Enterpreneurship

How I Built This with Guy Raz

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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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Wikipedia: Jimmy Wales

43:48 | Feb 26th, 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 membe...Show More

Patagonia: Yvon Chouinard

27:16 | Dec 12th, 2016

In 1973, Yvon Chouinard started Patagonia to make climbing gear he couldn't find elsewhere. Over decades of growth, he has implemented a unique philosophy about business, leadership and profit.

LinkedIn: Reid Hoffman

43:11 | Jan 15th, 2018

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, h...Show More

The Chipmunks: Ross Bagdasarian Jr. & Janice Karman

58:38 | Sep 18th, 2017

Years after his father created a hit singing group of anthropomorphic rodents called The Chipmunks, Ross Bagdasarian Jr. made it his mission to revive his dad's beloved characters. Over the last 40 years, Ross Jr. and his wife Janice have built The C...Show More

Kendra Scott Design: Kendra Scott

44:23 | Mar 20th, 2017

Ever since she was a little girl playing dress-up in her aunt's closet, Kendra Scott loved fashion. Her first business was a hat shop, which she started at 19 – it failed. A few years later, she started a jewelry business out of her spare bedroom. No...Show More

SoulCycle: Julie Rice & Elizabeth Cutler

57:50 | Jan 7th

Before Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice met, they shared a common belief: New York City gyms didn't have the kind of exercise classes they craved, and each of them wanted to change that. A fitness instructor introduced them over lunch in 2005, and bef...Show More

Live Episode! Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams: Jeni Britton Bauer

48:04 | Feb 28th, 2018

Even as a kid, Jeni Britton Bauer knew she was going to start a business one day. But she had no idea that her love for perfume would inspire her to start experimenting with ice cream. After years of hustling, she eventually launched Jeni's Splendid ...Show More

Ben & Jerry's: Ben Cohen And Jerry Greenfield

59:27 | Nov 20th, 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. I...Show More

Live Episode! Starbucks: Howard Schultz

49:18 | Sep 28th, 2017

During his first visit to Seattle in 1981, Howard Schultz walked into a little coffee bean shop called Starbucks and fell in love with it. A few years later, he bought the six-store chain for almost 4 million dollars, and began to transform it into a...Show More

Rent The Runway: Jenn Hyman

56:43 | Aug 7th, 2017

Jenn Hyman got the idea for Rent the Runway in 2008, after she watched her sister overspend on a new dress rather than wear an old one to a party. Jenn and her business partner built a web site where women could rent designer dresses for a fraction o...Show More

Spanx: Sara Blakely

31:23 | Jul 3rd, 2017

We're hard at work planning our upcoming live shows, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Spanx. At 27, Sara Blakely was selling fax machines and desperate to reinvent her life. So she came up with Spanx — hosiery that eliminates panty l...Show More

Lady Gaga & Atom Factory: Troy Carter

45:53 | May 1st, 2017

As a kid, Troy Carter dreamed of being a rapper, but soon discovered he was a better manager than a musician. He took Lady Gaga from obscurity to stardom – helping shape both her music and her brand. Then he turned his gift for spotting talent to spo...Show More

1-800-GOT-JUNK?: Brian Scudamore

41:30 | Apr 17th, 2017

Brian Scudamore didn't dream of a life hauling away other people's trash. But when he needed to pay for college, he bought a $700 pickup truck, painted his phone number on the side, and started hauling. Now 1-800-GOT-JUNK? makes over $200 million in ...Show More

Bonobos: Andy Dunn

1:11:57 | Jan 21st

When Andy Dunn was in business school, his housemate Brian Spaly created a new type of men's pants: stylish, tailored trousers that fit well in both the hips and thighs. Together, they started the men's clothing company Bonobos, which became an insta...Show More

Slack & Flickr: Stewart Butterfield

1:04:44 | Jul 30th, 2018

In the early 2000s, Stewart Butterfield tried to build a weird, massively multiplayer online game, but the venture failed. Instead, he and his co-founders used the technology they developed to create the photo-sharing site Flickr. After Flickr was ac...Show More

Steve Madden: Steve Madden

52:47 | Jul 16th, 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...Show More

1-800-GOT-JUNK?: Brian Scudamore

41:56 | Mar 5th, 2018

Brian Scudamore didn't dream of a life hauling away other people's trash. But when he needed to pay for college, he bought a $700 pickup truck, painted his phone number on the side, and started hauling. Now 1-800-GOT-JUNK? makes close to $300 million...Show More

