Being at Maker at the beginning was a special experience. There were no “digtial stars” before Youtubers and this new medium began to scale just as we started building Maker. The original founders, Lisa, Ben and Danny, figured out the most important thing. This new generation of talent was on to something and it would be huge.
I met so many amazing people who identified talent in this new wave of creation. The network dev team at Maker were culturally light years ahead of everyone, understading how special these creators were, believeing in them when others just saw wacky videos. The whole idea of video game content on Youtube was so new, and The Game Station team was so dialed into that culture.
As Maker grew, it was hard dealing with all the startup growth issues and what quickly became incredible competition to sign talent. But whatever you read about MCN’s going away, or Maker missing the mark, in this first era of MCN growth, Maker dominated and seperated from the pack.
As we became a huge company, we were at the forefront of bringing this new world into the traditional media and brand world at scale. We changed alot and it was hard, but I secretly loved working with the sales team to grow the business, perfecting the balance of infleuncers, brands and authenticty. Working side by side with the amazing executives who knew how to navigate this phase was special, packaging the company for growth, and eventually tapping into my own epxertise and becoming key man in the Disney aquisition.
MCN’s may not be the final paradigm, but to call Maker or MCN’s a failure is only possible if you didnt live it. We put our heart and soul into our creators before anyone else. Youtube and digital video platforms are huge now, but MCN’s birthed it, and it’s simply evoled into much more.
We got out on top, and it wasnt an accident, I learned it is a skill and I had the fortune to watch and learn from some of the smartest executives in the world who got us there. Not easy to do but easy to criticise 🙂
A few of my favorite pics from the good old days!