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StartUp Podcast

A series about what happens when someone who knows nothing about business starts one. With Alex Blumberg from This American Life & Planet Money.

Episodes

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: Part 7: MAGIC (Season 4, Episode 10)

Season Finale. Following his ousting from American Apparel, Dov Charney has been eager to restart and launch his new venture. He has assembled the fabric, the equipment, and the people to help make his new clothing line. Now he needs to find his customer base. [more inside]
posted by sparklemotion on Dec 28, 2016 at 11:06 AM - 18 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: BONUS - Introducing Gimlet’s Fall Slate

Alex Blumberg interviews Pat Walters, Eli Horowitz, Marc Smerling, and Zac Stuart-Pontier — the creators of Gimlet's three newest shows. Hear how Gimlet developed these projects and what they are all about. And enjoy some favorite clips as well as sneak peeks from upcoming episodes.
posted by ellieBOA on Nov 24, 2016 at 3:27 AM - 1 comment

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: Part 1: Labels (Season 4, Episode 4)

Season 4 of StartUp continues with the story of a well-known entrepreneur who built a widely recognized business, lost it all, and is now starting over—from scratch.Over the next several episodes, we'll hear as this founder makes his second attempt at success, and creates an entirely new company in the shadow of his controversial past. [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA on Nov 4, 2016 at 11:43 AM - 29 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: Shadowed Qualities (Season 4, Episode 3)

This week, Alex receives feedback about his job performance from his co-workers, friends, and family. Some of it is good, some less so. But there is something else that comes up during the review process that shocks him. We explore what happens when you unpack your emotional baggage—or someone unpacks it for you—and you realize the unexpected effect that it has been having on your team. In this final Gimlet-focused episode of season four, we take a raw and intimate look at a defining moment in the trajectory of a CEO.
posted by radioamy on Oct 21, 2016 at 1:21 PM - 17 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: You Can't Wear a Suit Here (Season 4, Episode 2)

Growth. It can be exciting, it can be motivating, and it can be really stressful. In this week's episode, we take a look at the tensions that Gimlet's growth spurt is creating. We speak with the team producing one of our upcoming shows to see what it's really like to build a podcast from the ground up. Each of them is being asked to step up to the plate in a way that they never have before, and some are realizing that the support they expected, it just isn't there. People are pushed to their limits, emotions run high, and things that have remained hitherto unsaid are finally aired. [more inside]
posted by radioamy on Oct 15, 2016 at 10:44 AM - 4 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: Diversification of Worry (Season 4, Episode 1)

StartUp is back! And we're kicking Season 4 off with an update on what's happening here at Gimlet Media. Since the start of the year, Gimlet has more than doubled in size. And while growth is often the goal for a startup, it also costs a lot of money. In this episode, Alex and his team ask themselves some very scary questions: How are they going to pay for all this growth? And what will happen if they can't? With a larger staff and six new shows launching in the fall, this feels like a particularly pivotal moment at the company. There are big decisions to be made, with potentially even bigger consequences.
posted by ellieBOA on Oct 7, 2016 at 6:05 AM - 13 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: Up in Flames (Season 3, Episode 9)

A story of asylum, ashes, and acidophilus. [more inside]
posted by radioamy on Jun 24, 2016 at 10:14 AM - 5 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: From the Cell to the Sell (Season 3, Episode 8)

The two-part story of ConBody kicks off just as one of the co-founders is about to make his pitch, flashes back to the company's unusual backstory, and then concludes post-pitch. [more inside]
posted by CMcG on Jun 18, 2016 at 11:36 AM - 6 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: Kitchen Confidential (Season 3, Episode 6)

Two men decide to start a company. Everything is going well… until it’s not. That’s the moment they decide to start recording their conversations—painful, awkward, emotional conversations. [more inside]
posted by noneuclidean on May 27, 2016 at 8:34 AM - 13 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: The Runway (Season 3, Episode 5)

