Sydney Naseef

The StartUp Podcast: A Guide to Getting Going

Alex Blumberg, an American entrepreneur who has taken over the audio media sector with his podcast network Gimlet Media, turns to the medium he knows best to share his start-up story. In four chronological podcasts, Blumberg tells stories or harsh beginnings, late nights, early mornings and altered dreams.

His image of his start-up company was mended and molded by talented investors who knew how to spin an idea into a money making solution. He was in Silicon Valley speaking with the best of the best, and he got his ass handed to him a few times – and he’ll tell you that himself. But here he is now, running a successful start-up company alongside partner Matt Lieber.

The first episode of the podcast was the most intriguing, titled: “How to Not Pitch a Billionaire”. Blumberg in the early stages of his start-up pitching met with Chris Sacca, investor extraordinaire and billionaire. Basically, Sacca listened to his mumbled, drawn-out, unclear pitch, then handed it back to Blumberg in two minutes concisely, and filled with specific information and goals. Blumberg couldn’t believe how quickly Sacca could take his unclear goal and mold it into an incredible pitch worthy of investors time – and by time, I do mean two minutes.

This shows just how complex the research of your start-up must be. It isn’t, “I think” or “I’m hoping” and it isn’t “We’re asking for roughly” or “In about 5 years”…you need specifics. You need confidence. You need drive. And you need to know your content. You need to generate, as Blumberg puts it, “FOMO: Fear of Missing Out.” You must state your unfair advantage – why are you the best CEO? Blumberg didn’t have all these answers initially, but Sacca gave him the focus he needed to fine-tune his pitch and his plans.

As the episodes go on, we hear more pitches, watch as Blumberg’s original business idea gets molded by investors and discussed to its depths. We watch Blumberg struggle with anxiety and sadness and stress, and long for a partner to share the decision-making with. Thank god for Lieber. In unison, the two discover a fair equity and tackle the start-up head-on with investors.

From start to finish, we watch an uncertain Blumberg team up with a talented professional and dive into a new business ideal…and yeah, just as one investor suggested, the name changed. Formerly American Podcasting Corporation, currently Gimlet Media. The highs and lows of entrepreneurship are clear, especially with a family on the line, but the opportunities are out there if you’re willing to grab ahold of them. Use your expertise to your advantage. It might lead you to the next big thing.

2 thoughts on “The StartUp Podcast: A Guide to Getting Going

  1. I really like how you made a point about specifics. It is so crucial to come prepared with data, numbers and information. In order to convince investors that your business is worth their time, it’s crucial to provide specifics and I like the way you explained that here. I also enjoyed how you said to focus on your expertise, this point stood out to me too. It’s great to be an expert, but not on everything. I think it’s important to acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses before pitching investors and launching a business.


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