Mel from Canva, on ‘How I Built This’


Many of us are avid listeners to NPR’s podcast ‘How I Built This‘ with Guy Raz. This week, the first ever West Australian was featured, telling her story…

What makes one idea fly and another land with a thud of a lead balloon?

If we all knew the answer, we’d all be billionaires, but then again, none of us would be.

The excellent ‘How I Built This‘ podcast is well worth listening to, as, since 2016, they have featured an eclectic mix of (mainly US) entrepreneurs explaining how they built their great companies.

Everyone from Ben & Jerry to Branson to Joe Gebbia (AirBnb) to Howard Schultz (Starbucks and Presidential hopeful?) and everyone in between.

It’s likely you’ve not heard of many of them, but that’s the main delight. Discovering how some ageing hippy created a cool beer company, or a single mum struck gold with home made ice cream is half the fun.

How’d they do it? What mistakes did they make? How long did it take? What would they do over, if they had the chance?

For startup founders and those striving to build great companies, the learnings are endless, and Guy Raz’s interview style is perfect. He’s part amazed onlooker, gawping at some of the sheer bloodymindedness of it all, and part studious conversationalist, extracting the main takeaways from each interview.

And so it was great to hear Melanie Perkins pop up on the HIBT feed this week, telling the Canva story. The first Australian, and a West Aussie at that, talking about Perth, and Fusion Books, Cliff, Bill Tai, Lars and even the federal government grant that got her Canva adventure started in 2012.

It’s a must listen. She’s still as humble and as determined as ever, and profitable it would seem, and there are loads of things to learn.

LISTEN to ‘How I Built This‘ on any podcast platform. The HIBT website with Mel’s interview can be heard here…


Image taken from NPR website, with work from Phuong Nguyen for NPR.