JE006: eight crazy months of upside

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[00:00:28] Jay Clouse: Hello, hello, hello. And welcome to the upside podcast first podcast finding upside outside of Silicon Valley. I’m Jay Clouse and I’m accompanied by my co-host, Mr. New Dog. Daddy himself, Eric Hornung.

[00:00:42] Eric Hornung: Oh, yeah. I’m a dog Dad. I am a stay-at-home boyfriend and I am a dog dad. It is quite the life. I lead Jay.

[00:00:51] Jay Clouse: Yeah. Yeah getting real domestic there with friend of the podcast Colleen

[00:00:55] Eric Hornung: And new friend of the podcast Hank. Hank is a eight and a half week old Bernese mountain dog. He is incredibly cute but he’s also incredibly young. So that means frequent trips outside excessive nibbling and some sleepless nights and we are currently working on training.

[00:01:16] Jay Clouse: How big is this dog going to get?

[00:01:18] Eric Hornung: He’s currently about 20 pounds and in the next three months he’s going to get up to about 80 pounds. So that’s about five pounds a week. Once you get to that three-month. He could either stay right around 80 or he could up to 120 but the or little higher but the expected value is somewhere around a hundred and five pounds.

[00:01:41] Jay Clouse: That’s a big dog.

[00:01:42] Eric Hornung: It’s not small.

[00:01:43] Jay Clouse: Talk to me about the decision of how to choose what type of dog to buy.

[00:01:46] Eric Hornung: Colleen and I each have a top five list of dogs. And the only one that overlaps is a Bernese mountain dog. So that’s how the decision was made.

[00:01:57] Jay Clouse: Are you saying “Bernese” not “Burmese” like like not like Burma?

[00:02:00] Eric Hornung: “Bernese” like Bern Switzerland. The Bernese mountain dog is a working dog. So not a hunter and it used to pull sometimes plows but mostly like milk carts around town. I think stems back to the Romans when they conquered Switzerland or took over Switzerland. They brought the Mastiff and bread that with the Swiss mountain dog. And that’s the result is our so people say the Bernese Mountain Dog. They have an amazing temperament. They are super chill. Hank’s a little young. So he’s so little bit yippee and learning the ropes. But yeah, just an incredible temperament very chill very cozy very cuddly. Very awesome.

[00:02:46] Jay Clouse: Well he seems very cute new friend of the podcast. Hank Hornster.

[00:02:50] Eric Hornung: We’ll throw a picture of Hank in the show notes.

[00:02:53] Jay Clouse: Yeah the show notes on the Twitter new listener alert Hank the Dog. Well, Eric, we’ve got a different episode this week per usual seems like we’re hitting a lot of national holidays as of late and are doing a lot of these but her tradition we’re going to do a holiday episode in before we get into that. I wanted to ask. What’s your favorite Christmas movie

[00:03:14] Eric Hornung: Oh, man, I got to go with Elf. Elf is just so good. So funny funny every time good every time so easy and so quotable. You kind of get a little something more every time to there’s this. There’s this one scene in elf where it’s super short. It’s a cutaway and all these little elves are running away from a tree and there’s one off to just yells. I just want to make shoes and you don’t get that on the first time through you know, you miss that and it takes you 20 30 40 watches to hear that line and pick that up.

[00:03:51] Jay Clouse: I’ve never heard that that gives me hope I’m gonna listen I’m gonna watch Elf this year and try to catch that cut away because I’ve seen it so many times and kind of tired of it but I do love yelling, “hope you find your dad.”

[00:04:00] Eric Hornung: What about you? What’s your favorite my favorite movie?

[00:04:04] Jay Clouse: I should prepared for that question before I asked it myself knowing that you were to turn it around on me. I will say that I’m not one of those people who claims Die Hard is a Christmas movie and that is the greatest Christmas movie of all time. I’m not in that camp. I’m a big fan of Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights. Which is technically a Christmas movie?

[00:04:22] Eric Hornung: Well, it’s a holiday movie Jay and we’re here in 2018 and not everything has to be about Christmas.

[00:04:27] Jay Clouse: It’s true. It’s true were inclusive Eight Crazy Nights. Good good movie spurred from a very good song the Hanukkah Song and Eric you and I talked that this episode. We have a little bit of an interesting tie in for the structure that will do here today.

[00:04:44] Eric Hornung: So Jay you and I both celebrate Christmas and. It would seem appropriate that we do something along the lines of a framework of like the 12 Days of Christmas. So maybe 12 takeaways that we had this year or something. But no nay J. We are going down a different path. We are following your favorite movie your favorite holiday movie and we are going to go through eight crazy months. Do you want tell people a little bit more about that?

