Jacob Goldstein, Formerly of Planet Money, Launches a New Technology Podcast With Pushkin Industries

Jacob Goldstein, the longtime host of NPR’s Planet Money, is launching a new podcast about technology and business called What’s Your Problem? with Jacob Goldstein. Goldstein spent more than a decade as co-host of Planet Money reporting stories that make economic journalism approachable. In his new weekly show, What’s Your Problem?, Goldstein’s curiosity leads him into conversations with top global entrepreneurs and engineers about the cutting-edge problems they’re trying to solve. Each episode focuses on a new company and innovator and their challenges, from teaching computers to understand humans better to running a niche business where access to consumers hinges on tech company algorithms. Goldstein’s signature enthusiasm makes these episodes as entertaining as they are illuminating. What’s Your Problem? launches on March 17, 2022 and is a co-production between Pushkin Industries and iHeartMedia. 

“I’m talking to people who get up every day and try to figure out how to do something that nobody on Earth knows how to do,” says Goldstein.

Veteran journalist, writer and podcast host Jacob Goldstein joined Pushkin Industries last summer as Executive Producer. In What’s Your Problem?, his first podcast he has created with Pushkin, Goldstein combines his expertise about the worlds of money and business with his passion for new technology. He is also the author of the book Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing, and before his time at Planet Money, Goldstein worked as a staff writer at the Wall Street Journal and the Miami Herald. He has also reported stories for the New York Times Magazine, “This American Life,” “Morning Edition,” and “All Things Considered.” 

What’s Your Problem? with Jacob Goldstein will air weekly beginning March 17th on iHeartRadio, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and wherever listeners access podcasts. Episodes include:

Episode 1 – Keenan Wyrobek, Co-Founder & Head of Engineering at Zipline: Zipline started out using drones to deliver blood in sub-Saharan Africa. Now they’re expanding to the U.S.One surprising problem Wyrobek is trying to solve: America’s old-fashioned air-traffic control system makes it really hard to launch a commercial drone business.

Episode 2 – Ramon van Meer, Founder & CEO of Alpha Paw: We hear constantly about the tech giants and venture-backed unicorns. But there is a quiet army of small, savvy entrepreneurs like Ramon van Meer. Three years ago, he bought an online dog-ramp business for $300k. Since then, he’s sold $30 million in dog ramps. How do you grow a niche business (ramps for wiener dogs!) when a pandemic blows up your supply chain and Apple blows up your advertising business?

Episode 3 – Aicha Evans, CEO of Amazon’s self-driving car subsidiary Zoox: Computers are really good at driving cars – most of the time. But it turns out that there are a million weird edge cases where human drivers can solve problems that computers can’t. Evans explains the problem engineers will have to solve before cars can really drive themselves: Teach computers to understand humans better.

Episode 4 – Luis Von Ahn, Co-Founder & CEO of Duolingo: With its cartoon owl mascot, Duolingo looks like a warm and fuzzy language app. But underneath the hood, it is a powerful piece of AI technology. Von Ahn explains how his team uses AI to help people learn languages. His problem: To really teach people how to speak a new language, the app has to hold down one side of a spontaneous conversation with a user. What will it take for AI to really talk to people?

Episode 5 – Noubar Afeyan, Co-Founder & CEO of Flagship Pioneering: Afeyan created a company that starts companies. Its most famous creation: Moderna, the creator of one of the most effective Covid vaccines. The problem Afeyan is trying to solve: How do you turn entrepreneurship from a mythical hero’s journey into a repeatable industrial process?

What’s Your Problem? with Jacob Goldsteinis the third of seven planned co-productions between Pushkin Industries and iHeartMedia, following Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso and Be Antiracist with Ibram X. Kendi. The next co-production will be Not Lost, a travel show launching this spring from Brendan Francis Newnam, previously of public radio’s Dinner Party Download.