Advice

The 30 Podcasts Philly Business Leaders Are Listening to Right Now

If you're looking for some recommendations that aren't This American Life, Dirty John or S-Town, this list is for you.

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We asked business leaders in the Philadelphia area to tell us about the podcasts they can’t go without right now. If you’re looking for some recommendations that aren’t Serial, Dirty John or S-Town, keep reading.

Nick Bayer, Saxbys
I have three favorite podcasts, and I would recommend these podcasts for pretty much anyone, but particularly entrepreneurs, business people or those interested in current events.

  • Masters of Scale hosted by Reid Hoffman. While Reid hosts some of the most innovative and successful business leaders on his podcast, what I like most about this podcast is Reid’s disarming interview nature in which he makes these business legends come across as very regular people. They talk openly about mistakes and show genuine humility despite their massive accomplishments.
  • Revisionist History hosted by Malcolm Gladwell. Although I particularly loved the episodes focused on higher education (a personal and professional interest of mine), his episodes touch on a tremendous wide range of topics. Furthermore, Malcolm has a gift to take the most complicated topics and explain them in an impressively simplistic and relatable manner.
  • Broad & Walnut by Michael Gorman. His guests have included Allan Domb, Emma Fried-Cassorla and yours truly! What I love about this podcast is that Mike is a great interviewer. He is very knowledgeable and he personalizes the interview by guest, but gets the interviewee to open up and speak candidly on topics that are really specific to Philadelphia. I strongly encourage a listen.

Priya Bhutani, RegDesk
My favorite podcast is Startup by Gimlet Media. It’s my favorite because the topics discussed and experiences are relatable. I recommend it to fellow entrepreneurs, those who would like to be entrepreneurs and investors.

Jake Dreyfuss, PhillyLiving
As a huge podcast fan, my go-to’s are The ONE Thing, How I Built This, Jocko Podcast, and Masters Of Scale. These are my go-to’s because they help me continue to train my brain to be “solution based” so that it becomes more and more natural to prioritize and execute at a high level. I would suggest these for business leaders and folks who want to focus on going from entrepreneurial to purposeful.

Nelly Arnold, Personal Space
I am constantly listening to podcasts about people’s stories, economics, design, news, etc. I have so many favorites, but the three I make sure not to miss new episodes are:

  • Clever hosted by Amy Devers and Jaime Derringer
    It’s a design-focused podcast that interviews designers from around the world. I love that the interviews are from many different disciplines – furniture design, graphic design, interior design, etc. A great podcast for the curious, it’s a true glimpse into design thinking and the backstories of groundbreaking but not necessarily mainstream designers. A couple of weeks ago, Philadelphia’s own Lisa Roberts was interviewed!
  • Unstyled hosted by Christene Barberich
    Unstyled is hosted by Refinery29’s Global editor-in-chief & co-founder Christene Barberich. It is inspired by fashion but dives much deeper into how women are living now as well as has how they express their intellectual and social views through fashion. It leaves me with a calm and rejuvenated feeling. This podcast is a good fit for those who love fashion, founder stories, and content focused on the female experience.
  • Tiny Desk Concerts by NPR
    I can’t say enough about this podcast. It’s one of my only video podcasts (other than all the “TEDs”) that feels like you’re sitting alongside the staff in NPR’s office listening to incredible artists of today express their talent so naturally. Anyone who loves music wouldn’t be disappointed to give this podcast a listen.

Marc Coleman, The Tactile Group
My go-to’s are NPR’s Code Switch, Let’s Make Mistakes, Iterate and Businessology.

Stacey Mosley, FixList
My favorite currently is How I Built This with Guy Raz. Beyond the great advice one can tease out from the interviews with successful entrepreneurs, it is great for anyone interested in the stories and lore behind some of the world’s biggest brands.

Eric Shannon, Big Barker

  • Perpetual Traffic: It’s about online advertising, keeps me up to speed on digital marketing trends, which is important because our company is built on online sales.
  • How I Built This: In-depth interviews with founders and entrepreneurs, telling the stories of the ups and downs of building some of today’s most well known brands.
  • Rights to Ricky Sanchez: Sixers podcast where “trust the process” was born. Sam Hinkie forever and always.

