Tag Archive | podcast

This American Life Alumni Launches Startup

hear startup audio podcast alex blumberg

This American Life Alumni Launches Startup

Podcast listeners have been treated recently to a smorgasbord of high quality audio delicacies. National Public Radio (formerly National Public Radio) has continued to produce super impressive audio offerings. Serial has just ended a speculator series, a spin off from This American Life.

Popular podcasts are no longer just two guys chatting in their basements on cheap headsets. The production benchmark has been raised. Major broadcasters are getting in on the act discovering that the world of podcast are filled with loyal audiences.

Planet Startup

So we were obviously excited to hear that Alex Blumberg from This American Life, Planet Money and other well known titles has jumped ship to start making his very own podcast network. His creation Gimlet Media strives to create the next network of high quality audio podcasts.

We know that the market wants to hear podcasts (shown by the popularity of Serial); and we know that these listeners don’t mind hearing from advertisers. A match made in heaven?

Blumberg’s first offering is ‘Startup’ that follows his journey from paid employee at NPR to startup entrepreneur. He shares his pain, nerves, anxiety and worries of starting his own business. We hear him pitching his idea to investors. We hear him hiring people. We hear him dealing with a minor social media disaster. Read a more in depth review here from The Guardian.

It’s definitely worth checking out (links below). They have just released another new series called ‘Reply All’ that tells great stories about the Internet.

What about us?

It is entertaining listening to hear from others trying to make the next big thing. However how much empathy can we have for Gimlet? With the breadth of experience and contacts how big was the leap from employee to employer? The one thing clear is that Blumberg and co have taken a leap and it seems to be paying off (so far). Let’s hope we can all find our feet so easily…

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Links:

+ Startup – Startup is a show about startups.
+ Reply All – Reply All is a show about the internet.

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You might also enjoy:
+ The Startup Dictionary – Learning the Lingo #3
+ Learning From Other Startups – 6 Real Life Stories
+ Startup Myths – I shall not be fooled again by gurus
+ The Bootstrap Challenge – Walking the Talk

Welcome new readers! If this is your first time here, you might want to start with a new article or read through our older submissions.

Where to next? Check out a random article.

Stay in touch: Check us out via RSS Feed, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Join the conversation: Leave a comment or this post.

Top Startup Podcasts – Learning From Listening

There is an endless supply of information available for entrepreneurs. However reading articles and attending events can get tiresome. Podcasts offer an easy and relaxing way to listen and learn from others in your own time.

We have listed some of our favourite below. There are quite a few to choose from, so you may want to pick out the episodes that best suit your interest.

You may also be interested in learning how to create your own podcast.

1. Techzing Tech Podcast – TechZing is an informal chat show hosted by Justin Vincent and Jason Roberts. They release two shows per week discussing there own tech startup experiences and general ‘Hacker News’ type stories.

2. The Startup Success Podcast – Hosted by Bob Walsh and Patrick Foley. Bob is a consultant, microISV, author, BOS forum moderator and blogger. Patrick is an ISV Architect Evangelist with Microsoft.

3. Startups for the Rest of Us – Hosts Mike Taber and Rob Walling apply their 20 years of experience as software entrepreneurs and share those experiences to help listeners avoid the same mistakes they have made.

4. A Smart Bear – Advice from Jason Cohen, founder of WP Engine and Smart Bear Software.

5. Lean Blog Started in 2005 to host news, commentary, and discussion about “Lean” – the methodology and management system based on the Toyota Production System. Includes some good interviews with top Lean experts, such as Eric Ries (#115, #142).

6. Stanford University’s Entrepreneurship Corner – The university offers over 2,000 free videos and podcasts featuring entrepreneurship and innovation thought leaders.

7. HBR Ideacast – The Harvard Business Review produces a weekly audio podcast, bringing listeners the analysis and advice of the leading minds in management.

8. Mixergy – The Mixergy Mission is to “introduce listeners to doers and thinkers whose ideas and stories are so powerful that just hearing them will change you”. Bold and informative.

9. This Week In Startups (TWiST)Jason Calacanis hosts a fun and lively weekly podcast and video series focused on tech startups.

