Aggregated reviews for 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy

Tim Harford tells the fascinating stories of inventions, ideas and innovations which have helped create the economic world.

Nine minutes of Wow!   (5/5)

I've listened to Tim Harford's other podcast. As an American I think Tim's British accent makes the material easier to remember. Multiple times in this short podcast I'd catch myself simply saying, "Huh! I'll have to remember that."

Perfect Quick hit of knowledge   (5/5)

Each episode is around 9 minutes packed with knowledge and history behind a concept. My favorite addition is at the end of each episode they list their references for the episode.

Fabulous   (5/5)

First rate research. Learned so much. Please give us another 49.

Absolutely brilliant!   (5/5)

I loved how they hit all the highlights and it was the perfect length to listen on the commute to and from work. Great unsung heroes of the modern economy, many of which we take for granted. Listen to them all and you’ll be hooked on the BBC more than you already might be

Not to be missed   (5/5)

Excellent series!

Great content but too short   (4/5)

Find these really interesting, but I also find that they are so hyper-condensed that important facts blow past and I have to keep rewinding to understand the full picture. The only podcast I've listened to where if you happen to zone out for 30 seconds, you'll be lost.

Insightful and Easy to Understand   (5/5)

Tim weaves our economic story in insightful and bite sized morsels. I love learning about history and economic. Each week I learned a just a little bit more of both topics. Well done!

Great!   (5/5)

Really a great listen, very engaging and poignant while still being quick bite sized episodes. I would recommend to anyone who is interested in the origins of our modern economy.

50 Things   (5/5)

Fascinating, concise and very good presentation. I wish there were another 50.

Enjoyed every episode   (5/5)

Interesting and well done. Sorry it is only 50 episodes.

First Class   (5/5)

One of my favorites. I’m excited for 51, but sad to the end. Maybe 52-100 is on deck???? Hope so!

Great insite to the little things that move us forward   (5/5)

Each episode is short, around 10 minutes but is filled with insites about every day things that have had a significant impact on the modern econamy. Birth control pills, bankrupcy, the elevator.

Awesome   (5/5)

My absolute favorite podcast! My heart will break when it ends

Really cool series   (5/5)

How to make information really interesting

Enjoyed   (5/5)

Fascinating wait to spend nine minutes.

Short-form brilliance   (5/5)

This is an absolutely fantasitc podcast! In fairly short episides, it delves well beyond the obvious into the backstories of its topics, without being esoteric or pointless. This is an information-dense, entertainment-dense podcast and that's quite the accomplishment.

Very informative   (5/5)

This podcast is so interesting. I like learning about all of the different things that helped shape the modern economy. I would never think about half of the things he has listed

fascinating   (5/5)

highly recommend

One of my favorite podcasts!   (5/5)

The 9 minute episodes are just the right amount of time to draw you in and not let you get bored. Tim Harford is an excellent storyteller and picks engaging topics for each episode - even the ones that I didn’t originally think sounded interesting. I never used to think much about economics, but this podcast has alerted me to so many questions about the world!

Glad to get to it late   (5/5)

So that I could binge it instead of TV dramas. There are nearly as many emotional twists and turns! Although not as many werewolves.... teen paranormal romance isn't the 51st thing is it?

Can't get enough   (5/5)

The topics and Tim Hartford’s narration are addictive. Most highly recommended.

50 Not Enough   (5/5)

Please keep going. Very informative and enjoyable.

Deja Vu   (5/5)

Everything about the BBC seems to amaze me in a miraculous way. Thank you for bringing the world more crosser than it has never been before seven decades ago.

Entertaining economic history   (5/5)

Enjoyable for everyone who enjoys thinking about business and economics

Best podcast ever   (5/5)

Wow i just found this and its amazing. Each pod is around 10min and ALL the topics are interesting. I hope this continues for a long time!

Amazing Podcast!   (5/5)

I love this show - these episodes/topics are extremely well researched and fantastically presented. If you like business, economics, or the world around is, you will like this podcast! My only complaint is there are only '50 Things'.

My favorite!   (5/5)

This is my favorite podcast. The best thing about is that they don't talk about Trump!

Wonderful insights   (5/5)

As with the stellar More or Less podcast, this one is terrific. I will be sad when they've done all 50 because it will be over.

Quick and Quirky, very interesting   (5/5)

The topics range from fascinating to mundane, but the human element and storytelling are phenomenal! And the short episodes are a pleasure to listen to! Bravo!!

Scintillating, fascinating, all of the "-atings"!   (5/5)

A constantly surprising revelation of the intricate lattice work of needs-met that coalesce into a functioning economy.

