Start Up

Start Up is a podcast series about what it’s really like to get a business off the ground. In Season 1, Alex Blumberg told the story of launching this business, Gimlet Media, a podcast network. In Season 2, Alex is joined by co-Host Lisa Chow, to follow an entirely new company.


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November 10, 2017

When a group of college kids in Florida set out to change the music industry, they did not anticipate how disruptive they would be. Their mission was a noble one: bring an end to online piracy by offering cheap, convenient, and legal access to music. Their execution, however, was less than thorough. And when you’re dealing with protective music labels, forgetting to dot an “i” or cross a “t” can mean being one lawsuit away from the swift and unceremonious collapse of your company.

This is the story of Grooveshark, the people who built it, and the relationships that were tested during its rocky road to growth—and its eventual demise.

November 3, 2017

On the last episode of StartUp, we followed the government-sponsored desert race that launched the self-driving car industry. This week, we see what the industry looks like today. You’ve probably heard that Google, Uber, and Tesla are pumping resources into developing autonomous vehicles. But there are plenty of smaller, younger companies in the space. What are they doing to keep up with the major players?

November 3, 2017

On the last episode of StartUp, we followed the government-sponsored desert race that launched the self-driving car industry. This week, we see what the industry looks like today. You’ve probably heard that Google, Uber, and Tesla are pumping resources into developing autonomous vehicles. But there are plenty of smaller, younger companies in the space. What are they doing to keep up with the major players?

October 27, 2017

In 2004, the U.S. government held a race unlike anything that had come before it. It was called the DARPA Grand Challenge, and it followed a 150-mile route through the rugged Mojave Desert. 

The participants were cars, trucks, ATVs, and one motorcycle. The catch? Each vehicle was required to drive itself—no remote control, no human intervention. Dozens of engineers and robot enthusiasts worked relentlessly to make it happen. The Carnegie Mellon team was a favorite, but every team faced hurdles—from smashed sensors and exploding toilets to poorly placed tumbleweeds. Was the Grand Challenge too grand for its time?

October 13, 2017

Kik, a chat app popular with teenagers, launched in 2010. Users flocked to it, and within a few years it was valued at a billion dollars. Then a new competitor came on the chat scene: Facebook. When Kik started struggling to grow their revenue and find new investors, they landed on a wild new idea. Now they’re betting their company’s future on creating their own cryptocurrency.

Listen to Gimlet’s newest podcast, Uncivil, wherever you get your podcasts
Apple Podcasts | Overcast | Stitcher | Pocketcasts

October 6, 2017

Earlier this year, we asked listeners to call us with questions for Gimlet Founder Alex Blumberg. Alex answered a bunch of them in an episode last season. But one caller’s question was so big, it needed its own episode. Skyler Gronholz had decided to make a podcast about starting up his life again after several years in prison. But he was anxious about making something bad, and wanted Alex’s advice. In this week’s episode, we find out: can making a podcast about your life actually change the way you live it?

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a number you can call. 1-800-662-HELP. That hotline gives referrals to local treatment facilities and support groups. And it is completely free and confidential. 

September 29, 2017

China is on a mission to upgrade its international reputation. The government doesn’t want people to see the country as just the world’s factory for socks and toys and cell phones. It wants people around the globe to think China is cool. And it’s tried a bunch of different things to do that, including building a global pop star. But can China change its image through the power of pop music?

September 22, 2017

Lisa Chow and Alex Blumberg sit down together to talk about the future of StartUp.

And, we introduce you to Gimlet Media’s newest podcast The Nod. Co-hosted by Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings, The Nod celebrates and explores the multitudes of Black culture and Black life. For more information, visit gimletmedia.com/thenod.

September 15, 2017

Jasen Yang gave up the security of a high-paying Wall Street job to launch his company, Polly Portfolio. It’s been three years since then, and Jasen still isn’t taking a salary. It’s put a lot of strain on his family, and made it difficult for Jasen and his wife, Lynn, to make important decisions about their future. So we brought in executive coach Jerry Colonna, who helped Jasen find the unlikely source of his anxiety.

September 8, 2017

Gary Kremen owned one of the most valuable domain names in the history of the internet. And then one day, he lost it in the most unusual way. For years, Gary fought to win back his domain “sex dot com.” The legal battle transformed the way the courts treat virtual property. But in the end, was his lengthy and expensive crusade worth it?

September 1, 2017

StartUp is back for a brand new season, and we’re kicking things off with a story about the competitive world of domains.

Reporter Amy Standen brings us the story of Rick Schwartz, who earned the title “Domain King” by building a portfolio of dot com web addresses worth millions. But why is a “.com” address worth so much in the first place? And why doesn’t Gimlet own “gimlet.com”?

