Asking "Dumb" Questions with Christopher Linnane

Asking "Dumb" Questions with Christopher Linnane
Asking "Dumb" Questions with Christopher Linnane

Nov 30 2023 | 00:36:29

Episode November 30, 2023 00:36:29

Hosted By

Stuart Barefoot

Show Notes

Today, Stuart and Chris Linnane discuss Chris' podcast The Parlor Room, and what it's like to talk to experts. Chris lives his life surrounding himself with smart people on purpose. For some people, that can lead to imposter syndrome. Chris uses it to motivate him to do better. He also talks about his background in music, what makes The Parlor Room stand out from other podcasts, and the value of video in podcasting.

Chris Linnane is the creative director of Harvard Business School Online (HBS Online). In The Parlor Room,  Chris sits down with HBS faculty to discuss business education in a way that’s both entertaining and insightful. The Parlor Room is your key to breaking down academic theory without sacrificing depth—all while gaining practical takeaways for navigating the business world.

If you have any questions about this episode or want to get some of the resources we mentioned, head over to And as always, if you’re enjoying the show please share it with someone who you think would enjoy it as well. It is your continued support that will help us continue to help others. Thank you so much! Never miss another show by subscribing at

Today you’ll learn about:

  • “Never be the best guitar player in the room”
  • How Chris’ creative background led him to his podcast
  • The anonymity of creating music versus podcasting
  • Dealing with imposter syndrome
  • The Parlor Room and what makes it different from other podcasts
  • Chris’ thoughts about AI and the future
  • Truly trying and truly failing and how it can help people grow
  • Making audio for video and how video can give a podcast more personality
  • Microphones for newbie podcasters


Christopher Linnane LinkedIn: 

The Parlor Room: 

Castos Academy: 

Castos, private podcast: 

Castos, website: 

Castos, YouTube:  

Clubhouse video: 


