1,000 Paths to Success with Jack Conte | Chase Jarvis LIVE

– Hey everybody, what’s up? I’m Chase. Welcome to another episode
of the Chase Jarvis Live Show here on CreativeLive. You guys know this show. This is where I sit down
with amazing humans. I do everything I can
to unpack their brains and help you live your dreams and career and hobby and in life. My guest today is a musician. He’s half of the group Pomplamoose. He’s a YouTube star, but
probably most notably, you may know him as the
co-founder and CEO of Patreon. My guest is Jack Conte. – What’s up?
– Yes. (steady rock music) (audience applauds) They love you! (Jack laughs) We did it, we made it happen. – I’m so excited. Thank you for having me. – Thank you for being in the show. You traveled a whopping six
blocks or something like that to our studios here in San Francisco. – Yeah, it’s a very short, painless walk. – We’re close!
– Yeah. – And we were just talking, I
end up saying this a fair bit, because any time someone
who’s about to be on the show, we’re talking as we’re getting mic’d up, and we started a thread of conversation I just wanna jump right back into. We agreed to stop.
– Let’s do it. – Like, save it for when we’re recording! (Jack laughs) And that is your transition from musician, I wouldn’t really call it transition. That’s probably the wrong word. – Yeah. – Your sort of addition
of a new set of roles and responsibilities
when you founded Patreon after being a career musician. – Yeah, yeah. – So, we have similar paths,
and we were talking about that. Mine was from photography. – Weirdly similar.
– Yes. We’re unlikely founders,
I think is the words that we were using prior
to the cameras roll, but tell me your story. Like, you’re making music to
now, you’re the co-founder and CEO of a company that’s
raised a ton of money and serving tens of thousands
of creators all over. – Yeah. I mean, I’ve been a, as you mentioned, I’ve been a professional
YouTuber for the last 10 years. I’ve made my living, you
know, making YouTube videos, making music, and uploading things online and hustling to try and
figure out how the hell to convert that into a living and money. And yeah, about five years ago, I started working on this music video that I ended up pouring
my, like, life into, including my entire savings account, maxed out two credit cards, got this like roboticist hobbyist to build this head that sang the lyrics to
the song, and not CGI, like an actual robot head,
singing the lyrics to the song, and then the other robot was
like this hexapod 3D printed thing that this guy from the
University of Tucson built. It was the most intense music
video I ever made in my life. Took me three months. I was working like 19-hour days. It was crazy. And at the end of all
this, I uploaded the video, got about a million views. That’s what I was getting at the time. And I checked, I remember
checking my dashboard. I got 166 bucks from that million views, after like, $10,000 and
maxing out two credit cards. I was like, fuck this. (Chase laughs)
– Something is wrong. – Something is so, ’cause I made this behind-the-scenes video, and my fans saw the
behind-the-scenes video. They knew how hard I worked. They were so pumped about this thing. It was clearly like, the best thing I’d ever made in my
life, and it was just a, like, such a, it was such
a light that was shining on the fucked up, super
broken system online right now that converts art, people call it content. I hate that; it’s art. That converts art into dollars for the people who make the art. And the way the web is
set up right now sucks for solving that problem,
and it was a moment where I looked up and I felt like, we’ve gotta do something about this. – And? – And I called up my co-founder, okay, the next part of the story. – Hey, man, we gotta do
something about this. – It was my freshman
year roommate from school who had just got so much
luck here, you know, so much weird happenstance and luck, and he, I pitched him
this idea for Patreon, sort of drew it out on 14
sheets of printer paper. He got so pumped about it, started coding it that night, actually. – Wow. – And we launched three months later. He built the whole thing
by himself in three months. Sam is his name, Sam Yam. He’s a monster engineer
and product thinker, and just an amazing human being. He built this whole site by himself, and we launched, within two
weeks of launching Patreon, I was the first creator on Patreon. We launched with three creators: me, my roommate, and my girlfriend. – Yes! (Jack laughs) See, if you’re trying to
build it for an audience of a billion people on day
one, you’re doing it wrong. Three people, right? – It was three people
on Patreon, that was it. And yeah, within like
two weeks of launching, I was making like, over
5,000 bucks per month. And it was just this moment
where, you know, you A/B. The YouTube dashboard, $166. Patreon, $5,000. And it’s, it is so, it
was like, explosive. I mean, creators starting
signing up in droves because it was just,
there are so few products that actually pay you for being
a creative, artistic person, and this was a, this was the, you know, a first in so many ways. And creators just, you
know, the rest is history. We ended up, we got so
many support tickets that we had to raise money and hire people and then build an office, and I think the word we used
was unintentional founder. – Yes. – Yeah, I mean, I, it was a
snowball that kind of rolled, and suddenly, we found
ourselves managing people and building a company and
looking for office space, and, you know, and the rest is history. – That’s virtually the
exact same experience that I had building CreativeLive. – Yeah. – Looking out there,
realizing that the industry is fragmented, and that there
was a bunch of misinformation and information portrayed
in negative contexts, and learning was growing, but there were a cross-section of people
who didn’t wanna see it grow. I’m not saying that YouTube
doesn’t wanna see it grow, but YouTube’s taking
YouTube’s money, right? – Totally. – And they’re trying to
keep, give you just enough to keep you interested. – Yep. – And so, we saw a similar industry, or an opportunity, and never really like, I can’t wait to be a
founder and manage people and have venture capital, but
there’s a certain calling. – Yeah, yeah. The way I kind of think of it is like, I don’t have a tattoo. (both laughing) But if I were gonna get a tattoo, it wouldn’t be because I want a tattoo. It would be because there’s
something that I want to see every day, and I want, I want to remind myself of that
thing, every single day. I think starting a company
is a similar kind of thing. If you’re starting a company
because you wanna start a company, that’s not the right
reason to start a company. If you’re starting a company
because there’s some problem that you just can’t help but solve, if it’s just in your veins, and it’s just the most important thing,
and you must do it, then a company is a good
way to accomplish that. – ‘Cause there’s a formal structure for bringing people on board. You can pay them in exchange
for their time and energy. – And it can scale, and yeah. And so, yeah, at least for me, you know, the reason Patreon is here
is because this problem is so important, and it’s
so, creators have been systemically pushed down
for thousands of years. And with the internet now,
all of that can go away. (Jack laughs) I mean, it’s such a, this is the best time in the history of humans,
literally in the history of humans, to be an
artist, right now in 2018. – And if you don’t believe it,
just check yourself, right? Seriously, I think that’s
the thing that like, the sky is falling. The value of photography is x. You know, my design service
is no longer valuable. Okay, there’s infinitely
more money being made, converted, infinitely more
ideas being created and shared, infinitely more photographs, designs. All those things are at an
all-time high, and rising. Still rising. So, I understand that
as individual creators, sometimes we feel alone. Sometimes we feel lost. Sometimes we feel
afraid, all those things. If you’re not feeling those things, also probably doing it wrong. Something is, A, not right with you. No, I’m just, I paraphrase. But I believe as you do
that it is an amazing time, in part because of tools like Patreon, in part because you’re
leveraging the internet, but let’s, let’s put this, let’s put a pin in this
just for a second, pink, and I wanna do two things. I wanna first say that I believe that there is a misunderstanding, and I wanna get your
opinion, take on this. I believe there’s a misunderstanding of how artists have always made money. There have basically always
been patrons of the arts, right? – Mmhmm. – People who are funding,
like, the Sistine Chapel ceiling didn’t get painted
by a volunteer painter. – Nope.
– Okay? It was very well funded, and
he had people who were willing to write checks to support
him in his endeavors. – Yeah. – So, while this is new. – Yeah.
– It’s not entirely new. – It’s not new at all. – But what you’ve done is scale it. So help the folks at home,
