The 9 Best Episodes Of The How I Built This Podcast

How I Built This Podcast

Guest Collaborator

This is an article being brought to you by the courtesy of a special guest collaborator Nick “Biggie” Grimaldi. Biggie is a former colleague and someone I admire both professionally and personally.

Biggie is one of the most respected and accomplished talent managers in heavy metal and punk rock while being active in multiple entrepreneurial pursuits.

He is a co-owner of Good Fight Entertainment, where he personally manages Circa Survive, Every Time I Die, Turnstile, and Knocked Loose.

In addition to Good Fight Entertainment, Biggie is also the owner of SHOWStubs, a VIP ticketing outfit, and actively manages multiple investment properties throughout California.

Dues Paid

As a kid, Biggie was a fixture of the Southern California hardcore punk scene, where he embodied the values of loyalty, grit, and determination.

He came up and paid his dues on the road, touring as a road manager for 10 years, and never relented on his principles.

Those values that served him so well as a youth and while growing up on the road are all now hallmarks of his burgeoning career in business.

Biggie’s accomplishments have never come at the expense of his lighthearted and youthful spirit. He serves as a great reminder to always seek fun and find joy in everything you do.

For me, as impressive as his career accomplishments, are his dedication to and steady presence with his beautiful family, including two daughters, June and Lily.

Biggie is walking proof that true fulfillment in life comes with a balance that is reached through proactive love and care of every facet of your world.

Biggie is an avid self-developer and constant consumer of educational and inspirational podcast content.

When I approached Biggie about a collaborative article for a “Top Episodes” feature on one of his favorite podcasts, his show choice and contribution to the piece were immediate and thorough.

The Podcast Choice

Biggie has selected as his feature show the business podcast How I Built This. How I Built This is best described in the words from the show itself:

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.”

Sourced from  NPR
Sourced from NPR

Along with featuring his favorite episodes plus some additional picks by our editor, Biggie has also identified and isolated a favorite quote from each one and gives us some insight into why each episode resonated with him.

Here Are The 9 Best Episodes Of The How I Built This Podcast:

1. Spanx: Sara Blakely

Memorable quote: “In the middle of my meeting with her, I could tell I was losing her…so I said, “You know what, will you come with me to the bathroom?”

Biggie’s take: Sara became the youngest female billionaire in America…off of underwear. She never took investments and built all prototypes herself. Her story of how she got Spanx to break and how she continued to grow after the fact, is unique and exciting.  

2. Larabar: Lara Merriken (editor’s pick)

Memorable Quote: “I finally just said…This is your path in life. And you have to go for it and embrace it and make it happen.”

Editor’s Take: One of the most remarkable stories of dogged persistence in the face of doubters and setbacks. I love how there was no blueprint for Lara to follow. She literally found her way, step by step, by taking immediate action and course-correcting along the way.

3. Instagram: Kevin Systrom & Mike Krieger

Memorable quote: “This is it, we’ve built this great thing…and we’ve totally messed it up.”

Biggie’s take: It’s crazy to realize that great ideas with poor execution are a dime a dozen. Execution is everything. The story of how Instagram got started is exciting to hear how close to failure it was on many occasions.

4. Airbnb: Joe Gabby

Memorable quote: “…So we get introduced to 20 investors in silicon valley. Ten of them replied to our email. Five of them met us for coffee. Zero invested in us”

Biggie’s take: I love when a side hustle becomes a success. This Airbnb rise to success is actually crazy because of how fast it happened. In the grand scheme of things, Airbnb has become so “normal” even though they weren’t trying to come up with what the final product became.

5. Music Mogul: L.A. Reid

Memorable quote: “It probably would have been better if I just kept my own company and not gone to work for anyone, because all of a sudden I had a lot of money and not a lot of friends…”

Biggie’s take: This one hits closest to home given I’m an artist manager myself. It’s such a wild ride of a career. L.A. is a legend, it’s very exciting to hear him speak so candidly on his “try, fail, try” career. He has created some gigantic stars in the pop world and it wasn’t the smoothest ride at all times.

6. Jet Blue: David Neeleman (editor’s pick)

Memorable Quote: “I completely didn’t fit into the corporate culture…my A.D.D. was raging”

Editor’s Take: David never lets his imperfections prevent him from achieving his dreams. He felt his legitimate case of attention deficit disorder actually allowed him to problem solve quickly and more efficiently than most, once he gained awareness of his condition.

7. Real Estate Mogul: Barbara Corcoran

Memorable quote: “we are going to have to make a lot of changes…and the hardest change of all is me firing my mother.”

Biggie’s take: I love real estate, I love a bad ass female and I love Shark Tank. Barbara Corcoran checks all these boxes and more. She is the epitome of self-made and made millions as a woman in the 70’s and 80s – no easy task. I love her attitude and hope my girls grow up with her mentality!

8. TOMS: Blake Mycoskie

Memorable quote: “Muchos zapatos rapido!”

Biggie’s take: The “buy one give one” model was made famous by TOMS. A pretty exciting story about how one thing leads to another for Blake to end up making these shoes and turning it into a half billion dollar company – even though it wasn’t his first, second or third successful business!

9. Lululemon Athletica: Chip Wilson

Memorable quote: “…my love is innovation, quality, and athletics – that’s where I really flourished. I hadn’t developed as a chairman. I didn’t understand public boards. I didn’t understand how to act or be.

I think people think I ended up with a lot of money and ‘Chip Wilson is a businessman’ but nothing really could have been further from the truth. I’m just a passionate product guy.”

Biggie’s take: While some of the things Chip has said and done are quite controversial and may not coexist with my beliefs, one way I can align with him is feeling a bit out of place within one’s own company.

I always wanted to manage bands but had no intention of owning a company or running a business. Funny how it all lined up. Chip is similar in his sentiments expressed above in the quote.

Bonus Episode. Author and Podcaster: Tim Ferriss 

Memorable Quote: “Well about a year after the book came out I realized that I had signed up for a journey I didn’t necessarily want to be a part of 100%.” 

Editors Take: Tim Ferriss did things in his early 20s building a sports supplement business that is just remarkable for someone so young. 

He parlayed that experience into best-selling books and one of the most successful podcasts in the landscape. 

Even those who know Tim Ferriss well will be pleasantly surprised by the detail shared of his origin story in business.

Please Comment

What is your favorite episode of How I Built This? Please do leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you.

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One Comment

  1. Hello. I’m trying to find the story I heard last night. It was about a woman who started a farm food tracking business, worldwide. I found it very interesting but didn’t hear it all.

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