When I am a guest on someone else’s podcast, I try my best to deliver value to the podcast’s audience. I want them to learn something from the stories I’m telling. For the first time the other day I realized that *I* learn from these interviews too.
This week I did a pre-interview with Arie Desormeaux for the Mixergy podcast. Arie and Andrew have been doing this a while and ask questions that are effective at pulling useful tidbits out of the entrepreneurs they interview. While chatting with Arie, even though I was telling stories I’ve told numerous times before, I had a couple big realizations that I hadn’t thought of before.
These things might come up in the full public interview, and when that happens, I will share a link for y’all to get the full story. But for now, I’ll share the 2 tidbits I hadn’t realized before doing the pre-interview.
(1) In 2008, our son Isaac was born with medical complications that kept him in the hospital for 2 weeks and kept us from working for 2-3 months. Isaac is fine and healthy now, but it was a scary time for us as new parents. We were freelancing at the time and unable to work to bring in money, while also spending somewhere around $15,000 on unexpected medical expenses. (Thank god for the insurance we had and the ACA for allowing us to later get better insurance for our son with pre-existing conditions.)
This moment in our lives was important and pivotal for numerous reasons, but I just realized the other day during the pre-interview, that these months after Isaac were born are part of what motivated Kim and I to move away from consulting into products. We wanted enough money to be able to weather situations like this, and we wanted a business we could step away from for 3 months without risking our financial safety.
(2) We also talked a bit about WineLog during the chat. Arie asked what was the struggle we had with WineLog, and I mentioned how we had a string of issues where crucial technology and business partners made updates and pivots that made it harder for us to monetize our traffic.
For example, at one time Amazon announced they would start selling wine on their site. We spent a lot of time writing code to integrate with Amazon’s APIs. Then Amazon changed their mind and stopped selling wine, making all of that work useless. Similar changes at Google, Facebook, Apple, and others threw us off at different points.
Anyway, during the pre-interview Arie asked if we ever had the same issue with Paid Memberships Pro. At first, I thought no, but in reality we still deal with constantly changing technologies, APIs, and business partners. We have many weeks and months even, where we are doing development we aren’t always expecting, working to fix integration with tech partners. Why are we better able to deal with those things now? One reason is that we are fully focused on Paid Memberships Pro and can spend the time needed to work on these things. Being open source helps as well, allowing other developers to help us with these things. But there are likely other things we’re doing better this time around. Arie’s question really prompted me to think about it.
I’m looking forward to the full interview. I’ve been a Mixergy fan for years. I’m excited to share some of my story and some of the things I’ve learned in business over the past 15 years or so. But I’m also excited to talk with talented interviewers that can probe me so much that even I learn something during the chat.
If you are interested, watch this interview between Andrew and Arie going into the pre-interview process they use at Mixergy. And stay tuned to the Mixergy podcast for my interview whenever it comes out.