-hosted by Masters of Scale editor at large Bob Safian.

Mar 24, 2020
Special: Remote teams with WordPress/Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg

The first in a series of special episodes with tools you need RIGHT NOW | Suddenly, many of us are remote workers. As companies radically reimagine their day-to-day in response to the pandemic, we all need to know what Matt Mullenweg has learned: How to thrive as a successful remote team. As founder of Automattic (creators of WordPress etc), Matt runs a 1000-person team that’s almost entirely remote. How do they do it? Matt shares his best practices here. It won't sound like our typical episodes. This is just Reid and Matt, sharing insights on how to run fully distributed teams that build culture and trust — and succeed.

Mar 18, 2020
How to start a revolution – Bitcoin pioneer Wences Casares (Xapo)

What if your idea is so radical that people have trouble grasping what it is – or even believing it won't harm them? Every founder believes their product is revolutionary – and the more revolutionary their product, the more reassuring they’ll need to be to get consumers on board. No one knows this better than Wences Casares, the trailblazing entrepreneur credited with bringing crypto to Silicon Valley (and convincing Reid himself). With his unicorn start up Xapo, a Bitcoin wallet, Wences aims to reassure the masses that Bitcoin isn’t as different – or as dangerous – as they may think. Cameo appearances: Linda Rottenberg (Endeavor), Anne Wojcicki (23andMe).

Feb 27, 2020
Strategy Session: When to replace the founder, how to be a learn-it-all, when to take the "venture bet"

Growth vs innovation, scale vs stability, founders vs CEOs? Entrepreneurs want to know! We’re back with another Strategy Session episode, featuring fast-growing, high-performing scale-ups from around the world, and they’re asking Reid their biggest questions. They want to know: What do they do next? Co-hosted by Bob Safian (previously editor-in-chief at Fast Company magazine).

Feb 20, 2020
Shopify's Tobi Lütke: Be a platform

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).

Feb 13, 2020
Netflix’s Reed Hastings: Why culture matters

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

Feb 06, 2020
When to Zoom In, When to Zoom Out, with Josh Silverman (Etsy / eBay / Skype / Evite)

When do you see the forest? And when do you see the trees? Building a company to scale requires a delicate balance of macro and micro focus – and the skill to know where to focus when. Josh Silverman has built that skill in leadership roles at Evite, eBay, Skype, and now Etsy. What he’s learned: Success isn’t just about zooming in on the details or taking the long view – but about knowing when to switch between perspectives.

Jan 23, 2020
Strategy Session: When not to blitzscale, how to persuade your board to let you slow down, and: Are you in a Glengarry Glen Ross market?


When's the right time for hypergrowth? Should you take investment when you don’t need the money? How do you deal with an exhausted team? Global entrepreneurs facing hyperfast growth ask Reid their questions about raising capital, pivoting their product, bootstrapping vs. blitzscaling and more. Featuring some of the highest-performing scale entrepreneurs from Endeavor, and cohosted by Harvard professor Youngme Moon, of the great HBS podcast After Hours.

Jan 17, 2020
Special: A Meditative Story from Reid Hoffman

How do you find joy in your life? Our host, Reid Hoffman, finds it through friendship, and the genuine, honest, and intimate conversations it brings. In this special episode of Meditative Story, from the same producers as Masters of Scale, Reid shares his passion for connecting with others by asking big questions.

Jan 13, 2020
What’s the hidden business behind your business? w/Rent the Runway’s Jenn Hyman

Behind every successful business is a hidden back-end business powering it behind the scenes. No one knows this better than Jenn Hyman, CEO of Rent the Runway. RTR is known for creating a glamorous "closet in the cloud,” but it achieved ‘unicorn’ status by mastering the businesses behind their public-facing brand — 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)

Jan 09, 2020
How to find your big idea w/ Spanx's Sara Blakely

To find your big idea? Look for it. And look for it. And be ready to act. Spanx founder Sara Blakely was actively seeking a business idea when she thought of Spanx. Then she moved fast, found help in the right places, and went all-in. The result: A billion-dollar company & women's wardrobes transformed. With cameos by National Geographic Explorer Andrés Ruzo, former director of the US Patent & Trademark Office Michelle Lee, and Endeavor CEO Linda Rottenberg.