View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: There's a saying about never wanting to be the smartest person in the room, which I don't know exactly who said it. Maybe it was Warren Buffett or someone like that. But in any case, it's a pretty simple idea. Always surround yourself with people who are smart. And it's the philosophy behind Chris Lenayne's podcast. The parlor room. [00:00:19] Speaker B: I remember when I was little, my dad was telling me when I was in bands, because my dad was in a band too, and he's like, you never want to be the best guitarist in the band because then you're probably not going to meet a very good band. And at first I thought, does he just think I'm a really bad guitarist? Which I am, but he was basically saying, like, you want to make sure you surround yourself with people who are really good at what they do. And I look around the room and I'm thinking, everyone in this room can do things better than I can do them by far. And that's the way I'd love to keep it. [00:00:44] Speaker A: Next, Chris and I chat about how he talks to some of the world's brightest people and why there's really no such thing as a dumb question, even if it feels that way at the time. My name is Stuart, and this is Audience, a Castos original series where we go behind the scenes of all kinds of different podcasts to uncover their creative process. But before we get to all the creative stuff, here's a quick note for our podcasters out there. Creativity is the most important part of the process, and without it, your podcast or your show probably won't go very far. But you also need a support system, aka Money. We can help you there. Castos lets you monetize all of your episodes, even the old ones, with a press of a button. There's no chasing sponsors, no extra editing work, none of that headache. You can even tap into your own support network. Let your audience directly support your podcast through one time or recurring donations with Castos Commerce. For more information, check out the links in the show notes. Okay, let's get back into it. [00:01:55] Speaker B: So, as a creative director, I have a team of people that make the courses. They work with content developers and they film all the interviews. They talk to protagonists from all over the world to tell their real life business case stories, and we film all those interesting stories. Our faculty comes in and builds a pedagogical approach to kind of teach their lessons, their frameworks around it, and we put it out there. And then the other half of my job is on the marketing side of making all the marketing collateral to promote the courses. And our podcast, The Parlor Room is kind of like a content marketing thing. It's a little bit of marketing and a whole lot of learning at the same time. And we're pulling from those faculty members. So far. [00:02:39] Speaker A: Chris Ledine is the creative director for the Harvard Business School online and like I said, host of the podcast The Parlor Room. Each episode of The Parlor Room features faculty from Harvard Business School. So at first blush, Chris's background seems like an OD fit for a podcast all about business. Before his time at Harvard, he was a musician whose tunes have been heard on TV shows like The Kardashians, Road Rules, the Real World, and The Challenge. [00:03:07] Speaker B: I started at Harvard in a different part. I started in the art museums, the Harvard Art Museums, so it felt like a better connection to going to college. I went to art school and went to Tufts University, but also went to art school as well. And the art museums at Harvard are outstanding, so it felt like a good connection to be there. You could be an artist, a songwriter, and you could be an employee of the Harvard Art Museums. It all made sense. [00:03:34] Speaker A: But the more you think about it, the more Chris's creative background actually makes kind of a lot of sense. Being an outsider helps him make a different kind of podcast. [00:03:48] Speaker B: I guess if I'm saying it's not like other business podcasts, I imagine it being you randomly arrive at a table with a Harvard Business School faculty member and you're eating lunch, and for some reason you're feeling confident enough to talk about your life a lot and they're trying really hard to make business sense of your life. So it feels more from my perspective, it feels like what we're trying to do is make this learning accessible and apply it to everyday things, everyday business, everyday life. So I think that's the part that might make it different than some other podcasts where our Harvard faculty could come in and knock it out of the park and explain a concept to you. But I think we're trying to make it more conversational and a little light hearted here. And there is the hope as well. [00:04:32] Speaker C: And keeping episodes pretty short too, I think like maybe like 20 minutes or so. [00:04:37] Speaker B: Correct? 