This semester I stumbled upon a new form of entertainment that I had never ventured into before, which is podcasts. It sounds really boring at first, and the word podcast itself is a very jargon-y, strange, word too. I mean who wants to sit there and listen to some audio file? Well, the good news is that iPhones now have a built in podcast app that makes listening to podcasts as easy as listening to music, and the Podcast industry has grown so much that there are all sorts of different varieties of them out there from news podcasts, to sports podcasts to journalism and story telling podcasts.
I listen to my podcasts either while at work, walking around campus, or even if I am at home working on a project of some sort. Today I want to show-and-tell two of my favorite podcast series and my favorite episodes of each.
This is probably my all time favorite podcast series. This is a podcast with a main focus on entrepreneurship and tells stories about real companies in a stage of their life cycle that we, the consumers, never get to see. Alex Blumberg, seasoned journalist, host, and co-founder of Gimlet Media, the company that produces StartUp, tells the story of starting that company. He lets listeners in on an amazing and fascinating experience that so many people go through in starting a business but is never documented and put out for the world to see. The very first episode is my favorite one and it includes Silicon Valley billionaire and angel investor, Chris Sacca, telling Alex how he should be pitching his idea to investors.
The biggest selling point of this show is that it started out as a radio show in 1994. While still airing regularly on radio, the people at This American Life decided that on-demand radio (Podcasts) can be profitable too, so they took every single episode since 1994 and put it on their website. The stories on the show chew on life’s biggest questions and objectively discuss a wide range of topics from everyday life. I just could not pick a favorite because they are all so good, but go to their favorites page and check out their best work. They are so good that on Sundays when new episodes go up, their website crashes from everyone trying to get on it.