S1E02 - David Perell: Building an Audience That Creates a Personal Monopoly


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In this episode, Co-Founder of Double Up and Supercast Aidan Hornsby interviews David Perell on building an audience through Twitter and the impact of writing online.

David Perell is a prolific writer, investor, and founder of Write of Passage, an intensive online writing course to accelerate your career. As host of the North Star Podcast, he interviews successful people such as Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jason Fried, and Ryan Holiday on what drives them.

We talked about:

  • The impact of building an audience
  • How David’s twitter account is more valuable than his college diploma
  • The business school of the future
  • How podcasts open David’s mind up to new ideas
  • Creating a Personal Monopoly



Subscribe to Supercasters Premium for FREE to get bonus content with every episode: premium.supercast.com (it’s free, takes 2 mins, no special apps to download).

For this episode, our bonus section includes David talking through his flywheel business model, which neatly illustrates how his writing, tweeting, podcasting, teaching, and investing all come together and build on each other for compounding effect.


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Follow Jason: @jsewhoy


  • 2:08 From television anchor to writer: David Perell's story
  • 3:42 Writing is the new networking
  • 6:07 Playing with and communicating interesting ideas
  • 6:54 Starting the North Star Podcast
  • 9:37 "My audience is the single most valuable thing in my life"
  • 10:58 Download numbers are not the quality and size of your audience
  • 12:14 The unlimited competition for somebody's attention online
  • 14:47 Starting out on Twitter, and social media feeds
  • 16:08 Twitter is a filter for people who resonate with you
  • 17:07 Conversations tear down the mazes of our internal psychology
  • 19:22 How podcasts open David's mind up to new ideas
  • 20:57 Each medium has a bias
  • 22:52 Why we should give lots of free stuff away
  • 25:51 Personal Monopoly and intersecting ideas through writing
  • 29:17 Testing business models and writing with passion
  • 30:27 Being the center of attention paralyzes us
  • 32:28 The power of writing pseudonymously
  • 34:52 Audience building is a game of compounding
  • 37:45 How David Perell became successful on Twitter
  • 39:24 Focusing on email, podcasting is a black box
  • 40:29 Podcasts are an opportunity for trust
  • 42:51 Podcasts coincide the most with ordinary life
  • 45:15 Building the business school of the future
  • 46:46 Building audience-first products

Premium Timestamps

  • 0:49 David Perell's Flywheel business model
  • 3:22 The difference between open and closed social platforms
  • 6:02 YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world
  • 8:42 The book as a business card, and a subscription podcast
  • 12:50 David Perell's tips on building your audience



Supercasters is a Kelly&Kelly production.

The show was created by Supercast, the easiest way to add a paid membership to your show. Get paid to podcast at supercast.com.

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