Episodes
Published 04/29/24
With over 14.5 million subscribers, Rosanna Pansino has one of the most popular baking channels on YouTube But she never would have imagined her success back in 2010 when she started making videos as a hobby. At the time, she was a working actor in Hollywood with dreams of landing a leading role, but after receiving an ultimatum from her agent, she was forced to choose between a career in traditional television or the nascent digital world of YouTube. More than a decade after her fateful...
Published 04/22/24
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...
Published 04/18/24
As one of the most successful creators on YouTube, Mark Rober doesn’t see what he does as a business. Instead, it’s a way to celebrate science in the most joyful way possible. While working as an engineer at NASA, he made his YouTube debut with a tutorial on how to make a gory Halloween costume with two iPads and a lot of duct tape. Over time, his videos became more elaborate, including a belly flop into a pool full of Jello, and a demo of a glitter-fart bomb to get revenge on porch pirates....
Published 04/15/24
For decades, Shane Legg has anticipated the arrival of “artificial general intelligence” or AGI.  In other words: an artificial agent that can do all the kinds of cognitive tasks that people can typically do, and possibly more... Now as the Chief AGI Scientist and a co-founder of Google DeepMind, he stands by that prediction and is calling on the world to prepare.  This week on How I Built This Lab, Shane’s path to becoming an early AI expert and the work he and his team are doing to...
Published 04/11/24
Best friends Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal started out as “comedians for Christ,” and grew their partnership into one of the most successful YouTube platforms in existence. During college they created silly videos and songs for Christian events, and later built a following on YouTube before most people knew what it was. After struggling to find stardom in Hollywood, they continued to build a presence on YouTube: sampling punishingly hot peppers, writing ear-wormy songs about random things,...
Published 04/08/24
From Wondery, Business Wars is a podcast about the biggest corporate rivalries. In the newest season, host David Brown tracks the power struggles and philosophical differences within OpenAI that culminated in Sam Altman’s shocking firing, the chaos that followed, and what it means not just for OpenAI, but for the future of artificial intelligence safety overall. Follow Business Wars on the Wondery App or wherever you get your podcasts. You can listen to Business Wars early and ad-free right...
Published 04/05/24
Best-selling author and economics professor Renée Mauborgne thinks that too many entrepreneurs focus on the wrong things—consumed with making their companies outperform one another as they fight for a greater share of a crowded market space. But what if entrepreneurs focused on creating new markets instead of fighting over old ones? This week on How I Built This Lab, Renée shares insights from her Blue Ocean Strategy series to help founders crack open new opportunities. Plus, what is...
Published 04/04/24
Whole30 began as a dietary experiment: For 30 days, Melissa Urban went without grains, dairy, legumes, alcohol and added sugar. She was trying to address several health problems, and the results were so extraordinary that she decided to share the diet with others.  What followed was a blog, a series of seminars, a best-selling book and eventually a wide-ranging wellness brand that’s helped millions of people identify the best diet for their own body. But in 2015, Melissa had to rethink...
Published 04/01/24
The popular science fiction idea of beaming someone instantly to another location was part of David Nussbaum’s inspiration to design a “holoportation box.” His company, Proto, invented a device the size of a telephone booth that projects a hologram-type image so realistic it appears someone is standing inside... This week on How I Built This Lab, how Proto’s technology is used today to virtually transport professors, doctors, speakers, and celebrities to classrooms, hospitals, and events...
Published 03/28/24
Isaac Larian moved from Iran to Los Angeles at age 17 with just a few hundred dollars, and went on to build one of the biggest toy companies in the world. Along the way, he took on Barbie with a wildly successful line of punky dolls called Bratz — a success that touched off an epic legal battle with Mattel. Today, at age 70, Isaac is still the CEO of MGA Entertainment, and says he still has the fighter’s instinct that he learned in the slums of Tehran. This episode was produced by Alex...
Published 03/25/24
“Growth is not about the genius you possess—it’s about the character you develop.”  That’s what organizational psychologist and podcast host Adam Grant believes, and he offers a new framework on how we can elevate ourselves and others in his latest book, Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things. This week on How I Built This Lab, insights on what great entrepreneurs have in common and the steps anyone can take to develop these skills. Plus, redesigning workplace systems to...
Published 03/21/24
If you told 19-year-old Larry Liu that his hobby re-selling used electronics “for fun” would someday help him build a multi-billion-dollar company, he probably would have laughed. He was an electrical engineering student in Shanghai at the time. His goals were to land a corporate job and go to grad school in the U.S. He did both, starting with a job at Intel. But his passion for e-commerce stayed with him through his MBA and other corporate jobs. And when he moved to Northern California,...
Published 03/18/24
Imran Chaudhri and his wife Bethany Bongiorno are responsible for bringing some of the most widely-used screened products to market—like the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.  And while these devices have connected humans like never before, Imran and Bethany couldn’t help but wonder about the downsides of spending so much time tethered to screens. After leaving Apple, they eventually brought a new tool to life; something screenless... This week on How I Built This Lab, Imran and Bethany’s...