if you don’t know what Patreon is, this is gonna be
an amazing episode for you, ’cause you’re about to go
sign up for a new service. But, so, give us a
little, like, how you see, historically, how you look
at how artists were paid, and then what you’ve done
as sort of an homage, or you’ve taken a piece of that, and where you’re going to take this. – Okay. I remember pitching Patreon to VCs, and some folks get it,
and some folks don’t. ‘Cause it’s a little weird. It’s a membership platform, right? That just makes it easy
for creators to get paid. And you sign up not to
buy a piece of content. When you pay five bucks a month, you’re not paying five dollars a month to, you’re not paying five
dollars to download a song or to get a digital good on your computer. It’s not a transaction. It’s membership. You’re paying five bucks
a month to a person so that they can keep being creative. It’s similar to, you know,
something that KQED might do, or being a member of the
New York Times or SF MOMA. It’s the digital, online
version of that, right? It’s a membership platform. And I remember talking to some VCs, and they were saying
things like, wait a minute, so this is like voluntary payments? And I was like, ugh, no. (Chase groans) If you’re thinking of it like that, we shouldn’t be in business together, because I think, ultimately, and your question was about
the historical context here, the truth is, some people
think that it’s weird. It’s not weird at all. It’s only in the last hundred years, literally, since the turn
of the century, around 1900, that we we started putting art, our art on physical things, audio
and video, you know, the invention of celluloid,
the invention of wax. – Tape and photography. – Tape, yeah.
– Yep. – A wax cylinder to record
audio, and, and then, you know, turning that into records, and
then packing those things up and shipping them around
the world and building billions of dollars of
infrastructure and industry to move a physical good from
a manufacturing facility to the hands of a consumer. There’s a hundred years
of infrastructure there. And, but that’s only since 1900. Before that, artists
were paid like you said. They were paid, hey, you’re a cool person. You make good stuff. I like the things you make. I’m gonna pay you, I mean,
Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, when it debuted, the names of his five patrons were in libretto. He, he was getting paid
because people said, wow, I really like your music. Here’s a bag of coins. Go make more music. – Yep. – That’s how the arts have
been funded for a long. – For millennia.
– Yeah. So, forever. – And when you sit down with
the venture capital folk who are trying to decide how you’re gonna, they’re gonna fund you
to go do your venture, like you said, there’s
probably, half or part of them that get it immediately,
and for whom that resonates, and there’s a cross-section
of those who don’t. What do you find in common with the people who don’t understand this? – Yeah. Well, I can tell you,
the people who do get it. (Chase laughs) – I was trying to pin you
down to say who don’t get it, but let’s just, let’s
just go, who does get it? Who gets it? (Jack laughs) – I can tell you about who
doesn’t get it, but I’ll. – Let’s just say, it’s maybe more fun. We’ll keep it in the positive. Who gets it? – The people who get it, the folks that we end up working with, like Danny Rimer’s on our board. I remember when I realized that he was the right person for Patreon. He was on the board of SF MOMA,
and you walk into his house. It’s full of sculptures and paintings. He’s an art collector. He would like, commission artists from around the world to
do things for his home. Like, art is, it’s just
like a way of life for him. People who understand the
history and context of, of artistry and how it’s
been financed over time, those people look at this,
and they go, oh my God. – Of course. – This is how, this is how we fix what, what the last 20 years did
to all these supply chains and distribution houses and infrastructure that we built over the last hundred years. Those people who understand that context, those are the folks that get it. And, you know, the folks who
don’t get it are folks who, they have no familiarity with creators. You say creator to them and
they say, what’s a creator? They don’t see this emerging
class of people who are making things, and they don’t
sort of view it as a market. And that’s, you know, if you’re not in it, it’s hard to see it emerging. – Yeah. I think that’s a really important thing. I have historically
talked about sort of two, you know, as we think about
who we make this show for, there’s people who identify as creators and for whom we at
CreativeLive and the industry I think is trying to
take them from one or two or three or five to 10. Like, how do we help you grow and develop, and, you know, maximize your creativity? And then there’s another
cross-section of people that I don’t wanna ignore, that people, I call ’em creative curious. And they’re like, cool. Like, I see this happening. I would love to stop doing
the things that everybody else told me I had to do to be a grownup adult, and realize that chasing your passions, the distance between where you are and where you wanna be is
much closer than you think. – Yeah. – And so, if we were talking to this, the group trying to go
from zero to one now, how do, how, what’s the message
that you would share to them about how to decide, ’cause
I think of it as a decision, maybe you think differently,
but to decide to pursue the thing that you love,
because you had to do that. – Mmhmm.
– Right? So tell me about, what
message would you share with those folks, and by extension, how do you, how did you make that jump? – Yeah, what a great question. You know, I have a
particular viewpoint on this, I think I’ve kind of already expressed it, around this is the best time in the history of humans to be an artist. I really believe that. There’s no excuses at this point. You do not have to wait for
somebody to stick out their thumb walking by on the
street and see your face and say, you’re it, lemme make you a star. Those days where there were
three pipelines from giant conglomerates and media
companies to the masses are over. The internet has made is possible, and it’s a wonderful, wonderful thing, for any human to speak and
connect with other humans. Holy shit!
– Yeah, it’s crazy. – It’s, still, it blows my
mind when I think about it. This is our first time
meeting, for example. I just sent you an email. – Yeah! – Dude, love your stuff.
– Yeah. – Let’s chat.
– Exactly. – That’s how the world works now, and it used to not be that way, right? – And that opportunity is, like, if you don’t take advantage
of that opportunity. (iPhone dings) No worries.
(Chase laughs) Do you need to get that? – Are you kidding me? Like, we just went through this big drill about turning our phones off. – Yeah, if you don’t take
advantage of that opportunity, then you’re making excuses. Like, this is the, this is the best time. You have every tool imaginable. There are people who want to find you. Even if you’re, let’s say
you’re a total weirdo. Like, let’s say your art is so weird that you show it to a thousand people, and 999 of them say, hmm, don’t like that. Well, guess what? There are millions of
people then on the internet that would like your work,
because if you’re one in a thousand, there’s two
billion people on the internet. There’s plenty of people
to enjoy your work, make a living, build a business. So, you know, at this point, it’s entirely up to individuals. I think that’s a really empowering thing. That’s kind of what motivated
me and got me going about it. – So, let’s talk a little bit
about your personal journey. – Yeah. – So, gimme a little bit
about, like, backstory, childhood.
– Mmhmm. – Like, were you a creator
from day one, you knew what you wanted to do, and you set
off trying to figure out how to do it, or did you have a
winding and meandering path? Gimme a little bit of that context. – I mean, I’ve had it
figured out since day zero. – Nice.
– No, I’m kidding. (both laughing) No, I mean, I loved music as a kid, and, you know, my dad was a
doctor and mom was a nurse, but both musicians. My dad played the piano;
my mom was a jazz singer, and they would play together. So I grew up with like, Cole Porter and the American Songbook. – Wow. – And I mean, it was amazing. I grew up listening to jazz, and it’s like, a part of my music now. My dad taught me the blues
scale when I was six, so I was immediately, like, improvising and writing
songs and stuff like that, and then of course all through
high school and college, I was playing in bands and
combos and jazz groups, and then I got really,
I remember, you know, starting when I was around
12 or 13, my parents got me a camera, and I
just filmed everything. I filmed, I have literally
hundreds of hours of footage of just my life and
hanging out with friends, and I fell in love with
filmmaking and story telling. And in college, there was a moment. I went into college thinking,
