By Pencil Problems Podcast
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Kent Fenwick (@kentf) and Nick Shim (@nim342) talk about their side projects, their day jobs, technology, the future, philosophy, 90s action movies, and much much more.
||ExplicitEpisode 36: The Other Side of "Hey I have an app idea!"||If you make stuff I'm sure you've been approached about an idea for app or website or video or movie. We talk through our thought process and considerations when taking on other people's projects.||8/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 35: Feedback From My Editor||Nick gets his writing edited by Michelle Brown! They discuss how this could translate into a book. She goes over bigger on-going themes, framing devices, structure, language. It's a fun listen for anyone who has been following along with my blog or fo||8/2/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 34: How much would you pay for Google?||Kent and Nick talk about paying for software vs. ad based payment models. They discuss how much they would pay for services like Google, and Facebook and speculate on what the future of these payment models look like.||7/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 33: Project Update + Goals + WWDC||Nick is back from Apple's worldwide developer conference (WWDC) and answers Kent's questions about it. Before that Nick and Kent talk about their progress towards the goals, they set a few weeks ago for their side projects. Nick is doing well, Kent isn'||6/24/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 32: The Dip||We hit a dip in our projects! Kent's e-commerce store, Nick's book project, even the podcast. It's starting to feel like work and not like fun. We talk through it all and we hope you can relate!||6/5/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 31: Running an e-commerce store, cash flow, debt and financing, buying products, managing suppliers, calculating margins and more... A deep retail dive.||Kent recently appeared as a guest on This Commerce Life, a podcast about all things retail, and gets to ask Phil and Kenny, two industry veterans a ton of questions about Able Cells. They cover inventory, managing suppliers, cash flow, margins, debt and||5/28/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 30: Is Google sentient? How do we build side projects in the age of strong AI? Plus some WWDC predictions.||Nick and Kent discuss the Google Assistant demo where an AI places a call and books a reservation. Is this software sentient? No. And how does this shape ambition when building side projects? Are certain industries dead? Plus some WWDC predictions.||5/21/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 29: Products we love | Fahrenheit Coffee||Experimenting with a new episode type, Nick chats with Sameer - owner of Fahrenheit coffee. Incredible coffee, amazing dude. This episode is about passion, about craft, and about relationships. It'll also really make you want to drink coffee! Enjoy!||5/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 28: Let's Jam | A Social Podcasting App||Kent and Nick chat about a product idea: A social podcasting app. Really interesting idea and lots of different directions it can go. Let's jam!||5/7/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 27: Product vs. Marketing||Nick and Kent give their perspective on the age old debate between product and marketing. Where does product end and marketing begin, what should product people know about marketing? What should good marketers know about the product? How can you apply a||4/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 26: Family-Work Balance||Kent and Nick have a conversation around balancing Work, Family and Side Projects.||4/19/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 25: Q&A - Productivity Tools, outsourcing tech, letting someone go.||We open with some project updates (ablecells.com, medium.com/fatherhood) followed by some Q&A from fans (I can't believe people still listen to this!).||4/13/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 24: How morals and ethics affects startups, building ethics into your side project, and deleting Facebook||Nick asks Kent if he plans to delete Facebook, this leads to a discussion about Facebook's recent drama, how ethics and morals play into business, and how you can build good ethics into your side project or company.||4/2/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 23: Hero worship, self-doubt and winning||Kent and Nick talk about Hero Worship and Self-Doubt. They ruminate about when/if they'd go all in on something and the secret to winning at side projects. Bonus Parent Corner content at the very end. Enjoy!||3/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 22: Pros and Cons of Building Side Projects with a Team or Going Solo||Nick and Kent talk about the pros and cons of starting side projects with a team or going solo. They also answer a hypothetical question about what would they tell their 25-year-old selves.||3/18/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 21: Filming a Kickstarter Video, How to Deal with a Drop in Shopify Orders - Project Update #3||In this episode, Kent and Nick give a quick product update on the book and Able Cells. Kent is worried that he went 2 days without an order and wants to rebuild Shopify. Nick is working on storyboards for his likely Kickstarter video. Kent records a sli||3/7/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 20: Lessons Learned Pitching Sponsors||In this episode, Nick and Kent talk about how it went pitching the podcast to a few potential sponsors. Like a good math problem, they work out a solution for what sponsorship could look like going forward. Remember to send any feedback or questions to||3/3/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 19: Getting Sponsors||In this episode, Nick and I talk about the vision of Pencil Problems going forward and how we would try and pitch it to potential sponsors. We also kick-off Parent Corner around 1:03. Enjoy||2/22/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 18: Book Club||Nick and Kent talk about the books they love and how they shape their actions, worldview, and their kids' future. Full of tangential goodness.