It's No Fluke – An Original Podcast


It’s No Fluke is a weekly original podcast from the Shorty Awards, about the untold stories and uncharted waters in culture and creativity.

The series explores the big ideas, the ups and downs in creative workand life, the inner workings of storytelling, through thought-provoking and culturally relevant conversations with the most prominent and diverse voices, from creators to brands and the greatest minds of our time.

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No Fluke - Host

About the Host

A Shorty Award winner and Real Time Academy member, Jeff Barrett works with major influencers and brands like Adobe, Experian, Oracle, FIS and more on communications and influencer strategy. He spent three years traveling to almost every state in the country writing about startup ecosystems for Inc and Entrepreneur. After years of talking for a living, he's ready to listen and amplify the voices of amazing people, stories and ideas. Email or DM us on Instagram if you have feedback or topic/guest recommendations for the pod.

Latest Episodes

Ranjana Choudhry

Know thy culture, become a better marketer

With more than 25 years of experience as a global marketing and communications leader, she has led more than 400 team members in 220 countries, Ranjana Choudhry is a VP Advertising and Social Media at Wakefern Food Corp (a $19 billion largest COOP in US), leading the development of marketing and digital content strategies. Vanshika and I dig into her current Shorty Award nominated work, her creative process, and advice for up-and-coming practitioners and more.

Lance Fensterman

How to turn fans into Fanatics

Lance Fensterman⁠ is iconic when it comes to events. The Fanatics Events CEO, is leveraging 25+ years of entrepreneurial expertise to innovate within Fanatics, Inc., focusing on creating unforgettable live events for passionate sports fans and collectors. Producer Vanshika Chaturvedi and I sat down with him to discuss sports, events and tackling (pun intended) the biggest and most exciting challenge of his career.

Before Fanatics, he led the success of ReedPop, known for iconic events like New York Comic Con and Star Wars Celebration among many others.

Joey Clift

Humor Actually Boosts Retention. Boom, Science!

Joey Clift⁠ is a comedian, TV writer, and enrolled Cowlitz Indian Tribal Member. Writing credits include Spirit Rangers on Netflix, New Looney Tunes on Cartoon Network and Molly of Denali on PBS. He created, wrote and directed the Comedy Central digital series "⁠Gone Native⁠" and his award winning short films have screened everywhere from Just For Laughs to The Smithsonian Museum.

Dana Cowin

A 30-year journey with food and content

Dana Cowin is an award-winning tastemaker and innovator in media, food and branding. After 21 years as the Editor in Chief of Food & Wine magazine, she launched The Broadlies, an independent media company to promote less established voices in food, creativity and sustainability. Her current project is Feeding Broadly, the eaters guide to regenerative living.

Dylan & Salima

(The Making Of) Glitch: The Rise & Fall of HQ Trivia

We go behind-the-scenes of one of our absolute favorite documentaries this year with its Director and Executive Producer/former HQ employee. Salima Koroma is the Emmy Award winning director of Dreamland: The Burning of Black Wall Street, Bad Rap and now Glitch: The Rise & Fall of HQ Trivia. Dylan Abruscato is a Primetime Emmy nominee, a Webby & 2 Clio Award winner. He is a member of the founding team at Capital, the startup formerly known as Party Round.


Season one is brought to you by Wave, one-stop money management for creators, freelancers, and small business owners. Wave helps you manage your money, so you can focus on breaking the Internet—not the bank. Exclusively for podcast listeners, Wave is offering a free 1:1 coaching session with their in-house bookkeeping experts (normally valued at $99) when you sign up for a free account.

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Jeremy Gilley: How the craziest, bonkers, most ambitious idea ever, an International Day of Peace, actually happened (and what we do next)

We’re dropping this episode on the United Nation's International Day of Peace. A day that actor, filmmaker, activist, Jeremy Gilley set out to create in 1999 and achieved. Big ideas are hard. How he managed to pull this off is fascinating. But now nearly 25 years later we talk about what makes us optimistic, pessimistic and motivated about the world today. And there’s one quote from Jeremy late in the episode that is sticking with me. “If greed got us into this mess then maybe greed is what gets us out.” This is a frenetic 40 minutes about how to take on big ideas, how to find your passion and how to leave the world better than you found it.  

