Revealing conversations with today’s most inspiring business, sports, entertainment, and government leaders. Candid interviews with the likes of Sheryl Sandberg, LeBron James, and the founders of companies like Lyft and Tinder. Insightful stories and useful advice about how to get to the top.
Here's the Latest Episode from This Is Success:
Stacey Cunningham lives and breathes the New York Stock Exchange, which she’s led since 2018. She spent her early career as a trader in “the pit” on the floor of the NYSE, and after a few years away, returned to rise up its ranks and become the first female president of the 227-year-old organization. Now she’s on a mission to change how the exchange operates and how companies think about public markets in general.
Stephen Schwarzman is one of the most influential figures in finance. Not only does his firm, Blackstone, manage more than $500 billion, he has the ears of world leaders like Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping. Ahead of his new book “What It Takes,” Schwarzman told us how he knew it was time to start his own business and why he’s still on the lookout for opportunities to grow.
Yeardley Smith has been the voice of Lisa Simpson since “The Simpsons” first started airing in the ‘80s. More than 30 years later, the animated series is now the longest-running American sitcom. Smith never planned to become a voice actor, and was even bullied for her voice as a child. But now, she appreciates all the doors the role has opened for her.
Alexander Wang started his own label at just 20 years old. Today, his brand is worn all over the world and recognized by some of the most influential figures in the fashion industry. Over the last decade and a half, Wang has learned whose criticism matters, how to balance the business and the creative, and what it means to create meaningful work.
Ray Dalio is the billionaire founder and co-chief investment officer of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund. Dalio is as well known for his unique philosophy as he is for his investing prowess. Dalio takes us through key moments from his career, including when he almost lost it all.
Melinda Gates is one of the world’s most influential philanthropists. In her new book, “The Moment of Lift,” Gates argues that empowering women is the ultimate solution to eliminating poverty. Gates spoke with Business Insider about how her time as a Microsoft executive and raising three children taught her what it means to be an effective leader.
Mark Hurd joined Oracle in 2010 and almost immediately dramatically changed how the tech company does business. He saw a need for a shift to cloud computing, and transformed the way his team built and sold products. It wasn’t easy. Hurd tells us why he believed his plan would work even when hundreds of employees pushed back, and what the experience taught him about leadership.
This week, an unexpected success story. Household Name's Dan Bobkoff and Sally Herships bring us the tale of how a Japanese businessman made KFC a Christmas tradition… in a country that didn’t celebrate Christmas.
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Danica Patrick is the most successful female race car driver ever, but she didn't want to be a trailblazer for women. She got into Nascar and IndyCar racing because she wanted to win. Patrick may have retired from racing earlier this year, but she's still applying that winner-take-all philosophy to her work — this time, in business.
Nick van de Wall, known professionally as Afrojack, is a world-famous Dutch DJ. He writes original music and collaborates with artists like Pitbull, Nicki Minaj, and David Guetta. After 15 years of playing everywhere from small clubs to big arenas, Afrojack is now using a hands-on approach to discover and mentor young DJs. He’s the CEO of the talent management company LDH Europe and the head of his own record label. One piece of advice he’s giving new artists: put the hours in, even if you don’t see success for years.
Heather Dietrick joined news site The Daily Beast in 2017 after rising through the ranks at the now defunct news blog Gawker. As president of Gawker, Dietrick was on the frontlines of the lawsuit with Hulk Hogan that ultimately bankrupted the company. Dietrick’s background is in business and law—she’s got both a JD and an MBA—and her strategy has always been to take risks.
Some of the world's top founders, executives and CEOs built their businesses with the help of their family, friends, and coworkers. In this master class episode of "This is Success," we’re revisiting some of our favorite stories about business partnerships, and how our guests have made them work. Featuring John Zimmer (Lyft), Jeff Raider (Harry's), Alli Webb (Drybar), Eddy Lu (GOAT), and restaurateur and event planner Larry Morrow.
Dan Brown’s writing career took off in 2003 when his novel “The Da Vinci Code” became an international bestseller. Now, he's one of the world's most popular writers — with 250 million books sold — and is passing on his best insights in a new MasterClass video series. But when he was starting out as a writer, Brown had trouble getting his books to sell. In order to achieve success, he had to choose between trusting his own taste and writing what he thought others wanted to read.
Daniel Schwarz leads Restaurant Brands International, the parent company of Burger King, Tim Horton’s, and Popeye’s. He started out his career at the investment firm 3G Capital. In 2013, when he was only 32, the firm’s managing partner, Alex Behring, took a big chance on him and promoted him to CEO of Burger King. Now, Schwartz is returning the favor by betting on young talent to lead his businesses.
Stanley McChrystal led the United States and its allies in the War in Afghanistan before retiring as a four-star general in 2010. He revolutionized the Joint Special Operations Command, and he’s best known for killing the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq. General McChrystal recently co-authored a book about famous leaders, where he argues it's time we all re-visit our definition of leadership.
Over the last eight years, Ben Silbermann has quietly built Pinterest into a global brand with 250 million active users. He's the cofounder and CEO of Pinterest, the image search tool that lets users save and share their favorite photos, designs, and recipes. Pinterest could hit $1 billion in ad revenue this year, and it is valued at $13-15 billion. But Silbermann doesn’t want to be just like all the other big tech brands. He wants his site to feel like a real community, even as it grows larger than he ever expected.
