Azeem Azhar's Exponential View

How will the future unfold? What is the impact of technology on business & society? As technology reorders the world in which live, who will be the winners and who will be the losers? Join Azeem Azhar, curator of the Exponential View newsletter, in deep conversation with the world's leading thinkers and practitioners exploring these and other important questions. The views expressed on this podcast are those of its hosts, guests, and callers, and not those of Harvard Business Review.


episode 5: Building a Multibillion-Dollar Company in 18 Months (with Hopin’s Johnny Boufarhat)

Hopin is one of the fastest-growing startups in history. Founder and CEO Johnny Boufarhat joins Azeem Azhar to talk about how he grew the virtual events company from six employees in February 2020, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, to more than eight hundred, and a valuation of almost $8 billion, a year and a half later.

Johnny explains how he seized the opportunity presented by the pandemic, what it was like learning to lead at one of the fastest-growing startups in history, and why he dreams of a future in which a founder’s location is no impediment to success.

They also discuss:

  • Hopin’s future, beyond the world of work.
  • The promise of the metaverse, and the limits of VR.
  • Barriers to entry for founders from developing countries, and how to lower them.



Further resources

Making Venture Capital Work for Entrepreneurs – Exponential View Podcast, 2020

‘Scaling Innovation’ (with Elad Gil) – Exponential View Podcast, 2018

‘The Challenging Political Economy of Silicon Valley’ (with Reid Hoffman) – Exponential View Podcast, 2018

Building Unicorns in Europe (with Reshma Sohoni) –  Exponential View Podcast, 2019 

‘Events scaleup Hopin raises at $7.75bn valuation’ – Sifted, August 2021

‘CEO Secrets: “My billion-pound company has no office”’ – BBC, June 2021


 2021-11-03  25m