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Topic: Networks
Podcast: Episode 95: Must Listen

Make your customer the star

The Honest Company’s Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba’s approach in founding and building The Honest Company revolves around three letters: IRL, a useful acronym for “In Real Life.” This phrase acts as a reminder for the company to shine the spotlight onto their customer’s real needs – not only to understand them, but to address them as well.

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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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Podcast: Bonus

Cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset

Reid’s personal advice on the most important success factor for any scale leader: your mindset. Talking with editor-at-large Bob Safian, Reid shares how he approaches every challenge with a learning mindset: ask the right questions, leverage networks, and build curiosity and resilience. To cement the idea, he shares Lesson One from the new Masters of Scale Courses app, starring Sir Richard Branson! You’ll learn an exercise from Reid that you can practice daily.

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Podcast: Episode 85: Must Listen

How mentorship provides an edge

A-Rod Corp.’s Alex Rodriguez

Even all-star athletes are coached. So why not you? Alex Rodriguez, former professional baseball player, leaned into outside advice at the most challenging moments in his career – and in building his successful business, A-Rod Corp. He shares what he’s learned from mentors like investing guru Warren Buffett and NBA icon Magic Johnson, and how mentorship can help sharpen your skills and open up opportunities. The best way to find great mentors? Build the mindset of a mentor yourself.

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Build a team of mentors: A Strategy Session w/A-Rod

A-Rod Corp.’s Alex Rodriguez

To win at scale, you need more than great players – you need a team of great coaches. Alex Rodriguez learned this in baseball, and now as an investor at A-Rod Corp., where his mentor is none other than Warren Buffet. Alex and Reid, with Katia Beauchamp of Birchbox and HBS professor Mihir Desai, take questions from the HBS class of ’21.

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Podcast: Episode 82: Must Listen

Frustration is your friend

Houzz’s Adi Tatarko

Frustration is an important signal: it indicates an opportunity, a problem to be solved, a path to scale. Adi Tatarko founded the online home-design site Houzz with her husband after their own home reno turned into a nightmare. By building a tool that flipped their frustration on its head, they’ve grown Houzz into a bustling platform and marketplace for homeowners, designers, architects, craftspeople. Learn how to identify frustration – and flip it.

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Podcast: Episode 81: Must Listen

How to teach your customer

Beyond Meat’s Ethan Brown

The customer isn’t always right. As the founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, Ethan Brown has spent years navigating misconceptions about plant-based foods. But smart entrepreneurs listen instead of arguing. Only by obsessing over what customers say they want has Brown been able to create a product that succeeds in the marketplace. What every entrepreneur should learn: You must first build trust from customers, making sure they feel heard, before you can educate them about the value of your innovation.

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Podcast: Episode 70: Must Listen

How to sell without selling

Nike’s Phil Knight

Great branding is about identity – and it’s about matchmaking too. No one knows this better than the legendary co-founder of Nike, Phil Knight. When he and his partner, Hall of Fame track coach Bill Bowerman, started the sneaker company, they never tried to force-feed customers a product just to drive up the bottom line. They focused on one thing: making an excellent product for people who believed in the edgy Nike ethos. Because they knew, when there’s a mismatch between product and market, the bottom usually drops out. Instead, they told the world who the are, and then did everything they could to find their ideal customers. And made history. Cameo appearance: Eddy Lu (GOAT).

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Podcast: Episode 68: Must Listen

To scale, find the right values

Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales

What’s more important than product-market fit? Product-VALUE fit. If you choose the right values to drive product development, you’ll draw the people, resources and speed you need. It’s true for for-profits and for nonprofits. And Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales knows this well. Since its launch in 2001, Wikipedia has famously stuck to its values of openness, neutrality, and remaining not-for-profit. But he arrived at those precise values through trial and error — on an earlier free encyclopedia project that stalled. Once he found the right product-value fit, Wikipedia rapidly scaled from a niche side project to one of the most valued treasures on the internet.

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Podcast: Episode 67: Must Listen

How to find – and keep – true north

YouTube’s Susan Wojcicki

When you scale at warp speed, it’s easy to lose your bearings. You have to establish your company’s true north, or the dizzying pace of growth will push you off course. No one knows this better than Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube. Under her leadership, YouTube has grown to be the world’s largest video platform. And in her previous role at Google, she was a chief architect of its advertising and analytics model. In both roles, she achieved massive scale – and grappled with massive challenges. Susan shares the guiding principles that help them stay the course — as well as stories from Google’s early years that you’ll hear first here. Cameo appearances: Dr. Becky Smethurst (astrophysicist, Oxford), Shishir Mehrotra (Coda, Google, YouTube).

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Podcast: Episode 66: Must Listen

How to build authentic connection at scale

Brud’s Trevor McFedries

You might not know Trevor McFedries yet, but if you’re on Instagram, you’ve probably met Miquela. She has millions of followers, hit singles and lucrative contracts with brands. But she’s not actually real. Miquela’s the creation of Trevor’s stealthy creative media studio Brud, and the delicate balance they strike between artificial and authentic is a master class for any scaling company. In this first-ever in-depth interview with Trevor, he shares his bold plan to create celebrity at massive, multilingual scale; his advice for entrepreneurs of color as they fundraise; and his guidance for anyone connecting at scale: That once you build that connection with your audience, they don’t care HOW you made it. All they care about is how it makes them feel. Cameo: Alison Darcy (Woebot).

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