And coming up this season, we’ll hear from startups in unexpected places.  We’ll go to the Mojave Desert for a self-driving car race, we’ll take you on a cross-country bus ride for a hackathon on wheels, and we’ll head to China to track their growing pop music scene. 

August 28, 2017

StartUp returns September 1st with a brand new season. Here’s a preview of what’s coming up in Season 6.

And are you looking for more Gimlet in your life? Then click here to view our guide to other Gimlet shows returning this fall.

July 25, 2017

On this episode of StartUp, we’re introducing you to a new show from Gimlet Media. It’s called Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty. The show charts the career of the hip hop executive, from young hustler in the Bronx, to one of the most powerful men in the music industry.

July 20, 2017

Concussions have cast a major shadow over contact sports, from youth leagues to the pros. But entrepreneur Anthony Gonzales thinks he can fix it by putting a gadget in the mouths of athletes. Now he just has to convince investors to put their dollars behind his idea.

Our Sponsors: Trunk Club | Virgin Atlantic

July 7, 2017

Mokhtar Alkhanshali is trying to produce the perfect cup of coffee. And he’s trying to do it with beans grown in the midst of an active war zone in Yemen. Despite those challenges, his company’s first batch earned rave reviews, and sold for $16 a cup at one of the fanciest coffee chains around. But can he turn that early success into a profitable business, or will the challenges of trying to achieve perfection using a supply chain that starts in a war zone halfway around the world do his young company in?

Our Sponsors: .future | Squarespace | Trunk Club | Fiverr

June 23, 2017

Mason Gordon’s dream is to create a new global team sport, something that hasn’t happened since basketball came on the scene in the 1890s. But Mason is determined. He invented Slamball—an amped up combination of basketball and football that’s played on trampolines—nearly twenty years ago. He had some splashy early success and got two seasons on TV. And then Slamball seemingly disappeared. But Mason is still at it, and now Slamball is surging in popularity on the other side of the globe.

Our Sponsors:

  • Pipedrive – Pipedrive is an easy-to-use sales management tool designed with small teams in mind. Check out pipedrive.com/startup to learn more
  • Squarespace – The easiest way to create a beautiful website, portfolio or online store. Use the offer code “STARTUP” to get 10% off your first purchase.
  • Virgin Atlantic – Listen to their podcast, The Venture, wherever you get your podcasts or go to virginatlantic.com/theventure
June 16, 2017

Jason from Bento started a business that prepared and delivered pan-Asian meals on demand. Lauren and Emma from Dating Ring wanted to reinvent online dating. Mary from Saint Harridan made sharp suits for masculine women and trans men. And Mike moved food across international borders, evading employees of a large grocery store chain. This episode, we return to some of the companies we followed in previous seasons and find out how their founders are doing—and what the label “entrepreneur” means to them now.

Our Sponsors:

  • Ebay – Listen to their podcast, Open for Business wherever you get your podcasts
  • Pipedrive – Pipedrive is an easy-to-use sales management tool designed with small teams in mind. Check out pipedrive.com/startup to learn more
  • Squarespace – The easiest way to create a beautiful website, portfolio or online store. Use the offer code “STARTUP” to get 10% off your first purchase.

June 14, 2017

Alex and Matt talk to Josh Muccio, the host of Gimlet’s newest show, about his path to podcasting. Then we sample the first half of the latest episode of Josh’s show, The Pitch.

Our Sponsors

  • Ebay – Listen to their podcast, Open for Business wherever you get your podcasts
  • Sonos – Sonos is a smart wireless speaker system. To learn more go to sonos.com
  • Squarespace – The easiest way to create a beautiful website, portfolio or online store. Use the offer code “STARTUP” to get 10% off your first purchase.
  • Ziprecruiter – start posting jobs for free at Ziprecruiter.com/startup

June 9, 2017

Hello, there! This week we’re rebroadcasting an episode from way back in Season 2 when we were following Dating Ring, a company that was different from other dating sites and apps because it used matchmakers to help its customers go out on dates. This episode picks up just after the co-founders of the company, Lauren and Emma, finished Y Combinator and started pitching angel investors. You’ll hear them struggle to raise money—while wondering if their company was floundering for reasons completely outside of their control. 

May 26, 2017

Researchers who think about the thorny problem of feeding our growing global population have started to point at one possible solution: bugs. They’re protein-rich and ecologically sustainable—but can bug entrepreneurs get lots of Americans to eat something they’re kinda grossed out by?

