THE Cub Report – Living The Dream! (And Why It Sucks)
Well hello there, so nice of you to take a gander at this week’s Cub Report. I trust you had a spectacular weekend, or at least half as good as mine, which was spectacular.
Ya know, a whole lot of people desperately want to work in the rc business. I say that because I was cruising some rc videos on YouTube the other day and I was rather startled by what I saw. Just what exactly did I see? Well… I saw that most of the replies in the videos that I was watching was spam. Ok, spam is an age old problem across the web, but I was watching various rc channels, where nearly all the comments were by other rc channels commenting simply to get their logos noticed.
At one time there were four pretty solid mags in the rc industry. Since the industry has gone on the decline, that number has been reduced to just one. What that should tell you is that, at least in print, there just wasn’t a need for that many magazines. Sadly, the same has happened to media sites on the web as well. Long gone are Area 52, Buggy Sport, and too many others to even count.
Looking at the comments on YouTube and Facebook, it doesn’t appear there are any consumers anymore, it looks like every single person that has ever picked up a transmitter is now an rc media company of some sort. They do their obligatory 25 minute unboxing video that drones on and on about nothing, then they do a review, then they post a video. None of which are terrible things for our industry of course, but I have to wonder if that is one of the reasons for our industry’s decline. People are spending more time posting about what they bought instead of actually using the product and enjoying themselves via trigger time.
Because every Tom, Dick, and Harry is now a “media source”, I have a warning for you. If your channel/FB page/dot com does blow up, it isn’t nearly as “fun” as you think it is. Ever want to totally ruin something? Do it for a living. We are just past graduation season. In many commencement speeches you will hear something to the effect of “You will have a fantastic life as long as you do something you love!”. That I can assure you is complete BS. Why? Because I have lived that dream twice in my lifetime now, and all that does is turn something you love into just another paycheck.
Wayyyy back in the ’90s, back when I first started working inside the rc industry, I was super stoked! I had a deep passion for all things rc and simply could not wait to bring all I had to offer on a daily basis. I was such a stupid noob. LOL So for years (and years) afterwards, I gave rc 110%, putting in well over 80 hours a week on the punch clock. Ok, that was another noobie mistake of mine, sprinting a marathon every day instead of looking at the big picture, but I had a huge fire for the industry, one that was burn-out resistant for over a decade. Even today, after all the hours I’ve put into this hobby I still have the fire, albeit one that isn’t quite what it used to be.
For all the small start-up rc media sources, I applaud you for following the dream, but if you expect giant piles of cash and daily phone calls from guys like Lett, Losi, Jenkins, or Ambrose, you are sorely mistaken. And you should look at where your channel/page is at right now. For example, lets say you buy a new truck and post a review to your Facebook page. Has FB cut you a check recently for all the views that it got? Nope, but FB has made money via that extra traffic you have brought to their site. What about that YouTube channel of yours? That check for $28 a month you get from all your views doesn’t even cover the cost of your gas to hit an LHS to buy a truck and drive to a bashing area to shoot some video. Absolutely, big money can be made on YouTube, but that takes a LOT of cash to get there. In the meantime, while you might get a kick out of getting 184 views on your latest video, you have to wonder if that time may have been better spent out actually enjoying your car, or spending time with your wife (or even just finding one), or putting in a couple of hours of overtime in at work to help you afford the next big rc truck that hits the market.
All I am saying is this, if posting videos/reviews is your thing, great for you, just don’t go into it expecting to get rich, or to be making the front page on TMZ. There are just so many small channels and “review” sites out there right now (thousands) that breaking out of the unknown masses and into the prime time is going to require a LOT of time, most likely it will have to become your full time gig. And once that happens, the hobby will never be the same for you again. Doing something because you want to is awesome, doing something because you have to to keep food on your table takes most of the fun away. Sure, there are plenty of times when I desperately wish I would have just let rc remain a simple, pleasureful, hobby to me. However, I am wired for 110% or nothing at all, and I found out the hard way that making it to the top isn’t nearly as easy, glamorous, or filled with monetary rewards, as I expected it to be.
So there ya go folks, another Cub Report is in the record books. As I always like to say, support your local hobby shops (they miss you!) and bash spots when ya can.
YOUR Cub Reporter