Chris Brogan is in pre-pre-launch stages with Grasshopper New Media, an audio and video podcasting company that focuses on improving digital conversations, and cultivating talent into content projects. He writes openly about the experience as a learning exercise for any who seek to learn and follow along.
The Story So Far
Since posting Revelation a month ago, I’ve been in the pre- pre- stages of starting a company based on the notion of gathering content into editorial projects. I have recruited three executive producers, a website helper (I call him my Chief WordPress Officer), a graphic designer, tentatively an audio relationship manager, and a few others. I’ve received advice from directors of nonprofits, legal folks, a few devil’s advocates, and I forget who else, but you know who you are.
In this time, we’ve launched The Great Big Small Business Show, New Media School, and we’re right about to launch Career Mom Radio and The Health Hacks Podcast.
I am also coFounder and Organizer of PodCamp, partnering with Christopher S. Penn, of the Financial Aid Podcast.
I’m pleased with what we’re got started. The shows are forming up, and we’re acquiring contributors. Each show already has its own pulse, and I like that. I’m personally running New Media School, after not landing the Executive Producer I was hoping for. That’s okay. That particular show keeps getting me into interesting conversations, and I like it just because it’s showing folks how to use the tools. I look forward to doing more episodes, though I did just release three in two days’ time.
I’ve gotta get a lawyer and do some things, like incorporate into an LLC status. The trouble with that is that it costs money that I don’t have, and that I’m worried it’ll seem stupid if this all falls under before it barely begins. I’m not worried that it’ll fall under, if you follow my thinking. I worry that I’ll incorporate for nothing.
I have to get the sites just a little more unified in design. I’ve been working that through with Dave, and I agree with his premise. Ben Yoskovitz had some good insights here, too. I will execute against those suggestions, but I’m just not finding cycles to get it all done at once.
I need to bulletproof the production model and get as much EP help as possible on pre-production. This will free me up. I could really use a chief sound engineer, but that’s asking too much for free, unless maybe I find one at PodCamp.
Things I’ve Learned
Lately, I’ve learned how to ask for money (for PodCamp). I’ve learned how to talk with businesspeople about their exciting thing, and still represent what I’m doing with Grasshopper. I’ve learned about people’s interest in my content through a few partnership offers.
I’ve learned that my Executive Producers love their shows, and are fiercely loyal to their success. I’ve had lots of great conversations to that effect.
I’ve learned that when something happens to talent, it’s a real beast to have to get it all picked up again. One of our team has gone and broken her leg, and I hadn’t really planned well for that contingency.
Tools to Use
If you’re thinking of doing a virtual startup, I think you need:
- AIM (or better, a multi-system client like Adium).
- A secret private blog
- A wiki or some way to keep thoughts organized
- Lots of emails
- Reminders to team that you love them.
What else? What do you want to know?