Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Useful podcasts update

1.5 years ago, I had posted a list of the useful podcasts I subscribe to. This is a good time to update that list with some recent favorites.

Listening to insightful podcasts is a great way to patch/upgrade your personal operating system. So if you have some good ones you can recommend, let me know.

Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman 

This podcast talks about startups and scaling them. Reid Hoffman is a master of this domain, and he brings and interviews great people. He had Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, Peter Thiel, and Eric Schmidt in his series.  Every episode is great. The last one I listened to was Part 1 with Barry Diller. I relate very close to  Barry's approach to learning by deconstructing and understanding from the fundamental elements, and feeling inadequate until good insight and understanding is gained.

DILLER:​ ​By purpose or by temperament, I’m only interested in those things where I haven’t figured it out, and I really do think that however it happened, that when I was presented endlessly with things I didn’t understand, the only thing I could do—because my brain is slower, and therefore is more literal—and therefore my process is, I have to get it down to its tiniest particle, or else…I can’t come in and understand an equation, if you can put it in equation terms, unless I de-equation it—I can’t pick it up. So I’m forced – by a lack of brain matter, I am forced to – no I’m not saying it – it’s true! To break it down as hardly low as I can get it, and only then—and that’s learning. That’s real – that is joyous work to me, is getting through those layers, down to something, and then once I’m down there, once I’m actually at the very, very base of it, I can actually start to do something good.

Trailblazers by Walter Isaacson

I am really fond of this podcast as well. Of course we know of Isaacson from his great biographies. Listening him swiftly cover the history of innovation in a selected area each week is a blast. I learn so much from this podcast. In the most recent episode "the toy to the world", I learned how important it is to separate the means from the ends. It is best to have a simple elegant vision and pursue that rather than doing the trendy hip thing. Yep, true not just for toy companies, but everything as well.

Revisionist History by Malcolm Gladwell

Some people criticize Malcolm Gladwell's book and writing as being oversimplified. I got that vibe from a couple of his books; I think it is OK if you treat the books as conversation starter/instigator on that topic rather than the ultimate judgment. Instigator he is, and that is why I think Gladwell excels at the podcast medium. Every episode was interesting. And for the episodes on education inequality, Gladwell really transcends himself.

Some other nice podcasts I occasion to include:
+ Hidden Brain by Shankar Vedantam
+ Recode decode by Kara Swisher
+ This week in startups by Jason Calacanis
+ Design matters by Debbie Millman
+ Futility closet by Greg & Sharon Ross
+ Finding mastery by Michael Gervais
+ Unmistakeable creative by Srini Rao

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