I’m gonna be a physics major. And I remember the single moment where I, I realized, fuck, I’m gonna be an artist. (both laughing) I was coming out of a
physics lecture, and I was sitting there, and I had
just, I’d just glazed over. And I went outside, and I sat
on a bench for like an hour by myself and just thought, look, I love music and filmmaking. Like, it’s why I’m on earth. Like, I, it fills me with joy and passion. It’s what I think about all the time. I go to sleep thinking about
stories and music videos and piano arrangements, and I dream music. I dream symphonies and
arrangements and compositions. It felt like purpose to me. – This whole physics thing feels like something different than that. – I, I love, I still love physics, and I’m a science geek. – Dear physics, I still love you. (both laughing) – I know, it’s like, that’s what it is. But it’s not my soul.
– Yeah. – And, and, you know, there was
that moment where I realized that, you know, I was gonna be an artist. I applied to film school,
got into film school, decided not to go ’cause
I was in a pop band, so decided to be in a pop band. Band didn’t work out.
(Jack laughs) I ended up having to
move back in with my dad, and I lived with my parents post-school, which was so embarrassing,
’cause all my friends, and I went to a good
college, all my friends were getting high-paid jobs, and like, I was, I remember actually,
it was kind of humiliating, to tell you the truth. Like, it was embarrassing. And I, I did it anyway, ’cause I loved it, and I started making a little bit of money and selling MP3s and reaching people, and one thing led to the next, you know, and Pomplamoose came around,
and for whatever reason, that combination of me and Natalie, who’s now my wife, our music just really resonated with
people, and it took off, and, you know, we started
playing huge venues and touring and selling lots of songs
and building a fan base, and that’s kind of how I got into music. But, you know, filmmaking has
always been a part of that, because I’m making YouTube
videos and that kind of stuff. – Well, that’s what I
appreciated in sort of tracing your, your history in preparation for our conversation today, is
you seemed very intentional, and the mix of, this is
to me why it’s very easy for both of us to sit here and
say that it’s the best time in the history of the
world to be a creator, because you’re in charge
of your own brand. You’re using your own skills
and some relatively inexpensive tools to create, not just
the music that you sell, but the world that that music gets to live in through videos, through things that you make for your
fans, the platform that you, you know, websites and
distribution channels and whatnot. I think that’s really, really at the core of what we’re trying to get at here, is that it’s the first time
in the history of the world where the gatekeepers are
largely not there anymore. That’s not to say they’re
absent, because you still have, you gotta play by the
rules of these channels, the distribution channels. YouTube has rules, for example. But, by and large, relative to
every other time in history, you don’t, there, these
tools are democratized or near, near democratized. So, if that’s the case, and
you started making money doing the thing that you’re doing, you’re still making music, right? – Yeah, I release two music videos a week. – Okay. What’s this whole other path, and why are you picking
up new things to do, because you’re living your dream, right? You tapped into getting to make a living and a life doing what
you love making music on the internet and
using places like iTunes and YouTube to reach fans
and provide them value. What, this whole Patreon
thing, it’s separate from that. – Yeah. (Chase laughs) (Jack sighs) I mean this, we’re going deep now. – We are. We’re going there. – This cuts deep. I could bullshit for a while
(Jack laughs) and I’m not going to. – Okay. – This was like, really emotional for me. – Yeah. – One of the most difficult emotional transitions of my life. I, Patreon is, I work
12 or 13 hours a day. I don’t have weekends. I’m all in it, building
a startup from scratch, building nothing from
something, especially, sorry, building something from nothing, and especially doing
it for the first time, especially as a non-technical
CEO in Silicon Valley. Managing people for the first
time, it’s my first job. Like, I’m all in. I have to be all in. So many people have put their
trust and faith in Patreon, from our investors to
our employees to friends to people we’ve recruited. Anything less than giving my all to those people is unacceptable. And so, music, you know, one
time a month for two days, I fly down to LA, and I
record for two straight days on a Saturday and Sunday, and
then we put out those music, those songs and videos
over the course of a month. So, it’s like, this much of my time. And there’s teams now
that are helping do a lot. My wife basically runs Pomplamoose. She’s CEO of Pomplamoose. But, moving to that world where, I mean, you know, I described music
and the arts as my soul, right? And it’s not easy. It is, it doesn’t get easier. Like, it is, it’s pain, and sending checks to my friends and people
that I’ve been following for years every month,
you know, through Patreon, sending them money for
doing what they do best and helping them be passionate
and live their lives and live their dreams
and fixing this problem, it’s the, I can’t describe
the long-term reward of that, that I literally, I feel it in my arms. Like, it feels good in my arms, like, when I think about paying those people. – Do you have special arms? (both laughing) No, I get it, I get it. – It’s a physical sensation. – Yeah, I get it. Like it’s, you can’t
get more real than that. – Yeah, I can’t, and I can’t describe it, other than it just is so
rewarding and feels so good. And it’s the only thing. It’s the only thing
that could tear me away from making music and videos. – Lemme play devil’s advocate, because in sort of
transparency and vulnerability, the same exact set of
circumstances in my life, except it was in a darkroom. Isn’t, but, why would
you, like, you’re making hundreds of thousands of dollars as a musician, like, touring and playing. Like, why would you possibly give that up? Isn’t that the, aren’t you
giving up the best life ever to have sort of investors
and a lack of freedom and have a ton of responsibility? Aren’t you, isn’t this doing it wrong? (both laughing) – You’re literally, you’re playing the conversation that happens in my head. – Because, Jack, it’s been
in my head for years too. I just wanna hear how,
how have you managed it? We can bond here. – Yeah. – On video and audio about
how we’re, how we’re managing this, but honestly, like,
tell me, what’s the, what your response when someone asks,
like, wait, what are you doing? – Yeah. I love all those things. And I’ve, I’ve stumbled into this thing. It was stumbling into it, right? Stumbled into Patreon,
that opportunity for growth and learning and the
opportunity to be a CEO. (Chase laughs)
– I’ve been the same way. I laughed.
– Of a tech company? I would be a fool to
snub, to give that up. I would be a fool to turn my
nose up at that opportunity for growth and learning
and to build those skills that will apply to everything
I do for the rest of my life. It feels like, yeah, it would feel like a, it would feel like a fuck
you to the universe, right, on so many levels, to
me and to all the people that use Patreon to do what I love to do. And so, there is an element of it. Look, I love it, and it
is, it is, ultimately, it’s for me, and there’s an
element of it that is a moment where I feel like I can
give back, you know? Patreon feels, it’s a for-profit company. We wanna make a profit. We have investors; you know,
all those things are true. And it, it really is a moment
where I feel like I’m giving something important to
the world, and yeah, that ultimately overpowers
any other feeling that I have, as strange as that sounds. And, you know, I say that, and it’s true, and I still have that echoing
conversation in my head. – What am I doing?
– Yeah. – And part of the reason I’m
asking you to share this, thank you, A for being vulnerable. – Yeah. – B for just telling it
like it is and putting it out there in the world for
people to hear, and that is, I want people at home to know
that like, very successful musician still has self
doubt, wildly successful entrepreneur, you’ve raised $100 million. You’re paying out hundreds
of millions of dollars to creators all over the world. – Mmhmm. – Still in your head saying,
oh, shit, what am I doing? – Oh, my God. – Are people gonna find
out that I don’t know what I’m doing, that all
this is the first time? (Jack laughs) I mean, I’m putting
words in your mouth now. – Yeah, yeah. – But I feel like I’m, I’m resonating with what you’re saying about, these are, it’s almost like, it sounds
to me like you’re compelled. Am I putting words in your
mouth, or is that accurate? – No, I mean, look, everybody
has imposter syndrome. I think, I remember seeing a
stat around the number of CEOs that have imposter syndrome,
