Episodes
Is your office safe to re-open? How much space do you need? Is remote-work really more productive? Diane Hoskins is co-CEO of architecture firm Gensler, which advises businesses from Google to Bank of America. With the pandemic, Hoskins explains, now is a critical moment to ask important questions about what your team needs to work smarter and successfully, and to build a physical space that is not just healthy but enables both collaboration and individual work. From new technology tools to...
Published 09/22/20
"Until this problem gets fixed, all the other things that I care about, that you care about, are on hold.” In this must-hear interview, Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO (and now co-founder of Schmidt Futures) shares why he's 100% focused on addressing the challenges of Covid-19. From vaccines and testing protocols to best practices for businesses, Schmidt shares a clear-eyed roadmap for moving toward a healthy, just, and economically vibrant post-pandemic world. Listen to the "Reimagine"...
Published 09/15/20
The first day of school doesn't look the way it used to – in some cases, it might not be happening at all. As schools across the country start a new year, we're kicking off a new season with Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy, a charter school network that serves 20,000 kids across New York City. In the spring, Success Academy pivoted to remote learning days before the City shut down schools and as they start a new semester, Success Academy is pivoting to "Remote Learning 2.0."...
Published 09/08/20
Casual fans come and go. But converts stick with you — and spread the word. The trick is knowing how — and WHEN — to convert skeptics into super-fans. No one knows this better than Peloton co-founder and CEO John Foley, who has one of the most epic “No-to-Yes” stories in startup history. When he founded the company in 2012, skeptics abounded — especially among investors. But John pushed forward, convincing co-founders, angel investors, and then riders, one at a time. As he converted those...
Published 08/25/20
You need more than a good product to scale – you need strong rituals. All companies have rituals, from holding all-hands meetings to measuring KPIs. The right rituals in the right places help build your culture, cohere your team, and hone in on your targets. The wrong ones can lead you horribly astray. Shishir Mehrotra, former head of YouTube and co-founder of Coda, learned this when he scaled YouTube to a billion hours of watch time each day. He kept the team focused on that audacious goal...
Published 08/18/20
Tinder. Top Gun. Roots. The Simpsons. What do they have in common? Media icon Barry Diller. We're re-airing a classic episode with some wise words. Barry is what we call an "infinite learner." He’s only interested in things he's never done before. And if they’ve never been done by ANYONE? Better yet. He succeeds by embracing that he is, in fact, a master of nothing. Entrepreneurs, take note: You just might be an infinite learner yourself, and Barry shares a lesson or two you can use. Listen...
Published 08/11/20
The price that bleeds your business could also save it. We're revisiting a classic episode with ClassPass' Payal Kadakia to focus something every entrepreneur struggles with: pricing. When you invent something innovative, you can’t know how to price it on Day One. But you need to get people in the door — a LOT of people — even if you have to price your product fatally low at first. In this episode, ClassPass founder and chair Payal Kadakia shares the winding path to the right price — and how...
Published 08/04/20
Some products are vitamins and some are painkillers – the best, though, are both. This is what Clara Shih, founder and CEO of Hearsay Systems, learned when she launched her software startup. To survive, she needed to shift her platform from a nice-to-have into a can’t-live-without. In doing so, she learned a key secret to scale: Solve your customers’ urgent needs now... while looking ahead to their future wants. Cameo appearances: Shellye Archambeau (MetricStream), Gary Alexander (Interactive...
Published 07/28/20
It's the opposite of what you were taught. The best entrepreneurs — they let fires burn. Knowing which problems NOT to solve is as critical as knowing how to solve them. We're revisiting this episode with serial entrepreneur Selina Tobaccowala (Evite, SurveyMonkey, TicketMaster, Gixo) with the one thing that every entrepreneur needs to know right now: You have to conserve energy for the biggest blazes, and learn how to sleep easy while other fires smolder around you. Cameo appearances: Cheryl...
Published 07/21/20
How to keep a university's doors open and make safe choices? This is the question for Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell, president of Spelman College. Earlier this month Dr. Campbell announced Spelman's plan for the upcoming academic year – with decidedly fewer students on campus (and substantially fewer fees collected). Meanwhile, as the head of a leading historically Black college, based in the protest hotbed of Atlanta, she's also been grappling with social unrest and calls for change. Spelman is...
Published 07/18/20
How do you take smart risks, how can you be transparent – but inspiring – with your board and your team, how do you keep up morale in what seem like the darkest days, and what does the future of blitzscaling look like now? Reid answers all in another Strategy Session. This session is a little different – what you're about to hear is actually a portion of Reid’s virtual fireside chat with Linda Rottenberg, the CEO and co-founder of Endeavor, an organization that supports and invests in...
Published 07/14/20
The pandemic has hurt many businesses – but PayPal isn't one of them. PayPal has boomed as e-commerce purchases have swelled, with the stock up more than 50% this year and a new demographic of the 50+ joining the platform. That doesn't mean though, that CEO Dan Schulman hasn't had a slew of adjustments and worries to manage. PayPal recently committed more than $500 million to support Black and minority-owned businesses, after facilitating some $1.9 billion in PPP loans to largely underbanked...