10. Venture Voice – A podcast that explores how entrepreneurs build their businesses and live their lives.

11. Foundation by Kevin Rose – Revision3 has emerged as the leading special interest video network, and has attracted top Internet video talent, advertisers and distribution partners.

12. Founders Talk – Founders Talk Founders Talk is an interview podcast all about awesome, in-depth, one on one conversations with Founders. Tune in for a new show every Thursday!

13. Techcrunch Founder StoriesTechCrunch is a leading technology media property, dedicated to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news.

14. The Frank Peters Show – Interviews to help entrepreneurs learn what worked for those who were successful. “If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll learn what makes early-stage investing attractive to angels. If you’re an angel, hopefully you’ll learn how not to lose your shirt.”

15. Freakonomics – Listen to economists Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner (co-authors of best selling book, Freakonomics) talk about about cheating teachers, bizarre baby names, self-dealing Realtors, and crack-selling mama’s boys.

Image Credit: Techyuva

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You might also enjoy:
+ Learning From Other Startups – 6 Real Life Stories
+ A Smart Bear – Jason Cohen on Startups
+ Weekly Digest #1 – How We Stumbled Upon Top Biz Resources
+ Weekly Digest #2 – More Golden Resources for Startup Entreprenuers

Welcome new readers! If this is your first time here, you might want to start with a new article or read through our older submissions.

Where to next? Check out a random article.

Stay in touch: Check us out via RSS Feed, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Join the conversation: Leave a comment or this post.

A Smart Bear – Jason Cohen on Startups

Bear riding a bicycle launches startup

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We have just finished listening to an interview with Jason Cohen on Techzing. We first heard Jason on an interview on The Startup Success Podcast. Jason writes a very popular startup blog , is a successful entrepreneur and founder of four successful companies.

We really enjoyed listening to his views on startups and his real world experience from building his own businesses. There is so much information on startup methodologies however Jason talks in terms of actually applying these concepts. His insightful views challenge many of the norms providing common sense steps to getting your startup off the ground. You can find out more from Jason at his blog and podcast.

Below are some key points from the Techzing podcast. We thought that the ‘sell it first, build it second’ approach really smart.

+ Exponential growth – You can aim for exponential growth but understand that growth will be slow and flat in the beginning due to small starting base.

+ Blogging – Jason tried to conform to blogging best practice and rules but eventually found honest writing works better (proof with his 30k+ RSS subscribers). He wrote better and gained more followers when not worrying about the guidelines.

+ Startup Philosophy – Startup entrepreneurs talk to others in terms of therapy rather than philosophy.

+ Selling Your Startup – It is a difficult decision whether to sell your business. It is not a bad thing to question why you want to sell?

+ Growing Your Startup – Again, it is a difficult decision on how to grow your business. You can chose to grow without employing more people.

+ Evaluating Your Idea or Sell It First, Build It Second

Jason suggests you continue to talk to customers every 3 months to benefit from their insights into your product. He advocates the strength of customer interviews before even building your product.

Approach – Customer Discovery:
Write down your theories and assumptions (20 to 30).
Speak to customers.
Write customer attitudes and your own thoughts down.
Don’t try convince customer, get customer to validate or invalidate theories.
Don’t lead the witness – ask open ended questions to get the truth.
Result will likely be the following validations: Third right, third wrong, third appears while talking.
Pick the top 5 and build your product.

Key Questions:
Would you buy it? How much would you pay? Would you write a cheque today?
If you cannot see a clear niche and interest emerging then likely product will not sell.

Example:
Jason spoke 50 people (1 hour per interview) – 30 said they would buy the product, 20 actually paid.
He asked the question – Would you write a cheque today?
This approach is not a sales call but asking the questions to get real answers.
The benefit are you can get customers paying before building a product. This is the best signal of validation you can get!

This bootstrapping sales technique allows you to have income on day 1 and aids funding implementation.

+ Finding Potential Customers To Interview – Jason recommended this great cold calling technique.

