Inspirational Podcasts We’re Listening to From Home

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In the midst of COVD-19 stay-at-home orders, people are settling into new podcast listening habits. With the disappearance of commute hours, they’re turning to podcasts from trusted hosts to inspire, inform, and entertain, at various times throughout the day. Whether on a morning walk, at noon following a jam-packed schedule of Zoom meetings, during family meal prep at dinner time, or winding down in the evening, it’s one way we’re coping with this new way of working.  

Let’s take a peek into what a few of our senior tech leaders are listening to from home these days! 

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Marianna Tessel, Chief Technology Officer 

How I Built This this is a podcast by NPR in which host Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best-known companies weaving a narrative journey about the innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists and the movements they built.

“I am fascinated by How I Built This, particularly in the way that host Guy Raz is able to get his guests to take you through the ups and downs of their paths in creating new start-ups… all done in a simple and clear way. Each episode featured is a great reminder that enthusiasm and persistence win out.”

The Daily The New York Times’ The Daily is a news and radio podcast hosted by political journalist Michael Barbaro. The episodes are based on interviews with Times’ journalists, in which they summarize and comment on their story, and is complemented by recordings related to the topic, or original reporting such as interviews with persons involved in the story.

“I love The Daily because it goes much deeper into interesting and relevant topics and it is delivered in a super engaging way. The hosts and journalists start a story at the beginning and get the audience through to the end, where other outlets sometimes presume an incremental understanding of new stories. It’s a fun and easy way to stay informed. Like How I Built This, it’s one of a few podcasts that has a permanent place on my phone.”

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Alex Balazs, Chief Architect

This American Life – This American Life is a weekly public radio program and podcast. Each week they choose a theme and put together different kinds of stories on that theme. Our favorite sorts of stories have compelling people at the center of them, funny moments, big feelings, surprising plot twists, and interesting ideas.

“This is my go-to podcast because it brings together history and current events to provide perspective on how things work and how they could work better w/o a lot of politics in either direction. I especially like the elements of storytelling. Many podcasts are trying to communicate lots of info in a short period. This American Life has a deliberate pace that unpacks the why behind the what. Not only do I learn about the subject they’re talking about, but it reinforces my own skills in storytelling as it relates to Intuit and our strategy.”

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Raji Arasu, Senior Vice President, Intuit Platform

Virtual not Distantthis fortnightly podcast covers how the world of work, and our attitudes to work, are changing, including leading and working in remote teams, remote well-being, and transitioning to office-optional. The team interviews, consults and researches with change-makers and leaders in organizations all over the world, and shares their learnings in podcasts and articles. 

“During COVID, I’ve been fascinated by the evolving trends and thinking around virtual workplaces. There are a lot of podcasts out there, but in early April, I found Virtual not Distant particularly interesting for these times. One very practical insight I gleaned is the importance of deliberate communication, visible workflows, and planned spontaneity. And, to be mindful that typical commute travel can provide a decompression buffer to smooth out stressful days. Without it, in a blended life and work situation that stress could extend longer than usual for many.”

The Vergecast – The Vergehosted by Nilay Patel and Dieter Bohn, alongside a cavalcade of tech luminaries, Vergecast is the only podcast you need to make sense of the week in tech news. The weekly show gives an irreverent and informative look at what’s happening right now (and next) in the world of technology and gadgets.

“With Vergecast, I’m able to keep up to date with the latest from home or during walks in my neighborhood. For example, Amy Web, CEO of the Future Today Institute, recently spoke about modeling alternative futures, which could look like precision medication inventions in a global pandemic, or synthetic agriculture as a way to mitigate climate change.”

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Bharath Kadaba, Chief Innovation Officer  

Artificial Intelligence: AI Podcast – this is a series of conversations about technology, science, and the human condition hosted by Lex Fridman, a research scientist and professor focused on human-centered AI, deep learning, autonomous vehicles and robotics at MIT and beyond.

“I love the conversations with luminaries in the field of AI, brain research, physics, etc. Lex’s AI Podcasts are usually longer than an hour, allowing for a deep dive into the topic. My current favorites are with Sean Carroll (physics), Jeff Hawkins (neuroscience) and Francois Chollet (AI).

a16z Podcast – the a16z Podcast discusses tech and culture trends, news, and the future – especially as “software eats the world.” It features industry experts, business leaders, and other interesting thinkers and voices from around the world. This podcast is produced by Andreessen Horowitz, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm. Multiple episodes are released every week.

“Rapid fire conversations on the most current, hot tech topics. The guests on a16z are deep industry experts, providing concentrated doses of wise observations on topics like COVID-19, recent fintech acquisitions, the latest in crypto, etc.”

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