Under the Current

hosted by Howard Gray

Under the Current is a long-form podcast that tells the real stories of creative entrepreneurs, and how they deal with the highs, lows, and messy middles that are part of the journey.


get new episodes delivered direct to your inbox

Under the Current is a podcast by Wavetable


#14 - Shanley Knox

on bringing in those who don't belong, dealing with unwieldy moments, and the audacious hope of building something new

#13 - Sims Foster

the future of the hospitality industry, and doing business for local good

#12 - Jonathan Stark

on funding the mission, and why marketing can drive us mad

#11 - Olaf Boswijk

on building spaces for arts and culture, finding new perspectives on our natural world, and the importance of staying naive

#10 - Dmitry Koltunov

on building communities in startups and hiphop, and the freedom of getting things wrong

#9 - Steve Bodow

on writing and producing, working in sprints, and overcoming procrastination

Steve Bodow

#8 - Rob Fitzpatrick

on books as product design, reframing marketing, and business partner marriages

#7 - Georgina Wilson-Powell

the founder of Pebble Magazine on building an ethical media business, creating support structures as a solo founder, and recovering from failure

#6 - Andrew Hutton

the co-founder of Day One on what emerges in early stage companies, discovering founder identities, and launching and relaunching

#5 - Zoe Scaman

the founder of strategy studio Bodacious on non-linear careers, sharing work in public, and dealing with self doubt

Zoe Scaman

#4 - Taneshia Nash-Laird

the CEO of Newark Symphony Hall on how cultural institutions help shape cities, creating platforms for others, and rediscovering deferred dreams

#3 - Dave Clarke

the DJ, producer, and radio show host on engineering as procrastination, what it means to be punk, and the future of the electronic music scene

Dave Clarke

#2 - Luciana Rozenberg

the founder of fashion brand Naissant on going from prototype to products, form and function, and why big cities matter

#1 - Joey Cofone

the co-founder of Baronfig on the mirage of failure, recognising the spectrum of what’s difficult, and alternative approaches to rebranding

Joey Cofone

#0 - Trailer

A quick bit from Howard on why we started 'Under the Current', and what to expect in future episodes.

Howard Gray


To be human in the information age is to experience deep-seated tension. We exist in a constant overdose of information. And yet, we’re starving for meaningful engagement. We experience constant pressure to iterate, ideate and innovate.

Lifting the curtain on other people’s ideas, successes and ideals is one of the most compelling ways to get inspiration, reassurance and momentum for our own creative journeys.

Several podcasts seek to do this, but too often they’re straight lines on the surface.

We need something more to help us move through the waves.

Under the Current seeks to tell the stories behind the life and work of creative people who come at things in unconventional ways. They’re globetrotting DJs and design studio owners; restauranteurs and writers; magazine publishers and makeup artists.

Each episode goes beyond a regular interview. It’s a slice of life; something real, past the PR pitch and the box ticks.

Under the Current is produced by Howard Gray and the team at Wavetable, a new wave media & education studio creating a more visceral and engaging future of learning.

Our crew of DJs, producers, educators and idealists help companies, creatives and entrepreneurs uniquely leverage their connection to their fans and followers by developing community-driven learning programs and products.

Over the past 12 months we've worked with the likes of SXSW, Vice, and the NYC Mayor's Office.

Our previous podcast ‘Tickets’ featured guests from Sonar Festival, Airbnb, Duolingo, The New York Times, and The Royal Albert Hall.


got a question? want to appear as a guest on the show? get in touch here.

Under the Current: #14

Shanley Knox

on bringing in those who don't belong, dealing with unwieldy moments, and the audacious hope of building something new


get new episodes delivered direct to your inbox:

It used to be that work was a singular choice: a job, maybe a career, perhaps even an entrepreneur. But today, these paths are blending. You may be working with clients, building a business of your own, incubating a new project, or doing all three simultaneously.

