Zillow CEO Rich Barton on branding, building in provocative industries, and more! | E1791
This Week in Startups
Fri, August 11, 2023
Podchat Summary

Mastering Media and Branding: Insights from Rich Barton

In this episode, Jason Calacanis interviews Rich Barton, the founder of Expedia, Glassdoor, and CEO of Zillow. Barton is known for his expertise in earning media through provocative marketing strategies. He shares valuable insights into the power of branding, creating iconic names for companies, and the importance of tension in storytelling.

Domination of the Real Estate News Cycle

Barton discusses how Zillow's creation of the Zestimate and local reports allowed them to dominate the local news cycle for real estate. By providing transparency and valuable information, Zillow attracted widespread media coverage and established itself as a leader in the industry.

The Power of Branding

Barton emphasizes the significance of branding and creating iconic names for companies. He suggests that making up a new word for a consumer brand is better than using a preexisting word, as it allows the company to define and own the word. He provides examples of successful made-up words such as Zappos, Uber, Airbnb, and Google.

Tension in Storytelling

Barton believes in the importance of tension in storytelling and creating a compelling narrative. He shares his insights on how to captivate an audience and make a lasting impact through storytelling techniques.

Overall, this episode provides valuable insights from Rich Barton, a master of earning media and branding strategies. Whether you're an entrepreneur, marketer, or simply interested in the power of storytelling, this episode offers valuable lessons and inspiration.

Original Show Notes

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Today’s show:

Rich Barton joins Jason to give a masterclass on his thought process behind creating evocative top-tier brands like Zillow, Expedia, and Glassdoor. (22:02) Rich also discusses the lessons he learned from Bill Gates during his time at Microsoft (49:22), how tech management has evolved (57:04), and more!

Rich's blog on branding: https://www.hopperanddropper.com/syllables-scrabble-letters-and-picking-brand-names


Time stamps:

(0:00) Zillow CEO Rich Barton joins Jason

(1:58) The creation of Zillow’s Zestimate

(7:03) “Tension and Importance” and empowering people in the workplace

(13:24) Crowdbotics - Get a free scoping session for your next big app idea at crowdbotics.com/twist

(14:53) Branding and creating iconic company names

(16:53) Navigating major layoffs

(22:02) Back to building top-tier brands, “What got us here, won’t get us there”

(27:54) OpenPhone - Get 20% off your first six months at https://openphone.com/twist

(29:25) Steering the complex dynamics of startup-attorney interactions

(33:22) Defying convention to create stellar products and the effects digital currency

(37:54) Fitbod - Get 25% off at https://fitbod.me/twist

(39:23) Innovating in the real estate industry

(49:22) Lessons Rich learned from Bill Gates during his time at Microsoft

(57:04) How tech management has evolved

(1:01:27) How Covid-19 and remote work changed the landscape

(1:07:02) The concept of “iBuying”

(1:10:31) Continuous high-interest rates, “zoom towns”, and the “great reshuffling”


Follow Rich: https://twitter.com/Rich_Barton


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