My Podcasting Superpower

Some day I’ll tell my kids how we used to have to listen to talk radio in the morning, wait for a DJ/VJ to play our favorite song/video or buy an entire album when we liked a couple songs by an artist.

Apple Music, YouTube, Spotify and podcasts have completely changed the listening game for the better. I do miss MTV but I was never a huge fan of the blowhards on sports or talk radio. Podcasts are so much better than anything you can find on the radio. My subscription list seemingly grows by the week. Podcast zero has become the new email zero for me.

To make it through my list I’ve experimented with faster listening speeds. Ben Cohen at the Wall Street Journal wrote a story on people’s listening experiences this week and asked me about mine:

Ben Carlson, 35, a Grand Rapids, Mich., portfolio manager, believes speed-listening may offer performance-enhancing benefits. When he began using podcasts on lunchtime runs, he found them so slow they nearly put him to sleep.

When he made them faster, “I felt like I was running faster,” he says. “I was more in sync with being sped up. Which is crazy. But I think there’s something to it.”

He did slow down for an interview with Silicon Valley venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, who spoke too fast. Mr. Andreessen declined to comment.

I jog 3-4 times a week and tried listening to podcasts at normal speed but found they were far too slow. Once I sped things up a little it gave me a pep in my step. It’s all psychological but I found I was actually running a little faster with the quicker pace of the podcasts. Now that I’ve gone to 2x speed I can’t go back.

After seeing the story a number of people asked me to recommend my favorite podcasts. Here are some recent favorites:

How I Built This
I’m late to this one but I absolutely love this podcast. Every episode is an interview with founders and entrepreneurs with the back story on how they started and built their businesses. As you listen to more of these you begin to see similar themes running through successful businesses — hard work, luck, taking chances and smart ideas. Some recent favorites: Jerry Murrell (Five Guys), Blake Mycoskie (Toms), Sarah Blakeley (Spanx), John Mackey (Whole Foods), Brian Scudamore (1-800-GOT-JUNK) and Troy Carter (Lady Gaga’s former manager).

30 For 30 Podcasts
I’m a huge fan of the 30 for 30 docs so I was excited when this one just came out. I’ve only listened to one of these so far but I’m intrigued. My first listen was the Trials of Dan and Dave episode about the two Olympic decathletes from the 1990s who were the subject of a Reebok marketing campaign. I remember these commercials from the 1992 Olympics so it was cool to go back and hear the entire story on this.

Revisionist History
I know it’s hip for all the cool kids to look down on Malcolm Gladwell for some reason these days but his podcast is so good. My season one favorite was the back story about Jeff Buckley, Leonard Cohen and the song Hallelujah. The second season is just a few episodes in but the first one about the insane tax breaks golf courses get in California was gold.

I don’t listen to every episode but here’s the rest of my list that I listen to regularly: Behind the Markets, Masters in Business, Exponent, Planet Money, The Pete and Sebastian Show, Bespokecast, Recode Decode, FT Alphachat, Odd Lots, Hardcore History, The Bill Simmons Podcast, WTF with Marc Maron, The Knowledge Project, Full Disclosure, The Tim Ferriss Show, Capital Allocators, Financial Advisor Success, Invest Like the Best, The Meb Faber Show, a16z and EconTalk.

Here’s the entire WSJ story:
How Do Podcast Nuts Find the Time? They Listen at Chipmunk Speed (WSJ)