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Best Business Podcasts Drawing Me and my politically-correct, gender-balanced, equal-race-represented group of business people have picked out the best business podcasts of 2017 for you! We've also put together some helpful tips on how to make podcasts turn you into a learning machine during time you'd otherwise be doing nothing: *NOTE* Simply listening to ONLY business-related podcasts can get BORING. So in this list we've included business podcasts as well as curiosity-inducing podcasts which help spur creativity!  

1.) Planet Money - by NPR:

Planet Money Podcast What I love about it: This is a professionally produced show by NPR (generally about 20 minutes per episode) that takes one concept about economics or money, and tells a story about it in a fun way. Planet Money puts A HELLUVALOT of effort into their shows! They actually send reporters across the world and do real research in order to put out a 20 minute show. Of any podcast I listen to, I listen to 100% of every Planet Money episode that comes out. What you will learn: Money and economic principles. Who it's for: Everyone. They tell stories about economics you never even thought of, and in a fun way that doesn't scare anyone away. Favorite Episodes:
  • Tracking where a shirt comes from An AWESOME six-part series following the making of a tshirt from cotton in America, to assembly in Bangladesh. When I first heard this I literally said, "Now THIS is real journalism."
  • The Chicken Tax. How a tax on chicken has really weird results on other parts of the economy.
  • What if you just gave poor people cash? They document the results of programs where instead of more "social services", governments just give poor people cold hard cash.
   

2.) A16Z - by Andreessen Horowitz

a16z podcast What I love about it: This show makes me feel like I live in Silicon Valley and hang out with the smartest people in the area. They even literally have "The Hallway Sessions" where the host (Sonal) just starts recording these insanely great conversations venture capitalists are having in the hallway. This is the podcast put out by the A16Z (Andreessen Horowitz) venture capital company. There's zero ads, zero sponsorships, zero introductions, and it's just a straight-to-the-point podcast. What skills you'll learn: You'll get filled in by startup founders and industry veterans about topics from VR, to mass cloud storage, to the latest in AI algorithms. Who it's for: Relatively advanced tech people. Sometimes the conversations get VERY technical, so this podcast isn't for everyone. But if you want to hear some of smartest people. Also, I have a serious man-crush on Benedict Evans from listening to A16Z, and I get excited when I see that he will be in the episode! His commentary is super intelligent, numbers driven, and it plain-old sounds like he knows what the fuck he's talking about. Favorite Episodes:    

3.) StarTalk Radio: by Neil Degrasse Tyson

Startalk Radio Podcast What I love about it: Neil Degrasse Tyson is the new Carl Sagan, and he's quite badass. His answers (and sheer enthusiasm) for physics and science is incredible. He also always has a comedian co-host, so the banter is generally very entertaining. He rarely is ever stumped by a question, and has a super-wide breadth of knowledge. It's super interesting to hear the inner workings of these large space programs. Who it's for: Beginners of all ages. The show is funny, informative, sparks curiosity, and is great for background listening (it's a favorite of mine to listen to when driving back-n-forth from Austin to Houston). Favorite Episodes:
  • Venus: An entire show about the Venus Cassini mission and all the wild stuff they found out about Venus.
  • Cosmic Queries Gravity: An fascinating episode entirely about gravity.
  • Mars Curiosity Rover: He brings on the people who built parts and instruments on the Mars Curiosity Rover
   

4.) 99% Invisible:

99 Percent Invisible Podcast What I love about it: This kind of has a Planet Money feel where reporters do stories on various subjects you never would've thought of. The host (Roman Mars) has a seriously unique way of telling stories that would otherwise be boring as fuck, but makes them super interesting! What you'll learn: A bunch of totally random things that you never even considered. For example: On one episode they documented the story of a woman who was the "perfect average" model which they modeled thousands of statues after. On another episode they documented how the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed and inspired the "Usonion" style home for middle class families. I think nearly every single 99% Invisible episode I've ever listened to opened my eyes to a little nugget of the world I never even knew about. The story-telling production value of the episodes are amazing! Favorite Episodes:
  • NBC Chimes - How the NBC Chimes became the first sound to be Trademarked.
  • Dollar Store Town - About where are your "made in China" stuff comes from.
  • Mojave Phone Booth - A fun story about one of the most remote telephone numbers in the world.
   

5.) The Tim Ferriss Show - By Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss Podcast What I love about it: Tim Ferriss gets access to all these cool people other podcast rarely get. Jamie Foxx, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Marc Andreesse.....these are not the typical podcast guests. He also asks much more in-depth questions and has real conversations as opposed to most TV-ized interviews. I feel like after Tim started upping his podcast game the entire podcast industry "leveled up" and tried to get cooler and cooler guests. What you'll learn: Tim "deconstructs successful people" and also has a strong inclination towards health. I'm personally not the biggest fan of his more health-related episodes, but I'm a huge fan of when he interviews successful people about their habits, daily routines etc. Favorite Episodes:
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger (Part 1 and Part 2) - Arnold's story is amazing, and his enthusiasm infectious.
  • Matt Mullenweg (1 and 2) - The founder of Wordpress speaks about all sorts of things (like running a 500 person company without an office).
  • Mike Birbiglia - Comedian Mike Birbiglia actually had a really great episode about productivity and sleep. I picked up a bunch of good nuggets about sleep like, "You shouldn't think of it as CRASHING into sleep, you should think of it as EASING into sleep."
   

6.) The Jordan Harbinger Show

The Art of Charm Podcast with Jordan Harbinger What I love about it: Jordan Harbinger talks to a wide variety of people (after 500+ episodes I'm not gonna say EVERY single one is a winner, but there's some real great gems in there. This is a great podcast for people who need to learn better social skills. He brings on guests who talk about relationships, style, building up a network of people. The best part is Jordan calls B.S. when he hears it, and I always appreciate that when a guest starts using "buzzwords" and he'll just stop them and say, "Umm.....that sounds vague, can you please clarify with an example?" What you'll learn: Social skills from a wide variety of different cool guests, including Tony Hawk and Gary Vaynerchuk. Tone of voice: Informative. Favorite Episodes:    

7.)Noah Kagan Presents

Noah Kagan Podcast What I love about it: For starters Noah is one of my best friends in the world, so I'm slightly biased.....but he legitimately is one of the most useful people to know EVER. What you'll learn: He always has unique perspective on things, and every single episode I listen to I get an idea. I'm lucky and get to hear all of Noah's ramblings in real life, and now the whole world gets to hear! Favorite Episodes:    

8.) How I Built This - by NPR

How I built this podcast What I love about it: Because it's NPR they can get some super-cool guests on. They What you'll learn: The basic startup stories of a lot of famous companies and their founders. Favorite Episodes:    

How to spend more time listening to podcasts:

I frequently hear, "I don't have time to listen to podcasts!" This is fair. However there's lots of nooks & crannies in your life where you can sneak in a podcast. The best part about listening to a podcast is it turns otherwise wasted time into PRODUCTIVE and LEARNING time! I shall now bestow upon you my pro-tips for getting in quality podcast time:

1.) Listen to podcasts when driving:

Listening  to podcast in car I go back and forth from Austin to Houston all the time to visit family/friends. It's 2 1/2 hours each way, and since my car doesn't drive itself yet, I have to pay attention to the road. Listening to a podcast whilst driving also has the added effect of slowing me down. If I'm enthralled in a podcast conversation I'm less likely to think, "I wonder how fast my car can go?!" This turns my otherwise kind of boring drive into an educational trip!  

2.) Listen to podcasts in the plane:

Listening to podcast in plane This is one of my favorites. If I'm not writing, you can often find me listening to a podcast in a plane. I'm usually a fidgety little bastard, and I find that listening to a podcast keeps my brain occupied enough to stop the rest of my body from becoming restless..... ....especially if I get a middle seat, which is more common this year because I didn't fly enough to keep my baller status on the airline last year :-( You can also jam in a TON of podcasts over a long flight. I often notice on flights I'll RE-LISTEN to previous episodes I like. Pro-Tip: On a flight you usually won't have fast internet, so when you're at the airport open your phone and click "Download Episode" on any podcast you might want to listen to. Usually before take-off I'll queue up 3-5 new episodes if they're not already saved on my phone.  

3.) Listen to podcasts while working out:

Listening to podcast at gym I know most people listen to music when working out.....but give listening to a podcast a try!! If you listen to the right one, it gets your brain buzzing with ideas....and when your brain is happy and active, your body follows along! Pro-Tip: Try listen to the Arnold Schwarzenegger episodes of the Tim Ferriss Show (Part 1 and Part 2). For some reason his voice and advice jacks me up and makes me workout harder.  

4.) Listen to podcasts in the shower:

Podcast in the shower Many phones are waterproof so you can listen right in the shower, but I go a step further and have a Bose speaker propped up on my shower.  This way I can hear the podcast clearly even when washing my hair. During the time it takes to shower and get dressed, I can power through a 20min+ podcast. That time is otherwise wasted with no real mental activity. I frequently take notes on this waterproof notepad I keep hanging in the shower.  

5.) Listen to podcasts while walking or running:

Listening to podcast while running Sometimes I'll "just randomly go for a walk" when it's really nice outside and jam out to a podcast. Depending on the mood I'll listen to the A16Z podcast and feel like I'm hanging out with smart tech people, or I'll throw on some easy-listening Planet Money which you can soak in without too much brain power. Walk + Podcast = Good for your body and brain!  

How to get the most out of podcasts

A podcast allows you to "be a fly on the wall" in rooms with important people you otherwise not be able to access. Think about it.....people will pay $2,000 to attend a conference to here some cool speaker like Arnold Schwarzenegger speak, and you can get that same speech for FREE in a podcast! Unfortunately after we've invested an hour or more of time into listening to a podcast, we often forget all the golden nuggets of information we've learned over that hour!! That's why I have two pro-tips for getting the most out of your podcast listening time:  

Tip #1.) Take notes when listening to a podcast:

  Take Podcast Notes I dunno about you......but I forget EVERYTHING. Within 2 days I'll totally forget I even listened to a podcast. This is why I'll make my best effort to jot down notes somewhere. On paper, on my iPad, on my phone, on the waterproof shower pad....anything to help me preserve a piece of advice goes a long way. Siri is incredibly useful in situations like driving where I can't take notes. I'll literally just say out loud, "Hey Siri send myself a text message saying (insert whatever useful information here)" and Siri will send me a text message with the information! You can do this without having to budge a finger!

Tip #2.) Re-listen over-and-over until it sticks:

Learning Podcasts Sometimes I'll listen to a podcast, but I don't memorize all the information. For example I listened to the Gravity episode of StarTalk Radio maybe 6+ times because I kept picking up useful information each and every time.     Neville Signature  

P.S. What are YOUR favorite podcasts to listen to?? Maybe give a quick blurb why, such as: 1.) Name of the podcast. 2.) Why you like it. 3.) Your favorite episode. Let me know below in the comments!

P.P.S. If you're starting your own podcast, try our Podcast Name Generator to figure out a great name!
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