Ep. 63: Why We Are All Hooked on Technology Products with Nir Eyal

Sign-up for exclusive content and announcements for The Influencer Economy Book due out December 2015: www.influencereconomy.com/book/

We are really excited to share this interview with Nir Eyal that I recorded a few months back. Nir was in Los Angeles for a start-up speaking engagement, where he explained the Hooked Model to 100 + entrepreneurs in Santa Monica. I was lucky enough to chat with him right before he went on stage.

His Hooked Model has changed the game for product creation and product management. We talk at length about the 4 principles of the Hooked Model and how it applies to everyone building products.

The average person checks their cell phone over 100 times per day. And Nir explains why we are all so obsessed with Facebook, WhatsApp and Pinterest. His expertise is in consumer psychology and applying principles from writer's like B.F. Skinner to modern technology.

Nir also self-pubished his book, blogged for years and eventually launched Hooked as a NY Times best-seller. He shares what it's like seeing your book at an airport bookstore.

Nir's website and his Twitter: www.nirandfar.com/ twitter.com/nireyal

How Nir started writing his blog to answer his own questions about how products create habits
How hearing Mark Zuckerberg speak when Nir was in Stanford business school inspired his curiosity around the hooked model
How Facebook & WhatsApp nailed the Hooked model
The difference between vitamins (nice to have) and pain killers (must have) when building products
A guide to the 4-Step Hooked process: 1) Trigger 2) Action 3) Reward 4) Investment
How podcasts apps. like Stitcher form habits for their listeners
The GEM model (Growth, engagement, monetization)
How Nir’s career transitioned from entrepreneur into story-teller
How Nir reach the NY Times best-seller list with the help of his community of blog readers

pocastnir eyalhookedTechnology



Ep. 62: What's Alan Watching? & Sepinwall's Self-Publishing a NY Times Top 10 Book

As mentioned on the podcast intro. Please vote! For our SXSW Panel on podcasting. My friends Jemele Hill and Tom Merritt and I are trying to host a panel "Podcasts Grow-Up: Community and Monetization. They are both great people and former guests of The Influencer Economy. If we get enough votes, then we'll be at SXSW next year.


For this week's episode, I spoke to Alan Sepinwall the writer of the wildly popular online TV recap column, What's Alan Watching?" and the best-selling book "The Revolution Was Televised. On this week's show, Alan details how he originated his career as a TV writer, how he wound-up writing for Hitfix.com, and the keys to his successful self-published book.

Funny when I listen to this episde, I realize how much better I have improved at interviews. But what strikes me the most proud is that I stayed focus with Alan and got the conversation that I hoped for. He was a fun and insightful guest and we had a lot of ground to cover in 1/2 an hour. Hope you enjoy this!

Listen to our archives: www.influencereconomy.com Follow Ryan on Twitter: twitter.com/ryanjwill

Alan's history as a TV writer dates back to the 1990's. He's a pioneer in the TV journalism industry, specifically in defining and shaping the category of online TV Show recaps. He is a great example of a successful creator in The Influencer Economy, as he self-published his book, selling it directly to his community. He has built an incredibly loyal following from writing online, and was able to deliver a book that his community wanted to read. He details his unique model of self-publishing which we can all learn from.

Alan's column: www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching

Alan on Twitter: twitter.com/sepinwall

Alan's original What's Alan Watching blog: sepinwall.blogspot.com

From this episode you'll learn:

How Alan launched his writing career writing online in the 1990's about NYPD Blue
The history of Alan's "What's Alan Watching?" TV Recap column
The background of how Alan went from working for the NJ Times Ledger to writing for the entertainment website Hitfix.com
The secrets of how Alan self-published his book and got the attention of traditional publishers
The origins of Alan appearing on Bill Simmons' BS Report





Ep. 61: NBA Champion Harrison Barnes of the Golden State Warriors

Harrison Barnes grew-up in Iowa, played college basketball for the North Carolina Tar Heels, and is now an NBA player for the Golden State Warriors. This past June he won an NBA Title, when the Warriors defeated the Cavaliers.

