Get Ready for POW! The Samsung Developers Podcast Season 2 Starts February 22nd!
Hi, this is Eric from Samsung Developers. Normally, I’m behind the scenes managing the Samsung Developers website and creating tools for our talented group of developer evangelists. Today, I’m going to step into the spotlight and chat with my friend and colleague, Tony Morelan, about the next season of POW! The Samsung Developers podcast.
Eric: We’re starting Season 2 of the Samsung Developers podcast next week. Can you tell our readers how the podcast got started?
Tony: After the success of the Best of Galaxy Store Awards at SDC 2019, we talked about new ways we could engage with our audiences. We were already doing live events, webinars, and office hours, but we wanted to find a way to give our successful developers and designers a way to connect with fellow developers and tell their stories.
Eric: For those who might not know about the POW! podcast, how would you describe it?
Tony: The goal of the podcast is to inspire people to create for Samsung. We do this by interviewing influential designers and developers, as well as people internally at Samsung talking about the latest tools and services.
Eric: I listen to a lot of podcasts about coding, baseball, music, history, and classic cars. Some podcasts, like Hardcore History, have incredibly high production values and could be the soundtrack for a documentary, while many others are just a casual back-and-forth conversation without a lot of cuts. Can you take us through your vision for the podcast and the steps you go through to make a podcast episode?
Tony: My vision for the podcast has always been to create a channel for developers and designers to learn about new opportunities and hear from the success of others. I was first inspired by the NPR podcast How I Built This hosted by Guy Raz. His podcast has inspirational stories, great interviews and high-quality production. I absolutely love how they integrate music throughout each episode to help set the mood and give color to the audio.
The first step for each episode is to first have a pre-interview call with the guest. This is my chance to go over the production steps, review questions and topics and just work out any technical issues. About a week later we will record the actual interview, which always is just a casual conversation between two people. The beauty of doing a pre-recorded interview is that we get to make mistakes and do re-takes. This really helps take the stress out of recording so that we can just relax and talk away.
Eric: One thing I noticed when listening to Season 1, is that you always start the conversation by asking who they are. Some people answer very straightforward, as if reading their CV, while others go way off script. I think it’s such a unique way to start the conversation. What led you to start with that question?
Tony: That all started because typically I really don’t know the person before they come on to the podcast. I wrote that question for the pre-interview so that I could get a quick peek into their personality. Is this person very Type A; structured, formal, precise? Or are they Type B; free flowing, loose and care-free? Having this little sneak peek into their personality helps me write the questions for the interview. However, I realized that listeners would love to know this as well. So as an ice-breaker I always start each episode with this same question, and it is very interesting how each person answers it so differently.
Eric: Because of the COVID pandemic, the way we do our jobs has certainly changed. I miss seeing everyone in person, but I don’t know anyone that misses their commute. How has COVID changed your work on the podcast last year?
Tony: Samsung had us working from home starting in March 2020. I had just returned from Orlando, Florida after attending the PodFest 2020 podcast conference and was only in the office for one day. None of us would’ve imagined that we’d still be working from home almost a year later. I remember those first remote meetings we did as a group, thinking we’d be isolating for 6-8 weeks and then return to the office environment. Fortunately, I have worked on many audio and video projects from my home studio. So I was able to conduct most of the Season 1 interviews from home.
Eric: What were your favorite moments from the first season of the podcast? Anything that surprised you during your interviews?
Tony: There were lots of great moments. Having been a huge fan of the Forza franchise, it was great to interview Andy Beaudoin from Microsoft/Turn 10 Studios. It was also a lot of fun for me to be interviewed by our own Charlotte Allen and tell my crazy story about how I ended up at Samsung.
Another top highlight was the interview with Chris Shomo. When I was first learning that you could design and sell watch faces for Samsung, I found a video of Chris speaking at the 2017 Samsung Developer Conference. It was that video that inspired me to see if I could design and sell my own watch faces. Who would have thought that a few years later I would be hosting a podcast for Samsung and interviewing Chris. That was insane! Oh ya, and learning that his house was featured in a Hollywood movie and that it really is haunted!
Eric: I believe we got some great feedback from our community on Season 1. Did any of this feedback influence how you prepared for this Season 2?
Tony: All of the feedback we received was great. I especially enjoyed receiving the personal messages from listeners and how inspired they were. It’s this energy that motivates us to have another great season.
Eric: Season 1 had a mixture of developers, designers, and Samsung employees sharing their thoughts. What can you share with our readers about the upcoming season of the podcast?
Tony: I am really excited about Season 2. I think the biggest addition this season is that I will be interviewing many of the 2020 Best of Galaxy Store winners. It seems like each winner has such a unique story to tell. All of their journeys are so vastly different, and I know they will be very insightful.
Eric: Anything else you can tell us about Season 2?
Tony: We have some interviews scheduled around big announcements, new releases, updates, etc. I am super excited to share this news on the podcast when it can publicly be revealed.
Thanks to Tony Morelan for joining me today. The first episode of Season 2 will be available next Monday, February 22nd. To follow along, use your favorite podcast app or listen directly page. For more information on working with Samsung to develop apps, Galaxy Watch faces, and Galaxy Themes, sign up for our newsletter and visit our developer forums.