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The best startup advice from Silicon Valley & beyond. Iconic CEOs — from Nike to Netflix, Starbucks to Slack — share the stories & strategies that helped them grow from startups into global brands. On each episode, host Reid Hoffman — LinkedIn cofounder, Greylock partner and legendary Silicon Valley investor — proves an unconventional theory about how businesses scale, while his guests share the story of how I built this company. Reid and guests talk entrepreneurship, leadership, strategy, m ...
 
Now a retired English professor at The University of Alabama, Dr. Noble's specialties are Southern and American literature. He also hosts Bookmark on Alabama Public Television. Don Noble's reviews can be heard most Mondays at 7:45am and 4:44pm. and have been made possible in part through grants from the Alabama State Council for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities . To listen to the audio version of Dr. Noble's reviews, just click on the book title to be taken to the full ...
 
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show series
 
"Corporations can be a force for good – and they can also be very successful," says Ken Chenault, chair of investment firm General Catalyst and former longtime CEO of American Express. During the past year, Ken has been an outspoken advocate for business leaders to actively engage in societal matters. After George Floyd’s death, he and Merck CEO Ke…
 
“ Nine Days Traveling; Lafayette’s 1825 Alabama Tour; Today’s Historical Road Trip ” Author: Lawrence Krumenaker Publisher: Hermograph Press Opelika AL 2020 Pages: 141 Price: $26.95 (Paper) Following in the Steps of Lafayette in Alabama On the 4 th of July 1917 , at the Picpus cemetery in P aris , at the grave of the M arquis d e L a f ayette , Col…
 
“ The Life She Wished to Live: A Biography of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings ” Author: Ann McCutchan Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co. Pages: 418 Price: $35.00 ( H ardback) New Biography of “The Yearling” Author Provides Insights into Life, Work At th e time of her death from a stroke on December 14, 1953 at 57 years old, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings was one of …
 
“ Nighthope: A Novel ” Author: Gregory N. Whitis Publisher: Page P ublishing, Inc Pages: 331 Price: $19.95 ( Paper) Novel of Catfish and Cartels Keeps Readers Entertained, Educated Gregory Whitis, originally an Iowan, has been the manager of an Alabama catfish farm, a deputy sheriff, and an extension specialist for Auburn University, advising catfi…
 
You can’t predict your next a-ha moment. but you can create favorable circumstances for serendipity to happen – for you, and for your team. No one knows this better than J.J. Abrams, director, producer, screenwriter, and co-founder and co-CEO of Bad Robot Productions, which has been behind some of the most successful TV series and films of the last…
 
The never-before-released, original and uncut conversations between host Reid Hoffman and Masters of Scale guests. Each intimate, unedited conversation includes 60 minutes or more of content, including stories not included in Masters of Scale episodes. Subscribers will gain access to the archive, and to every new uncut interview, released in tandem…
 
Fashion became secondary amid Covid lockdowns. Sweatpants-only life pressed apparel-subscription service Rent the Runway into layoffs and furloughs. But as co-founder and CEO Jenn Hyman explains, the business saw a surprising rebound early this year, fueled by new customers in unexpected places – and by a renewed consumer focus on sustainability. B…
 
Not every platform turns into a flywheel for scale. Wendy Kopp founded two networks that each became flywheels for change: Teach for America and Teach for All, where she's currently CEO. Yet the shape of the two networks are surprisingly different. While they both feed similar goals – helping educators find what they need, share what they learn, bu…
 
“ The Photographer ” Author: Mary Dixie Carter Publisher: St. Martin’s , Min o taur Books Pages: 291 Price: $27.99 Thought- P rovoking Thriller Asks, Is Seeing Believing? A s everyone knows, in this space I usually review books with a strong A labama connection, or at least books that are set in the S outh. T h is novel, “T he Photographer,” takes …
 
Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine would not have scaled without Ginkgo Bioworks. Reshma Shetty, co-founder and COO of Ginkgo – slated to go public via SPAC acquisition at a reported $15 billion valuation – explains how biotech innovation can build a better future now. Ginkgo's platform already serves industries from food and agriculture, to materials, to …
 
