My 6 top business podcasts for entrepreneurs

In this week’s post I’m discussing top business podcasts, and specifically which ones I gain the most insight and enjoyment from. I’ll let you know why you should listen, what differentiates them from the myriad of other podcasts out there, together with a few of my favourite episodes that I recommend you have a listen to.

Entrepreneurial News Style Podcasts

This Week in Startups (TWiSt)

Let’s start with one of my all-time favourite podcasts, This Week in Startups, which has been going strong now for over 500 episodes. Jason Calacanis, the host, is one of the most respected startup influencers and angel investors in the world. He’s somewhat opinionated and a brilliant interviewer, which makes for an entertaining, hard hitting and ‘real deal’ listening experience.

He hosts a semi-regular show called News Roundtable, which I’ve been listening to for years. It lets me keep my finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest in Startup news, which for someone like me is vital for keeping up with the game when residing in a place more known for its idyllic lifestyle and tourism industry!

Another reason I’m a big fan is the standard of guest he has on the show. With his reputation and connections, Jason’s interview subjects tend to be people who aren’t part of the usual Online Marketing podcast circuit, which makes a refreshing change from listening to your usual over exposed BS merchant plugging their latest book or trying to sell you something. Entertaining, hard hitting and relevant, this is why TWiSt sits at number one on my list of favourite news-centric podcasts. Here’s a few of my favourite episodes: Chris SaccaDavid Heinemeier HanssonGary Vaynerchuk,Peter Diamandis.

Related: Applying billionaire investor Chris Sacca’s investment advice to starting companies

Skype and in-person interview style podcasts

Interview style podcasts are all over the net, and many tend to follow a formula of the host interviewing a standard set of guests via Skype. There’s plenty of these out there, so rather than wade through a sea of mediocrity to find the gold amongst this bunch, here’s a few that I’ve found stand out from the crowd, either via their interview approach, the quality and uniqueness factor of their guests, or their willingness to embrace more in depth, in-person interviews.

The James Altucher Show

I really like this show due to the quirkiness and lack of ego of the host, James Altucher.

He comes across as a funny, likeable guy who often asks left field questions that elicit entertaining and enlightening responses from his interview subjects. He’s also not one of these annoying interviewers who talks about himself too much. Newsflash..I’m listening in to learn more from the guests, not to hear the host stroke his own ego or tell me how much he learnt while virtually regurgitating the entire interview prior to playing it!

James gets to the point and has a genuine interest in his subjects, so if he’s reviewing a book he’ll actually have read it and provides quality analysis, which is sadly not always the case with some podcast hosts out there. In addition to the podcast interview regulars he also tends to get a few more unique guests due to his respected reputation as an entrepreneur and thought leader. As an example he recently interviewed Brian Koppelman and David Levien, who wrote the movie Rounders and the TV series Billions.

Foundr Magazine/Podcast with Nathan Chan

A plug here for a fellow Aussie! Nathan is another likeable guy who regularly gets an impressive array of guests on his show, such as Tony Robbins, Richard Branson and Gary Vaynerchuk. He’s a master at establishing rapport and comes across as a knockabout, down to earth host who never comes across as too cheesy. Foundr as a whole are definitely switched on when it comes to delivering valuable and relevant entrepreneurial content..recommended!

Joe Rogan Podcast

This podcast is a great example of an in-depth interview style podcast done exceedingly well. As an entrepreneur you cross over into a multitude of creative realms, and while not strictly sticking to entrepreneurial topics, Joe Rogan delivers interesting and educational long form conversations done ‘in person’. I enjoy them for their in depth analysis and their ability to get you thinking outside of the square and adding to your knowledge base…exploration, design and performance enhancement are just some of the value learnings that Joe’s podcasts touch upon. They have a very real and raw feel to them. Joe is also a comedian and doesn’t hold back, so if blue language and non pc topics offend, it may be best to steer clear..which I’m sure will be none of my followers!

The episodes where he interviews Graham Hancock come highly recommended. They discuss historical exploration of ancient civilisations to hallucinogens..fascinating stuff!

The Lance Armstrong interview and the episodes with Bitcoin entrepreneur Andreas Antonopoulos are also very eye opening and educational and well worth a listen.

