The 10 Podcasts Startups Need to Listen To

The 10 Podcasts Startups Need to Listen To

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Jim Rohn famously made this statement in terms of the law of averages, or, the Parable of the Sower.

Now, if you’re like most startup founders, your average is most likely dictated by necessity rather than by choice. We feel you. And we’re here to help with that.

We’ve scoped out an easy, accessible, and free way to better your odds in the law of averages with just a little bit of time. Below, we’ve listed the 10 top podcasts by inspiring, intelligent, and innovative people that startups simply can’t afford to miss. Grab your notepad, entrepreneurs: there’s a bevy of ideas coming your way.

1. This Week in Startups

In one of the most popular startup-centered podcasts available, host Jason Calacanis focuses on bringing listeners “the most outrageous and interesting stories from the world of Web companies.” More than just entertainment, Calacanis offers blunt and humorous insight into the tech industry.

This Week in Startups stars not just Calacanis, but a rotating lineup of guest experts. The weekly show is on point when it comes to trends, and delivers healthy doses of concrete advice along the way. Startups: TWiST is #1 on our list for a reason. Take note.

2. Mixergy

The Mixergy mindset is that no one person knows it all -- you have to learn from a mix of smart people. That’s why this podcast introduces you “to doers and thinkers whose ideas and stories are so powerful that just hearing them will change you.”

Mixergy’s host, Andrew Warner, created an internet business in his 20’s, burned out, and then found his way again. Today he helps others (in his words, “the ambitious”) learn from a mix of experienced business owners, specifically focusing on teaching solutions to issues that typically cripple founders. With over 1,000 recorded interviews to choose from, Mixergy is a podcast goldmine!

3. TEDTalks: Audio

If you haven’t already been inspired by countless TEDTalks, the time to change that is now. If you have, get ready to add to your arsenal. The TEDTalks Audio podcast hosts dozens and dozens of inspiring talks, ripe for the listening.

While not inherently specific to startups, TEDTalks’ aim is to share Ideas Worth Spreading. Every entrepreneur can be impacted by a library of TEDTalks -- and with the podcast, you don’t need to wait until you’re able to attend in person or watch a video. Dig in, go-getters.

4. Eventual Millionaire

How would you like to make your first million? Even if you already have, we’re sure you’ll take away plenty from Eventual Millionaire’s host, Jaime, who was once in crushing debt and stuck in a job she hated. She made the courageous decision to get out of both and is now on track to being a millionaire herself. This podcast aims to help you do the same.

On the Eventual Millionaire, Jaime interviews established millionaires and gets them talking about their journey to success -- the ups and the downs. You’ll likely relate to some and learn from others, but one thing’s for certain: you’ll take a more optimistic view on the road to a million after listening to this podcast.

5. Startups for the Rest of Us

A startup’s dream: an angel investor or group of venture capitalists swoops in and fully funds your venture. While not impossible, more often than not founders have to turn to plan B: go it on their own. This podcast is dedicated to helping the latter.

Hosts Mike Taber and Rob Walling share their insights as business owners who built their companies without angel investors or venture capital funds. They also answer listener questions and share the ongoing lessons they are still learning as founders.

6. Tim Ferriss Show

Tim Ferriss  - well-known author of the “Four Hour” series of books and human guinea pig for trying anything new - doesn’t disappoint with his podcast. Ranked #1 in the business category on iTunes, the Tim Ferriss Show isn’t your standard business speak. On his show, Tim interviews world-class performers -- from investors to chess champions -- and shows how their success tactics can help you.

Turn to the Tim Ferriss Show when you’re looking for productivity hacks, business growth tips, and outsourcing ideas. He’s a one-man band, and hosts his show in various formats: interviews, monologues, and Q&A’s.

7. EntrepreneurOnFire

If anyone can be called “on fire” it would be host John Lee Dumas, who puts out a new episode of his podcast every single day. If that’s not a case study in consistency, we’re not sure what is. EntrepreneurOnFire was awarded Best of iTunes in 2013 for good reason.

John engages one entrepreneur each and every day to discuss the challenges they’ve faced, how they overcame them, and what’s next. Think you’re alone in your startup struggles? You’re not. EntrepreneurOnFire is not just a moral support group, though -- it’s stomping grounds for solutions.

8. Rocketship

Here’s the podcast looking to take your startup to new heights. Clever, right? It’s so much more, too -- Rocketship covers the categories startups need most to support growth: from self-funding to raising capital; product development to customer acquisition; and more.

Their library is extensive: founders Michael, Joelle, and Matt spent 2014 interviewing over 100 entrepreneurs in the startup space, and there promises to be many more in 2015.

9. Gimlet Media

Alright, we’re cheating a bit here. Gimlet Media is actually a network of narrative podcasts. In their words, “it’s irresistible audio in your pocket.” We concur.

The network’s first show, simply called StartUp, is a narrative about “what happens when someone who knows nothing about business starts one.” They’ve followed it up with the release of Reply All. Think Serial, for startups. Storytelling via podcast. We’re in love.

10. Smoking Hot Coffee

What’s a startup without a constant IV-drip of coffee? This coffee’s a little different. The stories served up on the Smoking Hot Coffee podcast give fellow founders insight into the “battle scars” and hurdles faced “in the middle of the fight.”

With more than 80 startup founders already interviewed on topics like product development and internet marketing, you’ll be learning from people walking the walk, not just talking the talk.

Up the ante on your law of averages

You’re busy. We get that. While you might not have the time to seek out relationships that improve your law of averages, you certainly have time -- on your commute, on the treadmill, or while you’re enjoying lunch -- to soak up information generously shared by these top podcasts. What are you waiting for? Get to it!

Startups and entrepreneurs: what’d we miss? Tell us your go-to podcast in the comments!

Photo credit: Patrick Breitenbach

What do you think?


WOW, great article and thank you for the kind mention…I am honored!

I’d also add on here Frontleaf’s brand new podcast! It’ds a podcast about all things Customer Success for cloud software companies.