If you're unfamiliar with how this podcast came to be, please read this first: Some Personal News.

Hello, and welcome to Season 1!

As we've already recorded all 12 episodes, I can say for sure that we have a really great season in store for y'all.

Particularly, if you are:

  • a new or aspiring startup founder
  • interested in making the tech industry more inclusive for everyone
  • curious to hear what I sound like providing semi-unsolicited advice while being two drinks in

then this podcast is totally for you.

In Season 1, you'll hear from Merit's co-founders, Randy Brown and Kirk Fernandes: how they met, why they started the company, and what challenges they see ahead of them as they build their business.

You'll also hear from some wonderful featured guests:

  • A few friends of mine, Bethany Crystal and Susan Loh, drop by to provide their perspective from working in VC and HR, respectively.

  • Senior Product Management leaders Bianca Soliz Haynes and Jen Hau share their experiences from both working in tech as well from being coaches on Merit.

  • Daani Sarma (Kirk's wife), and Randall Brown (Randy's brother) tell us what it's like to have a founder in the family.

As previously agreed upon, we stay true to the title of the podcast in that I actually do drink two beers (we're usually 1 beer in at the start of each episode) and then tell Randy and Kirk how to run their company. However, you should know that this won't be like Drunk History (though, there is explicit language.) nor will it be an instructional "how to", either.

The last thing I'll say is that recording a podcast has been quite an unexpectedly pleasant experience. At a basic level, much of my work in 2019 has been solo so it's been great to have an excuse to make something with friends (including all of you backers out there).

But overall, the project reminds me of something my friend Karin Chien, an award-winning independent film producer, said many years ago regarding her philosophy of producing, that "it's not just the stories that we choose to tell, but it's how we work with people, who we choose to work with, and what communities we choose to build."

Kirk and Randy have been similarly thoughtful in their approach to building Merit, and for that reason, they're the perfect guests for Season 1.

I know you'll enjoy getting to know them and hearing about their work. Thanks again to our sponsors Gumroad, Skillshare, Sendgrid and Twilio!

Here's Episode 1.


ps. The episodes are meant to be listened to in order—kind of like an album—but hey it's a podcast and we're in 2019 so do what you like. (Relatedly, I do have a bunch of new podcast-related startup ideas, so get in touch if you want to build or invest.)

pps. If there is a Season 2, we're definitely getting rid of the drinking—it'll just be a podcast where I tell you how to run your company.

Season 1 follows Merit, a seed-stage startup based in New York City.
Produced by ORBITAL