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E81: Secrets and Struggles on the Rise with Dave Schiff

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Show Notes:

Dave Schiff started his career at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, where he engineered the Coca-Cola Company’s most successful new product launch in 25 years—Coke Zero—and led Under Armour’s fast break into basketball. At the helm of Made, Schiff has helped Lyft triple rides, transformed Berkshire’s Clayton Homes from a value brand to an arbiter of modern design, re-introduced Under Armour to its hometown, Baltimore, and made Mozilla’s flagship Firefox browser relevant again, stealing significant share from Google Chrome.

Episode highlights:

  • How Dave took his company from three guys in a coffee shop to a renowned agency with 60 people on staff.
  • When you should fire full-time employees—and what Dave thinks of the process.
  • Why resilience is so important, especially when you’re facing major changes.
  • What Dave thinks about freelancing.
  • What to make of the ups and downs of scaling your business.
  • Best advice: Do the best you can.
  • Personal habit that contributes to success: Being fearless.
  • Internet tools: Ebird.org
  • Book recommendation: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller



  • That moment right before the downswing.”
  • “You cannot hit it out of the park harder than we did with Lyft.”
  • “There are shifting sands in our industry.”
  • “We’re still gonna be vulnerable.”
  • “Building the agency to the pressures of the market? That’s what we didn’t do.”
  • “Families don’t fire each other.”
  • “This is why we’re here.”
  • “Building back the morale is not something you can manufacture.”
  • “The only way we got back to winning was by working hard.”



  • Take some time to consider your plan for losing a major account.
  • Are you putting off firing extra employees? It’s a tough task, but you may be hurting your business’ chances of survival.



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