00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Relay FM, this is Connected, episode 463. Today's show is brought to you by NetSuite,

00:00:15   Squarespace and ZocDoc. I am Relay FM co-founder Mike Hurley and I am joined by Relay FM co-founder

00:00:21   Stephen Hackett. Hello Michael. Hello, it's a special day today. It is. This week marks Relay

00:00:29   FM's ninth birthday. It's actually on the 18th, so it's on Friday, but we are going to do our,

00:00:37   I'm going to call this mostly annual, you can get into those details in a second,

00:00:40   mostly annual Relay Q&A. This has taken different forms over the years, but we are here on a

00:00:49   podcast. Federico is still on vacation and we thought, hey, let's do it on Connected.

00:00:53   Perfect excuse to do a co-founder Q&A. Yeah, I think so.

00:00:59   Speaking about what you just mentioned, so Kate said, please link to all of the other Q&A's to

00:01:04   make them easier to find. Thank you. So in the show notes, there will be a link to all of the

00:01:08   Q&A's that we have done. So this goes back to like the first one was we did a Q&A for the launch week

00:01:13   and then we did one on our first year, second year, third year. So like the second year was

00:01:18   a B-sides or the first year was a B-sides, second and third were on Connected. 2017,

00:01:25   we did a YouTube video because we were in person. Then 2018 and 2019 were from Connected.

00:01:31   And then 2020, we did the Q&A and announcement of the podcastathon on our Departures feed.

00:01:40   And then there was also another one in 2021 in the Departures feed, which is a feed that we use for

00:01:50   some like ancillary live shows, podcastathon audio for Sicko's goes up there if you want to listen to

00:01:56   the podcastathon. I don't know who's doing that. There was no public Q&A in 2022 though. Oh,

00:02:04   what do we have to hide? Well, we recorded an episode of Backstage on the day. Backstage is

00:02:10   a show that we do every month where we answer questions from the Relay FM community, which is,

00:02:17   if you become a member, you can go to, if you subscribe to Connected Pro, get connected pro.co,

00:02:22   you get access to Backstage. The eighth year, which was last year, I remember it was basically,

00:02:28   we both kind of forgot, like after a certain point, you don't really, eight years of a company

00:02:34   existing. You kind of start to not really think about it in the same way. But now on the ninth

00:02:39   year, we're looking forward to the 10th year. So it's in our minds again. So that's why we're doing

00:02:43   it today. I'm glad you did all the work to find those. I opened the document this morning and I

00:02:50   was going to do, I was going to sit down like, "Okay, let me find all these." And it was already

00:02:53   done. So thank you. Well, I was able to use my past self in a way because I've done this before,

00:03:01   like linked to the previous ones from a previous one. So that helped me a lot. But then I had to

00:03:07   do some like archeology to try and work out what happened in 2022. And so I ended up working that

00:03:14   one out. That's hilarious. So yeah, we're going to do a bunch of Q and A today. And I think we

00:03:21   start with this question from Aaron. What do you think? Yeah. Aaron asks, "Will there be a 10th

00:03:25   anniversary gathering or event like you did for the fifth anniversary?" Steven, what did we do on

00:03:30   our fifth anniversary? Our fifth anniversary, we held a live show in San Francisco and a bunch of

00:03:36   relay hosts showed up and we played a big game of Family Feud. And that is exactly what we're going

00:03:44   to do next summer. But instead of San Francisco, we're going to do it in London. God save the king,

00:03:53   baby. We're doing it. Oh, I'm so excited. I'm so excited. Me too. It's coming in July, right? July

00:04:01   2024. We will be hosting our first live show outside of the United States of America. And it's

00:04:10   going to be in my hometown. Yes. In a theater that you picked. Yes. Which I was so glad it worked out

00:04:17   that we got to use your first choice. Yep. So here's how this is going to work. We're announcing

00:04:23   it today because this question was asked. Aaron forced our hand. If you are a Relay FM member,

00:04:31   you're going to get a link in Discord and in your email on Friday, August 18th. That is our

00:04:38   actual anniversary. That is a link to buy tickets. Again, this is in July 2024 in London. The link

00:04:46   will have all the details, but members will get that on Friday. If you're not a Relay FM member,

00:04:54   you're going to have to wait to the next week. So starting on probably Monday, I think probably

00:04:59   on upgrade will be the first time you talk about it. Then those will go out to the public. But you

00:05:04   want to be a member and get in early. Yep. And that's the first time. We're not going to talk

00:05:09   about now where it is. It's in a theater in London. It's an amazing theater. We'll have more

00:05:14   to say about that. But Steven's coming over to London. A selection of Relay FM hosts will be

00:05:19   coming. There's logistics to happen, but there's going to be a bunch of hosts there. And we plan to

00:05:24   play another game in front of a live audience. I guess we'll talk about this a little bit more,

00:05:30   but just as a while we're trying to pitch you on the idea of why you should come, it's going to be

00:05:35   our biggest live show ever. If you sell out. Yeah, please. It's the biggest we've ever played in.

00:05:39   And we're kind of approaching this show a little bit differently to we have other shows.

00:05:45   There won't be video. The reason there won't be video is because the cost of doing video was

00:05:51   astronomically high with this venue. So we're not going to be doing video because we just can't make

00:05:56   it work. Yeah, we will be recording audio, but this show is going to be made primarily for the

00:06:04   people in the room, which is not necessarily a mindset that we've had before, where we've also

00:06:10   put a ton of effort into making sure we have good clean audio. The venue will be recording audio,

00:06:16   but we will be using the equipment the venue provides us. So it's going to be a slightly

00:06:20   different. We don't know how it's going to come out, but like there will suddenly be no live

00:06:24   stream. Like if you want the best experience for this event, you want to be there, right?

00:06:32   100%. That's going to be so good. It's going to be sick.

00:06:36   So thank you. Thank you for the first question. We're off to a real bang. What can we announce

00:06:42   next? Nothing yet. Nothing yet. It is hilarious like this, this time of years when we're getting

00:06:49   ready for podcastathon stuff. We've got some questions about that later on, but like my brain

00:06:54   is just occupied by this live show right now. And it's because it's this ticket sales for that come

00:07:00   first. Once we get over that, then I can start like properly thinking about the fact that we

00:07:05   have a whole fundraiser to run through an entire month. Yeah. In fact, when we were working with

00:07:08   the venue on when tickets were going to go up, I was like, Hey, they have to be up this date

00:07:13   because then we have a bunch of other stuff that we have to do, uh, basically immediately after.

00:07:19   And then, so you'll be hearing about it for like, we're going to talk about it a bunch for a week,

00:07:23   and then probably won't talk about it all for September. And if, if tickets are still available,

00:07:27   they probably will be, we'll be talking about it then for like seven months or something until all

00:07:32   the tickets are sold. London baby! Come on, Steven. I'm so excited. And I'm so thankful.

00:07:40   So excited that we're able to do this and that you, uh, as the executive of live events agreed

00:07:46   that London was a good venue for the 10th anniversary. You know, it's been a while since

00:07:50   we've done live events and actually my title has changed a little bit. Okay. It's executive

00:07:56   senior vice president and COO of live events. Okay. I got a bump. Wait, why can't, why, why are

00:08:05   you just the chief? Who's the CEO of live events then? Uh, well, that's, um, that's a good point.

00:08:12   That's a good point. You messed that one up. Well, you're the CEO of the company,

00:08:17   right? I guess we don't really have titles like this, but yeah. CEO of live events.

00:08:22   But you are, you are COO and executive senior vice president of live events. You just,

00:08:28   you just got the wrong way around because it makes it sound like you're second in command to yourself.

00:08:33   I needed somebody I could trust in the role. I learned from Dwight Schrute, you know,

00:08:39   you gotta have a second. And we saw in succession what happens when there's arguments about this.

00:08:45   And when people are in charge of live events, that's why we're not going into the cruise line

00:08:50   business. That's for sure. So as CEO, I have some news for you. Oh no. The SS relay is pulling into

00:08:57   port right now. The whole thing is slate colored. Okay. Oh, that would be pretty sick though, right?

00:09:03   I know it would be pretty sick. We're not going to do that. We should buy a boat.

00:09:08   The 11th anniversary show at sea. That's what we're announcing today.

00:09:12   That sounds terrible. I basically get seasick in the bathtub, so I won't be there.

00:09:17   Morgan asks, where does that switch on thing come from? And why is Kathy the only person to ever

00:09:24   use it? I will now ask Zach's question because they go together. Zach asks, do you regret my

00:09:29   question about switch on on the connected Q and A four years ago? Yeah. Can you explain what switch

00:09:34   on is then talk about why Kathy's the only person to use it? So switch on is the rarely used tagline.

