With an overactive brain and an overactive imagination, I’m finding that listening to podcasts is a great positive way to get off to sleep, especially listening to the soft Aussie accents (sorry guys!)
One of my favourites – that actually kept me awake – at the moment is “Startup” by Alex Blumberg. He’s telling the story, warts and all, of getting a new startup off the ground.
Interestingly his new startup is essentially a new Podcasting Studio, eventually called Gimlet Media, creating awesome content for popular shows and monetising from advertising. He’s been looking to raise $1.5 million and he’s telling the story from scratch – and it’s gripping listening.
Alex’s background is in the radio industry which, with the advent of digital downloads and the iTunes podcast app going into smartphones and cars as they roll off the production line, is due for a massive shakeup.
He was involved in “This American Life” & “Planet Money” previously and this means that not only is the production quality AMAZING, but he’s really good at telling a story, putting music behind the words, and enhancing the mood at every stage. He’s also got a MASSIVE following and has shot straight into the “New & Noteworthy”, surviving even the recent iTunes algorithm shake-up.
(This shake-up has seen stalwart podcasts like Entrepreneur On Fire, Smart Passive Income, and Superfast Business lose their seemingly unshakeable places in the Top 10 and disappear from sight, leaving ancient podcasts with no new episodes, no reviews, and no artwork in some cases, riding high where once they languished where they deserved to be, unseen)
I listened to about 5-6 episodes of “Startup” back to back last night while sorting out our lives by text with a friend travelling from London by train. Every time he disappeared into a tunnel, back to the podcast I went.
Not very sleepy last night!
The one thing that jumped out at me very strongly was Alex talking about what an emotional rollercoaster the startup path was proving to be for him. It was taking pot shots at his confidence, his commitment, his marriage and home life, his ability to have difficult conversations with potential partners, potential investors.
It’s a gripping listen, especially if you harbour lost dreams of a startup within yourself.
I have nothing but admiration for him, I have to say. Listening to Walter Hass, Yaro Starak’s podcast buddy, in “Everything Entrepreneurship” and what he’s going through in Silicone Valley in his quest to get a startup off the ground, makes you realise just how HARD they have to work.
Yes, I once hopefully and rather naively presented my ArtistManager idea (which was earning about $1000 a month which I didn’t realise was AWESOME!) to a bunch of Venture Capital investors at the Atlantic Bar in London, back around 2000 or so.
I was doing my pitch at the end of the afternoon while the potential investors were itching to get to the free cocktails, while the fire alarm was going off intermittently (with me trying to shout my pitch above it) and the Dot Com bubble was bursting, it felt like, right at that moment.
ArtistManager was a “match up” database driven business, where I was quoted £250k to get it built, but after the bubble burst I managed to find some clever software developer lads to do it for sweat equity.
However, when they got the share certificates in their hands, they promptly stopped developing! Some lessons learned there.
I did get to the Producers auditions of Dragon’s Den though, and was very keen to go further until I found out that they insisted that you work on just one business at a time. Good advice I realise now, but I couldn’t consider it then.
Now I’ve got a podcast of my own and a nice simple media buying company, specialising in Facebook Ads, but I’m still fascinated by the whole startup thing. I really love to listen to podcasts like “Startup”, “Everything Entrepreneurship”, and “Starting From Nothing” by The Foundation lads, Dane Maxwell, and Andy Grish respectively.
I’ve even got a SAS idea of my own, about which I can say no more, as it’s up on Elance, looking for developers at the moment. While I drive traffic and attempt to sell it in advance as I’m not interested in this Angel Investor nonsense. Far too much like hard work, all that flying and pitching!
The one thing I do know, is that in order to test and validate new business ideas, startups need to get traffic and ideally, leads and customers.
And they need those things quick.
Well, Facebook can be brilliant for that – and not just in the B2C space either.
If you are a funded startup and want to know how to leverage Facebook marketing for your business, why not get in touch? Visit ClicksAndLeads.com to find out more.