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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The second week of October in 2008 was one of the most painful and emotional times of my career. We ushered 50 Zillow employees into an off-site conference room. I was COO then, and we were about to lay them off -- one-quarter of our staff. The Great Recession had hit, and the management team was following our gut and also the advice of our investors at Benchmark Capital and TCV: cut early and cut deep. Extend the runway. Conserve cash. Survive. I knew we had to make a hard decision to ensure Zillow would continue to thrive.

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