Entrepreneurs

How Stage 32 Became A Global Powerhouse By Combining Entertainment And Tech: A Case Study With Richard Botto

Social platforms that serve and foster communities (think Clubhouse) may now be trending, but one platform has quietly been changing the entertainment game for the last decade by fostering community, connections, and e-learning. 

Industries need strong networks to survive, and Stage 32 CEO Richard “RB” Botto saw this need in the entertainment industry, long before it was trending. 

A forerunner in his field, RB knew first-hand the obstacles facing fresh talent in the entertainment industry and decided to create the solution himself. He pulled his resources, created a vast network of talent, and in 2011 Stage 32  was born. Stage 32 serves as a global social networking and education platform for the entertainment industry connecting over 750,000 members worldwide with a direct line to streamers like Netflix, Amazon, Peacock, and others. He bridges the gap between networking and real-world experience by providing members with resources to develop their talents and projects under the guidance of today’s top film and TV creatives. Stage 32 also serves as a platform for members to share their work and get connected to representation, financing, distribution, and more.

Stage 32 combines traditional entertainment industry roles with a tech-centered approach to give talent across the globe the support they need to shorten their path to success. 

I had the opportunity to speak with Botto and hear his take on why the entertainment industry needs a tech-centric approach.

Shama Hyder: How did you identify a need in your industry, and what was it like to build Stage 32 as a solution to that need?

Richard Botto: About 10 years ago, I noticed the global convergence between tech and entertainment that was slowly, but surely, underway.  Also, as an actor, screenwriter, and producer myself, I understood the importance of community, specifically building relationships and finding one’s tribe toward building a long and prosperous career in the entertainment industry. However, the broad-based social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn were not serving as vehicles to help creatives and professionals in entertainment move forward.

I believed that the next phase of social media would be platforms serving a particular niche and I wanted to launch the dominant platform for the film, television, and digital content industries.  I observed that streamers such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, among others, were dedicating huge amounts of money to the original content. The goal of Stage 32 was to democratize the entertainment industry by leveling the playing field for all. But that wasn’t enough for me. I also wanted to create the world’s largest library of e-learning for creatives and professionals to help train and prepare them for success in entertainment.  And finally, I wanted to work directly with industry executives to connect creatives to professionals, essentially creating a marketplace between content creators and content producers.

Hyder: Can you tell us about the process of entrepreneurship, what were the challenges you faced in creating your company? How long did it take to feel like you achieved your goals?

Botto: We measure our wins in the successes of our members. We started without any focus groups of market assessments. In the beginning, I invited 100 of my closest industry friends to join and provide feedback. I also asked them to, if they liked what they saw, invite at least 5 fellow friends or peers to join the community. Within a few months, the community had grown to over 5,000 and now we have over 750,000 members with the same growth strategy.

As for challenges, the entertainment industry is extremely reluctant to change and slow to adapt.  Many thought that the professionals in the industry would be reluctant to accept an online method toward finding new talent and content. They were dead wrong and now, candidly, Stage 32 has become the norm. 

Hyder: What can entrepreneurs learn from your experience and success with Stage 32? 

Botto: Entrepreneurship is about passion, inventiveness, and being able to see the playing field in a way that most people do not. From a strictly business standpoint, you have to follow your path.  

Ultimately, by staying the course, executing our plan, and taking things in stages. We were profitable by year two and have never looked back.  And with our growth exploding over these last few years, the unsolicited offers we are receiving now are much more favorable than those at the beginning. We have earned the right to be more selective should we decide to take on outside capital or a merger or acquisition offer.

At the end of the day, the most important thing any entrepreneur (in any industry) can do is create a safe and productive environment for your community or customers. 

As a practical networking tip, I’ve always incorporated my “Rule of 3” which states that you offer someone something 3 times before you ever ask anything of them. Be curious, ask questions, offer assistance when and where you can. The result, more often than not, will be a successful connection.

Most Related Links :
reporterwings Governmental News Finance News

Source link

Back to top button