4 Podcast Trends for 2019

A few hunches I have for the world of podcasting in the coming 12 months.

  1. Awards Shows: Podcasting categories will appear more regularly within vertical-specific awards shows (i.e. Music, Gaming, Law etc.
  2. Specialist Creative Agencies: There’s still a pretty big opportunity to provide creative and/or technical agency services to businesses and individuals looking to break into podcasting. A few offerings like this already exist – expect it to become more formalised and sophisticated in 2019. This shift has happened with all kinds of other content creation on the internet – from building Dreamweaver websites to SEO advice. It’ll keep happening in podcasting too.
  3. IMDB for podcasts: We have still yet to see the killer database of people making interesting things happen in the world of podcasting, especially those behind the scenes. A few companies getting into this but no one’s quite nailed it yet and things are still very fragmented. Feels like 2019 could be the year for a couple of these to break out
  4. Long-tail sponsorship: Sponsorship of the top-end podcasts by growth startups has become so ubiquitous that it’s moved into meme territory (and this has been the case for a while – see this from the Atlantic back in 2015). The long tail is starting to open up but it’s not easy, especially with listener data insights still being pretty limited/opaque/variable (depending on your viewpoint). Anchor recently launched their sponsorship marketplace offering – it’ll be interesting to see how it takes with both advertisers and producers.

Demo Night

Taking my career building project Fondo out of the studio for the first time.

New York City’s Canal Street is one of the main arteries in Downtown Manhattan (and until the 18th century was an actual canal). Cutting west to east, in its centre it splits the main parts of Little Italy and Chinatown.

As you may expect, the street itself is a bustle of activity: street-side sellers shotting semi-shady selections of sunglasses; bashed up old storefronts being turned into gentrified art & design pop-ups; multiple subway entrances causing ongoing tourist confusion; and wafts of Sichuan hotpot aromas flowing out of kitchen vents.

Near the entrance to the 6 train is a open-front gift shop measuring no more than 50 sq ft. At the back (i.e. 2 steps from the front) is a door heading up to the floors above. Floor number 3 marks the home of THAT, a creative agency who host a weekly gathering fuelled by creativity, collaboration, design thinking, and Dim Sum.

Canal & Baxter. (image: Wikipedia)

Last Friday night I shimmied through the throngs of punters looking for LV handbags and Tsingtao happy hours and made my way up to THAT HQ.

I was there for the 2nd edition of an extension to their ongoing Dim Sum Club.

Demo Sumthing (get it?) is a salon-style event of around 25 people and features a few guest makers sharing their projects for feedback, inspiration and new ideas.

Despite not necessarily identifying as a Creative or Maker, I was demoing the second iteration of my Fondo project.

Note: I’m looking for beta testers! Check out the intro deck here, if you like the look of it then I’ll send you the secret demo link.

The prospect of presenting what I had to a bunch of smart people, alongside 3 far more polished projects added some pressure. And pressure can bring performance (or at least meeting a deadline).

Continue reading “Demo Night”

Introducing Sustainable Foundations

As regular readers of this blog will know I’m very interested in the future of work for people across the world.

Closer to home I’ve been following my brother Murray‘s path with interest as he works in a hugely complex, exciting, and rapidly evolving area that’s becoming ever more important to our future:  sustainability.

Off the back of him sharing his learnings and insights, I’ve started to scratch below the surface of what sustainability means and why it matters. It’s fascinating, and it’s everywhere; affecting just about every industry in every country.

A few months ago Murray called me to ask me about some of the innovation workshops I’ve been involved in. He felt sustainability and innovation were more closely linked than they appeared, and there could also be better ways to support freelancers, entrepreneurs, employees and companies in demystifying the topic.

Over this Summer we’ve been exploring how we could deliver education experiences in sustainability for people working in modern business, with a focus on content that’s practical, immersive and relatable.

During this journey we’ve seen there’s so much more to sustainability than meets the eye: it can be a lever for huge innovation and value creation no matter your industry or company size, and it’s moving way beyond being considered a compliance box to tick or a nice-to-have CSR initiative.

Here are some of the bigger indicators:

  • 1/3 of consumers prefer sustainable brands, £81bn market for ethical products
  • 75% of millennials would take a pay cut to work for a responsible company
  • United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals present a $12tn market opportunity
  • Sustainable companies have 46% better share price performance and 112.5% better return on assets
  • IKEA nearing 3x increase in sustainable product sales
  • Unilever’s Sustainable Living brands grew 50% faster than the rest of the business, delivering over 60% of growth in 2016

Outside of the innovation and value creation side, it’s not an overstatement to suggest that the future of the planet depends on us understanding and taking action on this topic – the pressures on our world are real, and increasing.

