Ruta Ulcinaite

Let’s Talk Podcasts

I had the chance to listen to the Startup Podcast by Gimlet. It’s a really unique opportunity to hear all the behind the scenes action of what happens when someone tries to start their own company – all the successes and all the failures. Season one focuses on a man named Alex Bloomberg.

Alex had a dream. His dream was to start his own podcasting company. Specifically, a network of podcasts focusing on narrative journalism and storytelling. And it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies. He had many bumps in his startup road but he overcame them. In one of my earlier articles I talked about the fear of starting a startup. I have that fear! And so did Alex, but he persevered.

He had to figure out exactly what kind of company he wanted to create. Investors thought his company should be a tech company ad not a podcasting company, and Alex had some big decisions to make.

When Alex tried actually pitching his business idea to big money he basically failed. Hard.  

Billionaire venture investor and company advisor Chris Sacca heard out Alex’s pitch and retold it to Alex in a way that pitches should actually be. Alex was embarrassed, but those tips and tricks he got from Chris helped him to perfect his idea and his pitching skills moving forward. His original pitch was too long, too wordy and too complicated.

Elevator pitches are all about being fast and to the point. Noted.

Then Alex realized he needed a partner. He had gotten advice that starting a startup is safer and better in two’s or three’s. In fact there’s an entire website dedicated to business partner matchmaking called Who knew!

Luckily Alex found Matt. 

Something they had to figure out was the equity split. Alex pushed 10% but Matt wanted around 50%. After a couple uncomfortable conversations and negotiations, they came to 40% and they formed a beautiful partnership. Negotiation is smart and money should always be something to worry about when starting a company, however Alex needed and wanted tis partner, so he went way up of his partner’s equity and didn’t feel bad about it at all. Because in the end, the company is better with his partner.

Let’s talk risk.

Investor’s weren’t sure if Alex and Matt’s company was profitable. I mean, how many people actually listen to podcasts? Is that media platform growing?

Lucky for Alex and Matt, the podcast industry is growing and booming.

While listening to these podcasts and hearing Alex’s pitch, I couldn’t believe no one had thought of his idea yet. Podcasts to me seem genius. The possibility of journalism in your ears on your way to work is both convenient and revolutionary. I’m also trying to broaden my podcast horizons as a newbie podcast girl myself.

Any podcast suggestions? Comment below!

5 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Podcasts

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the StartUp Podcast by Gimlet Media. His pure honesty about the hardship, the sleepless nights and the doubt helped me see that this doesn’t just come naturally to people. You might have an entrepreneurial spirit, but everyone has to go through the same difficulties to make their start-up pull through. Hearing his story from start to finish gave me hope. Through it all, he made it. And look at him now.

    As for podcasts, I love Crime Junkie 🙂


  2. I feel like over the last six months, I have become a podcast fiend, even incorporating them into my daily routine. I start every morning listening to Up First (NPR) and The Daily (The New York Times). Podcasts have gotten so popular in the last few years that there are endless genres that just by searching a few basic keywords, you’ll find your next big show!


  3. What I thoroughly enjoy about podcasts is that people with a passion about what they’re speaking about have a platform. Over the past 2 years, I would spend at least one day a week consumed with different types of podcasts that range from make up, to music to local takes on journalism. I think it’s about time they started gaining popularity because not only is it another medium to share news, but I believe it brings back the personality in listening about things that interest you. A podcast that I would personally recommend if you love pop culture is the Fan of a Fan Podcast. (they’re currently not posting, but I love the commentary so much)


  4. I was really impressed by the determination that Alex showed to make his podcasting company not only come to fruition but also to make it successful enough to sell for a massive profit. It takes someone with a lot of conviction to persevere through the hardships that Blumberg faced along the way.


  5. I also have become a huge podcast fan since the start of this class, and I think that StartUp is a very good one. Alex has shown a lot of will power and motivation as he has started up his podcast company from pretty much scratch. I think overall that podcasts are very fun. I think they are so enjoyable and almost calming to listen to.

    P.S. I love The Morning Toast


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