Our Sponsors

  • Pipedrive – Pipedrive is an easy-to-use sales management tool designed with small teams in mind. Check out pipedrive.com/startup to learn more
  • Squarespace – The easiest way to create a beautiful website, portfolio or online store. Use the offer code “STARTUP” to get 10% off your first purchase.
  • Virgin Atlantic – Listen to their podcast, The Venture, wherever you get your podcasts or go to virginatlantic.com/theventure
  • Amazon Launchpad shop now at amazon.com/launchpadfordad
May 19, 2017

Jake Glanville and his small biotech startup are trying to beat big pharmaceutical companies and major research institutions to a potentially game-changing medical breakthrough: the universal flu vaccine.

Our Sponsors

  • Pipedrive – Pipedrive is an easy-to-use sales management tool designed with small teams in mind. Check out pipedrive.com/startup to learn more
  • Squarespace – The easiest way to create a beautiful website, portfolio or online store. Use the offer code “STARTUP” to get 10% off your first purchase.
  • Virgin Atlantic – Listen to their podcast, The Venture, wherever you get your podcasts or go to virginatlantic.com/theventure
  • Ziprecruiter – start posting jobs for free at Ziprecruiter.com/startup
May 12, 2017

This week on StartUp we’re listening in as executive coach Jerry Colonna sits down with Diana Lovett, the founder of a socially responsible chocolate company called Cissé Cocoa. In the episode, they tackle something that many founders struggle with—how to balance entrepreneurship and parenthood. 

May 5, 2017

Gimlet launched a new podcast this month. It’s called “Every Little Thing”and it searches for the extraordinary lurking in the ordinary. It’s hosted by science journalist Flora Lichtman, who on this recent episode of the show found the extraordinary in office plants. 

StartUp will be back with a new episode next week.

April 28, 2017

After a turbulent start and the firing of its founder, Friendster looked like it was back on track. It was still the biggest social network around and its board—which was packed with some of the biggest names in venture capital—quickly assembled a star-studded executive team. So, why couldn’t all that talent deliver on the company’s promise?

Why aren’t we all logging onto Friendster today?

Ask Alex
Got a question for Alex Blumberg? Leave us a message at 812-641-1231, and your question could end up on the show.

The Facts
Mark Phillips wrote and performed our theme song.
Build Buildings wrote and performed our special ad music.
Additional music by Typhoon, Jupyter, Marley Carrol and the band Hot Moms Dot Gov.
David Herman, Ian Scott, and Rick Kwan mixed the episode.

Our Sponsors
Virgin Atlantic – Listen to their podcast, The Venture wherever you get your podcasts
Sofi – to learn more about student loan refinancing, go to sofi.com
SubaruMeet real Subaru owners and hear their stories on MeetAnOwner.com

April 28, 2017

After a turbulent start and the firing of its founder, Friendster looked like it was back on track. It was still the biggest social network around and its board—which was packed with some of the biggest names in venture capital—quickly assembled a star-studded executive team. So, why couldn’t all that talent deliver on the company’s promise?

Why aren’t we all logging onto Friendster today?

Ask Alex
Got a question for Alex Blumberg? Leave us a message at 812-641-1231, and your question could end up on the show.

The Facts
Mark Phillips wrote and performed our theme song.
Build Buildings wrote and performed our special ad music.
Additional music by Typhoon, Jupyter, Marley Carrol and the band Hot Moms Dot Gov.
David Herman, Ian Scott, and Rick Kwan mixed the episode.

Our Sponsors
Virgin Atlantic – Listen to their podcast, The Venture wherever you get your podcasts
Sofi – to learn more about student loan refinancing, go to sofi.com
SubaruMeet real Subaru owners and hear their stories on MeetAnOwner.com

April 21, 2017

In 2003, Jonathan Abrams was sitting atop one of the hottest new companies in Silicon Valley. He and his website were at the forefront of an industry that would eventually be worth more than $400 billion. So, what went wrong?

Ask Alex
Got a question for Alex Blumberg? Leave us a message at 812-614-1231, and your question could end up on the show.

Our Sponsors
Blue Apron – Get 3 free meals with free shipping at blueapron.com/startup
Pipedrive – Pipedrive is an easy-to-use sales management tool designed with small teams in mind. Check out pipedrive.com/startup to learn more
Sonos – Sonos is a smart wireless speaker system. To learn more go to sonos.com
SubaruMeet real Subaru owners and hear their stories on MeetAnOwner.com

April 21, 2017

In 2003, Jonathan Abrams was sitting atop one of the hottest new companies in Silicon Valley. He and his website were at the forefront of an industry that would eventually be worth more than $400 billion. So, what went wrong?

Ask Alex
Got a question for Alex Blumberg? Leave us a message at 812-641-1231, and your question could end up on the show.