He is a world champion.

I spoke to Harrison before he won the title, during the Warriors regular season. We had a candid converation about sports, fans, media, college, SnapChat, United Airlines customer service, and much more.

There's a lot of great stuff in here, for fans and listeners alike who want to hear a modern day athlete's persepctive about the media landscape in 2015. We originally aired this episde last fall.

Sign-up to buy The Influencer Economy book: www.influencereconomy.com/book/

Harrison Barnes on Twitter: twitter.com/hbarnes

Harrison on Instagram: instagram.com/hbarnes/

Ep. 60: Smart Business Revolution with Ryan Williams

Super-influencer and connector John Corcoran had me on his Smart Business Revolution Podcast a few months ago. John is one of the smartest guys in the business podcasting game. He was gracious enough to give me the podcast to post on The Influencer Economy feed.

We talk about how Adam Grant's book Give and Take has both affected our busineses. We even dive into how my childhood in Iowa and attending boarding school helped inspire The Influencer Economy. We also chat all things marketing and social media.

John has spoken to people like Dan Pink, Michael Port, Gary Vaynerchuk, Marie Forleo and Guy Kawasaki on his podcast. And it's an honor to be in a class with that group.

John's Smart Business Revolution is: "A Top 10 Podcasts for Entrepreneurs to Learn Personal Finance From" from Inc. Magazine and a "Top 100 Small Business Podcasts 2014" from Small Biz Trends.

I'd like to thank my Mom for listening to my interview with John, who planted the seed for me to re-post this episode for everyone to hear.

John's website:


John's podcast:





Ep. 59: Meredith Walker Co-Founder of Amy Poehler's Smart Girls

Somethings in life start with a great dance party and for Amy Poehler and Meredith Walker, that's how they began the start of their Smart Girls company. Meredith is a veteran of Saturday Night Life and met Amy, her best friend while both were working on the show. Meredith was a talent executive and Amy was a cast player.

I met Meredith Walker, Co-Founder of Amy Phoehler Sart Girls, for literally seconds at SXSW this year. We were both at the Nerdist Party down in Austin, and I was lucky enough to chat for just a moment with her. We clicked and she's the guest this week on the podcast.

What's inspiring about Smart Girls is how they are cultivating a positive community for content around Smart Girls, while also actively speaking to young people around the world.

You'll learn how best friends Meredith Walker and Amy Poehler were inspired to start Smart Girls. How Meredith Walker met Amy Poehler while working together at Saturday Night Live and the story behind the company.

They have an inspiring look at life, and are helping to shape awesome web content for girls and boys of all ages. And don't forget importance of dance parties.

Their website: amysmartgirls.com/





Ep. 58: Tom Scharpling of The Best Show

Tom Scharpling is an OG radio host and podcaster. He started to host and produce a radio show called "The Best Show" on WFMU back in 2003. The show featured call-ins from listeners, stories and special guests like comedian Patton Oswalt.

In 2014, The Best Show went off the air, and re-launched as a podcast.

Tom has paved the way with his old WFMU show for Marc Maron and WTF, to Chris Hardwick of Nerdist, and many other comedy podcasts in the modern day.

Listen to the Best Show: thebestshow.net/podcast/

Buy Tom's Best Show merch and tickets to his live show: stereolaffs.com/

Buy Rock, Rot and Rule: www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000QZUBKS

What we learned on the show:

The origins of The Best Show
How he and John Wurster collaborate on The Best Show
How hosts like Howard Stern inspired Tom
Where Tom sees the future of The Best Show going
What it's like transitioning from radio to podcasting

Our website: www.influencereconomy.com/

Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/ryanjwill

Ep. 57: Jonah Keri on Grantland, Writing NY Times Best-Sellers and Up Up and Away

Jonah Keri came on the podcast in December and he was a fantastic guest. He was so good, that I wanted to re-publish this episode for all the new listeners to the show.

