Many business podcasts focus on young, scrappy entrepreneurs who’ve built multimillion-dollar companies by capitalizing on insatiable “hustle,” and on tech skills gained in prior jobs at Google, Facebook, or the like.
Alexis Ohanian—a successful tech entrepreneur who is fiercely anti-hustle—is tired of this narrative. The Reddit co-founder, now a managing partner at Initialized Capital, says he’s interested in asking a different question: “What can Gen-Xers and baby boomers teach a millennial about running a thriving company?”
The answers will form the basis of Ohanian’s latest endeavor, a podcast titled Business Schooled,in which he travels across America and, as he describes it in the promotional materials, “soak[s] up some essential business and life lessons” from older entrepreneurs running the successful small and mid-size businesses often overlooked by Silicon Valley. He’s eager to learn how they got their companies started, and what young entrepreneurs like himself can learn from their expertise.
Ohanian is 35, putting him at the older edge of the millennial generation. He was formerly a partner at the startup incubator Y Combinator and a founder of something called Breadpig. Today, he invests in early-stage entrepreneurs, mainly millennials, at Initialized.
“I spend most of my time with millennial founders,” Ohanian says in the video post, “but boomers and Gen-Xers are starting twice as many businesses.” It’s a stat backed up by industry research. And notably, entrepreneurs are twice as likely to start a successful business when they are 45, as they are when they are 25. “So what’s driving them? What are their stories? And what can they teach me?” Ohanian asks, with his Instagram post noting his excitement to “meet some OG entrepreneurs from outside the Silicon Valley bubble.”
For Business Schooled, Ohanian will visit eight US cities, including San Diego, California; Sugar Land, Texas; Brooklyn, New York; Hamilton, Missouri; Ft. Wayne, Indiana; Farmingdale, New York; Palm Beach, Florida; and Baltimore, Maryland. While the full list of companies Ohanian will profile have not yet been released, he teases a few in his Instagram promotional video, including Sweetwater, a music instruments and audio equipment retailer, Jerome’s, a home-furnishings company, and NightLight Pediatric Urgent Care. At least some of the businesses have customer-financing relationships with Synchrony.
All eight episodes of Business Schooled will be released on Nov. 24, on all major podcast platforms.