Beth Comstock spent almost three decades at NBC and General Electric. She left GE last year after rising to one of the corporation’s highest roles: vice chair. Her recent book, “Imagine it Forward,” offered her a chance to look back on her career and nail down the lessons she learned about both business and herself. Its subtitle, “Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change,” captures the themes of her story that stood out.
Christene Barberich is the cofounder and global editor in chief of Refinery29, a media company focused on empowering women by starting conversations about body image, politics, and careers. Refinery29 says it will connect with 425 million people this year across its site, social media, videos, and live events. Before launching Refinery in 2005, Barberich spent her career in media, and helped build the scrappy City Magazine. The lessons she learned there gave her the confidence she needed to take on Refinery29, which would turn out to be a more ambitious project than anyone expected.
When Steve Case was in college, he read a book that said a digital revolution was coming. A little over a decade later, he led that revolution as the founding CEO of America Online. AOL became a giant, and Case became a billionaire. Now, Case is focused on driving what he calls the “third wave” of the internet by touring the U.S. and investing in startups in overlooked markets.
Brad Katsuyama never considered himself a maverick, or entrepreneur. He had a cushy job at the Royal Bank of Canada, but he became alarmed the more he learned about high frequency trading, where computers can trade a bunch of stocks in a fraction of a second. He felt so strongly that it was harming the market that he left to create his own exchange – the Investor’s Exchange – where this type of trading is prohibited. Investors can trade stocks from other exchanges on IEX, with the idea that it’s a level playing field. As CEO, Katsuyama has become the face of IEX, and became the face of the bestselling book "Flash Boys," by Michael Lewis.
If you want to know where to go and who to talk to in New Orleans, Morrow’s your guy. After he dropped out of college, the 27-year old entrepreneur committed full time to his event planning business. Now Morrow’s a million-dollar business owner with a plan to take his ventures national. But he started out as a gambler, both at the casino and with side projects, like a T-shirt brand he started in high school.
Jen and Wendy Yuengling are two of the four sisters in charge of the Yuengling beer company. Their father, Dick, took over the family business back in 1985. He was the one who turned it from a local brewery into America’s largest independent craft brewery—last year it produced more than 2 million barrels of beer. Now it’s his daughters’ turn to take the business in new directions, and they're rising to the challenge.
Pnina Tornai never imagined she’d become one of the world’s most sought-after bridal gown designers. She spent most of her childhood dreaming of becoming an actress, but by the time she was in her early twenties, that dream felt far-fetched. She was a single mom, struggling to support herself and stay healthy. Tornai pulled herself out of that slump by relying on her unshakeable faith in the possibility of a better future. Now, her gowns are popular around the world, and she and her work are prominently featured in the longrunning TLC reality show “Say Yes to the Dress.”
Jeff Raider is the cofounder and co-CEO of the razor company Harry’s, an online subscription service that sends high-end razors to customers at a low cost. The company raised $112 million earlier this year to move the brand beyond shaving to include all kinds of men's grooming products. Before cofounding Harry's, Raider also pioneered the eyewear company Warby Parker, which became successful using a similar model of online retail. Raider's focus is on building brands he'd like to use in his own life. But before he became an entrepreneur, he was at Wharton Business School on a typical path to finance.
Success means something different to everyone, including the world's top company founders, executives, and CEOs. In this Master Class episode of "This is Success," we revisit some of the most interesting answers to the question at the heart of our show: how do you define success and stay on track to get there?
Alli Webb is the founder and visionary behind Drybar, the hugely popular blowout salon that took a regional trend mainstream. Today, Drybar is a multi-million dollar business with more than 100 locations across North America. But it started out as a side gig for Webb, who went door-to-door delivering blowouts while her kids were at school.
Caroline Hirsch has discovered or helped develop some of comedy’s biggest names—people like Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Dave Chappelle, and Michelle Wolf. She's the namesake and cofounder of the iconic New York comedy club Carolines, and the visionary behind the New York Comedy Festival. But when she got into the business in 1982, Hirsch’s only qualification was a love of standup.
Adena Friedman has the top job at Nasdaq, one of the world's biggest stock exchanges. Early in her career, she learned how to impress her bosses by taking initiative, and when she became the boss, she found ways to make the whole company more efficient. Friedman tells us about competing with the New York Stock Exchange and shares her thoughts on cryptocurrency.
This week, we feature the first episode of Business Insider's new podcast, "Household Name," which you can find on Apple Podcasts or your favorite app.
Before TGI Fridays was the suburban strip mall staple it is today, it was a wild place in Manhattan, and likely the first singles bar in America. "Household Name" brings you surprising stories behind our biggest, household name brands. Host Dan Bobkoff finds tales of tragedy, love, strange histories, unintended consequences, and accidental success. And in each episode, we find out how these brands changed our lives – for better or worse. Enjoy this preview, and subscribe now on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you listen.
This is Success is back next week.
Ryan Serhant moved to New York City when he was 22, hoping to launch a career on Broadway. When that dream didn’t pan out, he found a different route into show business—as a real estate agent. Serhant is now the star of Bravo’s reality TV show “Million Dollar Listing” and the Serhant Team is one of the top real estate groups in the United States.
