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  • Podcast Librarian

Passion Economy: The quirkiest business stories you've never heard

The Premise (from Apple Podcasts):

The economy is bananas, even scary. But some people are thriving, and we're going to figure out how. Adam Davidson, "New Yorker" writer, longtime contributor to This American Life, and the creator of NPR’s "Planet Money," unearths stories from regular people. People who have cracked the code to success in our new economic reality.

Series or standalone:


Begin listening to:

Any episode




Adam Davidson

Sound/production quality:

Very good

Rating/age suitability:


Approximate length of episodes:

40 minutes

Curricular ties:

This could be great to incorporate into a class that covers entrepreneurship--or even in an advisory setting to help students think about how their current interests could one day become a career.

Similar recommended pods:

How I Built This; The Pitch

Podcast Librarian’s Review:

This is a podcast about entrepreneurship but more specifically about regular people who start businesses around their very specific, atypical hobbies or interests. For example, there is an episode about a man who makes authentic regency-era clothing (which he has worn on a daily basis since he was 12). Another episode is about a woman whose company sells only matcha tea—no other varieties. All the episodes have been enjoyable, but the bass fishing and wig ones have been especially memorable. Similar to shows like How I Built This, the format is an interview that explores the process by which the founder started, their successes, and—of course—their failures and lessons learned. These are not huge companies, and some of them are still developing. I love the honesty and realness of the guests—these are not people who ever really thought they would be business owners; it truly all started with a passion. Often, they seem surprised by their own success, which is endearing. In every case, their business started with a passion and the courage to consider “what if” it could be more than that. Host Adam Davidson is personable and a good interviewer. There are plenty of entrepreneurship pods out there, but I find this one especially refreshing and inspiring.

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