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Brad Nolan

How Podcave is helping podcasters plan, publish, and promote shows


Podcave allows podcasters to plan, publish, and promote their podcast in one complete project management system.


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What's your personal background? What motivated you to start your own company?

Our founder team comes to the table with 40+ years of broadcast and show building experience. I was tired of seeing podcasters lack the infrastructure they needed to truly build a great show. When I looked around at the tools available for them, I was annoyed at how fragmented it was. So, Podcave was born. One place. All the tools. Allowing podcasters to focus on creating what’s in their head instead of logistics.

What no code tool(s) did you use to build Podcave and what purpose did each play in the final product?

We used, and have recently moved to Webflow from Wordpress. Inside the app there are a few other no-code solutions at work. So far, we have kept things pretty simple. Bubble for the back end and application, and Wordpress or Webflow for the front end marketing site. Since the beginning, we’ve added a lot of code. Not because we had to, but because we found some elegant solutions to some problems, and our no-code base was flexible enough to do so.

What were the initial costs to get Podcave off the ground?

The reason we decided in no-code was cost efficiency. The entire MVP was less than $20K. Version two, with what we learned, we were able to do in-house for sweat and tears instead of cash. As a fully bootstrapped company, providing a service to professional podcasters, we just had to be smart about that line between ready and good enough.

What was the process of building your product from idea to launching?

The idea for the software is written in a 15 year old notebook from when I started my first podcast. But, Podcave started as a consultancy. Once we decided to go to software, so we could help people at scale, I pulled out the old notebook and got to work on user stories. I didn’t know anything about user stories, so I did hours of research and figured it out. Then, we reached out to a number of Bubble developers. We landed on Eric from IMUA. While he was impressed with the work we had done, I’d be amiss if I didn’t say he made it 100 times more clear. He helped us scope, shape, and work through what we wanted. We were lucky to have found someone who would jump on the phone and calm us, or ask questions we hadn’t asked ourselves. The MVP was born quickly. From the decision to make software to MVP launch was about 9 weeks, 7 of it in the build phase. We reached out to personal friends in the industry, and got a good group of beta testers. From that information and constant improvement, I personally dove in and created version two. That launched almost a year exactly after the MVP. Most of the work from the MVP still powers the current version, and will continue to do so.

How do you attract customers?

While I’d love to say they just come to us out of sheer need for Podcave, the truth is it’s quite manual. Being bootstrapped, we don’t have a lot of money to be marketing like the other podcasting giants. So, our technique is to be the human version of our application; helpful. We comment on reddit and Facebook and Twitter and everywhere with helpful answers to important podcasting questions. And sometimes, a person is helped SO much, they want to give us a try. And when they do, we hold their hand relentlessly. At the end of the day, we are a service company that happens to help in the language of software - not a tech company that has a service department.

What are the biggest challenges you've overcome building Podcave?

Getting out of my own way. I remember in original conversations with Eric at IMUA, I said things like, “I really need this purple to be right,” or “what border radius is on that button?” The answer is - who cares? Does it work? Is it helpful? I had to shed who I was as a design nerd and as a broadcast professional. I had to get VERY comfortable with being uncomfortable. If this process doesn’t make you uncomfortable, you’re certainly on the wrong path.

What's your advice for non-technical people who want to start a company?

Map it out. Then start. Stop googling “how to start a company” and start googling “what is an api connection?” Or “scoping a software project.” Do not get so caught up in company culture or dreams of success that you forget to put the work in. Be a user. Put yourself in their shoes. Make assumptions about what they want and then test them relentlessly. And finally, get REALLY good at being wrong. Once you’ve figured it all out, tell the story in a podcast... and use Podcave to help you. Haha

What are your future plans for Podcave?

So many plans; so little need for them! The truth is, every phase of flight for Podcave is decided by a careful consideration of user needs. Do we do everything a user asks? No. Most of the time, they ask for things they think they need, and then we ask more questions to find out what they really need. That’s what guides us. But for a concrete answer, our users need a way to monetize, they need better solutions for working with guests, and they need the ability to collaborate with others more effectively. So we will do that.

How do you think the rise of no code tools will impact entrepreneurship?

It’s creating a meritocracy. I like that. No longer do we have to raise millions or spend years making something. The best will rise, the want-repreneur will learn, and the community of software will be better for all of it. The biggest advantage to entrepreneurship will be the ability to scale previously unavailable things to create healthy and solid small businesses. That is the dream.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

If I could ask you to read anything, it would be four books. It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work, Ego is the Enemy, Shape Up, and Turning Pro. Also - good luck! This ain’t easy, and it’s the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do, aside from making it to every school play and softball game.

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