00:09:43   If you go to the relay website, it's in the footer and it was in some artwork a long time ago,

00:09:48   but we really don't use it. It's just kind of been hanging out down there in the footer for,

00:09:52   we originally thought we were going to use it. Yeah. Right. And then we just sort of just didn't

00:09:57   didn't work out. So this came up on a Q and A and Kathy is wonderful. And I love working with Kathy,

00:10:06   but Kathy has a tendency to troll me when she gets the opportunity, troll us when she gets

00:10:11   the opportunity. So she has leaned in to switch on and uses it basically all the time. Yep. And

00:10:18   as Kathy's co-hosts have picked it up too. So on conduit, Jay says it, Alex says it a bunch

00:10:25   on roboism. Kathy says it during every spotlight episode where she interviews. This is another

00:10:33   member of the book. She interviews a different relay FM host. She just did a great one with

00:10:37   Jon Sirq's, I'm like halfway through it. It's very good. But every time Kathy says relay FM,

00:10:41   she says switch on. And to me, it's like nails on a chalkboard to hear it now, because I know

00:10:47   that it's only to troll me and you. Yeah. Right. And it won't, and she won't stop. And now I've

00:10:53   said that I feel like it's only going to get worse. And I feel like there's probably nothing

00:10:58   we can do about it. So Zach, yes, I do regret that you asked that question because Kathy has

00:11:04   weaponized our own bad tagline against us. That's so true. And we should say,

00:11:11   Kathy's playing a big part in planning the live show and stuff for St. Jude,

00:11:17   which we're going to talk about in the coming weeks. So. Oh, Kathy is incredible. Yeah. I'm

00:11:22   just saying incredibly skilled, but one of Kathy's skills is trolling us. It's a skill that she has.

00:11:29   She's very good at it. Like she is all of the other things that she does for relay FM, which is a

00:11:34   thankfully growing list of responsibilities because it's good to have people that have

00:11:39   growing lists of responsibilities. That is not me and you. Indeed. But Kathy has made

00:11:44   a responsibility of her own to troll me and you with the tagline. Switch on baby.

00:11:49   Turquoise hexagon son says, imagine some company came along and said, you can't use switch on

00:11:56   because we have that trademarked. Please. Can some company come along and say that?

00:12:00   What new slogan would you choose for relay FM? I don't know. The only thing I thought of,

00:12:08   it's not a good slogan, but I put it on some coffee mugs we sent to Host and Friends a couple

00:12:13   years ago and the mug said, uh, it was like keeping RSS cool since 2014 or something.

00:12:19   You know, I thought that was kind of funny, a little tongue and cheek with like some other

00:12:23   slogans in the world. But, uh, I really, to answer truthfully, honestly, don't know what we would do.

00:12:29   I don't think we would have one. Probably not. I just don't really think, like, you know, we had,

00:12:34   uh, creative, curious, obsessive for a while, but we've moved away from that where like,

00:12:39   that was like the, the, you know, kind of like the way we described the, uh, the types of shows

00:12:46   that we have. But you rewrote that recently to say relay FM brings together some of the most

00:12:50   influential and unique voices on the internet to create powerful content each and every week.

00:12:55   Wow. You found that. Especially on the top of the website. I haven't done it yet.

00:12:58   It's on the about page. Oh, is it? Yeah. It's going to go on the homepage at some point.

00:13:02   I just got to, Oh, nice. I like powerful by the way.

00:13:05   Yes. We maybe that should be it really FM powerful. Like that's just the tagline powerful.

00:13:11   We are a powerful company. Can you imagine putting that on a, on a, a pitch for podcast advertising?

00:13:19   Oh, just like a t-shirt that just said powerful. It's pretty good. Right.

00:13:22   I'd wear that's pretty good. Pretty good. Fire up Photoshop. It's time to make a t-shirt.

00:13:28   Yeah. The network, you know, done skip leg day. So we're saying no, exactly. Exactly.

00:13:34   Okay. So that's, that's, that's that's all the tagline stuff. Let me ask you this question from

00:13:41   Aaron, I guess maybe the same Aaron who leaked our 10th anniversary show. It's hard to say.

00:13:46   There was no leak just to, just to confirm this, by the way, before Aaron asks the question,

00:13:51   you also in discord asked if there were going to be any live shows like you were teeing someone up.

00:13:57   I know you were excited as you should have been anyways. Aaron asks, looking back,

00:14:02   how has the last four years and a bit compared to the first four years and a bit of the company

00:14:07   podcasting, et cetera. Are we answering like for ourselves or. I think we start there.

00:14:13   Yeah. All right. So for me, like I think maybe the easiest way to think about this for myself is like

00:14:20   the last four years has been less work for me in the sense of running the company. Right. Like,

00:14:31   I feel like the fact that we have brought people in, in this latter half has helped a lot. So like

00:14:39   my actual like day to day relay FM running is less where like I'm actually able to focus more on

00:14:47   content now than I have been in the past. Um, that is like an ongoing thing for me where like

00:14:53   I think my best contribution to this company is the content. And like, I just want to keep

00:15:00   doing more of that. Right. And less like a minister via or whatever. Um, or like, you know,

00:15:06   for the majority of one is I think even think it is the majority, but for the first four years I was

00:15:11   responsible for the sponsorship. It was how we made all of our money and that was

00:15:16   very stressful. Um, I'm now not responsible for that anymore. So like my biggest company,

00:15:22   like business role is the thing that I don't do anymore. And so I would say like,

00:15:28   I am happier with the last four years than the first four years in a sense of like what I want

00:15:34   to be doing for relay FM, you know, like all I, the whole point that is this whole thing exists

00:15:40   is because me and Steven wanted to make podcasts and own everything and like make podcasts the way

00:15:46   we wanted to make them and everything be the way that we wanted it to be. But to do that,

00:15:51   you have to do a bunch of stuff like running a business and I, and I'm, I am happier when I do

00:15:58   the business running a more of the content production. Cause that was the whole point

00:16:02   for me in the first place. Yeah. And just to clarify about what you mean by some of that stuff,

00:16:07   we hired someone named Carrie years and years ago, initially to be your assistant.

00:16:13   And then they got involved in the sales process and now they're our VP of sales and handle

00:16:21   basically all of it. Oh, well actually, uh, chief advertising officer, chief advertise. Oh, I'm

00:16:26   sorry. See sweet. I got distracted by my own titles earlier and yeah, I don't even know what they mean

00:16:34   anymore. Carrie is the vice president of sales and send chief advertising officer of that division

00:16:43   and, uh, the chief data entry specialist for advertising inventory system. Correct. I think

00:16:50   for me, if you split relay up, I don't think halves quite makes sense. I think of relay as the

00:16:58   time where I was still working for a year and the middle bit, and then sort of the current phase

00:17:04   we're in starting in 2020 when we launched the membership program as we know it today.

00:17:09   But I think the, I think the, this current era has been more work for me because I run the membership

00:17:17   program. Uh, we flipped and I, you know, Kathy coming on board, she helps with a lot of

00:17:24   administrative stuff, but she's also the community manager. So Kathy is sort of the, the final word

00:17:29   in the discord, not, not me and Mike. Right. She's helping us work with our hosts on their plans for

00:17:36   membership shows. Like she, she's really been very influential in that program. But I think if I look

00:17:44   back at my time, there's a lot more of it spent on the admin end of things. And there used to be,

00:17:50   and that's fine. Like totally fine. Membership has been a big success and it not only got us through

00:17:56   the pandemic, but it's getting us through a season now where podcast advertising isn't super stellar.

00:18:01   And so it's doing what it was supposed to do. But with that obviously comes more hands-on time,

00:18:06   which I'm, I'm glad to do because I love our membership program and I love our members.

00:18:09   I assume membership will go for you the way advertising went for me and that like over time,

00:18:15   once it's even more stable than it is, uh, now that Kathy or someone else or whoever could take

00:18:23   more of that role away from you, but a company of our size, I think it's very important that one of

00:18:31   us is establishing the way that a thing will run. Yeah. And then we then know how it works.

00:18:40   Uh, and even if, so then if somebody takes it over from us, well, you know how it works.

00:18:44   And so then it can move forward and like, I really want you to do less of the admin work.

00:18:51   This is a conversation me and you had on our last, um, in-person time around podcasts on time.

00:18:57   We always take time to look at the company then. And it was something that I really wanted for you

00:19:01   then. And I still really want for you. And, uh, I hope that we can get there, uh, eventually,

00:19:07   but I mean, as well, like I know for me, and I, I think this is the same for you. Uh,

00:19:13   we're just the kind of people that it's hard to let go of things. Yeah. Um, but I just kind of,

00:19:20   for me, it was, it was easy to let go of the advertising when I, when I was able to see just

00:19:26   how better at it, Carrie was than me, like, cause this isn't just admin, right? This is like,

00:19:33   right. Making a deal, right. Which is like a different set of skills. She's just a better deal

00:19:37   maker than I am. So it was very easy to let go when it was like, Oh, this could be better for

00:19:43   the company if I just, if I stopped doing it. And so that's kind of where that's ended up.

00:19:48   So that's round one of our questions. Are we doing any rounds? I don't know. Okay.

