Podcaster Interviews

Interview with Noah Labhart of Code Story

The Code Story podcast is still relatively new, but I wanted to delve a bit deeper into this show because I found the human connection that it teases out its interview guests as fascinating. Noah Labhart is the host and he himself is a technology founder that is intimately familiar with the risks, rewards and challenges of introducing new tech products to the world.

I’ve been involved in many tech companies both big and small throughout my career so I found his interviews with tech founders fascinating.

Here’s my interview with Noah:

There are many similar podcasts to yours that feature tech leaders in an interview format. So tell me, what do you think makes Code Story unique?

Noah: Code Story drives at surfacing a narrative – the human story when building digital products, from the perspective of the tech visionaries themselves. It does so through experienced interviewing, crafted episodes, tension building music, and professional editing.

Why did you start Code Story?

Noah: I wanted a show like this! I’m a regular listener of How I Built This with Guy Raz… I think he and the NPR team do a fantastic job of crafting a story, creating tension with music and interview positioning, and resolution through the end of the story. I wanted that for tech creators as well, but couldn’t find what I was looking for. I had some friends who had started their own podcasts as well, so I figured I’d give it a shot.

Tell me about your process and the things that go into producing each episode?

Noah: My process is pretty normal. I have an amazing editing team – Bradley Denham and his team at recordeditpodcast.com. I schedule the interview and keep the total conversation around an hour. The interviews are relaxed as if we were in a coffee shop talking about our startups. I use the beginning of the interviews to get to know the person and to get some details to craft a guest intro.

Post-interview, I record 5 tracks for my editing team, and then send them off to be masterfully created. Bradley’s team handles editing, music placement, etc. while I’m the final QC on the episode. We are booked in to the fall right now, so it’s hard to give a realistic turn around time on an episode – but it’s usually a week, give or take.

What have been the most challenging aspects of producing the show?

Noah: Same challenges as with any show really – getting exposure to more listeners and getting sponsorships to support the editing process. I find it’s very similar to a startup… you have to work for every subscriber, every episode download, and every bit of financial support you gain.

From a personal standpoint, why do you do the show? What do you get out of it?

Noah: It’s a lot of fun! I get a lot of creative expression from the show, along with talking to my peers as a fellow CTO and tech builder. It also helps me in networking with people that I might not run across under normal circumstances, which is very useful and enjoyable.

Do you ever think about the lasting impact of your podcast? What would you want it to be?

Noah: I want people to listen to the episodes of my show and know that 1) startups and building technology isn’t always pretty, and 2) even the great industry changers of the world walk through things that are incredibly difficult – building teams, scaling tech, personally investing, etc. – you are not alone in your struggles, and I think surfacing those things to the young builders of today is helpful to them.

How do you promote your show? What have you found to be the most effective?

Noah: The most effective thing has been plugging into my pre-existing tech networks, and guesting on other people’s podcasts. I’m still looking for that perfect formula though and grinding towards the tipping/inflection point.

What advice would you give to a podcaster just starting out?

Noah: Get started! Record your first episode and RESIST the urge to make it perfect. Put it out there – in fact, record 4-5 episodes and then put it out there. And see it through, RESIST pod fading. Sometimes it may feel like a grind, but if your show is well done, is interesting and you are gritty, you will succeed.

What do you think the future of podcasting holds? More walled gardens like Spotify and Luminary or open RSS feeds?

Noah: I understand the need for paid platforms – businesses need money to survive. However, I’m on the fence with diverting to paid platforms like Spotify or Luminary. I get the value in having everything in one place on Spotify – music and podcasts – so I could see paying for that value. I have trouble understanding the paid/walled garden for podcasts only – perhaps paying for a podcast individually, to turn the ads off. I could see that being useful, where you could pick and choose which ones you were willing to pay for, or not… but still have them all in one place. It will be interesting to see how these play out.

Aside from your show, give me 3 of your best podcast recommendations.

Noah:

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