Entrepreneur Series: Dylan Pugh of Pomodo

by | Aug 23, 2021 | Entrepreneur Series | 0 comments

In this next instalment of our “Entrepreneur Series”, we are pleased to introduce founder of sports podcast company Dylan Pugh.  Here he talks about how he went from working at one of the biggest podcast companies to starting his own, Pomodo, his inspiration and the challenges he has faced along the way. 

Name: Dylan Pugh

Company: Pomodo

1. Tell us about your company and the inspiration behind it.

Pomodo is a sports podcast company. We work with sportspeople to bring their podcasts to life – from the idea, to production, distribution, marketing and monetisation.  

Up until last year I worked in the podcast team at Spotify, but I decided that I wanted to create my own podcast company, so I became a starter/founder.   I had this idea to create a podcast company around my passion for sport, and I knew that as a result of Covid-19 the podcast space was on a major upward trajectory, so launched Pomodo last August.

2. What do you know now that you wish you knew at the beginning of your journey?

Firstly, the complex world of sports agents and talent representation. To gain access to the players is one thing, but to get them to commit is another.  Secondly, I perhaps under-estimated how much more difficult it was going to be launching podcasts as an independent compared to when I was at a big company like Spotify.  There are just so many podcasts now, making discoverability an issue, with people mainly relying on word of mouth for recommendations.

3. What specific challenges have you faced as an entrepreneur and how have you overcome them?

The main challenges I have found are that, despite putting the best forecasts and plans together before starting, in such a fast-moving market, the reality has been very different once we had launched and we had to constantly re-forecast. The main thing I am proud of as a new entrepreneur is that I confronted these challenges head on and made very quick, tough decisions to pivot on the original plan.

4. How do you view the impact of skill vs luck in your company’s success to date?

I truly believe that luck and patience go hand in hand. We had a lot of good luck at the very beginning, then a period of rotten luck, but I’m sure every company goes through this. I feel as though we have executed everything we said we would and if we are patient, the good luck will come. I also believe that networking is a key skill for start-ups and is something that has been missing over the last 12 months. With the world now opening up, more networking will drive more luck I am sure!

5. What are your aims for the next 1,5 & 10 years, for the business, and personally?

In the next year I hope to have a stable business and a clear vision for the future. The podcast market has changed so much over the last 12 months that I have no doubt the core plan of the business needs to be tweaked – and I hope to have figured this out. In 5 years, I hope to have delivered on that and be running a very successful business.  At whatever pivotal moments over the next 5 years, I hope that we will make strong, fast decisions that are best for the company.  I very rarely look anything further than 5 years in the future. From a personal perspective, I hope that in 10 years’ time my business will be stable enough to continue to provide for my family. Anything more than that will be a true bonus.

6. Which other businesses, leaders or entrepreneurs inspire you and why?

I have been hugely influenced by Daniel Ek at Spotify. For such a big company, I was blown away by the transparency of the leadership team. The culture he built was amazing too – trust, transparency, giving people the freedom to make their own decisions and to innovate.  I have also been influenced by his mantra of being OK with failure; failing fast, learning and moving on.

7. What is the best piece of advice you have been given throughout your journey so far and where did it come from?

I read a book called Radical Candor, by Kim Scott, which I try to apply to everything – not just in business, but in life too.  It’s premise is; “How to Get What You Want by Saying What You Mean”. It’s a fine balance between being honest and being empathetic and even though I know I don’t get it right every time, I constantly strive to find that right balance between giving people hard, honest feedback and being empathetic to them and the effect this feedback is going to have.

8. Do you work with advisers in your company, and if so, where do you feel they add value?

I do yes. Most of these are on the operational level such as legal, accountancy, shareholding and structure.  From an experience perspective, with Covid affecting our business, it was nice to be reassured from the advisors that every business is going through the same challenges and to hold fire on certain big decisions until the world opened up again.

Pomodo has worked with sports commentator Becky Ives and her Outside the Box podcast all about women in sport, and the Ultimate Top 10s of Sport with the hosts of A Question of Sport.

You can also listen to Dylan’s own podcast cataloguing his journey, thoughts and progress whilst building his business: Pomodo – The Start Up Journey.



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