Why the heck are we starting a podcast?!

Well, technically, it’s a video podcast. Or maybe it’s a TV show? We’re not really sure what it is, but it’s called Products Worth Talking About

We’re going to discuss disruptive physical products and the people behind them. By disruptive, we mean products that are shaking things up in their market — whether by their branding, their use, or their marketing.  

Both of us — RT Custer and Tyler Altenhofen — are entrepreneurs ourselves, so we thought of this podcast as a way to educate the public about disruptive products and also become better product designers (and sellers) ourselves! 

In this post, you’ll learn a little bit about us both, the format of the show, and more about our mission. Let’s get started!

Who Is RT Custer?

Hey guys — RT, here! Before we get into talking about the show, I wanted to give you all info on me, my background, and my business. 

I grew up on a Christmas tree farm in Redding, Pennsylvania, which was essentially the side hustle for my entrepreneurial family. (I am the fourth generation.) When I started college, I created a franchise company called College Works Painting — basically, I would just go door to door, politely asking people if they wanted their houses painted that summer. That was my first real entrepreneurial venture. 

After graduating college, I took a great job with Walmart — working with business logistics — and moved out to Colorado. Around this time, I’d been hanging out with my friend Tyler Wolfe, and we had this amazing idea for a watch company. 

That idea became my entrepreneurial capstone — Vortic Watches. Basically, we take old American pocket watches (you know, the ones that your parents/grandparents used) and turn them into functional wristwatches that contain the history of their time. Every single watch we make is completely one-of-a-kind!

But why use old watches to make new ones?

Before the mid-1900s, pocket watches were more for just telling time — they were family heirlooms that were passed down through generations, carrying American stories, values, and meaning along with them. With our top-of-the-line machinery and expert craftsmanship, we brush off the dirt from these watches and get them working like brand new. 

It’s been amazing to watch Vortic Watches grow into a watch company that truly stands out from the rest. Of course, I’m always open to learning new marketing strategies for product-based companies, which is one of the reasons I was so pumped to start Products Worth Talking About!

Who Is Tyler Altenhofen?

Hi everyone — I’m Tyler Altenhofen.

I grew up in Iowa, and I started my first business when I was 14 years old. Since then, I’ve owned businesses in a variety of industries, including automotive, restaurants, retail, and e-commerce. 

My most recent business project is REBL Jane — a transparent nutrition brand that was created for the Modern Woman. My partner Morgan and I have both had experience working in the supplement industry, and we learned several lessons along the way.  

First, we learned that when it comes to supplements, there is an important group of individuals who are ignored: the hard-working females who are focused on the health and wellbeing of themselves and their families. 

Second, we learned that there is a serious lack of transparency within the supplement industry. We watched companies hide diluted products behind proprietary blends as a marketing tactic. We saw companies who were claiming to produce “quality products” were actually cutting corners and sourcing low-quality ingredients. We knew it was time for a change.

After Morgan had our second child, she decided that it was time to get back to feeling like herself again — strong, healthy, and capable. We dove headfirst into researching and experimenting with natural remedies. Morgan’s transformation was drastic. Her sleep improved, her energy levels were up and her business performed better. Her friends and co-workers started to notice her glow and wanted to know her secret!

That’s when the idea for REBL Jane was truly born. Our supplements are completely natural and we believe in full-disclosure labeling and promise never to use proprietary blends, fillers, artificial dyes, or sweeteners. Just clean, good-for-you ingredients for you or the amazing women in your life!

I have an insatiable appetite for entrepreneurship, and I’m obsessed with studying high-performing brands and products — so launching this podcast was a dream come true for me. 

Format of Products Worth Talking About

Now that we’ve introduced ourselves, let’s dive into the show layout so you can know what to expect.

For a standard episode, we’re going to examine a series of similar products and analyze everything from their packaging to their functionality to their marketing strategies. After reviewing the products, we’ll score them individually and see which one takes the crown for the episode! One day we might cover our favorite soaps, and on another day, we’ll discuss pumpkin spice products — the possibilities are endless and never predictable! 

We’ll score the products in the following categories:

  • Product Design/Packaging: Is the packaging effective, eye-catching, and high-quality?
     
  • Social Strategy: Are they using social media to their advantage? 
  • Sales and Distribution: What do their sales numbers look like?
  • Disruptive Level: What makes this product stand out from the rest in the market?
      
  • Website: Is their website engaging, informative, and consistent with branding?  
  •  
  • And more! 

In each of these categories (and more!), we’ll individually give the product a score from 1 to 10. Sometimes, we’ll strongly disagree, which will make the show even more interesting! Then, after tallying up our scores, we’ll determine which product is the best in our humble opinion. 

However, a product is only as great as the entrepreneur behind it. That’s why we’re also going to interview the founders of some of our favorite brands as well as some marketing experts, influencers, and social media moguls. Between the two of us, we’ve got a diverse and immense network of people to choose from, so there’s going to be a lot of great content for all you entrepreneurs and product junkies out there!

You can expect each episode to be around 20 – 30 minutes long — dad jokes and comedic bits included. We’re committed to producing four shows a month, so make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel so that you don’t miss anything! 

The Mission of Products Worth Talking About

Why did we start this podcast again? Is it just because we like taking videos of ourselves sipping on sparkling water or eating savory beef jerky?  

While those things are a definite plus, they aren’t at the heart of the show’s mission. 

Once upon a time, both of us were sitting at a coffee shop complaining about how lonely entrepreneurship is. When you become an entrepreneur, it can be difficult to find that workforce community and, to be super honest, know what you’re doing. Entrepreneurship is an incredible career with so much potential and financial opportunity, but without the right people and methods backing you up, it’s easy to be swallowed whole. 

In order to succeed, we’ve found that it’s helpful to turn to the experts and learn by example. Regardless of the path you take, you’ll make mistakes at some point, but we believe that the point isn’t perfection — it’s to constantly improve, evolve, and make a difference in your industry. 

So, we thought, why not get some fancy cameras, press “record,” and share a bit about the brands that are doing just that? With every piece of content you watch from us, you’ll gain valuable tools you can use for your own product-based business and hear how you can start your next entrepreneurial adventure! And as a plus, you’ll learn about super cool stuff you may want in your own life — like luxurious beard oils, high-tech baby monitors, and innovative CBD products!

We’re not claiming to be experts — while we both have experience running several companies, we know that there are always things we can learn and do better. That’s why we’re committed to applying our own advice so that we can continue to create thriving, impactful businesses. 

Let Us Know What Products We Should Review! 

You’re just as much a part of this as we are, so if you have any suggestions for products we should review or founders we should interview, don’t hesitate to let us know! Take a screenshot of the episode and share your suggestions with us on Instagram, @productsworthtalkingabout

And if you’re excited about the show, make sure to subscribe on YouTube so that you can get new content delivered to you directly! You can also find us on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn to keep up with our shenanigans.  

Lastly, if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur who wants to build a product-based business yourself, check out our business plan that literally writes itself! Within no time, you’ll be ready to pitch to investors and start the company of your dreams. 

Thanks for reading! Until next time, get pumped for the show! 

RT and Tyler 

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