1. I made the biggest career mistake of my life by staying at one company from 1999-2008. I missed out on so much of state of the art technology that I spent the next 8 years trying to get caught up.
A lot of the things I was just learning in 2009 were already common place for years before then.
2. As much as people say "technologies change fast", a lot of the higher level fundamental concepts they discussed 10 years ago are still relevant today.
Now back on topic...
A daily podcast that lasts an hour? It's remarkable that he can keep up that pace. Could he make just as much money from having fewer podcasts? would the scarcity make the podcast more valuable to advertisers?
I think John Grubers talk show podcast charges about $7500 per spot with 3 spots during an average 2 hour show per week. There have to be more software developers who would want a high quality podcast than people willing to hear Gruber's ramblings (no offense - I listen to his podcast every week).
1. Download and listen to every episode of a podcast. For many this would be something like Grubers. Listeners typically keep a much smaller number of podcast subscriptions.
2. Read the title and possibly the show notes for each episode and if it sounds interesting download that specific episode.
My listening habits are very much in mode one here, but for something like software engineering I think it's likely to be much more the second. By producing so much content and on so many topics they optimize their chance of getting at least a download a week.
As a listener, you're in a good position to judge - do you think that the content suffers from being so frequently produced? So they're making $2k per episode on ads - would they make $15k if they made one podcast a week? On that time scale, is there a better monetisation model?
Scarcity really valuable to me as a listener - I don't have time to listen to an hour a day of a single show. I have an audible subscription (ca 10-30 hours per book, unabridged), shelves of real books, Netflix, Spotify, a list of TV shows and movies, a girlfriend, all vying for ear-time. Some people solve this by speeding up podcasts, but I like listening to real voices. Remvoving silences can work well though.
Consider podcasts like http://moviesbyminutes.com/ - they look fun, but who has time to listen to potentially 100 hours of content about one film? That's more than all of LOST. Would you rather watch every movie on the IMDB Top 250 or listen to people going through every Star Wars movie minute by minute? I once listened to the complete Wheel of Time - it's over 2 weeks unabridged. Took about 4 months listening to nothing else - commuting, exercise, walking to the shops, flights, trains etc.
SED at least offers listeners the chance to skip episodes they don't care about, but podcasts really have to be impressive for me to listen to them.
I've never listened to SED and I made no judgements about the quality. I subscribe to a lot of podcasts, but only listen to a few religiously. The others I skim through or just delete.
$2000 a Day is of course not bad - I'm assuming that sales, recording, editing, etc. is a full time job.
I'm going through the Software Engineering Radio podcast now and skipping a lot of them. But I found a few gems from some influential people in software that were relevant then as well as now.
Others, I saved for when I have more time to actually listen to, take notes and maybe blog about.
I've also been very impressed with Jeff's pace and consistent quality/depth. Joe Rogan is the only other podcaster that I listen to who comes close to that.
It would be much more interesting if they would show a balance sheet and profit and loss statement for the last few years. I've seen companies flaunting much better looking numbers than this and still go bankrupt. The real question is: how much is he pocketing, and how does that compare to say a consulting job?
(another way to put my point is 'it's easy to have revenue of 1mm a month - start a luxury car dealership, buy 5 250k Lamborghini's each month and sell them for 200k').
Well no - they have, among others, the costs I mentioned in my second sentence. But maybe I'm wrong, hence why 'revenue' doesn't mean much - it'd be much more interesting to look at some real numbers instead of the clickbait of just using whatever is the highest number one can find.
An Uber driver doesn't 'make' 15k when he gets paid 15k a year by Uber. He has to pay for gas and maintenance and whatnot. He 'makes' whatever is left over after that, just like any job where one has to pay for (part of) business-related costs themselves. A construction worker who has to pay for his own safety shoes @ $250 and is paid 30k doesn't 'make' 30k, he makes 29750. In this last example the distinction is so tiny that it doesn't matter, but it all depends on the ratios.
Now I realize that in some (dare I say 'less financially savvy') circles the amount that comes in is called the amount that one 'makes', but no person with any (business) financial skills would call it that. And from a website that purports to target those interested in running ones own business, I would expect some more rigor in this respect.
TLDR: businesses that scale vs those that dont : )
In any case, roel_v is pointing out that revenue isn't a very good metric without more data to evaluate it.
