With any creative endeavor, inspiration is key. People seek it in all kinds of ways, from walking in the woods, to listening to music, to keeping a journal.
While quiet solitude is often conducive to letting inspiration strike, sometimes the most helpful thing can be hearing from people who are on the same kind of journey you are. That’s what’s so great about podcasts: covering literally thousands of topics, podcasts can give you a glimpse into the worlds of great thinkers, inventors, designers, and anyone else you care to listen to.
There are so many good ones out there that it’s hard to choose a top 5 list, but here goes—look below for Pivot International’s list of the best 5 podcasts for inventors.
- Ideas Uploaded. This British podcast, which started out as a blog, features informational and educational interviews with noted designers, inventors, and other people involved in the new product development business. It’s a bit dry, to be sure, but you can gain some very helpful advice about manufacturing, trademarking, and other aspects of the invention and selling process. You’ll also get insight into some creative ways to market or license your product—in one past episode, for example, the creator of the environmentally-friendly Ecobears discusses how she’s also written a children’s book about the bears to expand her brand.
- StartUp. This podcast about the trials and tribulations of founding a startup company is hosted by Alex Blumberg, an entrepreneur and radio journalist. You’ve probably heard him on This American Life and Planet Money—with those shows in his history, it’s no surprise that StartUp is a fun, unique listen. Blumberg started the podcast to document his own process founding his company Gimlet Media. It’s all refreshingly honest and transparent, and you get to hear everything from his first attempt to ask an investor for money (cringe) to his talks with his supportive but practical wife about how his startup venture is affecting their family. In seasons 2 and 3 (3 is forthcoming), Blumberg follows other young startups.
- Inventor’s Mind. Hosted by Chris Hawker, an inventor and product designer whose successful products include the stylish surge protector the PowerSquid, Inventor’s Mind offers practical industry advice for inventors and designers no matter what stage of the invention process they’re in. Recent podcast topics include “inventing as investment,” “business aesthetics,” and “top three ways to make money from your invention” –pretty good ideas to learn more about, if you ask us. A veteran crowdfunder, Hawker also shares insight into how to successfully crowdfund your product and what to do once the campaign is over.
- Autodesk AEC. This one’s a bit technical, but engineers will love it. It’s all about—you guessed it—Autodesk, the company and software umbrella that includes software for architects, construction firms, engineers, product designers, and others. On this podcast, you’ll hear from Autodesk executives and customers about topics from the latest in Autodesk software, to the drought in California. It’s weighted toward the building industries, but if you scroll through their lengthy list of podcasts, you’ll almost certainly be able to find something of interest to you.
- 3D Printing Today. Another technical one, 3D Printing Today covers the latest in 3D printing, from materials and software, to tips and tricks for the casual 3D printer. The hosts, Andy Cohen and Whitney Potter, are fun characters to listen to and they like to get into some more off-the-beaten-path topics too—like photoscanning Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone, for example. Anyone who’s interested in exploring the world of 3D printing should give it a listen—you’re bound to find some helpful info.
We hope you find your next favorite podcast on this list. And if you have questions about designing, prototyping, or manufacturing your new product that a podcast (or Google) just can’t answer, contact us at Pivot. We’d love to help!