Christian Monckeberg with MTechProMediaCulture Champion
Christian Monckeberg with MTechProMedia talks about his love for the unique culture they’ve built, based purely on the individuals that make them successful. It’s working with friends, building connections, and being unique to one’s self.
Founder and CEO of MTechProMedia
Christian started MTechProMedia in 2012, right after he graduated from college with a business degree. He quickly landed a full time position with Cumulus Media and learned how big brands tell stories. After freelancing for a few years, he decided to open up his own production house in Alpharetta. Since then, Christian has been making video production easy
for clients at every level, and coaching many business leaders who are new to the video production process.
MTechProMedia is founded on a simple principle: we make video production easy. We specialize in production and post-production services for films, television programs, commercial and corporate projects. MTechPro Media offers end-to-end service, from concept development through final delivery. Our services take advantage of the latest in filming equipment and implementation. We work with a number of high profile customers such as LexisNexis, Mizuno sportswear, Cumulus Media, and Hyundai Construction. No matter how large or small the client or the project, MTechProMedia will walk you through the process and ensure you get everything you need.
From the Podcast Booth:
Series Quick Links
Speaker 1: Welcome to the Epic Company Culture Podcast, where your host, Josh Sweeney, will give you, the business leaders, HR professionals, and company culture aficionados the knowledge you need to take your company culture to the next level.
Josh Sweeney: Hello. My name’s Josh Sweeney, and welcome to the Epic Company Culture Podcast. Before we get started, I would like to thank Prototype Prime for this amazing podcasting space. If you haven’t been to Prototype Prime, they’re an amazing coworking space in Peachtree Corners, Georgia.
Today, we are joined here by Christian Monckeberg, with MTechProMedia.
Christian M.: Hey. Thank you for having me.
Josh Sweeney: Yeah, thanks for joining us.
Christian M.: Well, you know, I’ve enjoyed listening to your podcast, because I help you make it.
Josh Sweeney: Ah, yes you do.
Christian M.: And I think we put out some great culture content, so I’m excited to be here today and be a guest on this.
Josh Sweeney: Yeah, it’s fantastic to have you. So, tell us a little bit about yourself and your company.
Christian M.: I started MTechProMedia in 2012. Primarily, I was just a freelancer when I started. I was a guy holding a camera, that’d walk in with a laptop, and just say, “Hey, do you need a video? Here’s some examples of stuff I’ve made in the past,” and would just start cold selling, talking to family, you know, a lot of the same entrepreneurial story you hear a lot, you know, using your family to get started.
My dad had his own business, so I sort of modeled some of what I did after him, and I finished college with a business degree, and soon realized, “I don’t want to just sit in an office all day and punch numbers. Like, I want to start my own thing. I want to be doing something different every day.”
Freelancing from the Start
Christian M.: I started selling video, and like I said, I was a freelancer, and then before you know it, now we’re quite a few years later, 2018, and I have a team of two full-time employees, and we hire freelancers all the time, and you know, we do quite a bit of business. We’re still under a million dollars, but we’re about at 500,000 a year, and it’s grown in just under 10 years, to that.
A Moving Company
Josh Sweeney: Nice, and you said you started with a laptop and a camera, but now when you come into this studio, you like unload a whole van, for just this shoot alone.
Christian M.: Yeah, well, you know, I like to say we’re a moving company, because we move a lot of things, and then sometimes we actually make content too, because there’s just a lot of stuff that comes involved to make a real set a big thing, and also, when you’re selling the service, some of the time, it’s kind of the show. You want to show up with a lot of big tools, so people think they’re getting what they’re paying for, when really, sometimes I can make the same content with an iPhone and a good microphone, but they don’t want to hear that.
Josh Sweeney: I don’t know if you want to tell everybody that.
Christian M.: Oh, sorry. Sorry. But it’s the truth. The fundamentals are very similar, so that’s one of the thing I’m really excited about nowadays, because culture, the culture of content that we’re living in is so much easier to make than it used to be.
Josh Sweeney: Massive amounts coming out, from the iPhone, produced in all different types of ways. Yeah, definitely. As far as company culture’s concerned, we ask a lot of the same questions during the interview process, just to dig in down into your experience. So the first one we like to start off is the most memorable, maybe, the most memorable, positive company culture you worked for or were part of, and if you don’t want to name any company names, you don’t have to, but you know, what’s a company you worked at where it was an awesome culture, and why do you think it was … You know, why did you have that great experience?
