The best startup advice from Silicon Valley & beyond. Iconic CEOs — from Nike to Netflix, Starbucks to Slack — share the stories & strategies that helped them grow from startups into global brands.
On each episode, host Reid Hoffman — LinkedIn cofounder, Greylock partner and legendary Silicon Valley investor — proves an unconventional theory about how businesses scale, while his guests share the story of how I built this company. Reid and guests talk entrepreneurship, leadership, strategy, management, fundraising. But they also talk about the human journey — with all its failures and setbacks.
With original, cinematic music and hilariously honest stories, Masters of Scale is a business podcast that doesn’t sound like a business podcast.
Guests on Masters of Scale have included the founders and CEOs of Netflix, Google, Facebook, Starbucks, Nike, Fiat, Spotify, Instagram, Airbnb, Uber, Paypal, Huffington Post, Twitter, Medium, Bumble, Yahoo, Slack, Spanx, Shake Shack, Dropbox, TaskRabbit, 23&Me, Mailchimp, Evite, Flickr, CharityWater, Endeavor, IAC and many more.
Rapid Response: Wartime leadership, with Nike's John Donahoe
When he became CEO on the eve of the pandemic, Nike's John Donahoe starting game plan revolved around listening and being out in the marketplace. But when lockdowns began rolling through, he quickly adjusted, assuming what he calls a "wartime" approach to leadership. Donahoe's view is that top-down stewardship matters now more than ever. To not only survive the pandemic but come out in a stronger position, he is leaning into the brand’s legacy, his team’s strengths, and booming direct-to-consumer digital engagement. He's also tapped an innovation pipeline that's helped Nike release a new product every two weeks. The world needs sport to bring people together, Donahoe says, and Nike is at the center of that. Doubling down on that mission, he says, drives passion from both consumers and employees, pushing forward a message of hope and unity.
81. The secret to big leaps, w/Sir Richard Branson
Successful daredevils aren't really winging it, even if it looks that way from the outside. They have a method. No one knows this better – or does this better – than Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. Sir Richard has been willing to take death-defying entrepreneurial leaps again and again, into new markets and industries, establishing himself as one of the most prolific and successful founders ever. You can't help but marvel at his bias to action: his eagerness to ask “What if?” and then follow up those fanciful thoughts with bold and decisive steps forward. You don't have to be born with Sir Richard’s bravado to cultivate a bias to action. Sir Richard shares how you too can learn to take the right leaps, in the right moments, to generate outsize opportunities.
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Coming soon on Masters of Scale Season 8
Coming February 23: An all-new season of Masters of Scale, with iconic leaders and rising stars of scale companies. This season, Reid Hoffman trades theories with Disney CEO Bob Iger, model/mogul Tyra Banks, investor Mark Cuban, Houzz founder Adi Tatarko, Beyond Meat founder Ethan Brown, Sir Richard Branson – and many more. Plus, we’ve got Live episodes coming up, your favorite Strategy Sessions, and a few surprises in store. Join us!
Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter at http://eepurl.com/dlirtX.
Rapid Response: Winning and losing, w/Vanderbilt University coach Jerry Stackhouse
Maintaining high performance in business has become harder than ever, between health challenges, economic obstacles, and political uncertainty. But we all still work to win. Jerry Stackhouse, coach of the Vanderbilt University men’s basketball team and former NBA all-star, is focused on winning – in the near-term, and the long term. His experience offers a compelling parable for every business leader these days. With Covid-19, his team has faced cancellations, testing protocols, and a pandemic reality of isolation and empty arenas. Coach Stackhouse is balancing the high stakes of health, racial equity, and media scrutiny with the quest for performance. Leading a team has never been more difficult, or more important.
Rapid Response: Public-private opportunities, with Defense Innovation Unit's Mike Brown
Call him the unofficial U.S. ambassador to Silicon Valley. As director of the Defense Innovation Unit within the U.S. Department of Defense, Mike Brown is tasked with bridging the gap between technology innovators and the U.S. government. Formerly CEO of Symantec, Brown knows the significant opportunity public-private partnerships can offer entrepreneurs – if structured for speed not bureaucracy – and he's been setting up new ones at a rapid clip. He also knows the intense need to keep the U.S. government on the leading edge of tech, for cost reasons and competitive ones. Brown has a keen eye on China’s tech-and-government efforts, and the potential impact on U.S. companies and U.S. national security. Bringing the best of commercial tech into the government, Brown says, isn’t just a nice to have but a need to have.
Rapid Response: Iterating under pressure, with Feeding America's Claire Babineaux-Fontenot
The pandemic era has ushered in a new wave of food insecurity, with some 50 millions Americans hungry for food aid. How could Feeding America, a nationwide network of food banks, meet the moment? CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot describes the immense challenge: volunteers unavailable, mass-distribution centers untenable, resources unreliable. But with one in six Americans in need (one in four kids), she leaned on Feeding America's assets in new ways, empowering local chapters, collecting data, accelerating tech, and continually reassessing logistics to meet developing needs – a lesson all entrepreneurs can learn from. And landing a $100 million gift from Jeff Bezos didn't hurt either!
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Master of scaling champions
Amazing podcast, very useful for an aspiring entrepreneur like me. Carefully listen to everything and take notes of do's and don'ts; if you want to go big with your business venture, this podcast is like the Bible of scaling. Hoping to become a master of scale in the future and to meet you in person Reid.
Lorenzo from London, UK
There is more value in this podcast than an entire business master at ECUST university in Shanghai. I event had to stop my gym workout the rewrite this review, trust me I don’t stop easily to do something else in the middle of an workout ahaha. Good job Reid
Shaping businesses around the world
As an entrepreneur in Italy, this podcast, your guests and your great insights are helping me imaging and shaping the business I am busy building every single day.