Podcast

How I Built This with Guy Raz

Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world's best known companies. How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists—and the movements they built.

Episodes

  • Briogeo: Nancy Twine

    Aug 10 2020

    In 2010, a tragic personal event changed the trajectory of Nancy Twine's life. Suddenly, her promising job on the trading floor at Goldman Sachs no longer seemed fulfilling; she wanted something more. Drawing inspiration from the homemade hair treatments she used to make with her mom, Nancy decided to create a line of shampoos and conditioners that catered to all textures of hair without using harmful additives. But as an African American entrepreneur pitching beauty products to white, male inve...more

  • How I Built Resilience: Jessie Woolley-Wilson of DreamBox

    Aug 08 2020

    Guy speaks with Jessie Woolley-Wilson, CEO of DreamBox, an online math learning program for K-8 students. The platform has added two million new users during the lockdown, but that rapid growth has created "stretch marks" and new challenges for leadership. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating turbulent times.

  • How I Built Resilience: Alberto Perlman of Zumba

    Aug 06 2020

    Within weeks after the pandemic lockdown, the fitness program Zumba rapidly shifted gears and launched its own online workout platform. Co-founder Alberto Perlman says it's helping keep the community connected, fit, and—for instructors—employed. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating turbulent times.

  • Vita Coco: Michael Kirban

    Aug 03 2020

    So—no joke: two guys really do walk into a bar. While sharing a few drinks on a winter night in New York City, best friends Michael Kirban and Ira Liran met two young women from Brazil. That chance encounter eventually led to a business idea: to sell Brazilian coconut water in the US, as an alternative to Gatorade. In 2004, Michael and Ira launched Vita Coco, only to discover that another startup—Zico—was selling a nearly identical product. The two companies went to war, using the time-honored t...more

  • How I Built Resilience: Sarah Harden and Lauren Neustadter of Hello Sunshine

    Aug 01 2020

    Hello Sunshine—a production company founded by Reese Witherspoon—has created TV shows Little Fires Everywhere, The Morning Show, and Big Little Lies. Fresh off 18 Emmy nominations, Hello Sunshine's CEO Sarah Harden and Head of Television & Film Lauren Neustadter are hopeful they will find a way to begin filming again safely, despite COVID-19's impact on Hollywood this year. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepren...more

  • How I Built Resilience: Taha Bawa of Goodwall

    Jul 30 2020

    As COVID-19 continues to affect the global economy, college graduates are entering a job market reminiscent of the 2008 financial crisis. Taha Bawa is hoping to help with Goodwall, the social networking site he co-founded that links students to jobs and opportunities all around the world. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating turbulent times.

  • The Laundress: Lindsey Boyd

    Jul 27 2020

    In the late 1990s, while working in high-end fashion in NYC, Lindsey Boyd came to despise the weekly ritual of dry-cleaning; not only was it expensive, but it often did damage to her clothes. So she and college friend Gwen Whiting studied up on the science of dirty laundry to create The Laundress: a line of eco-friendly detergents gentle enough to be used at home on "dry-clean only" items like cashmere and silk. For years, the company operated on credit cards and faced hurdles like snoozing inve...more

  • How I Built Resilience: Jeremy Zimmer of United Talent Agency

    Jul 25 2020

    With live events canceled and sound stages shuttered, the entertainment industry has to look for new ways to create content while cutting costs. Guy talks with Jeremy Zimmer, CEO and co-founder of United Talent Agency, about how the industry is trying to meet the demands of the moment. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating turbulent times.

  • How I Built Resilience: Songe LaRon of Squire

    Jul 23 2020

    When Songe LaRon founded Squire in 2016, his mission was to use modern technology to help run barbershops, which are using his app in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. With a recent funding round of $34 million, Songe is hopeful about expanding Squire's reach, but first, he wants to help barbershops survive the COVID-19 pandemic. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating turbulent times.

  • La Colombe Coffee Roasters: Todd Carmichael and J.P. Iberti

    Jul 20 2020

    When Todd Carmichael and J.P. Iberti met at a grunge concert in Seattle in the 1980s, they were an unlikely pair. But they shared a love for great coffee, and the two friends began to dream about opening a cafe and premium roastery that would produce coffee at a higher quality than anything available in the U.S. at the time. A few years later, Todd and J.P. co-founded La Colombe Coffee Roasters in Philadelphia, and went on to play a leading role in the "third wave" of specialty coffee in the U.S...more

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with John Foley

    Jul 18 2020

    While upending many businesses, the pandemic has benefited fitness brands like Peloton, which saw a surge in demand in mid-March. Peloton founder John Foley talks with Guy about the unique challenges and opportunities posed by this moment. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating turbulent times.

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with Julia Hartz

    Jul 16 2020

    Founder Julia Hartz is reckoning with COVID-19's impact on the live events industry, which uses her company, Eventbrite, to sell tickets and market events. While her users are quickly pivoting to virtual events, Julia has been making tough decisions, which include laying off 45 percent of her staff. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating turbulent times.

  • Tatcha: Vicky Tsai

    Jul 13 2020

    In 2008, Vicky Tsai walked away from a startup job and set out to rediscover herself on a trip to Japan. In Kyoto, she had an unforgettable meeting with a geisha, and learned about the face creams and blotting papers that the traditional Japanese hostesses had used for centuries. But as she contemplated selling those products in the U.S., experts on both sides of the Pacific told her it would never work. Strapped for money and juggling multiple jobs, Vicky worked out of her parents' garage, pitc...more

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with Morgan DeBaun

    Jul 11 2020

    Morgan DeBaun founded Blavity as a media platform for Black millennials to convene and connect online. Today, amidst an economic crisis and a reawakening of concern over racial justice, Blavity's mission is both more urgent and more challenging. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating turbulent times.

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with Sharon Chuter

    Jul 09 2020

    In 2018, Sharon Chuter left her job at a legacy beauty brand to start UOMA Beauty, a cosmetics company that caters to a wide variety of skin tones. She recently launched a social media campaign called Pull Up or Shut Up, which asks beauty brands to publicize statistics on the diversity of their workforce. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating turbulent times.

  • Tempur-Pedic: Bobby Trussell (2018)

    Jul 06 2020

    At age 40, Bobby Trussell's promising career in horse racing hit a dead end. With bills to pay and a family to support, he stumbled across a curious product that turned into a lifeline: squishy-squashy memory foam. He jumped at the chance to distribute Swedish memory foam pillows and mattresses to Americans. Tempur-Pedic USA began by selling to chiropractors and specialty stores, providing one of the first alternatives to spring mattresses. Today, the company is one of the largest bedding provid...more

  • ClassPass: Payal Kadakia

    Jun 29 2020

    In the late 2000s, Payal Kadakia was working a corporate job and running an Indian dance company on the side. When a search for a ballet class yielded a confusing jumble of computer tabs, she had an idea: create the Open Table of the fitness industry – a search engine where users could sign up for classes in one streamlined place. When that idea failed, Payal pivoted multiple times, eventually landing on the subscription service ClassPass. Today, ClassPass connects users to hundreds of thousands...more

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with Melanie Perkins and Bill Creelman

    Jun 27 2020

    This week, the online design platform Canva closed a new round of funding, bringing the company's valuation to $6 billion. Founder Melanie Perkins is also focused on helping her employees work from home, while supporting more than 30 million users worldwide. Also: Spindrift can't sell its sparkling water in many restaurants that are closed because of COVID-19, but founder Bill Creelman has seen a significant uptick in grocery store and e-commerce sales. These conversations are excerpts from our ...more

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with Deval Patrick

    Jun 25 2020

    Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick talks to Guy about how the protests for racial justice have resonated with him personally, and how this moment can spark meaningful change for African Americans — in the world of business and beyond. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating turbulent times.

  • Ring: Jamie Siminoff

    Jun 22 2020

    Jamie Siminoff spent much of his twenties and thirties as a serial entrepreneur, launching three tech businesses you've probably never heard of. When he finally landed on a breakthrough idea, he didn't realize it at first; he was just trying to solve his own frustration of not being able to hear the doorbell while tinkering in his garage. His jerry-rigged solution evolved into Ring—a doorbell with a camera and microphone that connects to a smart-phone app. After a nail-biting appearance on Shark...more

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with Sadie Lincoln

    Jun 20 2020

    While 70 percent of Barre3's locations remain closed, founder Sadie Lincoln is noticing a surge in subscriptions for their online workout platform. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating turbulent times.

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with Cathy Hughes

    Jun 18 2020

    Cathy Hughes is the founder of Urban One, the largest African American-owned broadcast network with 54 radio stations around the United States. Cathy spoke with Guy about the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement and how Black entrepreneurs can meet the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating turbulent times.

  • Shake Shack: Danny Meyer

    Jun 15 2020

    Back in 2001, as part of an initiative to revitalize Madison Square Park, Danny Meyer set up a simple hot dog cart. At that time, he had been a leader in New York City's fine dining scene for years, and the hot dog cart was just a side project, something fun to do for the summer. But that one temporary hot dog cart led to Shake Shack, a fast casual restaurant chain known for its burgers, its namesake milkshakes, and its lines out the door. Today, Shake Shack is a publicly traded company with ove...more

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with Y-Vonne Hutchinson

    Jun 13 2020

    Y-Vonne Hutchinson is the founder of ReadySet, a consulting firm that helps companies make authentic commitments to diversity and inclusion. Y-Vonne spoke with Guy about the progress she's starting to see on these issues, and the substantial work that still needs to be done. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating turbulent times.

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with Kevin Hart

    Jun 11 2020

    Actor and comedian Kevin Hart speaks to Guy about the Black Lives Matter protests and offers advice to future activists, entertainers and entrepreneurs. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating turbulent times.

  • Supergoop!: Holly Thaggard

    Jun 08 2020

    In 2005, the trajectory of Holly Thaggard's life completely changed when a good friend of hers was diagnosed with skin cancer. Holly realized that most people weren't taking sunscreen seriously, so she sidelined her vocation as a harpist to dive headfirst into the unfamiliar world of SPF. After a false start trying to market her sunscreen to elementary schools, Holly pivoted to retail, hiring a publicist she could barely afford. She eventually got her products into Sephora, a success that helped...more

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with Troy Carter

    Jun 06 2020

    Troy Carter, the founder of Q&A and Atom Factory, speaks to Guy about the painful events of the past few months—and especially the past two weeks—and how they've affected the music industry and him personally. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating turbulent times.

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with Jenn Hyman

    Jun 04 2020

    As Rent the Runway faces the economic challenges of the pandemic, co-founder Jenn Hyman is focused on recovery and empowering women's lives through clothing. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating these turbulent times.

  • Sub Pop Records: Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman

    Jun 01 2020

    Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman were two rock-and-roll fans who met at exactly the right time and place: Seattle in the early 1980s, where a raw hybrid of metal and punk was finding its voice in dingy clubs. With borrowed money and bounced checks, the two friends started Sub Pop Records, the iconic label that launched Nirvana, defined the grunge movement, and helped transform Seattle into a mecca for music.

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with Alli Webb and Andy Puddicombe & Rich Pierson

    May 30 2020

    Alli Webb, co-founder of Drybar, talks with Guy about why she believes that investing time into fashion and beauty is still worthwhile, even though many of us aren't going out much. Founders of the meditation app Headspace, Andy Puddicombe and Rich Pierson, talk about taking their business remote, and give some tips on how to approach meditation, even with an unquiet mind. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entreprene...more

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with Kyle Connaughton and Daniel Humm

    May 28 2020

    Kyle Connaughton's restaurant has been impacted by wildfires, floods, and now, the COVID-19 pandemic. Kyle spoke with Guy about keeping SingleThread Farms afloat while giving back to his community with free meals. When Eleven Madison Park closed its doors on March 21, nobody expected chef Daniel Humm to turn the Michelin 3-star restaurant into a commissary kitchen. Daniel spoke to Guy about serving 5,000 meals daily and what the future of fine dining could look like in a post-pandemic world. The...more

  • reCAPTCHA and Duolingo: Luis von Ahn

    May 25 2020

    In 2000, Luis von Ahn was starting his PhD in computer science when he attended a talk and happened to learn about one of Yahoo's biggest problems: automated bots were signing up for millions of free Yahoo email accounts, and generating tons of spam. Luis' idea to solve this problem became CAPTCHA, the squiggly letters we type into a website to prove we're human. He gave away that idea for free, but years later, that same idea had evolved into a new way to monetize language learning on the web, ...more

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with Sarah LaFleur

    May 23 2020

    When Sarah LaFleur started M.M.LaFleur, she wanted to help women dress efficiently and comfortably for the office. Now that most of her customers are working from home, Sarah has to rethink her brand and her marketing to stay relevant. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating these turbulent times.

