Announcing my new podcast…

Today, I’m super excited to announce that, alongside my good friend and trusted business advisor Andrew Carroll, I’m back in the podcasting ring with a brand new show.

It’s called Orthogonal and, if I may say, it’s pretty frickin’ good.

That’s super great. What’s it about?

In a nutshell, it’s about the future of business and work. Andrew and I are both independent business owners and we’ve learned a lot over the course of our careers. Orthogonal will be all about surviving and thriving in a new world where the notion of working for 50 years for the same company is beginning to give way to a new kind of worker: the orthogonal worker.

I totally know what “orthogonal” means, but please define it for those who don’t, possibly using an interesting and relatable metaphor.

The (paraphrased) dictionary definition of orthogonal is “of or involving right angles.” But that doesn’t really tell the story.

Statistically speaking, if you’re reading this, you probably possess a car. If not, I’m guessing you’re at least familiar with their basic functionality. Specifically, the process of putting gas—or, in a growing number of cases, electricity—into said car.

You drive up to any gas station, insert your credit card, choose from a short list of fuel options, install the gas pump into the little fill nozzle, and start pumping the gas. A few minutes later, presto, your car now has gas in it.

The gas station has an “orthogonal” relationship to you and your car.

The gas station doesn’t know where you’re driving, why you’re going there, or who’s in the car with you. It also doesn’t care what kind of car you drive or what kind of gas mileage you get.

The gas station provides exactly the same service to every customer: putting gas in their car. And, other than selling bottles of soda and candy bars, putting gas in cars is far and away the primary function of a gas station.

A growing number of workers have exactly this kind of relationship with their clients and customers.

Instead of having an intimate knowledge of every aspect of a business, the orthogonal worker plugs in and performs a small number of specific functions for multiple customers:

  • A logo designer knows just enough about a business to design a logo — and she does this for many, many clients.
  • Andrew is a freelance CFO; he manages the finances for lots of small businesses who don’t need or want a full-time finance person.
  • Yours truly helps tens of thousands of people learn how to use productivity software better and more effectively.

All of these are orthogonal relationships. The podcast deals with surviving and thriving in a world where these types of workers are becoming more common and making a killing in the process.

Here’s what I’d like you to do next:

  • Click over to iTunes and check out the first episode (and the bonus “episode 0”)
  • Follow @getorthogonal on Twitter and give us some feedback. We’d love to know what you think.

Bonus time!

Our friends at the Spec podcast network have also created a free Slack channel where you can come hang out with Andrew and I, as well as other listeners of the show. Request a free account here (it just takes a second) and come say hello in the #Orthogonal channel — we’re nice people 🙂

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