Zach and Rock were recently on That Digital Show, chatting with host Chris Hood about cloud recording. Chris is the Head of Business Innovation & Strategy at Google Cloud. This was such a great interview that we decided to drop it on our feed!

Here’s the description:

As podcasting and remote work both explode in popularity, so does the need for quality remote content production. SquadCast is a SaaS remote recording platform that empowers podcasters by capturing quality audio and video conversations that their listeners love. With customers in over 130 countries, SquadCast has revolutionized the way we use technology to record conversations. On this episode, Chris Hood is joined by Zachariah Moreno and Rockwell Felder, co-founders of Squadcast, to learn how remote recording has evolved and how they are empowering media creators to produce incredible content in the cloud.

You may have been expecting our Community series to kick off this week. We got a bit delayed. But we’ll start it up next Tuesday. Stay tuned for interviews between Zach and Rock and some of our amazing SquadCast community members.

Extras:

Our podcast stack:

  • ATR 2100 Mics
  • Apple AirPods Max Headphones
  • Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interfaces
  • Adobe Audition
  • Buzzsprout

Episode Transcription

Rock Felder: [00:00:04] Hello. Welcome to Between Two Mics. I’m Rock. It’s December, and this month it’s all about the SquadCast community. So starting next week, we’re kicking off our community series. Zach and I interviewed more than 15 podcasters who record their shows on SquadCast. We asked them about their lives, their shows, their passions and a lot more. We’re working hard to putting these together right now, and we may have promised that the first of those were going to drop today. However, there was a change of plans, but the community series is coming at you next week and it’s going to be amazing. For this week, we’ve got something really special, a special feed drop, one that we’re really proud to share. Zach and I were recently interviewed on Google Cloud’s podcast. It’s called That Digital Show. We got to speak with Chris Hood about the evolution of the cloud recording studio with SquadCast, and it was an absolute blast and such an honor. So we’re going to play that episode for you here in just a moment. Before that, we want to make sure you know about the SquadCast scavenger hunt. It’s running throughout the month of December, and the prizes are unbelievable. Our hope is that you register for the hunt at Contest Dot SquadCast dot fm. Then you’ll see a series of internet based tasks to complete. As you complete the tasks, you’ll accumulate points. And by the end of the month we’ll draw a winner from the hunters who scored the highest. And we’re adding tasks to the hunt throughout the month. So even if you’re just hearing about the hunt now, you still have a shot at winning. Plus, all hunters who reach 3000 points get a free month of SquadCast’s audio and video recording plan. And there’s a lot more consolation prizes for participants. Our sponsors are giving away prizes worth over $5000. We’ve got microphones, audio interfaces, headphones, marketing services, consultations, in-app promos, T-shirts and a whole lot more. It’s really a spectacular prize. We wish we could win it, but it’ll just have to be one for you. So again, go to contest Dot SquadCast Dot fm. So why are we hunting this December? The goal of the scavenger hunt is to share all that SquadCast has to offer, even beyond our robust in-app experience. We also have a Slack channel. Facebook groups, this podcast, of course, workshops, promo opportunities and more. The Hunt will take you through everything and make sure you know how to take advantage of being a part of the SquadCast ecosystem. And one more thing before we get to our chat with Chris Hood. We’re having an end of year sale. Head over to SquadCast FM Backslash Holiday Dash sale to get 50 percent. That’s half off an annual SquadCast plan. You can also give the gift of SquadCast to a friend or fellow podcaster. Again, that link is SquadCast Dot F.M. Backslash Holiday Dash Sale. Without further ado, here’s a feed drop of the podcast that digital show where we spoke with Chris Hood, head of business, innovation and strategy at Google Cloud. Thanks for listening, and we hope you enjoy. [00:03:09][185.4]Chris Hood: [00:03:17] You are listening to that digital show, a business podcast presented by Google Cloud to help organizations innovate and grow value in a digital world. Episode 42 The Evolution of the Cloud Recording Studio. In this episode, we are joined by SquadCast to learn how remote recording has evolved and how they are empowering media creators to produce incredible content in the cloud. Hello, everyone. I’m Chris Hood, a digital strategist at Google Cloud. Thank you for listening. OK. I am incredibly excited about today’s episode because not only are we going to have an awesome conversation with two incredibly smart people, but we are going to be talking about a really interesting service that we use actually to record that digital show. And on top of all of that, they are Google Cloud customers as well. So without further ado, I am pleased to welcome Zachariah Moreno and Rockwell Felder, co-founders of SquadCast Dot FM. And of course, we’ll also plug your podcast here real quickly. Their podcast Between Two Mics. Welcome, gentlemen. How are you doing today? [00:04:30][72.3]