Marie Forleo is a life and business coach with hundreds of thousands of followers online. When she first started giving strangers advice almost 20 years ago, Forleo barely had her own life together. She was working two jobs to scrape by, and when she wasn’t bartending or teaching dance, she collected emails for her newsletter. As Forleo’s business grew and she learned what it took to be an entrepreneur, she shared those lessons with her audience. Today she’s managed to incorporate all of her passions—including dance—into her YouTube channel, podcast, performances, and online lessons. And she’s found followers who want to be there every step of the way.
You may know Bethenny Frankel from her lead role on the "Real Housewives of New York." But her name is also the driving force behind an expanding empire of brands. She’s the brain behind Skinnygirl cocktails—a company she sold in 2011 for $100 million. And in her spare time she runs B Strong, a charity which provided disaster relief aid to Puerto Ricans after Hurricane Maria. Frankel says she doesn’t always have a grand plan, but she knows a good opportunity when she sees one.
For more than a decade, Eddy Lu tried to find the next big thing. Golf apparel, 99-cent smartphone apps, Japanese desserts — they all flopped, but he wasn’t headed back to the Wall Street world he left. Then he got into high-end sneakers, with an online marketplace called GOAT— as in “greatest of all time,” like they say in sports and rap. Today GOAT is the world’s biggest sneaker resale market. It has over $100 million in funding, seven million users, more than 300 employees, and 400,000 pairs of sneakers for sale.
Sylvia Acevedo is a trailblazer in business and tech. She was one of the first Hispanic students to get a master's in engineering from Stanford, she worked for years as a Silicon Valley executive, and on top of that, she's an actual rocket scientist. As CEO of Girl Scouts, Acevedo is reinventing the organization to focus on STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math—and she hopes more young women will follow in her footsteps. Boy Scouts may now be recruiting girls too, but she says it'll never compete with the opportunities Girl Scouts offers.
David Sedaris built a career by sharing his life through essays. He writes about everything from the death of family members to his love of picking up garbage, and his performances are both heart wrenching and hilarious. His comedy albums have been nominated for Grammys, and his books have sold more than 10 million copies. And while he likes the attention, it’s never been what drives him.
Katherine Power worked for years to land her dream job at Condé Nast. But when an offer came, she turned it down. Instead, she joined with a friend to start what became Clique Brands. It includes a mix of companies, like fashion blog Who, What, Wear and a clothing line at Target. Since 2006, Clique has grown to 220 employees and raised $28 million. But before she managed a fashion and media empire, Katherine worked as a dancer in the first Austin Powers movie. And that’s where she made her first big business decision: legally emancipating herself from her parents at age 17.
Dan Gilbert runs a Midwestern empire. In Michigan, he founded Quicken Loans, which made him a billionaire. Now he’s trying to rebuild downtown Detroit. But you may know him as the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James’ NBA team. Our host, Rich Feloni, went to Detroit in early May to meet with Gilbert after getting a tour of his properties downtown. All of his real estate is under a company called Bedrock, which is part of Gilbert's larger parent company, called Rock Ventures.
Sallie Krawcheck has run Smith Barney, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, US Trust, and Citi Private Bank, and was Citi’s CFO before that. Now she runs Ellevest, an investment firm that helps women create wealth. She may have been regularly referred to in the media as “the most powerful woman on Wall Street,” but that brought its own challenges. Krawcheck tells us what she learned from navigating the boys club of finance, working through the financial crisis, and dealing with two highly publicized firings. She also explains why she hates the phrase “empowering women,” and why she’s found a better alternative.
Sam Yagan knows he’s been lucky. He tells us that one of the luckiest moments of his life was meeting his college roommates. Together, they built a study guide website called SparkNotes. Then, they built an online dating empire. They started the site OKCupid while Yagan was getting his MBA at Stanford. Yagan is now the CEO of ShopRunner, but he’s best known for his 7-year tenure as the head of the Match Group, which includes OkCupid, Match.com, and Tinder. He says it was his Syrian immigrant parents who inspired his drive to be an entrepreneur.
For Jocko Willink, becoming a Navy SEAL was just like any other career. Willink was the commander of SEAL Team 3, Task Unit Bruiser. It was the most highly decorated US special operations unit of the Iraq War — and the one where Chris Kyle, of “American Sniper,” served. Willink retired from the SEALs in 2010 and started a consulting company called Echelon Front, which he founded with another SEAL named Leif Babin. He and Babin co-wrote the bestselling book “Extreme Ownership” in 2014. He’s also got a hit podcast, a line of jiu jitsu products, and even two bestselling children’s books. Willink says that passing on leadership lessons, whether to executives or kids, is just a continuation of what he did in the SEALs.
Business Insider's US Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell was in Berlin last week for the 3rd annual Axel Springer Award, which was an evening honoring Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. Bezos sat down with Axel Springer CEO Dr. Mathias Dopfner to talk about his career and future ambitions. (Axel Springer is Business Insider's parent company.) After an intro from Fiat Chrysler chairman John Elkann, Jeff and Mathias spoke about Amazon, and Jeff's investments in journalism and space exploration. This week's episode of "Success! How I Did It" features that conversation in full.
If you’ve verified you’re not a robot online, you’ve used something Luis von Ahn has created. He tells "Success! How I Did It," that he doesn’t read stories about himself, and he’s probably the only CEO our host, Rich Feloni, has ever interviewed who believably says he doesn’t care about money. Von Ahn is the CEO of Duolingo, a popular language learning app. He’s also one of the guys who developed CAPTCHA, those online tests that ask you to type in a word or series of letters when you buy tickets or set up an email account. Von Ahn grew up in Guatemala and he came to the US to be part of the tech scene. He was driven by a goal of getting millions of people to work together online. It made him a pioneer of the now ubiquitous crowdsourcing movement.
