John Coogan is an entrepreneur, businessman, and Youtuber. Over the last decade, he has raised over 100 million in venture capital funding, worked across numerous companies, and cofounded many. We sat down with John to talk about his web3 endeavors and his Youtube channel centered on the Metaverse, which currently has over 160k subscribers.
Hi John, can you tell us about yourself and why you started doing Youtube?
“I’ve been an entrepreneur for the last decade focused on modernizing consumer packaged goods. My first company, Soylent, is focused on providing affordable and healthy food. My second company, Lucy, is focused on helping people quit smoking and vaping.”
“My role generally focuses on marketing and technology, which has a pretty good overlap with YouTube. At various times, I’ve had to produce video ads on a shoestring budget, while other times I’ve had six-figure budgets to go crazy with.”
“I started my YouTube channel during the lockdown as a way to keep busy on the weekends since there wasn’t anything to do. I figured that putting content out on YouTube would be a good way to meet interesting people since networking events weren’t happening anymore.”
“In the long term, I think YouTube will be a great calling card for my work in Silicon Valley. I do a little angel investing currently, but I’d like to do more in the future, and I’m already meeting interesting entrepreneurs through my channel.”
Why did you start doing videos on the metaverse/web3
“At the start of 2021, everyone in my circle was talking about the metaverse and web3, but there wasn’t much content about it on YouTube. I really enjoyed what Ben Thompson and Matthew Ball were writing about, and it seemed like a good intersection of all my interests.”
“I put out one basic overview video about the Metaverse, which did pretty well, but then when Facebook rebranded to Meta, the news was everywhere, and my video blew up. Everyone was going crazy in the comments like “he called it,” but it was pretty obvious if you had been following the big tech earnings calls and what analysts were saying.”
Do you see your platform as a way to educate the masses on the metaverse?
“I like covering more than just the metaverse, but I think the metaverse is an important trend that pulls together lots of interesting tech angles—VR, game development, social networking, decentralization, etc. I enjoy telling stories about new technologies, and it’s clear that something meaningful is happening around the metaverse.”
“We still don’t know exactly how things will play out, but clearly, technology will keep advancing, and new opportunities will pop up.”
Why do you think your youtube channel has seen such great growth?
“My channel delivers a unique blend of technology, economics, and history, all wrapped in a clear story. The tech is interesting, but people really enjoy hearing the perspective of an entrepreneur who’s been working in tech broadly for over a decade.”
What do you seek to achieve with your youtube channel?
“I want to increase optimism around technology. We have many problems to solve and a lot of challenges in front of us. It seems pretty clear to me that we need more technology to solve these problems. Many YouTube content is very negative (because that’s what people tend to click on), but I try to find more positive and optimistic angles wherever possible.”
What excites you personally about the metaverse?
“I was an early adopter of VR and have always enjoyed video games. I also spend a lot of time communicating with people online and working in front of screens. If we can make those experiences more immersive, I think everyone will be better off.”
“I’m not looking to spend more time in the digital world, but I’d like the time that I do spend online to be as effective as possible. In my opinion, that’s what most of these metaverse technologies are about at their best.”
What advice would you give YouTubers who want to get into Youtube and talk about web3?
“Stick to a cadence of publishing (weekly is great). Create a timebox where you make your videos. When I started, I pledged never to spend more than one day on a video. So I would wake up, pick a topic, write, record, and then edit.”
“Some days, I was busy, and my video would be short and pretty off the cuff. On other days I’d have more time and could do a bigger project, but I never failed to hit publish at the end of the day. Creating a habit around publishing is really critical since growth on YouTube takes a lot of time, and there are so many different things you need to learn.
“Everything will get slowly better, and then you’ll look back after 50 videos and think, “wow, that first one was so bad, I can’t believe anyone watched that.”
Can you tell us about the companies you currently co-run, Lucy and Soylent? Why did you found them?
“Both companies were started out of a personal need to live a healthier life. Soylent helps people with food, and Lucy helps people who use tobacco products. I love building products that can help people solve problems in their everyday lives.”