Top 7 Podcasts for Mac Indie Developers

You’re an indie developer. You spend your time developing your product, answering customer support, or promoting your application. You might even still have a day job or consulting gig outside of your Mac software venture. You’re stretched for time. How can you get relevant information that fits your busy schedule?

One answer is podcasts. With podcasts you can absorb information while exercising, commuting, or even during meals. This way you can consume information yet be productive.

In this blog post, I’m listing the top seven podcasts that are more relevant to independent Apple developers — either on the Mac or on the iOS. Each podcast is rated on a scale of one to five based on the content that they have. Podcasts that are rated higher doesn’t necessarily mean better overall, they are just more pertained to that respective scale.

  • Business – content relevant for small businesses or bootstrapped software ventures.
  • Technology – how much software technology content that is typical for each episode.
  • Entertainment – is it more lightweight “magazine-style” content or rather serious that you need to listen carefully.
  • Apple – how much Apple stuff that they mention, be it Macs, iPhones, iPods, iPads, App Stores, or about Apple’s business in general.

Podcast Rating Comparison

iDeveloper Live
Hosted by Steve “Scotty” Scott and John Fox, the iDeveloper Live podcast have gone through several incarnations in the past. Before it went “live” the audio-only podcast was known as “The MDN Show”, (MDN stands for Mac Developer Network). The “live” part means that you can actively participate in the podcast via web-based chat while it is being recorded. Check out their website for recording schedule and how to join in.

The podcast topics are mostly centered around Cocoa programming, primarily on the Mac side. But they do have iOS-specific topics every now and then. Sometimes they interview other Mac developers to discuss their new products or technologies that they use. Another feature of this podcast is the “boys talk”, mostly ramblings about the recent progress of their businesses and/or personal lives.

Scotty has spent a significant chunk of his life being the hub outside Apple that connects Mac developers. Some of his previous podcasts include the Mac Developer Roundtable, Late Night Cocoa, and Developer Lives. You probably can find an archive of those podcasts by Googling around or looking it up in the iTunes podcasts directory. Currently he runs iDeveloperTV, a website that provides on-line video training for Mac and iOS developers.

John Fox is the founder of GroupSmarts, LLC which primarily develop and sells MemoryMiner, a photo and media collection appplication for the Mac. The primary difference between MemoryMiner and other photo apps such as iPhoto and Picasa is that MemoryMiner focuses on the author of those photos — timelines, events, and the stories that connect them take the center stage instead of simply a random collection of photographs.
•        Business: 3/5
•        Technology: 4/5
•        Entertainment: 4/5
•        Apple: 5/5

Core Intuition
Get experience from the experienced. The hosts of Core Intuition are both Mac (and recently iOS) indie developers Daniel Jalkut and Manton Reece. Daniel runs Red Sweater Software that continues development of MarsEdit (a blog editor for Mac OS X), among others. Manton runs Riverfold software that makes ClipStart (Mac OS X video clip manager), Tweet Library and other applications. Before Red Sweater, Daniel works at Apple developing the classic Mac OS.

Core Intuition mostly talks about the hosts day-to-day experiences in developing their products and running their respective businesses. It also includes their views as independent developers on the happenings in Apple’s platforms and businesses. No, you won’t get anything that’s still under NDA in this podcast and there is almost no interview content.
•        Business: 3/5
•        Tech: 3/5
•        Entertainment: 4/5
•        Apple: 5/5

Startups for the Rest of Us
This podcast talks about the challenges, problems, and solutions that are relevant to very small software companies. Very small as in one or two person companies and not backed by a venture capitalist that injects millions of dollars in capital. The topics range from time-saving tips, marketing issues, software tools, and even pricing decisions.

Hosted by Mike Taber & Rob Walling that runs the Micropreneur Academy, this podcast is primarily a hook to get people interested to join the academy. Outside the academy and podcast, Mike runs a consulting company that specializes on IT infrastructure whereas Rob runs a number of web-based software targeted primarily for vertical niches. Rob also written Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer’s Guide to Launching a Startup, a good read for both indie developers and MicroISVs alike.