Whilst we can’t single-handedly save the world just yet, I’m excited to share our first offerings under our Sustainable Foundations banner, with more to come over the next few months.

> Sustainable Foundations Courses: In-Person

A series of fast-moving, interactive and practical sustainability workshops for modern business, lasting either 1/2 day, 1 day or 2 days.

We demystify the core concepts of sustainability, with a focus on innovation, growth and value creation.

Sessions are booking now throughout the rest of 2018 and into 2019 for teams of 10 or more.

> Sustainable Foundations Course: Interactive Webinar

Regular interactive 90 minute sessions focused on core concepts and providing you with a toolkit to take into your business.

> Free email course

A free 10-day self-paced email course to help you level up and explore what sustainability means for you, your business and the wider world.


Whilst the goal of Sustainable Foundations is to open up the topic for the uninitiated we’d also love to hear from you if you’re more experienced; we’re constantly seeking to get new insights, viewpoints and ideas so don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to see what we’re up to.

And if you’re in New York City on September 28th, join us for a special New York Climate Week edition of the course at the wonderful Betaworks Studios in the Meatpacking District. We have a couple of seats still remaining – you can register here.


Curious? Find out more at www.sustainable-foundations.org or drop me a line directly.

Career Fuel: Portfolio planning for the full stack freelancer

I loved Tiago Forte’s post on the rise of the Full Stack Freelancer.

I’d been skirting around this idea for a while but he brought it all together in a really succinct and and coherent way.

Tiago says:

Full-Stack Freelancers borrow freely — from tech startups, digital nomads, lifestyle designers, independent contractors, the sharing and peer-to-peer economies — but placing them squarely inside any of these categories is not quite right.

That’s because Full-Stack Freelancers manage a portfolio of income streams, not a job based on one set of skills.

These potentially include both products and services, online and offline businesses, digital and physical products, active and passive income sources, in-person and remote interaction, individual contribution and group collaboration, and offerings that are low margin and high margin, mass-produced and customizable, high risk and low risk, monetized directly or indirectly, short-term and long-term, or any combination of the above.

So what are these products and services, and how we can plan, organise and deploy them?

Tiago continues:

Social media shares and free blog posts are your lead capture, bringing people into your audience. They also keep you exposed to the wider world beyond your niche.

Your introductory offerings are your qualification and filtering system, helping you identify not only the people who are most committed to your message, but also the best ideas and formats to help carry that message.

Premium offerings are the cash cows, allowing you to provide the most value with your time, and be compensated accordingly.

Taking inspiration from a few people’s portfolios I put together a quick Google Sheet to map out how my own portfolio was shaping up. It was a very interesting exercise and I could easily see a couple of gaps to look at filling.

Then I thought: perhaps other people would benefit from a tool like this?

I’ve been using Airtable more and more over the last few months and whilst it’s not quite ‘sticky’ enough to be a go-to app for me just yet, it’s undoubtedly very powerful and also has some great social features built in for sharing and collaborating

So here’s a simple Airtable ‘base’ for modern freelancers looking to follow Tiago’s suggestion and go full-stack.

Hopefully it’s a useful resource to you. Any feedback, ideas or suggestions just drop me a line – I’d love to hear from you.

Check it out here:


Tickets Podcast: Debs Armstrong on bespoke experiential

On the guest list for today’s episode of Tickets is Debs Armstrong.

Debs is founder of Strong & Co, an award-winning experiential agency based in London, working with clients including Google, Twitter and the BBC.


Debs’ started out creating installations at squat parties in London during the mid 90s, and was also the co-founder of the legendary Shangri-La area at Glastonbury Festival.

In this episode Debs tells us stories of recreating Blade Runner in the English countryside, where brands and agencies get it wrong with experiential, and how she balances artistry and entrepreneurship.


Tickets Podcast: Adam Morallee on international boxing and brand partnerships

On the guest list for today’s episode of Tickets is Adam Morallee.

Adam is founder of Brandsmiths, a boutique law firm based in London with a focus on media, entertainment and technology brands.


Adam is also a prominent boxing manager, working with the world-title winning heavyweight David Haye and his Hayemaker Ringstar promotion company.

In this conversation, Adam shares his hugely valuable insights into setting up an international boxing match, the future pay per view sports broadcasting, and how talent and their representatives can forge more valuable partnerships with brands.


Introducing ‘Tickets’: a podcast exploring the world of live experiences

Before I left London for New York I got chatting with a sports and media lawyer.

I mentioned my background in the live music industry, and he was fascinated to know more about how live music deals were made.

