On Friday, I released episode 13 of “The Business of Fun” with Amir Zonozi from Zoomph and if you haven’t had a chance to listen to any of the episodes yet, I’d appreciate you taking a few minutes to listen and let me know what you think.
But as I get ready to put out a few new episodes with my friends: Angela Gahan, Michael Johnstone, Ben Monat, and a few others…I wanted to reflect on some of the lessons I’ve learned about the entertainment and experience business from the first few episodes.
1. Podcasting is a great way to share your story: I wasn’t sure that the world needed another podcast. That much I was sure of thinking. So I wanted to do something different and I was fortunate that I had a variety of interests that made my podcast unique enough to gain a little attention.
That said, it is a great way to tell stories and get into the real nuts and bolts of an idea.
I’ve found that podcasting allows a conversation to breathe.
That’s valuable for everyone because we often find that we have to think in soundbites or pitch decks which have the ability to squeeze the life out of an idea.
2. I’m still not sure I would call eSports a real sport: I’ve had a chance to talk to a lot of people in the world of eSports and while I am not 100% sold on the whole thing as a sustainable business model yet, I do know two things:
- I think calling them sports is likely not a good idea.
- The name eSports flows directly on how the sports industry has been ceding ground on the brand value of sports for a while.
3. Martin Gammeltoft helped me learn that the best applications for Artificial Intelligence are the most human ones: In having a conversation with Martin Gammeltoft, I really hit my stride as an interviewer when we started talking about how his mom travels around Europe for opera and theatre.
In uncovering this insight, we got into a really great back and forth about the role of humanity in the use of AI technology.
And, it highlighted a concept that is at the heart of what I typically think…which is the best solution is the most human.
4. A Diversity of Viewpoints is Essential: An ongoing theme with the blog and podcast has been that I steal my insights from anywhere I can.
That’s actually a theme that many of my guests have mentioned as well.
Jo Michele brought it up specifically due to the nature of working on ticketing for nonprofits.
No matter what, if you only take one thing away from me and the podcast I hope that it is that you should learn from everyone you can.
5. Experience outside of the industry is valuable as well: Not just learning outside the industry, but working outside of the industry is a key winner in a lot of cases.
I spoke with Lauren Teague and this was one of the first times I really went long with a guest, but we both share a fact that we started out early on in sports but went out into the real world.
For me, that has opened up a lot of my thinking and Lauren mirrored that experience.
I think it is pretty easy to think that you have to be so uber-focused on one silo that you lose sight of the rest of the world, but actually being focused on your process and applying it to other areas is much more valuable.
6. Growth is everywhere: Another theme that my guests share is the focus on growth.
My favorite story came out speaking with Ken Troupe by way of a common friend of ours, Zach Fish.
I was talking with Zach about some of his experiences at the Fiesta Bowl and he said Ken gave him the best advice, “stay flexible.”
While the context is not presented in the podcast or here, it is still pretty good advice because if you are flexible, you can gain a lot.
7. Is Blockchain going to save? Not without a business behind it.
That’s what I really have learned talking with a couple of really smart guys in the ticket space that have businesses that just happen to operate on the Blockchain: Steven Dobesh, who was on the podcast, and Sandy from Upgraded.
They both taught me that I should likely be skeptical of the hair on fire Blockchain advocates and haters because like anything, the devil is in the details.
That’s likely good advice everywhere. It isn’t the technology, but the people and ideas that drive it.
8. Marketing is a process, just like I always have been telling you that it is: I talked with Kara Parkinson from Audience View and her background in packaged goods seems not to line up with a technology platform like Audience View.
But you’d be wrong because that experience made her appreciate the process of marketing in a whole new light.
Again, like my conversation with Lauren Teague, Kara highlighted the idea that the process of learning from outside of entertainment can be extremely valuable and adds a lot to the marketing process.
9. Experience will always win and so will relationships: It goes without saying that I have a lot in common with Corey Gibbs: we both went to Alabama at about the same time, we both have been involved in tickets since we were teenagers, and we both believe that relationships and experience will win.
10. International technology is kicking American technologies butts in a lot of ways and pretending that it isn’t happening is just an example of toxic patriotism: When we roll out chips in our credit cards as a big innovation, we know we are askew on what is really innovative.
The truth is when you look at the technological advances that are in place in much of the world, the States is a decade or more behind other places in a lot of what we do.
This is a larger geopolitical issue, but real innovation has been stagnant in most of the American economy for a decade or more due to a number of different circumstances and with the current state of the American political discourse, we aren’t likely to see this trend change anytime soon.
As much as this technology example is about entertainment and the podcast, this is just a true thing everywhere in the economy.
If you’ve been listening, what have you learned?
Also, who would you like to hear me talk with?