My first podcast of the year was inspired by a podcast I found late last year.
I have listened to Gimlet Media’s StartUp Podcast on and off since its inception. This past December I rediscovered it thanks to a five-part series called StartupBus. The premise? Per Gimlet’s web site: “This past summer, 20 strangers got on a charter bus headed from New York to New Orleans. For three days they had one goal: Build and launch companies from inside the bus. And then? Compete against each other.”
Sound like a reality show? It did to Eric Mennel. The Gimlet senior producer pitched StartupBus as an episode, got on the bus, and realized after two days he had struck audio gold. He turned it into a five-part series, with one episode for each day of the competition.
Think about the challenge. Mennel faced the curse of few limits; he had plenty of time and roughly two dozen people who could potentially become main characters in his story. He needed to find them, figure out the main stories, remain open to new events, record it all, and then – upon returning – winnow an absurd amount of audio into 150 minutes of content.
Mennel succeeded. He joins me on Episode #59 of the Telling the Story podcast.