Visit for more info.

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R "Ray" Wang: How to build, how to disrupt and how to make sure you're ready for AI.

R “Ray” Wang is everywhere. Turn on a TV and you’ll see him regularly on CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox Business. Open an article and you’ll see him in the Wall Street Journal. He coined the term “Metaverse Economy.” He’s the most prolific analyst out there.

The CEO of Silicon Valley based Constellation Research also co-hosts DisrupTV, a weekly enterprise tech and leadership webcast that averages 50,000 views per episode. His ground-breaking best-selling book on digital transformation, Disrupting Digital Business, was published by Harvard Business Review Press in 2015. Ray's new best selling book about Digital Giants is titled, Everybody Wants to Rule The World.

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E19. AJR's Adam Met & Josh Kampel on how to thoughtfully, creatively and realistically address climate

Adam Met is the founder and Executive Director of Planet Reimagined. He leads a nonprofit that addresses climate change systems through media, academic research fellowships, and incentive-based initiatives. As the bassist for AJR, he has traveled the world on sold-out tours, achieved platinum certifications in numerous countries, and recorded a repertoire of music that has garnered more than 7 billion streams worldwide.

Josh Kampel is the CEO of Worth Media. He serves on the board of Planet Reimagined and was the CEO of Techonomy Media. At Techonomy, Josh spent 8 years driving sustainable business growth through strategic partnerships and new product development.


E18. Critical Role & Comic Relief: An Adventure to End Poverty

Two partners set out to end childhood poverty through joy and creativity: $1M+ in donations, 2 hours with Stephen Colbert, a Shorty Impact Award and one incredibly good story.

Rachel Romero is the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Critical Role, the wildly popular D&D inspired web series and board member of the Critical Role Foundation. Rachel has worked in online media for almost two decades, with a special focus on fostering community.

Alison Moore is a media and tech industry veteran bridging the worlds of content, storytelling, and fundraising to drive social change. She's the CEO of Comic Relief US, a nonprofit that uses the power of entertainment to break the cycles of intergenerational poverty.


E17. Winnie Sun: Swiftonomics and wealth advice for creators

Winnie Sun is a wealth whisperer. The founder and managing director of Sun Group Wealth Partners represents a lot of the famous creators you know and love. She’s one of the nation’s most respected financial advisors and a frequent guest on CNBC, Bloomberg and more. But there’s a specific reason why I picked now for us to chat about her career, creators and current events. In a field where cautious anonymity is valued, Winnie stands out as a creator herself with her own following, her own show and a deeper understanding than anyone on how to create the best financial pathways for creators.

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E16. David Armano: What AI Will Disrupt Next

David Armano doesn't miss when it comes to spotting a trend. His latest Substack is evidence. A marketing and CX leader who has worked with some of the most recognizable names in business, assisting brands as they evolve with technology, he spent a decade as the Global Strategy Director for Edelman, worked on autonomous vehicles for Cruise and now currently leads marketing at Soul Machines, an AI Avatar platform and spends his time focused on Generative AI, Enterprise LLMs, and the evolution of the customer experience.


E15. How to create value in the creator economy

Christen Nino De Guzman, founder of Clara for Creators, brings over a decade of experience working with top content creators at Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest. 

Goldie Chan is the founder of Warm Robots, and a global speaker, strategist, author and advisor. She's known as the "Oprah of LinkedIn" by Huffington Post and a LinkedIn Top Voice for Social Media.

Kerry Reynolds is the VP, Marketing of Wave. Combining 20+ years of experience with data-driven decision making, Kerry oversees a marketing function dedicated to helping more small businesses start, survive and thrive.


