Jim Louderback

September 1, 2014

Bye Bye Revision3 and Discovery!

Filed under: Commentary — Jim @ 6:07 am

Douglas Adams RocksAfter five years as CEO building Revision3 into the number one non-fiction web-original video network – and then more than two years overseeing the company’s integration and expansion into Discovery Communications, I’ve decided to call it quits.

It’s been a great run, both personally and professionally. I’ve had the good fortune to work with a tremendously talented group of investors, employees and executives, and learned a lot about building companies, raising capital, successful exits and how to integrate a startup into a large corporation. Over the past few years I’ve worked hard to build up the leadership team at Discovery Digital Networks – along with expanding the roster of networks from one to five.

But seven years is long enough for just about anything. It was a hard decision to leave behind the great team, amazing creators and wonderful properties we’ve built, but I just can’t stop thinking about new opportunities to innovate around great new companies, products and business models. I got the itch to do it again!

But first I’m taking a bit of a pause to clear my mind, process the incredible success we built with Revision3, and relax a little bit. I’ve woefully neglected the things I love outside of work – including video games, music, hiking, travel and of course my family.

I’m not going to go completely off the grid for then next month or two – although I am going to start checking email just once a day (if that). Along with catching up on all the great Xbox One games that have come out in the last year (that’ll take what, two days tops?) and following Phish on their west coast swing in October I’m writing a book for first time CEOs, detailing all the dumb things I did as a way to help them avoid making the same mistakes.

I’m about 20,000 words in, with an outline, but no clear idea when it’ll be done. I plan on writing an hour a day – and then goofing off for the next 23.

Of course I’m always interested in proposals, ideas and other great product and company ideas. Drop me a line at jim@louderback.com and stay in touch.

And if you’re interested in the book, I’ve included the first chapter here if you want to read it. I’m not sure what to call it, but here are some of the headlines I’ve been considering:

  • What to Expect When You’re Selected: A Primer for First-Time CEOs
  • OMG I Became a CEO, and You Won’t BELIEVE What Happened Next
  • CEO FAIL: 23 Stupid Things I Did Running A Silicon Valley Startup
  • The Only CEO Guide You’ll Ever Need
  • 53 Ways to Really Screw Up Your New Company
  • READ THIS: A CEO Survival Guide
  • Boardroom Confidential: How To Survive Your First Year as CEO

    1. I like #2. Somehow it conveys the tawdry, the dangerous, and the glamorous part of being a CEO. And as someone who has coached nearly 800 startups, I can tell you there is no book out there I can send them to read. So keep writing an hour a day, dude. And don’t forget to press publish.

      Comment by francinehardaway — September 1, 2014 @ 12:51 pm

    2. CEO 1.0?

      Comment by Ross Rubib — September 1, 2014 @ 1:13 pm

    3. Good on ya, Jim. You certainly had a great run and I know the team at Rev3 / Discovery will miss you and your talents.

      From the book standpoint, I vote for Headline No. 3: CEO Fail. It makes for a tight, short book title, should make a great hashtag (#CEOfail), and although the primary URL is taken (CEOfail.com), I suspect it could be bought for a relatively small amount.

      In the meantime, best of luck in your future endeavors.


      Dave Politis

      Comment by David Politis — September 1, 2014 @ 1:21 pm

    4. Happy trails….I hope literally.
      Have followed you for almost all seven.
      I like
      CEO Survival: 53 ways to screw up

      Comment by Mark Del Monte — September 1, 2014 @ 1:39 pm

    5. I like #1 and #7. But most importantly I hope you totally enjoy your time off.

      Comment by pam valentine — September 1, 2014 @ 2:16 pm

    6. It’s a great decision Jim, you’ll have a blast and you’ll find plenty of things to capture your attention and passion. Even though you might not know what those are right now :)


      Comment by Tom Foremski (@tomforemski) — September 1, 2014 @ 2:19 pm

    7. “My Life as a Startup CEO: Don’t try this at home…53 Ways I nearly failed”

      Comment by Tom Foremski (@tomforemski) — September 1, 2014 @ 2:24 pm

    8. Congratulations! That’s a big move. I like the titles you’re considering for your book.

      Keep us posted on what’s next!

      Comment by Dylan Tweney — September 1, 2014 @ 2:43 pm

    9. Been a fan since Fresh Gear!

      Will be getting the book when it comes out… get some rest!

      Comment by Taiwan Brown — September 1, 2014 @ 2:48 pm

    10. Enjoy your time off Jim because in this booming market the next opportunity is likely to come to you very quickly. I vote for #2…very Upworthy/Buzzfeedy 😀 Best wishes!

      Comment by Martine Paris — September 1, 2014 @ 3:57 pm

    11. A job well-done Jim. Best of success in the next phase!

      Comment by Dane Golden — September 1, 2014 @ 4:13 pm

    12. It doesn’t seem like you made enough mistakes to write a book about them but it’s great that you are, Jim! Too often people won’t share their mistakes and let other people learn from them. I think I like CEO Fail – but I’m certain that doesn’t define your experience!

      Comment by Sarah Fay — September 1, 2014 @ 4:23 pm

    13. Congratulations on the career decision Jim and best of luck with the writing. I’m looking forward to the full book.

      Comment by David Churbuck — September 2, 2014 @ 7:46 am

    14. Throw one in there with “EXCLUSIVE” and you’ve covered the gammut. Good luck on the book and what’s next! I look forward to something great.

      Comment by Lee Milstein — September 2, 2014 @ 8:49 am

    15. Congrats and enjoy! Another title idea: “Out of the Frying Pan… & How to Succeed as a First Time CEO” Good luck!

      Comment by Mike Linton — September 3, 2014 @ 3:03 pm

    16. Jim, I’ve seen you create nothing but success and excitement since your days back at PC Week. Cannot wait to see what you do next. The book sounds like a pitch-perfect idea. I favor the first and last titles.

      Good luck!

      Comment by Lance Ulanoff — September 3, 2014 @ 5:36 pm

    17. Looking forward to continuing watching the adventure unfold for you!! Been a fan since PC WEEK ’92!!!

      Comment by Brenda Christensen — September 4, 2014 @ 4:47 pm

    18. I cant wait to read the finished product. I have been working with the Revision3/DDN team since 2012, regret that I did not get to meet you in person.

      Comment by James Bixby — September 26, 2014 @ 1:36 pm

    19. […] his blog post, Louderback said his book for newbie CEOs will detail “all the dumb things I did as a way […]

      Pingback by Discovery Digital Networks Head Jim Louderback Resigns | Variety — November 19, 2014 @ 1:32 am

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