Best Entrepreneur Stories – 10 of My Favorite Podcasts
I’m a huge fan of learning via audio. It’s one of the things that led me to start LearnOutLoud.com a few years ago. Over the years I’ve listened to hundreds of podcasts that have been helpful on my entrepreneurial journey. Of particular use are interviews with entrepreneurs that tell their stories. I’ve found these very educational and inspirational and wanted to share 10 of my favorites with you. Enjoy!
#10: Greg Waldorf (Stanford’s Entrepreneur Corner) – I love the Stanford podcasts and have often recommended to entrepreneurs to listen to every single one of them. They’re so good that half of the podcasts on this list are from their and I’ll start off with this one. Greg is the CEO of eHarmony.com and this podcast provides excellent insight into how they’ve built eHarmony into an extremely successful company. Greg’s very polished and there’s a lot to learn in this one.
#9: Fabrice Grinda (Venture Voice) – In addition to Stanford, I’m always recommending Venture Voice to people. Greg Gallant has done an amazing job reaching out to some luminary entrepreneurs. His interview with Fabrice Grinda who started Zingy is one of my favorites. Fabrice is a colorful guy and you’ll definitely enjoy and learn from this one.
#8: Hiten Shah (Mixergy) – Mixergy is a new arrival on the scene but an absolutely fantastic source of audio wisdom. If you’re running a Web business in particular you’d be well off listening to every interview Andrew has done. I really liked the interview that Andrew did with Hiten Shah, founder of ACS, CrazyEgg and KissMetrics. Hiten is one of the smartest guys in the game and there’s some very useful stuff contained in this interview.
#7: Reid Hoffman (Stanford’s Entrepreneur Corner) – Reid is a two-trick pony in Silicon Valley. Two very big ponies. After rocking it out at Paypal he went on to become the Founding CEO of LinkedIn. Reid’s opinionated but dead on most of the time and well worth listening to considering his remarkable track record. Podcasts like this confirm why I love the Stanford stuff so much.
#6: Jason Calacanis (Web 2.0 Show) – Anyone who knows Jason knows that he never misses an opportunity to speak his mind. This interview is a bit of an oldie but goodie (right after Weblogs, Inc was acquired in 2005) but I loved it. Jason covers a lot of ground and while there are other interviews him floating around out there this one makes for a pretty entertaining listen.
#5: Steve Blank (Stanford’s Entrepreneur Corner) – Steve Blank is Mr. Customer Development and has had a ton of success as an entrepreneur and more recently, as someone who has laid the blueprint for many successful companies. If you’ve never heard of customer development before this podcast will give you some a great start and you’ll definitely think about entrepreneurship at least a little differently after listening to.
#4: Sam Wyly (Venture Voice) – I’m sure I’m a little biased here (Sam’s daughter is a good friend) but I think Sam has one of the best entrepreneur stories out there. He’s done such an amazing range of businesses (University Computing, Sterling Software, Michael’s, Maverick Capital, Green Mountain Energy, etc.) and has some very interesting insights. I loved reading 1,000 Dollars and an Idea but if you don’t have the time to read that this interview on Venture Voice is a good overview of his career.
#3: Mark Zuckerberg and Jim Breyer (Stanford’s Entrepreneur Corner) – What is remarkable about this podcast is the date: October 26th, 2005. It’s rare to get an intimate glimpse of something massive this early in its lifecycle (“The Lost Google Tapes” are a notable exception). It’s interesting to listen to this one and think if either Zuck or Breyer really knew how big Facebook would get.
#2: John Bogle (Venture Voice) – John Bogle just seemed to ooze integrity to me. He built Vanguard by keeping the best interests of the investor in mind, something pretty rare in the finance industry. What was very cool to me about this is to hear Greg interview someone probably 50+ years old than him and do a darn good job. The kid is good…
#1: Joe Liemandt (Stanford’s Entrepreneur Corner) – This might be my favorite entrepreneur story ever. Joe tells a fascinating story of how they built Triology on a shoestring budget, had the most important meeting of their life end up bombing, continued on by putting $500K on credit cards and ultimately signed one the biggest deals in software history. Listen to this one a bunch. Contained within is the definition of what it means to be an entrepreneur.
I know I missed a *ton* of great ones so please respond with any of your favorites in the comments. If you want to do your own Top 10 that would be incredibly cool!