Rock Felder: [00:04:30] What’s up, Chris? Thank you. [00:04:31][0.9]

Zach Moreno: [00:04:32] Yeah, I appreciate you having us on. [00:04:33][0.9]

Chris Hood: [00:04:33] I would like for each of you to share just a little bit about yourself and share with us the last thing you’ve downloaded. Zach, you want to go first? [00:04:40][6.6]

Zach Moreno: [00:04:40] OK, cool. Yeah. So my background is in arts and design. And of course, full stack software engineering. Did my internship on the Chrome team at Google in 2012. Working on developer tooling, did some work in the government and wrote a book on Angular actually another Google framework. Yeah. And then all the while I was thinking of ways that we could do creative side projects, and that’s where we started on a podcast that was very challenging for us to do and get into the same room together. And that’s really where the idea for SquadCast, the cloud recording studio was born. You know, here we are almost five years later. So recent download for me was we have a new internal tool for our team that is an application that is named after our puppy that passed away, Hercules. That is for our team to better support our customers and do a bunch of amazing things in service of podcasters. Yeah, I recently downloaded Hercules, the latest build there. [00:05:34][54.0]

Chris Hood: [00:05:34] Rock. [00:05:34][0.0]

Rock Felder: [00:05:35] Yeah. So Rock Felder, thank you again for having us on Chris. So I’m Zach’s friend. So that’s my claim to fame. As of today, in addition to being his co-founder and co-host. So my background is in accounting and finance. I worked at a accounting firm as a financial statement auditor on public and private companies for about five years, and really just started to get this itch to do something different, something more independent. I love the experience that I got for my job and the amount of skills that it helped me acquire and the confidence that I got to build up in the business acumen that it offered me as well, but was like really wanting to do something entrepreneurial. I was exposed to all these different leaders and executives and founders and wanted to give it a shot. So when Zach approached me about the idea that became SquadCast, it was a, you know, I already knew Zach for many years. We’ve known each other since high school, so I knew pretty much whatever he put his mind to, he was going to accomplish. And I like to think of myself as a similar kind of individual. And then also the fact that it was rooted in podcasting, rooted in remote collaboration. You know, the virtual studio really just made sense to me so easy to get excited about. And yeah, like he said, it’s been a magical five years ever since. The last thing I downloaded, so again, very passionate about podcasting. So it was a podcast. It was one of my favorite podcasts. Besides that digital show, it’s a podcast called Startups for the Rest of US by a good friend of ours, Rob Walling, who also uses SquadCast to record his show. We’re very grateful for that. So he focuses on indie companies, bootstrap companies, self-financed companies. SquadCast is like that as of today. So great resource for us to listen to other people’s stories or get insight from a veteran like him, like Rob, who knows what it’s like to build a company this way. And the last episode that he talked about was MailChimp, which is also another company that hasn’t raised like traditional VC fundraising. How they sold to Intuit for twelve billion. So as you can imagine, someone like him who’s kind of a thought leader in the space is getting all this. Hey, what do you think, Rob? What do you think? What do you think? Well, he has a podcast to broadcast that to all these people to let them know his thoughts. So it’s pretty cool to hear that. [00:07:39][124.1]

