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. Pre-order the How I Built This book at https://smarturl.it/HowIBuiltThis.
How I built this with Guy Raz
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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. Pre-order the How I Built This book at https://smarturl.it/HowIBuiltThis.

Most Recent Episodes

Rashida Chavis for NPR

The Lip Bar: Melissa Butler

While working long hours as a Wall Street analyst, Melissa Butler started making lipstick in her kitchen as a hobby. But it soon turned into an obsession, costing thousands of dollars. She was frustrated by the lack of diversity in the cosmetics industry, and as a Black woman, wanted to create lipstick colors that complimented her complexion and style. So in 2010, she launched The Lip Bar, with bold colors like green and purple, and boozy names like "Cosmo" and "Sour Apple Martini." Undeterred by a disastrous appearance on Shark Tank with her partner Rosco Spears, Melissa was motivated to pitch her lipstick to Target, and in 2016, launched a new color on Target's online store. Today, The Lip Bar has expanded to 500 Target stores, and has continued to grow a following, despite the pain points of the pandemic.

The Lip Bar: Melissa Butler

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How I Built Resilience: Father Gregory Boyle of Homeboy Industries

Father Gregory Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries, one of the largest gang-intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry programs in the world. He speaks with Guy about how the Los Angeles based organization has adapted to continue training and employing people during the 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.

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Rashida Chavis for NPR

Kenneth Cole: Kenneth Cole

Kenneth Cole launched his shoe business out of a forty-foot truck in midtown Manhattan and quickly became known as an up-and-coming designer with an eye for street fashion. In 1986, he made a bold move by associating his nascent brand with a controversial issue at the time: the AIDS crisis, and the vital need for research. Through the 1990s and 2000s, Kenneth grew the company into a $500M brand, leading it through downturns, department store consolidation, an IPO and a return to private ownership. Throughout, he stayed committed to AIDS research and many other social causes.

Kenneth Cole: Kenneth Cole

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Drew Houston, Co-founder and CEO of Dropbox. Chelsea Beck for NPR hide caption

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Chelsea Beck for NPR

Dropbox: Drew Houston

In 2006, Drew Houston got on a bus from Boston heading to New York. He planned to use the three-hour ride to get some work done, so he opened his laptop, and realized he had left his thumb drive with all of his work files at home. Drew decided he never wanted to have that problem again. On that bus ride, he started writing the code to build a cloud-based file storage and sharing service he called Dropbox. Fourteen years later, Drew and his co-founder, Arash Ferdowsi, have built Dropbox into a public company worth close to $8 billion. Order the How I Built This book at: https://smarturl.it/HowIBuiltThis

Dropbox: Drew Houston

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How I Built Resilience: Varshini Prakash of Sunrise Movement

Guy talks with Varshini Prakash, co-founder of Sunrise Movement, a grassroots organization that's fighting to make climate change a top priority in the US. The group launched in 2017 and has since grown into one of the largest youth movements in the country. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built Resilience series, where Guy talks online with founders about how they're navigating these turbulent times.

How I Built Resilience: Varshini Prakash of Sunrise Movement

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Alex Gilbeaux for NPR

Famous Dave's: Dave Anderson

Growing up in 1960's Chicago, Dave Anderson didn't eat much deep dish. Instead, his dad took the family to the South Side for barbecue, and those memories—and aromas—stayed with him. For years, Dave tinkered with his own recipes for sauces and sides while working as a salesman and business advisor to Native American tribes. Finally in 1994, he opened his first barbecue shack in the last place you might expect to find one: the little town of Hayward, Wisconsin. The chain grew quickly—too quickly—and Dave developed a love-hate relationship with the brand he'd created, but never lost his passion for smoked ribs and brisket. Today, Famous Dave's has around 125 restaurants across the U.S., making it one of the largest barbecue chains in the country.

Famous Dave's: Dave Anderson

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How I Built Resilience: Justin Gold of Justin's

Justin Gold is the founder of Justin's, known for its nut butters and chocolate peanut butter cups. He talks about how he started by pulverizing peanuts in his home blender, and describes how his customers are shopping differently during the 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: Justin Gold of Justin's

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How I Built Resilience: Cheryl Contee of Do Big Things

Do Big Things is a Black woman-led, mission-driven digital agency that works with companies like Google, Etsy, and the NAACP, and has a staff that's 50% people of color. The agency's CEO and founder Cheryl Contee says having a diverse team is a strategy for authentic engagement. 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: Cheryl Contee of Do Big Things

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Joelle Avelino for NPR

McBride Sisters Wine (Part 2 of 2): Robin McBride and Andréa McBride John

After Robin McBride and Andréa McBride John made the extraordinary discovery that they were half-sisters, they formed a deep bond and discovered a mutual dream: to create a wine company that would demystify wine culture and attract a wider audience. In the mid-2000s, they staked their life savings on an importer's license and began selling New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc to high-end restaurants, eventually partnering with larger companies to test out their blends and learn more about the business. In 2016, they decided to take a leap and create their own collection. Today, their wine—including the signature brand Black Girl Magic—is on grocery shelves across the country, and the McBride Sisters Collection is one of the biggest Black-owned wine companies in the world. Order the How I Built This book at:https://smarturl.it/HowIBuiltThis

McBride Sisters Wine (Part 2 of 2): Robin McBride and Andréa McBride John

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How I Built Resilience: Sonia Gil of Fluenz

Fluenz helps English speakers learn new languages, both online and with in-person immersion programs. With travel restrictions and a global pandemic, CEO and founder Sonia Gil had to scrap her in-person immersion programs, and create a new system for teaching students remotely. 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: Sonia Gil of Fluenz

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