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00:21:34   Mattias asks, when you founded relay, did you have a minimum realistic or best case goal for

00:21:40   the company and where do you see it now? I think we were just going to be really content with

00:21:46   quitting our jobs and both doing it full time. Right. That was like the best case scenario is

00:21:52   that we could, there are some questions in here. This is one of them that makes me feel like I was

00:21:57   just a sweet baby boy when we started this company. Oh yeah. Because I don't really feel like we had a

00:22:06   plan. Yeah. You were 26 at the time. I was 28. God. Yeah. That's rough. Yeah. Now I'm looking at 40,

00:22:16   two and a half years away. The passing of time comes for us all. This is by far the longest job

00:22:24   we've ever had. Double any other job I've ever had. It's the longest position I've had. Like,

00:22:30   you know, I worked at the bank for about the same amount of time as this. So like, I was close to

00:22:37   10 years, I think. And so I will be passing it soon. So I need to actually work out the dates on

00:22:43   that specifically. But this is, you know, I moved around every couple of years to like different

00:22:47   roles. So this is the longest job I've had by a country mile, but like a factor of four. Did you

00:22:54   bail on any cool 10 year, like, Hey, you get a plaque? You know, some companies do that. Maybe

00:23:01   we should do it for ourselves next year. Yes. It was, it was going to be a pin, which is like the

00:23:06   most stupid thing. Yeah. I do think that there was some kind of like, uh, like stock compensation

00:23:12   thing that I would have got or something stupid like that. It would have been worth probably

00:23:16   nothing, but yet we didn't like, cause at the time, all we were trying to do was what

00:23:24   we were already doing, but just on our own. Right. Which was like make podcasts in our spare time

00:23:30   as our like creative hobby and maybe make a little bit of money. And the hope was that that little

00:23:38   bit of money might grow into a little bit more money. And if we owned and controlled the business,

00:23:43   it would be enough money that we might be able to quit our jobs. I quit my job in a month,

00:23:48   two months. Yep. Because it just started really well. And it seemed like we had like a three month

00:23:55   runway from our original sponsors because people were excited, which is awesome. And we'd built

00:24:01   up enough goodwill with a selection of companies that we had enough runway that like, I could see

00:24:07   that I would be able to do it for three months. And so I was like, well, I'm never going to have

00:24:12   a better time than this. And if I just put myself into this a hundred percent, maybe we can like

00:24:17   make it work. And I didn't have really any financial burden at that point. I was living

00:24:26   with my mum. She supported it. And so I just went for it and it worked out. But like the goal,

00:24:34   like the best case scenario was just that like maybe one day we'll be professional full-time

00:24:40   podcasters. Like that was all it was. There was nothing more than that. I put a couple of things

00:24:45   in the show notes, analog episode nine. We talked to Casey about this and then my blog post in 2015

00:24:51   announcing that I was quitting my job. So the very quick story people may be aware of this is like,

00:24:56   there was like a story of a broken shoelace. Still have that shoelace. That's awesome.

00:25:01   Fishekai asks, when are you most proud of your co-founder? I don't. That's sweet. Well,

00:25:07   this is like when "we" was the question, right? And I don't have like, I couldn't, I was trying

00:25:11   to think of like a specific thing, but there is just like a time when like when Stephen Hackett

00:25:19   takes to the stage, he's untouchable. It is unbelievable. You never see a man change

00:25:26   like the way Stephen Hackett does when he stands in front of an audience. It is, I'm truly jealous of

00:25:32   it because I think you are so good at it and you're so effortless. And so I think that that

00:25:38   when I see you like commanding an audience, it's, it is awesome. You're very good at it.

00:25:44   Thank you. I enjoy it and we're going to do it again.

00:25:48   I enjoy it, but I'm just scared of it. I'm scared of it.

00:25:51   Yeah, I understand. I, yeah, no, I get it. The thing about you, I respect so much about you.

00:25:58   I think when I'm most proud of you is when you were in your mode of like idea generation

00:26:06   and imagination out of the two of us, I think you are much better at that at seeing things that

00:26:12   aren't done that could be done. You know, you do it at Relay, you do it across your other projects.

00:26:16   And I always just really immensely respect that about you, that you have these ideas.

00:26:21   I think it's one, one of many ways that we're a good fit together is that often you were out ahead

00:26:26   of me a little bit sometimes on like new ideas. And then like we talk about them and I can help

00:26:33   you implement them in a bunch of different ways. And I think we've done that over and over.

00:26:36   And so that's when I see you in that mode, I always, I'm always so happy.

00:26:40   Yeah. I very much appreciate that. That is very kind of you to say, thank you. And I do agree.

00:26:46   It's one of the things that makes us good is that like, I typically have an idea,

00:26:49   but I have no idea how to do it. Like that, that is my thing. It's like, oh, I have this idea,

00:26:53   but I don't know what to do with this. And you are very good at like working out what to do with it.

00:27:01   This is anytime that we talk about our custom content management system, this comes up.

00:27:06   Speaking of which.

00:27:08   Oh, what a segue.

00:27:09   Kay asks, Real AFM historian, Kay asks, how is Neon doing? What are the most

00:27:16   unexpected problems you've come across running your own content management system?

00:27:21   Yeah. So Neon is the name of our CMS. We bought the core of it from somebody else and have been

00:27:28   developing it for over nine years now. I think the thing that has, is surprised me the most about it

00:27:36   is the way different people expect things to work. So we have probably 20 people who can log into it

00:27:46   and publish shows and, you know, do things and they all want or have slightly different ideas

00:27:52   about how things should be. And that's just been a little bit surprising. It's like, I kind of see

00:27:58   it like, oh, well, it should work this way, obviously. And someone's like, why would it work

00:28:00   that way? Why not do it the other way around? You have to work through all that. It's been

00:28:03   challenging. The question I think about sometimes or I get sometimes is if you were starting today,

00:28:08   would you build your own CMS? I honestly don't know. When we started, and I've said this before,

00:28:13   when we started, there really wasn't anything out there platform wise that gave us what we needed,

00:28:19   where we had one website with multiple podcasts, all with their own feeds. And yeah, like in 2014,

00:28:26   I could have hacked together like some WordPress thing or used something like Squarespace, but

00:28:30   none of them gave us really what we needed because none of those things, as good as they may be,

00:28:36   none of them gave us like, this is built for podcasting. And ultimately, the way I kind of

00:28:44   think about it now is we have neon as sort of an extension of the thing you said at the beginning,

00:28:50   that we want to do this our own way and be in charge of it to make our own decisions.

00:28:54   Like, what better way to do that with software than building yourself? And so it has been painful.

00:28:59   It has been incredibly expensive over the years. But it has been also, I think, a real asset that

00:29:05   lets us do what we want to do in the way that we do it. For instance, I'll shut up after this.

00:29:10   We take great pride in really thorough show notes, almost to a show on the network, right?

00:29:20   Where if you look at the links, the things we talk about, not only is anything major we're

00:29:26   talked about in there, they're also in order that we spoke about them in. And they're also

00:29:31   sometimes things in there that barely get mentioned, but we think are interesting or

00:29:35   related somehow. That is not the norm in podcasting on the whole. And in talking with

00:29:42   podcast producers using other platforms or working elsewhere, it's either that they don't think about

00:29:48   it or their audience doesn't seem to care about it. Maybe our audience does. But a lot of it is

00:29:53   also we don't have a good technical way of doing that. It's like, bro, it's just links, like just

00:29:57   throw them in the, you know, throw them right there in the feed. So that's something that we knew from

00:30:02   day one we wanted to do. So we built features around that to make it really easy to manage

00:30:07   those links and to add them. I think that's a small example of what we get out of having our own.

00:30:12   Yeah, I will say as the person who does not manage neither the finances or the technology stack of

00:30:18   the company, right, you do both of those things. The question of would if we were starting over,

00:30:24   would we want to do it again? I would say yeah. I think that's where we would end up. I think we

00:30:29   would be frustrated with something off the shelf. It's so valuable that it works the way we want

00:30:36   and anything we want we can do. When it came to like having the membership shows,

00:30:43   there were so many ways to distribute that content. But what I didn't want to be like entering things

00:30:50   in multiple into multiple places or whatever. And so it's all built into like a another part of our

00:30:56   CMS. And when you're done build, when we're done building shows, there's one button that you press,

00:31:02   and it duplicates it to a secondary feed, all of the information except the audio link,

00:31:08   which we just put the membership audio link in and publish it. And it's like a secret feed

00:31:13   that feeds into member for and then goes out to members for the distributed feeds. Like there are

00:31:18   so many ways that that could have been done. And if we didn't have our own system, we would have been

00:31:26   and would still to this day be copying and pasting a bunch of stuff from box to box to box to box,

00:31:32   if you wanted to keep it secret like private. But we're able to do that. And again, like,

00:31:38   because we own our own thing. Yeah, this CMS publishes to a website. There are no web pages

00:31:43   for the private shows because we are able to adjust it that way. We're like, you know what I

00:31:48   mean? Like, I just don't think that there would have been a tool that would have allowed us to do

00:31:52   what we do the way that we do it unless we already owned it. And so we own it. And it's also a

00:31:57   fantastic asset that our company has. And if you, I mean, just think about our peers, right? Think of

00:32:02   ATP, you think of the incomparable, you think of twit, like all using custom publishing platforms

00:32:09   for the same reasons, basically. Because it's like a similar idea of wanting it to be a certain way

00:32:17   and then being able to manage and maintain that. I mean, it is an old school, you know,

00:32:21   what you've just listed as well is a bunch of old school tech podcasts. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

00:32:24   But like, but that's the point that we have our own ways of wanting to do things.

00:32:32   Jason Snow has entered the Discord saying movable type and, oh boy, the incomparable CMS is powerful,

00:32:39   but it's a real beast. Yeah, movable type feels like the Cold War relic a little bit.

00:32:49   I'm going to hear about that from him.

00:32:53   Jason says in Discord, you got to do what you got to do, you know?

