A Breakthrough in Growth From Advertising

The Growth of Pessimists Archive, with Jason Feifer

All great podcasts have to start somewhere. Many of the behemoths of today began in someone’s closet and with just a handful of friends for listeners. So, what changes that? How does a little, independent podcast spread, ultimately growing to reach an audience of millions? Today we unpack just such a story, and who knows, maybe you’ll find a nugget of wisdom that sends your own project into the stratosphere.

Pessimists Archive bills itself as “a history of why we resist new things.” It’s about nay-sayers throughout history who opposed innovation, and, in retrospect, look pretty silly now. We’re talking about people who were vehemently opposed to horrifying abominations like… the umbrella, elevators, bicycles, refrigerators, and yes, even teddy bears and birthdays. The idea is to look at why these things seemed so scary when they were new, and, now that we know they’re not so scary, perhaps calm down about the innovations we’re freaking out about today. The podcast currently averages 50,000 listeners per episode and has reached millions over its lifetime, but it certainly wasn’t born into these kinds of numbers.

Jason Feifer writes, produces, and hosts the Pessimists Archive podcast. When not working on the podcast, he does his “day job” as editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur Magazine, and before that he was an editor for Fast Company. (Disclosure: I wrote a couple articles for Jason in his FastCo days, and I currently [...]

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