10 GREAT BUSINESS PODCASTS
Spend your lunch break with
these tasty takes on work
culture, tech, and other topics.
By Cale Weissman
No podcast better captures the thrills and struggles of launching a company. Created as a remarkably candid docuseries on the birth of podcasting
business Gimlet Media, it now traces the surprising stories of other enterprises.
Sample episode: The inventor of the slap bracelet on why he made no money from the ’90s fad.
This series explores backstories of various big
businesses, from AOL to 1-800-GOT-JUNK. The
storytelling is simple and linear, leaving space
for gripping personal tales to emerge.
Sample episode: The creator of the 5-Hour
Energy drink goes from Princeton dropout to
Hindu monk to beverage billionaire.
This show—launched in 2008 to help explain the
financial crisis—offers fascinating explorations of
the intersection between economics and culture.
Sample episode: A look at why many Irish pubs
are so similar. The answer? In the 1970s, one man
defined the elements of a Dublin bar, created a
kit, and sold thousands around the globe.
Editors from culinary site Eater glean insight
from chefs and other industry pros, both famous
(Anthony Bourdain) and less so (cookbook photographer Evan Sung).
Sample episode: Wolfgang Puck explains how he
built his empire, then rips into Eater’s restaurant
critic, who’d panned one of Puck’s steak houses.
Each installment starts with the same question:
“What is your name and what do you do?” Guests
then reveal details of their jobs, whether they’re
a neurosurgeon, a novelist, a pollster, or a clown.
Sample episode: A professional Santa spills trade
secrets: Don’t work shopping malls, wear a real
fur suit, and never say, “Ho ho ho.”
Tech watchers Ben Thompson and James All-
worth tackle topics of the moment—fake news on
Facebook, Uber’s scandals—and offer broader
discourse on where the digital world is headed.
Sample episode: Thoughtful debate on what
tech companies are getting wrong about self-driving cars.
A giant bite of Apple. Hosted by analyst and technology writer Neil Cybart, this show goes deep
into all things Cupertino, with some of the most
informed analysis you’re likely to find.
Sample episode: Apple is famous for its design.
So why are products like Apple Music and Apple
Watch so weirdly hard to use?
Former Nike and Oprah Winfrey Network marketing executive Liz Dolan and executive coach Larry
Seal offer advice on your stickiest workplace
Sample episode: Dealing with liars in the office,
plus an interview with Airbnb’s head of talent
management, Andrea Robb.
Journalist Mandi Woodruff and personal-finance
expert Tiffany Aliche chat about news, relationships, and other topics, but they’re especially
incisive when discussing their successes and failures in the business world.
Sample episode: Aliche on overcoming $300,000
in debt to build a financial-advice company.
Focused on innovation and technology in the
fashion industry, this podcast digs into notable
developments in manufacturing, design, retail,
and other areas.
Sample episode: How online menswear retailer
Proper Cloth is tapping data and digital tools to
amp up its sales.
How I Built This
I Hate My Boss
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Illustration by Peter Oumanski