StartUp Podcast

StartUp Podcast
The business origin story you never get to hear

Introducing Motherhacker
Feb 14 • 13 min
We’re sharing the first episode of Motherhacker. It’s a fiction podcast about a mother who gets involved in an identity theft ring in order to support her family. The series stars Carrie Coon, Pedro Pascal, Alan Cumming, Lucas Hedges, Tavi Gevinson and…
Alex Talks to Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley
Jan 3 • 38 min
Normally, being the mayor of Dayton, Ohio, means paying attention to everyday issues, from garbage pickups to municipal budgets. But in the early morning hours of August 4, 2019, a gunman opened fire at a downtown bar in the city, and Nan Whaley’s role as…
Alex Talks to Voting Rights Activist Desmond Meade
Dec 27, 2019 • 40 min
When Desmond Meade got out of prison after serving time for a nonviolent felony, he was homeless and wrestling with addiction. A decade later, he started a campaign that very few people thought was winnable: amending the Florida constitution to restore…
Alex Talks to Cycling Whistleblower Jonathan Vaughters
Dec 20, 2019 • 56 min
Jonathan Vaughters was a member of the famed USPS pro cycling team when his teammate Lance Armstrong won the first of a record-breaking seven straight Tours de France. While fans were awed and inspired by the victories, Jonathan knew there was something…
Alex Talks to Country Songwriter Shane McAnally
Dec 13, 2019 • 49 min
Ever since he was young, Shane McAnally knew he wanted to be a country music star. But as a gay man, he didn’t fit the Nashville mold, and so he hid his true identity for years as he struggled to break through. Little did he know that coming out would…
Alex Talks to Rom-Com Revolutionary Aline Brosh McKenna
Dec 6, 2019 • 40 min
Aline Brosh McKenna got her big break as the screenwriter of The Devil Wears Prada. But even after successful box office hits and many years in Hollywood, she found herself having to compromise her vision over and over again. So she took matters into her…
Alex Talks to Billion-Dollar Business CEO Janice Bryant Howroyd
Nov 29, 2019 • 31 min
Janice Bryant Howroyd’s company started in the front of a rug shop with just a phone, a fax machine, and a lot of hustle. 40 years later, that company is a huge multinational serving some of the biggest Fortune 500 companies in the world. It earns over a…
Alex Talks to Nick Kroll
Nov 22, 2019 • 49 min
Comedian Nick Kroll became a star by playing a cast of over-the-top characters like Bobby Bottleservice and Gil Faizon. But for years he was careful to keep his own story out of his comedy. Now, with his hit show Big Mouth, Nick is taking on his most…
Introducing How’s Work? with Esther Perel
Nov 15, 2019 • 58 min
This week, we’re sharing the first episode of Esther Perel’s new show How’s Work? In it, the couples therapist behind the beloved show Where Should We Begin? sits down with coworkers, cofounders and colleagues, and brings her inimitable perspective to…
Alex Talks to Ira Glass
Nov 8, 2019 • 54 min
In November 1995, Ira Glass quietly launched the first episode of This American Life. The rest, as they say, is history. Today his show is a colossal success and Ira Glass is a household name. But in the intervening two decades, Ira has left an indelible…
Alex Talks to Hollywood Hitmaker Nina Jacobson
Nov 1, 2019 • 46 min
Nina Jacobson is a force in Hollywood. She’s behind some of the biggest movies of the last 20 years: The Sixth Sense, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hunger Games, and most recently Crazy Rich Asians. She’s had a lot of success.…
Alex Talks to Fashion Icon Dapper Dan
Oct 25, 2019 • 52 min
Dapper Dan made a name for himself as one of Harlem’s premier fashion designers in the 1980s, creating unique leather designs covered in counterfeit logos from brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton. But when the fashion houses found out, they shut him down.…
Oct 18, 2019 • 40 min
As acquisition talks with Spotify continue, Alex and Matt face their hopes and fears about what might lie ahead.