Chris Hood: [00:07:40] Yeah, I love the story that you just shared about. We needed a way to record with each other and the whole startup life, having ideas wanting to make a difference. I’ve been there too, or that entrepreneurial spirit and trying to find a solution or something that is going to change the way people engage with each other. That collaboration, I think SquadCast can be summarized in just that. It’s this very unique platform that allows you to collaborate with individuals remotely. And ways that we couldn’t have say five years ago. So share a little bit more about your journey. Where did that inspiration come from or what was the first steps that you had to go through to build this remote recording studio platform? [00:08:27][46.6]

Zach Moreno: [00:08:28] It wasn’t obvious to us. We kind of assumed podcasting had been around for a little while, and this was probably a solved problem that, like OG professional podcasters had a solution to. We were wrong about that, and we just kind of kept digging for that solution and we came up kind of empty handed or the state of the art was kind of paper thin. It was use Skype as something like Skype, with some third party software running in parallel. And the host would sound OK, but the guest would sound like they’re on a phone call. And that was passable, let’s say. But the desire for quality enhances the listener experience the monetization potential, the just general professionalization of podcasting. And just selfishly, like, we wanted our podcast to sound good. That’s where we were coming from. And we’ve learned a lot of what I just shared since then through working with a lot of podcasters. But we started with those assumptions and then kind of worked our way backwards to find the reality and get to, OK, what’s the state of the art? Why is it like this? We’re very much students of what has come before. So all the way back till tape syncs from radio station a to radio station B and putting the reels in the mail and cutting it together with tape all the way up to recording phone calls. And what I just shared about Skype, but it’s not for the purpose of recording quality content together. It’s for the purpose of conversations with people who are in different places and bringing that online. So we felt like that was a pretty unique use case that deserved its own solution. And we very much think of this as like a figure ground reversal, like with Skype, they might have recording as a feature. Conversations are the reason it exists the foreground, let’s say. And then in the background is this recording feature. SquadCast is we flip that on its head, we are a recording platform that has conversations collaboration as a feature so that prioritization really drives home what the value is of a platform like ours and making the quality of the content top of mind and the focus of our work that really allows podcasters, as I said, to continue professionalization. And we now know through some research at USC that listeners they perceive quality as a direct correlation with the credibility of the speaker. So if you work super hard to have like this thought leader guest, come on your show and then they don’t sound as good as you, one that’s going to distract and it’s going to take away from the credibility of somebody who you brought on because they are credible. Right. So that’s really kind of working against us as podcasters and content creators, and that’s really where we saw an opportunity to use some new approaches and new technology that we’ve developed, used a lot of the capabilities afforded us by Google Cloud and very modern approach to what has been a long time problem for remote content production. Thankfully, you know, we’ve been able to innovate and move the needle there in service of that. [00:11:15][167.3]

Chris Hood: [00:11:16] Yeah. You touched on so many things that just recollects in my mind, one of my first podcast was definitely all in person, and my co-host was in a completely different state. We literally had to plan travel arrangements to get up, meet and record, sometimes even in a hotel room, just so that we could have that professional sounding experience. The changes that we have seen just in the last year because of the pandemic, yes, have been astronomical, and I’m sure you’ve seen it as well. So Rock has SquadCast blossomed in any way just because of the pandemic? [00:11:57][41.1]

