Michael Mignano, Founder & CEO of Anchor, on building the company that democratized podcasting
|David Senra||Feb 13, 2019|
What was the precursor to Anchor? I was working at Aviary. I was running product for them. I became obsessed with this notion of helping people create. Aviary’s mission was to democratize creativity by making it easy to edit photos. We had a lot of success. Aviary was sold to Adobe. While I was at Adobe I became interested in podcasting.
How did you come up with the idea for Anchor? I tried making a podcast and thought it was really difficult. Why hasn’t a company made podcasting easy? The hardware, software, and distribution was all confusing. We felt there could be an easier way. So we started Anchor to make podcasting easy.
Starting a company was an entirely new thing for me: We never stopped and asked if we should do this. My co-founder and I were just hacking together prototypes. It just kind of snowballed. We released a beta and there was momentum. Next thing we knew we were being contacted by investors. It got to the point where it was obvious we needed to make this our full-time job.
It is fun to create new products that have never existed: I have never had more fun working on something. But there are challenges. It feels like this chart from Scott Belsky’s book, The Messy Middle. It is very up and down. When you are an entrepreneur there are all these things that you have never had to do before. Learning how to do these things are the core challenge for your business.
Podcasting is fragmented: Creation, editing, hosting, distribution, consumption, discovery, and monetization are all handled by different companies. For someone who wants to make a podcast that is a lot of different things to figure out. We are bringing all of these pieces together to simplify the process.
Anchor launched a podcast advertising platform called sponsorships: We think of it as the podcast advertising platform for everyone. You can activate this feature and we will go and find advertisers that match with your show.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs that are in the early days of building something? Be fearless. You will never know if it will work unless you try. Launch it. Talk about it. Put it out into the world. You need that feedback and motivation.