20 ish, yeah, we're aiming at the, you know, I would guess it's going to be most won't be between 18 to 25 minutes. We kind of just try to cut it out. We record for around an hour and then we just chop down to the stuff that we think is super essential and maybe there'll be longer versions in the future. But I get pretty self conscious about hearing myself. I'm having anxiety about hearing myself on this one as well. Stuart like, just the idea of it makes me a little uncomfortable. So I think I look at most things I say and think, well, that can go I'll cut that part out. So the goal is to make them as short as possible. [00:05:10] Speaker C: So you're okay with your music being on The Kardashians, but hearing yourself on a podcast is a little more nerve wracking. [00:05:16] Speaker B: Yeah, no one would ever know that that's my music on the Kardashians, which is totally fine by me. [00:05:21] Speaker C: Yeah, that's pretty cool. It does seem kind of interesting with you not being, I guess, having a business background in the traditional sense, maybe that some of your colleagues at Harvard Business School have. What's that like to kind of be, quote unquote, in the parlor room with them. Does that ever feel intimidating? I feel like imposter syndrome gets thrown around a lot, but do you ever have that feeling either? [00:05:48] Speaker B: Yeah. So you've tapped into something pretty accurate, Stuart. You could call the show imposter Syndrome if you want. That's totally fine by me. So yeah, it is. I'm in a fortunate position to be talking to some of the brightest business minds in the world and people that there are people that are fighting to get in the room with these people and really get their insight and learn from them. I'm in the room from that and I'm someone who all I cared about growing up was music, painting, and baseball. That was all I cared about. So business was pretty far away from where I was going. As I got older, I started to realize how interesting it truly is just to think about business as a whole and how it applies to other parts of life. But I'm coming in at least to this podcast as kind of like the dumb guy in the corner of the room. I'm trying to think of a nicer way to say it, but I'm the person asking the questions that might seem obvious to some people who really know this stuff inside and out, but to me, it's the foundational question, it's the starting question. Like, well, why would that happen? And half the people might be like, obviously because of this. But I think a lot of people are asking that same question that I'm asking, and I feel like that's the entry point. That might also make this a little bit different than other business podcasts. I play the average listener as well in the show. [00:07:05] Speaker C: Yeah, I mean, who do you envision that average listener being? I mean, is it only Harvard Business School attendees or I mean, I guess anyone could listen to it. I mean, you're not putting them behind a paywall or anything. [00:07:15] Speaker B: Yeah, I would say it's definitely interesting to I would know that sounds too confident. I would think it's interesting to people who are really into business because you're hearing from Harvard Business School faculty. But I also think the majority of the audience, I would think, are people who are interested in business, interested in making their own companies, interested in moving along in their career, or just have an appreciation for just how the world works. I think you don't have to have a big business background to find the show interesting. I'm hoping, in fact, that it might spark some interest in some people and it might take them away. They might leave an episode with some new insight. That's the hope that they can apply to their daily life. And I always found that if I sat with a faculty member and we're working on a lesson together and I leave picking up something, I think I would tell everybody I know over the weekend this new story I learned. So it's like this new knowledge base that you pick up just from being around these scenarios, and I really want to share that with other people as well. And that's a driver behind making this series. Yeah. [00:08:19] Speaker C: I mean, it's almost just like you're kind of like a representation of the audience, maybe. [00:08:24] Speaker B: Yeah, that's the hope. That's the hope. And I think you're thinking of it, at least the way I'm hoping that it'll work out is people come into this with certain level of interest, but they come out of it with some additional knowledge, because I definitely don't know a lot of the things that the answers to the questions I'm asking. I was listening to your podcast, the Obscure Ball One, which I think is great. And I love baseball, and I love awkward, quirky sports stories. I think that stuff's always fun, especially historic ones where you're like, Seriously? That happened. But I think what's interesting about this, maybe, is that there is a little bit of an arc in these episodes. There's a little bit of a story in these episodes, maybe a lot of a story, depending on what episode you're listening to. But to me, that's the only way I can really access this, is I threw a lot of bad stuff out there to see how the faculty reacts to it. And by bad, I don't mean bad, I mean awkward, because that's how my brain works a little know, we have Mihir Desai is our first episode. He's just a financial genius. And also he's got his own podcast that's really good called After Hours. It's based out of I think Ted puts that out there, but he's great, and he talks about Jane Austen and risk management, and I read his book. I didn't know what risk management was until I read his book because he talked about Jane Austen. And it quickly and we go over this in the episode, it quickly occurred to me that I had a similar scenario going to my prom. So I don't know why I brought it up to HBS professor. I started talking about my prom to the HBS professor to ask him to break down the scenario of my prom, and he's totally willing to do it. And my hope is that other people have gone to things like that or experienced things like that, and they quickly get this different aspect of, oh, wait a minute. Business applies, and everything, or the concepts and the principles of business exist everywhere. [00:10:10] Speaker C: How'd the prom date turn out? [00:10:12] Speaker B: Oh, Stuart. It was okay. But I felt like my date was totally compromising to go to the prom with and this know, years and years and years ago, but I still feel like this was risk management