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Office Hours with Spencer Rascoff
30 minutes | 9 days ago
For Beauty Counter Founder, Gregg Renfrew, It’s Not Just Makeup, It’s A Movement
A free-flowing conversation packed with entrepreneurial lessons with serial entrepreneur, Beauty Counter founder, Gregg Renfrew. Hear what to look for in an investor, ideas about scaling, her passion for multi-channel business -- and why people should get rid of non-stick pans.
24 minutes | a month ago
Cameo’s Custom-Crafted Celebrity Videos Is The New Autograph
Cameo’s highly-anticipated 2017 launch tanked. Its only talent was furious. But the startup persisted, and through grit has grown massively. Hear Steven Galanis, founder and CEO of Cameo, share the colorful story of the young company’s turnaround, how Galanis breaks down the best way to handle employee dysfunction and how he built up Cameo’s roster of tens of thousands of celebrities and influencers ready to send custom-crafted messages.
50 minutes | a month ago
Bill Gurley Drops Knowledge: Startups, Venture Capital And Scaling
Bill Gurley, Legendary Silicon Valley venture capitalist, is a general partner at Benchmark and famously known for investing early in trailblazing companies including Uber, GrubHub, my company, Zillow and so many others. Hear a conversation he and I had at the recent dot.LA Summit where we discuss marketplace-based companies, how work-from-home will accelerate business opportunity and why startups, though they might be attached to their autonomy, should pick up the phone when a big company calls. Plus, hear his thoughtful take on big tech and antitrust.
34 minutes | 2 months ago
The Chainsmokers Grow Into Venture Capitalists
Huge musical success is not enough for the electronic musical group, The Chainsmokers, made of Alex Pall and Drew Taggart. As part of their hunger to grow and learn, they've started their VC firm, Mantis, where they focus on investing in Seed and Series A startups. Hear about how they see the similarities between building startups and making music, the value add they give to companies beyond their fame and reach, how they write their songs and the why behind what might be considered a controversial move -- selling their music catalog.
30 minutes | 3 months ago
Lessons Learned During Zulily’s Rocketship Rise
How tough is it to infuse a retail website with entirely new products every day? Very. Nonetheless, that’s what Zulily, an ecommerce site that sells unique retail brands primarily to women, did when it went live in 2010. Ultimately, Zulily sold for $2.4 billion in 2015. Hear Darrell Cavens, founder and former CEO of Zulily, Spencer and Harvard Professor Jeffrey Rayport discuss the why behind Zulily’s astonishing success and some granular lessons learned born of a company that grew incredibly big incredibly fast.
24 minutes | 3 months ago
Turnaround Expert, Brad Stewart, On The Next Steps At Fair
It’s not easy to turn around a company. But some executives seek out that challenge. An experienced turnaround expert, Brad Stewart is the relatively new CEO of Fair, an app to lease used, affordable cars for as long as desired. Brad started out in management consulting before becoming CEO of then-struggling XO Jet. After seven successful years at XO Jet, Brad now brings to Fair a wealth of experience. Hear his insight on the steps he takes to fix companies, the unique issues facing Fair and the plan he’s putting into action to help the company thrive.
28 minutes | 3 months ago
How Outer Aims to Disrupt the Outdoor Furniture Industry
Years of work experience, largely solving business problems for his family, gave Jiake Liu a fundamental understanding of how to run a successful business. It also fed his entrepreneurial thirst and ultimately led to his cofounding and leading Outer, an outdoor furniture and lifestyle company. Hear some hard-earned lessons from Jiake about startups, his Shark Tank pitch day experience and how he maintains investor relationships even if they pass on investing -- like Spencer did.
23 minutes | 4 months ago
Online Retailer, Behold, Uses AI To Craft Bespoke Outfits
Too many fashion options is a pain point Terry Boyle, cofounder and CEO of Behold, aims to solve with his newly launched retail platform. Hear how Terry, who’s been in fashion tech for over ten years with most of that time spent at the venerable Nordstroms, is competitively positioning and running his trailblazing company.
17 minutes | 4 months ago
All Voices Allows Employees To Share Feedback Anonymously
Inspired in the midst of the MeToo awakening, Claire Schmidt founded All Voices. It’s a platform that allows employees to anonymously share feedback with company administration without fear of reprisal. Hear Schmidt, CEO, share the problems All Voices is trying to solve, how the communication process works -- and an early lesson learned that forced All Voices to quickly make a radical pivot. And yes, All Voices uses All Voices!
32 minutes | 5 months ago
GoodRx Makes Unpredictable Prescription Drug Prices More Affordable
On a mission to improve healthcare for every American, by offering steeply discounted prescription drugs, Doug Hirsch, cofounder and CEO of GoodRx, speaks with Spencer about how he built the business with a slow and steady attitude, how paranoia keeps him on his toes -- and why naivete is an entrepreneurial strength.
18 minutes | 5 months ago
Age Of Learning Supplements Kids’ Remote Education
Sunil Gunderia, Chief Strategy Officer of Age of Learning, says two-thirds of America’s fourth graders are not proficient in english language arts or math despite the $700 billion spent on K-12 education. This disparity spurred the creation of Age of Learning, whose flagship product, ABC Mouse, has 30 million young learners on the platform since its launch in 2010. Hear Gunderia describe the Age of Learning business model, how it’s expanding during the time of Covid and what diversity, equity and inclusion measures Age of Learning is taking.
