Office Hours Podcast: The Pain And Promise of Crisis
Spencer Rascoff is an entrepreneur and company leader who co-founded Zillow, Hotwire and dot.LA, and who served as Zillow's CEO for a decade. He is currently executive chairman of dot.LA and a board member at Zillow and TripAdvisor. In fall 2019, Spencer was a Visiting Executive Professor at Harvard Business School where he co-taught the "Managing Tech Ventures" course. In 2015, Spencer co-wrote and published his first book, the New York Times' Best Seller "Zillow Talk: Rewriting the Rules of Real Estate." Spencer is the host of "Office Hours," a monthly podcast on dot.LA featuring candid conversations between prominent executives on leadership, diversity and inclusion, and startups.
Managing through a crisis is difficult, but great leaders and great companies are created during challenging times. Spencer grappled with crises at two companies he co-founded, Hotwire and Zillow. In this episode, Spencer Rascoff and Katie Curnutte, former SVP of communications at Zillow and now a partner at Kingston Marketing Group, discuss how to manage a company through the strain of calamity while keeping a steady eye on the big picture and the opportunities that can arise.
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Hamet Watt, co-founder and former chairman of MoviePass and a board partner at Upfront Ventures, quietly launched a new venture studio, Share Ventures, earlier this year in Playa Vista with $10 million in funding. Now he is ready to share details, including plans to launch several companies a year – all focused on human performance, or what is usually referred to as wellness.
"We like to use human performance because it expands the definition," Watt told dot.LA. "It's not just things like yoga. It's sports tech, behavior science and human optimization."
HopSkipDrive, the ridesharing company for kids and one of Los Angeles most visible startups, laid off staff Tuesday as the pandemic ravaged growth plans.
Co-founder and CEO Joanna McFarland would not say how many of the 100-plus employees she laid off but told dot.LA that after delivering the news to the group affected over Zoom, managers held one-on-one meetings to review benefits and severance pay. Several departments were impacted including operations, branding, sales and customer support.