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How to build your company to last


Forget being a unicorn. Learn to be a phoenix. Your company can last 100+ years — but you’ll need the resilience to rise and fall, and rise again. Fiat’s chair John Elkann shares the principles that helped the “horseless carriage” company founded by his great-grandfather survive the ups and downs of a century of business. One key: Resilience. Another: Deciding which company traditions to keep, and which to leave in the past.

“Like metabolisms, companies end up being weaker as they grow.”

— John Elkann
About the guest:

John Elkann is the chairman and CEO of Exor, the investment company managed by the Agnelli family. His great-great grandfather, Giovanni Agnelli, founded Fiat in 1899, and John now chairs the automaker and its brands, including Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Maserati, and, of course, Fiat.

About the host:

Reid Hoffman is the host of Masters of Scale. A Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor, he’s known for his spot-on insights on how to scale a startup. He’s a partner at Greylock and co-founder of LinkedIn, and co-author of the best-selling Blitzscaling and The Startup of You.

Also featured in this episode:

Paulette Mae Cole is the fourth-generation owner and creative director of ABC Carpet & Home, the legendary luxury home design retail outlet.

Robert Pasin is the third-generation CEO of Radio Flyer, the toy manufacturing company that’s been making little red wagons for over a century. After…

Tony Tjan is managing director of Cueball Capital, a venture capital firm in Boston founded in 2005 dedicated to purpose-driven companies within the media…

You can scale a business that lasts a century or more, but you have to learn to rise and fall and rise again. Forget being a unicorn. Learn to be a phoenix.

Transcript of Masters of Scale: How to build your company to last
Masters of Scale’s mission is to democratize entrepreneurship. Launched in 2017 as a weekly podcast featuring Reid Hoffman, we’re now two weekly podcasts — Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman, and Masters of Scale: Rapid Response, hosted by Bob Safian — as well as an award-winning daily learning app, a best-selling book, virtual and live events, and more, serving a global community of founders, funders, and leaders looking to innovate at scale.
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