One of my favorite ways to engage with what is going on in the world and stay up to date on my industry (startups/tech) is via podcasts. I find podcasts to be the perfect medium for the multi-tasker; I listen to them when I am cooking dinner, folding laundry, running errands... you name it. As popularity of this format has grown over the last few years so has the quality, quantity, and relevance of their content. I appreciate that they are more about breaking down a particular topic so you can get an in depth analysis rather than breaking news. With as much of a podcast devotee I am it has taken me a while to curate my list of favorites so I thought I would spread the love. Here are my top picks :
Bothsides tv: Mark Suster, Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures, interviews founders, VCs, and other guests providing an insider's view into entrepreneurship, technology, and venture capital. Mark and Upfront are based out of LA so it also provides a slightly different perspective than the typical Bay Area investor.
Design Details- Designers at GoPro, Etsy, and Pinterest talk shop with other designers. The guests are creative, brand and user experienced focused and a great way for us non-technical people to engage on the creative process.
Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders (ETL): This Stanford Univeristy Podcast is recorded talks from the impressive guests they are able to recruit to present to their student body. Always exciting and relevant presentations from amazing people such as: James Freeman (Blue Bottle Coffee), Dharmesh Shah (HubSpot), Elon Musk (Tesla + SpaceX) and the list goes on...
Traction: Nextview Ventures podcast focusing on how early stage companies establish... traction! Focusing on challenges ranging from rebranding to overcoming lack of technical background this podcast recruits veterans who reflect on their experience and newbies who are in process of making their way. Thoughtful questions and excellent flow this podcast is definitely worth a listen.
Dorm Room Tycoon (DRT): The biggest names in tech interviewed in an accessible way. Great podcast to learn more about the who's who in tech and their point of view.
I also have a number of podcasts that I listen to for sheer enjoyment. If you listen to podcasts (or NPR) this list is not going to be groundbreaking but if you are looking to cut your teeth on some surefire hits this is a great place to start!
RadioLab: This is the podcast that started my love affair with podcasts. A deep dive into fascinating scientific topics that every non science nerd can enjoy. Delving into topics such as Patient Zero of diseases or how to know if you are really sure of something (spoiler alert- reference to making a murder case included). Favorites episodes: The Good Show, The Bad Show, American Football, and GUTS! There is always a human interest element to each story and they typically are structured in three acts- each taking a surprising viewpoint of the topic at hand.
FreshAir: Terry Gross is a skillful and fearless interviewer while maintaining the respect of her pop culture and high profile guests. She is typically ahead of the curve when it comes to identifying what is going to the next topic of conversation at a dinner party and interviews people from Aziz Ansari to CNN's Peter Bergen about homegrown terrorism. She will make you think and inspire you to do your own research.
This American Life: Perhaps one of the most beloved podcasts out there, this Chicago based NPR radio show has gained national acclaim for its honest and deep accounts around what it means to be an American today. Using a similar structure to RadioLab there are typically three acts where real people tell stories around a given topic. Heartfelt, real, and thought provoking this is always a good listen and the stories often stick with you. Ira Glass is a Chicago celebrity that I certainly hope to meet :)
How I Listen: As of right now I find myself out and about more than at a desk so I use the podcast app on my iPhone. Simply search the titles of these podcasts, give an episode a try, and if you like it subscribe so you can have it on your feed. The feed is a fantastic feature as it means that I do not need to continually search for the podcasts I love and can quickly play them in the car or on a walk with Buckwheat.