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Top 10 Startup Podcasts for Founders You Should Listen

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Millions of people listen to podcasts these days, and if you are reading this, we can safely bet you are one of them too. 

As a tech founder, you probably see podcasting as a way to find new stuff, learn new perspectives, and come up with wholesome solutions for your business challenges. If so, you got that right, startup podcasts are, in fact, a great way to do it. The podcasts can be perfect companions while you are jogging in the park, driving to your work, cleaning out your inbox, or simply trying to put your procrastination to better use.

The challenge here might be, though, that your podcast backlog is growing quicker than you are able to listen to everything you need. With more than 2 million podcasts on the web, the chances that your subscriptions already went out of control are strong. But don’t you worry, we are here to help.

Our team has listened to dozens of best podcasts for tech entrepreneurs and selected only the best, most useful, and deeply insightful. This list will help you not to get lost in the avalanche of the new episodes and get maximum value from podcasting for you and your business. 

Without further ado, we present our pick.

Relevant Founders

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Listen to our podcast in which tech founders reflect on their journey of building a successful startup and reveal their secrets to success. We will be bringing you some exciting conversations with some of the up-and-coming tech companies from all around the world. They share with us their stories of success, challenges they’ve faced, and forecasts for the future in this ever-changing fast-paced industry. So, if you are looking for some valuable insights about getting your company off the ground or taking your company to new heights, this is the podcast for you.

When? Weekly

How long? 30-60 minutes

CTO Studio 

When? Monthly

How long? Brief episodesup to 20 minutes; longer ones usually last 40-60 minutes

CTO Studio Podcast has taken on the task of summarizing everything important in the world of CTOs. These episodes focus on practical tips and can be helpful to technical officers, founders, and management of various levels. The podcast moderated by Nikolai Walker features a broad array of leading experts, each of whom can do a deep dive on a particular challenge around the CTO role. The range of themes is pretty wide. The podcast delivers commentaries on general topics such as “growing and scaling your tech company,” niche concepts such as “black boxes” or “security penetration,” and more philosophical issues, such as “truth as a management style.”

Some of the most interesting episodes:

  • The CTO’s Challenge Of Picking The Right Tools For The Job
  • The Seven Deadly Sins Of Infrastructure As Code 
  • The Psychology of People in Tech, with Joanie Connell

Level-up Engineering Podcast

When? Biweekly

How long? Usually 40-60 minutes

Level-up Engineering Podcast offers dozens of in-depth interviews with leading thinkers in the engineering field. The episodes usually last for about an hour and cover various topics to help you improve your leadership skills and bring your engineering teams to a new level. The podcast, which is moderated by Karolina Tóth, a coach at Coding Sans, addresses a wide range of issues from general, such as leadership thinking, remote work best practices, or software development trends, to very specific ones that provide more practical knowledge, such as “how to create a culture document” or “how to build an internship program for developers”. This means that the podcast can be interesting for founders with various challenges and needs.

Some of the most interesting episodes:

  • Performance Review: Build Your Process and Master Feedback Delivery
  • The Importance of Writing in Software Engineering
  • Clean Code for Managers: Robert C. Martin, a.k.a. Uncle Bob

The CTO Advisor

When? Weekly

How long? 20-25 minutes

The CTO Advisor provides listeners, as the name suggests, with valuable tips and hacks in the technology field. The episodes are moderated by Keith Townsend, an analyst and IT infrastructure expert with extensive experience in various domains, including manufacturing, pharma, and financial services. What is special about The CTO Advisor is that the podcast normally is relatively short and rarely takes longer than 25 minutes, meaning that you can get the CTO insights even during lunch or over a morning cup of coffee. Such length is mainly explained by the fact that almost every episode focuses on specific tech concepts, practices, and tools, such as VMware Cross-Cloud Strategy, Public Cloud Repatriation, DevSecOps, Kubernetes, and more.

Some of the most interesting episodes:

  • Why is IT Automation so Hard?
  • vSphere 7 and Kubernetes
  • Telemetry Data in the Public Cloud

Behind The Tech with Kevin Scott

When? Monthly

How long? Around 1 hour

This is a number one podcast if you want to get to know the leading experts from the innovation field who helped make the world the way it looks today. The show host, Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott, has been doing a fantastic job by interviewing top computer scientists, AI specialists, digital leaders, engineers, and artists for a few years now. Among the guests were famous AI expert, former chief scientist at Baidu Andrew Yan-Tak Ng, computer scientist and computer philosophy writer Jaron Lanier, psychologist and Harvard professor Dr. Steven Pinker, investor and co-founder of LinkedIn and Paypal Reid Hoffman, and many other inspirational figures. And that’s exactly what makes the podcast so unique: While most tech podcasts try to cover major trendy technologies and specific issues, Behind The Tech gives a much broader perspective by connecting the dots of how innovation is born.

Some of the most interesting episodes:

  • Kimberly Bryant: CEO & Founder of Black Girls Code
  • Sam Altman: Entrepreneurial prodigy, Y Combinator President and OpenAI CEO
  • Jaron Lanier: Father of Virtual Reality, Renaissance man

alphalist.CTO

When? Twice a month

How long? Usually 40-60 minutes 

alphalist.CTO podcast should be definitely on your shortlist. Twice a week, entrepreneur and engineer Tobias Schlottke speaks to well-known figures in the technology industry, such as Dashlane CTO Frédéric Rivain or Founder & CEO of O’Reilly Media, Tim O’Reilly. The podcast was created to help CTOs “on their journey through tech,” and it covers a broad array of topics from technology to management. It doesn’t mean, though, that alphalist.CTO is interesting only for techies, as most of the stories can be helpful for everyone doing business, as its host creates a genuinely engaging and insightful show. As of January 2022, alphalist.CTO has produced 42 podcast episodes, which we can’t recommend enough. Except for the podcast, Alphalist also offers to join their exclusive CTO network that you can apply via the form here.

