5 most listened ‘Without Borders’ podcast episodes of 2022
2022 was a year of revolution in the unicorn ecosystem. Of that there is no doubt, as anyone working in the technology sector will know. After slower growth of the Unicorn Club following the boom of startups reaching unicorn status in 2021, we saw how, in the investment ecosystem, it was time to tighten the belt in a context marked by global trends such as inflation, rising interest rates and a geopolitical crisis.
In our Without Borders podcast over the last three years, we have interviewed multiple companies that have achieved this unicorn status. If you’ve tuned in to our episodes, you’ll know ours is a podcast full of inspiration for passionate communicators, courageous creatives and entrepreneurial business brains. If you haven’t you can expect candid chats with bleeding-edge innovators and left-field thinkers and doers. Our guests have captured the interest of our audience by sharing their advice on entrepreneurship and building a successful organisation from the ground up, as well as the key communication and culture tips for business leaders.
We recognise that not everyone has the time to listen to podcasts, so we have distilled some of the most valuable, actionable insights and bottled them in a convenient eBook form. You can download our ‘Growing without borders: The unicorn CEO guide to communication and culture’ for free here. Stay tuned for the 2023 version coming soon! Now, let’s look at the episodes that attracted the most listeners in 2022.
5. Shane Happach, CEO of Mollie
Unlike other successful startups where the CEO is also one of the founders, Shane Happach started his journey with Mollie after the company was already established as a unicorn. He had to find a way to complement with his skills the work that the founder and the rest of the leadership team had done for the company.
This journey has taught him plenty, and he tells us that a lot of this knowledge comes from making mistakes and figuring out what you don’t want to become or the ways in which you wouldn’t want to lead. “There is not a book that can teach you as much as experience does”, says Happach.
In terms of culture, Shane Happach states that his company wants to make sure people can express themselves in their work environment and feel there are opportunities to progress. “Be bold, be loved, be authentic” are Mollie’s values. This type of nurturing allows for freedom of expression and new ideas.
Tap into his knowledge and tune into the full episode here.
4. Krish Subramanian, co-founder and CEO at Chargebee
It is possible to fall in love with “some good boring problems”, says software engineer by training, Krish Subramanian, CEO and co-founder of Chargebee. He believes subscription management is one of those problems that is now growing in complexity and infrastructure, and he couldn’t have foreseen that so many businesses would embrace subscriptions the way they have today. Now, Krish says, as he has a workforce of 1,200 people spread across the world, his job is mainly focused on making sure they are able to bring the right talent into the organisation and communicating more often about what they are doing, bringing that consistency internally and externally.
The Chargebee founder also highlights the importance of authenticity as a communicator. He explains how he is very grateful for the number of people who put themselves out there in an authentic way, without trying to look or sound different, and how he has learnt by listening to others. Krish also shares a connecting piece of communications advice to those wanting to succeed in business: invest time in educating yourself. “Watch more podcasts, listen to others talk… There is so much to learn!” We can only agree here!
Follow his advice and listen to Krish’s podcast episode here.
3. Robert Wahbe, co-founder and CEO at Highspot
Having spent more than 16 years at Microsoft, working with Satya Nadella himself, Robert Wahbe can admit he had quite a firm knowledge to start his own company called Highspot in 2012. The Highspot CEO acknowledges that the biggest challenge during these last 10 years was the initial stages of the business, where uncertainty about the future reigned. As we learnt during our Without Borders podcast, he is now very proud of what Highspot has become – a $3.5 billion unicorn, nonetheless.
One of the main communication tips that Robert Wahbe points out in this episode is the importance of having a vision, a North Star to communicate. But it is fundamental as well to meet people where they are and then build the bridge back to whatever vision you have. Wahbe says leaders need to avoid being too blindsided by their own vision and put themselves in the shoes of whoever they are trying to communicate with.
Project your own star and listen to his episode here.
2. Doug Winter, co-founder and CEO at Seismic
From basements, breweries, and beaches to being a unicorn company? Yes, it’s possible. Doug Winter, CEO and co-founder of Seismic, tells us the full story. Doug believes it has been especially rewarding watching a lot of the people who had faith in his early vision join this journey, progressing their careers moving up into more and more senior roles and growing along with the company. For the Seismic CEO, that people-focused aspect is one of the most satisfying.
Doug says Seismic used to have a straightforward approach to culture, as all the employees had a sense of belonging and of their mission, as well as enjoyed working there from the start. However, when faced with astronomical growth after March 2020, they went through an exercise of developing, formalising and documenting their culture. Doug explains that as a team they came up with a goal that brings the company together around things they all believe in, and they all believe are important.
Thinking about the foundations of your company culture? Tune in to this episode here.
1. Erez Galonska, co-founder and CEO of Infarm
It is no secret that healthy, sustainable living and environmental health have become a priority for individuals and governments alike. Erez Galonska, co-founder and CEO of Infarm, wants everyone to have healthier produce, reduce waste, and produce in a more efficient way. His company, as he explained to us in this top Without Borders episode, is seeking to find ways to feed the growing population in a more sustainable, efficient way, while also helping retailers to source better ingredients for their customers.
For you and your business to excel in communications, you must build everything around transparency, the Infarm CEO states. Erez also believes, “when you build a brand, you also need to look inside”. They have been very focused on bringing purpose-driven experts into their business, as Infarm has had to demonstrate the impact of its sustainability purpose on its people and its culture – for them, it’s not just about constant growth. He points outs this has led him to develop a particular perception of development and hiring. For him, it’s really about “ownership clarity and helping people to build what they’ve been hired for”. As his co-founder says, they are very proud of all the Infarmers out there.
Listen to our top podcast episode of 2022 here.
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