40 Hours and a Mule

May 19, 2012 by Gabe | [mmd] |

I've done an exhaustive job making a case for the new generation of podcasts and podcast networks. This seems like an appropriate time to talk a bit about Mule Radio.

New Kid on the Block

Initially Mike Monteiro premiered his podcast, Let's Make Mistakes, on the 5by5 network. It was a dark and cynical perspective on design work and to a lesser extent business in general. I loved it. The podcast featured Mike and Katie Gillum. The show was a perfect balance between the two personalities. After a short time, Mike started Mule Radio with his team at Mule Design1 and the first premier show was Let's Make Mistakes. Shortly after the launch of the network several new shows started, all featuring employees of Mule Design.

There are some singularly interesting and clever people working at Mule which made all of the podcasts an immediate subscribe for me. I settled into a few regulars that I enjoyed the most.

Hour of Pour

The top of my Mule list quickly became The Hour of Pour with Jessie Char and Jason Permenter. Jessie's sense of humor and acidic wit had me doing spit takes while sipping my morning coffee. Jason Permenter's smart and clever come backs fit perfectly with Jessie's quick jabs. But the show ended recently with Jessie's departure from Mule Design.2 It's still among the most entertaining banter, short of YLNT.

Salt and Fat

I enjoy cooking and I consider myself quite proficient in the kitchen. The Salt and Fat podcast was a natural fit. Salt and Fat features another super smart duo, Neven Mrgan from Panic Software and Jim Ray from Mule Design. It's a light-hearted look at practical cooking tips. It's better than any show on the Food Network. I've learned a number of great tips and motivations from listening to the show.

Let's Make Mistakes

The premier Mule podcast still encompasses the principles of Mule Radio: 50% entertainment, 50% smart thinking, 0% Bullshit. The show produced one of the funniest hours in podcasting with guest star Amy Jane Gruber.


And now for some frank commentary about The Talk Show move to Mule Radio.

I like 5by5 podcasts. I enjoy Dan Benjamin's work a lot. But I do not know Dan personally. It's none of my damn business what happens between these people. They make things I like and that's the extent of my personal involvement.


I've looked over some of the speculation and personal attacks circulating about Gruber's switch of networks and have one conclusion: There are a number of self-important dickheads with nothing important to do. I think that describes what's wrong with many people on the Internet. People take their opinion too seriously and like to inflate their own value. How can anyone without personal connections to and personal knowledge of the network switch have any opinion? Further, who gives a shit. It's a podcast that isn't ending, just switching networks. No one shut down 5by5. No one changed anything that materially impacts my life. I had to resubscribe to a podcast on a different feed. Big deal.


The Talk Show will certainly help Mule Radio and that's nice for all of us that like smart podcasts. It means we now have three excellent new podcast networks.3 Fans of this new media win all around. Perhaps John Gruber is a king-maker. Perhaps by spreading his massive following around more people will discover these new outlets. Perhaps this is the greatest advertising ruse in podcasting. Perhaps we shouldn't be concerned with his personal business at all.

  1. Seriously, Mike without a beard is creepier than Mike with a beard. 
  2. At least that's how it appears. It was never good with regular appearances, so it is possible that the show will return. 
  3. The 70 Decibels Network is coming on strong too.