The Gauntlet

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The Gauntlet

Postby MisterNichols » Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:25 pm

Dan, I like what you have to say. Maybe that makes you right. Maybe that just means that we're both morons. I have no monopoly on objectivity.

But I do know that you are a student of military history. I know that you have studied strategy. I know that you have read Sun-tzu. If you have read the Art of War, you must know something of The Way.

Because of what I know, I am confused about how you have chosen to run your operation. True words don't carry themselves. You must live in the age you are born, and we live in an age of self-promotion where you can get your fix every minute of every day.

To succeed at promoting your message these days, you must tweet about the book you've written about your philosophy, and you must go on the Daily Show and Fresh Air to discuss your thoughts on that book.

You must also tweet and blog about current events at a reasonable frequency, showing your followers that you engage with the world that they live in. In modern terms, you are distant from your audience. This forum is a fish tank.

You have no book. You rarely twitter. What is your goal?

So it is in a world of quick fixes I find you giving me podcasts every two weeks while Dave Ramsey has a daily multi-hour radio show. While other gurus are promoting themselves on twitter by connecting their message to the here and now, I wonder when I will get my next fix of Dan Carlin, regardless of the truth and purpose of your mission.

What is your marketing strategy? What exactly are you trying to accomplish? You have wisdom and knowledge: what are you trying to build with these tools?

So I throw down The Gauntlet. I challenge you to justify teasing me with intelligent political thinking while you continue to have no real strategy for promoting independent thinking in this country.

Stop reading history, and write your book. Start promoting yourself. Start making change happen.

Your Avid Fan,

MisterNichols
Sincerely,

Mister Nichols
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Re: The Gauntlet

Postby superuberbob » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:24 pm

Well-written letter. Send this to DC directly. Not sure how much he reads this specific board.
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Re: The Gauntlet

Postby MaDuce » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:08 am

I believe Dan has written a book: http://www.amazon.com/Pinocchio-Effect- ... 731&sr=8-1

And he's tried to get on the Daily Show and Bill Maher's program too.

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=23808&p=222534

viewtopic.php?p=288525#p288525
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Re: The Gauntlet

Postby Dan » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:02 pm

MisterNichols wrote:Dan, I like what you have to say. Maybe that makes you right. Maybe that just means that we're both morons. I have no monopoly on objectivity.

But I do know that you are a student of military history. I know that you have studied strategy. I know that you have read Sun-tzu. If you have read the Art of War, you must know something of The Way.

Because of what I know, I am confused about how you have chosen to run your operation. True words don't carry themselves. You must live in the age you are born, and we live in an age of self-promotion where you can get your fix every minute of every day.

To succeed at promoting your message these days, you must tweet about the book you've written about your philosophy, and you must go on the Daily Show and Fresh Air to discuss your thoughts on that book.

You must also tweet and blog about current events at a reasonable frequency, showing your followers that you engage with the world that they live in. In modern terms, you are distant from your audience. This forum is a fish tank.

You have no book. You rarely twitter. What is your goal?

So it is in a world of quick fixes I find you giving me podcasts every two weeks while Dave Ramsey has a daily multi-hour radio show. While other gurus are promoting themselves on twitter by connecting their message to the here and now, I wonder when I will get my next fix of Dan Carlin, regardless of the truth and purpose of your mission.

What is your marketing strategy? What exactly are you trying to accomplish? You have wisdom and knowledge: what are you trying to build with these tools?

So I throw down The Gauntlet. I challenge you to justify teasing me with intelligent political thinking while you continue to have no real strategy for promoting independent thinking in this country.

Stop reading history, and write your book. Start promoting yourself. Start making change happen.

Your Avid Fan,

MisterNichols



It all sounds great my friend...but where do you assume the time to do this comes from? I know we don't publicize my daily schedule around here...but I work all the time (and these podcasts are my work!). I can't even get to emails...how am I going to tweet regularly (and have it be something worth your time), update facebook, work on t-shirts, record audio for both shows (while trying to also get done a top-10 armies show at some point). Heck, we have spent time recently trying to get a simple (good) audio promo done for Hardcore History. It all takes more time and effort than you might think.

I would love to be more "out there"...but it is hard to do that and make these shows too (especially the History show. I mean, I am already working on the NEXT HH show...the one AFTER the one that's already overdue :omg: ).

