In this week's episode we sit down with Johnny Gwin. Johnny is the owner of Deep Fried Studios where he is focused on helping businesses understand why they should be podcasting. He also helps get them started. He and his wife have all of the knowledge and equipment needed to record and process the audio. But most importantly they understand the business application of why businesses should be podcasting. Johnny is also a partner at Hummingbird Ideas, one of the local advertising agencies.
In this episode we talk about how Johnny got started in design. We also talk about his days as a musician and who he is listening to now. And we talk about how skateboarding and music has influenced his work in the Advertising Industry.
So let's dive right in with Johnny Gwin.
Marcus Neto: Welcome to the podcast, Johnny.
Johnny Gwin: I am so happy to be here. It is nice to not be interviewing someone else.
Marcus Neto: There you go.
Johnny Gwin: Yeah.
Marcus Neto: Let's get started by giving some back story. Telling us who you are. If I understand it correctly, you're from Mobile?
Johnny Gwin: I am a native of Mobile.
Marcus Neto: Awesome. Give us some back story. Where'd you go to high school? When did you start to gain an interest in design and, what was your first car?
Johnny Gwin: High school was McGill-Toolen. I'm a [McGilldo 00:00:30]. I graduated in '89. I didn't now I was into graphic design. I'm roughly an art director. I'm a reforming art director, wannabe graphic designer in my career right now. I think I was turned on to graphic design at a very young age, maybe eleven, twelve, thirteen. By skateboard decks, and punk rock album covers, and punksters.
Marcus Neto: Awesome.
Johnny Gwin: That's still, to this day, my biggest influence. I wouldn't say I was an artist then at all. I just was so drawn to that stuff.
Marcus Neto: You and I are about the same age. I was influenced heavily by a lot of those same things. I think we also have similar tastes in music. We'll go there in a little bit.
Johnny Gwin: Oh, man, I can always talk about music.
Johnny Gwin: I met him, by the way.
Marcus Neto: Did you?
Johnny Gwin: Yeah, this year, in the southwest gate in New Orleans.
Marcus Neto: That's insane.
Johnny Gwin: Yeah. I never talk to celebrities, because I always say never meet your heroes. It'll be a disappointment. I said, "I can't pass this up." He was very nice.
Marcus Neto: That's cool. He seems like he would be a nice guy, but then again, like you said you never know. Look at everything that came out of that time period and how it's influenced ... I don't consider myself a hardcore designer, even though I do design. It's more digital, and stuff.
But you seem more graphically inclined. Where did that come from?
Johnny Gwin: How I even got into advertising and design was so strange. I finished with a political science degree from University of Alabama. I realized I didn't want to be an attorney, because I don't like conflict. Also, I took the LSAT practice test, and it was embarrassing what I did.
I floated around, came back home. I actually worked at a bank for awhile.
Marcus Neto: Really?
Johnny Gwin: Yeah, I was a bank manager for awhile. The Bank of Mobile, which is pretty blue-blood as it gets. By the way, I was also playing bass in a Grateful Dead cover band.
Marcus Neto: At the same time?
Johnny Gwin: While I was a bank manager, and made a lot more money in the Grateful Dead cover band. So, I went full-time music at about twenty-five. I was in a touring band and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, long story short, ended up buying a bar. That bar went under in less than a year.
Never buy a bar or a restaurant. Just let people know. Anybody who does run one, God bless you. You are a genius.
I somehow found my way to Portfolio Center in Atlanta, GA, which is a little small. I call it the School of Misfit Toys. It's a lot of people who are very smart, who didn't find their way yet. Portfolio Center is this commercial art, graphic art, new media school that ... It's an apprentice school. It taught me art direction and advertising, and I had a knack for it. Luckily, very quickly, which is fantastic.
Marcus Neto: That's very cool.
Johnny Gwin: Yeah. I got a question there. I totally didn't even answer the question.
Marcus Neto: The car. What was your first car?
Johnny Gwin: My first car! It's awful car. A Mitsubishi Dart. No one even knows what that is.
Marcus Neto: Those were shaped like a brick, if I remember. Correctly. A very small brick, but still shaped like a brick.