was the lesson, and she definitely settled for me. That's what happened. [00:10:30] Speaker C: All right, well, you were brave to put that out there, so I'll kind of rise to the occasion myself. I only went to prom once my junior year, and I only went because a friend of a friend's date backed out and she already had a prom ticket and address and everything and just needed somebody to go with. But here's the kicker. Here's where this gets kind of layered and more embarrassing of a story. [00:10:54] Speaker A: Yes, I played on the lacrosse team. [00:10:56] Speaker C: In high school, but I was like second or third string at best. The guy who backed out on his date was the guy who was in front of me on the depth chart or whatever. The guy I was his backup at lacrosse, and I happened to be his backup at prom as well. [00:11:14] Speaker B: I'm hearing a different version of that story. I'm hearing you as a hero in this story because there was someone who was about to not have a date, had a dress, had a ticket, and you saved the day. That's the way I'm choosing to hear that story. [00:11:26] Speaker C: We'll go with your version of events there. I like that a lot better. You've got some other folks lined up. And I heard the Desai episode and kind of the way he described Apple made him kind of sound almost like an evil genius, but it was a really interesting way to think about a financial model. [00:11:46] Speaker B: Yeah, that's the way that Professor Desai works. He's just great at taking these stories or taking these scenarios and turning them into stories. So he's a great first guest on the show and someone that I feel really comfortable with. So he is great to start. We've also talked to Mike Wheeler, who is a negotiation professor. He's an amazing storyteller. So he's going to be in the second episode. Outstanding. There Jeff Busgang, who is an entrepreneurship professor. So we start talking know, I pitched him a bunch of really bad ideas. Stuart, like at the thought, you know, I've got a big investment entrepreneurship faculty member here. I'm going to pitch him three ideas right now, and I guarantee you I'm walking away with three offers from this guy. And I walked away with no offers, no offers at all. He wasn't interested. Then we talked to Xiao about ethics, which is really interesting because that's ethics with AI especially, which is a very interesting thing right now. And Professor Jill Avery, who does courses on personal branding and creating brand value, and that was super interesting. So we've recorded five so far. We're going to get up to at least eight, but that's a preview of the five. And they're all outstanding faculty members and I think the stories are really great that they bring to the episode. [00:13:00] Speaker C: What is it now that you're most curious about in the world of business in the future? [00:13:08] Speaker B: I could probably pick five to six different things, but I think I hear about every single day, and I think the world is hearing about every single day now is just AI, how that affects business and how that affects everything beyond business. And as a person who's in a creative field like you, you see the benefits and you see kind of like the sadness to it, know, where it's just like, yeah, that's great. It'll help me write things faster, I guess. But I really kind of liked writing the thing in the first place, so, yeah, it touches everything. And that's one of the interesting parts of the episode with Professor Ninha Shah about ethics of AI. That was interesting, for sure, but we're looking at it from our perspective when we make courses, how it's on both sides of the fence, how that might impact how we make courses, and how that might affect how our students take our courses, too. Some really interesting things could be brought to students on the other side where they're getting an AI enhancement to their learning. That just helps it sink in 100 times more on our end. We might be able to do things that we weren't able to do before. So there's excitement there, but like I said, there's also I don't know, I just have a certain level of sadness and dread, too. And I brought this up on my episode with Han. I'm curious to think, Stuart, if I'm being dramatic, you tell me, but it feels like at the moment, and I might live to regret this in a few years, but it feels like AI is going to help us live longer, but maybe with less purpose. And that kind of makes me sad. I'm not trying to bring the mood down, but I'm nervous about it. [00:14:42] Speaker C: Wow. That's probably one of the deeper, slightly dark comments that I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry. [00:14:49] Speaker B: But that came out of me during that episode, too. And ever since then, I've been like, am I right? I hope I'm not right. I hope I'm not right. I don't know. [00:14:56] Speaker C: Yeah, I don't know. I don't necessarily have a sunnier disposition to offer, though. I try to take the more practical approach where I'm like, well, you know what? There are some areas where AI has really improved workflow I worry about. I don't know what you want to call it. The erosion of expertise, maybe. I think, and again, without getting into politics or anything, it just seems like there's a lot of really unqualified people in positions of power, not just in politics, but in certain businesses as well. And I think AI only is going to, I think, exacerbate that trend because from my perspective, again, and you can probably appreciate this being a musician. It seems like in this era of content creation, everybody kind of wants to have their thing out there. But there's a lot of people who want to skip the learning process as well. And to me, there's something really rewarding about