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From Scratch with Jessica Harris

A Show about the Entrepreneurial Life

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Emily Weiss

Glossier is an online beauty company that launched on Instagram in 2014. Emily is also the founder of Into the Gloss, an online community dedicated to beauty. Visitors get tips on skin, hair, makeup, and learn the beauty routines of leading members of the cosmetic and fashion industries. Emily speaks with Jessica Harris about how she launched her beauty blog and skin products company, from scratch. Listen to the interview

19mins

22 Feb 2018

Rank #1

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Thomas Keller

Chef and restaurateur Thomas Keller bought the French Laundry, a restaurant in Napa Valley California, and turned it into one of the leading fine dining establishments in the world.  The French Laundry and Per Se, located in the Time Warner Center in New York City, have both been awarded three Michelin Stars.  Thomas has won consecutive “Best Chef” awards from the James Beard Foundation and “Chef of the Year” award by the Culinary Institute of America, among other accolades.  He is the author of multiple cookbooks, including The French Laundry, Bouchon, Under Pressure, and Ad Hoc at Home. Thomas speaks with Jessica Harris about how he launched his collection of restaurants, from scratch. Listen to the interview

32mins

21 Jan 2016

Rank #2

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Jack Dorsey

Jack is a serial entrepreneur who has started two companies — Twitter and Square — that, on the face of it, seem entirely different. Twitter is a social networking service; Square is a mobile payments company. But Jack believes that their shared purpose is to make each of their related tasks — communicating and transacting — easier. Twitter gets messages from point A to point B just as Square gets money from point A to point B. Twitter has over 500 million users and gained global recognition when it facilitated the Iranian protests of the presidential election in 2009. Users type messages to followers using a maximum of 140 characters. Square is a financial services company that allows any merchant to accept credit card payments through a device that plugs into a smartphone’s headphone jack. One of the company’s services, called Square Wallet, allows customers to buy products without having to use their actual credit card. Jack speaks with Jessica Harris about how he launched both Twitter and Square, from scratch. This interview was conducted before Jack returned to Twitter and became CEO in 2015. Listen to the interview

32mins

14 Apr 2016

Rank #3

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Arianna Huffington

Arianna launched the Huffington Post, the online media platform, in 2005. The company was acquired by AOL in 2011 and was the first online-only news organization to win the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 2012. Arianna has written more than a dozen books on topics including feminism, Maria Callas, Picasso, and Greek mythology. Her most recent book, Thrive, is about well-being. Arianna speaks with Jessica Harris about how she helped legitimize the blogosphere by building the Huffington Post, from scratch. Listen to the interview

32mins

14 Jul 2016

Rank #4

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Nancy Lublin

When you’re preparing for a job interview, you want to put your best foot forward. But sometimes there’s a catch 22 when it comes to what to wear: How do you afford a suit if you don’t have a job, and how do you get the job if you’re not wearing professional clothes? Jessica speaks with Nancy Lublin, founder of Dress for Success, an organization that provides clothes to unemployed women for job interviews. Nancy describes how she launched Dress for Success and helped thousands of women get jobs, from scratch. Listen to the interview

32mins

30 May 2011

Rank #5

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Drew Houston

Dropbox is a file sharing and personal data storage company that allows users to access their content (Microsoft Word documents, photos, videos, etc.) from any of their devices. Prior to starting Dropbox, Drew started an online SAT prep company called Accolade (and yes, he scored 1600 on his SAT). Drew speaks with Jessica Harris about how he built Dropbox, from scratch. Listen to the interview

32mins

26 Jan 2017

Rank #6

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Essie Weingarten

Essie started her eponymous brand in 1981 with $10,000 after working in the hosiery business. When Essie launched, there were very few companies making nail polish, and nail salons were rare. Essie nail polish is now available in roughly 25,000 salons in more than 100 countries. The company was bought by L’Oreal in 2010. Essie speaks with Jessica Harris about how she launched Essie, from scratch. Listen to the interview

30mins

3 Sep 2021

Rank #7

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Uri Levine

Waze is a crowd sourced traffic navigation app. Drivers share real-time traffic and road information to help other users on the same route. Uri founded Waze in Israel in 2007 and the company was sold to Google in 2013 for $1.1 Billion. Uri is also the founder of FeeX, which also uses crowd sourced information— this time to uncover hidden fees in people’s financial accounts. Uri speaks with Jessica Harris about how the public is building maps around the world using Waze, from scratch. Listen to the interview

29mins

24 Sep 2021

Rank #8

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Andy Goldsworthy

Some sculptors work with materials like bronze or marble, which last forever; but others build sculptures made of ice or snow, which last only a few moments. Who are some of the sculptors producing ephemeral art? Jessica speaks with one such pioneer, Andy Goldsworthy. Andy’s outdoor sculptures have been shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, The National Gallery in Washington DC, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others. Andy discusses how he has built a successful life building sculptures outdoors, and from scratch. Listen to the interview

19mins

18 Dec 2014

Rank #9

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Kevin Ryan

Kevin is an internet entrepreneur who has led innovation in the online advertising and e-commerce space since the late 1990s.  Kevin was the CEO of DoubleClick, the advertising serving company that was eventually sold to Google for $3.5 Billion.  Kevin has since founded a number of internet companies including Gilt Groupe, a luxury e-commerce community, 10Gen, an open source database company, and Business Insider, an online news site for the technology and media industries. Kevin speaks to Jessica Harris about how he has built a career around internet innovation, from scratch. Listen to the interview