Thanksgiving in Stockholm
Oct 11, 2019 • 39 min
Just days before Thanksgiving, Alex and Matt board a red-eye to Stockholm for a conversation that could change everything.
Our Company Has Problems
Oct 4, 2019 • 33 min
It’s the spring of 2018, four years after Alex and Matt launched Gimlet, and things are not going well. Audiences are flat, ad sales are flagging, and the company is burning through cash at an alarming rate. And with all of those pressures, Alex and Matt…
Introducing StartUp: The Final Chapter
Sep 27, 2019 • 2 min
Five years ago, StartUp began chronicling the life of a fledgling Brooklyn-based podcasting company called Gimlet Media. This year, the streaming giant Spotify bought that company. In the final season of StartUp, what it’s really like to sell a business.
Introducing The Journal.
Sep 13, 2019 • 24 min
Alex introduces an episode of The Journal. about companies monitoring their workers. It’s common, it’s legal. And it can lead to employers having surprisingly personal information about the people who work for them.
Alex Talks to Missouri Star Quilt Company Co-Founder Jenny Doan
Aug 23, 2019 • 31 min
Jenny Doan and her husband, Ron, lost most of their savings in the 2008 financial crisis. Retirement was just around the corner, and they didn’t know how they would make it through. That’s when the family went all-in on an unlikely business—a quilt shop.
Alex Talks to Former Senator Heidi Heitkamp
Jul 26, 2019 • 42 min
As a Democrat from a red state, Senator Heidi Heitkamp built a reputation for her willingness to buck party pressure and reach across the aisle. But when Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court, she found herself facing a decision between her…
Alex Talks to Elaine Welteroth
Jul 19, 2019 • 34 min
When Elaine Welteroth was appointed editor in chief of Teen Vogue in 2015, she was the youngest and first black editor in the publication’s history. She set out to transform Teen Vogue into something more than just a fashion magazine…but Elaine had taken…
Alex Talks to CEO Whisperer Jerry Colonna
Jul 12, 2019 • 46 min
Jerry Colonna was a high-flying venture capitalist in New York City at the height of the dot-com boom. He looked like the picture of success—but as time wore on, he felt more and more like a fraud. And when the boom went bust, it all began to unravel for…
The Nod’s Eric Eddings Talks to Erika Alexander
Jun 21, 2019 • 48 min
Actor Erika Alexander came of age at a moment when there were lots of Black TV shows airing in primetime. She got her break in the early ‘90s with a role on the Cosby Show, and found fame as fast-talking lawyer Maxine Shaw in the hit sitcom Living Single.…
Alex Talks to Gretchen Carlson
Jun 14, 2019 • 49 min
Gretchen Carlson, the long-time co-host of Fox & Friends, set off shockwaves in 2016 when she filed a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment against Fox News chairman Roger Ailes. Just two weeks later, he was ousted from the network. But it had taken years of…
Alex Talks to Pose Co-Creator Steven Canals
Jun 7, 2019 • 41 min
Steven Canals was a virtual unknown when he co-created the award-winning TV series Pose. Set in the 1980s ballroom scene of New York, the show is unlike any prime time television drama that had come before it — and that is in large part because Steven…
Alex Talks to a Podcasting Pioneer
May 17, 2019 • 48 min
Jeff Ullrich was a struggling business manager with a drinking problem and a waning sense of professional direction when, in 2010, he saw an opportunity: podcasting. It was a brand new medium, and no one had really tapped its potential. Together with…
Alex Talks to Award-Winning Chef Edouardo Jordan
May 10, 2019 • 48 min
When Edouardo Jordan’s Seattle restaurant JuneBaby won the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant last year, it was the first time that an African American chef had won that particular honor. Edouardo won for a restaurant that reclaims black southern…
Alex Talks to an Early Facebook Insider
Apr 26, 2019 • 51 min