Don Katz sounds more like a college English professor than a tech CEO: he’s obsessed with literature and writing. And it’s why he started Audible, the audiobook company now owned by Amazon, in 1995. It was all about the stories, and it was all about the voice of the stories. Katz certainly knows how to run a tech company well, but his passion above all else is storytelling. He was one of the earliest writers for Rolling Stone, where he covered terrorism and revolutions around the world. He then had a long career as a writer. But in his 40s, he decided to take a giant leap into another direction.
Tina Brown gets things done. She’s been a leader since her mid-20s, and she’s built the teams that transformed Vanity Fair and the New Yorker. She also created The Daily Beast. Brown grew up in England and became a media mogul in New York. Editors and writers have often questioned her most ambitious plans, but her resume is marked by major successes. A huge exception is a short-lived media brand called Talk that she launched with, of all people, Harvey Weinstein. Today she runs the Women in the World Summit, which highlights the stories of people fighting for women’s rights around the world. It’s allowed her to inspire a new generation of leaders.
Cecile Richards has never shied away from controversy. In seventh grade, she got sent to the principal’s office for protesting the Vietnam War. As President of Planned Parenthood, she defended the organization in a heated 2015 congressional hearing. Planned Parenthood is a healthcare provider that offers a long list of services, including cancer screenings and STI treatment. It also provides abortions and birth control services, which has made it one of the most controversial institutions in the country. In her memoir ‘Make Trouble,’ Richards discusses leading the organization for the past 12 years, what she learned from being raised by two activist parents, and the value of being 'trouble maker.'
Anjali Sud has always sought opportunities that seem intimidating. That inspired her to leave Flint, Michigan at 14 for the elite Massachusetts boarding school Phillips Academy on a scholarship. And it led her to become the CEO of Vimeo at 34. Vimeo is an ad-free video platform for filmmakers, and the videos on Vimeo are generally more highly produced than those on YouTube. Sud worked at Vimeo for three years before getting the CEO job in July 2017. It was an opportunity she told me she wasn’t expecting -- and so that’s why she had to take it. Sud told us how she had a new vision for Vimeo as she led its creators team.
Tariq Farid was only 13 when his family moved from Pakistan to Connecticut. He started working at a flower shop to make money, and he opened his own at 17. Farid is the founder and CEO of Edible Arrangements. He cornered a market that no one knew even existed: baskets of fruits cut up and carved to look like giant flower bouquets. Today, his business has 900 franchises across 9 countries, bringing in more than half a billion dollars in sales each year. It hasn’t all been easy. He’s had to contend with everything from disgruntled franchisees to conspiracy theories and racist online trolling. But his unwavering optimism has pushed him through struggles from the very beginning.
Scott Kelly spent a year on board the International Space Station. During that time, his identical twin brother Mark — who's also an astronaut — was on Earth. Since then, scientists have been watching how differently the two have aged. Kelly's now retired, but that doesn’t mean he’s taking it easy. He wrote a memoir about his year in space called Endurance, and has become an advocate for improving science and math education in the US. On this episode of "Success! How I Did It," host Rich Feloni talks with Kelly about what he saw in space, what he missed back on earth, and how he went from a kid who couldn’t focus to one of the most famous astronauts of our time.
Nat Turner was 24 when he sold his first company for $80 million. He sold his next one this past February – this time, it was for $2 billion. Nat Turner is the cofounder and CEO of Flatiron Health, a company that's changing the way cancer researchers collect data, with the goal of transforming the way patients are treated. He was inspired to start the business when his younger cousin was diagnosed with leukemia. And while he's been an entrepreneur since he was a kid — in high school he had a thriving snake breedingbusiness — he feels emotionally connected to Flatiron in a way he never had with his past companies. On this episode of "Success! How I Did It," Business Insider's Rich Feloni speaks to Turner about why he built Flatiron Health, what breeding reptiles taught him about entrepreneurship, and the importance of believing in your company's mission.
Peter Diamandis has made a career of fulfilling his childhood dreams. He’s the man behind companies that make science fiction come true: The XPRIZE, Singularity University, and Human Longevity Inc. They’re as wild as they sound. On this episode of "Success! How I Did It," Business Insider's Rich Feloni speaks to Diamandis about becoming a doctor to appease his parents, experiencing zero gravity with Stephen Hawking, and how he's working now to increase the human lifespan.
Chris Hughes is a Facebook cofounder, and author of the new book "Fair Shot." Hughes worked at Facebook for just three years, but his 2% stake in the company made him $500 million. Hughes' new book reflects on the incredible luck he had early in his career, and how it illustrates something wrong with the economy today. Part personal manifesto, part policy proposal, Hughes makes the case for a a guaranteed income in the US, with people in the highest income bracket – like him – footing the bill. His belief in the the project was borne out of his unexpected career path, and his evolving idea of what it means to be successful.
This week, we have a double header from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland: Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and KPMG chairman and CEO Lynne Doughtie.
Doughtie spent her entire career working her way up the ladder, and became the first female chairman and CEO of KPMG in 2015. KPMG is one of the big four professional services companies that other companies hire to do things like accounting and auditing. She spoke with Business Insider's US editor-in-chief Alyson Shontell about her love for accounting, how she bounced back after not making partner as an auditor, and what it was like to be one of the few female CEOs at the World Economic Forum.
Craig Newmark started an email list in 1995. Eventually it became a website by the name of Craigslist, and selling furniture, renting apartments, and finding a missed connection would never be the same. Newmark isn't too involved with the website anymore, but he spoke with Business Insider's UK editor-in-chief Jim Edwards about becoming the Craig of Craigslist and how he followed his own path to build one of the web's most iconic brands.
Cindy Robbins started at Salesforce 12 years ago, and worked her way up the ranks before getting a life-changing phone from CEO Marc Benioff. Janet Foutty, Chairman and CEO of Deloitte Consulting, has been at Deloitte for 26 years and seen firsthand the challenges women face on their way to the top. Business Insider's US Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell spoke with both Robbins and Foutty in January, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. From the gender pay gap to the shortage of women mentors to the importance of taking on projects outside your comfort zone, Shontell, Foutty, and Robbins discuss a range of topics this episode of "Success! How I Did It," from Business Insider.
Peggy Johnson gets paid millions to help make Microsoft billions. Her actual title is executive vice president for business development, and she's helped lead over 40 investments with Microsoft Ventures. One deal was the acquisition of LinkedIn — for $26 billion. She joined the company three years ago after spending 25 years at the telecommunications company Qualcomm. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella personally called her on a Saturday to get her on board. Business Insider US Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell recently caught up with Johnson at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. On this episode, Johnson talks about making it to Microsoft and how her team decides which companies to invest in or acquire.
Entrepreneur and Shark Tank star Daymond John. John grew up in Queens, New York, where he dreamed of making clothes for hip hop stars. He turned his mom's house into a factory, used graffiti as marketing, and talked his way on to the sets of music videos. Eventually John built his company, FUBU, into a global brand. In 2009 he became one of the celebrity investors on "Shark Tank," which started a new chapter in his career. He's authored four books, invested in dozens of companies, and opened the coworking space blueprint + co. in Manhattan. His newest title, "Rise and Grind," profiles people who succeeded against the odds. The title of that book has taken on a new meaning for him recently. He spoke with Business Insider senior strategy reporter Richard Feloni.
For a lot of her career, Erika Nardini worked at big companies: Microsoft, AOL, even Fidelity Investments. Then she took a risk by becoming CEO of Barstool Sports. Barstool is a comedy website known for the kinds of things guys talk about over beers: news, sports, and girls. On this episode of "Success! How I Did It," Nardini tells us what attracted her to a site some say is sexist, why as many as 8 million so-called "Stoolies" check out the site multiple times a day, and why she likes to text prospective hires on the weekend.
Marc Lore's first big startup sold diapers, and it was bought by Amazon for more than $500 million. Instead of celebrating, Lore felt a let down. After Amazon, he went on to found a competitor, called Jet.com, which he recently sold to Walmart for $3 billion in cash, plus stock. This time, he's had a number of reasons to celebrate. Now he's the president and CEO of Walmart eCommerce in the U.S. The stock is way up. On this episode of "Success! How I Did It," Lore describes how he founded several companies with his childhood friends, and what made the Walmart deal different than Amazon's.
Susan Lyne dropped out of college and lived in a commune. She wrote for magazines and founded her own movie magazine. She green-lighted Lost, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives and The Bachelor while leading ABC Entertainment. She led Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia while Martha was in prison. She led Gilt Groupe to financial success during the recession. And she's now helping female founders through a fund called Built by Girls, or BBG. On this episode of "Success! How I Did It," Lyne spoke with Business Insider's senior strategy reporter Richard Feloni about how she's made an impact on a wide range of industries.
For startups on the path to success, there's often one moment or decision that catapults them from obscurity to the big leagues. This year on "Success! How I Did It," founders of companies such as PayPal, Lyft, and Dropbox shared how they built their companies into massive successes. And while a lot goes into building a company, the leaders we've interviewed all had surprising stories. Sometimes it's an inspired decision that leads to success; other times it's luck and timing.
On this episode, a different view of how to "make it." Business Insider’s senior strategy reporter Richard Feloni spoke with Buddhist monk and bestselling author Matthieu Ricard while he was promoting his new book "Beyond the Self," which he co-authored with neuroscientist Wolf Singer. For the last 50 years Ricard has lived in Nepal, often with no electricity or running water. Despite that, he's given not one but two viral TED Talks, and been called "the the happiest man in the world." But to Ricard, none of that is a measure of success.
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Venus Williams is one of the most dominant players in tennis, and has been for over two decades. A tennis prodigy who turned pro at age 14, she’s broken through barriers to win four Olympic gold medals and seven Grand Slam singles titles. On this episode of "Success! How I Did It," Business Insider Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell asks Williams about her rise to superstardom, and the hardships and successes she’s faced along the way. The interview took place in Manhattan at The Wing, a coworking space for women, where Venus was giving a talk about entrepreneurship.