Our Sponsors
Blue Apron – Get 3 free meals with free shipping at blueapron.com/startup
Pipedrive – Pipedrive is an easy-to-use sales management tool designed with small teams in mind. Check out pipedrive.com/startup to learn more
Sonos – Sonos is a smart wireless speaker system. To learn more go to sonos.com
SubaruMeet real Subaru owners and hear their stories on MeetAnOwner.com

April 14, 2017

In 1983 a guy named Stuart Anders invented a toy that would become a huge hit — one of the biggest fad toys of a generation. But the toy world can be treacherous, and Stuart’s big idea left him broke. Now he’s back with a new toy and a surprising ally.


January 13, 2017

In episode 2 of this season of StartUp, producer Molly Messick followed producers Eric Mennel and Ngofeen Mputubwele, who were working on creating a new Gimlet show called Twice Removed. That show has now launched. In this special bonus episode, Alex Blumberg catches up with Eric and Ngofeen, to see how things have been going since Molly spoke with them this past summer. Enjoy this update from the Twice Removed team and then listen to the first half of a new episode, which features Alex’s wife Nazanin Rafsanjani as a special guest. 

January 13, 2017

In episode 2 of this season of StartUp, producer Molly Messick followed producers Eric Mennel and Ngofeen Mputubwele, who were working on creating a new Gimlet show called Twice Removed. That show has now launched. In this special bonus episode, Alex Blumberg catches up with Eric and Ngofeen, to see how things have been going since Molly spoke with them this past summer. Enjoy this update from the Twice Removed team and then listen to the first half of a new episode, which features Alex’s wife Nazanin Rafsanjani as a special guest. 

December 22, 2016

Following his ousting from American Apparel, Dov Charney has been eager to restart and launch his new venture—Los Angeles Apparel. He has assembled the fabric, the equipment, and the people to help make his new clothing line. Now he needs to find his customer base.

In this, the season finale of StartUp, Charney debuts his product to a group of people that knows his history well. But will his past prove to be an obstacle, or become part of what leads his new business to success?

Our Sponsors

Adobe XD – Shape the future of Adobe XD by downloading the beta. To get started go to adobe.ly/xdstartup

Mailchimp – More than 12 million people use MailChimp to connect with their customers, market their products, and grow their businesses every day.

December 16, 2016

In the spring of 2014, the American Apparel board offered Dov Charney two options: forfeit your position as CEO and stay on as a creative consultant or be removed from the company entirely. Charney chose the latter, and it became big news.

It’s a story that has followed Charney as he starts his new business. But there are two accounts of what happened at American Apparel: Dov’s and the board’s. In this episode, we explore the moments that led up to Charney’s ousting, and the fallout from a founder’s firing.

Our Sponsors

Adobe XD – Shape the future of Adobe XD by downloading the beta. To get started go to adobe.ly/xdstartup

Mailchimp – More than 12 million people use MailChimp to connect with their customers, market their products, and grow their businesses every day.

Wealthsimple – Investing made easy. Get your first $10,000 managed for free.

December 9, 2016

In 2007, Dov Charney took American Apparel public, placing the company under heightened scrutiny. This meant Charney lost the privacy and autonomy he’d grown accustomed to.  And, as more stories emerged from inside the company, some began to reevaluate the man they’d chosen to work with.

Our Sponsors
Amazon – Visit amazon.com/launchpad to support a startup

Mailchimp – More than 12 million people use MailChimp to connect with their customers, market their products, and grow their businesses every day.

Vimeo – To learn more about Vimeo Business,  go to vimeo.com/StartUp10 and enter the promo code StartUp10 to save 10 percent on your Vimeo Business account
WunderCapitalTo learn more about how to invest with Wunder Capital, and to create an account for free, go to WunderCapital.com/startup

Zenefits – To learn more about Zenefts and to schedule a free demo, go to zenefits.com/startup.

December 9, 2016

In 2007, Dov Charney took American Apparel public, placing the company under heightened scrutiny. This meant Charney lost the privacy and autonomy he’d grown accustomed to.  And, as more stories emerged from inside the company, some began to reevaluate the man they’d chosen to work with.

Our Sponsors
Amazon – Visit amazon.com/launchpad to support a startup

Mailchimp – More than 12 million people use MailChimp to connect with their customers, market their products, and grow their businesses every day.

Vimeo – To learn more about Vimeo Business,  go to vimeo.com/StartUp10 and enter the promo code StartUp10 to save 10 percent on your Vimeo Business account
WunderCapitalTo learn more about how to invest with Wunder Capital, and to create an account for free, go to WunderCapital.com/startup

Zenefits – To learn more about Zenefts and to schedule a free demo, go to zenefits.com/startup.