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with Tony Xu and Marcia Kilgore

    May 21 2020

    When Tony Xu started DoorDash in 2013, he wanted to help local restaurants stay afloat by introducing them to online delivery. Today, his quest remains the same, now that DoorDash has become an essential business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Marcia Kilgore's footwear brand, FitFlop, is experiencing a downturn in sales as retail stores stay closed. However, Beauty Pie – her direct-to-consumer cosmetics brand – is thriving as the beauty industry goes digital. These conversations are excerpts from...more

  • Jo Loves: Jo Malone CBE

    May 18 2020

    As a girl in 1970s London, Jo Malone learned how to make face creams by going to work with her mom at a private skin care clinic. By the time she was in her 20's, Jo was running her own skin care and cosmetics business, which eventually grew to include bath oils, scented candles, and fragrances under the brand Jo Malone London. Jo sold the brand to Estée Lauder in 1999 and then left the business after a life-changing diagnosis. She now has a fragrance company called Jo Loves, where she innovates...more

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with Tobias Lütke and Jon Stein

    May 16 2020

    When Tobias Lütke started Shopify, he wanted to empower merchants to start small and build resilience. Tobi spoke with Guy about the relevance of those principles in 2020, as he explains the rise of Shopify sign-ups during the pandemic. Jon Stein spoke with Guy about starting Betterment in the wake of the 2008 recession, and why this economic downturn could be the perfect time to start a company. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with...more

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with Samin Nosrat and Alice Waters & Fanny Singer

    May 14 2020

    Samin Nosrat, the author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, talks with Guy about unintentionally writing the ultimate quarantine cookbook, and how she's been inspired by the camaraderie among fellow home cooks. Chez Panisse founder Alice Waters and her daughter Fanny Singer tell Guy some tips for growing a victory garden and helping local farmers stay in business. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they...more

  • Impossible Foods: Pat Brown

    May 11 2020

    When he was nearly 60, Pat Brown left a dream job to pursue an ambitious mission: to create delicious meat from plants. As a biochemist, he'd become alarmed at the destructive impact of meat production on the environment, so he set out to make a burger so juicy and flavorful that even meat-lovers would crave it. After some painstaking research, Pat's team created the Impossible Burger, and famous chefs started to feature it in their restaurants. In 2019, the Impossible Whopper launched at Burger...more

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with Stewart Butterfield and Steve Holmes

    May 09 2020

    Slack's co-founder Stewart Butterfield wonders what the future of work will look like for his 12 million customers. Springfree Trampoline's co-founder Steve Holmes says the company has seen a 300 percent increase in demand for its products. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating these turbulent times.

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with Christina Tosi and Gary Erickson & Kit Crawford

    May 07 2020

    Since March, only five of Milk Bar's 18 locations have been up and running, but founder Christina Tosi tells Guy she is determined to bring the joy of baking to the doorsteps of family, friends, and healthcare workers. Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford have donated more than 3 million Clif Bars to doctors and nurses during the COVID-19 crisis. They tell Guy about the importance of morale when running an essential business during a pandemic. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resi...more

  • Cotopaxi: Davis Smith

    May 04 2020

    By his mid-30's, Davis Smith had co-founded two businesses. The first ended well, but the second was such a disappointment that he wondered if he should even bother trying again. But he did. In 2014, he launched Cotopaxi, an outdoor gear company with two fluffy llamas as mascots and an expressed mission to do good in the world. The brand is now making tens of millions of dollars a year, and Davis hopes that the current pandemic will not slow its ambitions to grow and to give back generously.

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with José Andrés

    Apr 30 2020

    When chef José Andrés isn't running Michelin-starred restaurants, he's feeding the masses through World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit he founded that brings food to people during humanitarian crises. The COVID-19 crisis has shut down his restaurants indefinitely, but José is busier than ever leading the relief efforts of World Central Kitchen, which has served more than 3 million people to date. José talked to Guy as part of our How I Built Resilience series: weekly online conversations with foun...more

  • Fitbit: James Park

    Apr 27 2020

    In 2006, James Park had what he describes as a "lightning bolt" moment when he first used a Nintendo Wii. Fascinated by its motion-tracking controller, James wondered if you could take the technology out of the living room and into the streets. Three years later, he and co-founder Eric Friedman launched the Fitbit Tracker, which allowed users to track their steps and compare progress with others. Sales took off, and Fitbit dominated the wearables market until the Apple Watch came along, forcing ...more

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with Simon Sinek

    Apr 23 2020

    Each week, Guy is hosting online conversations with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating these turbulent times. Today's conversation is with Simon Sinek, whose books about business — including "Start with Why," and "The Infinite Game" — offer guidance to founders that is especially timely right now.

  • Brooklinen: Vicki and Rich Fulop

    Apr 20 2020

    On the first day of their Vegas vacation in 2012, Rich and Vicki Fulop sat down on their hotel bed and immediately had the same thought: "These sheets are really nice!" The fabric was the perfect blend of cool, crisp, and soft, but the sheets turned out to be way too expensive to buy. So, Vicki and Rich wondered if it was possible to make high-end linen at reasonable prices; linen that would appeal to a younger market, "not just our moms." After many stumbles, they built Brooklinen into a $100 m...more

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with David Neeleman and Tristan Walker

    Apr 16 2020

    Each week, Guy will be hosting brief online conversations with founders and members of the How I Built This community about how they're navigating these uncertain times. This past week, Guy spoke with two former guests: David Neeleman of JetBlue Airways, and Tristan Walker of Walker & Company. David described how Azul Airlines, his Brazil-based company, has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, and Tristan explained how he's innovating from home.

  • Sweetgreen: Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman

    Apr 13 2020

    Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman met at Georgetown University in 2003 and quickly bonded over their frustration at the lack of healthy food on campus. So during their senior year, along with a third friend, Nathaniel Ru, they decided to open a 500 square-foot restaurant serving fresh salads made with organic produce. They had no idea what they were doing and almost ran out of money five months in. But today, Sweetgreen has over 100 locations, and is using new technology to re-imagine the fast-c...more

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with Susan Griffin-Black

    Apr 09 2020

    Each week, Guy will be hosting brief online conversations with founders and members of the How I Built This community about how they're navigating these uncertain times. This past Friday, Guy spoke with Susan Griffin-Black, founder of EO Products. Susan's company has made a full pivot by only producing hand sanitizer and hand soap from their facilities in San Rafael, California. As she continues to run her business, Susan told Guy about protecting her employees while trying to make enough hand s...more

  • S'well: Sarah Kauss

    Apr 06 2020

    In 2009, Sarah Kauss had a well-paying job in real estate development, but she was itching to do something more. On a hike in Tucson with her mom, she got an idea for a business while swigging warm water from a metal thermos: why not design a water bottle that kept cold things cold and hot things hot, but was also beautiful to look at? Just six years after launch, S'well reportedly made $100 million; but today, Sarah is especially focused on how the brand can help eliminate plastic waste around ...more

  • How I Built Resilience: Live with Jeni Britton Bauer

    Apr 02 2020

    Each week, Guy will be hosting brief online conversations with founders and members of the How I Built This community about how they're navigating these uncertain times. This past Friday, Guy spoke with Jeni Britton Bauer, founder of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. Jeni's company battled a Listeria outbreak in 2015 that almost broke her business, but she bounced back stronger than ever and is confident her company will survive this crisis, too.

  • Sierra Nevada Brewing Company: Ken Grossman

    Mar 30 2020

    Ken Grossman was experimenting with beer before he was old enough to buy it. As a high school student in the late 1960s, he bought his first home brewing kit and mixed the ingredients in a bucket, hiding his early batches from his mother. About ten years later, before most Americans knew what craft beer was, Ken decided to build a brewery in Chico, California. With $50,000, a few piles of scrap metal and some hand-me-down dairy tanks, Ken and his partner built Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, and ...more

  • Ben & Jerry's: Ben Cohen And Jerry Greenfield (2017)

    Mar 23 2020

    In the mid-1970s two childhood friends, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield decided to open an ice cream shop in Burlington, Vermont. Their quirky little shop packaged and sold unusual flavors like Honey Coffee, Mocha Walnut, and Mint with Oreo Cookies. In 1981, the regional brand spread across the country after Time magazine called it the "best ice cream in America." Today, Ben & Jerry's is one of the top selling ice cream brands in the world. And, like the original founders, the company doesn't shy...more

  • Birchbox: Katia Beauchamp

    Mar 16 2020

    When Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna launched Birchbox from business school in 2010, they set out to disrupt the beauty industry by delivering monthly samples in a box. Even though people told them the idea would never work, Birchbox attracted hundreds of thousands of subscribers and enthusiastic buzz as a subscription pioneer. But the speedy success was overwhelming for Katia; over the years the company endured plenty of growing pains as it found its distinctive voice in the beauty industry. P...more

  • Live From The HIBT Summit: Stacy Madison of Stacy's Pita Chips

    Mar 12 2020

    Our ninth episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Stacy Madison, co-founder of Stacy's Pita Chips. In this live conversation with Guy, Stacy explains how pita chips became a passion--even though they didn't start out that way. We'll be releasing one more episode from the Summit in the next few weeks, so keep checking your podcast feed.

  • Stripe: Patrick and John Collison (2018)

    Mar 09 2020

    Brothers Patrick and John Collison founded and sold their first company before they turned 20. They created software to help eBay users manage inventory online, which set them on a path to help make e-commerce frictionless. Today, John and Patrick are the founders of Stripe, a software company that used just a few lines of code to power the payment system of companies like Lyft, Warby Parker, and Target. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Kirby Erdely, who saw a pro...more

  • Video Artist: Casey Neistat

    Mar 02 2020

    When Casey Neistat was a teenager, the odds were against him; he had dropped out of high school, was washing dishes to pay rent, and was a father by age 17. But he eventually scraped together enough money to buy a camera and an iMac, and began churning out short films that went viral even before YouTube took off. Despite having to start his career over several times – Casey Neistat became a brand name in social media and advertising, and is now one of the biggest names on YouTube, with an audien...more

  • Live From The HIBT Summit: Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

    Feb 27 2020

    Our eighth episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Jeni Britton Bauer, the founder of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. In this live conversation with Guy, Jeni talks about maintaining authenticity while growing her company, and how Columbus, Ohio played a key role in her company's success. We'll be releasing a few more episodes from the Summit, so keep checking your podcast feed.

  • Lululemon Athletica: Chip Wilson (2018)

    Feb 24 2020

    After noticing more and more people sign up for yoga in the late 1990s, Chip Wilson bet everything on an athletic apparel company aimed toward young professional women. What started as a small pop-up store in Vancouver eventually became the multibillion-dollar brand Lululemon Athletica, spawning a new fashion trend and forever changing what women wear at the gym. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Kate Westervelt who took an overwhelming experience and turned it in...more

  • Eventbrite: Julia Hartz

    Feb 17 2020

    In the early 2000s, Julia Hartz was helping develop TV shows for MTV and FX Networks, and seemed headed for a promising career in television. All of that changed in 2003 when she went to a wedding and found herself sitting next to a serial entrepreneur named Kevin. They started dating, and Julia eventually quit her job and joined Kevin in the Bay Area. In 2006 they married, and co-founded the online ticketing service Eventbrite out of a warehouse closet. 14 years after launch, Eventbrite is a pu...more

  • Live From The HIBT Summit: David Neeleman of JetBlue Airways

    Feb 13 2020

    Our seventh episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features David Neeleman, the founder of JetBlue Airways. In this live conversation with Guy, David talks about the benefits of having ADD, and why he thinks it's important to talk to the passengers on his airlines. We'll be releasing a few more episodes from the Summit, so keep checking your podcast feed.

  • Panera Bread/Au Bon Pain: Ron Shaich (2018)

    Feb 10 2020

    In the early 1980s, Ron Shaich bought a small, struggling Boston bakery chain called Au Bon Pain, and built it out to 250 locations nationwide. Ron then saw an opportunity to build something even bigger: Panera Bread. It was the start of "fast casual" – a new kind of eating experience, between fast food and restaurant dining. Today, Panera Bread has over 2,000 stores, and $5 billion in annual sales. PLUS, for our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Lisa Dalton, who turned a relat...more

  • M.M.LaFleur: Sarah LaFleur

    Feb 03 2020

    When she was working corporate jobs in New York City, Sarah LaFleur hated getting dressed in the morning; the choices in her closet felt overwhelming, many items didn't fit right or wore out too quickly. So in 2011 she launched a line of clothing for working women that would be simple, elegant, and well-tailored. She had no experience in fashion but partnered with a top-line designer, Miyako Nakamura, to create M.M.LaFleur. Today it's a multi-million dollar company with loyal customers from Capi...more

  • Live From The HIBT Summit: Stewart Butterfield

    Jan 30 2020

    Our sixth episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Stewart Butterfield, the co-founder of Flickr and Slack. Both companies emerged out of failure. In this live conversation with Guy, Stewart describes how he pivoted from two unsuccessful video games into two multi-million dollar brands. We'll be releasing a few more episodes from the HIBT Summit over the next few weeks, so keep checking your podcast feed.

  • Wikipedia: Jimmy Wales (2018)

    Jan 27 2020

    During the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, Jimmy Wales was running an internet search company. That's when he began to experiment with the idea of an online encyclopedia. In 2001, Wales launched Wikipedia, a website where thousands of community members could contribute, edit, and monitor content on just about anything. Today, the non-profit has stayed true to its open source roots and is one of the ten most visited websites in the world. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check bac...more

  • Happy Family Organics: Shazi Visram

    Jan 20 2020

    While she was a student at business school, Shazi Visram ran into an old friend-- a new mother of twins. The friend confided she felt like a bad mom because she had no time to make her kids healthy meals. That gave Shazi her initial idea: why not make organic pureed baby food, and sell it frozen instead of jarred? People told her she was crazy to take on Gerber, but she convinced dozens of friends and family to invest in Happy Baby. 15 years later, the brand is known as Happy Family Organics a...more

  • Spindrift: Bill Creelman

    Jan 13 2020

    Bill Creelman graduated from college in 1996 with a business plan — to sell smoked fish from Nantucket. But over time, that idea morphed unpredictably into a brand that sold cocktail seasonings and supplies. After selling that company to liquor giant Diageo, Bill wanted to stay in the beverage industry. As a way of kicking his Diet Coke habit, he started making sparkling water with a fresh squeeze of lemon or grapefruit. That deceptively simple idea grew into Spindrift, a beverage that came with...more

  • Live From The HIBT Summit: Marcia Kilgore

    Jan 09 2020

    Our fifth episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features serial entrepreneur Marcia Kilgore, founder of Bliss, FitFlop, BeautyPie and more. The animating question behind all of Marcia's business ideas is 'So What?'— if she can't answer it, she doesn't pursue it. We'll be releasing more episodes from the HIBT Summit over the next few weeks, so keep checking your podcast feed!

