Rank #1: Church Planting 1: The Movement
Every year, there’s a movement of thousands of pastors starting new churches — they call them church plants. It’s a world remarkably parallel to the tech industry, with incubators, growth metrics and, well, angel investors. One of these pastors, Watson Jones III, has dreams of starting a bustling new church in North Philly. But first, he has to figure out how to get people to show up. Watson might have the most difficult task of any founder in America: Convincing people who don’t know -- or even believe -- in God to change their minds and join his church. Reporter Eric Mennel tells the story of this young church plant in a new multi-part series from StartUp. Listen now to the first episode. To find a list of our sponsors and show-related promo codes, go to gimlet.media/OurAdvertisers
Rank #2: Success Academy 1: The Problem
The Story: Eva Moskowitz wants to fix a really big problem. There are over a million kids in New York City’s public schools. Most can’t read or do math at grade level. Many won’t graduate on time. And it’s largely poor, black and brown kids who are stuck in the lowest performing schools. Eva’s the founder and CEO of Success Academy, the subject of this season of StartUp. And she’s actually making progress. Her school network is growing at lightning speed, and her students get among the highest standardized-test scores in the city, beating out schools in some of the wealthiest districts. And the education world is watching. But not everyone likes what they see. In this season, we ask how exactly Success is doing what it’s doing, and why does it have so many critics?Today, on the first of our six-part series about Success, we meet a mother, Sherisse, who desperately wants her son to get into Success, so that he can have opportunities she never had herself. And we go inside a Success classroom on the first day of school, to see what parents like Sherisse are clamoring for.The Facts:Peter Leonard mixed the episode. Our theme song is by Mark Philips, remixed by Bobby Lord. Build Buildings wrote and performed our special ad music. Additional music by Peter Leonard, Bobby Lord, Hot Moms Dot Gov, Jupyter, Mothica,Golden Gram and BlueDot.For a list of our sponsors and show related offer codes, go to gimlet.media/OurAdvertisers
Rank #3: Making a TV Series 1: A Complete Moonshot
Two years ago, Gimlet released its first fiction podcast: Homecoming. Now, this November, a television series based on the hit podcast and starring Julia Roberts is launching. Alex Blumberg was behind the scenes as Homecoming went from podcast to TV production. In this first episode, Homecoming creators Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg recount the journey, from concept to podcast to pitching the show to bigtime Hollywood producers. And we hear from some of the celebrities they met along the way.This is the first part of a four-part mini-series on the making of the Homecoming TV show.Want more StartUp? Check out our newsletter! You can sign up at: gimletmedia.com/newsletter.To find a list of our sponsors and show-related promo codes, go to gimlet.media/OurAdvertisers
Rank #4: Twitch 1: Almost Famous
Welcome to the first episode of Season 3! This season, we’re doing something new. Instead of following one company over many episodes, we’ll be telling the stories of a bunch of different companies. This season, you’ll meet entrepreneurs from different parts of the world, in all sorts of businesses. We’ll follow prisoners, tailors, smugglers, and tech geeks. And these founders all actually have something in common: their companies are stuck, and they know they need to make a big change. But they have no idea what to change, or whether it will bring the end or a whole new beginning. We’re kicking off this season with a story about a group of friends that moves across the country to launch an unlikely website that they think could replace television. The media loves them. They just need to figure out how to get their users to feel the same way.
Rank #5: Alex, Inc. 1: Sacca Plays Sacca
In honor of the release of the TV show Alex, Inc., we’re binge dropping episodes of StartUp—the podcast that started it all—along with brand-new after shows. These are the best episodes about Gimlet, as chosen by our listeners. The first is: How Not to Pitch a Billionaire.In this episode, Alex explains how he got the idea to document the start of his own company. He talks with his wife Nazanin about what shoes to wear to his first investor pitch. And then, there’s that… infamous first pitch to Chris Sacca. In the after show Alex talks to Chris Sacca about his experience appearing on Alex, Inc.For a list of our sponsors and show related offer codes, go to gimlet.media/OurAdvertisers
Rank #6: BONUS: But Wait, There's More!
