Imagine that! 6 podcasts diving into the history of inventions, brands, and other innovations

Education November 18, 2022

Did Thomas Edison take credit for things he didn’t actually invent? Ready to explore Taco Bell vs. Chipotle? How about Nike vs. Adidas? We’ve collected several fascinating podcasts about entrepreneurs, brands, and inventions across all industries. From science and technology developments to artistic creations and music business wars like Taylor Swift vs. Scooter Braun, these podcasts also share stories that shaped the world’s economy.

There are shows diving into family business feuds, corporations’ decisions, and “Spectacular Failures.” “Patented: History of Inventions” explores topics like sign language, video games, punk rock, nuclear fusion technology, forensics, and many more. For conversations with innovators behind some of the world’s biggest brands, check out “How I Built This with Guy Raz.”

Business Wars

Business Wars

Listen to ‘Business Wars’

Taco Bell vs. Chipotle? Taylor Swift vs. Scooter Braun? Nike vs. Adidas? Yep, business means war – whether the brands are gunning for your wallet or engaging in healthy competition, Wondery’s “Business Wars” examines companies’ stories. Hear histories of inventors, investors, leaders, executives, and more insight into what motivates these companies. 75 seasons are available to stream, hosted by David Brown, a former Marketplace anchor.

How I Built This with Guy Raz podcast art

How I Built This with Guy Raz

Listen to ‘How I Built This with Guy Raz’

Hear from a wide range of innovators behind major brands on Wondery’s “How I Built This with Guy Raz.” In episodes, the founders will chat about their journeys and the “movements they built.” Guy chats with guests like actress/writer/comedian/producer Issa Rae, entrepreneur Mark Cuban, Pitchfork’s Ryan Schreiber, and many more inspiring guests in over 400 episodes.

Spectacular Failures

Spectacular Failures

Listen to ‘Spectacular Failures’

American Public Media presents “Spectacular Failures.” Have you ever wondered about crooked corporations, seemingly half-made decisions, and family business feuds? On this podcast, Lauren Ober is unpacking some of the most epic business fails from history and shares what could have been done to save each sinking ship. Check out over 20 episodes on topics like Blue Apron, NYC’s taxi medallions, Forever 21, and MoviePass.

50 Things that Made the Modern Economy

Listen to ’50 Things that Made the Modern Economy’

From fast food franchises to the Gutenberg press, surveillance cameras, glasses, fire, and beyond, “50 Things That Made the Modern Economy” shares the stories behind ideas and innovations that shaped the world’s economy. Tim Harford hosts over 100 episodes by BBC Podcasts.

American Innovations

American Innovations

Listen to ‘American Innovations’

In Wondery’s “American Innovations,” author Steven Johnson (How We Got To Now) explores science, technology, and how the country arrived at its current state. Seasons tackle topics like 3D printers and artificial intelligence, while sharing stories of some of the century’s best discoveries.

Patented: History of Inventions

Listen to ‘Patented: History of Inventions’

From History Hit comes the semiweekly series, “Patented: History of Inventions.” In episodes, host Dallas Campbell explores the histories of inventions and innovations. Hear about major discoveries, lesser-known individuals, marketing schemes, if Thomas Edison took credit for things he didn’t really invent, and more in over 60 episodes. Recent episodes discussed punk rock, forensics, paranormal technology, nuclear fusion power, recorded sound, and eco-farming.

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