Fascinating!!   (5/5)

I wish each segment were longer. Mr Hartford examines important steps in the construct of today's economic systems. I can't wait for each one to appear. I am sad when each one ends...all too quickly.

Fascinating, accessible, and wide-ranging   (5/5)

I always learn something new!

Fantastic quick bites of interesting history   (5/5)

Fantastic quick bites of interesting history

Love this podcast   (5/5)

Short, informative, and interesting. I listen to it as soon as possible after it shows in my feed. The choices are always inspired. Just wish it was 100 things!

Amazing!   (5/5)

Amazing podcast!

One of my favorites   (5/5)

I love learning about diverse topics that were once innovations; everything from LLC's to shipping containers!

Fantastic podcast!   (5/5)

This is a great podcast whose episodes look at the inventions that shape our lives, often in unexpected ways!

Wonderful 10 minute thought stimulator!   (5/5)

I love this podcast! Fascinating and informative.

So intriguing!   (5/5)

This is a great podcast that is not only informative, but also makes you think a little bit.

Learning is fun   (5/5)

There's always an interesting topic here👍

Fascinating information   (5/5)

I love these interesting tidbits on what has shaped our world. Each episode is amazing. The one on birth control shaping the economy was especially informative. Highly recommend!

Great Entertainment   (5/5)

The BBC at its best. Not for morons.

Good Podcast!   (5/5)

If you find economics and/or history interesting, this podcast is for you.

Excellent   (5/5)

Short, concise and informative. Learn the history of the most common things around us, some that we consider part of the background at this point, and their socio economic impact.

Short and Informative   (5/5)

A short and very informative podcast.

Google Makes HORRIBLE Apps   (1/5)

I will never download an iPhone app made by Google. Their apps have been the most unreliable and frustrating apps that I have EVER USED!!!

Lots of fun and I've learned a lot from the episodes.   (5/5)

Each episode has thought me something. They are also quick and easy to listen to.

Favorite podcast   (5/5)

Learn so much from a 9 minute podcast

Short, relevant   (5/5)

And buzzword-free!

Great history   (5/5)

Short historical podcast, very well made. Always a fun listen with a useful insight.

Really interesting   (5/5)

I wait for this show to come out each week. Fascinating stories!

GREAT!!!   (5/5)

Very well produced, and beautifully narrated little bits of interesting and relevant informations about topics you never thought you wanted to know. Every episode is the story of an important development that directly impacted modern life which one had never stoped and notice before! Please keep them coming!

Great short podcast   (5/5)

This is a wonderful podcast especially if you are looking for something on the shorter side. Thanks!

Short and superb   (5/5)

Always a joy to see a newly released episode of this one in my feed. Very interesting and thought provoking!

Really awesome   (5/5)

Short, well packed info delivered in an interesting story!!!

Great!   (5/5)

I only sometimes wish it was longer–15 or 20 minutes to go more in depth into subjects. It's great that they list the sources at the end of each episode!

Interesting and informative   (5/5)

A great background on foundational topics we take for granted

Well done   (5/5)

Incredibly well made. Short and digestible for all listeners

Great but ditch the music   (4/5)

I love this podcast, I really do. But I have a hearing problem that gives me a headache when I try to listen to words when there is music in the background. And sometimes I get very frustrated trying to listen to this podcast. It would help people like me a lot if you would just do away with the music or at least turn it way down when the gentleman is talking. Great podcast!

Great podcast!   (5/5)

Currently my favorite podcast. Short and sweet!

Super Good Short Stories   (5/5)

I love this podcast because they tell a good story. The things they talk about are normal to us but their history and start were anything but. I recommend it!

Great, but too short   (4/5)

The content is phenomenal. But at less than 10 minutes, I feel the stories are rushed.

Wow!   (5/5)

Short, sweet and informative! Great job Tim and team!

Great concept, executed well   (5/5)

This is a really interesting podcast. The episodes are little bitesized chunks about important inventions and ideas that sometimes haven't been given the credit they deserve for the effect they have on our world! My favorite episode so far is "birth control". Give it a listen!

Fantastic!   (5/5)

Short, to the point, well written I wish there were more than 50!

Short and sweet   (5/5)

I really love the 9-10 summary of the history of an invention, and how it changed the economy.

The perfect podcast   (5/5)

Interesting, well edited, bite size, good voice

Entertaining and informative podcast   (5/5)

One of my favorite podcasts for information about the things that brought us to where we are today.

A rare intelligent podcast   (5/5)

A well constructed and concise description of what the podcast promises.

Educational. Intriguing. Well done.   (5/5)

Even in 20 years, Russians will say tell you : They. Are. Not. Even. Close. To. European. You. Can't. Colonize. Them. In. 2017.

