DoorDash is a remarkable business. Founded in 2013, the business now has millions of monthly active users, across 27 countries, who utilise the services of millions of Dashers on the platform to get, ‘restaurants and more, delivered to their door.’ DoorDash is empowering a whole new economic model – In the period from Q1 2020 through today, the platform has generated over $70 billion in sales for merchants, and over $25 billion in earnings for Dashers. It took 7 years for DoorDash to complete their first billion orders (from founding through October 2020), it took 10 months to complete their next billion – the scaling continues – in Q3 2022 alone, DoorDash delivered over 430 million orders. DoorDash IPO’d in 2020, and is regarded as one of the most valuable consumer businesses on the planet. In this interview, I speak to Christopher Payne, President of DoorDash. He served as COO from 2016-2021, and prior to joining DoorDash, he led the North American business at eBay, ran development of MSN Search (now Bing) and mapping (Virtual Earth) for Microsoft. He also led Amazon’s expansion beyond books into video, electronics, wireless, PCs and software. He is one of the world’s most accomplished technology leaders.

Thought Economics

Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, a New York Times #1 bestselling author, has written or edited 51 books which have sold over 3 million copies, been translated into 32 languages, and become bestsellers in 12 countries. Amazon recently recognized the ‘100 Best Leadership & Success Books Ever Written’ – and included Marshall’s Triggers and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. He is the only living author with two books on the list. His other bestsellers include: MOJO, Succession: Are You Ready?, The Leader of the Future and How Women Rise (with lead author, Sally Helgesen). His new NYT bestseller, The Earned Life, is an Amazon Editor’s Choice for Book of the Year So Far in 2022. Marshall’s acknowledgements include: Global Gurus – Corps D ’Elite Award for Lifetime Contribution in both Leadership and Coaching, Harvard Business Review – World’s #1 Leadership Thinker, Institute for Management Studies – Lifetime Achievement Award for Teaching, American Management Association – 50 great thinkers who have influenced the field of management and BusinessWeek – 50 great leaders in America. His life is featured in the documentary movie, “The Earned Life” and the New Yorker profile, “The Better Boss”. He is one of a select few executive coaches who has worked with over 200 major CEOs and their management teams. He served on the Advisory Board of the Peter Drucker Foundation for ten years. In this interview, I speak to Dr. Marshall Goldsmith about finding our path in life, the pursuit of happiness, the scorecards for success, the power of mentorship, discipline and what it takes to live the life you deserve.

Thought Economics

Mitch Lowe has been a leader in some of the most influential and disruptive companies in the entertainment business. Mitch never graduated from high school. After a youth spent smuggling goods and money in Europe, he invested in and eventually ran video stores in the 1980s and 1990s. He was a cofounding executive of Netflix. After leaving Netflix, he became an executive at McDonald’s, eventually creating the DVD kiosk business that would become Redbox. Under his leadership as president and COO, Redbox became the third largest video rental company in America, growing to 35,000 locations and $1.5 billion in revenues. Mitch invested in and became CEO of MoviePass, a movie theatre subscription service that acquired three million subscribers in eight months. While MoviePass never succeeded, it significantly influenced the trajectory of the business of movie theatrical exhibition. In his new book Watch and Learn, Mitch gives an inside perspective on the dramatic evolution of the entertainment business, from the days of early cable television, Beta, and VHS to a world where consumers have infinite choice and control of the movies they see. In this interview, I speak to Mitch Lowe, Co-Founding Executive of Netflix, Former CEO of MoviePass and Former President of Redbox. We look at the lessons he learned from one of the fastest growing, competitive, and creative industries on the planet, and how those insights extend far beyond entertainment into all industries. We talk about disruption, success, innovation, and the importance of listening to your gut.  

Thought Economics

Dame Stephanie Shirley CH, also known as Steve, is a workplace revolutionary and successful IT entrepreneur turned ardent venture philanthropist. At 88 years old, her story has many strands which, woven together, have produced a lifetime of exceptional achievements. Dame Stephanie’s story begins with her 1939 arrival in Britain as an unaccompanied five-year-old Kindertransport refugee. This defining experience equipped her with fortitude at a very young age and made her determined to live a life worth saving. In 1962, she started a software house, Freelance Programmers, and pioneered radical new flexible work practices that changed the landscape for women working in technology. She went on to create a global business and a personal fortune which she shared with her colleagues, making millionaires of 70 of her staff at no cost to anyone but herself. Since retiring in 1993, Dame Stephanie’s life has been dedicated to venture philanthropy in the fields of IT and autism. She initially founded Autism at Kingwood in 1994 to support her late son Giles, then there was the ground breaking Prior’s Court School for pupils with autism and her charitable Shirley Foundation went on to make grants of £70 million. It spent out in 2018 in favour of Autistica, the UK’s national autism research charity founded by Dame Stephanie. In 2009/10 she served as the UK’s first ever national Ambassador for Philanthropy. In 2017, Dame Stephanie received a Companion of Honour (CH), a membership limited to only 65 individuals globally, for her services to entrepreneurship and philanthropy. In this interview, I speak to Dame Stephanie Shirley CH. We discuss her remarkable life story from arriving in Britain as five-year-old war refugee, to building one of the UK’s most successful information technology companies, changing the landscape completely for women in technology, and her work as one of the UK’s most prominent, and impactful philanthropists.

