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.
3. Learn from every “no,” w/Walker & Company’s Tristan Walker
The best business ideas often seem laughable at first glance. So if you’re hearing a chorus of “no’s” – it may actually be a good sign. Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Airbnb – they all sounded crazy before they scaled spectacularly. So don’t be discouraged by rejection. Instead, learn to hear the nuance in the different kinds of “no.” That’s what Tristan Walker did. After stints at two successful startups, he launched out on his own with Walker & Company, makers of the Bevel razor – and learned to navigate the world of investors who may or may not share your vision.
Read a transcript of this interview at: https://mastersofscale.com/tristan-walker-beauty-of-a-bad-idea/
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Rapid Response: Why brands must take a stand, w/Wieden+Kennedy's Colleen DeCourcy
Legendary ad agency Wieden+Kennedy pioneered some of the most successful campaigns in history. But 2020 has raised the stakes for companies—and fundamentally changed how advertising works, W+K president Colleen DeCourcy tells us. Even as her own business adapts to financial and cultural strains, DeCourcy and her team have been guiding brands from Nike to Coca-Cola to Uber in selecting the right messages in a turbulent world. Meshing an economic goal with an emotional message has never demanded more creativity. Brands should take a stand, she argues, but not on everything.
Want to learn more about Wieden+Kennedy's work with Nike? Check out our episode with Nike founder Phil Knight: http://listen.mastersofscale.com/PhilKnight_WK
Read the full transcript at mastersofscale.com
Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dlirtX
76. How to find hidden value that others miss, w/The Black List's Franklin Leonard
Forget looking for a needle in a haystack – instead, build a new type of metal detector, to find undervalued assets that others don’t see. That’s exactly what Franklin Leonard did when he started The Black List, an annual survey of screenplays everyone loved (but no one was making). Devise ways to find things no one else has found – or didn’t think to look for – and it could be the difference that drives you to scale. Cameo: Software engineer Tatiana Mac.
Learn more about The Black List: https://blcklst.com/
Learn more about Tatiana Mac: https://tatianamac.com/
Rapid Response: A virtual-first workplace, w/Dropbox's Drew Houston
In-office engagement or remote flexibility? We don't need to choose, says Dropbox co-founder and CEO Drew Houston. Facing the biggest shift in work habits in half a century, Houston has embarked on a radical experiment to reimagine how work gets done. The company's recently announced Virtual First plan dedicates all in-office activity to creative, team-based efforts, rebranding its offices as Dropbox Studios. Individual work will happen offsite, either at home or a self-chosen co-working space. Project teams set their own schedules. The unique opportunity of this moment, Houston says: How do we make work better? Yes, he admits, remote work feeds Dropbox's business, which now includes a collaboration with Zoom as part of a re-thought product roadmap. If Dropbox is going to design for the future of work, says Houston, then its own workforce needs to live in that future, right now.
75. Nike’s Phil Knight: How to sell without selling
Great branding is about identity – and it’s about matchmaking too. No one knows this better than the legendary co-founder of Nike, Phil Knight. When he and his partner, Hall of Fame track coach Bill Bowerman, started the sneaker company, they never tried to force-feed customers a product just to drive up the bottom line. They focused on one thing: making an excellent product for people who believed in the edgy Nike ethos. Because they knew, when there’s a mismatch between product and market, the bottom usually drops out. Instead, they told the world who the are, and then did everything they could to find their ideal customers. And made history. Cameo appearance: Eddy Lu (GOAT).
Rapid Response: Pandemic Planning, Phase Two, w/Dr. Bon Ku (Jefferson University Hospital)
With Covid-19 cases surging, businesses may be forced into a new wave of adjustments. Will the crisis-management tactics of spring and summer be successful as winter unfolds? Dr. Bon Ku, an ER physician at Jefferson University Hospital and director of the Health Design Lab, returns to the podcast to share what he’s seeing as we enter a new season and how we might respond. His proposals for health care delivery – about both heightened vigilance and creative shifts to financing, supply chains, digital tools, etc. – provide a bracing wake-up call. While doctors and hospitals have gotten much better at information sharing, testing, and treatment, Dr. Ku warns that without significant change we might be looking at a devastating period ahead.
Every time this series comes with an episode, I listen to it right away. Reid Hofman is such a pleasant and open storyteller, almost every episode feels like a Christmas present. Thank you for this gift, Reid Hofman and the WaitWhat production team! Great idea about the ‘pledge drive’ metaphor as well! I don’t know the principle from public broadcasting because it’s not a thing where I’m from in The Netherlands, but I felt compelled to leave a review anyway, because indeed, this podcast has helped me! I hope you keep making episodes for a long time to come :)
cheers from Amsterdam, Victor van Doorn
Reid + team have made something truly special. In this world of overhyped startup news it’s great to listen to some real people, giving authentic and honest advice.
Keep it rocking.
One of the greatest Podcasts
Indepth interviews with a superb edit. One of my two favorite podcasts, right up there with Guy Raz.