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How I Built This-logo

How I Built This

NPR

How I Built This is a podcast about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built. Each episode is a narrative journey marked by triumphs, failures, serendipity and insight -- told by the founders of some of the world's best known companies and brands. If you've ever built something from nothing, something you really care about -- or even just dream about it -- check out How I Built This hosted by Guy Raz @guyraz. Follow the show @HowIBuiltThis.

How I Built This is a podcast about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built. Each episode is a narrative journey marked by triumphs, failures, serendipity and insight -- told by the founders of some of the world's best known companies and brands. If you've ever built something from nothing, something you really care about -- or even just dream about it -- check out How I Built This hosted by Guy Raz @guyraz. Follow the show @HowIBuiltThis.
More Information

Location:

United States

Networks:

NPR

Description:

How I Built This is a podcast about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built. Each episode is a narrative journey marked by triumphs, failures, serendipity and insight -- told by the founders of some of the world's best known companies and brands. If you've ever built something from nothing, something you really care about -- or even just dream about it -- check out How I Built This hosted by Guy Raz @guyraz. Follow the show @HowIBuiltThis.

Language:

English


Episodes

Warby Parker: Dave Gilboa & Neil Blumenthal

2/19/2018
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In 2008, it was nearly impossible to buy a fashionable, affordable pair of glasses online. That simple frustration inspired the idea behind Warby Parker – and disrupted the eyewear industry. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," an update on Bellyak, a kayak where you lie on your belly and paddle with your hands. (Original broadcast date: December 26, 2016)

Duration:00:33:05

Dyson: James Dyson

2/12/2018
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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," how...

Duration:00:44:36

Melissa & Doug: Melissa And Doug Bernstein

2/5/2018
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Melissa and Doug Bernstein's first success was a wooden 'fuzzy puzzle' of farm animals. Today, Melissa & Doug makes over 2,000 kinds of toys and serves as an antidote to the rise of digital toys. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," an update on The Cut Buddy, a stencil device that helps you cut your own hair. (Original broadcast date: December 19, 2016)

Duration:00:39:30

Dell Computers: Michael Dell

1/29/2018
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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 gave up his plan of being Pre-Med, and dropped out of school to focus on the PC business. At age of 27, he became the youngest CEO to head a Fortune 500 company. Today, Dell has sold more than 650 million computers. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," how Hannah England turned a...

Duration:00:50:24

Serial Entrepreneur: Marcia Kilgore

1/22/2018
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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,...

Duration:00:54:41

LinkedIn: Reid Hoffman

1/15/2018
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In the early 1990s, Reid Hoffman had a vision for the future of the Internet: people would connect through social networks using their real names, and their online lives would be completely merged with their real ones. After several early attempts, he co-founded LinkedIn – a social network focused on jobs and careers. In 2016, the company sold to Microsoft for $26 billion dollars, helping make Hoffman one of the wealthiest and most influential figures in Silicon Valley. PLUS for our...

Duration:00:43:22

Kate Spade: Kate & Andy Spade

1/8/2018
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We're hard at work planning our next live show, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Kate Spade. A 1991 conversation at a Mexican restaurant led Kate & Andy Spade to ask, "What's missing in designer handbags?" Kate's answer was a simple modern-shaped handbag that launched the iconic fashion brand. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That", we check back with Dennis Darnell and his line of garbage can fly traps.

Duration:00:41:28

Clif Bar: Gary Erickson

1/1/2018
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We're taking a break for the holidays, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Clif Bar. Gary Erickson asked his mom, "Can you make a cookie without butter, sugar or oil?" The result was an energy bar named after his dad — now one of the most popular energy bars in the U.S. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That", we check back with Alec Avedessian about Rareform, his line of bags made out of old highway billboards.

Duration:00:33:00

Live Episode! The Home Depot: Arthur Blank

12/28/2017
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In 1978, Arthur Blank and his business partner Bernie Marcus were running a successful chain of hardware stores called Handy Dan – but then, they were unexpectedly fired. The next year, they conceived and launched a new kind of home improvement store that flopped on opening day, but went on to become one of the biggest private employers in the U.S. The Home Depot now earns annual revenue of almost $100 billion. Recorded live in Atlanta.

