Podcast listenership is on the rise in America, according to recent research by the Pew Research Center. Even though just 21 percent of people over 12 years old listen to podcosts, we like to imagine it's the busy, intellectually-curious professionals who are tuning in increasingly for brain food.
Below are the top six podcasts for staying in-the-know on corporate innovation, technology news, and startup life — all of which are important topics for an innovation professional.
Are you blown away by tech trailblazers? You're going to love this podcast. "Innovation Crush" follows the work of exceptional innovators. These crush-worthy intrapreneurs, entrepreneurs, and innovation professionals discuss their work and philosophies, typically in under an hour. Chris Denson, director of the Ignition Factory innovation center at Omnicom Media Group, hosts the series. Some recent interview gold includes:
- #134: Elizabeth Gore [Dell Entrepreneur-in-Residence] - Starting the World Up
- #136: Jack Shannon [Recess co-founder] - Founders of the Future
The "a16z" podcast, created by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, is the freshest look at emerging technologies from the point of view of startup founders and venture capitalists. Host Sonal Chokshi, editorial partner at Andreessen Horowitz, interviews startup founders and tech professionals alongside the firm's deal team to get to the core of a given episode's focus. In recent months, notable episodes have included:
- We Gotta Talk Pokémon Go [with Product Hunt CEO Ryan Hoover and a16z deal team partners]
- Welcome to the New Era of Commerce [with Tilt CEO James Beshara and a16z General Partner Jeff Jordan]
What started as a podcast about starting a podcast has become an insightful series about getting unstuck... finding a way to innovate under uncertain circumstances. The "StartUp Podcast" began with host and former producer of public radio show "This American Life" Alex Blumberg's journey to launch podcast network Gimlet Media. Today, the show features Blumberg with co-host Lisa Chow, formerly of FiveThirtyEight and NPR, and covers many entrepreneurial stories episode after episode.
If you work with high-growth startups, the second season focuses on startup Dating Ring, founded by two female entrepreneurs, while the third and fourth seasons are a treasure trove of great journalism and bizarre stories. If you're looking for something different that might spark a little creativity in the ol' noggin, check out:
- Pirate Needs Pirate (Season 3, Episode 3) [about a swearing, smuggling pirate]
- The Runway (Season 3, Episode 5) [about a suit company for gender non-conforming clients]
Swiss business model and value proposition design tools provider Strategyzer hosts an interview-based podcast called "StratChats by Strategyzer." Each podcast episode is about 1-4 minutes in length and features a particular startup question answered by a relevant expert. Business Model Canvas creator and Strategyzer co-founder Alex Osterwalder and Content and Community Manager Kavi Guppta host most of the interviews. Some examples of recent interviews with example episode questions are as follows:
- StratChat with Steve Blank ["Father of the Lean Startup movement"]
- What's the buy-in process for Lean Startup in large organizations?
- How can existing R&D capabilities help Lean Startup to perform well?
- Madhavan Ramanujam [Discusses Pricing and Customer Discovery]
- Why is "monetizing innovation" important today?
- How do you talk about price with customers?
- How are business plans impacting the pricing conversation?
If you're on the search for radio-style newscasting focused on technology news, check out Mashable's "BizPlease" podcast. Host and Business Reporter Jason Abbruzzese brings on various Mashable editors, as well as startup and tech founders, advisors, and experts from all backgrounds to comment on the latest topics and trends. Some recent goodness:
- Andela's CEO on Africa and the future of education
- WaPo media columnist Margaret Sullivan on Facebook, the conventions and live streaming
Senior Manager of Digital Marketing Will Sherlin of 3Pillar Global, a lifecycle management and software product development company, serves as the host of "The Innovation Engine Podcast," which covers topics including emerging trends and technologies, corporation leadership, and company culture. For newcomers to the corporate innovation and intrapreneurship space, this series is a good primer into new tech and basic innovation concepts. Some interesting episodes include:
- Entering a World of Virtual Reality, with Mitch Gelman [Senior Fellow at the Newseum]
- Innovation & Personal Disruption, with Whitney Johnson [Managing Director, The Springboard Fund]
What are your favorite innovation-focused podcasts? Share them in the comments below!