Updated 02 July 20
(7 Minute Read)
Over the past year I’ve wanted to improve my knowledge and understanding of a startup founders journey, the challenges they face and how others have overcome them. I’ve found podcasts are a great way to do this, I’ll typically spend 5-8hrs per week listening to podcasts, whilst doing other activities like outdoor walks, chores around the house, commuting and whilst doing data admin type tasks.
They’ve really helped with my work on several early stage tech startups at Nova. So I thought it would be worthwhile documenting the ones I’ve found most useful, with a view that it could offer the same help to startup founders and anyone else working in the industry.
Below is my list of the 10 that I’ve regularly listened to during this time. If there are any others that you feel warrant a place on the list that I’ve missed, drop them into the comments at the end of the post and I’ll add them to the list. 🙂
This podcast is all about helping startups and aspiring entrepreneurs to understand what it really takes to build their first business. Released twice a week, this show covers all things startup, entrepreneurship and innovation, with lessons on particular business subjects, marketing trends and how-to guides.
Some of their most insightful content is their interviews with successful founders from around the globe. They discuss each unique entrepreneurship journey breaking down how the founder started and scaled their businesses. It’s honest, super grounded and full of loads of amazing first-hand advice.
Branded as ‘the best startup advice from Silicon Valley & beyond’ and with the cofounder of LinkedIn and legendary Silicon Valley investor Reid Hoffman as your host, this podcast promises a lot. In each episode, Reid proves an unconventional theory about how businesses scale. While CEOs from iconic businesses such as Nike, Netflix and Starbucks, share stories and strategies on how they managed to grow their fledgeling startups into the global brands we know today.
It’s everything you want in a podcast and more; it's slick, informative, provides lots of great advice and highlights the hilariously honest stories of how huge businesses operated in their early-days.
StartUp by Gimlet is one of the most popular podcast shows amongst founders and startup teams with way over 10m downloads to date, picking up several awards along the way. It is a documentary series about the entrepreneurial life of Gimlet founders Matt Leiber and Alex Blumberg, and also features great talks with other inspiring business leaders. This Podcast has even had its first season adapted into an ABC sitcom called ‘Alex, Inc.’ starring Zach Braff.
If you’ve not listened before but the name sounds familiar, it may be because last year Gimlet was acquired by Spotify in a deal reportedly worth $200m - all of which was documented in the podcast, and well worth a listen.
Evening Standard's women in tech podcast series, Women tech charge, looks at the incredible women in the tech startup world who are revolutionising our lives and businesses through technology.
The show is made up of candid conversations with investors and entrepreneurs featuring many of the UK’s female led, fast growth tech businesses; including borrowmydoggy, Peanut, Century Tech and more.
Not only are the guests on this show inspirational but the host, CEO of Stemmette Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE is incredible herself. At aged 11 she was the youngest girl ever to pass A-level computing and at 20 years old received a Master’s Degree from the University of Oxford in Mathematics and Computer Science!
As a female in the industry I find this one in particular inspiring, educational and funny sharing a unique insight of female leaders in the tech business world.
Available on: The Evening Standard
Another one that I’ve learnt a ton from is ‘How I built this’ with Guy Raz. He dives into the successes and failures of the innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists from some of the worlds best known companies. A couple of his most popular episodes include;
- A discussion with Instagram founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, who share their story about launching a photo-sharing app with a server that crashed every other hour.
- An interview with Airbnb’s founder, Joe Gebbia, where he explains how a chance encounter with a stranger was all it took to give him the idea for his business.
A series of half hour’ish podcasts discussing the latest tech news, trends and current affairs in interviews with some of the world’s tech leaders.
There are over 200 episodes for you to explore covering a range of subjects, including; common challenges technologists face in the industry, how to launch a product, growth strategies and tech advice for start-ups. Don’t be put off by the title, this definitely isn’t a deep tech lecture series. From someone who is non-techy I find it incredibly accessible, informative and easy to digest.
Our friends at TechManchester have an awesome podcast that asks the tough questions that tech founders want answering. Hosted by programme director, Patricia Keating, #Fastforward features interviews with experts in the industry and covers everything you need to know about starting a business. The refreshingly Northern centric show covers everything including; branding, marketing, mentoring, funding, investment and recruitment but this podcast is packed full with all the tips and advice you’d need to turn your business ideas into reality.
Available on: Soundcloud
Brought to you by Good Byte Ventures, Tech Forward is your weekly instalment of empowerment featuring the incredible stories of innovators and trailblazers from all underrepresented groups in the tech industry.
Episodes cover all prevalent diversity issues in the industry, whether that be gender, racial and ethnic, sexual orientation, immigration status, and neurodiversity. Some of the subjects discussed on the podcast include the lack of venture funding for women and minorities, how underrepresented groups can advance their careers in the sector and how to hold companies accountable for diversity.
Whether you’re a founder from one of the minority groups or not, this podcast is an eye-opener and a reminder to the importance of diversity in business.
If you’re not familiar with YCombinator, they’re the US seed accelerator that’s launched over 2000 companies including the likes of Airbnb, Dropbox, Stripe and Coinbase. Last year the combined valuation of their companies was over $155 billion! So definitely worth taking note when they’re giving out free education, as they do in their podcasts (2 for the price of one here - both amazing).
Their ‘Startup School by Y Combinator’ podcast is a series of short lectures and conversations with YC Partners, startup founders, and experts on how to start a successful company. Whereas the ‘Y Combinator’ podcast covers conversations more broadly on business, technology and ideas for shaping the future with those in business who are doing it.
A couple of Y Combinators episodes, I found particularly great include:
#4 - Elon Musk on How to Build the Future
#37 - Don't Start a Blog, Start a Cult with Pete Adeney a.k.a Mr. Money Mustache
#100 - Sam Altman
Featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a top business podcast year after year. Their candid approach to key startup topics make it an essential listen for founders (at any stage of their business), product managers and anyone working within tech.
I’ve really enjoyed the recent episodes on product failures, where they’ve discussed and talked to the people behind some ‘great’ product failures from eBay, Audible, Google+ and American Airlines.
Each episode is only around 25 minutes long, which perfectly fit into your early morning commute or over your lunch break.
Available on: Apple podcasts
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