Zach and Rock discuss what the next few months at SquadCast will look like as Zach takes off for paternity leave. At SquadCast, we try our best to embody the spirit of transparency in every aspect of our business. With that in mind, we share what this means for the company, for Zach and his wife, and for remote content production.
Tune in to learn what Zach and Becca plan to name their child, what hopes they have for this new addition to the family, and why Zach thinks growing up in a start-up environment will be a positive influence.

Show Notes

Episode Transcripts

Manny Faces: [00:00:00] Peace and love, everyone, my name is Manny Faces, and before we get into this week’s episode of Between Two Mics, I want to tell you about another show I think you might really love. And it’s recorded on SquadCast. I’m the host of Hip Hop Can Save America. It’s a show that looks at the innovative, inspiring and sometimes surprising ways that hip hop music and culture are being used to uplift lives, livelihoods and communities across the country in areas like education, health and wellness, science and technology, social justice and more. Just search for Hip Hop Can Save America on your favorite pod or audio app or visit hip hop can save America dotcom. Now let’s get to Between Two Mics.  [00:00:38][38.4]

Zach Moreno: [00:00:50] Welcome to Between Two Mics, the podcast that brings you remote recording resources from  [00:00:56][6.4]
Rock Felder: [00:00:58] I’m Rock Felder, co-founder and CFO of SquadCast.  [00:01:01][3.1]

Zach Moreno: [00:01:02] And I’m Zach Moreno, co-founder and CEO.  [00:01:04][2.2]

Rock Felder: [00:01:06] On Between Two Mics, we bring you interviews with podcasters, experts in the field of remote recording. We discuss current events in podcasting and so much more.  [00:01:14][8.6]

Zach Moreno: [00:01:15] Twice a month you’ll hear a Founders’ episode. That’s just the two of us chatting about all things remote recording, updates to SquadCast, what we’re up to and what we’re listening to.  [00:01:26][10.9]

Rock Felder: [00:01:27] The other two weeks of the month. We’ll bring you interview episodes. Zach and I will sit down with experts in the podcast Space to discuss their companies, their podcasts, their thoughts on podcasting, creating content and more.  [00:01:39][12.2]

Zach Moreno: [00:01:40] The most exciting part? We’re recording all of this on SquadCast, the best place to record remote audio and video interviews in studio quality.  [00:01:49][9.1]

Rock Felder: [00:01:50] So let’s get between two mics.  [00:01:53][2.8]

Rock Felder: [00:01:55] We’ve got a fun Founders’ episode today, don’t we, Zach?  [00:01:57][2.0]

Zach Moreno: [00:01:57] We do indeed.  [00:01:58][0.5]

Rock Felder: [00:01:58] We got some big news. The SquadCast, team, family is growing by one. What’s the news, Zach?  [00:02:04][5.8]

Zach Moreno: [00:02:05] Yeah, my wife and I are expecting our first child and really excited about the growth of our family and yeah. Healthy baby boy. So that’s what I got coming up here in the life of Zach. Obviously, that’s going to kind of have some some impacts on on the company as I’m the CEO and CTO. But, you know, we have a thankfully have an awesome team.  [00:02:30][25.2]

Rock Felder: [00:02:31] Yeah. And we’ll get to all that stuff, what impact that will have on the company, on the podcast, all those things. But like. Yeah, what are you thinking about this as you start to begin this new chapter in life?  [00:02:42][11.4]

Zach Moreno: [00:02:43] We’re all about transparency, right. And one of our pieces of our culture here and I’ve shared this news with a few of our our long term customers that I’ve had conversations with and in the last few months hasn’t exactly been been a secret. But it is something that, you know, I’m just super excited for this next chapter. You know, my my relationship with my wife and the family, my brother is the head of our support, so he’s going to be an uncle. Big Vince — Data — is is my father. So he’s going to be a grandpa. And it’s really cool that we’re at the stage of our life where a lot of my friends have been either getting engaged or getting married or having children. And it’s just all about creativity. So that’s what’s really cool here, is to create a new person and and be able to to help them grow and see that growth and what kind of person they’re going to grow up to be. So we’re having a boy I can share and and Sagan is going to be their name. And yeah, I just had our baby shower and we have really exciting stuff to to plan and get a nursery together. And thankfully, my partner, my wife Becca is had kind of a unicorn pregnancy so far, like knock knock on wood and everything’s been pretty, pretty smooth. So that’s that’s been something I was concerned with, doing everything I can to make sure she’s comfortable and and healthy and happy. So we’ve been doing good jobs as first time parents so far.  [00:04:13][90.5]

