Last night I had the opportunity to be on the “Fast Money” show at CNBC. This was live via webcam from my office.
Overall, I’m glad I had the opportunity, but this was far from the national TV debut that I had hoped for (both professionally and personally). I have many thoughts about the experience, but I’ll try to summarize them in 3 categories:
1) Role of the producer: For a segment like this, it’s really important that the producer prepares the guest of the show (in this case, me). I sent the producer my thoughts over email, we spoke over the phone, and he even took down a few sentences with the answer I was going to give. I asked him (more than once) if he thought it was what they were looking for, and he told me that it was “great.” Well, if you saw the segment, you know that the host (Dylan) wasn’t happy with my “high-level” answer. Dylan was looking for specific actions I would take, not an overall vision of how to find the answer. I simply can’t blame myself for this: the producer’s job is to prepare the guest, and I didn’t prepare the kind of answer Dylan wanted to hear. I only spent a few minutes on the phone with the producer, but it’s clear that he’s a smart and well-spoken guy. It’s very possible that he didn’t know what Dylan was looking for, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, Dylan brushed off my answer and moved on– he clearly wasn’t satisfied. (Note to Dylan: you were being “difficult”– but thanks for having me anyway).
2) Webcams are tough for broadcast TV: I was connected to the show via Webex along with a landline phone. I couldn’t see the host, didn’t know the segment of the show that I was on, and had very little idea of how the final production would look. I also found it hard to hear when I was actually live on the show (during the audio/video checks everything was fine). I’ve done lots of on camera interviews, but this was my first experience with a web cam on broadcast TV. It’s not that I won’t do it again, but I really didn’t enjoy the experience. As a guest of a show, the in-studio experience is *so* much easier.
3) Any exposure is good exposure: You know the old adage, “any press is good press.” Well, today I really feel that way. Even though the CNBC interview wasn’t everything I hoped for, I’ve gotten many, many emails about the show. People are genuinely psyched for me– how many people do you know that can say they have been a guest on CNBC? Thanks to CNBC: I’m very happy I had the opportunity, and hope you’ll invite me back.
One last note for those who saw the segment: our lead programmer Gerard was amused that I was referred to as the “developer of MyPunchbowl.” As if there is only one person behind this whole operation. Hah.
Thanks to all of you who took the time to write to me after seeing the segment. I hope you learn something from this post in case you every have the opportunity to be live on national TV.