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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. Order the How I Built This book at https://www.guyraz.com How I Built This Plus is a great way to support the show and unlocks a sponsor-free feed. Learn more at plus.npr.org/howibuiltthis
 
From the creator of How I Built This, host Guy Raz invites you to listen in as he talks to leadership experts and the visionary leaders of some of the world's biggest brands. Along the way, you'll hear accounts of crisis, failure, turnaround, and triumph, as the leaders reveal their secrets on their way to the top. These are stories that didn't make it into their company bios, and valuable lessons for anyone trying to make it in business.
 
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In the 1980s—the early days of cable television—John Hendricks got stuck on an idea he couldn't shake: to create a channel that would teach people cool things in an entertaining way. In college he had seen hours of documentaries on history, science, and outer space; and he figured if he was interested in them, others would be too. So around the age…
 
David Epstein is a science writer and investigative reporter. His articles have spanned a wide range of topics from crime and violence to athletes using steroids to the intersection of science and the Olympics. And, he's the author of The Sports Gene and Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. But, before all of that, David studied g…
 
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 bu…
 
Growing up in a small town in India, Leena Nair overheard her mother say it was too bad her daughter was born a girl, because it meant her smarts and talents would go to waste. But Nair went on to join Hindustan Unilever, becoming the first female manager to work on a factory floor, the first woman to serve on the management committee, and the youn…
 
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…
 
This week, we thought we'd bring you a little bonus from another show that Guy hosts called Wisdom From The Top. In 2012, to say there was a crisis at Best Buy—is an understatement. In January, Forbes published an article with the headline: WHY BEST BUY IS GOING OUT OF BUSINESS. And then, in March, the company reported a loss of $1.7 billion dollar…
 
Listen again. After becoming the CEO of PepsiCo in 2006, Indra Nooyi became the first woman and immigrant to run a Fortune 50 company. From Chennai, India, to Yale's School of Management, Nooyi worked her way up from The Boston Consulting Group, Motorola, and ASEA Brown Boveri before eventually landing at PepsiCo, overseeing the global operation of…
 
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 par…
 
What makes a good How I Built This story? Why do our episodes take weeks to produce? How does Guy prepare for an interview? As a bonus this week, Guy wanted to take some time and answer a bunch of your questions! If you have other burning questions about the show, our process, or even just about Guy, you can Ask Guy Anything by submitting a questio…
 
Listen again. As a child growing up in Ibadan, Nigeria, Dara Treseder was often told to get her head out of the clouds. But her mother encouraged her to dream big and to follow her ambition if it would lead her to contentment. For Treseder, that meant moving across the world to attend both Harvard and Stanford, and chasing a deeply-held desire to m…
 
Ronnen Harary built a 4 billion dollar toy company without relying on market research or focus groups. Instead, he believed wholeheartedly in intuition: the "ah-hah" moment that comes from thinking like a 7-year old. Over a 25-year period, he and his Spin Master partners launched innumerable hit toys and amusements, including Air Hogs, Bakugan, and…
 
Joe Keohane is a longtime journalist and editor who believes that talking to strangers can not only help people feel happier and more empathetic, but can actually make the world a better place. In his first book, The Power of Strangers: The Benefits of Connecting In A Suspicious World, Joe talks to psychologists, anthropologists and plenty of stran…
 
In 2010, rocket scientists Robbie Schingler and Will Marshall set an ambitious goal for themselves: to launch an aerospace mission with the speed and agility of a Silicon Valley startup. They set up shop in their garage, left their NASA jobs, and began pursuing their vision of building small, relatively inexpensive satellites to take daily images o…
 
After one of the most deadly disasters in the history of space flight, Ellen Ochoa was a leader in NASA's recovery. She fixed the technical things that went wrong, but the most critical changes, she says, were human. Why she thinks it's important to make sure that naysayers always have a voice, and how to encourage employees to do something very di…
 
As college students in the late 1980s, Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan launched two projects that came to define their trajectories as entrepreneurs: the "punky but poppy" band Chunk, and the scrappy record label, Merge. For decades, the partners juggled the demands of managing their own band while negotiating record deals and recording dates for …
 
Ken Coleman calls himself "America's Career Coach." In his syndicated call-in show, and in books like The Proximity Principle and One Question, Coleman helps people think about what kind of work they would find meaningful, and how they can connect with people that will help get them into that work. Coleman came about the knowledge he imparts honest…
 
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 r…
 
In 2012, to say there was a crisis at Best Buy — is an understatement. In January, Forbes published an article with the headline: WHY BEST BUY IS GOING OUT OF BUSINESS. And then, in March, the company reported a loss of $1.7 billion dollars. In April, the CEO resigned because of an "inappropriate relationship" with an employee. Hubert Joly stepped …
 
As a mother of three, Kat Nouri was dismayed at the amount of single-use plastic she was using to pack her kids' school lunches. She had already launched a successful brand called Modern Twist, which sold placemats and baby bibs made of silicone. So Kat wondered: why not use silicone to make durable food storage bags, which—instead of being used on…
 
Stacey Vanek Smith has reported on business and the economy for over 15 years now, first for public radio's "Marketplace," and now as the host of Planet Money's daily podcast "The Indicator." Over that time, she's seen the same barriers blocking advancement for women in the workplace again and again. Recently, she's started to recognize that a lot …
 
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