Six pixels of separation: Mitch Joel – the president of global digital marketing agency Mirum – invites rock stars from the world of digital marketing. Mitch does a terrific job of bringing on people from a broad spectrum of areas within digital marketing. His experience is largely on the agency side, but he really does bring on people from all over. My experience with this podcast is that the guests have been about 75% really interesting, and 25% not relevant to my interests or career. Many have been surprisingly relevant, even though I didn’t think they would be at the outset. Definitely worth checking out for someone that is interested in a career in digital marketing.
Masters of Scale: Reed Hastings, the founder of LInkined, hosts this podcast. Given his status in the world, he brings on some impressive guests to talk about how they have built companies. The podcast is described on its homepage as “showing how companies grow from zero to a gazillion”, so he’s talking to some of the most successful people in the world. They often refer back to times when they were not billionaires, so there still are some lessons for the little guys.
The Truth About Money: The funny thing about this podcast is that it’s actually a radio show, so it’s kind of a throwback. Ric Edelman is the host, who runs his own financial services firm in addition to writing books and hosting this show. He does a great job of breaking financial concepts down so that the general population can understand them. He also has people call in and explain their financial conundrums, so it helps to understand how to approach your own finances, and more often than not, pitfalls to avoid.
Make Me Smart: I’ve been listening to this one since the beginning, and it’s one of my favorites. Hosted by Kai Rysdall (Marketplace) and Molly Wood (also from Marketplace), this podcast covers a wide range of topics that include cryptocurrencies, Facebook data trust issues, the economy, politics, tech, and much more. Oh, and there’s a book club. Even the book club covers a wide array of genres. Kai and Molly do a great job of balancing the news of the week with larger questions/topics. They strike the right balance of interesting/educational, which manifests itself in the “make me smart question”: What is something you thought you knew to be true, but later found out to be untrue?
WTF with Marc Maron: This podcast probably won’t find its way onto too many lists to help you with your career, but I had to include it on my list. Maron has done as much to elevate podcasts to the mainstream as anyone. He stands out from other comedians because of his unique ability to establish a human connection. Nobody does a better job with long-form interviews than Maron. He asks the questions that I would want to ask, but would never think to ask. He always finds a way to drill down to the inner core of his guests, learning who they are and what their true motivations are. It is the most human of any podcast I have encountered, and that is why it is on this list. In our carers, the better we can understand each other, the more collaborative and productive we will be. Not to mention the fact that we will get more out of life this way.
Planet Money: If you are curious about the economic underpinnings of things you come across in your daily life, this is a terrific podcast. It is usually under 30 minutes, fun, and covers a single interesting topic. My favorite will always be the episode where they dug into the new trend of phone scammers calling you from a number similar to yours.
Revisionist History: Of course Malcolm Gladwell is better at podcasting than the rest of us. It’s almost annoying how he just waltzed into the world of podcasting and was instantly among the greatest podcasters. Eye rolling aside, his podcast is one of the most fascinating. Each episode stands on its own, with a single topic that he covers exhaustively. The topics are usually something you are familiar with (such as the Toyota recall or golf courses), but probably misunderstood. Not all episodes will leave you better prepared for your next meeting, but you will always learn something.