Podcasts worth hearing in 2021
Podcasts of 2021
These days I listen to podcasts while out on long runs. I’ve been a runner for over 20 years now and disappear to the trails of Rural Hertfordshire three or four times each week. I run to get away from things, clear my head and let ideas, or nothing at all, form. I never used to take any tech with me — no phone, no iPod, no Strava, not even a watch — but this year I’ve tracked all my runs and listened to podcasts with the above Bose and Garmin kit. I’m on for over 1,500km this year so I hope some of it has sunk in.
They normally talk about people from history but in this episode Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook get to talk to someone from history who has had a huge influence on us all, Marc Andreessen. Part 1 is Marc’s take on the history of Silicon Valley, from military research, to silicon chips to nerds figuring out they can start companies and build software that could make them very rich.
“[of the internet in the 1980s] There was no spam, there was no fraud, no trolling, no misinformation, no hate speech — there was a utopian element to it…then there was this phenomenon…every September a new generation of undergrads, grad students or employees would show up at these places [that had the internet]…and it was the job of the old-timers to ‘school’ the newbies on what they called ‘netiquette’…then there was September 1993 when AOL in one stroke put all 5m of their users onto the internet at once…and that became known as Eternal September as that’s when the concept of ‘netiquette’ blew up…and the ‘normies’ took over”
As I’ve written about before, in 2021 I bought some NFTs, minted others and have hosted special meals with 9others to talk about and learn about Web3, NFTs and DAOs. The prospect of some intermediaries being rendered redundant is tantalizing and, as my friend Simon says, the consumer internet is as old as a cat so the business model of the internet certainly has a long way to go.
Having both Naval (Co-founder of AngelList and investor in Uber, Twitter, Notion and many others) and Chris (GP at A16Z running their crypto fund) on the same episode is a rare treat as they discuss the excitement, the experiments and the examples of where Web3 could take us.
“You can be anon or pseudo-anon, or just have a CryptoPunk as your profile. Nobody has to know who you are. All that matters is the output of your code. If it works, you can make huge amounts of money. Satoshi Nakamoto may end up being the richest person who ever lived and could have pulled it off completely anon”
This is another I turned to in order to learn about Web3, NFTs, DAOs and all the rest of it. I first met one of the hosts, Bilal, in London back in 2013 when he was working for Google — even then he was one of the nicest and most generous hosts so it’s no surprise that NIA is a very informative, fun and enjoyable listen (I know he wasn’t exactly paying for the lunch we had in Google, but to be invited in there and being able to eat anything I wanted was more than I could have wished for at the time — this was 2013 so the first year of me being out on my own and not having a proper job — I was running a scruffy co-working space in King’s Cross so a big, free lunch was a rare treat!).
“[On buying an Etherrock for 1.7ETH] So, I secured the rock…could be the dumbest thing I’ve ever done in the world…or it’s going to be the best investment”.
Not that I know much about football, but this one is much more about it never being too late (Ian left school at 14 to get a job, had three kids at the age of 21, went to prison for two weeks for a driving offence, he turned down Crystal Palace three times because he didn’t want to give up his good job as a labourer and was 28 when he started playing for Arsenal) and about having the right people around you (Mr Pigden was just so pivotal and there are many others who saw his talent and implored Ian to keep pushing to be professional — watch this video after listening to the podcast).
“And that changed my life…I don’t know why he chose me but I’m glad that he did…I just felt important…he just gave me a sense of feeling that I had some use”.
English Pastoral by James Rebanks was one of my books of the year. Past Imperfect is a podcast from The Times and reflects on how events early in people’s lives, particularly the imperfect ones, can shape future success.
“I left schools at 15 and a half and it was probably the happiest day of my life… But the only person losing in this joke is you”
Important: None of these posts are investment advice. If you are thinking about investing you should seek the advice of a suitably qualified independent advisor.