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Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

Why I Interview the Most Influential Thought Leaders on Dorm Room Tycoon

By William Channer

Dorm Room Tycoon logo

I think it’s a moral duty for those that have accomplished great things to share what they know. Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement speech was so popular because he shares what he has learnt.

I started Dorm Room Tycoon because I was annoyed. I was annoyed that interviews focused solely on the guest’s life story without revealing any practical advice. I was annoyed that the interviews were long. I was annoyed that the same questions were being asked and that the interview was about promoting something.

I wanted something different. I decided to build Dorm Room Tycoon around my own needs and preferences. So, interviews are usually around 25 minutes, quick enough for you to listen on your lunch break. They have a clear focus, so you know by the end of the interview you will have a better understanding on design, for example.

I spend a lot of time editing, making sure there is a high concentration of practical advice. Anything that sounds wishy washy I delete from the interview. I hardly speak during the interview. I probably say something every 5 minutes and it’s usually starts with “How” or “Why”. I don’t want to get in the way. Because, I too am also learning. My friend and I attempted to do a startup at university and quickly failed. We were naively ambitious, we didn’t have the insight to make it happen. So with Dorm Room Tycoon, I hope to bridge that gap between those that have the vision and energy to make an impact but don’t necessarily know how to.

I want Dorm Room Tycoon to be an all in one comprehensive place for those that want to make an impact. And I think in order to make an impact you need to have a good grasp on business, design, and marketing, and these are the things I explore with the guests.

I’m also moving into doing books on the Kindle, where people can digest the interview at their own pace. The idea for doing books actually came from Ryan Singer from 37signals – and we will be releasing our first book together pretty soon. It’s actually done. We just keep going back and forth on the title.

I don’t see myself as a journalist, I’m not bothered about the latest news. I just want to know what people know, and what helped them get to where they are.

I’m glad to be working with UXPin in that they will handpick their favorite interviews on design and entrepreneurship and post it right here, for you to see. I highly recommend the interview with Jason Fried on “Why Copy is Design” and the interview with Don Norman on “Understanding Good Product Design”.

If you want me to interview somebody you admire, tweet me @williamchanner with some potential questions and I’ll do my best to get them on. And if you find the interviews insightful, spread the word!Oh and if you’re thinking of getting Squarespace sign up through squarespace.com/dormroomtycoon and use dormroomtycoon4 to 10% off.

William Channer is the founder of Dorm Room Tycoon, a podcast show that teaches you how to make an impact. He interviews the most influential thought leaders in business, design, marketing, and startups. Past guests include: Eric Ries, Steve Blank, Don Norman, Stefan Sagmeister, Swiss Miss, Erik Spiekermann, Luke W, Jason Fried, Seth Godin, David Karp. He graduated from Imperial College London.

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