Documentary Style Podcasts

Documentary style podcasts are another entertaining and worthwhile sub-set of podcast. These tend to adopt a ‘fly on the wall’ behind the scenes type approach, audio storytelling in a way that will get people hooked and wanting to listen in to the next episode. Kind of like an ongoing radio drama series. This American Life and Serial are good examples of this style of podcast.

StartUp by Gimlet Media

I was totally hooked on the first season of this one, and for mine it’s definitely one of the best series of entrepreneurial slanted documentary style shows out there. It was the one that inspired me to do my own Operation Brewery series of podcasts. I don’t think the second series quite lived up to the lofty standards of series one, which if you haven’t yet listened to yet, I cannot recommend highly enough!

Motivation/Inspiration

These style of podcasts are all about staying motivated and keeping the creative juices flowing as you navigate the entrepreneurial waters.

Tim Ferriss

A ‘big ticket’ name in entrepreneurial circles and author of ‘The Four Hour Work Week’, Tim’s reputation speaks for itself. His podcasts incorporate both skype and in-person interviews and the standard of guest he gets on his show is pretty darn impressive! Ed Norton, Laird Hamilton and even The Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger has turned up on here. A good solid listening option if you feel the need to be entertained or inspired.

In my book Content Machine I stress the need for differentiation when it comes to delivering your content. There’s lots of generic content out there and the saturated world of podcasts is no different. So if you don’t want to become lost in the white noise of 1001 formulaic offerings, you need to make sure that you are bringing something unique or niche to the table. I think that this is what unites the varied podcasts I’ve listed here, their ability to stand out from the crowd and deliver something valuable, interesting and memorable, that most importantly will get you coming back again. Without this you’re just another random extra in a cast of many.

If you’re looking to launch a project like a podcast or an online business, be sure join my 7 Day Startup Challenge, to give you the inside edge in bringing your project to fruition.

And let me know what you think of my podcast choices, as well as some of your personal favourites, either entrepreneurial or general interest.

 

  • Nice collection Dan. I also love The Startup Chat, Tropical MBA and for deeper entrepreneurial angst Reboot is reassuring 🙂

  • Diego

    Thanks for the suggestions, Dan! I would add “The Three Month Vacation” as a _must listen_: http://www.psychotactics.com/podcast 😀

  • Great line up. I also like ‘The Grit ‘n Hustle Show’ with Todd Herman.

  • Sick list Dan!

  • Startup Season One just about made me cry with its storytelling perfection. Almost made me give up podcasting too. It was amazing and I learned so much.

    Altucher – I see the exact opposite of what you state above. I stopped listening because I got tired of him jumping over the top of the people he was interviewing and I felt it was all about him and what he wanted the interviewee to day. Maybe he doesn’t do that any more? I listened back in the very early days of that podcast.

    • TrueEntrepreneur

      Last time I listened his interrupting was unbearable. He even knows he does it and still does it!

    • Yes I felt the same way haha but I didn’t feel they really backed it up with season 2 and same with Serial. Season 1 was so gripping and suspenseful but season 2 was just telling this kind of boring story that really was never going to go anywhere and never did. It was very disappointing. I guess it’s a hard thing to replicate. I have listened to Reply All which is another one of Gimlet’s podcasts and it was very good so perhaps they can replicate it, not sure.

      • Oh yeah – Season 2 of both Serial and Startup are nowhere near the heights of Seasons 1. Serial in particular – there is no suspense – it’s just telling a story, Which is fine. But it’s a story I think it’s very hard for us here in Oz to get invested in

    • Interesting about Altucher. Cate said the same thing. I love him and never really thought he interrupted too much but you aren’t the only one!

      • Like I said – I listened back in the early days so maybe he’s gotten heaps better?! I used to love all his stuff – but somewhere along the way he lost me so perhaps that isn’t helping the cause!

  • Thanks Dan! Your post got me to listen to This Week in Startups and I learned a lot. Have been binging on SeanWes, Smart Passive Income and just recently, Tony Robbin’s podcast. By the way, I love your podcast too, very genuine and straight to the point.

    • Awesome! Yeah I just saw Tony has his own podcast. Will be listening to that one for sure!

  • Ed Keay-Smith

    Great list of podcasts Dan, I listen to most and will have a listen to the others.

    You mist my favorite one though 🙂

    http://www.businessmarketingshow.com/dan-norris-books-beer-business/

    • Books business and beer, can’t go wrong!!