E14. Eddie Ndopu: Sipping Dom Pérignon Through A Straw

Eddie Ndopu was just featured on ⁠ABC News⁠, wrote an incredible piece in ⁠Time⁠ and his debut book ⁠Sipping Dom Perignon Through A Straw⁠ is already Apple’s best book of the month and in the Top 10 on Amazon. His story is fascinating but I’ll let him tell it in his own words. He attended Oxford on a scholarship, has a masters in public policy and is one of seventeen global advocates appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Sustainable Development Goals. Eddie was commissioned by the World Economic Forum, at the behest of Professor Klaus Schwab, to produce a White Paper on the role of the private sector in addressing the global youth unemployment crisis. In short, Eddie Ndopu is a badass and he’s just getting started.


Ep 13. Marcus Collins: Culture, Cancelling Diversity & X

Dr. Marcus Collins is the architect of some of the most famous ad campaigns of the last decade. Cliff Paul for State Farm, Nike, Apple, Google’s Real Tone Photography. Oh and digital strategy for Beyoncé. He’s a clinical professor at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan and was most recently the head of strategy at Wieden+Kennedy, New York. His new book For the Culture: The Power Behind What We Buy, What We Do, and Who We Want to Be is different. It takes something omnipresent yet complex and makes you feel it, with examples, context, nuance, imagination and personality. This conversation is fascinating and goes in a ton of different directions but I promise by the end you’ll feel like you have a better understanding of why we do so many of the things we do.


Ep 12. Justin Wu: Filmmaking, WGA Strike & Flipping the Script

Justin Wu⁠ has a story everyone should hear. The multi award-winning Toronto-based Director, Photographer, Creative Director, and Speaker began his career as a photojournalist.

We talk about his big breaks, how to make it in the film industry, WGA Strike, and the one-word response to rejections that will flip the script. He is currently working on multiple directorial projects, including Hulu and SyFy’s Reginald The Vampire.

Justin is passionate about giving back: he's a ⁠Global Citizen⁠ Champion of Change Ambassador, and if you are curious about how to break into the film industry without actor/director parents, follow his ⁠IG video series⁠ that answers all your burning questions about filmmaking.


Ep 11. Rani Mani: Intentional Kindness

Rani Mani is not just respected, she’s loved by the thousands of lives she has changed with an unwavering kindness. Plenty of people have contacts, Rani makes connections. She has led social influence, employee advocacy and now Digital Media Customer Communications at Adobe. And is one of this year’s judges for Wave and The Shorty Awards’ Elevate Creatives Fund. So many people view kindness as a sign of weakness but Rani – views it as the greatest strength you can possess. This is episode is different, it will change your perspective on how you interact, how you get through the day and what keeps you going. She works across Adobe teams to elevate voices and highlight customer stories, especially with her series Changemakers


Ep 10. Cathy Hackl: Threads, Metaverse & AI

Cathy Hackl is one of the Top 10 most influential women in tech, a trailblazer featured on 60 Minutes, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC and more as the “Godmother of The Metaverse.” Cathy is the first person in the room with her agency Journey at every big company consulting, guiding, shaping Web3 strategy, creating immersive experiences and always with an eye forward, not down at her phone like most of us. That’s a spatial computing joke you’ll get later. She’s honed her skills as a top executive for HTC VIVE, Magic Leap and AWS. She wrote this year’s bestseller Into The Metaverse, she hosts Adweek’s Metaverse Marketing podcast and she’s already thinking beyond the term and what’s next.


Ep 9. What would you tell your 15-year-old self?

Two guests. No time to waste. This conversation is all about unlocking creativity, what holds us back, what can propel us forward and what we would tell our 15 year old selves if given the chance now.

⁠Elliot Kotek⁠ is a shockingly humble creative legend with 7 Emmy nominations, 5 Cannes Lions, 2 Clios, multiple Webby honors and the Shortys' Audience Award for Best Brand Awareness Campaign in 2023 with First Robotics.

Sarah Hernholm is a former elementary school teacher turned entrepreneur and the creator of the international non-profit ⁠WIT⁠ — Whatever It Takes - creator of the first college credit social entrepreneur and leadership course in the country for high school teens.