  • Dell Computers: Michael Dell (2018)

    Jan 06 2020

    Before it became fashionable to start a tech company in your dorm room, Michael Dell did exactly that. In 1983, he began selling upgrade kits for PC's out of his dorm at UT Austin. A few months later he dropped out of school to focus full time on the PC business. At age of 27, he became the youngest CEO to head a Fortune 500 company. Today, Dell has sold roughly 700 million computers. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Vanessa and Casey White, who turned their grand...more

  • Chicken Salad Chick: Stacy Brown (2018)

    Dec 30 2019

    For many of us, chicken salad is just another sandwich filling, but Stacy Brown turned it into a $75 million business. In 2007, she was a divorced mother of three looking for a way to make ends meet. So she started making chicken salad in her kitchen and selling it out of a basket, door-to-door. She eventually turned that home operation into Chicken Salad Chick, a chain that now has close to 150 locations in the U.S. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Ofer and Helen...more

  • Live From The HIBT Summit: Tariq Farid Of Edible Arrangements

    Dec 26 2019

    Our fourth episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Tariq Farid, founder of Edible Arrangements. In a live conversation with Guy, Tariq talks about flowers, fruit, and family—and how he wouldn't be where he is without the sacrifices and support of the people he loves the most. We'll be releasing more episodes from the Summit in the new year, so keep checking your podcast feed!

  • Steve Madden: Steve Madden (2018)

    Dec 23 2019

    Steve Madden fell in love with the shoe business in the 1970's, when he sold platform shoes at a neighborhood store in Long Island, New York; that was in high school. About 15 years later, he struck out on his own, designing and selling shoes with a high-end look at affordable prices. As his business—and his ambitions—began to grow, he got involved in a securities fraud scheme and wound up serving two and-a-half years in prison. In 2005, he returned to Steve Madden, where he helped the company g...more

  • Live From The HIBT Summit: Kevin Systrom & Mike Krieger Of Instagram

    Dec 19 2019

    Our third live episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, co-founders of Instagram. They talk to Guy about what they've been doing since they stepped down from the company, and whether they think social media can still help make a kinder world. In the new year, we'll release more episodes from the HIBT Summit, so keep checking your podcast feed!

  • Tate's Bake Shop: Kathleen King

    Dec 16 2019

    Kathleen King was 11 years old when she started baking cookies to sell at her family's farm stand on Long Island. After college, she opened a small bake shop, and eventually started selling her cookies to gourmet grocery stores in Manhattan. But after twenty years of running a small business, she wanted more time for herself. She brought in two partners to grow sales, but the partnership was a disaster – and after bitter lawsuits, Kathleen was forced to start over from scratch. 18 years later, T...more

  • Live From The HIBT Summit: Troy Carter

    Dec 12 2019

    Our second episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features founder and investor Troy Carter, who re-started his career in the music business after becoming Lady Gaga's manager. In a live conversation with Guy, he offers advice on staying hungry, being humble, and admitting when you don't know the answer. Every Thursday through the new year, we'll release new episodes from the HIBT Summit, so keep checking your podcast feed!

  • Minted: Mariam Naficy

    Dec 09 2019

    In 2000, Mariam Naficy sold her first company, an online cosmetics store called Eve.com, for $110 million. Several years later, she got the entrepreneurial itch once again: she founded Minted.com, an online stationery store that solicits designs from artists all over the world. Today Minted is one of the biggest crowdsourcing platforms on the Internet. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Christopher Rannefors who created BatBnB, a sleek wooden box that hangs on your...more

  • Live From The HIBT Summit: Sara Blakely Of Spanx

    Dec 05 2019

    Our first episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx. In front of a live audience, she tells Guy how she stayed confident in the earliest days of building the business, and why one day she still wound up sobbing on the floor of Office Depot. Every Thursday through the new year, we'll release new episodes from the HIBT Summit, so keep checking your podcast feed!

  • Live Episode! OtterBox: Curt Richardson

    Dec 02 2019

    In the 1980s and 90s, Curt Richardson started making simple plastic boxes in his garage in Fort Collins, Colorado. They were originally designed to keep small items dry while you're fishing or skiing, and Curt and his wife Nancy called them "Otter Boxes." But after the launch of the Blackberry and the iPod, Curt started tailoring the boxes to fit and protect the breakable devices – and OtterBox evolved from an outdoor goods supplier into a company tightly adhered to the tech industry. With the r...more

  • Outdoor Voices: Tyler Haney

    Nov 25 2019

    In 2013, Tyler Haney was a 24-year-old graduate of the Parsons School of Design in New York. One day on a jog, she realized that her workout outfits looked, and felt, like they were made for competitive athletes. Tyler envisioned a brand of athletic wear for more everyday activities, like walking the dog or hiking with friends. She launched Outdoor Voices and she got her two-piece "kit" — a crop top and leggings – into a few specialty boutiques. Soon afterward, her brand made it into J. Crew sto...more

  • Remembering Jake Burton Carpenter

    Nov 21 2019

    The founder of Burton Snowboards, Jake Burton Carpenter, has died. He was 65 years old. We are grateful that Jake shared his story with us in 2017 and we are republishing it as a tribute to his life and career in which he elevated snowboarding into an international sport. In 1977, 23-year-old Jake Carpenter set out to design a better version of the Snurfer, a stand-up sled he loved to ride as a teenager. Working by himself in a barn in Londonderry, Vermont, he sanded and whittled stacks of wood,...more

  • Crate & Barrel: Gordon Segal

    Nov 18 2019

    In 1962, Gordon Segal—with his wife Carole—opened a scrappy Chicago shop called Crate & Barrel. That store turned into a housewares empire that has shaped the way Americans furnish their homes. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Ashlin Cook, whose love for dogs inspired her to create Winnie Lou: a Colorado business that sells healthy dog treats.

  • Evite: Selina Tobaccowala

    Nov 11 2019

    At the height of the first dot-com boom, Selina Tobaccowala and college friend Al Lieb were determined to start a tech company. After a few false starts, they landed on the idea for Evite—an on-line invitation business that within its first year, attracted a million followers and $37 million in investment. When the tech bubble burst, Selina and Al were forced to lay off dozens of employees before selling Evite in 2001. But the company has survived to this day, and Selina remains a role model for...more

  • Live Episode! Luke's Lobster: Luke Holden and Ben Conniff

    Nov 07 2019

    Luke Holden grew up in Maine, working on lobster boats and in his father's lobster processing plant. But his parents pushed him to find a more stable career, so after college, he moved to New York and got a job in finance. One of the things he missed most about home was lobster rolls, so he decided to open his own lobster shack as a side project. Luke posted an ad on Craigslist looking for help, and linked up with Ben Conniff, a history major with a passion for food but no restaurant experience....more

  • FUBU: Daymond John

    Nov 04 2019

    Daymond John grew up during the 1980s in the heart of hip hop culture: Hollis, Queens. In his early 20s, he was working at Red Lobster and trying to figure out how to start a business. Eventually, he stumbled on the idea of making clothes for fans of rap music. In 1992, he started FUBU (For Us By Us) and began selling hats outside of a local mall. Three years later, FUBU was bringing in $350 million in sales. Today, he's a judge on Shark Tank, and a motivational speaker and author. PLUS in our p...more

  • LÄRABAR: Lara Merriken

    Oct 28 2019

    In 2000, Lara Merriken was 32, recently divorced, and without a job when she decided to make energy bars by mixing cherries, dates, and almonds in her Cuisinart. Eventually, she perfected the recipe and launched her company: LÄRABAR. After just two years, the company was bringing in millions in revenue. In 2008, she sold to General Mills, but stayed on to help grow LÄRABAR into one of the biggest energy bar brands in the U.S. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Gerry...more

  • Gimlet Media: Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber

    Oct 21 2019

    Alex Blumberg made his early career by helping build two of the most successful shows in radio and podcasting: Planet Money and This American Life. In 2014, convinced that podcasts could make money, he walked away from the safe umbrella of public media to start a new media company with co-founder Matt Lieber. Every doubt, triumph and humiliation of building the business was documented on the podcast Startup, which included the back-and-forth over how the company got its name: Gimlet. Many more s...more

  • Live Episode! Milk Bar: Christina Tosi

    Oct 14 2019

    For Christina Tosi, baking wasn't just a delicious childhood hobby – it was a daily creative outlet and a way to blow off steam. After college, she went to culinary school and honed her pastry technique at high-end restaurants in NYC. But she also craved the opportunity to make unfussy, nostalgic desserts like the ones she grew up eating. So in 2008, Christina opened her first Milk Bar bakery in the East Village, with the help of her mentor, Momofuku chef David Chang. Soon, people from around th...more

  • The Knot: Carley Roney & David Liu

    Oct 07 2019

    When Carley Roney and David Liu got married, they had a seat-of-the-pants celebration on a sweltering Washington rooftop. They never planned to go into the wedding business, but soon saw an opportunity in the market for a fresh approach to wedding planning. In 1996, they founded The Knot, a website with an irreverent attitude about "the big day." The Knot weathered the dot.com bust, a stock market meltdown, and eventually grew into the lifestyle brand XO Group, valued at $500 million. PLUS in ou...more

  • Live Episode! Walker & Company: Tristan Walker

    Sep 30 2019

    The very first time Tristan Walker shaved, he woke up the next morning with razor bumps all over his face. "I was like, what is this?" he remembers saying. "I am never shaving again—ever." He soon discovered that like him, many men of color were frustrated by the lack of shaving products for coarse or curly hair. Fifteen years after that first disastrous shave, and after countless meetings with doubtful investors, Tristan launched Bevel, a subscription shaving system built around a single-blade ...more

  • Headspace: Andy Puddicombe and Rich Pierson

    Sep 23 2019

    Andy Puddicombe is not your typical entrepreneur – in his early twenties, he gave away everything he owned to train as a Buddhist monk. But after ten years, he decided he wanted to bring the benefits of his meditation techniques to more people. While running a meditation clinic in London, Andy met Rich Pierson, who had burned out on his job at a high-powered London ad agency. Together, they founded Headspace in 2010. Nine years later, Headspace's guided meditation app has users in 190 countries ...more

  • Stitch Fix: Katrina Lake

    Sep 16 2019

    In 2010, Katrina Lake recruited 20 friends for an experiment: she wanted to see if she could choose clothes for them that accurately matched their style and personality. That idea sparked Stitch Fix, an online personal shopping service that aims to take the guesswork out of shopping. Today, it has about three million customers and brings in more than a billion dollars in annual revenue. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Justin Li, who created wearable equipment to k...more

  • Dippin' Dots: Curt Jones

    Sep 09 2019

    In the late 1980s, Curt Jones was working in a Kentucky lab, using liquid nitrogen to flash-freeze animal feed. He wondered if he could re-invigorate his favorite dessert by pouring droplets of ice cream into a vat of liquid nitrogen and – voila! – out came cold and creamy pellets that he soon branded Dippin' Dots. The novelty treat spread to fairs, stadiums and shopping malls, and eventually grew into a multi-million dollar brand. But a few years ago, Curt was forced to walk away after the comp...more

  • The Life Is Good Company: Bert and John Jacobs

    Sep 02 2019

    In the late 80s, brothers Bert and John Jacobs were living as nomads, traveling from college to college selling t-shirts out of their van. It wasn't a sustainable living – until one day, they created a new design. It was a simple sketch of a grinning face, with three words printed underneath: Life Is Good. The optimistic message was deeply personal to the brothers, who grew up in what they describe as a dysfunctional home – and it also resonated with customers, who started buying Life Is Good de...more

  • Aden + Anais: Raegan Moya-Jones

    Aug 26 2019

    Cotton muslin baby blankets are commonplace in Australia, where Raegan Moya-Jones grew up. But when she started a new life and family in NYC, she couldn't find them anywhere. So in 2006, she started the baby blanket company Aden + Anais, which now makes more than $100 million in annual revenue. We first ran this episode in 2017 – but about a year later, Raegan's role as leader and co-founder took a dramatic turn. She fills Guy in on what happened in this special updated episode. PLUS in our post...more

  • Stonyfield Yogurt: Gary Hirshberg

    Aug 19 2019

    In 1983, two hippie farmers decided to sell homemade organic yogurt to help raise money for their educational farm in New Hampshire. As the enterprise grew into a business, it faced one near-death experience after another, but it never quite died. In fact it grew — into one of the most popular yogurt brands in the US. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Carin Luna-Ostaseski, who became the first American woman to start a Scotch whisky company after she created her own...more

  • Serial Entrepreneur: Marcia Kilgore

    Aug 12 2019

    After high school, Marcia Kilgore moved to New York City with $300 in her pocket and no real plan. One step at a time, she became a successful serial entrepreneur. First, she used her high school bodybuilding experience to find work as a personal trainer. Then she taught herself to give facials, and eventually started her own spa and skincare line, Bliss. The spa became so popular that it was booked months in advance with a list of celebrity clientele. After selling her shares in Bliss, Marcia w...more

  • Shopify: Tobias Lütke

    Aug 05 2019

    In 2004, German programmer Tobias Lütke was living in Ottawa with his girlfriend. An avid snowboarder, he wanted to launch an online snowboard shop, but found the e-commerce software available at the time to be clunky and expensive. So he decided to write his own e-commerce software. After he launched his online snowboard business, called Snowdevil, other online merchants were so impressed with what he built that they started asking to license Tobi's software to run their own stores. Tobi and hi...more