00:32:58   It's telling that he moved six colors off of it, we'll say that. All right, let me ask you this

00:33:04   question from David. You've said several times sensibly that you don't want to expand the network

00:33:09   with more shows. No more horizontal growth could imply more vertical growth. What would that

00:33:15   involve? Well, but I am taller than you. So the way that I see this question is that horizontal

00:33:22   growth is like what we have done through the company's history. And like we always spoke

00:33:26   about this, like in the early days of Relay FM, if we added a new show, we would grow the company's

00:33:32   revenue. Like it would just happen and you could watch it happen that like, you know, every month

00:33:36   that we added a new show, the company's revenue would increase. Over time, that impact lessened.

00:33:42   And that is due to, I think, just like an overall abundance in the podcasting ecosystem

00:33:47   that like launching a new show in our world today doesn't have as much impact as it used to.

00:33:53   And realistically, the amount of work and effort that a new show requires

00:34:00   is more than we have to give right now to actually break through. And breaking through today is

00:34:08   harder, it's different. And we're in a world where me and Steven didn't break through. So

00:34:12   all the ways in which we broke through in 2014 do not apply today. Part of that, I just want to say,

00:34:19   we're to blame for. Right? Like part of the reason that our Corner of the Internet podcast is pretty

00:34:24   saturated because we have a bunch of awesome shows. Right? And that makes it harder for us

00:34:28   to break through with something new. And I think, unfortunately, it also makes newer projects hard

00:34:32   to break through. So like we're talking about this, but we're not like we are part of the

00:34:37   situation. I think I just want to throw that out there. Yeah, I mean, but there are different

00:34:41   things that people do today, you know, like understanding video more than we do. And,

00:34:47   you know, and that seems to be where a lot of the action is. And, you know, like on Upgrade,

00:34:52   me and Jason, like a couple of old men kind of like doddering our way through what it might be

00:34:56   to have a TikTok. But like, people do it better than us. And that seems to be the way that people

00:35:03   make things work for themselves now. But it's also a thing where I think for me and you for our

00:35:09   shows, we are mostly content with what we have audience wise. But that probably leads into

00:35:15   vertical growth would be could come in the form of two things. It could even be in large,

00:35:20   larger audiences or larger revenue, larger audiences. I don't know. It's hard. Who wouldn't,

00:35:27   you know, like who wouldn't want a bigger audience for their project? Like, it is a very,

00:35:31   very complicated thing. And we're dabbling in new stuff. But realistically, we don't know what to do.

00:35:39   About how to grow it. So I'm not really sure. I don't have an answer for that. We do have and

00:35:44   have always had space in our advertising inventory for vertical growth there. And so like that is

00:35:50   just a case of like continuing to improve ad selling capabilities. And like that's the thing,

00:35:57   like we have space. So in theory, we can continue to grow company revenue. But I don't really think

00:36:03   that that's what David would care about. You know what I mean? Like, I don't think our listeners

00:36:08   particularly care about company revenue. What I'll say though, is company revenue means that more of

00:36:12   your favorite shows have more ads on them, which is good for those shows existing and for those

00:36:16   creators. Again, another thing that could grow company revenue and has done, thankfully, is the

00:36:22   membership business. And, you know, and like that is a thing where like with membership, we are in

00:36:28   that stage right now that we were what I was just referencing back in the day of we'd add a new show

00:36:35   to the network and revenue would increase. Well, now if we add a show, like a membership portion

00:36:41   to a show, it increases the membership revenue, it increases the revenue that hosts make, and it also

00:36:47   increases the amount of members that we have. So like, we're still in that part of the business,

00:36:51   which is awesome for that. And we're still learning new things and trying new stuff out

00:36:55   with membership, which is great. And it's still growing, which is awesome. Jason asks, not that

00:37:00   one, but a different Jason asks, I think, what is something each of you has learned about the other

00:37:05   since launching relay that has strengthened your working relationship? I think we've gotten pretty

00:37:10   good at knowing, okay, the other one of us doesn't really care about this and ready to be involved,

00:37:16   and we can just do it. I feel like in the early years, we double checked with each other on

00:37:21   basically everything. And I'm glad we did, right? I think it, it had an awful lot of arguments,

00:37:26   maybe we would have had in those early days. But I think now we know each other definitely well

00:37:30   enough where we kind of understand where, where people land. Like, for instance, I think we were

00:37:35   talking maybe before we hit record, maybe it was on the live stream, though, I think maybe it was

00:37:40   in the pro show where I spent my morning, I don't know when it was, we were talking and some people

00:37:45   could hear us. No, I just liked that there were like three different places in which this thing

00:37:49   could have been and no one will ever know. It's impossible to know. I actually think it was,

00:37:53   it was when we were live before we pressed record. Okay. In that timeframe, it's very confusing,

00:37:59   I shared that I spent my morning working on some St. Jude campaign stuff. And like,

00:38:03   you didn't know what those conversations were, asked you a couple questions, I got your affirmative

00:38:08   and then we can move forward. Right. So I think that sort of thing has been good. I don't know,

00:38:12   that's probably not as specific as this answer that Jason wanted, but it's kind of what I think

00:38:16   about it. Yeah, I agree with this. But I would say a similar thing. It's not necessarily again,

00:38:22   we're not not I don't really know if I'm answering the question as such. But as we have changed as

00:38:27   people, that has also been very helpful. Like, I think earlier in our career, like I was better at

00:38:35   dealing with what everybody needed, like what our hosts needed, and was able to like help people out

00:38:41   a lot more. And then as time went on, you became better at that. And like, I think it was just like

00:38:46   a patience and bandwidth kind of thing. As our lives changed, you became better at handling that

00:38:53   than me because there was a time where I just couldn't handle it. Yeah. And now I think we've

00:38:57   kind of this like another thing that we've traded off over time of like the responsibilities. And I

00:39:02   think that we dance that dance very well of matching what the other one needs and providing

00:39:10   it, which is why we could, why we've run a business for nine years and have maybe had two arguments

00:39:15   in that entire time. I also think that like a real example of that is we share an email inbox.

00:39:23   And we never talk about who's going to answer the emails. Yeah. We just know. Just know. Membership

00:39:29   support comes to me. Add stuff goes to you. Usually invoicing stuff goes to you. Add stuff

00:39:36   comes to me and then I give it to Kerry. But we have, we, I don't want to subject Kerry to

00:39:42   that email address. So I think it's easier that I just, I can field that for her for now. This

00:39:50   is an interesting question from Marlies. Has the company felt any negative consequence in terms of

00:39:55   audience and reach by no longer having a presence on Twitter for itself and most of its shows?

00:40:00   No idea. I don't think it's been any problem. Like I don't know. I don't know. Well, I see it.

00:40:07   I look, I look at the mentions every once in a while. There's nothing there. The thing is like

00:40:11   our audience on the whole, like, you know, you may be out there, you may still love Twitter.

00:40:16   That's awesome. On the whole in mass, our audience isn't on Twitter anymore. So it's fine.

00:40:21   We're on Mastodon. The company has a threads account. I still can't automate things to threads,

00:40:27   but as soon as I can, we'll get the sort of post bot going there. But, uh, it seems to have been

00:40:33   fine. Yeah. I mean, I have a much smaller following than I did now. So I don't know if maybe a lot of

00:40:39   my followers on Twitter weren't real or, you know, I don't really understand what's happened. I think

00:40:44   I joined Mastodon too late and I think that was a thing, but realistically I know where my audience

00:40:49   is. Like, you know, I don't, I don't need, uh, I don't need like social media to tell people about

00:40:57   a thing that I'm doing. I have podcasts, which have larger audiences than I've ever had on any

00:41:02   social media, all the social media I have combined. So like, I just don't, you know, I know, I know

00:41:08   where to talk to people about what I'm doing and it's like here right now. That has been a, a, uh,

00:41:16   a very good thing to realize in my life. I would say that like, you know, I can look at our download

00:41:22   figures across the network and see that there may have been a slight decline, but there are like

00:41:27   a thousand things that can affect that sometimes. And most of the time it's just algorithms of how

00:41:32   download numbers are calculated. And so like, it is impossible to see because there is no pattern,

00:41:39   you know, like if I look at this time now to like seven months ago, some shows are up, some shows

00:41:45   are down, but if I would have looked three years ago, it would have been a similar thing. So like,

00:41:49   there are winds of change, you know what I mean? And I don't, I don't really feel like I understand

00:41:55   that Twitter is responsible for any of these changes. It's hard to know. What I know is that

00:42:02   like, it's not like everybody stopped listening to our shows because we didn't tweet about them

00:42:05   anymore. You know, I'll say, uh, blogging is more popular than it was when, when Twitter was around.

00:42:12   So five 12 is doing like record page views with no Twitter presence. That doesn't make any sense

00:42:18   to me. I think people were like, Oh yeah. Or assess. Like I think people kind of got used to

00:42:23   doing that again, but that's really strange. And then they see everything you post as opposed to

00:42:28   just whatever the Twitter app shows. Or, you know, maybe I've hit my stride 15 years into blocking.

00:42:33   Could be that. You know, like maybe now now's the time blogging is like a zombie. It's come back to

00:42:41   life. It's true. It's the third or fourth era. I think of blogging that I've, I've been a part of.

00:42:46   And I'd say nobody asked the question about this, but now I'm just going to pipe in and just be like,

00:42:50   you know, in that essence, like we've been doing this for so long. I've seen the death

00:42:55   of podcasting like six times. You know what I mean? And you know, it's like a similar thing

00:43:00   right now. I feel like I'm hearing from a lot of our really wonderful friends who I love very much,

00:43:04   who are podcasters and everyone seems very concerned about advertising right now.

