Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman

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How do companies grow from zero to a gazillion? Legendary Silicon Valley investor / entrepreneur Reid Hoffman tests his theories with famous founders. Guests include Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg & Sheryl Sandberg, Netflix’s Reed Hastings, Google’s Eric Schmidt, Spanx's Sara Blakely. With original music and hilariously honest stories, the show sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard. Masters of Scale is a WaitWhat original series in association with Stitcher.

55 épisodes

5 juin 2019
Early-stage startups are a lot like pirate ships – they need a buccaneering spirit to survive. But every startup needs to shed its pirate nature at some point, and evolve into something more akin to a navy – no less heroic, but more disciplined. Dara Khosrowshahi, as Uber CEO, took on the most extreme pirate-to-navy transition in startup history. Though Uber blitzscaled to become the most valuable startup in the world, it was also notorious for its toxic culture – and Dara turned the company around. His method? Truth-telling and doing the right thing. Cameo appearances: Arianna Huffington (Thrive Global) and Ben Chestnut (Mailchimp).
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21 mai 2019
You can bootstrap your business to scale, but you'll have to make your own luck. Nobody knows this better than Mailchimp's Ben Chestnut. He used a DIY ethos to grow a $600M company without ever raising a dollar of outside funding. The Mailchimp story is the exception to Reid's rule (Generally: Raise more money than you think you need!). The episode explores a range of options for those who don't fit the VC-funding mold for any set of reasons. Cameo appearances: LeVar Burton (Star Trek, Reading Rainbow, LeVar Burton Reads), Don MacKinnon (Milq), Karen Cahn (iFundWomen).
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30 avril 2019
No organization that’s entirely closed – or entirely open – can scale as successfully as an organization that combines both. Yes, organizations that are open invite a bit of chaos – but that chaos breeds innovation. Knowing which aspects of your organization should be open and which should be closed will set you on a path to rapid scale. No one knows this better than Joi Ito. He has spent his career championing radically open systems, from Creative Commons to cyber currency. Now as Director of the famed MIT Media Lab, he's focused on facilitating open conversations so we can keep pace with the shifting challenges we face in our companies, institutions, and societies. Cameo appearance: Megan Smith (former U.S. Chief Technology Officer).
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11 avril 2019
When former Wired Editor Chris Anderson launched DIY drones — an open source community for makers — drones were still considered a military technology. His drones were used by filmmakers, farmers and conservationists. He believes they were also used by ISIS to drop bombs. What is Chris's responsibility? Did he foster innovation for a community of like-minded do-gooders or democratize a weapon for a terrorist group across the globe? Chris, who's now CEO of 3DR, joins host Caterina Fake, Quartz Editor in Chief Kevin Delaney and Comedian Baratunde Thurston, to explore the inventor's dilemma: What happens when you accidentally create a weapon?
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26 mars 2019
If you try to avoid risk, you actually risk total failure. Or worse: mediocrity. Take it from Shellye Archambeau. She led the most stunning Silicon Valley turnaround you’ve never heard of. She took the role of CEO for a failing tech company, months from bankruptcy. Through a series of calculated risks, she led it through a complex merger, a head-spinning pivot, and grew it into MetricStream, which now boasts 1,200 employees and a valuation in the hundreds of millions. How? Clear goals and big risks — the same principles that have defined her career. With a cameo appearance by champion poker player Liv Boeree.
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12 mars 2019
If your company's dominated by one type of person, you run the risk of tunnel vision. You might move fast — but you'll often drive straight into traps as you grow. Truly scalable companies need a diverse portfolio of viewpoints to see the opportunities others miss. Sallie Krawcheck knows this well. As an investment banker, she rose through the ranks of Wall Street, and saw firsthand the challenges a lack of diversity brings. She went on to found Ellevest, an investment platform aimed at women. Her straight talk — and hilarious asides — create the clear business case for diversity of all kinds. Cameo appearance: Steven Johnson (host of the podcast American Innovations; and author of best-selling books, including the recent "Farsighted: How We Make the Decisions That Matter the Most").
