New episodes on Mondays and Thursdays for free, with 1-week early access for Wondery+ subscribers. 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.
Roblox: David Baszucki
In 2003, David Baszucki wanted to go viral. He had already sold a company that made educational software, and now he wanted to build something with mass appeal; with build-your-own avatars and myriad opportunities for users to compete and connect online. So in 2006, he and his co-founder Erik Cassel launched Roblox, a platform where you can play millions of different games, set in a wide array of virtual worlds.
You can adopt a pet, escape from jail, build and run your own restaurant, or solve a murder mystery; you can even create games of your own. During the start of the pandemic in 2020, half of the kids in the US were keeping in touch via Roblox, and today, the company is worth over 28 billion dollars.
Noom: Saeju Jeong
When Saeju Jeong moved from South Korea to the U.S. in his mid-20's, he barely knew anyone, didn't speak much English, and had only $5,000 in savings. Today, he's the CEO of Noom, one of the most popular weight loss/wellness apps in the U.S. Inspired by his late father—a doctor who criticized the profession for treating people only after they got sick—Saeju and his co-founder built their first fitness product in 2007. Several pivots later, they arrived at Noom, an app that carefully tracks what you eat, how you sleep and when you're stressed out. Noom has hinted it may go public this year—if so, the valuation could be as high as $10 billion.
HIBT Lab! Quaise Energy: Carlos Araque
Growing up in Colombia, Carlos Araque and his father liked to take apart bicycles and motorcycles then put them back together. This love of tinkering led Carlos to study engineering at MIT and eventually launch a career in the oil and gas industry. After 15 years of this work, Carlos realized he was uniquely suited to be a part of the global energy transition away from fossil fuels. He returned to his alma mater to help run a startup accelerator, and soon, Quaise Energy was born.
This week on How I Built This Lab, Carlos shares how his company plans to drill the deepest holes ever to unlock the nearly limitless potential of geothermal energy. Carlos explains why he sees such promise with this energy source and how he spread his optimism to investors to raise more than $70 million and counting.
HIBT Lab! Universal Standard: Polina Veksler
In 2014, friends Polina Veksler and Alex Waldman went clothes shopping at a major department store. To Polina’s surprise, Alex’s options were quite limited, and tucked away in one of the store’s less-traveled upper levels: the ‘plus-size’ section.
This unnerving realization that women could have such completely different shopping experiences at the same store drove Polina into research mode. She found that about 70% of women in the U.S. wear a size 14 or larger, but less than 20% of clothing is made in those sizes. Meanwhile, much of the double-digit-sized clothing available is fast fashion: not particularly well-fitting or built to last.
Alex and Polina decided to create Universal Standard: a clothing brand where size was irrelevant – where any woman could shop and ask herself, “do I like this?” – not “does this come in my size?”
This week on How I Built This Lab, Guy and Polina discuss the $100 billion opportunity to serve women of all sizes, as well as the challenges that come with building a size inclusive clothing brand.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery: Sam and Mariah Calagione
Sam and Mariah Calagione started dating in high school, and have been on a wild ride ever since. Their biggest, craziest adventure? Founding Dogfish Head Brewery and forever changing the landscape of American craft beer. From the moment Sam started home-brewing in his NYC apartment, he infused his beer with unusual ingredients like cherries, maple syrup, roasted chicory, and licorice. When he and Mariah officially launched Dogfish Head in 1995, it was the smallest brewery in America’s smallest state. 24 years (and countless pints) later, it was acquired by the Boston Beer Company for $300 million. Along the way, Sam and Mariah had one random experience after another: writing a bill to legalize their own brew-pub, winning best recipe at the Delaware Punkin Chunkin, and inviting Ricki Lake to their first tasting at Sam's apartment (spoiler alert: she showed up).
HIBT Lab! IDEO: David Kelley
It wasn’t unusual for David Kelley to take calls from Steve Jobs in the middle of the night. This came with the territory, as David worked on designing dozens of products for Apple over the years – including their first computer mouse back in 1980.
Since then, David and his firm, IDEO, have helped all sorts of companies design new products. David also led the founding of Stanford’s d.school, where students learn to use design principles to solve complex problems.
This week on How I Built This Lab, David shares stories from some of the most notable projects of his career. He discusses how diverse perspectives and backgrounds help teams generate new ideas, and explains how organizations can use design thinking to transform culture and foster innovation.
My go to
I really enjoy this, Guy. As a small business owner, I am constantly intrigued by your guests and their stories. This is a great contribution to the compendium of world history.
The best podcast that educates and motivates me daily!
Guy keeps me listening. He is so artistic and authentic in his approach to every guest- super engaged in a creative way that keeps me wanting to hear more and more and more. Thanks for all of these amazing interviews and for helping me unserstand what it takes to become a national/international business success. Patience, hard work and determination (and a little bit of luck) seems to be the magic formula—- THANKS!
Love the variety of subjects
Their broad scope of subject matters bring to light things I never knew I didn’t know but love hearing how they did … what ever!! Thank you for in-depth presentations that make me smile, laugh, think, ponder and be inspired for the future for humans! Innovation, creativity and courage to make things change! Love their stories!!