Logo

Masters of Scale

Award-winning business advice from Silicon Valley and beyond. Iconic CEOs, from Nike to Netflix, Starbucks to Slack, share the strategies that helped them grow from startups into global brands — and to weather crisis when it strikes. Our two formats help tell the complete story of how a business grows, survives and thrives, and the mindsets of growth that keep leaders in the game.On each episode of our classic format, host Reid Hoffman — LinkedIn cofounder, Greylock partner and legendary Silicon Valley investor — proves an unconventional theory about how businesses scale, asking his guests to share their stories of entrepreneurship, leadership, strategy, management, fundraising. You’ll hear the human journey too — failures, setbacks, learnings. From our Rapid Response format, you can expect real-time wisdom from business leaders in fast-changing situations. Hosted by Bob Safian, past editor in chief of Fast Company, these episodes tackle crisis response, rebuilding, diversity & inclusion, leadership change and much more. 

You could start a company this weekend, w/Noah Kagan

Masters of Scale

  • 7 views
  • 3 days ago
  • 37:39

Entrepreneur Noah Kagan wants everyone to feel empowered to start a business. That’s the core message of his new book, Million Dollar Weekend. He’s founded multiple companies worth at least a million dollars, including AppSumo. That’s his software marketplace worth more than $80 million. Noah shares lessons from his scale journey, and from the early flameouts at high-profile start-ups (like being employee number 30 at Facebook and an early staffer at Mint) that fueled a desire to prove himself.Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.comSubscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: https://mastersofscale.com/subscribeCheck out Million Dollar Weekend here: https://noahkagan.com/mdwbook/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Rapid Response: Power moves for the planet, w/GE Vernova CEO Scott Strazik

Masters of Scale

  • 8 views
  • 5 days ago
  • 27:07

Can nuclear energy, solar and wind farms, and carbon capture scale fast enough to save the planet? GE Vernova CEO Scott Strazik joins Rapid Response host Bob Safian on stage at the Climatech conference in Boston to detail how green energy is evolving in 2024. GE Vernova is a new company spun out from General Electric, and helps power around a quarter of the world’s electricity. Strazik explains how today’s electrical grid limits renewable energy’s potential, and why it desperately needs a “new brain.”Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcZfnUX1BrQSubscribe to the Rapid Response podcast feed: https://listen.rapidresponseshow.com/SubscribeFor more info, visit: www.rapidresponseshow.comSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Don’t stop learning: How Cornerstone kept scaling, w/Adam Miller

Masters of Scale

  • 10 views
  • 10 days ago
  • 38:16

Founded at the dawn of the dot-com era, entrepreneur Adam Miller’s original concept for Cornerstone was a kind of Netflix for adult education: training courses through CD-ROMs. Migrating to online offerings for major corporate clients, Adam steered the company through tough times that included an encounter with a loan shark, markets collapsing, and global crises. By the time he sold the company two decades later – for more than $5.2 billion – Adam learned essential lessons about how to scale during uncertainty.Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.comSubscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: https://mastersofscale.com/subscribeThe Sequoia “RIP: Good Times” presentation: https://articles.sequoiacap.com/rip-good-timesSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Rapid Response: Taking over when tragedy strikes, w/Guild's Bijal Shah

Masters of Scale

  • 8 views
  • 12 days ago
  • 29:01

After Guild’s founding CEO suffered a stroke at the age of just 34, Bijal Shah was tapped to take the helm. Shah joins Rapid Response to share the story behind the emotional leadership change, and how she wrestled with the immense responsibility of shepherding a company out of crisis. Shah also discusses how Taylor Swift inspires her leadership, and why Guild recently partnered with Team USA ahead of the Paris Olympics. Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4jc66RXjvkSubscribe to the Rapid Response podcast feed: https://listen.rapidresponseshow.com/SubscribeFor more info, visit: www.rapidresponseshow.comSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Tinker your way to scale: James Dyson