December 9, 2016

In 2007, Dov Charney took American Apparel public, placing the company under heightened scrutiny. This meant Charney lost the privacy and autonomy he’d grown accustomed to.  And, as more stories emerged from inside the company, some began to reevaluate the man they’d chosen to work with.

Our Sponsors
Amazon – Visit amazon.com/launchpad to support a startup

Mailchimp – More than 12 million people use MailChimp to connect with their customers, market their products, and grow their businesses every day.

Vimeo – To learn more about Vimeo Business,  go to vimeo.com/StartUp10 and enter the promo code StartUp10 to save 10 percent on your Vimeo Business account
WunderCapitalTo learn more about how to invest with Wunder Capital, and to create an account for free, go to WunderCapital.com/startup

Zenefits – To learn more about Zenefts and to schedule a free demo, go to zenefits.com/startup.

December 2, 2016

While Dov Charney was running American Apparel, he didn’t shy away from unconventionality. And for many entrepreneurs, breaking convention is an essential part of growing an innovative company. But pushing boundaries is one thing. Completely ignoring them is another.

In this episode, we explore the nebulous lines between Charney’s professional and personal relationships. We ask the the women of American Apparel what it was like to work for the former CEO and how, in a company where the boundaries aren’t clear, they could determine what was—and wasn’t—appropriate in the workplace.

Our Sponsors

Blue Apron – Get your first three Blue Apron meals delivered for free by going to blueapron.com/startup.

Mailchimp – More than 12 million people use MailChimp to connect with their customers, market their products, and grow their businesses every day.

Vimeo – To learn more about Vimeo Business,  go to vimeo.com/StartUp10 and enter the promo code StartUp10 to save 10 percent on your Vimeo Business account.

Wealthsimple – Investing made easy. Get your first $10,000 managed for free.

Zenefits – To learn more about Zenefts and to schedule a free demo, go to zenefits.com/startup.

December 2, 2016

While Dov Charney was running American Apparel, he didn’t shy away from unconventionality. And for many entrepreneurs, breaking convention is an essential part of growing an innovative company. But pushing boundaries is one thing. Completely ignoring them is another.

In this episode, we explore the nebulous lines between Charney’s professional and personal relationships. We ask the the women of American Apparel what it was like to work for the former CEO and how, in a company where the boundaries aren’t clear, they could determine what was—and wasn’t—appropriate in the workplace.

Our Sponsors

Blue Apron – Get your first three Blue Apron meals delivered for free by going to blueapron.com/startup.

Mailchimp – More than 12 million people use MailChimp to connect with their customers, market their products, and grow their businesses every day.

Vimeo – To learn more about Vimeo Business,  go to vimeo.com/StartUp10 and enter the promo code StartUp10 to save 10 percent on your Vimeo Business account.

Wealthsimple – Investing made easy. Get your first $10,000 managed for free.

Zenefits – To learn more about Zenefts and to schedule a free demo, go to zenefits.com/startup.

November 23, 2016

Alex Blumberg interviews Pat Walters, Eli Horowitz, Marc Smerling, and Zac Stuart-Pontier — the creators of Gimlet’s three newest shows. Hear how Gimlet developed these projects and what they are all about. And enjoy some favorite clips as well as sneak peeks from upcoming episodes.

StartUp Theme by Mark Phillips.

Our Sponsors

Frank & Oak – Go to frankandoak.com/startup to get your first outfit for $79 (a pair of pants and a shirt).

Lenovo – Go to www.lenovo.com/datacenter to learn how Lenovo is developing scalable and reliable datacenter solutions.

Mailchimp – More than 12 million people use MailChimp to connect with their customers, market their products, and grow their businesses every day.

Vimeo – To learn more about Vimeo Business,  go to vimeo.com/StartUp10 and enter the promo code StartUp10 to save 10 percent on your Vimeo Business account.

Zenefits – To learn more about Zenefts and to schedule a free demo, go to zenefits.com/startup.

November 18, 2016

In this episode, we trace American Apparel’s rise from the early wholesale days in South Carolina to the booming retail behemoth that the company eventually became. We speak with some of the people closest to Dov Charney along the way, in order to figure out how his past informs the present.
We also begin to explore how sexuality came to define the American Apparel brand, and how Dov’s unorthodox business practices and questionable personal behavior led to widespread scrutiny about what was really going on at the company. 

Our Sponsors

Blue Apron – Get your first three Blue Apron meals delivered for free by going to blueapron.com/startup

Mailchimp – More than 12 million people use MailChimp to connect with their customers, market their products, and grow their businesses every day.

