I was brought onto DLab (the black-ops team of DIRECTV) to help with the creation of prototypes. Once I got there, I realized that web-based prototypes were not going to be the best tool to sell executives on new ideas. No one reads 72-page documents, but if you can show the same information in a 30-second commercial, executives will want that thing they just saw.
I built a team around what I called “the year 3000 view”. Taking what we know of current trends, what will the day-to-day lives be like for our subscribers in 3000 years? What current-day tech can we combine to stair-step our way to that eventual target? What is actionable now, in two years, and what should we look for in five+ years? We would then film a commercial selling the year 3000 view, and provide a list of solutions we could implement now.
This methodology won my team internal awards, recognition, and the respect we needed to do our jobs without interruption.
Keep linear content distribution relevant in a world of cord-cutters
Rethink the content pipeline from script to screen, bring new tools to the consumer, reimagine digital deliveries
Over $1,000,000 in retention in the first 6 months, over 140 internal product commercials, awards, patents, and the first VR Boxing app
Drove "digital-first" content creation for the web, mobile, OTT, and linear platforms
Managed development research initiatives
Fostered regular communication with clients and agencies to collaborate on content development
Created a development team creating unique, entertaining content for multiple platforms including live events
Produced short-form digital content for Virtual, Augmented, OTT, and Linear delivery
Worked with outside teams to develop content strategies and projects
Responsible for developing content pitches
Oversaw the creation of development presentation reels, decks, treatments and other promotional materials
Transitioned projects into production
Creative collaboration both internally and externally
Conducted pitch meetings with C-Suite
Attended industry functions on behalf of DIRECTV
Worked with Legal on negotiations, and content deployment
Oversaw third-party partnerships
Built and maintained strategic relationships 3rd party partners
|Manager||Budgeting, Hiring Manager, Project Lead, Managed: Clients, 3rd Party & Cross-Silo Internal Teams||The best way to build a project is the foundation first. Start with a good plan, and pack the right team around it.|
|Creative||Pitch decks, Art design, Script Writer, Storyboard, Editor||Conceive and design experiences for development, work closely with team members and provide support along every inch of the process.|
|Technical||Research, Exploration, Development||I need to know everything about a project and utilize my background as a futurist and developer to forge out-of-the-box content.|
Mike White (CEO) made himself available to everyone in the ORG, and we have even talked after he left DIRECTV. He is a great example of how a CEO should be with his ORG.
LOVE WHAT OTHERS DO
Talk with people from other teams, and get them inspired by what they are working on. We are all in the same situation, and a little encouragement goes a long way.
LEARN SOMETHING NEW
DIRECTV has 100s of specialized departments: from a room full of marines who pilot satellites to a group of patent nerds. You can get a college level seminar for the price of a cup of coffee. Do it.
GO AHEAD AND FAIL
Tony Goncalves gave a great speech on failing at a conference. It has become one of my core principles because you can’t gain wisdom second hand and it is always better to try.
WALK IT OFF
I learned from Kevin Tague to have small meetings outside. It is magical and works equally well for bad and good news.
TEAM NOT FAMILY
Another good bit from Tony G. is that we work with others in a team, treat it like a team.
Families don’t need to be functional, teams do. Don’t get sucked into that “we are a family” it’s cultish gibberish.