I had the chance to listen to the Startup Podcast by Gimlet. It’s a really unique opportunity to hear all the behind the scenes action of what happens when someone tries to start their own company – all the successes and all the failures. Season one focuses on a man named Alex Bloomberg.
Alex had a dream. His dream was to start his own podcasting company. Specifically, a network of podcasts focusing on narrative journalism and storytelling. And it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies. He had many bumps in his startup road but he overcame them. In one of my earlier articles I talked about the fear of starting a startup. I have that fear! And so did Alex, but he persevered.
He had to figure out exactly what kind of company he wanted to create. Investors thought his company should be a tech company ad not a podcasting company, and Alex had some big decisions to make.
When Alex tried actually pitching his business idea to big money he basically failed. Hard.
Billionaire venture investor and company advisor Chris Sacca heard out Alex’s pitch and retold it to Alex in a way that pitches should actually be. Alex was embarrassed, but those tips and tricks he got from Chris helped him to perfect his idea and his pitching skills moving forward. His original pitch was too long, too wordy and too complicated.
Elevator pitches are all about being fast and to the point. Noted.
Then Alex realized he needed a partner. He had gotten advice that starting a startup is safer and better in two’s or three’s. In fact there’s an entire website dedicated to business partner matchmaking called founderdating.com. Who knew!
Luckily Alex found Matt.
Something they had to figure out was the equity split. Alex pushed 10% but Matt wanted around 50%. After a couple uncomfortable conversations and negotiations, they came to 40% and they formed a beautiful partnership. Negotiation is smart and money should always be something to worry about when starting a company, however Alex needed and wanted tis partner, so he went way up of his partner’s equity and didn’t feel bad about it at all. Because in the end, the company is better with his partner.
Let’s talk risk.
Investor’s weren’t sure if Alex and Matt’s company was profitable. I mean, how many people actually listen to podcasts? Is that media platform growing?
Lucky for Alex and Matt, the podcast industry is growing and booming.
While listening to these podcasts and hearing Alex’s pitch, I couldn’t believe no one had thought of his idea yet. Podcasts to me seem genius. The possibility of journalism in your ears on your way to work is both convenient and revolutionary. I’m also trying to broaden my podcast horizons as a newbie podcast girl myself.
Any podcast suggestions? Comment below!