He's a writer at ESPN's Grantland, NY Times best-selling author, and one of the smarter minds around baseball analytics in journalism.

We get into a lot o great topics here. Specifically how he started his journalism career, where he got his first big break as a writer, and how Bill Simmons picked him to write for Grantland. Side note, I interviewed him when Bill Simmons still worked for ESPN, so I wasn't able to ask him about Bill's recent exit!

Subscribe and Leave a review: itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/stori…id820744212?mt=2

Our archives: www.influencereconomy.com/

Jonah Keri's website: jonahkeri.com/

Ep. 56: Cenk Uygur from The Young Turks

I was really excited to sit down with Cenk from The Young Turks. He's one of the pre-eminent political voices online, and his TYT YouTube network is a mini empire on YouTube. I went to his office and studio in Culver City to speak to him on the podcast. They were kind enough to host me in their newly built studio, on The Young Turks set.

What's remarkable about Cenk and his team, is how deep their community connection runs. In many ways, their community is an additional host and correspondent on the Young Turks Network. The Young Turks have a continual open dialogue with their audience and it's destroying the TV model of network filtered news.

Cenk is building the next CNN, but better and much improved. We talk at length about their shows, political beliefs and the old networks and out-dated models in news and politics.

Our older acrchives: www.influencereconomy.com/

Please subscribe and leave a review on iTunes: 

The Young Turks: www.tytnetwork.com/

Find the TYT on YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/TheYoungTurks

Cenk: twitter.com/cenkuygur

Cenk's background:

Cenk Uygur is the host and co-founder of The Young Turks online which is the largest news show on the Internet.

Uygur is the former host of The Young Turks on Current TV, MSNBC Live and has appeared numerous times on CNN, CNN Headline News, E! Entertainment Channel, Al Jazeera, ABC News, Voice of America, NPR and even Fox News Channel. He is one of the most popular bloggers on The Huffington Post, and also a contributor to Daily Kos and Politico.

Uygur is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business and Columbia University Law School. He worked as a lawyer, television writer and television host before co-founding The Young Turks.

Ep. 55: James Altucher on Embracing Failure, Choosing Yourself in Life & Finding Your Scene

What if you were a writer who let it all hang-out. What if you wrote about failure and not just success. And what if you approached topics such such as wishing that your daughter becomes a lesbian or listing your business failures for all to learn from. That's what James Altucher does. James is a writer, investor, start-up founder, podcast, father, and literally an open book when it comes to his creation.

I was excited to have him on the show to discuss all things Choosing Yourself.

In this episode you'll learn:

How James embraces failure and success when living his life
How James asked former Twitter CEO Dick Costello to write the forward for his book Choose Yourself
Why it's important to choose yourself in the modern economy
The art of asking people for help and favors (and why it can be agonizing)
The importance of joining part of a "scene" where you have peers and partners when it comes to your creative and entrepreneurial endeavors
Why James writing sometimes invokes criticism from friends and non-friends

James on Twitter: twitter.com/jaltucher

James' website: www.jamesaltucher.com/

James' book "Choose Yourself": www.amazon.com/Choose-Yourself-J…ook/dp/B00CO8D3G4

Ideas and people mentioned:

James Hadfield on James' podcast: www.jamesaltucher.com/2015/06/the-be…-a-total-zero/

Ep. 54: Jemele Hill on Hosting TV at ESPN, Growing His and Hers Podcast, and The Next Movement

Jemele Hill is a podcast host, TV show host, and modern day multi-platform journalist. She works at ESPN, hosts the His and Hers TV show and podcast with her show partner Michael Smith. And she's an overall social media maven and an old pal from SXSW and other digital sports event.

Note: We had some static on the skype line during parts of the episode with Jemele. We worked hard to edit out the reverb as much as possible and spent considerable time touching it up. We think this is an episode that you'll enjoy, and thanks again for listening.