Dyson: James Dyson

44:44 | Feb 12th, 2018

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 h...Show More

Kate Spade: Kate & Andy Spade

41:34 | Jan 8th, 2018

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 ...Show More

Bumble: Whitney Wolfe

42:56 | Oct 16th, 2017

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 cyberbul...Show More

Barre3: Sadie Lincoln

48:01 | Sep 11th, 2017

Sadie Lincoln and her husband, Chris, had what seemed like the perfect life – well-paying jobs, a house in the Bay Area, two kids. But one day they decided to sell everything and start a new business called Barre3: a studio exercise program that blen...Show More

Live Episode! Reddit: Alexis Ohanian & Steve Huffman

53:21 | Aug 31st, 2017

With $12,000 and a mascot named Snoo, two former college roommates designed a web site they hoped would become "the front page of the Internet." Today, despite growing pains, personal issues and persistent trolls, Reddit has over 300 million monthly ...Show More

Lonely Planet: Maureen & Tony Wheeler

41:29 | May 8th, 2017

In 1972, Maureen and Tony Wheeler bought a beat-up car and drove from London "as far east as we could go." They wound up in Australia, by way of Afghanistan, India and Thailand. Their notes on how to travel on a shoestring became a book, which grew i...Show More

Instacart: Apoorva Mehta

40:33 | Apr 10th, 2017

App developer Apoorva Mehta almost gave up on being an entrepreneur until he figured out what he really wanted to do: find a hassle-free way to buy groceries. Five years after launch, the grocery delivery app Instacart is valued at three billion doll...Show More

Atari & Chuck E. Cheese's: Nolan Bushnell

50:56 | Feb 27th, 2017

Before he turned 40, Nolan Bushnell founded two brands that permanently shaped the way Americans amuse themselves: the iconic video game system Atari, and the frenetic family restaurant Chuck E. Cheese's.

Lyft: John Zimmer

41:00 | Feb 13th, 2017

Ridesharing wasn't a thing 12 years ago when John Zimmer was in college. But a class on green cities got him thinking about the glut of underused cars on the road, and eventually led him to co-found Lyft, a company that has helped make ridesharing a ...Show More

Kate Spade: Kate & Andy Spade

41:58 | Feb 6th, 2017

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: Kate Spade.

VICE: Suroosh Alvi

37:04 | Oct 10th, 2016

Suroosh Alvi was a recovering addict when he started a scrappy underground magazine in Montreal. It grew into VICE Media — a multi-billion dollar company that has shaken up the world of journalism.

Burt's Bees: Roxanne Quimby

1:00:27 | Feb 18th

In the 1970s, Roxanne Quimby was trying to live a simpler life – one that rejected the pursuit of material comforts. She moved to Maine, built a cabin in the woods, and lived off the grid. By the mid-80s, she met a recluse beekeeper named Burt Shavit...Show More

TOMS: Blake Mycoskie

56:20 | Feb 11th

Blake Mycoskie started and sold four businesses before age 30. But only in Argentina did he discover the idea he'd want to pursue long term. After seeing a shoe drive for children, he came up with TOMS — part shoe business, part philanthropy. PLUS fo...Show More

JetBlue Airways: David Neeleman

04:06 | Feb 4th

In the mid-90s, David Neeleman wanted to launch a new airline. He had already co-created a regional airline out of Salt Lake City that was acquired by Southwest. And despite his admiration of Southwest's business model, Neeleman felt there was a mark...Show More

Canva: Melanie Perkins

49:45 | Jan 28th

When she was just 19 years old, Melanie Perkins dreamt of transforming the graphic design and publishing industries. But she started small, launching a site to make yearbook design simpler and more collaborative. Her success with that first venture —...Show More

Five Guys: Jerry Murrell

39:02 | Jan 14th

Jerry Murrell's mother used to tell him, you can always make money if you know how to make a good burger. In 1986 — after failing at a number of business ideas — Murrell opened a tiny burger joint in Northern Virginia with his four sons. Five Guys no...Show More

Remembering Herb Kelleher

31:27 | Jan 4th

The co-founder and former CEO of Southwest Airlines, Herb Kelleher, has died. He was 87. We are grateful Herb shared his story with us in 2016. We are republishing it as a tribute to his life and career, in which he transformed the US airline industr...Show More