Rock Felder: [00:11:58] There’s no doubt it did. I’m grateful to say, though, that we were coming into 2020, coming in hot and picking up a lot of momentum. Really changing our pricing to a more proper SaaS model is really it was a game changer for us in that regard and benefited our business tremendously. But there’s no doubt that there was an acceleration of awareness and need for something like SquadCast because a lot of people were either had more time on their hands and wanted to start that creative side project that they just didn’t have the time, space or energy to. But then also a lot of professional podcasters or media companies like ESPN and Fox, where this is core to their business, they needed to keep their production on schedule. So fortunately, we were again well positioned for that and had already started building relationships with some of these business customers that we’re still grateful and happy to be servicing today. But there’s no doubt that the pandemic really forced it for a lot of people. And I think the good news is, is that a lot of people are seeing the benefits of it and how that you can have a great sounding conversation. It can be done remotely and it is a lot easier for people. I think, you know, your situation, Chris, is if you can do it and you really want to record in person, we’re not anti recording in person. There’s obviously some benefits to being in the same room with people, but our thoughts is is as podcasting continues to grow in popularity and just become more mainstream, which even five years ago, it was surprising to both Zach and I that it wasn’t podcast the term. People didn’t even know what that was significant amount of people in the U.S.. Fortunately, that’s changed the other way significantly. So it is a much different environment that we’re in. But it was a no brainer test that more and more people were going to want to listen to podcasts and therefore create podcasts. But not everybody was going to be able to meet in the same location, have access to a studio. So we thought Zach’s situation with creating the podcast with his friends was going to be something where the world was going to need because podcasting is global. That’s one of the cool things about working on an app for like SquadCast is we’re helping people record in over 130 countries and for those people to connect and have the conversations that they want like, I think it is unrealistic to think that everybody’s going to be able to meet in the same place. And I think that’s another thing that was a key insight for Zach. And I was we both got exposed to working remotely at our previous jobs and got to experience that. Some of the myths that you’re not as productive or no one’s going to get worked on. Communication fails in those type of environments. We get to see that that wasn’t very true. So I think the rest of the world got to see that because they were forced to for, of course, unfortunate reasons. And, you know, we’re grateful to be hopefully putting this thing behind us at some point, but it was a nice boost to our business like others. [00:14:32][154.4]

Chris Hood: [00:14:33] Yeah, it’s a great point. I’ve had many conversations on the podcast with individuals who are international, and that would not have happened if it wasn’t for SquadCast at the same time when I have executive level guest come on to the show. It’s very hard to have a CEO come and say, Yeah, OK, I’m going to make plans and sit down with you for a conversation. It’s much easier to get them on a call like this or just log in. And what’s also interesting about what you said is around the SaaS model, where technically you’re able to bring in different types of utilities or technologies or resources because you present this as a podcasting platform, but really, it could be used for any number of different types of media creation tools or opportunities. Zach, are you thinking about it in that perspective? Is it really just for podcasting or is it for any type of remote recording? [00:15:29][56.5]

Zach Moreno: [00:15:30] It’s a great question, and our mission is to amplify collaboration, so that’s not necessarily specific to audio. Even if it was, there’s a number of different formats that fall within audio, right? Like audio books is another example. We’ve always had video for the real time conversation, so you have body language and eye contact that helps the conversation flow naturally, like you’re in the same room. And that led to a video recording being our most requested feature. So that’s really where we stepped up. We rose to that occasion and delivered that for our customers at the beginning of this year. That’s another form of content collaboration. That quality really matters. Maybe even more so because then you have lighting, you have cameras, you have syncing the audio to the video, you have syncing the videos relative to all the other speakers. These are all very interesting technical challenges that needed to be overcome, and I’m proud that we’ve been able to come up with a number of innovations there where the boundary between these different forms of content is really just what do you want for your show, right? Do you want to just focus on audio as a starting place and invest deeply there? Grow from there to add video to add other forms of media that audiences can choose to engage with, whether they have ten seconds on Instagram, whether they have ten minutes for a clip on YouTube or three hours for the whole kit and caboodle on your podcast. We love that we provide a platform where the creator has a plethora of choices to create content across all these different mediums. And really, it becomes how you want to express yourself creatively. Your production is much more efficient because, as you said, you’re not needing to have logistics of travel, cost of travel, and then the quality really also helps you create these different assets across these different forms of media because you’re not having to fix content quality issues that shouldn’t be there in the first place. Robotic sounding voices pixelated video misalignment between speakers or one speaker’s video relative to the audio. These are all things that just eat up your production budget in post-production. And yeah, that’s something that we’re very proud to have contributed to as well to help content creators not just collaborate and create, but also do that efficiently. Podcasting the content is the tough part, so making it easier wherever else we can upstream from that. [00:17:49][139.0]

