Catching Up On Startup


I’ve mentioned previously how much value I think there is these days for young entrepreneurs in the podcasting space. Reflecting back over my early business career, I marvel to think just how useful that kind of high-quality information would have been back then.

In my day it was much more of a space-walk. You were out there on your own trying to piece things together from data in your immediate vicinity, leaning heavily on the experiences of those nearest to you. A school of hard knocks in many ways and, while I regret none of it, a bit of wider context certainly wouldn’t have hurt at various stages along the way!

On that general subject, I’ve been absolutely devouring the first season of Startup for the last two weeks, queueing up episodes back-to-back and fitting them in wherever I can.

For others like me who might be late to the party, it’s a series put together by Alex Blumberg – of This American Life and Planet Money fame – dealing with the struggles of a young business trying to get off the ground. In the case of season one, it’s actually his business – a nascent podcasting empire he’s trying to fund and set up from scratch.

The production values are what you’d expect from a This American Life alumni but what’s kept me really hooked is the journey Blumberg goes on, one that touches on nearly every aspect of the realities of running a company.

It’s compelling stuff to listen to with lessons throughout for businesses big and small. Though he’s a financial correspondent of long-standing, Bluberg is new to the business game and I have to admit there were times I was almost screaming into my headphones with frustration at some of his initial decisions. It’s never less than compelling listening though and some of the moments such as when he attempts to pitch billionaire Chris Sacca are priceless.

After tearing through the entirety of season one, I was delighted to see that season two is now hot off the presses. It moves the action away from New York and follows the adventures of a dating startup trying to gain traction in the Valley. This one is also shaping up to be a classic and offers a further fascinating window into the raw world of early stage business survival.

I heartily recommend the series to entrepreneurs both young and old, regardless of what industry you’re in. There are takeaways here for everybody.

Have you checked it out yet? Like what you hear? Let me know in the comments below.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s