Note: this post is also available on the Podcast Websites blog.
In late 2014 I sat in my home office pondering my future as the owner of a design, brand and digital agency here in the UK.
A week earlier I’d published my own podcast for the first time, having been the co-host on a show for over a year prior.
As I sat in my office I remember thinking to myself that at some point, I wanted to work in podcasting full time.
Less than two months later I’d started building Podcast Websites with Kieran, our CTO and John Lee Dumas.
The day that we launched Podcast Websites into beta, February 18th 2015, Kieran and I sat in my home office and sketched out a vision for the next five years.
We kept that vision to ourselves whilst we built the first and second versions of Podcast Websites and as we built our team from the two of us into the team that we have today, both here in the United Kingdom and of course, the United States.
Prior to launching our beta, we had made a plan to be in revenue from day one, to make sure that the business had a solid financial basis before beginning to expand and make the very vision that we’d created in 2015 a reality.
I’ve founded startups with investment before and done well enough with them to understand that for Podcast Websites, we didn’t want to be beholden to investors.
I’ve also founded and built bootstrapped businesses and again, done well with those to the point that Kieran and I knew that bootstrapping Podcast Websites was the way we wanted to begin.
To that end, we have never taken a penny in investment – not from angels, not from venture capital and not from partners – the business thrives off its own back.
I’m not against that but for us, it hasn’t been something to pursue.
Because of this stable position, in December 2017 Kieran and I sat down to map out the path to creating the whole vision that we had laid the foundations for in 2015.
I still have that map on my wall here at the Podcast Websites offices, today.
I’m proud of the team that we have built and I’m grateful to be able to sit back and appreciate the feedback that we receive from podcasters who we have helped to through launch.
Podcasters who, in so many cases, were so afraid of the peripheral challenges associated with starting a podcast that they simply wouldn’t have started had it not been for the second-to-none service and support that our Podcast Websites platform and the team has given them.
It’s really heart-warming to hear, too.
When we started Podcast Websites we were up against some perception challenges from the industry. Opinions from other companies such as “Why would you even need Podcast Websites, you can just make a WordPress site and plug our hosting in and that’s that.”.
But we knew that they’d missed the point and most importantly, they hadn’t taken the time to understand people quite as we did.
I have been the founder of a successful design & digital agency and managing clients like Bosch, Time Warner and more whilst also acting as CEO for startups in the artificial intelligence and on-demand spaces. That experience gave me the insight to be able to look past that and put people at the centre of everything that we did and everything that we have done ever since.
I knew the barriers because I’d spent years learning how people create things and how they worked with the tools that were already on the market for creating their own online brand.
I’d spent years listening.
I like listening. I like being an outlier. I like being on the ground, on the coal-face.
And I did that for one reason: because I love being a part of the community and not acting as if I know better.
People don’t act how we expect them to and for us techies and geeks, we have to get off our horse a little and actually empathize with and understand real people.
I like to be around my people, the podcast community, and I like to really get a deep understanding of what they’re really struggling with, as opposed to postulating at what people ‘should be doing’ because that’s how it’s always been done.
After all, that’s how we’ve built our Podcast Websites platform into a vital part of so many podcasters’ lives.
And we’re about to do it again.
The vision that we planned in 2015 and that we fully specified in December 2017 is becoming a reality.
In order to help you, even more, the passionate podcaster, we’re beyond excited to have lined up a number of big announcements over the next week.
The first of which is…
Podcast Websites, the business, is renaming and rebranding to become Rebel Base Media – a brand identity that we’ve chosen based on our aptitude for pushing boundaries.
Podcast Websites is our flagship product, platform and service – and in order to make that even better we’re repositioning ourselves slightly within the industry to make it really clear. We are a technology company that builds amazing products for podcasters.
And as the next year unfolds, we want it to be really clear that whilst we help podcasters to create online hubs for their audio brand that scale well and that look outstanding from day one, we are not just a “website” company.
Podcast Websites remains and will forever make the lives of podcasters easier.
But we’re also releasing some new tools for you, too. All with the same level of personal and 24/7 support.
Podcast Websites, the platform, is about to undergo a significant service upgrade. As we ramp up to lift the lid on Poductivity and expand the Podcast Success Academy, we’re going to be adding more products to our product suite that you can use with or without the Podcast Websites platform.
Podcast Websites is here to stay, and Rebel Base Media is here to help you with our range of podcasting products set to introduce new ideas to the industry and also to rethink how we can make your life as a podcaster easier and more successful, whatever that success looks like to you.
The mission that we wrote on our wall in 2015 is still on the wall in our offices today:
Make successful podcasters.
It’s why we do what we do.
I’m proud to be a part of this industry and love it more than anything that I’ve been a part of before.
I’m excited for what Rebel Base Media can do for you as a podcaster via our Podcast Websites, Podcast Success Academy & Poductivity brands and the two remaining tools that we’re about to launch.
I’d also like to say a thank you to Kieran, my partner here at Rebel Base Media; JLD and Kate for their partnership and support; Jessica, Izzy, James, Lester, Hana, Ramona, Wayne, Kyle, Nik and the rest of the Rebel Base Media team along with each of the podcasters that we help every day, especially those Founding Members who believed in us from day one.
Thank you, too, to everyone who has supported Podcast Websites and now Rebel Base Media since we began and although I can’t say thank you to everyone here, special shout-outs to Jared, Dan, Gary & the Podcast Movement team, Chris & John at PodFest, Hani Mourra, Brian Fanzo, Mike Morrison & Callie Willows, Chris Ducker, Jordan Harbinger, Jonathan Baillie Strong, James Cridland, Joe Pardo, Erik, Tom, Brandon, Chris & the AWeber team, Andrew & Pete, Amy Woods, Phylecia Jones, Annett Bone, Kipper McGee, Steve Stewart, Jonathan Oakes, PT & the FinCon team, Jaime Jay, Vernon Ross, Colin Gray, Joel Sharpton, Chris Marr, Ryan Gray, Ben & the VaynerMedia team, Oli, Matt & the Bonjoro team and so very many more.
I also want to thank all the people who work for, and essentially are our competitors. I am eternally grateful to be in an industry with colleagues who are as smart and decent as you.
Above all else, I’m grateful to you, the podcaster, for supporting the industry overall.
All ships rise in a high tide, let’s do our very best for our industry.
This is only the first in a raft of announcements coming over the next few days here at Rebel Base Media – we’re only just getting started.
Thank you for everything.