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Paying attention to ‘intent’ — a structured approach to designing your podcast strategy

Podcasting is a medium that has never been so accessible as now. However, a lot of podcasts fizzle out after the first few episodes. Don’t be “that person”!

I’ve learnt a few things after slamming a microphone into my forehead a few times — a podcasters’ equivalent to a facepalm. You see, the secret behind a good podcast is creating a show that gets audiences talking about it. There’s nothing so disappointing than working your butt off behind the microphone on something beautiful and then having…

Until recently bootstrapping was something I associated with technology. Usually, a piece of software that initiates your hardware and software like your operating system when firing up your laptop in the morning. The ‘coffee’ of the software world if you will.

Bootstrapping is also a business approach. An endeavour without extensive investment or financial risk to yourself (unlike a start-up, for example).

I learnt the ins-and-outs of Bootstrapping last year as part of Seth Godin’s Bootstrapper’s workshop. I’d encourage you to check it out if never done a Seth Godin Workshops before. It’s usually fast-paced with tons of growth opportunities…

I played tournament Paintball years ago and met many odd, unusual characters during that time. One of them, Theunis, a team-mate with a larger than life personality. I remember his dynamic confidence, benevolently engaging anyone who met his gaze. Random spectators, players, friends, family, anyone within earshot.

I still hear the echo of his voice and what became our rhetorical team catchphrase, “Is jy bang!?”. The direct translation from Afrikaans, “Are you afraid?”

The noise of the paintball fields long gone, the phrase remained chiselled into my subconscious. A ritual I followed by shamelessly answering “No”, carrying me into many…

A friend returned from Mexico recently. She thought it would bear the fruits of a burgeoning business relationship. It became complicated.

We met a few days after her return, the same day I set a professional life-change of my own in motion. Our post-trip reunion began with a gift. She handed me a souvenir, a handpainted amulet. A kind, generous and unexpected act.

The work you do should also be a gift. The gift of doing, creating, being thoughtful, selfless and attentive. Give without expecting reciprocation. The ‘factory’ was dimming my beliefs and the brightness of my contribution. …

We shared a farewell-coffee in October 2013. He carefully prepared the last brew; he made many cups for me up to that point and has prepared even more for others since.

31 October 2013, my ‘last’ coffee with Felix in Johannesburg.

Felix Matswai is a barista I first met two years earlier. Our lives intersected every day as I was passing through the canteen on my way to the work.

Interactions, brief, but the connection instant. We poked fun at life, shared tales of motorcycle adventures and inevitably ended up talking about FC Barcelona, his favourite football team. …

“Don’t fuck this up..”, words falling like arrows unexpectedly piercing the armour around my soft, sensitive core.

The comment, still vivid three years later, dropped just before a landmark business pitch. It left a mark on my confidence; my deflection strategy was not sustainable, nor deriving any lasting value. I had to make a change.

Heard about Harry Houdini? The famous escape artist claimed to be able to resist hard punches to his abdomen. Until a student named J. …

“Who’s Castle?! Our Castle! My name is Michael Carlyle, I’m a student of wizardry, and my father was a respected and famous Guardian.”

It has been a year since I became Michal for a few days and participated in Live Action Role Playing (LARP) blockbuster, an interactive experience limited only by the boundaries of your own imagination.

Participants follow a vague narrative wherein they conjure up, act out, shape and manipulating plotlines improvised on the spot with a majestic polish castle as the backdrop. An infinite game, where the aim is not playing to win but rather playing to play.

Two years ago, in a Polish Castle, I met Mark Odesky. You see, he knows a thing or two about Dragons, the fear they invoke and how to slay them.

Mark who? In some way or another, his work might have touched you. He‘s the ambitious man who executive produced the Lord of the Rings trilogy. While at the castle, he shared thoughts on the power of human imagination and the techniques used to develop immersive experiences.

It was also a story of constraints. They would have never been able to render every detail of the story. The project had…

My career in advertising started in a Johannesburg basement. A web developer, somewhat shy, introverted, spending his time with others of his kind. As developers do.

Not quite a Mad Man. The introvert flourished and became a client-facing strategist. Swooping in, alongside his team, with the expected flare of an advertising man. It was not uncommon for Alta, my dear friend and Creative Director, to ask, “Werner, will you come with us to present this idea. We need someone to flap-lips.” You see, talking to clients, flapping-lips, was my ‘thing’.

Things have become much quieter since. Silence, an asset; honest…

“Werner. Everything will be fine. As long as we have a great story to tell.”, I heard this a few times over the years I worked with one of my former bosses.

In case you wondered; she was right, more times I cared to count. Turns out Russian Novelist Leo Tolstoy understood this long before us, ‘Good art infects the audience with the storyteller’s emotions and ideas’.

Q22 Warsaw — The canvas for many potential ‘stories’.

Like a virus. Stories have an incredible capacity to influence decisions as spreads within the organism, that is an organisation.

In most great companies decision making is decentralised, but accountability flows from the…

Werner Puchert

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