I am sure we look remarkably unproductive to many of you. The creative process though is so laborious sometimes. It's frustrating for us as well (we surely make more money the more content we get out. We lost a bunch of ad money by not getting the HH show out last month---but we weren't going to give you something bad because we had a deadline approaching) The equipment problems we had recently set us back darn near 3 weeks production-wise...cost a fortune and used up hours upon hours of work time.

Now, people often have ideas for ways to improve our productivity (suggesting interns, or often volunteering to help themselves)...but the things I need help on would only benefit from a clone of ME. After all...do you want some intern tweeting as me? (might be funny though...)..or how about coming up with the "twists" for Hardcore History? Or making the final calls on the T-shirt design?

Like I said...I would love to do some of the stuff you suggest. I just got out of 6 hours in the recording studio...now I am sitting down to deal with emails, this forum, facebook, show prep for tomorrow's recording session and finalizing the new promo and the t-shirt design.

It never stops...


So, to answer your question: my plan....is to try to keep my head above water here. How much help does Dave Ramsey have?
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Re: The Gauntlet

Postby boethius » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:14 pm

Dan's an intellectual, not a businessman and self-promoter.

If he were a businessman, he'd throw together a book (easy, given the hundreds of thousands of words already there in his transcripts), create a "tribe" or identity for his audience to follow, and promote the hell out of it on his show. Then start promoting himself on other shows.

He'd speed up production by using a templated format for the show. Have you ever actually listened to Hannity or Dave Ramsey or any of them? They have like an idea and a half per show, and tell it 50 different times, 50 different ways to fill air. After each break, it's "say what you just said before the break", "say what you're going to say now", "say what you're saying", "recap what you're saying", "leave a bit hanging on what you're saying to keep them through the next break" *break* and repeat.

Unfortunately, Dan likes the world of the mind and ideas more than business and self promotion.

Makes him a better person, probably, but unless he's independently wealthy, he's not rocking a pad like this:

Image
Hannity's house.
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Re: The Gauntlet

Postby Dan » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:40 pm

boethius wrote:
He'd speed up production by using a templated format for the show.


Yes...this is actually a big issue. We deliberately do nothing like this for the HH show. We compare the difference to having fast food or a home-cooked meal made from scratch (or a pre-fabricated home versus one built from the ground up).

By starting with a completely blank slate at the start of each show (interview shows exempted) the project assumes a unique feel right from the get-go. The piece becomes something that develops organically via trial and error (like continually hammering a sword into shape). New approaches get tried (and either kept or discarded upon listening) and the piece grows into something that is better, more complicated and more creative than our original idea as we conceived it on paper in the pre-planning stages.

It's the most creative (and creatively satisfying) work I have ever done. But it is challenging as hell, and it takes a lot of time.
I don't know that it's the right approach from a business sense...but I tend to like the results we get using it.
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Re: The Gauntlet

Postby DBTrek » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:55 pm

Dan wrote:Now, people often have ideas for ways to improve our productivity (suggesting interns, or often volunteering to help themselves)...but the things I need help on would only benefit from a clone of ME. After all...do you want some intern tweeting as me? (might be funny though...)..or how about coming up with the "twists" for Hardcore History? Or making the final calls on the T-shirt design?


So . . . your predisposition toward heinous micro-management and iron-fisted control of every aspect of the show is what's holding you back?
Did I read that right?
:P

Poor Ben!
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Re: The Gauntlet

Postby Cid » Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:39 pm

Well, I wouldn't want someone impersonating Dan, and the way he's doing it, I don't see how he could have the capital to do the things that are suggested. He's an artist (don't you mother fuckers laugh) and if he wanted to be an art teacher or lecturer, he could do that, but then it wouldn't be his art (mind you he has never told any of us, you can't do what he's doing, in fact he's encouraged several people).

I mean the OP sounds like he wants Dan to be a brand, as opposed to what he is, which is a rambling intellectual cacophony of historical knowledge, science fiction residue, and experience talking to similarly crazy people for the past 20 years.

Basically he's shit nuts and smart and be able to actually maintain those qualities whilst having a family and producing a podcast in a market he IMO is helping pioneer... Yeah.

I never delete any of his stuff intentionally, because reruns are what keep me from writing desperate letters to Dan for my fix.
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Re: The Gauntlet

Postby Dan » Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:53 pm

DBTrek wrote:So . . . your predisposition toward heinous micro-management and iron-fisted control of every aspect of the show is what's holding you back?
Did I read that right?
:P

Poor Ben!