  • Live Episode! Angie's BOOMCHICKAPOP: Angie & Dan Bastian

    Jul 29 2019

    Angie and Dan Bastian weren't trying to disrupt an industry or build a massive company – they just wanted to put aside some money for their kids' college fund. In 2001, Dan stumbled across an internet ad touting kettle corn as a lucrative side-business, so he and Angie decided to take the plunge, investing $10,000 in equipment. At first, they popped kettle corn in front of local supermarkets in the Twin Cities and at Minnesota Vikings games. Eventually, they moved indoors to Trader Joe's, Target...more

  • Dyson: James Dyson

    Jul 22 2019

    In 1979, James Dyson had an idea for a new vacuum cleaner — one that didn't use bags. It took him five years to perfect the design, building more than 5,000 prototypes in his backyard shed. He then tried to convince the big vacuum brands to license his invention, but most wouldn't even take his calls. Eventually, he started his own company. Today, Dyson is one of the best-selling vacuum brands in the world, and James Dyson is a billionaire. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," we check ...more

  • EO Products: Susan Griffin-Black & Brad Black

    Jul 15 2019

    In the early 1990s, Susan Griffin-Black was working for Esprit in San Francisco. On a business trip to London, she walked into a Covent Garden apothecary shop, picked up a bottle of lavender oil and took a whiff. The aroma — "like being in a beautiful garden" — literally changed her life. That was the inspiration to develop her own line of essential oil products. For 15 years, she and her husband and co-founder Brad Black barely scraped by, but the business eventually thrived. And though their m...more

  • Teach For America: Wendy Kopp

    Jul 08 2019

    In 1989, college senior Wendy Kopp was trying to figure out how to improve public education in the US. For her senior thesis, she proposed creating a national teaching corps that would recruit recent college grads to teach in needy schools. One year later, she launched the nonprofit, Teach for America. Today, TFA has close to 60,000 alumni and continues to place thousands of teachers across the country. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with 19-year-old CEO Abby Kircher ...more

  • Dave's Killer Bread: Dave Dahl

    Jul 01 2019

    Dave Dahl's entrepreneurial journey began in prison. In 1987, he was addicted to drugs and incarcerated for home burglary. For 15 years he bounced from one sentence to the next. But in the mid-2000s, Dave returned to his family bakery where he was inspired to make bread – organic, nutty, and slightly sweet. He sold the loaves at farmers markets and shared his story of recovery on the package – a branding decision that attracted fans and media attention. In 2015, the Dahl family sold the business...more

  • Yelp: Jeremy Stoppelman

    Jun 24 2019

    In 2004, two former Paypal engineers, Jeremy Stoppelman and Russ Simmons, were spit-balling new internet ideas. Out of their brainstorm came a site where you would email your friends asking for local business recommendations. The launch was a flop, but they discovered that people seemed to enjoy writing reviews not just for friends, but for the general public. Fifteen years later, Yelp is a publicly traded company with more than 4,000 employees and over 140 million monthly visitors. PLUS in our ...more

  • Chesapeake Bay Candle: Mei Xu

    Jun 17 2019

    Twenty-five years ago, after Mei Xu emigrated from China to the U.S., she loved going to Bloomingdale's to gaze at their housewares. She eventually started making candles in her basement with Campbell's Soup cans, an experiment that led to the multi-million dollar company Chesapeake Bay Candle. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Dan Kurzrock and Jordan Schwartz, who turned up-cycled beer grain into a snack bar called ReGrained.

  • Allbirds: Tim Brown & Joey Zwillinger

    Jun 10 2019

    Growing up, Tim Brown discovered he was very good at two things: design and soccer. While playing professional soccer in New Zealand, he was turned off by the flashy logos on most athletic gear. He started making simple canvas shoes for his teammates, but soon discovered a better material: soft merino wool from his country's plentiful sheep. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, his future business partner Joey Zwillinger was frustrated that most companies lacked a genuine commitment to sus...more

  • Live Episode! Tofurky: Seth Tibbott

    Jun 03 2019

    Seth Tibbott may be the only founder in the world who grew his business while living in a barn, a teepee, and a treehouse. His off-the-grid lifestyle helped him save money as he started to sell tempeh, a protein made of fermented soybeans. Throughout the 1980s he barely scraped by, but things took a turn in 1995, when he discovered a stuffed tofu roast made in Portland, Oregon. Knowing vegetarians had few options at Thanksgiving, Seth named the roast Tofurky and started selling it at co-ops in t...more

  • Stacy's Pita Chips: Stacy Madison

    May 27 2019

    In the 1990's, Stacy Madison and her boyfriend Mark Andrus were selling pita sandwiches from a converted hot dog cart in Boston. They decided to bake the leftover pita into chips, adding a dash of parmesan or cinnamon-sugar. At first they handed them out for free, but soon discovered that people were happy to pay for them. So they eventually decided to leave the sandwich cart behind and launch Stacy's Pita Chips. They hoped the brand might grow into a modest regional business—but it kept growing...more

  • Zappos: Tony Hsieh

    May 20 2019

    Computer scientist Tony Hsieh made millions off the dot-com boom. But he didn't make his mark until he built Zappos — a customer service company that "happens to sell shoes." Now Zappos is worth over a billion dollars and known for its completely unorthodox management style. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Mike Bolos and Jason Grohowski, who brought the office desk closer to the light by creating Deskview, a portable desk that attaches to a sheer window with a suc...more

  • Belkin International: Chet Pipkin

    May 13 2019

    Chet Pipkin was the kind of kid who loved to take things apart and put them back together. As a young man in the early 1980s, he started hanging out in mom-and-pop computer shops, where he realized he could meet a growing need by selling the cables that connect computers to printers. That simple idea became the main ingredient in Chet's secret sauce: instead of making his own computers, he would make the accessories needed to make them work. Belkin International eventually grew into a massive ma...more

  • Framebridge: Susan Tynan

    May 06 2019

    Susan Tynan's experience in the ephemeral e-market of LivingSocial made her want to start a business that she could touch and feel. After being charged $1600 to frame four posters at her local framing store, she decided to create a mail-order framing company that offers fewer designs at lower prices. Framebridge is now five years old and still feeling growing pains, but is slowly reshaping the rules of a rigid industry. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Len Testa, ...more

  • Live Episode! Peloton: John Foley

    Apr 29 2019

    John Foley started climbing the rungs of the corporate ladder at a young age, first as a fast food server and eventually as an e-commerce executive. Still, at 40, he couldn't climb out of bed fast enough to make it to his favorite spin class. John couldn't understand why there wasn't a way to bring the intensity and motivation of a boutique fitness class into the home. Having never worked in the exercise industry, he teamed up with a few friends to create a high-tech stationary bicycle called th...more

  • Bumble: Whitney Wolfe

    Apr 22 2019

    At age 22, Whitney Wolfe helped launch Tinder, one of the world's most popular dating apps. But a few years later, she left Tinder and filed a lawsuit against the company alleging sexual harassment. The ensuing attention from the media – and cyberbullying from strangers – prompted her to launch Bumble, a dating app where women make the first move. Today, the Bumble app has been downloaded close to 30 million times. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Michael Dixon, wh...more

  • Men's Wearhouse: George Zimmer

    Apr 15 2019

    In 1970, George Zimmer was a college graduate with no real job prospects and little direction. That's when his father, an executive at a boy's clothing company, asked him to go on an important business trip to Asia. It was that trip that propelled him into the world of men's apparel. In 1973, the first Men's Wearhouse opened in Houston with little fanfare. But by the mid-80s, George Zimmer managed to carve out a distinct niche in the market – a place where men could buy a good quality suit, at "...more

  • Chez Panisse: Alice Waters

    Apr 08 2019

    In the 1960s, Alice Waters studied abroad in France – and discovered a culinary world far from the processed food popular in America. When she returned to California, she tried to find restaurants to recreate her experiences abroad, but she couldn't. In 1971, she opened a small restaurant in Berkeley called Chez Panisse, where she focused on serving fresh, local ingredients. Just a few years later, Chez Panisse was named one of the best restaurants in America, and became one of the hottest locat...more

  • Springfree Trampoline: Keith Alexander & Steve Holmes

    Apr 01 2019

    In the late 1980s, a New Zealand engineer named Keith Alexander wanted to buy a trampoline for his kids. After his wife said trampolines were too dangerous, Keith set out to design his own — a safer trampoline, without metal springs. He tinkered with and perfected the design over the course of a decade. But he was daunted by the challenge of bringing his invention to market — and he almost gave up. At that point Steve Holmes, a Canadian businessman, bought the patent to Keith's trampoline, and t...more

  • Compaq Computers: Rod Canion

    Mar 25 2019

    In 1981, engineer Rod Canion left Texas Instruments and co-founded Compaq, which created the first IBM-compatible personal computer. This opened the door to an entire industry of PCs that could run the same software. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," we check back in with Danica Lause, who turned a knitting hobby into Peekaboos Ponytail Hats: knit caps with strategically placed holes for a ponytail or bun. (Original broadcast date: May 22, 2017).

  • Away: Jen Rubio

    Mar 18 2019

    In early 2015, Jen Rubio was racing through an airport to catch a flight when her suitcase broke, leaving a trail of clothing behind her. She tried to replace it with a stylish, durable, affordable suitcase — but she couldn't find one. So she decided to create her own. In less than a year, Jen and her co-founder Steph Korey raised $2.5 million to build their dream travel brand: a line of sleek, direct-to-consumer suitcases simply called Away. Jen's hunch that the brand would emotionally resonate...more

  • Logic: Logic & Chris Zarou

    Mar 11 2019

    In 2010, Logic the rapper, born as Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, released his first official mixtape titled "Young, Broke & Infamous." At 20 years old, Logic certainly was young and broke, and while crashing on a friend's couch, he poured himself into his music. Logic's career could have fizzled if it wasn't for Chris Zarou, a young college athlete-turned-manager who had no more experience in the music business than Logic. Undeterred, the two decided to work together, continuing to use free music a...more

  • Squarespace: Anthony Casalena

    Mar 04 2019

    Like many classic technology stories, Squarespace started in a college dorm room. In 2003, 21-year-old Anthony Casalena created a website-building tool for himself. But after hearing some positive feedback from friends, he decided to put the tool online and start a business. For years, Anthony ran Squarespace almost entirely on his own but the stress took a toll and he reached the limits of what he could accomplish by himself. The journey to hiring a staff and scaling the company had its own set...more

  • Eileen Fisher: Eileen Fisher

    Feb 25 2019

    In 1983, Eileen Fisher signed up for a fashion trade show with no experience, no garments, no patterns or sketches – nothing but a few ideas for a women's clothing line focused on simplicity. Within three weeks, she came up with 12 pieces, a logo, and a name: Eileen Fisher. Today, the Eileen Fisher brand is still known for its elegant and minimalist designs, but it has grown to more than 60 locations and makes over $300 million in annual revenue. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we ...more

  • Burt's Bees: Roxanne Quimby

    Feb 18 2019

    In the 1970s, Roxanne Quimby was trying to live a simpler life – one that rejected the pursuit of material comforts. She moved to Maine, built a cabin in the woods, and lived off the grid. By the mid-80s, she met a recluse beekeeper named Burt Shavitz and offered to help him tend to his bees. As partners, Roxanne and Burt soon began selling their "Pure Maine Honey" at local markets, which evolved into candles made out of beeswax, and eventually lip balm and skin care products. Today Burt's Bees ...more

  • TOMS: Blake Mycoskie

    Feb 11 2019

    Blake Mycoskie started and sold four businesses before age 30. But only in Argentina did he discover the idea he'd want to pursue long term. After seeing a shoe drive for children, he came up with TOMS — part shoe business, part philanthropy. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," we check back in with Dillon Hill, who built Gamers Gift to help bedbound and disabled patients enjoy a wide range of places and experiences through virtual reality.

  • JetBlue Airways: David Neeleman

    Feb 04 2019

    In the mid-90s, David Neeleman wanted to launch a new airline. He had already co-created a regional airline out of Salt Lake City that was acquired by Southwest. And despite his admiration of Southwest's business model, Neeleman felt there was a market for a different kind of budget airline. He envisioned flights to cities other budget airlines avoided and excellent customer service, with high-tech amenities. In 2000, he launched JetBlue and in its first year, the company flew over 1 million peo...more

  • Canva: Melanie Perkins

    Jan 28 2019

    When she was just 19 years old, Melanie Perkins dreamt of transforming the graphic design and publishing industries. But she started small, launching a site to make yearbook design simpler and more collaborative. Her success with that first venture — and an unexpected meeting with a VC investor — eventually landed her the backing to pursue her original idea, and the chance to take on software industry titans like Adobe and Microsoft. Today, Melanie's online design platform Canva is valued at ov...more

  • Bonobos: Andy Dunn

    Jan 21 2019

    When Andy Dunn was in business school, his housemate Brian Spaly created a new type of men's pants: stylish, tailored trousers that fit well in both the hips and thighs. Together, they started the men's clothing company Bonobos, which became an instant hit due to the pants' signature flair and innovative e-commerce experience. But within a few years, Andy hit challenging roadblocks, including a struggle with depression and a falling-out with his co-founder and friend. Despite many moments of cri...more

  • Five Guys: Jerry Murrell

    Jan 14 2019

    Jerry Murrell's mother used to tell him, you can always make money if you know how to make a good burger. In 1986 — after failing at a number of business ideas — Murrell opened a tiny burger joint in Northern Virginia with his four sons. Five Guys now has more than 1,500 locations worldwide and is one of the fastest growing restaurant chains in America. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," we check back in with Hannah England, who turned a common parenting problem into Wash. It. Later. ...more

  • SoulCycle: Julie Rice & Elizabeth Cutler

    Jan 07 2019

    Before Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice met, they shared a common belief: New York City gyms didn't have the kind of exercise classes they craved, and each of them wanted to change that. A fitness instructor introduced them over lunch in 2005, and before the meal was done they were set on opening a stationary bike studio, with a chic and aspirational vibe. A few months later, the first SoulCycle opened in upper Manhattan. Today, SoulCycle has cultivated a near-tribal devotion among its clients, w...more

  • Remembering Herb Kelleher

    Jan 04 2019

    The co-founder and former CEO of Southwest Airlines, Herb Kelleher, has died. He was 87. We are grateful Herb shared his story with us in 2016. We are republishing it as a tribute to his life and career, in which he transformed the US airline industry. More than 50 years ago, competitors sued to keep Herb Kelleher's new airline grounded. After a 3-year court fight, the first plane took off from Dallas. Today Southwest Airlines is the country's largest domestic airline.

