How I Built This with Guy Raz 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/
How I built this with Guy Raz
NPR

How I Built This with Guy Raz

From NPR

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/

Most Recent Episodes

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How I Built Resilience: Ethan Diamond of Bandcamp

In the early 2000s, the online music community was defined by MySpace, illegally downloaded music, and poorly made band websites. Then came Bandcamp – a music marketplace where fans can directly and easily support their favorite musicians. The company has steadily grown since its launch in 2007, but last year traffic and sales surged. CEO and co-founder Ethan Diamond talks with Guy about launching a virtual concert space in the pandemic and why the company started Bandcamp Friday, a monthly event where all processing fees are waived and all funds go directly to the artists. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating turbulent times.

How I Built Resilience: Ethan Diamond of Bandcamp

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Amanda Hesser is Co-founder and CEO of Food52 Scott Everett for NPR hide caption

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Scott Everett for NPR

Food52: Amanda Hesser

In the early 1990s, as Amanda Hesser's college friends were interviewing for their first cubicle jobs, she chose a different path: one that led straight into the kitchens of Europe, where she cooked traditional recipes and learned the rhythm of the seasons from a crusty French gardener. By 24, she had landed a book deal and one of the most coveted jobs in journalism: writing about food for the New York Times. But over time she grew restless, and in 2008, gave up that dream job—and the stability that went with it—to become an entrepreneur. When her first business fizzled out, Amanda took a financial risk by pivoting again to launch a new company: Food52. Part food blog, part e-commerce site for all things kitchen and home, Food52 is now valued at roughly $100 million and achieved profitability for the first time in 2020—during the pandemic.

Food52: Amanda Hesser

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How I Built Resilience: Kara Goldin of Hint

After giving up diet soda, Kara Goldin started adding fresh fruit to her drinking water to make it more fun. This inspired her to create Hint water, a line of unsweetened flavored water beverages that are now available in over 30,000 stores nationwide. Kara shares how sales have almost doubled as Hint invested in e-commerce during the pandemic, and offers her advice for entrepreneurs trying to break into saturated market spaces like the beverage industry. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating turbulent times.

How I Built Resilience: Kara Goldin of Hint

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Maren Bruin for NPR

UPPAbaby: Bob and Lauren Monahan

As a product developer, Bob Monahan worked with some iconic brands: the Pump at Reebok, the Taurus and Mustang at Ford. When he moved on to work at a baby products company, he happened to discover another set of wheels that caught his eye: a sleek-looking stroller that could accommodate a car-seat or a bassinet. Bob was itching to start his own venture, so in 2006, with the help of his wife Lauren, he launched UPPAbaby and started selling a European-style stroller at an "entry-level luxury" price. As a dad himself, Bob guessed that other dads would be intrigued by UPPAbaby's design; meanwhile, big-name celebrities started to use the stroller, and photos of them pushing it helped accelerate sales. The brand grew quickly, and 15 years after its launch, UPPAbaby employs over 100 people and sells strollers in more than 50 countries.

UPPAbaby: Bob and Lauren Monahan

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How I Built Resilience: Vivian Ku, Restaurateur

Vivian Ku is a Taiwanese-American restaurateur who owns three different Taiwanese restaurants in Los Angeles. After the pandemic halted her plans for expansion, Vivian decided to close her two restaurants until May and pivoted her expansion plans into a breakfast pop-up. Vivian talks to Guy about why she decided to serve Taiwanese food and the pros and cons of opening a restaurant during a pandemic. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating turbulent times.

How I Built Resilience: Vivian Ku, Restaurateur

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Kristen Uroda for NPR

Hinge: Justin McLeod

In 2010, Justin McLeod was in business school, still trying to get over a bad breakup that had happened years before. Determined to solve his own problem and convinced that the best way to meet people was through friends of friends, he built an app to replicate that experience. Gradually, Hinge grew into a streamlined swiping platform that yielded mixed results: good dates, bad hookups, mismatched swipes, and missed opportunities. Disappointed with this outcome and inspired by a sudden twist in his own love life, Justin redesigned Hinge as an app for finding meaningful relationships, with the tag line "designed to be deleted." Today, Hinge is owned by Match Group and is one of the most popular dating apps in the U.S.

Hinge: Justin McLeod

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How I Built Resilience: Lisa Baird of National Women's Soccer League

Lisa Baird stepped in as commissioner of the National Women's Soccer League in March 2020 and just two days into her job the entire multi-billion dollar sports industry went dark. Lisa talks with Guy about the difficulties the league overcame to launch their Challenge Cup tournament last summer, and the need for equal coverage of women's sports. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating turbulent times.

How I Built Resilience: Lisa Baird of National Women's Soccer League

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Magdalena Mora for NPR

Siete Family Foods: Miguel and Veronica Garza

Miguel and Veronica Garza grew up in Laredo, Texas, in the kind of family that did almost everything together. So when Veronica realized that a grain-free diet was helping her cope with debilitating health issues, the rest of the family—all six of them—adopted the same paleo-friendly diet. Soon Veronica was making her own almond flour tortillas at home and selling them at a CrossFit gym that the Garza family had launched in Laredo. The grain-free tortillas were a hit, and by 2016, Siete Family Foods products were being sold in Whole Foods Markets across the country. Today, Veronica and Miguel head the company with the help of the whole family, and Siete has become one of the fastest-growing Mexican-American food brands in the U.S.

Siete Family Foods: Miguel and Veronica Garza

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How I Built Resilience: Shan-Lyn Ma of Zola

With the wedding industry dramatically impacted by the pandemic, co-founder and CEO of Zola, Shan-Lyn Ma decided to pivot. Instead of just wedding planning, Zola would expand to include livestreaming virtual weddings as well as an e-commerce marketplace for home goods. Shan-Lyn talks with Guy about her forecast for the wedding industry this year and how to get more girls interested in entrepreneurship. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating turbulent times.

How I Built Resilience: Shan-Lyn Ma of Zola

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Kristen Uroda for NPR

Rick Steves' Europe: Rick Steves

Rick Steves spent the summer after high school backpacking through Europe on two dollars a day—sleeping on the floor, sneaking into museums, and subsisting on a diet of bread and jam. When he came home, he found people were hungry for tips on how to visit Europe on the cheap, so he began teaching classes, and was soon hawking a self-published guidebook out of his car. Eventually, he started leading minibus tours and hosting a travel show on Public TV, steadily growing his business even though he was giving away most of his content. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, his no-frills approach to travel has persisted as a powerful brand, with 70 guidebooks, an ever-popular travel show, and—in 2019—an annual revenue of $100 million.

Rick Steves' Europe: Rick Steves

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