Dave Morin’s love for the internet began when he was a geeky kid in Montana. By his early 20s, it had led him to Apple and then to Facebook, where he became employee number 29. He helped the company innovate, pursuing a deeply-held mission: letting people…
Alex Talks to Actress Anna Chlumsky
Apr 19, 2019 • 41 min
Anna Chlumsky became famous virtually overnight at the age of 10, when she starred in the 1991 hit My Girl opposite Macaulay Culkin. And then, a few years later, she disappeared. She left acting completely and decided to become something else: an utterly…
Alex Talks to a Tragedy Expert
Apr 12, 2019 • 41 min
In the days after September 11, 2001, Kenneth Feinberg took on an unenviable task. Congress had created the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, and it was his job to figure out who should receive money and how much they should get. But much of his…
Alex Talks to a Cold Case Investigator
Mar 29, 2019 • 46 min
Paul Holes was starting out in the field of criminology when, one day in 1994, he spotted a filing cabinet in the library of the crime lab where he was working. He opened a drawer, pulled out some files, and discovered the cold case that he would spend…
Alex Talks to an HR Maverick
Mar 22, 2019 • 40 min
In 1998, Patty McCord joined a new company called Netflix. Her title was chief talent officer. And over the next ten years as Netflix grew (and grew), she and CEO Reed Hastings built a new kind of workplace. They threw out all the usual rules — no more…
Alex Talks to a Wall Street Outcast
Mar 15, 2019 • 42 min
During the dot-com bubble, Henry Blodget was making millions of dollars as a top analyst on Wall Street. But when that bubble burst, his fortunes changed. He became the public face of a corruption investigation that ended with the SEC banning him from the…
Business Wars & The Rap Game’s Biggest Battle
Mar 7, 2019 • 5 min
Business Wars brings you the unauthorized, real story of what drives these companies and their leaders, inventors, investors and executives to new heights — or to ruin. Now playing: Death Row Records vs. Bad Boy Records. Subscribe and listen at…
Alex Talks to a Turnaround Specialist
Mar 1, 2019 • 47 min
For many businesses, it’s all about looking forward. New trends, new brands, new verticals. But Sharon Price John sees a different path: one that involves looking to the past. She has made a career of reinvigorating forgotten and failing brands, including…
Alex Talks to the Family Behind A Radio Revolution
Feb 22, 2019 • 42 min
Before 1970, the most popular radio stations in the U.S were run by white people. But that all changed when Percy Sutton helped to form Inner City Broadcasting with the mission of putting black programming in the hands of black people. Together he and his…
Alex Talks to Sam Esmail
Feb 15, 2019 • 43 min
Gimlet has a new show called Without Fail where Alex talks to all kinds of people — including entrepreneurs and business people — about their successes and their failures and what they’ve learned from both. We think these conversations are ones that…
Success Academy 7: The High School
Dec 28, 2018 • 55 min
Eva Moskowitz calls Success Academy’s high school the startup within the startup. And, as at any startup, there’s been a lot of chaos in its first few years. Magic five—it’s no longer working. The kids are questioning authority. Teachers are leaving. And…
Success Academy 6: The Fights
Dec 21, 2018 • 40 min
Over the years, Success Academy has faced many existential threats. Eva has had to battle the most powerful man in New York City to fight for space for her schools. She has also had to defend her organization when a controversial video featuring a Success…
Success Academy 5: Expectations
Dec 14, 2018 • 51 min
It’s no mystery that Success Academy has high expectations — not just for its teachers, but also for its parents and students. Having a high bar is the key to Success’ amazing results. But the charter network’s expectations can make life hard for families…
Success Academy 4: Growth
Dec 7, 2018 • 53 min