Shift your mindset. Tighten your focus. Map your future. In this special episode, Reid Hoffman presents a five-step playbook for post-crisis success. Moving from chaos to calm requires a revised agenda, whether the pandemic crushed your business or boosted it. Peace-time strategies need to be just as sharp as wartime strategies. Featuring Airbnb's …
 
How do you win the post-pandemic war for talent? Send your frontline workers to online school. That's the pitch that Rachel Carlson has made – successfully – to big businesses from Chipotle to Disney, Walmart to Waste Management. As co-founder and CEO of Guild Education, Carlson runs a digital platform that enables workers to get degrees and certif…
 
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 enormously successful business, A-Rod Corp. Rodriguez shares what he's learned from mentors like investing guru Warren Buffett and NBA icon Magic John…
 
"We may not be able to survive this," remarked Robert Reffkin, founder and CEO of real estate platform Compass, after pandemic lockdown rules essentially outlawed U.S. home selling. Yet today the housing market is booming, and Compass has successfully IPO'ed. Reffkin shares how he kept his team together, why he stayed optimistic, and what businesse…
 
Creating a prototype in your garage isn't the same as leading a team of thousands. You need to keep your mission constant, but your tactics fluid as you scale. This is exactly the challenge President Barack Obama faced after winning the 2008 election. In the second episode of our two-part mini-series, we dive into how Obama grappled with the Great …
 
“ Independent Bones ” Author: Carolyn Haines Publisher: St . M artin’s Price: $26.99 (Hardcover) Pages: 355 New “Bones” Mystery Tackles Feminist Issues “Independent Bones” is the 23 rd in the Haines “ Bones ” series. At first, I thought this book would be set around the F ourth of July but that is not the case. Once again we are in Zinnia, Mi s sis…
 
Google search may be the world’s most powerful public health platform. Dr Karen DeSalvo, Google's chief health officer, has built a team of doctors, scientists and clinicians who — alongside engineers and designers – determine what information and advice shows up when we search for answers about Covid-19, the pandemic, vaccines and more. She also h…
 
Politics and entrepreneurship have much in common: Both versions of scale leadership require strategic patience, hard work, a clear vision of a better future, an unshakable belief that you can bring that future to life – and the ideal opportunity to make it all come together. President Barack Obama sits down with Reid Hoffman in Part 1 of our two-p…
 
“Southern Voices” Author: Laura Hunter Publisher: Bluewater Publications Florence, AL 2020 Pages: 225 Price: $18.95 (Paperback) In 2019, Laura Hunter, a retired educator, published her first book, “Beloved Mother,” set in Appalachia, near Boone, N.C. This was a sprawling novel, covering several generations of mountain families, whites and native Am…
 
Harry's took a one-two punch in 2020 – right on the chin. First, the federal government blocked a $1.37 billion acquisition of the shaving and consumer products company; then Covid-19 lockdowns hit. Rather than reeling from the abrupt change in plans, though, Harry's kept its balance. Co-founder and co-CEO Andy Katz-Mayfield explains how the team l…
 
Your first hires are your cultural cofounders. And it’s worth your time to get every one right. That's why Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri personally interviewed his first 500 employees. Today, with 12,500 employees and over $4b in annual revenue, Workday is consistently rated one of the best places to work. Learn the interview questions that can help you…
 
Five years of growth in five weeks. That's how Covid-19 lockdowns accelerated Instacart's business last spring. Now, a year later, the company faces another "crucible moment," says Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta. He's leaning into what he describes as a four-sided market – including software services for grocers and advertising for product vendors – t…
 
“ Shared Secrets : The Queer World of Newbery Medalist Charles J. Finger ” Author: Elizabeth Findley Shores Publisher: Univ of Arkansas Press Pages: 249 Price: $29.96 The Complicated Life of an Award-Winning Author Elizabeth Shores is a hard-working, hard-researching author with two previous volumes, both with Alabama connections : a study of the b…
 
To win at scale, you need more than great players – you need a team of great coaches. This Strategy Session episode is full of great advice and tactics for building that deep bench of mentors, each with a role to play. Working with great coaches is a skill that Alex Rodriguez learned in his first career in baseball, working with legendary skippers …
 
