Listening to these podcasts is the next best thing to having lunch with some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs.
8 min read
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Whether we’re commuting to work, taking a lunch break or just looking to relax before bed, podcasts have become a best friend to many of us. It’s easy to see why. In recent years there has been an explosion of quality podcasts on nearly any topic you can think of.
Podcasts fit well with our busy lives. They’re portable and easy to access at a moment’s notice; all it takes is a set of earbuds and a device with internet access. They also create a feeling of connection between the listener and the host. The intimacy of audio makes us feel like we’re part of a cozy conversation — we get to listen like we’re the only ones in the room.
There are tons of great podcasts out there to explore. Below are 10 of my all-time favorites. Each offers incredible insights and amazing interviews with some of the biggest names of our time.
1. The Tim Ferriss Show
Tim Ferriss is a self-experimenter and bestselling author, known for his book The 4-Hour Workweek. The Tim Ferriss Show tackles topics Ferris is interested in, and is sure to teach you something new. Guests have included Arnold Schwarzenegger, LeBron James and Silicon Valley journalist Kara Swisher.
During his show, Ferriss interviews world-class performers from eclectic areas, including investing, chess and pro sports, and then digs deep to find the tools, tactics and tricks that listeners can use.
2. This Week in Startups
Jason Calacanis and a rotating group of guest experts bring you this weekly take on the best, worst, most outrageous and most interesting stories from the world of web companies. Calacanis gives listeners amazing insights into how angel investing works and how he builds companies.
This Week in Startups offers in-depth interviews with heavy-hitters in the tech industry who offer an insider’s look at what’s happening and what trends are emerging. Whether you’re looking to start your own company, need strategies for improving your business, need help motivating your team or just want to catch up on what’s happening in Silicon Valley and beyond, your journey should begin here.
3. How I Built This
How I Built This showcases Guy Raz’s ability to dive into the stories behind some of the world’s best-known companies. In nearly every show, Raz uses his disarming sense of “wow” to get his guests to open up.
Raz is able to tap into something deep with each person he interviews, pulling out insights and getting them to open up about nitty-gritty details they wouldn’t normally share. How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists, uncovering their vulnerabilities and the inner turmoil they faced along the journey to success.
4. The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes
The School of Greatness is one of the top podcasts by any standard of measurement. It has run for 500-plus episodes, has more than 40 million downloads and continually manages to snag celebrity names like Tony Robbins and Maria Sharapova.
Host Lewis Howes is the best-selling author of The School of Greatness and The Mask of Masculinity. He played professional Arena League football until an injury cut his career short. His show delves into what makes the greatest people great and how to apply those lessons to your life. In The School of Greatness, he aims to share inspiring stories from the most brilliant business minds, world-class athletes and influential celebrities on the planet.
5. How to Start a Startup
This collection of video lectures is designed to be a kind of one-stop business course for people who want to start startups. How to Start a Startup offers firsthand, hard-won knowledge from Sam Altman and others at Y Combinator. These were originally given as class lectures at Stanford University, and now they’re being offered to the world at large.
The course includes lectures from Sam Altman, Dustin Moskovitz, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Marc Andreessen and Marissa Mayer. The show covers everything: how to come up with ideas and evaluate them, how to get users and grow your base, how to do sales and marketing, how to hire, how to raise money, company culture, operations and management, business strategy and more. If you’re serious about starting a startup, invest the time in listening to this podcast.
The eclectic topics and insightful conversations of guests and interviewers draw you into a16z. If you’re looking for a window into the world of a top venture-capital firm, you need not look any further. Andreessen Horowitz (aka “a16z”) is a Silicon Valley–based venture-capital firm that produces this prolific podcast with multiple episodes per week. The show is typically made up of interviews with startup founders, and various partners and analysts at the firm.
There are great insights here, not just into how to grow a business with venture capital, but also into tech trends in general. The host and guest experts offer advice and information that will be useful to those at any level of entrepreneurship. The show discusses tech and culture trends and news, and how they will all impact us in the near future. It features industry experts, business leaders and other interesting thinkers and voices from around the world.
7. Recode Decode with Kara Swisher
One of Silicon Valley’s most prominent journalists, Kara Swisher, hosts candid interviews with tech execs, politicians, celebrities and more, focusing on their big ideas and how they’re changing our world. In Recode Decode, she brings her ruthless, no-mercy journalism style to one-on-one interviews with some of the biggest names in tech.
In a world of tech journalism that tends toward softball pitches, Swisher is playing hardball. She’s intense and intimidating, and is always ready with an incisive follow-up question. Her interviewees include Tesla CEO Elon Musk, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
8. The James Altucher Show
James Altucher interviews the world’s peak performers in every area of life. But instead of giving you the typical success story, Altucher digs deeper to find the “Choose Yourself” story. These are the moments we can all relate to, when someone rises up from personal struggle to reinvent themselves.
The James Altucher Show brings you into the lives of these ultra-successful performers, including billionaires, best-selling authors, rappers, astronauts, athletes, comedians, actors and the world champions in every field. He seeks out those who forged their own paths, found financial freedom and harnessed the power to create more meaningful and fulfilling lives. Altucher himself is a successful entrepreneur, chess master, investor and writer.
If you’re an ambitious entrepreneur crafting your next startup, there is no better way to get a “street smarts” education than Mixergy. The show offers listeners a chance to “learn from proven entrepreneurs.”
In over 1,000 interviews, Andrew Warner doesn’t back down from asking uncomfortable questions to dig deeper into the successes and failures of the most prosperous business founders and thought leaders of our time. The ideas and stories he unearths on the show are powerful and inspiring.
10. Smart Passive Income
Pat Flynn is a passive-income whiz. He’s earned more than $3 million in the last six years by creating authoritative and helpful websites that cover a vast array of businesses. Smart Passive Income reveals all of his online business and blogging strategies, income sources and shrewd marketing tips and tricks so you can be ahead of the curve with your online business or blog. Flynn has been supporting his family with 100 percent passive income generated online, easily earning a 6-figure salary while working only a few hours a week.
His show covers everything you need to set up successful passive income, including automation, outsourcing, crowdsourcing, search engine optimization, building authority and trust, niche sites, social media, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, podcasting, e-books, online courses and affiliate marketing. Listen in to learn about everything that works (and doesn’t work) about creating passive income to help you better understand how to crush it with your online business.