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

Angela Hsieh for NPR

Jazzercise: Judi Sheppard Missett

Judi Sheppard Missett wandered into her first dance class when she was 2, and hasn't stopped dancing since. In the late 1960s, she was teaching jazz dance in Chicago and her students—mostly young moms—complained she was acting too much like a Broadway taskmaster, when all they wanted was get in shape and have a good time. Seeing an opportunity, Judi created Jazzercise: a hybrid of aerobics and dance that ushered in a new culture of spandexed, synchronized movement and became one of the first workout programs for women with mass appeal. With the help of video technology and franchising, Jazzercise eventually spread around the world, growing into the $100 million business it is today.

Jazzercise: Judi Sheppard Missett

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Angela Hsieh for NPR

Patreon: Jack Conte and Sam Yam

As part of the band Pomplamoose, musician Jack Conte had a sizeable fan base in the late 2000s and was making thousands of dollars a month from iTunes sales. But when streaming services like Spotify took over the music scene, Jack's income dwindled. So he called up his college roommate Sam Yam, who had spent his post-college years launching startup after startup. Together, Sam and Jack created Patreon, a platform where artists' most passionate fans can sponsor them for just a few dollars a month. Following a Covid-era surge in new members, Patreon is now valued at over a billion dollars and supports over 200,000 musicians, artists, and content creators.

Patreon: Jack Conte and Sam Yam

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Connor Heckert for NPR

Chipotle: Steve Ells (2017)

In 1992, Steve Ells was a classically trained chef working in a high-end restaurant in San Francisco. But after eating a burrito at a local taqueria, he got an idea: to sell burritos and earn enough money to open his own gourmet restaurant. The first Chipotle opened in Denver the following year. Bringing his culinary training to taqueria-style service, Steve Ells helped transform the way we eat fast food.

Chipotle: Steve Ells (2017)

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Marcus Marritt for NPR

ActOne Group: Janice Bryant Howroyd (2018)

In the late 1970s Janice Bryant Howroyd moved to Los Angeles and began temping as a secretary. She soon realized there were many other young people in situations similar to hers. So with $1,500 in her pocket, Janice rented an office in Beverly Hills and created the staffing company ACT-1. Today, ActOne Group is an international workforce management company, making Janice Bryant Howroyd the first African-American woman to own a billion-dollar business.

ActOne Group: Janice Bryant Howroyd (2018)

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How I Built Resilience: Morra Aarons-Mele of Women Online

Morra Aarons-Mele is the founder of Women Online and hosts The Anxious Achiever podcast. Morra shares how her agency pivoted during the pandemic after losing 30% of its business overnight, and how anxious entrepreneurs like herself can lead effectively in a world full of stress and uncertainty. 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: Morra Aarons-Mele of Women Online

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Monica Nguyen-Vo for NPR

Author and Podcaster: Tim Ferriss

By the time he turned 30, Tim Ferriss had figured out how to succeed at things that many people fail at—from growing a business to dancing the tango to marketing a best-selling book. He approached these and numerous other challenges by breaking them down into manageable chunks, carefully documenting his own progress, and taking copious notes. That formula is now wrapped into a hugely successful personal brand that blends optimism with discipline and includes five books and a popular podcast.

Author and Podcaster: Tim Ferriss

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Daniela Corrente is the CEO and co-founder of Reel. NPR hide caption

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How I Built Resilience: Daniela Corrente of Reel

Reel is a digital savings platform that helps people people make big purchases without racking up credit card debt. CEO and co-founder Daniela Corrente says the company has added new savings plans during the pandemic in response to consumers looking for new ways to buy and save. 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.

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Maren Bruin for NPR

Riot Games: Bonus Episode

There were so many interesting moments in Guy's conversation with the co-founders of Riot Games that we decided to put them into this short bonus episode. In it, Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill talk about kids, screens, and the importance of boredom. They answer Guy's questions about why some gamers engage in toxic behavior, and how Riot Games is trying to address it. To hear the whole story of the founding of Riot Games, search your queue for the main episode, which dropped earlier this week.

Riot Games: Bonus Episode

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Maren Bruin for NPR

Riot Games: Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill

At USC in the late 1990s, Marc Merrill and Brandon Beck were bonding over video games and noticing that free, player-made modifications for the game Warcraft III were becoming wildly popular online. The two friends were so impressed by these mods that they decided to create their own multiplayer strategy game with an unusual twist: they'd offer the game for free, but charge players money for new characters or customizable clothing (or "skins"). Many investors balked at the idea, unsure that a free game—created by total novices—would generate enough revenue. After three rocky years of development, Marc and Brandon's company Riot Games launched League of Legends in 2009. Over the past 11 years, it's become one of the most popular PC games of all time, pulling in $1.5 billion in 2019 alone.

Riot Games: Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill

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How I Built Resilience: Emily Powell of Powell's Books

Emily Powell is the third generation owner and president of Portland, Oregon's iconic independent bookseller, Powell's Books. After having to let go of 90% of her staff in early March, Emily is focused on bringing people back and showcasing Powell's Books' unique in-store experience online. 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: Emily Powell of Powell's Books

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