Kickstarter: Perry Chen

42:57 | Dec 31st, 2018

In the early 2000s, Perry Chen was trying to put on a concert in New Orleans when he thought, what if fans could fund this in advance? His idea didn't work at the time, but he and his co-founders spent the next eight years refining the concept of cro...Show More

The Chipmunks: Ross Bagdasarian Jr. & Janice Karman

1:00:43 | Dec 24th, 2018

Years after his father created a hit singing group of anthropomorphic rodents called The Chipmunks, Ross Bagdasarian Jr. made it his mission to revive his dad's beloved characters. Over the last 40 years, Ross Jr. and his wife Janice have built The C...Show More

Lisa Price Of Carol's Daughter At The HIBT Summit

19:35 | Dec 20th, 2018

It's our final episode in our series from this year's How I Built This Summit! Today, we're featuring Lisa Price of the beauty brand Carol's Daughter. When Lisa sat down with Guy Raz in October, she described how her business expanded well beyond her...Show More

Live Episode! Dollar Shave Club: Michael Dubin

51:13 | Dec 17th, 2018

At the end of 2010, Michael Dubin was working in marketing when he met a guy named Mark Levine at a holiday party. Mark was looking for ideas to get rid of a massive pile of razors he had sitting in a California warehouse. Michael's spontaneous idea ...Show More

Stitch Fix's Katrina Lake At The HIBT Summit

15:29 | Dec 13th, 2018

Today we have another live episode from the How I Built This Summit, featuring Katrina Lake of Stitch Fix. Katrina sat down with Guy Raz in front of a live audience in San Francisco in October to discuss building culture at a billion-dollar company, ...Show More

Burton Snowboards: Jake Carpenter

48:12 | Dec 10th, 2018

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 p...Show More

Airbnb's Joe Gebbia At The HIBT Summit

17:04 | Dec 6th, 2018

Next in our series of episodes from the How I Built This Summit: Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb. Joe sat down with Guy Raz in front of a live audience in San Francisco, and talked about why he and his co-founders pursued their idea despite overwhel...Show More

ActOne Group: Janice Bryant Howroyd

52:52 | Dec 3rd, 2018

In the late 1970s Janice Bryant Howroyd moved to Los Angeles and began temping as a secretary. She soon realized there were many other young people in situations similar to hers. So with $1,500 in her pocket, Janice rented an office in Beverly Hills ...Show More

Lyft's John Zimmer At The HIBT Summit

18:24 | Nov 29th, 2018

Next up in our series of episodes from the How I Built This Summit: John Zimmer, co-founder of Lyft. John sat down with Guy Raz in front of a live audience in San Francisco last month to talk about Lyft's visions for the future of transportation – an...Show More

Live Episode! Glossier: Emily Weiss

51:46 | Nov 26th, 2018

In 2010, while working as a fashion assistant at Vogue, Emily Weiss started a beauty blog called Into The Gloss. She quickly attracted a following of devoted readers hooked on the blog's intimate snapshots of style makers' beauty routines. Within a f...Show More

Bonus Episode! Method's Adam Lowry And Eric Ryan At The HIBT Summit

16:34 | Nov 22nd, 2018

This bonus episode from the How I Built This Summit features Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan, co-founders of Method cleaning products. Adam and Eric joined Guy Raz live on stage at the Summit in San Francisco, to talk the highs and lows of their business pa...Show More

Whole Foods Market: John Mackey

46:34 | Nov 19th, 2018

In 1978, college drop-out John Mackey scraped together $45,000 to open his first health food store, "Safer Way." A few years later he co-founded Whole Foods Market — and launched an organic food revolution that helped change the way Americans shop. P...Show More

Bonus Episode! Rent The Runway's Jenn Hyman At The HIBT Summit

15:41 | Nov 15th, 2018

Our first bonus episode from the How I Built This Summit features Jenn Hyman, co-founder of Rent The Runway, a designer clothing rental service that pulls in $100 million a year. When Jenn sat down with Guy Raz for a live interview at the Summit in S...Show More

DoorDash: Tony Xu

52:00 | Nov 12th, 2018

In 2013, Tony Xu was brainstorming ideas for a business school project when he identified a problem he wanted to solve: food delivery. For most restaurants, it was too costly and inefficient, leaving most of the market to pizza and Chinese. Tony and ...Show More