and it’s something like 60%, which blew my mind and made
me feel way less alone. But there’s an, like,
there’s an element of it that’s just like, being alive. Building a company is like being a human. You stumble; you make a lot of mistakes. If you do a really great job, you know, 30 to 40% of your decisions are good ones. And you just have to
have grit and the guts to deal with some of the bad ones, and you have to correct
quickly and pick back up. I think the hardest part for me, there’s a wonderful book by Ben Horowitz called The Hard Thing about Hard Things. – I love that book. – It’s such a good book. – It’s incredible. I’m gonna just do a
small like, digression. It’s for people who
are building companies, and it’s, instead of
like, most business books are this rosy, like,
this is how you do it, if you were gonna do it perfectly. You do it like this.
– Yeah. – But the reality is, nothing’s perfect. This book is like, how
to fire your friend. – Yeah. – What do you say to investors when you tell them you’ve
lost all their money? Like, it’s a series. So you’re reading The Hard
Thing about Hard Things. – Yeah, I mean, one of my favorite quotes from that book is like, you know, when you ask CEOs like, how they did it, the crappy CEOs will
point to their brilliant, strategic moves, or,
you know, key decisions in the path, blah, blah,
and the great CEOs say the same thing every time,
which is, I just didn’t quit. I just stumbled and fell and
got back up without losing enthusiasm, and pulled
the mud out of my teeth, and kept running, and then
I fell face-first again and slammed my head, and
woke up in the hospital, and took off the bandages and kept going. And you just keep going. And that’s why I think it’s like life, because, you know, you
cannot prevent failure. You, you, you misstep
and misstep and misstep, and build and build
and recover and misstep and build and recover, and that process is the process of being a human being. It is also the process
of building a company. So, so, yeah, don’t, don’t quit, I guess. Like, keep, just keep
going, and guess what? Everybody else is making mistakes too. – Yeah. And they’re showing you
their highlight reel, and you’re comparing their highlight reel to your real life. – Yeah. – Which is confusing
and painful sometimes, but just, no, I think that’s, again, thank you for sharing that. So, you’re talking about
building companies right now, and we’ve heard that, as a musician, you found success creating
Pomplamoose and other projects. Let’s go to the Jack who’s
alone at night in his own head. – Yeah. So last night at four a.m.. – Last night at four a.m.. – Okay. (Jack laughs) – Like, play, play the talk track. – Yeah. – From last night at four a.m.. – I’m not gonna do that. (both laughing) – Fair. – Just being honest. – Yeah, no, no, that’s fair. Okay, like, paint a picture. – Yeah. – Of the difference
between what people think that Jack Conte’s talk
track is and the reality. – Okay, we’re going deeper. Yeah, I mean, look, it’s all
the things that you mentioned. It’s, it’s the replaying
of moments, right? For whatever reason, I describe
my brain as a Velcro brain. I just, something happens,
and I can’t unattach it. I’ll replay a moment and think
about how I could have done it better, or how I could
have phrased my answer better. You know, or how I could have
approached a situation better, or a better version of the decision. I’m like a, one of the
things I have to combat at four a.m. by myself is
just, I feel like so many of your filters are down.
– Yeah. – And your brain’s just going. – That’s the monkey mind. That’s the two-million-year-old organ that’s not there to make you happy. It’s to make you survive, yep. (Jack laughs) – And all my perfectionism
just rears its ugly head in those moments, and, and, you know, I usually
work pretty hard to combat perfectionism, ’cause I think it can be, I’ve noticed I’m a perfectionist. I like to make perfect things. And if I don’t actively
fight against that, and if I’m, if I don’t allow
myself to be aware of that in every moment during
the creation process, I never finish anything,
I never publish anything, because I’m always
trying to make it better. And at a startup, like, you
have to balance that with speed. You need great things,
and those great things need to happen really quickly,
at a really good cadence. – Yeah. – And so, I think my
four a.m. self is just so disappointed about the
speed versus quality trade-off, and it’s just, yeah, it’s
a never-ending struggle. – So, I’m gonna summarize
that in one word. I’m gonna call it mindset. – Yeah. – So what are some things
that you do to manage that mindset, knowing that it’s
the mindset of every creator, some of the most successful
human beings on the planet by every outward measure,
let’s take Robin Williams, for example, wildly successful. Tony Robbins tells
stories about, you know, asking people all over the
world, literally millions of people, like who liked, not who liked. Who loved, you know Mork and Mindy? Who loved this guy? – And everybody does. – 99 out of 100 people
with their hands up. And yet, he did not
have, he had his demons, and took his own life. So like, literally loved by
billions and billions of people, won every award you
can make in filmmaking, even outside his genre,
the highest awards, and still didn’t find peace. So we know by a sort of negative example how important mindset is. And then we see in athletes
and the best in class that the difference is
less about skill and more about mindset in those, and
the success stories as well. So mindset is a thing. – Yeah. – What do you do, what does
Jack Conte do to preserve a healthy mindset, to build
himself and those around him up, not just at four a.m., but just in life. Do you have a set of practices? Do you have a way of approaching things? How do you do it? – Yeah, I have some specific
things that I do, and then I just have some like, general
overarching principles. I’ll give you, I’ll start with something really clear and specific. Thank you. I, a couple years ago, I realized that, and it slipped, it slipped on me. It just slowly developed. I realized that I was horrified of flying. I hadn’t even like, admitted it to myself. And then I realized that I
couldn’t get on an airplane, and I had been like,
deferring on travel plans and making excuses to not go see friends who had moved cities,
and thanks, thank you. And I, yeah, it was a
terrible realization. I didn’t even, I didn’t
even realize it was a thing, and then suddenly, I realized it. And so I went to cognitive
behavioral therapy to get over this.
– Oh, wow, cool. – And it was about a year and a half. – What does that mean? What does cognitive
behavioral therapy mean? – It’s like more based on
action than it is like, so tell me about your
relationship with your parents. – Okay. – Like, it’s like things that you can do, and like techniques. It’s more tactical. And I had to like, retrain my brain. And so, the thing that
eventually worked for me, and it doesn’t work for everybody. This particular thing
worked for me, was you wear a rubber band around your
wrist, and when you start to have negative thoughts
and feelings about flying, you just pick up the rubber
band, snap, and I am, you say, I am healthy and safe and
all is right in my world. And then immediately, your
brain goes back to flying. Snap again, I’m healthy and safe, until, you do that over
and over, until you, just until your brain just
doesn’t think about it. And then you keep living
your life, and then a couple hours later, you start to
drift into dark fantasy land about, you know, the
plane crash or whatever. You snap, and you do it again. If you do that for, or
when I did that for like, eight or nine months, repeatedly, eventually, I noticed that
the time between rubber band snaps just got longer and
longer and longer until it was days and weeks, and then
I took the rubber band off, and now I’m not afraid of flying anymore. And it was a long retraining process, where I just had to kind
of, I don’t wanna say trick, but I had to force my brain into it. And that’s a technique
that I’ve brought with me on a lot of things, is just like, when I’m having unproductive thoughts that are not useful, I’m
not gonna take action on, they’re just stupid things that
are hurting me and my life, I just do a mental rubber band snap, and I’ve used that specific
technique since then to kind of clear out the bullshit that you carry around in your head. – And what, I wanna sort of
try and put a bow on what you’re saying, and that is
that eight or nine months. So folks at home who think
like you can just snap that little guy or gal on your
shoulder, oh, hey, beat it, like, we’re talking about very successful Jack Conte has spent months and months and months around a thing like flying, and then we’re able to
apply that to other things. That’s the level of commitment
and how important it is to have a mindset, because
you probably couldn’t succeed in your job without that mindset. – I wasn’t succeeding in my life. I wasn’t succeeding in like,
