#STIMY 15: Making Miniature Art; Audio Walled Gardens; Twitter Storms & Knowing What Everyone is Asking

published5 months ago
6 min read

So This Is My Why | Issue 15

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Hey STIMYers,

Happy Friday!

Two main news that peaked global interest this week:

The Clubhouse craze has plunged.

Just look at the download rates:

  • Feb 2021: 9.6 million
  • March 2021: 2.6 million
  • April 2021: 643k (and counting)

Putting stickiness aside, Clubhouse's competition is getting stiffer than your sambal-slathered ikan bilis (anchovies). Spotify, Slack, Twitter Spaces, Reddit, Discord, LinkedIn, and even Facebook are all hopping onto the social audio game...

Although Clubhouse still managed to close its Series C round at a $4 billion valuation, triple what it was in January! Looks like A16Z is really doubling down on their Clubhouse bet. 😮

Apple Podcasts Subscriptions

Next big news is in the podcasting space with the release of Apple Podcasts Subscriptions. In gist, podcasts used to be synonymous with Apple and even a decade ago, Apple was clear in wanting to see how the space could be monetised. That day has finally come.

With this option, podcasters can now:

  • have a space to offer ad-free episodes released ahead of time (or whatever offering they want to come up with);
  • create a single channel to showcase different shows; and
  • monetise it all, with Apple keeping 30% in the 1st year, and 15% in subsequent years.

Personally, I'm not sure I'd want to jump on this bandwagon at this point in time for several reasons.

  1. Apple Podcast just isn't the main medium for STIMY's listener base.
  2. Even if I were to monetise, there are plenty of other options available (e.g. Patreon, podcast hosting platforms).
  3. That 30% and 15% cut... 😮
  4. Some podcasters feel strongly about encouraging the creation of audio walled gardens, when podcasts arguably should remain 100% free for anyone and everyone to tune in to.

Everyone's got an opinion on the above, including Zach Mack (Senior Producer, Vox Media) & Peter Kafka (Senior Editor, Recode) on the Recode Media podcast, which you can listen to here.

Aye/nay to paying for access to podcasts?

Now onto this week's episode!

STIMY Episode 45: Pui Wan (Picoworm) - on Life as a Miniature Artist

Pui Wan (otherwise known by her moniker, "Picoworm"), was just 14 when her older sister bought her a book on miniature art and from that moment, she was hooked.

Discovering how expensive it was to purchase miniature art, she began to figure out how she could make her own (this was before YouTube tutorials existed). Buying books, visiting online forums and art exhibitions, she even picked up the Japanese language because most of the master miniature artists were Japanese & did part-time jobs to help fund the materials/equipments she would need! Dedication level x10000.

Knowing full-well that this was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life, Pui Wan began studying business on the side (while pursuing mechanical engineering at university) so that she would be better prepared for the real world upon graduation.

And has never looked back since.

One of her big highlights happened last year when Ryan Reynolds aka Deadpool, featured her in his limited Snapchat series. Pui Wan taught him how to make a miniature hair dryer! 🤩

Highlights:

  • 4:10: Figuring out how to make miniature art
  • 9:08: Joining her first competition by remaking a Studio Ghibli dollhouse!
  • 11:25: Behind-the-scenes of making miniature art
  • 14:17: Why she loves capturing dirt
  • 16:52: Why Pui Wan loves Chinatown
  • 22:42: Why she ended up studying mechanical engineering
  • 24:08: Being tempted to drop out of university early
  • 27:31: Turning a hobby into a business
  • 31:23: Pricing her works
  • 33:33: Her first commercial sell
  • 34:43: Giving up?
  • 36:45: Filming with Ryan Reynolds
  • 43:33: Making personal miniature art every week for the year 2021

You can listen to Pui Wan's episode in full on: STIMY Website, Spotify, Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Listen Notes

Looking for past STIMY guests in the content creation field? Check out:

  • Ep 44: Joe Sidek: Malaysian’s top festival director, most known for Penang's George Town Festival
  • Ep 22: Alena Murang: Sarawakian sape player, visual artist & heritage advocate
  • Ep 21: Saw Teong Hin – Director, Producer & Writer (most known for directing Puteri Gunung Ledang & Hai Ki Xin Lor)
  • Ep 10: Benjamin Von Wong – Mining engineer turned photographer/social artivist who’s generated over 100 million organic views with his work in the social impact space
  • Ep 2: Red Hong Yi – Malaysian architect turned artist who paints without a paintbrush (she created the front cover art for TIMES' latest magazine issue!)

