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How I Built This with Guy Raz

Podcasts | Business

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 latest podcasts.

S'well: Sarah Kauss

Listen to S'well: Sarah KaussIn 2009, Sarah Kauss had a well-paying job in real estate development, but she was itching to do something more. On a hike in Tucson with her mom, she got an idea for a business while swigging warm water from a metal thermos: why not design a water bottle that kept cold things cold and hot things hot, but was also beautiful to look at? Just six years after launch, S'well reportedly made $100 million; but today, Sarah is especially focused on how the brand can help eliminate plastic waste around the world.

Live with Guy Online: Jeni Britton Bauer

Listen to Live with Guy Online: Jeni Britton BauerEach week, Guy will be hosting brief online conversations with founders and members of the How I Built This community about how they're navigating these uncertain times. This past Friday, Guy spoke with Jeni Britton Bauer, founder of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. Jeni's company battled a Listeria outbreak in 2015 that almost broke her business, but she bounced back stronger than ever and is confident her company will survive this crisis, too.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company: Ken Grossman

Listen to Sierra Nevada Brewing Company: Ken GrossmanKen Grossman was experimenting with beer before he was old enough to buy it. As a high school student in the late 1960s, he bought his first home brewing kit and mixed the ingredients in a bucket, hiding his early batches from his mother. About ten years later, before most Americans knew what craft beer was, Ken decided to build a brewery in Chico, California. With $50,000, a few piles of scrap metal and some hand-me-down dairy tanks, Ken and his partner built Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, and crafted a beer with a distinctive, hoppy bitterness. Today, as the third largest craft brewer in the U.S., Sierra Nevada Brewing Company – like so many other businesses – faces unprecedented challenges due to the Coronavirus crisis.

Ben & Jerry's: Ben Cohen And Jerry Greenfield (2017)

Listen to Ben & Jerry's: Ben Cohen And Jerry Greenfield (2017)In the mid-1970s two childhood friends, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield decided to open an ice cream shop in Burlington, Vermont. Their quirky little shop packaged and sold unusual flavors like Honey Coffee, Mocha Walnut, and Mint with Oreo Cookies. In 1981, the regional brand spread across the country after Time magazine called it the "best ice cream in America." Today, Ben & Jerry's is one of the top selling ice cream brands in the world. And, like the original founders, the company doesn't shy away from speaking out on social issues. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Clay McCabe of Zipper Rescue, a repair kit that helps people fix their broken zippers at home.

Birchbox: Katia Beauchamp

Listen to Birchbox: Katia BeauchampWhen Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna launched Birchbox from business school in 2010, they set out to disrupt the beauty industry by delivering monthly samples in a box. Even though people told them the idea would never work, Birchbox attracted hundreds of thousands of subscribers and enthusiastic buzz as a subscription pioneer. But the speedy success was overwhelming for Katia; over the years the company endured plenty of growing pains as it found its distinctive voice in the beauty industry. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," after noticing that many of her female friends hated buying cars, Athena Staton launched SheCar, a personalized online service for used car buyers.

Live From The HIBT Summit: Stacy Madison of Stacy's Pita Chips

Listen to Live From The HIBT Summit: Stacy Madison of Stacy's Pita ChipsOur ninth episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Stacy Madison, co-founder of Stacy's Pita Chips. In this live conversation with Guy, Stacy explains how pita chips became a passion--even though they didn't start out that way. We'll be releasing one more episode from the Summit in the next few weeks, so keep checking your podcast feed.

Stripe: Patrick and John Collison (2018)

Listen to Stripe: Patrick and John Collison (2018)Brothers Patrick and John Collison founded and sold their first company before they turned 20. They created software to help eBay users manage inventory online, which set them on a path to help make e-commerce frictionless. Today, John and Patrick are the founders of Stripe, a software company that used just a few lines of code to power the payment system of companies like Lyft, Warby Parker, and Target. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Kirby Erdely, who saw a problem with flying beach umbrellas and developed a new kind of tent stake—with a twist.

Video Artist: Casey Neistat

Listen to Video Artist: Casey NeistatWhen Casey Neistat was a teenager, the odds were against him; he had dropped out of high school, was washing dishes to pay rent, and was a father by age 17. But he eventually scraped together enough money to buy a camera and an iMac, and began churning out short films that went viral even before YouTube took off. Despite having to start his career over several times – Casey Neistat became a brand name in social media and advertising, and is now one of the biggest names on YouTube, with an audience of nearly 12 million. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," Pat Erley explains how struggling with a perpetually stopped-up sink inspired him to design Dripsie, a no-clog sink strainer.

Live From The HIBT Summit: Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

Listen to Live From The HIBT Summit: Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni's Splendid Ice CreamsOur eighth episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Jeni Britton Bauer, the founder of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. In this live conversation with Guy, Jeni talks about maintaining authenticity while growing her company, and how Columbus, Ohio played a key role in her company's success. We'll be releasing a few more episodes from the Summit, so keep checking your podcast feed.

Lululemon Athletica: Chip Wilson (2018)

Listen to Lululemon Athletica: Chip Wilson (2018)After noticing more and more people sign up for yoga in the late 1990s, Chip Wilson bet everything on an athletic apparel company aimed toward young professional women. What started as a small pop-up store in Vancouver eventually became the multibillion-dollar brand Lululemon Athletica, spawning a new fashion trend and forever changing what women wear at the gym. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Kate Westervelt who took an overwhelming experience and turned it into a gift box for new moms--filled with essential items women need to recover from childbirth

Eventbrite: Julia Hartz

Listen to Eventbrite: Julia HartzIn the early 2000s, Julia Hartz was helping develop TV shows for MTV and FX Networks, and seemed headed for a promising career in television. All of that changed in 2003 when she went to a wedding and found herself sitting next to a serial entrepreneur named Kevin. They started dating, and Julia eventually quit her job and joined Kevin in the Bay Area. In 2006 they married, and co-founded the online ticketing service Eventbrite out of a warehouse closet. 14 years after launch, Eventbrite is a publicly-traded company with 1,100 employees and offices around the world. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," Tomo Delaney describes how raising two picky eaters led him to create Noshi For Kids; brightly colored fruit puree that kids can paint with.

