An Update on TMO’s Background Mode Podcast

2 minute read
| News


The famous mathematician Ken Ono has said that behind every successful person is a great story. And that’s the story my guests tell.

Each week I interview Apple developers, tech industry executives, scientists, researchers, artists, authors and journalists— usually within the Apple community but sometimes beyond. And we also chat about their views on current tech events.

It’s more than a show about what they do; it’s about who they are.

How to Listen to Background Mode

Background Mode is published every Monday afternoon at The Mac Observer. (Or Tuesday if Monday is a holiday.) The shows range from 30 to about 40 minutes long.

There are several ways to listen to Background Mode. You can come right here to The Mac Observer on Mondays and play it from the article, just as you do with our other podcasts. You can also subscribe to it from Apple’s iOS Podcasts app. Or use the terrific Downcast app.

Archive of Previous Shows

If you’ve missed a Background Mode podcast, you can access our archive of recent shows.

John Martellaro at the Mic

Notable Guests

Every guest on Background Mode has been phenomenal and has had a terrific story to tell about how they arrived where they are today. Often, it’s the significant influence from a parent, teacher, employer or mentor that set them on their life’s path. Or a special event in their lives. Here’s a sampling of previous guests to whet your appetite.

Former Apple Executives & Staff: Mike Bombich, Dan Burcaw, Michael Gartenberg (1), Michael Gartenberg (2), Jean-Louis Gassée, Alex Grossman, Dr. Bruce Horn, Jordan Hubbard, Joe MorenoJames Thomson, Chuq Von Rospach

Developers: Keith BlountKen Case, John Chaffee, Graham Dawson, Tim DeBenedictisDaniel JalkutPaul Kafasis, Thorsten Lemke, Scott LoveLiz Marley, Erica SadunGreg Scown, Chuck Shotton, Rich Siegel, Michael SimmonsAndrew Stone, Gregorio Zanon.

CEOs and Executives:  Cindy Cohn, Tonya Engst, Stacey HankeAlykhan Jetha, Jean MacDonaldLarry O’ConnorPatrick O’Neil, Katharine Nester, Naomi PearceNicholas Smith, Rod Roddenberry, Ben Rudolph, John Uppendahl.

Artists, Podcasters: Adam ChristiansonKatie FloydChuck Joiner, John LunnNitrozac (Liza Schmalcel)David Sparks.

Authors & Journalists: Victor Agreda, Eddie Alterman, Serenity Caldwell, Jacqui Cheng, Josh Centers (1)Josh Centers (2)Kyle Clark, Peter Cohen, Elizabeth CraigPhilip Elmer DeWitt, Jonny EvansGlenn FleishmanLauren Goode, Kelly GuimontMark Gurman, Amy Harder, Russell HollyLeander Kahney, David Katzmaier, Joe KissellMaria LangerBob LeVitus, Don McAllister, Kirk McElhearnMaryn McKenna, Rich Mogull, Jennifer Ouellette, Rocco PendolaJoanna Penn, Ken Ray, Tim RobertsonMichael T. Rose, Steve SandeDoc Searls, Dr. Gina SmithJason SnellStephanie StricklenChristina Warren

Astronomers/Astrophysicists: Dr. John Barentine, Dr. David Brin, Dr. Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, Dr. Brian KeatingDr. Gaurav Khanna, Dr. Chiara Mingarelli, Dr. Christine Corbett Moran, Dr. Phil PlaitDr. Ethan Siegel

Scientists, Professors, Researchers, Analysts:  Jan DawsonDr. John Gustafson, Dr. Ayanna HowardDr. Joanne Manaster, Gene MunsterDr. Kiki Sanford (1), Dr. Kiki Sanford (2), Dr. Joel Sercel, Dr. Chris Soghoian, Dr. Alan Stern.

I’m just getting started, and I have big plans to interview some awesome guests in the future.  So remember to look for my Background Mode podcast every Monday and become a subscriber.

If you have feedback or a guest suggestion, you can send your comments or requests to either  or directly to

I hope you’re enjoying this amazing podcast in the TMO family as my virtual fireside chats introduce you to some very special people in the Apple community and beyond.

2 Comments Add a comment

  1. ggodwin

    I listen almost every week, and I really appreciate the show, John. Glad to hear you’re planning to keep doing it. I look forward to hearing what’s coming down the pipeline!

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