Scrapping and Starting Fresh: The Hawthorne Effect

“When a poet digs himself into a hole, he doesn't climb out. He digs deeper, enjoys the scenery, and comes out the other side enlightened.” - Criss Jami

2 min. read

A couple months ago I ventured into the land of the podcast. A couple weeks ago I roped my friend Ian in and “Thought of the Week” became “The Hawthorne Effect.” The whole thing has been a huge learning process. After doing a number of different podcast approaches by myself, and trying a few different things out with Ian, he and I sat down tonight to reflect on what we think has worked, what hasn’t, and set a clear plan for what we’ll do in the future. I’m really excited with what we came up with.

Starting next week, I’m confident that folks who have been listening to the experiment that has been the podcast will notice a huge shift (in a positive direction) in the feel and product. While we won’t know if that’s true until next week, this reflects the way that I try to approach most new projects: experiment a bunch, reflect, synthesize, retool, then focus in.

With my writing for It’s Pronounced Metrosexual, I followed this approach. My first few things I posted were all over the place, and I had no idea what would resonate with people, and I didn’t really think too much about it. I just did a bunch of different things, really focusing on exploring the possibilities and less on doing what was “right” or “good.” After a couple months, I looked back at what was effective (shared the most, generated the most discussion, etc.) and for the past couple of years I’ve kept my focus on producing content based on those first few successful themes (e.g., the “privilege lists” on the site).

I like this approach. It works well for me. I’m going to try to do apply it to more parts of my life.