Kickstarter Lesson #196: Outward-Facing Positivity

18 August 2016 | 14 Comments

I was the featured guest on a podcast on Sunday, and it completely redefined the way I view podcast appearances, both as a guest and a listener.

Here’s some context from those two perspectives:

  1. I’ve had the honor of appearing as guest on many different podcasts. When I’m a guest, usually the hosts ask me a bunch of fun questions about my games, company, and Kickstarter. I appreciate the questions and enjoy answering them, but I inevitably feel like too much attention is focused on me, so I try to ask questions to the hosts so it can be more of a conversation than an interview.
  2. I listen to a number of podcasts, most of them gaming-related. Whenever I listen to an episode with a guest, I enjoy hearing the guest share the story and perspective about their work, though sometimes I wonder if they love stuff other than their own creation. I wonder if they share my passion for gaming, not just their games.

Get Up on This completely flips the formula. It’s hosted by Jensen Karp and Matthew Robinson, two guys who are pretty well connected to the entertainment industry. I was a little daunted by their guest list so far, as it includes actual celebrities (unlike me).

I listened to one episode before my guest appearance. It started out like any other guest-driven podcast: The guest shows up, answers a few questions about himself and his company, light banter, etc.

Then everything changes.

Instead of talking about the guest, Jensen, Matt, and the guest take turns talking about 2 things they’re really excited about right now. Books, movies, TV shows, apps, music, games…any form of entertainment. They share things they love with the audience–things created by other people.

As I listened to that part of the episode, I had a huge smile on my face. I loved how selfless and generous the conversation was. How non-self-serving it was. It’s just a few people sharing things they love with thousands of listeners. It opened a door for me to relate to the guest and the hosts in a genuine way.

Before my appearance, I prepared a list of things I love in each of those categories, and I ended up sharing one game (Captain Sonar) and one app (Sleep Talk), as I thought they’d make good conversation topics. Matt and Jensen also always discussed something they were late to “get up on,” and I chose Deadwood for that part.

I’m compelled to write about this experience mostly because it’s a good reminder to me of the power of outward-focused positivity. People are more drawn to you if you don’t make everything about yourself. They’re more attracted to you as a creator if they see that you’re passionate about your entire industry, not just your company or your project.

What are you drawn to when you listen to guests on podcast?

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14 Comments on “Kickstarter Lesson #196: Outward-Facing Positivity

  1. My favorite podcasts are informational ones like Roman Mars’s 99% invisible or Dan Carlin’s History casts for this very reason. I’m a little in love, especially, with Roman Mars because he sounds like he’s a little in love with everything in the world and the people that he interviews always sound so relaxed and excited to talk about their fields. People don’t have to really be multidimensional, just as long as they sound like they’re really living life whatever their lives may be.

  2. Jamey,

    Currently I listen to two podcasts…The Brawling Brothers with Josh and Brandon and Blue Peg, Pink Peg with Rob, Patrick, Christina, and Jeremy. I love the interaction between or among the podcasters, coupled with how they weave their own life experiences into the very podcasts. While I may not agree with a particular review of a game, I’m always excited to hear the breakdown and their analysis of the components, gameplay, interaction, etc. Also, each of these podcasts have had great guests and they don’t always spend the entire interview talking about games…they want to know more about the person, as well.


  3. I love listening to people’s stories. I’m drawn in by their journey and how they got from point A to point B: (the challenges, the obstacles, the issues, etc. I’ve been listening to a lot of TED Talks lately. I’d recommend listening to Diana Nyad’s TED talk…..truly inspiring stuff.

    As for as selflessness goes, I think it really depends on the type of Podcast. If it’s a more generic subject based kind of Podcast like “The Future of Gaming”, then I love the idea all views and ideas from all the contributors. If it’s a more focused Podcast such as “The Success of Stonemaier Games”, I want to hear mostly from those engaged or involved in the Success of Stonemaier Games- I want to learn from the expert rather than the outside community who is less informed on the subject. I want to hear directly from Jamey and Alan’s about their story and how they got from point A to point B.

    I do agree that a company or person that shows interest in other’s work and ideas instead of being only self-driven is important. If I want or expect people to take interest in my stuff, then I need to reciprocate.

  4. Aaron Sorkin, the great screenwriter, has a quote that’s stayed with me: “Never tell the audience something they already know.” This is wisdom.

  5. I think it’s all about the right balance between the guest and others stuff. And I agree that people are more intrested in people loving whole industry than just their own creation. I understund your effort to talk about other things than just about your games and company!

    IT have to be hard to say something new when you had so many interviews etc. So talking about other stuff will make it more interesting.

  6. It really depends on why I’m listening to the podcast in the first place. I’ve listened to several featuring you Jamey because I’ve been so excited about Scythe coming out. When I listen to the Nerdist podcast, it usually features people that are involved in some pop culture thing that I’m into (Walking Dead, Alex Trebek of Jeopardy). I like to hear funny “behind-the-scenes” stories, interesting things that have happened to them, etc.

    I think it’s really cool how that podcast worked. I’ll have to give it a try.

    1. Joe: I agree–I think there’s a key balance there. There have been podcasts where I have to remind myself, “People listening to this probably want to hear me talk about a specific topic, not just ask the interviewer questions.” :) I’ve gotten better at that over time.

  7. I’m a big podcast fan, and a lot of my favorites are really more just conversations than they are interviews.

    For example, the Joe Rogan Experience. Moat of the time, he and the guest just have a conversation that goes wherever it goes, and most episodes are around 3 hours long.

    The really great thing about that kind of conversation is that you really find out who that person is. Much more than those five minute segments on late night tv.

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