I'm sharing a love letter with you on the 5th Birthday of www.MyDamnChannel.com.
I'm flying home from the 30th Birthday of "Just for Laughs" in Montreal -- the annual, best family reunion in comedy. I've just spent 4 daze and nights with many of the world's best comic minds -- and I'm heading into our birthday re-inspired to keep giving you more.
Everything everyone said about being an entrepreneur has turned out to be true. It's been much more rewarding to not work inside the old corporate monoliths of my past: MTV, VH1, CBS. But I'd never be here without remembering everything I learned there. It's been much harder work to create and run my own business -- the hours are endless -- the pressure to win for everyone who believes in us and works with us is a weight I've tried to carry with honor every day since leaving people like Mr. Moonves, Mr. Redstone, and their worlds 6 years ago.
We launched My Damn Channel July 31. 2007 to create a new destination for comedy fans and a new home for talent to get the freedom, money, production, distribution and promotion they deserve. Don Was still runs our music channel too. YouTube changed the world. Technology empowered every single content creator to finally get the equipment and distribution we needed to get our art seen by the masses without having to break down the walls of major television networks.
Most new companies never make it 5 years. We made it. Thank you for being part of this family and for supporting our simple mathematical premise: The Best Talent + The Best Original Entertainment = Big Audiences + Big Business.
From our first minute, we trusted smart artists to create their best work. We trusted smart fans to discern the difference between schlock and great video worthy of your views, likes, comments, and shares. This entire dream evaporates without you.
Smart advertisers trust us to deliver excellent talent, creative, production, distribution and promotion alongside every marketing dollar they spend to reach millions in a whole new way.
Our backers trust us never to raise too much or spend too much. They trust us to win big. Those backers include saints we love and many of our closest friends and family members.
To every artist, fan, advertiser, backer and business partner that's been with us since 2007 - thank you for believing and thank you for building the future of entertainment.
My Damn Channel would never have made it to our 5th birthday -- we'd never have even launched without WARREN CHAO. He's my Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer, and the man who proves every single day that he's the most dedicated, brilliant, multi-talented executive in media. When I hatched the My Damn Channel idea in 2006, I went looking for the one person who could embody most of the things I was missing to take this dream from inception to glory. Warren is a Harvard graduate, a lawyer, a venture capitalist, a technologist, a business development executive and the only man in the world I'd trust to manage the math and the money. I want to thank Warren and his family for their trust as we all work every day to turn that trust into success.
Every artist who's ever had a video on My Damn Channel shares our belief that show business is best when TALENT is in charge. We vow to continue to put as many of you in charge of your art as we possibly can. We vow to continue to share your art with as many humans as possible. And yes...we vow to continue to share the cash.
Every person who's ever worked inside My Damn Channel has brought their energy, spirit, sweat, brain and backbone to help build an idea and a business that's grown gradually and consistently bigger every year. We worked together to try to avoid most of the mistakes of the first Internet bubble more than a decade ago. We worked tirelessly to outlast dozens of companies who raised countless millions to try to get this right. We worked together passionately to bring us onto the same stage as much deeper-pocketed, excellent pals like Funny or Die and College Humor. If you're on our team right now, you know that 2012 is the inflection point. This is the year when premium original content became the Queen and King at the prom. This is the year when our phones started ringing off the hook. This is the year we launched My Damn Channel LIVE every weekday afternoon with YouTube. This is the time when the great work you've done begins to reap more of the rewards you've earned.
Thank YOU again for every minute you've helped everyone at My Damn Channel.
Please share our link: www.MyDamnChannel.com
Please subscribe here: www.YouTube.com/MyDamnChannel
Please continue to let me know what you think of all that's good/bad/ugly -- and how we can work together.
Great art is usually reliant on breaking the rules. I apologize for breaking the rule to "keep it short" - but I couldn't let this 5th birthday go by without one final story:
My wife and I have twins who will also soon turn "5." My youngest daughter nearly broke my heart when she asked today why I couldn't have a job that got me home at 3 o'clock in the afternoon every day. She once asked me why I couldn't be a mailman - since he seemed to have to only work in the morning. The hours we all put into a career can be ridiculous and wrong. Jessie: I hope you find this one day and know that this was the night when your Dad started getting so good at his job making videos that he was home more with you and your sister and your brother and your most beautiful and loving mother.
Respect and Love,
(This note appeared originally on Rob Barnett's Facebook Page, 7/31/12
A natural photo opp happened this weekend deep in the land of My Damn Channel. The moment reminded me of the Led Zeppelin cover for House of the Holy.
We birthed everything new in 2007. Now, we're almost 3 years old "and it's a real fine way to start."
It's soon time to celebrate new good news with the My Damn Channel family. OPEN to all your ideas on how to deliver an August bday month of goodness to you.
We need to start with the right title...the right theme to launch new wonders, videos, series, stahhhhs n' more.
My Damn Channel: Coming in 3's ?