00:43:07   Everybody it's going to be okay. Yeah. Take it from me. We're just going through a period.

00:43:13   That's all it is. Like, don't worry about it. Rose it from the dead. We do it all the time.

00:43:19   I mean, it's just, we're just in a, in a different phase right now. Uh, things are changing all the

00:43:25   time and we're just going to move forward of it. You remember like the last time everyone thought

00:43:29   podcasting was dead was because Spotify existed. Well, like yesterday, Spotify took the exclusive

00:43:36   reigns of a bunch of their shows to start publishing them everywhere. So like, you know

00:43:40   what I mean? The Spotify's attempt at killing podcasting did not work because they had to give

00:43:46   up. They spent so much money on new shows. Now they need to make money from them. So they're

00:43:50   now putting them on Apple podcasts and stuff like that. So we've seen it a bunch of times.

00:43:55   Don't worry about it. This episode of connected is brought to you by Squarespace, the all-in-one

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00:45:06   all these tools are in one place. They all look great. They all work really well. And at the end

00:45:11   of the day, I can have a really awesome looking website for a project I'm involved with that is

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00:45:23   for a free trial. And when you're ready to launch, use the code connected to get 10% off your first

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00:45:36   when you decide to sign up to get 10% off your first purchase and to show your support for this,

00:45:41   your favorite podcast. Our thanks to Squarespace for their support of the show and Relay FM.

00:45:48   I would like to jump in here at this moment and just like underscore that line.

00:45:52   Squarespace has been with us since the very beginning, nonstop for nine years. Thank you,

00:45:58   Squarespace. Thank you, Squarespace. Doolerick asks, what was your budget going in and how did

00:46:05   you manage it? I guess that means like when we were starting the company. I assume so, man.

00:46:09   Did you stick to that budget? How did you have that number? Here's what we did.

00:46:13   Mike and I went to our banks and we said, I want all the money I have, please. And they put it in

00:46:21   a little paper baggie and we built a website and we hired a designer and we did a bunch of stuff.

00:46:27   I don't remember how much that money was now, but I do know that we paid it back to ourselves within

00:46:32   the first quarter of being in business. So I know how much it was for me. I don't remember if I

00:46:39   don't remember how this worked out. Like I genuinely don't remember how much money we all

00:46:43   put in. I think it was just a case of we put in whatever we could and we just worked out that we'd

00:46:47   pay each other back. And but mine was seven thousand pounds. That was how much I put in at

00:46:52   the beginning. It was all the money I had. I had it was my life savings at that point.

00:46:58   And I put it all in and we got it all back very quick. It was fantastic. But yeah, I remember

00:47:03   that. That was it. There was no budget. It was like, how much money can we put in? Great. This

00:47:08   is how much money we have. That's the end of it. There was not like, and we're going to spend this

00:47:12   much because also there was no expense. We had barely any expenses. Like our expenses were so

00:47:19   small for a really long time. So like we didn't need to budget like that. I would say even to this

00:47:25   day while we are expenses have gotten much more because we have people for a company of our size

00:47:31   and scale and age, our expenses are still small. Yeah. Agreed. Like realistically, most

00:47:36   most of the money that we pay out is like what would essentially be commission, right? Yeah.

00:47:43   More than anything else. That's like to hosts and for the advertising sales and stuff like that,

00:47:47   rather than like fixed monthly expenses for a long time. This probably isn't the case now,

00:47:53   but for a long time, our biggest expense was Slack. Yeah. It's not anymore. Is that still the case?

00:47:58   Okay. Web hosting has taken it over. What? How? By quite a bit. Boo. Our website does a lot of stuff.

00:48:04   Web hosting. You suck. Don't we just run it all off of Mac mini again? No, no. The website never

00:48:12   ran on Mac mini, just the live stream. Oh, okay. Yeah. I'm trying to think. I put in,

00:48:18   it was a similar amount. It may have been, yeah, it'd be five or six grand, but yeah, basically,

00:48:24   well basically all the money out in my savings account and my wife was seven, eight, no,

00:48:31   she was eight months pregnant with our youngest son when we launched the company. So that was a

00:48:36   fun time. And that was like, I think it was a consideration where it was just like, I'm just

00:48:40   going to put in everything I have, but you shouldn't. Right. It was just like, you know,

00:48:43   like because it was, I had nothing. My funny thing, I remember like talking about money.

00:48:49   Do you remember like, it was like two weeks before we were going to launch the company and I spilled

00:48:56   Coke on my laptop. I do remember that. Destroyed my MacBook Pro or MacBook Air or something. And

00:49:04   so I like, this was, I think during the time period or like, yeah, I think it was during the

00:49:10   time period of where we left five by five and we're getting ready. And so I ended up being able to

00:49:17   claim on our home insurance. Oh yeah. To get a new laptop. And I was super sad because I had a bunch

00:49:27   of great stickers on my laptop and they wanted the laptop. Yeah. Oh yeah. Which didn't make any sense

00:49:33   to me, but they wouldn't give me the money to get a new laptop unless I gave them the old laptop. So

00:49:39   I gave them the old laptop. They gave me the money. I bought a new MacBook and was ready to go.

00:49:44   I had forgotten about that until you said it. What a terrible day.

00:49:48   That was so bad, man. It was so bad. I think I was talking to Casey, but I'm not sure.

00:49:53   Yeah. There was... No, you know what I was doing? I was recording. I was, I was a guest on a podcast,

00:49:59   which is hilarious. So like there, there was an episode of a podcast somewhere where I was only

00:50:04   on half of it because I destroyed my computer. That's good. That's, that's incredible. Hey,

00:50:14   hey, I'm a professional. Well, you know, it happens to the best of us. Edwin asks,

00:50:21   how close or far are you from the vision you had for Relay FM nine years ago?

00:50:26   I think we touched on this earlier. I think we've, we've been so fortunate to be so far

00:50:33   past anything we could imagine in the beginning. Yeah. Imagining the size that we're on now,

00:50:38   the number and sort of the amazing people we get to work with, the membership community.

00:50:43   We didn't have any of that. I think in our wildest dreams back in the day, you know,

00:50:47   we were young and very focused on what was right in front of us. And so, yeah, I think it's been

00:50:52   an absolute amazing, incredible ride that, you know, we're, we're thrilled where it's ended up.

00:50:58   Yeah. Our biggest achievement is the host page. The selection of people that we get to work with

00:51:03   who are either, you know, either a were like around for doing this stuff for a long time

00:51:08   before us or B have like come onto the scene after us and also are with us. Like that is like,

00:51:16   that's the best thing. And that is something that we would never, I never would have assumed

00:51:22   that we could have secured, right? Like to be able to have the trust from so many people to be

00:51:29   the place that they produce their content. Like I think that's, that's super cool. And I never

00:51:34   could have imagined that that would have occurred. Here's another one from Arliss. You both worked

00:51:41   very hard over the past years. Do you see a time in the near future where you can lay back and sort

00:51:45   of let everything you've put in place run itself for a while? This is interesting because this is

00:51:49   not a conversation we've ever had. Yeah. So it's, I have a very specific, I have a very clear answer

00:51:56   in my mind, but we've never spoken. Mike wants to go to the beach real bad. Before you give your

00:52:02   answer, I will say one reason this is a complicated question is because we are both owners and hosts

00:52:10   on shows. And so while I may take a week off from administrative work and it mostly be okay,

00:52:17   I have some catch up to do, but you know, the world doesn't come to an end. Taking a week off

00:52:22   my podcast means that I've got to sort something out with you in Federico. I've got to talk with

00:52:27   David for MPU. And if we're doing a genius, we've got to move that around. And so it is more than

00:52:33   just the owner part of what we do because we are talent or host or whatever. You know, we also have

00:52:41   weekly obligations, but what, say what you're going to say, cause I'm curious. Well, I, I've

00:52:45   read this question as just the owners part. Okay. That like, we're still, we're just like hosts,

00:52:53   like any other host. Yeah. Like that's how I read this. And like for me is a dream of mine that like

00:52:58   one day, like I kind of alluded to it earlier. Like all I do is just produce podcasts. Like

00:53:04   that's all I do. I create the content and don't have to think about the running of the company.

00:53:11   The problem is, the problem is, and I expect this will probably be very similar to you of like,

00:53:17   oh boy, do I have opinions though? And so that's the thing I'd have to let go, right? Like let's

00:53:23   imagine a scenario where we hand off our reins to two people who are better than us, right? Or like

00:53:31   they're going to come in and they're going to run the whole bag, right? Imagine that scenario.

00:53:36   Are we like a chief visiting officers or chief podcast officers at that point?

00:53:40   I don't think, I mean, maybe, you know what I mean? Maybe, maybe we're just like,

00:53:43   we are a, what's Phil Schiller? Fellows. We're a couple of fellows, you know?

00:53:48   Relay fellow. That's a title I want. Relay fellows. That's us. We're merely

00:53:53   advisors at that point, right? Like if anybody has any questions for us, they can ask them.

00:53:57   But realistically the company is run by other people. Problem is they're going to make decisions

00:54:03   and I might not agree with them. Yeah.

