I love podcasts. They’re one of my favourite ways of learning. They’re also incredibly efficient as you can listen to them while you’re walking or on the subway. I have my favourites, but I’m still scouring the world for new podcasts. This year has been great in that regard, and while there have many duds, these 12 are excellent:
a16z: This is the podcast of Marc Andreesen’s firm. He’s one of the pioneers of web-browers (he invented Mosaic, and co-founded Netscape), an investor in start-ups and an establishment player in Silicon Valley (he sits on the board of Facebook). The great thing about the podcast is that it covers all the big issues in tech and importantly links it back to what it means for the world. Recent podcasts were on “B2B2C” business models, whether algos are more important that data and the impact of platforms/ecosystems.
Exponential View: Another tech podcast, this time from the UK. Azeem Azhar is the host for the all podcasts and he interviews great minds on all things linked to tech and science that could lead to exponential changes in society. It’s a bit more tilted to AI and neuroscience. Also Azeem’s (free) newsletter is probably the best in the market.
Heaven’s Gate: Produced in the style of Serial, this series covers the rise and fall of the American cult Heaven’s Gate. It was the cult that led to the mass suicide of its members in 1997. I must say I’m fascinated by cults – after all religions could be called socially accepted cults or even Silicon Valley in some ways could be viewed as a cult. Anyway, this features interviews and recordings of the cult’s leaders and members. Only two episodes are out so far, but fascinating stuff.
Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show: Pollak is one of those actors you don’t know by name, but recognise when you see him (see image above). Even then, you can’t quite pin down the movies he’s been in (Usual Suspects, Casino and A Few Good Men)! The podcast is in-depth interviews of actors and directors and a pleasure to listen for all movie-buffs.
Macro Musings: A great podcast for anyone into economics or following markets. Hosted by an economist David Beckworth, he interviews some great academics on the issues of the day from Larry Summers to Oliver Blanchard to Greg Mankiw. Great listening.
Lovett or Leave It and Radio Deplorable: The first is a a left-leaning show where comedians, journalists and actors talk about the latest in US politics, which essentially means mocking Trump. To balance this bias, I listen to the right-leaning podcast, Radio Deplorable, where they skewer liberal hypocrisies.
Misandry with Marcia and Rae: I somehow stumbled across this podcast and I’m addicted. These comedians skewer male-dominated culture. They advocate final wave feminism, which requires of the eradication of men to arrive at true gender equality. Semi-satirical, and often powerful, especially for those of us that work in male-dominate industries.
The Pitch: This is like an audio version of Dragon’s Den/Shark Tank. Budding entrepreneurs give their pitch to investors. We hear it all, and then the back-room feedback. Makes you cringe.
The Pollsters: A great podcast that goes through the latest US polls, mainly on politics. The two hosts are pollsters, so they dissect how good the polling methods are. The key twist is the one of the hosts is a Republican and the other a Democrat. A rare example of bipartisanship, but gives some much needed balance.
Talking Politics: One of my favourite podcast on UK and European politics. Based in Cambridge, the academic David Runciman draws in excellent guests to intelligently discuss political trends of the day. Everything you’d want a politics podcast to be.
The Ultimate Health Podcast: I’ve only listened to a few episodes, but it looks promising. The hosts discuss the latest in health and nutrition. I discovered the natural supplements “Milk Thistle” and “Cordydeps” on this podcast
Let me know what your favourite podcasts are!