  • Kickstarter: Perry Chen

    Dec 31 2018

    In the early 2000s, Perry Chen was trying to put on a concert in New Orleans when he thought, what if fans could fund this in advance? His idea didn't work at the time, but he and his co-founders spent the next eight years refining the concept of crowdfunding creative projects. Today Kickstarter has funded over 155,000 projects worldwide. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," we check back in with Dustin Hogard who co-designed a survival belt that's full of tiny gadgets and thin enough t...more

  • The Chipmunks: Ross Bagdasarian Jr. & Janice Karman

    Dec 24 2018

    Years after his father created a hit singing group of anthropomorphic rodents called The Chipmunks, Ross Bagdasarian Jr. made it his mission to revive his dad's beloved characters. Over the last 40 years, Ross Jr. and his wife Janice have built The Chipmunks into a billion dollar media franchise – run out of their home in Santa Barbara, California. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," we check back in with Alexander Van Dewark, who created a portable mat that helps people mix cement wit...more

  • Lisa Price Of Carol's Daughter At The HIBT Summit

    Dec 20 2018

    It's our final episode in our series from this year's How I Built This Summit! Today, we're featuring Lisa Price of the beauty brand Carol's Daughter. When Lisa sat down with Guy Raz in October, she described how her business expanded well beyond her Brooklyn kitchen. As it grew, she decided "not to sit at the head of the table," and deferred to the experts. She later came to regret that.

  • Live Episode! Dollar Shave Club: Michael Dubin

    Dec 17 2018

    At the end of 2010, Michael Dubin was working in marketing when he met a guy named Mark Levine at a holiday party. Mark was looking for ideas to get rid of a massive pile of razors he had sitting in a California warehouse. Michael's spontaneous idea for an internet razor subscription service grew into Dollar Shave Club, and his background in improv helped him make a viral video to generate buzz for the new brand. Just five years after launch, Unilever acquired Dollar Shave Club for a reported $1...more

  • Stitch Fix's Katrina Lake At The HIBT Summit

    Dec 13 2018

    Today we have another live episode from the How I Built This Summit, featuring Katrina Lake of Stitch Fix. Katrina sat down with Guy Raz in front of a live audience in San Francisco in October to discuss building culture at a billion-dollar company, and why it's important – even for the CEO – to "rehire" yourself every year. We have one more episode from the Summit coming up next Thursday; stay tuned for Guy's conversation with Lisa Price of Carol's Daughter.

  • Burton Snowboards: Jake Carpenter

    Dec 10 2018

    In 1977, 23-year-old Jake Carpenter set out to design a better version of the Snurfer, a stand-up sled he loved to ride as a teenager. Working by himself in a barn in Londonderry, Vermont, he sanded and whittled stacks of wood, trying to create the perfect ride. He eventually helped launch an entirely new sport, while building the largest snowboard brand in the world. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," we check back in with Jane Och, who solved the problem of guacamole turning brown b...more

  • Airbnb's Joe Gebbia At The HIBT Summit

    Dec 06 2018

    Next in our series of episodes from the How I Built This Summit: Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb. Joe sat down with Guy Raz in front of a live audience in San Francisco, and talked about why he and his co-founders pursued their idea despite overwhelming feedback that it would never work. We're publishing another two episodes from the Summit – so keep checking your podcast feed every Thursday.

  • ActOne Group: Janice Bryant Howroyd

    Dec 03 2018

    In the late 1970s Janice Bryant Howroyd moved to Los Angeles and began temping as a secretary. She soon realized there were many other young people in situations similar to hers. So with $1,500 in her pocket, Janice rented an office in Beverly Hills and created the staffing company ACT-1. Today, ActOne Group is an international workforce management company, making Janice Bryant Howroyd the first African-American woman to own a billion-dollar business. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That,"...more

  • Lyft's John Zimmer At The HIBT Summit

    Nov 29 2018

    Next up in our series of episodes from the How I Built This Summit: John Zimmer, co-founder of Lyft. John sat down with Guy Raz in front of a live audience in San Francisco last month to talk about Lyft's visions for the future of transportation – and their fierce competition with Uber. Coming up next month: three more episodes from the Summit – so keep checking your podcast feed every Thursday.

  • Live Episode! Glossier: Emily Weiss

    Nov 26 2018

    In 2010, while working as a fashion assistant at Vogue, Emily Weiss started a beauty blog called Into The Gloss. She quickly attracted a following of devoted readers hooked on the blog's intimate snapshots of style makers' beauty routines. Within a few years, Emily realized her readers were hungry for a new beauty brand, one that listened to them directly, and understood their lives. Without any prior business experience, she won over investors and found the perfect chemist to create Glossier, a...more

  • Method's Adam Lowry And Eric Ryan At The HIBT Summit

    Nov 22 2018

    This episode from the How I Built This Summit features Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan, co-founders of Method cleaning products. Adam and Eric joined Guy Raz live on stage at the Summit in San Francisco, to talk the highs and lows of their business partnership. Every Thursday until mid-December, we'll be releasing more episodes from the Summit – so keep checking your podcast feed.

  • Whole Foods Market: John Mackey

    Nov 19 2018

    In 1978, college drop-out John Mackey scraped together $45,000 to open his first health food store, "Safer Way." A few years later he co-founded Whole Foods Market — and launched an organic food revolution that helped change the way Americans shop. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back in with Steve Humble, whose company Creative Home Engineering makes hidden secret passageways in people's homes ... just like in the movies. (Original broadcast date: May 15, 2017.)

  • Rent The Runway's Jenn Hyman At The HIBT Summit

    Nov 15 2018

    Our first episode from the How I Built This Summit features Jenn Hyman, co-founder of Rent The Runway, a designer clothing rental service that pulls in $100 million a year. When Jenn sat down with Guy Raz for a live interview at the Summit in San Francisco, she shared her long term strategy for launching the company in phases, plus her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. Every Thursday until mid-December, we'll be releasing episodes from the Summit – so keep checking your podcast feed.

  • DoorDash: Tony Xu

    Nov 12 2018

    In 2013, Tony Xu was brainstorming ideas for a business school project when he identified a problem he wanted to solve: food delivery. For most restaurants, it was too costly and inefficient, leaving most of the market to pizza and Chinese. Tony and his partners believed they could use technology to connect customers to drivers, who would deliver meals in every imaginable cuisine. That idea grew into DoorDash, a company that's now delivered over 100 million orders from over 200,000 restaurants a...more

  • Barre3: Sadie Lincoln

    Nov 05 2018

    Sadie Lincoln and her husband, Chris, had what seemed like the perfect life – well-paying jobs, a house in the Bay Area, two kids. But one day they decided to sell everything and start a new business called Barre3: a studio exercise program that blends ballet with pilates and yoga. Today, Barre3 has more than 100 studios across the country. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Alexander Harik, who turned his mom's recipe for fragrant Middle Eastern za'atar spread into ...more

  • Betterment: Jon Stein

    Oct 29 2018

    When Jon Stein realized he couldn't stand the sight of blood, he gave up the idea of becoming a doctor. Instead, he went into finance, but soon grew restless with "helping banks make more money." So he decided to build a business where he could help everyday investors make more money: an online service that would use a combination of algorithms and human advisers. Jon launched Betterment at a precarious time — shortly after the financial crash of 2008. But today, the company has roughly 13 billi...more

  • Tempur-Pedic: Bobby Trussell

    Oct 22 2018

    At age 40, Bobby Trussell's promising career in horse racing hit a dead end. With bills to pay and a family to support, he stumbled across a curious product that turned into a lifeline: squishy-squashy memory foam. He jumped at the chance to distribute Swedish memory foam pillows and mattresses to Americans. Tempur-Pedic USA began by selling to chiropractors and specialty stores, providing one of the first alternatives to spring mattresses. Today, the company is one of the largest bedding provid...more

  • Rent The Runway: Jenn Hyman

    Oct 15 2018

    Jenn Hyman got the idea for Rent the Runway in 2008, after she watched her sister overspend on a new dress rather than wear an old one to a party. Jenn and her business partner built a web site where women could rent designer dresses for a fraction of the retail price. As the company grew, they dealt with problems that many female entrepreneurs face, including patronizing investors and sexual harassment. Despite these challenges, Rent The Runway now rents dresses to nearly six million women and ...more

  • method: Adam Lowry & Eric Ryan

    Oct 08 2018

    In the late 1990s, Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan took on the notion that "green doesn't clean" by setting out to make soap that could clean a bathtub without harming the environment. Adam started experimenting with baking soda, vinegar, and scented oils, while Eric worked on making sleek bottles that looked good on a kitchen counter. Just a few years later, Adam and Eric were selling Method cleaning products in stores throughout the country, after a bold gamble got them on the shelves of Target. PLUS...more

  • Cisco Systems & Urban Decay: Sandy Lerner

    Oct 01 2018

    In the pre-Internet 1970's, Sandy Lerner was part of a loosely-knit group of programmers that was trying to get computers to talk to each other. Eventually, she and Len Bosack launched Cisco Systems, making the routing technology that helped forge the plumbing of the Internet. But when things turned sour at the company, she was forced to leave, giving her the chance to start something entirely new: an edgy line of cosmetics called Urban Decay. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how Jus...more

  • Power Rangers: Haim Saban

    Sep 24 2018

    As a refugee growing up in Tel Aviv, Haim Saban remembers not having enough money to eat. As an adult, he hustled his way into the entertainment business, writing theme songs for classic cartoons like Inspector Gadget and Heathcliff. But producing the mega-hit Mighty Morphin Power Rangers put him on track to becoming a billionaire media titan. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Chris Waters who created Constructed Adventures, elaborate scavenger hunts for all occasio...more

  • Bobbi Brown Cosmetics: Bobbi Brown

    Sep 17 2018

    Bobbi Brown started out as a makeup artist in New York City, but hated the gaudy color palette of the 1980s. She eventually shook up the industry by introducing "nude makeup" with neutral colors and a natural tone. In 1995, Estée Lauder acquired Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and Bobbi remained there for 22 years, until she realized the brand was no longer the one she had built. PLUS, for our postscript "How You Built That," how Emma Cohen and Miles Pepper saw a problem with plastics and developed a coll...more

  • Live Episode! New Belgium Brewing Company: Kim Jordan

    Sep 10 2018

    In 1991 newlyweds Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch took out a second mortgage on their home in Fort Collins, Colorado to start a craft brewery in their basement. Jeff had been inspired by the fruit and spice-infused beers he had tasted on a bike trip to Belgium, so they named their company New Belgium, and launched a beer with the whimsical name, Fat Tire. Today, New Belgium Brewing Company is one of the largest craft brewers in the U.S., and Kim Jordan remains one of the few women founders in a male...more

  • WeWork: Miguel McKelvey

    Sep 03 2018

    In 2007, architect Miguel McKelvey convinced his friend Adam Neumann to share an office space in Brooklyn. That was the beginning of WeWork: a shared workspace for startups and freelancers looking for an inspiring environment to do their work. Today, WeWork has created a "community of creators" valued at nearly $16 billion. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Kristel Gordon who invented a solution for easily stuffing a duvet back into its cover – it's called Duvaid. (...more

  • TRX: Randy Hetrick

    Aug 27 2018

    In 1997, Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick was deployed in Southeast Asia, where he was stationed in a remote warehouse for weeks with no way to exercise. So he grabbed an old jujitsu belt, threw it over a door, and started doing pull-ups. Today, TRX exercise straps dangle from the ceiling in gyms across the country and are standard workout gear for professional athletes. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with a husband-and-wife team who experimented with fruit, spices and vinegar...more

  • Angie's List: Angie Hicks

    Aug 20 2018

    In 1995, Angie Hicks spent months going door-to-door in Columbus, Ohio, trying to get people to sign up for a new home services referral business. Today, Angie's List is a household name, referring millions of members to plumbers, painters, and more. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Joel Crites who created the app Micro Fantasy, where fans can make predictions about what will happen next in a baseball game. (Original broadcast date: November 28, 2016)

  • Live Episode! RXBAR: Peter Rahal

    Aug 13 2018

    In 2013, Peter Rahal was obsessed with CrossFit, but noticed it didn't sell any snacks to align with its pro-paleo philosophy. So instead of joining his family's business, Rahal Foods, he recruited his friend Jared Smith to start making their own protein bar. They made the first RXBAR in a Cuisinart in Peter's parents' home in suburban Chicago. By 2016, RXBAR was doing over $36 million in sales, and in November 2017, the founders sold the company to Kellogg's for $600 million. Recorded live in C...more

  • Carol's Daughter: Lisa Price

    Aug 06 2018

    Lisa Price worked in television but had a passion for beauty products. At her mother's suggestion, she began selling her homemade moisturizer at a church flea market. Twenty years later, Carol's Daughter is one of the leading beauty brands catering to African-American women. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back in with Aiden Emilio who, along with her husband Jesse, created RexSpecs — UV-protecting goggles for dogs.