It’s not uncommon for shoppers to walk out of Mary Going’s store feeling on top of the world. Mary runs Saint Harridan, a company that makes custom suits for the gender non-conforming. With her store, Mary has created a space that caters to the needs of butch women and trans men—something that doesn’t happen very often. Her fans are enthusiastic and dedicated, her products are selling out… and she can barely pay her rent. [more inside]
posted by sparklemotion on May 26, 2016 at 8:09 AM - 7 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: Dear Music Fans... (Season 3, Episode 4)

When a group of college kids in Florida set out to change the music industry, they did not anticipate quite how disruptive they would be. Their mission was a noble one: bring an end to online piracy by offering cheap, convenient, and legal access to music. Their execution, however, was less than thorough. And when you’re dealing with protective music labels, forgetting to dot an “i” or cross a “t” can mean being one lawsuit away from the swift and unceremonious death of your company. [more inside]
posted by noneuclidean on May 13, 2016 at 5:54 AM - 10 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: Pirate Needs Pirate (Season 3, Episode 3)

A look inside a small, grassroots, international smuggling operation.
posted by Tevin on Apr 29, 2016 at 9:31 AM - 10 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: Gaming the System (Season 3, Episode 2)

It takes 2 percent to make a thing go right.
posted by Tevin on Apr 22, 2016 at 10:17 AM - 8 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: Almost Famous (Season 3, Episode 1)

A backpack, a camera, and a big idea
posted by Tevin on Apr 15, 2016 at 3:16 PM - 10 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: #20 Disorg Chart

Lisa Chow comes back from maternity leave and notices some big changes at Gimlet. And these changes... they aren't all for the better. Lisa talks to Gimlet employees about concerns over power, accountability, and control - things that crop up when you go from startup, to regular company. And she takes those concerns to the bosses.
posted by radioamy on Jan 8, 2016 at 12:22 PM - 9 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: #19 Diversity Report

If you were to walk into Gimlet HQ, there are a few things you'd probably notice right off the bat. First, it's crowded - like a grungy dorm room. Second, the lighting... it's not great. Not many windows. Third, it's white. Really white. 24 of Gimlet's 27 employees are white. In this episode, we look at diversity (or lack thereof) at Gimlet. And we try to figure out what diversity should mean for the company going forward.
posted by Zephyrial on Dec 19, 2015 at 8:06 AM - 6 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: #18 Pitch Perfect 2

Gimlet is growing fast. There are four shows on the air, and several others in pre-production. If they want to grow faster, though, they could use some more cash. Matt and Alex head back into the world of venture capital, deciding whether or not to raise another round of financing, this time, much bigger.
posted by radioamy on Dec 4, 2015 at 10:51 AM - 7 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: #17 Words About Words From Our Sponsors

Gimlet is starting a new line of business, and it's a complicated one: Branded content. As we see in this episode, there are some very real anxieties about how to do this right.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle on Nov 21, 2015 at 2:17 PM - 13 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: #16 The Secret Formula

Gimlet is making a big, expensive bet. The kind of bet that could make or break the company. And it's a bet that comes down to one factor: What is Gimlet's competitive advantage? As the company launches its fourth new show, "Surprisingly Awesome," we take a deep dive in to how the show was made.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle on Nov 12, 2015 at 3:04 PM - 11 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: #15 Married To Your Business

We return to the offices of Gimlet for the start of a new mini-season. It's been a year since the company launched and things are changing... fast. In this episode, Alex and his wife, Nazanin, wrestle with a huge decision that has implications for both the company and their family.
posted by Tevin on Oct 23, 2015 at 8:09 AM - 10 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: BONUS: But Wait, There's More!