[00:05:11] Jay Clouse: Eight crazy months. Eight crazy months because we launched the podcast in May ,the first week of May at Columbus startup week. We launched our first four episodes three full-length episodes and a trailer episode which means met through December. Those are eight months. We’ve had eight crazy months launching this podcast so far and so we are going to go month by month talk about the episodes that were released that month and the major takeaway we had from that crazy month in the first eight months of doing the upside podcast.

[00:05:42] Eric Hornung: But before we do that one quick thing, If you hear an episode in this rundown that you are interested in definitely go check out that specific episode. You can find it in our back catalogue. If you want to interact with us Twitter is the best place to do so you can find us at upside FM or you can find J. at jayclouse or Eric at EKhornung. Oh additionally if you want to write something a little longer, please send us an email at hello at upside dot f m.

[00:06:13]Eric Hornung: Sup guys, it’s Eric. Jay and I have a really cool announcement that we wanted to make about something we’ve been working on behind the scenes. We’re calling it “the update” and it’s a quarterly newsletter in which Jay and I get to write editorial pieces, podcast guests and friends of the podcast gets right editorial pieces and we’ll share some news about our padfolio companies. These editorial pieces are going to be about trends outside of Silicon Valley, things we find interesting, and new Industries and spaces that are popping up. Something I’m thinking about right now is Esports, for example. If you’re interested, it’s super easy to get linked in just go to upside dot FM slash update and enter your email address and we’ll definitely be in touch.

[00:06:59]Jay Clouse: So we started in May and our first three episodes that we launched immediately Tilr, rapchat, lawnGuru followed by Scriptdrop f13 Works Swannies with Web Smith as a an expert and Kaleidoscope group PBR in Minneapolis, or minnesota should say.

[00:07:20] Eric Hornung: And what people might not know and what I think the biggest takeaway from this month was actually comes from before this month. It’s the pre-planning process in addition to those episodes. You just mentioned that actually launched we recorded two episodes beforehand. So Alex Wittenberg, thank you Alex and Andy Curran. Thank you. Andy agreed to come on and do effectively mock interviews with us. And without those mock interviews, I think our launch could not have been as successful.

[00:07:55] Jay Clouse: Yeah, those episodes are rough. Maybe someday as like callback will release those as bonus material that you can listen to but finding your footing as new podcasters understanding how to find literally your voice on the mics. But then also how to interact with the guests how to interact with your co-host. I do not speak over each other. Ruff episodes, so pre-planning there was a was very important. And before we launched a show in May, I mean we were doing recording those first interviews months prior. We really got started thinking about the show and late late December early January and I think we spun up a Twitter account probably in February or March which proved to be very helpful for us for our launch already having that Twitter account live and generating some Buzz people seeing it and saying what is this thing? I’m going the website and being prepared. So yeah, pre-planning a theme that has become important throughout the year.

[00:08:49] Eric Hornung: Absolutely that was key to us having a successful launch and for a little background if you look at any podcast stats, the average podcast has a hundred and forty-one trailing 30-day downloads and when we launched I think we were already ahead of that which is. Awesome.

[00:09:10] Jay Clouse: Awesome June. I’ll take this one and then Eric you can take July June. We released four episodes. Loop returns, BYBE, Upsie and ParqEx. Loop returns and by being in Columbus, Ohio up see being in Minneapolis and park X being in Chicago, Illinois Eric with our takeaway from June.

[00:09:29] Eric Hornung: I think the biggest takeaway is that live podcasting is a thing and it’s cool and. We got to do it pretty early in our podcasting experience. Thanks to the Columbus podcasting Festival

[00:09:43] Jay Clouse: thrown right into it. We had barely gotten started the podcast Festival had already mostly filled up with registrations and people attending and just out of some luck and opportunity we got the opportunity to slide in late with very little notice. Lined up Corbett had an awesome conversation, still one of my favorite episodes, and an episode that comes up a lot because Loop is hiring and they’ve told us several times that in the interview process candidates have come in having listened to the episode and having a lot of insight into the company, which they appreciate so. Listen that Loop episode definitely check it out one of my favorites and our first live episode which we’ve done if you have now

[00:10:23] Eric Hornung: And for this episode Jay decided that we need the shirts. So J is a lot of things, guys, but he is not a fashion designer. So you may have seen these…They actually turned out pretty well. You may have seen us wearing these shirts around if you’ve seen us in public. The first draft of the tee, well Jay sent to me, and it just said “upside” across the chest and big block letters and it was on a baseball tee. And I said I hated it and I sent it back to J. And instead of you know, doing a complete overhaul, he just tilted the font to make the “up” in upside look higher than the FM so exact same font exact same shirt and I was so flabbergasted that this is his version of an edit that I just sent it back and said fine.