Learn more about The Boiling River Project:

Read "The Boiling River" by Andrés Ruzo:

Learn more about the US patent system:

Meet Andre, who dresses Oprah Winfrey:

Listen to Linda Rottenberg on Masters of Scale:

Get the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter:

Jan 03, 2020
Master the art of storytelling w/charity: water's Scott Harrison

You need a great story to build a great company. And great stories are unwaveringly TRUE. No one embodies this principle more fully than Scott Harrison, founder of Charity: Water. A master storyteller, Scott built his nonprofit on 3 radical principles: (1) 100% of donations would go to water projects (not overhead) (2) Progress reports would be utterly transparent, sharing victories, defeats and even GPS coordinates of water wells (3) The brand’s storytelling would lead with hope instead of guilt, inspiring joyful participation without sacrificing honesty. Cameo appearance: Jonathan Gottschall (fellow at Washington & Jefferson College & author).

Dec 26, 2019
Bill Gates — The biggest success story you haven't heard

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

Dec 20, 2019
How to solve an impossible challenge w/Megan Smith (U.S. CTO, Google, shift7)

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

Dec 13, 2019
LIVE! All founders have a Trojan Horse w/Robert F. Smith

Recorded live at Summit LA: Every great founder has a second purpose — something outside their main business they're trying to get done in the world. And every successful company is like a Trojan horse, carrying this second purpose forward. No one knows this better than Robert F. Smith. You may know him for his legendary Morehouse commencement speech (in which he promised to pay off the student loan debt of the entire graduating class), but Robert's scaling success and philanthropic work go far beyond that. As founder, chairman and CEO of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, Robert finds profound ways to serve both his business and his second purpose — liberating people to reach their true potential — at scale. Cameo appearance: Sir Ken Robinson.

Live stage photography: Jaime Fernandez (@jaymoxias)  

Dec 05, 2019
Ray Dalio - How to embrace conflict

Want to improve any idea? Find someone who disagrees with it. This is something legendary investor Ray Dalio knows. But there’s a difference between constructive and destructive conflict – and Dalio is a master at spotting the difference. In constructive conflict, a team has a shared goal, whether or not they have differing opinions. And this is the key to success. Cameo appearances: Steve Horgan (USA Field Hockey Director of Umpiring), Daniel Amen (psychiatrist, founder Amen Clinics).

Nov 26, 2019
The Money Episode w/Minted's Mariam Naficy

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

Nov 21, 2019
LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner – How to set the drumbeat

Every leader has to set the drumbeat for their company — the culture, mission, and values that get the entire team in sync. And the rhythm has to be true to them. Jeff Weiner is a master at this. As CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff grew users from 33 million to 660 million. He grew revenue to more than $7 billion and ultimately stewarded LinkedIn through its acquisition by Microsoft. Jeff’s drumbeat? Compassionate management. Cameo appearances by: Chris Tomson (Vampire Weekend), Monica Worline (Stanford's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education), Keesa Schreane (host, "You've Been Served"). 

Nov 15, 2019
Bill Gates — How to accelerate history

How did Bill Gates scale BOTH a global business and a global philanthropy? He spotted an inflection point in history — and accelerated it. What does that take? A great idea, great timing and also: Great partners. Because even Bill Gates doesn’t go it alone. In part one of this special two-part episode, Bill reflects with Reid on the founding and growth of Microsoft — how he not only spotted an inflection point (hello first personal computers) but accelerated it to massive scale (forget computers, let's talk software platforms). There’s timeless wisdom in Bill’s ability to identify inflection points, build strategic partnerships and just work harder than everyone else. Later this season, watch for part two, where Bill reflects on scaling the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the lessons learned between the two.