Johnny Gwin: I was not a very good son. I was an only son. I was an only son, very spoiled. My dad was so excited to buy me a car, and I was such a prick to him about ... I told him, "This is the car you got me?" I still feel so sorry, dad. I really still feel bad about the way I acted.
Now, I put a Circle Jerks sticker on the back of it. My dad did not like that at all. I didn't even know what it was, actually, until he told me. I was like, "Oh! That's bad! I don't do that.' He was not happy about that. He was ...
Marcus Neto: For those of that are listening, I don't know who the Circle Jerks were. They were a punk rock band back in the 80's. Much akin to Black Flag or something along those lines, for some context there. Don't go Googling that, please, because we don't want to be responsible for the images that might appear. That would not be good.
Johnny Gwin: But again, punk rock being a very influential part of my life.
Marcus Neto: Sure. I actually was going to ask this later. You loved music. I actually studied music for a year at James Madison, until I realized that was not the path for me. What are you currently listening to?
Johnny Gwin: I'm a podcast junkie. To be honest, I've really gotten bad about ... I love music, it's just that's for my interests lies so much now. I look at it as university. I'm trying to learn while listening to a lot of podcasts.
Let's see, what's the last ... I have an LP collection. I'm cataloging it right now, which, oh my gosh, that takes forever. I guess the last album I put on was a Big Star record. I'm a big fan of this band called Big Star out of Memphis from 1968-72. It was R.E.M.'s favorite band, Replacements' favorite band. Alex Chilton was the lead singer. The Replacements actually wrote a song called Alex Chilton.
Will Cimbrow from the Will and the-Bushmen, which is my biggest influence in the world. Seriously, when you grow up at fourteen in a small town like Mobile, and you hear of musicians like Will and-the Bushmen, I thought, "Wow, that's real." Those are my hometown guys. Maybe I could do this.
And Will Cimbrow, a long time ago, we were talking. He said ... I thought they played a song called Thirteen. I thought it was a Will and the Bushmen song. I said, "I really like y'all's song Thirteen."
He goes, "That's not ours. That's a Big Star song."
I said, "Who the hell's Big Star?"
He goes, "If you don't own a Big Star album, you don't love rock and roll, Johnny." So I went and bought that record. It's a great band. So, yeah, Big Star.
Marcus Neto: That's cool. I know you went, just recently - I was so jealous, and I'm pissed that I didn't get to go - but The Cure concert that happened over in New Orleans. Favorite album, Boys Don't Cry, Head on the Door.
Johnny Gwin: I Didn't get any of those songs. I was a little pissed. It was later in their tour. They were doing their fifth encore, by the way. They did four in New ... I'm not a big encore fan. It feels weird. Just play the songs, you know? Whatever.
But I didn't get Boys Don't Cry. It was a great concert. U.N.O. is a really cool venue because it's arena, but it's smaller. We were on the floor and it felt like a club show. It really felt that way.
Marcus Neto: I'm so jealous, man.
Johnny Gwin: They were playing some really deep tracks. I mean, if you're a Cure fan ... if you're a casual Cure fan, you might have been a little bored in that show. But there were some deep 1983 songs.
Marcus Neto: I'm going to reveal. They were my favorite band. I actually wanted to be Robert Smith when I was in high school. I had the crazy hair. I didn't go as far as wearing any makeup, or anything along those lines. Jared is mouthing "sure" to me. But they were. They were hugely influential and I remember there was a ... I remember the day when Disintegration came out because we bought the CD - and for those of you that are young and don't know what CDs are, or albums ...
Johnny Gwin: That's so weird that we're saying, "Don't know what CDs are."
Marcus Neto: Yeah, exactly. I had just gotten the CD. My best friend who lived across town had gotten the same CD, because we were just fanatical about it. We're on the phone with each other and we put on that first track when it explodes out of nowhere. I remember the giddiness that transpired after that. They were hugely influential.
But you didn't answer the question. Favorite album?
Johnny Gwin: Big Star One. Number one.
Marcus Neto: No, the Cure.
