If you want to make your next plane or car trip go by faster, I have a great way to do it for those interested in great tech business stories. It’s a podcast with some of the most interesting business stories told in a fascinating and rivetting manner. It’s called Acquired. The show has been ranked the #1 Technology show on Apple Podcasts. Each episode has about 300,000 listeners.
What’s so unusual is, unlike most podcasts, Acquired podcasts are often three or more hours in length. It’s hard to imagine being mesmerized by a podcast with a length so long that it would make us restless if it were a movie.
I first listened to their episode on TSMC, the Taiwanese semi-conductor manufacturer. It was recommended by a Taiwanese business friend that praised it for its accuracy and depth. I found it fascinating, as it described how its founder stumbled through several jobs before starting this company. I couldn’t imagine a better business podcast until I listened to another one of its episode about Sony Corporation, and then again, listing to its recently posted story of Costco’s founding.
Each story starts with the founder’s story, well before the company has been established. But the stories move along quickly and you’re always eager to hear more. The episodes are filled with inside tidbits and details that most of us have never heard of.
The format’s two founders, Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal, talk back and forth about the subject company, explaining to each other details about its operation and its personalities. While it comes across as informal, they’ve done a huge amount of research on their subject. You come away with a real understanding of the company, it’s personalities, its practices and how it came where it is today. Each episode is a story, not a recitation of business facts, carefully researched and delivered with a lightheartedness, passion and enthusiasm.