Over the past week I’ve been watching my podcast producer, Myke Hurley work through a learning curve. In an attempt to make what sounded (at least to me) like a perfectly good sounding podcasting network great, he has had to allow it to sound worse.
Good wasn’t going to be enough, good isn’t what he wants to put out there, but great comes with a learning curve. And in pursuit of creating the greatest podcasting network possible, he has been willing to take a short-term hit in sound quality for a long-term gain.
The process can be brutal for those who strive for greatness. Over the past week, I’ve heard him struggle as he integrates higher quality equipment into his workflow. I’ve felt his frustration as the quality has dipped slightly and as he experiments with new and unfamiliar tools and techniques. Myke has high standards for the network (our show aside) and it’s pretty obvious that he doesn’t like it one bit when he feels he isn’t meeting them.
This dip in quality may confuse or even piss off a listener or two, but I’ve never been more proud to be a small part of what Myke is building. There are few who are willing to put in this kind of work for the sake of improving and fewer who would be brave enough to do it in public as Myke has.
Bravery aside, I also think he’s gone about it in a way that we can all learn from…
Be Open About It
Even before the equipment ever arrived, loyal listeners knew it was coming. Myke continually made it clear what he was working towards, so even though we may not be hearing what we expect, we know what to look forward to. He also went beyond the build up and has been openly discussing the shift and any shortcomings as he improves. It not only makes people tolerant, it gets them to pull for you.
This will not be a long, drawn out and painful process. It’s clear that Myke is killing himself to get through the learning curve as quick as he possibly can. It may not sound the way he wants today, but I have high hopes for how soon things will sound better than ever before.
Don’t Go Back
Having to take a step back from the quality you expect from yourself is painful. Especially when there happens to be a very easy and very elegant solution to ease Myke’s pain… Go back to the way things were and let good be good enough. Myke isn’t going back and there is no better sign to indicate that he will work his way through the learning curve.
Make It Worth It
Myke knows exactly why he picked these tools, he knows exactly how he wants his shows to sound. Once he figures out exactly what each dial does and how to make them meet his vision, there is no doubt that the network will sound and be better than ever before.
Here’s to Myke and those like him. We need more people in this world who are willing to be worse in order to get better.
And if you want to support one of them, here’s where you can do it.