Whether you’re a busy business owner or entrepreneur, you likely don’t have the time to read books or take countless of classes.
Podcasts are, therefore, becoming increasingly popular for people with hectic schedules. They’re great alternatives to books because you can keep up with them even when working out or doing chores around the house.
As of 2021, more than two million podcasts (totaling 48 million episodes) are now available. Sifting through the maze of different podcasting options can thus be a very cumbersome and lengthy undergoing.
Luckily, that work has been done for you. Whether you’re actually running a business, dreaming to own one in the future, or simply want to advance in your career, there’s going to be something for you in this one. Stay tuned!
1. Business Wars
Host David Brown, previously the anchor of the nationwide Peabody Award-winning business news program Marketplace, portrays the greatest rivalries the business world has ever seen. The show, whether it’s about how Facebook copied Snapchat or how Marvel overtook DC, leaves no stones unturned. Each story is split into six 30-minute episodes and capped off with an expert interview at the end. Apart from the in-depthness of storytelling, producer Wondery is able to captivate listeners with a sonically rich listening experience. With now dozens of published stories (and even a book), there’s certainly no shortage of great content to browse through.
- The Good: amazing production quality; cohesive storytelling
- The Bad: honestly none
2. How I Built This
Did you ever wonder how Jeremy Stoppelman built Yelp into a worldwide review powerhouse, how Kevin Hart shattered all his critics to make it in the comedy industry, or how Tony Hsieh (RIP) created a culture of inclusion at Amazon-owned Zappos? Podcast host Guy Raz takes you on an hour-long journey to tell the stories of world-class entrepreneurs in a compassionate and personal manner. Produced and distributed by NPR, listeners can expect sound editing of the highest quality. Guy’s podcast is particularly helpful to those who currently may feel like giving up as he often details the hardships of what it takes to build a leading organization.
- The Good: you particularly get to know the personal and emotional side of a founder
- The Bad: many replayed episodes being released these days
3. The Tim Ferris Show
Tim Ferriss first achieved worldwide acclaim with his book The 4-Hour Workweek and has since become one of the world’s leading business authors. As a top advocate of working smarter, approaching problems creatively, and ‘trying to be happy about whatever we have’, he constantly seeks to find ways to not only work but live better. In his podcast, Ferriss gets to sit down with world-class performers in their respective fields to figure out how they became who they are.
- The Good: great variety of guests
- The Bad: some episodes are very lengthy (> 3h)
4. Masters of Scale
Masters of Scale is a podcast hosted by Reid Hoffman, who made his name in the business world as one of PayPal’s first employees and founding members of LinkedIn. He has also come up with the concept of Blitzscaling. This podcast offers in-depth insights, analysis, advice, and tested theories on how to operate, scale, and grow your business with the help of interviews and discussions from well-known industry leaders. Hoffman himself is a captivating narrator and the podcast itself, much like the previously mentioned NPR titles, offers some great production quality.
- The Good: the usage of sound adds to the storytelling; amazing guests
- The Bad: rarely challenges interviewees
This one hits a little closer to home since Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal, the hosts of Acquired, have been one of my biggest inspirations for launching this blog. Acquired details how the world’s most prominent tech companies came to be, what growth levers they pulled, and the challenges they faced along the way. Both Ben and David come from a venture capital background and are thus able to offer some unique insight into the world of company building. For $10 a month, listeners can also become ‘Limited Partners’, which grants them access to a community Slack channel a well as exclusive content.
- The Good: great chemistry between the two
- The Bad: some content is paywalled
Stephen Dubner, co-author of the New York Times bestseller and homonymous Freakonomics book, takes the listener through a multitude of topics. Whether it’s assessing the effect naps have on performance or investigating how U.S. healthcare can be fixed – there’s certainly a story in there for everyone. Each podcast is aided by a great selection of guests, including Nobel laureates and provocateurs, intellectuals and entrepreneurs, or leading academics in their field.
- The Good: often presents multiple viewpoints
- The Bad: not as much new episodes anymore
Every Tuesday and Friday, Kara Swisher, acclaimed journalist and host of Recode Decode, and Scott Galloway, self-proclaimed angry professor with an erectile dysfunction, discuss the biggest news in the world of business and tech. What particularly stands out is the chemistry the two have, which every now and then has be bust out laughing in the middle of the gym. However, don’t be fooled by them joking around – both Kara and Scott bring their own sets of unique experiences and insights to the table. One particular highlight are the predictions, which are correct more often than not, that professor Galloway gives towards the end of the show.
- The Good: business insights coupled with awesome comedic moments
- The Bad: isn’t as captivating if one of the hosts is missing
8. This Week In Startups
For more than 10 years, host Jason Calacanis has been interviewing startup founders around the world (and investing into some of their businesses vis-à-vis his LAUNCH accelerator). Jason, who has been an early investor in the likes of Uber, Calm, or Robinhood, releases multiple hour-long episodes every week in which he reacts to any major news or simply interviews other founders and thinkers.
- The Good: Jason’s decade-long experience in podcasting often makes for great conversations
- The Bad: advertising can be annoying at times
9. The All-In Podcast
Staying on the topic of Jason Calacanis, the podcast host has used his powers to galvanize fellow investors and ‘besties’ Chamath Palihapitiya, David Sacks, and David Friedberg to cover the latest developments in business, politics, and tech. All four hosts come from very different backgrounds as well as political viewpoints, which often makes for well-rounded discussions. And even if you don’t end up learning anything, there’s still plenty of comedic moments and friendly banter among the four.
