Welcome to a brand-new post to the Ask Ash Series, where I ask WatchMojo founder and CEO Ashkan Karbasfrooshan questions on various topics daily, ranging from what is going on in the news, to career advice for students and entrepreneurs.
Today, I thought it would be insightful to get a perspective on what Ash does daily, and learn more about some of his outside hobbies. Additionally, I wanted to learn about some of the things that he is most proud of since founding WatchMojo.
1) Can you walk us through what you usually do as CEO of one of the biggest media brands in the world each day?
I’m a big believer in stakeholder management, and given our here to serve mindset, I am ultimately the chief problem-solver, ombudsman and customer service rep for all stakeholders, starting with viewers, employees, clients, the media, distribution (platform) partners, etc.
As such, my days are generally filled with meetings with those stakeholders but invariably also entail managing some kind of more surprise event, some more pressing and urgent than others.
We have 50 employees and 100+ freelancers, I consider freelancers as part of our team just as I do the full-time staff… as much as I view myself as responsible and accountable to all of them, I only have up to direct reports, so I spend a lot of my day serving as a sounding board and coach/advisor to my team who then manages a lot of people. I love that part of entrepreneurship. I always regret not getting into organized sport earlier, but entrepreneurship has allowed me to be a player/coach/GM and I love it.
Specifically, that can mean speaking to a media company about helping them expand into video, or listening to a marketer about their goals, or an employee who’s having a hard time breaking through to the next step, or of course a viewer who was upset about something and me needing to look into it.
2) What are you most proud of about the company?
1. Created hundreds of jobs for creative talent.
2. Same group of 5 co-founders since Day 1, 15+ years ago.
3. Close to 20% of the FT team has been with us for 10 years.
4. Freelance contract workers who view WatchMojo as their main/sole source of funding for years.
5. Never had to do layoffs due to financial reasons.
6. Building one of the most respected, well-known and valuable brands of this generation… inasmuch as YouTube replaced cable, our brand and community makes us like the next iteration of an ESPN or MTV… and that is really cool.
3) When you are not working, what are some of your outside hobbies?
I love music, I love to cook, I love to travel… and I love to play soccer and tennis. I’m a storyteller at heart, so I also love to write and produce other projects, be it documentaries or scripted programming.
Lastly, if you want to submit questions to Ash directly, you can do so by clicking the link here: https://watchmojo.com/suggest/AskMojo%20-%20WatchMojo’s%20founder%20Ash