Story In A Bottle Podcast

Episode Summary

Caren Kelleher, the founder of Gold Rush Vinyl in Austin, TX, has had a remarkable journey through the music industry. Starting her career at Paste Magazine, Caren quickly dove into the business side of music, gaining a deep understanding of the industry's intricacies. Her path led her to tech roles, including a significant position at Google where she managed the Artist Hub platform, enabling artists to upload their music directly to Google Play. Caren's commitment to supporting artists remained unwavering, ultimately inspiring her to establish Gold Rush Vinyl. Her pressing plant is dedicated to independent musicians, providing them a vital revenue stream through vinyl records.

Caren's story is a blend of professional milestones and personal growth, marked by pivotal moments that shaped her career. Moving to Austin and founding Gold Rush Vinyl was a bold move driven by her vision of the vinyl market's potential and a strong desire to help artists earn more from their music. Her innovative approach at Gold Rush Vinyl includes traditional vinyl pressing and the upcycling of damaged vinyl into new products, emphasizing sustainability and creativity. This episode explores the challenges Caren faced, the insights she gained, and her future vision for vinyl and the music industry.

Key Takeaways

  • Caren’s journey highlights the importance of passion and resilience in the music industry.
  • Establishing Gold Rush Vinyl was driven by a desire to support independent artists financially.
  • The vinyl market offers significant revenue opportunities compared to streaming services.
  •  Innovation and sustainability are central to Caren’s approach at Gold Rush Vinyl.


  • "When you're on the road and you're selling vinyl or t-shirts or whatever, but especially vinyl, that's cash in your pocket."
  • "We work for independent artists specifically... Vinyl makes artists a lot of money."
  • "I started managing bands... seeing the royalty statements coming from streaming... it could be six months before the artist got paid."
  • "To see artists hold their own vinyl for the first time, it’s an emotional moment where they truly feel like they've made it."
Direct download: Caren_Kelleher_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:10pm EDT

Episode Summary:

David Dylan Thomas, an expert in cognitive bias and user experience, joins us to discuss his multifaceted career and unique insights into the intersection of technology and ethics. David's journey began in the indie film scene, where he discovered the transformative potential of the internet, leading him to pivot towards UX and content strategy. He has worked extensively in applying cognitive biases to create ethical and inclusive products, making him a sought-after speaker and author of the book "Design for Cognitive Bias."

Throughout our conversation, David emphasized the importance of participatory design and involving users in the design process to create more effective and well-received products. He also highlighted how understanding business strategies is critical for driving successful UX and content initiatives. David's storytelling prowess was evident as he shared examples from his career, illustrating how specificity in storytelling enhances audience connection, whether in films or UX work.

Key Takeaways:

  • How understanding cognitive biases can transform UX design:** Recognizing and addressing cognitive biases in user experience design is crucial for creating ethical and inclusive products.
  • When participatory design leads to success:** Involving users in the design process results in more effective and well-received products..
  • How specificity in storytelling enhances audience connection:** Specific, personal stories resonate widely with audiences.
  • Why clear business strategies underpin effective design:** A strong understanding of business is critical for driving successful UX and content strategies.


  • "I think the criteria on which we judge a family is no longer, 'mother, father, two kids in one home'. We're hopefully starting to look at more meaningful criteria for a healthy family."
  • "We were the first generation to really get into that chosen found family thing. And that becomes a criterion for how we want our families to be."
  • "Specificity not only matters but is beneficial. You're actually more likely to succeed in that product way of people liking it, enjoying it, whatever."
  • "The best bet is still on the specific, whether you're paying ten bucks for it or a hundred million dollars for it."
  • "When money gets involved, how much does it start to shift more towards being a product and needing to answer these denominators?"
Direct download: David_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:55am EDT

Episode Summary:

Adam Roberts, also known as The Amateur Gourmet, shares his remarkable journey from an unfulfilled law student to a celebrated food blogger, TV writer, and now a novelist. His blog, which began as an escape from law school, quickly gained popularity due to Adam’s creative approach, including writing songs about food and hosting quirky contests. This unique content set his blog apart and opened doors to various opportunities, such as writing cookbooks and TV scripts. Despite exploring different ventures, Adam’s passion for food and storytelling remained constant, ultimately driving him back to blogging with renewed enthusiasm. 

In this episode, we enjoyed Hendricks and tonics while diving into Adam's career transitions and the evolution of his blog. Key moments include how writing songs about food helped set his blog apart, when his creative endeavors led to TV writing opportunities, and how he maintained his passion for food through it all. Adam’s story is a testament to following one's passion and staying resilient in the face of change.

Key Takeaways:

  • How writing songs about food helped set his blog apart from others.
  • When his creative endeavors led to TV writing opportunities.
  • How he maintained his passion for food through various career changes.
  • How embracing his unique voice and creativity drove his success.


  • “I started a food blog as a way to document my culinary failures and successes, and it ended up opening so many doors for me.”
  • “Writing songs about food and creating quirky content made my blog stand out in the crowded food blogging space.”
  • “Moving to LA and getting into TV writing was an unexpected turn, but it taught me so much about storytelling.”
  • “Coming back to blogging felt like returning to my roots, and it reminded me of why I started this journey in the first place.”
Direct download: Adam_Roberts_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:13am EDT