00:54:06   But I have to keep it to myself because that's, you know what I mean? I can't tell people

00:54:09   what to do. But also we're the owners of the company they're in charge of. Like there's also

00:54:13   like an inherent cycle there that's weird. Well, no, no, no. We've just become like shareholders

00:54:18   essentially at that point. Or like we're all like a board or something, but like the day-to-day

00:54:25   running of the company would be by done by other people. I'm experiencing a mini version of this

00:54:30   right now with the advertising stuff, right? The goal that me and Kerry have right now is that

00:54:36   like she doesn't ask my opinion on things unless she wants advice. The goal is like,

00:54:43   she's just running it her way. Like she runs advertising her way. Like that's what we're

00:54:48   trying to work together on. I have opinions, but she, I'm not, you know, we're working on trying

00:54:55   to establish the idea that like I can share my opinions, but she doesn't have to do them.

00:55:01   You know, and that's a hard thing because we have a long relationship of like, I was in charge of

00:55:07   this part. And so like, if I had an opinion about something, we can have a conversation about it and

00:55:12   maybe she could, you know, could help change my mind or whatever. But like the buck stopped with

00:55:16   me. So like, you know, we would do it that way. And if it went wrong, well, that was my fault.

00:55:20   You know, like that's just how companies work, but now she is in control of it as the chief

00:55:26   advertising officer. And so like, we're shifting our relationship that way where like, she's just

00:55:30   like, I'm going to do this thing. And I would like to know what you think about it. What do you think?

00:55:34   Or otherwise it's just like, Hey, I'm going to do this thing. And I'm like, okay. You know? So.

00:55:39   Well, she's like a third equal party in our weekly standups and stuff now. Right? Like she changed.

00:55:45   Yeah. Like I've kept her as we've been planning the relay 10 show. She's been riding the

00:55:50   conversations with, Hey, this is the venue we're looking at. This is the budget we're looking at,

00:55:55   you know, these are the dates. So she's aware. And so she's become a much more

00:55:59   integral part of the team. Yeah. It was like, even though realistically, that's not part that

00:56:03   doesn't fall within her remit. She's now like, you know, C suite that we have. And so she has to be

00:56:09   aware of everything that's going on in the company. Right? Like the same as like, you're aware of what

00:56:14   she's doing, but you don't have any particular input on it. It's like a similar thing. Hardly

00:56:19   ever. I can think of like two times like, Hey, wait a second. Yeah. But no, no, but you, but you,

00:56:25   everybody has opinions. Right. And like, it's, we're a small enough company that it's helpful

00:56:30   to share those opinions. So what I'm saying is like, the idea would have to be that like,

00:56:34   there would be people that would run the company and that they would just run it.

00:56:37   And me and you would just be like out there as advisors if necessary, but we're not doing the

00:56:42   day to day. That is like a dream scenario to me, because then all I get to do is make podcasts.

00:56:48   Right. Which is all we ever wanted to do, you know, but do I ever realistically imagine it's

00:56:53   going to happen? I don't know. Probably not. But like, got a dream. You know what I mean?

00:56:58   I don't want to retire. You see like, so, but I can't continue and neither of us can continue

00:57:03   doing the same thing forever. No. So I would like this to continue. And so ultimately people coming

00:57:10   in to help us run it is a, I think a very possible future in like another 10 years from now.

00:57:16   And we both have other things. Do you really want to be 20 years? Like a no change?

00:57:20   That's a long old time, man. No, I mean, we've already changed so much, but you know,

00:57:24   there are still things I do today that did nine years ago. Just like you have things.

00:57:28   Yeah. But there are also things that I could imagine that you never thought you would stop

00:57:32   doing, but you stopped doing them. I don't pay people anymore. Right. Because it's,

00:57:35   and that is like one of these things where like, can you imagine like, you know, back then it's

00:57:39   like, Oh, how could we ever trust someone? Yeah. It's like the most important thing. It's like,

00:57:43   well, I had to pay people last week because Kathy was out and boy, that's a, that's a whole process.

00:57:49   I'd forgotten how it went. It's a long thing. Takes a lot of checks and a lot of balances.

00:57:55   Thankfully. Well, no one gets paid by check, but thankfully we do have a Google doc that has the

00:58:00   process in it that I reviewed carefully. I didn't want to screw it up. Oh, that's good.

00:58:04   I don't want to tell Kathy, Hey, I've made a terrible error. You know,

00:58:09   I paid Casey $10,000 too many dollars and he just took it. That's $10,000. That's the terrible,

00:58:16   that is a terrible error. Please, uh, become an analog member. I don't know. What do you

00:58:21   think about what I've said? Does it upset you? Are you scared about it? No, no, a little, just,

00:58:27   you know, but I think that with Carrie in particular and with, with, with Kathy as well,

00:58:32   but I don't think we've given as much to Kathy as we've given to Carrie by any means.

00:58:35   It's proven not only to be fine, but to actually be better. Know what I'm saying?

00:58:40   Well, I'm not going, I don't assume that me and you were like the best business people,

00:58:45   you know, like, you know what I mean? Yeah. We good at the content creating stuff,

00:58:49   but like to do that, we needed a company. So we just made one, but like, that's a question.

00:58:53   Did you have a budget? Well, no, we probably should have though, but we didn't even think

00:58:57   about it. Yeah. We're like, how much does it cost to do this? Like, okay, well, we still have that

00:59:01   money. So we'll spend it, you know? Yeah, exactly what I mean. So that's, that's what I think.

00:59:06   Even now there's parts of the business that are probably too loosey goosey. Oh gosh. Yes.

00:59:11   But they work for us, but they are probably not the best way that things should be done.

00:59:17   And so like, that's what I mean. Like someone could come in and just be like, all right,

00:59:20   grandpa, you go over there and talk about Macintoshes, right? Yeah. And like, you got,

00:59:24   and me, like you go over there and talk about pens and we'll just make sure this is all running.

00:59:29   Yeah. That doesn't seem like a wild thing to me, but it's hard to get there. Will we ever get

00:59:33   there? Who could tell? Who could tell? Ryan asks, will there ever be a new episode in the B-Sides

00:59:38   feed? So the B-Sides feed is a, is a feature in our CMS where the idea was, oh, we may pick titles

00:59:46   or something funny happens, a little clip, and we would publish it to the B-Sides, which is like a

00:59:53   separate podcast feed, but they were attached to the parent episode. So it'd be linking forward

00:59:59   and back linking between the episode and the B-side. There's some things in there. Basically,

01:00:04   membership killed this though, because now things like title picking, we do as a membership perk,

01:00:11   like for instance on connected the post show every week is us picking titles and sometimes following

01:00:15   up on something. And so the B-side feature in my mind is kind of slated for retirement.

01:00:21   Some of the stuff needed for that to work plumbing wise, life would be better without in terms of

01:00:28   developing the CMS. And so it may not be long for this world, but I don't think there's ever

01:00:33   going to be a new one. Yeah, it just, uh, it adds complexity, which is not needed because we don't

01:00:39   use that feature anymore. And like, there are a lot of things where like, Hey, if something funny

01:00:44   happened after we record finished recording upgrade, we'd put it in there. Well now that's

01:00:48   like really good for upgrade plus, right? Like as you were saying, so like that didn't really make

01:00:52   any sense. And we also kind of just stopped using it anyway, like before membership, it just stopped

01:00:57   getting used. And so it went away. Yeah. I'm looking, trying to see how many, it's only 43

01:01:03   episodes in there. Uh, one from 2021 and then three from 2020 and the rest are older than that.

01:01:11   So I mean, it's, it's pretty old. It did have a good tagline though. Some things are too good to

01:01:15   throw away. Pretty good. Marlies ask which one of you is the best handyman? You are. It's probably

01:01:21   true. No, it is true. It is true. It is true. We don't need to like to be around the bush on this

01:01:26   one. You're better at handyman stuff than me, but I'm learning. I'm a learning boy, you know,

01:01:30   but you're better than me. You bought a house, things in your house break. And oh boy, do they.

01:01:35   And you know, I'm getting better at it, but you just get on roofs and stuff, you know, also you

01:01:40   come from a handyman family, you know? And so you're kind of, as you say to me sometimes forced

01:01:45   into these things because what are you going to do if your dad said, help you with a plumbing,

01:01:49   you got to help the, you got to help dad, you know? Yeah. Both my parents were contractors.

01:01:53   So I grew up, I grew up in it, you know, pretty comfortable with a lot of it. Not electricity

01:01:57   though. I'm not doing my own electrical work. This episode of Connected is made possible by

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01:03:40   and Relay FM. K asks, it's nearly September, are you ready for the podcastathon?

01:03:45   Yeah, yeah, it's bad. It's bad gang, it's bad. We're working on it. But it's good, but it's bad.

01:03:53   You know what I mean? Like it's excellent, but it's like terrifying and there's so much work to do.

01:03:59   And as is usual, we have increased the complexity. Badder, bolder, better, stronger, more powerful.

01:04:07   More powerful. It's going to be awesome. Like it's going to be so good. If we can pull off half of

01:04:12   the things that we want to, this one is going to crush. But that just means it's a lot of work and

01:04:18   it's a lot of effort. I'm very thankful to everyone at St. Jude and Steven for managing the vast

01:04:24   majority of it. Spend a lot of time with that team. A lot of time. But yeah, it's coming.

01:04:30   But it's the best though. It is the best. I love working with them.

01:04:33   It's the best thing that we get to do. I mean, like that's the thing. Could you imagine?