Thought Economics

Arthur C. Brooks is the William Henry Bloomberg Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Professor of Management Practice at the Harvard Business School. Prior, he was the president of the American Enterprise Institute for ten years, where he held the Beth and Ravenel Curry Chair in Free Enterprise. He has authored eleven books, including the bestsellers Love Your Enemies and The Conservative Heart, and writes the popular How to Build a Life column at The Atlantic. He is also the host of the podcasts How to Build a Happy Life and The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks. He is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on happiness. His new book, from Strength to Strength, was described by The Dalai Lama as a book that ‘…helps people find greater happiness as they age and change.’ In this interview, I speak to Professor Arthur C. Brooks on how we can find purpose, meaning and success as we age. We talk about how to understand and fight our demons, and how to overcome the sense of professional and social irrelevance that often accompanies ageing. In our conversation, he helps unlock happiness in a meaningful, and beautiful way.

Thought Economics

Dan Murray-Serter is the Co-Founder of Heights, the braincare company that emerged from his own journey with insomnia, chronic anxiety, and mental illness. The positive impact dietary supplements had on his well-being. Dan and his team raised £2m in a seed round from some of Europe’s top investors, including the founders of Shazam, Planet Organic, WeTransfer, Mumsnet, New Look, Photobox and Moonpig. In this interview, I speak to Dan Murray-Serter about the role of mental health in the entrepreneurship journey, his own experience launching Heights, and the practical learnings he has for entrepreneurs following in his footsteps.

Thought Economics

Bonnie Comley is a creative visionary. She is a three-time Tony award winning producer, has won an Olivier Award and two Drama Desk Awards for her stage productions. If that wasn’t enough, she is also the co-founder of BroadwayHD which is the only streaming platform in the world which offers premium full-length stage plays and musicals captured specifically for multi-platform viewing to theatre fans across the globe. The platform currently delivers over 300 premium live productions from the West End and Beyond. In this interview, I speak to Bonnie Comley about the magic of theatre, how technology is transforming this artform, and how to lead a successful business in the creative industries.

Thought Economics

Every year, the world eats more meat than ever before. There is an increasing demand for animal protein and rising concerns about the serious, adverse environmental effects and impacts of the conventional meat industry. Prof. Yaakov “Koby” Nahmias is a bioengineer and innovator, whose breakthroughs ranged from the first 3D printing of cells to the first commercial human-on-chip technology. He is the President & Founder of Future Meat, the Israeli company who recently raised an incredible $347million funding round to scale-up their pioneering cultivated meat technology which uses lines of animal cells that grow forever without the need for genetic modifications. Future Meat creates real meat free of animal slaughter, and with 80% less greenhouse emissions, 99% less land use, 96% less freshwater use and 100% of the nutritional value of conventional meat. In this interview, I speak to Professor Yaakov Nahmias about the science and technology behind cultivated meats, the health, economic and environmental benefits and how Future Meat is transforming the global food system.

Thought Economics

Marc Randolph is a veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneur, advisor, and investor. As co-founder and founding CEO of Netflix, he laid much of the groundwork for a service that’s grown to 210 million subscribers, a market capitalisation of over $240 billion and which fundamentally altered how the world experiences media. He also served on the Netflix board of directors until retiring from the company in 2003. In this interview, I speak to Marc Randolph about success, funding & building multi-billion-dollar businesses with brilliant culture and what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

Thought Economics

In 2009, a St. Louis glassblowing artist and recovering computer scientist named Jim McKelvey lost a sale because he couldn’t accept American Express cards. Frustrated by the high costs and difficulty of accepting credit card payments, McKelvey joined his friend Jack Dorsey (the cofounder of Twitter) to launch Square, a start-up that would enable small merchants to accept credit card payments on their mobile phones. With no expertise or experience in the world of payments, they approached the problem of credit cards with a new perspective, questioning the industry’s assumptions, experimenting and innovating their way through early challenges, and achieving widespread adoption from merchants small and large. But just as Square was taking off, Amazon launched a similar product, marketed it aggressively, and undercut Square on price. For most ordinary start-ups, this would have spelled the end. Instead, less than a year later, Amazon was in retreat and soon discontinued its service. How did Square beat the most dangerous company on the planet? Was it just luck? These questions motivated McKelvey to study what Square had done differently from all the other companies Amazon had killed. He eventually found the key: a strategy he calls the Innovation Stack. In this interview I speak to Jim McKelvey, Co-Founder of Square and author of The Innovation Stack: Building an Unbeatable Business One Crazy Idea at a Time. We talk about how to build a pattern of ground-breaking, competition-proof entrepreneurship that is rare but repeatable. And how we can find the entrepreneur within ourselves and identify and fix unsolved problems–one crazy idea at a time.

Thought Economics

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