Inspired by halo.bungie.org, I made my own video website/community when I was 12 and developed a passion for making music videos. Two years, two dozen videos, and over a million views later, I decided to take a break. I didn’t want to seem like a total geek as I entered high school- I even took up playing football!
But it didn’t matter, I was already hooked…
After football season ended freshmen year, I threw away all hope for a social life and started a new website “to organize the best videos on the Internet.” I launched it in Spring 2005 (pre-YouTube) with over 500 videos in a unique tagging system and made a couple music videos to promote the site. To my surprise, the first month brought in over 70K unique visitors and half a million video views. Unfortunately, I wasn’t prepared for such instant popularity and the bandwidth costs forced me to shut it down as school started up again in the Fall.
With that small taste of Internet success, I decided to get serious about “business” and formalized my various internet and local gigs as a business. When I won local chamber of commerce award the next year I realized I am and will always be, an entrepreneur. Gaining more experience online, at the time blogging began taking off, I decided to defer college for a year to pursue my first big idea.
In short, LinkLarry provided a widget/service for blogs and websites crowdsource ‘related links’ from & for their visitors. My vision was to multiply the amount of niche-linking around content online. Unfortunately I eventually learned that my goal of improving “niche linking” compounded the ‘cold start’ challenge of social ‘networks’ which require a large amount of users/impressions in order to establish any initial value. So as my primary vision for this app became unviable in 2009, I enrolled in Babson College, the #1 school for entrepreneurship.
My next venture was with my college roommate. We spotted the infamous chatroulette website taking off in January 2010 (a couple months before it got major press) and we thought we could make it better (along with many other people). I really wanted to focus on creating more relevant connections, like the napster guys are now doing with Airtime, but not even they could solve the chicken-egg problem with $33M in funding.
Accepted into Babson’s Summer Venture Program, I tried to pivot the video chat app into markets not affected as my by the ‘cost start’ of social networks. Despite identifying a couple opportunities in B2C sales and college/educational organizations, I ultimately realized my real passion for video was in it’s ARTISTIC capacities.
Just a few weeks later, serendipity or fate led to crazy spontaneous project to kickoff my Sophomore year. Either by sheer luck or karma, I proceeded to make a TV and web commercial for GoDaddy’s contest in the two weeks remaining from their deadline. It didn’t win any official recognition at the time, but I’m proud to say it became the #1 & #3 most viewed video on YouTube after I decided to actually share what I made.
At the end of sophomore year (now 2011) I was appointed President of E-Tower, which was a competitive student-run living-working community of 21 entrepreneurs at Babson College. Having lived in and benefited from this amazing tribe since the very beginning of college, I’ll simply say I did everything I could to give back to the organization as it had embraced me so early on to give me a sense of purpose, community, and commitment.
With the little time I had outside working to improve E-Tower, I explored an ambitious idea I had regarding music video production. I started to pursue this amazing project full time after graduating Babson in 2013. It’s been long and treacherous road, but I’m finally getting close to the highway.