Barre3: Sadie Lincoln

49:21 | Nov 5th, 2018

Sadie Lincoln and her husband, Chris, had what seemed like the perfect life – well-paying jobs, a house in the Bay Area, two kids. But one day they decided to sell everything and start a new business called Barre3: a studio exercise program that blen...Show More

Betterment: Jon Stein

56:36 | Oct 29th, 2018

When Jon Stein realized he couldn't stand the sight of blood, he gave up the idea of becoming a doctor. Instead, he went into finance, but soon grew restless with "helping banks make more money." So he decided to build a business where he could help ...Show More

Tempur-Pedic: Bobby Trussell

1:03:36 | Oct 22nd, 2018

At age 40, Bobby Trussell's promising career in horse racing hit a dead end. With bills to pay and a family to support, he stumbled across a curious product that turned into a lifeline: squishy-squashy memory foam. He jumped at the chance to distribu...Show More

Rent The Runway: Jenn Hyman

57:05 | Oct 15th, 2018

Jenn Hyman got the idea for Rent the Runway in 2008, after she watched her sister overspend on a new dress rather than wear an old one to a party. Jenn and her business partner built a web site where women could rent designer dresses for a fraction o...Show More

method: Adam Lowry & Eric Ryan

57:36 | Oct 8th, 2018

In the late 1990s, Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan took on the notion that "green doesn't clean" by setting out to make soap that could clean a bathtub without harming the environment. Adam started experimenting with baking soda, vinegar, and scented oils, ...Show More

Cisco Systems & Urban Decay: Sandy Lerner

1:01:58 | Oct 1st, 2018

In the pre-Internet 1970's, Sandy Lerner was part of a loosely-knit group of programmers that was trying to get computers to talk to each other. Eventually, she and Len Bosack launched Cisco Systems, making the routing technology that helped forge th...Show More

Power Rangers: Haim Saban

44:08 | Sep 24th, 2018

As a refugee growing up in Tel Aviv, Haim Saban remembers not having enough money to eat. As an adult, he hustled his way into the entertainment business, writing theme songs for classic cartoons like Inspector Gadget and Heathcliff. But producing th...Show More

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics: Bobbi Brown

53:11 | Sep 17th, 2018

Bobbi Brown started out as a makeup artist in New York City, but hated the gaudy color palette of the 1980s. She eventually shook up the industry by introducing "nude makeup" with neutral colors and a natural tone. In 1995, Estée Lauder acquired Bobb...Show More

Live Episode! New Belgium Brewing Company: Kim Jordan

46:12 | Sep 10th, 2018

In 1991 newlyweds Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch took out a second mortgage on their home in Fort Collins, Colorado to start a craft brewery in their basement. Jeff had been inspired by the fruit and spice-infused beers he had tasted on a bike trip to B...Show More

WeWork: Miguel McKelvey

53:11 | Sep 3rd, 2018

In 2007, architect Miguel McKelvey convinced his friend Adam Neumann to share an office space in Brooklyn. That was the beginning of WeWork: a shared workspace for startups and freelancers looking for an inspiring environment to do their work. Today,...Show More

TRX: Randy Hetrick

44:42 | Aug 27th, 2018

In 1997, Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick was deployed in Southeast Asia, where he was stationed in a remote warehouse for weeks with no way to exercise. So he grabbed an old jujitsu belt, threw it over a door, and started doing pull-ups. Today, TRX exercise ...Show More

Angie's List: Angie Hicks

33:50 | Aug 20th, 2018

In 1995, Angie Hicks spent months going door-to-door in Columbus, Ohio, trying to get people to sign up for a new home services referral business. Today, Angie's List is a household name, referring millions of members to plumbers, painters, and more....Show More

Live Episode! RXBAR: Peter Rahal

48:50 | Aug 13th, 2018

In 2013, Peter Rahal was obsessed with CrossFit, but noticed it didn't sell any snacks to align with its pro-paleo philosophy. So instead of joining his family's business, Rahal Foods, he recruited his friend Jared Smith to start making their own pro...Show More

Carol's Daughter: Lisa Price

43:06 | Aug 6th, 2018

Lisa Price worked in television but had a passion for beauty products. At her mother's suggestion, she began selling her homemade moisturizer at a church flea market. Twenty years later, Carol's Daughter is one of the leading beauty brands catering t...Show More

Drybar: Alli Webb

34:59 | Jul 23rd, 2018

A decade ago, full-time mom Alli Webb noticed a gap in the beauty market: there was no place that just focused on blow-drying hair. Now with more than 100 locations, Drybar is testament to Webb's motto: Focus on one thing and be the best at it. PLUS ...Show More