Masters of Scale

  • 10 views
  • 17 days ago
  • 35:12

James Dyson's journey to building a global invention enterprise began with a simple goal: to build a better vacuum. After 5,000+ prototypes and years of precise tinkering, his innovative bagless vacuum was ready. But none of the big brand names wanted it. So he started the Dyson company, betting that customers would be swayed by new technology, better performance, and distinctive design. Today the Dyson Corporation commands $9 billion in annual revenue, and — driven by engineering curiosity — develops products from air purifiers to hair dryers, even making a big bet on an electric car (that never hit the market). James Dyson’s inspiring story of scale involves challenging experts at every turn, relentless iteration, and a resilient view of failure as a stepping stone to the next breakthrough.Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.comSubscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: https://mastersofscale.com/subscribeSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Rapid Response: Crypto’s new chapter, w/Crypto Council for Innovation’s Sheila Warren

Masters of Scale

  • 8 views
  • 19 days ago
  • 30:22

For anyone skeptical about crypto hype, Sheila Warren explains why it is here to stay, and what you might be overlooking. As CEO of the Crypto Council for Innovation, Warren joins Rapid Response to take us inside today’s crypto resurgence, in which 1 out of 5 Americans hold crypto in some fashion. Warren shares the story behind Congress’ recent bipartisan crypto bill, and how the industry is cracking down on bad actors and get-rich-quick schemes. Plus, how crypto is part of the underlying tech behind a “new internet.” Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MBe203ko2QSubscribe to the Rapid Response podcast feed: https://listen.rapidresponseshow.com/SubscribeFor more info, visit: www.rapidresponseshow.comSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Grit-scaling with Angela Duckworth

Masters of Scale

  • 150 views
  • about 1 month ago
  • 38:34

Success looks different for everybody. But author and psychologist Angela Duckworth has found that whether we achieve success, or even seek it, may hinge on a characteristic that she calls “grit.” Angela’s 2016 bestseller Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance quickly became a must-read for business leaders. On Masters of Scale she describes her unlikely path to scaling the impact of her work, through becoming a public intellectual. We hear why she studied commonalities among high-achieving individuals, her top advice for founders, and why grit alone is not enough. Plus we get the scoop on Angela’s next book!Angela discussed her inspiration for distilling complex ideas into accessible wisdom: psychologist William James and his Talks to Teachers. Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.comSubscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: https://mastersofscale.com/subscribeSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Rapid Response: Airbnb reimagined (Part 1), w/CEO Brian Chesky

Masters of Scale

  • 160 views
  • about 1 month ago
  • 37:51

As Rapid Response begins a twice-weekly cadence, Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky returns to reveal how the company’s new Icons initiative points toward a surprising new chapter ahead. Host Bob Safian gets Chesky to open up about the mental struggles of being a high-profile CEO, plus the inside story behind Airbnb’s recent ad campaign targeting hotels. The pair cover so much, we’ve split the episode into two parts. Part 2 drops this Friday exclusively in the Rapid Response podcast feed. Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out!Subscribe to the Rapid Response podcast feed: https://listen.rapidresponseshow.com/SubscribeFor more info, visit: www.rapidresponseshow.comSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Inside Intel’s AI ambitions, w/CEO Pat Gelsinger

Masters of Scale

  • 670 views
  • 6 months ago
  • 28:21

The AI boom in 2023 left Intel chasing rival Nvidia, whose chips — and shares — have been in high demand. Like other laggards amid this year’s AI mania, Intel is now fighting back, announcing the first-ever AI PC. Intel’s CEO Pat Gelsinger sits down with Rapid Response host Bob Safian to discuss how the company is working to re-establish itself — and sharing lessons for leaders everywhere about the long-term trajectory of the AI wave and how to practically position yourself to ride it. Plus, Pat shares leadership insights from his unceremonious exit from Intel a decade ago, and how he’s applying those learnings now in his second tour of duty.Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: https://mastersofscale.com/subscribeSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