Most Memorable Experience
Christian M.: I think one of my first big jobs I landed was a retainer contract for Cumulus Media, and they were like, “Hey, we can’t give you a full-time gig, but we can give you 10K a year, and you can be our point video guy for the station, and help us put out content, and there’s three radio stations underneath us right now in the Atlanta market, and you’ll make all their content,” and I was like, “These are like the three biggest shows in Atlanta right now, in the morning,” you know?
Josh Sweeney: Right.
Christian M.: And this is back kind of before podcasts blew up, so people were still listening to the radio a lot more, and it felt like a real prestigious job, and the radio was just fun. When you walked in there, it was a party. You think it would be a … There was the corporate office, and then there was the office I went to, and that was where the DJs were, and it was fun, and everyone had tchotchkes all over their desk, and I know one of my good friends and producer, Cory, who’s here behind the scenes, we had one guy named … I don’t want to name too many names, but he had a great Star Wars themed office.
Josh Sweeney: Yeah?
Christian M.: And that was encouraged there, and I just remember thinking like, “This is what I want my office to be, you know? I want a place that’s fun like this, and people are yelling across the office and having a good time.” And overall, I think their business was just fun to be there. Like, I get that they probably weren’t the most competitive place, pay-wise, because radio’s dying and other things like that, but they were essentially a really fun office to always walk in, and I knew we were going to kind of have like a mini-party, and there was going to be a lot of fun small talk before we got to business, and I just enjoyed always being there.
Josh Sweeney: Yeah, so just the atmosphere, the people that you’re around. So, with that being your most memorable culture, what would be your most memorable experience or experiences in maybe a negative way, like something that didn’t work out?
The Opposite Experience
Christian M.: Most of the time, it’s working with ad agencies. I hate to blast anyone saying it like that, but everyone’s kind of in it for themselves. It’s a real cutthroat policy or cutthroat world, because everyone wants to come up with the next good idea and say, “That project was my idea,” so we have to share the stage when you work with an ad agency. We’re kind of just the visual arm, but they’re the creative, and sometimes, we’ve had … I felt a little more combative than I would have wanted to, because I have good input on a basic technical level, that I think we should follow, but it can’t get in the way of their vision, you know? So we’ve had a lot of battling with ad agencies.
Christian M.: Maybe battling’s way too strong of a word, but I just feel like if they could let go of a little more of the creative, and not feel the ownership so much, and see us more as partners and teammates instead of “just the contractors we’re hiring,” it would have been a much better company culture. I’ve heard you talk about that, contractors and remote employees sometimes not treated as well as they could be, and I’ve felt that firsthand quite a few times.
Not Part of the Village
Josh Sweeney: Yeah, definitely. I mean, I have a friend that works for a Fortune 500, and I think he was telling me a story around, and this was recently, where like all of their contract workers were in another building. They were like separated from everybody else. And They didn’t have the same access level-
Christian M.: Not part of the village.
Josh Sweeney: They’re not part of the village, exactly, so everybody wants to be part of the village, whether you’re point, or contract, or 10 hours, or 20 hours, or 1099, whatever it might be. So yeah, you got to get everybody working together, for sure.
The Corporate Ladder
Christian M.: And also, the ad agency, I wanted to kind of say a few more things on that, so I don’t just sound like I’m dissing them. They have corporate clients that they’re serving, so they’re just sending it up a ladder, and you’ll get feedback on something that was approved like three revisions ago, and you’re like, “What’s going on? Why are we redoing this now?” So, you just kind of have to go along for the ride when you do a big corporate project, because there’s just a lot of people that have to approve it. I think that’s sometimes, but ad agencies, I also feel like sometimes they could always improve the way they treat contractors.
Josh Sweeney: Got you. Yeah.
Christian M.: Do it.
Josh Sweeney: Awesome. Well, treat your contractors better. I guess that’s the takeaway from that one.
Christian M.: Absolutely.
Favorite part of MTechProMedia Culture
Josh Sweeney: As far as company culture within MTechProMedia, what is your favorite thing about your company culture? What do you enjoy the most about it?
Christian M.: This year, I know the object that was like, “This represents our company culture.” We installed this new shelf, because we have this awesome meeting room. We call it the war room, has a big conference table. It’s kind of the first impression when you walk into our office space, and I was like, “This doesn’t represent us. It’s half storage, it’s half big, random conference room table. Like, this room needs a little more definition, so let’s put a big shelf on one side and fill it with things that represent us,” and that was a piece of company culture that was a lot of fun, because we all kind of got to get involved.
We all made an Amazon wishlist together, and overall, we really enjoyed that process of finding visual things that represent who we are and our tastes.
