How I Built This with Guy Raz How I Built This is a podcast about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built. Each episode is a narrative journey marked by triumphs, failures, serendipity and insight — told by the founders of some of the world's best known companies and brands. If you've ever built something from nothing, something you really care about — or even just dream about it — check out How I Built This hosted by Guy Raz @guyraz. Follow the show @HowIBuiltThis.
How I Built This logo
NPR

How I Built This with Guy Raz

From NPR

How I Built This is a podcast about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built. Each episode is a narrative journey marked by triumphs, failures, serendipity and insight — told by the founders of some of the world's best known companies and brands. If you've ever built something from nothing, something you really care about — or even just dream about it — check out How I Built This hosted by Guy Raz @guyraz. Follow the show @HowIBuiltThis.More from How I Built This with Guy Raz »

Most Recent Episodes

Instagram: Kevin Systrom & Mike Krieger

"This is it, we've built this great thing and we've totally messed it up." — Mike Krieger, co-founder of Instagram, about the night the company launched Andrew Holder for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Andrew Holder for NPR

Instagram: Kevin Systrom & Mike Krieger

We're hard at work planning our upcoming live shows, so we bring you this favorite from the last year: Instagram. Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger launched their photo-sharing app with a server that crashed every other hour. Despite a chaotic start, it became one of the most popular apps in the world. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Dave Weiner of Priority Bicycles, a low-maintenance bicycle brand.

Instagram: Kevin Systrom & Mike Krieger

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/562887933/563105739" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Eileen Fisher: Eileen Fisher

Eileen Fisher, founder of Eileen Fisher. Marcus Marritt for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Marcus Marritt for NPR

Eileen Fisher: Eileen Fisher

In 1983, Eileen Fisher signed up for a fashion trade show with no experience, no garments, no patterns or sketches – nothing but a few ideas for a women's clothing line focused on simplicity. Within three weeks, she came up with 12 pieces, a logo, and a name: Eileen Fisher. Today, the Eileen Fisher brand is still known for its elegant and minimalist designs, but it has grown to more than 60 locations and makes over $300 million in annual revenue. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," how Louisiana butcher Charlie Munford is helping popularize wild boar meat.

Eileen Fisher: Eileen Fisher

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/561903886/561976007" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Chipotle: Steve Ells

Steve Ells, founder of Chipotle. Connor Heckert for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Connor Heckert for NPR

Chipotle: Steve Ells

In 1992, Steve Ells was a classically trained chef working in a high-end restaurant in San Francisco. But after eating a burrito at a local taqueria, he got an idea: to sell burritos and earn enough money to open his own gourmet restaurant. The first Chipotle opened in Denver the following year. Bringing his culinary training to taqueria-style service, Steve Ells helped transform the way we eat fast food. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," how Alexander Harik turned his mom's recipe for za'atar spread—a fragrant Middle Eastern condiment—into Zesty Z: The Za'atar Company.

Chipotle: Steve Ells

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/560458221/560460264" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Burton Snowboards: Jake Carpenter

Jake Carpenter, founder of Burton Snowboards. Angie Wang for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Angie Wang for NPR

Burton Snowboards: Jake Carpenter

In 1977, 23-year-old Jake Carpenter set out to design a better version of the Snurfer, a stand-up sled he loved to ride as a teenager. Working by himself in a barn in Londonderry, Vermont, he sanded and whittled stacks of wood, trying to create the perfect ride. He eventually helped launch an entirely new sport, while building the largest snowboard brand in the world. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," how Jane Och solved the problem of guacamole turning brown, with a container that removes air pockets, the Guac-Lock.

