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Why I am Joining The Mission

Since changing jobs and joining a new venture is kinda a big deal for me, I figured I would take a few moments and explain to my friends and connections why I am joining The Mission!


I met our founder, Chad Grills, 7 months ago through our mutual friend, Phil Randazzo. We hit it off immediately. I’ll spare you the long story, but Chad is an exceptional guy. Thoughtful, smart and an amazing writer. He built The Mission by himself with zero funding and added a world-class team that I am thrilled to join.

What excited me the most about The Mission was, well, the mission. Chad wanted to solve things that I wanted to solve:

How do we help people learn faster and improve their lives?

How do we help companies build trust?

How do we empower creators?

How do we create stories that people talk about for decades?

How can we use technology to enhance the future of storytelling?

Unfortunately, most media today makes people sick and spreads fear, uncertainty, and doubt. The advertising screams at the reader, devalues the creator, and is gone in an instant. Time, energy, effort, money and talent are wasted.

I believe that this is changing rapidly and I’m proud to be part of an organization that is building the future.

The Problem

An interesting headline catches your eye: “Watch this good dog open a jar of ketchup for his owner”. You click on the link:


You slam your finger down on the screen, scrambling for the little white “x” on the top right of your phone.

Whew. That was a close one. Now back to the puppy and ketchup… You click ‘play video”.


Please wait 30 seconds? Darn. You can’t even play Sudoku because the video is playing on your phone.

Waiting… waiting… finally the puppy! Look at him! Is he a lab? Maybe a lab mix? He grabbed the ketchup and is bringing it over…


No! You hate that app. It does not make your life easier. It makes your life harder because it interrupts puppy videos.

Interrupting Cow

MOO! We all hate pop-ups. They suck. We mostly hate pre-rolls. We definitely hate mid-rolls.


Because they interrupt our lives.

Do you have a friend that interrupts people all the time? Do you like hanging out with them?

Why would anyone want to be associated with interruption?

I have no idea.

I think that the best companies will shift their efforts (and $$$) away from interruptions.

Building the Future

Media and marketing are changing at an exponential rate.

The future of media is mobile, video, augmented reality, and virtual reality. It is here already:

There are over 2.5 billion smartphones and growing toward 5 billion.

By the end of 2017, 74% of internet traffic will be video.

615 million devices used AdBlock last year.

I am not saying the crappy pop ups and annoying midrolls are going away anytime soon.

But there is a massive opportunity in the market for high-quality, evergreen content that improves people’s lives without incessant interruptions (see Netflix, Amazon Studios, etc).

Sooo… what is The Mission?

Great question! The Mission is a new kind of media company and creative studio. We help mission-driven companies build trust and connect with customers for life.

Media. The Mission provides you with the best stories, videos, podcasts, and information you need to improve your life. Our stories reach millions of the smartest and most affluent audience in the world. You can subscribe to get our best ones here.

Creative Studio. We partner with companies to create amazing content. Our network of talented creators have worked with companies like Twilio, Qualcomm, Dropbox and more!

Why branded content?

Well that is the billion dollar question! In a world of soundbites, headlines, clickbait and pop-ups; branded content can cut through the noise. Branded content is a story that delivers value first, before asking for anything in return.

Branded content (or content marketing) has been around a long time. From Benjamin Franklin to John Deere to The LEGO Movie. If you are interested, The Content Marketing Institute did a fantastic documentary and infographic on the history.

We want to build trust and connect with our audience. Our branded content is:

  • A story
  • A way to truly engage with fans
  • A method to demonstrate a brand’s values by showing, not simply telling
  • High quality and evergreen

Matt Helbig, our Chief Creative Officer, puts it this way:

Content is the deliberate creation of art where the ultimate goal is to entertain those who watch it. Branded Content is no different. The addition of the word “Branded” simply means that the cost of its creation and distribution has been underwritten by a brand as a gift to its fans.

Seth Godin sums it up nicely:

Marketing in 1965 was the same thing as advertising. We called it marketing, but it was advertising. As advertising has faded away, marketers have tried to turn the Internet into advertising. My argument is: Real content marketing isn’t repurposed advertising, it is making something worth talking about. -Seth Godin (via Contently)

What is your new job at The Mission?

I’m the Head of Branded Content. We work with enterprise marketing leaders to create and distribute branded content to our audience.

What kinds of companies do you work with?

Mostly enterprise companies or large brands. If you are interested in learning more about our creative studio, please drop me a line or fill out this typeform: here.

Find Your Mission

I love this stuff. I wake up every morning excited to work with our team and our partners. If there is any way that I can be helpful, please let me know!



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Ian Faison

Ian Faison

CEO at Caspian Studios (caspianstudios.com). Army/OEF/West Point veteran.