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112: Rediscovering the Power of Video

I'm making videos again on YouTube.

Jason Shen
Jason Shen
4 min read
112: Rediscovering the Power of Video

I've had a YouTube channel since 2013, when I decided to do a series of 12 monthly fitness challenges, I hadn't made a video since 2018. That is until about a month ago.

What changed? I had a conversation with one of my favorite people on Twitter—@visakanv—who told me to consider expanding my surface area from Twitter and this newsletter to include some "longform" video.

The thing about YouTube is that good content keeps coming back. An old tweet rarely resurfaces. Same with a Facebook or Instagram post (for now) or most blog posts (outside of SEO-optimized pages).

But my 2013 video about doing situps—which probably got only 100 views in its first few weeks—has racked up 775 hours of video over the past 9 years because it has decent engagement and has been recommended by the algorithm.

So Visa is right. There's a longevity to great content on YouTube. And there's power in building a sense of personal connection in video that is powerful for me as a coach. People want to know what a coach might be like to work with and one of the best ways to convey that is through video.

So here's what I've done so far:

1. Returning to YouTube

This video announces my return and as a bit of a gimmick, I reference my situp video and try to beat my old time. So a two in one as it were. Do I succeed? Only one way to find out...

2. Chronic vs Acute Resilience

This is a one off video about a topic I had been discussing with my own coach Mariko Gordon about the difference between chronic challenges (e.g. a reoccurring health issue) vs an acute setback (e.g. a broken leg) and the kind of resilience that's required.

3. My First Business Failed (Every Interview)

The next three videos are clips from an interview I did with Dan Shipper, CEO of Every, as part of the Rethinking Resilience miniseries I'm doing there. This one is all about how my first startup's failure triggered a journey into resilience.

4. How I Developed My 4 Skills of Resilience (Every Interview)

Something we don't often hear experts talk about is how they develop their framework or X-part list of key strategies/habits, etc. In this video, I go through my four skills (respond, restore, rebuild, reflect) and how I got to them.

5. How Calendars and Todo Lists are Ways of Regulating our Emotions

This last video has me turning the tables on Dan and asking him to talk about how his Twitter and writing on his newsletter Superorganizers has evolved. We got into this really interesting discussion about how the value of listing out your tasks goes way beyond simply keeping track of your work.

Tools of the Trade

Making video is harder than typing words, but here are some of the tools that help me:

  • Descript: for transcription, but more importantly, the editing of video
  • Canva: for making not just thumbnails but straight up video snippets
  • Dewise lav mic: for getting better audio than your laptop
  • Capcut: the easiest video editor for your phone (now on web too!)
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Are you a founder or senior tech leader looking to beat burnout or navigate a period of intense change? Consider executive coaching with me.

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Writer, executive coach, and resilience expert helping founders & product leaders move through adversity and ship things that matter.