By Sara Jane Hess and David Grabowski
Howdy podcast friends! It’s David and SJ again, here to give you an overview of A) what’s going on in the world of podcasting, including the Answer All fiasco and how it could affect you, and B) four shows The Entrepreneurs should have in their queue in our opinion.
If you missed our last roundup, we are the SPI Podcasts Team: Sara Jane Hess (Senior Producer) and David Grabowski (Producer). We wade neck high in podcast land every week doing Pat’s shows (and some super exciting behind the curtain stuff we’re not allowed to reveal publicly yet) – and we fucking love it. All of that to say: trust us … you can trust us.
4 podcast recommendations without hesitation
Business Schooled (Synchronicity)
Business Schooled is a gem that appears to have flown under some radars. The premise is simple and unique: send a well-known young entrepreneur out on the streets to learn business lessons and document everything from those who succeed. Season one is hosted by Alexis Ohanian, whom you may recognize as the Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Reddit. His curious road trip includes visits to a successful quilting company, global music retailer Sweetwater, and a sixty-year-old with a PhD in welfare who reinvented the travel bag industry – and that just scratches the surface. Season 2 gets a new host, Soraya Darabi, founder of early-stage investment firm TMV, and goes in the same direction. There’s a lot to learn through Alexis and Soraya’s lens, so don’t miss this one!
Recommended episode: “Practice Joy (and Medicine)”
Second Life (Second Life)
Career pivots can be a scary thing, however Second Life accepts change and empowers people – especially women – to face the challenge directly. Created by Who What Wear Co-Founder Hillary Kerr, Second Life shuts back the success stories with its guests, who range from top-class actresses and founders like Reese Witherspoon to models, journalists, media professionals, bestselling authors, CEOs and much more. There are a variety of inspirations with this one.
Featured episode: “Lilly Singh: YouTube creator, actor, producer, bestselling author, and host of A Little Late with Lilly Singh [explicit]”
Customers from the Hell podcast (Bryce Bladon)
Customers from the Hell podcast could ring a bell; That’s because it’s a spin-off of the hugely popular, extremely funny Tumblr blog of the same name. Host Bryce Bladon has over twelve years of experience as a creative professional, working with megaliths such as the Canadian government and the New York Times Shaping the future of technology and ideas. On CFHPBladon explores the future of the self-employed with a fascinating, rotating group of guests and topics: freelance, consulting, crowdfunding, project management. It’s a strong mix of humor and insight – ideally with a short drive and a hot drink.
Featured Episode: “Sell Your Soft Skills Hard: Alison’s Freelance Bible Grade”
Okay, that’s a small niche, but it’s probably one of the most important niches out there right now: wellness entrepreneurship. From meditation, mindfulness and yoga to nutrition, skin care and much more, wellness professionals are more important than ever. Wellpreneur is an invaluable resource: Over 230 episodes are aimed at entrepreneurs in the wellness sector. Content marketing, website building, growth strategies – this show has a little bit of everything to help the businesses that help us flourish, flourish.
Recommended episode: “Start your wellness business – step by step!”
Reply All and the waviness of the accounts
It’s been a very busy couple of weeks in the podcast world, and there are some stories we want to get into – but we have to start with the biggie first.
It’s hard to write about podcasting right now and not talk about it Reply All. It’s a story that reverberates in the podcast space and intrigues even people outside of it. (A friend of SJ’s who works in the corporate coffee world and isn’t particularly interested in podcasts said the other day, “What happens to this podcast? Reply All? ”)
There are many excellent articles out there detailing what happened (and what is still happening) so we won’t rehearse everything, but the TL; DR is as follows:
Early february Reply All started a series called “The Test Kitchen” which focused on the cosmic reckoning of Bon Appétit’s popular YouTube video “Test Kitchen”. Allegations of racism and unequal pay, especially for employees with color, came to light and cornered the test kitchen, the Bon Appétit team and Condé Nast (rightly). Reply All Set out to tell this story only to make the same allegations against your own team culture several former Employees who told stories of the full-time handover and leadership actively working against efforts to form a union that would promote equality.
Needless to say, former employees found the new series hypocritical. Within days, one of the cohosts and a producer, both accused of racism and working to block the union, left the show and the remaining episodes of “The Test Kitchen” were postponed.
The story goes much deeper, so we encourage you to read up on the numerous reports from former employees and the Self-observation by podcasters across the industry. Reply All is Gimlet’s biggest show, and Gimlet is a sizable part of Spotify’s podcasting properties, so ideally there will be a lot of wrestling with this topic on a large scale. While the employees of Reply All issued a statement that there was no such message from Spotify itself.
As the SPI Podcasts team, we see the situation as a disappointment and a challenge. A disappointment because we were fans of Reply All for years and strive to do shows of the same caliber, and also because the actions taken by members of this team were and are clearly wrong. Reply AllThe current chaos should be a lesson for all of us (albeit not a new lesson): creating equitable and diverse cultures and stories requires constant vigilance, reflection, and listening and involving voices other than our own, especially for teams that are white. to like Reply All‘s – and like ours. We are challenged to move forward with humility and to seek perspectives that go beyond our own. We can all work to get better.
More podcasting news: Apple is coming through and the Boss and Prez are falling flat
Now for a few easier quick hits:
Last month we predicted that when Apple releases more original podcast content, it would support its Apple TV + offerings, and what do you know – that prediction has come true! About a week after our post in February, Apple announced that it would be releasing an accompanying podcast for its show For all of humanity, which launched its second season on February 19. Plan more. ((“Please give us one Ted Lasso Podcast, ”Sara Jane whispers softly to Siri, who pretends not to know by giving the weather forecast for El Paso.)
Finally, the Obamas’ Higher Ground Productions released their second exclusive Spotify podcast: Renegades: Born in the USA, in which talks between President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen take place. It’s a little weird. Not to say it’s bad or not interesting, but it feels like an odd coupling and format for the conversations and topics they get into. We don’t doubt that each of them love their country and want to solve the challenges America is facing, but sometimes it feels forced and a bit hollow. Or just a reason to play Born in the USA. More. Time. Oy.
That’s all for now – these podcasts are not going to produce themselves. See you next time Sara Jane and David log out!
The podcast cheat sheet
Our free checklist and video tutorial will help you get started with your podcast
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