The Engineered Network: Celebrating Causality

20 July, 2019

When I started Causality in late 2015, I didn’t know what to expect. At first the show had few reviews, little feedback and whilst downloads were okay, I was concerned that perhaps it was too specific a niche in the world of podcasting. With big budget players (NPR, WNYC, BBC and many more) moving into podcasting, I wasn’t sure if the voice of a lone, detail focused engineer, would or could even succeed in this space. I’m up against documentary makers with staffs of researchers, big budgets, people with international popularity fed by television, broadcast radio and cinema (real star power as they say) and people producing that content as their full time job. With Causality everything from research, to script, to recording, editing and publishing is all just one person and I also hold down a full time engineering job on top of that.

So yes, I had my doubts. (At first)

But I wanted to make something different. Something tangible. Something that could actually make a difference.

Within the first six months an acquaintance and Pragmatic semi-regular guest Marco Arment told me he thought that Causality “really works” and encouraged me to keep making it despite my concerns from a somewhat sluggish start. As the years passed with an irregular schedule not helping, the reviews started coming in, downloads gradually increased and listeners became increasingly vocal when episodes were late (a good sign). Some listeners asked me to stop making every other show and just make Causality! After 3 years and 8 months with Episode 30 released Causality reached two milestones.

The first: it out-downloaded Pragmatic that month for the first time ever.

The second: it cracked 100,000 unique downloads (That actually happened at some point following Episode 29). Interestingly, but perhaps not too surprisingly upon reflection, the last 10,000 came following a surge in backlog interest inspired by the recent HBO TV series about Chernobyl. All the episodes related to Nuclear Power Plant incidents had spiked, hence the show isn’t “just past” that milestone, it’s well past it.

Ultimately I’m so grateful that I stuck with it and kept making Causality as it appears that so many people now have been enjoying it and it’s actually making a difference, based on some feedback I’ve received.

Thank you for all of your support, for sharing the show on social media, with your friends and family and as always, thanks so much for listening.