Yes, yes, Sesamers now has a podcast too! The aim here is to provide you, dear subscriber and listener, the opportunity to consume our content without being glued to your screen. As my good friend Xander Kranenburg will tell you, be part of the narrative, and go take a walk. ... more on that soon!
My aim is to program a series that naturally covers events, tech, the event and tech industries, entrepreneurship, venture capital, etc., etc., etc. However, I'm also seeking to utlize this medium to bring you something you might not expect. Think art, culture, politics, science, ... and my guitar collection.
My inagural guest is the founder of WeAreLATech, including it's highly successful podcast (which peaked at #2 on iTunes in New and Noteworthy), as well as the Women in Tech podcast, which was featured by Harpers Bazaar in 2019 as one of their top 10 recommended podcasts. In addition to knowing her shit behind the microphone, she's also been a dear friend of mine for the past 7 years, almost to the day when we recorded.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Espree Devora.
Realising that having a microphone, a set of headphones and a laptop to record to does not one a podcaster make. And so I delved into a journey of listening and reading. And then listening some more. And then some more. And I will admit, I spent far too much time listening to Howard Stern. Lesson learned.
"I know that I know nothing." - Plato aka The Socratic Paradox
Now I've often found that reading and comprehending can get you pretty far, but not always enough to get past the goalposts. So who do I know that knows a thing or two about podcasting? Who can give me some "best practices" advice? And perhaps most importantly - where can I find the ROI in this project?
Did I mention I went rogue and executed this without getting aproval first? Is that the move fast, break stuff, apologise afterwards thing I've heard about time and time again?
And much like my "gimme one or two sentences," request for Paul Papadimitriou a few weeks back, I had the same ask of Espree. Well not only did she give me a few best practices, she gave me close to an hour of her time and let me hit record.
Selected - The Sesamers Podcast - Episode 1 Show Notes
00:00 - Intro featuring 22 samples I collated together, including a few choice cuts from the good folks at NASA, and recorded the voiceover numerous times. I'm fairly certain I nailed it.
2:00 - Espree hits the airwaves. Podwaves?
5:05 - The "Other" Thing. Over the course of the pandemic I've had countless conversations with both friends and (relative) strangers, and everyone seems to have another something, an "other" that they've learned or are in the process of relearning. PARENTAL ADVISORY: This section contains talk of stripped screws, celtic knots, and chainsaws.
11:25 - Espree has recorded over 800 podcast episodes. The person she was most nervous to interview was Arlan Hamilton, and she tells us why.
15:25 - Her dream interview is Paris Hilton. Stick with us on this one, Espree makes a valid case as to why. And you remember me mentioning that I'd spent to much time listening to Howard Stern? Yeah, here's where I put my foot in my mouth, Espree called me on it, rightly so, and I learned a valuable lesson.
19:38 - Let's talk pandemic. How has it effected Espree professionally? Her business? Personally?
22:06 - "It's almost uncomfortable to send a business email, because, am I allowed to do business?"
23:10 - Events. At least the live ones we all remember with love. Espree resonates I believe what we're all feeling these days, she misses being at them. At her studio. At work. "What I miss about being in person is, you can't replicate it. The repor and connection you create when you're in person (podcasting) is like nothing else."
24:35 - To find events, "The truth is I just find a really cheap plane ticket. Then I'd research all the co-working spaces, ... and they'd start making a zillion introductions for me. Sometimes, maybe I'd be at an event, and I'd meet a woman that's just so rad, and so we'd go in the stairwell with my Zoom H1 recorder and my little mics ... and do the podcast there."
"If you want to succeed in podcasting, don't plan a thing." - Dan Taylor
28:47 - Listen up folks, the Queen of Podcasting goes geek with me and runs down her gear setup. Likewise, Espree enlightens us all on where the real value is to be found, and how to achieve it. In the words of the one and only Espree Devora, "In the closet or the car."
30:34 - "I feel like the most important part of podcasting is ..."
32:18 - "All of it is just performance art. I think that most people don't understand that. They're podcasting from a place of ego, or wanting something out of it, rather than art. Performance art."
33:13 - I even managed to include Jimi Hendrix in the conversation!
34:15 - "What is the value in a podcast?"
34:51 - Espree lays down the law! If you need to justify the value of a podcast, be it as a personal brand, a corporate brand, or anything in between. THIS IS THE SECTION NOT TO GLOSS OVER. #meatandpotatos.
38:43 - "You're in someones ears. People have you intimately in their ears. ... and there have been studies done where a video versus an audio, audio has better conversion than video does. ... Something about a voice, it just creates a different experience."
40:17 - "The Hunt for Red October".
41:32 - Want to keep your listeners returning week after week? Again, I'll stand aside as Espree spins some pure gold here.
41:55 - "I needed more of it like a drug."
42:45 - "Sound design is hard. Sound design brings your podcast to another level, it moves a story. To have incredible sound design you need talented people. And that costs money."
45:09 - After interviewing well over 1,000 individuals, I asked Espree if she noticed any common themes that run through successful individuals. "Everybody has an opinion."
45:14 - "What's important is to create our own journey, to understand that we can't replicate someone else's story."
46:58 - "This life is just one big exciting game."
49:06 - Bringing this section to a close, I found no better words than those of The Bard,
"This above all: to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Act I, Scene III, Hamlet by William Shakespeare.
50:02 - The great philosopical devide. Espree and I discuss our take on planning. On purchasing the cheap ticket and having no idea where you're going to sleep when you land. Hint: Espree calls this adventure. I call this a nightmare.
53:11 - "But there's just so much more peace when I stay curious."
54:02 - Espree takes us .... out!
54:11 - "First, you guys definitely have to rate and review the podcast." (Ed. Note - I highly recommend and fully support this message).
54:30 - "To say hello to me ... @espreedevora on all socials, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org"
55:04 - "I'm Dan Taylor, she's Espree Devora ... we out."
55:09 - "Out!" ... bye
Espree and I first met each other live and in person on the 24th of October 2013. The image she uses on her wildly successful podcast Women In Tech, we produced together at 14:04:55 that very day in Vienna, Austria.