Open-source podcast business
I have written previously about my latest fascination, podcasts, but today I want to talk about Entrepreneur On Fire (EOFire). EOFire was one of the first podcasts I stumbled upon, mostly because it is one of the most popular podcasts on entrepreneurship, with a huge audience.
EOFire is run as an open-source business, meaning they are extremely open about everything: guests, advertising, financials, process, and what makes them successful. Typically, a business would never share this information because it’s their competitive edge. In the weeks ahead, I’m going to dive deeper into open-source business models, but today I want to talk specifically about EOFire.
John Lee Dumus frequently talks about why he started EOFire – he was looking for a daily podcast which would inspire him, but one did not exist at the time – so he created one. A common trait of successful entrepreneurs is surrounding themselves with positive messages and other successful people – that is exactly what EOFire strives to achieve.
One of the most valuable parts of EOFire is when John asks his guests if they have a resource, like Evernote, that they use every day and would recommend to his listeners. Without exception, I look at every one mentioned. Many do not apply to me but a few have turned out to be very valuable. I wrote about switching to Pipedrive after hearing it mentioned by one of his guests, and I also started using Rescue Time and signed up for lynda.com.
Every podcast has a Web page, which is very easy to locate – by guest name, podcast number or company – and contains every link, quote and detail of the interview. If you find yourself listening during a workout or driving, you can quickly check the details when you return to the office.
If you are wondering how a podcast could be possibly be profitable, EOFire publishes a monthly income report and in June 2014 their revenue was over $200,000, which is part of their open-source business model. Each month they produce a supplemental podcast and cover every financial detail – and I mean every detail. You might be surprised to learn that EOFire’s primary revenue is not from advertising, but from Podcasters’ Paradise membership.
Many non-profits and most government agencies are required to publish this same information but they often make it extremely difficult to track down, or it is obfuscated in a way that would require a team of accountants to decipher. EOFire is different; John brings his accountant on the podcast and they cover the entire business profit & loss statements. John further explains exactly what is working and what is not working.
Would you share your strategies and financials with your customers? Do you think your board, investors, or even employees would be comfortable knowing this information is out there? We should all consider why we keep this information confidential and why we require a non-disclosure agreement before talking “strategy” with partners. I think we could all learn a few things about open-sourcing our business plans, financials, and what has worked or not worked to make us successful.
I would love to hear about your open-source business models as well. Please send me a Tweet at @wbushee, or drop me an email. After all, shouldn’t we all share more?
Don’t forget to sign up for my email newsletter to stay up to date, no spam there!