When a tech nonprofit competes against a $2 billion incumbent dominating the market, its odds are slim. But Zo Orchingwa took that bet, founding Ameelio, believing that access to communication and education for the incarcerated is needed for their future success. Ameelio is on a quest to partner with every prison district in the country until one day, it scales enough to be redundant.
The first stage of building up a business is to break things down. Michael Dell started a computer company in his dorm room by cracking open some early IBM PCs and figuring out what he could do better, faster, and cheaper. Then he did the same thing to the entire model of computer sales. Learn from Dell how to revolutionize an industry — using deconstruction to gain insight your competitors lack, and then building something bigger and better.
For Reid Hoffman, the way to live a meaningful and productive life is to focus on one key area: friendships. Speaking at Vanderbilt University’s 2022 commencement, he shares four lessons on why friendships are crucial for helping us achieve our potential and enact meaningful change.
It’s easy to have a grand idea; putting that plan into action is not. Victoria Yampolsky conceived of a global concert in support of Ukraine. Without any experience in entertainment or international aid, she shares how she didn’t accept “no” for an answer in her quest to book big-name guests like Pink Floyd and negotiate a streaming deal — to pursue a fundraising goal of $10 million.
If you’re launching a moonshot, success depends on how you manage the trajectory of risk. When Stéphane Bancel became Moderna’s first CEO, the biotech start-up was chasing a way-out idea many experts thought was impossible. Stéphane built a culture of calculated risk-taking to create a platform for extraordinary leaps — one that enabled life-saving mRNA vaccines when Covid-19 struck.
Charity Dean was one of the first public health officials to set the alarm on COVID. When she searched for a tool to forecast future bio threats, she realized that it didn’t exist yet. So she co-founded the Public Health Company, where she uses lessons from her government experiences, but without the same rules or limits. She speaks with Bob Safian about why all companies must be public health companies.
Gayle Smith is the CEO of the ONE Campaign, the advocacy group founded by U2’s Bono — and last year, she was tapped by the U.S. State Department to coordinate America’s COVID response and vaccine distribution globally. Her experience both inside and outside government gives her a distinctive outlook on how business can and should help on humanitarian issues, from Ukraine dislocation to climate change. She also shares lessons about effective advocacy: tactics pioneered by ONE that can be useful to any organization trying to generate impact.
As refugees flee Ukraine, Airbnb.org is offering free, temporary housing for up to 100,000. Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia shares how the company is using business tools for humanitarian benefit — and how Airbnb became a tool to transfer money directly to individual Ukrainians. In crisis, he says, leaders should ask: What would make us proud?
In Part 2 of our two-part series featuring Daymond John, Daymond shows how aligning your mission with partners builds trust that can take your scale to a new level.
How do you create authentic partnerships to build scale? In Part 1 of our two-part series featuring Daymond John, founder of FUBU and one of the original “sharks” on ABC’s Shark Tank, Daymond shares lessons from FUBU’s earliest days in Queens, where he partnered with bouncers, bodegas, his neighbor LL Cool J, and his earliest collaborator and investor (his mom) to turn a great idea into a billion-dollar urbanwear brand. Coming in Part 2: Transcending the transactional with Shark Tank, the Kardashians, and more.
For some entrepreneurs, risk is just part of the game. But for the reluctant entrepreneur, whose endeavors come as a response to a need they’ve identified, risk can feel more like a necessary evil. That’s why you need to learn to harness risk. Stacey Abrams, and her frequent business partner Lara Hodgson, share stories of how harnessing and balancing risk can be the key to your success.
Throughout her career, Natalie Massenet has proved her ability to spot – and act on – a trend. Natalie and Reid share tactics about how to deliver the future to consumers, manage pushback, and navigate uncharted territory.