Welp. The news is out. After 6 months of sitting down with two of the most amazing, brilliant, creative and innovative people I know...we can announce to the world that Crispy Chicken is open for business.
This moment is surreal to me. The journey getting here has been such a damn roller coaster and the past year has been incredibly tough on me. As you know, I left an amazing job over at Jukin Media back in October. It was definitely something I didn't want to do because I loved everyone there. I loved the atmosphere. I loved the opportunities they gave me. I loved that they kinda let me do whatever I wanted. It was an amazing gig.
Four years ago, I walked in there for a community manager gig and probably gave them one of the best interviews anyone could ever give. I tweeted out to my friends/family to tell Jukin why they should hire me because I would be reading them live in the interview. It was incredible. People I have only met through the internet were tweeting the most awesome stuff. "Hire Ricardo because he's so creative" "Take a chance on Ricardo!" Hell, I even had people sending photos of me cleaning bathrooms, mocking up funny photoshops and the whole nine yards. It was a solid move cause I ended up getting the job.
During the three years, I was able to build their O&O's with such an amazing team of like-minded people. It's crazy to see a brand go from like 70k to 8million fans in three years let alone work on such massive digital properties like FailArmy and People are Awesome. But like any other company/start-up, when you grow, the old routines you're used to start to change.
I've always told myself that once I wake up and regret having to get ready to work, it's probably your mind telling you to move on. That happened last year. After a few months of dealing with it and trying to bottle it up because I loved the culture and people there, a moment came where you know you just have to move on. So...I did just that.
Once I shed my tears and said my good-byes (especially on a live stream), I was unemployed. It's a weird feeling. You go from having a stable job to sitting on your couch wondering how the hell you're gonna pay for pizza and a roof over your head. For two months I just took a break from life and focused on me (to be honest I should have focused on the physical me because ya boy pound on some lbs). I then dabbled in consulting and started seeing that a lot of companies didn't really have a solid digital plan. Companies in the space were laying off left and right because they scaled just to scale. A friend of mine was unfortunately one of those people who was let go in December. She made this comment of "They got rid of me so they can have chicken parm on Thursdays still" and after laughing/crying to each other, I realized "Shit, maybe there's an opportunity here". Not for chicken parm and her job, but an opportunity to help brands do better both digitally and monetarily.
I remember approaching Mina and being like "Listen, we've always wanted to be our own bosses and do the thing, so why not?". After pumping each other up, I went to our SUPER SECRET THIRD CO-FOUNDER and brought up previous conversations about also starting something. I wanted them to meet Mina and see what magic would arise. We had dinner so all of us could meet and once we all felt like we got along, Crispy Chicken was born.
I'm so incredibly incredibly incredibly honored to team up with these two. I wish I could gush about the SUPER SECRET THIRD FOUNDER, but that will happen soon. Mina is hands down one of the most talented people on this earth. I remember her auditioning for the MLB Fan Cave back in 2013 and I was floored by the amount of creativity she put in to her audition tape and her elevator pitch. We became friends there and when we both moved back, we started working on The Wonder Bat stuff. So it was kind of inevitable that we would start something again. She's one of the brightest minds in the digital space, insanely humble about her accomplishments and things she's worked on and I'm very stoked for the arguments her and I will have as co-workers lol. There is no one else on this earth that I would jump in this with than Mina. Also happy we can announce this together
That being said, there's a lot of people to thank. First and foremost I gotta thank my parents. My bank account was like -$129 at one point and not only have they helped me out financially but they've always been there for my crazy dreams or ideas. I know dropping out of college scared them cause "I WANTED TO BE A WRITER/STAND-UP COMEDIAN" but I'm glad they were always so supportive to me. I am who I am because of them. Hopefully I can buy them a house or take them on a vacation when this company takes off. Also wanna thank my family whether it be Jorge, Danielle and Laura or all my crazy cousins, tios, tias and padrinos. I'm so proud to be a Marquez/Moran and our family is so supportive, hilarious and welcoming to everyone regardless of race, sex, religion and everything else. Also hopefully I can visit Mexico more often. I need to brush up on my spanish.
I WANNA THANK MY GRANDPARENTS. Papi y Mami están en el cielo y espero estar orgullosos de ellos. THANK YOU Grandma and Grandpa Moran for taking the chance and immigrating to America and loving me so much unconditionally. Someone needs to make your life story into a movie and I will 100% hire Mina to direct it ha.
I also wanna thank EVERY.SINGLE.PERSON who has given me a shot professionally. There are SO MANY PEOPLE at Major League Baseball who let me not only take a year off of life to watch baseball and make digital content but also give me the opportunity to let me work in PR and learn from the best in the business. I am so grateful all of them there let a chubby dork from Covina come and live in the Big Apple. I wanna thank my family, friends and peers at Jukin. Thank you for always having fun with me and letting me be myself. Thank you for the drinks we've shared (glasses we've dropped), stories we told, advice you've given me and ability to just let me run the ship on a lot of big projects. So proud of all the things we've accomplished and honestly, back in 2015 when we were working in that production room was probably the funniest era of Jukin and I miss yelling and firing Jessica pretty much every day for the dumbest stuff like she rolled her eyes the wrong way or she didn't see a movie I wanted to talk about.
Lastly, I wouldn't be here without the support of my friends and surprisingly enough, the internet. This is why I'm so passionate about the internet. Back in like 2009, I was writing as a satire columnist for LA Angels Insider. It was a home were I could write stupid stuff about the team and strangely enough, I started getting people following it. I made a ton of friends thanks to Angels Twitter which in turn helped out immensely because the MLB Fan Cave had this online campaign element where people had to vote us in. Hell, even The 7 Line (A group of amazing Mets fans and now awesome best company ever) took me in under their wings and I made a ton of Mets friends cause of it. Once in New York, I made even more internet friends thanks to baseball which in turn supported me as I moved back to California and applied for the job at Jukin. Once at Jukin, I started showing up in a bunch of videos/shows and made EVEN MORE INTERNET FRIENDS. OH MY GAWD I HAVE SO MANY INTERNET FRIENDSSSSSS.
SO INTERNET FRIENDS, REAL LIFE FRIENDS, FAMILY, PEERS IN THE INDUSTRY AND EVERYONE ELSE, Crispy Chicken is open for business and we're ready to help out all companies big and small. Please check out our first person about the company and follow us on all the socials.
I AM A BUSINESS OWNER AND OMG LETS GET THIS THING GOING!