My Damn Channel: 3Some ?
The day approaches: JULY 31st
lettuce know: rob@MyDamnChannel.com
Fox has chosen us as one of their premium distribution partners for
original web series they've produced, and we plan to start developing and
producing original new series together as well.
Our new best friends at 15 Gigs said way too many nice things. Rachel
Webber, Director of Digital Strategy and Development at Fox Television Studios said:
"We've been huge fans of My Damn Channel and we couldn't be more excited
to get this partnership going. We love the My Damn Channel audience and
are eager to hear what they think of our shows. It's an honor to be
standing beside the likes of 'Easy to Assemble,' 'You Suck at Photoshop' and
'Wainy Days,' and we're very happy to be bringing the talent we work with
-- especially Drama 3/4, creators of Iceman Chronicles -- into this mix."
My Damn Channel Founder/CEO, Rob Barnett says, "THANK YOU. We take our
partnerships seriously. We've always been insanely selective about finding the
best people and the best series to bring to our audience. 'The Iceman
Chronicles' is the first of a lot more goodness we have up our collective
sleeves. We're excited to have Fox in the family."
We're launching today with a series called, "The Iceman Chronicles."
Think 'Twin Peaks' - with more murder - but
funny. It's a dark comedy that follows coroner/veterinarian Russell Coldpalm
(played by David Fickas) as he navigates the sins and secrets of Blythe, Arizona.
Coldpalm and a motley cast of locals discover horrible truths through a series
of comedic twists on the hunt for a mysterious serial killer...the Iceman. The
show comes from Drama 3/4, the creative minds behind MSN's "Mr. Robinson's
Driving School," VH1's "I Hate My
30's," and web shows including "Anakin Auditions" and "No
Football for Old Men."
OK. Stop reading about this love fest and watch the first 2 episodes with new
shows rolling out every Thursday.
Posted in My Damn Channel
with tags My Damn Channel
, The Night Feed
, Wainy Days
, Harry Shearer
, Don Was
, Kurt Loder
, Daily Grace
on 8/12/2008 2:12:33 AM by Rob Barnett
Our twins are 10 months old. This blog was named "The Night Feed" and launched last November at a time when sleep was a nickname for 90-minute naps in the middle of the night, between feedings. We all sleep like humans now, but not tonight.
It's raining hard. A Hard Rain.... Head running. Sleeptalkin. Re-inspired. The second year of My Damn Channel begins.
We're regularly attacking ourselves and creating more reasons for you to get into it, to spread it, or to slap us senseless. emails welcome......rob@MyDamnChannel.com:
- register and customize your own profiles
- sign up for Video Alerts for new premieres
- we're no Facebook...but we've got Friending
- more NEW premieres every week
- new Daily Grace....daily
- new Wainy Days episodes on now & season 3 finale 8/25
- all new YSAP premiering every other Friday - next one 8/22
- all new Harry Shearer videos from Songs of the Bushmen premiering now
- new sports & music series FACETIME presented by Puma (pilot is live now)
- Season 2 of all new music from Don Was on the Wasmopolitan Cavalcade of Recorded Music
- Lapdance with Kurt Loder: Saving the World One Interview at a Time (in production)
- new summer sponsors include: Southern Comfort, Puma, HBO
- email directly if you want to help build the new PILOT CHANNEL (& give it a better name)
- one more thing.....please STOP doing what you're doing:
The X Files
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Six Feet Under
just a few of the biggest finales ever - that all have one thing in common:
they've got absolutely nothing to do with the Season Finale of Sn4tchbuck13r's Second Chance & the unfolding mystery about the return of Donnie Hoyle & YOU SUCK AT PHOTOSHOP
Posted in Uncategorized
with tags Brainstorm
on 6/1/2008 5:23:58 AM by Rob Barnett
Woke up and thought - time to brainstorm - to blog about it - to do it - to find a photo to share - that says it.
Here's the alt god Chris Walken from the 1983 film, BRAINSTORM - also starring the goddess Natalie Wood - who died while making the film about what happens when you die.
The B storm is the key to making a Monday workday not suck.
Force an 'important meeting' to get you into a room - actual - or virtual - invite the best of the funnest humans you know. At least 4 or 5 does the job.
Find a terrible problem to tackle for your gig - or for your dream.
In (part two) - after the morning commute - I'll throw down the fewest, simplest rules we use for the B storm event. The twins are both wailing in the background and my b is stormed out of this blog.
- Quantity over Quality
- No judgement
- Massive freewheeling
- NO comments
- not "good idea"
- not "that sucks because"
- don't kill the flow
- flow FAST
- flow insanely
- write everything down
- don't lose a thing
- throw curveballs the minute you lose speed...
- curveballs change the topic & force you to start seeing it all through an odd lens
- once you've stormed for 10 minutes or 20 or more - start sorting through
- kill everything that the room knows will never make it (but save THAT list)
- make the faves....top 20 - top 3 ?