Max Levchin cofounded PayPal with Peter Thiel and built it into a Silicon Valley success with the help of Reid Hoffman and Elon Musk. They took it public and sold to eBay in 2002, then all four left the company. But Levchin couldn't let go. He'd still show up at the office. On this episode of "Success! How I Did It," Levchin talks about how he struggled to find himself after the acquisition, so much so that his girlfriend dumped him (but they later married). He has since gone on to launch a bunch of startups and now spends most of his time as CEO of Affirm, which offers small loans but doesn't charge penalties or fees. But before all of that, Levchin grew up in Kiev, Ukraine, where he learned how to write computer code using pen and paper. And in the 1980s, his life was about to change. He lived near the Chernobyl power plant.
Subscribe to "Success! How I Did It" on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, RadioPublic, or your favorite app so you don't miss interviews with leaders like Sheryl Sandberg and LeBron James.
Business Insider's US Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell sits down with three of the journalists whose reporting led to a national reckoning with sexual harassment. Jodi Kantor is one of two New York Times reporters who broke the Harvey Weinstein harassment story. Irin Carmon told the story of Charlie Rose’s alleged victims. And over at The Hollywood Reporter, Kim Masters uncovered alleged harassment by Pixar’s John Lasseter and Amazon Studios' boss Roy Price. On this special bonus episode of "Success! How I Did It", we feature Shontell's conversation with all three of these extraordinary journalists, recorded November 30 at Business Insider's annual IGNITION conference.
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Megyn Kelly was already a rising star at Fox News when she hit the big time by taking on a Presidential candidate named Donald Trump. Then, we learned Kelly had been sexually harassed by Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. He was fired — the first volley in a national reckoning. Kelly left for NBC News, where she now hosts the third hour of the Today Show. It’s a departure for the former lawyer. At Fox, she faced criticism for being too outspoken and prosecutorial. At NBC, critics say she’s too soft. For this episode of “Success! How I Did It,” Business Insider's US Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell interviewed Megyn Kelly at BI’s annual IGNITION conference. They spoke just hours after Kelly's colleague and longtime Today Show host Matt Lauer was fired for alleged sexual harassment.
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It takes a lot of hard work to become an effective leader. In this Master Class episode of "Success! How I Did It," top executives and tech CEOs reveal their secrets to being a successful leader in any industry. Buzzfeed’s Jonah Peretti, Lyft’s John Zimmer, Fox News’ Dana Perino, and more share their insights and best tips.
Tim Ferriss first found fame with his 2007 book "The 4-Hour Workweek." After taking a break from writing in 2012, he became an accidental podcast star with "The Tim Ferriss Show," which is approaching 200 million downloads. He sat down for an interview with Business Insider senior reporter Richard Feloni for this episode of "Success! How I Did It."
This hasn't been a typical year for Ferriss. He celebrated the 10th anniversary of "The 4-Hour Workweek," then decided to leave his successful "4-Hour" brand behind. He lost some friends, he got a lot of attention for talking about his struggle with depression, and he turned 40. He's out with a new book, "Tribe of Mentors," in which he collects advice from 140 successful people, a project that was as much for him as it was for his audience. Ferriss talks about all that and more, including how wrestling shaped his childhood, the original title of "The 4-Hour Workweek," and why he hopes no one considers him a role model.
People talk about Reid Hoffman as the philosopher of Silicon Valley. That’s by design. Before starting his career as an investor and master of social networks, he planned to be a "public intellectual." Hoffman says his philosophical training guides his business and investment strategies every day. On this episode of "Success! How I Did It," Hoffman spoke with Business Insider senior strategy reporter Richard Feloni about his 30-year friendship with his political opposite, Peter Thiel, and his love for playing board games.
Before finding fame on "Shark Tank," and before building her New York real-estate empire, Barbara Corcoran was one of 10 kids in a working-class New Jersey family. If nothing else, she learned how to take a risk. She started with a $1,000 loan from her then boyfriend to go into the real-estate business. After a few years they broke up, then the company broke up, and she built her half into the Corcoran Group, a real-estate behemoth that she sold for $66 million in 2001. From there, she landed a spot co-hosting the hit reality TV show “Shark Tank.” Corcoran discusses all this and more in this episode of Business Insider's "Success! How I Did It," including how she stands out in a competitive field.
Dana Perino didn’t crave the limelight. Then she landed one of the most public jobs — as George W. Bush's White House press secretary. Now Perino is at Fox News, where her star has been rising in the wake of sexual-harassment scandals at the network. The scandals led to the ouster of its CEO and a number of on-air talent, including its biggest star, Bill O’Reilly. On this episode of "Success! How I Did It," Perino spoke with Business Insider US Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell about how she went from Wyoming to DC, met her husband on an airplane, and ended up hosting two shows on Fox News — where some call her "the voice of reason."
Spencer Rascoff knows a lot about running a company during a crisis. He’s the CEO of Zillow, which he ran through the housing crash. That was after he ran Hotwire, which survived the dot com crash only to learn it sold plane tickets to the 9/11 hijackers. Through personal and professional tragedies, Rascoff and his companies bounced back. Zillow’s now worth $5 billion. On this episode, Rascoff tells how he did it. Plus, he tells us about working with Uber’s new CEO, and what it was like touring with rock bands as a kid. On this episode of "Success! How I Did It," Rascoff describes how he navigated personal and professional blows. Plus, he tells us about working with Uber’s new CEO, and what it was like touring with rock bands as a kid.