I'd like you to provide an example of a business that doesn't scale :-)
Agree that more data helps. For a headline I'd rather see revenue than margin or profit, as those are more subjective (or net revenue, if you're selling goods).
Unscalable business? Obviously a subjective take but, to me, that means anything where you're charging by the hour (e.g. consulting).
That's a pretty good salary.
Also where did you get the $20K/month/podcaster number from?? You're just making stuff up.
Agreed that's simplistic, but it's a starting point.
Assuming taxes, office overhead, other processing stuff, keeping profit overhead in place, etc, one could still be paying 3 people $5k-$10k/month with room to spare.
I remember the old giants robots ruby podcast was about 20 minutes and covered 3 topics (not sure if I'm remembering correctly though, it's around 40 minutes these days). http://giantrobots.fm/
Or at least that more podcasts were better edited. For example, John Gruber writes a blog, which he edits. Whether I agree with it or not, it's readable and terse. But he also does a podcast, which is him and some other person going on random tangents, pausing to cough or let out the cat, etc. I can't stand it.
I guess it's like the difference between talk radio and the nightly news: one is trying to fill airtime, the other is trying to squeeze into 22 minutes; one is meant to be background sound, the other is meant to be watched. I happen to prefer other kinds of background sound, but that's just me.
Some podcasts, like Hardcore History, are worth the 5 hour runtime and they're so rarely published it doesn't really matter.
I'm carrying around my a junked iPhone 5C and using it just for Overcast. I haven't been able to find any podcast players on Android that work as well for me. If I could find one, I could stop carrying two phones.
Can you share some stats about your advertisers? Like, how many advertisers do you have per month? How many per show? What is their average spend? How many months do they usually stay on as an advertiser? Do they normally re-sub automatically or do you have to get them to commit to another month, every month? How do you usually find new advertisers, cold calling them or ?
And a personal question, I only listen to US Political podcasts, but I always press the "skip 30 seconds" button on ads. Why do you think there is a button that makes it super easy to skip ads built into the Podcasts app? How do people creating the podcasts feel about that? Do you have any stats on how many people skip the ads vs listen to the whole thing?
"If I had to start over I would prioritize health — exercise, diet, sleep, socialization, getting outside for fresh air. I would be nicer to those who love me, and try to opt for kindness over cleverness."
Jesus. I'm sure this is small business owner hours but still, this person musn't have a family or any other commitments.
It's not luxuriously easy, but it's not ridiculous, and is microscopically different from _average_ working hours 150 years ago.
Some of us don't have a choice but to work jobs that require that many hours to pay the bills.
I doubt your spending any more than 30 mins per day with your son on weekdays.
My day off is all about family, so it's daily planned :-)
Too late to edit haha.
(Unless you're doing this just for a very limited time for a very good reason. But don't let it become a lifestyle!)
12 hour days = 313 * 12 = 3756 hours work per year
Hours per month = 3756 / 12 = 313
Hourly rate if $60000 per month = 60000/313 = $192
And that's without considering overhead costs.
Then again if your job is learning about new tech, cooking and exercise-the sort of thing others are doing in their hobby time, I can see how you can make 12 hours of that a day.
Taking these three things together I also have a 12-14h day. It's just that I don't cook or exercise for work.
On average. It's not impossible that there are outliers than can just work crazy hours without productivity decrease.
You sit there for up to 5 hours and do math on odds and make decisions, hand after hand. Every now and then you utilize bluffing or other techniques to bully to win a pot. Then you keep stacking to get a bank roll going so you can get to the next table, the next tier.
The college aged poker kids optimize for it like any engineer. They have spreadsheets tracking EV on time, earnings per hour.
But if you have the discipline and dedication to go through that for a year or so, then yeah, you can sit there and code to problem solve or sit there and go through the hundreds of decisions needed to operate a business.
In general, I would discourage bluffing in a business like SE Daily. I'm on display for 250 minutes per week. It would be very easy to get caught in a lie.
Despite the downvotes, I stand by my statement, as an interface designer that pours years of effort into perfecting the arrangement and composition of elements on the infinite canvas, it's not acceptable to me that such things are not protected or even noticed by others.