Begin by searching for experts (who are likely to be your potential customers) on LinkedIn. Be sure to approach these experts honestly, openly, respectful, and be willing to pay for their time. Do not approach this as a sales call but rather a call for help.

In Jason’s experience he found that all people approached were willing to help and for free. If you cannot find people to cold call, this suggests product is going to be difficult to sell.

+ The Business Guy – Jason believes that business guys don’t exist. Business starts by getting leads and getting real things done. They doesn’t wait for development and don’t waste time with things that won’t generate sales.

+ Pricing – backup example: people willing to pay whatever cost when their server crashes

Benefits of paying for sales – mechanical process which you can control. good position to be in.
Blog followers don’t equal conversions – 2 signups from a blog post (30k) and similar result for KISSmetrics

+ Bootstrapping – Jason used early funding from friends and co-founders to build a profitable startup. He demonstrated that company could make money while asking for money. By the time Jason needed some more serious money he found funding from strategic investors easier by showcasing a proven model.

+ Happiness – Doing something that fulfills you leads to happiness. Jason gets great satisfaction from helping others (knowing that others can succeed from mentoring discussions). Discussion often leads to eliciting new ideas.

Conclusion
+ Sell it first, build it second
+ Be honest when cold calling to elicit true customer insight (early sales are incidental but essential)
+ Build a proven model to help raising more funds
+ Doing something fulfilling leads to happiness

Did you listen to the podcast? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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You might also enjoy:
+ Startup Weekend: What to expect? How to prepare?
+ Samsung’s Pivot From Dried Fish to Smartphones
+ Learning From Other Startups – 6 Real Life Stories
+ The Bootstrap Challenge – Walking the Talk

Welcome new readers! If this is your first time here, you might want to start with a new article or read through our older submissions.

Where to next? Check out a random article.

Stay in touch: Check us out via RSS Feed, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Join the conversation: Leave a comment or this post.

Weekly Digest #2 – More Golden Resources for Startup Entreprenuers

A few weeks ago we published our first Weekly Digest post titled – How We Stumbled Upon Top Biz Resources. While the posts haven’t been published weekly, we hope you can enjoy the latest installment (albeit a month late)….

The below are some super online resources we have discovered on our quest for knowledge.

1. Useful Resources

The Startup Dictionary – Learning the Lingo – When you enter the realm of startups you discover the massive amount of terminology being thrown around. Check out this mini startup glossary.

Guide To Writing A Business Plan – We have been investigating the differences of Business Model v Business Plan. Whatever tool you use to plan – when you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This link provides a easy reference guide to help with your planning.

Build-your-own-website service Wix.com adds HTML5 support – Need a professional and impressive looking online presence today? WIX is a easy to use web builder to create flash websites. They announced this week that they now support HTML 5.

100 Ivy League Business & Entrepreneurship Courses You Can Take for Free – If you are thinking about going back to university, you may think again after checking out these free online courses. Numerous courses from Introduction to Financial and Managerial Accounting to Competition in Telecommunications.

BrightHub – The Entrepreneurship Channel – A great archive of ‘how to’ articles on starting and running your own business.

2. Inspirational Speakers

10 TED Talks for Entrepreneurs & The Educated Entrepreneur’s Blog – TED are known for their high quality and inspiring speaking sessions. Usually they focus on health, science and medicine. In this link they have picked out their best talks for Entrepreneurs. Some great videos available.

Imagine’ That: Fostering Creativity In The Workplace – This podcast talks about the science behind creativity and innovative thought. Jonah Lehrer, author of ‘Imagine How Creativity Works’ shares what triggers innovative thinking.

3. Smart Bloggers

The following requires it’s very own blog post as it is truly interesting topic. If you want to know more about the ‘Lean Startup’ movement then check out the two blogs below.

Market By Numbers – Brant Cooper

Startup Up Lessons Learned – Eric Ries

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You might also enjoy:
+ The Startup Dictionary – Learning the Lingo #3
+ Learning From Other Startups – 6 Real Life Stories
+ Startup Myths – I shall not be fooled again by gurus
+ The Bootstrap Challenge – Walking the Talk

Welcome new readers! If this is your first time here, you might want to start with a new article or read through our older submissions.