Lonely Planet: Maureen & Tony Wheeler

38:44 | Jul 9th, 2018

In 1972, Maureen and Tony Wheeler bought a beat-up car and drove from London "as far east as we could go." They wound up in Australia, by way of Afghanistan, India and Thailand. Their notes on how to travel on a shoestring became a book, which grew i...Show More

Chicken Salad Chick: Stacy Brown

57:27 | Jul 2nd, 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...Show More

Lyft: John Zimmer

42:18 | Jun 25th, 2018

In 2006, John Zimmer was a college student and ride-hailing wasn't yet "a thing." But a class on green cities got him thinking about the glut of underused cars on the road. Eventually, he co-founded Lyft, a company that has helped make ride-hailing a...Show More

Lululemon Athletica: Chip Wilson

53:51 | Jun 18th, 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 multibill...Show More

Honest Tea: Seth Goldman

31:07 | Jun 11th, 2018

In 1997, after going for a long run, Seth Goldman was frustrated with the sugar-filled drinks at the corner market. So he brewed up a beverage in his kitchen, and turned it into Honest Tea. PLUS, for our postscript "How You Built That," we check bac...Show More

Remembering Kate Spade

36:20 | Jun 5th, 2018

We are incredibly saddened by the loss of the brilliant designer and entrepreneur Kate Spade. We are grateful she and her husband Andy Spade shared their story with us in 2017. The origins of the Kate Spade brand can be drawn back to a 1991 conversat...Show More

Minted: Mariam Naficy

51:26 | Jun 4th, 2018

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, an online stationery store that solicits designs from art...Show More

Lady Gaga & Atom Factory: Troy Carter

49:36 | May 28th, 2018

As a kid, Troy Carter dreamed of being a rapper, but soon discovered he was a better manager than a musician. He took Lady Gaga from obscurity to stardom – helping shape both her music and her brand. Then he turned his gift for spotting talent to spo...Show More

Bob's Red Mill: Bob Moore

46:46 | May 21st, 2018

In the 1960s, Bob Moore read a book about an old grain mill and was inspired to start his own. Using giant quartz stones from the 19th century, he made dozens of different cereals and flours, positioning his company at the forefront of the health foo...Show More

Real Estate Mogul: Barbara Corcoran

52:52 | May 14th, 2018

Barbara Corcoran grew up in a working-class Irish Catholic family in Jersey – with nine brothers and sisters. But she used her charisma to conquer the streets of Manhattan and build the real estate company, The Corcoran Group. She then reinvented her...Show More

Stripe: Patrick and John Collison

43:14 | May 7th, 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 ar...Show More

Panera Bread/Au Bon Pain: Ron Shaich

43:52 | Apr 30th, 2018

In the early 1980s, Ron Schaich 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 casua...Show More

Dermalogica: Jane Wurwand

41:34 | Apr 23rd, 2018

Jane Wurwand moved to Los Angeles with a suitcase and a beauty school diploma. She started what would become Dermalogica, an international beauty empire that set the standard for skin care. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back w...Show More

Wayfair: Niraj Shah & Steve Conine

48:23 | Apr 16th, 2018

After selling their first small business and shuttering their second, former college roommates Niraj Shah and Steve Conine thought about getting "normal" jobs. But in the early 2000s, they stumbled across an unexpected trend: people were buying furni...Show More

FUBU: Daymond John

54:00 | Apr 9th, 2018

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...Show More

Stitch Fix: Katrina Lake

53:13 | Apr 2nd, 2018

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 t...Show More

Atari & Chuck E. Cheese's: Nolan Bushnell

51:07 | Mar 26th, 2018

Before he turned 40, Nolan Bushnell founded two brands that permanently shaped the way Americans amuse themselves: the iconic video game system Atari, and the frenetic family restaurant Chuck E. Cheese's. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," ...Show More

LARABAR: Lara Merriken

55:26 | Mar 19th, 2018

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: LaraBar. After just two y...Show More

The Knot: Carley Roney & David Liu

56:32 | Mar 12th, 2018

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 pl...Show More

Warby Parker: Dave Gilboa & Neil Blumenthal

32:52 | Feb 19th, 2018

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 ...Show More

Melissa & Doug: Melissa And Doug Bernstein

39:38 | Feb 5th, 2018

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 updat...Show More

Dell Computers: Michael Dell

50:31 | Jan 29th, 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 gave up his plan of being Pre-Med, and dropped ...Show More