spending a long time getting good at your craft and then seeing the fruit bear out from that. [00:16:05] Speaker B: Yeah, I mean, there's a lot to be said for truly trying and truly failing over and over again based on your merits alone. And I think it makes people stronger and it makes people better and it gives a real substance to what you're doing. I mean, if I was to listen to anything I recorded from the age of 15 to 20, I was embarrassed while I was doing it, you know what I mean? But that was the point is it made me try harder. It doesn't mean it got better, but it made me try harder. And the same thing goes with trying to write a narrative script for a film. I've done those before, few of those, and I failed miserably in a few spots. And that was good because the next one got better. Again, I don't know how good, but it got better. And I do think this is a little bit like I don't know, I feel like this is kind of an analogy inside of analogy, but I feel like this is fishing at a stock pond in a way. Like it's a place where there are 8 billion fish in the water already and they're just trying to grow them to bring to real ponds and you're fishing at that pond and it feels a little too easy to catch a fish, if that makes any sense. So AI is not a I look at it and I think, oh, how great is that? The doctor could apply it to a scan or a blood test or they could apply it to solving problems, like poverty based problems stuff. But when you start to get the replacement of creative ideas, I don't know, I'm a little nervous about it and it feels a little bit like feels like a big shortcut and that might just be where it goes. You got to jump on the horse and figure out where you end up. But it also doesn't feel great at the same time, it feels like it came on super fast. [00:17:42] Speaker C: Some of the biggest problems we have right now, I would say probably like poverty and inequality and climate change and probably war. I don't think we're going to solve the war thing, but I do think poverty and climate change are kind of within our grasp and I do think the best business minds in the world are going to be at the forefront of that. Do you get that feeling too? [00:18:03] Speaker B: Definitely. And just as a plug for what we're doing too, we just finished the principal photography on a course called Business and climate change, which is really going to be outstanding. One of my colleagues, a professor at the business schools, Mike Toffel, has his own podcast called Climate Rising, where he talks a lot about this and how business has a massive impact on where this is going. We have other courses, sustainable business strategy, all these things. These people will also be on the podcast as well. So we'll get there. Not just throwing their names out of nowhere, right? But yeah, it's a big initiative at HBS is making sure that that's at the top of everyone's priority, too, is just what's going on with climate, what's going on with society. And the mission at the business school is to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. And I think it's a great mission statement in HBS Online, it's almost the same. Educate leaders who make a difference in the world wherever they are. So I feel like I'm in a privileged position where I'm able to make courses and make podcasts that are aimed at the world, not just the people who are here on our campus, but in the world. And hopefully that will help stem some of these problems like climate change and societal issues. [00:19:17] Speaker C: It's a very noble cause, and I think it's an interesting juxtaposition with the title The Parlor Room, because I think like The Parlor Room, I kind of imagine guys with top hats and tuxedos, like smoking cigars and I don't know, talking about importing wool or some other hard material. [00:19:37] Speaker B: No, you're not far off. So I was trying to mix these two things together is the old fashioned room, and you can see it on YouTube. It's also the podcast available on YouTube, so it's very visual. And we built this room that looks like a old parlor room, but we kind of splashed all this pink paint around it to kind of give it this modern take of mixing the old with the new. When I think of Parlor Rooms, Stuart, on my end, I think about John Lennon and Paul McCartney, because I think from, if I remember this correctly, that that's where they used to write their first songs was in Paul McCartney's Parlor Room. So that's the first time I had heard parlor room. And then I realized it was even older than that. But I feel like it's a fun place to be. It's meant to be a place where you have a conversation and you can go deep or you can go light, but it feels like it's a spot for conversation and discussion and that's what we're trying to do. [00:20:24] Speaker C: Yeah, I've pulled one of these videos up. It's a pretty good looking set you guys have there. [00:20:29] Speaker B: Thank you very much. It's all made out of styrofoam, believe it or not. Yeah, styrofoam and wallpaper. [00:20:35] Speaker C: Yeah. Well, you didn't have to tell everybody. [00:20:37] Speaker B: Oh, yeah. Beautiful. Little bit of I don't know if you can see it from the angle. Do you see a scuba diving helmet in the corner in the middle of the bottom screen? Tell me. [00:20:47] Speaker C: Here. [00:20:48] Speaker B: I found the reason I'm trying to call this out is I went to TJ. Maxx a couple years ago and I saw the most hideous you know, TJ. Max has a lot of bad stuff in it and a lot of good stuff. They have everything but a couple of their home decoration things have the weirdest things, like seven hands all pulled together and it's supposed to hold a candle or whatever. I found this, like, 1910 scuba helmet, and it was a lot of money, and