11 Lessons We Love From “How I Built This”

by Tom Hermes November 28, 2017

11 Lessons We Love From “How I Built This”

National Public Radio’s “How I Built This” podcast, featuring the delightfully affable Guy Raz as its host, is a popular listen for many in the startup community. The way Raz is able to get his guests to weave their stories, taking you through the ups and downs of their paths, is compelling. When listening, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you may even learn a few things along the way.

We’ve compiled a few of our favorite quotes from some super successful entrepreneurs in their HIBT appearances: 

  1. “The faster a business grows, the faster it dies.” -Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia
  1. “[Leaving my steady consulting job] wasn’t risky. What was actually dangerous…was staying and continuing to do a job that I wasn’t happy doing anymore. It wasn’t my passion.” -Jim Koch, Boston Beer Company 
  1. “I thought, I don’t have the most money. I don’t have a business degree. I have no idea what I’m doing in manufacturing or retail or any of this. But I do care the most, so let’s see what happens.” -Sara Blakely, Spanx
  1. “As an entrepreneur, I’ve just gone through these roller coasters of emotions every single day…To me, I just felt like [Instacart] should exist. I was really solving a problem that I wanted to solve, so I was okay going through a lot of terrible times to make this a reality.” -Apoorva Mehta, Instacart
  1. “One of the things that I’ve learned is that great ideas usually start out as polarizing. They’re not kind of like, ‘eh, that’s kind of okay.’ They either really tug on somebody’s emotions, or a latent desire that they have that’s never been answered before, or they really perturb them in some way.” -Joe Gebbia, Airbnb
  1. “Complacency is a very, very bad thing to have in business…The two things that bring a lot of businesses down: one is complacency – you get successful, and you start to sit on your laurels. And the other one is hubris, or arrogance – you think that you’re just better than everybody else. That’s a huge mistake. Those are both big mistakes.” -John Mackey, Whole Foods
  1. “Our business grew very slowly, and it was more like a snowball rolling downhill. You’ve got to keep pushing it first, and then it starts to develop momentum and starts to get larger as it rolls down the hill.” -Maureen & Tony Wheeler, Lonely Planet
  1. “By having the right values and ethics, we can impact society in a way that’s bigger than the transportation we provide…And so I take it personally, because we’re out to win for the values that we represent. I don’t let that distract me; I let that fuel the fire.” -John Zimmer, Lyft
  1. “I knew nothing about airlines, which I think made me eminently qualified to start one, because what we tried to do at Southwest was get away from the traditional way that airlines had done business. I started with a tabula rasa, a blank slate, and I think that was very helpful.” -Herb Kelleher, Southwest Airlines
  1. “I definitely had the attitude, this feeling, that every potential thing that’s going to come up is something I’m going to use in the future.” -Miguel McKelvey, WeWork
  1. “Nothing creates ‘cool’ like scarcity.” -Dave Gilboa & Neil Blumenthal, Warby Parker

Which podcasts (business-related or otherwise) are among your favorites? Be sure to let us know – hi@buoynow.com.






Tom Hermes
Tom Hermes

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Tom@buoynow.com



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