Johnny Gwin: Oh, my favorite album. I got to be honest. I like that Standing on the Beach album, which is their greatest hits to '85. '79 to '85. I know everybody's like, "Oh, you can't say greatest hits is your favorite album." It just is, because that was the one that sent me of, like, "This band is really something I need to pay attention to." I would probably say Kiss Me, Kiss Me. I really do like the poppy stuff they did.
Disintegration's really cool, because I like that layered abstract sound they were creating. [Reeves Gabrell 00:08:41] played in New Orleans with them. He's the guitar player that played in Tin Machine with David Bowie. He's called the "God of Noise Guitar." That stuff ... That's what I was waiting to hear when he played and it was magical.
Marcus Neto: Wow. Killing me, man.
Johnny Gwin: Yeah, it was cool.
Marcus Neto: All right, so this is a business podcast. I guess we should get to the business side of things. You have quite a few things that in your mixing bowl, in your pot that you're working on. Tell us about your various projects, businesses, your partner at Hummingbird Ideas. Deep Fried Studios. All these various things. Tell us a little bit of what you have going on.
Johnny Gwin: I will take the Metaphor of a train. Because Hummingbird is actually named after a train. My engine would be definitely Hummingbird Ideas. It is a ten-year-old advertising design company. We're becoming a more of a digital company. You kind of have to, you know. Hummingbird is full-service ad agency design studio. The idea of an advertising agency run like a design studio was how we wanted to start. Streamlined, powerful, but yet still keeping it where it's affordable. Keeping it ... Powerful, but small.
It has been great for me to allow to ... because I have great partners and a great staff there that'll allow me to break off and do other side projects. One would be One Horse, which is intellectual property company, which means mostly ideas. Ideas that I come up with. My entrepreneurial spirit.
I will subsidiary them out, and one of them is Deep [Fried 00:10:20] Studios, which I formed with my wife, Stacy Willborne. That's a podcast studio. We are actually going to try to monetize private, personal entertaining and corporate podcasts to make it a true marketing vehicle. And entertainment vehicle, as well.
I do small things on the side. Rock and roll posters. Things that are too small for Hummingbird will fall under One Horse Design.
Marcus Neto: Passion projects?
Johnny Gwin: Yeah. Hummingbird has a threshold. That company is set for a certain budget and if you have under that budget, I have an option for that. Which is nice because when someone comes to me, I'm, like, "Your model doesn't fit under what's going to get the best out of Hummingbird, but I've got this Plan A and a Plan B, because my wife also has a really great agency, as well. Wellborn Strategies.
The last thing we're working on, by the way, is we are doing a co-op workspace starting in July.
Marcus Neto: I didn't know that.
Johnny Gwin: Yeah, it's called Container Yard. It's over there on Marine Street. That's with Stacey, and Taylor [Atchisin 00:11:26], and Robert [McKeown 00:11:26], the architect.
Marcus Neto: Oh my gosh.
Johnny Gwin: Yeah! It's on the bottom floor. We're calling it a downtown co-op parking club.
Marcus Neto: I'm confused. I'm not familiar with ... where's Marine Street?
Johnny Gwin: You know the building they just redid? The white, six-story building next to Wendy's over there, right before Broad Street?
Marcus Neto: Okay.
Johnny Gwin: It's now 100% full with residents, by the way, with lofts.
Marcus Neto: That's awesome.
Johnny Gwin: We have the back 3,000 square feet.
Marcus Neto: That is so cool.
Johnny Gwin: It's got ... By the Deep Fried Studios podcast studio will be right in the center of it. I will be inviting people to come watch us record on lunch time, and stuff. It should be pretty fun.
Marcus Neto: Robert was our neighbor here for awhile. We've been trying to get him on the podcast. I think he is an absolute artist when it comes to ... I mean, you and I work in a different medium than he works. I've seen some of the pictures of the work that he does with buildings and homes and stuff like that. He's an architect/designer.
Johnny Gwin: Thinker.
Marcus Neto: Thinker.
Johnny Gwin: He really is. He loves using reusable, sustainable materials. He tries to find a way to look industrial high-end. Part of the Container Yard ... We wanted to bring in something that was Mobile. We're on Marine Street, the idea. He loves the idea of what containers are with the history of Mobile. We're going to actually have a cut container inside the building. It's going to be a movable conference room.
