Podcasts have vast potential to distill incredible amounts of knowledge and information into rapid 30-60 minute snippets of information that can be consumed on the go, at the gym, or really anywhere. In today’s always “on” environment – living perpetually connected to worldly happening’s, podcasts offer the closest experience to get in on the action.
Podcasts offer a truly unfiltered window into some of the greatest minds of our time. Learning from personal experimentation and failure is valuable but it can often be more efficient to just learn from people that have already been through the wringer themselves. The internet has democratized information but podcasts have democratized direct access. In the past CEOs and founders might write a blog occasionally or a book but today you’d be hard-pressed to find a Silicon Valley CEO that hasn’t been on at least a podcast or two.
As a marketer, it’s important to understand marketing and the various levers you can pull to encourage growth, but it’s also essential to understand the world we exist in. To be an effective marketer it’s important to understand what’s happening and it can be especially helpful to follow the tech industry and fast-growing startups. In reality, it doesn’t matter what industry or field you work in, having a thorough grasp on news and events happening helps inform your decision making.
Back in 2006, only 22 percent of the adult population in the United States was aware of podcasting. By 2020, this figure had risen to 75 percent. Podcasting is an increasingly popular pastime in the U.S. and there were an estimated 88 million podcast listeners in the country in 2019. Big tech has taken notice and over the past few years, Spotify has made a strong strategic push into podcasting in an effort to be seen as the audio company instead of just the music streaming company. In 2019 Spotify acquired Gimlet and Anchor and through 2020, the company has continued to push into more original programming buying exclusive rights to some of the most popular podcasters around the world. This growth supported by money pouring into the space is bound to keep compounding and marketers should think strategically about how to take advantage of this new ad space.
So let’s dive into some of our favorite podcasts for keeping up with technology, business, and marketing. We’ve included links to a couple of our favorite episodes for each podcast to get you started.
Start your morning with news that matters — from White House scoops to analysis on the economy & insights into the trends shaping the world. Niala Boodhoo is the host of Axios Today. She was the host & executive producer of The 21st, an award-winning news program, a Knight-Wallace fellow & board member for the AAJA.
Join us to unpack the biggest business story of the day in just 10 minutes and learn why it matters for the world and your work. Axios Re:Cap is hosted by Dan Primack. He is a business editor at Axios and author of the Axios Pro Rata newsletter. Previously, he was a senior editor at Fortune magazine & Thomson Reuters.
The news you need to start your day. The biggest stories and ideas — from politics to pop culture]. Up First is the perfect quick 10-15 minute podcast to get your day started as you’re rolling out of bed.
A short news podcast covering the top headlines of the week, the a16z podcast way — why are these topics in the news; what’s real, what’s hype from the a16z vantage point; and our experts’ quick takes on these trends.
Recode’s Kara Swisher and NYU Marketing Professor Scott Galloway offer sharp, very unfiltered insights into the biggest stories in tech, business, and politics. They make bold predictions, pick winners and losers, and banter like no one else.
The daily tech news podcast of record, every day at 5pm ET. From Techmeme.com, Silicon Valley’s most-read news source. 15 minutes and you’re up to date. Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, and some of Silicon Valley’s biggest tech CEOs are all confessed readers of the Techmeme, which is saying something given their packed schedules.
A peek behind the curtain on the stories, ideas, products, companies, and people that fascinate us. Input Mag is obsessive about the ways the world is changing, how society is shaping up (or breaking down), and about what’s coming next that really matters. So we found a way to feed that obsession, the Input/Output podcast digs further into our features, reviews, essays, reported pieces, and more.
Business and Startups
Masters of Scale is an award-winning podcast hosted by Reid Hoffman, who made his name in the business world by co-founding LinkedIn. The podcast offers its listeners in-depth insight, analysis, advice and tested theories on how to operate, scale and grow their businesses with the help of interviews and discussions from legendary industry leaders.
A podcast about “innovators, entrepreneurs, idealists, and the history behind the movements they built”. Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best-known companies. How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists—and the movements they built.
The No BS version of startup life you’ve been looking for. Startup.com founders Wil Schroter & Elliot Schneier dive deep into the problems startup Founders face every day to unpack what’s really at stake and how to actually solve them.
Morning Brew’s Kinsey Grant sits down with the biggest names in business and asks them the questions you’d want to ask yourself. From VCs and DTC to streaming and social media, Kinsey explores the stories behind the headlines you’re reading. Swap your coffee for a beer, swap your eyes for your ears, and join us.
What Got You There focuses on the journey behind some of the world’s most successful people, uncovering the strategy, tactics, and routines that helped them get there.