Some of the most interesting episodes:

  • Episode with Jean-Denis Graze, Head of Engineering at Plaid
  • Episode with David Heinemeier Hansson, CTO at Basecamp
  • Episode Charity Majors, CTO HoneyComb

Founder Coffee

When? Biweekly

How long? 50-55 minutes 

We never miss a single episode of the Founder coffee podcast, and we encourage you not to miss one too. Founder coffee is a podcast series created by a co-founder of salesflare.com, the Intelligent CRM, Jeroen Corthout. These are no typical interviews with founders you’ve heard so many times before. Thanks to the host’s friendliness and curiosity, each episode feels more like a chat with your founder-friend over a cup of coffee. Jeroen talks to entrepreneurs from various locations and fields twice a month about tips, tricks, failures, and lessons learned during their startup journey. The podcast has already boasted many incredible guests, such as influencer and co-founder of collaboration software Basecamp, Jason Fried, co-founder of website analytics tool Hotjar, David Darmanin, and co-founder of document workflow automation platform PandaDoc, Mikita Mikado. 

Some of the most interesting episodes:

  • Episode with John Kim, co-founder of SendBird
  • Episode with Des Traynor, co-founder of Intercom
  • Episode with Xenia Muntean, сo-founder Planable

Y Combinator 

When? Biweekly

How long? 40-60 minutes

Although the last episode of the Y Combinator podcast was aired in 2020, the show of one of the most famous accelerators should not be missing from this list. Y Combinator describes their podcast as “а show about technology in business, research, and art.” It provides that really broad look at the tech world, but also offers a lot of practical advice and tips. The series of over 150 episodes with founders and technology leaders are full of insights. It covers a wide array of topics, including launching a startup, finding a product-market fit, raising funds, business startup podcast series and many more. The program also includes marketing-related episodes, such as search engine optimization, audience-building, and podcasting. The general topics founders might be interested in, such as coaching, company culture, or scaling a team, are also discussed.

Some of the most interesting episodes:

  • Cindy Mi and Qi Lu Share Advice for Entrepreneurs Building Global Companies
  • Cannabis Startup Founders David Hua and Vincent Ning on Legalization, Banking, and Industry Trends
  • Amber Atherton of Zyper and Iba Masood of TARA on Raising a Series A as a Female Founder

Modern CTO

When? Weekly

How long? 30-60 minutes

If you want to learn from technology leaders working at Github, IBM or NASA, here is your chance. Since 2017, tech evangelist Joel Beasley has been doing a great job as a host of the Modern CTO podcast by interviewing some of the most recognizable technology experts in the industry. This podcast with more than 88,000 listeners is the “hot spot”, where “CTOs hang out,” share their experiences, and discuss emerging technology trends. The show covers various topics and boasts experts with diverse expertise and from various fields. In one episode, Joel Beasley is talking about leadership with an engineering manager from Uber and in another, he discusses the product reliability with the CTO of Dropbox. One thing you can be sure of every time is that with such extraordinary guests like Christopher Slowe, Dave Isbitski, and Kevin Scott, the Modern CTO podcast can bring you a lot of value and insights.

Some of the most interesting episodes:

  • Mark Porter, CTO of MongoDB — Making Databases Faster
  • Dr. Selva Selvaratnam, CEO of OpSec Security — Protecting Brands From Bad Actors
  • Edith Harbaugh, CEO at LaunchDarkly — Deploying More Often With Less Stress

The Seedtable Podcast

When? Twice a month

How long? Around one hour or less

Startups visas. Tech hubs. Venture capital. Marketing. These are the topics you probably have questions about but do not know whom to ask. The Seedtable Podcast has the answers to these, as well as many others. A new episode of the show appears once a week, in which Gonz Sanchez, the Head of Growth at On Deck and the author of the newsletter on European tech, discusses the latest startup developments and explores what tech leaders care about. How to build a deeptech startup? What is the role of the government in innovation? What makes Paris such a special hub? How to thrive in the middle of the pandemic? And what “dreams of electric sheep” are all about? Everything is covered. So it doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for practical tips, want to learn more about the startup ecosystem, or are curious about what digests and books other techies read, this business startup podcast gives you a good insight into all of that.

Some of the most interesting episodes:

  • Mark Porter, CTO of MongoDB — Making Databases Faster
  • Dr. Selva Selvaratnam, CEO of OpSec Security — Protecting Brands From Bad Actors
  • Edith Harbaugh, CEO at LaunchDarkly — Deploying More Often With Less Stress

Masters of Scale

When? Biweekly

How long? 30-40 minutes

Want to build a global company? Masters of Scale is your show. With guests from Google, Facebook, Netflix, Spotify, Uber, Airbnb, Paypal, Twitter, and any other iconic brands you can think of. It can offer a lot. This web series focuses on stories and strategies that can help you scale your business and turn your startup into a global firm. The show, led by LinkedIn co-founder and famous Silicon Valley investor Reid Hoffman, features all “good old topics” every startup founder is interested in — fundraising, entrepreneurship, leadership, management, and, obviously, every type of failure along the way. But the real reason why we recommend this show is because it is so engaging and unique. It doesn’t even remind business startup podcasts that much. It seems that every episode of the show, with its cinematic music on and beautifully honest stories, is meant to make you feel aware and inspired, to go for it with your bold ideas and get your business to new heights. 

Some of the most interesting episodes:

  • Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, at Microsoft — Why we need re-founders
  • Michael Seibel, Managing director at Y Combinator — Asking the uncomfortable questions
  • Phil Knight, Co-founder, Nike — How to sell without selling

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