26 minutes | 6 months ago
Why Buy Costly Outdoor Gear When Arrive Outdoors Lets You Rent It?
Stripped of their outdoor gear before their move to Los Angeles, Rachelle Snyder and her husband, Ross Richmond, arrived, surrounded by tantalizing outdoor adventure, but unprepared to enjoy it -- and nowhere to turn. That problem led them to cofound Arrive Outdoors, a company that rents camping, hiking and skiing gear and attire. Hear Rachelle dig into the details of partnering with brands, how best to service the consumer -- and why running the business with her husband works.
33 minutes | 6 months ago
How Is It That Tech Markets Are Booming While the Economy Reels?
With so many people out of work, how is it the stock market is soaring? To make sense of it all, listen to Spencer as he speaks with John Scuorzo and Zaheed Kajani, both senior managing directors at Evercore, a global independent investment banking advisory firm. This is an edited version of a webinar that took place on June 23, 2020.
29 minutes | 7 months ago
The Messy Business Of Disrupting A Legacy Business
No matter how challenging, if given the choice, Jason Kilar, founder of Hulu and current CEO of WarnerMedia, would willingly disrupt the way television and film was distributed, all over again. Listen to Kilar’s account of contextualizing business during the burgeoning days of the internet, the early, tumultuous times at Hulu, his predictions about where media and entertainment are heading -- and a missed opportunity Jason wishes he had captured.
34 minutes | 7 months ago
Can L.A. Tech Learn Inclusion Lessons From The Entertainment Industry?
During the past decade, the Hollywood entertainment industry has worked towards more inclusivity in their ranks and storytelling. Can Los Angeles Tech employ those learnings? Angela Robinson and Alexandra Kondracke are film and television writers, producers and directors, known for their work on Professor Marston and The Wonder Women, True Blood, Hung and The L Word. They’re also founders of Time’s Up, a movement that aims to create a safe and equitable society free of sexual harassment. In this high-energy, frank conversation, hear Spencer, Angela and Alexandra share insight into both the Tech and Entertainment industry, how far the industries have come and how far they have to go. This was recorded well before Covid-19 hit and the protests related to George Floyd’s death.
28 minutes | 8 months ago
Enormous Rockets Made By Printers
Led by Tim Ellis, Relativity Space is radically upending the aerospace industry by manufacturing rockets using 3D printers. Hear Spencer and Tim dig into Relativity’s engineering feats, its vision for the future of humans in space, what the cutting-edge company values above all, and how in the not-too-distant future Relativity hopes to send a 3D printer to Mars to print rockets there.
31 minutes | 8 months ago
Why L.A. Is Now A Tech Capital – A Conversation With Brian Lee
Los Angeles has come a long way in the 20 years that Brian Lee has built up startups. Brian co-founded LegalZoom in 2001, ShoeDazzle with Kim Kardashian in 2008, and The Honest Company with Jessica Alba in 2012. Now, Brian is co-founder and managing director of BAM Ventures, an early stage fund and startup studio, based in Los Angeles. Hear Spencer and Brian, recorded at the Montgomery Summit earlier this year, discuss Los Angeles’ evolution as a tech hub. They dig into the exciting state of the current Los Angeles start-up scene, what BAM looks for in founders, thoughts on building brands -- and a company Lee regrets he passed on.
25 minutes | 9 months ago
The Pain And Promise of Crisis
Managing through crisis is difficult, but great leaders and great companies are created during challenging times. Spencer grappled with crises at two companies he cofounded, Hotwire and Zillow. Hear him and Katie Curnutte, former SVP of Communications at Zillow and now a partner at Kingston Marketing Group, discuss how to manage a company through the strain of calamity while keeping a steady eye on the big picture and the opportunities that can arise.
30 minutes | 2 years ago
Rear Admiral Michael Wettlaufer
Earlier this year, Spencer had an opportunity through the Navy’s Distinguished Visitors Program to visit the USS John C. Stennis, an aircraft carrier. During his time aboard the ship, Spencer met Rear Admiral Michael Wettlaufer, who’s spent 32 years serving in the Navy. Throughout his career, Admiral Wettlaufer has received multiple medals for his service, logged 3,500 flying hours, flown 49 different aircraft types and made over 800 arrested landings. To say he’s a brave and accomplished leader is an understatement. In this episode, Spencer returns to the USS Stennis for a conversation with Admiral Wettlaufer about leadership. The two cover a lot of ground, including the admiral’s impressive career in the Navy, the importance of teamwork and how to build a culture that’s committed to excellence.
25 minutes | 2 years ago
Nick Huzar: Co-founder and CEO of OfferUp
Nick Huzar is co-founder and CEO of OfferUp, the largest mobile marketplace in the U.S. The company has reinvented the model for local, peer-to-peer commerce, and its engagement metrics are incredible. In 2017, the company reported that it had over 60 million downloads and 43 million users who use the platform as frequently as popular social media apps. Today, OfferUp is one of the highest valued private companies in the Pacific Northwest, officially gaining “unicorn” status. In this episode, Nick offers advice for leaders about scaling a company, the importance of building trust and how his leadership style has evolved with OfferUp’s growth.
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