All killer, no filler

There are – conservatively – 14.765 or so million articles on ‘the Top 20 podcasts for Small Business’ or ‘10 must-listen podcasts for entrepreneurs and start-ups’.

Unfortunately, given the way podcasts work, the first episode you download and listen to from any given series or publisher might not be what you’re expecting, or what you’re after.

We’ve created a list that gives you not only a great set of podcasts you can tune in to, (some of which we’ve been following for years), but also the best episode or two to check out first.

Hope you learn as much as we have from these great resources. And that they give you the ‘inspiring kick in the pants’ that we get every time we tune in.

Our top 7 podcasts for inspiring Small Business, Start-ups and Entrepreneurs

1. Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leader series (eCorner)

With people like Peter Thiel, Mary Barra, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Seth Godin having attended, Stanford University has an amazing pedigree.

A degree from Stanford, (should you be able to get in), will set you back more than a quarter of a million dollars.

If you would like to listen, for free, to some of the smartest, most visionary and successful people deliver a 40 minute talk on ‘what I started, how I started, what I learnt along the way, and what I would have done differently if I knew then what I know now’, with 20 minutes of Q&A from the students in the auditorium, then this podcast is for you.

Here are three fantastic episodes to get you started;

  1. Jess Lee: Path & Purpose of a First-Time CEO
  2. Sal Khan: Education Reimagined
  3. Ben Horowitz: Nailing the Hard Things

2. Andreesen Horowitz (a16z) hosted by Sonal Chokshi

Marc Andreesen and Ben Horowitz are the two of the gents who helped build, and then sell, Netscape. Now they have built one of the world’s most successful Venture Capital companies, Andreesen Horowitz, starting with $80m in 2006, building to $4bn in assets and a $1.5bn fund by 2014.

Marc Andreesen is intelligent, challenging and inspiring, but of the two, Ben is our favourite. He’s scary-smart, loathes ‘business book’ speak, swears quite a lot and has an incredibly engaging nature. He will make you laugh while you’re learning new ways of viewing the world, and business.

If you want to hear Ben talk, listen to the “Nailing the Hard things” talk he gave at Stanford, (link in the section above).

These three episodes of the a16z podcast are terrific, as is Sonal;

  1. Jeff Jordan: The Marketplace Rules
  2. Anu Hariharan: Getting Network Effects
  3. Arun Sundararajan: An Economics Take on the Sharing Economy

3. Startup (Gimlet Media)

Gimlet Media, and the first season of Startup, is quite ‘meta’. As in, it’s a podcast series about what it’s like to build a start-up business, whose business is making podcasts.

The production values are high, they have a strong focus on storytelling, and you get some really meaty ‘behind the scenes, real-life, blood and guts’ insight into the struggles, pressures and relationship issues that always occur when starting a company. The ones nobody ever really talks about.

These are good for when you’re in the mood to be inspired and entertained, more than educated;

  1. Season 1: A New Podcast Series About Launching a Business
  2. Season 2: Episode 1, Origin Story
  3. Season 4: Dov Charney (ex American Apparel)

4. Harvard (HBR Ideacast)

Hosted most frequently by Sarah Green Carmichael, the HBR IdeaCast is a terrific resource when you’re looking to think and learn about business, strategy, management and leadership, (leading yourself and others), more than the bleeding edge start-up side of things.

Often the interviews are with authors who have contributed articles for the current issue of the Harvard Business Review. These are a terrific insight, as the interview subject often builds-out their recent article with terrific real-world examples.

  1. Episode 381: Reduce Stress with Mindfulness
  2. Episode 500: Becoming a More Authentic Leader
  3. Episode 505: Make Peace with Your Inner Critic

5. Stanford Innovation Lab (eCorner)

This is a new podcast, hosted by the sensational Dr Tina Seelig. Dr Seelig is Professor of the Practice in the Department of Management Science and Engineering (MS&E) at Stanford University.

She is also a faculty director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), the entrepreneurship centre at Stanford University’s School of Engineering. She teaches courses on creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Dr Seelig also hosts many of the Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leader podcasts sessions, (above), and is someone I admire from afar. Except that one time she favourite a tweet of mine. I am still glowing…

It’s a new series, but it’s got a lot of value. Here’s three episodes to get you started;

  1. JD Scramm: The Power of Crash Landing in the Middle of a Story
  2. Michael Bernstein: Pushing the Limits of Collective Intelligence
  3. Clara Shih: Attracting the Constantly Connected Consumer

6. Biz Please (Mashable)

If you are interested in the way the media landscape is changing, especially online, this series is for you.

Given the importance for small and new businesses of having a solid understanding of online media, this is a good series to get into.

Three episodes I learnt something from are;

  1. Mobile World Congress: Recap
  2. All your questions about Kickstarter: Answered
  3. Bad News Bear: Struggling Tech Companies: Twitter, Apple

7. BIG Ideas for Small Business (Real Time Minds)

Did you see what we did there? We put ourselves into the list. Australians are not big fans of self-promotion, but hey, we’re a business after all.

I was once told that the best way to learn how to create your own podcast series was to, in fact, start creating your own podcast series. We’re learning as we go, and with a bit of luck, getting better each time.

We hope you enjoy these three episodes from our very own series. Most episodes are recorded with members of the Real Time Minds panel of experts. So, not only can you hear them speak and share their knowledge on the podcast,as one of our clients/subscribers, you can reach out and engage them, online and in real time, to help you in your own business;

  1. Richard Sauerman: Are You Living Your Resume or Your Eulogy?
  2. Daye Moffitt: Branding for Small Business
  3. Harrold Burman: A One-page Business Plan that Works

Our next piece on podcasts will be where we list the best times and places to listen to them. First cabs off the rank are:

  • In the car, or on the train, on the way to or from work
  • While you are doing the dishes, or the washing, or the vacuuming
  • While you’re on the elliptical machine at the gym




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