Serial Entrepreneur: Marcia Kilgore

54:25 | Jan 22nd, 2018

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 tra...Show More

Clif Bar: Gary Erickson

33:06 | Jan 1st, 2018

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 mo...Show More

Live Episode! The Home Depot: Arthur Blank

33:11 | Dec 28th, 2017

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...Show More

Patagonia: Yvon Chouinard

28:17 | Dec 25th, 2017

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 phil...Show More

LearnVest: Alexa von Tobel

41:57 | Dec 18th, 2017

When Alexa von Tobel was just 14, her father passed away unexpectedly, leaving her mother to manage the family's finances. The tragedy made Alexa determined to understand money – and help others plan for periods of uncertainty. In her mid-twenties, s...Show More

Live Episode! Black Entertainment Television: Robert Johnson

42:08 | Dec 14th, 2017

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 cult...Show More

Tom's Of Maine: Tom Chappell

38:37 | Dec 11th, 2017

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 envi...Show More

Zumba: Beto Perez & Alberto Perlman

42:53 | Dec 4th, 2017

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 hi...Show More

Framebridge: Susan Tynan

59:10 | Nov 27th, 2017

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 chea...Show More

Instagram: Kevin Systrom & Mike Krieger

33:32 | Nov 13th, 2017

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...Show More

Eileen Fisher: Eileen Fisher

48:51 | Nov 6th, 2017

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, an...Show More

Chipotle: Steve Ells

52:43 | Oct 30th, 2017

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...Show More

Burton Snowboards: Jake Carpenter

46:49 | Oct 23rd, 2017

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 p...Show More

Teach For America: Wendy Kopp

45:22 | Oct 9th, 2017

In 1989, college senior Wendy Kopp was trying to figure out how to improve American public schools. For her senior thesis, she proposed creating a national teaching corps that would recruit recent college grads to teach in underserved schools. One ye...Show More

Stonyfield Yogurt: Gary Hirshberg

1:01:15 | Oct 2nd, 2017

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...Show More

Southwest Airlines: Herb Kelleher

37:43 | Sep 25th, 2017

We're hard at work planning more live shows, so we bring you one of our favorites from last year: Southwest Airlines. In 1968, competitors sued to keep Herb Kelleher's new airline grounded. After a 3-year court fight, the first plane took off from Da...Show More

VICE: Suroosh Alvi

40:43 | Sep 4th, 2017

We're hard at work planning our upcoming live show, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: VICE. Suroosh Alvi was a recovering addict when he started a scrappy underground magazine in Montreal. It grew into a multi-billion dollar company t...Show More

Airbnb: Joe Gebbia

44:42 | Aug 28th, 2017

We're hard at work planning our upcoming live show, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Airbnb. A chance encounter with a stranger gave Joe Gebbia an idea to help pay his rent. That idea grew into a company that now has more rooms than ...Show More

Edible Arrangements: Tariq Farid

49:46 | Aug 21st, 2017

When Tariq Farid was 12, he emigrated from Pakistan to the U.S. – and quickly found a job at a local flower shop. Eventually he opened his own shop, which eventually led to the crazy idea to make flower bouquets out of fruit. Edible Arrangements has ...Show More

Radio One: Cathy Hughes

38:09 | Aug 14th, 2017

We're hard at work planning our upcoming live show, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Radio One. As a kid, Cathy Hughes practiced her DJ routine while her siblings banged on the bathroom door. As an adult, she founded Radio One—now Ur...Show More

Kickstarter: Perry Chen

43:03 | Jul 31st, 2017

In the early 2000s, Perry Chen was trying to put on a concert in New Orleans when he thought, what if fans could fund this in advance? His idea didn't work at the time, but he and his co-founders spent the next eight years refining the concept of cro...Show More

Live Episode! BuzzFeed: Jonah Peretti

49:53 | Jul 27th, 2017

In 2001, when most of us had no idea what it meant to "go viral," Jonah Peretti shared an email prank among his friends — and saw it spread to millions. That began his fascination with how information spreads, and set him on the path to launch two of...Show More

Samuel Adams: Jim Koch

38:08 | Jul 24th, 2017

We're hard at work planning our upcoming live shows, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Samuel Adams. In 1984, Jim Koch felt suffocated by his cushy but boring corporate job. So he left, dusted off an old family beer recipe, started Sa...Show More