||2/16/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 17: State of our Unions||Kent and Nick talk about whether Jack should kick Donald off Twitter, then roll right into an extended project update with a snazzy new transition sound effect. Kent rails about Able Cells, while Nick tries to figure out a broader context for his book p||2/2/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 16: Self-driving roulette||Kent and Nick talk about their side projects, answer listener questions about email marketing, and health and fitness, the difference between tools and products, Nick tells us about CES and Kent and Nick make a bitcoin bet about self driving cars in 203||1/25/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 15: Intellectual Summer Camp||Kent and Nick get their first listener feedback, they talk about their time at The DGP, why grad school is like intellectual summer camp, advice for people thinking about grad school, academic politics, doing research, intellectual freedom and end with||1/11/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 14: A time for selling||Nick and Kent talk about the future of pencil problems, their goals for the podcast in 2018, whether or not Nick should dabble in the black hat world of e-commerce, personal goals, las vegas buffets, zig ziglar, kent's crypto corner and so much more. Th||1/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 13: Crypto||Kent and Nick talk about Bitcoin, Etherium, Litecoin, tokens, and their gambling problems||12/14/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 12: OK Google, open the pod bay doors||Nick and Kent talk about their worst episode yet, then move right into the war of the living room, Google Home, vs. Echo vs. Homepod vs. Sonos, they talk about the internet of things, the role of voice, and stay tuned for a bitcoin price prediction.||12/8/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 11: Imposter Syndrome||Nick and Kent talk about the imposter syndrome, confidence, the Dreyfus model of skills acquisition, pragmatic thinking and learning, cooking, achieving mastery, and Kent puts out a reward to our 5 listeners||12/2/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 10: What Would Jay-Z Do?||Nick and Kent talk about Disney World, Pandora, Pixar, Jay-Z, ambition, Jay-Z level ambition, good being the enemy of great, the secret, reality distortion fields, the fact that we made it to 10 episodes and then back to Jay-Z.||11/26/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 9: Pivot||Kent and Nick talk about pivoting a company or business, microsoft and their failure to pivot, Google and their dozens of pivots, Apple's big pivot, Facebook's huge pivot gamble, VR, AR, and when you know it's time to leave||11/15/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 8: Programming System 1||Kent and Nick talk about Cargo Cults, making data driven decisions, system 1 and system 2, intuition, doctors, AI and that's about it.||11/9/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 7: Rationing your Wonderbread||Nick and Kent talk about company culture, the good and bad of backchanneling, the right way to give feedback, and finding a balance between the light and the dark.||11/3/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 6: Welcome to the Rock||Kent and Nick talk about piracy, publishing on Medium, making money on Medium, Prometheus, The Rock, and how not to get a book published.||10/25/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 5: Waiting for that Casper money||Kent and Nick talk about ambition curves, what they would do if they got paid to do the podcast, what they really want to do with their lives, and talked more about potential productive pencil problems.||10/19/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 4: Productive epiphanies||Kent and Nick talk about productivity systems and tools. Kent has an epiphany that he might be a type A disguised as a disorganized human being.||10/11/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 3: Searching for breadth vs. depth||Nick and Kent talk about bluetooth headsets, breadth vs. depth, the problem with drop shippers, how grad school is basically paid summer camp, and how Nick is looking for an agent.||10/4/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 2: That time I went to Taylor||Nick and Kent talk about the difference between main street and big retail and how that applies to apps. Kent rails on the kids these days, and Nick shares an awkward story involving vulgar lyrics and his mother.||9/27/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 1: Everyone has a price...||Nick and Kent talk about picking projects, deciding which ones to stick with, and how parenting can be at odds with these goals.||9/19/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
Authentic, organic conversations
I love listening to this podcast for a few reasons:
- Kent is a busy guy and I never get to have the kind of conversations with him that I wish I could have. This cast gives me a brain dump straight from the source every week.
- This cast is raw, unprocessed, completely meandering, and delightful
- The topics range from Jay-Z’s ambition to debates about the scientific merits of cholesterol studies
- Nick and Kent are completely unafraid to follow the most interesting tangent and unravel any thread
This is the only cast I listen to every episode all the way through.
My advice for you guys is to keep the raw feel of a conversation between a couple of old friends. I think having guests on might spark some good chats, but there’s no rush. Keep the ideas coming!
Must listen for those of dealing with the inner monologue that says you can be great or happy, self reliant or a control freak, a manager of people or an executor.
Were all just figuring it all out.
One of my favourite pods
I love the conversational tone and breadth of topics that Nick and Kent go into. Audio could be a little better but the content is great.
What would Jay-Z do, Imposter Syndrome and the Crypto one are my fav.
Hope they cover pricing yourself, finding time to do side projects, books / other podcasts they like.