Nov 07, 2019
Make it epic — with

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, 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 to a song beamed back from Mars — his ability to bring multiple stakeholders together to leverage partnerships and compound possibilities will inspire founders at any stage of scale. Cameo appearance: Jeremy Siegel (urban designer, Bjarke Ingels Group).

Oct 31, 2019
LIVE! Tory Burch: Patience or Speed? Both.

Tory Burch built a billion-dollar business from the ground up, by speeding forward when others might have hit pause, and showing watchful patience when others may have gone full tilt. In our live onstage interview, she shows how this approach plays out in her global business – and in her impactful foundation that supports women business owners. With appearances by the Polynesian Voyaging Society's Lehua Kamalu and Affectiva's Rana el Kaliouby.

Oct 17, 2019
Keep humans in the equation — with TaskRabbit's Stacy Brown-Philpot

You may think that to scale you need to cut humans out of the equation. The opposite is true. You can harness the power of the "human cloud" to solve almost any problem — as long as you keep the word “human” in the equation. That's what TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot champions for this community of people who work with each other, teach each other, and continually learn from each other. With cameos by DeLashea Strawder (Mosaic Youth Theater in Detroit) and Whitney Johnson (Author, "Build An A Team"). 

Oct 10, 2019
A Strategy Session with Reid Hoffman

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

Sep 26, 2019
How to Build Your Company to Last w/Fiat's John Elkann

Forget being a unicorn. Learn to be a “Phoenix.” Your company can last 100+ years – but you'll need the resilience to rise and fall, and rise again. Fiat’s Chairman John Elkann shares the principles that allow the "horseless carriage" company founded by his great-grandfather survive the ups and downs of a century of business (including competitor attacks, leader shakeups, financial crises and more). One key: Resilience. Another: Deciding which company traditions to keep, and which to leave in the past. Featuring cameos from Radio Flyer's Robert Pasin, Cue Ball Ventures' Tony Tjan, and ABC Home & Kitchen's Paulette Cole.

Sep 12, 2019
Dropbox's Drew Houston: How to take on Goliaths and win

When Drew Houston founded Dropbox, he knew he faced some fierce competition (hello, Google, Apple, and Microsoft). But he didn’t back down from the fight. Why? Because he believed in his product, and he knew he had an advantage those big, cumbersome competitors could never exploit: Dropbox was lean, focused, and fast. Hear how he outmaneuvered the big guys – and what's next for Dropbox. Cameo appearances: Mark Pincus of Zynga, Shellye Archambeau of MetricStream.