That's Robert ... That was Robert and Taylor's idea. Was to have this cool element that we're going to play around with. So I'm breaking news on your podcast.
Marcus Neto: That's really cool.
Johnny Gwin: We haven't even done a soft PR launch yet.
Marcus Neto: That's exciting. When you get that up and running and are starting to record, let us know. We'll make sure to push that through our channels, as well. Because [crosstalk 00:13:13]
Johnny Gwin: Yeah. We could do one of your podcasts from the studio. We can do a little share space thing.
Marcus Neto: There you go. That'd be fun.
Johnny Gwin: I love that. Okay. Awesome.
Marcus Neto: You have been instrumental in the Mobile area with bringing podcasters together. What do you ... You don't have to go into great detail about what your exact plans are ... But in general, what do you see as far as podcasts? I think in Mobile, people don't really understand what this is and why this is such a cool medium. Give us some of your thoughts on that.
Johnny Gwin: Deep Fried Studios, the first mission is to promote and make aware the coolness of podcasts. I went into this as a fan. I went Podcast Movement, the biggest podcast tradeshow in the nation. I was a fan last year. I did not go as a podcast maker.
My idea was I want to know more about this medium because I found it very exciting. Podcasts, what it can be is ... One, it's entertaining as heck. Hell. Sorry, I know this is probably ...
Marcus Neto: It's all good.
Johnny Gwin: Podcasting is entertaining as hell. It's incredibly informative, and I see more and more people listening to it. Look, the commute in your car? You've got twelve minutes, right? How about listening to something that actually makes you smarter or better at your job, or just makes you laugh?
It's so easy on our phones that you can download this, start, stop, it's ready on demand, and we're trying to show the corporate world how great of a massive content marketing tool this could be with a ten-episode, twelve-minute podcast series of what you do and why you do it well. That's a lot of SEO keywords and twelve-page-history websites. It's a great model for competent marketing.
Marcus Neto: We had a couple of thoughts. One, the term "drive time university" has been thrown around. The other day, I was with my work-out buddies and I mentioned to them that I'd listened to this podcast. Honestly, I think it was two and a half hours long. It was on gymnastics. It was one Tim Ferris' podcasts. He was talking to Christopher Summers, who is the men's strength training coach for the men's national gymnastics team.
I was fascinated, but it boggled their mind that I listened to a two-and-a-half, three-hour podcast. The truth is there was so much information in that that I was engrossed in it. Every time I had a chance, like if I'm walking down to have lunch, or if I'm driving, or whatever. If I'm on a walk, because I'll go for a mile or two walk in my neighborhood, or whatever. I'll throw that in and I'll listen to it for fifteen or twenty minutes, so it doesn't take that long to listen to something like that.
Johnny Gwin: Yeah, nuggets of information. When you have time to listen to it.
Marcus Neto: Yeah, exactly.
Johnny Gwin: I love that.
Marcus Neto: It's been very interesting to see podcasting have a resurgence.
Johnny Gwin: I know, because everyone thinks it's so new. I think the first audio file might have been dropped on the Internet in '88, or something.
Marcus Neto: The other thing, though. We were having some internal ... Just to back you up on the whole SEO thing because we live in similar worlds ... We were talking before this, and I think we both have very similar ethics when it comes to the community at large here. That we want to see everything go to a different level.
That includes sharing information and all that stuff. One of the things that we looked at when we put the mobileal.com website together was it's not terribly cheap to have a thirty or forty-minute long podcast transcribed.
Johnny Gwin: No, it's at least two dollars a minute.
Marcus Neto: Yeah. I'm certainly not sitting down and actually doing the transcription on these.
Johnny Gwin: What? You're not doing that? I can't believe that.
Marcus Neto: No. I wanted all that content to be indexed by Google [crosstalk 00:17:15] actually get the search engine optimization, the ranking, and all that stuff for this. It's actually worked out really well. Our SEO's been really good.
So, you're onto something there. If you're a corporate guy and you want to rank better than your competitors, call Johnny, because he's definitely onto something.
