Inside the Creator Business Disrupting the Pet Industry 🦴

Little Chonk revamps the doggy water bottle

Good morning. YouTube keeps setting records in TV viewership. Last month, the platform accounted for 10% of total TV usage, according to a new report from Nielsen. That’s the largest share for a streaming service to date.

Little Chonk Launches a Dog Water Bottle

The Lil Gulp is designed for dogs to drink out of a portable “trough” / Kickstarter

Bryan Reisberg, the creator behind Maxine the Fluffy Corgi, launched a Kickstarter for a state-of-the-art dog water bottle through his pet brand, Little Chonk, last week. 

Within 27 minutes, the campaign exceeded its goal of $25,000 and has nearly 4x’d to $98,000 from 1,600 backers in the last week.

Little Chonk’s ultimate goal? Become the Nike of the pet industry. Reisberg and cofounder Scott Dunn told us how they plan to do it.

Context: Since 2015, Maxine the Fluffy Corgi has grown to 5 million followers across TikTok and Instagram, with Reisberg documenting his adventures with Maxine in a backpack. 

In 2021, Reisberg and Dunn launched the Little Chonk brand with the Maxine One backpack. Within a year, it became one of the highest rated backpacks in the pet category, and Little Chonk exceeded seven figures in revenue.

“We started with doggy backpacks because that’s the stickiest to who we are, but as we blow that category out of the water we’re going to move into other areas that need improvement, which now is doggy water bottles,” Reisberg told us. 

Two keys to their success →

  • Maximizing audience. Having an already engaged community helped boost the Kickstarter campaign, Dunn said. “We have so many unfair advantages in our reach and audience that has been with us for years,” Reisberg said.

  • Being selective. “One of the larger issues we see is creators launching products, and not creators building brands,” Dunn said. For Little Chonk, that requires strategic thinking about retail partners. “We’re thinking bigger than the Petcos and PetSmarts, but more in the REIs and Patagonias and Dick’s Sporting Goods,” Dunn said.

Big picture: “Content is a way I like to stay creative, but it’s not the end-all be-all,” Reisberg said. “So the whole thing is then ‘how do we use this to do something really meaningful?’ That’s what Little Chonk is. As long as we keep challenging ourselves to drive impact in an industry I love—which is the pet industry—I’ll be happy.”

Mark Rober Launches CrunchLabs Spinoff for Teens

Mark Rober’s new Hack Pack subscription includes 6 robot projects sent to customers over one year / CrunchLabs

Science edutainment creator Mark Rober just announced a new CrunchLabs spinoff product: Hack Pack, a subscription build box for teens and adults.

Context: Rober launched CrunchLabs in June 2022 as a physical studio, YouTube channel, and monthly subscription box centered around one core idea: “Think like an engineer.”

The new offering will expand on the success of Rober’s original “Build Box” (full of buildable engineering toys intended for kids 8–12), which Rober told Colin and Samir has been a big success.

CrunchLabs, by the numbers:

  • 100,000 monthly subscribers (passed in just six months)

  • More than 1 million build boxes shipped

  • 50 employees, up from 10 at launch

Now, Rober is diversifying his product offering. Each Hack Pack subscription comes with a new buildable robot every other month, plus instructional videos from Mark and an online coding platform that lets users “hack” the robots’ capabilities.

Big picture: Rober’s goal with Hack Pack is to increase the lifetime value of a CrunchLabs customer, offering additional products to build once they age out of the original box.

“[Kids] graduate to this…truly, I think we’ll have a lot of adults doing these and really liking them,” Rober told Colin and Samir.

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John Green Premieres New Film ‘Turtles All The Way Down’

“It’s the best portrayal of OCD as I experience it that I’ve ever seen in a movie,” John Green says about the MAX adaptation of “Turtles All the Way Down” / vlogbrothersMAX

Education creator and novelist John Green premiered the film adaptation of his book, Turtles All the Way Down, to 1,400 fans on Saturday.

“It’s always a really thrilling, terrifying moment—the moment before anyone sees the movie,” Green, who served as executive producer, told us before the screening. “It’s done, there’s nothing you can do to make it better…and yet, nobody’s seen it yet.”

Looking ahead: Turtles will release on Max on May 2. After that, Green said he’ll put the finishing touches on his next big project (a nonfiction book about tuberculosis) and continue uploading his weekly Vlogbrothers videos.

“I think it’s safe to say that I’m a little reluctant to work in Hollywood [again] because of the lack of control,” he said. “Creators like to actually create, and I’m very grateful to YouTube for giving me that opportunity to make something every Tuesday for the last 17 years.”

👀 Creator Moves

  • Shelby Church is hiring a writer to strengthen the research for her videos.

  • Mythical is hiring a partnerships director to integrate brands into its content.

  • AstroKobi is hiring a video editor to edit two of his educational videos a month.

Calling all creators: an exclusive opportunity to tell the story of freelancers and get paid for sharing your experience. Join the Fiverr creator network today.*

*This is sponsored advertising content.

🔥 Press Worthy

  • Kenny Beecham’s Numbers on the Board podcast is now airing weekly on ESPN2.

  • Cleo Abram travels to Switzerland to document the Large Hadron Collider.

  • MrBeast shares a behind-the-scenes look at his forthcoming Amazon Prime show.

  • Twitch is launching a TikTok-like discovery feed.

  • YouTube cracks down on ad blockers by disabling videos using third-party ad blocking apps.

  • Nospace, a social app inspired by Myspace, launches at the end of this month (there’s currently a 300K-person waitlist).

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