Mission’s mission, if you will, is to improve lives through the power of storytelling. For Chief Content Officer Ian Faison, the company mission — and the way the company pursues it — are one and the same. “You are what your business model is. Page views are not a customer-centric or community-centric metric,” he said. In other words, readers don’t read for clicks or page views, so why should creators create content with those metrics in mind?
Instead, Mission brings content creators and sponsors together to create high-touch branding opportunities in support of quality storytelling. “We want to tell stories to improve people’s lives,” Faison said. “It’s the antithesis of what you see on TV — talking heads yelling at each other.”
Mission works with advertisers to pair them with the right stories and storytellers, involving them in the content creation process from the beginning. This approach stands in stark contrast to the inventory-based advertising model that’s ruled the media business for some years now. CEO Chad Grills and Faison believe this model is broken, and that it leads to advertisers blindly supporting those screaming talking heads whom Mission thinks listeners and viewers have grown tired of.
To date, Mission has created seven original podcasts in its studio — a converted garage in Palo Alto next to the house where Grills and his wife, Stephanie Postles, Mission’s COO, live. "We started working on projects together as a way to stay connected when Chad was on deployment,” Postles said. “He's a writer, and I'm good at organizing everything, so it's just a perfect combination." The podcasts, four of which are sponsored by Salesforce, focus on marketing trends, IT trends, and the backstories of influential changemakers. Mission also publishes newsletters covering topics like business and IT trends, as well as health and self-improvement — what the company calls “accelerated learning.”