Johnny Gwin: Or call Marcus.
Marcus Neto: Call Johnny.
Johnny Gwin: Oh, there you go. Look at that. That makes for a very mature and courteous host, Mr. Neto.
Marcus Neto: I know you are definitely onto something, and I think you're set up a little bit better to do this. This is just a project of love. I just enjoy picking the brains of people who will give me an hour of their time.
Johnny Gwin: How cool is it - and I'm not turning this around ,because you know I interview people - How cool is it to be able to sit with somebody for twenty, thirty, forty minutes? You really learn a lot as the interviewer, as well. So it's selfish for me to do podcasting.
Marcus Neto: It's absolutely selfish.
Johnny Gwin: I've got three shows. I'm going to plug myself. Crusade of cool, which is a geek life quest for all great things on the Internet thing. I've got Pulpit of Pew, my spirituality show, which talks to my priest every Sunday after mass, which I really enjoy. Then we do Fan of Podcasts, which is a review show. I'm really doing it because it's so much fun to meet all these interesting people. It really is fun.
Marcus Neto: It really is. To get to sit and ... You and I have known each other, I think we've circled around each other for a year or so. Maybe we've known of each other longer than that. It's neat to finally connect, and finally over something like podcasting.
Johnny Gwin: Yeah.
Marcus Neto: Imagine there's someone listening right now that's in high school or college. They love art, they love design. If you were talking to that person and wanting to encourage them on their journey to being an entrepreneur, what's the one bit of wisdom that you would impart to them?
Johnny Gwin: Creativity in art is not a hobby. I was told that so much growing up in this town where it was never seen as something being part of the business world. It was, "Oh, art. You are such a great artist or musician. That's a great hobby, but you need something to fall back on."
I'm not saying not get a business degree if you get a music degree, because that's very smart. It makes you more well-rounded. Creativity is such a tool in the business world, where you're just as important as an accountant and a lawyer, if the people understand what a problem-solver with a creative mind can do.
Marcus Neto: I'd actually argue it's more ... It commands more of a benefit to a business. You can hire fifteen people with a business degree that will push buttons or be a gear in the cog. But to actually have somebody that can think creatively about how to expand your business, or how to present you in a better light, or how to approach a problem with a different ... I mean, that's priceless. That's a game-changer.
Johnny Gwin: Especially if you get it around the room. You have the creative think sitting over here, you've got the financial thinker sitting over here, you've got the law thinking sitting over here. If those three can work together, imagine the power you have of that diversity of that brain power of that mastermind group you would have.
The idea is don't let somebody tell you, "That's a good hobby." That is a career path. You just need to look outside the world of ... Look, master of fine art is fine, but that's a tough life. I would say the same thing for being a musician on the road. That is a very tough life, but there is a commercial side of things we do, as well.
The other thing I say is I wish somebody would have told me at sixteen that I could get paid a pretty good salary and have a great job by sitting around talking about movies, T.V., and music. That's pretty much the ad world was that for me for a long time when I worked in a big agency. We got most our ideas from the world around us. We sat around and talked a lot about Star Wars, and They Live, which was one of my favorite movies ever, and weird sci-fi movies.
That was our job, and no one told me that when I was fifteen or sixteen years old, and I wish they'd have done that.
Marcus Neto: It's really interesting. I have a friend who a number of years ago, shook me and told me some of the same things. I was not sixteen. I was double that. Even to go as far as not refer to yourself as a freelancer, but more of an independent consultant. Because there is a value that you bring and by saying - even the connotation of the word, "freelancer," even though the origins of that are much different than what we would imagine - that when people hear that, they think, "cheap labor."
Johnny Gwin: Right, I could see that. You belittle what your quality is by titles you put. I hate titles. I use the word, "creative," now. I don't even like that.
Marcus Neto: What's your title?
Johnny Gwin: Oh, gosh. By trade, I would be an advertising art director, but when you start a small advertising agency that's also a design studio, you learn to become a true graphic designer. I'm still learning that. I just started drawing a couple years ago. I was all photography-based.
Someone told me when I was young, "You're not a very good drawer. You're not a very good illustrator." And I believed that crap. The idea is that I'm getting better at it by ... you got to practice it.