[00:11:18] Jay Clouse: Well, we had very little time to print them and the funny thing is I think because the, the printing shop that I had them printed at… and it was a it was definitely a favorite from the start because I said I need to turn these around I’m like a week time frame and I’m only trying to do a run of two of these will do more shirts later for some reason, but right now I need two of these shirts so Eric and I can do this this live event. And it came out looking so bad because it’s this design of mine that they didn’t they never even gave me an invoice. I think they felt I felt I think they felt that. They were embarrassed by their own work and so they wouldn’t even charge me for it.

[00:11:53] Eric Hornung: So let’s move on to July in July. We talked to FreshFry from Louisville, LocalCrate from Minneapolis, and 10 XTS from Cincinnati with and Anthony Pompliano. Jay, what was your biggest takeaway from July?

[00:12:10] Jay Clouse: That was a fun month. We learned the power of bringing on Experts with that episode of 10 XTS and we had done it previously with Web Smith on the Swannies episode, but that was so close to our launch and we hadn’t had many episodes out yet. We didn’t really see the effect that having an expert on could have. But, one, huge lesson in accessibility. We didn’t have close personal relationships with Pomp before that. But we’re able to get in touch with him and secure a quick interview with him. I remember doing it from my green room at LinkedIn at the time. But having an expert on gives a lot of really great context the episode, we think it adds a lot of the episode, and we see the effect of an expert being on the show and sharing the show with listening and download numbers. So that’s that’s a format that we think is a win for everybody involved and we want to continue to do in the future.

[00:13:05] Eric Hornung: Yeah. We learn the audience learns. The guest is challenged, the expert gets to come on and speak to their area of expertise. I think it’s a win win win win for everyone.

[00:13:19] Jay Clouse: All right onto August. We had a pretty busy August here. We had our user feedback episode where we talked about what our listeners had given us as feedback and our takeaways from it, which I think we’ve mostly implemented to this point. I will talk a little bit more about that later. We spoke with Mixtroz and Birmingham, Alabama and Mobius in Knoxville, Tennessee. Eric and I did an episode on geography and the myths of investing in geography and who spoke to Set Scouter in Toronto. So Eric, our take away here for August. What do you got?\

[00:13:52] Eric Hornung: I mean, this was really the month of New Frontiers for us. We’d made some pretty warm introductions before this, but they were mostly in cities. We were at least familiar with and it was more New Frontiers. So so let’s touch on that first. We had our first international company with Set Scouter in Toronto. We had our first foray in Tennessee, which was Mixtroz at first now they’re moving to Birmingham. So that’s first Alabama as well. And then also Knoxville was a city that I had had very limited exposure to especially from a startup perspective. So everything in this month was new, everything was different, and we also did a little bit of new and different on ourselves with the feedback episode. And forcing ourselves to have an opinion on something in the geography episode.

[00:014:39] Jay Clouse: Yeah, I love having opinions and that geography episode kind of set the stage for our panel at South by Southwest, which is also something we’ll talk about here a little bit later.

[00:14:48] Eric Hornung: Yeah. So moving on to September we talked with cuddle clones from Louisville, Andrew Goldner who moved from Silicon Valley to Nashville, John Fein, who was our first guest out of Kansas City, and Wicked Sheets who was also out of Louisville. Jay, what did you learn this month?

[00:15:07] Jay Clouse: Well outside of those guests. I think those were really great guests and really great month as far as content goes our biggest takeaway in September was actually the power of PR and marketing. In September, we were listed in Fortune as a top 27 business podcast amongst giants like Tim Ferriss and how I built this and Masters of Scale and Invest Like the Best really really great company to be in just a few months into our existence five months into our existence and we saw that press coverage triple our subscribers overnight, which was awesome. That was my biggest takeaway from September, but I think we had a little bit more that we learn in September with those Andrew Goldner and John Fein episodes.

[00:15:51] Eric Hornung: I think so too. I think that we had experimenting with this coffee chats format, which is. An interview where we talk with Community Builders Venture capitalists late-stage Founders, and we hadn’t really committed to it yet. But after the Andrew Goldner and John Fein episodes, I think that we had a much more real understanding of this being something that provides a lot of value to our audience.

[00:16:18] Jay Clouse: Which is a perfect segue into October where we spoke to Three Firefighters in Columbus, GenoPalate in Milwaukee. We had a VC Mashup episode with Ross Baird of Village Capital and Concur and other Columbus based company, Hypothesis Ventures, which is based in Los Angeles, but invests outside of the valley…And Allie Felix of Embarc Collective and these episodes with Hypothesis Peter Brack of Hypothesis and Allie Felix were our next steps in kind of doubling down on this coffee chats format. We saw some really good feedback and traction on our opportunity funds episode with Peter Brack.

