April 29, 2021

UVC: Fred Seibert from FredFilms on his motto 'Stay Original. Always.', frameworks he uses to spot and nurture creative talent, and the story of how Tumblr was created

UVC: Fred Seibert from FredFilms on his motto 'Stay Original. Always.', frameworks he uses to spot and nurture creative talent, and the story of how Tumblr was created

Understanding VC is a deep dive on how Venture Capitalists work. In this episode, I talk to Fred Seibert, founder of FredFilms and a serial media entrepreneur on his motto “Stay Original. Always.’, frameworks he uses to identify and nurture creative talent, his failed project - Jonny Quest cartoon series and decisions that led to it, how VCs assess startups and the opportunities for an independent storyteller today. He also shares the story of how Tumblr was created, why he invested in Tumblr, and how David Karp, founder of Tumblr ran board meetings.


Fred Seibert is one of the leading independent animation producers and a serial media entrepreneur. 

He was the first creative director of MTV, the last president of Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, and the founder of Frederator Studios and Next New Networks (acquired by YouTube). His production hits include shows on Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon (Adventure Time, Dexter’s Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls, The Fairly OddParents, ChalkZone, and My Life as a Teenage Robot), Netflix (Castlevania), Cartoon Hangover, the home of original programming like  Bravest Warriors and Bee and PuppyCat (history’s most backed animation on Kickstarter).

Fred’s on the board of directors of Sawhorse Media and was the first investor in Tumblr (acquired by Yahoo!). He’s received the Lifetime Achievement Medal from the American Institute of Graphic Arts and is in the Animation Magazine Hall of Fame.

Key Takeaways

  • ‘Stay Original. Always.’ - Why Fred do things differently and not follow trends
  • Story of how Tumblr was created and why Fred invested in Tumblr
  • How David Karp, the founder of Tumblr ran board meetings
  • Frameworks Fred uses to spot and nurture talent
  • How VCs assess startups and the important questions they ask during fundraising
  • Why storytellers targeting niche audiences do really well nowadays and how the definition of success is dramatically different now in comparison to the early days of television
  • Decisions that led to the Jonny Quest cartoon series not doing well and why it’s okay to have failures
     
Fred Seibert Profile Photo

Fred Seibert

Founder, Executive Producer at FredFilms, Inc

Fred Seibert is one of the leading independent animation producers and a serial media entrepreneur.

He was the first creative director of MTV, the last president of Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, and the founder of Frederator Studios and Next New Networks (acquired by YouTube). His production hits include shows on Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon (Adventure Time, Dexter’s Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls, The Fairly OddParents, ChalkZone, and My Life as a Teenage Robot), Netflix (Castlevania), Cartoon Hangover, the home of original programming like Bravest Warriors and Bee and PuppyCat (history’s most backed animation on Kickstarter).

Fred’s on the board of directors of Sawhorse Media, and was the first investor in Tumblr (acquired by Yahoo!). He’s received the Lifetime Achievement Medal from the American Institute of Graphic Arts and is in the Animation Magazine Hall of Fame.