Tools and Skills
12 Startup Podcasts for Your Commute
Research has revealed that switching from music to podcasts on the way to work basically makes your commute disappear (or at least its emotional toll).
And a growing number of podcasts lead listeners through the highs, lows, and plateaus of starting and operating a new business.
Here are 12 of our favorite startup podcasts to shorten your commute.
In September 2014, StartUp put the genre on the map when Alex Blumberg left “This American Life” to tell listeners what it was like to start Gimlet Media, his podcast network. Season two of StartUp followed Dating Ring, an online matchmaking service; season three followed various businesses all in need of a big change; and the current season tracks the stories of startups in everything from tech to toys. StartUp is also the inspiration behind Alex Inc. – an ABC sitcom from Zach Braff that will plague your screens this fall.
New York-based app design and development firm, Postlight, gives listeners the lowdown on the latest tech news and their company culture in their podcast, Track Changes. Hosted by Paul Ford and Rich Ziade, the weekly podcast touches on topics the ad stack, web media, and the very fabric of time itself.
It’s consistently referred to as the Shark Tank for podcasts and that’s just what The Pitch host and co-founder Josh Mucci had in mind, as he explained to The Next Web: “Startups want to raise seed funding quickly and efficiently. Angel investors are looking for deal flow they haven’t seen before. Shark Tank is popular; podcasts are becoming more popular; startups are becoming more popular. We merge all three, and find companies actually raising angel money to come on the show and pitch the audience. The podcast format allows angel investors to look at deals during their commutes.”
Produced by the Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), the a16z Podcast frequently invites partners, analysts, and reps from companies they’ve invested in to discuss business and tech trends. Topics include everything from layoffs to AI, and episodes are often released multiple times a week.
Sometimes starting a company can be emotional. In addition to talking to CEOs and business leaders about how they did it, host Jerry Colonna, an executive coach and venture capitalist, gets them to talk about how it felt on Reboot. Startup founders talk about how to be real, how to find your business soul mate, and how to make your work more meaningful and mindful.
This podcast also deals with the emotional implications of starting a business. The hosts are married couple Sherry Walling, Ph.D. a clinical psychologist, and Rob Walling, a serial entrepreneur and angel investor. They discuss the impacts that starting a company has had on their lives. “My experience supporting Rob through several iterations of the entrepreneurial life (along with this whole psychologist thing), make me uniquely qualified to be helpful to entrepreneurs and their families,” writes Sherry on her website.
Women are underrepresented as hosts and guests in these startup podcasts, as they are in every other aspect of the startup universe. But every week, leadership speaker and business consultant Amanda Boleyn speaks to female founders and thought leaders who share insights, lessons, and stories about how they launched their businesses. Recent guests have included the founders of Flock & Gabble, a platform that encourages conversations among female entrepreneurs, and Megan Watt, author of Discover. Act. Engage.
This podcast, from tech VC NextView, tackles the tricky question of how to get traction for you startup. “Every startup hears that they should do things that don’t scale – scrappy, atypical, whatever-it-takes things,” according to the Traction website. “Traction asks a simple question: What ARE those things?” It’s a good question, we think.
Host Jason Calacanis has a plenty of credentials: he’s a serial entrepreneur (Weblogs, Mahalo.co), creator of the Silicon Alley Reporter, and an angel investor (Tumblr, Whisper, Uber). He uses his connections to invite impressive guests onto This Week in Startups , like Trello CEO Michael Pryor who in a recent episode discussed scaling to 1.1 million daily users. He rounds out his in-depth interviews with tech and startup news.
Does the freedom you’ll gain from owning your own biz really appeal to you? Then Tropical MBA is the podcast for you, as it’s geared toward location independent entrepreneurs and those who long to be. “From the beginning, we were inspired to grow a different kind of business,” write the hosts. “Sure, we wanted to build wealth, but we also wanted to be free from offices. We wanted to take months to live in foreign countries, to find time to pursue our interests, and to try and keep in mind the wide variety of motivations we had in the first place.”
Based out of Wharton San Francisco, Aaron Harris, a partner at Y Combinator, interviews investors and startup founders on how they got their businesses where it is today on Startup School Radio. Interviewees include Weebly’s David Rusenko and Gigster co-founders Roger Dickey and Debo Olaosebikan. Startup School Radio also includes candid conversations on what can go wrong and why, as evidenced by the episode with Detour and Groupon founder Andrew Mason. Although there hasn’t been a new episode in nearly nine months, it’s worthwhile poring over the back catalogue.
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