Podcast Recommendations
  • ©Bob Treadway 2024 0

Podcast Recommendations

It's smart to do more than one thing at once - if it adds to your perception of what's ahead.
Bob Treadway, Futurist

The Benefits of Listening

Multi-tasking is mostly a myth. But the ability to walk and chew gum is akin to walking/riding/traveling and listening to a podcast.

  • We all have daily activities that don't require perfect concentration on one thing. Exercise, commuting, waiting, eating alone are examples.
  • Podcasts is the new form of the old habit of listening to a radio newscast.
  • Give up some time from your music playlist to learn something, be informed, activate your subconscious, absorb.
  • Be smart about it. I set all my podcasts to play back at 1.25X to save some time. Your brain can quickly adapt.
  • Links are generic. I'm in the Mac/iPhone world. Your mileage may vary.

Best App

I'm an iPhone/Mac user. Been displeased with my old-fashioned Apple-built pod app. Cumbersome. Limited customization. Here's my latest recommendation.

Downcast - a revelation. Allows easy handling of pods with several options. Great interface. Easy to scan. Easy to edit. Editors Choice in PC Mag.

Categories and Favorites plus Options

Here are favorites. Also some that drop into categories you might find interesting. There are other worthy options below. I'll give you a quick opinion on all.

99% Invisible - Fascinating stuff. Roman Mars and company put on one of the best shows in podcast world. Architecture. Infrastructure. Cities. Objects. Sounds. Visuals. Technology. History. Two sample favorites. The Great Dismal Swamp. Unpleasant Design and Hostile Urban Architecture. Podcasts come and go but I've stuck with this one for over six years.

Revisionist History- Malcolm Gladwell is my pick for the master non-fiction author and audio deliverer of the day. I first found "Tipping Point" a revelation and have read every long-form piece he's written since. Yes, sometimes simplistic in analysis but I haven't had the pages turn as fast since the heyday of John McPhee. His first pods were a little clunky but he's polished himself into a compelling narrator. Revisionist History is his prime milieu. Fact. History that it turns out isn't or wasn't as it was first revealed. Surprises. Revelations. Rethinking. The perfect grist for examples I've used with clients over the years. This pod is now in its 7th season and just as delicious as it was the first time around. You won't look at Toyota, elite colleges, the Vietnam War, or Brian Williams the same way again.

Freakonomics - Stephen Dubner has assumed the mantle of the partnership that originated unexpected knowledge in the book. Still great stuff. Incisive examination of stuff that was passed off as true, but ... Why do most drug dealers live with their mothers? Because it's a really bad business model - and other hits just keep on coming. I don't listen to every episode but whenever I do it's a mind-changing experience. Wide ranging subject material.

Inside the Strategy Room - If you're a corporate or big org denizen you'll probably find this interesting and insightful. I'm less a fan of McKinsey after their embracing of evil clients. Can't criticie their chops when it comes to interviewing real-life clients who've been through strategic challenges.

Against the Rules - Surpassing Gladwell as a narrator is another of the best class of non-fiction author. Michael Lewis. The guy who broght us MoneyBall, The Big Short, The Premonition, and more. Under the banner of Gladwell's Pushkin Industries he's built a solid reputation as a podcaster. John Williams of the NYTimes Book Review wrote, "I would read an 800-page history of the stapler if he wrote it." He's just as good with the spoken word. Probably because he wrote it. Gifted. Updated Opinion - late 2023- While Michael Lewis normally exhibits a wonderful ability to maintain impartiality to the stories he tells he did not do that with the creepy, smarmy description of Sam Bankman-Fried. I do not recommend either his pod or the book, Going Infinite. The pod is titled "Judging Sam" and aired under the Against the Rules umbrella.


News and General - I do a lot of scanning in my work so I don't often look for news sources. But here are just a couple if you feel you want to fill out your exposure:

[The Daily on Apple Podcasts](https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-daily/id1200361736?mt=2/)- Give this 30 minutes and you'll come away better informed on a key news topic. A slightly deeper dive without being clunky. Almost always includes an interview with a New York Times reporter who published on the topic. Insightful. Recent topics have included good summaries of presidential candidate strategies, what happens to guns that the government wants to destroy (and it's not really what you would expect), how much and how are college football players being paid, and a story I found extremely interesting about a mountaineering expedition to Aconcagua in the 70's. Great stuff. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-daily/id1200361736

Stuff You Should Know - General interest of the best kind. Yep, selecting is key here. Too much "stuff" IMO. Like Terry Gross below. But worthy.


Fresh Air - I couldn't NOT mention this institution. But damn, Terry Gross. I just don't have the hours to keep up with her. Always polished, well-prepared. This is perhaps the most topical of podcasts out there except for some of the pure newscasts. If you've got the time and the inclination, good on you.

© Bob Treadway, 2011, 2015, 2022, 2024. All Rights Reserved.