Burton Snowboards: Jake Carpenter

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/559034228/559097935" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Bumble: Whitney Wolfe

Whitney Wolfe, founder of Bumble. Angie Wang for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Angie Wang for NPR

Bumble: Whitney Wolfe

At age 22, Whitney Wolfe helped launch Tinder, one of the world's most popular dating apps. But a few years later, she left Tinder and filed a lawsuit against the company alleging sexual harassment. The ensuing attention from the media – and cyberbullying from strangers – prompted her to launch Bumble, a new kind of dating app where women make the first move. Today, the Bumble app has been downloaded more than 20 million times. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," how Michelle Innis invented De-Fishing soap to freshen up her fisherman husband, and how it wound up in WalMart.

Bumble: Whitney Wolfe

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/557437086/557651825" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Teach For America: Wendy Kopp

Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach For America Connor Heckert for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Connor Heckert for NPR

Teach For America: Wendy Kopp

In 1989, college senior Wendy Kopp was trying to figure out how to improve American public schools. For her senior thesis, she proposed creating a national teaching corps that would recruit recent college grads to teach in underserved schools. One year later, she launched the nonprofit, Teach for America. Today, TFA has 50,000 alumni, a budget of nearly $300 million, and continues to place thousands of teachers across the country. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how a game of Secret Santa led Chris Waters to create Constructed Adventures, elaborate scavenger hunts for all occasions.

Teach For America: Wendy Kopp

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/556177643/556245867" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Stonyfield Yogurt: Gary Hirshberg

Host Guy Raz speaks with Gary Hirshberg, founder of yogurt maker Stonyfield. Suharu Ogawa for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Suharu Ogawa for NPR

Stonyfield Yogurt: Gary Hirshberg

In 1983, two hippie farmers decided to sell homemade organic yogurt to help raise money for their educational farm in New Hampshire. As the enterprise grew into a business, it faced one near-death experience after another, but it never quite died. In fact it grew — into one of the most popular yogurt brands in the US. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how Indiana Jones inspired Steve Humble to sell secret passageways for a living.

Stonyfield Yogurt: Gary Hirshberg

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/551875796/554548920" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Live Episode! Starbucks: Howard Schultz

Host Guy Raz speaks with Starbucks' Howard Shultz in a special live episode recorded in Seattle. Angie Wang for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Angie Wang for NPR

Live Episode! Starbucks: Howard Schultz

During his first visit to Seattle in 1981, Howard Schultz walked into a little coffee bean shop called Starbucks and fell in love with it. A few years later, he bought the six-store chain for almost 4 million dollars, and began to transform it into a ubiquitous landmark, a "third place" between home and work. Today Starbucks is the third largest restaurant chain in the world, serving about 100 million people a week. Recorded live in Seattle.

Live Episode! Starbucks: Howard Schultz

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/551874532/554086519" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Southwest Airlines: Herb Kelleher
Andrew Holder for NPR

Southwest Airlines: Herb Kelleher

We're hard at work planning more live shows, so we bring you one of our favorites from last year: Southwest Airlines. In 1968, competitors sued to keep Herb Kelleher's new airline grounded. After a 3-year court fight, the first plane took off from Dallas. Today Southwest Airlines operates nearly 4,000 flights a day. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how Monica Mizrachi and her son Solomon built EzPacking, a family business selling packing cubes.

Southwest Airlines: Herb Kelleher

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/551871365/552978812" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
The Chipmunks: Ross Bagdasarian Jr. & Janice Karman

From 1958 to today, many generations of children have come to know the different iterations of the three lovable rodents known as The Chipmunks. Angie Wang for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Angie Wang for NPR

The Chipmunks: Ross Bagdasarian Jr. & Janice Karman

Years after his father created a hit singing group of anthropomorphic rodents called The Chipmunks, Ross Bagdasarian Jr. made it his mission to revive his dad's beloved characters. Over the last 40 years, Ross Jr. and his wife Janice have built The Chipmunks into a billion dollar media franchise – run out of their home in Santa Barbara, California. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how Daniel Clark-Webster and his three friends came up with RompHim – a company specializing in male rompers.

The Chipmunks: Ross Bagdasarian Jr. & Janice Karman

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/551231472/551239372" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Back To Top