We live in a winner-take-all economy that’s bifurcating into those who are part of the innovation economy and those who aren’t. Every week best-selling author, professor and entrepreneur Scott Galloway answers questions from you (his listeners) on who’s winning and losing, and how you can get ahead. Other professors, practitioners, and entrepreneurs join Scott to contribute ideas, alternate opinions, and insights to help you thrive at work. Tune in for a no mercy, no malice take on how you can level up your game in the world of business.
Venture Capital and Technology
Our mission is to inspire and guide you, the listener, with the insight and advice garnered from VCs who have achieved success. At TheTwentyMinuteVC we believe you should never let your aspirations be discredited, success can be part of every journey. That’s why the first section of the show is always surrounding success and inspirational people who have achieved unbelievable triumphs.
Venture Stories by Village Global takes you inside the world of venture capital and technology, featuring enlightening interviews with entrepreneurs, investors and tech industry leaders. The podcast is hosted by Village Global partner and co-founder Erik Torenberg.
Acquired started in 2015 as Ben and David’s passion project to explore what made great acquisitions successful. It has expanded to tell the stories behind great companies more broadly, diving deep into the events and strategies that brought them to where they are today.
a16z [Andreessen Horowitz]
The a16z Podcast is the go-to place for discussions about technology, innovation, and change as it impacts all our lives, covering everything from tech trends and culture to company building for companies of all sizes. As technology changes everything — not just in Silicon Valley or in traditional “tech” companies, but across all industries — it’s also changing the way we all work, live, eat, learn, and play. This show aims to help make sense of it all: for builders, for the tech curious, for anyone seeking to understand the future, now, through carefully curated, in-depth yet accessible, nuanced conversations with top industry and academic experts from around the world; company leaders, builders, makers; book authors; and emerging voices.
TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, unpacking the numbers behind the headlines.Equity is TechCrunch’s venture capital podcast. In each episode, you’ll hear the stories behind the money that runs Silicon Valley. TechCrunch reporter Alex Wilhelm teams up with Managing Editor Danny Crichton and reporter Natasha Mascarenhas, as well as the most notable VCs in the industry to analyze who’s raising, who’s selling out, and who’s going public.
Sometimes you just need to plug into a story and listen and not have to think. You could listen to a true-crime podcast, or you could listen to the story of the rise and fall of huge companies like WeWork or Theranos.
Facebook. Apple. Amazon. Netflix. Google. These five tech giants have changed the world. But how? And at what cost? Netflix now has nearly 200 million subscribers, and the biggest companies in media and tech are racing to catch up. In our new season, The Netflix Effect, Recode’s Peter Kafka and Rani Molla examine the unique ways the company has disrupted entertainment and completely changed the way we watch TV.
Foundering is a new serialized podcast from the journalists at Bloomberg Technology. Each season, Foundering brings you inside a different high-stakes drama from Silicon Valley, where its companies are wielding unprecedented capital and power.
Money. Romance. Tragedy. Deception. The story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos is an unbelievable tale of ambition and fame gone terribly wrong. How did the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire lose it all in the blink of an eye? How did the woman once heralded as “the next Steve Jobs” find herself facing criminal charges — to which she pleaded not guilty — and up to 20 years in jail? How did her technology, meant to revolutionize healthcare, potentially put millions of patients at risk? And how did so many smart people get it so wrong along the way?
Some Bonus Mind-Opening Podcasts Picks
The best entrepreneurs and marketers are innately curious about the world beyond venture capital and technology. These are some of the most enlightening podcasts out there weaving storytelling with science, design, and psychology.
Radiolab is one of the most beloved podcasts and public radio programs in the world. The show is known for its deep-dive journalism and innovative sound design. Created in 2002 by host Jad Abumrad, Radiolab began as an exploration of science, philosophy, and ethics using innovative composition and sound design. Radiolab has expanded and evolved to become a platform for long-form journalism and storytelling. The show challenges its listeners’ preconceived notions about how the world works. Radiolab provokes, it moves, it delights, and it asks its audience to see the world around them anew.
99% Invisible is an independently produced radio show created by Roman Mars about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world.
Using science and storytelling, Hidden Brain reveals the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, the biases that shape our choices, and the triggers that direct the course of our relationships.
Keeping Up with Podcasts
Keeping up with a slate of podcasts like this list can be difficult but Castro makes it easy to manage lots of podcasts, and enjoy the best episodes of all your favorite shows. The magic of the Castro podcast app is a single playlist called the Queue that gives you total control over your listening experience. While most podcast apps treat every show the same, Castro lets you manage your relationship with each show on an individual basis. Your favorite shows get downloaded and added to the queue automatically, while shows you like to be more choosy with get added to an Inbox you can browse later. This is not a paid promotion or partnership, I just don’t know what I would do without Castro to help keep track of everything.