CreativeLive’s Chase Jarvis: If LinkedIn Offered You $200m Do You Take It?

Chase Jarvis

In Episode #774, Nathan interviews Chase Jarvis. He’s one of the most influential photographers in the last 20 years. He’s also the creator and CEO of CreativeLive. He’s won awards for his images on six different continents, including his contributions to the Pulitzer Prize winning story Snow Fall—the acclaimed New York Times interactive story heralded as the “future of journalistic storytelling” and  Emmy nominated for his work documenting the music scene in Seattle. In 2009, he created the Best Camera app which was the first photo app that shared images directly to social networks. It was #1 on iTunes, App of the Year on Wired and got many other awards. He’s currently focused on his work as the founder and CEO of CreativeLive, the world’s largest online education platform for creatives and entrepreneurs with over a thousand teachers, 1500 classes and 10K hours of classes.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday
  • What CEO do you follow? – Jeff Weiner
  • Favorite online tool? — Evernote
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 7.5
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Chase would tell himself that mental health is the most important thing

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:48 – Nathan introduces Chase to the show
  • 02:48 – Nathan describes his experience with New York Times
  • 03:11 – We are now in a weird and modern era of journalism and media
  • 03:20 – “If you’re really focused on innovating and breaking out of the norm, you can do it”
  • 03:35 – Snow Fall is a story of an avalanche
    • 03:40 – Chase’s friend was a victim in an avalanche so the story was extra special to him
  • 04:01 – Feature storytelling is continuing to grow and evolve
  • 04:10 – Physical newspaper is dying and has becoming uninteresting
  • 04:23 – Chase believes that there will be platforms in the future that are embedded with native bells and whistles that will continue to evolve
  • 04:45 – “Journalism is moving in the same direction as tech”
  • 05:02 – As platforms become more templated, we’ll become more interactive and have exciting experience with our news
  • 05:24 – “Timing is everything”
  • 05:30 – Chase shares his experience with his Best Camera app
    • 05:38 – Being the first was challenging
    • 05:43 – The developer was in a legal snafu which slowed down the creation of the app and paralyzed Chase’s business
    • 05:57 – Companies had already asked Chase if they could buy his app
    • 06:13 – Chase has spent 10 years identifying himself as an artist and entrepreneur
    • 06:30 – Chase was struggling with his overall identity
    • 07:30 – Chase just shut down his app; moved on and learned from it
  • 08:11 – “I got more juice to go help other people break through some of those problems”
  • 08:40 – Specifically, Chase owns all the intellectual property of his app
  • 09:39 – “We need to overcome the psychology of being stuck in paralysis and analysis”
  • 10:05 – Chase was in his late 30s in 2009
  • 10:27 – Chase thinks that humans are generally resilient so he didn’t dwell much on what happened
  • 10:34 – 5 years later, Chase wrote about his failure on his blog
    • 10:59 – It’s more about having an impact on the world rather than just getting money
  • 11:25 – Chase got into Instagram only a year and a half ago
    • 11:35 – Chase was trying to preserve a legal position
  • 11:53 – CreativeLive sells content that are created by the top experts in the world
    • 12:01 – There’s a premium model where customers can see how things are done
    • 12:07 – There are channels that can be watched for free
  • 12:33 – CreativeLive has a total of 10M students, paid and free users
  • 13:12 – CreativeLive has a high conversion rate relative to peers and commerce
    • 13:31 – Average conversion rate is 1-2%
  • 13:39 – CreativeLive is curated to creators by creators
    • 13:51 – It is more community focused and is not a two-sided marketplace
  • 14:00 – Competitors’ classes can be created by anyone which is very different from CreativeLive
  • 15:07 – Chase has no desire to limit the creators in CreativeLive
  • 15:29 – CreativeLive designs their contract and relationship with their creators
  • 15:50 – Chase is confident in CreativeLive and the value it brings to people
  • 16:58 – “We make you look great”
  • 17:05 – CreativeLive only makes the extraordinary
  • 17:24 – The challenge that Masterclass is facing
  • 18:44 – CreativeLive was bootstrapped for the first 2 years
  • 18:56 – CreativeLive has raised $58.8 M in total
  • 19:30 – Chase won’t sell CreativeLive for $200M, even if it’s from LinkedIn
  • 20:06 – CreativeLive’s mission is for people to educate themselves and make a living
  • 20:26 – Chase would only sell if the vision of the buyer aligned with them
  • 22:00 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Don’t dwell on your past mistakes, use them as motivation to move on and create better.
  2. Contracts are made for a reason; study and check thoroughly before agreeing to one.
  3. Stay aligned with your mission and vision.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Simplero – The easiest way to launch your own membership course like the big influencers do but at 1/10th the cost.
  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • GetLatka – Database of all B2B SaaS companies who have been on my show including their revenue, CAC, churn, ARPU and more
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives