Why I started a podcast

Starting a podcast is hard. And starting a podcast while going to school full time and working part time is especially hard. Actually, starting anything is rough and tiring. That’s why my interviews with my amazing guests not only speak to my audience but speak to me in a personal level.

I decided to start a podcast because I love podcast. I listen to them on the shower, at work, on my way to work. It is an easy and low effort way of learning and keeping your mind occupied. Since I’m more of an auditory learner listening to podcast is vey effective and efficient for my life style.

It must be about two months ago when I decided to make a podcast, and I approached it like an experiment. Run only 3 episodes and see where I go from there. I knew it would be hard because I knew next to nothing about sound production, editing, mixing. But as I started thinking more and more about the idea of the podcast, I realized that I had to do it. I imagine that’s what entrepreneurs feel like. A necessity to create something, a hunger of adventure.

The idea I landed on for the podcast was to talk about Austin Entrepreneurs. In the beginning, the idea was very broad: maybe talk to only student entrepreneurs, or maybe only established startups. It was only with time and feedback from friends that I decided to focus on founders of Austin Startups. No matter how young or experienced they were. The idea is that anyone with enough passion has the potential to become an entrepreneur. I explore those stories so they can inspire others to pursue their passions. I explore those stories so we can learn the successes and failures of people that have been in our shoes.

The key element about Podcasts that I have learned is that the voice of the guest is the most important element. My goal as a host is to make my guest shine. I need to find interesting voices and ask insightful questions. Themes should be common avoid repetition of questions. The key element I am working on is how to find different perspectives in the common themes.

One of the recurring themes I hear in my interviews is that you need to be passionate about what you do. If you don’t care about the company you’re building why would someone else care?

The other theme I want to explore is Austin as overarching character in the story of these startups. Why did they choose Austin, or would it be that Austin chose them? I want to explore in more depth the motivations behind starting (or moving) here. Young founders will discover and recognize the nurturing environment this city is. A “center of gravity” where they can find many resources for their startup.

Also, following the panel of women in entrepreneurship in the amazing EWeek at UT. I realized the importance of bringing women voices into the podcast. Something that I hadn’t even think about. It made me realize how easy it is to dismiss other people’s perspectives by being oblivious to them. That’s why I resolved to find women’s perspectives in entrepreneurship. It is important that the audience listens to diverse perspectives on the field. And I want to make sure that my female listeners have other women to look up to, connect and share experiences. It is difficult, since there are a lot less women than men founders. It is important that people with platforms use them to address the issues in society and, in this case, in the industry. Even if the change is small, our responsibility is to work to make the world a better place. within our possibilities.

A podcast, or any media platform, requires daily decisions about where you’ll take your listeners next. Every decision affects the the future of your show too. It is important what you ask and publish and as important is what you choose not to ask or cut.

One of the things I need to improve is to create a work flow for the podcast. I had the first interview and it was hitting the ground running. Like a cold shower in the morning. Episode II was more structured thanks to the feedback from the previous episode. But this time the recording process was completely different since it was via Skype. And Episode III is again different because I covered a week-long event at the University. I went to several panels, asking questions from the audience, recording with my little ZH1. This inconsistency makes it difficult to develop a standard workflow, but it also makes the process more fun.

Other things I need to get better at: Becoming more comfortable asking questions on the spot. Reaching out to leads for future episodes, consider their background, needs. Bring water to the interviews and what not. Best practices, in general. Remember to book the studio a week in advance. Develop a system to organize the sound files. I’m still learning, and that’s part of the fun.

The next question to answer is what do I want from my show and how do I get there. The truth is that I will be graduating in less than a year. In the Summer I won’t even be in Austin. I may use the summer to research new speakers and get everything ready for season 2. I’m not sure at this point what will happen or what I’ll do once I graduate. If I stay here I’d love to continue the podcast, meet more people, learn from the best. If I go to another city that will be the end of this podcast (more than likely). But, so far I’m loving it. I love to have a deadline to submit something I actually like doing (homework, I’m looking at you). It is a very good exercise that keeps my mind — and calendar — occupied.

In any case, all this work is so worth it as soon as I sit down with an expert, an entrepreneur, and listen to their stories. Paraphrasing Reid Hoffman: “What gives life a meaning are the relationships you build along the way.”

If you’d like to check out the podcast you can visit the website here: meetthefounders.net
Subscribe on iTunes here: http://bit.ly/2nITVIJ
We also have a twitter and Facebook page.

I’d love to hear your feedback. Send me a tweet or email at: mauricio.herrera@utexas.edu 🙂


Why I started a podcast was originally published in Austin Startups on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

#URLinkedUp AustinStartup http://bit.ly/2nIUtOt

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