  • TrueEntrepreneur

    I like some of these but I’m surprised you included James Altucher. I had to stop listening to him because he interrupts people all the time and makes it all about him. (Some good guests though).

    I think the Good Life Project interviews (not the round tables) are good business / lifestyle podcast too, he gets good stuff out of his guests. The recent one with Adam Grant was excellent.

    I also like Brian Clark’s podcast “Unemployable”

    Thanks Dan. (Cate Richards)

    • Hey Cate. Yeah this is interesting. I think interrupting people is an important part of being a good interviewer and all good interviewers do it. But it’s also potentially annoying as a listener and has to be handled carefully. I think he does a good job at it but I can see if you don’t like it, you wouldn’t like the show. I’m yet to listen to Brian’s I’ll check it out, thanks.

      • TrueEntrepreneur

        Agree conversations should overlap, but feel that he takes it too far. Some people don’t mind, some people do …..

  • Jen Anderson

    HUGE fan of the James Altucher podcast and his writing, which is equally impressive. Definitely listen to an early one- episode 7 with Matthew Berry. Such a cool story. And the one before that (episode 6) is Dr. Wayne Dyer.
    I also loved the daily “Ask Altucher” podcasts when they were running but I guess James and Claudia broke up so it’s not around anymore. bummer.

    • kriz

      Did they break up? I didn’t know about that

    • Didn’t know that either? I never listened to the ask Altucher one other than his episode with my buddy Taylor. I like the interview ones, he’s a legend.

  • Some great new ones in here for me to discover. I love Startup too and look forward to doing a new narrative style podcast myself soon but know how much work goes in to it.

  • ian

    Thanks Dan! the “Startups for the Rest of Us” podcast (250-300 episodes and counting) by Rob Walling might be another podcast youd dig (and I think you use Drip as well 🙂

    • Absolutely, Rob is a good friend and I’ve been on the show. He also wrote the foreword for The 7 Day Startup and yep I’m a Drip customer too haha. Great show!

  • Chuck Blake

    Dan, great list, I would add Brian Koppelman’s “The Moment” http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/the_moment.html

    • Nice I’ll check it out Chuck thanks. Yay it’s got some of the actors from Billions on there, that’s my fav show right now!

      • Chuck Blake

        yeah, @briankoppelman is one of the creators / writers of Billions. Also check out his interview with Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss etc.

  • Thanks Dan…. I now have some new podcasts to explore while on the road!

    • Yes! Enjoy and let me know what you think.

  • Great list Dan. Have you listened to The a16z Podcast? It takes top performing tech companies and discusses what’s on the horizon. This one may add some excellent variety of futuristic thinking for tomorrows entrepreneurs.

    • I listened to it a little but but definitely should listen more.

      • It gets a bit dry when they talk about companies that do big data management and things, but they often get fascinating people. Check the Casey Neistat interview and the Oprah interview.

  • No Mixergy?:) I’m surprised and disappointed,Dan

    • I’ve listened to Mixergy loads over the years for sure. It was hugely influential early on. My interested change on a daily basis I go on and off podcasts all the time. I still listen to it and many others from time to time. The ones in this list are just my favorite right now haha.

      • Totally get it, man. Just make sure Andrew doesn’t see that ;D

        Haha, joking.

        From the ones you mention here which one would you recommend to me as a Mixergy fan? I’m watching This Week in Startups from time to time, but I’m not big on startup news in general..

  • the tim ferriss episodes with jamie foxx, derek silver and kevin costner – all gold
    james altucher is the pick at the moment
    schramko and taki (if they got back to regular schedule)

  • These are all great, Dan. It must have been difficult to narrow down the list. I also like the I Love Marketing podcast with Joe Polish and Dean Jackson. It’s often sloppy, rambling and low audio quality, but can also be enormously valuable, actionable and worth the time.

  • Escaping Your Comfort Zone

    Some new ones I havent come across before, thanks! My current faves are

  • Anne Walsh

    Another great podcast is Own it! The podcast with Nicola Cairncross and Judith Morgan. It is as they say – feisty and funny – and well worth a listen

  • Loved Startup Season 1 – inspiring production quality. Now love Startup Chat with Hiten Shah and Steli Efti is the “dont miss” for me. Love their energy and the way they sound like they are moving around all the time! (thanks for the mention Anne & Escaping Your Comfort Zone!)