The Power of Side Projects [Unthinkable Ep. 002]

Jay AcunzoBlog, Podcast1 Comment

episode 2

In today’s episode, we start with how humans send space probes deep into outer space … which of course ties right to our work as creators. Obviously…

Then, we hear from the defender and apostle of Awesome, Neil Pasricha. He’s the creator of the blog, is a New York Times bestselling author, a TED speaker, and the author of the brand new book, The Happiness Equation.

His story is moving, his journey is inspirational, and yet his origins were simple and relatable — it all started with a very basic side project.

Also in this episode:

  • We explore this idea of creative side projects. Why are they so valuable and powerful for our careers?
  • I share the story of how my least-popular blog ever helped me get a job at Google.
  • We hear the very raw, emotional story behind Neil’s launch of his side project, as well as have some fun talking about his famous blog.
  • I introduce something new about Unthinkable which relates to exploring and creating awesome side projects.

Listen and Subscribe Now: iTunes | SoundCloud | Stitcher

Thank you to Rightside Shirts for supporting Unthinkable. Rightside offers apparel designed by kids who submit their artwork, which then turns into all kinds of t-shirts, phone cases, and even watches. All profits help fund school art programs where it’s needed most.

Help empower kids, promote creativity, and support local art programs — go to

Jay Acunzo is an award-winning podcaster, dynamic keynote speaker, and a guy bothered by conventional thinking. He’s worked for Google, HubSpot, and both the tech startup and VC worlds. Now, as the host of audio documentary series Unthinkable, Jay makes a living understanding what it takes to make the leap from average to exceptional content marketing.

Over the past decade he’s built content strategies from scratch for tech startups, produced attention-grabbing shows for media publishers and challenger brands, and scaled a venture capital firm through nonfiction stories. His work has been cited in courses at Harvard Business School, by writers at the Washington Post, FastCompany, and Forbes, and by investors on TV’s Shark Tank.

Today, Jay travels the world speaking and daydreaming about a not-too-distant future in which creative thinkers are unhinged from the conventional in order to accomplish the exceptional. It is Jay’s belief that only then will you be able to create the best possible work for your companies and yourself.

Subscribe to receive every episode of Unthinkable
in your inbox each Monday!

One Comment on “The Power of Side Projects [Unthinkable Ep. 002]”

  1. Dear Jay:
    I’ve listened to this twice; it resonates because it brings up so many different themes. One is the importance, for those who write for bosses/clients , is the importance of creating a “judgement free” zone where you can “get into the writing mode” by writing what you to express rather than starting the day by writing something that has to meet the expectations of others.

    A judgement-free zone is a great procrastination killer, in other words. Once you build momentum on one project, it’s easy to transfer that energy to other projects.

    In addition, at B&N, I discovered the two “Humans of New York” books, which originated as a blog, www. I wonder if that blog, too, originated as a “side project.”

    Finally, a few moments ago, I was telling my “design-oriented” grandson in junior high about this episode, and he was quite enthusiastic about it as an alternative to the pigeon-holing he fears could be in his future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *