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5 podcasts every start-up founder needs to listen to

Over the past few years, podcasts have exploded in popularity, with millions of people listening to their favourite shows every day.

As a start-up founder, podcasts are the perfect way to make the most out of your commute and any down time you have. But with so many incredible business podcasts out there to learn from, it’s hard to pick which are worth your time.

To help you along your journey of starting your own business, we’ve picked out five podcasts that every start-up founder should listen to. Catch up on these on your way into the office to receive unique insights that could make a huge difference in your business.

The Tim Ferriss Show

The Tim Ferriss Show has been downloaded more than 300 million times – and for very good reason. We included Ferriss’s New York Times bestselling book – The 4-Hour Work Week – in our pick of the books every start-up founder needs to read, and his excellent podcast offers even more insight into starting and running a business.

On The Tim Ferriss Show, Ferriss sits down with world-class performers across a whole host of disciplines. While there’s plenty of insights to glean from his interviews with athletes like Maria Sharipova and LeBron James and entertainers such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Foxx, business owners will get the most from his conversations with business leaders like Richard Branson, Ray Dalio, and Reid Hoffman.

Ferriss’s podcasts last a few hours each, which means he gets the chance to dig deep with his guests and reveal insights you might not find anywhere else from some of the biggest names and brightest minds in the worlds of business and entertainment. In our opinion, that’s what makes it a must-listen for any start-up founder.

How I Built This

How I Built This is an NPR podcast that reveals the stories behind some of the world’s biggest companies. Host Guy Raz asks the founders of some of the world’s most successful entreprenuers to tell the story of how they started and grew their businesses, from coming up with the initial idea all the way through each of the trials and tribulations along the way.

How I Built This’s incredible roster of guests includes the founders of household names such as Instagram, Buzzfeed, Starbucks, Ben & Jerry’s, Dell Computers, LinkedIn, Dyson, Wikipedia and many more.

Each episode reveals the thought process behind these business’s biggest decisions, making it an invaluable resource for anyone with ambitions of growing their own successful company.


Startup bills itself as “a show about what it’s really like to start a business”, and it does exactly that. The first series follows the host, Alex Blumberg, as he goes through the journey of starting his own company, Gimlet Media.

It’s a fascinating peak behind the scenes of the early days of his journey as an entrepreneur, and along the way you’ll hear him pitch to billionaire investors, build a team, and deal with burnout, and even navigate a media fiasco.

This warts and all documentary of the first few months of a start-up is sure to have a number of parallels to your own journey as the owner of a fledging business, meaning there’s guaranteed to be a number of lessons for you to learn from so you don’t make the same mistakes as the host.

The Startup Diary

Much like Startup, The Startup Diary lets you peak inside businesses trying to get off themselves off the ground. As a start-up founder, you can learn so much from entrepreneurs at the same stage as you or just ahead of you, making this essential listening.

The Startup Diary also focusses on sharing practical lesson that start-up founders can implement in their businesses today. For example, they have episodes covering everything from getting your first 100 customers to hiring and firing salespeople to dealing with getting “fired” by a client.

The Growth Show

The Growth Show is a podcast by Hubspot in which the company’s Vice President of Marketing, Meghan Keaney Anderson, interviews successful brands about the story behind their growth.

Marketing is essential to every businesses success, and The Growth Show takes a deep dive into the strategy and tactics behind the marketing of some of today’s hottest brands, ideas, and movements.

In our opinion, there’s no podcast out there that will lead to clearer insights into what makes a successful marketing campaign or inspire better ideas for your own marketing efforts.

Each of these podcasts is sure to inspire you to look at your own start-up in a unique way, whether it’s through the story of how one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs overcame hurdles at the start of their journey or a look into a company that’s a similar size as yours. They’re the perfect accompaniment to our pick of the five best books and blogs for start-up founders.

At DCI we invite local entrepreneurs along to share their journey with founders on the programme. Like many of these fantastic podcasts, learning from other successful business owners can provide you with valuable lessons in establishing a successful business. They can provide inspiration, insight and share knowledge of how to do things right and how to avoid some critical mistakes.

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