32mins

18 Apr 2013

Rank #10

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Patrick Collison

Stripe is a financial software company that helps businesses manage their online and mobile transactions. Patrick started Stripe in 2009 when he was 21 years old with his younger brother, John. He is originally from Dromineer, Ireland, which has a population of roughly 70 people. Patrick speaks with Jessica Harris about how he launched Stripe, from scratch. Listen to the interview

31mins

3 Jan 2020

Rank #11

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Leah Busque

TaskRabbit is an online service that allows users to outsource small tasks to individuals known as TaskRabbits. These TaskRabbits are freelance workers who have been background checked, and they perform small jobs ranging from grocery shopping to furniture assembly. Leah started the company in 2008, and the service is available in leading cities including Boston, Seattle, New York and San Francisco. Leah is a software engineer who formerly worked at IBM. Leah speaks with Jessica Harris about how she launched TaskRabbit, from scratch. Listen to the interview

32mins

5 Dec 2013

Rank #12

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Kelly Flatley & Brendan Synnott

There are more and more students graduating from college looking to become entrepreneurs. But where do they start? What kind of business should it be? Where will they get the funding without a track record? Jessica speaks with two pioneers who launched their natural food company when they were recent college grads. Kelly and Brendan started Bear Naked, a line of granola and cereal that’s available across the United States. They explain how they managed to build a multi-million dollar food company, from scratch. Listen to the interview

32mins

7 Aug 2011

Rank #13

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Sarabeth Levine

Pastry chef and restaurateur Sarabeth Levine started her business by first selling marmalade, a family recipe, in a small cafe on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Prior to life in the culinary world, Sarabeth was a substitute teacher, a dental assistant, and sold health insurance. Sarabeth speaks to Jessica Harris about how she pioneered “brunch” in New York City, from scratch. Listen to the interview

32mins

23 Dec 2011

Rank #14

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Luis von Ahn

Luis is an inventor and computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon. He is one of the creators of CAPTCHA, a system that allows websites to determine whether you’re a human or a computer. CAPTCHAs are wavy, distorted words that people need to type out when they’re submitting a form to a website. Luis’ company ReCAPTCHA proved users were humans while also digitizing books. The company was sold to Google in 2009. He also founded the language learning app Duolingo, attracting over 150 million users in its first four years. Luis won a Macarthur Genius Grant in 2006. Luis speaks with Jessica Harris about how he launched ReCaptcha and Duolingo, from scratch. Listen to the interview

30mins

20 Aug 2021

Rank #15

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Neil Blumenthal

Warby Parker is an online eyeglass retailer that sells low cost vintage inspired glasses.  For each pair sold, Warby Parker provides a pair of glasses to low income people in more than 36 countries through non-profit partners like VisionSpring.  VisionSpring trains female entrepreneurs to give eye exams and sell glasses in their communities.  Neil co-founded Warby Parker with three classmates from Wharton Business School. Neil speaks with Jessica Harris about how he is helping to change the optical industry landscape by making attractive glasses more affordable to everyone, from scratch. Listen to the interview

32mins

5 Oct 2017

Rank #16

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Daniel Lubetzky

KIND is a food company that produces sweet and savory bars with whole nuts, spices, and fruit, among other products. KIND is sold in a diverse array of locations including Whole Foods, Walmart, convenience stores and newspaper stands. Daniel launched KIND in 2003. Daniel is also the founder of PeaceWorks, which sells Mediterranean spreads. PeaceWorks aims to foster peaceful relationships among neighbors in the Middle East and other groups in conflict through joint business ventures. Daniel speaks with Jessica Harris about how he launched KIND, from scratch. Listen to the interview

30mins

4 Jun 2021

Rank #17

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Andy Dunn

Bonobos is an e-commerce company that sells men’s clothing. Bonobos started off with the goal of selling better fitting pants for men in 2007 and has expanded to include all type’s of men’s apparel. Bonobos was acquired by Walmart in 2017, after this interview was recorded. Andy speaks with Jessica Harris about how he built Bonobos, from scratch. Listen to the interview

32mins

20 Jun 2017

Rank #18

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Andrew Rosen

Andrew launched Theory, a contemporary clothing company, in 1997 with co-founder Eli Tahari. Theory used the stretchy fabric lycra to create a more modern, slender look initially for young professional women. Theory was sold in 2003 to the Japanese company Fast Retailing and IPO’ed in 2005. In addition to his role at Theory, Andrew has been an advisor and investor in several other clothing companies ranging from Rag & Bone to Alice and Olivia. Andrew speaks with Jessica Harris about his family’s deep history in the fashion industry, and how he launched Theory, from scratch. Listen to the interview

31mins

30 Jul 2021

Rank #19

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Scott Harrison

charity: water provides clean water to communities in developing countries. Scott launched charity: water in 2006 after raising $15,000 from his friends at his 31st birthday party. Prior to launching charity: water, Scott was a night club promoter, of course. Scott speaks with Jessica Harris about how he launched charity: water, from scratch. Listen to the interview

30mins

29 Mar 2018

Rank #20