The hosts aren’t addressing Mac nor iOS developers specifically but both use iPhones and iPads thus topics on how they use these devices do come up time to time. As they prefer Windows and Linux for their heavy computing work, they can provide a different perspective than Mac developers who tends to be (and rightly so) Apple-centric. In other words, we can see how non-Mac power users approach and use iOS devices.

  • Business: 4/5
  • Technology: 4/5
  • Entertainment: 3/5
  • Apple: 3/5

TechZing offers a fair balance of content between bootstrapped software businesses and software technology packaged in a lightweight talk show format. There is also a fair balance between interview content and simple dialogues between the hosts.

The guys that run this podcast are web developers. Justin Vincent runs Pluggio, a web-based Twitter client for businesses. Jason Roberts is an independent consultant/developer-for-hire that is launching AppIgnite, a web application to generate other web applications.

Once in a while you will hear them about how they use their Macs and what software that they use. Being web developers the hosts do not program directly for Apple platforms but they do use Macs as their primary computers. Justin is a longer-time Mac user whereas Jason recently converted since he wanted to develop a Titanium-based application for the iPhone.

  • Business: 3/5
  • Technology: 4/5
  • Entertainment: 4/5
  • Apple: 2/5

The Startup Success Podcast
This podcast almost always consists of interviews of startup founders, consultants, or other people who deals with small and very-small companies. Hosted by Bob Walsh & Patrick Foley, the podcast’s goal is to help startups and micro-startups more successful.

Although they mention micro-ISVs and Mac Indies in the podcast’s website, in reality, these guys tend to interview the venture-backed startups (those startups that have rather large funding either from venture capitalists or angel investors) and not so much on the bootstrapped ones (founders who have day-jobs and fund the startup primarily from their salary and spare time). That said, it makes sense considering the host’s backgrounds.

Bob used to run a microISV (safarisoftware) and published a book on bootstrapped software marketing (47 hats) and now he consults for micro-startups and runs a SaaS website for them ( Patrick works for Microsoft in one of its arms that embraces and extends microISVs. Patrick also has a program so that small web startups can get Microsoft server-side offerings with no upfront costs — pretty useful if you don’t like Linux since Apple pretty much have resigned from the server space since they stop offering Xserves.

  • Business: 5/5
  • Technology: 3/5
  • Entertainment: 1/5
  • Apple: 1/5

Mixergy is more like an extended version of the Startup Success Podcast. Each episode is one hour long one-on-one interview between the host, Andrew Warner, and a startup founder. Andrew tends to be in-depth in his interviews and try to dig deeply into the stories, motivations, and thoughts processes that underlies the decisions made by the interviewees — all tied by prodding on sample instances when those processes occur. He likes to extract the essence on the issue and ask the interviewee how other startup founders can apply the lesson learned to similar situations.
An Iranian descent raised in New York, Andrew had built, grown, and sold an e-mail advertising business agency (Bradford & Reed) with his brother (by the way, he wasn’t born as Andrew and actually had A/B-tested his current name). After cashing out from the business, he literally travels around the world to experience exotic places. He now interviews startup founders remotely via Skype and put some of those interviews for sale.

  • Business: 5/5
  • Technology: 2/5
  • Entertainment: 1/5
  • Apple: 2/5

TED Talk
As a way to source and spread good ideas, TED tries to bring thought leaders to present their ideas as impressive as they can within 18 minutes of stage time. Past speakers include Nicholas Negroponte, Anand Agarawala, and even Julian Assange. The talks are not always technology nor business-related, but quite often the speakers present interesting ideas that we can apply as Mac developers.

Curated by Chris Anderson, TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. This video podcast is a recording for the annual TED and TED-x talks held in Monterey, California and other parts of the world. Before TED, Chris runs Future Publishing, a media company that publishes more than 150 magazines in the passion-space: technology, hobbies, films, etc.

  • Business: 3/5
  • Technology: 3/5
  • Entertainment: 2/5
  • Apple: 1/5

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