A Gimlet update and a special announcement
posted by Tevin on Jul 16, 2015 at 10:48 PM - 13 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: 116 Men and a Baby (Season 2, #10)

Lessons learned in business and love. [more inside]
posted by radioamy on Jul 4, 2015 at 8:28 PM - 10 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: Dating Ring Of Fire (Season 2, #9)

Under pressure, the Dating Ring founders make a big decision. [more inside]
posted by radioamy on Jun 26, 2015 at 12:24 PM - 15 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: Til Debt Do Us Part (Season 2, #8)

Lauren and Emma visit the CEO Whisperer. [more inside]
posted by radioamy on Jun 19, 2015 at 11:58 AM - 12 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: Survival's a Pitch (Season 2, #7)

A golden opportunity sows seeds of doubt
posted by Tevin on Jun 12, 2015 at 11:51 AM - 10 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: Profiled (Season 2, #6)

In online dating, love is not blind. How do deal with customers who make their dating choices based on race, and why the blind date business model didn't work. [more inside]
posted by skewed on Jun 5, 2015 at 9:17 AM - 10 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: Playing With Matches (Season 2, #5)

Inside Dating Ring's Matchmaking System [more inside]
posted by bq on May 23, 2015 at 7:06 AM - 9 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: Save The Date (Season 2, #4)

With funding running low, customers growing irate, and themselves at odds, Dating Ring's founders find themselves in the trough of sorrow and undertake a radical rethink of the company's focus.
posted by psoas on May 19, 2015 at 8:58 AM - 8 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: Another Side Of The Story (Season 2, #3)

Picking up where the last episode left off, at YC's Demo Day, the women of Dating Ring start trying to raise money. At the post-Demo mixer, Emma gets her first (literal) brush with sexism when an investor gropes her and then offers her $50k. Subsequent meetings go better and they manage to raise $400k in angel funds while "riding the wave." Then the tide turns - the investors' questions start getting tougher, and the rejections pile up. The founders begin to wonder - how much of their struggle is due to quality of their product and pitch, and how much is just plain sexism?
posted by radioamy on May 8, 2015 at 9:23 AM - 4 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: Grow Big Or Go Home (Season 2 #2)

We learn more about Dating Ring's experience in the highly competitive startup accelerator Y Combinator. Will they be in the 90% of YC companies that fail, or will they be the next Airbnb? [more inside]
posted by radioamy on Apr 30, 2015 at 10:21 PM - 12 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: Origin Story (Season 2 #1)

First comes love...then comes equity StartUp is a podcast series about what it's really like to get a business off the ground. In Season 1, Alex Blumberg told the story of launching this business, Gimlet Media, a podcast network. In Season 2, Alex is joined by co-Host Lisa Chow, to follow an entirely new company. The business is Dating Ring, a dating company that combines technology with old-fashioned matchmaking. The founders are women in their 20s, outsiders in the male-dominated world of Silicon Valley. And over the 10 episodes, we'll take you inside that world. Some of the challenges they face are different from Alex's: founder disagreements, hellish fundraising, and sexism. But just like Gimlet's story, theirs is also a transparent account of something that happens everyday in America, but we rarely get to see firsthand: starting a business.
posted by Tevin on Apr 23, 2015 at 1:57 PM - 7 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: #14 Where We Are

The final episode of Season 1. Alex reviews where he started and where the company is now. He talks to his insightful wife, Nazanin, and investor Chris Sacca. In the second half, Alex and Lisa introduce the company that will be featured in Season 2.
posted by radioamy on Feb 17, 2015 at 4:42 PM - 14 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: #13 Fake It Til You Make It

This installment addresses an a question that was brought up in earlier episodes, back before Gimlet was an actual business: are they a technology company or a content company? [more inside]
posted by radioamy on Feb 3, 2015 at 10:39 AM - 9 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: #12 Burnout

Alex learns the that the hardest thing about entrepreneurship is not the running business itself, but managing and supporting your employees.
posted by radioamy on Jan 20, 2015 at 6:20 PM - 10 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: #11 Know Your Customer

Lessons on building an audience. [more inside]
posted by radioamy on Jan 6, 2015 at 8:47 PM - 11 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: #10 Mixing Art And Business

Lessons on outgrowing your business plan. [more inside]
posted by radioamy on Dec 22, 2014 at 9:50 PM - 5 comments

Podcast: StartUp Podcast: #9 We Made A Mistake

Gimlet Media addresses a company mistake. [more inside]
posted by sparklemotion on Dec 10, 2014 at 7:49 PM - 7 comments