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.
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Famous Dave's: Dave Anderson (2020)
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 opened his first barbecue shack in the last place you might expect to find one: the little town of Hayward, Wisconsin.
The chain grew quickly—too quickly—and Dave developed a love-hate relationship with the brand he'd created, but never lost his passion for smoked ribs and brisket. Today, Famous Dave's has around 125 restaurants across the U.S., making it one of the largest barbecue chains in the country.
ICYMI... HIBT Lab! Babish Culinary Universe: Andrew Rea
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 episode of Parks and Recreation and uploaded it to YouTube...
This week on How I Built This Lab, Guy asks Andrew about his journey from TV and movie buff to YouTube cooking sensation. His channel, Babish Culinary Universe now has nearly 10 million subscribers. Plus, Andrew candidly shares how his struggles with mental health have shaped his career.
Guayakí Yerba Mate: David Karr and Chris Mann
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 of Guayakí Yerba Mate spent years living in a van and driving all over the country, brewing up free samples for consumers, and convincing natural food stores to sell their product. It would take almost 15 years of grinding away before the company turned a significant profit, but the founders were powered by a mission to do business in a way that supports communities and the environment. Today, Guayakí has annual revenue of over $100 million, and their canned and bottled beverages are available all across the U.S.
HIBT Lab! Goodr: Jasmine Crowe-Houston
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 climate change.
Jasmine Crowe-Houston is an entrepreneur who became obsessed with these problems. In 2017, she founded Goodr, which works with businesses to take unused food and deliver it to those who need it. Instead of paying waste management companies to throw surplus food into landfills, businesses can work with Goodr to deliver that food to local nonprofits that get it to people in need.
This week on How I Built This Lab, Jasmine talks with Guy about solving the logistical challenge of delivering surplus food to people experiencing food insecurity. Plus, the two discuss Jasmine’s decision to launch Goodr as a for-profit organization, and the growing corporate focus on sustainability that’s led to Goodr’s rapid growth.
Wondery Presents: This Job is History
Where the oddest jobs from the past meet a comedian from the present… and it’s awkward! On this weekly show, Chris Parnell (SNL, Rick and Morty) welcomes guests who have held some of human history’s most unexpected and downright bizarre jobs: funeral clowns, garden hermits, VHS clerks, and everything in between. With the help of his tireless producer, Chris hears from the essential workers from decades and centuries past. Because before there were actual medical doctors, there were barber surgeons. And before there was Instacart, there were milkmen. Wondery’s This Job Is History is a funny, absurd, and informative look into how time can change the way we live and work.
Listen to This Job is History: wondery.fm/HIBT_TJIH
Roku: Anthony Wood
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 into the growing power of the internet by letting TV’s stream digital content. In 2008, he launched the Roku box, a $99 device that connected your TV to the internet, with a remote simple enough for your grandmother to use. It’s hard to imagine now, but Anthony initially had a hard time convincing investors and media execs that the Roku—and streaming devices like it—would completely change the way we watch TV. Today, Roku has grown into an expansive media company that creates and distributes content to more than 65 million accounts worldwide.