037 – Changing the Game with PodClear

037 – Changing the Game with PodClear


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[In This Episode][Guest Bio][Additional Notes][Text Transcript]

In This Episode

What kind of a company gets started on a road trip?   In the podcasting world, what is a “double-ender”?  How does a boot-strapped US-based startup company get connected with a startup incubator in Chile?  

Hey there, Innovation Nation!  Today’s guests have a fascinating story.  If you’ve ever thought about starting a company in your spare time or if you’ve had an idea for a company in the strangest place, you’ll find some kindred spirits on today’s show.

“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R & D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R & D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.”

These words from Steve Jobs underline the fact that innovation is driven, not by money or even other technology, but by people.  Creative, observant humans are the engine of innovation.  It is easy in our tech-filled world to equate new tech break throughs with underlying technological infrastructure, but in reality while currently available technology does enable future technologies, the future begins with a dream in the heart of a person.

“Even though the map to educational makerspace success remains vague, pioneers in the field are pushing forward and reporting their findings.” – Gene Roddenberry

In the late 1960’s, Gene Roddenberry had a dream.  He turned this dream into a television show we all know as Star Trek.  In this fictional future, the crew of the USS Enterprise used a device called a tricorder.  This device had the capability of reading information from it’s surroundings, geo-locating the user, taking chemical, biological, and physical data along with connecting the user to the computer in the sky aboard the USS enterprise for analysis.

Today the tricorder has largely become a reality in the smart phone and it’s supporting technologies.  We are connected to the computer in the sky via our cell signals and WiFi.  We can geo-locate ourselves using the GPS features on our phone.  We can take a photo of an object, and the “computer in the cloud” can tell us what that object is, what it can be used for, and it’s other physical, chemical, and/or biological properties.  With appropriate add-ons these devices are now also monitoring our health, connecting us to the electronics back at home, and allowing us to track other humans on the planet via their GPS signals.

It can easily be argued that the smart phone and many of it’s supporting technologies began as an idea in Gene Roddenberry’s creative imaginings.  So here at Table Top Inventing we spend the bulk of our time investing in the inspiration of creativity in teenagers.  We know that by feeding their fanciful imagination and then putting tools in their hands to begin exploring the possibilities, a new generation of innovators will arise quite naturally.

Just the other day, some students in our Inventor’s Bootcamp learned that hobby-grade, quad-rotor technology could be used to lift a person off the ground.  Now I don’t know exactly what they will do with that knowledge as time goes on, but they are already discussing how they can improve their own DIY quad-rotor project.  Perhaps they will invent an improved hoverboard like the one I saw just this week!

To find out more about Inventor’s Bootcamp, visit InventingZone.com

Speaking of innovation, today’s guests are quite familiar with the development of game-changing technology.  Spencer Handley, Hannah Russell-Goodson, and Josh Lankford recently started a small company called PodClear.  Their technology is already revolutionizing how I am conducting podcast interviews. Listen in for engagingly clear answers in today’s podcast!

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 Meet the PodClear Team

Podclear CollagePodClear is an app that produces crystal clear audio recordings for your interviews!  It runs in parallel with Skype or any audio chatting app.  PodClear produces separate tracks for each guest and a mixed track for quick broadcasting.

Spencer Handley– PodClear Founder, Engineer, and Designer. Spencer is a San Francisco based Software Engineer and Designer. He’s founded multiple startups and has been spotlighted as a featured entrepreneur by Outlier Magazine. Some of his projects have made it to the top of Product Hunt, been featured as “Best in Beta” by Killer Startups and trended on Beta List. When he’s not building products, he writes about engineering and creative living on his blog at spencerhand.ly. As a consultant, he’s built projects for notable clients at Google and Famo.us Labs. He’s passionate about javascript, design, coffee, travel, exercise, foreign languages, and jazz music.

Hannah Russell-Goodson
– PodClear Founder, Customer Happiness, Marketing.  Hannah studied international development and foreign aid in college and maintains an interest in solving global social problems. For the past three years Hannah has worked in experiential education helping to develop curriculum for several schools and programs, and has lead students on outdoor expeditions as well as international and service learning-based trips. She believes in learning by doing, and is currently learning about business through starting PodClear, a business dedicated to making more streamline tools available for audio content creators. When not working on her current project, you can generally find Hannah spending time outside or cooking.

Josh Lankford
– PodClear Founder, Engineer.  Previously Josh has worked for KCV Loans and was responsible for front end technologies.  He was also a product manager for United Health Care Group and a system analyst for OptumInsight.

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What is the Purpose of an Education?

Hannah:  “Ultimately, the purpose of an education is to allow people to better the world and to better humanity by giving people tools and skills to make things in the world better for everyone.”

Spencer:  “The purpose of an education is self-empowerment for the application of effecting change and impacting humanity in your own unique way.”

Josh:  “It’s to propel humanity forward.  When I think about the purpose of an education, it’s such a grandiose thing–at least that’s the first thing that comes to mind.  We need to continue moving forward as a race as humanity.  Our sun’s going to burn out in 3 billion years, and hopefully by then we’ll have educated ourselves enough to move ourselves into other solar systems, and we are populating the universe.”

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Hannah: “Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.” This a quote from the Talmud, and while I didn’t grow up religious, I think this is a beautiful sentiment and a great way to approach the world.

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About Teachers 

Hannah– Elizabeth, my “mom” has been incredibly influential in many parts of my life. She has taught me so much about what the truly important things are in life. She is a brilliant writer and a fervent reader, both of which had a huge impact on me growing up, but most importantly she taught me that everything is interesting if you bother to pay any attention to it. She also taught me the importance of emotional intelligence, something we tend to skip in a traditional education.

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 Something you made recently:

Hannah– I made a cup of tea for someone who was feeling down.

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Something you learned recently:

Hannah– I have recently started the book “Salt”, about the history of…salt. I’m relearning about the human historical timeline (who can remember all of it!?) in relation to one common but important resource.

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Additional Notes



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Full Text Transcript – Coming Soon!

Josh: “I’ve noticed in other educational situations in my life–high school, middle school, community college–that I was often surrounded by people who aren’t quite as interested in the thing you’re doing or currently focused on, which tends to bring your drive down–at least in my case it brings my drive down.”

“Being surrounded by other people who are interested and excited to learn the topic really propels me forward.”

Spencer: “The idea of being audacious enough to consider yourself a thought-leader amongst your peers is super powerful.  Every author out there who has ever written anything influential at some point had to make the decision that they were credible and knew enough about a certain topic that they could teach others, and I’m sure that impostor syndrome sets in heavy when anyone sits down to write a book.”

Hannah:”I think that it is absolutely critical as a teacher to inspire students to look to the world to teach them and look to each other to learn new things.  I think that’s really what education should be about–that everything in the world is interesting and can teach you something if you’re only willing to look for it and work for it.”

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