Rock Felder: [00:04:15] That’s awesome. That’s the most important thing. So glad to hear that. Where’d y’all come up with the name Sagan? [00:04:19][4.4]

Zach Moreno: [00:04:21] That was probably one of the hardest parts so far is coming up with a name. There’s a lot of great names in our in our family, and people we look up to like I’m a huge space nerd. So we had and so is my wife. So we had this long list of like astronaut names and authors that we really admire. And we ultimately wanted we had some constraints for the names that we went through and kind of whittled it down. And we wanted something that could be kind of non binary to have to have flexibility as as Sagan grows up. But also we wanted we wanted to, you know, take the opportunity to to kind of celebrate the life of somebody that we both really look up to with a name that we thought sounded cool. Right. That’s what we didn’t want to go, like, too far off the rails and like maybe make up a name, which sounds fun and some people do. So Carl Sagan is is just a really inspiring person for lots of reasons. As you know, the cocreator of the Cosmos series that got a lot of people interested in space, you know, worked on the Voyager programs at NASA, which are still ongoing. That gold record. You know, there’s that iconic picture of Carl Sagan. And this is the person who you may have seen in memes who’s like billions and billions. Right. That’s also the author of the best selling book, Contact and movie with Jodie Foster. And just on and on and on, Carl Sagan was a G and. And that’s where we got the first name from, our child’s middle name is is after my grandfather. So, yeah, that was quite a process of coming up with the name. And then we were like, oh, well, maybe Sagan’s a little bit to kind of out there as a first name and we just kind of kept using it in conversation and just kind of stuck and seemed to be seemed to be a good fit. So that’s I wish I wish I had a name like that, but it’s pretty cool.  [00:06:16][115.4]

Rock Felder: [00:06:17] Zachariah is a nice, strong name, but he told me about Sagan. I was like, that’s definitely on brand. And it feels like a name, you know, it’s unique, but it doesn’t feel like one of these things that you’re like trying so hard to, like, make this unique name that it’s not even really a name. You know, I think you all did pretty well. And yeah, he’s off to a good start with you two as parents. I’m curious, though, Zach, like, you know, what are you looking forward to? Like, what is what is fatherhood mean to you? I mean, you know, it’s every boy’s dream to have that fairy tale wedding. Right. But, you know, what do you think about when it comes to being a parent?  [00:06:51][34.9]

Zach Moreno: [00:06:52] Well, we also considered the name Rock. That’s a very strong name, I think.  [00:06:56][3.5]

Rock Felder: [00:06:56] So it’s tough to live up to when you got Dwayne Johnson.  [00:07:00][3.4]

Zach Moreno: [00:07:01] Oh, yeah, that’s true. So true. Yeah. So looking forward to a lot of things like bringing Sagan home, bringing Becca home like and just kind of providing an environment for for him to to grow up and, you know, be secure and have, you know, access to things that maybe I didn’t have or my wife didn’t have. And really, you know, a strong, strong support system. I’m looking forward to like taking him camping, talking about space and some of the things that I’m into, but also just kind of seeing who that’s who I am. Right, like that. I want to see who who he is and what what he’s into. Both you and I practiced jujitsu, so I’m excited to have him grow up and be part of that community here in Oakland. And the kid classes for jiu jitsu. That’ll be that’ll be fun. Yeah. And I guess just like seeing what he’s into and sharing what I’m into. And thankfully, my wife has a background in education. So I think that that’ll be a really strong advantage to have to have, like, you know, access to a professional educator, like 24/7. Pretty much so. Yeah. Beyond that, like right now I’m kind of curious, like eye color and like things like that. Right. Like how big will he be and just kind of behavioral stuff. And, you know, I’ve got some really great advice actually from some friends in the podcast space that are parents right before me and got some really great advice that because I’m a little I have a little bit of anxiety and I and that’s because I want to do well, I want to do a good job. And that is probably a pretty good indicator that I because I care I will do a good job because I want to see that through and, you know, and be there for for the growth of our child. So it’ll be interesting having having a child grow up and exposed with a front row seat to tech startup. That is something I did not have as a child. I don’t think most children do. So that’ll be really interesting to see. You know, maybe maybe he won’t be into that at all, but at least be some level of exposure to it.  [00:09:12][131.2]