50 things   (5/5)

Really well researched - I look forward to every new episode!!!

Short and sweet!   (5/5)

I enjoy the short format and always interesting topics!

Wonderful   (5/5)

Looks behind seemingly ordinary things and shows how extraordinary they are.

Very interesting   (5/5)

Short interesting pieces; wish there were 100

Love it!   (5/5)

Fascinating history of everyday items and systems. I love that episodes are under 10 min. Perfect for my short commute.

Very interesting and we'll researched.   (5/5)


I always click first here when new shows download   (5/5)

Very well done show! loved the old bbc show 'connections' and this is like a quick hit of that kind of synthesizing history, through an economic lens. Will be sad when 50 are up, but will look forward to whatever they decide to do next!

Love it!   (5/5)

Love the show, love the music. I've learned so much!!

Fun Bite Sized Starts   (5/5)

I think what I really like about this podcast is that it's so digestible. You have time to get a new episode in while rushing out of the house or walking to pick up lunch. It isn't necessarily in depth but it's also not supposed to be and encourages you to learn more by giving each episode's main inspiration and listing sources online. An excellent effort from Tim and the BBC World Service.

Absolutely one of the best podcasts   (5/5)

The segments often leave me wanting to know more, so I appreciate that they mention their primary sources at the end of the episodes, and a few times I've followed those sources to learn more. I look forward to "50 Things" every week.

Love it!   (5/5)

Interesting, educational, and easy to listen to!

Truly excellent; fascinating & informative   (5/5)

Excellent series, can't say enough good about it

Much more than economics!   (5/5)

I was a convert from planet money! This is a series of great short nuggets informing us a little about how developments in our current world have come to be.

Amazing!   (5/5)

Covers changes and things that are often so commonplace that we no longer see them, like compilers. I was not aware of the transformative effects of many things I knew about, like shipping containers. Congratulations to those who selected the 50 things and wrote the pieces.

Great show   (5/5)

Interesting and educational

short and sweet   (5/5)

i don't miss a single episode

Very Informative!   (5/5)

Very short, but super informative. Fascinating topics. It could be five minutes longer, but still a great podcast.

Excellent Program   (5/5)

Quick 10 minute insights into various historical advancements that power our modern lives. Highly recommend!

Awesome ! Very informative and very useful   (5/5)

I learned a lot of things through this podcast. It gives a great perspective on the way current economy works and its very humbling. I can hear these podcasts multiple times. Thanks a lot!

Great!   (5/5)

Takes various common items (such as the disel engine, the contraceptive pill, insurance, shipping containers, etc.) and demonstrates how those things changed the world. Very interesting -- amazing actually. Well done and presented in short little episodes.

Pithy and interesting   (5/5)

Fascinating, relevant, well-researched nuggets. A fabulous treat!

A "Must listen"   (5/5)

Informative, succinct- this podcast delivers interesting ideas and content. Not just for economists. I only wish the episodes were longer and could go more in depth.

Brilliant!!   (5/5)

Everyone should give a listen - utterly fascinating!

The path to enlightenment starts here   (5/5)

Informative and entertaining!

Please don't stop at 50!   (5/5)

Fantastic podcast with short episodes that have nevertheless taught me a lot. My only complaint is that presumably new episodes will stop at 50.

Well done.   (4/5)

I enjoy this podcast with it's short (9-10 minute) format. Very imformative and well researched.

Very insightful   (5/5)

It has changed my perspective on the impact of things we take for granted

Excellent introduction to topics   (5/5)

If you think of these 9-minute podcasts as movie trailers to each topic, you will be very pleased. The episodes focus on an invention and give fascinating anecdotes along with some broader consequences of the invention. It's a great teaser and introduction to each topic. I wouldn't read a book about air conditioning, but when I hear about a theory that AC helped elect Reagan, it makes me curious to read the book the episode drew information from. If, however, you want a detailed, in-depth look into each of these inventions, you will be disappointed (but at least you could use the website to look up the sources they used and read those instead).

Amazing Short Clips   (5/5)

The short informative clips make this very easy to consume.

Interesting, quick and to the point   (5/5)

Interesting facts, quickly given with less chit chat than other podcasts.

Educational, entertaining, excellently presented   (5/5)

Short, well presented segments designed to inform, educate, and enrich.

Hmm   (1/5)

Don't get it.

Very informative   (5/5)

Highly recommend to listen during a long car ride!

Absolutely fantastic podcast   (5/5)

These short segments are very insightful and illuminating. I wish they were longer.

Great Great Great!!!!!   (5/5)

One of my most recent listens, but by far a stand along in informational perspectives.