We’re big fans of podcasts at SPARK – which may be obvious since we’ve been hosting a podcast series for the past several years. Taking a tip from Brian Kelly, who curates the A2 New Tech Meetup and likes to recommend podcasts of interest, we thought we’d highlight five podcasts from the past several weeks that could help jumpstart your February. No dominant “theme” to these, but we hope they’re interesting enough to get you thinking about new ideas or things that could happen in 2018!
- Making Unlimited Vacation Time Work, HBR Ideacast – In the race to determine new ways to provide unique benefits to employees, unlimited vacation time has become a new option, especially for tech companies around the country. This podcast dives into how unlimited vacation time works, and thoughts on how it can be implemented. I have my own personal experience with unlimited vacation time earlier in my career – email me if you’d like to know more about my experience!
- The Big Pivot – with Slack’s Stewart Butterfield – This is Reid Hoffman’s podcast where he interviews startup founders and other interesting people, and gets their take on growing successful businesses. This particular episode gets into the pre-history of Slack, a collaboration tool we happen to use at SPARK (along with pretty much everyone we know), and discusses all the pivots that took place before finding their niche. Who knew Slack had such a gaming background?
- Autonocast – Ford’s Jim Farley and Sherif Marakby on how to build the business model for autonomous vehicles – Fascinating perspective from Ford on where they’re heading with their business model as they dive into providing mobility services, and work to solve transportation problems that many of us face every day.
- The Project – Top Consultants Forecast Site Selection Trends for 2018 – The Amazon HQ2 project was one of the most public site selection deals we’ve ever seen, but was it just the beginning of a trend? This podcast is a bit more niche and asks the site selection community to look ahead in 2018 to determine what could be next for companies looking to open new locations.
- SPARK CEO Podcast – Ed Olson – May Mobility – In this episode, Ed Olson (one of the founders of autonomous shuttle company May Mobility) discusses how they got started and what they’re working to solve. Great example of leveraging the expertise at University of Michigan to start new ventures.
Honorable Mentions – be sure to check out some local Ann Arbor podcasts as well, which dive into our region’s backstory and/or provide some unique viewpoints on what’s happening:
- Ann Arbor Stories – https://aadl.org/annarborstories
- Mostly Functional Humans – Rich Retyi and Andrew Dooley give their take on a range of topics – be sure to listen for local deals around Ann Arbor!