Where to next? Check out a random article.

Stay in touch: Check us out via RSS Feed, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Join the conversation: Leave a comment or this post.

Weekly Digest #1 – How We Stumbled Upon Top Biz Resources

This week we found numerous great resources that we couldn’t wait to share with our readers! There is an endless supply of good information out there. Finding the really great articles is the tough job. We hope some of the links below can help narrow the search for you. Drop us a line if you wish to add to this list.

1. Podcasts

These links follow on from our earlier post on the benefits of learning from others (Post: Podcasts – Hearing and Learning From Others).

170: TZ Interview – Paul Paetz / Innovative Disruption – An intriguing interview with Paul Paetz, CEO and Principal Disruption Consultant at Innovative Disruption. The podcast talks about disrupting the market and making a difference. There is a good discussion of why the Apple iPod succeeded when so many other mp3 players already existed.

Standford’s Entreprenership Corner – Numerous podcasts available on many topics. Speakers come from organisations such as LinkedIn, 37signals, Zynga.

2. Stumble Upon

Stumble Upon is a great tool/application for viewing websites relevant to your interests. With the click of a button you can literally ‘stumble’ through articles associated to your chosen interests.

Visit the Entrepreneurship section of the StumbleUpon website for more.

The following are some of the great article we found:

Startup Advice: How Entrepeneurs Gain Credibility – Focuses on the challenge of new startups in gaining funding.

10 Must Read Blogs for Entrepreneurs (2012 Edition) – Links to some super entrepreneurial blogs. Unfortunately we don’t feature on the list *cry*

How to Build a Membership Site in 48 Hours – A case study in what can be achieved in 48 hours.

Best 101 Entrepreneurship Quotes Ever – We have been tweeting the occasional inspirational quote lately. Here is a collection of some really good ones.

How Do I Create a Business Plan? – Another ‘how to create a business plan’ article. Life Hacker provide some shortcuts. Relevant to our earlier post on (Business Plans).

Lead, Follow or Get the Fuck Out of the Way – Mark Suster sharing his views on leadership with a nice feature image of David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

How We Made Our Millions – 40 things we learnt – Some important tips taken from a BBC documentary featuring Dragon Peter Jones.

Enjoy!

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You might also enjoy:
+ The Startup Dictionary – Learning the Lingo #3
+ Learning From Other Startups – 6 Real Life Stories
+ Startup Myths – I shall not be fooled again by gurus
+ The Bootstrap Challenge – Walking the Talk

Welcome new readers! If this is your first time here, you might want to start with a new article or read through our older submissions.

Where to next? Check out a random article.

Stay in touch: Check us out via RSS Feed, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Join the conversation: Leave a comment or this post.

Podcasts – Hearing and Learning From Others

There is so much literature available online for any topic you can think about. Business, startups and technology bring back millions of results. It is easy to become overwhelmed.

A Google search of the word ‘startups’ finds 32.9 million results. There are 978,000 video results! It pays to be selective.

Personally I enjoy learning from others. Interviews and case studies are a great source of information. You can gain a real insight into how an idea become a reality. Many are more than happy to share the challenges and difficulties they have worked through.

Presently I don’t have too much time to sit down and read articles or books, so podcasts are perfect. Unfortunately a Google search for ‘startups podcasts’ retrieves 24.5 million results! To help out I have listed two of my current favourites:

Techzing Tech Podcast – Their best episodes are interviews with other entrepreneurs.
Business Week – Smart Answers – Recorded a few years ago, the interviews and information is very relevant for new businesses.

As time goes on I will update this list and highlight some particular episodes to check out.

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You might also enjoy:
+ Learning From Other Startups – 6 Real Life Stories
+ Startup Myths – I shall not be fooled again by gurus
+ Social Media Experiment – Twitter, Google+ and now Facebook
+ Project Trout – Social Media Experiment Update #3

Welcome new readers! If this is your first time here, you might want to start with a new article or read through our older submissions.

Where to next? Check out a random article.

Stay in touch: Check us out via RSS Feed, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Join the conversation: Leave a comment or this post.

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