And once you're hooked on the tech pieces, check out the rare philosophical episodes, like https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12584991
Oh yeah, and I sometimes listen to current-affairs stuff in the morning, but owing to time zone differences that can be tricky.
I'm sure a lot of people listen to them while driving or otherwise commuting, but my commute is by tram and by foot, and it doesn't fit that well.
I don't find it distracts me from cooking, though from coding sometimes yes (then I switch to music). I don't just sit in my living room listening without anything else going on, but I don't think that would be weird. I'd listen to podcasts in the bath if I had a bathtub.
It took me a while to find a set of podcasts I really like. This is different for everyone, but I think it's worth spending some time on. I'm still looking for good ones on a few topics that seem under... undercasted? I think there's still room for a lot more good podcasts, and some of them will even make a good living for the host.
You can download everything on WiFi if you like, but they're just audio files so it doesn't eat that much out of a normal-ish mobile data plan.
Give them a chance, and try a bunch of different ones before making up your mind. I ended up liking podcasts way more than I expected I would.
Now I put one earphone in, go for an easy bike ride for a couple of hours and listen to one. It’s pretty good.
You can’t really do it when you are concentrating on something else (or riding hard!), but commutes or whatever are good.
You download them using a podcast player. On Android I use PocketCast.
Jeff, I once responded to your survey. I lost a ton of weight abroad with nothing going for me bc your podcast and the Changelog podcast gave me the weird fuel I needed to just run but also learn and be engaged mentally. I find your career choice from Amazon inspiring as a transition (not to mention poker) and you always ask insightful questions. I am trying to get into security with dev work on top bc you make me want to be in that culture, after a decade of avoiding it as a jaded IT guy.
I have sent every group of developers and tech enthusiasts links to one or more episodes. I need to make time to contribute to the open source SE Daily apps. Just because.
Thanks for building me an ethos so I don't have to for myself. ;-)
When I was 19 there was a month when I played poorly and lost ~$250k. I quit shortly after that. It took me awhile to recover my psychological bearings.
Step 1: Be super rich.
I don't know. Something about this rubbed me the wrong way, but it probably says something more about me than about him or life in general.
I had a friend in college — let's call him Sam — with whom I paired on most CS projects. It was useful to find a partner who was as studious as yourself to avoid having to deal with anyone else's potential BS and end up doing all the work yourself. Sam seemed like a completely normal guy where normal is… we share some of the same interests.
Sam wasn't from money, worked hard on assignments, we shot pool and worked on projects together. I knew Sam was "into" poker but I didn't understand the extent. I was "into" lots of things too.
We're hanging out one day and Sam tells me the "funny story" that happened last week where his parents and girlfriend staged an intervention to demand that he stop playing online poker after he had gone on tilt and lost $200k in a single night.
I about lost my marbles.
He then goes on to explain that while he had agreed to quit playing online poker because he valued his relationships, he was of the opinion that an intervention was a bit much since he was still up over $600k and wasn't on tilt so much as trying out higher stakes tables in an effort to make money more quickly than on the low stakes tables he had already found success grinding.
Anyway, one friend in particular told me he was making ~$200k a year, when we were around 22. Asked him about taxes and he said he had never paid a dime. So, uh, that could have been his greatest gamble right there.
But also started with a roof over my head, great parents, an internet connection, etc. I would consider myself a trust fund baby in that sense.
One question I do have for you: How did you get Stephen Wolfram, Seth Godin, etc. to come on your early pods?
frankly, cutting with ockam's razor leads me to conclude that super rich is a more likely explanation than playing poker from a small nest egg and then going and losing it all.
In my mind, rich is top 20% (income of $134k or more) of society and super rich is top 5% (income of $214k or more). I'm wondering if that correlates to your thoughts.
Someone who is a HIE may have a better chance of becoming rich if they invest and are good at money management. On the other hand they may be very bad with money and living paycheck to paycheck despite this.
Someone who is rich has freedom. They have enough money in investments to live off of the returns indefinitely.
Anyone in the 500k to 1000k range are the almost rich. These are the people who will feel “tax hikes on the wealthy” the most. On paper their income is great but then taxes bump them down a social class.
When you clear the 1000k range and are well on your way to 2000k, after taxes you’re still making a million or so a year depending where you live, so still safely a millionaire and thus rich (two commas club).
