In 2021, U.S. adults spent over 13 hours per day on media. An estimated 80 million Americans are weekly podcast listeners. The guests of our award-winnning interview series Velocitize Talks routinely share their recommendations for both books and podcasts, from industry-focused shows to entertaining ear candy. Read on to find out what industry leaders are listening to, and receiving inspiration from, right now.
1. Build a Better Agency
Anne Stefankyk, Founder & CEO, Kanopi Studios: “I’m an agency owner and I really enjoy Build a Better Agency by the Agency Management Institute. They put out great content. It’s very focused on the agency experience and how to make my business better.”
With more than 340 episodes to date, the Build a Better Agency podcast interviews agency owners and agency-centric guests in order to tap into their expertise. The one-hour podcast also offers key takeaways, many of which can be immediately implemented.
2. Business Wars
Jerome Tam, Founder & Director, Rush Hour Digital: “Business Wars has stories of rivalries like Sony PlayStation versus Xbox.”
Business Wars showcases stories of rivals and how the outcomes of the wars they wage shape our futures. According to its creator Wondery, the podcast goes behind the scenes to find out how the companies, its leaders, and its investors take the business to “new heights…or to ruins.” One of the more recent episodes Tam enjoyed concerned the creators of the Covid vaccines. “Some of the details are super interesting,” says Tam, citing the fact that the Pfizer, Bioentech, Moderna and Astrazeneca vaccines were actually being developed before the pandemic.
3. Business Wars (Part 2)
Gyles Seward, Founder & CEO, Elementary Digital: “The reason Business Wars is interesting is to understand how businesses started. It’s usually about competing businesses against one another, but also the level of innovation and thought and the journey that they took.
“These businesses are massive. It’s fascinating to understand how they took risks or took chances or how they adapted to the marketplace,” Seward said. One episode he particularly enjoyed was on browsers and Netscape. “It’s very poignant that one day you’re a superstar and the next day you’re not; you’re a zero. In the world we operate in, you have to keep on evolving.”
4. The Futur Podcast
Tayo Onabule, Co-Founder & Head of Product, Luna London: “Chris Do just has a really insightful and truthful take on the industry.”
The Futur podcast explores the interesting overlap between design, marketing and business. Host and CEO Chris Do engages in candid conversations with inspirational people from the worlds of design, technology, philosophy, and personal development to discover what drives businesses to do what they do.
5. Lex Fridman Podcast
Sheuy Shujab, Founder & CEO, Whitehat Agency: “Lex Fridman is this computer scientist from the U.S. who interviews some of the smartest people.”
Lex Fridman is an AI researcher at MIT who has interviewed some of our time’s greatest minds. The podcast conversations focus on science, technology, history, and philosophy, while diving deep into the nature of intelligence, consciousness, love, and power. Past guests have included Elon Musk, Dan Carlin, Joe Rogan, Eric Weinstein and hundreds more. Additionally, the popular and well-respected podcast has earned a 4.9/5 rating by over 5.5K reviewers on Apple.
James Banks, Founder & Owner, JamesBanks.co: “I’ve never heard of an audio book that has a Hollywood production with the voice actors and everything. It’s just something else.”
Banks has recently started listening to an 80’s/90’s series called BattleTech (including the abridged version on Audible). Wikipiedia describes it as “a wargaming and military science fiction franchise.” Banks, on the other hand, describes it as giant robots running around and blowing things up.
Colin Barnard, Managing Director, Criteo: “I can’t tell you the number of things I’ve learned on TED-Ed from small little facts about nature to how bridges are built or how we’re going to solve the energy transition to clean energy.”
Barnard has been binging on TED-Ed, the animated educational videos and extension of TED’s mission of spreading great ideas. Within TED-Ed’s growing library of animations, there are carefully curated educational videos; many of these represent collaborations between talented educators and animators nominated through the TED-Ed website.
George Arabian, CEO, ENVISION: “The relaxed nature of their conversation and the things they talk about are incredible. Renegade is so engaging you just want more of that truth and honesty.”
Arabian recommends the timely podcast Renegades: Born in the USA featuring open and in-depth conversations between Barack Obama and rocker Bruce Springsteen. The former president and the musician talk about their lives, music, beliefs, and their love of country while diving into their pasts.
9. Oh Ship!
Freddie Laker, Founding Partner, Chameleon Collective: “Entrepreneurs and leaders who may have had great success in their careers, but take a moment to celebrate some of their failures…I like to refer to them as ‘Oh Ship’ moments.”
Oh Ship! is a video series featuring agency leaders and entrepreneurs discussing topics from business growth and culture to innovation. Laker and his guests meanwhile share stories celebrating failures and reflecting back on them with humor. In a recent episode, Marci Weisler, CCO of Vengo Labs, talks with Laker about lessons learned from rapid pivots such as the obstacles of out-of-home advertising, the app economy, and motherhood in a pandemic.
10. How I Built This
Pete Hendrick, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Octopus: “How I Built This talks about the really interesting time right at the outset of a company’s journey, the various mistakes they made, and how they overcame them.”
Hendrick recommends the award-winning podcast How I Built This hosted by Guy Raz. Each episode features the stories behind some of the world’s best known companies as told by the entrepreneurs themselves. Guy Raz has interviewed more than 6,000 people, including such well-known names as Richard Branson, Howard Schultz, Melinda Gates, Condoleezza Rice, Jimmy Carter and Al Gore.
In 2020 Raz’s book, based off his podcast, How I Built This: The Unexpected Paths to Success from the World’s Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs, was released.
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