Opportunity Profile: Creating Alchemy with Microbursts of Innovation

There’s the way everyone’s doing it, and there’s the way that might make sense.” ~ Chris Brogan

What do an adult film actress, a voice-over artist, a couple of master distillers, a board game developer, a NASCAR racing team, professional clowns, an herbal tea maker, and a nun have in common? 

They’ve all been guests of Chris Brogan and Kerry O’Shea Gorgone, hosts of the daily business show “The Backpack Show.” 

Every weekday at 10 AM Eastern, for about an hour, Chris and Kerry interview a wide variety of guests on topics such as creativity, innovation, leadership, and bravery. The show streams live on Facebook and LinkedIn and, is available on-demand on YouTube.

In keeping with October’s theme of opportunity, I talked with Chris about the show, its origin, and his hopes for its development. 

Present At the Creation

You probably know that I’m a big fan of Chris Brogan. I’ve been reading his weekly newsletter for years. I’ve bought almost all his books, and I try to incorporate his philosophy of service and value to clients and customers into my own work. I’ve watched “The Backpack Show” since its inception.

Like many of us, back in March, Chris faced with tough business challenges. His keynote speaking business had dried up; and while he was writing another book (he’s written or co-authored at least 10), he felt compelled to connect more directly with people. 

He also came across a rather startling factoid that people read less than 19 minutes a day — which included texts and social media posts. During the pandemic, they were reading even less! Instead, people were consuming information via video. 

Chris was intrigued by the isolation we were all experiencing in our lock-downs. He googled “the opposite of isolation.” The response was “contact.” So, in March, he began a daily Facebook Live show called “Point of Contact,” where he interviewed communication and marketing colleagues he had worked with over the years.

As the show evolved, he crossed paths with Kerry O’Shea Gorgone, a friend from their early podcast days. Kerry, like a core group of us, had been a regular viewer of Chris’s shows. They decided to collaborate, and “The Backpack Show” was born. 

The initial idea was to integrate the concepts Chris was developing for his book, aptly named The Backpack, with real-life examples. They wanted to shine the spotlight on the people they’ve had the opportunity to serve and those who had caught their interest. They wanted to profile people who were innovating in creative ways in a broad range of industries, and focus on more women, more people of color, and of different sexual orientations.

The idea was to bring value to those of us who tuned in: to “move ideas into people’s brains.” 

Transforming Our Relationships With Customers

This transformation is the alchemy that Chris sought. For as long as I can remember, he has preached being of service to the people who hire us; to continually provide value to them. 

The thing is, Chris argues, providing that value doesn’t take much. Especially in a global disruption. Just “microbursts” of innovation — a tweak here, a tuck there; but always in service to others.

Chris talked about the “velocity of content” and how YouTube has changed the pattern of how we consume information. We tend to want as many facts as possible in 10 minutes.  

We need to rethink how we tell our stories. The “ask” needs to come upfront; the backstory can come later. “People are super clever,” Chris notes, “as long it’s all there eventually.” 

Check It Out

What makes The Backpack Show unique are the diversity of guests — from adult film stars to nuns — and the appeal to everyday people — not corporate giants. Chris and Kerry talk to real people about real business issues: how they got started, overcame adversity, pivoted when needed, and adapted to disruption. 

The lessons that come out of each show can be applied to many of us “regular folk” and we can learn how to move forward in our lives, our businesses, our careers. Chris saw the opportunity to help people move forward. It’s what he’s always done. He just adapted to a new platform, a daily business show. Check it out, you’ll learn a lot. You can access it on Facebook from Chris’s profile.

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