I Don’t Pay for Podcasts. Why Would I Pay for Yours? 

In our latest podcast episode, we discuss paying for content and catch up with a few owners we haven’t heard from in a while.

Good morning!

As promised we are closing up here at 21 Hats for the rest of the week, but we did want to make sure you knew that we have a new podcast episode out this morning. And so long as we’re here, we threw in a few story highlights you may want to know about. We’ll be back in full force after Labor Day—although we will not have a new podcast episode until the following week. I hope you get a nice break, too. -- Loren


 Episode 75: I Don’t Pay for Podcasts. Why Would I Pay for Yours? This week, Karen Clark Cole, Paul Downs, and William Vanderbloemen start with a discussion of how 21 Hats might finally take the plunge into monetization. We also discuss Karen’s decision to forgo less-profitable revenue, William’s grand experiment of unplugging for seven weeks, and Paul’s attempt to balance personal and company responsibilities. Plus, we consider the impact of The Great Resignation, and we look for lessons to take from last week’s discussion about mental health.


Burning Man has gone virtual: “Organizers of Burning Man, now in its 35th year, have called off the physical event in the Nevada desert due to Covid concerns. In its place, they have created Virtual Burn Week, which ends next Tuesday. Instead of camping in the desert, participants use virtual reality headsets and computer screens to replicate the real event in as much detail as possible—even the hours long traffic jams. Last week, cyber RVs began lining up at the gate to virtual Black Rock City. In normal times, a community of camps, pop-up bars and fanciful art displays rise out of the alkali dust for one week every August on a pancake-flat playa surrounded by jagged mountains 100 miles northeast of Reno.”

  • “The digital world’s designers have also taken advantage of the possibilities of virtual reality to create experiences that in the past may have only been possible with the aid of hallucinogens.”

  • “‘Do you see this Porta Potty in front of us?,’ Andrew Barrett, a creator of some of the virtual worlds, asked during a tour of virtual Burning last week as a large blue image of the receptacle came into view. ‘If you look up, there are all these Porta Potties with art inside.’”

  • “The climax of the event, as at the real one, is the torching of a giant wooden effigy—the burning man. This year it will take place on Sept. 4, both digitally and in real life at an undisclosed location from which it will be live streamed.” READ MORE


Mars is rethinking its approach to corporate travel: “Mars is planning to cut corporate travel by half and book 145,000 fewer flights each year in one of the clearest signals yet from a big company about how they plan to change business trips after the pandemic. The world’s largest confectioner and one of America’s biggest privately owned businesses has said it will tell staff to get on a plane for ‘purpose, rather than presence.’”

  • “Nici Bush, vice-president for workplace transformation at Mars, also said that the company wanted to rethink the ‘obsolete’ approach to fixed office hours because the pandemic has led to ‘myth-busting’ about productivity.” READ MORE


A survey finds that companies are not keeping up with the increased security needs of a remote workforce: “When companies sent their employees home in response to the pandemic, they had to move quickly to make sure workers could access their internal networks and tools. For many companies, this meant security became a lower priority. The survey found that 44 percent of employers focused on improving remote network access but invested little in remote security. Thirty-five percent invested in both, and 21 percent made minimal changes to either their network architecture or their security, according to the report. Nearly half of respondents reported that they've loosened security policies or been more lax in enforcing them while employees have been working remotely.”

  • “That's because of budget constraints, a lack of time and resources, and the need to respond quickly to remote work demands, according to the report.”

  • “But even companies that did implement remote security measures are having trouble: 35 percent of respondents said their remote employees have circumvented or purposely disabled company security measures when they became too complex or hindered productivity.” READ MORE