Published 07/11/20
There's no quick fix to 400 years of oppression, says Color of Change's Rashad Robinson. One of the largest racial justice organizations in the U.S., Color of Change pressures decision-makers in business and government to enact systemic change. In 2020 Color of Change has seen its membership swell — along with its impact. Rashad's group railed against Hollywood's reflexive pro-police agenda, forcing TV shows "Cops" and "Live PD" off the air, and launched the Stop Hate for Profit campaign to...
Published 07/09/20
To survive a crisis, you have to double down on who you already are as a company. This is something Ellen Kullman knows, having led DuPont through the 2008-2009 financial crisis, and taken the CEO role at 3D-printing unicorn Carbon only weeks before Covid hit. Through her years as a leader, Ellen has developed four crisis principles that allowed her to lead teams and thrive through pandemic, economic meltdown, and beyond. The key? Practicing the principles in calmer times, before crisis hits....
Published 07/07/20
"This was like 1918, 1929 and 1968 in one week," says Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. With the pandemic, economic crisis, and civil unrest all coming together after George Floyd's death, Walker found himself flooded with calls from CEOs struggling for how to respond. Walker's advice mixes clear-eyed messages — denying the trauma borne by communities of color is no longer option — with optimism about the opportunities ahead. At the Ford Foundation, they've accelerated giving...
Published 07/02/20
Startups are audacious. They’re big. They’re world-changing. But you can’t achieve scale on day one. Sometimes the best way to achieve that monumental success tomorrow is to take a teeny tiny step today. This is what Charles Best did when he founded one of the world’s first crowdfunding platforms, DonorsChoose. For 20 years, the nonprofit has been helping public school teachers get funding and supplies for classroom projects and it all started with just a handful of projects in the Bronx,...
Published 06/30/20
A surprisingly candid and upbeat interview on the industry hardest hit by the pandemic. Delta saw seat-bookings fall to less than 5% of normal, had 40,000 employees go on unpaid leave, and raised $14 billion in funding – all to withstand a cash burn that still stands at $30 million dollars a day. To rebuild traveler trust, Delta CEO Ed Bastian has enacted a slew of new safety standards, including capping flight loads at 60 percent and using hospital-grade HEPA filters on board. Bastian...
Published 06/27/20
Every great founder has a second purpose — something outside their main business they're trying to get done in the world. And every successful company is like a Trojan Horse, carrying this second purpose forward. No one knows this better than Robert F. Smith. You may know him for his legendary Morehouse commencement speech (in which he promised to pay off the student loan debt of the entire graduating class), but Robert's scaling success and philanthropic work go far beyond that. As founder,...
Published 06/23/20
What can your business do right now in the struggle against racism? More than you think, says Shellye Archambeau, former CEO of MetricStream, now a board member at Verizon, Nordstrom and Okta. She returns to the show with her all-too-rare perspective as a Black woman at the top of some of the world’s largest businesses. The struggle is a marathon, but businesses are uniquely poised to demand accountability and transparency from their communities. Whether you're a CEO or a citizen, Shellye has...
Published 06/19/20
Forget writing that business plan. Design an experiment instead. So many products and companies fail because the assumptions in their beautiful business plans were just wrong. So stop writing and start testing. No one knows this better than Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup and founder of the Long Term Stock Exchange. After his first product failed, he developed a new method of product design based on running small, fast experiments, measuring the results, and learning from them. It’s a...
Published 06/16/20
GM is now reopening auto plants, after shutting them in March, temporarily reducing pay for 69,000 employees, and making a fast pivot to produce masks and ventilators. But with the killing of George Floyd, things are hardly back to normal. Chair and CEO Mary Barra speaks to her “profound feeling of sadness,” but also to her optimism that the country and her company will bounce back. Though there is work to be done, says Mary, we're poised for transformation.
Published 06/13/20
How do you 👀find new markets when your old ones stall? How do you stay agile when your team is overwhelmed? And do constraints always lead to creativity — really? In this Strategy Session recorded in the height of the global pandemic, Reid fields smart questions from six entrepreneurs with Village Global, an early stage VC that’s backed by some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs.
Published 06/09/20
Generation Covid has swarmed Buzzfeed, with audience numbers at record highs. Yet the pandemic's economic effects have crushed the bottom line. BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti explains how he's enduring near-term pain with an eye toward long-term opportunity. “But the transition is painful,” he says. Buzzfeed is leaning into food vertical Tasty, new e-commerce habits, and Buzzfeed News — which covered the frontline action after the death of George Floyd. Jonah laments that businesses...
Published 06/06/20
New graduates 🎓are like entrepreneurs — standing on the edge of that cliff, ready to build their own plane and fly. But what if the blue skies and calm winds disappear? In a commencement speech for 2020 graduates — and anyone embarking on something new — our host Reid Hoffman says: Be optimistic. Be bold. But most of all, steer toward the opportunities emerging in this new world. How do you find them? Cultivate a network of people smart, curious people. This network creates a map of the...
Published 06/03/20
"Being the first to close is one thing. But I don't want to be the last to open,” says iconic restaurateur Danny Meyer in his second Rapid Response interview. After shutting his iconic New York City restaurants, laying off 2,000 staffers (with hopes to re-hire) and returning a $10m PPP, Danny finds himself reconsidering nearly everything about his business model. Even before the coronavirus lockdown, the restaurant industry had a slew of “preexisting conditions,” Danny says. Now those...
Published 05/30/20