Pencil Problems

Episode Archive

Episode Archive

49 episodes of Pencil Problems since the first episode, which aired on September 20th, 2017.

  • Episode 33: Project Update + Goals + WWDC

    June 24th, 2018  |  53 mins 29 secs
    goals, project update, wwdc

    Nick is back from Apple's worldwide developer conference (WWDC) and answers Kent's questions about it. Before that Nick and Kent talk about their progress towards the goals, they set a few weeks ago for their side projects. Nick is doing well, Kent isn't.

  • Episode 32: The Dip

    June 6th, 2018  |  1 hr 30 mins
    books, e-commerce, hustle, podcasts, projects, side-projects, startup

    We hit a dip in our projects! Kent's e-commerce store, Nick's book project, even the podcast. It's starting to feel like work and not like fun. We talk through it all and we hope you can relate!

  • Episode 31: Running an e-commerce store, cash flow, debt and financing, buying products, managing suppliers, calculating margins and more... A deep retail dive.

    May 28th, 2018  |  58 mins 51 secs

    Kent recently appeared as a guest on This Commerce Life, a podcast about all things retail, and gets to ask Phil and Kenny, two industry veterans a ton of questions about Able Cells. They cover inventory, managing suppliers, cash flow, margins, debt and financing and more.

  • Episode 30: Is Google sentient? How do we build side projects in the age of strong AI? Plus some WWDC predictions.

    May 21st, 2018  |  1 hr 27 mins
    ai, google, sentient, strong ai, turing test

    Nick and Kent discuss the Google Assistant demo where an AI places a call and books a reservation. Is this software sentient? No. And how does this shape ambition when building side projects? Are certain industries dead? Plus some WWDC predictions.

  • Episode 29: Products we love | Fahrenheit Coffee

    May 13th, 2018  |  48 mins 20 secs
    coffee, espresso, interview, side-projects, startup

    Experimenting with a new episode type, Nick chats with Sameer - owner of Fahrenheit coffee. Incredible coffee, amazing dude. This episode is about passion, about craft, and about relationships. It'll also really make you want to drink coffee! Enjoy!

  • Episode 28: Let's Jam | A Social Podcasting App

    May 8th, 2018  |  1 hr 33 mins
    apps, conversation, ideas, marketing, product, tech

    Kent and Nick chat about a product idea: A social podcasting app. Really interesting idea and lots of different directions it can go. Let's jam!

  • Episode 27: Product vs. Marketing

    April 30th, 2018  |  1 hr 51 mins
    marketing, product, side projects

    Nick and Kent give their perspective on the age old debate between product and marketing. Where does product end and marketing begin, what should product people know about marketing? What should good marketers know about the product? How can you apply all of this to your side projects?

    This is our most edited episode, please forgive the audio at points.

  • Episode 26: Family-Work Balance

    April 19th, 2018  |  1 hr 18 mins
    family, life, side-projects, startup, work

    Kent and Nick have a conversation around balancing Work, Family and Side Projects.

  • Episode 25: Q&A - Productivity Tools, outsourcing tech, letting someone go.

    April 13th, 2018  |  1 hr 5 mins
    dads, outsourcing, startups, tech, technology

    We open with some project updates (, followed by some Q&A from fans (I can't believe people still listen to this!).

  • Episode 24: How morals and ethics affects startups, building ethics into your side project, and deleting Facebook

    April 2nd, 2018  |  1 hr 13 mins
    ethics, facebook. privacy, morals, politics

    Nick asks Kent if he plans to delete Facebook, this leads to a discussion about Facebook's recent drama, how ethics and morals play into business, and how you can build good ethics into your side project or company.

  • Episode 23: Hero worship, self-doubt and winning

    March 26th, 2018  |  1 hr 48 mins
    hustle, side projects, startup, work

    Kent and Nick talk about Hero Worship and Self-Doubt. They ruminate about when/if they'd go all in on something and the secret to winning at side projects. Bonus Parent Corner content at the very end. Enjoy!

  • Episode 22: Pros and Cons of Building Side Projects with a Team or Going Solo

    March 18th, 2018  |  1 hr 44 mins
    lone wolf, side projects, teams

    Nick and Kent talk about the pros and cons of starting side projects with a team or going solo. They also answer a hypothetical question about what would they tell their 25-year-old selves.

  • Episode 21: Filming a Kickstarter Video, How to Deal with a Drop in Shopify Orders - Project Update #3

    March 7th, 2018  |  35 mins 49 secs
    able cells, project update, the book

    In this episode, Kent and Nick give a quick product update on the book and Able Cells. Kent is worried that he went 2 days without an order and wants to rebuild Shopify. Nick is working on storyboards for his likely Kickstarter video. Kent records a slightly awkward outro. Remember to send any questions and feedback to

  • Episode 20: Lessons Learned Pitching Sponsors

    March 3rd, 2018  |  56 mins 25 secs

    In this episode, Nick and Kent talk about how it went pitching the podcast to a few potential sponsors. Like a good math problem, they work out a solution for what sponsorship could look like going forward. Remember to send any feedback or questions to or @pencilpod on the Twitter.

  • Episode 19: Getting Sponsors

    February 22nd, 2018  |  1 hr 17 mins
    meta, parenting, sponsors

    In this episode, Nick and I talk about the vision of Pencil Problems going forward and how we would try and pitch it to potential sponsors. We also kick-off Parent Corner around 1:03. Enjoy

  • Episode 18: Book Club

    February 16th, 2018  |  2 hrs 7 mins

    Nick and Kent talk about the books they love and how they shape their actions, worldview, and their kids' future. Full of tangential goodness.