[00:16:58] Eric Hornung: And also I think that these type of episodes just supplement The Listener experience. If we just did our standard interview format. I think something would be lacking but supplementing that with Ross Baird the Concur episode. I think that that…I’m still asking questions that he asked in that interview now on upside. And I think that every time we do something with Andrew or John or Peter or Allie or Ross that makes our podcast that much better.

[00:17:28] Jay Clouse: For sure. It’s having people who have really stepped through the process help us shortcut our own learnings in stepping through the process, you know, this whole podcast is about learning the process. No better way to learn it outside of experience than learning from others experience as well.

[00:17:44] Eric Hornung: So Jay, I felt really good about November. It felt like a month that we were kind of hitting our stride in that month. We talked to Super Dispatch from Kansas City, Intrinio from Tampa Bay, we had our Thanksgiving episode and we talked to Vlipsy from Canton Ohio what it was your biggest takeaway.

[00:18:03] Jay Clouse: Yeah. I agree that felt like a really good month in terms of processes. And especially production quality of our content by the time we publish these episodes a little bit before but especially by the time we publish these episodes you and I have gotten a lot better about our equipment and getting both of our voices in their full vocal clarity on the episode. Also on the Vlipsy episode, we brought in an expert again. We you brought in Lee Thomason and attorney to give us a lawyer’s perspective. And not only did we bring him in. We did it on a very short timeframe which really helps us from a production standpoint to know that we can bring in this very valuable addition to an episode after we record the interview with the founder knowing that it’s going to provide context and that it’s not going to slow down our production timeline too much.

[00:18:55] Moving on into December this month we’ve talked with. Monique Villa of ModernCapital in Nashville, Tennessee, the Ohio Innovation Fund that was a live episode here in Columbus and Bark out of Atlanta, Georgia, Eric. What are your takeaways from this month of December?

[00:19:13] Eric Hornung: I think a lot of what happened in November let us have a very low-key December from a production standpoint and that we recorded a lot of things before you went on your 10 day retreat. We had the holidays coming up. So we really tried to take everything that we had learned in the first seven months and implement it at the end of November. I think that was super beneficial because it let us from a production standpoint do a little bit of planning and have a little bit of brain space to think about what we’re going to be doing in 2019.

[00:19:47] Jay Clouse: Yeah, a lot of that from pure necessity when you when you look at okay, one of the one of the host is going to take twelve days completely offline…You you the reality is you have to really get things in order to get things produced, to get things scheduled, and that comes down to I mean, even the emails that we send our subscribers people who subscribe to email notifications of new episodes, which if you haven’t done you should do because we had some different background and perspective sometimes in those emails. So get on that list if you’re not already, but

[00:20:19] Eric Hornung: and how can people do that?

[00:20:20] Jay Clouse: Good question. You can just go to upside down FM. There’s an email opt-in form on just about every page on that website. You’ll see it on the homepage right in the middle of page go to upside dot FM and enroll there. But what we learned about our production from that standpoint is it is possible to get ahead of production and really recorded interviews and get the raw materials done so we can get it through to post production and then scheduled — all the things we do with that including transcripts of every episode. And so moving forward and looking at 2019, we are already aware of a lot of the initiatives in episodes that we want to do in 2019 and we’re realizing that we can really pre-plan even more than we did this year Eric. You want to talk about that a little bit more?

[00:21:03]Eric Hornung: So a lot of what we’ve talked about is getting our standard Wednesday episodes out the door and. To be honest, we’re probably doing that most of the time on a one to three week lead time where our production schedule is constantly in flux behind that but looking into 2019. I think we already have a pretty firm foundation for the first three months of the year. Now, there’s definitely some areas where we will be consistently updating and changing and moving things around but. We’re going to be going to CES and that should be somewhere between three and six new episodes with companies that are exhibiting there with people in the coffee chat format with people who are putting on the event and maybe with some experts.

[00:21:50] Jay Clouse: And just a cut in here, CES is the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, which is the second week of January.

[00:21:56] Eric Hornung: Absolutely. We’re really excited to be going there. We are one of 10 live podcasts will be sitting in the media broadcasting Booth which will be really cool alongside of Bloomberg and pretty much everybody else who’s in the news and covers the event. So we’ll have access to the four thousand companies that are going to be there and it’s going to be an awesome experience.

