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10 Great Podcasts About Business

By Selena Maranjian – Oct 1, 2020 at 7:16AM

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While you walk, run, or drive, you could be learning about many fascinating businesses -- and you'll probably become a better investor, too.

If you're thinking of checking out the world of podcasts, you won't be a pioneer: They've already grown into a big business. Fully 27 million people, for example, listen to NPR podcasts each month.

No matter your interests, there are probably some podcasts you will find interesting and enlightening. Here, for instance, is a look at 10 podcasts that examine the world of business. See which ones pique your interest enough for you to check them out. Most can be found and listened to through podcasting apps such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast, and more.

A smiling man is looking at us, wearing headphones.

Image source: Getty Images.

Motley Fool podcasts

Consider our own homegrown Motley Fool podcasts, several of which are quite focused on businesses. As with our online and print publications, our podcasts aim to make you smarter, happier, and richer by enlightening you while also entertaining you. Here are the more-business-oriented podcasts we offer:

Market Foolery: This daily podcast reviews business news stories of the day and offers analysis of what's going on in topical industries. Recent episodes, for example, have touched on the auto industry, restaurants, video games, housing, retail, and entertainment.

Motley Fool Money: Every Friday, this podcast reviews the week's business news, making sense of it for investors. It also features interviews with authors of business books and industry experts. Recent episodes featured titles such as "Costco, Tesla, and Temptation Bundling" and "Rethinking Transportation."

Industry Focus: Each of these daily episodes focuses on an industry and the companies in it. One recent episode looked at the profitable world of prescription middlemen, while another looked at software companies that were undervalued.

The word podcast is drawn on a blackboard, next to a hand holding a megaphone.

Image source: Getty Images.

Business history

Learning about the history of businesses and industries can help you become a better investor, spotting red flags and green flags in the companies around you. Here are some great podcasts that like to look back:

NPR's How I Built This: This podcast features talks with those who have built various businesses. As an example, an episode I recently listened to and found fascinating and suspenseful covered the birth of Airbnb: "A chance encounter with a stranger gave Joe Gebbia an idea to help pay his rent. That idea grew into a company that now has more rooms than the biggest hotel chain in the world."

Business Wars: This podcast typically devotes several episodes to taking a close look at a big business rivalry, such as FedEx vs. United Parcel Service, Uber Technologies vs. Lyft, and vs. Walmart. Other wars covered include those involving diamonds and dating apps, to name a few.

Brought to You By...: This podcast delves into the surprising stories behind many familiar companies. One episode, for example, looked at how a dried vegetable and fish shop in South Korea became the juggernaut Samsung, while another examined the essential oils industry and its questionable origins.

Desperate Acts of Capitalism: Describing itself as "a podcast about rich idiots with bad ideas," this series delves into different businesses each week, often focusing on amusingly problematic ones. Consider this description of a recent episode: "A website designed to help you have an illicit marital affair that requires your personal information and a substantial fee to delete your account. What could possibly go wrong?"

Big and small ideas

Here are some great podcasts about ideas and issues concerning businesses:

HBR Idea Cast: This Harvard Business Review podcast describes itself as a "weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management," such as Harvard professors, CEOs, and others with insights into aspects of business, including supply chains, marketing, diversity, competition, and more.

Outside In: This podcast focuses on customer-centric companies and looks at how the world is changing and how companies are changing to adapt to it. Recent episodes looked at the cultural reinvention of Microsoft and Impossible Foods' mission to replace meat by 2035.

The Marketing Companion: This podcast tackles marketing, with an aim to entertain while informing. It features interviews with leaders from many companies, and episodes go beyond just marketing. A recent one, for example, addressed how adidas is redefining sports, retail, and marketing during the pandemic.

This is, of course, just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to podcasts about business. Spend a little time searching in your favorite podcast app for business topics that interest you, such as marketing or management, and you'll find a treasure trove of content.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Selena Maranjian owns shares of Amazon and Microsoft. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon, FedEx, and Microsoft. The Motley Fool recommends Uber Technologies and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $85 calls on Microsoft, short January 2021 $115 calls on Microsoft, short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon, and long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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