Rock Felder: [00:09:13] Well, he’s got to be into podcasting.  [00:09:13][0.8]

Zach Moreno: [00:09:16] Yeah, exactly. Looking forward to that. You know, just having microphones around and stuff like that, I think will be a little bit of a trip for, like a small kid to play around with.  [00:09:24][7.9]

Rock Felder: [00:09:25] Yeah, no, absolutely. It’s a lot of excitement. And that’s one of the things that’s been really cool from my perspective, is like I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise, but the overwhelming support from our friends in the podcast community, I mean, some of them where I’ve only been, it’s only been me that they’ve been talking to. They’re like congratulating me and saying, I’m so happy for you, as if it’s like, you know, I’m having this child with you, Zach. And and I kind of get it to some degree where they’re just like because we have this business partnership that like… [00:09:56][31.1]

Zach Moreno: [00:09:57] SquadCast is our child together, Rock.?  [00:09:58][0.6]

Rock Felder: [00:09:58] Yes.  [00:09:58][0.0]

Zach Moreno: [00:10:01] I don’t know of a better analogy.  [00:10:02][0.8]

Rock Felder: [00:10:05] It’s just been really cool to see the support from the community like that, which is, again, no surprise, but something extra special that I’ve certainly noticed. And yeah, the overwhelming amount of folks have just been like, giving some really good advice that I’ve even been listening to. And, you know, some of it seems obvious, like in retrospect, like if you if you care this much, chances are you’re going to you’re going to be OK. You know, even our friends in the Tiny Seed community. Like what what did John say? He was like John from Scatter Spoke. He was like, just be around. That’s all you got to do is be around. And I’m like, it seems so obvious.  [00:10:38][32.9]

Zach Moreno: [00:10:39] Yeah. And, you know, we’re a remote team. I work from home. Right. I have a lot of time that goes into SquadCast, but I’m at home. So, you know, it’ll be interesting to see how that dynamic works out.  [00:10:50][11.3]

Rock Felder: [00:10:50] So speaking of SquadCast, Zach, of course, we’ve been knowing that this was coming and that you were going to have to take some time away. So we’ve been planning how to, you know, carry on the day to day of SquadCast accordingly without you working, you know, as much as you have. And I mean, of course, there’s no denying the impact and how vital you have been and continue to be to SquadCast. But thankfully, we have grown our team pretty significantly and have a great, really rely on a bunch of individuals to carry things on. And yeah, I mean, like from your perspective, what’s the game plan for you and how do you think things are going to go without you?  [00:11:29][38.5]

Zach Moreno: [00:11:30] Well, thank you for saying that. Yeah, it’s it’s something that it’s never really great timing to introduce a baby into the into lives or the world or anything like that. But it is something that we can plan for and have resources for. So, yeah, we been hiring a lot and grown the engineering team where we have three really talented software engineers now who are crushing it every day and moving things faster and faster. And that’s with me stepping away over the past few months. And and, yeah, it’s it’s really exciting to officially, like, formally retire from being a software engineer, contributing to SquadCast. And the app is in very capable hands. Engineers, far more talented than myself, Jean Hannah and Anthony are all from very esteemed backgrounds and very capable of not just picking up where I left off, but improving a lot of things that that are really solidifying, you know, the app and stability and mobile and everything, scaling our cloud and just the whole the whole shebang. So I’m really, really proud of their work to jump in headfirst and really run with, you know, what is, I’m proud to say a solid app that that I had built a lot of. But that’s less and less true going into the future. And as an entrepreneur, that may be kind of counterintuitive to some of our listeners, but as an entrepreneur, that’s what we do, right? We lift up others and empower them to express their creativity in an environment that we helped to cultivate. So that’s really, really beautiful from my perspective. And yeah, on the other side of of my parental leave, I’ll be more focused on the larger growth of SquadCast, both as the CEO and CTO. But yeah, no day to day engineering and more and more ambitious plans. So thankfully. Right, I’m not a solo founder. You’re my co-founder. And we’ve had periods of time in the past where I’ve been running the company. And you had to step away or I’ve stepped away and you’re running running the day to day. And, you know, I think that that’s really, really awesome how we can complement each other’s skills and kind of step into the different roles when we need to. You know, and I feel like well, while I do have the official title of CEO of SquadCast, I feel like in a lot of ways we make decisions together. We co CEO on a lot of on a lot of things. And yeah, I’m really excited for this being like, you know, it’s a constraint on our team, but it’s a it’s a positive constraint and we can use it to our advantage and and use it to grow. So I’ll be back pretty soon.  [00:14:16][165.8]

