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Guy Raz interviews the world’s best-known entrepreneurs to learn how they built their iconic brands. In each episode, founders reveal deep, intimate moments of doubt and failure, and share insights on their eventual success. How I Built This is a master-class on innovation, creativity, leadership and how to navigate challenges of all kinds. New episodes on Mondays and Thursdays for free. Listen 1-week early and to all episodes ad-free with Wondery+ or Amazon Music with a Prime membership or ...
 
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When steaks don’t sell you shift to sticks; that’s how Chomps was born. After several failed ventures—one of which left him bankrupt—Pete Maldonado decided to take another chance on launching a business. He partnered with Rashid Ali to start a mail-order service similar to Omaha Steaks, but with grass-fed meat that was more suited to the Paleo diet…
 
Do you know who holds the record for making the world’s largest chicken nugget? How about the world’s largest sushi roll? If you know Nick DiGiovanni, then you know the answer to those questions. Each week, more than 15 million followers across YouTube and TikTok gawk and drool over Nick’s masterful and over-the-top culinary creations. Nick is at t…
 
Let’s say you had a passion but thought of it only as a hobby; certainly never the seed of a billion-dollar company. Plus, you are studying for a career in something unrelated to business. That’s Maureen Kelly’s story, CEO of Tarte Cosmetics. She was pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and already had TWO Master’s degrees when she realized she …
 
When you think about self-driving cars, you might imagine relaxing in the back seat while a vehicle carries you to your destination. But according to Dave Ferguson, nearly half of all car tips that Americans take don’t actually need any passengers at all. That’s because we spend a lot of our time driving around just to pick things up, like grocerie…
 
In 2007, brothers Hank and John Green lived thousands of miles apart, so they started posting video blogs to each other on a strange new platform called YouTube. People began tuning in, and the daily Vlogbrothers posts became an early viral hit. Over time, the brothers grew that single channel into a sprawling collection of businesses, including a …
 
On October 9, 2012, Shiza Shahid’s life changed forever. It was on that day that 15-year-old Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman, capturing the world’s attention. Before long, 22-year-old Shiza found herself leaving her corporate job to join a recovering Malala and her father in launching the Malala Fund, a …
 
In 2012, Daina Trout, her husband Justin, and her best friend Vanessa Dew were sitting around a kitchen table spit-balling possible business ideas. Their biggest contender seemed to be a natural product to treat hair loss. Turns out, it's harder than they thought to make one, so they landed on something completely different: a brand of homemade kom…
 
Chelsea Fagan got her first credit card when she was a senior in high school. She quickly maxed it out, racking up debt that would burden her through her early twenties. Then, in 2014, Chelsea started a blog as a way to keep track of her spending habits and get her financial life back on track. She called it “The Financial Diet.” This week on How I…
 
When he was 8 years old, Joel Clark loaded bags of his mom's whole grain pancake mix into a red wagon to sell door-to-door. By the mid-90s, he and his older brother had upgraded to selling the mix out of a Mazda sedan and calling it Kodiak Cakes. As he tried to scale the business, Joel made some risky business decisions and almost went bankrupt, bu…
 
YouTubers Kelsey MacDermaid and Becky Wright – better known as The Sorry Girls – have always had an affinity for production. When they met as film students back in 2010, little did they know that the DIY videos they were creating for fun would eventually lead to full-fledged careers co-founding and leading their own media company. But building to w…
 
As a music industry mogul and founder of I.R.S. Records, Miles Copeland prided himself on making deals that were easy to say “yes” to. With a mixture of shrewd business skills, swagger, good taste and great timing, Miles signed or managed some of the most popular bands of the 1980's, including R.E.M., The Go-Go's, and The Police. After getting his …
 
According to the CDC, 6 in 10 adults in the U.S. have a chronic disease like cancer or diabetes. Meanwhile, the process for discovering new drug treatments is critically expensive and inefficient. About 90% of drug candidates fail to gain FDA approval; the average cost to develop a new drug is over $1 billion; and testing can take over 10 years. No…
 