Chris Hood: [00:17:51] True Story. I recorded a podcast on SquadCast two months ago, and the individual who I was interviewing had a really interesting over produced sound coming out of the microphone, and I could not figure it out, and I offered a couple of suggestions we tried to swap some mics. The first mic they used was better. So we just recorded and I figured I would try to post edit some of this out when I got the recording off a SquadCast, it had already eliminated all of that overprocessed sound. [00:18:22][31.1]

Zach Moreno: [00:18:23] You’re right. [00:18:23][0.3]

Chris Hood: [00:18:25] It was absolutely amazing. And to your point, there are some times individuals who are doing podcast. They’re not technical, they just want to produce. [00:18:33][7.9]

Zach Moreno: [00:18:34] Increasingly so, yeah. [00:18:35][1.5]

Chris Hood: [00:18:36] They just want this easy to use platform log in hit record. And it sounds amazing. I think there’s some real business value in that, especially if you’re thinking about ways to not only collaborate, but ways to do it efficiently, effectively, without worries. Rock, have you thought about it just from a pure business perspective? Clearly, there is a need for this. We’ve already discussed that, but this is actually a tool that can increase businesses’ value in their marketing and content creation efforts. [00:19:11][34.7]

Rock Felder: [00:19:12] Yeah. And I think one of the things that has made it difficult for us to market or at least expanding our creativity when it comes to marketing is some of the stuff that you talked about, Chris, that a lot of the benefits of SquadCast we call them invisible features are things that what you mentioned about our local recording engine. What you see in real time, what you hear in real time is not necessarily what you get and almost always, it’s going to be better, which is kind of counterintuitive to folks. But it’s been tricky to do that. But I think you’re right, Chris. There’s a total business used for this, and that’s what’s been really exciting for us over the last year or two was businesses starting to embrace podcasting a lot more. They had embraced it previously, but I think they had mismanaged expectations or weren’t really sure what they were getting themselves into, really. They seem to be figuring it out now. They seem to be embracing it fully. I see a lot of companies really are becoming media companies. To some degree. They have podcasts like yours or there’s some type of YouTube channel or newsletter, all those things that our customers as content creators do. But like, we’re seeing companies do that as well. And again, they’re starting to figure it out. And I think there’s a few use cases that we see. So there’s like the external podcast where like this one is where it’s designed to be listened to by a general audience for lack of a better term. I know not everybody is going to listen to it, but generally speaking, anybody could listen to this show. It’s for external use. But we’re also seeing a rise in internal related podcasts or stuff that’s on a private podcast feed where only certain individuals are able to access and listen to this communication. So oftentimes it’s like a business leader or CEO type who wants to scale their communications industry wide and the listener can get all the benefits of podcasting. They can listen to it at their leisure while they’re doing other things, like the dishes on their commute and stuff like that, and still get that information from their leader. But their leader doesn’t have to go to all the different business units and present to them directly. That’s what’s been really exciting for us is getting the opportunity to work with companies that we’ve grown up loving. Like Google, Zach worked at Google for a time and we’re big fans and users of Google, but then the other companies too, like I mentioned, ESPN, Spotify, it’s incredible. Kara Swisher recording her show on SquadCast. That was an incredible thing for us and we’re expecting more. So it’s a happy days. [00:21:23][131.7]

Chris Hood: [00:21:24] Yeah, that’s awesome. You touched on something in there. You said organizations are starting to become more media focused and we have this conversation at Google a lot with some of our customers. Is that is every company, a technology company? To a certain extent, we have to embrace that technology to be able to deliver the experiences that our customers expect. So how do you see yourselves? Are you a technology company? Are you a media company? Are you a service company? [00:21:53][29.6]

