If you prefer to listen, my story is captured in a Podcast Interview I did with Paul from The App Guy Podcast.

I didn't use to be a Podcast Listener but that all changed when a friend suggested to listen an episode on "online marketplaces" from a16z when I was exploring to start a business on, well, online marketplaces.

That episode turned out be exactly what I was looking for, as it provided a framework to think for founders.

What struck me even more, though, was that I would have never come across it had my friend not told me about it. That got me thinking. The way we look for information is through search engines, print magazines and maybe analyst reports. Podcasts or Spoken Audio are not part of that workflow even when they are free and offer both great educational and entertainment content.

But why? Was it just me or others as well.

I asked tech-friendly folks I know in Silicon Valley (where I live as well) and found that only a very few people listen to podcasts. In fact, only 24% of Americans (12+ years old, Edison Research) currently listen to podcasts while about 95% of Americans listen to radio. That's a HUGE gap!

I quickly found out why.

Podcast listening experience is non-intuitive and painful.. its like what Internet used to be before Google came along.

You first need to go online and find the name of shows you could be interested in. Then, go to a podcast app, find that show, subscribe to it and then figure out which episode in that show is worth your time. Now imagine this problem if you are subscribed to multiple shows.

Why isn't there an experience like -- "Play the best episode(s) on a topic that I am interested in now".

And to solve that Leela was born.