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8 min read

How I Built This – Guy Raz

3 September 2021

Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best known companies. How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists—and the movements they built.

Guy has such a great interview style and the insights from these titans of business are inspiring, motivating and super interesting. I love all the podcasts in this series, but here are some of my absolute favourites.

1. Adam Grant: Live From The HIBT Summit

Guy’s interview with organizational psychology professor and author Adam Grant. He’s known for his books Think Again, Give and Take and Originals. Adam is also the host of the podcast WorkLife.

In this live conversation, Adam explains why entrepreneurs should take a scientific approach to decision-making and why admitting you’re wrong goes a long way to learning what’s right.

2. Gary Vaynerchuk: Serial Entrepreneur

Growing up in New Jersey in the 1980’s and 90’s, Gary Vaynerchuk honed his business skills trading baseball cards and selling wine at his dad’s liquor store.

He discovered the potential of Youtube early on and launched Wine Library TV, an unfiltered, in-your-face wine review series that boosted the family business and branded Gary as an early social-media guru. From there, his marketing career exploded, and suddenly Gary Vee seemed to be everywhere: consulting, speaking, vlogging, tweeting, and publishing best-selling books, all while growing what is now a sprawling media company, VaynerX.

His energy can be exhausting and his critics think he’s full of it, but Gary shrugs them off; he credits much of his success to his immigrant upbringing and his parents’ strong work ethic.

In this live conversation, Adam explains why entrepreneurs should take a scientific approach to decision-making and why admitting you’re wrong goes a long way to learning what’s right.

3. Ben Chestnut: Mailchimp

In the late 1990s, Ben Chestnut was a struggling young designer interning at an appliance company, when somebody suggested that he try designing for the internet instead. A few years later, Ben and two co-founders launched a web design agency, only to discover that the service they’d included almost as an afterthought—email marketing—was taking off among their small-business clients.

The founders named that service Mailchimp and pivoted to it full-time in 2007, choosing a winking monkey as their mascot, and stumbling onto the Freemium model before it became mainstream. But their most impeccable timing came in 2014, when they decided to sponsor a new podcast called Serial, a move that catapulted the winking monkey into popular culture.

Over the years, despite management jitters and a public reckoning over office culture, Mailchimp has remained profitable and self-funded, with revenue of $800 million in 2020.

4. Brené Brown: Live From The HIBT Summit

Guy’s interview with professor, author, and host of the Unlocking Us podcast, Brené Brown.

In this live conversation, Brené talks about how vulnerability is vital for good leadership, and how she sees gratitude as a driving force for improving office culture.

5. Logic: Logic & Chris Zarou (2018)

In 2010, Logic the rapper—born as Sir Robert Bryson Hall II—released his first official mixtape titled “Young, Broke & Infamous.” At 20 years old, Logic certainly was young and broke, and while crashing on a friend’s couch, he poured himself into his music.

Logic’s career could have fizzled if it wasn’t for Chris Zarou, a young college athlete-turned-manager who had no more experience in the music business than Logic. Undeterred, the two decided to work together, continuing to use free music and social media to build Logic’s reputation as a talented, fast-flowing rapper with a hopeful message.

In 2012, Logic signed to Def Jam Records and in 2014 dropped his debut album “Under Pressure,” which shot to number 4 on the Billboard charts. His third album in 2017 went platinum and included the breakout single “1 800 273 8255.”

This article was written by:

Louis du Pisani

Louis du Pisani

Louis is a seasoned marketer. He likes building digital solutions that delivers results. He enjoys sport and the outdoors. A lot. He also enjoys spending quality time with his family. Connect on Linkedin