- put the best brainstorm into motion - NOW
Best thing about making BIG media in a small company:
fewest possible humans to stop or delay you from experimenting and flexing your freedom.
More risks. Immediate attempts.
You'll know if you're winning or sucking awful fast.
Posted in My Damn Channel
with tags Jimi Hendrix
, My Damn Channel
on 4/1/2008 1:16:00 AM by Rob Barnett
Welcome back to "The Night Feed." The twins are heading into their 6th month. My Damn Channel enters number 9.
This blog started like the 'thrill of the chase' - too awake to sleep - all of the daily noise turned all the way down except for the babies crying. But when they settle back down, the search begins to try to document a series of searches and chases.
All 3 babies stand to represent and honor 'original.' There aren't any rules on a page to set it right. The only way to stay 'new' is to listen and watch and steer the way the wind is whispering.
On the channels, we don't impose rules and regulations on the artists. We built the vehicle and keep finding enough cash to fill their tank. No backseat driving.
We're opening up new ideas for channel 9 and ready to listen to yours.
Thank you for the video Erica.
Posted in My Damn Channel
, New Media
, Old Media
with tags My Damn Channel
on 2/26/2008 6:32:00 AM by Rob Barnett
The blog is called "THE NIGHT FEED" - usually written in the middle of the night - at home - after feeding twin babies.
"MILK AWAY" is the name of today's tribute to anyone who's used a meeting with My Damn Channel to fake support for a suck.
When you build a small business with a big idea - beware of spending too much time talking with people about building the business. Max time every waking hour has to go to creating the work and serving the audience. Talk is anything but cheap when you're carefully spending every dollar you've got. Talk sometimes means too many plane tickets to visit plush boardrooms where hosts serve bottled water and then feign true interest as a tactic to do a little more 'research.' Entrepreneurs lift back the veil - spill the beans - tell their story - sell their wares.
The process is flawed but all this chess taught us a few lessons. In a world with an unending number of new media choices, there are no secrets. Someone spending too much time thinking and waiting is someone left in the back of the line when a fast-moving train leaves the station.
My Damn Channel is built on speed - founded as an alternative to corporate interference - tested and vetted every minute by hungry fans armed with the best, badass bullshit detectors.
We're in debt to the people who've put their time and treasure into this mission to reboot OLD MEDIA. We stand in service to our small staff, our stellar stable of artists, our fellow media missionaries helping spread the news, and our audience keeping us honest.
Next train is leaving the station.
We're still a baby - just six months old - but today's the day we reintroduce ourselves to you.
I'm Rob Barnett. The driving idea behind my company gives musicians, filmmakers, actors and comedians the respect they deserve but rarely get from old media. We built an oasis and a launching pad for our stars to create and distribute original, episodic video series on a network of channels here: www.MyDamnChannel.com. We also send the videos off to YouTube, MySpace and into mass syndication on dozens of key outlets.
It's all free to you & our talent is free of corporate interference. Our artists do what they want. We're trusting them to trust their instincts. We're trusting you to tell us when we're on the money and to attack and slap us around when we suck (at photoshop). When you find clips you like - spread 'em & support the cause.
We call this blog, "The Night Feed," because I'm awake in the middle of every night helping my wife feed our 4 month-old twin babes. I'll steal minutes most nights to keep a dialogue going with you about what this is becoming & to thank you for the chance to co-create, communicate, embrace a little freedom, and dream up a very fun gig.
Tonight marks the launch of a whole new look and functions on My Damn Channel to make it easier to play with us. Mega Gigoonda thanks and respect go to Warren, Big Fat Brain, Reborn, Harry, Don, David, Andy, Steve, Coolio, Miles, Jon, Asterisk, Elan, Dead Crow, Karen, Wheelhouse, Paul, Kate, Matt, Matt, Maria, Brad, Kym, Kim, Jahnavi, Lindsey, Eric, Marc, Gary, John, Elinor & Bernie, Mike & Joan, Joan & Mike, Bob & Ruth, Sue, Julia, Jessie, Dylan, and Sara.
...shutting up now.
Next week, My Damn Channel turns six months old. I'm still awake in the middle of every night feeding two more babies...our twins just passed three months.
THE NIGHT FEED blog was born on the night of the writers' strike to add more interaction with the humans behind My Damn Channel. We're about to add a slew of interactive features to all of the channels in two weeks. We're continuing to build this machine to last.
We dreamed up the business to get free of as much old thinking as possible about how media is supposed to behave. My Damn Channel has patron saints like John Lydon, still young enough to get in the ring with anyone - still too honest to put up with even a hint of corporate crap.
The artists and producers of our 5 channels and everyone who works to put our original videos out every day have touched over 5 million people in the past 5 months.
Mark Wednesday, February 6th as the date to check the channels and the blog. The new look will debut. Then the following week of Feb 11 -- 3 new channels join the line-up.