Work with Friends
Christian M.: So that was like a company culture thing that we all did together, but overall, I like to work with my friends, so I feel like if you come and you’re involved with our company, not to make it too personal, but if I don’t click with you, I don’t know how to work with you, you know? That’s pretty important for me. So I think that my … I have a pretty deep level of friendship with a lot of our employees, and I enjoy going to work there. I just got back from a 16-day honeymoon, and one of my first things … I was looking forward to getting back to my job, and I realized that that’s probably because I have a job I enjoy, not because I was-
Josh Sweeney: You were bored in Thailand?
Christian M.: Yeah, not because I was bored in Thailand. Thailand’s amazing. I was just ready to get back to the routine, you know?
Josh Sweeney: Right, right.
Christian M.: So, yeah.
Josh Sweeney: Yeah, that sounded like … You shared with me a little bit about Thailand. That sounded like an awesome experience.
Christian M.: Oh, beautiful.
Josh Sweeney: I want to go back to the visuals. I love the idea of visual representation of company culture, because we do a lot of that. We do a lot of that in our office, like for example, when we have a new hire, you know, they get their desk and they actually get a gift card, and we want them to go use that gift card on Amazon to buy whatever they want for their desk. And we end up with a lot of really interesting things, that I can’t say I might have bought, but it gives you a good representation of who they are, or what-
Christian M.: Their interests.
Josh Sweeney: Yeah, their interests, what popped out to them. I think for me, it’s [crosstalk 00:08:58] cars and stuff.
Christian M.: You actually inspired our shelf idea, because of that story, because I’ve heard you say that during, and I was like, “That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to get money out of the way, and just tell everyone, ‘You pick what you want on this shelf, and I’ll just get it,'” you know? Like, “You guys make the Amazon list, or you guys go buy some of those Punko Fop …” What are they called, Cory? Pumpo?
Cory: Funko Pop!
Christian M.: Funko Pop! figures.
Josh Sweeney: Funko Pop!
Christian M.: They’re these big-headed, like, you know, bobble-headed objects, that are based off lores or other universes in the comic book world or the movie world. So we all picked our perfect figures that represent us, and you know, we all put them on the shelf.
Josh Sweeney: What was yours?
Christian M.: Mine, I like anime a lot. I grew up on it, so like we put up a Goku, and that’s one of my favorite characters, and also, I love robots, so I picked out like the 1980s or 1970s Mechagodzilla, and that was like one of my favorite … It’s the robot version of Godzilla, just so-
Josh Sweeney: Right, but it’s mecha.
Christian M.: But it’s mecha, yeah, so I got the robot Godzilla, and just some … I always loved the original RoboCop from the ’80s. I was born in ’86, and there was a … One of the main antagonists of RoboCop, in the first RoboCop movie, was another robot called ED-209, and so I got the giant ED-209, and he’s like-
Josh Sweeney: Nice.
Christian M.: … the corporate overlord robot, you know?
Josh Sweeney: Yeah.
Christian M.: So he was like … I just loved his intimidating factor, and Cory and I, one of my friends at our office, we could pull up that clip of ED-209, like a few movie clips from RoboCop, and laugh at them all the time, so I think we’re a YouTube office too. That’s another thing. We’ll stop and just pull up YouTube videos and laugh about the internet, and just share current news stories. We’re very loose there, you know? Like, “Hey, it’s time to have a good time for a while. Let’s get our heads straight before we jump into the next big thing,” you know? Or, “Hey, I saw this thing on Netflix, so let’s all watch it together real quick,” because inspiration comes from everywhere, and we like to bounce ideas off of each other, and it all kind of flows from one thing to another in our office, or we’re very inefficient. I’m not really sure-
Josh Sweeney: One or the other, right?
Christian M.: Yeah.
Those who Relate
Josh Sweeney: Do you get a lot of people that get the references to like the pop culture items that you have, or things that are really these throwbacks?
Christian M.: I just let it go. I used to care if they didn’t understand, or I’d want to explain it all to them.
Josh Sweeney: Right. But I mean, do you get people that come in, and they’re like, “Oh, that’s a ED-20,” and you’re like, “Oh, yeah, they know what it is.”
Christian M.: Yeah, “You know what an ED-209 is.” There’s definitely some of that, because as a guy that doesn’t like sports, I’m searching for the anything topic [crosstalk 00:11:22]
Josh Sweeney: Right.
Who Lives in a Pineapple?
Christian M.: So I’ll just throw like SpongeBob and random stuff on my shelf, and see if it resonates with anyone. And like I said, I think I have the filter of, “Do we click?” And now that shelf is sort of a testing ground, because they come in, and, “Do you recognize anything on it?”
Josh Sweeney: Right.