keeping good relationships with people that I loved, right? – Yeah, that’s powerful. So, if you, to me, I
think that’s a really, A, thank you for sharing that. Also, I’m, when, what’s the
right way of going at this? So, if you are willing to put
that much time into mindset, do you feel like that is a lifelong, like, you talked about it in like, like I cured myself of my fear of flying. – Mmhmm. – But you also said, well, and I bring that into
other areas of my life. So is this an ongoing struggle, or is this a, you feel like you
got to where you need to be? – Yeah, so I, you know, I actually, I didn’t use the word cure on purpose. – Yeah, that was mine. – Yeah, I said, I’m not
afraid of flying anymore, because I spend very, very little time being afraid of flying, because every time I am afraid of flying,
I snap the rubber band. And so, holistically, like,
how much time do I spend being afraid of flying? Maybe a few seconds a year. – Yeah. – It’s there.
– Yeah. – And if I let it come back,
I could let it come back. But you hit the nail on the head. This is not, like, you’re
not done with this, ever. (Jack laughs) It keeps going. – These are frameworks.
– Yeah. – That’s why I love hearing what your, your sort of methodology is. – Yeah. – And thank you for being
super explicit about it, and whether that works
for you folks at home or listening or watching,
the takeaway for me is not just the tactic;
it’s that this is a thing, and, you know, referencing
something I said earlier, we have a two-million-year-old
organ in our skull whose job is to keep you safe, not happy. And so, we have to learn
how to drive this thing. – Exactly. – And this is a theme throughout the show. Like, all the top performers
that I’ve had on the show, they have a very, it’s a repeated theme that mindset is a focus, is
an area of focus and passion, and they direct a lot
of attention to it, so. A, you’re not alone; you know that, but for the folks at home,
it’s really important to hear I think over and over and over again. So, we’re gonna go from, again, thank you, that vulnerable place. We’re gonna do a 180 now, and
I’m gonna say a couple things that I am freakishly admirable
of your ability to do. – All right. – And that is to win, whatever win is, to find success via crazy
nontraditional methods. (Jack laughs) And I think, you know, I
just, A, it’s so fun to watch, you know, my friends and peers
do that, and you’re a master. And I’ll just use one
very specific example, which is you wanted
to, when Casey Neistat, whom we both know,
announced his 368 project, you thought there might
be something with Patreon, and you live in San Francisco;
Casey lives in New York. And you basically, you
got his attention and went and had a meeting with him
by very nontraditional modes. Tell us that story. – Yeah, saw Casey launch 368. It was a super inspiring launch video. It really felt like the
beginning of something that he was gonna be spending, you know, the next year on at least or more. And I, I wanted, I thought
it would be incredible if, ’cause one of the big pitches of 368 was let’s help small creators. Let’s help them get a jumpstart. And like, I thought, what
if Patreon were financing that ability for 368 to get
small creators a jumpstart? I think that’s something the community would be
super excited about. People would totally pay monthly to help creators reach the
world for the first time. And I thought, this is
a great opportunity. So, I made a video. I just made a video, dear Casey Neistat,
from the CEO of Patreon. And look, I know, like, Casey, I thought, God, he loved, he’s gonna love that. – He loves videos, right? – He loves videos, and plus, like, I feel a sense of familiarity
with his filmmaking style and his storytelling style. He’s a genius, and I wouldn’t pretend to be as good as he is at that. – Oh man, you got the chops. Don’t let me, don’t let
anybody kid you here. He’s an amazing video maker. – Well, thank you. – Amazing filmmaker. – But I, you know, I’ve
been influenced a lot by him and his storytelling, and I
thought, you know, what if I, what if I make a video that’s
a little bit of an homage to Casey, so I can show
Casey, hey, look, I get you, and like, I feel a connection
to your style of storytelling, but I’m also gonna show
you a little bit, like, of my creative flair
that I can put on this, do something a little differently. And I thought, you know what? If I make that video and I do it well, and I just publish it, like,
I just, I just put it up, I bet that Casey would see
that and like, you know, like it, and also want to
use that as an opportunity to create a splash and get a
little spike and, you know, have the CEO of Patreon
fly out to see him. And so, I did. I made the video; I put it up. He saw it; he loved it. He did a couple tweets
about it and invited me to come to New York and
be in one of his videos. We made a video together. It was this awesome thing. It was so cool. He asked me to like, pitch
Patreon on his channel, so I got to like, talk about Patreon. – 10 million people. – With Casey’s audience. It was like, such an awesome opportunity. And yeah, it was a little,
a little different, a little untraditional, but I thought it was
a cool, a cool chance. – So, in the particular
lies the universal. So in that example, what’s the takeaway? And, to me, this is, as
I’ve watched your career and what you’re building, to me, this is, it’s actually your MO. It’s like how you do everything. – Yeah. – And so, I have a saying that you can’t both stand out and fit
in at the same time. – I love that. – What is it, like, if that is an example of how you sort of got
to connect with Casey, what are some other
things that you’ve done that are completely
nontraditional, and the reason we’re gonna, you know, I
want to go down this line of questions is because
people are at home thinking, I have to do it just like everybody else. And so, let’s try and free people of that through your own life examples. – Yeah. – What have you done differently? – Okay, I’ll give you
a really clear example. We have this model in our minds
of how it’s supposed to be. Oh, you’re supposed to blank. This is how it’s done. And it is, you don’t even
realize those models are there. You’ve built them in your heads. They’re these massive constructions, and they’re detailed and specific, and there’s one, two, three,
and steps, and checklists, and they’re architected in our heads, and we’re completely unaware of them. And the takeaway is that all of those plans are total bullshit. (Jack laughs) They’re just BS. They don’t exist.
– Yeah. – And I’ll give you a very clear example. I, I went in for like our first
few pitch meetings to VCs, and I, I remember pitching Patreon, and I, you know, I was like, okay. These are VCs. There’s like 12, you know,
people around this table, and they’re partners,
and they’ve given away, they’ve raised billions of
dollars and given it away, and they’ve, you know,
invested in these massive enterprise companies, and
so I, I went in, you know, and I’m talking about patron
retention and forecasted, you know, revenue over the next year, and here’s the retention
cohorts of our creators and how they’re performing over time, and these are the products
that have sort of driven these, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And we’re not raising any money. Do that over and over again, not raising any money, no interest. And I finally went into one
of these pitch meetings. I was like, yo, here’s me. Here’s how Patreon started, and it’s a, and I tell the robot music
video story, with pictures. And you see me rocking out
with an electric guitar and a robot head singing
the lyrics to a song, and everybody around the table’s like, looking at each other,
looking at the slides. – What is this dude? This is crazy. – And like, it was this
moment where there was, like, I had this model in my head of like, I’m a CEO, and here’s how
CEOs are supposed to be, and here’s what, here’s
how you raise money, and you talk about these sorts of things. And like, all that was wrong. Like, it turns out,
investors wanna see somebody who’s really passionate
about solving a problem and is connected to their customers and cares deeply about
what matters to them. And like, that’s how you raise money, at least, in the early stages. Toward the, you know, later rounds, it’s more about company performance. But I just didn’t realize that, at all. And it really hit home for me
when I was supposed to give a presentation, and a lot of
people were gonna be there. A lot of people, you know,
Bill Gates and Warren Buffett and a lot of people are
in the audience like that. And I remember talking to our investors about this presentation, and Danny Rimer, the investor I mentioned
earlier, he’s like, he’s like, dude, tell the robot story. (Jack laughs) And I was like. – Really?
– Really? And he was like, yeah,
that’s, like, tell that story. And I did, and it was awesome. But, yeah, we just, we have
these models, and they’re wrong. – I think that’s, just, there’s so much embedded in that story. And it’s not just with investing, and it’s not just with
