Like I said in my first blog post, I want to test out many different ideas for the posts.
Today, I’m summarizing a recent podcast episode I heard on the Tim Ferriss Show between Tim Ferriss and Guy Raz. It was one of the best interviews I’ve heard all year, not only because I’m a huge fan of both the Tim Ferriss Show and Guy Raz’s podcast How I Built This, but also because there were some absolute gems in this episode that I wanted to share.
What is the Tim Ferriss Show?
The TFS is a long-form podcast (usually 2 hours or longer) where Tim interviews some of the most famous performers in the world from the likes of Lebron James and Seth Rogen to Dr. Jane Goodall and Adam Grant.
Some people have called Tim the Oprah of podcast interviews and for a good reason. Personally, I’ve probably learned more from the TFS in the past 3 years than I have from any other regular piece of content I consume.
In this interview, he talks with one of the most famous podcast interviewers himself: Guy Raz.
Who is Guy Raz?
Guy Raz is the host of How I Built This (HIBT), a podcast that interviews entrepreneurs from many different industries such as the founders of Allbirds or Ben & Jerry’s. He recently published his first book based on many of these conversations called How I Built This: The Unexpected Paths to Success from the World’s Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs. Previously, Guy was also the host of the TED Radio Hour and other podcasts from NPR.
6 Takeaways from Guy Raz on the Tim Ferriss Show
- How Guy used the power of story to make HIBT a universal hit
Guy said that HIBT was an extension of what he was already doing for his entire career: telling stories. He felt like businesses and brands also followed the same hero’s journey that we see in all fictional stories and he wanted to show that through the podcast.
He wanted to tell the full stories of these founders and make them compelling for the average person to get something out of it. As Guy said in the interview, “it gives you a shot in the arm for the day.”
- How Guy got into podcasting
Before he was a podcast host, Guy worked for NPR as a war reporter overseas from more than 50 countries. At a certain point, he became tired of how news organizations do the news, and didn’t want to continue to stay objective on issues that he cared about. While he originally became a journalist to be able to tell people’s stories, he didn’t feel like that was the case in his war stories.
If he wanted to make an impact on the world, it wasn’t going to be through telling the news. He needed to figure out how to do what he wanted with his life but in a different way. That’s what led him to collaborating with TED to create the TED Radio Hour.
- How getting out of his typical environment helps Guy get un-stuck
When Guy decided to do the Nieman Jouralism Fellowship at Harvard, he had been depressed and ready for a change in his career. He took a year-long sabbatical to do the fellowship and he said this was the most transformative year for his career path.
He had the freedom to take classes outside of journalism that were in very different professions. It’s when he first realized that businesses could be studied using story (from the Harvard business case studies he would read in his business cases)
Get exposed to other industries if you’re in a personal or professional rut. Get out of your environment and surround yourself with different people and ideas than you’re used to.
- The best habits and practices he’s learned from his 300+ interviews
All of these interviews with entrepreneurs have made him think about change a lot and interrogating what he’s doing all of the time. He said that he’s always looking at how he should be changing or growing.
He’s also learned the to accept rejections better. He said that there will always be people who push back and don’t like your ideas. You need to be resilient against that as an entrepreneur.
- Where Guy sees the podcasting world going in the next few years
Guy thinks that podcasting will be like the premium television business model. For example, in the world of TV streaming, you need to have Hulu in order to watch Rick and Morty and Netflix so you can watch Ozark. Podcasting will be the same.
Now that Joe Rogan is solely on Spotify, people will need to have a Spotify subscription in order to hear Joe Rogan. Other podcasting platforms will follow suit. This is not great for consumers or producers of podcasts because it will make it tougher the for smaller guys to succeed at making podcasts.
- Don’t try to start the next AirBNB or Uber
The people who made the most money during the Gold Rush were not those searching for gold. They were the guys who serviced the people who were searching for gold.
Henry Wells and William Fargo started a courier service business in Northern California that ultimately became Wells Fargo bank. Domingo Ghiradelli started off trying to find gold in California and left to start making chocolate. Levi Strauss was started the same way.
Guy is really fascinated about building companies that service other big industries and companies. He said not to try to start the next AirBNB or Uber. Start the next company that can service an Uber or AirBNB. Figure out how you can service another industry.
Today was Day 6 of my self-imposed 30 Day Blogging Challenge. If you liked reading this blog post, I would be so grateful if you gave me a thumbs up or a share on social media!
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Thanks and please let me know if there are other podcasts that you might like to see me write summaries on.