Success Academy has grown quickly — in just 12 years, the network has gone from one school in Harlem to 47 schools across New York City. In order to do this, Success has had to hire many inexperienced teachers, and move them up the ranks quickly. Amidst…
Success Academy 3: The Test
Nov 30, 2018 • 45 min
Success Academy’s state test results are truly remarkable — their students score in the top one percent in New York State, often beating out kids from the wealthiest districts. And the network’s reputation is built on these results — it’s a big part of…
Success Academy 2: The Founder
Nov 16, 2018 • 50 min
Eva Moskowitz is the founder and CEO of Success Academy, the highest performing and most controversial charter school network in New York City, and the subject of this season of StartUp. To understand Success, you have to understand Eva. So on this…
Success Academy 1: The Problem
Nov 9, 2018 • 41 min
The Story: Eva Moskowitz wants to fix a really big problem. There are over a million kids in New York City’s public schools. Most can’t read or do math at grade level. Many won’t graduate on time. And it’s largely poor, black and brown kids who are stuck…
Making a TV Series 4: The Stars of Homecoming
Nov 2, 2018 • 23 min
Alex Blumberg sits down with the stars of the Homecoming TV show— Julia Roberts and Stephan James, and director Sam Esmail— to talk about how they came to the project and what it was like to film it. This is the final part of a four-part mini-series on…
Making a TV Series 3: The Bird That Launched 1000 Ships
Nov 2, 2018 • 26 min
Being in charge of a big-budget TV production means having to make decisions. It’s a new kind of power for Micah and Eli, and one that’s sometimes uncomfortable to exercise. The words they write have real-world, three-dimensional—and sometimes…
Making a TV Series 2: Santa’s Hollywood Workshop
Oct 26, 2018 • 24 min
Micah and Eli get to work, writing the scripts for the Homecoming TV show. But taking something meant only for the ear, and turning it into something for the eye… proves to be deceptively challenging. Plus, Alex visits the set of the show, to meet the…
Making a TV Series 1: A Complete Moonshot
Oct 19, 2018 • 31 min
Two years ago, Gimlet released its first fiction podcast: Homecoming. Now, this November, a television series based on the hit podcast and starring Julia Roberts is launching. Alex Blumberg was behind the scenes as Homecoming went from podcast to TV…
Twitch 2: Gaming The System
Sep 28, 2018 • 37 min
The Story: At the end of the last episode, co-founders Justin, Emmett, Michael, and Kyle had a big problem on their hands. Streaming Justin’s life 24/7—the very idea their company was founded on—turned out to be kind of boring. Pretty soon people stopped…
Twitch 1: Almost Famous
Sep 21, 2018 • 28 min
The Story: A group of friends 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. This is part one of a two-part…
Church Planting 6: The Woman At The Pulpit
Sep 7, 2018 • 26 min
The Story: In the evangelical world, there are very few female church planters. In 2012 only three percent of all conservative churches had women as lead pastors. In large part because one of their key theological beliefs is that women, according to the…
Church Planting 5: The Retreat
Aug 10, 2018 • 39 min
This is our fifth and final episode following pastor AJ Smith, who has been trying to grow a new church in Philadelphia. It’s a process that has come with all sorts of existential problems, but also… some very practical ones. In order for Restoration…
Church Planting 4: The Conversation
Aug 3, 2018 • 40 min
Hell, homosexuality, and the role of women in church — these are some of the most sensitive topics in Christian theology today. And the implications are huge: where an individual church stands on these issues can have a major effect on who does or does…
Church Planting 3: The Paradox
Jul 20, 2018 • 38 min
In the world of church planting, every Sunday counts… but there are a couple Sundays each year that can truly change the fate of a church. One of them: Easter. If you want to grab somebody who is open to church, but for whatever reason isn’t going, Easter…