  • Slack & Flickr: Stewart Butterfield

    Jul 30 2018

    In the early 2000s, Stewart Butterfield tried to build a weird, massively multiplayer online game, but the venture failed. Instead, he and his co-founders used the technology they developed to create the photo-sharing site Flickr. After Flickr was acquired by Yahoo in 2005, Butterfield went back to the online game idea, only to fail again. But the office messaging platform Slack rose from the ashes of that second failure — a company which, today, is valued at over $5 billion. PLUS, for our posts...more

  • Drybar: Alli Webb

    Jul 23 2018

    A decade ago, full-time mom Alli Webb noticed a gap in the beauty market: there was no place that just focused on blow-drying hair. Now with more than 100 locations, Drybar is testament to Webb's motto: Focus on one thing and be the best at it. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back in with Chris Healy, a long-haired Southern Californian who co-founded The Longhairs and created special hair ties for guys.

  • Steve Madden: Steve Madden

    Jul 16 2018

    Steve Madden fell in love with the shoe business in the 1970's, when he sold platform shoes at a neighborhood store in Long Island, New York. That was in high school. About 15 years later, he struck out on his own, designing and selling shoes with a high-end look at affordable prices. As his business – and his ambitions — began to grow, he got involved in a securities fraud scheme and wound up serving two and-a-half years in prison. In 2005, he returned to Steve Madden, where he helped the comp...more

  • Lonely Planet: Maureen & Tony Wheeler

    Jul 09 2018

    In 1972, Maureen and Tony Wheeler bought a beat-up car and drove from London "as far east as we could go." They wound up in Australia, by way of Afghanistan, India and Thailand. Their notes on how to travel on a shoestring became a book, which grew into Lonely Planet — the largest travel guide publisher in the world. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," an update with Melanie Colón, a frustrated renter who created an easier way to communicate with noisy neighbors, called Apt App. (Origin...more

  • Chicken Salad Chick: Stacy Brown

    Jul 02 2018

    For many of us, chicken salad is just another sandwich filling, but Stacy Brown turned it into a $75 million business. In 2007, she was a divorced mother of three looking for a way to make ends meet. So she started making chicken salad in her kitchen and selling it out of a basket, door-to-door. She eventually turned that home operation into Chicken Salad Chick, and took her recipes to cities across the U.S. Today, Chicken Salad Chick is one of the fastest growing companies in the country. PLUS...more

  • Lyft: John Zimmer

    Jun 25 2018

    In 2006, John Zimmer was a college student and ride-hailing wasn't yet "a thing." But a class on green cities got him thinking about the glut of underused cars on the road. Eventually, he co-founded Lyft, a company that has helped make ride-hailing a fixture of American urban living. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," an update with Kyle Ewing, who almost set fire to his living room making Terraslate, a tough waterproof paper.

  • Lululemon Athletica: Chip Wilson

    Jun 18 2018

    After noticing more and more people sign up for yoga in the late 1990s, Chip Wilson bet everything on an athletic apparel company aimed toward young professional women. What started as a small pop-up store in Vancouver eventually became the multibillion-dollar brand Lululemon Athletica, spawning a new fashion trend and forever changing what women wear at the gym. PLUS, for our postscript "How You Built That," how Mike Sorentino developed the EyePatch Case, an iPhone case that cleans and protects...more

  • Honest Tea: Seth Goldman

    Jun 11 2018

    In 1997, after going for a long run, Seth Goldman was frustrated with the sugar-filled drinks at the corner market. So he brewed up a beverage in his kitchen, and turned it into Honest Tea. PLUS, for our postscript "How You Built That," we check back in with Jaya Iyer for an update on Svaha Inc., a unique apparel brand that focuses on STEM-themed clothing for babies, kids, and adults. (Original broadcast date: January 16, 2017)

  • Remembering Kate Spade

    Jun 05 2018

    We are incredibly saddened by the loss of the brilliant designer and entrepreneur Kate Spade. We are grateful she and her husband Andy Spade shared their story with us in 2017. The origins of the Kate Spade brand can be drawn back to a 1991 conversation at a Mexican restaurant, when Andy asked Kate, "What's missing in designer handbags?" Kate's answer was a simple modern-shaped handbag that launched the iconic fashion brand.

  • Minted: Mariam Naficy

    Jun 04 2018

    In 2000, Mariam Naficy sold her first company, an online cosmetics store called Eve.com, for $110 million. Several years later, she got the entrepreneurial itch once again: she founded Minted, an online stationery store that solicits designs from artists all over the world. Today Minted is one of the biggest crowdsourcing platforms on the Internet. PLUS for our postscript, "How You Built That," how Vanessa and Casey White turned their grandfather's pierogi recipe into Jaju Pierogi.

  • Lady Gaga & Atom Factory: Troy Carter

    May 28 2018

    As a kid, Troy Carter dreamed of being a rapper, but soon discovered he was a better manager than a musician. He took Lady Gaga from obscurity to stardom – helping shape both her music and her brand. Then he turned his gift for spotting talent to spotting investment opportunities with his company Atom Factory. PLUS, for our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Robyn Gerber for an update on Parkarr, a mobile app that helps drivers find street-parking.

  • Bob's Red Mill: Bob Moore

    May 21 2018

    In the 1960s, Bob Moore read a book about an old grain mill and was inspired to start his own. Using giant quartz stones from the 19th century, he made dozens of different cereals and flours, positioning his company at the forefront of the health food boom. Today, Bob's Red Mill has grown into a $100 million business – and at nearly 90, Bob goes to work at the mill every day. PLUS, for our postscript, "How You Built That," how Mike Bolos and Jason Grohowski created the portable desk, Deskview.

  • Real Estate Mogul: Barbara Corcoran

    May 14 2018

    Barbara Corcoran grew up in a working-class Irish Catholic family in Jersey – with nine brothers and sisters. But she used her charisma to conquer the streets of Manhattan and build the real estate company, The Corcoran Group. She then reinvented herself as a shark – on Shark Tank. PLUS, for our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Aryel Rivero and Vanessa Clavijo for an update on their business, Gift Wrap My Face, which designs and prints custom gift wrapping featuring the faces ...more

  • Stripe: Patrick and John Collison

    May 07 2018

    Brothers Patrick and John Collison founded and sold their first company before they turned 20. They created software to help eBay users manage inventory online, which set them on a path to help make e-commerce frictionless. Today, John and Patrick are the founders of Stripe, a software company that uses just a few lines of code to power the payment system of companies like Lyft, Warby Parker and Target. Plus, for our postscript "How You Built That," how Robert Armstrong turned his grandma's cook...more

  • Panera Bread/Au Bon Pain: Ron Shaich

    Apr 30 2018

    In the early 1980s, Ron Shaich bought a small, struggling Boston bakery chain called Au Bon Pain, and built it out to 250 locations nationwide. Ron then saw an opportunity to build something even bigger: Panera Bread. It was the start of "fast casual" – a new kind of eating experience, between fast food and restaurant dining. Today, Panera Bread has over 2,000 stores, and $5 billion in annual sales. Plus, for our postscript "How You Built That," how Tyson Walters got so tired of his St. Bernard ...more

  • Dermalogica: Jane Wurwand

    Apr 23 2018

    Jane Wurwand moved to Los Angeles with a suitcase and a beauty school diploma. She started what would become Dermalogica, an international beauty empire that set the standard for skin care. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Nick Gilson for an update on his company, Gilson Snowboards, a snowboard & ski company based in Pennsylvania. (Original broadcast date: October 24, 2016)

  • Wayfair: Niraj Shah & Steve Conine

    Apr 16 2018

    After selling their first small business and shuttering their second, former college roommates Niraj Shah and Steve Conine thought about getting "normal" jobs. But in the early 2000s, they stumbled across an unexpected trend: people were buying furniture online to get a wider selection. Within a few years, Niraj and Steve launched 250 different websites, selling everything from barstools to birdhouses. Eventually, they consolidated these sites into one giant brand: Wayfair. The company now carri...more

  • FUBU: Daymond John

    Apr 09 2018

    Daymond John grew up during the 1980s in the heart of hip hop culture: Hollis, Queens. In his early 20s, he was working at Red Lobster and trying to figure out how to start a business. Eventually, he stumbled on the idea of making clothes for fans of rap music. In 1992, he started FUBU (For Us By Us) and began selling hats outside of a local mall. Three years later, FUBU was bringing in $350 million in sales. Today, he's a judge on Shark Tank, and a motivational speaker and author. Plus, for our...more

  • Stitch Fix: Katrina Lake

    Apr 02 2018

    In 2010, Katrina Lake recruited 20 friends for an experiment: she wanted to see if she could choose clothes for them that accurately matched their style and personality. That idea sparked Stitch Fix, an online personal shopping service that aims to take the guesswork out of shopping. Today, it has over two million customers and brings in nearly a billion dollars in annual revenue. Plus, for our postscript "How You Built That", how Brian Sonia-Wallace built "Rent Poet" — a poem-on-demand service ...more

  • Atari & Chuck E. Cheese's: Nolan Bushnell

    Mar 26 2018

    Before he turned 40, Nolan Bushnell founded two brands that permanently shaped the way Americans amuse themselves: the iconic video game system Atari, and the frenetic family restaurant Chuck E. Cheese's. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," an update on H2OPS, a non-alcoholic take on craft-brewed – a fragrant sparkling water made with hops. (Original broadcast date: February 27, 2017)

  • LÄRABAR: Lara Merriken

    Mar 19 2018

    In 2000, Lara Merriken was 32, recently divorced, and without a job when she decided to make energy bars by mixing cherries, dates, and almonds in her Cuisinart. Eventually, she perfected the recipe and launched her company: LÄRABAR. After just two years, the company was bringing in millions in revenue. In 2008, she sold to General Mills, but stayed on to help grow LÄRABAR into one of the biggest energy bar brands in the U.S. Plus, for our postscript "How You Built That", how two brothers from G...more

  • The Knot: Carley Roney & David Liu

    Mar 12 2018

    When Carley Roney and David Liu got married, they had a seat-of-the-pants celebration on a sweltering Washington rooftop. They never planned to go into the wedding business, but soon saw an opportunity in the market for a fresh approach to wedding planning. In 1996, they founded The Knot, a website with an irreverent attitude about "the big day." The Knot weathered the dot.com bust, a stock market meltdown, and eventually grew into the lifestyle brand XO Group, valued at $500 million. PLUS for o...more

  • 1-800-GOT-JUNK?: Brian Scudamore

    Mar 05 2018

    Brian Scudamore didn't dream of a life hauling away other people's trash. But when he needed to pay for college, he bought a $700 pickup truck, painted his phone number on the side, and started hauling. Now 1-800-GOT-JUNK? makes close to $300 million in annual revenue. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," an update on Bloomerent, an online service that helps couples save wedding costs by letting them share flower arrangements on the same weekend. (Original broadcast date: April 17, 2017...more

  • Live Episode! Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams: Jeni Britton Bauer

    Feb 28 2018

    Even as a kid, Jeni Britton Bauer knew she was going to start a business one day. But she had no idea that her love for perfume would inspire her to start experimenting with ice cream. After years of hustling, she eventually launched Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, a company that now has more than 30 stores nationally and touts unique flavors like Brambleberry Crisp and Lemon Buttermilk. Recorded live in Columbus, Ohio.

  • Wikipedia: Jimmy Wales

    Feb 26 2018

    During the dot com boom of the late 1990s, Jimmy Wales was running an internet search company. That's when he began to experiment with the idea of an online encyclopedia. In 2001, Wales launched Wikipedia, a website where thousands of community members could contribute, edit, and monitor content on just about anything. Today, the non-profit has stayed true to its open source roots and is the fifth most visited website in the world. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how Florence Wetter...more

  • Warby Parker: Dave Gilboa & Neil Blumenthal

    Feb 19 2018

    In 2008, it was nearly impossible to buy a fashionable, affordable pair of glasses online. That simple frustration inspired the idea behind Warby Parker – and disrupted the eyewear industry. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," an update on Bellyak, a kayak where you lie on your belly and paddle with your hands. (Original broadcast date: December 26, 2016)

  • Dyson: James Dyson

    Feb 12 2018

    In 1979, James Dyson had an idea for a new vacuum cleaner — one that didn't use bags. It took him five years to perfect the design, building more than 5,000 prototypes in his backyard shed. He then tried to convince the big vacuum brands to license his invention, but most wouldn't even take his calls. Eventually, he started his own company. Today, Dyson is one of the best-selling vacuum brands in the world, and James Dyson is a billionaire. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," how There...more

  • Melissa & Doug: Melissa And Doug Bernstein

    Feb 05 2018

    Melissa and Doug Bernstein's first success was a wooden 'fuzzy puzzle' of farm animals. Today, Melissa & Doug makes over 2,000 kinds of toys and serves as an antidote to the rise of digital toys. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," an update on The Cut Buddy, a stencil device that helps you cut your own hair. (Original broadcast date: December 19, 2016)

  • Dell Computers: Michael Dell

    Jan 29 2018

    Before it became fashionable to start a tech company in your dorm room, Michael Dell did exactly that. In 1983, he began selling upgrade kits for PC's out of his dorm at UT Austin. A few months later he gave up his plan of being Pre-Med, and dropped out of school to focus on the PC business. At age of 27, he became the youngest CEO to head a Fortune 500 company. Today, Dell has sold more than 650 million computers. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," how Hannah England turned a common ...more

  • Serial Entrepreneur: Marcia Kilgore

    Jan 22 2018

    After high school, Marcia Kilgore moved to New York City with $300 in her pocket and no real plan. One step at a time, she became a successful serial entrepreneur. First, she used her high school bodybuilding experience to find work as a personal trainer. Then she taught herself to give facials, and eventually started her own spa and skincare line, Bliss. The spa became so popular that it was booked months in advance with a list of celebrity clientele. After selling her shares in Bliss, Marcia w...more

  • LinkedIn: Reid Hoffman

    Jan 15 2018

    In the early 1990s, Reid Hoffman had a vision for the future of the Internet: people would connect through social networks using their real names, and their online lives would be completely merged with their real ones. After several early attempts, he co-founded LinkedIn – a social network focused on jobs and careers. In 2016, the company sold to Microsoft for $26 billion dollars, helping make Hoffman one of the wealthiest and most influential figures in Silicon Valley. PLUS for our postscript "...more

  • Kate Spade: Kate & Andy Spade

    Jan 08 2018

    We're hard at work planning our next live show, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Kate Spade. A 1991 conversation at a Mexican restaurant led Kate & Andy Spade to ask, "What's missing in designer handbags?" Kate's answer was a simple modern-shaped handbag that launched the iconic fashion brand. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That", we check back with Dennis Darnell and his line of garbage can fly traps.

