How to Create a Successful New Media Company

Today, almost 68 million Americans listen to podcasts on a monthly basis and the proliferation of this entertaining, informative, and opinionated medium is only expected to keep growing. At the 2017 Propelify Innovation Festival Matt Lieber, Co-Founder of Gimlet Media, the digital media company and podcast network focused on producing narrative podcasts, gave his three best tips on how to emerge as a successful entrepreneur and run a growing new media company.

Seize Opportunity, Add Big Amounts of Passion

Every time a new technology emerges, a new company gets built. Think: radio and serialized radio programs in the 1920s, cable television and CNN in the 1980s, and in today’s era, cell phones, the Internet, and podcasts. Understanding and seizing upon these era-defining opportunities is a key step to building success in the media world. But, pinpointing opportunities around emerging technologies set to explode isn’t enough. You also need that critical element – passion.

“We did believe that this feeling we had as (podcast) listeners, ultimately it would keep growing,” Matt said, about being an early and excited adopter of podcasts. “And that feeling we both believed in is what made us both wake up at 5 a.m. to get in an hour of work before the kids got up. We totally had that excitement and passion about doing the business. And you need that to succeed.”

Seeing opportunity isn’t enough to succeed – you also need passion for that particular opportunity.

Embrace Failure

Entrepreneurship could also be called a crash course in embracing and overcoming failure. To succeed in any industry or turn any startup venture into a thriving business, founders have to learn to embrace the many failures, mistakes, and screw-ups that come along with launching something new.

“The lived experience of an entrepreneur is constant failure on your way to some success,” Matt said. “Am I afraid I’ll fuck it up? Yeah. And I fuck it up everyday. But, you’re going to make mistakes. You need to confront the mistakes, talk about them about your team, and then try and learn from them.”

Bottom line? The road to success isn’t determined by the number of bumps and roadblocks you encounter along the way to achieving a goal. The road to success is determined by your ability to deal with and then overcome those roadblocks.

Become Comfortable with Discomfort

Another unspoken truth of entrepreneurship? The rigors of running a business never get easier. You get just get better at handling the curveballs thrown your way.

“You have to learn to live with the doubt, the pain, and the uncertainty of starting something new,” Matt said.  “It doesn’t get easier over time, but it becomes more comfortable to live with the doubt and the ambiguity. And you begin to internalize the doubt as a normal part of starting a business.”

Entrepreneurship doesn’t get better. You do.

Watch highlights from Matt’s talk at the 2017 Propelify Innovation Festival:

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