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.
How I built this with Guy Raz
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How I Built This with Guy Raz

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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.

Most Recent Episodes

Luis von Ahn is the co-founder and CEO of Duolingo Maren Bruin for NPR hide caption

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Maren Bruin for NPR

reCAPTCHA and Duolingo: Luis von Ahn

In 2000, Luis von Ahn was starting his PhD in computer science when he attended a talk and happened to learn about one of Yahoo's biggest problems: automated bots were signing up for millions of free Yahoo email accounts, and generating tons of spam. Luis' idea to solve this problem became CAPTCHA, the squiggly letters we type into a website to prove we're human. He gave away that idea for free, but years later, that same idea had evolved into a new way to monetize language learning on the web, and became Duolingo. Today, the popular app is valued at $1.5 billion, and is seeing a big spike in growth while people are confined to their homes.

reCAPTCHA and Duolingo: Luis von Ahn

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How I Built Resilience: Live with Sarah LaFleur

When Sarah LaFleur started M.M.LaFleur, she wanted to help women dress efficiently and comfortably for the office. Now that most of her customers are working from home, Sarah has to rethink her brand and her marketing to stay relevant. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating these turbulent times.

How I Built Resilience: Live with Sarah LaFleur

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How I Built Resilience: Live with Tony Xu and Marcia Kilgore

When Tony Xu started DoorDash in 2013, he wanted to help local restaurants stay afloat by introducing them to online delivery. Today, his quest remains the same, now that DoorDash has become an essential business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Marcia Kilgore's footwear brand, FitFlop, is experiencing a downturn in sales as retail stores stay closed. However, Beauty Pie – her direct-to-consumer cosmetics brand – is thriving as the beauty industry goes digital. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating these turbulent times.

How I Built Resilience: Live with Tony Xu and Marcia Kilgore

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Jo Loves: Jo Malone CBE

As a girl in 1970s London, Jo Malone learned how to make face creams by going to work with her mom at a private skin care clinic. By the time she was in her 20's, Jo was running her own skin care and cosmetics business, which eventually grew to include bath oils, scented candles, and fragrances under the brand Jo Malone London. Jo sold the brand to Estée Lauder in 1999 and then left the business after a life-changing diagnosis. She now has a fragrance company called Jo Loves, where she innovates with new kinds of scents and—in the present crisis—is considering and new ways to present them.

Jo Loves: Jo Malone CBE

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How I Built Resilience: Live with Tobias Lütke and Jon Stein

When Tobias Lütke started Shopify, he wanted to empower merchants to start small and build resilience. Tobi spoke with Guy about the relevance of those principles in 2020, as he explains the rise of Shopify sign-ups during the pandemic. Jon Stein spoke with Guy about starting Betterment in the wake of the 2008 recession, and why this economic downturn could be the perfect time to start a company. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating these turbulent times.

How I Built Resilience: Live with Tobias Lütke and Jon Stein

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How I Built Resilience: Live with Samin Nosrat and Alice Waters & Fanny Singer

Samin Nosrat, the author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, talks with Guy about unintentionally writing the ultimate quarantine cookbook, and how she's been inspired by the camaraderie among fellow home cooks. Chez Panisse founder Alice Waters and her daughter Fanny Singer tell Guy some tips for growing a victory garden and helping local farmers stay in business. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating these turbulent times.

How I Built Resilience: Live with Samin Nosrat and Alice Waters & Fanny Singer

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Ani Bushry for NPR

Impossible Foods: Pat Brown

When he was nearly 60, Pat Brown left a dream job to pursue an ambitious mission: to create delicious meat from plants. As a biochemist, he'd become alarmed at the destructive impact of meat production on the environment, so he set out to make a burger so juicy and flavorful that even meat-lovers would crave it. After some painstaking research, Pat's team created the Impossible Burger, and famous chefs started to feature it in their restaurants. In 2019, the Impossible Whopper launched at Burger King, and today Pat's company, Impossible Foods, is valued at nearly $4 billion.

Impossible Foods: Pat Brown

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How I Built Resilience: Live with Stewart Butterfield and Steve Holmes

Slack's co-founder Stewart Butterfield wonders what the future of work will look like for his 12 million customers. Springfree Trampoline's co-founder Steve Holmes says the company has seen a 300 percent increase in demand for its products. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders and entrepreneurs about how they're navigating these turbulent times.

How I Built Resilience: Live with Stewart Butterfield and Steve Holmes

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How I Built Resilience: Live with Christina Tosi and Gary Erickson & Kit Crawford

Since March, only five of Milk Bar's 18 locations have been up and running, but founder Christina Tosi tells Guy she is determined to bring the joy of baking to the doorsteps of family, friends, and healthcare workers. Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford have donated more than 3 million Clif Bars to doctors and nurses during the COVID-19 crisis. They tell Guy about the importance of morale when running an essential business 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 these turbulent times.

How I Built Resilience: Live with Christina Tosi and Gary Erickson & Kit Crawford

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Cotopaxi: Davis Smith

By his mid-30's, Davis Smith had co-founded two businesses. The first ended well, but the second was such a disappointment that he wondered if he should even bother trying again. But he did. In 2014, he launched Cotopaxi, an outdoor gear company with two fluffy llamas as mascots and an expressed mission to do good in the world. The brand is now making tens of millions of dollars a year, and Davis hopes that the current pandemic will not slow its ambitions to grow and to give back generously.

Cotopaxi: Davis Smith

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