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5 mars 2019
How do you build a thriving online community? One human connection at a time. Caterina Fake is the host of our spinoff series "Should This Exist?” and she knows: Whatever you are when you're SMALL — gets amplified as you grow. So if you're building any kind of community (e-commerce, crowd-funding, social media), emphasize the human, and be careful what you cultivate. Caterina cofounded the pioneering photo site Flickr and helped build companies like Etsy, Kickstarter, Stack Overflow, and even Blue Bottle Coffee from their beginnings. Her wise words for every founder: You have has a responsibility to shape the community from day one -- because the tone you set is the tone you’re going to keep, even as you go viral. With a cameo appearance by Joi Ito (Director, MIT Media Lab).
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26 février 2019
We’re back with Part 2 of our special turn-the-tables episode with Reid Hoffman. In this episode, we follow Reid through PayPal, LinkedIn, the Microsoft acquisition, his angel investments, Greylock, and his hosting of Masters of Scale — all the while proving our theory that you can chart an epic journey to scale if you make everyone you enlist a hero — in their OWN story and not just yours. Guest Host: June Cohen (Former Exec Producer, TED; Exec Producer, Masters of Scale & Cofounder of WaitWhat, the company behind it). Cameo appearances: Arianna Huffington (Thrive Global) and Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn).
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21 février 2019
Introducing a brand new show from the team behind Masters of Scale, Should This Exist?Woebot is a mobile app that gives one-on-one therapy and gets 2 million messages a week. But Woebot isn't a person – it's a chatbot. It was invented and developed by psychologist Alison Darcy and it uses AI to guide users through a session, anytime, anywhere. Darcy hopes that Woebot will help break down the stigma of therapy and help provide services to communities with a lack of mental health resources. But what happens when we remove the human therapist from therapy? Host Caterina Fake, Woebot founder and CEO Alison Darcy, and experts Esther Perel, Baratunde Thurston, and Kevin Delaney debate the possibilities.
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22 janvier 2019
In this special episode, we turn the tables on host Reid Hoffman. He’s the guest and we tell his story, while proving a theory that’s perfect for Reid: You can chart an epic journey to scale, if you make everyone a hero along the way. Guest Host is June Cohen, Executive Producer of Masters of Scale, CEO of WaitWhat, and former Executive Producer of TED. Cameo Apperance: Matthew Mercer, host of the web series Critical Role.
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8 janvier 2019
That constant roar of customer feedback? Be thankful for it. It holds all the secrets to your success, if you learn how to read the signs. Listen to what users say, sure. But also watch what they do and interpret what they need. Eventbrite's Julia Hartz embodies this principle. She believes passionately in learning from her customers, and has made rapid response to user feedback the driving force behind Eventbrite’s strategy — as it grew from a simple ticketing app to a full-service platform for event creators, offering everything from ticket sales to custom-made RFID readers.
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18 décembre 2018
You need a great story to build a great company. And great stories are unwaveringly TRUE. No one embodies this principle more fully than Scott Harrison, founder of Charity: Water. A master storyteller, Scott built his nonprofit on 3 radical principles: (1) 100% of donations would go to water projects (not overhead) (2) Progress reports would be utterly transparent, sharing victories, defeats and even GPS coordinates of water wells (3) The brand’s storytelling would lead with hope instead of guilt, inspiring joyful participation without sacrificing honesty.
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4 décembre 2018
[A favorite episode returns!] To succeed as an entrepreneur, you need grit. But grit is more than persistence. You’re not just charging up the same hill over and over. You're generating an endless supply of Plans B. And Nancy Lublin always has a Plan B, and C, and D. It’s this kind of grit that fueled her success scaling three not-for-profits: Dress for Success, DoSomething.org and Crisis Text Line. With practical wisdom and wicked humor, she shares the innovative approach to technology, financing, volunteers and staff development that helped her organizations scale.