Marcus Neto: Practice.
Johnny Gwin: Also, their style. Just because you don't make it look like a photograph doesn't mean you're not good at what you do. I love J.D. Crowe's stuff. It's one of my favorite looseness ... I love his looseness. You say he can't draw because it doesn't look like a picture? Crazy.
Marcus Neto: Somebody tell that to J.D.
Johnny Gwin: What?
Marcus Neto: I said, "Somebody tell that to J.D." Tell him he can't draw.
Johnny Gwin: That's hilarious.
Marcus Neto: Give me a break.
Johnny Gwin: I guess my title, I like the word, "creative pilgrim."
Marcus Neto: Nice.
Johnny Gwin: Not guru. I hate the word, "guru." I freaking hate that word. Pilgrim is I'm always searching. I really like ... I've become more spiritual later in my life. [inaudible 00:22:56] [sabadoodles 00:22:56] I do a spirituality podcast that's more of a search thing. But I'm becoming more spiritual.
This world, to me, entrepreneurial creativity, is ... I take it with a reverence like I do spirituality. It's very important, and it's fun! Ideas are what sparks everything. We shouldn't have anything without someone going, "You know what's a good idea? That fire thing." Or a wheel. Or an app that, I don't know, counts how many times you burp in an hour. I don't know, that's stupid, but It's all in the same idea world.
Marcus Neto: What are the last two books that you've read that you found helpful?
Johnny Gwin: Wow, okay, found helpful. Scott Belski's Making Ideas Happen is game-changer for me. Love it. And, let's see. I read a little bit too much, and I'm halfway through a bunch of them.
Marcus Neto: You're like me. I got the idea, I'm going to just leave the rest of the book.
Johnny Gwin: Thinking for a Living, by Joey Reiman. It's an older book. He's out of Atlanta. He was a true, crazy, mad scientist advertising guy in the 80's in Atlanta. He actually brought major corporations to Atlanta in the 80's with his agency Babbit and Ryman. He wrote a book called Thinking for a Living in the mid-90s, which I still read about once every three or four years. I just re-read it again.
I love it and he's a crazy dude. He started a company called Brighthouse in Atlanta. People should look up how smart that company is.
Marcus Neto: Very cool. The first one. Making Ideas Happen.
Johnny Gwin: Making Ideas Happen was Scott Belski.
Marcus Neto: Why is that a game-changer for you?
Johnny Gwin: Scott Belski, from the academic side, I think, Harvard School of Business. He looked around and said, "I'm not going to write another thesis or direction of what everybody else has done." He looked around and said, "No one has mapped the creative mind and how to monetize the creative mind." He went on a three-year journey and interviewed 300 of the most creative people you can ever imagine and actually wrote a book.
A couple of books, actually, but this is the one that says, "If they are all thinkers and not doers, they're not getting anything done. If they're all a doer and not a thinker, your product's not very good. You've got to find your yin yang. You've got to find your partner to make that idea not only get finished, but have that vision and make sure it's done very well."
Marcus Neto: Interesting.
Johnny Gwin: I never really worked that way. I did in the advertising world, because you have copywriter, art director ... I've worked in that medium, but I've gotten away from that world because I'm not a big agency anymore. Now I'm looking for doer partners to partner with. That's what One Horse is really about. It's intellectual property where I maintain the ownership of my ideas, but I go and partner with another company and we make a deal based on production, not based on ownership of ideas.
Marcus Neto: Very cool. I'm laughing as I even ask this. What do you like to do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies, because it seems like you've built your life around executing hobbies.
Johnny Gwin: I'm trying to make ... I love what I do. I do. I love the creative world that I'm trying to make around myself. I'm trying to make my life my business and my business my life. If that includes some hobbies, that's great. Podcasting was a hobby that's hopefully going to become a full-time thing.
When I get a chance, I still like to skateboard. I actually still skateboard.
Marcus Neto: I saw on Facebook that you recently ... where were you? In Ohio?
Johnny Gwin: Columbus, Georgia.
Marcus Neto: Where's that?
Johnny Gwin: Columbus, Georgia.