John Zimmer is the cofounder and president of the ride-hailing service Lyft, which has faced a fierce competitor in Uber since the beginning. Lyft is valued at $7.5 billion, covers 94% of the US population, and one of its biggest advantages seems to be its "nice guy" reputation. But it can be hard for nice guys not to finish last. On this episode of "Success! How I Did It," Zimmer tells us how he got rich by not caring about money, plus how he survived early startup years by living on a friend's couch and eating frozen meals from Trader Joe's.
When Chef Jose Andres arrived in the United States 26 years ago, few Americans had heard of tapas. Since then, Americans have warmed up to Spanish small plates and Andrés has gone on to lead 26 restaurants and win two Michelin stars. He even claims to have created the best Philly cheesesteak. This past April, Andrés was invited to speak at the Masters golf tournament in Augusta by Intersport for a summit on leadership. On this edition of "Success! How I Did It," Andrés talks about his life, how he manages his kitchen, and why he pulled out of the Trump International Hotel.
Tony Robbins has used his commanding presence to build a career as the world's most famous life and business coach, helping people like President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and the Golden State Warriors. He recently hosted the winners of the Shopify Build a Bigger Business competition at his Fiji resort, Namale, where he also sat down with Business Insider senior strategy reporter Richard Feloni. They talked about how his childhood experiences made him want to help other people, and how he was able to scale that interest into a multibillion-dollar empire. We've turned that interview into a special episode of “Success How I Did It.”
Joanna Coles is the Chief Content Officer at Hearst, and was the Editor-in-Chief of Cosmo and Marie Claire before that. She's also the executive producer of a hit show on Freeform and a member of Snap's board. Coles told Business Insider's US Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell how she had to throw someone out of a cab to get a job, her negotiation strategy, and the power of a good network on this episode of "Success! How I Did It."
John Brennan is the former director of the CIA, a position he held until this past January. Now he’s attempting to retire for the second time. In April, Brennan was invited to speak at The Masters golf tournament in Augusta by Intersport for a summit on leadership. Business Insider’s US Editor in chief, Alyson Shontell interviewed him there about everything from how he joined the agency to president Trump, to what it was like in the situation room when Osama Bin Laden was killed. T
Ben Lerer spent his 20s co-founding Thrillist, a local recommendation site for “civilized bros.” He's now the CEO of digital holding company Group Nine, which is a merger of four brands: Thrillist, The Dodo, video news network NowThis, and Discovery’s science site, Seeker. The process was messy and difficult. But they got it done, and Discovery invested about $100 million in Group Nine. Lerer told Business Insider's Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell how he went from a self-described “decently spoiled kid” to a digital media mogul on this episode of “Success! How I Did It.”
In this Master Class episode of "Success! How I Did It," Fortune 500 CEOs and top executives reveal what it takes to reach the top, and how to set yourself up for eventual business world domination in your 20s and 30s. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman and others share the career advice that was invaluable to them on their journeys.
Dan Schulman is the CEO of PayPal. But his career began at AT&T, where he was paid an annual salary of about $14,000 a year. He rose through the ranks to run its core consumer business, then went on to run three public companies including Priceline, American Express, and Virgin Mobile. Schulman told Business Insider's Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell how he built his career, and how practicing Krav Maga martial arts helped him find success on this podcast interview for "Success! How I Did It."
John Sculley is the former CEO of Pepsi and Apple. He was brought on to be Steve Jobs’ adult supervision, and to teach him marketing. But the job was tough, and working with Apple’s brilliant founder was, too. During one particularly tense moment, Scully actually made Jobs cry. Since leaving Apple, Sculley has become an investor in many companies, and he’s currently working on a health startup that he thinks could grow to become bigger than Apple. Sculley told Business Insider’s US Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell about that experience and more for this episode of “Success! How I Did It.”
Jason Calacanis founded Silicon Alley Reporter, Weblogs Inc, Mahalo, and Inside.com. He made an early bet on Uber that paid off, and he’s now an investor and has his own syndicate. But he had a hard time getting there, including a huge fall from grace when the dotcom bubble burst. Back then, he was worth negative $10,000. Now, he's clawed his way back and generated $100 million. Calacanis told Business Insider’s US Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell about that experience and more for this episode of “Success! How I Did It.”
Steve Ballmer spent more than 30 years at Microsoft where he rose to become CEO. But his decade at the helm was full of challenges, ranging from the rise of Google to learning how to manage around Microsoft's cofounder, Bill Gates. Ballmer became a billionaire at Microsoft and after he retired in 2014, he bought the LA Clippers. Ballmer talks about his career and his enviable retirement on this episode of Business Insider's podcast, "Success! How I Did It" with US Editor-in-Chief, Alyson Shontell.
Aaron Levie is co-founder and CEO of Box, a cloud-based file sharing service. He took Box public when he was 29, and now it has a $2.5 billion market cap. But it took a lot of work to get there, including sleepless nights on yoga mats in the office, and the decision to turn down a $600 million acquisition offer from Citrix that his board wanted him to accept. Levie told Business Insider’s US Editor-in-Chief, Alyson Shontell, about those experiences and more for this episode of “Success! How I Did It.”
Vlad Tenev is co-founder and co-CEO of Robinhood, a mobile app that lets you trade stocks free of charge. It's only a few years old and millennials are all over it – the average age of the app’s two million users is 30. The latest fundraising round valued Robinhood at $1.3 billion, with backers like Snoop Dogg and Marc Andreessen. But it took a lot for Robinhood to get where it is today, which Tenev explains in this episode of "Success! How I Did It" with Business Insider US Editor-in-Chief, Alyson Shontell.
