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ZigZag

Author: Stable Genius Productions

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ZigZag takes an honest look at the culture of business---and what needs to change.  

Journalists-turned-entrepreneurs, Manoush Zomorodi and Jen Poyant, share their struggles to build an ethically-minded company, Stable Genius Productions, all while investigating how other founders and creators are resisting the “winners take all” mindset of Silicon Valley. From techies putting humanity at the heart of their products, to artists looking beyond ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ for validation, and investors who value empathy over 100 X returns...there’s a new movement to chart a kinder, sustainable, and collective path forward for work and life.
41 Episodes
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We hear a lot about how people start up companies but what about winding them down? After 15 years, media entrepreneur and "influencer" Grace Bonney has decided to close her lifestyle blog Design*Sponge. In this episode, Grace explains why she decided not to sell her business and has no plans beyond the farewell party...other than rethinking her relationship to the web. Plus, Manoush and Jen debate whether being a woman online means having to "perform" vulnerability and wonder if men also use entrepreneurship as a way to carve out their identity.**Season 4 of ZigZag is about examining the current culture of business and work, figuring out what needs to change, and experimenting with new ways to do it. **Sign up for our newsletter and subscribe to the podcast for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, RadioPublic, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify, or Breaker.CREDITS:Matt Boynton, Audio Engineer and Sound DesignerDavid Herman, ComposerMaria Wurttele, Production Coordinator
The workplace has become a place of sociological experimentation. But what are the pros and cons to “flattening” hierarchy or employees giving each other "radically transparent" feedback? Organizational psychologist Adam Grant (and host of TED's WorkLife podcast) explains some of the most cutting-edge workplace behavioral changes, how they reflect other societal changes like the #MeToo movement, and what each of us can do to evolve while GETTING OUR WORK DONE.Plus, Jen and Manoush consider how working remotely has affected their creative process and caused some hiccups with team coordination.Season 4 of ZigZag is about examining the current culture of business, figuring out what needs to change, and experimenting with new ways to do it.Sign up for our newsletter and subscribe to the podcast for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, RadioPublic, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify, or Breaker.WHO YOU’LL HEAR:@manoushz (Manoush Zomorodi, host of ZigZag and cofounder of Stable Genius Productions), @jpoyant (Jen Poyant, cohost of ZigZag and cofounder of Stable Genius Productions) @AdamMGrant (Adam Grant, Organizational Psychologist @wharton and host of the Work Life Podcast)EDITS:Matt Boynton, Audio Engineer and Sound DesignerDavid Herman, ComposerMaria Wurttele, Production Coordinator
The tech show about being human returns with an all new season exclusively on the new Luminary app. Manoush kicks things off with the latest on the battle between kids and parents over their screens: do we know how kids are impacted by tech? Does it make them less empathetic? Are they being constantly bullied online? Even if we can help kids figure out their digital habits, are we adults totally screwed? Researcher Elizabeth Englander joins Manoush to share new findings and give the most pragmatic advice about how kids and adults can build better relationships with their tech and each other.
Founded by Jenn Brandel and Mara Zapeda, the growing Zebras Unite network is a backlash against Silicon Valley's so-called "unicorn" companies.Many of these entrepreneurs are saying no to venture capital investors and attempting to build sustainable companies that fit their lives and values. But Jenn and Mara's inspiring real talk about making money AND doing good isn't just for "founders." It's about rethinking the role that all companies--and YOU--have in society. Zebras epitomize what we're doing this season: examining the current culture of business, figuring out what needs to change, and experimenting with new ways to do it.Sign up for our newsletter and subscribe to the podcast for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, RadioPublic, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify, or Breaker.CREDITS:Matt Boynton, Audio EngineerDavid Herman, ComposerMaria Wurttele, Production Coordinator
On the launch episode of Season Four, Jen and Manoush celebrate the first anniversary of their company, Stable Genius Productions, and share the most important and difficult entrepreneurial lessons they've learned over the past year. They also explain how, after a year of experimentation with format and blockchain technology, ZigZag is evolving into a podcast that takes an honest look at the culture of business--and what needs to change.*Sign up for our newsletter and subscribe to the podcast for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, RadioPublic, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify, or Breaker. *WHO YOU’LL HEAR:@manoushz (Manoush Zomorodi, host of ZigZag and cofounder of Stable Genius Productions), @jpoyant (Jen Poyant, cohost of ZigZag and cofounder of Stable Genius Productions)
