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March 4, 2016
Marketing  |  6 min read

Introducing Ignition, Our New Weekly Video Series

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Ellis Friedman

Here is a series of seemingly unrelated facts:

Online video will make up 70 percent of consumer internet traffic by 2017.

People with curly hair make the best on-camera personalities.

75 percent of business execs say they watch business-related videos on business websites at least weekly, and 50 percent watch work-related videos weekly on YouTube.

Men who mix and match colored socks, ties and vests are perceived as more intelligent. And their blonde understudies are among the most charismatic and effective leaders.

Just because entrepreneurs do it all doesn’t mean they always know what they’re doing.

I know, I know – what’s my point? Getting there. 

You’re probably here because you run your own business and you’re looking to bolster your knowledge, solve some problems and get some perspective. And hopefully you’re getting all that. (Not? Email [email protected]). 

But we got to thinking: How could we provide more? More information, more expertise, more value. And what we came up with was Ignition.

Ignition is (we hope) the Car Talk of small business crossed with Dear Prudence.  But why didn’t we just keep it a written column? Because discussion is a huge part of problem solving and an excellent way to get perspective. Disagreements, clarifications and opinions are all part of the decision making process, and we couldn’t leave that out.

We didn’t just decide to make Ignition so that we could beat our chests and claim that we have a weekly video series. Ignition is not about us; it’s about sourcing external subject matter experts – both widely and locally known – and putting them at your disposal to answer your questions. 

Maybe I should take a moment and talk about why we chose the name Ignition. It’s not after the R. Kelly song (though that is surprisingly popular among the content team). Honestly, it wasn’t our first choice for a name. We’d picked a name and filmed a bunch of episodes before we realized that, for a number of reasons, it wasn’t right. 

Some of us were worried that Ignition connotes too much of a start-up feel, but then we realized that we have to turn the ignition in our cars every day to make them run. And while your business may never park overnight in the garage, it does require constant acceleration and refueling. 

Why Ignition? Because at its core, the show is about propelling entrepreneurs forward. You may not be on the launch pad anymore, but you are on your upward trajectory, and we want to help you keep that upward arc.

Which brings us to the show itself. Since I’m a main producer and one of the co-hosts (it took a lot of convincing to get me into this one), it’s hard for me to speak totally objectively about it, but it’s awesome. Today we’re releasing the first one - not just the first to go live, but the very first one we filmed. It might be a little rough around the edges. But its core is there, and the later episodes just keep getting better.

And here’s a little fodder for our future IMDB trivia page: My regular co-host is Ramon Ray, a member of our PR team, creator of Smart Hustle Magazine and unstoppable force of entrepreneurial nature. You’ll notice that in this episode, he’s not there. In fact, he’s replaced by my startlingly competent and equally unstoppable boss, Carey Ballard (and no, she didn’t pay me extra to say that, but, I mean, she could). 

That’s because Ramon was snowbound in Newark and didn’t make it for the first episode (but he made it for all the rest!). And the ever-game team player Carey Ballard stepped in front of the camera with about 12 hours’ notice. And a big special thanks to our resident director/editor Bryan Illguth for putting this all together on a short timeline.

Now that we’ve finally launched, we’re putting two goals out there:

1. Every Wednesday, we’ll be posting a new episode of Ignition. It will be posted here and on our YouTube page.

2. Our dream guest is Elon Musk. Got a contact? Hook a sister up.

Got a question you want answered on Ignition? Email us at [email protected]


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