how to build a company. It’s just not with, it’s with everything. All the rules, those
rules were largely meant or largely put there in place by people who are trying to keep
you out of something, not give you permission to go into it. So it’s like, this is
another pattern that I just, I’m so passionate about reinforcing, is that there’s no right way. If there’s anything in
addition to that it’s never been a better time
than now to be a creator, the corollary to that is that, and there’s a thousand paths to get there. And no one path for one person looks like another path for somebody else. – Oh, and that’s such a
truth in and of itself, is that, you know, what has worked for me is not gonna work for some other person. And I can’t just open up
a rule book from someone else’s life and their trajectory
and follow what they did, because it probably
won’t work for me either. Companies are the same way. Sometimes, people will
say things, you know, when you’re building a
company, they’ll say, well, at Facebook, they do x, y, and z. I’m like, well, we’re not Facebook, (Jack laughs)
for so many reasons. – Sweet, they’re down the
street, so you can go there. – And yeah, you know,
sometimes it makes sense, sometimes it doesn’t, and
we all have to use our own judgment to kind of figure
out what works for us. And at the end of the
day, that’s what it is, is like, hey, is this
working for me right now at this particular moment in time? And if it’s not, adjust and
figure something else out. – Talk about being comfortable. How much of a role does that
play in your personal life or your career, professional? Are you always comfortable? Do you create comfort for
yourself as a sort of nurturing thing, or is being mildly uncomfortable, or is it like Mario
Andretti, that if you’re not almost crashing, you’re
not driving fast enough? Where do you fit of that
spectrum, as far as like, sort of uncomfortability
in your day to day? – Yeah. So, this is one of those moments where I, I wanna re-echo the last point I had, which is like, this may not be
right for the folks watching. – Yeah. – But for me, it’s just where
I, it’s where I’ve played, especially in building Patreon. I would say I spend 95% of my time feeling very uncomfortable. Like, more uncomfortable than
I’ve, I had ever imagined I’d be willing to feel for
those extended periods of time. Now, an interesting thing happens when you do that to yourself. You develop a new baseline. It’s kind of like just tolerance. It’s like, you get a new threshold. – Muscle. – Yeah, a muscle.
– Mmhmm. Building a muscle. – You know, it’s funny, ’cause
humans have that ability. If you, you know, if you go
through the death of a parent, you know, you can’t imagine
living without that parent. And, you know, the six
to 12 months after that is just the worst kind
of grief and discomfort and horror that you can imagine. It’s brutal. And then we get better. We feel better. Nothing has changed. Your mom is still gone. And it’s less painful. It’s weird to say, and it’s just true. And, you know, so, so that has, I’ve noticed that that phenomenon has happened to me over time. My threshold for emotional
pain and for discomfort has just gone way, way up. Things that I do now at
a pretty regular cadence, you know, I’d have to kind of emotionally prepare for for weeks five years ago. And now I just kind of do
those things on a daily basis. And, you know, one of our, one
of our investors said to me, what was the quote exactly? It was like, hey, your life, you know, you can measure your life by the number of difficult conversations
that you’re willing to have. (Jack laughs) If you stray away from things
that are uncomfortable, I think you’re, you’re just
staying inside the bumper lanes. You’re just gonna, you’re just
gonna coast, and, you know, that might feel good in
the particular moment, but I think over the long run, that’s not the way I wanna do it. – Amazing, thank you for sharing. What’s a thing or a
couple things about you that other people from the
outside wouldn’t know to be true? They would be surprised, like, oh my gosh, I had no idea that Jack
Conte, fill in the blank. – Whoa, what a cool question. (Chase laughs) Okay, this one, this is a little, this is a little intense. I think I’m a, I’m a pretty warm person. I’m pretty, like, amiable. (Jack laughs) And I think like, when I, I’m empathetic, and so when people meet
me, like, I’m excited, and all those things are true, and all of that is, it is true. And, I’m also not afraid to do things that are gonna make me not liked. – What’s an example? Is that make hard
decisions with friendships? Is it like, make decisions as the boss? Is it push people away
because you’re afraid? – I mean, at a company, you
can’t get consensus on things. If you try to get consensus, you’ll never make any decisions. – Yeah. – And so, now I find
myself in a place to where I often sit down and
talk with folks and say, hey, I’m gonna do something
that you disagree with, and here’s why I’m gonna do it. And the decision is final. And so I wanted to let
you know, and what I heard from you is x, y, and z, and
here’s why you wanna do it, and here’s why I wanted to do this thing, and I’m gonna do, I’m gonna do this thing the way that I wanna do it. And I have those conversations,
like, regularly now. And I think it probably
would be surprising to people who see me as just like, so
open to feedback, and I am. I’m super open to feedback. I’m super open to like, talking to people. I’m friendly, I’m warm,
I’m all those things, but I also wanna get things done. – There’s a practicality to that, yeah. – Yeah, like, I wanna move. I wanna get results. I wanna, like, send money to creators. And that means, like, that
sometimes, I am warm and firm. I can work on that. I haven’t nailed that balance. I’m not an expert at it. But yeah, I’ll, I have to
do things at this scale, where not everyone’s gonna be happy, and I’m willing to do those things. – What are some of your favorite things? – Favorite things?
– Yeah. What are some of your favorite things? Peanut butter and jelly? – Favorite things, like physical things? – Or other things in the world. – I love old instruments. – Instruments. – Old instruments from the 60s and 70s. There was an analog quality
and sound to those instruments, and some of the keys don’t,
aren’t quite perfect, and they have so much character, and they’re dusty, and
there’s a little bit of a buzz when you plug ’em in, and, you know, there’s a tone wheel
organ with a giant thing that’s spinning, and it
plugs into a Leslie speaker with cones that are going like this, and you can control the speed
of the rotation of the cones, and it changes the way the
cones sound as they emit frequencies, and I just
think that shit’s so cool. I’m a geek. I love those physical, mechanical things. And even when I’m filmmaking,
I find myself gravitating towards practical effects, as opposed to like CGI or After Effects. – Yeah.
– Yeah. – You’re not a big plane
flyer, you don’t love it, but I wanna know, do you have
some favorite places to go? Do they require planes, and
have you gotten over it? – You know, I, I feel a
little weird about this, but I, I’m not like, a travel nut. It’s not that I don’t love
being exposed to new things and different places, and the
world is an awesome place, and it’s great, but I don’t get a lot out of being in a place. I’m, I like ideas and
execution and making things, and I can make things
wherever I have tools. And so like, I’m happiest
where my tools are. (Jack laughs) – Yeah, that’s cool. – I know that’s probably
like, really low-bro. – This is, this is like, this
is what I’m trying to get at. – Yeah. – Food, what do you like? – I’m a picky eater.
– Cool. Describe it. (Jack laughs)
– It’s so funny. – I notice you didn’t go for any snacks like we have over there
in the catering area. – I would probably like those snacks. I don’t like cultured diary. Hate sour cream, hate yogurt. I won’t eat cheese. I gotta eat melted cheese. I only eat cooked cheese. So I’ll eat pizza, but I won’t eat a block
of cheddar and crackers. I don’t like raw fish. I don’t eat, like, offal
meats or like, weird stuff. I get skittish around that stuff. One area where I’m not
willing to be uncomfortable. (both laughing) – I love it! This is why I’m asking you. Yeah, I think I, you know. – Artists? – Artists that I love? – Yeah. – A few that are just like, just in me. Brad Mehldau, the piano
player, jazz pianist, one of the most lyrical
and incredible pianists I think in history, and also just an
incredible combination of, I call it in and out,
like, beautiful and weird. He balances those two things. He’ll play this wonderful
line, and then it kind of goes in a really weird direction,
and then comes home, and the balance of that
in and out is just, he does it right to how I like it. I mean, it’s incredible. I love listening to him play piano. Jean-Pierre Jeunet. – Oh, amazing filmmaker. – I mean, all those movies. – I could watch all of those
movies over and over and over. – Yeah, City of Lost Children, yeah. I mean, those films,
and Amelie, of course. I remember seeing Amelie
