Podcasts We’re Diggin’: Yvon Chouinard Goes From Rock Climber to Businessman

Ever wonder how companies like Bumble and Airbnb got started? I’m bringing back some of Guy Raz’s best with his popular NPR podcast series “How I Built This with Guy Raz“. This series first aired back in September 2016 and highlights “innovators, entrepreneurs, idealists and the stories behind the movements they built”. Companies vary from industry to industry – from Southwest Airlines to Edible Arrangements to Kate Spade. Listeners get a full behind-the-scenes picture filled with humor, hardship and some pretty helpful takeaways for success from the people who made their dreams a reality. Get your Guy Raz fix for the week. New episodes of “How I Built This with Guy Raz” debut every Monday and are a must-listen in addition to the “Ted Radio Hour” series which debuts new episodes on Tuesdays.

Meet The Host

Guy Raz is the award-winning host, co-creator and editorial director of NPR’s “How I Built This with Guy Raz“. Raz is a seasoned reporter whose career has taken him all over the world. He is the host, co-creator and editorial director of three NPR programs, including two of its most popular ones: “TED Radio Hour” and “How I Built This. Both shows are heard by more than 14 million people each month around the world. He is also the creator and co-host of NPR’s first-ever podcast for kids, “Wow In The World“.

Featured Episode: “Patagonia – Yvon Chouinard

Yvon Chouinard is famous for coining himself the “reluctant businessman” because his passion for his product rather than a desire for profit led his business ventures. He simply wanted to produce better quality climbing and sporting gear.

For about 10 years, Chouinard barely made money with his first venture crafting eco-friendly sporting gear. Then on one of his many climbing trips to Scotland, Chouinard purchased a colorful rugby shirt to wear while on a climb, which was noticed by his companions. Their response stirred up an idea, and with that Patagonia was born.

In his own ventures, Chouinard has made efforts to avoid becoming one of those business moguls he so explicitly despises. In this episode, you will hear about business practices and management tactics that customers and employees only dream of, and it works!

Check out his book “Let My People Go Surfing” to learn even more about Chouinard’s business practices and the Patagonia journey.

Why You Should Listen

This podcast series tells the stories behind big brands and helps listeners see beyond the million dollar revenue they bring in each year. Patagonia surprised me, which is why I chose to highlight this episode. I knew the clothing was quality, but hearing about Chouinard’s leadership style, background and business stance, I realize I may have been quick to judge this business by its cover.

How I Built This with Guy Raz” definitely defies some of the assumptions you may have about companies out there. It also provokes listeners to envision their own ideas as completely possible. If these people [many of which are just like you and me] can make their dreams a reality, why can’t we do the same?

How To Find It

Find it in your podcast app or here

Follow Guy Raz, Patagonia, and Yvon Chouinard on:

  • Sam Schafer

    Contributor, Launch DFW

    Storyteller - Spotify peruser - Traveler Instagram: @sam_schafer27

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