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15 Podcast Recommendations / May 2019

15 Podcast Recommendations / May 2019

With the incredible growth that podcasting has had over the past few years, swapping podcast recommendations has become a hot topic. As the quantity of podcasts continues to multiply at a staggering rate, its not easy to find high-quality ones.

I spend a lot of time in the car, which enables me to get some serious podcast listening in. A lot of people ask me for podcast recommendations - here are the top 15 currently topping my queue:

  1. The Forward / Lance Armstrong - “Forward Never Straight” is Lance’s motto; his efforts to put his controversial past behind him accelerated with the launch of his interview podcast a few years ago. He is an outstanding interviewer, able to get big time celebrities to open up in a way that few are able to. Every new episode is as exciting to me as my new Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify. (Note: frequency of episodes has slowed as Lance devotes more time to his incredibly popular cycling podcast, The Move. Also on my list.)

  2. The Entrepreneurs / Monocle24 - I’ve been a Monocle reader, subscriber and collector since the magazine launched and look forward to receiving the new issue in the mail from Europe every month like kids await Christmas morning. As part of their unique approach to media that includes their own 24 hour online radio station, Monocle24, they host a wide variety of podcasts that offer a complete briefing on news, culture, politics and design. The Entrepreneurs was introducing exciting new companies and their founders to the world long before How I Built This.

  3. Men In Blazers - Because I’ve been a euro soccer freak since I was very young, I became a #GFOP when I discovered Rog & Davo on satellite radio many years ago. Their irreverent weekly review of weekly English Premier League matches has since become a burgeoning media empire, with a TV show on NBCSN, a book, live shows all over the USA and The Golden Blazer award, a Heisman Trophy-style annual event. Fun Fact: Davo is Michael Davies, a media mogul in his own right who owns a production company that creates many of the most watched reality TV shows, including the Real Housewives series and Andy Cohen’s show.

  4. Football Weekly / The Guardian - I’ve read The Guardian everyday since the late ‘80s and started listening to their bi-weekly review of the English Premier League + other Euro leagues and international tournaments when it first started. It moved ahead of Men In Blazers in my queue only because it posts every Monday (+ Thursday), whereas MIB can be very unpredictable.

  5. Freakonomics Radio - If you loved their book(s) like I did, you’ll subscribe to listen to Stephen Dubner “tell you things you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but do)”.

  6. How I Built This with Guy Raz / NPR - Everyone in the Innovation Economy seems to listen to this; NPR host Guy Raz interviews the founders of the most successful companies to have them tell the story of their companies’ growth in their own words.

  7. 99% Invisible - Sort of like Freakonomics Radio, this podcast is a weekly exploration of the process and power of design and architecture. This is a podcast that I hear many people name as their favorite.

  8. HBR Cold Call - Biweekly distillation of Harvard Business School’s famous case studies featuring the HBS professors discussing the cases they’ve written and the lessons they deliver. Also the closest I’ll ever come to attending HBS.

  9. Planet Money / NPR - As NPR describes it, “The economy, explained. Imagine you could call up a friend and ask them to meet you at a bar and tell you about the economy. Now imagine that as a fun evening.”

  10. Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! / NPR - because we all need humor in our lives. The famous, long-running NPR live trivia show that features famous guests and panelists is now in podcast form.

  11. Tiny Desk Concerts / NPR - Can you tell that I’ve lived in a blue state for more than 25 years? In this weekly live podcast, both famous and soon-to-be-famous artists play an acoustic set at NPR music critic Bob Boylan’s desk. Great way to hear your favorites and soon-to-be favorites play as if they were sitting in your living room.

  12. Sport Lifestyle Podcast - Hosts Mike Gugat, John Peters and Neil Schwarz not only represent three very different generations and demographic segments (Gen X, Millennial, Boomer, in order), but they break down company news, trends and insights across the sports, wellness and lifestyle industries from important companies and upstarts like adidas, Nike, Lululemon, VF, Allbirds and many others. Their weekly interview features leaders, veterans and influencers from the industry (including yours truly in Episode 9)

  13. a16z Podcast - produced by legendary Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, this focuses on tech trends and startup culture with interviews with the people at the center of the Innovation Economy.

  14. The EverybodyFights Podcast with George Foreman III - (yes, he is one of his sons, and yes, they’re all named George. And no, he doesn’t talk about the Grill. Much.). George is the co-founder of the quickly-growing EverybodyFights boxing fitness gym chain and in this new series of podcasts, he interviews business leaders and boxing legends. George is also the nicest guy I’ve ever worked with, which comes through powerfully in his interviewing style.

  15. Monocle on Design - because I love everything Monocle does, and I work in the design industry, I never miss this one. Just because its last on the list doesn’t mean its last in my queue.

A bunch of others that I listen to sporadically:

  • The Big Interview / Monocle24 - compelling personalities from all over the world rarely seen or heard in the American media.

  • Only A Game / NPR (weekly Saturday AM sports radio show in podcast form)

  • TED Talks Daily (is it possible to go a day now without hearing about a TED talk?)

  • Und Nun Zum Sport / Sueddeutsche Zeitung (German sports podcast from Munich’s leading newspaper)

  • Checkered Flag Formula 1 / BBC (F1 radio show featuring race previews, analysis and news)

  • HBR IdeaCast (big business ideas analyzed by Harvard Business Review)

  • The Next X / JWT Intelligence (Legendary agency J. Walter Thompson’s research team’s podcast digs into “The Future of…” different industries)

  • Innovation Answered / Innovation Leader (you’ll never guess what this is about)

Some others that I’m just starting to check out based on recommendations:

  • Should This Exist?

  • Spark

  • Pod Save America

Which podcasts do you listen to? Let me know your thoughts and favorites!

Pan-Mass Challenge 2019: Why I'm Riding.

Pan-Mass Challenge 2019: Why I'm Riding.