...I interview lawyers with interesting side hobbies as an opportunity to show the human side behind lawyers and the legal profession.
Richard Hsu, a partner in the Silicon Valley office of Shearman & Sterling, has built a well-deserved name for himself online over the past few years with HsuTube.com, a perfectly titled series of videos, developed with his 13 year old daughter, in which the duo explains complex legal matters to do with technology, IP, and mergers & acquisitions in the simplest way possible. (If you haven’t experienced this particular father-daughter collaboration in the service of legal information and analysis, give the videos a watch. They’re excellent.) Now, Richard has launched his latest project, a podcast series titled HsuUntied.com in which he interviews lawyers about their hobbies.
I recently sat down with Richard over lunch and talked with him about Hsu Untied. Here’s the scoop:
Q: What gave you the idea of starting Hsu Untied?
Hsu: As my wife said to me at the time I made those videos, it’s too bad our daughter can’t be 13 forever - and my daughter, who is now 15, wanted to retire, anyway (laughter). More seriously, I was originally inspired by my former Venture Law Group colleague, David Hornik, who is now a venture capitalist at August Capital who has a podcast series called VentureCast and as you may recall, you, Adrian, were the one that really encouraged me to do this idea the last time we had lunch, remember?
Q: So what is the idea behind Hsu Untied?
Hsu: It’s pretty much what the tagline says. I interview lawyers with interesting side hobbies as an opportunity to show the human side behind lawyers and the legal profession.
Q: Who came up with the name Hsu Untied?
Hsu: It’s a play on my last name, which is pronounced “shoe” and I got it from Steve Cecil, who is probably one of the best naming professionals in the world. He’s been written up in Forbes magazine and he is someone I have known for many years. When I told him about the project, he generously gave his time and came up with about half a dozen names. I liked “Hsu Untied” the best and my daughter who did the videos, drew the logo that goes with the series.
Q: Why not do it as video instead of audio?
Hsu: It’s a good question and a lot of people have asked me that. The main reason is that the production of audio is so much easier than video. I can do the recording in less than 30 minutes, it takes no time to set up and all I need are 2 microphones and a PC.
Q: You once told me that you started the HsuTube video series not because you knew how to do video, but because you did not know, and wanted to learn. I assume you’ve also learned a thing or two about creating podcasts by preparing this series?
A: It was a very similar experience. I wanted to do a podcast but had no idea how to do one. It turns out it’s very simple, as I said: 2 microphones, a mixer and a PC.
Q: Why are you doing this?
Hsu: Right now, I’m just really having fun doing it but what I really enjoy is that people I interview really have a good time talking about their hobbies. When someone is passionate about a hobby, I find they naturally have a good time talking about it.
Q: What is the most interesting hobby you’ve heard about thus far in the series?
A: Well, I don’t want to give away all my secrets (laughter) but so far, I have completed about a dozen interviews including a skydiver, winemaker, close-up magician and movie maker. I also have a couple of special guests but you’ll have to wait for those...
Q: Last question, is this (podcasting) your new hobby? Or do you have other hobbies?
A: It’s not my new hobby but I am very much enjoying it. One of the people whom I interviewed said that after I did about twenty interviews, he wanted to interview me about doing these interviews. I thought that was pretty cool.
Listen to Richard's inaugural Hsu Untied podcast, in which he talks woodworking with Robert Lattuga, Senior VP and General Counsel at Leapfrog (the two are also pictured above). Additional podcasts available as they are released, right here on JD Supra:
Connect with Richard on Twitter at @HsuTubeEsq