I think you are on to me. :oops:
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Re: The Gauntlet

Postby exposno1 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:17 pm

I don't know how much of this is in jest, but I've seen many an entrepreneur hit a self-inflicted glass ceiling because of their inability to manage instead of do (time becomes the currency on which the organization keeps running short). My father-in-law is one.

As any fledgling enterprise starts to grow, the founder often needs to give up some control--select quality individuals to take over key functions . . . allowing the inevitable mistakes that new people make. The entrepreneur needs to guide the new person, but not do it for them. Then, as competence grows, more and more control can be released and the sky then is the limit.

This seems especially hard in what I perceive to be Dan's operation, where he is: leader, talent, researcher, writer, director, marketing, public relations and sales staff. :oops:
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Re: The Gauntlet

Postby Dan » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:44 pm

exposno1 wrote:
This seems especially hard in what I perceive to be Dan's operation, where he is: leader, talent, researcher, writer, director, marketing, public relations and sales staff. :oops:



...and Ben manager! Don't forget that... :MaskedElvis:



No, in all seriousness, you are right. The problem is that the creative and recording needs of what we do are enough to keep me fully occupied were that all I had to do (I mean...the research and note-taking time required is crazy...as just one example). The same is true if I were to try to handle everything BUT those things. Ben and I say constantly that it's a four-person operation we have going here, but that two of us do (one if you are skeptical about things like "Bens" :doioi: ) :snicker:

We figure that the MOST important thing is the quality of the product. When we decide where things get neglected (because something has to give) the quality of the actual podcast (especially the HH podcast) is something we never compromise. We figure that if we can keep the quality at a high level that good things should follow (even if we can't exploit all the potential opportunities that might be available had we had more time/labor available).

This is the price I pay for not being a part of some large radio entity or something similar. With them, you get all the publicity they can gear up, help in other areas....they run the business, they hand you a paycheck, it's a lot easier to concentrate on your main creative task.

But then they control you and the product.

I will put up with the missed opportunities and harsh, unfulfillable work loads rather than trade away my freedom to do this my way. (insert Braveheart quote here "They may take our lives...!!!" :snicker: ). The end result of our creative efforts is so much better than what I could achieve working with the sort of direction/interference that comes with working for a big communications company. Been there, done that. ...hope to never do it again.
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Re: The Gauntlet

Postby exposno1 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:11 pm

I'm glad it's working for you. Nevertheless, I feel for you, sir!

Dan wrote:We figure that the MOST important thing is the quality of the product.
I couldn't agree with you more. I say this not only as one of your customers, but as someone who's discovered this himself.

There are 3 variables in my business, too: quality, content and delivery time. You can only firmly control 2 of them. Quality can never be forsaken, where I come from. That leaves: content and time. We fixed time (delivery date is always twice a year, no exceptions) and that forced discipline around content delivery--but this was possible because we had the cats to herd . . . there's just you and Ben.

I wish there was something I could do to help . . . mainly because I want more content, more often! :wink:
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Re: The Gauntlet

Postby Dan » Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:19 pm

Hey Man...you are and have always been awesome. You are doing more than your part to help us accomplish our goals.

Let's bear in mind who is really at fault here for everything.

Ben.

:MaskedElvis: :goteam:
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Re: The Gauntlet

Postby boethius » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:22 am

It's about what business model Dan wants.

Using his chef analogy, you can either start a little high-end restaurant that's all about the food, or you can own a dozen Chick-Fil-A franchises. One will make you happy, and one will make you rich.
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Re: The Gauntlet

Postby superuberbob » Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:53 am

Quite frankly, I don't know how Dan keeps afloat. I mean, I don't know about Dan's precise business model or financial situation, but I just don't see ad revenues sufficient enough to offset the costs of production (especially with the new equipment) to generate a significant profit. He has (presumably) a family to feed and has to work his ass off on these podcasts at the same time. Hell of a tough job for potentially low pay.

To be honest Dan, even if you were to relinquish power you would be better than the other history podcasts out there (assuming you don't hire complete morons). I think you overestimate the quality you'd have to sacrifice by hiring other people to help you out. Yeah, you might suffer some growing pains early on. But after a bit of training and discussion with you, you should be able to get people on the same page as you to the point where you don't have to be their whipmaster.
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