With the pandemic, cooking at home got a renewed boost, and meal kit outfits saw a rise in demand. But a year in, the trend toward at-home dining now faces a new inflection point. We're talking with Linda Findley Kozlowski, CEO of meal-kit pioneer Blue Apron, because she’s on the frontlines of assessing which pandemic-fueled behaviors will persist,…
 
Frustration is an important signal: it indicates an opportunity, a problem to be solved. And if your solution also builds a community, you've unlocked a path to scale. Adi Tatarko founded the online home-design site Houzz with her husband as a hacked-together tool to find and share home design ideas, after their own home renovation turned into a fr…
 
"It's 12 months of no meaningful revenue," says Alamo Drafthouse CEO Shelli Taylor. "And then last weekend was phenomenal." Taylor returns to the podcast to explain why the hip, culture-forward movie theater chain recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, even as movie-goers began to return back to theaters, plus the unexpected lessons s…
 
"The future is sooner and stranger than you think," Reid Hoffman tells Rapid Response host Bob Safian in a frank, unfiltered conversation about the lessons of 2021 so far. "The rulebook will be changing month by month." The co-hosts dive into U.S. government stimulus efforts; GameStop, SPACs and potential froth in the investment markets; rising pre…
 
“ My Little Town; A Pilgrim’s Portrait of a Uniquely Southern Place ” Author: D. B. Tipmore Publisher: NewSouth Books Pages: 160 Price: $25.95 ( H ardcover) Reflections on a Decade’s Sojourn in a Small Alabama Town Tipmore , a professional journalist who wrote for a while for the “ Village Voice ” and many other magazines, has a clear, trustworthy …
 
With 75% of U.S. customers saying they'll soon be vaccinated, Delta is embracing a new phase, opening up middle seats as of May 1. CEO Ed Bastian bet at the start of the pandemic that focusing on consumer confidence and reinforcing Delta’s brand would ultimately pay big rewards. Now that strategy will be put to the test -- even as Bastian clashes w…
 
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 Brown has demonstrated, and what every entrepreneu…
 
Revenue for Morning Brew's booming email newsletter operation dried up when the pandemic hit, but its audience remained devoted. Morning Brew CEO Alex Lieberman, who started the business with co-founder Austin Rief as undergraduates at the University of Michigan, leaned into the brand's distinctive personality, fueling a sharp rebound. By last fall…
 
No one knows the fundraising game better than Mark Cuban, serial entrepreneur, investor, and star of Shark Tank. For founders, identifying the right source of capital, under the right terms, can provide a thermal updraft. But as Cuban explains, there are always strings attached when you bring on a financial partner – and those strings can pull you …
 
“ Late Migrations: A N atural History of Love and Loss ” Author: Margaret Renkl Publisher: Milkweed Editions Pages: 248 Price: $24.00 ( Hardcover) Southern Memoir Weaves Together Stories of Nature and Family “ Late Migrations ” is a collection of 113 short pieces, little essays that run from a half page to 2 ½ pages , based on memories, observation…
 
In recent months, business leaders have been pressed to take public positions on politics in ways they never have before. That's good for business and good for democracy, says Daniella Ballou-Aares, co-founder and CEO of the Leadership Now Project. She argues that even businesses that don’t lobby are key players in building our communities of the f…
 
From Pixar to Marvel to Lucasfilm, Disney's Bob Iger defied expectations, acquiring world-renowned brands and meshing them seamlessly with the House of Mouse. In Part 2 of our epic conversation with Iger – Disney's executive chair and former CEO – we delve into the next phase of the process, how he helped build a diverse, sustainable ecosystem for …
 
“ Madness of the Q ” Author: Gray Basnight Publisher: Down & Out Books Pages: 349 Price: $ 18.95 Satisfying Thriller Based on Discovery of Papyrus Fragmen ts In 2015 Gray Basnight published “ Shadows in the Fire ,” his novel set during the last days of the siege of Richmond during the Civil War. Basnight, a native of Richmond, did a good job with t…
 