Ep 8. Become What You Don't See

Murray Hill is the hardest-working man in showbiz. The New York Times profiled him this week. Good Morning America, Today as well. After 25 years of being the best-kept secret in comedy, America’s best Drag King is now an overnight success. There’s warmth, perseverance, vulnerability and of course a ton of humor behind everything Murray does. You can currently see him on Hulu’s Life and Beth, as the host of the new drag queen dinner party competition show Drag Me to Dinner and most notably as Doctor, Professor, Fred Rococo on HBO’s Somebody, Somewhere. An ensemble breakout hit already picked up for a third season. I dare you to spend 60 minutes with Murray and not immediately become a fan, if you aren’t already. 


Ep 7. The Boy With The Faster Brain

It’s time for a wild ride with Peter Shankman. The New York Times calls him “a rock star who knows everything about social media." Disney, Google, Adobe, SAP and three dozen more of the biggest companies in the world work with him to guide customer experience and the neurodiverse economy. He is a 6x best-selling author - including the insanely popular Faster Than Normal. His first children's book The Boy With The Faster Brain is out now. He created and sold Help A Reporter Out in just three years. But those are accolades, the real Peter is even more fascinating.


Ep 6. The freedom to do what you do best

Today we welcome Zahir Khoja, CEO of Wave. He’s not your average CEO having spent time in Afghanistan bringing banking and financial education to underserved communities. In this role, he is focused on enabling small business owners to manage their money management; allowing them to do what they do best; But that starts by understanding their needs as a whole. And he gets it. It’s not just getting paid faster or uncomplicating money management. His passion for giving back continues with the launch of the Wave and Shorty Awards Elevate Creatives Fund, which we’ll talk about more in this episode.


Ep 5. The Experience Mindset

Tiffani Bova is a global growth evangelist at Salesforce and bestselling author of the new book, The Experience Mindset, Changes the Way You Think About Growth. She's one of the most sought-after speakers in the world, giving over 750 keynotes in six different continents. This episode is all gas, no breaks. We dig into why employee experiences become collateral damage in improving customer experience and user convenience. And we talk about the right questions to ask to lead people to the right changes. Let's go.


Ep 4. You can follow a path or you can blaze a trail

Tejas Hullur isn’t your average 22 year old content creator. He dropped out of a top business school with one year to go to move to LA, then New York and become a full time creator. Business Insider, Fortune and others have done great profiles even calling him the next Tony Robbins. He’s attracted brand deals with Venmo, Robinhood, countless others and is now a correspondent on Nick News. But you know what was refreshing about this conversation? There’s no ego. Tejas rolled up in his skateboard, answered every hard question with earnest consideration and made this hour the most important hour of his day - the art of being present. Expect big things from Tejas. Follow @TejasHullur on YouTube. Tejas is on Adobe's Creators to Watch list - thanks to Rani Mani for the intro!


Ep 3. Taking back the power

Deja Foxx made national headlines as a 16-year-old, standing up proudly to then senator Jeff Flake at a town hall. Now she's a reproductive rights activist, political strategist, badass and blogger known for being the youngest staffer and first Influencer and Surrogate Strategist on U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris' presidential campaign, and for her work with Planned Parenthood. Teen Vogue’s 21 Under 21, a digital creator for Ford Models and a fresh graduate of Columbia University. We talk about both creating and seizing opportunities, why representation matters (double meaning there) and why the messages we put out and the messages we take in matter so much. This chat will leave you inspired.


Ep 2. Don't follow your passion, do this instead

Abhijit Bhaduri is a bestselling author of five books including Dreamers and Unicorns. His sixth comes out in November. With 800,000 LinkedIn followers he's one of the most listened to and respected voices on the platform. As a boomerang employee he has traveled from Microsoft to PepsiCo, Wipro, Colgate, his own consulting and back to Microsoft, currently leading learning and development. In our conversation we discuss how every career is unique, what careers will look like in the future and why the worst advice you can receive, even though it's well-intentioned, is to follow your passion. 


Ep 1. Happenstance theory

Dominic Andre has the stats: a political science, philosophy and psychology triple major turned science content creator with over 7 million followers on TikTok. But this conversation goes deep into what happens when chance meets opportunity, and hobbies lead to a lasting career. The New York Times wrote about how he made millions posting to Snapchat. We talk about how to find angles others don't see, going back to YouTube and turning content creation into a 50-year career and not 15 minutes of fame.


The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!