I have told segments of this story many times on my show. On June 1st 2004 I severely injured my spine in a swimming pool accident in Bahrain, that injury laid me up in the hospital their for 13 days. I was very lucky less than 3% of the people that suffered the type of burst compression fracture of their L1 vertebrae ever walk again. I was happy to be able to motor out of the hospital on my own two feet. Little did I know that event would change my life in more ways than one!
I came back to Hawaii and was laid up for 6 weeks recovering, after convalescent leave it was time to go back to work. I was still active duty in the Navy and the Navy fully expected me to do the job they where paying me for. I knew if I was unable to perform my job I would be medically discharged, and that was the last thing I wanted to happen.
Being I was still healing and going through physical therapy I was placed on Limited Duty, your not supposed to go on travel or do anything other than what the doctor instructs. I broke all the doctors rules and volunteered to manage P-3 aircraft modifications happening at L3 in Waco Texas. My boss agreed and let me go. I arrived in Texas in Late September wearing a clam shell body brace. It was still pretty hot that fall, and when I was not at work I hung out in my air conditioned hotel room to get some relief from the heat, I could hardly stand to be outside in the heat wearing the clam shell back brace.
I was spending a lot of time on the Internet in the hotel room, it was at that time I started to hear about Podcasting. Knowing my tenacity to talk and tell stories, I decided to start a podcast, in fact I could not move fast enough to get started It was almost as if I was drawn to it.
A Logitech mic purchased at Walmart across the street was all it took to get started. The first show I recorded on October 9th 2004 was about 40 minutes long from my hotel room. The first 2 shows where not podsafe, and had to be taken offline later as I loved playing some AC/DC non pod-safe music at the start of the show. In a very short period of time the show exploded onto the podcast scene. As near as I can figure it I was one of the first 20 or so podcast to launch. The show went from 400 listeners the first show to nearly 35,000 listeners in less than 30 days. The show has never stopped growing and is what it is today. The first few years of what happened next has been a blur and simply incredible.
- Oct 9, 2004 Geek News Central Podcast Launches
- Dec 13, 2004 Approached by Wiley to write first book on Podcasting
- Dec 27, 2004 Launched the Tech Podcast Network with 13 shows.
- January 2005 Tried to go to CES denied Press Pass
- May 13, 2005 Podcasting the Do it Yourself Guide Book Announced
- June 2, 2005 GoDaddy Becomes a Sponsor here at GNC
- July 2005 My Podcasting book is Published sells 55k copies
- July 2005 1st Annual Podcast Awards
- July 2005 Citrix GotoMeeting becomes a Sponsor
- July 2005 RawVoice is Incorporated
- August 2005 Podcast News Launched (Shutdown in 2010)
- Sept 2005 Podcast Expo and 1st Annual Podcast Awards Ceremony
- December 2005 My Book Receives Award from NYT.
- January 2006 Andy McCaskey and I attend 1st CES
- July 2006 Launch Blubrry.com at Gnomedex
From there on it has been a Marathon. What’s amazing is how much ground we covered in such a very short time in those early years. Luckily for me and my pocket book my show, and RawVoice was cash positive almost from the beginning. Sponsors were and continue to spend money in the space it has been a crazy ride since.
My team at RawVoice has simply been incredible, we have had our ups and downs but we started with 5 and today their are still 4 of the core team members with the company, and whole bunch of great folks that work for us now and in the past. It has not been easy but we have built some incredible products. The podcasting space largely fires on all cylinders today because of the Powerpress Podcasting Plugin.
I am proud of what we have accomplished as RawVoice Podcasters have earned millions of dollars in advertising revenue over the course of the past 7 years. The service packages we offer provides distribution into a large segment of media devices.
There is a story I’d like to share that I tell from time to time. I know of a number of podcasters that earn well over $150,000 a year in advertising revenue per year. Those podcasters produce their shows week after week, and beyond the sponsor spot in their shows you would never know how big their audience is. One of them has joked privately we me that if his boss knew how much money they made podcasting, they would probably be fired as they make more money podcasting then they do their 9-5. While this may not be surprising today it sure makes me chuckle when the viability of the space is discussed. While not every podcaster earns that type of income I stand behind our choice not to cherry pick shows and give opportunities to all podcasters in the space.
Today podcasters are reaching millions of listeners daily, and the listener / viewers counts continue to grow despite what some naysayers portray. While this show on this site is one of 1000’s I feel pretty proud that from launching the show in a hotel room with a Logitech headset what has developed and what my team and I have accomplished since our inception. We are not done innovating and helping podcasters.
Here are a few more fun links I dug out of the blog here at GNC.
I plan on adding to the timeline over the next couple of months and want this post to act as historical document surrounding my involvement in the podcasting space and that of my team.
Image Microphone by BigStock Photo