Marcus Neto: Yeah, and it just blew my mind, because like I said, we're of similar age. So, the idea ...
Johnny Gwin: I'm forty-five. I'll admit I'm an old man army.
Marcus Neto: It reminded me, I bought my oldest son ... and if he's listening, I'm so sorry, Miles. I bought my oldest son a new skateboard for Christmas I think it was this last year. May have been the year before. It was a Hammerhead skateboard, you remember, Christian Hasoi. I had one when I was younger. The thing sat in his room for like four months. Pristine.
One day, we're out in the garage and I said, "Go get your skateboard."
He was, like, "What?" You know, just looked at me like, "What?"
He went and got the skateboard, and I took it from him and I actually started skating around the driveway and doing ollies and slides and stuff like that. I just kind of popped the skateboard back up and handed it to him. The look on his face was absolutely priceless.
The last laugh was on me because the next day I was in so much pain. There are was that your body at forty-some-odd years old is not meant to move.
Johnny Gwin: You used some muscles that you're not used to.
Marcus Neto: Yeah, I definitely paid for that one.
Johnny Gwin: I don't street skate. I don't do anything on the street because that is where you really get hurt. I really only do any transition and invert stuff. I'm a soul skater. I don't do the crazy stuff. I don't ...
Marcus Neto: Just out there for the vibe.
Johnny Gwin: I love front-side grinds. To have that sound and feel that [kkkkkk 00:27:54] across the top. I absolutely love that and that's what ... I couldn't get to the top of that big bowl, by the way, on the Columbus park. That's twelve foot, foot and a half of vert. That's a lot of work. The eight-footer, I can do that one, not the ten or twelve.
Marcus Neto: That sounds like a really fun time. Give us a look ... I know you have a number of different things that you're working on, so you may answer this in a hodgepodge way. But give us look at an average day for you. If you want to take that from a partner at an ad agency or whatever. Feel free.
Johnny Gwin: I am learning to balance life to get away from eight to five because like I said, I'm pretty much working somehow - either subconsciously or consciously almost all the time.
Usually what I do is I get up 7:00 or so, do the things ... I try to in Hummingbird by 8:30. I do some meetings to make sure I know what I'm doing, and then I see where I am with ... Hummingbird is the most priority thing. That is, like I said, the engine that drives the train. Or pulls the train. Get a lot of things done there.
I usually work through lunch. I have ADHD, I take medication, and the most productive time I have is ten to two. So I try to get a lot of stuff done there. Again, almost always very prioritizing Hummingbird.
Then after 2:00, I start doing more things of my side projects. I'm starting to dwindle down with my energy on some things. Afternoons, I am trying to get better to not be working all the time and take some breaks. I'm still working on Sundays all the time, now, because that Pulpit of Pew Podcast is almost all day. I enjoy it, but there's work to it.
I'm having to make sure Saturdays are for me and my wife. Luckily, I have a wife that does roughly the same thing as me ... and the podcast company with her ... That's great for us because we spend time together, building something together. But if we weren't doing that, it would put a major strain ... because I've only been married two years. It would put a big strain, I think, of someone saying, "You're picking that over me."
I'm very lucky to have a wife that sees that ... She shares some of the same passions as me.
Marcus Neto: Well, she's in the same mindset, anyway.
Johnny Gwin: But we don't do the same functions. Again, it's that Scott Belski thing. I really think we do a lot of yin-yang where she really never fights over the creativity side and the idea side, and I never fight with her on the business and the process side. I know she's better at that than me.
She does have great ideas. I don't not not listen to her on the creative side, but she knows that ...
Marcus Neto: I get what you're saying. I don't think you're knocking Stacey.
Johnny Gwin: No, trust me, I'm not knocking my wife. On the record, I am not knocking my wife.
Marcus Neto: Exactly. This is being recorded. We know better than to do those things. It's really cool. I think I've known her a little bit longer than I've known you.
Johnny Gwin: Everybody knows Stacey Willborne. That lady can ... she can hit some public events and functions.
Marcus Neto: Exactly. We'll have to get her on the podcast, too. Where can people find you?
Johnny Gwin: Johnnygwynn.com, which I need to work on.
