Level Three (And Beyond)
Hey there. Jay here. Let’s celebrate Nick Wiggins, aka Nico Giles.
Nico had a dream.
Actually, Nico had a whole lot of content that he hadn’t released to the world.
We met with him at Thou Mayest (the world’s best coffee shop for ideas) on a First Friday (the city’s best day for creatives).
“When I was in college, I filmed a documentary,” he said.
“No shit?” Jack and I said in unison.
He hadn’t released it, though. Jack and I couldn’t believe it. We had really just met Nico, but it was obvious that he was intensely thoughtful and curious about others. We liked him. But he was getting in the way of himself.
“Come to Jack’s house and show us the footage,” I said.
Fast forward to Jack’s house.
The footage was awesome. The story was awesome. Nico was humble. And awesome.
Jack and I made eye contact and knew right away that we were going to push Nico into doing a podcast or show of some sort.
“You’re going to do a podcast,” I said to Nico.
A few weeks later, we did.
The show design was simple.
Invite a handful of people into his apartment, interview a couple of them, and have an up-and-coming chef cook for them.
Nico invited the guests, Chef Jay provided the meal, and we provided the cameras.
Simple, right? Nothing complicated, right?
Um, riiiiiiiiight :)
Nico immediately felt awkward having so many people in the room without talking to all of them, so he began interviewing them. Not one at a time. ALL at a time.
And you know what? It worked. Somehow, this rookie show host commanded a room of 10-12 people.
Level Three Studio was born.
This show did not go off without struggles.
Our core team had technical challenges. Remember, this was our first show ever and one of our first real projects ever. We were newbies.
Our audio was horrible. We had to adjust and readjust shots. It took us forever to set up each set. And everyone was working for free.
We had our doubts along the way, and there were *ahem* spirited discussions about whether we should continue the show or shut it down.
But we decided to stick with it and finish the season.
Something had to come out of our patience and persistence, right? That’s what we were telling ourselves. We had our fingers crossed that it would come true.
Nico had a strategy in place.
Every third show or so, he’d invite someone onto the set who could be a potential key stakeholder in a bigger project.
Maybe they’d sponsor the show down the road, buy the show, or ask to create their own.
It was a silly idea, really.
Who would want to do any of those things with a show that didn’t have an audience?
Shit, we didn’t even have any of the episodes posted online for the world to see at that point. How could he expect to get anyone’s attention, much less anyone’s funding?
But he did it anyways.
And damnit, it paid off.
In less than one year, Nico was able to gain the attention of one of the most prestigious entrepreneurial-educational foundations in the world.
They have funded two projects of his so far, and have opened up doors that we would have never been able to break into ourselves.
Big props to you, Nico.
This is just the beginning.