01:04:37   And what's our total now? 2.2? Oh, I can tell you, I looked at it today. We have raised for

01:04:43   St. Jude over the last four years, $2,207,557. That is an unimaginable amount of money that

01:04:52   the little podcast network that could has raised. You know what I mean? Like incredible. So good.

01:04:59   So thankful. Amazing thing. Makes all the work worth it. But like at the, in the middle of August,

01:05:06   that work feels horrible. It gets better. Like once September starts, it's fine. I think like,

01:05:12   because then you just in it. But like before anything has even begun, it's like, oh man.

01:05:18   Plus we have, you know, our attention has been a little split with planning the live show.

01:05:25   Yes. But I think that's going to be luckily that after like next week, that we'll be able to just

01:05:32   take a back seat for a while, which will be perfect. Yeah. And I also have my Kickstarter,

01:05:37   like finishing with that project, doing fulfillment. And so I've tried to set it up

01:05:42   where I don't have to touch any of that in September. The calendar is at the printer for

01:05:46   a press test today, right? The stickers are already here, like getting a lot of stuff done in advance.

01:05:52   So it's ready for me in October once the campaign's done. But right now it's pretty hectic.

01:05:57   Fishakai asks, Mike and a few other hosts on the network have work shows and feeling shows. I just

01:06:02   heard John talk about that on Spotlight. Steven, you have plenty of work shows. What would your

01:06:09   feelings show be like? What would it be called? Get connected pro.co. Uh, no. Yeah, I guess,

01:06:16   I guess that's kind of, I have thought about this. I have long wanted to do a show like analog,

01:06:24   like way back in the day, you had a, you had a show with a friend of ours and it's like kind

01:06:28   of feeling show cooking with Brett and Mike. If anyone remembers that, does anybody know this?

01:06:35   I don't know like that. I really, if, if we say cooking with Brett and Mike and you know what that

01:06:42   is like, please let us tell me, please tell me. So I've long, even back then I've wanted to do

01:06:48   a show like that, but I don't know who I would do it with. My concern with that show always is

01:06:55   longevity. I mean, you look at what y'all have done with analog, right? It's one of the original

01:07:00   shows, but you've gone from weekly to monthly over time. Rec diffs is going strong, but Merlin and

01:07:05   John are both, I think way more interesting than me, so they can just go forever. Uh, so I don't

01:07:10   know what it would be like or what it would be called. I would like a place to talk about some

01:07:15   of that stuff and I don't really feel like I have an outlet for that. So who knows? I don't have any

01:07:21   concrete plans, but I always kind of kind of halfway interested in it. It's an interesting

01:07:26   type of show to do. It's difficult to balance sometimes like you're giving a lot of your emotion

01:07:33   to the world, which can be hard. It is, it can be very valuable, but it can also like be tough.

01:07:40   There's a tangential to what you were saying, but I think it's also difficult from like a privacy

01:07:44   perspective. For instance, I don't post pictures of my kids online. Josiah's picture is part of the

01:07:50   St. Jude campaign. That's why we do it, but he is not part of the campaign. I try very hard not to

01:07:57   use the names of my other kids or even his name if I can get away with it. Like, so there's also

01:08:01   some of that of like, there are things that I would talk about with, with like friends, you know,

01:08:06   like you and other people we work with and my friends in Memphis that are specific things that

01:08:11   I would not feel comfortable sharing on a podcast. Like there's also that to navigate, which is really

01:08:15   what gives me pause more than anything else. Ralsey asks, if this were a biography, how would

01:08:19   you break down the timeline? Do we think we're in the middle of an era start or an end? What do you

01:08:25   think about the one I laid out earlier about like, with before we were both full time from that to

01:08:30   2020 and 2020 to now, do you feel like that is work, works? Do you think there's more like?

01:08:36   I think that you've probably established that like that 2014 to 2020 was probably the start

01:08:44   and that 2020 onwards is probably the middle. I would say we're in the middle. I don't even think

01:08:49   we're in the middle of the middle. You know what I mean? But like, I just feel like life cycle at

01:08:54   the company is the middle, but I also don't really feel like in this scenario, start, middle and end

01:08:59   would be equal amounts of time. No, it's more just like mindset. But like, I feel like we are

01:09:05   just firmly middle. Like in the sense of like what we're doing in the sense that we're not trying to

01:09:11   scale anymore when we're not looking to add content anymore. You know, like all this kind of stuff

01:09:19   is like, you know, we're not really in that phase, but we're not near the end. Like at least for us,

01:09:28   right? Like we're not playing an exit, you know, we're not planning on what happens after us.

01:09:32   Although we do have a document now of what happens in emergencies because we realized after my car

01:09:37   accident that was probably important to have written down. So which is still a thing we need

01:09:42   to review because I feel like we set it up and haven't reviewed it. But like, yes, that scared

01:09:46   me a lot. I just realized that like, I didn't know what was going on with you. And I didn't know how

01:09:51   to do anything. Like I had no idea. Like if something happened to you, I had no idea what to do.

01:09:59   And that was quite scary. So, cause we have responsibilities. Like obviously the most

01:10:03   important thing to me is you. We do. But then there are other people that rely on us. And so

01:10:09   like what I was focused on at that time was like, there needs to be a document that tells us what to

01:10:16   do so that we don't have to think. Because in those moments, the last thing you want to do,

01:10:22   yeah, exactly. The last thing you want to do is sit down and be like, oh, what does Mike do on a

01:10:26   weekly basis? Like, no, like I want to be there for my friend and his family. Something terrible.

01:10:30   What is the bank account number? Like, you know, like these kinds of things where like,

01:10:34   I mean, we've, I feel like I have, I'm sure you have been involved in this kind of thing in

01:10:40   families. Oh yeah. And how difficult it is. And like, I feel like we have way more complicated

01:10:46   stuff than I do in my family. Right? Like something happened to me or something happened to you. I

01:10:53   feel like it would be more complicated than if something like just from a logistical standpoint,

01:10:57   than if something happened in my immediate family. Like all of the things that would have to be taken

01:11:03   care of and the fact that we span the globe. Yeah. Yeah. Which comes with some like really

01:11:09   hairy financial complications. Yep. So strange. Like having someone here in the US who has access

01:11:16   to our bank account, that's not me. Right. We had to go through that years ago because I can't.

01:11:20   Something does happen to me and you gotta, you know, you need the money's here, right? It's in

01:11:25   America. The bank won't ever let me log into the online bank. No, it locks us out every time. You

01:11:30   can't use your debit card, which probably has expired years ago anyways. Greg asks,

01:11:34   have you ever talked to your partner in your podcast voice by mistake? There's no difference

01:11:38   anymore. Do you, let me expand the question. Have you ever talked to somebody in your podcast

01:11:44   advertising voice? Cause that is different, I think slightly. Oh, cause that's reading. So this

01:11:49   happened to me, has happened to me many times, like reading a book with my kids and I slip into

01:11:54   my podcast ad voice. Oh, I guess, I mean, I haven't done that, but I guess, you know what?

01:12:02   I've probably done that kind of thing. If I have to, like, when I did a speech recently,

01:12:06   I was the best man and I probably did that in my podcast advertising voice. Um, so yeah, I guess

01:12:12   see, that's the thing is like my reading voice is a more fake voice, I suppose. Right. Cause it's

01:12:17   like that, right? Like it's that right. Like the little rhythm stuff that I do, but like my actual

01:12:26   speaking voice and my podcast voice, they are now effectively the same, which is why I have this

01:12:32   like weird accent. And I say things like mobile, you know, and like, like, I don't just say those

01:12:38   on the shows anymore. Like that's just my language, you know, uh, the only ever, I guess the only

01:12:44   thing for me is like, if I ever actually slip into my non podcast voice, that's the weird thing.

01:12:49   Like if I'm around my family and I've had a few drinks or whatever, like maybe,

01:12:53   maybe I like slip backwards into my cockney accent a little bit more, you know, a little more British.

01:12:59   Yeah. But outside of that, no, but yeah, the reading one is not one that I've encountered yet,

01:13:05   but I imagine that will be the same for me. And I think that's hilarious and adorable.

01:13:09   Uh, Zoe asks, what's the most surprising thing about running a podcast company?

01:13:14   People now nine years in understand it. When I say I own a podcast company for a living,

01:13:19   that used to not be the case. Yeah. I mean, I would say on that, that like I've,

01:13:23   I have owned a podcast company for nine years and still don't feel comfortable talking about it.

01:13:27   Yeah. There's that too. I don't know what surprised me. I mean, we had a lot of experience before

01:13:33   relay through 70 decibels and through our time at five by five. So I don't, I don't know. Does

01:13:38   it, I mean, does this something jump out at you? Oh yes. I have something just how many spammy

01:13:44   pitches we get on a daily basis for, for technology in our field. It is truly unbelievable.

01:13:51   Like I never would have imagined there could be so many companies trying to revolutionize

01:13:56   podcasting as there are. I would say it is more than one, but less than five on a daily basis.

01:14:03   Yep. Of companies that are like, Hey, I'm going to make everything better for you. You know what I'm

01:14:09   like, you know, it's just like, Oh my God. Like the best part is, so we have a bunch of email

01:14:14   addresses like hello. Plus connected at relay FM. Hello. Plus MPU really not a femme for

01:14:18   feedback. And those emails, some of them are gone from the site. Some aren't,

01:14:23   but they're all out there. And the best part is when someone sends one of those emails to a bunch

01:14:28   of those, because they all ended up in our shared inbox, long time followup. You know, I had a couple

01:14:32   of episode arc where I was really mad about the new spark, right. And all the changes that they

01:14:37   made. Some of them are still not great. They've made some stuff better. One of the great features

01:14:41   is they have like the fact that you can block people, you can block sender or block domain.

