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Five portfolio management tips from venture capital veterans

Venture capital is often referred to as an apprenticeship business because so much important learning comes from day-to-day experiences. Yet, as an article published by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) explains, you can shortcut the learning process by learning from experts: “Your learning curve can be shorter—and your results better—if you learn from pros who’ve already mastered key … ... read more

Startups Venture Capital Business Development

8 Podcasts That The Affinity Team Loves

By Anne Gherini

Although podcasts have been around since the early 2000s, we've seen adoption grow at unprecedented rates in recent years thanks, in large part, to the proliferation of mobile. According to Edison Research, 26% of the U.S. population now listens to podcasts each month (a more than 2x increase over 2013 levels). 52% of podcasts are consumed in the car and 40% while walking, making it the perfect companion to a boring commute. Add to that the recent growth in smart speakers from titans like Amazon, Apple, and Google and the mediums for continued growth seems inevitable.

At Affinity, we’re always looking for ways to learn and grow. Podcasts are helpful for absorbing a lot of information in a short amount of time, thereby increasing our skillset and broadening our perspective on the world. We personally benefit but, more importantly, our customers benefit from our enhanced understanding of the world.

Here’s a rundown of eight of our favorite podcasts:

20 Minute VC

The Twenty Minute VC offers an inside glimpse into the worlds of VC and startup funding. Host Harry Stebbings inspires entrepreneurs by equipping them with tips and tricks required to grow their businesses. The entertaining twice-weekly episodes have featured the likes of Guy Kawasaki, Brad Feld, and Mike Seibel. At 20 minutes long they're easily digestible and can fit into your daily commute. Even if you are not going after venture funding, the guests paint a broad stroke of the technology landscape and the importance of investing in the right ideas and people that will make those ideas a reality.

"For a number of the team, including myself, 20 Minute VC was like the bible for the early days of selling at Affinity. We had tremendous traction in the venture capital world and 20 Minute VC gave us a first hand perspective from our customers. Three out of 5 VCs now use Affinity because knew what our ICP wanted and needed." --Anne Gherini, Affinity VP of Marketing 

The Frame Savers

We can all add a little dose of humor to our daily grind. The Frame Savers offers an inside view into the world of video games. Video game experts John and Chad (who is a world record holder) review an eclectic collection of video games. Indeed, there's a lot we can learn from video games. Video games, much like life, are rife with setbacks. They teach us to soldier on through obstacles, as well as the importance of never giving up.

“Two of the most hilarious and prolific speedrunners, often with special guests, take you on a deep dive of quickly playing a different video game every week. It's cozy, crammed full of information, and accessible to both serious speedrunners and casual spectators alike." -- Cecily Munn, Affinity Software Engineer

How I Built This with Guy Roz

How I Built This offers an inside glimpse into masterminds behind some of the world’s most renowned brands. It’s never a dull movement as Guy Roz mesmerizes his audience with engaging stories that depict the journey from rags to riches. Some of the most recent episodes feature the likes of John Zimmer, co-founder of Lyft, Nolan Bushnell, the genius behind Atari and Chuck E. Cheese's, and Michael Dell, CEO of Dell.

“It's so fun to hear about all the unexpected adventures and misadventures that have gone into building different companies!” -- Adam Perelman, Affinity CTO


The a16z podcast, produced by Andreessen Horowitz, offers a goldmine of content for entrepreneurs. Industry experts, business leaders, and other thinkers examine key technology trends and news. With an extensive library of episodes, there's no shortage of topics to choose from. From "Cryptocurrencies, App Coins, and Investing in Protocols" to "Build Your Personal Brand", there's never a dull moment.

“With venture capital being one of our first customers, a16z has helped me stay current on industry topics.” -- Tim Raftis, Affinity Head of Customer Success

Sword and Scale

"Who doesn't love a whodunit?” Sword and Scale transports listeners into the bizarre and heinous underworld of criminal activity. Host Mike Boudet weaves together 911 calls, court tapes, police testimonials, expert interviews, and more to create incredibly immersive audio experiences.

The inside glimpse into some of the most demented minds and despicable crimes is sure to unleash the Sherlock Holmes in you. In case you need more convincing, research by Michael Edmonson, a professor of history and political science at Cabrini College in Pennsylvania, has revealed that detective fiction promotes reflective inquiry, fosters competent citizenship, and nurture social concern and ethical growth.

“A very dark true crime podcast whose tagline is 'a show that reveals the worst monsters are real.' Very well structured, and covers fascinating crime stories throughout recent history.” -- experiences -- Melissa Cheney, Affinity Senior Customer Success Manager

NPR Planet Money

Imagine you could call up a friend and say, "Meet me at the bar and tell me what's going on with the economy." Now imagine that's actually a fun evening. According to the producers of Planet Money, this is precisely what the podcast aims to accomplish. Brought to you by NPR and Chicago Public Media (the producers of This American Life), Planet Monday attempts to dissect some of the complicated forces that underpin our economy, making them more digestible for the general public. Initially launched to cover the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, the podcast has never lost its relevance. We can all benefit from getting more up to speed on the economy.

“Interesting and sometimes complex topics explained in a very simple and straightforward manner.” -- Rohan Sahai, Affinity Software Engineer


Radiolab is a fascinating audio experience that enlightens listeners. Each episode delves into complex topics such as “time”, “color”, and “morality”, making them digestible for all listeners. Did you know there are 60 words that shaped the longest war in American history? Or that there's a city that's been literally on fire for more than 55 years? If not, it’s time to tune into Radiolab. There's a reason that this “limited run series” has been around for 16 years and has been aired by more than 300 radio stations across the country.

“I love how Radiolab merges storytelling with new discoveries. There is constant innovation in the areas of science and technology, and Radiolab does a great job of reeling in listeners with their intriguing interviews and clever banter. It's a great way to start my morning commute!” -- Jovian Chen, Affinity Customer Success Manager

Startup by Gimlet Media

Startup offers a raw inside look into the entrepreneurial life. Hosts Alex Blumberg and Lisa Chow afford listeners with a firsthand account of the trials and tribulations involved in building an enterprise. The first season recounts the launch of Gimlet Media itself and features Blumberg pitching his company to acclaimed investor Chris Sacca (who has secured the #2 position on Forbes' elite Midas List). The second season follows the launch of Dating Ring, a Y Combinator-incubated matchmaking site. The third and most recent season features an eclectic mix of companies. Never a dull moment, it’s not surprising that one million listeners tune into Startup each month.

“This podcast has provided one of the most realistic views into the good, bad and ugly of building a startup that I have seen. The storytelling throughout is exceptional.” -- Saura Johnston, Affinity Account Executive

Podcasts are a great means of continuing to learn even with a busy schedule. As podcast growth climbs, marketers are quickly taking note. Podcasting ad revenue has doubled since 2015, reaching over $220MM a year. It is quickly becoming a new avenue to get your brand out in front of a very desirable audience.

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Startups Venture Capital Business Development