Stephen Colbert, Groundwork, Show Business, Process

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To be honest, we haven’t listened to a non-band podcast since circa 2004, when that term first floated across our desks.

[Full disclosure: We’re audiophiles and find bands on SoundCloud all the time.]

SoundCloud would push back, of course, since our sample size is ONE. And they’ve got an incredible business and product built around the concept that audio isn’t just a byproduct of a visual journey. Also, their 175M monthly users seem to support that concept heartily. Leave it to the Germans to run a tight ship. Bravo.

Enter, Stephen Colbert, who just ended a 9 year run as a character he self-describes to his guests as, “He’s an Idiot, he’s willfully ignorant of what you know and care about. Please, honestly disabuse me of my ignorance and we’ll have a great time.”

It’s always been clear his wit is the fastest gun in the West. Maybe Sacha Baron Cohen, known for staying in character even when the police are apprehending him, could give him a formidable challenge, but in the end, our money’s on Colbert.

After hearing this Stephen Colbert, out-of-character-interview on SoundCloud it’s evident that:

*He’s done a lot of groundwork to get where he is today — writing, improv, show business.

*He’s deeply aware of the human condition.

*Process: He’s got a world-class team and they have a rigorous process — Ideation, collaboration, riffing, writing, re-writing, testing. All of which is done with a collection of smart, hard working individuals.

All of which is completed within a deadline, within a budget.

Sounds familiar.

Talent is one component of doing great work. Luck, too (luck does favor the prepared).

But rigor, groundwork, testing, and incremental iteration all feed the strongest end result.

Does your team have process? How about your vendors/partners? Is it serving you?

It’s a new year. Dig deep. And be sure you’re processing it appropriately.

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