Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in this commentary are the author’s alone.
You’ve likely heard of podcasts, but for the uninitiated, podcasts are portable on-demand recordings that can be listened to nearly anywhere or anytime.
Most are a monologue or dialogue, and regardless of your interest, almost anyone can find many informative podcasts. Gardening, money, real estate, nutritional supplements, business, cars, music — nearly anything you can think is the subject of a podcast.
Thousands of topics are available for download from iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud and other sites or apps. Unlike reading – another favorite pastime – podcast listening can be accomplished passively during walks, yard work, time at the gym or while driving.
Podcasts can be particularly helpful for entrepreneurs and innovators. For usually zero cost, podcasts can inform, entertain, inspire, motivate, provide companionship and more. Podcasts offer the best of all worlds — they can be consumed like a once-a-week TV program, or they can be listened to binge-style. Podcasts can be started, paused, stopped or deleted.
Just as you can learn from podcasts, they can also be a delicious diversion, taking the listener away from a routine or rut to refresh the brain.
In Podcast Preview, I’ll share podcasts I listen to often and believe can be helpful. The subjects will be as varied as business, sports, niche marketing, media, news and more. I’ll cover formats, hosts, favorite episodes, why you might try it, and what you can expect to learn.
The podcast StartUp is an audio-style reality show about the ongoing joys and challenges of entrepreneurship. Using both humorous and pain-filled storytelling, hosts Alex Blumberg and Lisa Chow take listeners through virtually all aspects of venture creation based on the real-life experiences of risk-takers, both the noteworthy and the unknown.
Begun in 2014, StartUp is Alex’s real-life story of leaving his longtime employer —National Public Radio — to launch a tech-oriented podcast production company. Like hundreds of thousands of workers in the new economy, Alex seeks to use his legacy skills to benefit himself and his family instead of “The Man.” With recorder in hand, he documents the ups and downs of building a business. Listeners experience first-hand the venture capital-driven ecosystem that includes the Trough of Sorrow and Y Combinator.
StartUp was the first program in what has become Gimlet Media, a company of nearly 70 associates based in the millennial mecca of Brooklyn, New York. Gimlet — whose naming is the subject of an early episode — now produces more than 15 podcast series, each covering life’s quirks.
Source: Gimlet Media, a podcast production company.
Length: up to 60-minute episodes.
History/In the Can: Six seasons of multi-episode series, nearly 100 overall podcasts.
Format: Both season-long series and one-off episodes within series-based topics.
Presentation: Dialogue, interviews and narration.
What can be learned: The realities of starting a company, including navigating business strategy, production, partners, family, conflict, branding, funding, success and failure.
Where to start: Season 1, Episode 1, “How Not to Pitch a Billionaire”
Notable episodes or series: Dating Ring; Dov Charney’s American Apparel; Friendster.
Whether you’re a serial entrepreneur, early-stage venture or even a traditionally-employed dreamer, StartUp will provide business nuggets and hard-knock lessons to last a lifetime in a humorous, memorable and informative style.
Have a favorite podcast? Let me know by leaving a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Byron Ginsburg provides content writing, media outreach and marketing consulting services to individuals and organizations seeking to raise their visibility, recognition and revenue.