Rock Felder: [00:14:16] Back and better than ever. But no, I appreciate that. And and honestly, like, you know, when we were talking about this six, seven months ago, I had a little bit more anxiety just because, like, there was so much uncertainty, like we had plans to hire folks. And, you know, to the best of our abilities, it sounded like, OK, this should this should be enough and put us in a good position if this all works out. And thankfully, it has, and even worked out better than I think we we imagined at that point, like because now we know who is actually the one taking over as far as like Jean as a senior, then Hannah and Anthony as the software engineers. And it’s absolutely in good hands. And I couldn’t feel better about it. And I think it’s actually going to be a growth opportunity for all of us involved you to step away and and to see that once you come back, you don’t necessarily have to be in the day to day engineering and can take on that CEO visionary leadership role like you, of course, have. But now you have even more space to do that. And then for me, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun because, you know, you’re a talented dude, man. I can rely on you for a lot of things, and now I’m not going to be able to do that. So I think it’s going to help me grow in a lot of ways that I’m excited about and being more even more in tune with the the engineering team, because you’re that conduit for me of telling me what’s going on and stuff like that. But I’ll be a little bit closer to the metal, I feel like. So I think that’s going to be good for me. Of course, I’m not going to step in and start coding the way that you’re capable of, but, you know, in my own way, I think it’s going to demand a little bit more and I fully embrace, like, you know, trying to rise to that occasion just because, again, I talk about this quite often, but this is what I love about entrepreneurship, is that there’s a lot of pressure and it’s demanding and it can be heavy. But I found for me that usually brings out the best in me. So that’s what I’m trying to view this as it’s just a growth opportunity. We have so many customers and teammates, they’re all relying on on SquadCast in some way. So that pressure to to not want to let them down, similar to like how you were mentioned about, you just want to do such a good job of being a parent that that alone is going to probably make a significant impact in you actually realizing that that goal of being a great parent, it’s kind of the same thing for me is just like I just I don’t want to let any of us down. I want I want when you come back that it’s almost it should be in a better place than what you left it. Not that you’re leaving it in shambles or anything like that, but like I think there’ll be growth, there’ll be development, there’ll be progress. I am looking forward to it, even though there’s no doubt that there’s going to be some maybe short term impact without you. Like, there’s no you know, I mean, your fingers are everywhere in here. So to say that they’re we won’t feel it or won’t notice it would be a total lie. But I think we’re we’re set up to be in a good place. And like I said, when you when you come back, you’ll be better than ever will be better than ever too.  [00:17:11][174.8]

Zach Moreno: [00:17:11] Yeah, I’m looking looking forward to it and still find ways to to contribute while being there for my wife and my family. So that’s, you know, part of the longevity of being a founder. Right. Is that this is not a sprint as much as we like to talk about that and like software engineering terms, this is a marathon or, you know, even even more so like a century or something like that. Multiple marathons. And being a founder does not mean the rest of your life gets paused or stopped, like contrary to what some people believe. So that’s really where it’s like, OK, I’m inspired by, you know, some of the founders, like you mentioned in Tiny Seed. Rob, the founder of Tiny Seed, has a couple really, really great kids. And, you know, life life doesn’t stop. It continues to grow. So that’s really, I think, going to be a positive constraint on on me personally. And I believe the company as well, to continue finding ways to to grow and expand. I mean, this is our most ambitious year yet. So this does not mean our ambition is being limited because of the growth of my family. It’s quite the opposite. And and I think that’s awesome that we can we can continue to achieve all of that.  [00:18:20][68.9]

Rock Felder: [00:18:21] Yeah, that’s true. It’s a good point. So another thing that will be impacted, you’re not only my co-founder, you’re my co-host. So, I mean, we’re still going to keep Between Two Mics, but you’ll be obviously taking a back seat for the short term. But we’re going to keep the podcast going. So how do you feel about stepping away from the podcast as well?  [00:18:39][17.6]

