Tickets Podcast: Gary Chou and Christina Xu on entrepreneurship education and harnessing the power of networks

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Back in the late 2000s, a number of community-driven internet companies began to change the way new products and services were brought to life. 

But even the most forward-thinking of those companies’ founders may have been surprised at where their platforms are now being utilized.

One example is in the Interaction Design Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Over the last 7 years, over 100 students have taken on the challenge the make $1000 by design, launch and complete a crowdfunding campaign that benefits a community they’ve worked with over the course of the semester. 

Today on Tickets I’m joined by the teachers of the 1k challenge, Gary Chou and Christina Xu.

As the challenge completes its 7th edition, they’re now sharing what they’ve learned so far via Teach the 1k – a workshop to help other entrepreneurship educators run their own 1k challenges.

In this conversation, we talk about the importance of constraints for creativity, the benefits of communities of practice, and the fear of putting our work and ourselves out there on the internet.

Teach The 1k

Gary & Christina online:

http://christinaxu.org

https://garychou.com

Background:

https://postindustrialdesign.school/background/

https://medium.com/@garychou/infrastructure-and-interdependence-417e926c539c

Tickets Podcast: David Lavin on representing some of the world’s leading intellectual talent

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Think about talent agents and the first image that comes to mind may be something similar to the character of Ari Gold in the TV show ‘Entourage’; fast-talking, fickle, and more focused on the action toys and awards than the quality of the art.

But beyond the caricature, there’s of course far more to this kind of work than meets the eye – and a growing range of talent with important ideas to share with the world.

On this episode of Tickets I’m joined by David Lavin, founder and CEO of The Lavin Agency. 

The agency represents some of the world’s leading intellectual talent; from bestselling authors Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood, to Angela Duckworth (Grit) and Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now).

During this conversation, we get into what really makes for a compelling speaker, where there’s space for new ideas in education, balancing risk and reward, and who’s really worth booking for the $10,000 keynote.

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Tickets Podcast: University Ventures’ Daniel Pianko on new opportunities in higher education

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Believe it or not, some of the key fundamentals of university haven’t changed much in over a thousand years.

But with the US student debt crisis continuing to make headlines, employers’ talent needs rapidly evolving, and software still eating the world, traditional higher education – like other industries before it – is now undergoing change like never before.

Today on Tickets I’m joined by Daniel Pianko. Co-Founder and Managing Director at University Ventures, a New York based venture capital firm focused on the future of higher education and the pathways that lead from education to employment.

In this wide-ranging conversation Daniel shares his insights into the importance of the live experience in learning, the knock-on effects of urbanization, and why having a great product can matter a lot less than you think.

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Tickets podcast: Marc Lewis on running the world’s most awarded advertising school

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Imagine the world’s most awarded advertising school.

Perhaps you’re picturing it housed in an imposing campus of magnificient Edwardian buildings made of stone and marble, or a gleaming high rise in midtown Manhattan.

In fact you’ll find it on the top floor of a former church and nightclub in a South London neighbourhood.

Its unexpected characteristics don’t end there – from the curriculum design to the class size, the mentors to the learning outcomes.

It’s called the School of Communication Arts, and its Dean is Marc Lewis.

In this entertaining and enlightening conversation, we talk about Marc’s personal journey from comedy clubs and tech startups to the world of education, coming back from a mental health crisis, and what it means to find your Telos.

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On the guestlist: Making season 1 of the Tickets podcast

A few weeks ago I received an email from someone telling me they’d just finished the whole season of the Tickets podcast.

There’s a mix of gratitude, pride, and slight trepidation in knowing someone has invested their time into something you’ve designed and created.

In this case, it involved 10+ hours of their time and a closeness and intimacy to the work that the direct voice of podcasting is rare in providing.

Having done a lot of live events and consulting work of late it also reminded me of the value of creating something that is able to live forever. It’s out there, anyone can access it, and it’ll stay out there, available, until I decide I no longer want that to be the case.

That’s empowering, and a little scary too.

This post is a summary of the 16 episodes of the podcast series I started in New York in the long Winter of 2017/18.

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Tickets Podcast: SXSW’s Todd Hansen on live event programming and spotting talent & trends

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In the Spring of 1987, a group of music fans and journalists organized a small live event in Austin, Texas. They were pleasantly surprised by its success – around 700 people showed up.

That first edition of South by SouthWest has become a 10 day conference and festival with over 28,000 attendees heading to Austin each March.

It’s now one of the most recognised and respected live events on the planet, and its core tracks of music, film, technology and education inform as well as reflect what’s happening in modern culture.

Today on Tickets I’m joined by Todd Hansen, SXSW’s head of conference programming.

In this conversation, Todd shares insights into the programming team’s process, what makes for a compelling keynote, and how to handle one of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs showing up at 1 day’s notice. We also reminisce about a surprise gig from a member of purple royalty straight out of Todd’s hometown of Minneapolis.

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My Podcast Gear: recording, editing, and publishing

a podcast studio mic

I’ve learned a lot from creating a podcast series: from asking good questions and improving my spoken delivery; to sales, marketing, and audio engineering.

