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Can We Talk About StartUp?

Can We Talk About StartUp?

Every so often I meet a person who doesn’t listen to podcasts.

This is crazy to me. It’s like you telling me that you still rent DVDs from Redbox. ??

If that’s you, I can just direct you here and then ask you to come back when you’ve decided to join this millennium. (And I’ll be so excited when you do. There are just too many good podcasts in this world!)

Now the rest of you: do you listen to StartUp?

I was an early listener, but then I stopped listening for a while and just happened to come back when they were doing the season on Dov Charney, the founder of American Apparel. I don’t normally find anything interesting about pervy men, but Dov. I get the controversy. He’s odd and smart, enchanting in the way Steve Jobs was: an obsessive perfectionist whose life revolved around–was inextricable from–his business. But, ultimately he was extricated from his business.

American Apparel is rightly controversial and, like anything controversial, makes for a fascinating story. Listen for the business side of it. They talk about its manufacturing, business model, marketing, growth and–of course–its downfall. And because Dov was so tied in with the business, it’s also his story, which is upsetting, disturbing, and hard to turn away from.

I hated their marketing, but I never tire of hearing how different business devise their marketing strategies. Hearing his was repulsive and interesting, if you can imagine that.

Or don’t imagine it. Just give it a listen here and let us know that you think in the comments!

But probably the best episode of the whole series is the very first one. That’s saying a lot because this show is so well-produced and covers all kinds of interesting companies, people, and stories.

It’s just that: we’ve all been that stumbling, inarticulate Alex Blumberg, just trying to craft our damn elevator pitch! It sets the tone for the entire show: authentic, funny, painful, nerve-wracking, exciting. For anyone who’s ever struck out on their own, this is a must-listen. Listen to StartUp season 1 here.

And if you aren’t someone who listens to podcasts, what do you do when you drive? Or clean? Or get ready for work or bed or lunch? What is that world even like?

Anna Ray