All good things must come to an end, as the saying goes, and this blog post is meant to announce that David and I have recorded our last Tech Tonics podcast, at least for now. After 6 years, 142 shows and over 1.5 million listens, we took a deep breath and decided it was time for a pause. Our last shows were released February 22nd (a great show featuring Griffin Weber of, naturally, Harvard); and February 8th (a wonderful chat with a true Renaissance man, Matt Wilsey of Grace Science).
When David and I started and launched Tech Tonics, back in January of 2015, there were no other podcasts focused on the intersection of technology and health. At that time there were few podcasts focused on health or entrepreneurship at all, to be frank. Podcasting was still a little novel and still a little complicated to pull off well. David and I had written a book together, also called Tech Tonics, and we didn’t want to let a good title to go to waste. We also loved working together and Tech Tonics became the vehicle for all of that fun. We teamed up with producer-extraordinaire Jason Lopez (the man behind the mission), and off we went.
Generally, we recorded 4 shows at a time on weekends and then released them over the next 8 weeks. Then we would do it all over again. Each show was a labor of love, taking 3-4 hours per show when all was said and done. But it wasn’t the time that was the challenge, it was the sense that the message was getting a bit too diluted. Today every human alive has a podcast, or so it seems. And there are a myriad of health and technology/digital health/health IT podcasts, as well as dozens focused on entrepreneurs and healthcare leaders. We have seen few that really delved into the personal experiences and motivations of the subjects at hand, but a plethora of podcasts featuring some of the very same people we had featured. With so much content available, it all started to feel like the noise was starting to drown out the signal.
I know each of us felt we magnified our personal networks by a million-fold by meeting each other’s awesome friends and colleagues and acquaintances. I know each of us got a lifetime of learning from interviewing 143 people through those 6 years. Each time we recorded a show, we each would congratulate the other for bringing such cool people to the table – people we may not ever have known were it not for this podcast and this partnership. It was particularly fun to get to know people we already thought we knew, but now we knew them far better. Cool patterns emerged. So many of our guests were both health tech geniuses and amazing musicians and artists. So many had switched careers in fairly dramatic ways. So many had amazing firsts in our industry. So many had experienced great defeats followed by stunning comebacks.
We featured experts and extroverts, insightful leaders and introverts across the years. Our guests came from all corners of healthcare: patients, clinicians, data scientists, policy leaders, engineers, CEOs, investors, pharma, medtech, services, startups. We were especially proud that our show attracted people of all ages, both sexes and had worldwide appeal (48% of listeners came from outside the U.S.). We were also proud that our guests were people of all ages, equally split between men and women and featuring people from a wide array of ethnic groups and social backgrounds. It really showed us that anyone can be a great innovator given the personal drive, the creativity and intellect, the right set of tools, and a bit of luck intersecting with opportunity.
It’s impossible for either of us to point out a favorite show. The most popular show, as measured by the number of times people listened to it, occurred in July 2016 and featured Geoff Clapp, former CEO of Better, talking about what it was like to have that company fail. People rarely get to hear that kind of raw honesty, but Geoff delivered the story with such openness and grace.
The average number of listens per show has so far been well over 10,000. Shows that we recorded in 2015 are still being listened to and I expect many shows will continue to gather steam despite the lack of new episodes. In fact, our monthly engagement continued to grow even this year, with more than 20,000 listens per month on average. We popular – take that high school!
So, we decided to go out with a literal mic drop at the top of our game and figure out what might become our next big adventure. One thing is for sure, this has been an awesome ride, borne out of a friendship that would not have happened without Twitter, believe it or not (back when David was still on Twitter!), but which became so much more. Stay tuned. We may be back and if and when that happens, it will be for something worth waiting for. David and I will each continue writing (me at the Venture Valkyrie blog found HERE and David at the Timmerman Report, respectively) and hanging around the healthcare hoop – there is no escape!
Thank you to all of the amazing guests, Jason and Kevin at Connected Social Media, our wonderful and generous sponsors over the years, and to our families for allowing us to take a weekend day every other month to indulge our love of the healthcare scene in which we dwell and to talk with our friends, our idols and our inspirations.