Headlines last April predicted death for Airbnb. How could it survive a pandemic that stopped their core business cold? As the business cratered (in 8 weeks, they lost 80% of revenue), CEO Brian Chesky realized: It was a moment to step back, rethink and do more than anyone expected. So after putting a planned IPO on hold, he and his team started pl…
 
“ Surviving Savannah ” Author: Patti Callahan Publisher: Berkley Pages: 419 $26.00 ( H ardcover) Novel of Shipwreck and Grief Addresses the Big Questions Patti Callahan H enry had 13 “popular” books and then, perhaps to signify more serious content, published the terrifically successful “ Becoming Mrs . Lewis ” as P atti Callahan. “ Surviving Savan…
 
To succeed in the modern business environment, you need to strut your stuff: to cultivate a personal brand that supports career growth. No one represents this better than Tyra Banks. As a model, a producer, and an entrepreneur, Tyra has forged a personal brand that has enabled her to make multiple pivots, building fame, wealth, and meaningful impac…
 
How does a start-up geared to healthcare workers balance giving back during Covid with the desire for growth? FIGS, an emerging lifestyle brand for medical professionals that built its name around premium scrubs, faced key choices amid the pandemic. Co-founder and co-CEO Heather Hasson explains why a commitment to offering free PPE, isolation gowns…
 
“ Where I Come From: Stories from the Deep South ” Author: Rick Bragg Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Pages: 231 Price: $26.95 ( H ardcover) Collection of Pieces on Wide-Ranging Southern Subjects Will Please Rick Bragg Fans Not everyon e subscribes to “ Southern Living ” and “ G arden and Gun ” and enjoys Bragg’s short pieces there. So it is a service t…
 
For any distinctive brand or business, it can be a challenge to expand reach without diluting what makes you special. No one has a keener understanding of this issue than Bob Iger, executive chair and former CEO of the Walt Disney Company. In this special two-part episode, Iger takes us through how he supercharged the House of Mouse while acquiring…
 
When he became CEO on the eve of the pandemic, Nike's John Donahoe starting game plan revolved around listening and being out in the marketplace. But when lockdowns began rolling through, he quickly adjusted, assuming what he calls a "wartime" approach to leadership. Donahoe's view is that top-down stewardship matters now more than ever. To not onl…
 
Successful daredevils aren't really winging it, even if it looks that way from the outside. They have a method. No one knows this better – or does this better – than Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. Sir Richard has been willing to take death-defying entrepreneurial leaps again and again, into new markets and industries, establishin…
 
“ The South Never Plays Itself : A Film Buff’s Journey Through the South on Screen ” Author: Ben Beard Publisher: NewSouth B ooks Pages: 288 Price: $28.95 (Cloth) A Comprehensive Look at Films Set in the South from “GWTW” to “Gump” Readers cannot help but be astonished by the scope of this book, by the sheer number of films Beard has seen, studied …
 
Our all-new season of Masters of Scale features iconic leaders and rising stars of scale companies. This season, Reid Hoffman trades theories with Disney CEO Bob Iger, model/mogul Tyra Banks, investor Mark Cuban, Houzz founder Adi Tatarko, Beyond Meat founder Ethan Brown, Sir Richard Branson – and many more. Plus, we’ve got Live episodes, your favo…
 
Maintaining high performance in business has become harder than ever, between health challenges, economic obstacles, and political uncertainty. But we all still work to win. Jerry Stackhouse, coach of the Vanderbilt University men’s basketball team and former NBA all-star, is focused on winning – in the near-term, and the long term. His experience …
 
“ Playing the Devil ” Author: R. J. Lee Publisher: Kensington Books Pages: 291 Price: $15.95 (paper) Bridge-based Mystery Creates Multiple Suspects for Murdered Malefactor Murder mysteries lately come not singly, but in battalions, bound loosely by a theme or idea or a location. The Noodle Shop Mysteries— " Wonton Terror, ” “ Egg Drop Dead ” — are …
 
Call him the unofficial U.S. ambassador to Silicon Valley. As director of the Defense Innovation Unit within the U.S. Department of Defense, Mike Brown is tasked with bridging the gap between technology innovators and the U.S. government. Formerly CEO of Symantec, Brown knows the significant opportunity public-private partnerships can offer entrepr…
 
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