You know what’s awesome? Podcasts are awesome. If you haven’t yet jumped on the bandwagon, then you might have to cancel your weekend plans and block out some time to get yourself familiar with these glorious pieces of media. Caught somewhere between TV, books and radio – podcasts are the perfect remedy to an otherwise uneventful 15 minutes waiting for an Uber.
Podcasts are one of the few things I seem to have been an early adopter on –a friend got me onto This American Life and Radiolab a few years ago when I was doing a lot of long haul flights for work and, immediately, I was hooked. But the quality and number of really good podcasts that seem to be popping up in the past few years now means we are spoiled for choice and is elevating podcasts to more than just a nerd cult following.
These are a few I find I keep going back to:
Put together weekly by the researchers from the English trivia show QI who make Stephen Fry look like a super genius, Did you know the film Top Gun was partly funded by the US Pentagon to boost military recruitment? Neither did I.
Good episode to start with: Check out the first episode of Season 2 which is #15 where they discuss Aztec necklaces, secret intelligence and James Cameron. Also worth downloading their recently released word game app Qiktionary which is some serious nutrition for the brain.
Each episode, Tim interviews a remarkably successful person and tries to deconstruct exactly what makes them so successful. He chooses people from so many different industries (from comedienne Margaret Cho to Arnold Schwarzenegger to the founder of Pay Pal, Peter Theil) and gets uber granular asking them about the particular details of their daily routines and habits. What does Tony Robbins eat for breakfast? What apps does Peter Thiel have on his phone?
My only criticism – more women please!
Great episode to start with: Tim’s interview with 31 year-old Founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg is brilliant where he talks about the cool way WordPress finds their next hire and how he spent a year practicing polyphasic sleep.
Alex Blumberg of This American Life podcast fame started this one – it’s the candid emotional rollercoaster accounts of people trying to get startups off the ground. The first season is about Alex himself trying to start a podcast company (very meta). But I like the second season much better, it’s two women in NYC trying to get funding (among other things) to launch an online dating app.
Great episode to start with: These are best listened to in series order but Save the Date (Season 2 #4) is a great account of resilience. How to get yourself up and out of a ‘trough of sorrow’ when it’s all just a bit too hard.
What I love about these little audio gems is they make it easy to soak up a dose of inspiration, instruction or just a good story in your ‘in-between’ time. It’s like having your smartest and most interesting pal at your disposal at all time; and who wouldn’t want that?!
What podcasts are you fanatical about? Would love to hear from you on what your favourites are.