Hear the most recent interviews with 9 of the top founders & CEOs of companies we all wish we would've invested in before the pandemic.
What You'll Learn
• The key to Zoom’s success during a turbulent time
• The importance of making business principles and values tangible
• The trick to knowing how – and WHEN – to convert skeptics into super-fans
1. Zoom's Eric Yuan
How focusing on customers’ perspective helped drive pricing strategy.
2. Netflix's Reed Hasting
An inside look at what makes Netflix tick.
3. Peloton’s John Foley
How to turn skeptics into fans.
4. YouTube's Susan Wojcicki
How to find – and keep – your company's true north.
5. Khan Academy's Sal Khan
Democratize learning by building a free platform.
6. Spotify's Daniel Ek
The Future of Audio.
7. Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg
On handling the Coronavirus.
8. Tesla's Elon Musk
'A.I. Doesn’t Need to Hate Us to Destroy Us.’
9. Jeff Bezos
How Amazon has not only survived, but thrived.
This is a collection of free podcast episodes curated by the Himalaya Editorial Team.
Eric Yuan, CEO and founder of Zoom Video Communications
Today we’re here with Eric Yuan, the founder and CEO of Zoom. Especially in the age of COVID-19 and remote work, hundreds of millions of people have used Zoom, the company delivering frictionless video communication. In many ways, he’s built a platform that shapes a generation. I’m thrilled to have Eric here today to share the story of this epic journey and how he’s built the company that so many people depend on to stay connected at work and in our personal lives. Key takeaways from this episode include: How focusing on customers’ perspective helped drive Zoom’s pricing strategy: “In the early days of Zoom, quite often our sales team told me, ‘Eric, we’ve got to increase the price. We added more features,’” Eric said. “But I always told them no. Our philosophy is always to make sure you add more value, and at the same time keep the same price. Because down the road, the customer will realize, ‘Wow, I paid $14.99, and you keep adding more and more features, gaining more and more value, but you still keep the same price.’ With that, you can establish trust. That’s one. The second, the reason why I’m personally involved is because I wanted to build a culture. Everyone’s got to look at everything from a customer perspective. Always care about the customers. You’ve got to lead by example. When it comes to price, provide a greater product and more value, but don’t increase the price. At the same time, build the culture, be customer-focused.” The importance of making business principles and values tangible: “When I started the company, over the past several years, if you asked me what’s the most important thing, I’d always say the company culture and the company value. We do all we can to think about the greater culture, to make sure we have a greater value and hire those people who can fit well into your company culture and value. That’s our focus,” Eric said. “But this pandemic crisis truly taught me one more thing: That’s not good enough. I still remember the Bridgewater Associates founder and CEO Ray Dalio. He taught me, ‘Eric, there’s one thing missing for you. You’ve got to write down your company’s business principles.’ I know that’s very important, but I didn’t quite really get what he said. Until recently, I realized that’s a big mistake, that’s a huge mistake I made. We should have written down all those business principles. The reason why is when suddenly you have a crisis like this, a pandemic crisis, suddenly your metrics grow 30 times. There are a lot of areas that might’ve been broken. You have to delegate it to your team to fix all those issues, to embrace the growth. If you do not write down your business principle, guess what? Quite often, you are going to make a lot of mistakes here and there. But how can you make sure you follow your business principles? That’s the key. Now, actually, we are doubling up on that. We are going to have a full-time position to focus on writing our business principles on many fronts.” The key to Zoom’s success in a competitive product space: “If you look at any competitive landscape, there are three things: Your company, your competitors, and customers,” Eric said. “If you laser-focus on just your customers, your users, don’t look at what your competitors do. Then you can sleep well. Then you can make the right decisions. Then you can deliver better service, more innovations to serve your end users. Otherwise, you look at all those competitors’ names, you will think, ‘Oh wow, they might catch up tomorrow.’ The more you are thinking, the more you are going to look at what they are doing. Then you spend less time on serving your customers. Don’t look at any of your competitors. Double down, triple down, on your customers. That’s our secret sauce.”