Vimeo – To learn more about Vimeo Business,  go to vimeo.com/StartUp10 and enter the promo code StartUp10 to save 10 percent on your Vimeo Business account

Virgin Atlantic – Business is an adventure and everyone at Virgin works hard to make sure its one you won’t forget. Go to virginatlantic.com/startup to find out more

Wealthsimple – Investing made easy. Get your first $10,000 managed for free.

November 11, 2016

Dov Charney is trying to rebuild a multi-million dollar apparel company from the ground up. But he can’t do it alone. In this episode, we’ll hear from the people who have signed on to work with Charney, the people who have remained loyal to him since the early days of American Apparel, and those who have been inspired to join him in his new venture.

The commitment Charney receives from his workers feels like a double-edged sword—the more they devote their time and energy to his new company, the more they depend on its success. This time around, the pressure to succeed feels much, much higher.

To learn more about Undone and the other shows Gimlet is launching this fall, go to gimletmedia.com/fallseason.

Our Sponsors

Amazon – Visit amazon.com/launchpad to support a startup

Mailchimp – More than 12 million people use MailChimp to connect with their customers, market their products, and grow their businesses every day.

Vimeo – To learn more about Vimeo Business,  go to vimeo.com/StartUp10 and enter the promo code StartUp10 to save 10 percent on your Vimeo Business account

Wealthsimple – Investing made easy. Get your first $10,000 managed for free.

Zenefits – To learn more about Zenefts and to schedule a free demo, go to zenefits.com/startup.

November 4, 2016

Season 4 of StartUp continues with the story of a well-known entrepreneur who built a widely recognized business, lost it all, and is now starting over—from scratch.

Over the next several episodes, we’ll hear as this founder makes his second attempt at success, and creates an entirely new company in the shadow of his controversial past.

Our Sponsors

Amazon – Visit amazon.com/launchpad to support a startup

The Black Tux – Visit theblacktux.com/startup to experience a new way to rent suits and tuxedos

Squarespace – The easiest way to create a beautiful website, portfolio or online store. Use the offer code “STARTUP” to get 10% off your first purchase.

Vimeo – To learn more about Vimeo Business,  go to vimeo.com/StartUp10 and enter the promo code StartUp10 to save 10 percent on your Vimeo Business account

Virgin Atlantic – Business is an adventure and everyone at Virgin works hard to make sure its one you won’t forget. Go to virginatlantic.com to find out more

Wealthsimple – Investing made easy. Get your first $10,000 managed for free.

October 20, 2016

This week, Alex receives feedback about his job performance from his co-workers, friends, and family. Some of it is good, some less so. But there is something else that comes up during the review process that shocks him.

We explore what happens when you unpack your emotional baggage—or someone unpacks it for you—and you realize the unexpected effect that it has been having on your team.

In this final Gimlet-focused episode of season four, we take a raw and intimate look at a defining moment in the trajectory of a CEO.

Our Sponsors
The Black Tux – Visit theblacktux.com/startup to experience a new way to rent suits and tuxedos

Mailchimp – More than 12 million people use MailChimp to connect with their customers, market their products, and grow their businesses every day.

Vimeo – To learn more about Vimeo Business,  go to vimeo.com/StartUp10 and enter the promo code StartUp10 to save 10 percent on your Vimeo Business account

Virgin Atlantic – Business is an adventure and everyone at Virgin works hard to make sure its one you won’t forget. Go to virginatlantic.com to find out more

Wealthsimple – Investing made easy. Get your first $10,000 managed for free.

October 13, 2016

Growth. It can be exciting, it can be motivating, and it can be really stressful. In this week’s episode, we take a look at the tensions that Gimlet’s growth spurt is creating. 

We speak with the team producing one of our upcoming shows to see what it’s really like to build a podcast from the ground up. Each of them is being asked to step up to the plate in a way that they never have before, and some are realizing that the support they expected, it just isn’t there. 

People are pushed to their limits, emotions run high, and things that have remained hitherto unsaid are finally aired.

Our Sponsors
Lenovo – Go to www.lenovo.com/datacenter to learn how Lenovo is developing scalable and reliable datacenter solutions

Mailchimp – More than 12 million people use MailChimp to connect with their customers, market their products, and grow their businesses every day.

Vimeo – To learn more about Vimeo Business,  go to vimeo.com/StartUp10 and enter the promo code StartUp10 to save 10 percent on your Vimeo Business account

Virgin Atlantic – Business is an adventure and everyone at Virgin works hard to make sure its one you won’t forget. Go to virginatlantic.com to find out more

Wealthsimple – Investing made easy. Get your first $10,000 managed for free.

October 6, 2016

StartUp is back! And we’re kicking Season 4 off with an update on what’s happening here at Gimlet Media. 