Megan R. Smith, Brownstone PR

  • Mickstape: In between takes on why Kobe Bryant is extremely overrated (agreed!) and questioning whether Wilt’s 100-point game actually occurred (seriously, where is the footage?), they manage to really deep dive into basketball. They also touch on the NFL when it matters, a small bit of baseball, and spend whole segments on how Fruity Pebbles is a top five cereal to which I respectfully disagree.
  • Pod Save America: Educated and informed Obama bros free styling about politics and the press, and appropriately challenging this current administration. I agree about 70 percent of the time; the other 30 percent, I am open to receiving the alternate point of view.
  • The Axe Files with David Axelrod: What I appreciate most is when David talks politics and social issues with folks like Steve Kerr and Tom Hanks. I like to hear from the folks who don’t do politics as a career. NBA coach or famous actor withstanding, they studied government in school just like I did. They are people living in America, and while their experience is very different than mine, they aren’t campaigning for anything. They don’t need to win me or you over with their viewpoint.
  • The Read: Their love for Beyonce and celebration of #BlackExcellence is equal to their disinterest in typical celebrity foolishness, and disdain for corporate mishaps and societal B.S. It’s the best two hours of every Thursday for me.

Corinne Warnshuis, Girl Develop It
My favorite podcasts are Code Newbie, The Turnaround and Code Switch. I learn something valuable and unique from each of them.

  • I recommend Code Newbie to anyone interested in learning to code and wanting support and inspiration on that journey.
  • I recommend the Turnaround to anyone who is interested in leveling up their empathy and who wants to learn from incredibly talented and awesome interviewers. Philly’s own Terry Gross among the guests.
  • Code Switch gives an incredible look into some of the most important issues of today through an intersectional lens. I learn so much from the guests and their perspectives.

Rudiger J. Ellis, Switchboard Live
I have four go-to podcasts on auto subscribe, two of which I have actually been a guest of:

  • StartUp: This is the show that got me hooked on the content produced by Gimlet Media. The first season was by far my favorite.
  • The Pitch: I actually pitched the group of investors on this show but it hasn’t aired yet.
  • This Week in Startups: One of the longest running podcasts on the topic of startups and angel investing. I was a guest three years ago pitching my company. At the time it was named Joicaster.
  • The Nod: A podcast I listen to in order to break away from the startup hustle and topics.

Tina Wells, BuzzMG
I love the Girlboss Radio podcast hosted by Sophia Amoruso. I love hearing stories of women across different industries making it happen. And Sophia’s banter with her guests is great!

Chris Cera, Arcweb Technologies
Right now I’m loving the Masters Of Scale hosted by Reid Hoffman. I recommend this to anybody who wants to grow a scalable organization.

Bethany Edwards, Lia Diagnostics
Perhaps a bit cliche, but I highly enjoy How I Built This with Guy Raz and StartUp. Both podcasts are fabulous at telling the story behind the story. They’re informative, engaging and inspiring. Both provide the founder’s perspective, grit and the inherently varied journey involved in building a company from scratch. I recommend them for anyone who is curious about what it takes to found and run a company. The storytelling format is easy listening and has a way of visually painting the narrative.

Marketplace Tech is also great for short, informative updates. The segments are often structured as questions, which is a nice format. I recommend it for anyone who wants to quickly understand a bit more about current tech. The short, typically five minute format is palatable for a wide audience.

Rick Nucci, Guru
I don’t listen to as many podcasts as I would like, but I definitely recommend Masters of Scale by Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn. Very helpful to any current or future startup founder/leader who is thinking about getting from first few customers to 100’s and 1000’s.

Lisa Guillaume, Relay Network
I always tell my kids that I am an “infinite learner” — there is so much to learn and there are so many people to learn from. Podcasts have become a part of my daily routine. I find them to be an amazing resource for tools, tips and especially inspiration. My list is:

  • Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman: I have found every one of his podcasts useful in my daily decision making, from how to improve company culture to how to involve your customers in the design process. The variety of topics and the focused interviews are all super relatable and add to my management toolkit.
  • NPR’s Up First: I wake up and get the snippets on what is happening in the world.
  • The Forward Podcast with Lance Armstrong: Love him or hate him, I am impressed that Lance is putting himself out there and having honest conversations with guests across sports, business and media. They are all very interesting, intriguing and transparent conversations.
  • Design Matters with Debbie Millman: Covers design, graphic design and all the factors that influence design right down to the thoughts and beliefs of individuals. So much of my job is about designing UI that creates great experiences for my customers and their customers, so I find this especially inspiring.

Frederique Irwin, Her Corner
My go-to podcast is NPR’s How I Built This. My reason is that Guy Raz asks all the questions you would want to know, and it helps the listener constantly think bigger and get to know the humans behind the stories and the brands! I definitely would recommend it to anyone building their own business, and to curious kids too (my kids love listening with me!).