Meanwhile, on a parallel set of rails, doing good has evolved from solely being the domain of philanthropists, into non profits and corporate social responsibility, through to sustainability, B Corporations, and social enterprises.

These shifts offer alchemy and optionality, but also tension.

How do we blend and combine the possibilities to move things forward? How do we find the places where we feel we belong? And what happens when bring together people who don't belong?

These are all questions that inform the work of Shanley Knox. She's a brand strategist based in New York, as well as a social entrepreneur working in East Africa, and is currently sculpting two new ventures that synthesize systems change, strategy, and social entrepreneurship.

In this conversation, we get into dismantling a business on the cusp on success, a dangerous bias around meaningful work, the audacious hope of building something new, and why a set of traffic lights in Downtown Manhattan changed just about everything…

Show notes

08:00 A tipping point to dismantle a company

12:00 Returning to Africa

21:00 Recognizing real problems as a founder

28:00 The feeling of belonging and not belonging

32:00 The photographer as observer

41:00 Stakeholders that strategists don’t always notice

52:00 The audacious hope of building a thing

59:00 What happens when you freeze in the face of possibility

66:00 Cultural bias around meaningful work

Under the Current: #13

Sims Foster

the future of the hospitality industry, and doing business for local good


get new episodes delivered direct to your inbox:

New York, New York.

So nice they named it twice.

But beyond the confines of the big city, there's a whole state with over 10 million residents. And at over 55,000 square miles, it's a state that's bigger than Cuba, South Korea, and England.

A couple of hours out of Manhattan, and only a third of the way north Upstate, lie the Catskill Mountains.

The region's incredible natural beauty has led to it being a setting for films and art for well over 100 years, and also the home to holiday resorts that propelled many young comedians to stardom during the area's boom era in the mid 20th century. By 1960, Sullivan County at the west of the region had the most hotel rooms of any county in the US.

But within a decade, nearly every hotel had disappeared, and the area felt a sense of abandonment.

One of the locals seeking to bring back the positive narrative surrounding the Catskill Mountains is Sims Foster. With five generations of his family coming from Sullivan County, Sims and his wife Kirsten have spend the past 7 years building Foster Supply Hospitality - a group of rurally independent small hotels and restaurants with a focus on affecting positive change in the community.

In this conversation we get into facing up to the inevitably of hundreds of tiny failures, finding thought partners, the importance of the practice room, how the hospitality industry could rethink the ways it trains talent, and why local matters.

Show notes

05:00 Introducing Foster Supply Hospitality (and a rogue refrigerator)

08:00 Why the Catskills is such a storied region, and how it’s changed so dramatically in the past few decades

15:00 Starting in hospitality: from dishwashing to digging into data

25:00 Bringing a music sensibility to the hospitality business - and the importance of the practice room

33:00 Facing up to the prospect of constant tiny failures

36:00 The future of training in the hospitality industry

45:00 How Sims assesses new hotel and restaurant opportunities

50:00 Underrated factors that make or break a hospitality company

54:00 The colossal financial failure - and making a recovery

63:00 Seeking out thought partners… and working with your life partner

70:00 Recognizing crisis, and moving forward

77:00 The importance of doing business for local good

Under the Current: #12

Jonathan Stark

on funding the mission, and why marketing can drive us mad


get new episodes delivered direct to your inbox:

When you’re taking the road less traveled in an independent career there’s all kinds of tension along the way: building an audience, figuring out how to market yourself, choosing what to work on, and knowing how and what to charge for what you do.

The default setting for this last point is typically to set an hourly rate. Makes sense, right?

Jonathan Stark thinks otherwise. He’s on a mission to rid the world of hourly billing and helps freelancers, consultants and creatives of all flavours find better ways to do the work they want to do in the world.

Jonathan’s own journey has gone from live musician to digital agencies, independent software developer to teacher. While his books, talks, and daily newsletter are now hugely successful - there have inevitably been some bumps along the way.