Since the start of the year, Gimlet has more than doubled in size. And while growth is often the goal for a startup, it also costs a lot of money. In this episode, Alex and his team ask themselves some very scary questions: How are they going to pay for all this growth? And what will happen if they can’t? 
With a larger staff and six new shows launching in the fall, this feels like a particularly pivotal moment at the company. There are big decisions to be made, with potentially even bigger consequences.

Our Sponsors
Frank & Oak – Go to frankandoak.com/startup to get your first outfit for $79 (a pair of pants and a shirt).

HPE – To learn more about how HPE can provide innovative and effective IT solutions for your business go to HPE.com/gimlet

Mailchimp – More than 12 million people use MailChimp to connect with their customers, market their products, and grow their businesses every day.

Vimeo – To learn more about Vimeo Business,  go to vimeo.com/StartUp10 and enter the promo code StartUp10 to save 10 percent on your Vimeo Business account.

Wealthsimple – Investing made easy. Get your first $10,000 managed for free.

October 4, 2016

Season 4 of StartUp is almost here. Here’s a sneak peek of the fourth season, which kicks off with some episodes about the company that makes this podcast: Gimlet Media.

Since we last checked in on Gimlet HQ, the company has grown a ton. And with growth, come the growing pains. Season 4 of StartUp premieres on October 6.

October 4, 2016

Season 4 of StartUp is almost here. Here’s a sneak peek of the fourth season, which kicks off with some episodes about the company that makes this podcast: Gimlet Media.

Since we last checked in on Gimlet HQ, the company has grown a ton. And with growth, come the growing pains. Season 4 of StartUp premieres on October 6.

September 26, 2016

Alex Blumberg sits down with Jonathan Goldstein, host of Gimlet Media’s newest show, Heavyweight. They talk about working at This American Life, about Jonathan’s previous show, WireTap, about Kermit the Frog. And, they play an excerpt from a Heavyweight episode: Gregor.

StartUp will return with a full season on October 6th.

StartUp Theme by Build Buildings.

Heavyweight Info:

20 years ago, Gregor lent some CDs to a musician friend. The CDs helped make him a famous rockstar. Now, Gregor would like some recognition. But mostly, he wants his CDs back.

Credits
Heavyweight is hosted and produced by Jonathan Goldstein, along with Wendy Dorr, Chris Neary, and Kalila Holt. 
Editing by Alex Blumberg & Peter Clowney.  
Special thanks to Emily Condon, Jackie Cohen, Paul Tough, Stevie Lane, Michelle Harris, Dimitri Erlich, Sean Cole and Jorge Just. 
The show was mixed by Haley Shaw. 
Music for this episode by Christine Fellows, with additional music by Takstar, The Eastern Watershed Klezmer Quartet and Haley Shaw, who also did our ad music. Our theme song is by The Weakerthans courtesy of Epitaph Records.

July 28, 2016

Alex Blumberg interviews Wendy Zuckerman, host of Gimlet Media’s newest show, Science Vs. Hear how Wendy found her way to Gimlet and enjoy the first half of the latest episode: Science Vs Attachment Parenting. 

June 23, 2016

Edgar Diaz has dedicated his life to dairy. He sees an incredible beauty in milk and the things that can come from it: soft cheese, rich dulce de leche, and creamy yogurt.
He knows that to produce a really good yogurt, the conditions are just as important as the ingredients. You can use the freshest milk, but if your temperature is off or the timing inexact you risk ruining the whole batch.
Edgar has a lot in common with some of the world’s most successful founders: intense passion, a deep knowledge of his product, and awards and acclaim from peers in his field. He seems to have all the ingredients for success, and the conditions seem right, so why is he so far from it?

June 17, 2016

Coss Marte went from running a multi-million dollar drug operation to sitting in solitary confinement. And it’s here, alone in his cell, where he gets the idea for his next business: a fitness company inspired by his time behind bars. But Coss quickly learns that building a legal business comes with its own set of challenges—one being that pitching your company on stage to a bunch of investors requires a slightly different approach to selling an eight-ball outside a busy New York club.
Building a startup is a tough and uncertain endeavor for any founder. But for one with a criminal history, the journey can be far more complicated.

June 9, 2016

Coss Marte is getting ready to pitch his company to a panel of prominent entrepreneurs and an audience of hundreds. He’s competing against five other startups for a chance at $100,000. With this money, Coss hopes to grow his small exercise studio in the Lower East Side of Manhattan into an international fitness brand. 

But this isn’t his first experience with scaling up. In his early twenties, Coss ran a business that brought in nearly $4 million in annual revenue, a business that catered to doctors, judges and lawyers. A business that landed him a seven year prison sentence.
This is part one of Coss’s story on his path from felon to founder.