What IS that anti-climactic feeling we get after completing a big project? Shouldn’t we be patting ourselves on the back and mixing celebratory martinis? Perhaps you’ve simply entered the final phase of the Hype Cycle: the rather dull Plateau of Productivity. This is when an idea just WORKS, maybe even becomes a cultural norm. All season long we’ve been tracking how ideas spark, evolve, and grow. Our final episode includes some harsh listener feedback, a conversation between women new to their local legislature, and late-breaking news from the Rust Belt town of Massena, NY.*Season 4 debuts April 11 with a special series on redefining goals, ambition, and success in turbulent times. *WHO YOU’LL HEAR:@manoushz (Manoush Zomorodi, host of ZigZag and cofounder of Stable Genius Productions), @tkbeaty (Thalia Beaty, producer of ZigZag), @JackieFenn (Jackie Fenn, Gartner Analyst), @NArquiettd11 (Nance Arquiett St. Lawrence County legislator for District 11), @**ElectCurran2018 (**Rita Curran St. Lawrence County legislator for District 15)
We're almost at the end of our deep-dive into the lifecycle of innovation, or the so-called Hype Cycle. Phase Four, aka the Slope of Enlightenment, is when the breakthrough happens, you get out of the trough, and start moving forward. We're using this phase to share big news from Stable Genius Productions and talk to Katrina Kelly-Pitou, an environmental economist, on the truth behind blockchain's energy-guzzling reputation. Plus, the mayor who made history by banning Bitcoin operations in his city. And then decided to allow them back in. Get ready to be enlightened.*Also, our email newsletter is a must read. **Sign up for a bi-weekly letter from Manoush with links to her favorite articles and podcasts, a look behind-the-scenes at Stable Genius Productions, and upcoming events. (For example, our guest Jackie Fenn wrote a novel about a programmer whose algorithm goes rogue!)Who You’ll Hear: Katrina Kelly-Pitou Professor Resilient Energy and Power Systems, Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh (@manoushz) Manoush Zomorodi, host of ZigZag (@tkbeaty) Thalia Beaty, producer of ZigZag
Our journey through the Hype Cycle takes a dark turn this week. Because every innovative idea, sadly, must pass through the third (and most miserable) phase of the cycle: the Trough of Disillusionment. This is when you start questioning why you ever decided to INSERT GOAL HERE in the first place.Hear Professor Kevin Werbach explain the difference between full-on failure and simply measuring success on a longer timeline, as related to tech and blockchain. (Because this podcast loves using blockchain as a metaphor for life.)Plus, a local union rep, Dave LaClair, gives producer Thalia Beaty a personal tour of Massena, NY, a town definitely in the “trough.” Their afternoon together ends with an insightful conversation about the people left behind in the U.S economy and how society has gotten to a place where real talk is rare.**Also, our email newsletter is a must read. **Sign up for a bi-weekly letter from Manoush with links to her favorite articles and podcasts, a look behind-the-scenes at Stable Genius Productions, and upcoming events. (For example, our guest Jackie Fenn wrote a novel about a programmer whose algorithm goes rogue!)Who You’ll Hear: (@kwerb‏) Kevin Werbach, Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics at the Wharton School of Business, Dave La Clair of Massena, NY, (@manoushz) Manoush Zomorodi, host of ZigZag (@tkbeaty) Thalia Beaty, producer of ZigZag
As we continue through the Hype Cycle, we reach the fun, thrilling, titillating phase: the Peak of Expectations. It generates the vital inspiration and adrenaline that keeps every entrepreneur or visionary going (that includes the listener who is in the midst of sleep training her baby daughter). On this episode, Manoush and Jen analyze their start-up highs and wonder whether exciting industry news means podcasting has hit its peak. Plus, more from Massena, NY, as we go inside cavernous Bitcoin factories to hear what extreme optimism sounds like. Just beware: after every high comes a low.Are you signed up for our newsletter? We’ve got links to articles and other great podcasts plus a personal note from Manoush. Go to ZigZagPod.com or just email us at zigzag@StableG.com and we’ll sign you up.
Question: what SPARKS us to *act *on an idea, rather than let it fade away? Answer: an "Innovation Trigger," also known as Phase 1 of the Hype Cycle. Hear listeners detail what triggered them to pursue a project, more from Gartner analyst Jackie Fenn, and how a hydroelectric dam prompted one small town to start manufacturing Bitcoin, for better and worse.All this season, we're exploring the lifecycle of ideas, including a visit to a town by the Canadian border where one of the biggest Bitcoin mining operations in the world is ramping up, and some claim crypto can save a community in financial ruin.Tell us what's going on in your life and where YOU are on the Hype Cycle right now: record a voice memo and send it to [ZigZag@StableG.com](zigzag@stableg.com).**Also, our email newsletter is a must read. **Sign up for a bi-weekly letter from Manoush with links to her favorite articles and podcasts, a look behind-the-scenes at Stable Genius Productions, and upcoming events. (For example, our guest Jackie Fenn wrote a novel about a programmer whose algorithm goes rogue!)Who You’ll Hear: (@jackiefenn) Jackie Fenn, Senior Analyst at Gartner, (@manoushz) Manoush Zomorodi, host of ZigZag (@tkbeaty) Thalia Beaty, producer of ZigZag
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Comments (4)

Clint Graham

Too much time spent on complaining about personal insecurity with leaving a stable job. Cut all of that out and get on with the substance.

Feb 26th
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Ryan Wagoner

not worth the time

Jan 18th
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Kekoa Pat

Really love how the season 2 is coming along! The fake news segment is enlightening.

Oct 18th
Reply

Gwen

Congrats Manoush and Jen! Looking forward to this new project :)

May 31st
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