Tune in to TAB's top podcasts

Emily Maginess
By Emily Maginess under #TABLife 08 October 2015

We have previously shared with you some of our favourite TED Talks and our TABReads, but we know how difficult it can be to find time in the day to properly enjoy them. When we asked around TAB about this problem the most frequent answer was ‘podcasts’.

As it turns out, there are quite a few audiophiles in TAB HQ and we rounded them up to gather their favourites. With a wide variety of themes and interests, this list has some cracking entries ranging from the high-tech to the downright bizarre. So, without further ado, here they are!

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Ryan Murphy, Product Designer

Design Details

The whole design department seems to love the Design Details podcast. The guests are always relevant and interesting, offering a unique insight on the industry from varied vantage points. It stemmed from Brian Lovin’s amazing blog in which he’d dig deep and beat up the latest in the design world. Co-hosts Bryn and Brian manage to get the cream of Product Design to discuss their latest work, musings and passions.

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George Proudfoot, Mobile Product Strategist

In Our Time

This long running BBC Radio 4 program translates perfectly to the podcast format. Melvyn Bragg and three academic guests dive into a particular subject - from history, philosophy, science or culture - and cram in a comprehensive introduction into 45 minutes. The huge archive serves as a brilliant way to quickly get smart on the huge range of subjects already covered. Plus, if you download the podcast, you get to hear an extra few minutes of esoteric epilogue and tea pouring in the studio after the normal broadcast finishes.

99% Invisible

Roman Mars masterfully crafts this podcast about the stories behind design, architecture and the 99% invisible activity occurring all around us. The recent two-parter on the paradox of automation (from auto-pilot in planes to self-driving cars) is particularly relevant to our work right now, but every episode is worth your time - including the one about manhole covers...

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Emily Maginess, Marketing and Communications Manager

Serial

Beware: this podcast will become addictive. From the makers of the equally compelling This American Life, Serial is an award-winning podcast with a simple premise and a format with a tradition that goes back to Dickens - one story, serialised, and told week-by-week. For fans of nonfiction, and for any writers out there, Serial is a master class in storytelling and will probably make you miss your Tube stop.

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Riccardo Bennett-Lovsey, Architecture Owner

.Net Rocks!

DNR always have guest experts from the top echelons of the software world, talking about the latest technology advances (big and small). Hosts Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell are excellent at helping get the message across in an understandable and entertaining way. .Net lovers at all stages will find this show informative and enthralling - from newbies to hardcore .Net geeks.

The Steve Austin Show

WWE legend Stone Cold Steve Austin’s podcast is a must for any wrestling fan. He was always one of the most charismatic in-ring entertainers - and that translates extremely well to his particular podcast format. He hosts interviews with former wrestling superstars, where they break kayfabe (their in-ring “characters”) and talk as themselves - often delving into the lesser known backstage aspects of the wrestling industry. Plus, he never holds back from saying what he thinks, so in many ways he’s quite an un-PC guilty pleasure.

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Hamish Vallabh, Mobile Product Strategist

The Tim Ferriss Show

Tim Ferriss interviews world-class performers from all sorts of eclectic industry areas (from investing to sport, and business to art) to deconstruct the habits that help them achieve amazing things. Tim is an excellent interviewer and he’s great at getting his guests to open up so that he can extract the tactics and tricks that everyday people can implement in their own lives.

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Brett Thornton, Senior Mobile Product Strategist

Exponent

Exponent has one of the smartest guys in tech and business strategy, Ben Thompson, chatting for 90 minutes every week. The breadth of topics covered by Ben and co-host James Allworth, is one of this podcast’s great strengths and means you’re guaranteed to learn something new. Ben’s thinking regularly finds its way onto our internal ‘Strategy Bites’ emails here at TAB.

No Such Thing As A Fish

The researchers behind QI (known to the world as the QI Elves) are brought to the forefront with No Such Thing as a Fish. They will educate you with four fascinating facts every week while keeping things light and entertaining. For fans of the show, this podcast gives the same level of comedy and education as the screen version, and provides an extremely funny and interesting weekly listen.

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Peter Reed, QA Tester

The Inquiry

The best BBC minds investigate the root cause to varied current issues all round the world. The show is split into different sections where experts expand on the historical, political and theoretical sides of the issues. A rather more balanced look at things as they tend to give time to all sides of the story.

Freakonomics

Two world renowned economic experts and authors investigate the reasons behind all sorts of things in our world from political leadership, fashion, and technology. Their findings are more than insightful and surprising than most because in this show, they only look at the data and not the emotional/historical perspective. This show brings a refreshing, scientific viewpoint to many topics.

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Daniel Joseph, Founder and Strategy Director

Desert Island Discs

Desert Island Discs has been running since 1942 and is a bit of an institution in many UK homes, marking many a Sunday morning. The world famous format is simple: a guest “castaway” bears all about their life story as they pick the eight records they’d take with them if banished to a desert island, plus a book and luxury item. With over 3,000 episodes, the “DID” podcast is a searchable archive of the life stories of some of the world’s most fascinating people - and you get it all first hand in an informal unguarded session. It’s also a great lesson in how to ask great questions and get the other side talking!

a16z

Andreessen Horowitz is arguably the most successful VC in the valley right now backing Unicorns including Facebook, Twitter and Airbnb. Their corridors house some of the brightest minds around too, including TAB favourites Benedict Evans and Horowitz and Andreesen themselves. If you want a short and sharp intake of technology optimism, wisdom and news - this is an intense hit.

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Francesca Hurdley, Business Development Assistant

The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line gives some really awesome insights from business people on topical issues. It is superb for understanding a bit more behind what could be considered ‘buzzword’ topics, such as Bitcoin, by getting different entrepreneurs and business people in that space to give their views on it. By speaking to people who are actually involved in that area, you get a real world, informed view on it. One for keeping your tech knowledge up to date.   

Intelligence Squared

This thought provoking podcast has a simple, compelling format: essentially playing the role of devil's advocate, Intelligence Squared brings really high calibre guests together to debate challenging issues. It crams a huge amount of quality material into a short time period, and allows you to make up your own mind on difficult issues by providing a balanced view of it.

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Tom Moore, UX Designer

The Economist

For those of you who don’t get a chance to watch the news or read the papers much (hence why we love podcasts so much), The Economist is a fantastic source of information on what’s going on around us in both politics and economics. The global perspective and The Economist’s tendency to explain key issues in more detail than other channels makes this a valuable listen — much like its weekly magazine.

In Our Time

So good it was put forward twice and just had to be included. It can be difficult to keep up to speed with the latest developments in technology and software development, and for those working in the industry, it can sometime feel all-consuming. In Our Time is the perfect antidote because of it’s famously varied topics and expert pane. They provide a great way to step outside and get a fresh perspective — on anything from Extremophiles, to Alexander The Great, or Utilitarianism.

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We're always on the look out for new sources of knowledge and entertainment - if you don't see your favourite podcast on our list, tweet us @TheAppBusiness and let us know what you're listening to!