May 27, 2016

Two men decide to start a company. Everything is going well… until it’s not. That’s the moment they decide to start recording their conversations—painful, awkward, emotional conversations.

Jason and Vincent launched Bento about a year ago. Their goal was to make Pan-Asian food fresh, tasty, and on-demand. They joined the food tech swell just as it was winding down, just as the funding was drying up, just as the smaller players were being weeded out. With only a year under their belt and a quickly draining bank account, Bento’s odds don’t look good. We listen in on the co-founders as they try to decide whether their setbacks are just bumps on the road to success or a sign to shut things down.

May 20, 2016

It’s not uncommon for shoppers to walk out of Mary Going’s store feeling on top of the world. Mary runs Saint Harridan, a company that makes custom suits for the gender non-conforming. With her store, Mary has created a space that caters to the needs of butch women and trans men—something that doesn’t happen very often. Her fans are enthusiastic and dedicated, her products are selling out… and she can barely pay her rent.

Saint Harridan is struggling to raise enough money to cover basic costs. Mary knows the demand for her product is there, but it isn’t translating into dollars. Her runway is getting shorter and shorter, but she’s hoping that by turning to her community, she can buy time and make a comeback.

April 28, 2016

Mike is on a mission to bring his customers something they desperately want. Every week, he embarks on a long and unpredictable journey across international borders and smuggles back some highly sought-after goods. And though what he’s doing is technically legal, Mike goes to unusual lengths to evade authorities who want to shut his whole operation down.

What Mike does is a hassle. He’s tired, he’s ready to move on. Still, he can’t seem to shake it, and finds himself stuck running a business he never imagined would make it this far.

April 21, 2016

We pick up where we left off in the last episode, and hear how Justin, Emmett, Michael, and Kyle try to extend the life of their video-streaming company by making some risky but important decisions. In the process, their scrappy startup catches the eye of some very powerful people who challenge everything they’ve built.

The road of a startup is a bumpy one and, as Justin and his team are finding out, they have only just gotten started.   

April 21, 2016

We pick up where we left off in the last episode, and hear how Justin, Emmett, Michael, and Kyle try to extend the life of their video-streaming company by making some risky but important decisions. In the process, their scrappy startup catches the eye of some very powerful people who challenge everything they’ve built.

The road of a startup is a bumpy one and, as Justin and his team are finding out, they have only just gotten started.   

April 15, 2016

Welcome to the first episode of Season 3! 

This season, we’re doing something new. Instead of following one company over many episodes, we’ll be telling the stories of a bunch of different companies. This season, you’ll meet entrepreneurs from different parts of the world, in all sorts of businesses. We’ll follow prisoners, tailors, smugglers, and tech geeks. And these founders all actually have something in common: their companies are stuck, and they know they need to make a big change. But they have no idea what to change, or whether it will bring the end or a whole new beginning. 

We’re kicking off this season with a story about a group of friends that moves across the country to launch an unlikely website that they think could replace television. The media loves them. They just need to figure out how to get their users to feel the same way. 

January 7, 2016

As we wrap up this mini-season, Lisa Chow comes b…

April 23, 2015

First comes love…then comes equity

StartUp is a podcast series about what it’s really like to get a business off the ground. In Season 1, Alex Blumberg told the story of launching this business, Gimlet Media, a podcast network.

In Season 2, Alex is joined by co-Host Lisa Chow, to follow an entirely new company. The business is Dating Ring, a dating company that combines technology with old-fashioned matchmaking. The founders are women in their 20s, outsiders in the male-dominated world of Silicon Valley. And over the 10 episodes, we’ll take you inside that world. Some of the challenges they face are different from Alex’s: founder disagreements, hellish fundraising, and sexism. But just like Gimlet’s story, theirs is also a transparent account of something that happens everyday in America, but we rarely get to see firsthand: starting a business.

April 23, 2015

First comes love…then comes equity 

StartUp is a podcast series about what it’s really like to get a business off the ground. In Season 1, Alex Blumberg told the story of launching this business, Gimlet Media, a podcast network. 

In Season 2, Alex is joined by co-Host Lisa Chow, to follow an entirely new company. The business is Dating Ring, a dating company that combines technology with old-fashioned matchmaking. The founders are women in their 20s, outsiders in the male-dominated world of Silicon Valley. And over the 10 episodes, we’ll take you inside that world. Some of the challenges they face are different from Alex’s: founder disagreements, hellish fundraising, and sexism. But just like Gimlet’s story, theirs is also a transparent account of something that happens everyday in America, but we rarely get to see firsthand: starting a business. 

January 18, 2015

Recovering from a breaking pointThanks to every…