Working as a Hollywood makeup artist in the early 2000s, Rea Ann Silva designed a sponge that reshaped the face of beauty. She'd been looking for a technique to simplify makeup touch-ups without worrying about the smudges or streaks that were easily detected on HDTV. Her solution? A teardrop-shaped sponge—hand-cut from a foam wedge—that could apply…
 
It was a love for Ricky Martin that started it all... Beatriz Acevedo thought that if she could only become a DJ, she could get his attention and marry him. While marriage to Ricky was not in the cards, an illustrious career in radio, TV, and eventually digital media was. Beatriz is now a serial entrepreneur: her first venture, mitú, is published c…
 
With no formal training in business or computer design, Nelson Gonzalez and his cofounders decided to do what almost no other company was doing in the mid-1990’s: make personal computers specifically for gaming. They started as a tiny custom shop in Miami, and eventually began building PC’s for avid gamers, who were willing to pay top dollar for hi…
 
Growing up in Ethiopia in the 1980s and ‘90s, Sara Menker saw the devastating effects of drought and famine firsthand. Later as a commodities trader on Wall Street, Sara realized that a major driver of food insecurity around the world was a lack of good data to predict weather events, crop yields, and food prices. That realization led Sara to found…
 
Growing up in 1960's Chicago, Dave Anderson didn't eat much deep dish. Instead, his dad took the family to the South Side for barbecue, and those memories—and aromas—stayed with him. For years, Dave tinkered with his own recipes for sauces and sides while working as a salesman and business advisor to Native American tribes. Finally in 1994, he open…
 
Growing up, Andrew Rea dreamed of becoming a Hollywood filmmaker. But the special effects production job he landed after college left him feeling…uninspired. After a series of creative defeats and mounting relationship troubles, his therapist suggested he find a new creative outlet. Andrew decided to make a short cooking video inspired by an episod…
 
In the mid-1990’s most Americans had probably never even heard of yerba mate, but when David Karr and Chris Mann were first introduced to the South American drink, they were hooked. Together with three other friends, they decided to launch a company that would bring mate to the American market. Based in San Luis Obispo, California, the co-founders …
 
Millions of Americans don’t have enough to eat — a startling fact considering 40% of the food produced in the U.S. gets thrown away. And a lot of that food… from restaurants, supermarkets, office buildings and more… is perfectly safe to eat. What’s worse is that this discarded food waste produces harmful methane emissions that contribute to global …
 
Anthony Wood helped transform the media landscape…twice. First, in the early 2000’s, when he invented a device that let you record, pause, and re-watch live TV. The DVR was a game-changer, but the company Anthony built around it—ReplayTV—was eventually out-maneuvered by TiVo. Unfazed, Anthony developed another piece of hardware; one that would tap …
 
‘This is not our customer...’ That was the common justification banks used to deny loans to the entrepreneurs Shivani Siroya supported through her work with the United Nations. While it’s not unusual for a tech startup to raise millions before ever launching a product, small business owners across the globe are all-too-often deemed unworthy of even…
 
As a newly arrived immigrant from Turkey, Hamdi Ulukaya learned to be resourceful, determined, and even stubborn when he needed to be. All those traits would serve him well as he began to navigate the hairpin turns of building a yogurt business from the ground up. In 2005, Hamdi was running a small feta cheese business in upstate New York when he h…
 
Our planet is warming, and many parts of the world are not equipped to accurately predict the heat waves, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and floods that are becoming more frequent and intense due to the changing climate. Former Israeli Air Force pilot Shimon Elkabetz knows the importance of good weather forecasts — they can literally mean the dif…
 
When you think of pizza, the first place that comes to mind probably isn’t Finland…or Scotland. But that’s where the two founders of the outdoor pizza oven brand Ooni grew up. In 2012, Kristian Tapaninaho was experimenting with making his own pizza, but he couldn’t get his home oven hot enough to produce an authentic, Neapolitan-style crust. With n…
 
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