7 things I loved & 7 constructive criticisms of Mario Armstrong’s #NeverSettleShow

Chris Strub
May 11, 2017 · 9 min read
What a joy it was to hang out with this crew at last night’s #NeverSettleShow Season 1 Finale.

Mario Armstrong’s #NeverSettleShow, presented by FedEx Office, concluded its first season last night with a bang. The revolutionary talk show, which was live-streamed Wednesday evenings from the Canary studio in Manhattan onto the Entrepreneur Facebook page, capped a successful first run with a visit from Shark Tank’s Daymond John. (Watch the show here!)

Daymond John was the guest on the #NeverSettleShow Season 1 finale.

And while it’s a near-certainty there will be a second season, there are sure to be significant changes to the format as well. I attended three of the six episodes this season in person, and particularly last night, there was a predictable mix of resignation and optimism among the many, many moving parts of the crew. (I offered some insight into these conversations during this Periscope stream, if interested.)

Having loved the idea from the moment I heard of it, I’ve tried to be as involved as possible with the show from the beginning. Prior to the season, Mario and the team hosted “co-producers” meetings, where they’d spend an hour a week soliciting feedback from viewers that would help shape the direction of the show. I appeared on camera virtually during one meeting, and was blessed to be able to attend a second meeting in-person (!), sitting alongside Mario at Roker Media for another.

“Thanks, Entrepreneur Magazine.” Can’t believe I actually went through with filming that RapMyPitch segment!

You may also have seen me introduce episodes №1 and №4 (with Sandra Centorino), and I was the first brave soul to accept Mario’s “Rap Your Pitch” challenge. (Watch it here!) And every time you saw a shot of Mario’s Emmy-laden bookshelf, the very first copy of my bold-looking yellow book was shining bright.

Don’t misinterpret this post — I’m the show’s biggest fan, and was incredibly proud to play a role in its first season. But with the first season in the rearview mirror, it’s the perfect time to break down what I loved about the show, and some aspects where it could be improved.

Cathy Nolan’s artwork was a brilliant addition to the #NeverSettleShow.

7 THINGS I LOVED ABOUT THE #NEVERSETTLESHOW

  1. The red-carpet pre-show with Ross Brand. I’ve long been a fan of Ross’s work with LiveStreamUniverse, and to package him as part of the #NeverSettleShow experience was a match made in heaven. The data backs it up: Ross Brand is Klout’s top live-streaming influencer, particularly because of his encyclopedic knowledge of the live-streaming genre, and it showed every time he was on camera. Adaptability during a chaotic live-stream like that is an invaluable skill, and no one on the planet is better positioned to conduct a series of interviews of live-stream pros like Jon Burk, Ben Ratner, Evie Yannakidis and so many more in a row. That there is a red-carpet pre-show in the first place is the perfect way to make everyone in attendance at the show feel like a star — which is exactly what Mario Armstrong and the crew were after. The red-carpet pre-show might benefit from assigning a camera operator to Ross, rather than making him hold up a selfie stick for an hour-plus, but that he’s able to one-man-show it is an even bigger testament to his dedication, stamina and professionalism.

7 CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISMS OF THE SHOW

What did you think of #MarioMotivator?

(Again, I *love* this show, but the best performers, athletes, musicians, etc., are always looking for ways to improve.)

  1. The somewhat unpredictable nature of the run of show. Throughout the season, the live audience was as invaluable asset, but from episode to episode, there were noticeable differences in the in-studio reactions. At the start of the season, Mario and the team emphasized that there were no physical, visual cues for the audience to laugh, cheer and otherwise react — a point that was gradually de-emphasized through the season. Because the experience is so new, so different, so outside-the-box for the attendees — most of whom are not necessarily live-streaming pros, or active co-producers who enter fully familiar with the format — I felt like some guidance from the crew would be welcomed.
The wines from Proud Pour are fantastic — hopefully Season 2 will provide an even smoother opportunity for attendees to purchase bottles, like Michael C Voices!

Those are my big-picture thoughts, and now I’m curious for yours: What sort of changes do you think the #NeverSettleShow should take on? Feel free to join the conversation in the comments below, and Tweet to @NeverSettleShow to bring your ideas directly to the NSS team.

I’m certain, as well, that the team will be posting their own survey to collect feedback, and when that happens I’ll update this post to include a link to that as well.

I hope to see you in the live studio audience — wherever that may be — in Season 2. Keep in touch!

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Chris Strub is the first man to live-stream and Snapchat in all 50 U.S. states, and author of ’50 States, 100 Days: The Book,’ which was featured in Mario’s bookshelf for the duration of Season 1 of the #NeverSettleShow.

Chris Strub

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The 1st man to live-stream in 50 U.S. states. Have worked with more than 100 nonprofits nationwide, Formerly @Humana. chrisstrub@gmail.com … www.teamstrub.com