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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, m ...
 
Sam Altman and the folks from Y Combinator offer up an amazing course in "How To Start A Startup" at Stanford. Course includes lectures from: Sam Altman, Dustin Moskovitz, Paul Graham, Adora Cheung, Peter Thiel, Alex Schultz, Kevin Hale, Marc Andreessen, Ron Conway, Ben Silbermann, Alfred Lin, Patrick and John Collison, Aaron Levie, Reid Hoffman, Keith Rabois, Ben Horowitz, Marissa Mayer, Hosian Rahman, Kirsty Nathoo, Carolynn Levy, and more
 
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show series
 
"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 Ke…
 
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…
 
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…
 
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. B…
 
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, bu…
 
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 …
 
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 …
 
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 certif…
 
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 John…
 
"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 businesse…
 
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 …
 
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 h…
 
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-p…
 
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 l…
 
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…
 
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 – t…
 
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 …
 
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,…
 
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 fr…
 
"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 s…
 
"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 pre…
 
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 w…
 
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 entrepreneu…
 
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…
 
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 …
 
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 f…
 
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 …
 
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 pl…
 
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 impac…
 
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…
 
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…
 
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 onl…
 
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, establishin…
 
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 favo…
 
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 …
 
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 entrepr…
 
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…
 
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 –…
 
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,…
 
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 a…
 
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 …
 
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 Val…
 
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 custo…
 
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 de…
 
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 lon…
 
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 op…
 
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…
 
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, 20…
 
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…
 
The secret to massive scale? Be a platform. Build a virtuous cycle where everyone wins, and you’ll emerge the biggest winner of all. This is what Tobi Lütke did when he built Shopify – and then opened it up to the world. Cameo appearances by: Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt (Google), Julia Hartz (Eventbrite), and Gustav Söderström (Spotify). Read a transc…
 
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