One Spectacular Year

Bryn Jackson
2 min readJan 11, 2017

This post originally published at on May 03, 2016.

A couple of weeks ago, on April 16, 2016, Spec — the little podcast network thing that Jonathan, Brian, and I created on a whim — had its first birthday.

Last week, we hit 5 million downloads.

It’s borderline impossible to get stats on how long people listen, but based on the average length of each show and their individual downloads, that’s almost 60 years of audio downloaded.

It’s a vanity metric to be sure, but it’s a big milestone of a vanity metric so I feel particularly grateful. We can force ourselves to make podcasts for an entire year. We can’t, however, force people to download our podcasts 5,000,000 times.

We also can’t force other people to bring their talents, passion, and persistence to our network.

People like our producer, Sarah, who edits and masters 9 podcast episodes each week, all while managing release schedules, working with our fantastic sponsors, co-hosting a show, AND putting up with me.

People like Brian who I only met 6 months before Design Details launched and has been one of the most encouraging and talented people I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. I was a fan of his work before we became co-hosts, but I’m still constantly blown away by the amount of excellent work he puts out — at Facebook, Spec, and on his own projects — while simultaneously being one of the most humble and caring individuals I know.

People like Jon, who single-handedly created our most popular (and frequent!) show and built almost all of our websites — all while being responsible for the engineering team at Whiteboard.

People like Sean, Paul, Jake, Sam, Marshall, Josh, Kaushik, and Donn who either brought their existing projects to Spec or worked with us to create awesome new projects to help people level up — on top of their day jobs, and families, and personal goals.

I feel lucky to have spent the last year working with my best friends, making new and (hopefully) lifelong friendships, meeting many of my heroes, working with some of my favorite companies, spewing dumb jokes onto the internet, learning more than I could’ve ever expected, and spending time with just the most wonderful and supportive community I could ever imagine.

…and writing hyperbolic, run-on sentences thanking people.

So, thank you all for enabling us to have this incredible experience.

I can’t tell you how stoked we all are for what’s to come.