Christian M.: So yeah, it’s a good sort of filter for that, too, because like I said, I don’t care about sports, and that’s something everyone always uses as small talk, so I’m like, “Yeah, the Penguins versus the Flamingos. You guys see that last night,” you know?
Josh Sweeney: Yeah.
Christian M.: And they’re like, “What?”
Tour of Elevate Experiences
Josh Sweeney: I did a tour at Elevate Live Events, Billy Boughey’s company, a couple weeks ago, and he has the Fatheads, like the giant pictures of people’s heads, all on one wall, and he’s like, “Hey, which ones can you name?” And I got-
Christian M.: That’s a good-
Josh Sweeney: I got all the business ones, but he’s like, “Oh, well, you don’t know who that is?” I’m like, “Who?” “Adele?”
Christian M.: Wide receiver.
Josh Sweeney: “No, I don’t listen to the radio.” Like, I mean, I get who Adele is, but I can’t spot her, you know?
Christian M.: Oh, yeah, Adele.
Josh Sweeney: So he has all these pop culture people, or you know, pop stars, I guess in that case, and you know, I got like … I think he had Gary V on the wall.
Christian M.: Yep.
Josh Sweeney: He had, you know-
Christian M.: Crushing it.
Josh Sweeney: Yeah, he had a bunch of other business, entrepreneur leaders, and I was like, “I got all those down. That’s no problem.” All the famous people, though, for recording-
Christian M.: Well, you got to also understand-
Josh Sweeney: … missed all those.
Christian M.: … the pop culture, the world we live in now, is so full of, like, sub-niches, so you’re like, “Oh, I’m a nerd,” but what does that even mean nowadays? Like, you can be into so many different … You can be a nerd over here about technology-
Josh Sweeney: Nerdom has expanded exponentially since we were younger.
Christian M.: Yeah, so that’s why I don’t … Going back to your old question, I don’t care if people know what I’m into, because I’m like, “There’s just too much. I can’t expect you to know everything I know.” And just like you’re probably about an expert on something else that I know nothing about, you know?
Josh Sweeney: It’s not company culture? No, I’m just-
Christian M.: No, not company culture.
Josh Sweeney: You’re an expert now, because you sit in on the podcast.
Christian M.: Yeah, I get to listen to a lot of great people. And you also get to see what they care about in their business, and how that differs from my own point of view in a lot of the times, so it’s kind of cool, seeing these people come together and share their ideas. I’ve definitely gotten a lot of value out of being in the recording booth with you. How many episodes have we done so far? Near 100?
Josh Sweeney: I think we’re like, yeah, right around 100.
Christian M.: That’s a good milestone.
Josh Sweeney: It was like 98 or something the other day, I saw, and then I think we’ve released 55 of them at this point.
The Long Game
Christian M.: That’s the coolest thing. You have that whole backlog. It’s automated, you know?
Josh Sweeney: Yeah, they’ve been cranking out, so-
Christian M.: You know how to launch a podcast. I think I was telling you that on the phone the other day, that it’s about the long game, not about like, “Oh, I didn’t get a million downloads on my first episode. I guess I quit.”
Josh Sweeney: Right, “I’m done.”
Christian M.: Yeah, it’s not like that when you launch a podcast.
Josh Sweeney: Hopefully we get to a million at some point.
Christian M.: Oh, yeah.
Josh Sweeney: That’d be fantastic.
Christian M.: You’ll absolutely cross that.
The Future of MTechProMedia
Josh Sweeney: So, last question on company culture today. What are you most looking forward to in your company culture? Is there a struggle or is there something you really want to enhance? What are you most looking forward to?
Christian M.: It’s a little off topic, but I’m looking forward to growth.
Josh Sweeney: Okay.
Christian M.: I’m looking forward to bringing in a third member of the team. We’ve had three and four members before, as full-time employees, and I liked those teams more, because you didn’t have to lean on one or two of your all-stars all the time. You know, you kind of spread the work around, so I want to make sure we dial in what our company culture is, so we can deliver it and absorb the next person into to well, and clean, you know?
And not have, “Oh, I’m sorry. You got to just work here 10,000 hours and feel it out, and see if you like it.” I want to get him up to speed in under a month, you know? I want to see if they like what we do as quickly as possible, so building our onboarding process, to define it a little more clearly, and start interviewing, and get the next person on our team.
Josh Sweeney: Awesome.
Christian M.: Yeah.
Josh Sweeney: Well, thank you for joining us on the Epic Company-
Christian M.: It was fun.
Josh Sweeney: … Culture Podcast.
Christian M.: Yep.
Josh Sweeney: Yeah. Take care.
