Finding Good Content on Goodpods – with JJ Ramberg

If you love podcasts, the chances are that you’ve wondered what your friends, celebrities, and cultural influencers are listening to. What if there was an app that could connect you with other podcast lovers and allow you to follow each other, discuss podcast topics, and make recommendations? If this sounds too good to be true, then you need to hear today’s guest and hear about the wonder that is Goodpods. 

JJ Rambert is an entrepreneur, podcast and TV host, bestselling author, and mom. For 13 years, JJ hosted MSNBC’s show Your Business and its second longest – running program and corresponding podcast, Been There Built That. She’s interviewed thousands of entrepreneurs and business leaders to discover what works and what doesn’t work in growing their companies. Her guests have included the likes of Neil Blumenthal of Warby Parker, John Foley of Peloton, and Bobbi Brown, amongst many others. JJ is more than a journalist. She’s a two-time co-founder who, with her brother, Ken, launched both Goodpods and Goodshop. Goodpods is an app where people can follow their podcast-loving buddies to find out what they’re listening to, discuss favorite shows, and interact with their favorite podcast hosts. JJ has business in her blood; in high school, she worked for her mother and brother in their startup, JOBTRAK, which they sold to Monster.com a decade later. JJ is an angel investor and author of two books: the best-selling It’s Your Business and the children’s book, The Startup Club. JJ received her MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and her BA from Duke University. She currently resides in Brooklyn. 

Navigating twists and turns

JJ left CNN to start her first company, Goodshop, with her brother. Six months later, MSNBC called because they needed a host for a new show called Your Business, about small business entrepreneurship. What was billed as a six-month gig turned into a lengthy 13-year stint for JJ. Her family instilled the entrepreneurial spirit into her, as the Rambergs boast several generations of business-minded entrepreneurs. Like the tradition set by her family, JJ learned the importance of social justice and community service as she juggled her journalistic endeavors and entrepreneurship in her early years. To add to the craziness, JJ got married and had three kids in successive years; they are now 10, 11, and 12. 

Building a solid team

Many entrepreneurs are overwhelmed with starting their businesses and building their team. JJ was fortunate to have a partner, her brother, Ken, whom she trusted unconditionally. Other team members were hired along the way. Goodpods has become a true family affair, with her sister and nephew now becoming involved. JJ says she works with the smartest people she knows, and they just happen to be her family. 

Working in the family business

You would expect unique struggles to crop up with any family business, but JJ says it’s been an easy process, despite the caution some would advise. Working in business with your family and keeping your business and personal lives separate are definitely challenging. JJ says their family system works seamlessly in all aspects of life. They just don’t encounter conflicts like other family businesses often do. 

Becoming an author

JJ wrote her first book, It’s Your Business, as a companion to the MSNBC show. The book highlights the many things they had learned through the show and put into practice at JJ’s first company, Goodshop. JJ’s real pride and joy is her children’s book, The Startup Club, which she wrote with her sister. They wrote the book because they were both raising kids and couldn’t find any books about kids becoming entrepreneurs. They wanted to teach their children the spirit of entrepreneurship in a fun story because kids are naturally inclined to entrepreneurship. 

JJ’s focus on Goodpods

Since Your Business ended last December, JJ has focused on Goodpods, the family business that launched recently but has been in the works for years. The idea of the app is that you can follow friends and influencers to find out what they are listening to. Like social media platforms, you can pick who to follow and see their feed detailing what podcasts they enjoy. The app makes it easy to recommend podcasts to friends and family directly and gives you a larger network. The app highlights the beauty of podcasts and helps you curate your listening, along with making it simple to have discussions with other people. Unlike many apps, there is no extra stuff to distract you from the reason you listen to podcasts in the first place. JJ’s biggest dream for Goodpods is to get people talking about great things in the interesting world of podcasts. 

What’s next for JJ?

JJ is fully committed to making Goodpods the best place for knowing what the people you care about are listening to and talking about. Her goals now are to take the features that are in the app and make them even more useful. JJ wants to take what they have already developed and ramp it up to the next level. She says the whole idea is to connect people, create community, and find out what people want to listen to.

Highlights of this episode: 

  • 8:03 – The six-month job that lasted 13 years
  • 10:53 – Why philanthropy is important
  • 12:08 – How JJ thrived as a journalist, entrepreneur, and mom
  • 13:03 – How JJ built her team
  • 15:24 – Struggles in a family business
  • 17:30 – JJ’s books
  • 21:06 – Fully focused on Goodpods
  • 33:43 – What’s next for Goodpods?
  • 37:22 – Fem Five

Resources mentioned:

  • Find JJ on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram: JJRamberg or Goodpods

The Fem Five:

  1. Favorite book to recommend for women?
  • Getting There: A Book of Mentors by Gillian Zoe Segal

2. Favorite self-care hack?

  • Running. It fixes most things.

3. Best piece of advice and who gave it to you?

  • “My friend, Courtney, told me to go into things knowing that it will be hard. It’s just part of the journey.”

4. Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now?

5. One piece of advice you’d give your five years younger self?

  • “Stop drinking soy chai lattes in the morning because they are really bad for you!”

Last Time on The NextFem Podcast

Raise Your Visibility – with Annie Scranton


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