Our website: www.influencereconomy.com/

Follow Ryan on Twitter: twitter.com/ryanjwill

Jemele on Hill: twitter.com/jemelehill

Jemele at ESPN: search.espn.go.com/jemele-hill/

What we talked about:

How she hosts and created a TV show: His and Hers while also hosting a podcast of the same name
The importance of accuracy in journalism
The importance of being natural in your podcast
The secrets of success for the Her and Hers Podcast and TV Show
What it's like working at ESPN when big athletes come by the campus
How she interviews guests like Triple H on His and Hers
The art of using Twitter to go off on tangets, cracking jokes, and hanging out on Twitter.
Building chemistry like Stockton and Malone with her co-host Michael Smith
#BlackTwitter and the shared experience and levity of the community on Twitter
How she started working in journalism after graduating Michigan State, and how she wanted to be a journalist at a young age
How podcasts are all about authenticity while the TV show is about grabbing people's attention in 5 minutes
How she builds her own culture around her podcasts, and how she avoids talking about sports 
Why The Roots are her Spirit Animal in finding the right audience for her podcast (and being cool with if not everyone listens or messes with your show)
How to get people to believe your podcast, and how the essence of podcasting is truly getting to know someone and getting an entry point in their lives
Her top hip-hop artists of all-time (she doesn't lke these questions but answered it anyway!)

People and things we mentioned:

Blogs with Balls: blogswithballs.com/

Anthony Saleh: twitter.com/dude_br0

Ep. 53: John Corcoran on Connecting with Influencers, Building Relationships, More

John Corcoran is a lawyer, former writer for The White House, and even had a stint working in L.A. in the entertainment industry. He is now the purveyor of Smart Business Revolution, a multi-media business company. His work as at the forefront of the new generation of business media brands, where people actually help each other succeed.

John or "The Relationship Doctor" as I like to call him, is one of the most well-networked people in the podcast business community. He's part of a new breed of entrepreneur, building his company off of his content. He sells online classes on "How to Connect with VIP's," offers webinars on connecting with influencers, hosts a weekly podcast, has an immensely popular email newsletter, and is the ultimate business connector.

John shares stories about how he make $1000 from a single Tweet, how he snowballs his income buy selling products to his audience, and he years of secrets to connecting with VIP's and influencers.

John's website: smartbusinessrevolution.com/

John on Twitter: twitter.com/johncorcoran

Our website: www.influencereconomy.com/

Follow Ryan on Twitter: twitter.com/ryanjwill

Ep. 52 Greg Goodfried: Collaborating with YouTubers, Managing Digital Talent and Building Audience

Greg Goodfried joined the show this week for Episode # 52.

Greg was a trailblazer in the online "viral video" world back in 2006, when he created the epic online videos series: LonelyGirl15. This was back when "viral videos" were a big thing. He then went onto be a founder of EQAL, one of the first digital media companies to partner celebrities with major brands.

He's now a digital agent at UTA in Los Angeles, and we stopped by the his office to this week for Stories From the Influencer Economy.

Greg is passionate about partnering with YouTubers, Viners, and Instagram creators, and helping them grow and monetize their business opportunities. He manages online talent, helping them to build out long term financial opportunities from their work.

We talked in detail about how YouTubers and online creators collaborate build their audiences and what habits make a successful YouTuber. We also talk about how the normal person can grow their own social media and video followings. And we agree that "being a good" person goes a long way to create success in the online world. Greg also shares stories about working with YouTubers like Shane Dawson and iJustine, and how he created a web phenomenon with LonelyGirl15

Ryan on Twitter: twitter.com/ryanjwill

Influencer Economy website: www.influencereconomy.com/

Greg on Twitter: twitter.com/GregGoodfried

Greg on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/greggoodfried

Listen to all our The Influencer Economy episodes and subscribe on iTunes:itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/stori…id820744212?mt=2