As much as podcasts are a hot trend right now and plenty of people are jumping on podcasting in part because of that, I do genuinely believe there are many skills that can be built by getting involved in podcasting. So much so, I’d like to see every school include podcasts on the curriculum.

One of my earlier learning curves in starting my podcast was figuring out what equipment I needed, especially as I was working on tight a budget (this was a side project after all, and I’m a lean startup kinda guy...)

After a couple of early recordings using just my laptop’s mic (surprisingly passable, but only just), I invested in a more robust setup which I still use today.

My main point of reference for deciding on my podcast gear ended up being this Kit list from Tim Ferriss. I didn’t buy the whole lot from this selection but it definitely helped me figure out how high-end I needed to go to get the results I wanted.

After being asked a few times of late what I use and how I got set up, here’s a quick post covering my podcast gear, as well as some background on how I edit and publish.

I’ll put together a follow-up on distribution and marketing too.

And if you’ve got any questions on any of this feel free to drop me a line!

Here we go…

Continue reading “My Podcast Gear: recording, editing, and publishing”

Tickets Podcast: Adobe’s Andrea Rosen on creativity and the future of work

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Over the last 10 years Adobe’s annual 99U conference has captured the imaginations of creative thinkers from around the world through its 2 day programme of talks, workshops and collaborations, featuring a who’s who of both industry leaders and rising talent.

And alongside the New York conference, 99U has now grown into a year-round online resource for building a creative career.

Today on Tickets I’m joined by Adobe’s Head of 99U Andrea Rosen.

In this conversation we talk about the future of work, how anybody can tap into their own creativity, and where to find some hidden opportunities for creative innovation.


Episode overview

02:30 The beginnings of 99U

08:00 The secret sauce in the conference production

11:00 What 99U’s audience are gravitating to in 2019

19:00 Creativity: lowercase and capital case thinking

29:00 Creatives taking a seat at the strategy table

34:00 Andrea’s favourite talks from 99U

42:00 Why now for ‘the creative future’ at 99U in 2019

Tickets Podcast: Betaworks’ James Cooper on building products, brands, and communities


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Spend some time around the world of startups and it probably won’t be long until you hear someone mention the term startup studio.

It’s recently become a bit of a buzz term for consultancies, ad agencies and brands, but New York company Betaworks have been working in and around this area for over a decade.

As well as their work building and investing in companies, Betaworks have recently opened Studios, their own membership space in the city’s Meatpacking district.

James Cooper is the company’s head of creative, working across a diverse range of projects from GIF sharing platforms to spatial design, voice recognition to meditation.

We talked about how we can use technology to escape technology, what Betaworks look for when programming live events, the future of the shared experience, and the benefits to looking outside to find inspiration in an always-on digital world.

Episode Overview

04:00 Going from digital to physical products

07:00 Why now for building a brick & mortar space?

10:00 The thought process behind Studios’ live event programming

18:00 The role of a creative director in a startup studio

25:00 Inside Betaworks’ ‘Camp’ accelerator program

33:00 The future of the shared experience; from games, to meditation, live quizzes and beyond

37:00 Where James finds inspiration, and how he stays on track

40:00 Advice for people wanting to build something new

About James

James has been Head of Creative at start-up studio Betaworks since 2013. His role is to explore creative opportunities for betaworks products and tell the betaworks brand story. Some of the betaworks brands include the no.1 game, Dots, which has been downloaded over 150 million times and won many industry awards.

Other betaworks products include GIPHY, the search engine for Gifs recently valued at $600M, Poncho, the most popular bot on Facebook and recent star of Apple’s, ‘Planet of the App’s and Dexter, a bot building platform. James also produced ‘The Intern’, a hit podcast about working in betaworks and the tech world.

Recently James launched betaworks Studios, a club for builders. Studios is a physical space where the new generation of builders can find one another and learn the secrets of sustained innovation betaworks has uncovered over the last ten years.

Before betaworks, James was a creative director in the ad world where he has won many awards including two gold lions at Cannes. He was a Creative Partner at Anomaly and ran Dare – named Digital Agency of the Decade in London and sold for $50m in 2007.  

Tickets Podcast: Rob Fitzpatrick on how to create compelling workshops, programs and products


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In a world that’s now full of influencers, thought leaders and keynote speakers, how do you know who’s worth paying your attention, or your money, to?

What sets the best education experiences apart from the rest?

And how do you know if your new business idea is worth pursuing?

Today on Tickets we delve into the answers to these questions and much more with Rob Fitzpatrick.

Rob has been working in entrepreneurship and education for over 10 years as a founder, author and educator.

His first book ‘The Mom Test’ has become a staple of the startup world, and next up is ‘The Workshop Survival Guide’ – debunking many of the myths about experiential learning, and giving a helping hand to those wanting to deliver workshops that…work.

In this episode we also talk about Silicon Valley accelerator programs, the importance of design in education, and the hidden reasons behind getting hired.

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