Office Hours with Spencer Rascoff

Arianna Huffington: Founder, Thrive Global & Co-Founder, The Huffington Post

Arianna Huffington needs little introduction. The author of 15 books, including best-sellers Thrive and The Sleep Revolution, Arianna has been named to Time Magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People and Forbes' Most Powerful Women list. In 2016, she stepped down from her namesake Huffington Post (now HuffPost) to launch Thrive Global, which aims to eliminate the stress and burnout that leave so many of us in survival mode. Arianna also joined Uber as its first woman board member, advocating for a culture where "brilliant jerks" aren't tolerated. In this episode, Arianna joins Spencer at Zillow Group's New York City office to discuss her newest venture, why leaders need to model balance for their employees and why we all need to prioritize downtime.

00:26:35 4/11/2018

Past Episodes

Comedy writer and producer Robert Carlock's spectacular career includes writing and producing credits on iconic shows such as "Saturday Night Live," "Friends" and "30 Rock." Most recently he co-created the Netflix original series "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,". As a leader in a creative field, Robert doesn't rely on data to make decisions. Instead, he draws largely from his intuition and simply knowing what's going to be funny. And untethering creativity is a lesson all companies and industries can learn from.
00:29:54 5/17/2018
Dara Khosrowshahi is CEO of Uber, a company that's become a household name for transportation. Uber's dominance hasn't come without controversy, however. Uber's reputation as an innovator has often been overshadowed by negative revelations about its culture. In 2017, Dara left his role as CEO of Expedia to take over the reins at Uber from founder Travis Kalanick. His mission: Get the company on the path to cultural reform, profitability and, eventually, IPO. In this episode, Dara and Spencer discuss why he made the move to Uber, what he's learning - and the role of "flying taxis" in Uber's future.
00:34:16 5/15/2018
We revisit our conversation with Eric Holder. Eric knows a thing or two about introspection. In his current role, companies tap the former U.S. Attorney General to ask difficult questions and help businesses improve everything from diversity to how they work with foreign governments. With the democratization of information and the rise of social media, today's leaders and companies can no longer hide behind a great PR team. According to Holder, "Companies can always be introspective in the same way that we can be as individuals and ask tough questions of ourselves or as corporate entities. What are our strengths? What are our weaknesses? How can we do better?"
00:27:38 5/3/2018
It's no wonder Fortune Magazine called Cindy a "tireless force of nature." She's the entrepreneur behind the first-ever FDA approved drug to treat decreased libido in women, and she's built two businesses from the ground up, selling them for over $1.5 billion. After securing FDA approval for ADDYI, dubbed "female Viagra" by numerous media outlets, Cindy founded The Pink Ceiling, an incubator and venture capital firm dedicated to helping women-focused businesses. In this episode, she and Spencer discuss the importance of empathy in product design, how the #MeToo movement will alter the venture capital landscape and why Cindy is an unapologetic proponent of the color pink.
00:27:08 4/26/2018
Sukhinder is a serial entrepreneur and longtime technology executive who had stints at both Google and Amazon. In 2015, she founded theBoardlist, a talent marketplace for leaders to find highly qualified women to join their boards. Among startups, 57 percent have no women in executive positions. On boards, more than three-quarters of privately funded tech companies have no women, and the picture is even worse among public companies. In this episode, Sukhinder discusses why the tech community should add more women partners, executives and board seats - and why she's optimistic about the future of women in tech.
00:22:02 3/15/2018
Companies that transform our lives with one innovation (like Microsoft Windows) often find it difficult to repeat the same feat because everything - from product to revenue to culture - is built on top of that one big idea. This is the challenge Satya Nadella faced when he took over the reins at Microsoft. How could he ensure that the 43-year-old company seized new opportunities and warded off potential threats? The answer: Build the ability to hit refresh into the culture by focusing on mission, leadership and growth mindset.
00:30:57 3/1/2018
Eric Holder knows a thing or two about introspection. In his current role, companies tap the former U.S. Attorney General to ask difficult questions and help businesses improve everything from diversity to how they work with foreign governments. With the democratization of information and the rise of social media, today's leaders and companies can no longer hide behind a great PR team. According to Holder, "Companies can always be introspective in the same way that we can be as individuals and ask tough questions of ourselves or as corporate entities. What are our strengths? What are our weaknesses? How can we do better?"
00:27:44 11/8/2017
The companies within Bill Gurley's investment portfolio have some clear similarities: great user-generated content, a reliance on the network effect and a "power to the people" mentality, meaning they put consumers first. But companies don't succeed solely because of their business model or mission - they also need strong leadership. According to Bill, great leaders tend to be unafraid, innately curious and bold. He looks for these qualities in the founder pitching the investment opportunity because - while the idea is important - it's the person who is going to execute it. In this episode, Bill references his 2012 essay, "The Dangerous Seduction of the Lifetime Value (LTV) Formula." You can read it in its entirety here.  
00:27:19 6/29/2017
As a founding member of several successful companies (Fog Creek, Trello) in the software development space, you could say that Joel Spolsky knows a bit about developers. On his popular online forum, Stack Overflow, developers ask more than 8,000 questions a day to a community of roughly 40 million developers who visit the site every month. Joel talks about software developers with a reverence normally reserved for philosophers: "Every day, developers get a chance to make a decision that's going to impact the world," he says. But with that power comes great responsibility, and managers have an important role to play in helping developers consider unintended consequences and use their power for good.
00:30:53 6/15/2017
When John MacFarlane and his co-founders started Sonos in 2002, they knew nothing about audio or hardware. They simply had an inspiring mission: Fill every home with music. And they knew that the future of music wasn't CDs - it was wireless, digital and connected. In order to stay competitive in an industry that's changing, you have to lead with disruption and never stop improving, and it's this commitment to continuous improvement that has propelled Sonos to outsell some of the world's biggest tech companies in the home audio category.
00:28:30 6/1/2017

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