My company had grown big—the wrong kind of big. So to survive, I had to strip it all down.
When I graduated college in 2002, I knew I didn’t want to work for anyone else. So I founded a video production company called Cimaglia Productions. Did I go to business school? No. But I loved making videos, so I went on a campaign to impress every client I could—and, I suspect, won my first contracts by underbidding bigger agencies. Hey, I was just a kid with a camera.
The next 10 years were about growth. I worked with major clients like Mercedes-Benz and Lavazza Coffee, and I created the first-ever high-definition segments for NBC’s Dateline. I said yes to basically every job and hired dozens of full-time cinematographers, editors, and producers. I doubled my company’s size every year for five consecutive years, and I leased an office in Chicago’s bustling downtown.
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