Church Planting 2: The Pastor
Jul 13, 2018 • 36 min
It takes more than just a calling to start a church. You need a following. You need money. And to get that money, pastors often have to pass a kind of test. Welcome to the wild world of assessment. There’s whole industry of professional assessors who use…
Church Planting 1: The Movement
Jul 6, 2018 • 36 min
Every year, there’s a movement of thousands of pastors starting new churches — they call them church plants. It’s a world remarkably parallel to the tech industry, with incubators, growth metrics and, well, angel investors. One of these pastors, Watson…
Introducing Church Planters
Jun 29, 2018 • 2 min
For the last six months at StartUp, we have been following a group of pastors and their families who’ve shown us what it’s really like to start a church in modern America. It’s a movement of people trying to disrupt one of the oldest, most bureaucratic…
BONUS: Behind The Scenes With Arlan & Amy
Jun 22, 2018 • 36 min
For seven months, Arlan Hamilton agreed to let StartUp reporter Amy Standen follow her around with a microphone and ask her all kinds of questions — from how much money she had raised for her venture capital firm, Backstage Capital, to where she slept…
Arlan Hamilton 6: Going Rogue
Jun 8, 2018 • 28 min
In our final episode of the series, Arlan is on a roll. She’s making new investments, raising her profile in the VC world, and bringing new people into her network. Some of her founders tell us why they really wanted investment from Backstage. And Arlan…
Arlan Hamilton 5: Control
Jun 1, 2018 • 37 min
In this week’s episode, Arlan tries to maintain control as investments fall through, she butts heads with a prominent investing platform, and we meet the Thelma to her Louise. This is the fifth episode in a six-part series on Arlan Hamilton and her…
Arlan Hamilton 4: Hacks
May 25, 2018 • 28 min
Arlan has only a few months left before her cash runs out out when a seemingly perfect opportunity comes along. Is it too good to be true? Also, we take a look at Arlan’s past as an entrepreneur, before she became a venture capitalist. What did she learn?…
Arlan Hamilton 3: Picking Winners
May 11, 2018 • 30 min
Like most venture capitalists, Arlan Hamilton plans to find the next billion dollar company by pattern matching—that’s when VCs look to entrepreneurs who’ve been successful in the past and pick founders that match those qualities. Most VCs pattern match…
Arlan Hamilton 2: The Hustle
May 4, 2018 • 31 min
In this week’s episode we dive into what Silicon Valley considers “hustle” and how it may need to update its definition. We also find out how Arlan first got into venture capital—after months of sleeping on the floor at San Francisco International…
Arlan Hamilton 1: Silicon Valley, By Invite Only
Apr 27, 2018 • 29 min
Silicon Valley is leaving money on the table, and Arlan Hamilton will go to extremes to prove it. She’s a venture capitalist like no other — black, female, gay — and she’s out to prove that investors in the Valley are overlooking big returns they could…
Alex, Inc. 7: Alex Talks To Zach Braff
Apr 13, 2018 • 37 min
What’s it like having Zach Braff play you on TV? Alex gets to ponder that question with the man himself on stage at NYC Podfest. They also talk about Chris Sacca, swearing on podcasts, and crying at work in a conversation moderated by StartUp co-host Lisa…
Introducing Season 7
Apr 11, 2018 • 2 min
Season 7 of StartUp is almost here! On April 27th, we’re taking you into the world of venture capital with Silicon Valley’s most unlikely power broker: Arlan Hamilton. Here’s a sneak peek of our story. And are you looking for more Gimlet in your life?…
Alex, Inc. 6: Alex and Matt Pop Quiz
Apr 6, 2018 • 35 min
Gimlet co-founders Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber are pretty much on the same page… right? This week, we put their relationship to the test. Producer Luke Malone got Matt and Alex into separate studios and asked them the same set of questions. Then, Matt…
Alex, Inc. 5: Alex And Matt, Inc.