Zach Moreno: [00:21:54] We are a technology company that serves media companies. So we think of podcasters as a lot like startups like micro media companies that are blossoming into greater and greater degrees of professionalization, where you can start to have a network, you can have premium content monetize through these different platforms. And that is not that dissimilar from like a SaaS model startup where you have subscribers and revenue from what your product in this case is, you know, audio and video content. Yeah, we’re a technology company. That’s what we focus on, but our technology is helping people create quality media. We also invest heavily in ourselves. Being a media company, we love to engage with the community and really walk the walk, and that’s why we have a podcast. That’s why we have videos that we create on a regular basis. And that helps us one understand intimately how our customers are using our product because we are also our own customers. There’s that term dog-fooding, so we definitely practice that. We have our internal meetings on SquadCast and we use it as much as possible, and that really helps extend our empathy for content creators that we serve. So we’re fortunate being, you know, almost a five year old company that we were a technology company from day one, we didn’t necessarily have to go through a technology revolution, but I’ve definitely been at organizations that have gone through that, and that’s how I tend to see things as every company is a technology company. Every company is increasingly a media company because of customer expectations and just meeting people where they are across all these different channels. [00:23:34][100.0]

Chris Hood: [00:23:35] Zach, if we continue to think about just that evolution and you walk through it a little bit from Skype, what is the next five years in this space look like? [00:23:43][8.3]

Zach Moreno: [00:23:44] Yeah, that is a phenomenal question and something that I do the thought experiment on a regular basis. So early on in SquadCast, I saw this opportunity where there’s this emerging category of new devices to consume media. So smart speakers, right? Google has a ton of products in that category. I also tend to think of them as smart microphones. They have these microphone arrays in them that do things like removing background noise dynamically through like sidechain compression and a number of these different things so that, you know, they can understand what people are saying from like the other room when the shower’s on or the dishwasher is on or something like that. So I think that there’s a huge potential in unlocking the creative potential of those what are typically thought of as consumption devices. I think there’s a huge potential to open those up as creation devices as well. Any advanced or mature product category hardware category is both creation and consumption. So I think there’s a lot of opportunities there where people have very affordable access to high powered microphone arrays, and then they’re also connected to the web. So we could do things like, Hey Speaker, connect me with Rock and Chris and let’s record a podcast together. And because it’s all cloud based like our platform, we can make that super seamless through through just those voice commands and basically unlocking a bunch of potential where there’s a bunch of people who maybe don’t think they have a microphone around them, but they do either in their phone or in their smart speakers that are, as I said, very affordable. So I think that’s one area that we’re very excited about evolving towards, as well as just other forms of collaboration and content creation. So our next major release, this is a little bit more near-term, but we’re expanding our experience on SquadCast to foster collaboration, both like pre-production and post-production. So your whole production team can collaborate across multiple shows within an organization and have different roles there to collaborate effectively on a broader range of content, audio and video and multiple shows and multiple teammates and all that. So just to paint a picture of more near-term and yeah, more far out to your point. [00:25:53][128.8]

Chris Hood: [00:25:53] I love that. That sounds really exciting to me. We’re talking right now about different types of shows or regions or syndication models for that digital show. And when I start to think about even something as simple as creating a episode brief or what are the questions that we’re going to be asking during this episode, all of that type of collaboration is happening weeks in advance and to think about SquadCast as a collaboration platform that could include things like the script or the questions or prerecorded elements. I think all of that becomes a really interesting aspect of the development process. That, again, a lot of people have to think about, they do it, but they may not necessarily have the skills or the equipment or the time to invest in it. Those extra collaboration efforts, I think, are going to be really exciting to see. [00:26:51][57.3]

Rock Felder: [00:26:52] Couldn’t agree with you more, Chris. We value focus SquadCast. It’s a core competency here, so we’re really just all in on being the best remote recording platform, but we understand that we are a part of the production workflow. We’re right in the middle in production, but understand that there’s a lot of other steps before and after that. And so making the workflow more seamless, more sticky, just making it easier for the creators is a huge opportunity here, and it’s absolutely a direction that will be going. We started doing that with adding integrations to stuff like Dropbox will be adding integrations to Google Drive scheduling apps like Calendly and Savvy Cal. So that’s all coming. But you’re right, because what we’ve really learned here is like, Zach said creating the content, that’s the job, right? And it is a tough job. And I think one of the things that we’re promoting more and more is that, yes, what we love about content creation today is that thanks to technology like SquadCast or Canva, we’re really lowering the barrier for anybody to be a creator. But just because the barrier to entry is low does not mean it’s easy. It’s actually very hard and not trying to discourage anybody, but just trying to manage expectations realistically, that it’s not easy. It’s much more than just getting behind a microphone, hitting that red button and then seeing what happens. There’s so much work, so many steps, and we’re just happy that we can help creators make it a little bit easier and help them compete on their quality. [00:28:08][76.7]