01:14:46   So I get one of those. I press block domain and I never hear from that company again.

01:14:50   Can I just name one of these companies? This is one company called picked cherries, which is like

01:14:55   the worst name ever in my mind. And it's meant to be like cherry picked segments, right? That's what

01:15:02   they're going for. Oh yeah. Oh, but picked cherries, all capital letters, social podcast sharing.

01:15:07   Absolutely terrible. And these people like on a, I don't know, six week basis or whatever,

01:15:14   would just send an email to every single show. Like I think what a lot of these companies do is

01:15:20   they scrape the podcast database for the email addresses that are in the RSS feeds, which I

01:15:26   think has now been, I was very happy about this. Apple took this away. It's too late for us,

01:15:31   but good for other people that like, that's not actually a public part anymore. Yeah. It's not

01:15:36   required in the spec anymore. It's not required anymore, which is great. But yeah, we get emails

01:15:40   from this picked cherries company and they will just email like every few weeks or whatever.

01:15:45   They will send a bunch of emails and then they will send the followup email because they're just

01:15:50   not sure if we got it. Cause that's the only reason we wouldn't have responded is that we

01:15:53   didn't get it. Cause obviously this is a great deal for everybody. They have patented technology,

01:15:58   Steven, apparently. And also what I love about this is it is an app. They want you to use that

01:16:05   app. Like everyone's going to use this app when reels and TikTok exists. Yeah. You know,

01:16:13   No, that ain't it. All right. Let me wrap us up with a question from Jason. Not that Jason,

01:16:20   I don't think. What is something either of you do in running the business of relay today that

01:16:25   you wish you had been doing from the outset? I'm going to say something some people aren't

01:16:30   going to like. Time tracking. Oh, why aren't people going to like that? People get mad when

01:16:38   you guys talk about it on cortex. You know, I see. No, no. No one gets mad that we talk about time

01:16:42   tracking. I'll tell you that people love it. People get mad that we don't talk about time tracking

01:16:46   enough. That's that's what you've chosen to take away from that. That's that's on you.

01:16:52   No, it's kind of boring or whatever, but I didn't. I'll tell you it's not boring.

01:16:56   Time tracking is not boring. I didn't time track faithfully for a long time. I've been doing it now

01:17:01   about three years and what it gives me in terms of visibility and how I'm actually spending my time

01:17:07   is very useful. And I wish I, one, had the historical data, but also had that sort of

01:17:15   objective data to make decisions earlier on about things. So that's my answer. That is good.

01:17:21   It's complicated for me for the business part. Like that's where I struggle with it. Like there

01:17:26   are things like, you know, I kind of wished I used third party edit sooner than I did.

01:17:34   So I edit shows too many shows for too long. And now I don't really do so much of that anymore.

01:17:42   That was a definite good change in my life, but that's not really the business stuff.

01:17:51   And I don't want to reuse like, you know, hiring someone is also not realistic, right? Like,

01:17:56   yeah, I had someone at the beginning. So like that, that's just like a cheat answer.

01:18:00   Some of our really boring internal processes are better using Google Sheets less for things. Like

01:18:07   we use Google Sheets for everything, and that was not the right choice for a long time. Let me still

01:18:13   use Google Sheets for a lot of stuff and it's really good. But we also have some numbers,

01:18:17   sheets floating around. I just mean like a system that does calculation for me rather than be.

01:18:23   Oh yes. We've also, there was a time, built some software with a Google Sheet and a calculator and

01:18:28   work out how much to pay everybody. Yeah. That's handled in software now. Yeah. So like that,

01:18:36   that, that was the kind of thing where I shouldn't have been doing that ever,

01:18:39   but we just didn't really have any other way of doing it. I think, I think that does it. Thank you

01:18:44   all for an amazing nine years. And remember if you are a member of Connected or any other show here on

01:18:50   Relay FM, keep an eye out for the ticket link on Friday for our 10th anniversary show happening in

01:18:55   London in July of next year. If you're not a member and you're interested in longer ad-free

01:19:01   versions of this show, or maybe your other favorite Relay shows, you can learn a lot more

01:19:06   at relay.fm/membership. There's a bunch of stuff there that tells you all the cool benefits you get.

01:19:11   It's a great program and we thank you all for checking it out. And we'll be talking publicly

01:19:17   on social media and on shows starting on Monday about the ticket link for non-members. I know

01:19:24   what people are going to ask us this question a lot, but we do not have times to tell you because

01:19:29   it's about when the venue will put the ticket link up and then when we'll share it. So like,

01:19:34   we actually don't know the time. But there's a lot of seats. I'm sure it'll be fine.

01:19:40   Buy early, buy often. That's what I say. Well, you don't need to buy often, but buy early.

01:19:44   Bring your whole family. Please buy early. And yes, bring your whole family.

01:19:47   So in doing all the paperwork, I think I told you this, but I'll share it on the show.

01:19:51   Going back and forth to the venue, right? There's always questions and things. And there was a

01:19:55   question about what our babes in arms policy was going to be. And like, I know what that means,

01:20:01   right? It means like if you have a small child, can they sit with you? But that is not a phrase

01:20:04   that we use. I don't know what the American phrase would be, but something about that phrase tickled

01:20:09   me in a way that I did not expect that I still think it's funny. Like babes in arms. That is a

01:20:14   very English to me. Like that is an incredibly English saying, babes in arms. Because also,

01:20:23   what it doesn't mean is like your hot babe. You know what I mean? It actually means baby.

01:20:29   Like it's what it means. Children. Or armed babies, you know? I mean that.

01:20:32   Yes. It's not like your hot armed person. This is my baby. This is my baby's weapon.

01:20:41   That's not what that means.

01:20:46   I've lived in the south too long.

01:20:47   Yeah. Babes in arms is a...

01:20:49   Babes in arms.

01:20:50   Are you going to be... Will you allow people to hold children?

01:20:53   Yes. And we said yes. It's a family friendly show.

01:20:56   And the show is going to be made to be as enjoyable as possible to everyone. Like...

01:21:02   For children.

01:21:03   It is for children. It is not going to be a technology focused show in that way. Like,

01:21:10   we're going to be playing Family Feud or as it will be called in the United Kingdom,

01:21:14   Family Fortunes, which is the name of the show in the UK. Get used to the fact that everything's

01:21:19   going to be UK focused because that's where we're going to be. So it would be Family Fortunes.

01:21:23   You got to sit on the left hand side of the seat, you know?

01:21:25   Exactly. You got to sit on the left hand side.

01:21:28   Everybody... All the stage will just be used on the left. Everyone looks to the left.

01:21:32   We found we're going to be playing Family Fortunes and like,

01:21:36   I'm going to be coming up with the questions and I'm going to make them as like,

01:21:39   you know, simple as possible. I will say there will be a link in the show notes to our fifth

01:21:46   anniversary show. We did have a YouTube video of that because it was not so expensive to work

01:21:52   with video that year. So I will have a link to that if you want to get an idea of what it will be.

01:21:57   And if you are interested, please buy a ticket. Please buy a ticket.

01:22:01   If you want to find links to the stuff we spoke about, including our long history of doing this

01:22:06   Q&A in different places, check out the links. They were in your podcast player. They're also

01:22:11   on the web at relay.fm/connected/463. If you want more of us, you can find us online. Federico

01:22:19   should be back next week, but he of course is the editor in chief of maxstories.net and he is on

01:22:24   Mastodon as Vitici at maxstories.net. You can find Mike on a bunch of other great shows here on relay.fm.

01:22:32   He's also the co-founder of Cortex Brand, which I'm sure y'all are busy with the holidays. They're

01:22:36   not that far away, right? Oh, Steven. Is that something else you have on top of Live Show and

01:22:42   Podcast-a-Thon and St. Jude and everything else? I'll tell you about it, Layah. It's just rough

01:22:47   right now. Yeah, I'm not asking for a spill of the beans. I know, I know you're not, but like I should

01:22:52   tell you and it's bad. It's just scary. Scary is what I'm going for. If you want to follow along

01:22:58   with Mike and his adventures, he is on threads as imike and he's on Mastodon as imike@mike.social.

01:23:06   You can find me on MacPowerUsers every Sunday afternoon here on relay.fm. This coming episode,

01:23:12   we have Casey Liss on to talk about Call Sheet. Oh, great. And talk about Plex and his whole media

01:23:18   management system. It's a really good episode. Oh, good. I know what chapter I'll listen to and what

01:23:22   chapter I'll skip, so that's good. You're going to skip Call Sheet? I've heard about it too many

01:23:27   times at this point. You know what I'm saying? Give me some Plex. Plex me up. Plex me up. So

01:23:33   that's coming Sunday. You can find my writing at 512pixels.net. You can follow me on social media

01:23:37   as ismh86 on threads and ismh@eworld.social on the don. I'd like to thank our sponsors this week,

01:23:46   the wonderful folks at NetSuite, Squarespace and ZocDoc. Links to all of them are also in the show

01:23:51   notes. And until next week, Mike, say goodbye. Happy anniversary, Steven. Listeners, thank you

01:23:57   so much for being on this journey with us. Goodbye. Love you. Bye.