Kevin ClarkUX Director, Shopify

Interview Saturation

I’m tired of interviews in magazines, podcast, books, websites. The pattern is always the same: get someone somewhat famous, ask them a few questions to get the back story on how they arrived where they are today, hoping that this person’s audience will be interested and start paying attention to your thing. In exchange the interviewee gets to plug whatever their current thing is and get “exposure”.

While hearing origin stories can sometimes be entertaining, most of the time it’s pretty boring, filled with terrible pieces of advice and they’re all inevitably similar.

Fortunately, interesting people can talk about a lot more things than their biography. They’re probably working on something exciting and are surely thinking about interesting problems. If it’s a podcast, have a discussion about this person’s perspective on a new technology or a subject they know a lot about1. If it’s a book or a magazine, have them write an essay about what’s on their mind at the moment. Anything different, really.

This is not a knock against current publications who use this format. It’s about all the new ones that are about to be created. You can choose to do something better instead.

  1. A great example of that is The Talk Show with John Gruber. He has a new guest every week who has an interesting perspective on the current Apple news. I wish more podcasts adopted this format for different topics.