Team Simplecast Spotlight: Jeanine Percival Wright

7 min read

Whether you've seen them in your inbox, at an event, or on a webinar, you've probably met someone on Team Simplecast! Here's your chance to get to know them a little better. Today we've got...

Jeanine Percival Wright

What do you do at Simplecast?

COO/CLO (don’t hold the lawyer part against me! I’ve been writing the Answers from An Actual Lawyer blog series (links at the end)). At Simplecast, I’m basically responsible for all the behind the scenes stuff that isn’t related to product/engineering or design.

Where do you live?

Simplecast HQ is in NYC, but I live in LA (we have a very distributed team). If you live in LA, come visit our offices - we even have a Simplecast Podcasting Studio you can use! At home, I’m happily married (yep, to Mr. Wright, so that worked out for me) and we have 2 very high energy boys (5 and 7), 2 dogs, 5 chickens and a hive of bees. We like to grow a lot of what we eat (check out Square Foot Gardening and the Becky’s Homestead podcast), brew our own beer and make mead on our little “urban farm”.  

How long have you been working for Simplecast?

I’ve been Simplecast’s COO since the middle of last year, but Brad Smith (Simplecast’s CEO) and I have worked together before. I like to angel invest in startups and help advise them in the early stages, so I was actually Simplecast’s first outside investor a few years ago and worked with Simplecast long before I took the full-time role last year.

Life before Simplecast?

Was there one? (I kid. Kinda.) I’ve worked with startup, growth and turn-around companies for over a decade, specializing in technology, finance and media. I co-led the sale of a company to GoDaddy and launched an international joint venture with one of the world’s largest companies. Out of law school, I was a talent-side entertainment and media attorney for half a dozen years or so. I even first-chaired and won a 2-week jury trial. I received my JD from USC (Go Trojans!) and my BA in Political Science from UCLA (Go Bruins!). I clerked for the Hon. Manuel L. Real in the Central District of California (fun fact: he’s the real judge from that scene in The People vs. Larry Flynt).

What was the first podcast you listened to?

Wow. The first? I’m not sure I even remember. I listen to A LOT of podcasts, everything on 2X so I can fit more in. Here are some of my regular go-tos, depending heavily on my mood:

For fun: This American Life, Strangers, Radiolab, The Moth, Hidden Brain, Sam Harris’s Making Sense, The Memory Palace, Invisibilia, Planet Money and Freakonomics.

I may or may not have called in sick to binge these: Missing Richard Simmons (fascinating), The Dream (mind-blowing), The Big One (terrifying), and S-Town (can’t wait for the movie).

For work & news: I listen to many of the podcasts about podcasting on this list, as well as Work Life with Adam Grant, The a16z Podcast, IdeaCast and Women at Work by HBR, TechCrunch, Startup, Marketplace Morning Report, and Leaders in the Trenches. And Espree Devora’s WeAreLATech and WomenInTech.

For law stuff: First Mondays, The Resilient Lawyer, Serial Season 3, Justice in America, IP Fridays. Wish I could get my continuing legal education credit for these!

For fiction: The Truth, Classic Tales Podcast, Escape Pod and, most recently, Girl in Space. I’m new to fiction podcasts, but really starting to like them. (Mr. Wright is way into fiction podcasts.)

For parenting: The Longest Shortest Time, Mom Life Yo, and Super Mamas - I love listening to all of these women!

For happiness, health and wellness: The Drive with Peter Attia, Nike Trained, Ketovangelist (yes, I’m doing that), Esther Perel’s Where Should We Begin?, Sleep With Me (“the podcast that puts you to sleep”).  

With the kids: The kids are loving Minute Physics and Minute Earth in the car on the way to school, Becoming Mother Nature and Brains On at home and Little Stories for Tiny People at bedtime.  

What’s the last podcast you listened to?

I went to a live podcast show at a theater here in LA and saw My Worst Date. Such a fun evening out!

What's one tip you wish you could give all podcasters?

Get together a group of friends, family and randos and have a listening party at your house or a bar or church or wherever. Ask people to fill out an anonymous survey about your podcast - everything from sound quality to length to content. Create a safe environment in which it is OK for people to tell it like it is. (Here’s a great podcast on doing pre-mortems, by the way.) Get the feedback and don’t be sensitive; use it to make your podcast better. It is really, really hard to criticize and improve your own work and it is really, really hard to get people to give you the candid feedback you need in order to actually make it better. Don’t let yourself be the kid on American Idol that isn’t good but has no idea because no one wanted to hurt his feelings.  

Why did you start working in podcasting?

Two reasons: (1) Brad is both a product visionary and one of the most amazing humans on the planet, so the more time I can spend with him, the better, and (2) (see crazy long list above) I’m kinda addicted to the audio medium and totally believe its going to be the next big thing.  

What are you most excited to see in the podcasting world in the next year?

I’m very excited to see (1) the continued influx of advertisers in podcasting as more and more advertisers realize the conversion power of podcasting, (2) more and more brands figuring out creative ways to authentically connect with their customers, and (3) women and podcasters of color seizing the opportunity to have the podcasting creator community truly reflect the listening audience.

What was the last song that got stuck in your head?

“This is Me” from The Greatest Showman soundtrack (so good!), until I saw the Frozen 2 trailer this week and the this-may-never-end-I-must-be-going-crazy loop of “Let it Go” came back (please not again!).

Where's your next vacation spot?

Oooo. We LOVE to travel. We had an amazing trip to Cambodia last summer. Thinking about a surf trip this summer to Costa Rica or Columbia. (Maybe I have a thing for “C”s right now?) Hoping to make it up to Utah or Mammoth to snowboard a little bit before the snow melts.

What skill are you trying to learn in 2019?

Actually, I’m starting my own podcast in 2019 - a joint venture with my sisters, which is so fun. Deep in the planning stage right now. It’s an incredibly valuable experience for me to be working through the same highs and lows as our customers do. I can’t wait share it with you all!  

More from Jeanine:

Answers from an actual lawyer: Do I own my podcast?
Answers from an actual lawyer: ...Did my guest need to sign a release?
Answers from an actual lawyer: Are my vendor agreements legit?