Ep. 51: Flula on YouTube Fame and How Reddit Can Change Your Life

Our buddy Flula came on the podcast last year. He was a favorite guest of the show, and even prouced our intro theme music. He's also featured in Pitch Perfect II, so we thought we'd re-post the episod for everyone to learn more about Flula!

lula in Germany is here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxKivzjCFNg

Flula on YouTube: youtube.com/flula Flula on Twitter: www.twitter.com/flula Flula on Facebook:www.facebook.com/flula Flula on Instagram www.instagram.com/flula

Ryan on Twitter: twitter.com/ryanjwill

Ryan on Instagram: instagram.com/ryanjwill

Ep. 50: Veronica Belmont on Creating Sword & Laser, Vaginal Fantasy Book Club, Becoming an Expert

I was excited that Veronica Belmont stopped by to talk about her hit shows Sword and Laser and Vaginal Fantasies, while diving into her overall creative process. She's an old school podcaster and we talk about how she got her career start after graduating from Emerson College back in the day.


Our website:

Veronica on Twitter: twitter.com/veronica

Sword and Laser: swordandlaser.com/

Vaginal Fantasy: www.goodreads.com/group/show/62938…antasy-book-club

Ep. 49: AJ Jacobs The Secret of Throwing the World's Largest Family Reunion

AJ Jacobs is a NY Times best-selling author and hosting the world's largest family reunion. He's also cousins with both Hilary Cllnton, Barack Obama and Kevin Bacon. He's probably cousins with you too and out to show the world we have a lot more in common than we may realize.

In this podcast we dive into AJ's writing process, book history, and his upcoming family reunion.

Our website: www.influencereconomy.com/

Ryan on Twitter:twitter.com/ryanjwill

Please leave a review on iTunes: itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/influ…id820744212?mt=2

AJ on Twitter and his Global Family Reunion Website



Ep. 48: Adam Grant on Why Givers Succeed More in Life Than Takers

Adam Grant is world class. Not only is a successful professor at Wharton, a best-selling author of the book Gook Give and Take, but he has proven that givers succeed more in life than taker.

Adam's book Give and Take has shaped my business philosophy more than any book in recent memory. I learned a lot from this interview and decided to re-post it for new listeners to hear. We originally recorded this a year ago. Enjoy!

Ryan Williams on Twitter: twitter.com/ryanjwill

Influencer Economy archives: www.influencereconomy.com/

Leave a podcast review on iTunes: itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/influ…id820744212?mt=2

Adam Grant's website: www.giveandtake.com/

You can read the first chapter of Give and Take: media.wix.com/ugd/955681_868b6e1…206c41fd73483e.pdf

Ep. 47: Jeff Ullrich on Art, Entrepreneurship and Podcasting (Earwolf Media Founder and Chairman)

Hey guys, I had Jeff Ullrich on the show for this week's episode. I'm excited to be re-publishing this episode from last year, where I interviewed Jeff. Earwolf and Midroll media are two the pioneering companies in the podcasting biz and I wanted everyone to hear Jeff's story.

Jeff's passion in the world that intersects media, entrepreneurship and art is unparalled in the new world of the influencer economy. If you haven't heard this episode yet, it's a good one IMO. (Remember it originally aired last year, but it's still 100% relevant now)

Our site: www.influencereconomy.com/

Please review and sub in iTunes: itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/influ…id820744212?mt=2

Jeff on Twitter: twitter.com/jeffullrich

Earwolf: www.earwolf.com/

Ep. 46: Anthony Saleh on Managing Artists like Nas, Investing in Start-ups and Kobe vs. LeBron

Anthony Saleh is a talent manager, investor and avid sports fan. He manages artists like Nas and also serves as a founder of Queensbridge Ventures investment firm. We talked a lot about the culture around investing, managing talent and how in life there is no reward for being a jerk. Enjoy.

