‘StartUp’ podcast gains traction along with podcast industry

Perrin Habecker
Contributing Writer

"Startup" is the story of  Alex Blumberg's efforts to create his own podcasting company.   Graphic from http://gimletmedia.com
“StartUp” is the story of Alex Blumberg’s efforts to create his own podcasting company. Graphic from http://gimletmedia.com

Podcasts, as an artistic medium, are starting to catch on, and “Startup,” the New podcast from Gimlet Media, Alex Blumberg’s startup podcasting company, is starting to catch on too.

“StartUp” is the story of Blumberg, a former radio producer at “This American Life,” the most popular podcast on iTunes, and co-host of “Planet Money,” a National Public Radio podcast/radio show on economics.

“StartUp” began when Blumberg decided that there weren’t enough podcasts focused on reporting/storytelling in the way that “This American Life” or “Radiolab” does. After a while he had what he called “a thought that’s gotten a lot of people into a lot of trouble…” “I can do that” he said in the first episode of start up.

He left his stable job at NPR and set out to form his own podcasting company. After a while the reporter in him realized that his own story was a story reporters kill for: all the inner thoughts and private details of how a company is born, and so began “StartUp” The podcast about the creation of it’s own podcasting company.

In the first episode (which was played as an episode of “this American life” for promotion) Blumberg met a Venture Capitalist in California and tried to get him to invest money in his at the time nearly nonexistent company. The Venture Capitalist in question was Chris Sacca, who became a billionaire when his investment in a small social media startup called “Twitter” paid off.  In that episode Blumberg has no idea what he’s doing, and stumbles over his own words while talking to this billionaire can be painful to listen to, but now, “StartUp” has 13 episodes and Blumbergs Company, Gimlet Media, has a second podcast, Reply All, an Internet/pop culture podcast, which is worth a listen if you’re interested in Internet trivia or social media related anecdotes.

In comparison to NPR, which produces the large majority of popular podcasts, Gilmet has long ads, usually about two minutes, three times a show: at the beginning, middle and end of a 30-minute show. However, these can be skipped over easily, so that’s not really a problem. Overall, Watching, or rather listening to Blumberg go from a crazy dreamer bumbling at a billionaire to a CEO with real employees and a real office is overall very entertaining and engaging, and you do start to hope Blumberg does alright with his risky venture. The StartUp podcast is definitely worth a listen.

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