N3RDFUSION is a rapidly growing company. N3RDFUSION is made up of Sevadus, DansGaming, Bacon Donut, Giant Waffle, and PauseUnpause. Over the past few month they have grown to a point where they have hired outside help including a new Vice President of Business Julian Bogel. We had the opportunity to talk with Julian about his new position at the company along with what N3RDFUSION has in store for the future.
Along with the interview Julian will be doing an AMA on the N3RDFUSION Subreddit on Saturday December 5th, at 1PM PST.
Interview by: Chris
Images from: N3RDFUSION
Streamer News: Hey Julian, can you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your new position at N3RDFUSION?
My name is Julian, I’m a Capricorn, and my official title is “VP Business Development.” It’s a brand-new position at a brand-new company-anyone who’s worked at a startup before is probably familiar with what that means… i.e., I do a little bit of everything. In the context of my role, that means a little bit of sales, a little bit of marketing, a little bit of strategy, and a little bit of everything else (literally anything that is necessary to make the business successful).
Streamer News: What attracted you to N3RDFUSION? Have you worked in a similar industry at your previous jobs?
Yes and no… definitely haven’t worked in the gaming industry before. But I spent a couple years doing sponsorship consulting right out of school, and spent the better part of the last 10 years at a medical technology startup in Washington D.C. So I have a lot of grassroots startup experience: creating pricing structures, defining goals, hiring/building different teams, and generally operating in a really ambiguous and complex environment.
Streamer News: Experience is what matters, especially in a fresh new company like N3RDFUSION.
Absolutely. I think Matt and I are both pretty happy we connected with each other… the posted position (Advertising Sales Director) wasn’t even something I was interested in… but I was really interested in the company/industry itself, which is why I reached out. There are a couple things that are really attractive about N3RDFUSION- first, it’s an opportunity to get back to what I’m good at… building things from scratch in a situation where I have a lot of creative freedom. Also, the industry is still new, and there are interesting problems to be solved. And of course all of the guys are incredibly awesome… haven’t met Pause and Waffle yet, but I am almost 100% sure I’m the least cool guy in the company.
MOST IMPORTANTLY… I have always been a huge gamer, and that is really attractive. Started in the early 80’s with my Atari 2600, and have gamed hard ever since. Mostly RPGs… I love WoW and Pokemon!
Streamer News: Plus it can be a breath of fresh air, with someone who is not involved with the industry to come in with an outside point of view. You might see things differently than others who have been in the industry for quite some time.
I sure hope so… the reality is that there’s been such a shift in how people consume media recently. I think I have as good a chance as anyone else at bringing some creative ideas to the table.
Streamer News: Agreed, N3RDFUSION as a company is something that does not exist, it is the first of it’s kind. What insight can you give from a business standpoint? What do you look for when you are curating campaigns for the company?
Well, as you know we’re trying to establish a new kind of business model for broadcasters by starting a company and offering studio space/health care/etc. The attractive part about the N3RDFUSION audience is how passionate they are, and how real the connection between the casters and the audience is. So what I am looking to do when I approach advertisers regarding campaigns is to not over-commercialize, and balance revenue with the experience the guys are already giving the audience. Nobody here (even the sales guy) wants to “sell out” or disrupt the community that’s grown to love them.
So I am going to be taking a lot of feedback from the guys, as well as anyone else who is interested in talking to me, and looking to link up with brands that all of us agree are things that N3RDFUSION fans will be interested in to begin with.
Streamer News: N3RDFUSION has casted from the Amazon Studios and partook in a sponsored cast for SyFy promoting their new show The Expanse. Can we expect more of these? What is the thought process that goes into these sponsored casts?
We just went into Amazon Studios again yesterday morning to shoot some more video, so you’ll definitely be seeing more of that… I can almost guarantee that the Amazon relationship will continue, and likely grow. It’s such a natural fit considering they own something like half of Seattle anyway… and it has been a great relationship for both sides so far. As for Syfy or television in general, that’s obviously going to be dependent on how many new shows come out… but I am going to be connecting with any existing relationship and trying to continue them though. That just makes logical sense, especially if both sides have been happy with the experience, and if we got positive feedback from the audience.
I can’t really speak to Matt’s thought process with those kinds of casts, but for me: that’s the unique value that Twitch/internet broadcasting brings. You get guys you like and trust doing/showing stuff that YOU may like, in a very honest and no-bullshit forum.