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19 novembre 2018
You can marshal the power of millennials to grow your company, but you have to redefine your concept of loyalty. To keep millennials as users (and employees), you’ll need to keep evolving — and help them evolve. No one understands this better than Brit + Co Founder Brit Morin. As a maker and media creator, Brit is constantly co-evolving with her (mostly millennial) audience—and team. It’s a secret to scale with the generation adapted to a world of constant change. | With a cameo appearance by relationship therapist Esther Perel (Bestselling author and Host of the podcast “Where Should We Begin”). Esther has lately turned her eye toward work relationships; her perspective on the millennial generation — and the broad social trends that have shaped their collective character — may give you an “Aha!” moment.
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5 novembre 2018
Your first hires = cultural cofounders. And it’s worth your time to get every one right. Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri personally interviewed his first FIVE HUNDRED employees at Workday. He knows how to map back from the culture he wants, to employee attributes to interview questions. Today, with 8000+ employees and $2b in annual revenue, Workday is consistently rated one of the best places to work. With cameo appearances by Danny Meyer (Founder, Shake Shack), Arianna Huffington (founder, Thrive Global), Michael Bush (CEO, Great Place to Work) and Joyce Nethry (founder of Jeptha Creed Distillery).
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22 octobre 2018
To revolutionize an industry, you have to cast off received wisdom. Shake Shack’s Danny Meyer knows this well. When he opened his first high-end restaurant, New York’s Union Square Cafe, received wisdom told him food was the star attraction. But Danny knew to focus on how customers FEEL. And it’s this feeling – Danny calls it “enlightened hospitality” — that he’s scaled. From his first innovative restaurants, Union Square Café and Gramercy Tavern, to the dramatic scale story of Shake Shack, Danny cast off received wisdom and wrote his own rules: The staff comes first; investors comes last; the customer isn’t always right; and “service” is not the same as “hospitality.” His simple ideas have radical implications for any industry. With a cameo appearance from Rick Barry (Former NBA player.)
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22 octobre 2018
To revolutionize an industry, you have to cast off received wisdom. Shake Shack’s Danny Meyer knows this well. When he opened his first high-end restaurant, New York’s Union Square Cafe, received wisdom told him food was the star attraction. But Danny knew to focus on how customers FEEL. And it’s this feeling – Danny calls it “enlightened hospitality” — that he’s scaled. From his first innovative restaurants, Union Square Café and Gramercy Tavern, to the dramatic scale story of Shake Shack, Danny cast off received wisdom and wrote his own rules: The staff comes first; investors comes last; the customer isn’t always right; and “service” is not the same as “hospitality.” His simple ideas have radical implications for any industry. With a cameo appearance from Rick Barry (Former NBA player.)
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3 octobre 2018
To survive your entrepreneurial journey, you have to learn to recharge. In fact, knowing when to turn the lights OUT may be the only way to keep the lights on. You need a sustainable strategy that maximizes your team's efficiency, while avoiding burnout. And for that — you have to know when and HOW to refuel. Few know this better than Arianna Huffington, who dramatically scaled the Huffington Post — and then experienced profound physical burnout. Her new venture,Thrive Global, scales the idea of balance across an organization. With cameo appearances from Chris Yeh (co-author, Blitzscaling) and Dr. Matt Walker (Author, Why We Sleep).
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19 septembre 2018
Normally, trust = consistency + time. But when you're scaling fast — you have to find shortcuts, with your partners and your users. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek knows a thing or two about this. When he founded Spotify, he did what no disruptor had ever done before: He worked WITH the industry he was trying to reinvent. How did Ek build a relationship with a music industry wary of piracy? He found shortcuts to trust. And not just with the music industry, but users too: 140M of them. With cameo appearances from Gustav Soderstrom (Spotify's Chief Research & Development Officer) and Miles Daisher (Red Bull Air Force),
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