When you live and work in the heart of Silicon Valley as the crew at Menlo Technologies does, a commute of 20 miles can take either 20 minutes or an hour and a half (or more) depending on the traffic. Cockeyed optimists like me consider this good news, because it means the economy is strong. Many Bay Area commuters spend drive time on business calls, others practice mindfulness, but still more listen to podcasts. You’ve probably heard of and listened to the more well known and popular shows but there are 5 that I, Menlo Technologies spokesperson of the moment, have discovered that you really must listen to. “Wait a minute,” you might say as you read podcasts mentioned here, “you didn’t mention xyz!” That’s right, I didn’t. I’m only mentioning ones that I have personally listened to. Please share your choices is the comment section below.


  1. The Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Podcast


Entrepreneurs and innovators share their stories, and take questions from students of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP). Just today, I heard Dharmesh Shah, co-founder and CTO at HubSpot, talk about the importance of company culture. Visit https://ecorner.stanford.edu/podcasts and check out not just the upcoming speakers, but the archive of technology stars. 

The programs are about an hour in length, and are a great and inspiring listen for your commute.


  1. Forum


This is San Francisco’s NPR station KQED’s live two-hour call-in program that presents wide-ranging discussions of local, state, national and international issues, as well as in-depth interviews. Forum is hosted by award winning author, journalist and broadcaster Michael Krasny. Do you remember Talk of the Nation by Neal Conan? Forum is a lot like that. Earlier this week, Krasny’s guest was Alec Ross talking about Tech Industries of the Future. (Ross was Hillary Clinton’s senior advisor of innovation when she was Secretary of State, and no, he did not know about the emails.) Many of the topics covered here are Bay Area centric but have a national appeal. Visit https://www.kqed.org/radio/programs/forum/ to learn more. 

  1. Re/code Decode


In July the popular technology website Re/Code launched Re/code Decode hosted by its executive editor Kara Swisher. Re/Coe Decode has featured interviews with Slack CEO, Stewart Butterfield, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and other prominent tech figures covering all topics trending in tech. Similar (kind of) to  Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders mentioned earlier, Kara Swisher does a great job of interviewing guests in a no-nonsense way. She is crazy smart in a way that makes you feel smart just listening to her.

  1. Working


Ever wanted to hear what it is like to be a midwife, or a UN official, or a lexicographer? Would you like to know how Stephen Colbert does his job? Working by Slate features interviews that ask the simplest questions so you end up learning about professions you never knew about or didn’t have the confidence to ask about. It was just launched in December 2015. Visit https://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/working.html to learn more and to subscribe.

  1. Too Embarrassed to Ask

This is another podcast by Re/Code Radio hosted by Kara Swisher and Lauren Goode of The Verge. On this weekly tech podcast, Swisher and Goode share their views on the latest gadgets and answer questions from listeners via Twitter. I loved their recent episode about Fitbit and Alphabet.

Please let us know which podcasts in any category that you are listening to and why, and we will share them in part two.