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Rage Against Businesses that Suck
September 21st, 2009

A high school dropout creates a podcast called "Help My Business Sucks!" that has become the number one business show on ITunes.
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by Richard Markosian

Andrew Lock doesn't appear at all like your average high school drop out, because he believes it was one of the best decisions he ever made. Lock says his reason for dropping out of school at age 16 was because he was bored and realized he could learn more in the "real world" than any teacher could pass on.

Andrew Lock
Andrew Lock is the host of "Help!
My Business Sucks!" a web based program
that offers practical marketing advice to
entrepreneurs on the Internet based TV

Andrew Lock says he has always been obsessed with "unconventional marketing". Whether he is buying a coffee at Starbucks or receiving a renewal from Blockbuster, he is always analyzing the practices businesses are using to gain market share.

For Lock, marketing isn't just advertising, "marketing is everything," he says enthusiastically. Meaning ultimately customer service, manufacturing, shipping, and every aspect that affects consumer perception should be looked at as marketing.

Lock's different way of looking at the world and his warm persona have brought him a wide audience. He unabashedly loves the geeky side of things, but Lock is anything but your typical geek. He has built up what has the beginnings of a media empire. He is now launching a web based business network ( based on the notion that business education is outdated, and useful advice for entrepreneurs is in teaching unconventional marketing techniques, through case studies.

Since launching his first web TV program: "Help My Business Sucks" Lock has become a renowned business marketing guru. In Utah, you won't hear his name mentioned alongside of Steven Covey, but internationally Lock has found a receptive audience and currently has 100,000 viewers tune in each week to watch new episodes. But the viewers of "Help My Business Sucks" are from all over the world. Lock says he is especially big in India.

Lock's program and format are simple: he offers practical business marketing advice that anyone can use. He offers case studies, typically from corporate America, but with examples that anyone can apply to their small business. Then he reads mail from his viewers and diligently answers questions. He is also great at pointing out business scams and humorous products like recently "The Wearable Towel". After showing the commercial on his show Andrew says, "So for all of you who are befuddled with current towel technology, finally there is a great solution!"

The Media Paradigm Shift

What differentiates "Help My Business Sucks" from those offered by CNN, MSNBC, Harvard Business Review and others is Lock is not boring and he is not over the top. Lock's program is fun without too many outrageous antics, and "Help My Business Sucks" is number one on ITunes in the category of business marketing programs. Lock never imagined just over a year ago that he would be competing head-to-head with the likes of Harvard Business Review or Business Week, but it's clear that the media landscape is quickly being revolutionized by the Internet.

Just in the past year, millions of viewers have been turning off their TVs and flocking to the Internet to watch their favorite programs, without commercial interruptions. Lock entered the arena at the perfect time when he realized he could leverage his knowledge in both marketing and TV production to launch his own show.

Will Conventional TV Become Obsolete?

Internet-based TV is certainly leveling the playing field between anyone with a digital video camera and a computer and the likes of Larry King. Networks like CNN realize that they will never have the reach or breadth to report on stories as well as all the users of Twitter.

Andrew Lock
Andrew Lock setting up a "green screen" for a new webisode

Certainly big networks will work to maintain their advantages by offering more exclusive web content, large studios with expensive sets and numerous reporters; but networks are scaling back, and good programming is costly, which has created fertile ground for niche experts to find receptive audiences on a world-wide scale.

Lock is well aware that his success in his niche business marketing program is a model that could work for anyone in any expert in nearly any field. Even programs about rebuilding specific types of car engines are doing phenomenally well on ITunes and YouTube. Since Lock has a model in place and is now an expert on making a successful web program, he has written a book and offers a website that sells a book and DVDs on the very subject: The cost for the training is $997. The website describes WebTV as "a gold rush." and points out many case studies where people have become rich from their WebTV programs.

Lock says that he was inspired to begin producing his own program just over a year ago as he followed the phenomenal success of hosted by Gary Vaynerchuk. The concept behind Wine Library TV was an additional way for Vaynerchuck to promote his wine selling e-commerce website. Vaynerchuk tastes wines and talks about them in a very hyper-active manner. You might think he is reviewing high-energy drinks rather than wine, but his very atypical approach to wine tasting has made him a celebrity wine connoisseur. Lock says "he offers a change to the wine industry, which is often suffy and aloof," Vaynerchuk's online wine store now sells millions of dollars of wine every month on his sister web site

Andrew Lock
Above is a graphic from the introduction
of "Help! My Business Sucks!"

Lock is something of an entrepreneur evangelist. He dropped out of high school because he decided, "If I leave now I can start earning money right away. Lock dropped out and started self educating, which eventually landed him a job as a marketing executive for the BBC (British Broadcasting Company). Lock says that now as a boss he never considers degrees or accreditation when determining his new employees. "If someone has the right attitude and they are willing to learn, I will pick them over the person with a college degree." Lock uses fellow Britt publisher, music and Virgin Records executive Richard Branson as the prime example, that "anyone can achieve or learn anything they want from the real world. "Lock says eventually he would like to offer accreditation for regular viewers of his program because he believes current business and marketing education are "antiquated and not practical." And he says that viewers tell him all the time that they learn more from him than they ever did in MBA programs.

Lock says that business colleges teach students to do everything in the same way as it is done everywhere. But the real world teaches that in order to succeed you have to do things in an unconventional way. Lock concludes: "The way of the world is to follow the herd, be the way to success is to do things different."

Andrew Lock is the host of "Help My Business Sucks"--a web based program that offers practical marketing advice to entrepreneurs. Lock sits on the set of one of eight new programs he is launching under his new Internet based TV network

Andrew Lock demonstrates how he uses a software application that allows him to change sets behind program hosts with the click of a button. Lock began filming his program in his basement against a blue sheet of paper. Using this software Lock was able to superimpose himself into a "virtual set" that would have cost thousands of dollars to build. The illusion of an large expansive set in one of the technological tools Lock has used to put himself on a more level playing field with larger shows with much greater budgets found on CNN and other networks.

Above is a graphic from the introduction of "Help My Business Sucks"--a web TV program where Andrew Lock, "helps small business owners to get more done and have more fun."

Learn more about Andrew Lock and "Help! My Business Sucks"

GotBiz TV

Help! My Business Sucks!

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Reader Comments

Carolyn Pennington

Rage Against Businesses that Suck - Congrats on all of your success Andrew! Nice to see a Utahn is having such international success, please keep us posted about your upcoming projects! Carolyn

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