Hernan Lopez on How Success Occurred at Wondery

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“If you need one thing in life, you should go and get it. Do not look forward to one thing magical to occur.” Hernan Lopez, founding father of the writer Wondery, says that he appears for that go-getter perspective in each govt he hires. Lopez is aware of fairly properly the significance of ardour and persistence in launching a brand new enterprise and nurturing it alongside the troublesome path to success.


In 2016, Lopez left a snug job because the CEO of Fox Worldwide Channels to discovered Wondery – a big threat. The fledgling podcast trade was seen as unprofitable. Within the fourth quarter of 2015, Individuals spent solely 2% of audio listening time on podcasts and advertisers spent simply $34 million on podcast adverts.

Leaving Fox was of venture. But, simply 4 years later, Lopez introduced an acquisition cope with reportedly valued at $300 million. For the Argentinian-born immigrant, the acquisition was validation that it was certainly attainable to take a leap of religion.

Early classes

Lopez grew up in Argentina. His dad and mom had instilled in him the worth of a rock-solid work ethic. Lopez studied promoting in night lessons whereas working full time at a radio firm. He noticed the grueling schedule as a chance, as he might apply classes realized at college to his work. But, Lopez needed one thing extra, and so he stopped ready for “one thing magical to occur.”

At age 21, Lopez knocked on his boss’ door and requested to take cost of the gross sales group. A lot to Lopez’s shock, his boss agreed. Success in life, Lopez mentioned, is being in the precise place on the proper time – and deliberately positioning your self in these locations.

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New developments = potential

In 2016, Lopez determined to place himself for a unique kind of success. He loved being a CEO, however he noticed potential in podcasts and determined it was time to take the most important threat of his profession, regardless of the naysayers and the problem of elevating . The was troublesome, however Lopez knew his concept was strong. He needed to introduce Hollywood components to podcasts, together with sound results and music, creating emotionally immersive storytelling.

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After a yr, Wondery had its first massive hit – Soiled John. The true story of a lady who had been conned by an imposter made for an enthralling psychological thriller. Upon launch, Soiled John exceeded expectations with over two million downloads per episode. The Hollywood-style components of the present proved irresistible.

Scaling and an exit plan

The success of Soiled John gave Wondery the momentum it wanted to scale. Lopez discovered himself within the enviable place of with the ability to stroll into any enterprise capitalist’s workplace and ask for funding based mostly solely on the success of that hit present. After a Collection A funding spherical, Lopez started working scaling the corporate. He employed Jen Sargent (then COO, now CEO) and the newly expanded govt group started solidifying the imaginative and prescient for the corporate’s progress.

In planning Wondery’s progress, Lopez knew it was vital to proceed to please listeners. They established a methodical launch schedule for brand spanking new exhibits, expanded the roster of podcasts and backed them with strong advertising budgets. “Even for those who make an incredible present, you continue to have to put it up for sale,” Lopez famous. The perfect present on the planet cannot promote itself.

Lopez additionally started planning his exit technique. Lopez’s aim had at all times been to develop the corporate to a sure level to draw consumers. Earlier than accepting Amazon’s provide, Lopez thought of these questions:

  1. Would Wondery do properly throughout the buying firm?
  2. Would his group be valued throughout the new firm?

The solutions to each have been “Sure.”

Making use of ardour to issues

Constructing any firm is a labor of affection. Lopez supplied this recommendation to those that aspire to develop into entrepreneurs: “Begin a enterprise that solves an issue that you simply’re captivated with. Do one thing that excites you a lot that you’d do it at no cost.”

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However an entrepreneur’s journey would not cease there. Lopez additionally believes within the significance of giving again. It is why he co-founded the Podcast Academy, which lifts up unbiased podcasters. It is also why Lopez stepped away from Wondery to deal with his charitable basis The Hernan Lopez Household Basis, which helps variety in management. Ultimately, it may very well be mentioned that Lopez did not discover success a lot as create it from the bottom up by pursuing his imaginative and prescient and his will to offer again.