Mar 23, 2018 • 56 min
In honor of the release of the TV show Alex, Inc., we’re binge dropping episodes of StartUp—the podcast that started it all—along with brand-new after shows. These are the best episodes about Gimlet, as chosen by our listeners. The fifth is: Diversity…
Alex, Inc. 4: Training Day
Mar 23, 2018 • 35 min
In honor of the release of the TV show Alex, Inc., we’re binge dropping episodes of StartUp—the podcast that started it all—along with brand-new after shows. These are the best episodes about Gimlet, as chosen by our listeners. The fourth is: We Made a…
Alex, Inc. 3: The Name Game
Mar 23, 2018 • 32 min
In honor of the release of the TV show Alex, Inc., we’re binge dropping episodes of StartUp—the podcast that started it all—along with brand-new after shows. These are the best episodes about Gimlet, as chosen by our listeners. The third is: How to Name…
Alex, Inc. 2: Alex Talks Equity
Mar 23, 2018 • 37 min
In honor of the release of the TV show Alex, Inc., we’re binge dropping episodes of StartUp—the podcast that started it all—along with brand-new after shows. These are the best episodes about Gimlet, as chosen by our listeners. The second is: How to…
Alex, Inc. 1: Sacca Plays Sacca
Mar 23, 2018 • 38 min
In honor of the release of the TV show Alex, Inc., we’re binge dropping episodes of StartUp—the podcast that started it all—along with brand-new after shows. These are the best episodes about Gimlet, as chosen by our listeners. The first is: How Not to…
StartupBus 5: Friday
Dec 15, 2017 • 39 min
All this week we’ve been following StartupBus, a hackathon on wheels, where a bunch of strangers come together to launch companies in one week, all while on a bus. If you haven’t heard Monday’s episode, start there. It’s Friday, the fifth and final day of…
StartupBus 4: Thursday
Dec 14, 2017 • 39 min
Every day this week we’re following StartupBus, a hackathon on wheels, where a bunch of strangers come together to launch companies in one week, all while on a bus. If you haven’t heard Monday’s episode, start there. It’s Thursday, day four on StartupBus.…
StartupBus 3: Wednesday
Dec 13, 2017 • 35 min
Every day this week we’re following StartupBus, a hackathon on wheels, where a bunch of strangers come together to launch companies in one week, all while on a bus. If you haven’t heard Monday’s episode, start there. It’s Wednesday, day three on…
StartupBus 2: Tuesday
Dec 12, 2017 • 35 min
Every day this week we’re following StartupBus, a hackathon on wheels, where a bunch of strangers come together to launch companies in one week, all while on a bus. If you haven’t heard Monday’s episode, start there. It’s Tuesday, day two on StartupBus.…
StartupBus 1: Monday
Dec 11, 2017 • 38 min
This summer, 20 strangers got on a bus headed from New York to New Orleans. For five days, they had one goal: to build and launch companies while on the bus. We’ll be telling this story as it unfolded — with one new episode, every day, over the next five…
Introducing StartupBus
Dec 7, 2017 • 3 min
This past summer, 20 strangers got on a charter bus headed from New York to New Orleans. For three days they had one goal: Build and launch companies from inside the bus. And then? Compete against each other. Reporter Eric Mennel documented it all. And…
Dear Music Fans… (REBROADCAST)
Nov 10, 2017 • 54 min
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.…
Driverless Cars 2: The Race for a Self-Driving Future
Nov 3, 2017 • 27 min
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…
Driverless Cars 1: The Grand Challenge
Oct 27, 2017 • 46 min
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…
New Money
Oct 13, 2017 • 29 min
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…
Just Hit Record
Oct 6, 2017 • 57 min
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…
Make China Cool Again
Sep 29, 2017 • 29 min
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…
BONUS: An Announcement From StartUp and Introducing The Nod
Sep 22, 2017 • 42 min
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…
Sell the Apartment, Keep the Startup
Sep 15, 2017 • 32 min
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…
Domains 2: Sex Dot Con
Sep 8, 2017 • 33 min
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…
Domains 1: The .com King
Sep 1, 2017 • 30 min
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…
Introducing Season 6
Aug 28, 2017 • 3 min
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.
Building The Perfect Cup of Coffee
Jul 7, 2017 • 34 min
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…
Gimlet 24: Ask Alex
Jun 30, 2017 • 35 min
You called with your questions. Alex Blumberg has your answers—about growth, diversity at Gimlet and, oh yeah, that ABC sitcom that’s currently being made about the first season of StartUp.
