Ep. 4 - Jake & Jonathan Do America
A few months ago, I reached out to Jake Knapp, a former designer at Google, an investor, and a NYT best-selling author of Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days and Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day. The form on Jake’s website asked how much I want to pay for this speaking engagement and it almost made me abandon the idea of getting him onto our podcast.
I wrote to Jake anyway and he not only agreed to join us for a recording session but also dragged Jonathan Courtney, the CEO of AJ&Smart and the co-host of the Jake & Jonathan podcast (f.k.a. Product Breakfast Club) to join us for a two hour recording session.
Recording this episode was probably the most fun thing Arnab and I did in 2022. The episode consists almost entirely of laughter. Literally, it’s a laugh track. When we need some inspiration on gloomy days, we just re-listen to this episode and it never fails to delight!
Ok, I lied. There are also serious, deep personal stories in this episode. Jake and Jonathan stopped podcasting a couple of years ago and we dug into the story as to why they’re no longer doing the podcast. It was a great privilege for us to get them to reunite, ramble, reflect, and laugh on the record again!
Start listening or keep reading to learn what our takeaways from this recording were.
P.S. That’s what our screens look like when we’re recording. We do have topics, questions and notes but we end up using almost none of them during the actual recording and just let the conversation flow naturally.
Record several episodes upfront when you’re starting your podcast. Six is a good number of episodes to pre-record. It will give you more freedom in the early days while allowing you to still stick with your schedule. Tim Ferriss recommends that, Jake and Jonathan did that, we’re doing that for Metacast. It’s a good idea. It works.
Release on a weekly schedule. Help people build a habit around listening to your podcasts. Weekly schedule is highly predictable.
People like listening to authentic rambling. That’s what helped propel Jake & Jonathan to over 1 million downloads.
If you can’t do guest episodes every week… just ramble every other week, J&J said. And that’s exactly what we did with our metasodes. This tip is Jake and Jonathan’s contribution to our show.
Create unstructured time for yourself to be creative. Jonathan has no meetings in his calendar. This is a big topic — listen to the episode to learn how he manages to live an unscheduled life.
Try leaving your job and not looking for another one for some time. This will force you to be creative, says Jake. See also Jake’s article Taking some old advice.
Use the power of moments in your podcast. People remember the “highs” and the “lows” of the experience. Create the “highs” that people will remember and talk about.
People outside the US don’t care about US politics… but sometimes have to pretend that they do if they have clients in America.
Where to find Jake & Jonathan
Jake & Jonathan podcast (f.k.a. Product Breakfast Club)
AJ&Smart — Jonathan’s company
Facilitator.com — Jonathan’s current venture
The Unscheduled CEO — Jonathan’s podcast
How To Business — Jonathan’s Substack
Get in touch
We’d love to hear from you! Arnab is a Twitter guy and I’m on Instagram. Use the method that works best for you!
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (both of us get it)
Arnab’s Twitter: @or9ob
Ilya’s Instagram: @podcasthacks
You can also leave comments on this substack post. Don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already!
Descript — a tool that can help you edit audio similar to editing text in a word processor.
Adobe Audition — a digital audio workstation (DAW) by Adobe.
Riverside — a tool for recording podcasts and videos in high quality.
Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky
Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky
The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip and Dan Heath
Bye for now. Don’t forget to subscribe!
Get the next announcement in your inbox. Subscribe to our newsletter!