There are a lot of ways to stay on top of the latest trends, get the best growth hacks, or just generally occupy your free time as an entrepreneur. But in recent years, podcasts have emerged as one of the better options. Whether you want to credit This American Life, NPR, Serial, or Gimlet Media, the rise in high quality podcasts have resulted in fund raising and millions of new fans of the media format.
With so many options, we decided to filter through the noise in the only way we know how: human curation. After hearing from more than 40 entrepreneurs, these are the top nine that they suggested. Even if you are not an entrepreneur, there is a bit of something for everyone on the list:
Startup Podcast is about as meta as it gets. It started as a mini-series about Alex Blumberg starting a business tied to creating high-quality podcasts as a company. We won’t spoil it for you, but you’ve most likely heard at least one of their shows if you enjoy podcasts. Start from the beginning on this one.
Before Gimlet Media was a thing, Startup Podcast’s Alex Blumberg actually worked with NPR on podcasts like Planet Money. Because this is a bit of a crowd favorite and came highly recommended, we figured we’d just slap this at the top of the list and tell you to hit the subscribe button. It’s essentially a collection of news pieces focusing on the most relevant things happening in our economy right now.
EOFire or Entrepreneur On Fire is an entrepreneur interview series with content being produced on a weekly basis.
“John Lee Dumas takes 20 minutes and distills exactly what you want to know from other amazing and successful entrepreneurs. Zero fluff…all solid content….and I particularly like the recommendations of that entrepreneurs favorite business tool, technology, or app. I've applied several to my own life and business.” said Danielle Tate, founder and CEO of MissNowMrs.com.
Another insanely popular, long-time running (perhaps the longest running) podcast that was highly suggested is Freakonomics. With 8 million downloads per month, you’ve probably already subscribed.
“My favorite podcast is Freakonomics Radio because of the engaging conversations that stretch my way of thinking. I appreciate that every show is different, so I am always in for a surprise. I listen to it during my morning commute for an inspirational kick-start to the day,” said Patrick Freuler, founder and CEO of Audicus.
The Pitch is Shark Tank Meets Podcast. With season 2 having recently premiered, host Josh Muccio will see $1.5 million invested in the startups featured on the show.
“It's like shark tank for podcasts. You hear people pitch venture capitalists and how the venture capitalists react. This is particularly helpful for people still honing their business pitch or value propositions. But even after you've established your business, it's interesting and enlightening to continually be thinking about how you present it.” said Katie Fang, founder and CEO of SchooLinks.
Another vote for NPR’s production team. How I Built This features both founders and startups, digging into the story of how they successfully grew their business. It also highlights some of the ups and downs that entrepreneurs have faced prior to getting to where they are now.
“How I Built This by Warby Parker was my favorite. They have taken a process that already exists – buying glasses – and have redesigned the way we go about making that purchase, to make it better. This resonated because we are selling gift cards – something you can already do – but in a way that makes more sense for restaurateurs and their customers,” said Johann Moonesinghe, founder of EquityEats.
The DFJ Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Seminar (ETL) is a weekly seminar series on entrepreneurship that has featured professionals from some of the most prominent tech companies.
“Each podcast features a different successful founder or senior figure from a range of tech businesses. Speakers share invaluable insights into their growth, continued success, challenges and how they see technology evolving.” – Bizdaq CEO Sean Mallon
Bosses come in many forms, but on Girlboss Radio they specifically chat with… you guessed it, girl bosses.
“As a female tech entrepreneur I listen to a great deal of podcasts but for the perfect mix of entertainment and information, I would recommend the Girlboss Podcast hosted by Sophia Amoruso. It not only provides light-hearted topical listening, but also gives glimpses into the lives of inspiring businesswomen such as Anne-Marie Slaughter and Wallstreet's Sallie Krawcheck. I feel this podcast is required listening for any entrepreneur, no matter their gender or their stage in their journey. It gives an honest account of how these businesswomen became so successful right from their first jobs,” said Jessica Montgomery, cofounder of Spora.
The Growth Show is a podcast for executives and entrepreneurs that shares stories on what it's really like to grow a business, a movement, an idea, or a team. With 118 podcasts in the bank, some of their latest guests are Alec Baldwin, the creator of the hashtag, and Dan Pink.
“My favorite podcast is The Growth Show. I really like it because every week they have a guest that achieved explosive growth for their business and they explain how they did that. It’s really insightful,” said Martijn de Kuijper, founder of Revue.
Bonus: Myths and Legends
For no reason other than the fact that Myths and Legends is an incredibly entertaining and well produced podcast, we’d also highly recommend checking it out. It’s perfect for your long commutes and you can typically jump in anywhere in the series.