However, it’s worth noting there are more and more millionaires these days. These are “inflation” millionaires. A true “millionaire” in the spirit of what the word meant in the time it was first coined (early 1900s) would be someone who has a net worth of around 25 million USD today.
Someday merely being a millionaire won’t be rich or impressive at all.
A millionaire just has a net worth greater than or equal to a million dollars. They don't need to have an after-tax income greater than or equal to a million dollars.
I remember reading somewhere else that rich also required a million in assets, not just a high income like 250 grand, but I figure in the context of a 19 year old they don't need assets at that point to still be rich if they have a high enough income for the year.
Maybe a one time 250 grand earner from a poor background can be a temporarily advantaged poor person.
Also, he's not tone-deaf -- I'm sure it took some consideration to let that sentence fly (I'd be very surprised if he didn't wonder something along the lines of "are people going to think I'm just some rich kid"), I like to think he leaned to the side of honesty.
I can say at least personally that he did NOT have the silver spoon rich kid vibe. Not at all, he was lost just like the rest of us sometimes are, I'm super jealous and happy for him :)
In my mind what he's accomplished is doable by just living at your parents house (yes, that's also a bit of a luxury that others may not have), which is why I don't consider this to be simply a byproduct of wealth. With a bunch of drive and sheer will it could be done in nights and weekends. Is he entrepreneur of the year? maybe not, but he's certainly not richie rich who bought his way to the table -- while I have no idea what his resources are or what his interactions with whatever wealth source allowed him 250K @ 19, what he's done is not out of the realm of most office workers, especially in tech.
[EDIT]: He actually responded with how he got his start:
So, logically, in order to maximize productivity output of entrepreneurs and new-thing-tryers, you must truly remove the consequences, perhaps with something like a universal basic income. Only then do you get to experience innovation as applied to an entire population, and only that will produce a broad enough population of experiments that you'll get a synergism and the invention of really new industries and scenarios.
Not rocket science, but maybe it'd lead to better rocket science :)
I think it's fairly clear that Meyerson came from a relatively privileged background and had a lot of advantages - he attended one of the best high schools in the US - but I don't think it's necessarily fair to dismiss him as a trust fund kid who lucked his way through life.
It's nice, and I'm sure you're a good player, but you definitely got lucky.
" Before Black Friday chased all the soft money out of the game, pretty much anyone with an ounce of sense could play profitable poker and some people made a lot of money very quickly. "
You're best edge in the softest game of all time is not as big as you think it is.
Does this sentiment have to be echoed every time someone who comes from money talks about their business. There is a class system in the US, you're only wasting your breath trying to be snarky about it. Business is a mix of talent and chance and people with money can buy more chances where others might not even get one. It doesn't diminish this person's accomplishment.
Here let me waste my time telling you how I hacked advertising to make xyz product with a gazillion users OR I can just tell you I started out with many hundreds of thousands of dollars and just spent way into success.
Would’ve saved me some time idk
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeff-meyerson-05275716/ - "Parlayed a single small investment into a large bankroll." under Online Poker Player
Lots and lots of people went from 1k or less invested to moderately wealthy. I knew multiple people personally in college then who went from ~0 to > 100k.
All it would take is good streak (maybe luckbox some SnGs), move up the stakes, and have a good run in something like PLO to do the same in-a-day.
I played extensively and still have friends that play professionally, this type of story is not uncommon at all.
Like that Neistat guy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6Y-ahQFQDA
Starting some regular business, yes, but writers, podcasters, and artists in general, have always come from all kinds of backgrounds, especially troubles ones.
Most people without money or support don't have the time and resources to devote to creating something like that.
Because the average american squanders 2-3 hours on tv and social media every day -- more than enough to start a podcast, even if they also work.
The point is, it's not a net "waste" of people's time, it enriches their lives in some way.
I don't understand how can apps then have 1000-5000 downloads total?
i do feel like we're in some kind of golden age for podcasts, there's so much great content out there. maybe i should dump my netflix subscription and just listen to podcasts?
What are your favorite episodes?
You can find an RSS feed at:
Somewhat confusingly, the new site has a navigation link, labeled "Feed", at the top of the page. But it's not an RSS feed. Rather, it leads to a compendium of links to interesting articles on software engineering from around the web. It looks like the plan is to implement voting for the articles (there is a vote count, but it's empty).