Aden + Anais: Raegan Moya-Jones

43:20 | Jul 17th, 2017

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. She was sure Americans would love muslin blankets as much as Australians. S...Show More

Rolling Stone: Jann Wenner

48:52 | Jul 10th, 2017

After being involved in Berkeley's Free Speech Movement, Jann Wenner wanted to start a publication to capture the exploding counterculture scene of the 1960s. The result was Rolling Stone, a gritty music magazine that – for 50 years — has left an ind...Show More

TRX: Randy Hetrick

44:49 | Jun 26th, 2017

In 1997, Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick was deployed in Southeast Asia, where he was stationed in a remote warehouse for weeks with no way to exercise. So he grabbed an old jujitsu belt, threw it over a door, and started doing pull-ups. Today, TRX exercise ...Show More

WeWork: Miguel McKelvey

48:10 | Jun 19th, 2017

In 2007, architect Miguel McKelvey convinced his friend Adam Neumann to share an office space in Brooklyn. That was the beginning of WeWork: a shared workspace for startups and freelancers looking for an inspiring environment to do their work. Today,...Show More

Carol's Daughter: Lisa Price

43:52 | Jun 12th, 2017

Lisa Price worked in television but had a passion for beauty products. At her mother's suggestion, she began selling her homemade moisturizer at a church flea market. Twenty years later, Carol's Daughter is one of the leading beauty brands catering t...Show More

Five Guys: Jerry Murrell

36:40 | Jun 5th, 2017

Jerry Murrell's mother used to tell him, you can always make money if you know how to make a good burger. In 1986 — after failing at a number of business ideas — Murrell opened a tiny burger joint in Northern Virginia with his four sons. Five Guys no...Show More

TOMS: Blake Mycoskie

54:44 | May 29th, 2017

Blake Mycoskie started and sold four businesses before age 30. But only in Argentina did he discover the idea he'd want to pursue long term. After seeing a shoe drive for children, he came up with TOMS — part shoe business, part philanthropy. PLUS in...Show More

Compaq Computers: Rod Canion

40:17 | May 22nd, 2017

In 1981, engineer Rod Canion left Texas Instruments and co-founded Compaq, which created the first IBM-compatible personal computer. This opened the door to an entire industry of PCs that could run the same software. PLUS in our postscript "How You B...Show More

Whole Foods Market: John Mackey

47:08 | May 15th, 2017

In 1978, college drop-out John Mackey scraped together $45,000 to open his first health food store, "Safer Way." A few years later he co-founded Whole Foods Market — and launched an organic food revolution that helped change the way Americans shop. P...Show More

Real Estate Mogul: Barbara Corcoran

52:11 | Apr 24th, 2017

Barbara Corcoran grew up in a working-class Irish Catholic family in Jersey – with nine brothers and sisters. But she used her charisma to conquer the streets of Manhattan and build the real estate company, The Corcoran Group. She then reinvented her...Show More

AOL: Steve Case

34:21 | Apr 3rd, 2017

When Steve Case started out in the tech business in the mid-80s, the idea of the internet — as we think of it today — didn't exist. But with AOL, Case saw an opportunity to connect millions of people, through chat rooms, news updates, and the iconic ...Show More

Power Rangers: Haim Saban

43:11 | Mar 27th, 2017

As a refugee growing up in Tel Aviv, Haim Saban remembers not having enough money to eat. As an adult, he hustled his way into the entertainment business, writing theme songs for classic cartoons like Inspector Gadget and Heathcliff. But producing th...Show More

5-Hour Energy: Manoj Bhargava

35:52 | Mar 13th, 2017

After living as a monk in India and running a plastics company in Florida, Manoj Bhargava decided to launch something new: a one-shot energy drink in a bright, battery-shaped bottle. Today, 5-Hour ENERGY is one of the most recognizable energy drinks ...Show More

Chesapeake Bay Candle: Mei Xu

42:43 | Mar 6th, 2017

Twenty-five years ago, when 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-m...Show More

Crate & Barrel: Gordon Segal

31:05 | Feb 20th, 2017

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.

Live Episode! Beyond Meat: Ethan Brown

26:14 | Feb 16th, 2017

As founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, Ethan Brown believes he can turn peas and lentils into protein that tastes — and feels – exactly like beef and chicken. He says they're not quite there yet, but after 8 years in business, their products are sold in ...Show More

Virgin: Richard Branson

34:54 | Jan 30th, 2017

Richard Branson took a record shop and built it into a label, a bank, an airline, space tourism, and 200 other businesses — all under the name Virgin. But the serial entrepreneur has also had his share of failures.