Live From The HIBT Summit: David Neeleman of JetBlue Airways

Listen to Live From The HIBT Summit: David Neeleman of JetBlue AirwaysOur seventh episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features David Neeleman, the founder of JetBlue Airways. In this live conversation with Guy, David talks about the benefits of having ADD, and why he thinks it's important to talk to the passengers on his airlines. We'll be releasing a few more episodes from the Summit, so keep checking your podcast feed.

Panera Bread/Au Bon Pain: Ron Shaich (2018)

Listen to Panera Bread/Au Bon Pain: Ron Shaich (2018)In the early 1980s, Ron Shaich bought a small, struggling Boston bakery chain called Au Bon Pain, and built it out to 250 locations nationwide. Ron then saw an opportunity to build something even bigger: Panera Bread. It was the start of "fast casual" – a new kind of eating experience, between fast food and restaurant dining. Today, Panera Bread has over 2,000 stores, and $5 billion in annual sales. PLUS, for our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Lisa Dalton, who turned a relationship mishap into a game-changing braille label that solves a daily problem for blind consumers.

M.M.LaFleur: Sarah LaFleur

Listen to M.M.LaFleur: Sarah LaFleurWhen she was working corporate jobs in New York City, Sarah LaFleur hated getting dressed in the morning; the choices in her closet felt overwhelming, many items didn't fit right or wore out too quickly. So in 2011 she launched a line of clothing for working women that would be simple, elegant, and well-tailored. She had no experience in fashion but partnered with a top-line designer, Miyako Nakamura, to create M.M.LaFleur. Today it's a multi-million dollar company with loyal customers from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," Taylor Mali explains how he created Metaphor Dice, which ease the pain of writing the first line of a poem.

Live From The HIBT Summit: Stewart Butterfield

Listen to Live From The HIBT Summit: Stewart ButterfieldOur sixth episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Stewart Butterfield, the co-founder of Flickr and Slack. Both companies emerged out of failure. In this live conversation with Guy, Stewart describes how he pivoted from two unsuccessful video games into two multi-million dollar brands. We'll be releasing a few more episodes from the HIBT Summit over the next few weeks, so keep checking your podcast feed.

Wikipedia: Jimmy Wales (2018)

Listen to Wikipedia: Jimmy Wales (2018)During the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, Jimmy Wales was running an internet search company. That's when he began to experiment with the idea of an online encyclopedia. In 2001, Wales launched Wikipedia, a website where thousands of community members could contribute, edit, and monitor content on just about anything. Today, the non-profit has stayed true to its open source roots and is one of the ten most visited websites in the world. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Leigh D'Angelo, who explains how her sister's break up inspired them to create a dating app—for dog owners.

Happy Family Organics: Shazi Visram

Listen to Happy Family Organics: Shazi VisramWhile she was a student at business school, Shazi Visram ran into an old friend-- a new mother of twins. The friend confided she felt like a bad mom because she had no time to make her kids healthy meals. That gave Shazi her initial idea: why not make organic pureed baby food, and sell it frozen instead of jarred? People told her she was crazy to take on Gerber, but she convinced dozens of friends and family to invest in Happy Baby. 15 years later, the brand is known as Happy Family Organics and reportedly makes more than $200 million a year. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," after learning that many restaurants use gallons of running water to defrost food, Dylan Wolff invented CNSRV WTR-- a recirculating tub that keeps water from going down the drain.

Spindrift: Bill Creelman

Listen to Spindrift: Bill CreelmanBill Creelman graduated from college in 1996 with a business plan — to sell smoked fish from Nantucket. But over time, that idea morphed unpredictably into a brand that sold cocktail seasonings and supplies. After selling that company to liquor giant Diageo, Bill wanted to stay in the beverage industry. As a way of kicking his Diet Coke habit, he started making sparkling water with a fresh squeeze of lemon or grapefruit. That deceptively simple idea grew into Spindrift, a beverage that came with huge production challenges. Today, the company has an annual revenue topping $100 million. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," Gaurav Chawla loved home-made chai but hated how long it took to make. So he quit his engineering job and started the five-year process to create Chime — an automatic chai brewer that uses tea and spices from India.

Live From The HIBT Summit: Marcia Kilgore

Listen to Live From The HIBT Summit: Marcia KilgoreOur fifth episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features serial entrepreneur Marcia Kilgore, founder of Bliss, FitFlop, BeautyPie and more. The animating question behind all of Marcia's business ideas is 'So What?'— if she can't answer it, she doesn't pursue it. We'll be releasing more episodes from the HIBT Summit over the next few weeks, so keep checking your podcast feed!

Dell Computers: Michael Dell (2018)

Listen to Dell Computers: Michael Dell (2018)Before it became fashionable to start a tech company in your dorm room, Michael Dell did exactly that. In 1983, he began selling upgrade kits for PC's out of his dorm at UT Austin. A few months later he dropped out of school to focus full time on the PC business. At age of 27, he became the youngest CEO to head a Fortune 500 company. Today, Dell has sold roughly 700 million computers. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Vanessa and Casey White, who turned their grandfather's pierogi recipe into Jaju Pierogi, hand-made Polish dumplings that are sold across the Northeast.