  • Clif Bar: Gary Erickson

    Jan 01 2018

    We're taking a break for the holidays, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Clif Bar. Gary Erickson asked his mom, "Can you make a cookie without butter, sugar or oil?" The result was an energy bar named after his dad — now one of the most popular energy bars in the U.S. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That", we check back with Alec Avedessian about Rareform, his line of bags made out of old highway billboards.

  • Live Episode! The Home Depot: Arthur Blank

    Dec 28 2017

    In 1978, Arthur Blank and his business partner Bernie Marcus were running a successful chain of hardware stores called Handy Dan – but then, they were unexpectedly fired. The next year, they conceived and launched a new kind of home improvement store that flopped on opening day, but went on to become one of the biggest private employers in the U.S. The Home Depot now earns annual revenue of almost $100 billion. Recorded live in Atlanta.

  • Patagonia: Yvon Chouinard

    Dec 25 2017

    We're taking a break for the holidays, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Patagonia. In 1973, Yvon Chouinard started the company to make climbing gear he couldn't find elsewhere. Over decades of growth, he has implemented a unique philosophy about business, leadership and profit. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That", we check back with Brett Johnson of Firedrops — cayenne pepper lozenges.

  • LearnVest: Alexa von Tobel

    Dec 18 2017

    When Alexa von Tobel was just 14, her father passed away unexpectedly, leaving her mother to manage the family's finances. The tragedy made Alexa determined to understand money – and help others plan for periods of uncertainty. In her mid-twenties, she founded LearnVest, a tool that simplifies financial planning and investing. Within three years, the company was providing support to millions of customers. In 2015, she sold LearnVest for a rumored $250 million. PLUS for our postscript "How You B...more

  • Live Episode! Black Entertainment Television: Robert Johnson

    Dec 14 2017

    In 1979, Robert Johnson was a lobbyist for the burgeoning cable industry. That's when he got an idea for a channel called Black Entertainment Television. He started small, just a few hours of programming a week. But by the 1990s BET had become a cultural touchstone. In 2001, he sold BET to Viacom for $2.3 billion, making him the first African-American billionaire in US history. Recorded live in Washington, D.C.

  • Tom's Of Maine: Tom Chappell

    Dec 11 2017

    In 1970, Tom Chappell took out a $5000 loan to launch a natural products company called Tom's of Maine. Working out of a warehouse in Kennebunk, Maine, he created soaps, shampoos, and toothpaste free from added chemicals, and sustainable for the environment. When he sold the company three decades later, Tom's of Maine had become one of the largest natural products brands in the world. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That", we check back with Paul Kaster, who two years ago started a compan...more

  • Zumba: Beto Perez & Alberto Perlman

    Dec 04 2017

    We're hard at work planning our upcoming live show, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Zumba. Zumba began as a mistake: aerobics teacher Beto Perez brought the wrong music to class, then improvised a dance routine to go with it. For his students, it was more fun than work — and it eventually grew into one of the biggest fitness brands in the world. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," how Alex McKenzie is hoping to upgrade the menu of your neighborhood ice cream truck by ...more

  • Framebridge: Susan Tynan

    Nov 27 2017

    Susan Tynan's experience in the ephemeral e-market of LivingSocial made her want to start a business that she could touch and feel. She got her idea after experiencing sticker shock at her local framing store: she was charged $1600 to frame four cheap posters and figured there had to be a better way. So she created a mail-order framing company that offers fewer designs at much lower prices. Framebridge is now three years old and still feeling growing pains, but is slowly reshaping the rules of a...more

  • Ben & Jerry's: Ben Cohen And Jerry Greenfield

    Nov 20 2017

    In the mid-1970s two childhood friends, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield decided to open an ice cream shop in Burlington, Vermont. Their quirky little shop packaged and sold unusual flavors like Honey Coffee, Mocha Walnut, and Mint with Oreo Cookies. In 1981, the regional brand spread across the country after Time magazine called it the "best ice cream in America." Today, Ben & Jerry's is one of the top selling ice cream brands in the world. And, like the original founders, the company doesn't shy...more

  • Instagram: Kevin Systrom & Mike Krieger

    Nov 13 2017

    We're hard at work planning our upcoming live shows, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Instagram. Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger launched their photo-sharing app with a server that crashed every other hour. Despite a chaotic start, it became one of the most popular apps in the world. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Dave Weiner of Priority Bicycles, a low-maintenance bicycle brand.

  • Eileen Fisher: Eileen Fisher

    Nov 06 2017

    In 1983, Eileen Fisher signed up for a fashion trade show with no experience, no garments, no patterns or sketches – nothing but a few ideas for a women's clothing line focused on simplicity. Within three weeks, she came up with 12 pieces, a logo, and a name: Eileen Fisher. Today, the Eileen Fisher brand is still known for its elegant and minimalist designs, but it has grown to more than 60 locations and makes over $300 million in annual revenue. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," how...more

  • Chipotle: Steve Ells

    Oct 30 2017

    In 1992, Steve Ells was a classically trained chef working in a high-end restaurant in San Francisco. But after eating a burrito at a local taqueria, he got an idea: to sell burritos and earn enough money to open his own gourmet restaurant. The first Chipotle opened in Denver the following year. Bringing his culinary training to taqueria-style service, Steve Ells helped transform the way we eat fast food. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," how Alexander Harik turned his mom's recipe f...more

  • Burton Snowboards: Jake Carpenter

    Oct 23 2017

    In 1977, 23-year-old Jake Carpenter set out to design a better version of the Snurfer, a stand-up sled he loved to ride as a teenager. Working by himself in a barn in Londonderry, Vermont, he sanded and whittled stacks of wood, trying to create the perfect ride. He eventually helped launch an entirely new sport, while building the largest snowboard brand in the world. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," how Jane Och solved the problem of guacamole turning brown, with a container that r...more

  • Bumble: Whitney Wolfe

    Oct 16 2017

    At age 22, Whitney Wolfe helped launch Tinder, one of the world's most popular dating apps. But a few years later, she left Tinder and filed a lawsuit against the company alleging sexual harassment. The ensuing attention from the media – and cyberbullying from strangers – prompted her to launch Bumble, a new kind of dating app where women make the first move. Today, the Bumble app has been downloaded more than 20 million times. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," how Michelle Innis inv...more

  • Teach For America: Wendy Kopp

    Oct 09 2017

    In 1989, college senior Wendy Kopp was trying to figure out how to improve American public schools. For her senior thesis, she proposed creating a national teaching corps that would recruit recent college grads to teach in underserved schools. One year later, she launched the nonprofit, Teach for America. Today, TFA has 50,000 alumni, a budget of nearly $300 million, and continues to place thousands of teachers across the country. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how a game of Secret...more

  • Stonyfield Yogurt: Gary Hirshberg

    Oct 02 2017

    In 1983, two hippie farmers decided to sell homemade organic yogurt to help raise money for their educational farm in New Hampshire. As the enterprise grew into a business, it faced one near-death experience after another, but it never quite died. In fact it grew — into one of the most popular yogurt brands in the US. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how Indiana Jones inspired Steve Humble to sell secret passageways for a living.

  • Live Episode! Starbucks: Howard Schultz

    Sep 28 2017

    During his first visit to Seattle in 1981, Howard Schultz walked into a little coffee bean shop called Starbucks and fell in love with it. A few years later, he bought the six-store chain for almost 4 million dollars, and began to transform it into a ubiquitous landmark, a "third place" between home and work. Today Starbucks is the third largest restaurant chain in the world, serving about 100 million people a week. Recorded live in Seattle.

  • Southwest Airlines: Herb Kelleher

    Sep 25 2017

    We're hard at work planning more live shows, so we bring you one of our favorites from last year: Southwest Airlines. In 1968, competitors sued to keep Herb Kelleher's new airline grounded. After a 3-year court fight, the first plane took off from Dallas. Today Southwest Airlines operates nearly 4,000 flights a day. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how Monica Mizrachi and her son Solomon built EzPacking, a family business selling packing cubes.

  • The Chipmunks: Ross Bagdasarian Jr. & Janice Karman

    Sep 18 2017

    Years after his father created a hit singing group of anthropomorphic rodents called The Chipmunks, Ross Bagdasarian Jr. made it his mission to revive his dad's beloved characters. Over the last 40 years, Ross Jr. and his wife Janice have built The Chipmunks into a billion dollar media franchise – run out of their home in Santa Barbara, California. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how Daniel Clark-Webster and his three friends came up with RompHim – a company specializing in male rom...more

  • Barre3: Sadie Lincoln

    Sep 11 2017

    Sadie Lincoln and her husband, Chris, had what seemed like the perfect life – well-paying jobs, a house in the Bay Area, two kids. But one day they decided to sell everything and start a new business called Barre3: a studio exercise program that blends ballet with pilates and yoga. Today, Barre3 has more than 100 studios across the country. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how a husband-and-wife team experimented with fruit, spices and vinegar and came up with a gourmet ketchup line ...more

  • VICE: Suroosh Alvi

    Sep 04 2017

    We're hard at work planning our upcoming live show, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: VICE. Suroosh Alvi was a recovering addict when he started a scrappy underground magazine in Montreal. It grew into a multi-billion dollar company that has shaken up the world of journalism. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Kent Sheridan of Voila Coffee, a company aiming to make instant coffee with the quality of a four-dollar pour over.

  • Live Episode! Reddit: Alexis Ohanian & Steve Huffman

    Aug 31 2017

    With $12,000 and a mascot named Snoo, two former college roommates designed a web site they hoped would become "the front page of the Internet." Today, despite growing pains, personal issues and persistent trolls, Reddit has over 300 million monthly users and is valued at 1.8 billion dollars. Recorded live in San Francisco.

  • Airbnb: Joe Gebbia

    Aug 28 2017

    We're hard at work planning our upcoming live show, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Airbnb. A chance encounter with a stranger gave Joe Gebbia an idea to help pay his rent. That idea grew into a company that now has more rooms than the biggest hotel chain in the world. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Michael Vennitti of TP Foam, a company that came up with a way to squelch the smell of trash.

  • Edible Arrangements: Tariq Farid

    Aug 21 2017

    When Tariq Farid was 12, he emigrated from Pakistan to the U.S. – and quickly found a job at a local flower shop. Eventually he opened his own shop, which eventually led to the crazy idea to make flower bouquets out of fruit. Edible Arrangements has now bloomed into a franchise of nearly 1300 locations with an annual revenue of $600 million. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how the Seattle-based clothing company, Five12, is making athletic wear out of used coffee grounds.

  • Radio One: Cathy Hughes

    Aug 14 2017

    We're hard at work planning our upcoming live show, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Radio One. As a kid, Cathy Hughes practiced her DJ routine while her siblings banged on the bathroom door. As an adult, she founded Radio One—now Urban One—the country's largest African-American owned broadcasting company. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Mike Butera, whose digital Instrument One raised a million dollars on Kickstarter.

  • Rent The Runway: Jenn Hyman

    Aug 07 2017

    Jenn Hyman got the idea for Rent the Runway in 2008, after she watched her sister overspend on a new dress rather than wear an old one to a party. Jenn and her business partner built a web site where women could rent designer dresses for a fraction of the retail price. As the company grew, they dealt with problems that many female entrepreneurs face, including patronizing investors and sexual harassment. Despite these challenges, Rent The Runway now rents dresses to nearly six million women and ...more

  • Kickstarter: Perry Chen

    Jul 31 2017

    In the early 2000s, Perry Chen was trying to put on a concert in New Orleans when he thought, what if fans could fund this in advance? His idea didn't work at the time, but he and his co-founders spent the next eight years refining the concept of crowd-funding creative projects. Today Kickstarter has funded over 125,000 projects worldwide. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how Kristel Gordon invented a solution for easily stuffing a duvet into its cover – it's called Duvaid.

  • Live Episode! BuzzFeed: Jonah Peretti

    Jul 27 2017

    In 2001, when most of us had no idea what it meant to "go viral," Jonah Peretti shared an email prank among his friends — and saw it spread to millions. That began his fascination with how information spreads, and set him on the path to launch two of the most powerful media organizations of the Internet age: The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed. Recorded live in New York City.

  • Samuel Adams: Jim Koch

    Jul 24 2017

    We're hard at work planning our upcoming live shows, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Samuel Adams. In 1984, Jim Koch felt suffocated by his cushy but boring corporate job. So he left, dusted off an old family beer recipe, started Sam Adams, and helped kickstart the craft beer movement in America. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Kaitlin Mogental who is making packaged snacks out of the leftover fruit and veggie pulp from LA juice bars.