Marcus Neto: Come on, I went there the other day, man. We need to talk.
Johnny Gwin: It's a [rebelmouth.com 00:31:08]. It's a mess. It's an absolute mess. I'm the dentist that doesn't fix his kids' teeth.
Marcus Neto: Cobblers' kids have no shoes.
Johnny Gwin: I'm going to the idea of quit trying to do everything yourself. I'm starting to outsource and spending some proper money. I actually went and hired one of my heroes to do the logo, not me. It was so fun. Scott Fuller out of Atlanta. Temporary Studio. Studio Temporary? Temporary Studio? I got to look at that, I'm sorry. Scott Fuller was so nice to relinquish that and be a client for the first time. I learned a lot.
I'm going to outsource more website stuff. It's awful.
Marcus Neto: It's all good, man, I'm just giving you a hard time.
Johnny Gwin: [Deepfriedstudios.com 00:31:50] needs help. Apple iTunes [inaudible 00:31:53] cool. [Public de Pew 00:31:56], Fan of Podcast, and if you put Johnny Gwynn in Google, there's pages there. I'm not trying to ...
Marcus Neto: We'll make sure to link up some of those things, too, so people can find all the various locations that you exist online.
Johnny Gwin: As someone said, you don't practice what you preach, brother. I agree, but I'm working towards that. I'm working towards being more consistent and easily found, and not so long-winded like this podcast in my questions. [inaudible 00:32:27] like my answers.
Marcus Neto: It's all good. Listen, I want to thank you for coming on the podcast. Any final thoughts or comments you'd like to share?
Johnny Gwin: I really love that we're sitting down ... like you said, I love that we can meet ... we've circled the drain a couple times, or circled the whatever for a couple months. I love the fact that we can meet with each other over podcasting, is fantastic.
You said something earlier that I really liked. You're not from here and I am. I love the fact that you said, "I really see Mobile is making some changes. Lot of technology. We're pushing forward, we're trying to make things more than what they were in the past."
My parting view is I really want to see more of a cooperative effort to push Mobile to be a major player in the region with technology, creativity, and other business things. But definitely creativity and technology. There's a lot of great thinkers here. That needs to be seen as a major asset that we have here.
Marcus Neto: Absolutely. Most people, when they think of industry here, they think of healthcare, hospitality, and the port.
Johnny Gwin: A lot of doctors and lawyers.
Marcus Neto: Yeah, doctors and lawyers and the like. I would like to argue that there is a large community of artists. Whether that be web design, or graphic design, or fine art, artists. There are a lot of technology-focused folks in this area.
There used to be a time when local companies had to go outside the area to Atlanta, or Birmingham, or New Orleans, or wherever, to get those services. That is no longer the case. Between Hummingbird, I'd like to throw Blue Fish in that realm, Red Square, and I could ... There's probably thirty or forty different people in the area that call themselves design agencies. Of those, there's probably a dozen, at least, that I would say are doing good, quality work that they could go to and end up with a really good product.
I agree, I think it's interesting to see how this area is growing in that respect, too. If we can get some synergy going on, maybe we can bring some other people in. I'd love to see that.
Johnny Gwin: I think the idea is we can't do it all by ourselves. We have to start building the community. I can't say I've been the best with other ad agencies. I'm going to try to get better with that. My arrogance ten, twelve years ago, coming from larger markets in the advertising business ... I came back to Mobile with the idea, I was like, "I'm going to bring big city marketing and advertising to Mobile."
That was an arrogant view of how I look at it. But over this last ten, twelve years, I would put up the work being done by a lot of people in this city as good as anything I've seen out in the major markets. That is the idea that I really think we need to ... and the velocity and the vision of, "We are as powerful and strong" ... we might not be as big, which might be better for a lot of companies because we don't have the big overhead ... But the idea is the work and the quality of ideas here and the quality of the automation and the technology? It's as good as any major market in the south.
Marcus Neto: Absolutely. Awesome, man. Listen, I appreciate your willingness to sit with me and share your journey as a business owner and entrepreneur. It's great talking with you, man.
Johnny Gwin: Thank you so much. This has been fantastic.