Speaker 1: Thank you for tuning into today’s episode of the Epic Company Culture Podcast, with Josh Sweeney. If you enjoyed this content, please subscribe on iTunes, SoundCloud, or Stitcher. For additional content and transcripts, visit epicculture.co. If you have questions or topics you would like us to address or expand on, tweet us @epicculture1, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Podcast Highlights and Resources
- The culture of content that we’re living in is so much easier to make than it used to be.
- There was the corporate office, and then there was the office I went to, and that was where the DJs were, and it was fun, and everyone had tchotchkes all over their desk.
- I want a place that’s fun like this, and people are yelling across the office and having a good time. And overall, I think their business was just fun to be there.
- I’ve heard you talk about that, contractors and remote employees sometimes not treated as well as they could be, and I’ve felt that firsthand quite a few times.
- Everybody wants to be part of the village, whether you’re point, or contract, or 10 hours, or 20 hours, or 1099, whatever it might be.
- We really enjoyed that process of finding visual things that represent who we are and our tastes.
- I like to work with my friends, so I feel like if you come and you’re involved with our company, not to make it too personal, but if I don’t click with you, I don’t know how to work with you.
- Hey, it’s time to have a good time for a while. Let’s get our heads straight before we jump into the next big thing.
- You also get to see what they care about in their business, and how that differs from my own point of view in a lot of the times, so it’s kind of cool, seeing these people come together and share their ideas.
A leader in the radio broadcasting industry, CUMULUS MEDIA (NASDAQ: CMLS) combines high-quality local programming with iconic, nationally syndicated media, sports and entertainment brands to deliver premium content choices to the 245 million people reached each week through its 433 owned-and-operated stations broadcasting in 89 U.S. media markets (including eight of the top 10), approximately 8,000 broadcast radio stations affiliated with its Westwood One network and numerous digital channels. Together, the Cumulus Radio Station Group and Westwood
Headquartered in downtown Everett, WA, Funko is one of the leading creators and innovators of licensed pop culture products to a diverse range of consumers. Funko designs, sources and distributes highly collectible products across multiple categories including vinyl figures, action toys, plush, apparel, housewares and accessories. Our aim is to provide consumers tangible ways to take their fandom offline. For media inquiries contact email@example.com.
Mechagodzilla is a mecha that first appeared in the 1974 film Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla as an extraterrestrial villain opposing Godzilla. In subsequent iterations, it is depicted as a man-made weapon designed to defend Japan from Godzilla
The Enforcement Droid, Series 209, or ED-209, were a fully-automated series of peacekeeping machines created by Omni Consumer Products. The units were programmed for urban pacification, but OCP also negotiated contracts with the military for use in war.
Billy Boughey with Elevate Experiences
“I believe in the future and the power of positivity. I also believe the best ideas are right in front of us and all it takes is asking a better question. I am an emcee, culture coach, author, friend and entrepreneur. I wanna pick my funeral with people I added value to and I am desperate for the world to understand why the last 8 minutes of 8 mile is the best cinematography in film history. Why = story is everything…
I am passionate about working alongside great organizations and helping their story come alive. As a host and speaker, my goal is to create remarkable experiences inspiring each attendee to live and lead at a higher level. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed partnering with Delta, Coca-Cola, Chick-fil-A, FIFA, Kroger, The John Maxwell Company and many other notable organizations.
I love leading the Elevate Experiences team. While we are an Atlanta-based company, we love traveling to connect with people from all over the country. “
Gary Vaynerchuk is the chairman of VaynerX, a modern-day media and communications holding company, and the active CEO of VaynerMedia, a full-service advertising agency servicing Fortune 100 clients across the company’s 4 locations.
In the late 90s, after identifying “the internet” as a land-grab opportunity, Gary transitioned his father’s local liquor store into one of the first wine e-commerce platforms resulting in growing the family business from $3-60MM in sales during a 5-year period.
The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is a Global business network of 13,000+ leading entrepreneurs in 185 chapters and 58 countries. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, EO enables business owners to learn from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life.
We educate, we transform, we inspire and we offer invaluable resources in the form of global events, leadership-development programs, an online entrepreneur forum and executive education opportunities, among other offerings designed for personal and professional growth.
At its core, EO is a collection of like-minded entrepreneurs focused on business growth, personal development and community engagement. In addition to our mission, vision and core values, our global makeup is comprised of nearly 13,000+ individual member stories.
Prototype Prime is a 501(c)3 non-profit incubator focused on early stage software and hardware technology startups. Our mission is to provide startup companies with the support they need to launch & scale.
Our suburban location within a 500-acre commercial office park, adjacent to a custom- built intelligent mobility test and demonstration track, is the ideal place to envision what smart cities of the future will look like.