Payal Kadakia is the founder of ClassPass, a fitness class booking company that can be found in 39 cities around the world. ClassPass has generated more than 30 million class reservations since 2013 and its new valuation is about $470 million. Kadakia recently stepped down from her role as CEO, a decision she explained in this episode of “Success! How I Did It” with Business Insider Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell.
Drew Houston is the founder and CEO of DropBox, an online file storage and sharing service that just turned ten years old. DropBox has grown to over 500 million users, has been valued at about $10 billion, and generates over a billion dollars in annualized revenue. The company is probably planning to go public soon. In this episode of "Success! How I Did It," Drew Houston and Business Insider’s US Editor-in-Chief, Alyson Shontell, discuss the creation of DropBox on a bus, meeting Steve Jobs, and the advice he would give to young entrepreneurs.
Jonah Peretti is the founder and CEO of BuzzFeed, a digital media empire that started as an Instant Messenger bot. The bot spotted trending links across the web and sent them to groups of friends. Peretti grew that into a $1.5 billion media company that's on the verge of going public, and he's turned down giant acquisition offers along the way. Before BuzzFeed, Peretti cofounded The Huffington Post with Andrew Brietbart and others. In this episode, Business Insider's US Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell asks him about both experiences, media industry trends, startup advice, and timely news, like the Trump-Russia dossier that BuzzFeed was first to publish. We also got the story behind a lewd Ivanka Trump tweet Jonah wrote that went viral.
AOL CEO Tim Armstrong has taken a series of smart risks throughout his career that have helped him reach the top. He began as a college student in Boston who managed a strawberry farm. He later became a hotshot Internet advertising salesman who sold the first-ever $1 million campaign online. He impressed Google's cofounders in an early job interview, and helped build their advertising business from scratch. Now he is the CEO of AOL, and he has lots of advice for others who want to run corporate America some day.
LeBron James is arguably the greatest basketball player of all time. He sat down with Business Insider's US Editor-in-Chief, Alyson Shontell, for a video interview to discuss his team's epic comeback in the 2016 NBA finals, what he eats, how he works out, and how he leads on and off the court. As it looks more and more likely that LeBron will be heading to another finals soon, we've taken that audio from that August 2016 interview and turned it into a special episode of "Success! How I Did It."
Sheryl Sandberg is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. Two years ago, her husband Dave Goldberg suddenly died at age 47. She founder herself in a dark place, but had to figure out how to live in this new reality — "Option B" — without him. Sandberg spoke with us about how you can build resilience like a muscle, how she overcame her darkest days, how Mark Zuckerberg has helped her through, and why companies should think of sick leave, the same way they think of maternity or paternity leave.
Gary Vaynerchuk has millions of followers on social media, and has built two businesses to tens of millions in revenue. The "Planet of the Apps" star, investor and best-selling author reveals how he built his career, what it's like to eat dinner with Mark Zuckerberg, and tips for success (like dumping any "loser" friends who are holding you back).
Neil Vogel is the CEO of About.com, a beloved website from the 1990s. He's trying to modernize it by doing something that sounds crazy: He's shutting down the site, and launching a half dozen new brands in its place. Neil is also the founder of the Webby Awards and Internet Week, and was an early employee at dotcom success story Alloy Media. When he was 32, he took a year off to travel the country in a Ford Bronco, which changed his life and career. Here's his story.
TheSkimm is a morning email newsletter that tells 5 million subscribers — including Oprah — the news they need to know. But it was not easy for founders Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg to get TheSkimm off the ground. The two were roommates who had a "quarter-life-crisis" and quit their jobs at NBC. Then hundreds of startup investors rejected them, and the went into credit card debt. Finally, the found success. They share their war stories and future plans on this episode of Business Insider's podcast, "Success! How I Did It" with host Alyson Shontell.
Dave Gilboa and Neil Blumenthal met while getting their MBAs at Wharton. They cofounded a glasses retailer, Warby Parker, and couldn't decide who should become CEO, so they both took the job. The Co-CEOs sat down with Business Insider's US Editor in Chief Alyson Shontell to discuss how they built a billion-dollar brand, and how they scaled the company as first-time founders.
Scott Belsky began his career at Goldman Sachs. But he didn't like it, so he saved $18,000 and bootstrapped a startup, Behance. He later sold it to Adobe for $150 million and made sure half his employees became millionaires. He also put early money in startups like Pinterest and Uber. Here's his best career and startup advice.
Bryan Goldberg, 33, is the founder of Bustle, a digital-media startup with 55 million monthly readers that covers everything from politics to "The Bachelor." Its latest valuation puts it on par with Goldberg's last startup, Bleacher Report, which sold for about $200 million to Turner Media. Goldberg reveals how he's built multiple valuable companies, and divulged details on a wild "OMFG" party he and his cofounders threw for Bleacher Report employees in Las Vegas after the acquisition.
Sean Rad, the founder of dating app Tinder, knew right away he had a hit app on his hands. In an interview with Business Insider Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell, Rad discusses the highs and lows of building a business. He explains how he came up with the idea for Tinder, how his team marketed the app so it'd go viral, and how hard it is to run a startup in your 20s — even when the startup is successful.