Duration:00:33:06

Patagonia: Yvon Chouinard

12/25/2017
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We're taking a break for the holidays, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Patagonia. In 1973, Yvon Chouinard started the company to make climbing gear he couldn't find elsewhere. Over decades of growth, he has implemented a unique philosophy about business, leadership and profit. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That", we check back with Brett Johnson of Firedrops — cayenne pepper lozenges.

Duration:00:28:15

LearnVest: Alexa Von Tobel

12/18/2017
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When Alexa Von Tobel was just 14, her father passed away unexpectedly, briefly throwing her family into financial instability. The tragedy made her determined to understand money – and help others plan for periods of uncertainty. In her mid-twenties, she founded LearnVest, a tool that simplifies financial planning and investing. Within three years, the company was providing support to millions of customers. In 2015, she sold LearnVest for a reported sum of $250 million. PLUS for our...

Duration:00:42:10

Live Episode! Black Entertainment Television: Robert Johnson

12/14/2017
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In 1979, Robert Johnson was a lobbyist for the burgeoning cable industry. That's when he got an idea for a channel called Black Entertainment Television. He started small, just a few hours of programming a week. But by the 1990s BET had become a cultural touchstone. In 2001, he sold BET to Viacom for $2.3 billion, making him the first African-American billionaire in US history. Recorded live in Washington, D.C.

Duration:00:42:02

Tom's Of Maine: Tom Chappell

12/11/2017
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In 1970, Tom Chappell took out a $5000 loan to launch a natural products company called Tom's of Maine. Working out of a warehouse in Kennebunk, Maine, he created soaps, shampoos, and toothpaste free from added chemicals, and sustainable for the environment. When he sold the company three decades later, Tom's of Maine had become one of the largest natural products brands in the world. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That", we check back with Paul Kaster, who two years ago started a...

Duration:00:38:47

Zumba: Beto Perez & Alberto Perlman

12/4/2017
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We're hard at work planning our upcoming live show, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Zumba. Zumba began as a mistake: aerobics teacher Beto Perez brought the wrong music to class, then improvised a dance routine to go with it. For his students, it was more fun than work — and it eventually grew into one of the biggest fitness brands in the world. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," how Alex McKenzie is hoping to upgrade the menu of your neighborhood ice cream...

Duration:00:42:50

Framebridge: Susan Tynan

11/27/2017
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Susan Tynan's experience in the ephemeral e-market of LivingSocial made her want to start a business that she could touch and feel. She got her idea after experiencing sticker shock at her local framing store: she was charged $1600 to frame four cheap posters and figured there had to be a better way. So she created a mail-order framing company that offers fewer designs at much lower prices. Framebridge is now three years old and still feeling growing pains, but is slowly reshaping the...

Duration:00:59:23

Ben & Jerry's: Ben Cohen And Jerry Greenfield

11/20/2017
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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...

Duration:00:59:36

Instagram: Kevin Systrom & Mike Krieger

11/13/2017
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We're hard at work planning our upcoming live shows, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Instagram. Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger launched their photo-sharing app with a server that crashed every other hour. Despite a chaotic start, it became one of the most popular apps in the world. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Dave Weiner of Priority Bicycles, a low-maintenance bicycle brand.

Duration:00:33:45

Eileen Fisher: Eileen Fisher

11/6/2017
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In 1983, Eileen Fisher signed up for a fashion trade show with no experience, no garments, no patterns or sketches – nothing but a few ideas for a women's clothing line focused on simplicity. Within three weeks, she came up with 12 pieces, a logo, and a name: Eileen Fisher. Today, the Eileen Fisher brand is still known for its elegant and minimalist designs, but it has grown to more than 60 locations and makes over $300 million in annual revenue. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built...

Duration:00:49:00

Chipotle: Steve Ells

10/30/2017
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In 1992, Steve Ells was a classically trained chef working in a high-end restaurant in San Francisco. But after eating a burrito at a local taqueria, he got an idea: to sell burritos and earn enough money to open his own gourmet restaurant. The first Chipotle opened in Denver the following year. Bringing his culinary training to taqueria-style service, Steve Ells helped transform the way we eat fast food. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," how Alexander Harik turned his mom's...

Duration:00:52:58

Burton Snowboards: Jake Carpenter

10/23/2017
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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. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," how Jane Och solved the problem of guacamole turning brown, with a container...

Duration:00:46:57

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