In this conversation we get into why artists and designers can be very opposite, the real value of music, unexpected occurrences of the employee mentality, and why marketing can make us mad.

Show notes

04:00 Getting it wrong on-stage

11:00 Why creatives get pulled in two directions

17:00 Funding the mission

22:00 The value of music

35:00 What it means to have an employee mentality - even when you don’t think you do…

43:00 A big lesson from Disneyland

50:00 Wrangling with marketing

58:00 Getting comfortable with speaking and writing in public

67:00 The value of podcasting and newsletters

74:00 Daily publishing

Under the Current: #11

Olaf Boswijk

on building spaces for arts and culture, finding new perspectives on our natural world, and the importance of staying naive


get new episodes delivered direct to your inbox:

Amsterdam is widely renowned as a global hub. It's a centre of art, creativity, forward-thinking approaches to sustainability, and a centre of incredible nightlife.

Olaf Boswijk has been at the very center of Amsterdam's nightlife scene for well over a decade: as the music programmer and resident DJ at the Club 11 venue, before setting up the legendary Trouw, and the equally vital De School. It's fair to say Olaf's had a big part to play in creating a worldwide buzz around electronic music in the city.

When Olaf decided to take a little break, he headed out of the city for a little while with his wife Mirla in their yellow camper van.

But this wasn't any old trip - they headed west to Canada, went south into the US, and then all the way through Latin America to Patagonia.

It was in southern Chile that they fell in love - with an incredible part of nature they've come to call Valley of the Possible.

Valley of the Possible is a place where Olaf, Mirla and their team invite and challenge artists, scientists and other creative thinkers and makers to envision alternative perspectives on our relationship with the natural world.

In this conversation Olaf shares the back story of launching this latest project, the questions he asks about his own creative work, his attitude to risk, and why less ambition may be a positive sign.

Show notes

05:00 Hitting the road from Amsterdam to Patagonia

10:00 The tension between the DJ and club owner

18:00 The power of live vs pre-recording

24:00 Falling in love in Chile

30:00 Making career pivots

33:00 Bringing Valley of the Possible to life

42:00 Olaf's attitude to risk and ambition

55:00 Asking the difficult questions around climate and nature

59:00 Nightlife going from global to local

63:00 The impact of fatherhood

Under the Current: #10

Dmitry Koltunov

on building communities in startups and hiphop, and the freedom of getting things wrong


get new episodes delivered direct to your inbox:

A lot's happened since 9 year old Dmitry Koltunov and his family packed a few suitcases, left the Soviet Union, and headed west into the unknown.

Today, he's known by many as the co-founder of a hugely successful tech company serving the hospitality industry. To many hundreds more, he's the indefatigable linchpin of a popular startup fellowship program. And to others, he's the creator of a new Broadway-bound musical.

Before all these ventures, Dmitry had to learn a new language and culture, and found himself in the gladiatorial environments of corporate America. It was only after two very different visits to New York's Lower East Side that his current path began to emerge.

In this wide-ranging conversation we get into the surprises that come when following the American dream, why confidence can create fragility, the commonalities between hiphop and startups, and lessons learned from freestyling with one Lin Manuel Miranda.

Show notes

6:00 Lower East Side free styling with Lin Manuel Miranda

17:00 Detecting the difference between startups and hobbies

25:00 The gladiator game of business - and going the other way

30:00 Following the American dream, and observing culture

43:00 Hiphop and startup communities

48:00 Being fragile from the confidence

58:00 Structures and segments of creative work

66:00 Handling success

73:00 Writing Broadway musicals

Under the Current: #9

Steve Bodow

on writing and producing, working in sprints, and overcoming procrastination


get new episodes delivered direct to your inbox:

Jerry Seinfeld says writing is perhaps the hardest thing in the world.

But sometimes it feels easy. The pen just flows. What’s Jerry on about?

And then all of a sudden it gets hard. The page stays blank.

