WatchMojo was entering its expansion-stage and we knew that there was a huge market growth opportunity in front of us, if we could just execute on it quickly, avoid common pitfalls and things falling through the cracks. From previous years we had battle scars. Our VPs had already realized that things were very different at scale and managing video production through spreadsheets and best-in-breed productivity tools were not operating smoothly and had apparent problems.
"We need to become a well-coordinated execution machine with multiple global partners" Ashkan Karbasfrooshan, CEO of WatchMojo
Not fucking up the expansion of our product line
We had to rethink our approach to creating videos in order to increase our total addressable market and reach the next 100 million viewers. This meant entering new markets, launching new channels and on new platforms, etc.
Since I’m in charge of product I pictured, proposed and worked with the executive team on a software solution that would connect the entire studio, teams and creative workflows creating value for the group of users creating videos and the business. We called it Unity. It would not be a revenue generating assets, it was to be a supporting one.
Unity would offer the right customer experience (know who’s working on what, track production steps, health overview through analytics) and help unlock WatchMojo’s video publishing potential. Using a combination of online user experience, a predictive Machine learning module, and process improvements, Unity frees WatchMojo employees from low-value activities so that they spend more time crafting videos and create the most value for the business.
Everyone’s on the same page at all times
One year later, averaging over 12 videos published a day but now much more in control of new channels (MSMojo, JrMojo, WatchMojo français, WatchMojo español), formats (Mojo talks, Mojoplays, UnVeiled) and original programming (Worst Travel Show) the company doubled its editorial calendar. At the same time, it increased its operating profit margin and management capacity. Soon after, the Youtube Channel Managers went from spending 30% of their time on logistics coordination to spending it in on programming strategy and leadership.
The stakes were high, yet WatchMojo had the commitment to invest in Unity and make a transformative shift. Working with the CEO and leadership team, we put in place a product strategy followed by a quarterly roadmap that aligned powerful individuals around Unity’s various features.
WatchMojo is a Canadian-based privately held video content producer, publisher, and syndicator. Its flagship channel is one of the biggest channels in YouTube history — 17+ mil subscribers. A recognized authority on tv, movies, gaming and pop culture it posted over 12,000 original videos, generated 50+ billion minutes of watch time with across 10 billion views.
I thrive in middle market and scrappy startup environments, where everyone does a little of everything. I work closely with CSuite leadership teams towards product-market fit and operating at scale. To check out more of my writing, you can visit my blog Reflektions.com and view my LinkedIn profile.
Thanks to Judy Wong for reading drafts of this. Also, if you have any feedback or criticism about this article then shoot me an email.