[00:22:16] Jay Clouse: Already getting emails from those companies asking us to meet with them and talk with them. Which is both exciting and a little overwhelming, but we’ll do our diligence to pick out some really interesting cutting-edge technology companies that fit our our thesis and Vibe here at upside and we’re excited to share that with you early on in the year

[00:22:36] Eric Hornung: And the same things going to happen in March when we go to South by Southwest. Jay will be moderating a panel with a few entrepreneurs from around the country Brandon Bryant of Harlem Capital. And Rachel Carpenter of Intrinio who was featured in November on the upside podcast. And before we continue talking about the new types of formats that are already kind of permeating our production schedule in 2019, I do want to say thank you to the audience for voting because the South by Southwest experience wouldn’t have been possible without you.

[00:23:12] Jay Clouse: Yeah, we’ve got a panel on geography versus investing like we said in that previous episode Eric and I did. Laid a little bit of foundation there. But Brandon Bryant a newly-minted Forbes 30 under 30 and investor of Harlem Capital investing in minority owned and run businesses. And Rachel Carpenter who now, as Eric said we talked to in November out of Florida and we’ll have another surprise guest. So if you’re at South by Southwest definitely let us know give us a shout out on Twitter or via email would love to meet up with you there. We’ll be there the entire eventm even even the gaming movie Music Experience. So we’ll be around if you’re a South by Southwest, let us know. But Eric alluded to some other formats that we were thinking about for 2019. You have finished that out.

[00:23:57] Eric Hornung: Yeah, absolutely. So. On Mondays, we are going to move all of our coffee chats to Monday’s we hinted at this in the Thanksgiving episode, but in 2019, we will be moving our coffee chat formats to Monday. So if you see something come out on Monday that is a coffee chat. It will be ad hoc. It won’t be every week, but it’ll be as we discussed as we talk with. Interesting people who are building communities investing in Venture back about companies investing in companies that are tangential to venture back a couple companies or are late-stage founders.

[00:24:31] Jay Clouse: That’s right and one other format that is also going to be fairly ad hoc fairly infrequent, but much more involved from a production standpoint. We’re looking at a deep dive into subjects such as term sheets or a deeper dive into opportunity funds will keep you abreast as to the topic of that but these episodes were planning to bring in multiple voices get a very well-rounded approach. They’re likely to be longer episodes that are meant to be very self-contained, dense, useful episodes around a very specific topic.

[00:25:10] Eric Hornung: So we started you back last December. Jay and I spent a few months formulating the idea of upside. We did a couple of mock interviews. We did a lot of mock website in well Jay did and we set up the framework with some pre-planning to get us into may we went from May to November and we haven’t perfected our process, but we’re getting much better. We’ve learned a ton along the way, and we thank you for listening to upside and we’re really excited about 2019

[00:25:42] Jay Clouse: Gonna be a big year going to be a big growth year for us. We’re excited about it. We’re seeing it already. We’ve laid a lot of the groundwork and we’re going to be more intentional about growth in 2019. So thanks for being here. Thanks to be along for the ride. We love hearing from you, as Eric said. So if you have thoughts on this episode are eight crazy months of existence or ideas for 2019, feel free to tweet at us at upside FM or email us anytime. Hello at upside dot f m– and we will talk to you next week.

[00:26:23] Jay Clouse: That’s all for this week. Thanks for listening. We’d love to hear your thoughts on today’s guest. So shoot us an email at hello at upside dot f m. Or find us on Twitter at upside FM will be back here next week at the same time talking to another founder and our quest to find upside outside of Silicon Valley. If you or someone, you know would make a good guest for our show, please email us or find us on Twitter and let us know and if you love our show. Please leave us a review on iTunes. It goes a long way in helping us spread the word and continue to help bring high-quality guests to the show Eric and I decided there were a couple things we wanted to share with you at the end of the podcast and so here we go Eric Hornung and Jay Clouse are founding parties of The Upside podcast. At the time of this recording. We do not own Equity or other financial interest in the company’s which appear on this show all opinions expressed by podcast participants are solely their own opinion and do not reflect the opinions of Duff and Phelps LLC and its Affiliates, Unreal Collective LLC and its Affiliates or any entity, which employ us. This podcast is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a basis for investment decisions. We have not considered your specific financial situation nor provided any investment advice on the show. Thanks for listening and we’ll talk to you next week.

Happy holidays from the upside team!

We’re keeping it short and sweet this week so we don’t take you away from what really matters.

So we don’t have an interview this week, we just have a conversation between the two of us recapping 2018. We’ve learned a lot in our first year of podcasting, and in this episode we recap the episodes and major takeaways from the last eight crazy months of the pod.

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