When you’re writing under time constraints, it can get harder.

And working under them pretty much every day - probably harder still.

How about writing for a TV show where millions of people are tuning in 4 times every week to be both entertained and informed? Yep, that's not always gonna come easy.

As a writer and then executive producer of The Daily Show, Steve Bodow's done just that.

He was an integral part of a team that won 16 - yes, 16 - Emmy Awards before departing the show in 2019 with well over a thousand episodes under this belt. Since then he’s worked on TV shows like Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, as well as high profile political campaigns, and a range of his own new projects.

In this conversation on writing, producing, and so much more we get into the joy of travel, juggling multiple projects, the allure of writing, finding a meditative state in improv, and what makes for a good host... yes I was taking notes.

Show notes

04:00 The start of In Quarantine

08:00 Moving from behind the scenes to front and center

12:00 The flow of improv

17:00 The allure of writing

22:00 Shifting from writer to management

28:00 Recognizing the pace of selling

38:00 Working in sprints

43:00 Seeing the game slow down over time

48:00 Working to deadlines

Under the Current: #8

Rob Fitzpatrick

books as product design, reframing marketing, and business partner marriages


get new episodes delivered direct to your inbox:

When it comes to starting any new project - whether an app, a product, a course, a book - there are so many potential traps to fall into.

One of the biggest is not understanding what people actually want. After falling into this trap more times than he’d like, Rob Fitzpatrick decided to write a book to help others avoid it.

Fast forward a few years and Rob’s career is entering its third phase: from seeking scale in his days as a founder going through tech accelerator Y Combinator, which gave him the inspiration for that first book - The Mom Test; to going after the hammock lifestyle that comes with the freedom of working remotely; to focusing more on consistency and reliability.

This third chapter arrives alongside his third book, and brings together much of what he’s learned and built so far. Write Useful Books is a book, but it’s also a community, software product, and potentially a backer for independent nonfiction authors.

In this conversation we get into several topics Rob hasn’t talked about much in public before - from how he deals with tougher days; to changing his mindset about marketing; and the unique approach he’s taken with his business partner.

Show notes

04:00: The gap between books two and three

10:30: Applying product design principles to books

16:00: The theme running through Rob’s books

24:00: Staying loyal to an audience, but also to yourself

28:00: Respecting marketing

35:00: Y Combinator Rob vs. Hammock Rob

40:00: Solo versus team and a novel way of being in partnership

47:00: Interlocking layers to support independent non-fiction writers

56:00: From 700 copies to 100,000

61:00: Comfort tasks

67:00: Overcoming the rough days, and disappearing

75:00: The importance of thinking as entrepreneurship as a career, not a company or project

Under the Current: #7

Georgina Wilson-Powell

building an ethical media business, creating support structures as a solo founder, and recovering from failure


get new episodes delivered direct to your inbox:

In 2003, a new magazine launched. It felt a little different to what else was on the shelves at the time. Covering music, literature, street art and fashion, it featured a new generation of talent, and had a focus on quality: not just the content, but on bespoke cover art and high-end paper stock.

The magazine was called Blowback and one its co-founders was a 21 year old called Georgina Wilson-Powell. After the London-based company folded in 2007, Georgina spent time at one of the world's largest publishing companies, traveling around the globe as a journalist.

It was these gas guzzling trips that in fact led her back to entrepreneurship - this time as founder of sustainable living magazine Pebble.

This time, Georgina is going it alone, building an ethical media business as a solo female founder.

In this deep dive conversation we get into why not being an expert can be freeing; the challenge of intertwined identities as an entrepreneur, using grief as fuel; and how build support structures when you're going it alone.

Oh and you'll hear Georgina’s dog Maggie in the background a couple of times... we just couldn't bring ourselves to edit her out...

Show notes

04:00: The craft of editing

07:30: The sudden end of Georgina’s first company

14:30: Why magazines have such a strong allure

17:30: Lost experiences post-failure, and the intertwined identity

26:00: Coming back for round 2 of entrepreneurship

32:00: Why not being an expert can be a positive

35:30: Dealing with grief

40:00: The differences being a solo founders vs. having multiple founders

43:00: Communicating with life partners in different work situations

49:00: Finding support structures

54:00: Being a female founder of an ethical media business

57:30: Why write a book

65:30: Being everything to everyone, and the challenges of staying visible

69:00: Bad advice

80:00: The importance of knowing your own mind, and overcoming fear

Under the Current: #6

Andrew Hutton

what emerges in early stage companies, discovering founder identities, and launching and relaunching


get new episodes delivered direct to your inbox:

Starting a new company? Let's be honest - it's hard.

In the midst of a global pandemic? Yep, definitely hard.

Compared to a decade ago there are now far more places to get support in those early days, but Andrew Hutton and the team at Day One feel there are still some gaps that urgently need to be filled.

With the belief that entrepreneurship is going to be the most important skill of the 21st century, Day One are seeking to rethink the way early stage companies get built, going beyond the narrative of venture capital as the be-all and end-all, and to support all kinds of founders who are focused on outcomes, not just achievements.

In this conversation we get into challenging the conventions around building early stage companies, the identity shift when becoming a founder, how to focus on outputs first, and understanding which game you're really playing.

Show notes

06:30: The conventions around ‘early-stage’ startups

14:00: Conforming to typical milestones and points, and what’s shifting

20:30: What emerges during the early stages, and the questions of identity around being a founder

32:30: Chasing dreams with rigor, and the shift from inputs to outputs

40:00: What Andrew rewired in himself as he became a company founder

47:00: The meta game of running a business that helps other businesses

52:00: Building a community and education business that isn’t built around a guru

55:00: Launching, relaunching, and what happens when the energy starts to dissipate

61:00: Pockets of influence and figuring out the game you’re playing

64:00: Underestimating time

Under the Current: #5

Zoe Scaman

non-linear careers, sharing work in public, and dealing with self doubt


get new episodes delivered direct to your inbox:

Back in 2008, Kevin Kelly wrote a now legendary article on the long tail, and the concept of 1000 true fans. It's a concept that's gained ground in the 12 years since it was first posted, and in 2020, those trends around fandoms and the wide creator economy are - like a lot else in the world - accelerating.

Today here are many new voices and platforms. 1000 true fans becomes 100. There are Macro trends in micro communities and micro payments. The way we create and consume content of all kinds is changing at an extraordinary rate.

In the middle of all this, both as a guide for brands and creators, and as a creator building a brand of their own, is Zoe Scaman.

Zoe's spent time at some of the world's leading brands and agencies - from Naked Communications and Droga5; to Adidas and Ridley Scott's Creative Group.

Today she runs the strategy studio Bodacious, helping develop and define compelling brands of all flavors.

Unafraid to share what she's learnt, and shout out the successes in public, she's built a significant following over the past 12 months in particular. But it's not all been an upward curve.

We talk about the ill-fitting nature of the word 'fit' when organizations are looking for talent; rejecting linear progression and social conventions; the deep fear held by many people in the advertising industry; and the value - and challenges - of putting yourself out there in the world.

Show notes

04:00: Why ‘fit’ is dangerous for many businesses

08:30: The vindication of having ‘Range’, and rejecting the linear path

16:30: Who was missing for Zoe when she was at school

20:00: What it means to ‘bang down the door’

22:30: Persistence vs. Confidence

28:00: The Phoenix and The Magpie

32:30: What 22 year old Zoe would make of Zoe today

34:00: The shift from employee to owner

40:00: The bit before Bodacious, and dealing with the self doubt

45:00: What happens when a full-time gig comes along… and making a vote of confidence in yourself

50:30: Putting yourself out in the world, and managing energy

57:00: The anger and fear held by others

64:00: Homesteading, and staying curious

69:00: Culivating fandoms - for others, and for yourself

Zoe on Twitter
Zoe's Substack newsletter

Under the Current: #4

Taneshia Nash-Laird

how cultural institutions help shape cities, creating platforms for others, and rediscovering deferred dreams


subscribe: get new episodes delivered direct to your inbox

For the Englishman in New York, JFK airport is the well-known touchdown point, sitting at the intersection of Brooklyn and Queens.

But I often found myself west of Manhattan - at airport code EWR. Newark, New Jersey. A little lagged from the flight, I'd soon be on the train or in a cab, seeing little of the place I'd just landed in.

But there's much more to Newark than a non-obvious airport code. The largest city in New Jersey has been a center of the shipping industry for centuries, and is home to a diverse population of over 300,000.

Perhaps one of its most notable residents is Taneshia Nash Laird, a social change agent and community developer with a pretty incredible resume.

She's served as the Executive Director of the Arts Council of Princeton, notably as the first person of color in that role. She's been the Director of Economic Development for the city of Trenton New Jersey; and co-founded Legendary Eats in LA's Staples Center alongside NBA legend James Worthy. With her late husband Roland, Taneshia she also co-founded MIST Harlem, a popular entertainment center in New York City.

She was also a special government employee during the Obama Administration, and her nonprofit board service has included the the Advocates for New Jersey History, Artpride, and the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation.

Today, Taneshia is the President and CEO of Newark Symphony Hall, a historic performing arts center, currently undergoing a $40 million renovation, including a huge neighborhood revitalization project called Symphony Works.

Widowed in 2013 and a pink lady warrior since an early stage breast cancer diagnosis in 2019, above all these achievements Taneshia is most proud of being a mother to two young daughters.

In this conversation we talk about lessons from The Great Depression that can help move today's world forward; how to stay resilient when selling; the misconceptions around arts organizations; her hopes for the next generation; and how to come back towards a dream that's been deferred.

Show notes

02:30: The city of Newark, its history, and its cultural institutions

07:00: What it’s like to take over running a 90+ year old arts organization

13:00: Taking ideas from recovery after The Great Depression and mapping them to 2020

21:00: Misconceptions of the operation of a nonprofit arts organization

24:00: Life’s a Pitch - how to sell, and stay positive and resilient

31:00: Seeing, touching, and deferring dreams

37:00: 4 parts of a daily practice, and coming back to the work each day

47:00: The meaning of purpose, impact, and legacy

55:00: Lessons from 2020

61:00: Taneshia’s peak moments to date

69:00: The importance of bringing others into the room

Under the Current: #3

Dave Clarke

engineering as procrastination, what it means to be punk, and the future of the electronic music scene


get new episodes delivered direct to your episodes:

From his first release on XL Recordings in 1990, through to being called 'The Baron of Techno' by legendary BBC Radio 1 presenter John Peel; to his most recent project with classical musician Mathilde Marsal, and continuing to eschew trends in an industry that has a new flavor of the month almost every week - you can't pin down Dave Clarke as just another dance music producer and DJ.

Shaped by punk, rap and acid house in a youth where he ran away from home, sleeping in car parks and on beaches, today he plays techno with the flair and ferocity of a hip-hop turntablist, hosts his own stage at the enormous Tomorrowland festival, and is close to publishing the 800th episode of his White Noise radio show that has dozens of FM partners around the world.

He's opinionated, erudite and - by his own account - has an anarchist streak a mile wide. All of which shine through in this wide-ranging conversation.

We get into what punk represents, building long-lasting relationships, what the future looks like for new artists in the electronic music scene, and why he's maybe a little misunderstood.

Two warnings about this one: first, my new audio gear hadn't arrived when we recorded the episode so my recording is a bit echoey (yes, ironic when interviewing someone who is constantly at the forefront of audio technology). More importantly, Dave is loud and clear.

