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“The first thing a founder should do is define what success means” With Hi5 Studios CEO, Matthias

Define success. For everyone it is different. For some people its growth, for some its happiness and the journey, for others its money. Make no mistake there is a right answer, but I’ve found defining it first helps you get to the correct answer quickly.


Define success. For everyone it is different. For some people its growth, for some its happiness and the journey, for others its money. Make no mistake there is a right answer, but I’ve found defining it first helps you get to the correct answer quickly.


I had the pleasure to interview Matthias, the Founder and CEO of Hi5 Studios


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Of course, thanks for inviting me to be a part of this! I have always been drawn to content of all types, whether it be novels, screenplays, movies, TV, and yes, online content. Online content, however, was somewhat free and affordable to produce and I didn’t need anyone’s permission to build something from it, I could start making things I believed were good.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

Trying to give you the most interesting story might be a bit more challenging for me than an average person in the position of CEO because of the very nature of my business. I run a content studio that primarily makes authentic YouTube videos, so many of these stories happen on a day to day basis because we have a team of people whose job is to quite literally make the most exciting things happen on a day to day basis. Some of the more challenging aspects come when someone pitches me a great but wild/dangerous idea, and we have to step back and remember we’re trying to maintain a professional and safe work environment. An example of this is a show that we have by the name of REKT, as you would assume, wrecks things, this can get tricky navigating HR/Legal/Safety, etc.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting?

I think a funny mistake I made was assuming that everyone thinks like me. I grew pretty quick after realizing that quick lesson. When we first started the business, it was with my two brothers and some of my best friends. Naturally, we have a similar mindset about how to run the company, but as we began to hire we quickly realized not everyone thinks like us, and it sets a dangerous precedent to assume such going forward.

Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

A lesson I learned from that was a lesson in deep understanding of motivations. Why people do what they do, act the way they act. Running a successful business is just as much about knowing your crew, as it is about understanding your customers.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Hi5 Studios stands out as its one of the very few companies in the space of multichannel online content that is not only self-sufficient but 100% self-funded. I continuously see companies like Verizon, Dreamworks, and Disney, attempt to get into this space and fold because it doesn’t conform to traditional business methods. We focus on doing what we can to the best of our abilities, and that allows us to innovate, attempting to be ‘innovative’ for the sake of it yields no such results.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Omneity, now the parent company of Hi5 Studios founded and funded by said studio, is committed and focused on incubating some of the natural talent and ideas that come from it. We are gearing up to launch a new record label under the name of ‘Chill Records’ along with some other projects in the software space and influencer agency arena that will very soon see the light of day. These unannounced companies are focused on filling much-needed areas in those markets with great products.

What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?

Define success. For everyone it is different. For some people its growth, for some its happiness and the journey, for others its money. Make no mistake there is a right answer, but I’ve found defining it first helps you get to the correct answer quickly.

How do you define “Leadership”?

I define leadership as ‘serving those you lead.’ There are a great variety of ways to serve your team, but the biggest one is the vision and mission. Leading is about knowing the principals you and your company will operate by, and where you are going. With that knowledge, you then serve your team by helping them see it and achieve it.

What advice would you give to other CEOs about the best way to manage a large team?

Write a mission statement with your team. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you own your company, even if you legally on paper 100% own it. Everyone should have a say in the mission of your company, that way each can own it and live it out.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

This is a bit of an unfair question, and you know it, as none of us are able to achieve success without the help of many people! Those that helped me most are those that still regularly help me, my family, my work family, and my viewers. As much as I do my best to lead them, they lead me as well.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Since we make YouTube videos, we get to have a comment section of each of the products we put out. What you put out into the world is what you get back, that’s why it’s great to see so much positivity in our comments. Whether its a kid at home who is dealing with a difficult issue and needs to cope, or just bringing a family together with our content, our mission as a core is to do just that, put our joy into the world.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

1. Define Success: Know what success is so that it is achievable.

2. Define your mission with your team: Know what it is you are doing and why you are doing it as a group so that your team can take ownership of their actions.

3. Define your personal values: Without principals and values you can be swayed by anything and everything, it is essential to know what you stand for, and more importantly what you don’t stand for.

4. Define your companies values: There is a difference between personal values and those of your companies, and this difference is important.

5. Seek First to Understand then to be understood: Now I am quite literally stealing from ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen Covey. Read that book. It’s so important to care more for others than it is to care about yourself. Seeking to understand first is a significant step in the right direction.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I believe that people focus too much on themselves, I included. If I could inspire a movement, it would be to motivate people to spend more time thinking about those around you.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I don’t live my life by quotes, so it would be disingenuous for me to provide you one that I don’t actually live by. I think quotes can inspire us to think, but too often we forget them and cast them aside for one more fitting for the situation we’re in. I like to define principals that are constant and based on the truths of God.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

When I shoot, and I like to aim high. Someone I’m continually impressed with is Jeff Bezos, not for the reasons he’s been in the news lately, being the most wealthy man in the World, but for the small stories of him and his family. I’m fascinated by his grasp on what he deems is a work-life harmony instead of ‘work/life balance.’ He seems to defy all understandings of how traditional businesses work with his ability to handle multiple projects and companies at once, while not having meetings after 12. I think that would be an interesting conversation to have.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

I am relatively active and responsive on Instagram! Give me a follow @matthiasiam!

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

Thank you as well, pleasure answering your questions!

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