Chris Hood: [00:28:09] And Rock in that, we talk a lot about meeting our customers needs, and I know you’re very active in your own community and you’re active throughout the podcasting community as a whole, right? But how do you gauge on that? How do you innovate? How do you talk with your customers about some of these features and identify what works or what doesn’t work or what they expect or they don’t want? What’s that process for SquadCast look like? [00:28:35][25.6]

Rock Felder: [00:28:35] Yeah, our process has always been to be very active and engaged with the community, with our customers. Talk to them. It does get more and more challenging as we scale the company. So figuring out ways to still keep our ear to the ground, so to speak, but still building the company out is a challenge and something that we’re dealing with right now. But it’s absolutely the best way that we’ve been able to grow our business and decide on what features to prioritize. For example, video recording was not intuitive to us. We were like, OK, you’re a podcaster. This is the audio only medium. We understand why seeing each other in a recording session on SquadCast is valuable, but we didn’t really understand why having that video recorded would be valuable to our customers and started to learn a lot. Like, we didn’t build it just for one person. It was overwhelmingly our most requested feature. But then also it started to complement what we were hearing from industry leaders rooted in data like a lot of reports like the Infinite Dial Report are showing that more and more consumption of content is happening on YouTube and having your podcast presence there is really beneficial for expanding your reach, growing your audience and what a lot of podcasters are doing is getting people to successfully find them on their podcast. But there’s like a huge population of people on YouTube that you’re not necessarily going to find on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, but they’re there and they want content. And if you can address that, then there’s a lot of benefits from that. But again, we didn’t get there without listening to people but paying attention to the industry at large. And then also, it can be tricky to just because one person said something. I think that’s what we need to work on now. It’s it’s the most important thing. So what I’ve learned is what’s important tends to always rise to the top. When Zach and I were first building the company in 2017, 2018, when we first started having our first customers. I took that very seriously. I think we all did, but speaking for me personally. We fought for this customer. We’re going to fight to keep them. And so it was a little tricky to want to do whatever you could to keep them, which sometimes would be like build out features or make tweaks and changes to the app. So what I’ve learned is to, of course, listen and learn from it, but not get so quick to react. Something that’s important tends to rise to the top like a certain bug or something like that. Like, I don’t want to say we were waiting for about to get really bad, but if it was really bad, it would show itself. And there was no debate among the team. Whereas like, maybe if one person experienced it and I’m talking to Zach like, Hey, I think we should do this, but that’s one person, you know, maybe we don’t need to be building and restructuring our roadmap for one person. So that’s how I’ve been thinking about it is just like continue to stay in tune with our customer base in the community. But I have faith that things that are really important will rise to the top. [00:31:11][156.1]

Chris Hood: [00:31:12] Stephen King was once asked How does he come up with his ideas or how does he know when an idea is good? And he said something similar to what you were just talking about, which is when he has a bunch of ideas, those that kind of come and pass in the night are not ideas that he focuses on, but the ideas that stick and he thinks about and dwells on and comes across his mind on a regular basis. Then he knows he has something there. Community can be very similar there. Like you said, one person asking for something could eventually just fade away. But the more that people are asking for it and the more that it’s being demanded, that’s something that sticks around and should be investigated. [00:31:50][38.5]

Rock Felder: [00:31:51] That’s absolutely what I was trying to get at. Stephen King knows how to say it succinctly though. [00:31:54][3.1]

Zach Moreno: [00:31:54] I love that. [00:31:54][0.0]

Chris Hood: [00:31:56] I’ll ask one more question before we wrap up and we’ll do a really forward thinking approach. Or maybe you’re already thinking about it. What elements of artificial intelligence are you introducing into the recording process? [00:32:08][12.6]