and just being like. – Masterpiece, yeah.
– Masterpiece, yeah. – He’s my wife’s favorite filmmaker, too. She’s just like.
– Really. – We just like, just perpetually
have a Jeunet film on. – I mean, he’s incredible.
– Yeah. – Tim Burton, as a kid,
like, you know, Nightmare Before Christmas, God,
those, talk about in and out. I mean, the sort of two-world
themes of his movies have forever affected my art. Like, I literally make music videos that are just basically
short Tim Burton things, whereas the verse is
this one type of world, and the chorus is like this, you know, fake perfect Pleasantville-y
kind of world, and yeah, I love Tim Burton. He’s an incredible filmmaker. – Drop a couple books. You’d already said The Hard
Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. – Yeah, Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull. – Yeah, amazing.
– Incredible book. What a wonderful thinker, and so many good ideas in that book. – Pixar, Pixar guy, for
those of you who don’t know. – Mmhmm. There’s a book called Good to
Great that I just finished, which I love. They just, it’s a really cool concept. They just look at companies
that outperform the stock market by 3x or something over
a period of 15 years, and they dive deep into what
made those companies great. How do they have
sustained high performance for such a long period of time? And like, the things that
come out of that exploration are so counterintuitive and awesome, and really wonderful insights around like, humility and ambition for
something outside of yourself. Instead of ambition for yourself,
it’s ambition for a cause or a problem or an identity. So that book was really wonderful. I love that book in particular. – Love it. I just tried to traipse across like food and just a bunch of weird things. Anything else under the heading like, things, things Jack likes? – Things I like. (Chase laughs) I was just gonna say, this is my first time
doing sort of a concept. – Oh, it’s cool.
– Yeah. – Yeah, I like, I like, I’m an introvert. I recharge when I’m alone. That probably also surprises people. I think people see my, like. – The video making, yeah, yeah. – Yeah, but I’m like
every other YouTubers, like, or not every other. Many YouTubers, where on camera. – Whee. – They’re like always all,
like right now, I’m all excited and pumped and we’re
having a great conversation, and then, you know, if
you put me in a party, like, I just freeze, and like, I don’t know what to
say, and like, suddenly. – I don’t know what to do with my hands. – I, oh my God, literally, I
feel like my hands are huge, and I like, I can’t, I don’t feel natural when I’m like walking around.
– Where do I put my? – Oh, it’s, yeah. So I like, you know,
when I was making music, I’d be in a dark room by
myself for 12 hours a day. I love that, ’cause I
can just, I can do work and be creative, and just,
you know, own the process. – I think that the, like
I just, it’s so wonderful to feel humanity. I think that’s what I love
about long-from conversations, is you can actually, and,
you know, you’ve done a lot of media before
of your role in life. Me, the same. Everything gets chopped
up into sound bytes. So I just wanna say thank you so much for sort of just being able
to tell the long version of, I don’t know what to do with my hands. (Jack laughs) For everybody at home. What’s on the horizon for Patreon? – Yeah. – You guys acquired a couple
of new companies recently, one that’s a white label that people are gonna put
on their own platform. – Exactly. – And another one? – Yeah, Kit. So we made two acquisitions recently. And they’re all sort of
wrapped up in this concept of membership, what does it mean to be a member in the digital world? I think we all have pretty good concepts of what that means in the physical world, and Patreon is exploring and
defining what that means, to be a member online, a member of a creator and their business. And so, one of the things
that’s important to this concept of membership is recognizing
and rewarding patrons and making sure that
those members feel special and get some exclusive
content, exclusive access, feel a little closeness with the creator. And so one of the
initiatives that we’re doing and the folks that, you
know, on Kit are now working on merchandise through Patreon
as a way of rewarding patrons and thanking them, for their
patronage and their membership. And so, that team is
building out, you know, fulfillment and partnerships
and how to make sure that members are, are getting
rewarded with physical goods, if the creator wants that
for their membership program. What the business logic
is around that, you know, do you get it when you hit $100, do you get it after, you
know, six months or a year, and do you get it when you, you know, up your pledge value to a
certain, whatever it is. So they’re defining how,
you know, merchandise interfaces with Patreon
and creators and members. And then this white label
thing that you mentioned is a company called Memberful with just an incredible founder and
CEO, this fellow Drew, who, he and I just see the
world in the same way. We just see the web going
in the same direction. Wonderful human being,
and very mission-driven, so obsessed with customers
and helping creators, so outward-focused. His ambition is all outside
of himself, wonderful person. And Memberful is gonna
allow us to essentially offer Patreon, but without
any of Patreon’s branding. So, if you wanna run a membership program on your own website with your own colors and your own button text
and your own systems and your own plans, it doesn’t
look like Patreon at all. It doesn’t even look like Memberful. You can run it so that it just looks like you’re interfacing
a fan and a creator. And there’s a big group of people that are like, you know what? I don’t like Facebook. I don’t like YouTube. I don’t want a platform
in between me and my fans. I want a direct relationship. I don’t want branding walls between us. I just want to be, you
know, fan and creator, and Memberful allows people
to take those experiences, build their own websites,
fully customize them, and have a more branded, particular experience
that they’re looking for. – This is a new chapter. – Yeah. – That’s very, very cool. What about for you
personally, new chapter? Or is it just more of the same, get your head down and
you’re working that, you know, that 16-, 19-hour
day that we talked about? (Jack laughs)
– Yeah. – What’s sort of, what’s
new and next for Jack? – Yeah. I mean, I think the thing about startups is it’s always new and next. – Completely consuming, isn’t it? – Yeah. – Just like these bags under my eyes. You look great, by the way. (both laughing) I don’t know how you do it. I’m like, oh, I feel it. – Especially for being up
at four a.m. last night. – I was up there with the monkey mind too. (Jack laughs) – It’s, yeah, it feels
like every couple months is a new chapter. I mean, we just crossed about 170 folks. And gosh, it’s a different thing. It’s a different, it’s
a different company. You know, 170 is so different than 100 is so different than 50. And so, whole new set of challenges, whole new set of like,
communication system, and Katie’s helping us with all that. – Yes, Katie! – Whole new set of like,
you know, now you have like, several lays of management at the company. You have to make sure
those folks are empowered and autonomous and have all
the information they need, and that’s a whole new set of challenges. So, so yeah, the next chapter
is just continuing to scale Patreon, which it’s just, it’s
a lot of change very quickly. Yeah. – You’ve been really clear
throughout the conversation. You’ve done such an eloquent
job of qualifying your answers. Like, well, this is how I would do it, realizing everyone’s got their own path. – Yeah. – Can you give any absolute advice? – Yeah. Don’t quit. That’s it. And it’s just a repeat of
that Ben Horowitz advice. I think a lot of people
don’t realize that succeeding at something and failing
at something feels the same for a long, long time. It feels exactly the same. And so many times, people feel
that, feel that, feel that, for this long, long time, and
then they give up right here. And they don’t realize that right here is when something clicked,
would have clicked, but they gave up here. And don’t quit. Keep going. Get through that point. Be okay with that feeling. Know that everybody else feels
like they’re failing, too. Make it through. Have the grit to just, to
just face plant in the mud, brush it off, stand up, smile, pull the mud out of your
teeth, and charge forward. – I cannot think of a better
way to end an interview. At risk of like, ruining that, I’m just gonna move and
walk away from that one, ’cause that was beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing
so much of your story with us, being transparent and vulnerable, open, and just some amazing
nuggets of wisdom in there. Super grateful for you
being on the show, bud. – Thank you, Chase. Thanks, man.
– Thanks, man. All right, signing off. See you again probably,
hopefully tomorrow. (steady rock music)