For advertisers, they get access to a really hard to reach audience… but obviously they don’t get a formal endorsement, just the opportunity to get eyeballs on their stuff.
Streamer News: Of course, I feel like it would be easy to see if the broadcaster is faking it if they aren’t into it. Twitch is a very honest community, that is why it continues to flourish.
Yup, the last thing I want to do is devolve into traditional corporate advertising (which is often not effective)… but obviously that’s what a lot of the people I’ll be talking to on that side will be familiar with.
N3RDFUSION has been diving into products recently. First releasing Teespring campaigns, then moving onto accessories like their Aluminum water bottle and shot glass, can we expect a N3RDFUSION web store in the near future? Or will they continue to be limited releases?
Haven’t talked to Matt about that yet, but I think that’s something we may explore. As you know, most casters are able to make a living only by supporting themselves with multiple revenue streams: donations, subs, advertising, merch, etc. So I think we’re going to play with a lot of different things, see how they work, and focus on what turns out to be successful. Plus people seem to really like the branding… I love my hat for instance, Neffy is a great logo 🙂
As the VP of Business Development, will you be managing each of the N3RDFUSION members careers? Or will it be N3RDFUSION as a whole?
Really good question. I am focusing on the overall brand (so N3RDFUSION as a whole)… but I would like to offer packages that include different sets of casters (maybe with similarities in their audience), or individual casters as well. E.g., a “Minecraft audience package” with Sevadus/Bacon/Waffle, or something like that.
But I do want to address the “managing the careers” thing directly. These guys were all successful on their own before they moved to Seattle, and way before I showed up. So I am incredibly respectful of the fact they have kicked so much ass when it comes to managing THEMSELVES, and doing their own marketing. I think I’d have to have a pretty big ego (which I don’t) to think I could come in and do any better than they have. What I’m here to do is take it to the next level as a company, and see what we can do with the company… but obviously the whole reason there’s a company in the first place is because everyone’s individual identity is so strong. So we need to find a way to blend everything together, while still preserving everyone’s value individually.
Absolutely, at the end of the day N3RDFUSION is a company, but is made of the individual talent that MAKES it N3RDFUSION. With that being said, would there ever be plans to add anyone to the N3RDFUSION roster?
Right now, I am focusing on the current roster of guys… we have some incredibly strong talent to work with, and their camaraderie is fantastic. This is an evolving industry, and a brand new type of company though… so anything is possible. We’re always interested in identifying content creators that might be a good fit for the team, so if you’re interested in working with us please feel free to reach out!
We had to ask since we see everyone on the Subreddit, Social Media, and in Twitch chat if they could join N3RDFUSION
Sure- well, that’s up to Matt! I know he was really selective with the guys he picked so far… it’s great that there’s a lot of interest though.
As far as the N3RDFUSION community goes, what can they do to help/volunteer?
I think the best thing they can do is continue doing what they’ve been doing- support the guys, watch the casts, buy merch, donate, subscribe. If you have ideas of what you’d like to see us get involved in, let us know! And as we grow, I’m sure there will be opportunities for volunteers at onsite events, more interns, etc.
Is there a contact or submission form they can fill out?
Not that I’m aware of… let me make a note to let Matt know about this though. Maybe he can put something up… I know we’re going to be working on some website stuff fairly soon anyway.
What is down the pipeline for N3RDFUSION in the next few months? What do you hope to accomplish for the company? What do you hope to accomplish as a personal goal?
I’m currently trying to get up to speed with pretty much everything related to sales/operations: creating/formalizing products, calculating pricing, getting software systems in place, building marketing resources, combing through all of the data that we have regarding impressions/ROI/things that advertisers are going to want to see. Once that’s mostly done, I’ll be reaching out to potential advertisers and trying to grow the company by putting together promotions/events/content creation opportunities. I think that’s more than enough for the next couple months!
For sure, you have a lot on your plate! We can’t wait to see what N3RDFUSION has in store for the future.
Not sure if I have a personal goal beyond making this place sing as a sustainable business. At this point in my life I’m just looking to be at a place that lets me do great work, in a culture I love, doing something meaningful… helping a bunch of great guys make a living doing something they love definitely counts as meaningful for me.
What’s that saying, If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.
Well, thank you Julian for your time, it was great getting to know the new VP of Business for N3RDFUSION, we look forward to seeing what you develop for the company in the future. Along with this interview, you will be holding an AMA on the N3RDFUSION Subreddit this weekend correct?
That’s right- it will be at 1PM PST on Saturday