In early to mid 2012 I ran a YouTube network. While it didn't last long (4 months), it was probably one of the strangest/most fucked up/fun periods of my life, it was none stop fuck ups from start to finish and it taught me more about business and making money than anything before, and anything after. This story is 100% true from start to finish - no bullshit. I'm not even going to change names as I doubt it will come back and hurt anyone anyway... This started in late 2011, I was making YouTube gaming videos and doing OK at it. I had met 3 people who I ended up talking to most days, playing with them, making content, trying to grow... It was all about the fun at first, but then we saw YouTube blow up and go from nothing to earning $100,000 a month. We all wanted that! The group was simple: Leo - a gay guy who dressed up as a wolf and wanted to fuck other guys dressed up as wolves (they are called furys I think). He had huge social issues and claimed he could not leave his mothers house to get a real job because he feared leaving the house. Gloomy - a graphic designer from new york living with 6 immigrants in a 3 bed apartment. Barely had a pot to piss in but he didn't give a fuck, a good guy. Zack - a guy from somewhere near California, but not there. I remember he had the most amazing radio voice and he was a funny guy... as far as I know he's started his own network and is still at it in 2016. He was the only one who knew what the fuck we were meant to do. It turns out, starting a business with people you have never met, who are based in 3 different continents and you only know them by their xbox gamertag is a bad idea, but fuck it you only live once right? We were all struggling with YouTube, none of us were big enough to get partnered. None of us had any hope of the $100,000 a month the super stars were making, but through delusion and stupid thought we were still sticking with it. At the time I was a freelance web designer, youtube was something I used to break my day up. I was online for 9 to 14 hours a day either working or fucking around. We would have a none stop skype call going on for all this period, we talked a lot of shit. Broke down a lot of theories on how YouTube worked, found strategies for getting your video to stick at the top of the users subscription page, found ways to sneak our video onto the front page and worked out how YouTube SEO worked. That's how I found this place... We had all this knowledge, but no fucking talent. Leo wanted to fuck guys dressed as wolves who openly told everyone about it. Gloomy was called gloomy because he sounded gloomy, no one listens to that for entertainment. Zack was the most talented, but he made 1 video every month and that's not good enough. I was a troll, my videos were solely based around pissing people off on in game chat, trapping people in corners on call of duty and deliberately losing games for my team for reactions. My videos were probably only funny to me. We had no hope, and one day I snapped on skype on our call. Me: "You know who makes more money on YouTube than youtubers?" Gloomy: "probably google" Me: "What..." Gloomy: "they make all the advertising..." Me: "shut the fuck up, networks. Networks make the money. Fuck making videos, get kids to make videos for us and lets partner them" Zack: "how do we do that?" Me: "fucked if I know but if others have done it so can we." Leo: "A fury I know owns a network, OnAir.FM. He lives in Albania... I fucked him" Me: "how did you fuck an Albanian without leaving your mums house..." But lets leave that there... Over the next 3 weeks we focused on the network 100%. We got shit done! Between me and Leo we formed the company, registered the network channels, built branding packs, support desk software, signed our lives away to google, contract after fucking contract... Got the rights to show video games on our network, sorted out loads of music for partners to use, set up a website, drew up partner contracts, a forum, social channels, video intros..... We worked 100+ hours a week each and zack and Gloomy did what they could when they could. But we got there, we had our network. We could partner any fucking channel we like... we just needed to launch. At the time there were 3 networks in our gaming niche, Machinima. They just got a 30 million dollar investment from Google. We could not touch them... Yeousche, a shit network about 18 months old at the time and Vex, a brand new network that started the same month as us. We had to hit the ground running, we had to sign up a lot of people as fast as possible. We had to MAKE IT FUCKING HAPPEN and we did our best... but not much happened. Other channels didn't know who we were, they thought it was a scam. If we reached out to 1000 people we were lucky to sign 50 people up... It was a long hard slog and this was way before google opened adsense up. The only way you could get paid on YouTube was through a network. We were offering kids money, for doing stuff they already do, a no risk offer and they were still turning us down. What the fuck?!?! We did not understand this. We talked about it, it went roughly like this: Me: We are fucking up, we are doing something wrong. Our CPM is competitive, we offer a higher revenue share but no fucker trusts us. Gloomy: We don't have a brand like Yeousche, people know them Zack: No one likes yeouche, not even their own partners like yeousche Leo: Can someone buy me a pizza Me: Why don't we target the yeousche partners... Zack: What do you mean? Me: Offer them a better deal, 90% rev share. all the have to do is get dropped by their network by making a video talking shit about them. Kill the companies reputation, steal their partners. Grow our name. Zack: No we can't do that... Me: Why? Zack: because Me: Because what? Zack: ...... So that's what we did. Our plan to grow our company was to bribe unhappy partners at another network to bad mouth this company, destroying their trust, brand and everything else while we stole their partners and claimed them as our own. As part of their contract with us a video had to me made explaining to their subscribers they signed with us. Before you knew it we started to grow... 10 partners turned into 25, into 50, into 100... The snowball effect was in full swing and Leo was working 12 hours a day checking contracts, adding people to our network and dealing with support. Gloomy and Zack were recruiting. I was left to handle the money, and self appointed myself as the guy in charge picking out opportunities and keeping us all together. It made sense, Gloomy and Zack had jobs and couldn't be online all day like me and Leo, and Leo was retarded. Things were growing, then one day Yeousche clocked on to our plan. At this point they probably lost 250 partners to us, that's 250+ videos of people saying bad bad shit about Yeousche and then 250+ videos of them announcing they signed with us. It was very obvious what was happening. One day I woke up, turned skype on and 2 people had added me. "Big Snacks" and "Chaos Silencer". I knew they were the two guys running Yeousche.. Uh-oh... I accepted their contact request, they immediately both called me. BS: "what the fuck do you think you are playing at" Me: "I don't know what you're talking about" CS: "We know you have been making our partners make videos about us" Me: "Got proof?" CS: "watch this" - He sent a youtube video of a skype call where I was explaining exactly what a yeousch partner should do to get kicked out... Me: "Yeah, you got me. so what's the plan" CS: "we're going to YouTube..." Me: "This is just a misunderstanding." BS: "You started a fucking war, this is unacceptable" Me: "If you want to play games, I'm already winning. So lets play games" I didn't give a fuck about their threat to call YouTube. They mentioned the word war, and I didn't give a fuck about anything else. This sounded fun. Part 2 coming later on, this is barely the beginning and I have to get some shit done. All further parts are below as replies in the thread.