  • Aden + Anais: Raegan Moya-Jones

    Jul 17 2017

    Cotton muslin baby blankets are commonplace in Australia, where Raegan Moya-Jones grew up. But when she started a new life and family in NYC, she couldn't find them anywhere. She was sure Americans would love muslin blankets as much as Australians. So in 2006, she started the baby blanket company Aden + Anais, which now makes more than $100 million in annual revenue. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how Sam Boyd created Guided Imports, a middleman business to help entrepreneurs find ...more

  • Rolling Stone: Jann Wenner

    Jul 10 2017

    After being involved in Berkeley's Free Speech Movement, Jann Wenner wanted to start a publication to capture the exploding counterculture scene of the 1960s. The result was Rolling Stone, a gritty music magazine that – for 50 years — has left an indelible mark on rock music and journalism. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how Cleveland resident Joel Crites created the app Micro Fantasy, a game where fans can make mini-predictions about what will happen next during a baseball game.

  • Spanx: Sara Blakely

    Jul 03 2017

    We're hard at work planning our upcoming live shows, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Spanx. At 27, Sara Blakely was selling fax machines and desperate to reinvent her life. So she came up with Spanx — hosiery that eliminates panty lines — and set to work building her business. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Chandra Arthur of the friend-matching app Friendish, and how it was recently featured on the show, Planet of the Apps.

  • TRX: Randy Hetrick

    Jun 26 2017

    In 1997, Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick was deployed in Southeast Asia, where he was stationed in a remote warehouse for weeks with no way to exercise. So he grabbed an old jujitsu belt, threw it over a door, and started doing pull-ups. Today, TRX exercise straps dangle from the ceiling in gyms across the country and are standard workout gear for professional athletes. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how Whitney Sokol created SproutFit — adjustable onesies and leggings that grow with your ...more

  • WeWork: Miguel McKelvey

    Jun 19 2017

    In 2007, architect Miguel McKelvey convinced his friend Adam Neumann to share an office space in Brooklyn. That was the beginning of WeWork: a shared workspace for startups and freelancers looking for an inspiring environment to do their work. Today, WeWork has created a "community of creators" valued at nearly $16 billion.

  • Carol's Daughter: Lisa Price

    Jun 12 2017

    Lisa Price worked in television but had a passion for beauty products. At her mother's suggestion, she began selling her homemade moisturizer at a church flea market. Twenty years later, Carol's Daughter is one of the leading beauty brands catering to African-American women. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how professional trumpet player Dan Gosling created a special lip balm for musicians called ChopSaver.

  • Five Guys: Jerry Murrell

    Jun 05 2017

    Jerry Murrell's mother used to tell him, you can always make money if you know how to make a good burger. In 1986 — after failing at a number of business ideas — Murrell opened a tiny burger joint in Northern Virginia with his four sons. Five Guys now has more than 1,400 locations worldwide and is one of the fastest growing restaurant chains in America. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how Aiden Emilio and her husband created RexSpecs — UV-protecting goggles for dogs.

  • TOMS: Blake Mycoskie

    May 29 2017

    Blake Mycoskie started and sold four businesses before age 30. But only in Argentina did he discover the idea he'd want to pursue long term. After seeing a shoe drive for children, he came up with TOMS — part shoe business, part philanthropy. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how a long-haired Southern Californian, Chris Healy, co-founded The Longhairs and created special hair ties for guys.

  • Compaq Computers: Rod Canion

    May 22 2017

    In 1981, engineer Rod Canion left Texas Instruments and co-founded Compaq, which created the first IBM-compatible personal computer. This opened the door to an entire industry of PCs that could run the same software. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how frustrated renter Melanie Colón created an easier way to communicate with noisy neighbors, called Apt App.

  • Whole Foods Market: John Mackey

    May 15 2017

    In 1978, college drop-out John Mackey scraped together $45,000 to open his first health food store, "Safer Way." A few years later he co-founded Whole Foods Market — and launched an organic food revolution that helped change the way Americans shop. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how Kyle Ewing created waterproof paper through his company TerraSlate.

  • Lonely Planet: Maureen & Tony Wheeler

    May 08 2017

    In 1972, Maureen and Tony Wheeler bought a beat-up car and drove from London "as far east as we could go." They wound up in Australia, by way of Afghanistan, India and Thailand. Their notes on how to travel on a shoestring became a book, which grew into Lonely Planet — the largest travel guide publisher in the world. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how 15-year-old Michael Mendicino, with help from his mom, took a teenage trend and turned it into a board game called Bottle Flip.

  • Lady Gaga & Atom Factory: Troy Carter

    May 01 2017

    As a kid, Troy Carter dreamed of being a rapper, but soon discovered he was a better manager than a musician. He took Lady Gaga from obscurity to stardom – helping shape both her music and her brand. Then he turned his gift for spotting talent to spotting investment opportunities with his company Atom Factory.

  • Real Estate Mogul: Barbara Corcoran

    Apr 24 2017

    Barbara Corcoran grew up in a working-class Irish Catholic family in Jersey – with nine brothers and sisters. But she used her charisma to conquer the streets of Manhattan and build the real estate company, The Corcoran Group. She then reinvented herself as a shark – on Shark Tank.

  • 1-800-GOT-JUNK?: Brian Scudamore

    Apr 17 2017

    Brian Scudamore didn't dream of a life hauling away other people's trash. But when he needed to pay for college, he bought a $700 pickup truck, painted his phone number on the side, and started hauling. Now 1-800-GOT-JUNK? makes over $200 million in annual revenue.

  • Instacart: Apoorva Mehta

    Apr 10 2017

    App developer Apoorva Mehta almost gave up on being an entrepreneur until he figured out what he really wanted to do: find a hassle-free way to buy groceries. Five years after launch, the grocery delivery app Instacart is valued at $3 billion.

  • AOL: Steve Case

    Apr 03 2017

    When Steve Case started out in the tech business in the mid-80s, the idea of the internet — as we think of it today — didn't exist. But with AOL, Case saw an opportunity to connect millions of people, through chat rooms, news updates, and the iconic greeting, "You've Got Mail."

  • Power Rangers: Haim Saban

    Mar 27 2017

    As a refugee growing up in Tel Aviv, Haim Saban remembers not having enough money to eat. As an adult, he hustled his way into the entertainment business, writing theme songs for classic cartoons like Inspector Gadget and Heathcliff. But producing the mega-hit Mighty Morphin Power Rangers put him on track to becoming a billionaire media titan.

  • Kendra Scott: Kendra Scott

    Mar 20 2017

    Ever since she was a little girl playing dress-up in her aunt's closet, Kendra Scott loved fashion. Her first business was a hat shop, which she started at 19 – it failed. A few years later, she started a jewelry business out of her spare bedroom. Today the company is reportedly valued at more than a billion dollars.

  • 5-Hour Energy: Manoj Bhargava

    Mar 13 2017

    After living as a monk in India and running a plastics company in Florida, Manoj Bhargava decided to launch something new: a one-shot energy drink in a bright, battery-shaped bottle. Today, 5-Hour ENERGY is one of the most recognizable energy drinks in the world.

  • Chesapeake Bay Candle: Mei Xu

    Mar 06 2017

    Twenty-five years ago, when Mei Xu emigrated from China to the U.S., she loved going to Bloomingdale's to gaze at their housewares. She eventually started making candles in her basement with Campbell's Soup cans, an experiment that led to the multi-million dollar company Chesapeake Bay Candle.

  • Atari & Chuck E. Cheese's: Nolan Bushnell

    Feb 27 2017

    Before he turned 40, Nolan Bushnell founded two brands that permanently shaped the way Americans amuse themselves: the iconic video game system Atari, and the frenetic family restaurant Chuck E. Cheese's.

  • Crate & Barrel: Gordon Segal

    Feb 20 2017

    In 1962, Gordon Segal — with his wife Carole — opened a scrappy Chicago shop called Crate & Barrel. That store turned into a housewares empire that has shaped the way Americans furnish their homes.

  • Live Episode! Beyond Meat: Ethan Brown

    Feb 16 2017

    As founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, Ethan Brown believes he can turn peas and lentils into protein that tastes — and feels – exactly like beef and chicken. He says they're not quite there yet, but after 8 years in business, their products are sold in 11,000 stores nationwide. Recorded live in Anaheim, CA.

  • Lyft: John Zimmer

    Feb 13 2017

    Ridesharing wasn't a thing 12 years ago when John Zimmer was in college. But a class on green cities got him thinking about the glut of underused cars on the road, and eventually led him to co-found Lyft, a company that has helped make ridesharing a way of life.

  • Kate Spade: Kate & Andy Spade

    Feb 06 2017

    A 1991 conversation at a Mexican restaurant led Kate & Andy Spade to ask, "What's missing in designer handbags?" Kate's answer was a simple modern-shaped handbag that launched the iconic fashion brand: Kate Spade.

  • Virgin: Richard Branson

    Jan 30 2017

    Richard Branson took a record shop and built it into a label, a bank, an airline, space tourism, and 200 other businesses — all under the name Virgin. But the serial entrepreneur has also had his share of failures.

  • Zappos: Tony Hsieh

    Jan 23 2017

    Computer scientist Tony Hsieh made millions off the dot-com boom. But he didn't make his mark until he built Zappos — a customer service company that "happens to sell shoes." Now Zappos is worth over a billion dollars and known for its completely unorthodox management style.

  • Honest Tea: Seth Goldman

    Jan 16 2017

    In 1997, after going for a long run, Seth Goldman was frustrated with the sugar-filled drinks at the corner market. So he brewed up a beverage in his kitchen, and turned it into Honest Tea.

  • Drybar: Alli Webb

    Jan 09 2017

    A decade ago, full-time mom Alli Webb noticed a gap in the beauty market: there was nowhere that just focused on blow-drying hair. Now with 70 locations, Drybar is testament to Webb's motto: Focus on one thing and be the best at it.

  • Zumba: Beto Perez & Alberto Perlman

    Jan 02 2017

    Zumba began as a mistake: aerobics teacher Beto Perez brought the wrong music to class, then improvised a dance routine to go with it. For his students, it was more fun than work — and it eventually grew into one of the biggest fitness brands in the world.

  • Warby Parker: Dave Gilboa & Neil Blumenthal

    Dec 26 2016

    In 2008, it was nearly impossible to buy a fashionable, affordable pair of glasses online. That simple frustration inspired the idea behind Warby Parker – and disrupted the eyewear industry.

  • Melissa & Doug: Melissa And Doug Bernstein

    Dec 19 2016

    Melissa and Doug Bernstein's first success was a wooden 'fuzzy puzzle' of farm animals. Today, Melissa & Doug makes over 2,000 kinds of toys and serves as an antidote to the rise of digital toys.

  • Patagonia: Yvon Chouinard

    Dec 12 2016

    In 1973, Yvon Chouinard started Patagonia to make climbing gear he couldn't find elsewhere. Over decades of growth, he has implemented a unique philosophy about business, leadership and profit.

  • Serial Entrepreneur: Mark Cuban

    Dec 05 2016

    Mark Cuban made millions off of tech startups, then billions off of stocks — and later went on to buy and revive the Dallas Mavericks. He has come to define the persona of the serial entrepreneur.

  • Angie's List: Angie Hicks

    Nov 28 2016

    In 1996, Angie Hicks spent hours reading contractor reviews to members over the phone. Today, the online review and referral service, Angie's List, is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

  • Southwest Airlines: Herb Kelleher

    Nov 21 2016

    In 1968, competitors sued to keep Herb Kelleher's new airline grounded. After a 3-year court fight, the first plane took off from Dallas. Today Southwest Airlines operates nearly 4,000 flights a day.

  • Celebrity Chef: José Andrés

    Nov 14 2016

    As a kid, José Andrés tended fires for his father's backyard paella cookouts. Later, he trained with the best Spanish chefs, and began building a restaurant empire that would transform the way many Americans dine out.

  • Music Mogul: L.A. Reid

    Nov 07 2016

    L.A. Reid began his music career as a drummer. Then he co-founded LaFace Records, discovering dozens of future pop superstars. Reid is now one of the most influential executives in the music industry.

  • Samuel Adams: Jim Koch

    Oct 31 2016

    In 1984, Jim Koch felt suffocated by his cushy but boring corporate job. So he left, dusted off an old family beer recipe, started Sam Adams, and helped kickstart the craft beer movement in America.

  • Dermalogica: Jane Wurwand

    Oct 24 2016

    Jane Wurwand moved to Los Angeles with a suitcase and a beauty school diploma. She started what would become Dermalogica, an international beauty empire that set the standard for skin care.

  • Airbnb: Joe Gebbia

    Oct 17 2016

    A chance encounter with a stranger gave Joe Gebbia an idea to help pay his rent. That idea turned into Airbnb — a company that now has more rooms than the biggest hotel chain in the world.

  • VICE: Suroosh Alvi

    Oct 10 2016

    Suroosh Alvi was a recovering addict when he started a scrappy underground magazine in Montreal. It grew into VICE Media — a multi-billion dollar company that has shaken up the world of journalism.

  • Clif Bar: Gary Erickson

    Oct 03 2016

    Gary Erickson asked his mom, "Can you make a cookie without butter, sugar or oil?" The result was Clif Bar, an energy bar named after his dad — now one of the most popular energy bars in the U.S.

  • Radio One: Cathy Hughes

    Sep 26 2016

    As a kid, Cathy Hughes practiced her DJ routine while her siblings banged on the bathroom door. As an adult, she founded Radio One, the country's largest African-American owned broadcasting company.

  • Instagram: Kevin Systrom & Mike Krieger

    Sep 19 2016

    Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger launched their photo-sharing app with a server that crashed every other hour. Despite a chaotic start, Instagram became one of the most popular apps in the world.

  • Spanx: Sara Blakely

    Sep 12 2016

    At 27, Sara Blakely was selling fax machines and desperate to reinvent her life. So she came up with Spanx — hosiery that eliminates panty lines — and set to work building her business.

  • Coming Soon: How I Built This

    Sep 02 2016

    On September 12, NPR launches a new podcast, How I Built This, hosted by Guy Raz. The show features innovators, entrepreneurs, idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built.