Will Ahmed is the Founder and CEO of WHOOP, which has developed next generation wearable technology for optimizing human performance and health. WHOOP members include professional athletes, Fortune 500 CEOs, fitness enthusiasts, military personnel, frontline workers, and a broad range of people looking to improve their performance. WHOOP has raised more than $400 million from top investors and is valued at $3.6 billion, making it the most valuable standalone wearables company in the world. In this interview, I speak to Will Ahmed about his mission to transform human-health, and what he’s learned from building one of the world’s most valuable startups.

Thought Economics

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

Alibaba combines the economic might of Amazon, the penetration of Facebook, the ubiquity of Google and the cultural significance of YouTube. In China alone, Alibaba has over close to 1billion active customers and over 250,000 employees. At peak, the platform processed over 583,000 orders per second. Each year, Alibaba receives over 12.7billion orders, and over half of China’s domestic parcels relate to Alibaba. Brian A. Wong is a Chinese American entrepreneur and investor. He was the first American, and only the 52nd employee to join Alibaba Group, where he contributed to the company’s early globalization efforts and served as Jack Ma’s special assistant for international affairs. During his sixteen-year tenure, Wong established the Alibaba Global Initiatives (AGI) division and was the founder and executive director of the Alibaba Global Leadership Academy. In his new book the Tao of Alibaba, Brian A. Wong reveals the secret sauce of this remarkable global business, a consciously cultivated ethos and spirit that has enabled Alibaba to weather tough times and setbacks, and to persist towards a common mission. In this interview, I speak to Brian A. Wong about the management philosophy of Alibaba and how purpose-led entrepreneurship played a key role in creating one of the world’s fastest growing, and most successful businesses.

Thought Economics

In this interview, I speak to Jud Brewer MD PhD (“Dr. Jud”), one of the world’s foremost experts in habit change, addiction, self-mastery and mindfulness. Dr. Jud has more than 20 years of experience in research and clinic, and we discuss the very fundamentals of building and breaking habits, the importance of mindfulness, paying attention, and how curiosity can change our lives.

Thought Economics

Jody Michael is one of the world’s top leadership coaches. She’s an internationally credentialed Master Certified Coach, Board Certified Coach, University of Chicago trained psychotherapist, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has delivered over 40,000 hours of coaching over the last 25 years, including 15 years working in corporate leadership with firms including: Goldman Sachs, Chicago Research and Trading (CRT)/Nations Bank, and Kidder-Peabody. Jody has coached some of the nation’s top performing leaders and teams across diverse industries and organizations, from hypergrowth tech companies to global Fortune 100 organizations. Among her clients are more than 120 senior executives across 18 Fortune 100 companies. In her new book Leading Lightly, Jody shares her radical model for leadership, a powerful way to transform performance, make better decisions, gain greater self-awareness, and develop the capacity to manage work and life with enduring ease and clarity. Jody argues in her book that stress and difficulty don’t need to be a given, and that learning to lead lightly and mindfully can profoundly change the trajectory of our lives. In this remarkable interview, I speak to Jody Michael on the concept of mental fitness, and how we can lead differently feel lighter, and achieve more in our professional and personal wellbeing.

Thought Economics

Mary Bekhait is one of the most powerful figureheads in the global entertainment industry. As Chief Executive of YMU Group, she leads an international business representing household name clients across music, sport, entertainment, literary, social, art and business management. In this interview, I speak to Mary Bekhait about the secrets of the talent management industry, what it takes to lead a global talent and creative business, and the need for curiosity in leadership.

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

Work relationships can be hard. The stress of dealing with difficult people dampens our creativity and productivity, degrades our ability to think clearly and make sound decisions, and causes us to disengage. We might lie awake at night worrying, withdraw from work, or react in ways we later regret—rolling our eyes in a meeting, snapping at colleagues, or staying silent when we should speak up. Too often we grin and bear it as if we have no choice. Or throw up our hands because one-size-fits-all solutions haven’t worked. But you can only endure so much thoughtless, irrational, or malicious behaviour—there’s your sanity to consider, and your career. Amy Gallo is an expert in conflict, communication, and workplace dynamics. She combines the latest management research with practical advice to deliver evidence-based ideas on how to improve relationships and excel at work.  She is the author of the HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict, a how-to guidebook about handling conflict professionally and productively, and the forthcoming Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People). In this interview, I speak to Amy Gallo about the archetypes of people we encounter in the workplace and how we can understand and deal with challenging workplace relationships more effectively. We discuss the principles that will help us build stronger, more resilient relationships, and look at the tools we can use to rebuild fractured ones.

Thought Economics

Reggie Fils-Aimé is a gaming legend. He was President & COO of Nintendo of America Inc, and from his humble childhood as the son of Haitian immigrants fleeing a dictatorship, he rose to become one of the most powerful names in the history of the gaming industry. In this capacity, he helped bring the Nintendo DS, the Wii, the Nintendo 3DS, the Wii U and the Nintendo Switch to the global marketplace. He retired in April 2019 and in October 2019 was inducted into the International Video Game Hall of Fame. In his new book Disrupting the Game: From the Bronx to the Top of Nintendo, Reggie tells the incredible story of his unlikely rise to the top, and shares his gameplan and leadership lessons for anyone looking to beat the odds and achieve success. In this interview, I speak to Reggie Fils-Aimé about leading successful innovation and culture. We talk about what it takes to succeed, grit, perseverance, and why relentless curiosity, taking risks, and the ability to challenge the status quo really matter.

Thought Economics

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