A series about what it's really like to start a business.
As acquisition talks with Spotify continue, Alex and Matt face their hopes and fears about what might lie ahead.
Just days before Thanksgiving, Alex and Matt board a red-eye to Stockholm for a conversation that could change everything.
It's the spring of 2018, four years after Alex and Matt launched Gimlet, and things are not going well. Audiences are flat, ad sales are flagging, and the company is burning through cash at an alarming rate. And with all of those pressures, Alex and Matt have started to fight.
Five years ago, StartUp began chronicling the life of a fledgling Brooklyn-based podcasting company called Gimlet Media. This year, the streaming giant Spotify bought that company. In the final season of StartUp, what it's really like to sell a business.
You called with your questions. Alex Blumberg has your answers—about growth, diversity at Gimlet and, oh yeah, that ABC sitcom that’s currently being made about the first season of StartUp.
This week, Alex receives feedback about his job performance from his co-workers, friends, and family. Some of it is good, some less so. But there is something else that comes up during the review process that shocks him.We explore what happens when you unpack your emotional baggage—or someone unpacks it for you—and you realize the unexpected effect that it has been having on your team.In this final Gimlet-focused episode of season four, we take a raw and intimate look at a defining moment in the...more
Growth. It can be exciting, it can be motivating, and it can be really stressful. In this week’s episode, we take a look at the tensions that Gimlet’s growth spurt is creating. We speak with the team producing one of our upcoming shows to see what it’s really like to build a podcast from the ground up. Each of them is being asked to step up to the plate in a way that they never have before, and some are realizing that the support they expected, it just isn’t there. People are pushed to their lim...more
StartUp is back! And we’re kicking Season 4 off with an update on what’s happening here at Gimlet Media. Since the start of the year, Gimlet has more than doubled in size. And while growth is often the goal for a startup, it also costs a lot of money. In this episode, Alex and his team ask themselves some very scary questions: How are they going to pay for all this growth? And what will happen if they can’t? With a larger staff and six new shows launching in the fall, this feels like a particula...more
As we wrap up this mini-season, Lisa Chow comes back from maternity leave and notices some big changes at Gimlet. And these changes... they aren't all for the better. Lisa talks to Gimlet employees about concerns over power, accountability, and control - things that crop up when you go from startup, to regular company. And she takes those concerns to the bosses. Music for the episode from the band Hot Mom's Dot Gov. Our theme song was composed and performed by Mark Phillips. Ad music from the ba...more
If you were to walk into Gimlet HQ, there are a few things you’d probably notice right off the bat. First, it’s crowded - like a grungy dorm room. Second, the lighting… it’s not great. Not many windows. Third, it’s white. Really white. 24 of Gimlet’s 27 employees are white. In this episode, we look at diversity (or lack thereof) at Gimlet. And we try to figure out what diversity should mean for the company going forward. The Facts:Our theme song was written and performed by Mark Phillips.John Ki...more
Gimlet is growing fast. We have four shows on the air, and several others in pre-production. If we want to grow faster, though, we could use some more cash. Matt and Alex head back into the world of venture capital, deciding whether or not to raise another round of financing, this time, much bigger.Our theme song was written and performed by Mark Phillips.John Kimbrough composed music for this episode.More music written and performed by John Delore along with his band mates, Jordan Scanella, Sam...more
Gimlet is starting a new line of business, and it’s a complicated one: Branded content. Branded content is a piece of media (a video, a story, a podcast, etc.) paid for by a company that then has editorial control over the product. Lots of companies have been asking Gimlet to make podcasts for them. But, as we see in this episode, there are some very real anxieties about how to do this right. As part of this episode, we’ve put together Gimlet Media’s Advertising Guidelines. You can find them on ...more
Gimlet is making a big, expensive bet. The kind of bet that could make or break the company. And it’s a bet that comes down to one factor: What is Gimlet’s competitive advantage? As the company launches its fourth new show, “Surprisingly Awesome,” we take a deep dive in to how the show was made. From the kernel of an idea to the final product. And, along the way, we look at what we believe is Gimlet’s secret formula for making podcasts.The Facts:Our theme song was written and performed by Mark P...more
We return to the offices of Gimlet for the start of a new mini-season. It's been a year since the company launched and things are changing... fast. In this episode, Alex and his wife, Nazanin, wrestle with a huge decision that has implications for both the company and their family.
An end and a beginning
Episode 13 addresses a question that has been dogging us since the company’s beginnings: Are we a technology company or a content company?This question led to months of debate. Many voices weighed in on either side, including Marco Arment, the lead developer of Tumblr and creator of Instapaper, who came in surprisingly anti-tech.A few weeks back, we had a breakthrough when one of the most successful tech companies in the world paid a visit to the Gimlet Media headquarters.SPOILER: Check out the ...more
Recovering from a breaking pointThanks to everyone who took our listener survey last week. To see the results, visit: https://hearstartup.typeform.com/report/ofUGcO/wheU
Lessons on building an audience While working on this episode, we realized we want to know more about our audience. So, we created a survey. It takes about two minutes to complete, and you can find it at startuplistener.com We would be very grateful if you took the time to help us learn more about our listeners. Thanks!
Lessons on outgrowing your business plan
Gimlet Media addresses a company mistake.
Welcome, Reply All
Are you ready to invest in Gimlet Media?
It's all about your story.
Choosing a favorite is only the beginning.
StartUps are a risky business, but there's lots of reasons to write a check.
How much of your company should you give up when you bring on a partner?
Dreaming big is harder than you'd think.
This is a series about what happens when someone who knows nothing about business starts one. It's called StartUp. In episode one, Alex Blumberg botches his pitch to Silicon Valley billionaire Chris Sacca.