138. Find co-creators everywhere, w/Exploding Kittens' Elan Lee

Masters of Scale

  • 590 views
  • 6 months ago
  • 51:49

What lessons can business leaders learn from the games industry? Elan Lee, co-founder of Exploding Kittens Inc., joins Reid Hoffman to discuss how Exploding Kittens became one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns of all time. Elan shares how creativity and diverse expertise were essential for scaling a potential one-off success into a prolific games studio. And he reveals how he cultivated a community by transforming casual colleagues, partners and customers into key stakeholders. Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: https://mastersofscale.com/subscribeSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

137. Pixar’s Ed Catmull: Throw out your rules

Masters of Scale

  • 540 views
  • 7 months ago
  • 55:06

There's no perfect process for achieving your goals. Accepting that the rules you play by need to be constantly tweaked, hacked or reinvented will open you up to new ways of innovating. Instilling this attitude throughout your organization will help you be boldly differential in your experimentation.Ed Catmull literally wrote the book on creating a dynamic and sustainable creative culture. Drawing on his experience as co-founder of celebrated animation studio Pixar, and president of Walt Disney Animation Studios, Ed shares his hard-won insights from his career as a pioneering technologist, animator and storyteller.Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: https://mastersofscale.com/subscribeSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Navigating a leadership crisis, w/Web Summit CEO Katherine Maher

Masters of Scale

  • 530 views
  • 7 months ago
  • 34:34

How do you restore confidence after a high-profile leadership uproar? Web Summit’s new CEO Katherine Maher joins Rapid Response host Bob Safian to discuss taking over after the sudden, forced resignation of founding CEO Paddy Cosgrave. With echoes of the drama at OpenAI, Maher describes how she navigated the tumult, calming partners like Amazon and Google and enabling Web Summit’s signature event in Lisbon to draw 70,000 attendees. Plus, Maher shares lessons from her time at the helm of the Wikimedia Foundation and insight on how the world of politics and global events is increasingly intertwined with business. Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: https://mastersofscale.com/subscribeSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Remix: Scott Harrison & charity: water, 5 years later

Masters of Scale

  • 520 views
  • 7 months ago
  • 37:47

In the five years since Scott Harrison’s first appearance on Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman, the nonprofit organization he founded, charity: water, has scaled 5 times over. In this episode, he and host Bob Safian reflect on that journey by revisiting some of the stories and lessons from his original episode, and Scott shares new lessons of scale he's learned since.Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: https://mastersofscale.com/subscribeSubscribe to our YouTube channel: mastersofscale.com/youtubeSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

42. Bumble’s Whitney Wolfe Herd: Small changes with big impact

Masters of Scale

  • 540 views
  • 7 months ago
  • 46:29

Often a small tweak, a rethink of a feature, is what helps your product break out of the pack. Just ask the founder of the Bumble dating app, Whitney Wolfe Herd. She rebounded from one dating app start-up (that you may have heard of) with a brilliant idea for a whole new way of connecting. Hear how the small tweaks along the way helped her move into huge new markets. With cameo appearances by Steve Spohn (AbleGamer) and Marissa Mayer (Google, Yahoo).Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: https://mastersofscale.com/subscribeSubscribe to our YouTube channel: mastersofscale.com/youtubeSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

17. Sam Altman: Customer love is all you need

Masters of Scale

  • 610 views
  • 7 months ago
  • 47:46

The true seed of scale is customer love, which you can’t buy, hack, or game. Sam Altman, former president of Y Combinator, scaled countless start-ups by focusing on this one idea: Finding 100 users who love you is better than 1 million who kinda like you. As CEO of OpenAI, Sam leads the creation of genuinely useful AI products. He shares timeless insights in his interview from 2018 on how to build on the love of passionate customers to create world-shifting tools.Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/sam-altman-why-customer-love-is-all-you-need/Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter: https://mastersofscale.com/subscribeSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.