Episodes
With Kamala Harris suddenly poised to become the Democratic presidential nominee, expectations have been turned on their head for voters, fundraisers, and the business world. Axios political correspondent Alex Thompson joins Rapid Response host Bob Safian to share what his sources have said behind the scenes about what drove Biden’s decision-making, the role of business leaders going forward, and how the Harris 2024 enterprise is going into startup mode. Visit the Rapid Response website...
Published 07/23/24
Published 07/23/24
What do NBA fans want? A phone charger in every seat? This fall, the LA Clippers will welcome guests to their new home: the Intuit Dome. Team owner, Steve Ballmer, joins AT&T CEO John Stankey to talk with host Bob Safian about how tech can amplify the live, in-game experience. Screens, cameras, and mobile devices are an integral part of their vision, whether it’s replays or fan-cams or real-time data. Ballmer and Stankey are an engaging buddy act as they trade ideas about innovation,...
Published 07/19/24
Summer’s not so hot at the movie theaters, and the same goes for streaming. Nothing’s come close to last year’s Barbie-Oppenheimer success, and Janice Min of entertainment news startup Ankler Media can’t say she’s surprised. Janice vets Hollywood’s offerings for the summer entertainment cycle, weighs in on deals from Paramount/Skydance to the astronomical price of NBA rights, and lays out the financial reality for media companies in an age of scrambling for everyone’s digital...
Published 07/16/24
Once upon a time, dating apps were distinct, each catering to a different demographic or lifestyle. Today they’ve blurred together, like an endless stream of swipes, deepening a trend of user burnout. In that struggling sea of love, Hinge stands out, continuing to grow and sustaining social relevance. Hinge’s founder and CEO Justin McLeod joins Rapid Response to explore the state of dating in 2024, how Hinge is experimenting with new features to target ghosting, and why he’s so excited about...
Published 07/12/24
With 346 events over 17 days at this summer’s Paris Olympics, how do we zero in on the most important events, storylines, and takeaways? CEO of the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee, Sarah Hirshland, returns to Rapid Response to provide an insider’s guide, including a preview of Team USA’s strategy. Hirshland also talks about the latest Chinese doping scandal, how changes to the NCAA put the future of collegiate sport in jeopardy, and plans for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.  Visit the...
Published 07/09/24
We are excited to bring back one of our favorite episodes from the past year. In our attention economy, what does it take to capture the cultural zeitgeist? VaynerMedia’s Gary Vaynerchuk – or GaryVee – joins Rapid Response host Bob Safian to preach the need for widespread empathy and fearless leadership, and he uncovers the secrets to his new platform’s unconventional scale. Plus, Vaynerchuk shares why he is the only person at his company with firing privileges, and why your happiness is...
Published 07/05/24
The fashion world is at a sudden inflection point. Big luxury players are struggling, e-commerce markets are floundering, and ultra-fast players like Shein are disrupting. The Business of Fashion’s Imran Amed takes us inside the tumult, providing a framework to understand the trends and their larger economic impact. Plus: how manufacturers are adapting to new sustainability scrutiny, and the first year of Pharrell Williams’ tenure at Louis Vuitton.  Visit the Rapid Response website...
Published 07/02/24
The ocean is deep, dark, and largely overlooked in discussions of climate change. Philippe Cousteau Jr., grandson of the legendary ocean restorationist, inventor, and documentarian, Jacques Cousteau explains the immense impact of carbon in our seas. Cousteau joins Rapid Response to talk about missteps that plague the climate movement, lessons he learned from his grandfather that could reverse those errors, and why we need to leverage market dynamics to accelerate progress. Cousteau is a...
Published 06/28/24
While many plant-based food brands have struggled recently, Pinky Cole’s fast food chain Slutty Vegan keeps growing, with new restaurants across the U.S. Pinky sits down with Rapid Response host Bob Safian to explain how she’s scaling the brand despite lawsuits, social media attacks and a flurry of vegan restaurant competitor closures. Pinky also shares the story behind her recent keynote at Savannah State University, where she gifted the HBCU grads almost $9 million in entrepreneurial tools...
Published 06/25/24
When Elon Musk, Karlie Kloss, Travis Kelce, and a who’s-who of media, branding, and tech execs all converge, there’s plenty of buzz. From the Cannes Lions festival in the south of France, Autodesk’s Dara Treseder talks with Bob Safian about the key themes, lessons, and intrigue that emerged. She explains why AI and women’s sports dominated much of the conversation, how the attention economy is giving way to the ‘intention economy,’ and why influencers don’t want you calling them “influencers”...
Published 06/21/24
Can nuclear energy, solar and wind farms, and carbon capture scale fast enough to save the planet? GE Vernova CEO Scott Strazik joins Rapid Response host Bob Safian on stage at the Climatech conference in Boston to detail how green energy is evolving in 2024. GE Vernova is a new company spun out from General Electric, and helps power around a quarter of the world’s electricity. Strazik explains how today’s electrical grid limits renewable energy’s potential, and why it desperately needs a...
Published 06/18/24
Apple used Monday’s keynote at the big annual WWDC event to unveil a roster of new software developments, product upgrades, and most importantly — their long-awaited AI play. Fast Company’s Yasmin Gagne joins Rapid Response host Bob Safian to discuss Apple’s new high-stakes partnership with OpenAI, implications for app-based businesses, and investors’ reactions to the week’s news. The pair also read the tea leaves on Tim Cook’s future successor, explore whether we’ve reached ‘peak Apple,’ and...
