Ben left home at the age of 15 to follow his dreams of becoming a Division One hockey player. After a successful 4-year career at Colgate University, Ben had opportunities to play professionally and work at a big 4 consulting firm. Met with a fork in the road, he decided to veer off the road by not only hanging up his skates, but by forgoing his corporate job just 12 hours before his first day. Ben had other ideas and set off to fuel his north star.
For the past 2 years, Ben has been building an ecommerce software startup called Platter, a software company helping Shopify brands increase conversion rate and average order value on their storefront. Most founders would tell you, ”to build a successful software company, you need to work 18 hours a day at a computer on the same thing all the time. You can't do anything else, because if you do something else, you're deemed a distraction and investors don't like that.” As a founder, Ben disagrees.
“My belief is that there are ways that you can utilize alternative media channels to draw in different eyeballs whether it be potential customers, partners, or investors that you want to get in front of. In today’s world, having media distribution is an invaluable asset as a form of acquisition."
Ryan has held many roles that led him to the work he does now, which is run a consulting firm that primarily works with companies and investors in all stages of their growth cycle. Prior to this, Ryan was getting a lot of fulfillment by working with creators helping them to monetize their content or get started investing. The consulting business was built after having an opportunity to be a co-founder and the COO of a startup (Wallplay), where he helped both restructure how the company made money and raise its first venture capital rounds of funding. COVID unfortunately interrupted their business model, and it was through unwinding the company that people in his network asked him to help them avoid the same fate. Ryan had been advising and investing in startups throughout his career as an investment banker and while working at a family office, so the transition to consulting came naturally.
Ryan has done a lot of interesting things while building the consulting firm. He most notably helped JT Barnett & Nick Dio build the very first adult TikTok house during the pandemic—which they grew to 1M followers in 60 days, and later sold. It was during this arc in his career where he discovered a common pain point amongst the creators he worked with.
“Most content creators become creators first and then they figure out the business once they have a community and realize they can monetize it,” Ben goes on to explain how they did it differently: “We started as business operators, understanding the fundamentals and now we're putting ourselves out there as content creators.” The boys have been building quietly in an effort to set themselves up for success. Their thesis centers around the goal to be consistent rather than to chase virality.