Zappos: Tony Hsieh

30:03 | Jan 23rd, 2017

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 uno...Show More

Honest Tea: Seth Goldman

31:44 | Jan 16th, 2017

In 1997, after going for a long run, Seth Goldman was frustrated with the sugar-filled drinks at the corner market. So he brewed up a beverage in his kitchen, and turned it into Honest Tea.

Drybar: Alli Webb

34:02 | Jan 9th, 2017

A decade ago, full-time mom Alli Webb noticed a gap in the beauty market: there was nowhere that just focused on blow-drying hair. Now with 70 locations, Drybar is testament to Webb's motto: Focus on one thing and be the best at it.

Zumba: Beto Perez & Alberto Perlman

39:24 | Jan 2nd, 2017

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 ...Show More

Warby Parker: Dave Gilboa & Neil Blumenthal

32:07 | Dec 26th, 2016

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.

Melissa & Doug: Melissa And Doug Bernstein

37:40 | Dec 19th, 2016

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.

Serial Entrepreneur: Mark Cuban

35:10 | Dec 5th, 2016

Mark Cuban made millions off of tech startups, then billions off of stocks — and later went on to buy and revive the Dallas Mavericks. He has come to define the persona of the serial entrepreneur.

Angie's List: Angie Hicks

30:43 | Nov 28th, 2016

In 1996, Angie Hicks spent hours reading contractor reviews to members over the phone. Today, the online review and referral service, Angie's List, is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Southwest Airlines: Herb Kelleher

35:01 | Nov 21st, 2016

In 1968, competitors sued to keep Herb Kelleher's new airline grounded. After a 3-year court fight, the first plane took off from Dallas. Today Southwest Airlines operates nearly 4,000 flights a day.

Celebrity Chef: José Andrés

28:53 | Nov 14th, 2016

As a kid, José Andrés tended fires for his father's backyard paella cookouts. Later, he trained with the best Spanish chefs, and began building a restaurant empire that would transform the way many Americans dine out.

Music Mogul: L.A. Reid

33:17 | Nov 7th, 2016

L.A. Reid began his music career as a drummer. Then he co-founded LaFace Records, discovering dozens of future pop superstars. Reid is now one of the most influential executives in the music industry.

Samuel Adams: Jim Koch

34:41 | Oct 31st, 2016

In 1984, Jim Koch felt suffocated by his cushy but boring corporate job. So he left, dusted off an old family beer recipe, started Sam Adams, and helped kickstart the craft beer movement in America.

Dermalogica: Jane Wurwand

40:08 | Oct 24th, 2016

Jane Wurwand moved to Los Angeles with a suitcase and a beauty school diploma. She started what would become Dermalogica, an international beauty empire that set the standard for skin care.

Airbnb: Joe Gebbia

42:24 | Oct 17th, 2016

A chance encounter with a stranger gave Joe Gebbia an idea to help pay his rent. That idea turned into Airbnb — a company that now has more rooms than the biggest hotel chain in the world.

Clif Bar: Gary Erickson

28:26 | Oct 3rd, 2016

Gary Erickson asked his mom, "Can you make a cookie without butter, sugar or oil?" The result was Clif Bar, an energy bar named after his dad — now one of the most popular energy bars in the U.S.

Radio One: Cathy Hughes

33:07 | Sep 26th, 2016

As a kid, Cathy Hughes practiced her DJ routine while her siblings banged on the bathroom door. As an adult, she founded Radio One, the country's largest African-American owned broadcasting company.

Instagram: Kevin Systrom & Mike Krieger

29:55 | Sep 19th, 2016

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger launched their photo-sharing app with a server that crashed every other hour. Despite a chaotic start, Instagram became one of the most popular apps in the world.

Spanx: Sara Blakely

27:49 | Sep 12th, 2016

At 27, Sara Blakely was selling fax machines and desperate to reinvent her life. So she came up with Spanx — hosiery that eliminates panty lines — and set to work building her business.

Coming Soon: How I Built This

02:59 | Sep 2nd, 2016

On September 12, NPR launches a new podcast, How I Built This, hosted by Guy Raz. The show features innovators, entrepreneurs, idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built.