Paul Chato, CEO at Your Web Department, thinks he may have the next generation of John Cleese business training videos on his hands. Cleese, best known for his role in Monty Python, produced a series of educational videos in 2012 (among them, Meetings Bloody Meetings). Now, Chato is producing a comedic web series for entrepreneurs he says is the first of its kind. The GUNI Show (Global Universal Netwrokers International) is a show for the LinkedIn generation, says Chato. “It’s for the people who have lost their jobs and are trying to create a new experience. It’s for the small business owner who knows how difficult it is to make payroll and manage the business.”
How will he fund the first nine episodes of the online show? Online, of course. Chato launched a Kickstarter campaign just over a week ago. So far, he’s raised $13,000 of his $50,000 goal. Perks for those willing to support the project range from being among the first to see the GUNI episodes ($10) to being an extra on the show ($1,000).
Why would someone like Chato, already a brand name in the Canadian entertainment scene, choose a fundraising model popular mostly with penniless startups? “I was really intrigued to learn what Kickstarter is all about,” he explains. “I think the future [of television] is crowdsourced funding—YouTube and Netflix are going to be taking away a lot the cable networks’ power; we have a whole new world and I wanted to be an expert in it.”
Plus, if you’re successful in Kickstarter, then you’ve got a built-in audience, says Chato.
But if you’re not successful, you may have irrevocably tainted your project for other funding. “That’s entirely true,” concedes Chato. “Also, the big stories on Kickstarter are few and far between.” There’s also the question of whether you taint the project just by going on a crowdfunded venue. “Does it make you look lowgrade compared to getting your money from the network?” muses Chato. “There are all sorts of pros and cons.”
For more about Chato’s latest project and why he chose Kickstarter, download this week’s PROFIT BusinessCast by clicking on the iTunes logo below.
You can also listen to a previous episode of the PROFIT BusinessCast, in which Gold and Brown interview Murray McKercher, a board advisor for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA)