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How I Built This with Guy Raz

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.

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Happy Family Organics: Shazi Visram

While 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.
2020-01-20
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Spindrift: Bill Creelman

Bill 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.
2020-01-13
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Live From The HIBT Summit: Marcia Kilgore

Our 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!
2020-01-09
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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.
2020-01-06
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Chicken Salad Chick: Stacy Brown (2018)

For many of us, chicken salad is just another sandwich filling, but Stacy Brown turned it into a $75 million business. In 2007, she was a divorced mother of three looking for a way to make ends meet. So she started making chicken salad in her kitchen and selling it out of a basket, door-to-door. She eventually turned that home operation into Chicken Salad Chick, a chain that now has close to 150 locations in the U.S. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Ofer and Helene Webman who developed the Tonewood Amp, a device that can change the way an acoustic guitar sounds without bulky pedals and amps.
2019-12-30
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Live From The HIBT Summit: Tariq Farid Of Edible Arrangements

Our fourth episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Tariq Farid, founder of Edible Arrangements. In a live conversation with Guy, Tariq talks about flowers, fruit, and family?and how he wouldn't be where he is without the sacrifices and support of the people he loves the most. We'll be releasing more episodes from the Summit in the new year, so keep checking your podcast feed!
2019-12-26
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Steve Madden: Steve Madden (2018)

Steve Madden fell in love with the shoe business in the 1970's, when he sold platform shoes at a neighborhood store in Long Island, New York; that was in high school. About 15 years later, he struck out on his own, designing and selling shoes with a high-end look at affordable prices. As his business?and his ambitions?began to grow, he got involved in a securities fraud scheme and wound up serving two and-a-half years in prison. In 2005, he returned to Steve Madden, where he helped the company grow into a business valued at $3 billion. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with "kid-preneur" Gabrielle Goodwin and her mom Rozalynn who invented GaBBY Bows?double snap barrettes that don't slip out of your hair.
2019-12-23
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Live From The HIBT Summit: Kevin Systrom & Mike Krieger Of Instagram

Our third live episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, co-founders of Instagram. They talk to Guy about what they've been doing since they stepped down from the company, and whether they think social media can still help make a kinder world. In the new year, we'll release more episodes from the HIBT Summit, so keep checking your podcast feed!
2019-12-19
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Tate's Bake Shop: Kathleen King

Kathleen King was 11 years old when she started baking cookies to sell at her family's farm stand on Long Island. After college, she opened a small bake shop, and eventually started selling her cookies to gourmet grocery stores in Manhattan. But after twenty years of running a small business, she wanted more time for herself. She brought in two partners to grow sales, but the partnership was a disaster ? and after bitter lawsuits, Kathleen was forced to start over from scratch. 18 years later, Tate's Bake Shop ? the second cookie brand that she built out of the crumbs of the first ? sold for $500 million. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," Thomas Althaus made his wife a bracelet and earrings out of a tin can for their tenth wedding anniversary. What began as a lighthearted gift became Canned Goods?a recycled jewelry company that donates one can of food to charity for each piece sold.
2019-12-16
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Live From The HIBT Summit: Troy Carter

Our second episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features founder and investor Troy Carter, who re-started his career in the music business after becoming Lady Gaga's manager. In a live conversation with Guy, he offers advice on staying hungry, being humble, and admitting when you don't know the answer. Every Thursday through the new year, we'll release new episodes from the HIBT Summit, so keep checking your podcast feed!
2019-12-12
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Minted: Mariam Naficy

In 2000, Mariam Naficy sold her first company, an online cosmetics store called Eve.com, for $110 million. Several years later, she got the entrepreneurial itch once again: she founded Minted.com, an online stationery store that solicits designs from artists all over the world. Today Minted is one of the biggest crowdsourcing platforms on the Internet. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Christopher Rannefors who created BatBnB, a sleek wooden box that hangs on your house and provides a safe home for mosquito-eating bats.
2019-12-09
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Live From The HIBT Summit: Sara Blakely Of Spanx

Our first episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx. In front of a live audience, she tells Guy how she stayed confident in the earliest days of building the business, and why one day she still wound up sobbing on the floor of Office Depot. Every Thursday through the new year, we'll release new episodes from the HIBT Summit, so keep checking your podcast feed!
2019-12-05
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Live Episode! OtterBox: Curt Richardson

In the 1980s and 90s, Curt Richardson started making simple plastic boxes in his garage in Fort Collins, Colorado. They were originally designed to keep small items dry while you're fishing or skiing, and Curt and his wife Nancy called them "Otter Boxes." But after the launch of the Blackberry and the iPod, Curt started tailoring the boxes to fit and protect the breakable devices ? and OtterBox evolved from an outdoor goods supplier into a company tightly adhered to the tech industry. With the rise of smartphones, Otter Products grew by more than 1000% in just five years. Today, it controls a massive share of the phone case market and sells more than $1 billion in cases each year. This interview was recorded live at the Paramount Theatre in Denver, Colorado.
2019-12-02
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Outdoor Voices: Tyler Haney

In 2013, Tyler Haney was a 24-year-old graduate of the Parsons School of Design in New York. One day on a jog, she realized that her workout outfits looked, and felt, like they were made for competitive athletes. Tyler envisioned a brand of athletic wear for more everyday activities, like walking the dog or hiking with friends. She launched Outdoor Voices and she got her two-piece "kit" ? a crop top and leggings ? into a few specialty boutiques. Soon afterward, her brand made it into J. Crew stores and took off. Today, Outdoor Voices has raised close to $60 million from investors and has around 350 employees. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," after a lunch with some new moms turned into baby bedlam, Beth Fynbo created Busy Baby Mat ? a placemat that would securely stick on any table, keep toys off the floor, and provide a fun surface for babies to eat and draw.
2019-11-25
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Remembering Jake Burton Carpenter

The founder of Burton Snowboards, Jake Burton Carpenter, has died. He was 65 years old. We are grateful that Jake shared his story with us in 2017 and we are republishing it as a tribute to his life and career in which he elevated snowboarding into an international sport. In 1977, 23-year-old Jake Carpenter set out to design a better version of the Snurfer, a stand-up sled he loved to ride as a teenager. Working by himself in a barn in Londonderry, Vermont, he sanded and whittled stacks of wood, trying to create the perfect ride. He eventually helped launch an entirely new sport, while building the largest snowboard brand in the world.
2019-11-21
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Crate & Barrel: Gordon Segal

In 1962, Gordon Segal?with his wife Carole?opened a scrappy Chicago shop called Crate & Barrel. That store turned into a housewares empire that has shaped the way Americans furnish their homes. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Ashlin Cook, whose love for dogs inspired her to create Winnie Lou: a Colorado business that sells healthy dog treats.
2019-11-18
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Evite: Selina Tobaccowala

At the height of the first dot-com boom, Selina Tobaccowala and college friend Al Lieb were determined to start a tech company. After a few false starts, they landed on the idea for Evite?an on-line invitation business that within its first year, attracted a million followers and $37 million in investment. When the tech bubble burst, Selina and Al were forced to lay off dozens of employees before selling Evite in 2001. But the company has survived to this day, and Selina remains a role model for women in tech. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," Jamia Ramsey describes how her frustration with pink ballerina tights led her to create Blendz, apparel for dancers that matches darker skin tones.
2019-11-11
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Live Episode! Luke's Lobster: Luke Holden and Ben Conniff

Luke Holden grew up in Maine, working on lobster boats and in his father's lobster processing plant. But his parents pushed him to find a more stable career, so after college, he moved to New York and got a job in finance. One of the things he missed most about home was lobster rolls, so he decided to open his own lobster shack as a side project. Luke posted an ad on Craigslist looking for help, and linked up with Ben Conniff, a history major with a passion for food but no restaurant experience. Ben and Luke opened a 200-square-foot take-out restaurant in the East Village in 2009. Ten years later, Luke's Lobster has over 500 employees, and more than 40 locations in the U.S. and in Asia. This show was recorded live at the Back Bay Events Center in Boston.
2019-11-07
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FUBU: Daymond John

Daymond John grew up during the 1980s in the heart of hip hop culture: Hollis, Queens. In his early 20s, he was working at Red Lobster and trying to figure out how to start a business. Eventually, he stumbled on the idea of making clothes for fans of rap music. In 1992, he started FUBU (For Us By Us) and began selling hats outside of a local mall. Three years later, FUBU was bringing in $350 million in sales. Today, he's a judge on Shark Tank, and a motivational speaker and author. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Loren and Lisa Poncia who turned a 100 year-old family business into an organic beef supplier: Stemple Creek Ranch.
2019-11-04
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LÄRABAR: Lara Merriken

In 2000, Lara Merriken was 32, recently divorced, and without a job when she decided to make energy bars by mixing cherries, dates, and almonds in her Cuisinart. Eventually, she perfected the recipe and launched her company: LÄRABAR. After just two years, the company was bringing in millions in revenue. In 2008, she sold to General Mills, but stayed on to help grow LÄRABAR into one of the biggest energy bar brands in the U.S. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Gerry Stellenberg who combined his knack for technology with his love of pinball to create a company for modern pinball enthusiasts called Multimorphic.
2019-10-28
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Gimlet Media: Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber

Alex Blumberg made his early career by helping build two of the most successful shows in radio and podcasting: Planet Money and This American Life. In 2014, convinced that podcasts could make money, he walked away from the safe umbrella of public media to start a new media company with co-founder Matt Lieber. Every doubt, triumph and humiliation of building the business was documented on the podcast Startup, which included the back-and-forth over how the company got its name: Gimlet. Many more successful podcasts followed, and five years after launch, Gimlet sold to Spotify for roughly $200 million. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," after years of researching how women's shoes wreak havoc on the joints, Casey Kerrigan quit her job in medicine to start 3D printing more comfortable designs: Oesh Shoes.
2019-10-21
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Live Episode! Milk Bar: Christina Tosi

For Christina Tosi, baking wasn't just a delicious childhood hobby ? it was a daily creative outlet and a way to blow off steam. After college, she went to culinary school and honed her pastry technique at high-end restaurants in NYC. But she also craved the opportunity to make unfussy, nostalgic desserts like the ones she grew up eating. So in 2008, Christina opened her first Milk Bar bakery in the East Village, with the help of her mentor, Momofuku chef David Chang. Soon, people from around the country were calling her up, begging for her gooey pies, confetti birthday cakes, and pretzel-potato-chip cookies. Today, Milk Bar has spread to 16 locations, and reportedly brings in tens of millions of dollars a year. This show was recorded live at The Town Hall in New York City.
2019-10-14
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The Knot: Carley Roney & David Liu

When Carley Roney and David Liu got married, they had a seat-of-the-pants celebration on a sweltering Washington rooftop. They never planned to go into the wedding business, but soon saw an opportunity in the market for a fresh approach to wedding planning. In 1996, they founded The Knot, a website with an irreverent attitude about "the big day." The Knot weathered the dot.com bust, a stock market meltdown, and eventually grew into the lifestyle brand XO Group, valued at $500 million. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Tyson Walters who got so tired of his St. Bernard shedding everywhere that he created a zip-up body suit for dogs: the Shed Defender.
2019-10-07
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Live Episode! Walker & Company: Tristan Walker

The very first time Tristan Walker shaved, he woke up the next morning with razor bumps all over his face. "I was like, what is this?" he remembers saying. "I am never shaving again?ever." He soon discovered that like him, many men of color were frustrated by the lack of shaving products for coarse or curly hair. Fifteen years after that first disastrous shave, and after countless meetings with doubtful investors, Tristan launched Bevel, a subscription shaving system built around a single-blade razor. Eventually his brand Walker & Company grew to include 36 hair and beauty products, used by millions of men and women across the U.S. In 2018, Walker & Company was sold to Proctor & Gamble, and Tristan became P&G's first black CEO. Recorded live in Washington, D.C.
2019-09-30
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Headspace: Andy Puddicombe and Rich Pierson

Andy Puddicombe is not your typical entrepreneur ? in his early twenties, he gave away everything he owned to train as a Buddhist monk. But after ten years, he decided he wanted to bring the benefits of his meditation techniques to more people. While running a meditation clinic in London, Andy met Rich Pierson, who had burned out on his job at a high-powered London ad agency. Together, they founded Headspace in 2010. Nine years later, Headspace's guided meditation app has users in 190 countries and an annual revenue of over $100 million. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how a quick fix to a broken pair of sunglasses inspired Jensen Brehm and Nikolai Paloni to create an armless set of shades: Ombraz Sunglasses.
2019-09-23
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Stitch Fix: Katrina Lake

In 2010, Katrina Lake recruited 20 friends for an experiment: she wanted to see if she could choose clothes for them that accurately matched their style and personality. That idea sparked Stitch Fix, an online personal shopping service that aims to take the guesswork out of shopping. Today, it has about three million customers and brings in more than a billion dollars in annual revenue. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Justin Li, who created wearable equipment to keep cool and hydrated called IcePlate.
2019-09-16
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Dippin' Dots: Curt Jones

In the late 1980s, Curt Jones was working in a Kentucky lab, using liquid nitrogen to flash-freeze animal feed. He wondered if he could re-invigorate his favorite dessert by pouring droplets of ice cream into a vat of liquid nitrogen and ? voila! ? out came cold and creamy pellets that he soon branded Dippin' Dots. The novelty treat spread to fairs, stadiums and shopping malls, and eventually grew into a multi-million dollar brand. But a few years ago, Curt was forced to walk away after the company was hit with debt, recession and a punishing lawsuit. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how Nadine Habayeb hopes to popularize puffed water lily seeds from India with her snack brand Bohana.
2019-09-09
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The Life Is Good Company: Bert and John Jacobs

In the late 80s, brothers Bert and John Jacobs were living as nomads, traveling from college to college selling t-shirts out of their van. It wasn't a sustainable living ? until one day, they created a new design. It was a simple sketch of a grinning face, with three words printed underneath: Life Is Good. The optimistic message was deeply personal to the brothers, who grew up in what they describe as a dysfunctional home ? and it also resonated with customers, who started buying Life Is Good designs printed on just about anything, from towels to tire covers. Today, the Life Is Good Company has a reported annual revenue of $100 million. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," Jim Malone of CounterEv Furniture describes how he turns reclaimed wood from bowling alleys into tables and chairs for fast-casual restaurants.
2019-09-02
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Aden + Anais: Raegan Moya-Jones

Cotton muslin baby blankets are commonplace in Australia, where Raegan Moya-Jones grew up. But when she started a new life and family in NYC, she couldn't find them anywhere. So in 2006, she started the baby blanket company Aden + Anais, which now makes more than $100 million in annual revenue. We first ran this episode in 2017 ? but about a year later, Raegan's role as leader and co-founder took a dramatic turn. She fills Guy in on what happened in this special updated episode. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Brian Sonia-Wallace, who started the business Rent Poet, and makes a living writing spontaneous poetry at weddings, corporate events, and other gatherings.
2019-08-26
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Stonyfield Yogurt: Gary Hirshberg

In 1983, two hippie farmers decided to sell homemade organic yogurt to help raise money for their educational farm in New Hampshire. As the enterprise grew into a business, it faced one near-death experience after another, but it never quite died. In fact it grew ? into one of the most popular yogurt brands in the US. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Carin Luna-Ostaseski, who became the first American woman to start a Scotch whisky company after she created her own blend called SIA Scotch.
2019-08-19
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Serial Entrepreneur: Marcia Kilgore

After high school, Marcia Kilgore moved to New York City with $300 in her pocket and no real plan. One step at a time, she became a successful serial entrepreneur. First, she used her high school bodybuilding experience to find work as a personal trainer. Then she taught herself to give facials, and eventually started her own spa and skincare line, Bliss. The spa became so popular that it was booked months in advance with a list of celebrity clientele. After selling her shares in Bliss, Marcia went on to start four new successful companies: Soap & Glory, FitFlop, Soaper Duper, and Beauty Pie. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Emma Cohen, who explains how she helped develop and market The Final Straw, a collapsible metal drinking straw.
2019-08-12
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Shopify: Tobias Lütke

In 2004, German programmer Tobias Lütke was living in Ottawa with his girlfriend. An avid snowboarder, he wanted to launch an online snowboard shop, but found the e-commerce software available at the time to be clunky and expensive. So he decided to write his own e-commerce software. After he launched his online snowboard business, called Snowdevil, other online merchants were so impressed with what he built that they started asking to license Tobi's software to run their own stores. Tobi and his co-founder realized that software had more potential than snowboards, so they launched the e-commerce platform Shopify in 2006. Since then, it has grown into a publicly-traded company with over 4,000 employees and $1 billion in revenue. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," after Barb Heilman invented a device that easily releases child car seat buckles, she started a business with her daughter Becca Davison called Unbuckle Me.
2019-08-05
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Live Episode! Angie's BOOMCHICKAPOP: Angie & Dan Bastian

Angie and Dan Bastian weren't trying to disrupt an industry or build a massive company ? they just wanted to put aside some money for their kids' college fund. In 2001, Dan stumbled across an internet ad touting kettle corn as a lucrative side-business, so he and Angie decided to take the plunge, investing $10,000 in equipment. At first, they popped kettle corn in front of local supermarkets in the Twin Cities and at Minnesota Vikings games. Eventually, they moved indoors to Trader Joe's, Target, and Costco ? and got a crash course in how to run a business along the way. Angie's Kettle Corn eventually took on a bold new name: BOOMCHICKAPOP. And in 2017, the company was acquired for a reported $250 million. Recorded live in St. Paul, Minnesota.
2019-07-29
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Dyson: James Dyson

In 1979, James Dyson had an idea for a new vacuum cleaner ? one that didn't use bags. It took him five years to perfect the design, building more than 5,000 prototypes in his backyard shed. He then tried to convince the big vacuum brands to license his invention, but most wouldn't even take his calls. Eventually, he started his own company. Today, Dyson is one of the best-selling vacuum brands in the world, and James Dyson is a billionaire. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with television producer Mike Sorrentino, who created an iPhone case called EyePatch that cleans and protects the phone's camera.
2019-07-22
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EO Products: Susan Griffin-Black & Brad Black

In the early 1990s, Susan Griffin-Black was working for Esprit in San Francisco. On a business trip to London, she walked into a Covent Garden apothecary shop, picked up a bottle of lavender oil and took a whiff. The aroma ? "like being in a beautiful garden" ? literally changed her life. That was the inspiration to develop her own line of essential oil products. For 15 years, she and her husband and co-founder Brad Black barely scraped by, but the business eventually thrived. And though their marriage ultimately ended, their partnership continues. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," Lia Heifetz of Barnacle Foods describes how she and her partners turned Alaskan bull kelp into pickles and salsa.
2019-07-15
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Teach For America: Wendy Kopp

In 1989, college senior Wendy Kopp was trying to figure out how to improve public education in the US. For her senior thesis, she proposed creating a national teaching corps that would recruit recent college grads to teach in needy schools. One year later, she launched the nonprofit, Teach for America. Today, TFA has close to 60,000 alumni and continues to place thousands of teachers across the country. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with 19-year-old CEO Abby Kircher who turned a peanut butter obsession into Abby's Better Nut Butter.
2019-07-08
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Dave's Killer Bread: Dave Dahl

Dave Dahl's entrepreneurial journey began in prison. In 1987, he was addicted to drugs and incarcerated for home burglary. For 15 years he bounced from one sentence to the next. But in the mid-2000s, Dave returned to his family bakery where he was inspired to make bread ? organic, nutty, and slightly sweet. He sold the loaves at farmers markets and shared his story of recovery on the package ? a branding decision that attracted fans and media attention. In 2015, the Dahl family sold the business for $275 million dollars. Today, Dave's Killer Bread sells over a dozen types of bread in grocery stores nationwide. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," armpit entrepreneurs Jason and Erica Feucht tell us how they turned whiskey and vodka into the natural deodorant Pit Liquor.
2019-07-01
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Yelp: Jeremy Stoppelman

In 2004, two former Paypal engineers, Jeremy Stoppelman and Russ Simmons, were spit-balling new internet ideas. Out of their brainstorm came a site where you would email your friends asking for local business recommendations. The launch was a flop, but they discovered that people seemed to enjoy writing reviews not just for friends, but for the general public. Fifteen years later, Yelp is a publicly traded company with more than 4,000 employees and over 140 million monthly visitors. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," Liz Bales explains how putting cat food inside plastic mice became her full-time business and why it could revolutionize the way humans feed their cats.
2019-06-24
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Chesapeake Bay Candle: Mei Xu

Twenty-five years ago, after Mei Xu emigrated from China to the U.S., she loved going to Bloomingdale's to gaze at their housewares. She eventually started making candles in her basement with Campbell's Soup cans, an experiment that led to the multi-million dollar company Chesapeake Bay Candle. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Dan Kurzrock and Jordan Schwartz, who turned up-cycled beer grain into a snack bar called ReGrained.
2019-06-17
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Allbirds: Tim Brown & Joey Zwillinger

Growing up, Tim Brown discovered he was very good at two things: design and soccer. While playing professional soccer in New Zealand, he was turned off by the flashy logos on most athletic gear. He started making simple canvas shoes for his teammates, but soon discovered a better material: soft merino wool from his country's plentiful sheep. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, his future business partner Joey Zwillinger was frustrated that most companies lacked a genuine commitment to sustainability. In 2015, Tim and Joey teamed up to create Allbirds, a company with two ambitious goals: create the world's most comfortable shoes, and do it in a way that was completely carbon-neutral. Today, just three years after launch, Allbirds is worth $1.4 billion. PLUS, for our postscript "How You Built That," how Kirby Erdely saw a problem with flying beach umbrellas and developed a new kind of tent stake?with a twist.
2019-06-10
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Live Episode! Tofurky: Seth Tibbott

Seth Tibbott may be the only founder in the world who grew his business while living in a barn, a teepee, and a treehouse. His off-the-grid lifestyle helped him save money as he started to sell tempeh, a protein made of fermented soybeans. Throughout the 1980s he barely scraped by, but things took a turn in 1995, when he discovered a stuffed tofu roast made in Portland, Oregon. Knowing vegetarians had few options at Thanksgiving, Seth named the roast Tofurky and started selling it at co-ops in the Pacific Northwest. Nearly 25 years later, Tofurky sells plant-based protein around the world, and has estimated sales of $40 million a year. Recorded live in Portland, Oregon.
2019-06-03
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Stacy's Pita Chips: Stacy Madison

In the 1990's, Stacy Madison and her boyfriend Mark Andrus were selling pita sandwiches from a converted hot dog cart in Boston. They decided to bake the leftover pita into chips, adding a dash of parmesan or cinnamon-sugar. At first they handed them out for free, but soon discovered that people were happy to pay for them. So they eventually decided to leave the sandwich cart behind and launch Stacy's Pita Chips. They hoped the brand might grow into a modest regional business?but it kept growing. Roughly ten years after the launch, Stacy's sold to PepsiCo for $250 million. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how Prerak Juthani and some friends from college took organic chemistry to the next level with REACT!, a board game that aims to demystify the stigma of molecular science.
2019-05-27
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Zappos: Tony Hsieh

Computer scientist Tony Hsieh made millions off the dot-com boom. But he didn't make his mark until he built Zappos ? a customer service company that "happens to sell shoes." Now Zappos is worth over a billion dollars and known for its completely unorthodox management style. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Mike Bolos and Jason Grohowski, who brought the office desk closer to the light by creating Deskview, a portable desk that attaches to a sheer window with a suction cup. (Original broadcast date: January 23, 2017).
2019-05-20
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Belkin International: Chet Pipkin

Chet Pipkin was the kind of kid who loved to take things apart and put them back together. As a young man in the early 1980s, he started hanging out in mom-and-pop computer shops, where he realized he could meet a growing need by selling the cables that connect computers to printers. That simple idea became the main ingredient in Chet's secret sauce: instead of making his own computers, he would make the accessories needed to make them work. Belkin International eventually grew into a massive manufacturer of electronic goods ? last year, it sold to a subsidiary of Foxconn for more than $800 million. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how Clay McCabe decided to rebrand his dad's zipper repair business into Zipper Rescue, a repair kit that helps people fix their broken zippers at home.
2019-05-13
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Framebridge: Susan Tynan

Susan Tynan's experience in the ephemeral e-market of LivingSocial made her want to start a business that she could touch and feel. After being charged $1600 to frame four posters at her local framing store, she decided to create a mail-order framing company that offers fewer designs at lower prices. Framebridge is now five years old and still feeling growing pains, but is slowly reshaping the rules of a rigid industry. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Len Testa, who created an app that uses real-time data to help people avoid long lines at Orlando area theme parks. (Original broadcast date: November 27, 2017)
2019-05-06
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Live Episode! Peloton: John Foley

John Foley started climbing the rungs of the corporate ladder at a young age, first as a fast food server and eventually as an e-commerce executive. Still, at 40, he couldn't climb out of bed fast enough to make it to his favorite spin class. John couldn't understand why there wasn't a way to bring the intensity and motivation of a boutique fitness class into the home. Having never worked in the exercise industry, he teamed up with a few friends to create a high-tech stationary bicycle called the Peloton Bike. Today, Peloton has sold close to half a million bikes, with a valuation as high as 4 billion dollars. Recorded live in New York City.
2019-04-29
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Bumble: Whitney Wolfe

At age 22, Whitney Wolfe helped launch Tinder, one of the world's most popular dating apps. But a few years later, she left Tinder and filed a lawsuit against the company alleging sexual harassment. The ensuing attention from the media ? and cyberbullying from strangers ? prompted her to launch Bumble, a dating app where women make the first move. Today, the Bumble app has been downloaded close to 30 million times. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Michael Dixon, whose business Mobile Vinyl Recorders uses portable record lathes to cut vinyl at parties, weddings, and music festivals. (Original broadcast date: October 16, 2017)
2019-04-22
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Men's Wearhouse: George Zimmer

In 1970, George Zimmer was a college graduate with no real job prospects and little direction. That's when his father, an executive at a boy's clothing company, asked him to go on an important business trip to Asia. It was that trip that propelled him into the world of men's apparel. In 1973, the first Men's Wearhouse opened in Houston with little fanfare. But by the mid-80s, George Zimmer managed to carve out a distinct niche in the market ? a place where men could buy a good quality suit, at "everyday low prices," along with all the shirts, ties, socks, and shoes they need. With George as the face of the brand, Men's Wearhouse became a multi-billion dollar empire with hundreds of stores across the U.S. But then, in 2013, a bitter battle forced him to give it all up. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with two brothers from Guinea, West Africa who founded a company that makes Ginjan, a spicy-sweet juice from their childhood that mixes pineapple and ginger.
2019-04-15
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Chez Panisse: Alice Waters

In the 1960s, Alice Waters studied abroad in France ? and discovered a culinary world far from the processed food popular in America. When she returned to California, she tried to find restaurants to recreate her experiences abroad, but she couldn't. In 1971, she opened a small restaurant in Berkeley called Chez Panisse, where she focused on serving fresh, local ingredients. Just a few years later, Chez Panisse was named one of the best restaurants in America, and became one of the hottest locations for fine dining in the Bay Area. Despite her success, Alice chose not to turn Chez Panisse into a restaurant empire. Instead, she continued to insist on cooking with food raised locally, sustainably, and ethically. Today, most chefs agree Alice Waters and Chez Panisse sparked the farm-to-table movement in the restaurant industry. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how Piersten Gaines took the trauma out of salon visits for women with highly textured hair.
2019-04-08
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Springfree Trampoline: Keith Alexander & Steve Holmes

In the late 1980s, a New Zealand engineer named Keith Alexander wanted to buy a trampoline for his kids. After his wife said trampolines were too dangerous, Keith set out to design his own ? a safer trampoline, without metal springs. He tinkered with and perfected the design over the course of a decade. But he was daunted by the challenge of bringing his invention to market ? and he almost gave up. At that point Steve Holmes, a Canadian businessman, bought the patent to Keith's trampoline, and took a big risk to commercialize it. Today, Springfree Trampoline generates over $50 million in annual sales and has sold over 400,000 trampolines. PLUS in our postscript, "How You Built That," how Cyndi and Chris Hileman created a candle in a planter pot that can later be used to grow wildflowers.
2019-04-01
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En liten tjänst av I'm With Friends. Finns även på engelska.
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