164: J.J. Jones (JOCON Media)

J.J. Jones on Innovation City

Something that’s very important to us at JOCON is to make sure that our lineup definitely reflects the community that supports us. – J.J. Jones

Welcome to Season 3 of Innovation City, a podcast featuring innovators, creators, and disruptors to discover how business is changing in the modern world.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency in cooperation with Venture Cafe St. Louis and Venture Cafe Miami, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community. Venture Cafe is the largest combined gathering of entrepreneurs and innovators anywhere in the world. Events are held every Thursday in St. Louis, Miami, and other leading innovation cities around the globe.

Today’s guest is J.J. Jones, Managing Partner & Chief Creative Officer at JOCON Media, which currently produces 10 podcasts. J.J. has traveled the world, and his love of business, innovation, and artistry all intersect at JOCON Media. J.J. sits down with the team to discuss going from one podcast to 10, the challenges of managing podcast talent, giving people a voice who have something to say, and much more!

They discuss:

  • Travels in the U.S. and around the world
    • Began traveling the U.S. about 20 years ago
    • Trip to Atlanta really inspired him
  • J.J. is a former police officer in St. Louis
    • He felt the responsibilities of a daily job really held back his creativity
    • Retired from the police force, went back to school and got Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees
  • Took another job with the City of St. Louis for four years, but was still not fulfilled
    • Left the job without a plan
    • While watching youtube videos and listening to podcasts, he thought “I want to do that.”
  • Focused on music during the time he was unable to be creative professionally
    • Managed a local R&B artist
  • Started with a podcast, now manages a podcast network
    • Produces 10 shows
    • 314 Podcast is the flagship show
    • Knew they had something special when someone recognized his voice at an event
    • Took on the technical aspects of podcasting shows for others
  • Challenges of managing podcast talent
  • JOCON Media podcasts are local, community-oriented and diverse
    • That is intentional
    • JOCON wants to support the community that supports them
  • Life lessons learned through podcasting
    • A lot of people want to have these conversations, but they need a voice
    • A lot of people don’t know what a podcast is, or where to find access to one
    • A podcast is just a downloadable audio file
  • Accessibility of important conversations
    • National identity
    • Community identity
    • The weight of responsibility
      • We allow podcasters to do their own thing
      • We keep things as clean and respectful as possible
      • Content will be effective and can be consumed anywhere by anyone
  • Favorite podcast episodes/topics
    • Early on, we did a giveaway of tickets for a concert in St. Louis, expected someone local to win, but the winner flew in from
    • New York City and gave the other ticket to a friend from Chicago
    • The Dubai trip
    • So many others!
  • The beauty of podcast is that listeners can be from anywhere in the world
  • J.J.’s vision for the impact or reach of podcasts
    • Right now they have global reach – Africa, Europe, Russia
    • Expand that global reach
    • But not neglect local listeners
    • Friends in every zip code
  • Connect with J.J.: joconmedia.com, @joconmedia on social media; @j.j.theplatform314 on Instagram and Facebook; @j.j.louis

Lightning Round:

  1. What or whom are you grateful for?
    • My father
  2. What did you learn from your biggest regret?
    • My father gave me a $500 bill and I sold it. If I ever get another, I’ll never do that again.
  3. What would you do if you were not afraid?
    • Probably move out of St. Louis
  4. What does this world need more of?
    • Just love. Empathy. Sympathy and understanding.
  5. What challenge do you want to overcome?
    • Staying pliable. Being open to change always.
  6. What is a defining moment in your life and how did it impact you?
    • When I became a police officer