Zach Moreno: [00:18:39] Yeah, I think it a similar I think it’ll be a good thing, you know, and get us to to try some things that like recording more episodes in advance to have more in the in more lead time, kind of in the can, so to speak, which we already do a pretty decent job at. You know, the couple of weeks that I’ll be focused elsewhere, I think, you know, we have a very creative, capable team with with you in the leadership role. But, you know, we have producers, we have video creatives. We have very talented people working, working on the podcast. And our whole content strategy really. We produce, you know, multiple blog posts a week now. We produce a podcast episode weekly. We produce videos, we do webinars, we do support videos. We are guests on other people’s podcasts. You know, we do a lot of things. And of course, I’m slowing down my guesting on other people’s shows. Not going to be attending Podcast Movement, unfortunately, that’s a little bit of news. But the team will, you you will be. So I’m very grateful for that, that we can continue investing and contributing to the to the community that we love. And yeah. With with the podcast, I think I think there’s there’s a good plan there and very capable people to carry it out. What are the changes going to aside from me stepping away, do you want to kind of unpack what the changes to the podcast will be from your perspective?  [00:20:00][81.1]

Rock Felder: [00:20:01] Yeah, so I begged the team to not make me do solo episodes for these founder episodes so you can expect some of our team members. As much as that would be a growth opportunity for me, I don’t think we’re quite ready. I’m not I’m not I’m not quite ready for that just yet. So thankfully, the plan is to start interviewing some of our team members, especially since our team has grown so much in the past year, that talking with all these folks that we name Jean, Hannah, Anthony, now you’re going to get to hear their voice learn a little bit more about them, probably see a video clip showing them and stuff like that. So really looking forward to that, because I think that’ll be fun. And I already got some ideas on, you know, how to how to conduct those interviews and, you know, really continue to highlight them to. We highlight all the guests here on Between Two Mics.  [00:20:49][47.3]

Zach Moreno: [00:20:49] Yeah, really excited to hear the team share some of their stories and perspective on, you know, contributing to our platform that helps other people express their creativity with audio and video. It’s it’s going to be really awesome. And I’m looking forward to putting on my putting on my headphones and being the listener of those episodes is going to be a lot of fun for me. I think that’s a pretty good lap around the updates of where I’m at with my life. And we wanted to keep you, our listeners, engaged and aware of, you know, be transparent for what’s coming with the show, but not stop stopping, not slowing down, you know, bigger plans and will have a new baby boy as part of our life. So really, really excited and grateful for all of the growth that we’ve been experiencing this year personally and just experiencing as a company and the growth of the creators that we serve and their audience. So it’s all really cool to be a part of that. And yeah, will be. I’ll be back. You’ll be keeping it going. We’ll have a little bit of an update after I return.  [00:21:49][59.3]

Rock Felder: [00:21:49] Thanks for tuning in.  [00:21:50][0.6]

Thanks for tuning in to this week’s episode of Between Two Mics,  [00:21:58][2.7]

Zach Moreno: [00:21:59] We hope you enjoyed our conversation. If you learned something or are we intrigued you a bit, let us know on social media. [00:22:05][5.7]

Rock Felder: [00:22:06] You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn by searching for Squad Cast FM [00:22:11][5.5]

Zach Moreno: [00:22:12] And if you want to show the podcast some love, you can leave us a rating or review wherever it is you’re listening right now.  [00:22:18][5.5]

Rock Felder: [00:22:19] This show is put together by us, Zach, and. It’s mixed and produced by Vince Moreno with help from Arielle Nissenblatt. Our logo is designed by Alex Whedbee.  [00:22:28][9.3]

Zach Moreno: [00:22:29] Since we’re a podcast about a podcast, we want to shout out the brands and products that we trust. We’re recording using and here’s our current stack: for recording, we’re using ATR2100 mics, Apple AirPods Max headphones and Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interfaces. [00:22:46][17.1]

Rock Felder: [00:22:49] We edit the show on Adobe Audition in our hosting site is Simplecast. [00:22:53][3.1]

Zach Moreno: [00:22:54] That’s it for us this week. We’re back next week with more from between these mics.  [00:22:54][0.0]