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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ARRAY: Filmmaker Ava DuVernay

By her early thirties, Ava DuVernay was already a successful entrepreneur, having founded her own film publicity agency in Los Angeles. But after years of watching other people make films, she started to get an itch to tell her own stories onscreen. Ava's first films were rooted in deeply personal experiences: growing up with her sisters in Compton, performing Hip Hop at Open Mic Night at the Good Life Café in L.A. Her self-funded and self-distributed projects began to draw attention, and in 2012, Ava won the award for best directing at the Sundance Film Festival. She went on to direct powerful projects like Selma, 13th, and When They See Us; and through her production and distribution company ARRAY, she's created a movement that is helping change how movies are made—and who gets to make them.

ARRAY: Filmmaker Ava DuVernay

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Molly Magnell for NPR

Expedia & Zillow: Rich Barton

In the early 90s, Rich Barton arrived to work at Microsoft just as the world wide web was taking off. He wound up pitching Bill Gates on an idea that was transformative at the time: to let everyday travelers book their own flights and hotels by giving them online access to previously hidden reservation systems. Expedia launched from inside Microsoft but was so successful at transforming the travel industry that it was spun out into a public company with Rich as CEO. Then in 2005, Rich moved on to a new idea with some Expedia colleagues, co-founding Zillow as a way to "turn on all the lights" in another sprawling industry: real estate. When the site launched in 2006, so many people tried to look up their home-value "Zestimates" that the site crashed within hours. By 2020, pandemic-era interest in housing saw Zillow accessed almost 10 billion times.

Expedia & Zillow: Rich Barton

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Molly Magnell for NPR

Jovial Foods: Carla Bartolucci

Carla Bartolucci grew up in an Italian-American household, eating fresh gnocchi and ravioli made by her mother, and lobster caught by her father. She met her husband Rodolfo while studying abroad in Italy; and by the early 1990's, the two of them were running a small sandwich shop in Mystic, Connecticut. They eventually partnered with the Italian company Bionaturae to sell whole wheat pastas, sauces and olive oil in the U.S. When that partnership ended in a lawsuit, Carla decided to launch her own brand of pasta, made from gluten-free grains and a prehistoric wheat called Einkorn. Jovial Foods has since grown into a multi-million dollar brand that includes organic tomatoes, olive oil, and snacks.

Jovial Foods: Carla Bartolucci

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Marcus Marritt for NPR

JetBlue Airways: David Neeleman (2019)

In the mid-90s, David Neeleman wanted to launch a new airline. He had already co-created a regional airline out of Salt Lake City that was acquired by Southwest. And despite his admiration of Southwest's business model, Neeleman felt there was a market for a different kind of budget airline. He envisioned flights to cities other budget airlines avoided and excellent customer service, with high-tech amenities. In 2000, he launched JetBlue and in its first year, the company flew over 1 million people, and cultivated a loyal customer following. Then came the 2007 Valentine's Day ice storm.

JetBlue Airways: David Neeleman (2019)

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Meet The HIBT Fellows: Dinesh Tadepalli & Jennifer Zeitler

As a part of the 2021 How I Built This Summit (At Home) we have selected 10 Fellows, and we'd like to introduce you to all of them. In this episode: Dinesh Tadepalli is the co-founder of Incredible Eats, which he hopes will reduce plastic use, and reinvent the way we eat. Also, Jennifer Zeitler founded Let's Goat Buffalo, to offer a natural alternative to harmful chemicals and heavy machinery for land management; that solution: goats.

Meet The HIBT Fellows: Dinesh Tadepalli & Jennifer Zeitler

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Shane Tolentino for NPR

Policygenius: Jennifer Fitzgerald

Some of the world's biggest industries sell products that we all need...but don't want to think about. That's what drew Jennifer Fitzgerald to insurance: she wanted to help people understand the often bewildering world of protecting themselves in case of emergencies. In 2013, she and her partner Francois de Lame left their stable and lucrative consulting jobs to create Policygenius, an online marketplace for insurance that lets consumers compare rates and learn everything they need to know to make informed decisions about their financial future. At the beginning, Jennifer couldn't convince investors to take a chance on the company, and faced rejection after rejection as she tried to hold on to a handful of customers. But by building a relationship with the financial blogging community—and leaning in to a few well-placed financial technology puns—Policygenius got a foot in the door. By 2020, Jennifer and her team had raised over $100 million, and the company now has more than 30 million users.

Policygenius: Jennifer Fitzgerald

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Meet The HIBT Fellows: Kaitlin McGreyes & Nicole Argüelles

As a part of the 2021 How I Built This Summit (At Home) we have selected 10 Fellows, and we'd like to introduce you to each of them. In this episode: Kaitlin McGreyes founded Be Her Village to be a gift registry for expectant families that provides more than just...stuff. And Nicole Argüelles founded Alli to address period poverty and provide easy access to personal care and hygiene products in public spaces.

Meet The HIBT Fellows: Kaitlin McGreyes & Nicole Argüelles

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Meet The HIBT Fellows: Mark Atlan & Zach Correa

As a part of the 2021 How I Built This Summit (At Home) we have selected 10 Fellows, and we'd like to introduce you to each of them. In this episode: Mark Atlan co-founded ZappCare to help make sure that people living on tribal lands have access to health and medical services close to their homes. And Zach Correa hopes to connect users of lemonGRAFT to the people in their own neighborhood that grow fresh produce.

Meet The HIBT Fellows: Mark Atlan & Zach Correa

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Molly Magnell for NPR

Diapers.com & Jet.com: Marc Lore

Around 2003, after forays into banking, baseball cards, and—believe it or not—bobsledding, Marc Lore landed on an idea for an e-commerce business: a website to make it simple for parents to order diapers. The only problem, as he quickly discovered, was that it's impossible to make money selling diapers on the internet. But Marc and his co-founder had a strategy: they'd lose money on diapers, but make it up by selling other baby products. By 2010, Diapers.com was such a competitive threat that Amazon acquired the company for over $500 million. In 2015, Marc launched another e-commerce venture and Amazon competitor called Jet.com. Walmart bought Jet.com less than a year later in a deal valued at $3.3 billion.

Diapers.com & Jet.com: Marc Lore

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Meet The HIBT Fellows: Katie Mitchell & Celena Gill

As a part of the 2021 How I Built This Summit (At Home) we have selected 10 Fellows, and we'd like to introduce you to them over the next couple weeks. In this episode: Katie Mitchell and her mother Katherine opened a book shop in Atlanta called Good Books, that centers Black authors and brings books into the community. And in Washington, D.C., Celena Gill and her three sons, Collin, Ryan, and Austin, started the home fragrance and candle company, Frères Branchiaux.

Meet The HIBT Fellows: Katie Mitchell & Celena Gill

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