21 thoughts on “1,000 Paths to Success with Jack Conte | Chase Jarvis LIVE

  • One of the interesting subtexts to this interview, and having some personal experiance of this, is the ability to let go of mistakes and not hold on to them or be judgemental of yourself or others…that would be in interesting path of discussion.

  • Nice story but looks like they've got some serious growing pains to address https://www.facebook.com/pg/Patreon-1572443366362651/reviews/?ref=page_internal I'm not a hater. I really want this to work

  • thanks a lot to you guys for this video, I am on my path to success, learning how to deal with fear, how not to sabotage myself and deal with that voice inside my head that makes me doubt, thank you for this video because it made it simpler, or normal I don`t know, but you just made it easier 🙂

  • Stop using Robin Williams as an example of how someone who is perceived as successful and beloved could be secretly so unhappy that they commit suicide. You don’t know what happened to him because you are ignorant of his medical condition at the time of his death. Want to know what really happened? Be curious and go find out yourself.

  • Thank you this was awesome. Do you think that there is a right time to join Patreon? Should I build an online audience first on other platforms?

  • "Succeeding at something and failing at something feels the same for a long, long time." 💙 Thanks for the encouragement!

  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/302230.php Chase, please read up on the disease Robin had. My father in-law is struggling with it currently. The fact that Tony Robbins continues to use Robin as a negative example is (fill in the blank). Certainly Robin had his issues. All genius creatives wrestle with some sort of issue. But his "mindset" was not what caused his suicide since his disease literally is causing a loss of cognitive brain function.

  • I would love to see a similiar interview with Chase as well. I feel like I want to pick his brain, heart and soul.

  • I'm just mindblown. Amazing interview. Love Patreon even more now and will definitely dig into your others interviews Chase. Thank you two for being you without masks.

  • Been trying to go through "The hard thing about hard things" book after this seeing this interview… It's a pretty bad book, the low star ratings on Amazon give it justice.
    On a positive note, great interview and seeing Chase get so excited about what the guests are saying gets me fired up as well :)) Love Patreon

  • I find it very interesting how Investors — literally the “Patrons” of businesses (new & established) — would NOT understand an idea like Patreon…

  • The transactional side of things has changed since this video came out. Patreon these days do allow for 'paying for an item' as opposed to merely being subscription-based. I see this is a good thing.

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