After telling him a little of what I knew, we discussed where some of those ways of working could be applied into his world. We both enjoyed getting insights into each other’s areas of interest and agreed to keep in touch, but we were both busy – him on a couple of big deals, me on visa applications.

Fast forward a few months and several conversations I’ve been having in my new home of New York have reminded me of that London meeting.

There’s little doubt the definition of a live experience is getting ever broader. As that happens, more white space is appearing between the disciplines, concepts and approaches being applied.

This is exciting, but there are a couple of problems.

  1. Many people creating and producing these experiences don’t have the bandwidth or access to explore these white spaces, join the dots and look at where they could apply adjacent ideas to what they’re doing.
  2. It’s not easy for audiences to develop a better understanding of what goes into bringing these experiences to life.

With both these problems in mind, I’m excited to announce the launch of ‘Tickets‘: a podcast series going behind the scenes with the visionaries, producers, and operators behind some of the world’s most innovative and vital live experiences – from Broadway to boxing, virtual reality to retail.

The first three episodes are now online. Here’s a brief introduction to each of our debut trio of guests.

Adam Morallee: founder of London law firm Brandsmiths, Adam is also a prominent boxing manager with deep expertise in areas such as brand partnerships, content licensing and IP development. (and yes, Adam is the person I had that first conversation with…)

Debs Armstrong: founder of award-winning experiential agency Strong & Co, Debs also co-founded the legendary Shangri-La area at Glastonbury Festival.

Andre Lorenceau: co-founder and CEO of LiveLike VR, Andre and his team are building a new way to make live sports broadcasting more interactive, social and compelling.


New episodes will be released each week and we’ve got some fantastic guests already confirmed.

You can check out Tickets through the following channels – please go ahead and leave a rating and comments.

Apple Podcasts



Our podcast landing page


If you’d like to be a future guest on the show or want to suggest someone who should be, drop me a line.



Introducing Zorro: projects for hybrid talent

TL;DR: Zorro is a new solution for connecting companies to multi-disciplinary talent. We work with proud generalists – the operators, producers, builders and can-doers who don’t fit into standard job titles or descriptions. Whether you’re on the hunt for projects or people, check out www.findzorro.com

A few months ago I moved from London to New York. One of the restrictions of my visa was that I had to apply for an Employment Authorisation Document (‘EAD’, i.e. a work permit) before I could undertake any work for US companies. This process took several months, usually 3 but sometimes as long as 7 months depending on the specific application and the processing times at USCIS.

During the wait for my work permit I met up with as many interesting, smart and creative people as I could, as well as taking some time to sharpen up a few of the tools in my career toolbox.

Occasionally I also took a look at job boards to see what was out there and what companies were looking for.

Most of what I found had very specific job titles with role descriptions which were either extremely specific or very broad.

This made me consider three things:

  1. There’s very little demand for people with diverse and eclectic skills and backgrounds, as all companies wants to hire specialists
  2. As headlines are (apparently) 80% of the work when writing, some of the generalist jobs would get missed by potential applicants as the titles looked far too narrow and specialised
  3. The job boards focused on consulting work are full of roles that are either very specific and/or require an MBA/’top tier’ consulting firm background

I was willing to bet that (1) was incorrect, if not now then in the near future, and particularly within smaller businesses as everyone on the team needs to be able to do almost anything. Job titles become fuzzy at best.

(2) could be overcome by a bit of deeper pruning by those in the job market, but it’s a hassle, and using the right combination of search terms is pretty difficult on most platforms.

(3) ruled me (and most of my peers) out as I don’t have an MBA nor am sure on the value of one. This is evidenced by MBA schools having severe pain right now.

There appeared to be a gap. Not a huge gap, but that was ok. It was a small gap, the kind of one that a cat or maybe a fox could fit through…

With that in mind, I’m pleased to introduce Zorro – a job board for the generalists, the hybrids, even the misfits. That’s not to say Zorro is for anyone – it’s aimed at connecting companies who want Swiss Army Knife-style talent who have solid track records as well as diverse eclecticism.

Zorro is curated on both sides, and right now we’re in private beta while we iron out all the gremlins (I told you I was still sharpening skills – coding is definitely one of the slightly blunter ones).

If you think you fit the bill, or you’re looking to bring people into your company who are really good at getting things done then please join us.

Zorro can be found at www.findzorro.com

And why ‘Zorro’? The title is inspired by Isaiah Berlin’s essay about the Hedgehog and The Fox, which in turn got its title from the Ancient Greek poet Archilochus, who said a hedgehog knows one important thing, and a fox knows many things.

Sometimes we need the hedgehog, but I believe more than ever we need the fox.