Guy Raz interviews the world’s best-known entrepreneurs to learn how they built their iconic brands. In each episode, you’ll hear deep, intimate moments of crisis, failure and eventual triumph. 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, with 1-week early access when you join Amazon Music or 1-week early and ad-free for Wondery+ subscribers.
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Wirecutter: Brian Lam
When Brian Lam walked away from a high-profile job at Gizmodo to launch a product review blog, he had no plan for how it would make money. He just knew what he wanted: a user-friendly site with reviews that could be read in a few minutes, with the best products clearly listed, all backed up by meticulous research. But when he launched The Wirecutter in 2011, Brian’s business partners worried that the site’s posts were too brief and too infrequent to build an audience on the web, where clickbait was king. Eventually, Brian’s targeted approach paid off; users trusted his recommendations, he hired more writers, and traffic and revenue grew. In 2016, The Wirecutter was purchased for $30 million by the New York Times, where it was rebranded simply as Wirecutter.
HIBT Lab! Against All Grain: Danielle Walker
Growing up, Danielle Walker’s family often convened for big meals prepared by her Italian grandmother, Grandma Marge. Back then, Danielle enjoyed a wide variety of food without restriction; but she began experiencing severe abdominal pain in her 20s that ultimately led her to totally transform her diet—cutting grains, lactose, sugar and more.
As Danielle found relief in this approach—and realized that others with similar ailments could as well—she began compiling her recipes in an online blog called Against All Grain. Before long, the self-taught chef became a bestselling cookbook author, more recently branching out with her own product lines and cooking courses.
This week on How I Built This Lab, Danielle talks with Guy about being an ‘accidental entrepreneur’ as she chronicles her journey to building a multifaceted business centered around healthy eating. Plus, Danielle shares her advice for other creators looking to build an audience and discusses food’s potential to help millions suffering from autoimmune diseases.
ButcherBox: Mike Salguero
Back in 2015, when Mike Salguero set out to buy some grass-fed beef for himself and his wife, he had to meet a farmer in a parking lot, who handed him the beef in a trash bag. Naturally, Mike figured there had to be a better way. At the time, he was running a company that was slowly cratering, and he didn’t know the first thing about sourcing or packaging meat. But he had a hunch that if he could figure it out, he could build a successful home subscription business, shipping humanely-raised meat across the country. Mike connected with farmers and packers, launched a Kickstarter campaign, and began working with food and fitness influencers to promote ButcherBox. Today, without taking on a shred of VC investment or even a bank loan, the company does roughly half a billion dollars in revenue.
HIBT Lab! OpenAI: Sam Altman
Artificial Intelligence was once the realm of science fiction. But over the last several years, advances in machine learning and deep neural networks have moved us closer to a reality where computers can learn and solve problems independently, the way a human does. From art and music to medicine and politics, the potential applications of AI are nearly endless, and the technology just keeps getting better.
This week on How I Built This Lab, Guy talks with one of the leaders in the field of AI development, Sam Altman. Sam talks about his journey from Stanford dropout and teenage entrepreneur to president of the legendary startup incubator Y Combinator and co-founder of the nonprofit OpenAI. Plus, Sam shares his hopes and fears for the future of AI and how his company is working to ensure it ultimately benefits all of humanity.
HOORAE: Issa Rae
Obsessed with TV and passionate about writing, Issa Rae sent an unsolicited script to CBS’s Cosby when she was still in middle school. By her 20's, she realized there was a certain type of character that was absent from the media landscape—a character she would eventually inhabit in her breakout YouTube series, "Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl." From there, Issa created the five-season HBO hit Insecure, but first went through a bruising gauntlet of rejections and reversals as she learned to navigate Hollywood. Today, Issa has built a company—HOORAE Media—which produces her new HBO show, Rap Sh!t, and multiple other TV and film projects.
Listen to The Great Creators launching September 20th
HIBT Lab! Wonder: Marc Lore
Picture this: you just wrapped a long day of work and you are starving! You open a delivery app and place an order from your favorite restaurant. About an hour later, you get a notification that your meal has arrived. You’re practically salivating as you tear open the bag, and then...a rude awakening — your dinner became cold and soggy in transit.
This frustrating and all-too-common experience is exactly what Marc Lore is trying to solve with his latest venture, Wonder.
This week on How I Built This Lab, Marc returns to the show to share how Wonder, recently valued at $3.5 billion, has the potential to disrupt the entire food delivery and home dining industry. Plus, Marc offers advice on how to approach big challenges and discusses several other business ideas he’s been cooking up since leaving Walmart last year.
Really loved the episode with Issa Rae. She’s amazing
Hands down one of the best podcasts out there.
How I built this - great podcast
One of my favorite podcasts! It is fast paced but very informative. I always look forward to the next episode.