A Gimlet update and a special announcement
Rank #7: Gimlet 3: How To Divide An Imaginary Pie
How much of your company should you give up when you bring on a partner?
Rank #8: Gimlet 4: Startups are a Risky Business
StartUps are a risky business, but there's lots of reasons to write a check.
Rank #9: Friendster 1: The Rise
In 2003, Jonathan Abrams was sitting atop one of the hottest new companies in Silicon Valley. He and his website were at the forefront of an industry that would eventually be worth more than $400 billion. So, what went wrong?--Ask AlexGot a question for Alex Blumberg? Leave us a message at 812-641-1231, and your question could end up on the show.
Rank #10: Arlan Hamilton 3: Picking Winners
Like most venture capitalists, Arlan Hamilton plans to find the next billion dollar company by pattern matching—that's when VCs look to entrepreneurs who've been successful in the past and pick founders that match those qualities. Most VCs pattern match for people like Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos, but Arlan pattern matches for something different. How does Arlan predict who will be successful? And does she have the runway to prove out her theory?This is the third episode in a six-part series on Arlan Hamilton and her company, Backstage Capital.
Rank #11: Gimlet 6: How To Value Your Startup
It's all about your story.
Rank #12: Gimlet 5: How To Name Your Company
Choosing a favorite is only the beginning.
Rank #13: You Have to Invent Something
In 1983 a guy named Stuart Anders invented a toy that would become a huge hit -- one of the biggest fad toys of a generation. But the toy world can be treacherous, and Stuart's big idea left him broke. Now he's back with a new toy and a surprising ally.
Rank #14: Twitch 2: Gaming the System
We pick up where we left off in the last episode, and hear how Justin, Emmett, Michael, and Kyle try to extend the life of their video-streaming company by making some risky but important decisions. In the process, their scrappy startup catches the eye of some very powerful people who challenge everything they’ve built.The road of a startup is a bumpy one and, as Justin and his team are finding out, they have only just gotten started.
Rank #15: Domains 2: Sex Dot Con
Gary Kremen owned one of the most valuable domain names in the history of the internet. And then one day, he lost it in the most unusual way. For years, Gary fought to win back his domain “sex dot com." The legal battle transformed the way the courts treat virtual property. But in the end, was his lengthy and expensive crusade worth it?
Rank #16: Church Planting 3: The Paradox
In the world of church planting, every Sunday counts… but there are a couple Sundays each year that can truly change the fate of a church. One of them: Easter. If you want to grab somebody who is open to church, but for whatever reason isn’t going, Easter is the time to do it. AJ and Leah need to double the size of Restoration by the end of this year, so they need this day to go well. They don’t have a fancy egg dropping helicopter or an egg shooting cannon like some churches do, but they do have a plan… one that involves 100 frozen chickens. In this week’s episode, we follow AJ and Leah as they give everything they’ve got to make their plan work.This is the third episode in our series on Church Planting. Listen to the first episode here.
Rank #17: Domains 1: The .com King
StartUp is back for a brand new season, and we're kicking things off with a story about the competitive world of domains.Reporter Amy Standen brings us the story of Rick Schwartz, who earned the title “Domain King” by building a portfolio of dot com web addresses worth millions. But why is a “.com” address worth so much in the first place? And why doesn’t Gimlet own “gimlet.com”?And coming up this season, we'll hear from startups in unexpected places. We'll go to the Mojave Desert for a self-driving car race, we'll take you on a cross-country bus ride for a hackathon on wheels, and we'll head to China to track their growing pop music scene.
Rank #18: StartupBus 1: Monday
This summer, 20 strangers got on a bus headed from New York to New Orleans. For five days, they had one goal: to build and launch companies while on the bus. We’ll be telling this story as it unfolded — with one new episode, every day, over the next five days.Today’s episode: Monday. Day One.
Rank #19: Gimlet 21: Diversification of Worry
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 particularly pivotal moment at the company. There are big decisions to be made, with potentially even bigger consequences.
Rank #20: BONUS: Gimlet's Newest Podcast
This week, we take a break from our usual programming on Dating Ring to bring you this very special bonus episode, featuring Gimlet's newest show.