Who’s the next Netflix? Let’s ask CEO Reed Hastings
I’m not going to bury the lede here, and that’s mostly because I need to get back to my Ozark binge: This episode of Business Casual features Reed Hastings, cofounder, chairman, and co-CEO of Netflix.
70. Peloton’s John Foley – How to turn skeptics into fans
Casual fans come and go. But converts stick with you – and spread the word. The trick is knowing how – and WHEN – to convert skeptics into super-fans. No one knows this better than Peloton co-founder and CEO John Foley, who has one of the most epic “No-to-Yes” stories in startup history. When he founded the company in 2012, skeptics abounded – especially among investors. But John pushed forward, convincing co-founders, angel investors, and then riders, one at a time. As he converted those skeptical customers – in their flagship fitness studio, in their stores, and on their at-home bikes – the feedback loops kicked in. After pedaling in place for years, Peloton rocketed up the hill to its 2019 IPO. Cameo appearances: Melanie Curtis (professional skydiver). Read a transcript of this episode: https://mastersofscale.com/john-foley/ Subscribe to the Masters of Scale weekly newsletter athttp://eepurl.com/dlirtX
72. YouTube's Susan Wojcicki: How to find – and keep – true north
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).
Khan Academy: Sal Khan
In 2009, Sal Khan walked away from a high-paying job to start a business that had no way of making money. His idea to launch a non-profit teaching platform was ignited five years earlier, when he was helping his young cousins do math homework over the computer. They loved his clear explanations and soon he was posting free tutorials on Youtube, where they started to attract the attention of thousands of users around the world. Sal realized he could help democratize learning by building a free platform to teach math, science, and the humanities. Today, Khan Academy offers hundreds of free recorded tutorials in dozens of languages. During the pandemic, its popularity has surged to 30 million users a month. Order the How I Built This book at: https://smarturl.it/HowIBuiltThis
Daniel Ek – The Future of Audio
My guest this week is Daniel Ek, the founder and CEO of Spotify. In my conversations with Daniel, I’ve found him to be one of the most interesting and thoughtful business leaders in the world. You’ll see what I mean as you listen to our conversation. We talk about Spotify plenty, but what I so enjoy about Daniel is his way of thinking in systems and frameworks. He is committed to evolution, innovation, and growth for both himself and for Spotify and is on my shortlist of CEOs to emulate. This was one of my favorite conversations on the podcast, I hope you enjoy it. For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag Show Notes 1:21 – (first question) – Management lessons from a Dubai chocolate maker 4:54 – Trends shaping the business landscape today: globalization, automation, and digitat...
Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg on Handling Coronavirus
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg says her company is responding quickly to the challenges presented by the outbreak of COVID-19. She says Facebook is finding and removing false information about the virus from the platform, and that they are continuing to pay employees and contractors to ease their financial stresses during this period of uncertainty. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Elon Musk: ‘A.I. Doesn’t Need to Hate Us to Destroy Us’
Elon Musk has a vision of the future, and — as one of the world’s richest men with four corporations under his reign — the means to try to manifest it. In a conversation with Kara Swisher, he outlines his theory of, well, everything. “I do not think this is actually the end of the world,” say Musk. But at the same time, we need to hurry up. “The longer we take to transition to sustainable energy, the greater the risk we take.” But is relocating to Mars really necessary? Is our species ready to live with chips in our brains? And who’s Musk voting for, anyway? You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes atnytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.
In 1993, a young engineer named Jeff Bezos had the idea to sell books online. He called his new company Amazon and warned many of his early investors that there was a 70 percent chance the venture would either fail or go bankrupt. Twenty-five years later, it's very clear that Bezos' idea did not fail. Amazon not only survived, it thrived. It’s now the world's largest online sales company, and the world's largest provider of cloud infrastructure services. Bezos recently sat down with Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein. They spoke on David Rubenstein's Bloomberg Television program, “Peer to Peer Conversations.”