Jason and I met in January 2018. We were both driving for Uber as a hobby and as a way to earn some side income. Jason had the brilliant idea of starting a podcast for rideshare drivers, and posted in a group for Grand Rapids drivers about his idea. He recorded an episode by himself, and was looking for someone else to join him.
I listened to the first episode of what is now known as the GR Rideshare Adventures Podcast. It was rough. But I saw the potential in the show, so I decided to join in Jason’s podcasting shenanigans.
Within a few months, we established a team of other like minded drivers and filed as an official LLC company in Michigan. Our podcast audience seemed to grow overnight. Soon, our YouTube channel started generating ad revenue. Things were moving right along. Jason and I both were very excited.
Off the air, Jason and I were becoming pretty good friends. Our conversations started going deep as we wrestled with topics like faith, family, patriotism, and more. Even though the rideshare podcast was becoming a hit with other drivers, we weren’t really digging into any deep topics on the air.
Jason asked if I’d be up for grabbing dinner and talking about starting another podcast. To be honest, I was a bit unsure of this idea, mainly because we both have full-time jobs and families to support – in addition to the growing rideshare podcast! Plus, I’m a bit of a private guy. I don’t crave the limelight, and prefer to open up in the company of close friends. The thought of opening up and discussing deep issues on a freaking podcast was scary.
In June, after much nagging from Jason, we met up for dinner and drinks at Graydon’s Crossing here in Grand Rapids. It was a beautiful Michigan summer night. We sat out on the patio and dreamed about what the new podcast, which had no name at this point, would be.
After that dinner, I started “researching” (ok, Googling) how to start a podcast. I came across a pretty comprehensive resource from NPR that asked high level questions about what the podcast was intended to be. In about 10 minutes, I banged out a Google Doc with answers to their questions. I shared it with Jason, and we made a few tweaks here and there.
Once that foundational document was created, we developed a segmented itinerary for our episodes. We followed this format pretty strictly for the first 20 or so episodes. Once we built up our momentum (and audience!) we decided to get a little creative with the format of the show. Now, each episode tends to have it’s own unique format.
In Spring 2019, we have been experiencing some tremendous growth in our audience – both in number of listeners and in listener engagement. We formed a strategic partnership with a local on-air personality (ok, ok, we paid Eric Zane to talk about us on his podcast and advertise for us!) Jason has been a long-time fan of Eric, and I was just a casual once in awhile listener.
Again, I had my doubts (do you sense a theme here?) but we moved forward and that ad campaign has paid off in dividends. If you’re reading this entry, there is a high likelihood that you heard of Threads: Life Unfiltered on Eric Zane’s podcast.
Seeing Eric Zane’s fans join in on all things Threads: Life Unfiltered reminds me a little bit about the “problem” that started Threads in the first place. Maybe the regular listening base of Eric Zane’s shows was craving a deeper podcast, just like Jason and I were after starting the GR Rideshare Adventures podcast? Who knows, but at any rate, we’ve been very pleased with our partnership with Eric Zane!! Thank you to all the Zaniacs out there who have added Threads to their podcast repertoire!
10 months in, and we’ve built something pretty cool. I’m stoked to see what happens in the year(s) to come.