Five Podcasts to Set You Up for Success

I commute for 90 minutes each day, which adds up to seven and a half hours each week, and a staggering 360 hours a year. This is time that I could be doing something (anything) productive.

Before I start, this is certainly not a complaint about my commute. I love where I live in Sandycove and enjoy my journey along the south Dublin coastline, especially on a warm, sunny or clear day. It’s the trade-off between living in or outside a city and one I’m happy to make.

But let’s face it. There’s not much you can do on a commute. Your options are pretty much read, watch, browse or listen. This got me thinking about what I can do during this time and how I can optimise it. Rather than spend time reading the news, watching Netflix or browsing social media, I think of those 90 minutes as an opportunity to invest in something that will help me learn. I choose to invest this time by subscribing to podcasts.

Indeed, I subscribe to numerous podcasts that help me to develop a deeper understanding of business and marketing. I quickly and frequently subscribe to new podcasts, but I’m also ruthless about hitting delete early on if they don’t make the grade.

On the topic of podcasts, like any content marketing tactic that proves successful, this is often followed by a proliferation and subsequent dip in quality, and podcasting is no different. Just like the App Store, iTunes and Stitcher have been flooded with content. Some of it good, much of it not. But that’s a discussion for another day.

Despite frequent chopping and changing, the podcasts on this list, from the worlds of technology, startups, marketing, sales and software as a service (SaaS) have been a constant on my iPhone these past 12 months. They feature a bunch of smart people that are building great products, companies and businesses and I’m convinced will set you up for success this year:

1.How to Start a Startup
As its name suggests, this series from Y Combinator which was delivered to Stanford University students is a course for those wanting to become involved in the world of startups. The line-up of speakers is incredible - a who’s who’s of the startup and technology worlds. I often listen back to these lectures for inspiration and ideas.

2. Inside Intercom
Intercom boast a roving bench of interviewers that speak with makers and do-ers about product management, design, startups and marketing. For those unfamiliar with Intercom, they are a remarkable US company with deep Irish roots. Their ever-evolving story, and the lessons its founders have learnt (and share) is well worth keeping a close eye on.

3. Sales Pipeline Radio
Matt Heinz of Seattle-based Heinz Marketing hosts Sales Pipeline Radio where he shares insights and best practices to generate demand and close more deals. What I like about this podcast is that Heinz covers both marketing and sales, and the show has a number of (uncommonly) high calibre guests each week who dispense actionable advice.

4. Seeking Wisdom
The Drift podcast focusses on health, wealth, life, and learning and features ex-HubSpot colleagues David Cancel and Dave Gerhardt. Cancel’s credentials are quite simply first rate - having previously built and sold five technology companies. In short, he’s been there before and knows what it takes to turn a good idea into a successful business.

5. The Twenty Minute VC
The Twenty Minute VC is centred on raising venture capital, predominantly from a technology and SaaS perspective. The podcast’s precocious host, Harry Stebbings has built a following from the ground up and has an impressive list of industry insiders providing analysis, predictions and suggestions on the latest trends.

I admire the people and companies which create these podcasts, week in, week out. In a world that is fast becoming saturated with subpar content, it’s refreshing and commendable to see such quality, original work being published. I have learnt a lot from these podcasts and continue to do so. And I’m sure you will too.