There have been two times in my career that I have felt my work having an enormous impact on an industry, as being the catalyst of a seismic shift that would greatly impact the trajectory of that industry and, by extension, the world.
The first was in 2018, when I and the team at Anchor (the company I had cofounded back in 2015 with Michael Mignano) launched what we called Anchor 3.0. For years leading up to that, many people (investors, journalists, even friends) doubted whether audio or this thing called “podcasting” was ever really going to catch on. Serial was a fluke, some people said.
We believed in the power of audio. And what’s more, we saw tons of market signals that showed us the massive as-of-yet-unleashed potential of its growth. There were constraints to creation: making audio was expensive, confusing, and burdensome. And there were constraints to consumer adoption: the prevalent format was limited and one-directional, hard to discover, and not lightweight.
What happens when supply and demand are both constrained? An industry remains small, and it doesn’t realize its true potential.