Favourite Finds of the Week

1. Article: On Active Listening

Why read?

This article is geared towards how sales people can cultive their active listening skills but I think it can easily apply to anyone.

Active listening is something I'm always trying to improve on in my podcast interviews. While 80-90% of the time, I know the story that I want to bring out through my questions, I don't want to miss out on the unexpected gems that might come out if I only I'd delayed an extra second or two before coming up with my next question!

The advice here is pretty standard, but I liked some of the easily actionable items they listed.

How to Improve Active Listening

  1. Let them talk more - Deepen the conversation with "How was it for you? What happened next? Could you tell me a bit more about that?"
  2. Listen with the intent to understand
  3. Focus on the conversation & the people - DON'T MULTI-TASK! That includes taking notes, playing with your phone. Instead, adopt body language like leaning in as you listen, nodding as you agree & smiling.
  4. Avoid the temptation to interrupt - when the other person finishes speaking, count to 3 before replying! (p/s: I need to do this more. I still tend to jump in a little too fast!)
  5. Repeat & paraphrase what you heard - use words like "It sounds like... What I'm hearing is... You seem a bit..."
    1. P/S: I'll tag on to this & share what I've heard Chris Voss, Masterclass's well-known FBI negotiator, said before, which is to repeat the last 3 words of what the other person say, but in a questioning tone. It encourages the other person to give an even deeper answer.
  6. Clarify your understanding with relevant follow-up questions - e.g. "Let's make sure I hear you right...tell me more about... why..." but DON'T ask close-ended questions like "Does it... are you... is it... did you..."

P/S: The article is clearly trying to sell Avoma - I've not used it before so I don't have an opinion on it, but I liked some of the tips outlined above!

Links: Article

2. Twitter Storm: The Most Undervalued Asset of a CEO...

Twitter is a strange space. And it has some pretty funny things go viral.

One such twitter thread that sparked a storm early this month was initiated by Christine Carrillo, who had this to say:

🤣

Links: Christine's Twitter Thread

3. Article: You Haven't Seen Greatness

I thought this was an interesting article by Joe Kraus (partner at Google Ventures) on Techcrunch about how "if you don't think you need it, you haven't seen greatness".

Brief Summary

When determining whether certain roles are important, consider whether you have seen someone truly great in that role.

Because chances are you might have seen say a lawyer give you advice (that you found useless!) & thus assumed that having an internal legal counsel is an unnecessary cost. Until you encounter one who truly understands your business & brings extraordinary value.

So, if you find yourself saying that you don’t need a {product manager, product marketer, pr person, marketing person, etc}, ask yourself the question first if you’ve ever seen greatness in that position before you really make that decision.

Link: Techcrunch Article

4. Answer Socrates

What is "Answer Socrates"?

A FREE web-based tool that tells you what others are searching for on Google, including Trending Topics.

Who is it for?

Anyone who's curious to know what's trending. But especially for content creators, question enthusiasts, researchers and SEO.

Alternatives

Answer The Public is another site I use a lot for SEO - type in a query and it generates hundreds of variations on the topic. You can also sort by country/language to get a more personalised result.

Link: Answer Socrates

Upcoming STIMY Guests

  • Rahul Chaudhary: Managing Director of CG Corp Global, whose father, Binod Chaudhary, is Nepal's first & only billionaire. CG operates in a wide range of industries including hospitality, FMCG, realty, telecom, education, cement, biotech, financial services, electronics & coastal projects. Fun fact: Shah Rukh Khan was a guest at Rahul's wedding! 😮

And that's it for today. As always, all thoughts are welcome; just hit the REPLY button below.

See you all next week! 😊

Ling Yah

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