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Ukraine reverberations, inflation volatility & more

“We should expect more volatility,” Reid Hoffman tells Rapid Response host Bob Safian in the first Need to Know session of the year, covering news and business topics impacting entrepreneurs right now. Reid and Bob discuss the implications of the Ukraine invasion, then dive into the pandemic-fueled troubles at Peloton, PayPal, and Meta, new climate-change urgencies — including Reid’s recent trip to Antarctica, and how Activision will be different after merging with Microsoft. Plus: pay transparency; the lessons of Theranos; and the business case for democracy.

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Podcast: Episode 101: Must Listen

Always be recruiting

Kayak’s Paul English

Paul English, co-founder of travel search platform Kayak, guides us through five critical lessons for the hiring journey. As you’ll hear, English is passionate and relentless about the subject of recruiting – and the scale of the stakes.

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Podcast: Bonus

The 6 secrets of great timing

Andreessen Horowitz’s Marc Andreessen

As an early internet founder and iconic venture capitalist, Marc Andreessen has thought deeply about the role timing plays in a startup’s success: when to launch that first product; when to ramp up scale; when to move into a new market. Getting the timing wrong can have a catastrophic effect. Getting it right can help you get to scale ahead of your competitors.

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How to protect yourself from copycat businesses? When should you seek funding? Plus: the Pivot Point game show!

How can you entice funders to invest in a niche business? Business from our signature three-act ads ask host Reid Hoffman critical questions for challenges they’re facing now. With John and Kendall Antonelli (Antonelli’s Cheese Shop), Brit Rettig Wold (GRIT Fitness), Matthew Goins (Puzzle Huddle), Monisha Edwards (Scent & Fire Candle Company), and Ricardo Regalado (Rozalado Services & Route). Plus: the Pivot Point game show, w/Tara Wilson (Fierce Lab), Tudor Mihailescu (SpeechifAI), Greg Gallimore (Gensler Group & WUBI), Becky Pallack (Arizona Luminaria),

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Podcast: Episode 98: Must Listen

How redefining boundaries drives performance

Unilever’s Paul Polman

When Paul Polman joined Unilever as CEO in 2009, the consumer goods company had been stagnated with years of lackluster performance. His famous turnaround of the company centered around his ability to redraw the boundaries of Unilever’s mission to emphasize sustainability and long-term growth.

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Re-founding Instacart

Instacart’s Fidji Simo

In the summer of 2021, Fidji Simo became CEO of Instacart, replacing founder Apoorva Mehta. Stepping into the role, Fidji is emphasizing an evolved company mission, diversifying the company’s leadership and focusing on the technology that helps retailers best serve their customers.

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Launching a $500b startup

Jet.com’s Marc Lore

Since stepping down as Walmart’s president of e-commerce at the start of 2021, billionaire entrepreneur Marc Lore has had a busy year of big ideas. Chief among them: a new American city called Telosa, centered around sustainability and inclusion. Lore approaches moonshot ideas by reverting to the fundamentals: “VCP: vision, capital, people.”

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Podcast: Episode 94: Must Listen

No data, no scale

Care.com’s Sheila Lirio Marcelo

No matter what phase of growth you’re in, you need useful, cost-effective data. Data is essential to scale. Take it from Sheila Lirio Marcelo, the founder and former CEO of Care.com, the two-sided marketplace connecting working families with care providers. Marcelo scaled her business past the competition by getting the right data at the right time. As she says: “Something I coach a lot of entrepreneurs: You can have a great vision and idea, but start with a lot of data and testing.”

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How to scale tech responsibly

Neeva’s Sridhar Ramaswamy

To compete against bigger players, you need an edge. Sridhar Ramaswamy, who led Google’s huge ad business, is now going head-to head against his former employer with an ad-free subscription-based search engine called Neeva. Ramaswamy offers lessons on growth, monopolistic threats, and why challenging even great companies is necessary right now.

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Podcast: Episode 93: Must Listen

How to unlock your team’s creative potential

PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi

To get the most out of your talent, you need to create an environment that allows them to thrive. Nobody knows this better than Indra Nooyi, who spent 12 years as the CEO of PepsiCo. Her drive to support talent underpinned the initiatives that transformed the company. “I looked at each person in my company, not as a tool of the trade,” she says, “but I looked at them as an individual asset that had to bring their head, heart, and hands to the company for us to be successful.”

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