How To Invent A New Sport
Jun 23, 2017 • 37 min
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…
Life After Startup
Jun 16, 2017 • 41 min
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…
Dating Ring 3: Another Side Of The Story (REBROADCAST)
Jun 9, 2017 • 32 min
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…
Bug Business
May 26, 2017 • 29 min
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…
Bootstrapping a Better Vaccine
May 19, 2017 • 31 min
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.
Running a Family and a Business
May 12, 2017 • 35 min
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…
Friendster 2: The Fall
Apr 28, 2017 • 34 min
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…
Friendster 1: The Rise
Apr 21, 2017 • 36 min
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…
You Have to Invent Something
Apr 14, 2017 • 39 min
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.
Dov Charney 7: MAGIC
Dec 22, 2016 • 40 min
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…
Dov Charney 6: Anger
Dec 16, 2016 • 62 min
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…
Dov Charney 5: Suits
Dec 9, 2016 • 63 min
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…
Dov Charney 4: Boundaries
Dec 2, 2016 • 45 min
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…
Dov Charney 3: Photos
Nov 18, 2016 • 34 min
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…
Dov Charney 2: Workers
Nov 11, 2016 • 28 min
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…
Dov Charney 1: Labels
Nov 4, 2016 • 37 min
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…
Gimlet 23: Shadowed Qualities
Oct 20, 2016 • 40 min
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…
Gimlet 22: You Can’t Wear a Suit Here
Oct 13, 2016 • 36 min
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…
Gimlet 21: Diversification of Worry
Oct 6, 2016 • 36 min
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…
Introducing Season 4
Oct 4, 2016 • 2 min
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,…
2680 Madison Road
Jul 1, 2016 • 45 min
Something is amiss at 2680 Madison Road. In the thriving Cincinnati neighborhood of Hyde Park, the property is sandwiched between several decades-old Cincinnati staples, and a stone’s throw away from an upscale shopping center. The space is huge, the…
Up in Flames
Jun 23, 2016 • 43 min
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…
ConBody 2: From the Cell to the Sell
Jun 17, 2016 • 47 min
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…
ConBody 1: Happy Ending
Jun 9, 2016 • 39 min
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…
Kitchen Confidential
May 27, 2016 • 47 min
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…
The Runway
May 20, 2016 • 37 min
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…
Dear Music Fans…
May 12, 2016 • 54 min
When a group of college kids in Florida set out to change the music industry, they did not anticipate quite 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…
Pirate Needs Pirate
Apr 28, 2016 • 37 min
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…
Twitch 2: Gaming the System
Apr 21, 2016 • 36 min
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…
Twitch 1: Almost Famous
Apr 15, 2016 • 30 min
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…
Introducing Season 3
Apr 8, 2016 • 3 min
Season 3 launches Thursday, April 14th
Gimlet 20: Disorg Chart
Jan 7, 2016 • 34 min
As we wrap up this mini-season, Lisa Chow comes back from maternity leave and notices some big changes at Gimlet. And these changes… they aren’t all for the better. Lisa talks to Gimlet employees about concerns over power, accountability, and control -…
Gimlet 19: Diversity Report
Dec 17, 2015 • 45 min
If you were to walk into Gimlet HQ, there are a few things you’d probably notice right off the bat. First, it’s crowded - like a grungy dorm room. Second, the lighting… it’s not great. Not many windows. Third, it’s white. Really white. 24 of Gimlet’s 27…
Gimlet 18: Pitch Perfect 2
Dec 3, 2015 • 36 min
Gimlet is growing fast. We have four shows on the air, and several others in pre-production. If we want to grow faster, though, we could use some more cash. Matt and Alex head back into the world of venture capital, deciding whether or not to raise…
Gimlet 17: Words About Words From Our Sponsors
Nov 19, 2015 • 42 min
Gimlet is starting a new line of business, and it’s a complicated one: Branded content. Branded content is a piece of media (a video, a story, a podcast, etc.) paid for by a company that then has editorial control over the product. Lots of companies have…
Gimlet 16: The Secret Formula
Nov 3, 2015 • 47 min
Gimlet is making a big, expensive bet. The kind of bet that could make or break the company. And it’s a bet that comes down to one factor: What is Gimlet’s competitive advantage? As the company launches its fourth new show, “Surprisingly Awesome,” we take…
Gimlet 15: Married To Your Business
Oct 22, 2015 • 35 min
We return to the offices of Gimlet for the start of a new mini-season. It’s been a year since the company launched and things are changing… fast. In this episode, Alex and his wife, Nazanin, wrestle with a huge decision that has implications for both the…
BONUS: But Wait, There’s More!
