Tech Innovation and Business Podcasts That Won't Put You to Sleep


Reading a book or registering for a course are great ways to learn, but sometimes the most invaluable lessons lie in a conversation. While we don’t all have the opportunity to ask successful entrepreneurs our most burning questions, we have the next best thing: podcasts. Here are five of my favorite narrative and interview-style podcasts that feature innovative and future-forward minds with insight into how and why they became who they are today. 

Decoder with Nilay Patel

Listen On: Apple Podcasts, Spotify

Favorite Episode: Can Substack CEO Christ Best build a New Model fo Journalism? 

Hosted by “Verge” Editor-in-Chief Nilay Patel, “Decoder” isa three part cocktail of good questions, market research, and deep industry knowledge. Innovators from all industries speak to the specific challenges that their product has faced, as well as their unique strings of success. If you want business model breakdowns, details into the CEO mentality, and illuminating opinions on industry futures from an inside pocket, this podcast is for you. 


Before IT Happened

Listen On: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher

Favorite Episodes: Disrupting Negative Thoughts with Cope Notes FounderJohnny Crowder; Zero Fatalities with Smart Motorcycles and Jay Giraud; Unleashing a $100B Industry with Sports Bra Creator Lisa Z. Lindahl

Everyone loves a success story, but if you’re trying to pave your own way, you want to know how.The “Before IT Happened” podcast is about exactly that. Former reporter and host Donna Loughlin, invites experts from an array of industries to share the inspiration behind the innovation. If success is something that still feels faraway, this podcast offers a more personal side of their stories as they reveal the struggles and triumphs that took them from an idea or a dream to a marketable product and an agent of change. 


HBR IdeaCast 

Listen On: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts

Favorite Episode: Decisions Don’t Have to Be Either-Or

With a 4.4 star rating on Apple Podcasts, “HBR IdeaCast” is answering questions you didn’t even know you had. I’d describe it as an advanced and unconventional course in soft skills or somewhat of a self-improvement podcast for the “business” you. Some of their most recent episodes discuss topics such as “The Case for Embracing Uncertainty” or“Strategies for Working with Difficult Coworkers.” Their guests are leading thinkers in business and management with compelling and seasoned advice that can be applied to anyone at any stage of their career.


How I Built This 

Listen On: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher

Favorite Episode: Hinge: Justin McLeod

It’s all in the title. Hosted by Guy Raz, “How I Built This”is an honest conversation about the nitty gritty process of building and leading a company. Told by some of the best-known entrepreneurs of popular companies like Hinge, Headspace, and Burt’s Bees, each episode narrates their unique story and the sacrifice, compromise, and pivoting required to create the products we know and use today. Listeners of this podcast will learn that no story is exactly the same.


WorkLife with Adam Grant

Listen On: Spotify, Apple Podcasts

Favorite Episode: The Science of the Deal

Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist interviewing other unconventional professionals about improving your life within the job you have now. Without soaring into needlessly complicated explanations, Grant tackles big problems that seem too lofty or too complicated to have realistic or meaningful solutions. He invites his guests to examine scientific studies on work culture and how they can be applied. His guests and topics run the gamut,and discovery is all a part of the experience.