Published 03/14/24
Mark Sisson made a big bet on mayonnaise, and won: four years after launching his Paleo-friendly condiment company Primal Kitchen, he sold it for $200 million. He succeeded partly because he drew lessons from his previous failures and accomplishments - as a marathon runner, Ironman triathlete and coach, frozen yogurt proprietor, sports supplement founder, TV show host, and Paleo book author. But Mark’s biggest business came at an age when most people contemplate retirement. He developed a...
Published 03/11/24
Gene Berdichevsky and his team have been working for over a decade to solve a major problem: Lithium-ion batteries are not getting any better. They power our cell phones and laptops and nearly every other modern, rechargeable device—and at this point have reached their energy-storing limit. This week on How I Built This Lab, Gene discusses a new approach that could eventually make lithium-ion batteries 40% more efficient, unlocking a future where electric vehicles and other battery-powered...
Published 03/07/24
In 2016, Fawn Weaver became fixated on a New York Times article telling the little-known story of Nearest Green, a formerly enslaved man who taught Jack Daniel—yes, that Jack Daniel—how to make Tennessee whiskey.  After diving deeper into the story, Fawn ended up purchasing the farm in Lynchburg, Tennessee where Nearest had taught Jack how to distill; and she began meeting the descendants of both men. She eventually decided the best way to preserve Nearest’s legacy was with a bottle of the...
Published 03/04/24
What if you could no longer trust the things you see and hear? Because the signature on a check, the documents or videos presented in court, the footage you see on the news, the calls you receive from your family … They could all be perfectly forged by artificial intelligence. That’s just one of the risks posed by the rapid development of AI. And that’s why Tristan Harris of the Center for Humane Technology is sounding the alarm. This week on How I Built This Lab: the second of a...
Published 02/29/24
When the iPhone 4 was released in 2010, Manish Chandra was dazzled by its picture quality, and saw an opportunity for a new type of mobile marketplace. A year later, he and three co-founders launched Poshmark, a shopping app for second-hand clothes and accessories, meant to capture the feel of going thrifting with your friends. The online community grew quickly and vocally—when Poshmark raised shipping fees, users lobbied furiously to lower them, and won. The company faced many more growing...
Published 02/26/24
When Tristan Harris co-founded the Center for Humane Technology in 2018, he was trying to educate tech leaders and policymakers about the harms of social media. But today, he’s sounding the alarm about a different technology — one that he says could pose an existential threat to the entire world … Artificial intelligence. This week on How I Built This Lab: the first of a two-episode series in which Tristan and Guy examine the serious risks posed by the rapid development and deployment of...
Published 02/22/24
In 2002, John MacFarlane and his co-founders began tinkering on what was then an ambitious idea: create a new way to enjoy music throughout the home, without wires. At the time, streaming and the iPod were brand new, and smart speakers were over a decade away. But the team at Sonos engineered a top-quality wireless sound system, and–with many fits and starts–integrated it with mobile technology and, eventually, Siri and Alexa. Along the way, John and his team contended with the early...
Published 02/19/24
There’s a new car coming to market that will probably make its owners search out the sunniest spots in the parking lot… Aptera Motors is designing and manufacturing this car: a plug-in electric hybrid that can run up to 40 miles on a single, solar-powered charge. This week on How I Built This Lab, Steve Fambro shares how he and his co-CEO revived their once-defunct auto company thanks to the promise of solar energy. Plus, Steve’s take on why today’s vehicles require so much energy, and how...
Published 02/15/24
Gabi Lewis and Greg Sewitz founded Magic Spoon to create a sugary breakfast cereal without the sugar. If that sounds daunting, consider their first business: protein bars made with cricket flour. Riffing on an idea that began as a college assignment, the founders ordered live crickets to roast at home, and worked with a top-rated chef to perfect their recipes. The only problem: getting people to eat a snack made of ground-up bugs. When Exo protein bars eventually stalled, the pair pivoted to...
Published 02/12/24
Cutting emissions alone will not be enough. To avoid the worst effects of global climate change, Heirloom CEO and co-founder Shashank Samala believes we’ll also need to pull a lot of carbon out of the atmosphere... This week on How I Built This Lab, Shashank’s leap into climate entrepreneurship, launching the company that, in just four years, built North America’s first operational carbon capture facility. Plus, Heirloom’s novel approach to carbon removal—one tray of limestone at a...
Published 02/08/24
In 2012, Ariel Kaye saw a tantalizing opportunity, but wasn’t sure she was the one to seize it. She’d never started a brand and didn’t think of herself as an entrepreneur, until she noticed how frustrating it was to buy bed linens in a big box store. Taking inspiration from Warby Parker and Everlane, Ariel quit her day job to launch a brand of DTC luxury sheets, made in Europe but exuding a California vibe, with photos of models lounging in semi-rumpled beds. As a solo founder, Ariel had to...
Published 02/05/24