Our website: www.influencereconomy.com/

Follow Ryan: twitter.com/ryanjwill

Queensbridge Ventures: qbvp.com/

Anthony on Twitter: twitter.com/Dude_Br0

Ep. 45: Tom Merritt on Sword and Laser, Daily Tech News Show, Funding Your PodcastsEp. 45: Tom Merritt on Sword and Laser, Daily Tech News Show, Funding Your Podcasts

We are excited to have Tom Merritt on the show this week. He's a host, producer and a modern day renaissance man in the video and audio world. He is an old-school radio guy and now hosts among his many popular podcasts: The Daily Tech News Show, Sword and Laser, and Cord Killers.

Tom is in inspiration to many in the world of DIY creators, we can all and should learn from him.
He hosts the popular Daily Tech News Show

Subscribe on iTunes: itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/influ…id820744212?mt=2

Our website: www.influencereconomy.com/

Follow Ryan on Twitter: twitter.com/ryanjwill

The Daily News Tech Show: www.dailytechnewsshow.com

Tom on Twitter: twitter.com/acedtect

EP. 22 – Brian Koppelman, Host of The Moment Podcast, Co-Writer Rounders & Ocean’s Thirteen

Brian Koppelman joins The Influencer Economy as this week’s guest.  Brian is the co-writer of films such as Rounders and Ocean’s Thirteen, as well as the co-director of the Emmy Award winning “30 for 30,” film on Jimmy Connors This is What They Want.

He’s also a prolific podcast host and hosts a show called The Moment, a weekly podcast that is part of the Grantland network.  Brian is interested in the way people accomplish remarkable things and how they process the big moments in their lives. That is the thesis of the show.

Subscribe on iTunes:  http://bit.ly/InflTune

He was invited on the show to talk about his creative process around filmmaking, and his embracing of social media in the digital age.  As a creator, he has launched many big ideas online, and is a defining member of The Influencer Economy.

Brian also created the extremely popular “Six Second Screenwriting Tips” on Vine.  The Vine series came out of questions received from Twitter.  He created one Vine every day (for 300 days), and one Vine has over 20 million loops.  The videos were focused on the idea of “giving yourself permission to create.”

Brian is an avid podcast listener and”loves the intimacy of the conversations .” He talks about how Marc Maron’s WTF inspired him to get into podcasting. Brian also details how he connected Bill Simmons and Dave Jacoby of Grantland, and how The Moment podcast came to be.

He is currently working on a series for Showtime and shooting the pilot in the beginning of next year.  The show title: Billions, the setting is the financial industry in New York.  He is collaborating with his long time writing/directing partner David Levien and Andrew Ross Sorkin.


“I’ve never calculated one part of my work. I’ve always just led with what fascinates me.  That’s why having the conversations is easy too. That’s what led to every movie… All this came from only being obsessed with chasing down my passions and being unrelenting with the desire to be able to tell my children that I fought to live the creative life I wanted to live and that they could do the same.”

“I want all the things that I say to be things that I believe and have some value.”

“I actually don’t think that there is such a thing as remarkable people; people are the result of the actions that they take and then how they process the feedback from those actions.”

“A blocked artist is probably a bad wife or husband.”


  • How Brian was influenced by Marc Maron’s WTF to start podcasting
  • How Bill Simmons and Dave Jacoby helped create Brian’s The Moment Podcast on Grantland’s network
  • Where Brian gets his motivation as an artist
  • How he prepares for his podcast
  • The parallels between researching films like Rounders, podcasting and creating documentaries
  • How his ESPN “30 for 30″ documentary on Jimmy Connors came to be
  • The process in creating his popular “Six Second Screenwriting Tips” Vine series
  • How he has never calculated his work and how he uses social media


  • Brian on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/briankoppelman
  • Brian on Vine:  https://vine.co/briankoppelman
  • Brian’s website:  http://briankoppelman.com
  • He recommends you watch his film Solitary Man: http://www.solitarymanmovie.com

Subscribe on iTunes:  http://bit.ly/InflTune