I was looking at it every time I went there with my wife or my kids. And I'd be like, someday I'd like to get that ugly scuba helmet. That's the worst thing I've ever seen at TJ. Max. And then right before we filmed this, it was in the clearance bin. And it took like a year to get to the clearance bin. But at that point I thought, I'm investing in this helmet and I'm going to put it on the set of this show because it feels like it's the place for this thing to be. I don't know why, but I feel like it fits in pretty well. [00:21:38] Speaker C: Yeah, I'm kind of glad I do see it, by the way, and it does look pretty cool. I'm kind of glad you have it and it's there because otherwise I just feel like someone would be like, no, this could actually work. [00:21:48] Speaker B: Oh, my God. You could fit your head in it. You can put it on and you could close it. You could do all that stuff. So I'm not going to test it in real life, but I was able to get my head in. [00:21:57] Speaker C: No, yeah, it's doing no harm there. It looks pretty cool. I mean, that's sort of like some new terrain. Not like brand new. But I think a lot of podcasters are grappling with how do we incorporate video into this? And I have my own opinions about it, and I think it's very subjective and I think it should be thought of more on a case by case basis. But yeah. Why did you guys make the decision to go, like, audio and video? [00:22:22] Speaker B: Well, I think for us, it was based on the fact that we produce video all the time. That's kind of our sweet spot. All of our courses are all shot video, whether it's faculty inside of a studio or filming at companies all over the world. We then take that stuff back and edit it. So video is kind of our go to. So it's interesting because working with the sound guy and this whole thing and where do you put the microphones? We're like, yeah, put them right in front of our face. And then the camera operator is like, well, can you move the microphone a little bit to the side? No, this is that weird world of making audio for video, which definitely feels inside out, but for us, we just thought the visuals would be fun. And the idea that it gives it a little bit more personality and maybe it can be equally spread between the video and the audio platforms. We're not 100% sure of that strategy just yet, but you said you had some feelings about it. I'm curious what your feelings are. [00:23:16] Speaker C: I think it works in some cases. This is cool. It's on mute. But I've got your video on in the background here and it's got this real master class feel to it, which I like. Yeah, I think that's pretty cool. The point I've made before is that I think there's people out there kind of pushing for this kind of like writ large. Everybody has to do video now. If you're doing a podcast, it's got to also be on YouTube. But you've heard some of my work before that just doesn't work. It's all in the execution, though. I don't think you guys making a video takes anything away from the audio only part of it. Whereas I think sometimes it can kind of end up reducing the quality of both, where it's kind of like, well, we got to record something that can work on video and we've got to film something that can work on audio. And in the end, you don't really get the best out of either medium. But I think, like I said, it's all in the execution. And you guys, I mean, this is a pretty full scale operation. You guys what, two, three camera show? [00:24:15] Speaker B: Three cameras. [00:24:15] Speaker C: Three cameras, yeah, three cameras. Yeah, you got the wide shot and. [00:24:18] Speaker B: Then yeah, the two as you're saying, I'm starting to think, like, what is that line right between video and audio? And I'm thinking about your show, the obscure ball one. I think the reason it's almost like. [00:24:30] Speaker D: If you close your eyes and it's. [00:24:32] Speaker B: Better, then that's what should be audio. And I feel like yours starts off with the old timey crackling of the record player and everything. It's like, yeah, I'd much rather close my eyes than have someone tell me that while I'm looking at them. For our purposes, it might be a self conscious thing, but I felt like since I'm not the business business guy, I am going to say some awkward things intentionally or unintentionally. And I think the joke might sell a little bit better if you're able to see us, where if it comes across on audio, maybe some people are thinking, this guy is a real idiot, but if they see the video, they might be like, oh, he's kind of sarcastically saying that question so that's maybe me padding some of my insecurity as well. [00:25:16] Speaker C: Wow. See, that's a little bit the opposite, I think, of how some people think. I'm always like, god, I hope nobody ever sees my face. [00:25:26] Speaker B: Trust me, as. Soon as I looked at it, I was like, there's a reason why actors are actors and I'm not one of them. I don't think people are going to love looking at my face, but at least it sells a joke, possibly. I don't know. We'll see. [00:25:38] Speaker C: Yeah. Well, I think it looks pretty good. [00:25:40] Speaker B: Thank you. [00:25:41] Speaker C: Yeah. And you all do that all on campus? [00:25:43] Speaker B: Yeah, we have a little studio that we film all of our online courses in, and all the university uses it, so it's just used for tons of different stuff, and you just sign up for it when you need it. [00:25:56] Speaker C: That's cool. For some reason. I saw Harvard Business School online. I was like, oh, yeah, all remote. But no, everybody's there kind of working together. [00:26:06] Speaker B: Yeah, we've got a pretty decent crew. I feel very lucky to have the group of people that I work with, both on the content