Show notes

04:00: The current mood in Amsterdam, and the Dutch approach to tackling Covid-19

08:30: Dave’s shift in focus in 2020, and taking the time to recover

15:00: Engineering as procrastination

17:30: Working with classical musicians

23:45: Professional environments

27:00: Long-lasting relationships, and staying consistent over a long period of time

30:15: What does punk does - and doesn’t - mean

34:30: What happens next for electronic music

38:30: The path forward for the younger generation of artists

41:00: The draw of radio

45:45: Following technology, and improving the work

50:00: Managing the balance of introvert and extrovert

54:00: Untangling hard work, skill, talent, and luck

57:00: Hope for the future - politically-driven music, and shifts in social media

Under the Current: #2

Luciana Rozenberg

going from prototype to products, form and function, and why big cities matter


Split between the western Andes Mountains and eastern Gran Chaco lowlands of Argentina is the province of Tucaman.

Just over 1200km north of Buenos Aires, it's the second-smallest provinces in Argentina, and its main city of San Miguel is widely considered to be the nation's birthplace.

Among its 1.5 million residents are the Rozenburg family.

With the parents running an architecture studio working on all kinds of projects, it was inevitable their children would be exposed to ideas in design, art, construction, and the importance of form and function.

However, one of the kids, Luciana, who went on site visits and absorbed the conversations happening around the dining table, took a slightly different career path - into the world of fashion.

Now she's the founder of New York-based brand Naissant, whose handbag line brings form and function together through a modular approach to women's accessories.

In this conversation we get into bridging the gap between products and prototypes, the impact of landing in a big city, hanging out with old school patternmakers, and the power of the artistic muse

Show notes

03:45: The first few weeks post-launch

06:00: Conversations around the family table

10:00: Growing up in a architects’ family in Argentina

18:15: Feeling different, and the impact of big cities

21:45: Understanding London’s fashion hub

38:30: Being underestimated by the institutions, and underestimating NYC

43:00: Dealing with uncertainty of being a founder

47:30: Balancing creativity and business

52:00: Aspects of architecture in fashion

57:15: How do you know when something is working, even in prototype phase?

64:00: The importance of the muse

69:00: The impact of women on the work

Under the Current: #1

Joey Cofone

the mirage of failure, recognising the spectrum of what’s difficult, and alternative approaches to rebranding


Think of a Thinker. Who comes to mind? Maybe Seneca, Aristotle, Newton, de Beauvoir? Ayn Rand, Bill Gates?

Indeed, all great thinkers. But of course, everyone's a thinker.

It's one of the guiding principles behind Baronfig, a company that seeks to champion thinkers around the world.

From a speculative idea on Kickstarter, 7 years later their range of carefully designed notebooks, pens, and accessories to help cultivate better thinking are now sold around the globe.

As well as most definitely being a thinker, Baronfig's co-founder Joey Cofone is also a notable designer, and conveniently for a podcast host, a talker.

In this wide-ranging episode we get into why failure doesn’t exist, recognising the spectrum of what difficult, what people really use Baronfig products for, rebranding Prince through one of the simplest ways imaginable , the magic of video games, and so much more.

We also go into Joey's extraordinary back story and what he's learned from going through some very real adversity in his life.

Show notes

02:15: Learnings from two Luigis

10:00: Developing a love of books

13:00: Rebranding Prince - in an unexpected way

21:00: What design means, and the fracture between two types of design

28:30: Bringing literature into design school

36:00: The catalyst for Baronfig

39:30: Dealing with the unknown between Kickstarter and a ‘real’ business

42:30: What failure really means

48:30: The spectrum of difficult, and dealing with tragedy

52:00: Are things fated? Exploring fate vs. free will

56:30: Framing lack of fate in an empowering way

57:30: Going remote in 2020

65:00: What a notebook does for its owner

70:00: Why video games are the ultimate form of creative expression

73:00: How school needs to change post-pandemic