Zach Moreno: [00:32:10] Yes. Yeah. Lots of cool things to explore and innovate there. Increasingly more accessible because of Google Cloud and platforms like it. So there’s a number of things that we’re doing R&D work on that I would say fall into that category. The interesting thing about audio and video, though, is that it’s almost more important what you don’t do to it. We think of it kind of like organic produce, where the more you process audio and video or pesticides you add or something like it kind of takes away from the quality. So how we do that without losing our focus, there is something we’re very mindful of. We’re also very mindful in the experience that we want to not distract from the human conversation that’s happening. But there are things that we have learned along the way about different forms of collaboration that our core technology can help with and lots of different ways. One example there is this concept of like an async interview where you you may not even get that hour on the calendar with Target’s CEO. But Target’s CEO may have an hour that comes up available where they could respond to questions that you send them in advance and maybe have some back and forth there where you could still have those follow up questions and make it feel organic. There’s lots of different ways that that can help scale the conversation and bring in more voices into the conversation. So there’s forms of collaboration there that I think artificial intelligence can really help with making that feel natural and some other things that I guess I’ll keep you in suspense on for now. [00:33:46][95.9]

Chris Hood: [00:33:47] Well, you talked earlier about our home devices like Google Home. Here’s what I want. I need a co-host and I just want to have an A.I. co-host. So as I’m talking, the AI can chime in and answer right back to me with additional questions. I mean, think about it. You can have a whole slew of A.I. co-hosts that are right there ready to engage in a podcast with you as needed. [00:34:11][24.7]

Zach Moreno: [00:34:12] I love that. [00:34:12][0.5]

Chris Hood: [00:34:12] Go ahead. Go make that happen, guys. [00:34:14][1.1]

Zach Moreno: [00:34:14] You got it. [00:34:15][0.4]

Chris Hood: [00:34:15] Thank you so much, guys. Thank you for the time and the effort and everything that you’re doing at SquadCast. Truly appreciate it. It was an honor to have you. An absolute great conversation. [00:34:25][9.9]

Rock Felder: [00:34:26] Yeah, likewise. Thank you, Chris. [00:34:27][1.0]

Zach Moreno: [00:34:27] Yeah, we’re truly honored to collaborate and help you with your podcast, Google with our podcast. We’re using your technology with our technology to make this happen. So it’s super cool and very meta. So grateful for the opportunity and great conversation. [00:34:40][12.8]

Chris Hood: [00:34:41] Yeah, I love it. And thanks to all of you for listening. If you have questions, comments or ideas for the show, connect with us throughout social media. And of course, join us next week as we explore another topic around innovation. All on that digital show. Thanks for listening! [00:34:55][14.2]

Rock Felder: [00:35:05] Thanks for tuning in to this week’s episode of Between Two Mics. [00:35:08][2.6]

Zach Moreno: [00:35:09] We hope you enjoyed our conversation. If you learn something or are we intrigued you a bit let us know on social media. [00:35:15][5.9]

Rock Felder: [00:35:16] You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn by searching for SquadCast FM. [00:35:22][5.6]

Zach Moreno: [00:35:23] 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. [00:35:28][5.5]

Rock Felder: [00:35:29] This show is put together by us, Zach and Rock. It’s mixed and produced by Vince Moreno with help from Arielle Nissenblatt. Our logo is designed by Alex Whedbee. [00:35:38][9.3]

Zach Moreno: [00:35:39] Since we’re a podcast about podcast, we want to shout out the brands and products that we trust. We’re recording using SquadCast dot FM, and here’s our current stack. For recording, we’re using ATR 2100 mics, Apple AirPods Max headphones, and Focus Right Scarlet 2i2 audio interfaces. [00:35:59][19.6]

Rock Felder: [00:36:00] We edit the show on Adobe Audition, and our hosting site is simple cast. [00:36:03][3.4]

Zach Moreno: [00:36:04] That’s it for us this week. We’re back next week with more from between these mics. [00:36:04][0.0]

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