Earlier this year there started to be more and more buzz in Silicon Valley about a podcast that is giving amazing insight about startups. The podcast name is, well, StartUp! It is produced by the company called Gimlet Media founded by Alex Blumberg – known from This American Life radio show. Although the name sounds pretty typical, it really works for the show since the quality of the content is blowing my mind. I really got addicted! When I discovered this series in summer this year, I listened to two episodes a day. This fall a special third edition season has started.

What is it about?

They call him a producer of HBO Podcasts. Alex Blumberg, who came up with this amazing idea to create own narrative podcasts about startups, shares insightful information about creating his own startup which is the StartUp show. It was a stunning and brave idea to do a sort of reality show about starting own business. Alex recorded talks with investors, potential and actual co-founders, the process of thinking of a name, negotiations regarding equity shares and even conversations with his wife whom he is often asking for advice. Contrary to mere facts or lessons, listeners can hear real life situations from a startup world.

What is the advantage?

This podcast allows to get a reliable perspective about what is really happening inside a startup in the early stage. The first season lets us observe the very beginning of Gimlet Media company. The second season presents another startup – Dating Ring. By listening to it we can put ourselves on founder’s position. Those, who have their own startups will surely find many references to their own situations, and those who are planning to have a startup will gain knowledge about what is really going on in the early stage. For me, as I have had a very intense experience of founding and running a startup in Silicon Valley, it is a real confirmation of the hardness and challenges it takes. It is also a relief to hear that all those problems are normal and happen not only to us. Listening to stories of beginnings of other startups gives courage, as it helps in reducing the fear of making mistakes and making wrong decisions. After all, everyone is making them! It also helps in gaining more awareness about what might go wrong.

While listening to the podcasts I liked the way one of the investors distinguished a startup from a regular business. Startup is by default a global business, but this is not enough. He said that he does not invest in lifestyle business, i.e. a business that might be profitable but is not meant to earn a fortune. Therefore, a startup must be designed to be able to multiply its earnings, which is to scale.

Where can I listen to StartUp?

It’s best to listen to StartUp on iTunes, you can also listen to it on Gimlet Media website www.gimletmedia.com.

One thing is known for sure – Gimlet Media is up and running and is doing great, so the founders must have figured out the way to kick off. But how much did they raise and how did it all happen? It’s best to listen to this podcast from the very beginning, as all episodes in every season are combined into a coherent story.

Here is the first episode of the first season. Enjoy!

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