development side, which are kind of the writers who work with the faculty members outstanding. And then I have a team of filmmakers, basically, that work with me, filmmakers and animators and producers on my team. And they're outstanding at what they do, and they're outstanding at what they do outside of work. Know? These are people that have written scripts and filmed movies that have been picked up by HBO and prime and stuff like that. And I'm lucky enough to have them on my team as directors of photography and producers and stuff. And I'm thinking, wow, this is it's. I remember when I was little, my dad was telling me when I was in bands, because my dad was in a band, too, and he's like, you never want to be the best guitarist in the band because then you're probably not going to meet a very good band. And at first I thought, does he just think I'm a really bad guitarist? Which I am. But he was basically saying, like, you want to make sure you surround yourself with people who are really good at what they do. And I look around the room and I'm thinking, everyone in this room can do things better than I can do them, by far. And that's the way I'd love to keep it, just because that's what raises the bar for everybody. And I think it makes everyone feel like they're part of the picture. And I want everyone to feel like they're part of the picture. They're just a super talented group. [00:27:22] Speaker C: Wow. It's crazy. You look at someone's IMDb page and you're like, they know like, two things a year. What are they doing the rest of the time? And apparently they're working at places like Harper. [00:27:32] Speaker B: That might be the case. If you were to look at some of these people's IMDb pages, you'd be pretty impressed. They're outstanding people. [00:27:39] Speaker C: That's awesome. Yeah. But I think also what you've hit on is the importance of, I think, delegation. [00:27:48] Speaker B: What I like about the system we have and the people we have is it just means that good ideas are coming from everywhere. And if you get in that environment, you get kind of a fearless environment where people feel really good about putting ideas forward. And even if the idea is not fully baked, it just gets everyone will jump on it and drive it to the end to figure out if it's an idea we're going to use or not, or if we're just going to put it on the back burner, or if we're just going to put it away. But having a team full of people who are driven to do well and have the agency to do their ideas, I think that's always a recipe, a great outcome. [00:28:21] Speaker C: You said you have five episodes taped, you have plans for eight. What do you see beyond that? Do you think this will be like a seasonal show, something that's just kind of done because it says season one, episode one, so I'm assuming you're kind of going to take some breaks in between. [00:28:36] Speaker B: Yeah, definitely. I don't know the future. I do know that we've just committed to make eight of these and we hope that these come out really well. I think we've got a lot of ideas that are out there and that's from everybody, from my team and the creative team and the marketing team and the content team. There's all kinds of great things that we can create. We're definitely late to the podcast game, so this is our first time jumping in there after ten years of being an organization with HBS Online. So I think we'll go into do more, but I think we'll just pick up our heads after eight and say, how did that go? Was it fun? Did people learn? Do people engage? And then we'll see if we take it any further. [00:29:13] Speaker C: Yeah, well, first of all, jump on in. The water is warm. There's never too many podcasts. And I think I like the seasonal approach. I mean, we do that with audience and it's really just a chance to take a break and what can we do with a format? Because I'm always kind of noodling around with formats and always trying to make things better. And if you have to meet your deadlines every single week and you're committed to putting out an episode every week from now until the end of eternity or whatever, you can't really do that. I always like hearing other people take that approach. [00:29:44] Speaker B: Yeah. And I'm so full of questions in this world. I am so full of questions because it's not as straightforward as the other things that I make, where I'm really new to this and we're really new to this and trying to understand the best approach how people want to do this. What's the best release schedule? All that stuff feels like there are multiple right answers, but I don't know any of them. We're just learning as we go what's. [00:30:13] Speaker C: One of your questions? I'm not a guru. Let me see what I yeah, I've. [00:30:16] Speaker B: Definitely got questions for you, Stuart. Is eight enough? Is eight too many? Eight Is Enough was a TV show. [00:30:24] Speaker C: Yeah, it's not too many, that's for sure. I don't know. I'll tell you. A little peek behind the curtain here. We do twelve seasons, or twelve episodes a season for audience. I don't know where we got that number. I think it just kind of seemed like twelve seemed kind of like a. [00:30:41] Speaker A: Cool I don't know. [00:30:43] Speaker C: I don't know if there's an answer to that. [00:30:45] Speaker B: It's interesting, right? Because you look at the BBC and they'll do a documentary that's not documentary. They'll do, like, a sitcom. It's six episodes long. Like, the first the British Office, six episodes long. All of those old, like, Alan Partridge shows. I think six episodes per season. And then the same time, we were making Seinfeld at, like, 32 episodes a season in the United States. So it's just interesting to think, what is the reasoning