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Been listening to – This Week In Start Ups

October 22, 2009

For the past few months I have listening to the MP3 version of This Week In StartUps (TWIST on Twitter) during my daily commute.  I have never watched a full video episode so my impressions are based on the audio version only.

I first heard about it on Leo Leo Laporte’s This Week in Tech where Jason sometimes contributes.
This is a live weekly uStream broadcast program about (of all things) Start Ups hosted by Jason Calacanis of Mahalo.com.  There are also bonus episodes when Jason gets the chance to interview somebody he feels can really bring insight to new entrepreneurs.

Jason is a serial entrepreneur who previously founded Weblogs Inc and is part of the team behind TechCrunch50.  So, he has been there, done that and has the scars to prove it.

Each episode of TWIST has a similar format but the segments can run in different orders

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uStream, WebSpy, Audible and DNAMail (everybody loves DNAMail)

Introduce the guest entrepreneur
Kind of obvious.  Who they are, what they do now and a little bit of background.

Ask Jason
An entrepreneur phones in and gets advice on their specific question from Jason and also the guest.  The may even get some Insight from Tyler

Interview with an Entrepreneur
Another obvious price, but there are real interviews, open, flowing and regularly the discussion not about the guest current specific project. So, it’s not just a free advertisement for their business.
Jason is also very direct in the questions he asks so there is no hiding.  It’s warts and all.

Dead Pool
Who has failed in the last week with analysis of why?
In most cases it’s insightful unless Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia is involved.  Then it’s just fun.

Jason’s Sharktank
Imagine Dragon’s Den but more intimate and supportive.

Homework
Jason gives out homework.  Maybe a book to read or a movie to watch and then has a viewer who calls in give their feedback and what was they learned from the homework.  All very good and regularly the person who dials in adds insight to what was expected by Jason when he set the homework.

When I first started listening to the podcast I really thought Jason was full of himself.  Constantly talking about great things that he has done and giving advice as if he is always right.  After a few episodes I think I have figured his style out.
Jason is constantly analysing and giving frank feedback live.  If the feedback is positive and glowing he gives it, even if it is of his own performance, but if it is negative then he will also state that as well.  Again, even if it is about himself.
When Jason asked his team members to give feedback on him as a CEO I could see that he really wanted honest feedback and was taking it on board.  He was analysing the whole time, looking for action point, looking for areas to improve, looking to make things better.

I now find the podcast compulsive listening and when I do a new download of podcasts, I always start my listening round with the TWIST podcast.  Always insightful, always useful and always entertaining.

If you are interested in setting up your own business or just want to understnad what it takes to be successful then I recommedn This Week in Startups

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