- The Good: funny and insightful business banter; ad-free (for now)
- The Bad: irregular release schedules (due to their other commitments)
Equity is TechCrunch’s venture capital focused podcast. The show’s various hosts discuss the latest developments in the world of startups and venture. Whether its IPOs, funding rounds, or product launches – the Equity team makes sure to not leave anything out. Given that the hosts all come from different journalistic backgrounds often makes for lively discussions. In some instances, they also invite experts to provide further context.
- The Good: quasi-live reactions to the biggest news in venture
- The Bad: hosts are sometimes switched
11. FT News Briefing
The Financial Times is one of the leading business news resources available. With the FT News Briefing, this is now brought into the domain of podcasting. Host Marc Filippino takes you through the most important news of the previous and upcoming day. The podcast, which is released every weekday, may occasionally include other FT journalists to provide further context. With an average episode length of around 10 minutes, the FT News Briefing is the perfect source to start your day and remain updated about what’s going on across the globe.
- The Good: unopinionated view into what’s going on in the world of business today
- The Bad: may lack necessary depth
12. a16z Podcast
a16z, better known as Andreessen Horowitz, is the venture firm’s attempt at describing their current and future investment thesis through podcasting. The podcast features partners from a16z (occasionally Marc and Ben also join), business leaders, and other interesting thinkers around the world. Given that the company invests in a variety of fields, from online marketplaces all the way to biotech startups, allows the listener to almost always learn something new. Apart from the a16z Podcast, Andreessen Horowitz also operates two other podcasts called Bio Eats World and 16 Minutes on the News, respectively.
- The Good: unique insights into deep tech fields like biotech, crypto, or quantum computing
- The Bad: irregular uploads
13. The $100 MBA Show
Omar Zenhom used to attend the prestigious Wharton School of Business before he dropped out to create the $100 MBA community. After realizing there wasn’t an educational method that prioritized the needs of students, Zenhom started the $100 MBA Show, a podcast giving practical advice on anything business and career related. The episodes themselves, released five times a week, are around 15 minutes long. With close to 2,000 episodes and even more positive reviews, there’s certainly something helpful for everyone.
- The Good: short and actionable episodes
- The Bad: may lack necessary depth at times
14. The Side Hustle Show
Podcast host Nick Loper, self proclaimed Chief Side Hustler, has practiced what he now teaches for years – building a business next to your day job. In 2013, he launched Side Hustle Nation, a community and podcast which explores all the possible businesses you could launch while still being employed. Every week, he interviews a person that has successfully managed to build a business on the side and quit the rat race that is employment. Nick and his guest often go into a lot of depth to explain how that side hustle was built and is being monetized, leaving listeners with an abundance of inspiration and actionable insight to start a business on their own.
- The Good: great variety of use cases
- The Bad: some guests use it as a sales pitch for their own services
15. Side Hustle School
Chris Guillebeau, the New York Times bestselling author of The $100 Startup, The Happiness of Pursuit, and other books takes his listeners through the learnings and hardships of starting a side hustle. As opposed to Loper’s podcast, which features one lengthy episode every week, Guillebeau takes a more frequented approach by releasing 10-minute episodes every day of the week.
- The Good: also interviews people that actually failed
- The Bad: episodes are pretty short
16. SaaS Interviews With Nathan Latka
If you ever wanted to know the numbers behind some of the biggest Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) businesses, then Nathan Latka got you covered. Every day (how does he actually do that?), Latka releases an interview with a SaaS founder, detailing how they came to start the business, the growth tactics they used so far, as well as what these businesses generate in revenue. In the past, he has interviewed the likes of Eric Yuan (founder and CEO of Zoom), Jay Simons (CEO Atlassian), or Matthew Prince (CEO CloudFlare), just to name a few.
- The Good: one of the only hosts that actually questions interviewees
- The Bad: full interviews only available on his website
17. Land of the Giants
Big tech is a major force in society and has a large influence on all our lives. Whether its Facebook altering the course of elections or Amazon allowing us to receive orders within hours, one thing remains certain: we cannot escape their reach. The show, which features a new host every season, explores how these companies developed their world-changing products, how they rose to power, and how their dominance affects our everyday lives. In the past, companies like Amazon, Google, Netflix, and Apple had been covered.
- The Good: extreme in-depth analysis of each company
- The Bad: slow rollout of new seasons
Ben Thompson, the writer of one of the most highly-regarded tech blogs and newsletters, Stratechery, as well as James Allworth, a seasoned Harvard Business Review writer and head of innovation at Cloudflare, tackle the inner workings of the tech industry from a strategic viewpoint. The podcast draws links between firms and headlines to emphasize the trends that are driving the tech industry today. Pro tip: the analysis the two provide is extremely timeless and makes re-listening from the first episode onwards a truly eye-opening experience.
- The Good: likely the most thoughtful analysis on the impact of tech that’s out there
- The Bad: access to content is paywalled
19. Authority Hacker Podcast
Hosts Gael Breton and Mark Webster, two online marketing veterans, share their tips and tricks of how to successfully build websites. Whether its about ranking on Google, optimizing affiliate conversions, or the best tools for website operators – they certainly leave no stone unturned.
- The Good: good chemistry between the two hosts
- The Bad: irregular releases
20. The Pomp Podcast
Host Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano, now to be considered one of the most influential figures in the cryptocurrency space, interviews the leading operators and thinkers in the world of business and finance. The podcast offers a great introduction into the world of crypto. And even apart from crypto, there’s a ton of other topics being explored on the daily released episodes.
- The Good: great variety of guests
- The Bad: lengthy ad intro