Fuck It, We'll Do It Live

If you’re making an online show right now – especially if you’re just getting started – chances are you’ve had some bad days. Days when equipment breaks down, guests don’t show up, things don’t upload correctly, etc. I’ve heard it all and go through it all the time. It can feel like a never ending uphill battle, which is why I constantly try to remind myself and remember this:

Some of today’s most successful online shows started out with a vague idea of what their show was going to be, didn’t have a defined format, strategy, or focus, and they faced many of the same challenges and setbacks that you and I face today.

Of course, it depends on the show. Some shows started out with more money, strategy, and a bigger audience than others. But regardless, when you compare some of their first episodes to their most recent work, it’s fascinating to see and hear how much progress they’ve made over time.

A variety of factors play a role in the success of any bootstrapped show, but what the show’s creators have in common is that they didn’t sit around and overanalyze what to do, and how to make it perfect. They just started and kept moving. 

Here are some of my favorite examples: 


Episode 1: 

Episode 717:


VICE journalist doing an interview in 2011 (3rd video on their channel): 

VICE journalist interviewing Martin Shkreli in 2016: 


Cenk Uygur's first video discussing politics in 2005: 

Cenk Uygur discussing politics in 2016: 


Brian Rose's first video in 2011:  

Brian Rose with Wim Hof 2016: 

Again, these are just a few examples from shows I love, but I think they collectively serve as a great reminder that many successful shows and projects work themselves out over time.