How is it like being a COO of a content creator business? Nick: Yeah, I think it's really cool, interesting, and fun. You know, "creator economy" in air quotes [Laughs]. It's a very buzzwordy thing at the moment. It is true that the overall content creation attention economy is starting to broaden versus a few organizations that are in control. It is a lot of smaller individual creators that have very strong fandoms. As a business person, if you want to call me that [Laughs]. Being paired with someone like Ludwig -who is a strong marketing genius- is the best thing I can ask for in my general career.
All the years you've been doing it? N: Yeah, it's a lot of fun! It's a very different vibe from when I was working at Twitch -which is owned by Amazon. I worked at Madison Square Garden company. Those are giant organizations, and now we're a company of fifteen. We're scrappy, we do things very differently, the way we want, and all those things make my job very, very fun.
So how does it now compare to all those big companies where now you’re in a smaller more based company? N: It's fun! It's very intimate, right? I know a lot about my co-workers and spend a lot of time together in the trenches. One thing about having a small business like this is if you want to call it that, we do very well on the revenue side is that we do a lot of different things. I help navigate talent relationships here with the competitors, I'm helping with the sponsorships, I'm helping lug a CRT television around, and I had to move a boxing video game machine in the back. You do a lot. You're in the trenches. It builds a sense of camaraderie with your co-workers. It's a lot of fun, and another thing too is we're a bunch of Super Smash Melee heads. We have a lot of common ground in that community and that word.
That's great, awesome! What is a fight you're looking forward to? N: I'm really good friends and business partners with Nathan Stanz. I meet with him all the time. We're good friends, I know he's really training for it, so I'm looking forward to seeing how he does. I'm really excited about the woman's match. They both have been training like crazy.
Really? N: Yes! They are both incredibly athletic and muscular, as I see them here today. They are gonna have a very exciting battle. I'm also good friends with PointCrow. Seeing him against Disguised Toast is gonna be really great. But on that point, what I would say more broadly is because this is amateur boxing, none of them have boxed before. Stanz, maybe one or two, right? You have no idea what's gonna happen. Like even if someone has the up on the other person, you have no idea. Even if the matches are one-sided, like we're all gonna be surprised at the results for the whole thing. There are no favourites here. Other than like this person weighs a little bit more, has a bigger reach or have you. Everything is gonna be very exciting. Is there any tips you want to give to creators looking to get in this side of the industry, of say marketing and the business side of things to develop that set of skills? N: Yeah, I would say the overall, the Twitch meta, streaming meta, and YouTube meta are evolving, and I say during COVID -I call that time period the collaboration era of Twitch and YouTube. A lot of different creators doing a lot of different things. We're now starting to get into this event premium content meta where what big cool interesting cool tentful thing you can do in the year to make a name for yourself, new fans, and bring awareness of who you are and collaborate. My recommendation is prepare and execute things larger than your day-to-day stream, and day-to-day content creation. Spend a little bit of money, and spend a lot of time and energy with something big and outrageous to build your name and ability. You will learn things to market yourself, how to run an event, and how the business side works through doing that kind of thing. I think the more you do that the more you learn and grow to amplify your own content business with more variety.
What's the best piece of advice you got out of all the years in the industry, Nick? N: Oh! Huh... Have you never thought about that? N: I have never thought about the best piece of advice. 'Cause you've been in the industry for awhile? N: Yeah, I have. There's this really great guy who worked at Riot Games named Lance Stites, who is an amazing human being, and one of the things he told me. We didn't work that much together but what he told me was, "Leaders eat last and to make it effectively, you as a leader should sacrifice those around you." I think I have been pretty lucky in my career to be thrust into senior-level positions very early on in my career in the esports and the creator world and in gaming. I have really stuck to that mentality of leaders eat last and sacrificial leadership, basically. Being in the trenches with your team and do things that are never too big to you, know stack chairs or move a CRT television or something like that, right? I think that's one of the best pieces of advice.
The other was it wasn't told but what I've learned. Anyone, every single person I meet one day can be my boss or my co-worker, right? I go about my relationships in a way where I'm always respectful from the CEO to the coordinator from the company. Always respectful and being considerate 'cause one day, they could end up being my boss. This industry is so young and growing.
Who's your favourite up-and-coming creator that you're seeing blow up right now, and why them? N: Hmm... That's interesting. I was a big fan of BruceDropEmOff. Now he's huge. I was a pretty big fan of Kai Cenat, then he blew up, and now he's huge. There's a streamer named Denims on Twitch. I like her a lot. She's very smart, very analytical, makes really, really good content. She does more of the news side of stuff, and I have that gut feeling that she will continue to grow and be a big deal one day. I watch a lot of her. I would also say Frogan. Also very good sort of in the Hasan extended universe. Both of them are very entertaining, smart, and have a lot of potential in the industry.
What's one word that best describes you and why? N: Tall [Laughs]. As I'm 6'4. No, [Laughs]. Easy going, but that's two words... I would say chill. I think most people describe me as a chill, laid back easy-going person, generally speaking. Thanks so much for doing this, Nick! N: Hey, man, it's a pleasure!
The Mogul Chessboxing Championship will be streamed live on Ludwig's YouTube channel on December 11 at 4 PM PST/6 PM CST.