If you’ve not heard about Mobcaster, well take a moment to familiarize yourself with our interview with its Cofounder Aubrey Levy. Mobcaster is crowd funding for television shows and it’s set to produce serious quality in the coming years.
How it works is that creators pitch their ideas to the public and the public donates cash towards the ideas they most want to see produced. It’s a t.v. show model that makes sense considering the closest thing to this in the past might have been public access t.v. – at least for most of us.
Mobcaster has already help fund a full six episode season of its first show slated to begin soon and it’s just launched a campaign to fund a show with its first “star,” Andy Dick.
Levy’s very busy making sure Mobcaster’s getting it right and so far, things look great. We had a chance to sit down and speak with Levy and here’s what he shared with Killerstartups:
How long have you been involved with the internet? What were your first steps?
The world wide interweb? I remember the old dial-up days, but was definitely not one of those kids hacking away on dad’s computer in the den, though I wish now I was -what some of these devs can do is absolutely ridiculous. My internet experiences have long revolved around media consumption.
What time do you usually start work each day?
Tough question, work doesn’t really start and stop. Sometimes I just take naps (some are longer than others).
Do you have an office or work at home?
We have office space downtown NY. There are other companies that share the space, some that are pretty colorful, just today I overheard one of them shout this into the phone, “Tom, I can’t understand you; you are literally too stupid to converse with.” So I look forward to overhearing things like that most days.
What’s the first thing you do when you leave the office at the end of the day?
Food, maybe the gym. Powering through some long overdue TV series when I have time, Breaking Bad‘s on the docket these days.
When do your best ideas come to you?
When I stay at a Holiday Inn Express. Usually nighttime is pretty fertile brain power time, oddly enough. Does horrible things for trying to get to sleep.
What’s on your desk right now?
Three half drank bottles of water, an empty fedex envelope, lots of papers, some Purell, 2 computers (I hate Excel on Mac) and apple sauce (looked good at the store yesterday).
What’s your office environment like?
We all have very different tastes in music, our lead dev loves house music, so he cranks away to that stuff all day, thankfully most of the time in headphones. We all work in pretty close proximity and are pretty passionate about what we’re working on/not shy about expressing our feelings, so there’s some pretty awesome debates. When you’re losing – crack jokes.
Anchorman – The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Books, well – I too have many leather-bound books.
Band? I cycle through, though have been coming back to “Hockey” a lot lately (our dev would be proud, I too can reference obscure indie music).
Vacation Spot? Anywhere sunny with beer? That should narrow it down.
A lot of people have big ideas. What gave you the confidence to actually put your life on hold and realize yours?
Sheer frustration. I just got to a point where the inefficiencies of the current system were so ripe for improvement it felt like they had to be tackled. I thought I could escape them going from the content side to the network side, but the issues in creating and taking TV shows to market extend the whole way from creation through to distribution and consumption. Doing this wasn’t putting my life on hold, it was an attempt to make the system (and hopefully the lives of everyone involved in it) better. Eventually you get to a point where you have to either be good with pulling your hair out, or decide to try and do something about it… I was running out of hair.
How do you handle frustration? When/how was the last time you dealt with frustration?
The pulling of the hair part in the last question. The gym or running is helpful to wind down, but I think being frustrated is just part of the game. Have to try to embrace it and work through it, cause it seems like almost daily there’s some unforeseen issue that pops up and threatens to derail productivity. It’s midnight now, last time I was frustrated – 2 hrs ago – little break, quick beer, back to it.
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs struggling to get their business off the ground?
Everybody struggles. You know that going in, everybody’s heard war stories. Still doesn’t fully prep you for when you feel like things aren’t going well. Our launch got bumped back 2 months cause of a last minute vendor issue. Feels at the time like things have ground to a halt, but there’s almost always a way to maneuver. So far the thing I’ve learnt is to keep your feet in motion.
Who has been your biggest cheerleader throughout this process?
All of my friends and family who’ve supported us throughout the process. I am truly sorry for all of the shameless self-promotion over your social-media feeds. And our early backers have been incredible support.
Do you have any regrets?
There are always things that you wish you can go back and do differently. If I were to get caught up every time I messed something up, I’d get no work done. You learn and move on and try not to screw it up next time.
How do you picture your company in 5 years?
I picture it still being around and that’s good start. I think there’ll be a major market for independent television that we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of today. As the industry evolves, there’s going to be a ton of opportunity for businesses like ours. I have thoughts on how that will develop that we’re building towards, but however it progresses it’s going to be an exciting ride. However we can best help TV get created, viewed and enjoyed, that’s what we plan to be doing.
Where can our readers get ahold of you?
Give us a shout through our Facebook (facebook.com/mobcaster) and twitter (twitter.com/mobcaster), or can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org – tell me what you’re thinking, would love to hear your thoughts.