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

Sep 05, 2019
Special: Recharge your brain with a Meditative Story by Arianna Huffington
Aug 06, 2019
23andMe’s Anne Wojcicki: Embrace the gatekeepers
Aug 01, 2019
Introducing Meditative Story
Jul 30, 2019
The Big Pivot w/Slack's Stewart Butterfield
Jul 26, 2019
Small Changes for Big Impact w/Bumble's Whitney Wolfe Herd
Jul 18, 2019
Entrepreneurship as a Second Act w/Gwyneth Paltrow
Jul 02, 2019
10 New Rules for Big Career Changes (The Graduation Episode) w/ Jordan Harbinger
Jun 21, 2019
How pirates become the navy w/Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi
Jun 05, 2019
The case for bootstrapping w/Mailchimp’s Ben Chestnut
May 21, 2019
Open or closed? The answer is both—w/Joi Ito, MIT Media Lab Director
Apr 30, 2019
When your invention becomes a weapon – from Should This Exist
Apr 11, 2019
Take bigger risks w/Shellye Archambeau
Mar 26, 2019
Check your blindspot w/Sallie Krawcheck (Ellevest)
Mar 12, 2019
Build a more human internet — w/ Caterina Fake (Host of “Should This Exist?")
Mar 05, 2019
The Reid Hoffman Story (Part 2) — Make everyone a hero
Feb 26, 2019
Introducing: Should This Exist?
Feb 21, 2019
The Reid Hoffman Story (Part 1) — Make everyone a hero
Jan 22, 2019
Let your customers be your scouts – w/Eventbrite's Julia Hartz
Jan 08, 2019
To scale, you must master the skill of storytelling w/Charity: Water’s Scott Harrison
Dec 18, 2018
Your Plan B Needs a Plan B — w/Nancy Lublin of Do Something and Crisis Text Line
Dec 04, 2018
The Millennial Episode — with Brit + Co’s Brit Morin
Nov 19, 2018
The elusive formula for great hiring w/Workday's Aneel Bhusri
Nov 05, 2018
Shake Shack's Danny Meyer — When to ignore conventional wisdom
Oct 22, 2018
Arianna Huffington—What great founders do at night
Oct 03, 2018
Spotify's Daniel Ek — How to build trust FAST
Sep 19, 2018
Instagram's Kevin Systrom — Keep it simple while scaling big
Sep 06, 2018
Marissa Mayer — How to make the star employees you need
Aug 08, 2018
How to kill your bad ideas w/ Zynga's Mark Pincus
Jul 25, 2018
Keep Humans In the Equation w/ TaskRabbit's Stacy Brown-Philpot
Jul 11, 2018
Introducing Season 3
Jul 09, 2018
How to find your big idea w/ Spanx's Sara Blakely
Mar 21, 2018
How To Do Good And Do Good Business with Starbucks' Howard Schultz
Mar 07, 2018
BONUS: The 10 Commandments of Startup Success with Guest Host Tim Ferriss
Feb 28, 2018
Never Underestimate Your First Idea w/ Twitter/Medium's Ev Williams
Feb 21, 2018
How to Price Your Product to Scale w/ ClassPass' Payal Kadakia
Feb 14, 2018
How To Build Your Company To Last w/ Fiat's John Elkann
Feb 07, 2018
Why Customer Love is All You Need w/ Y Combinator's Sam Altman
Jan 31, 2018
Model Behavior w/ entrepreneur/investor Caterina Fake (Etsy, Kickstarter, Flickr)
Jan 24, 2018
Learn to Unlearn (Part 2) w/ IAC's Barry Diller
Dec 13, 2017
Infinite Learner (Part I) w/ IAC's Barry Diller
Dec 06, 2017
Learn From Every 'No' w/ Bevel Razor's Tristan Walker
Nov 29, 2017
The Big Pivot with Slack's Stewart Butterfield
Nov 15, 2017
Look sideways with Google / VMware’s Diane Greene
Nov 10, 2017
Escape the Competition w/ PayPal's Peter Thiel
Nov 08, 2017
BONUS: Seven Lesser Known Laws of Leadership
Aug 26, 2017
Let Fires Burn w/ Gixo's Selina Tobaccowala
Jul 19, 2017
The Next Silicon Valley Is...? W/ Endeavor's Linda Rottenberg
Jul 12, 2017
Bonus Episode: The Ten Commandments of Startup Success
Jul 05, 2017
BONUS: Uncut interview w/ Netflix's Reed Hastings
Jun 29, 2017
Netflix's Reed Hastings in Culture Shock
Jun 28, 2017
BONUS: Uncut Interview w/Nancy Lublin
Jun 15, 2017
Grit Happens w/Nancy Lublin
Jun 14, 2017
Google/Alphabet's Eric Schmidt in Innovation = Managed Chaos
Jun 07, 2017
BONUS: Uncut Interview w/ Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg
Jun 01, 2017
Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg in Lead, Lead Again
May 31, 2017
BONUS: Uncut interview w/ Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg
May 25, 2017
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg in Imperfect is Perfect
May 24, 2017
Beauty of A Bad Idea w/ Walker & Company's Tristan Walker
May 17, 2017
The Money Episode w/ Minted's Mariam Naficy
May 10, 2017
BONUS: Uncut Interview w/ Airbnb's Brian Chesky
May 04, 2017
Airbnb's Brian Chesky in Handcrafted
May 03, 2017
Coming Soon: Masters of Scale
Apr 18, 2017