Published 06/14/24
After Guild’s founding CEO suffered a stroke at the age of just 34, Bijal Shah was tapped to take the helm. Shah joins Rapid Response to share the story behind the emotional leadership change, and how she wrestled with the immense responsibility of shepherding a company out of crisis. Shah also discusses how Taylor Swift inspires her leadership, and why Guild recently partnered with Team USA ahead of the Paris Olympics.  Watch this episode on YouTube:...
Published 06/11/24
In the era of AI, are Hollywood’s threatening sci-fi robots poised to come to life? Peggy Johnson, CEO of Agility Robotics returns to Rapid Response to separate hype from reality, explaining how Agility’s humanoid robot, Digit, is entering the industrial workforce today. The former CEO of augmented reality startup Magic Leap, Johnson shares what makes robot tech more tangible than AR and explores the sensitive relationship between robotics and human-held jobs. Watch this episode on YouTube:...
Published 06/07/24
For anyone skeptical about crypto hype, Sheila Warren explains why it is here to stay, and what you might be overlooking. As CEO of the Crypto Council for Innovation, Warren joins Rapid Response to take us inside today’s crypto resurgence, in which 1 out of 5 Americans hold crypto in some fashion. Warren shares the story behind Congress’ recent bipartisan crypto bill, and how the industry is cracking down on bad actors and get-rich-quick schemes. Plus, how crypto is part of the underlying...
Published 06/04/24
As elite physical training programs proliferate — with a slew of execs embracing the quest to stay as young and fit as possible — Equinox recently announced their own $40k longevity membership. We invite the company’s former president, Sarah Robb O’Hagan, now CEO of fitness and coaching firm EXOS, to sit down with Rapid Response host Bob Safian and explain where this craze has come from, and where it’s likely headed. O’Hagan also digs into the nexus between personal training regimens and...
Published 05/31/24
How will the return of meme stocks like GameStop and day trading influencers like Roaring Kitty alter the fintech landscape? Robinhood’s co-founder and CEO Vlad Tenev, who was a lightning rod for controversy when meme stocks first surged in 2021, joins Rapid Response to explain what’s the same and what’s different this time around. Tenev also shares how his family’s struggles in 1990s Bulgaria shapes his view of the U.S. financial markets today, and whether trading on Robinhood is like using...
Published 05/28/24
In a season dominated by Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, and Barbie, investment world icon Sallie Krawcheck returns to Rapid Response to celebrate what she calls “the feminization of wealth.” Founder and CEO of women-led investment platform Ellevest, Krawcheck sits down with host Bob Safian to discuss Ellevest reaching $2 billion in assets under management and what the milestone indicates about the state of gender equity in 2024. The pair also dive into The Great Wealth Transfer — primed to turn the...
Published 05/24/24
Amid college campus protests over Palestine and Israel, stark US political divides, and legal challenges to diversity initiatives, business leaders face new pressure on whether to speak out and take action on issues of our time. Ken Frazier, former CEO of Merck, and Ken Chenault, former CEO of American Express, offer their unfiltered advice, as board members of the Harvard Corporation and two of America’s most prominent Black executives. It’s a candid conversation about the most controversial...
Published 05/21/24
Don’t bet on chat or voice as the future of AI, exhorts Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky in Part 2 of our no-holds-barred interview. Chesky tells Rapid Response host Bob Safian that apps — including ChatGPT — aren’t tapping into the true power of AI, and shares how he’s working with legendary Apple designer Jony Ive to explore a new tech interface. Chesky also shares details of how he operates Airbnb like planets orbiting the sun — and how once all those pieces of his plan fit together, Airbnb will be...
Published 05/17/24
As Rapid Response begins a twice-weekly cadence, Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky returns to reveal how the company’s new Icons initiative points toward a surprising new chapter ahead. Host Bob Safian gets Chesky to open up about the mental struggles of being a high-profile CEO, plus the inside story behind Airbnb’s recent ad campaign targeting hotels. The pair cover so much, we’ve split the episode into two parts. Part 2 drops this Friday exclusively in the Rapid Response podcast feed....
Published 05/14/24
We’ve reached a radical inflection point in the growth of women’s sports, particularly the WNBA. As college stars like Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese enter the league, fans are clamoring for tickets and on social media, generating unprecedented excitement and business potential. WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert joins Rapid Response host Bob Safian to share how she plans to capitalize on this newfound buzz, and how NIL deals have transformed the business of sports for players and owners alike....
Published 05/07/24
The pace of change in our culture is unprecedented and shows no signs of slowing. So what is most important to pay attention to when striving to innovate, create, and lead? Rapid Response features candid conversations with today's top business leaders navigating real-time challenges. Hosted by the former editor-in-chief of Fast Company, Bob Safian. As the fastest-growing content in the Masters of Scale franchise, starting May 14th Rapid Response will begin releasing new episodes every...
Published 05/03/24
Khan Academy first rocked the education world with online video. Now Khan Academy CEO and founder Sal Khan has gone all-in on AI, convinced that it has immense potential to democratize and improve education. Khan tells Rapid Response host Bob Safian how an early outreach from OpenAI led Khan Academy to create an AI assistant called Khanmigo, which is already being used by thousands of students and teachers. Khan shares lessons from this real-world experiment, plus the inspiration behind his...
Published 04/30/24