Jul 16, 2015 • 28 min
A Gimlet update and a special announcement
Dating Ring 10: 116 Men and a Baby
Jul 1, 2015 • 37 min
Lessons learned in business and love
Dating Ring 9: Dating Ring Of Fire
Jun 24, 2015 • 29 min
Under pressure, the Dating Ring founders make a big decision
Dating Ring 8: Til Debt Do Us Part
Jun 17, 2015 • 29 min
Lauren and Emma visit the CEO Whisperer
Dating Ring 7: Survival’s a Pitch
Jun 9, 2015 • 31 min
A golden opportunity sows seeds of doubt
Dating Ring 6: Profiled
Jun 1, 2015 • 31 min
In online dating, love is not blind
Dating Ring 5: Playing With Matches
May 19, 2015 • 32 min
Inside Dating Ring’s Matchmaking System
Dating Ring 4: Save The Date
May 12, 2015 • 30 min
Save The Date (S2 Ep4) by Gimlet
Dating Ring 3: Another Side Of The Story
May 5, 2015 • 33 min
Welcome to fundraising
Dating Ring 2: Grow Big Or Go Home
Apr 30, 2015 • 34 min
Inside the Startup School Y Combinator
Dating Ring 1: Origin Story
Apr 23, 2015 • 34 min
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…
Gimlet 14: Where We Are
Feb 14, 2015 • 40 min
An end and a beginning
Gimlet 13: Fake It Til You Make It
Jan 31, 2015 • 30 min
Episode 13 addresses a question that has been dogging us since the company’s beginnings: Are we a technology company or a content company? This question led to months of debate. Many voices weighed in on either side, including Marco Arment, the lead…
Gimlet 12: Burnout
Jan 18, 2015 • 27 min
Recovering from a breaking point Thanks to everyone who took our listener survey last week. To see the results, visit:
Gimlet 11: Know Your Customer
Jan 4, 2015 • 26 min
Lessons on building an audience While working on this episode, we realized we want to know more about our audience. So, we created a survey. It takes about two minutes to complete, and you can find it at We would be very grateful if…
Gimlet 10: Mixing Art And Business
Dec 22, 2014 • 31 min
Lessons on outgrowing your business plan
Gimlet 9: We Made A Mistake
Dec 6, 2014 • 29 min
Gimlet Media addresses a company mistake.
Gimlet 8: Our New Show
Nov 22, 2014 • 28 min
Welcome, Reply All
Gimlet 7: How Listeners Become Owners
Nov 8, 2014 • 34 min
Are you ready to invest in Gimlet Media?
Gimlet 6: How To Value Your Startup
Oct 25, 2014 • 33 min
It’s all about your story.
Gimlet 5: How To Name Your Company
Oct 13, 2014 • 28 min
Choosing a favorite is only the beginning.
Gimlet 4: Startups are a Risky Business
Sep 24, 2014 • 29 min
StartUps are a risky business, but there’s lots of reasons to write a check.
Gimlet 3: How To Divide An Imaginary Pie
Sep 17, 2014 • 32 min
How much of your company should you give up when you bring on a partner?
Gimlet 2: Is Podcasting the Future or the Past?
Sep 5, 2014 • 26 min
Dreaming big is harder than you’d think.
Gimlet 1: How Not to Pitch a Billionaire
Apr 5, 2014 • 29 min
This is a series about what happens when someone who knows nothing about business starts one. It’s called StartUp. In episode one, Alex Blumberg botches his pitch to Silicon Valley billionaire Chris Sacca.