behind these different approaches? So coming into this world, the first question I have to ask everybody is just like, what do you think we should do with this thing? Because I don't know. [00:31:19] Speaker C: Yeah, I think was it the first season of Seinfeld? Like, five or six? [00:31:25] Speaker B: That was them just seeing, can we really get into this? Will people like this or not? Oh, whoa. [00:31:30] Speaker C: I just saw the part where somebody put the helmet on. Yeah, the scuba diver helmet on. [00:31:36] Speaker B: Really comfortable, minus a couple screws that are sharp. [00:31:41] Speaker C: How heavy? [00:31:41] Speaker B: It's got to be at least 30 pounds or so. It's made of some kind of metal. It's decorative, which is weird. I don't think it's legit if you looked at it. I don't think it's watertight. I'm not going to try it. No. [00:31:52] Speaker C: That's why I said, I'm glad you have it that way. Someone's not out there just trying to like, well, let's take this thing for a second. [00:31:57] Speaker B: Yeah, that would be horrible if someone did that. But I put it on my head. I think everyone tried it on their head at one point because it was just like, a challenge. You want to see what it's like to be in, like, a turn of the century scuba helmet? You got to try that once in life. [00:32:10] Speaker C: Yeah. All right, I'll add it to the. [00:32:13] Speaker B: If you come to Boston anytime, I'll have it ready for you. [00:32:17] Speaker C: You're also working with the Podglomerate? [00:32:18] Speaker B: Yes, a little bit. [00:32:19] Speaker C: Have they kind of helped you navigate this crazy world? [00:32:22] Speaker B: Definitely. Good group there. And that's the guidance that, like I said, we jumped in like, okay, here's what we want to make. And they've guided us to this point. And then we have our own internal governors that we're putting on things. And it's funny. Are our decisions. Meaning? Harvard Business School Alliance decisions about promoting this. Are they where we want them to be? We're not sure. So Podglomerate's going to clear a lot of that up for us. So they're a great room to work with. [00:32:49] Speaker C: Yeah, absolutely. Well, Chris, I appreciate you coming on. We're going to play you out, actually, with a trailer. The trailer for your show. [00:32:57] Speaker B: Oh, good. All right. Sounds good. I don't have to hear my step. [00:33:02] Speaker D: Inside Harvard Business School as we open the doors to The Parlor Room, your exclusive backstage pass to informal yet captivating discussions with HBS professors. I'm Chris Lenane, the creative director of Harvard Business School Online. Why is the show called the Parlor Room? Well, parlor Rooms are meant for discussion, for telling stories, and that's what we're doing here. I invite Harvard Business School faculty into our Parlor Room, and we learn business lessons through real world stories. We discuss negotiation, finance, business strategy, entrepreneurship, leadership, ethics, personal branding, and more. This is not your typical business podcast, so please join me in The Parlor Room, where business concepts come to life. Listen on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. [00:33:55] Speaker B: The parlor room is an official podcast of Harvard Business School. [00:34:00] Speaker A: After my conversation with Chris, it dawned on me that we share a kinship of sorts, the same way he gets to pick the brains of some of the best minds from Harvard Business School. I got a chance to talk to some of the best podcasters out there. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I share his philosophy about not being the smartest person in the room. I get how intimidating it can be to talk to someone who's so good at their craft. But I think Chris and The Parlor Room are a testament that even if a question seems dumb, it's probably worth asking, what's the worst that could happen? And now it's time for our podcasting tip, where our guests share some handy pointers with the rest of us. [00:34:42] Speaker B: I've got a podcasting tip. I'm Chris Lenane. I'm the host of the Parler Room podcast. I would say number one tip is to get a good microphone. I know that sounds obvious, but don't get a USB microphone. Don't get any of these weird microphones. Learn about the different types of microphones and probably do some research. I would say get a Neumann microphone or one of the Shore microphones that everyone's using for podcasts. That's where I'd start. [00:35:07] Speaker A: Golden. [00:35:07] Speaker C: That's a stalwart. I like it. Yeah. [00:35:12] Speaker A: Audience is a Castos original series. Our founder and executive producer is Craig Hewitt. Production assistance is provided by Esell Brill, Jocelyn DeVore, and Marnie Hills. Our website and logo design is courtesy of Francois Brill, our head of product here at Castos. All music comes from the storyblocks library. This episode was written, edited, narrated, and produced by me. I'm stuart barefoot. Check out Audiencepodcast FM for more episodes or just search for it anywhere you get your podcasts next time on Audience. I talk with tanya Mohammed from the podcast undiscarded about using audio to bring artifacts back to Know. [00:35:57] Speaker E: You wonder what the story is behind that. And I think that's what makes these mundane objects really sort of sing is the New York story it's rooted in. There are a lot of famous New York stories. A lot of people know the big stories. And I think some of the smaller stories behind these objects are the ones that people don't hear about. And that's, I think, what we are trying to do. It's not necessarily hidden stories, but sometimes forgotten stories.

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