I’ve received a lot of questions about the events surrounding Nate Black leaving the Channel Makers YouTube channel and I’ve heard even more speculation. Due to the misinformation and false assumptions that have spread, it’s become necessary for me to explain those events.
The purpose of this post is to cover the major events surrounding Nate leaving Channel Makers and the Income School team. My goal in this post is to stick to facts and the timeline.
This is not a list of complaints against Nate. This is merely a list of events that are pertinent to Nate’s leaving Income School and the speculation and rumors being spread.
Income School, created and owned at the time by Ricky Kesler and Jim Harmer, hired Nate Black to do the following, as per his offer letter.
- Managing Email Campaigns and Growing our Email List to drive product sales
- Planning, Scheduling, and Running webinars for Project 24 members and for our broader audience to drive product sales
- Networking with other influencers to grow our affiliate program
- Other marketing activities to both grow and diversify marketing for Income School products
At the time of his hire, Nate signed the Income School At-Will Employment Agreement which included sections on confidentiality, non-competition, and work product. To the best of my recollection, he didn’t raise any concerns about the agreement at the time that he agreed to it. The text of these sections of the agreement is as follows.
6. Confidential Information. Employer will provide and make available to Employee certain information regarding its business, including without limitation: actual and potential client and customer names, addresses, telephone numbers, number of customers and revenue, and specific characteristics; research and development materials; pending projects or proposals; methods of production; computer techniques and capabilities; proprietary computer programs; business plans and projections; pricing information; estimating programs and methodology; the techniques used in, approaches to, or results of any market research; seo techniques and other internet marketing techniques; other marketing data; advertising sources; Employee salaries, contracts and wage information; and financial information about Employer; whether written or verbal, or contained on computer hardware or software, disk, tape, microfiche or other media (“Information”). This Information is of substantial value and highly confidential, is not known to the general public, is the subject of reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy, constitutes the professional and trade secrets of Employer, and is being provided and disclosed to Employee solely for use in connection with his or her employment by Employer.
In consideration of his or her employment pursuant to this Agreement and being made privy to such confidential and trade secret information belonging to Employer, Employee hereby agrees to hold in confidence and not to use or disclose any of this Information or derivatives thereof to third parties, except to the extent authorized by Employer and only when necessary to fulfill his or her duties hereunder and when treating this Information as a trade secret belonging to Employer.
Employee further agrees that he or she:
- Will regard and preserve the Information as highly confidential and the trade secrets of Employer;
- Will not disclose, nor permit to be disclosed, any of the Information to any person or entity, absent written consent and approval from Employer;
- Will not copy or duplicate, and will not permit any person to copy or duplicate, any of the Information without Employer’s written consent and approval;
- Will not make any use of Information for his or her own benefit or the benefit of any person or entity other than Employer;
- Will return all Information to Employer within twenty-four (24) hours after requested by the Employer and will not retain any copies or derivatives of the Information.
7. Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation. Employee agrees that during his or her employment with Employer and for two (2) years after termination by either party (“Term”), Employee shall not directly or indirectly compete with Employer from any area within 150 miles of 124 N. Seneca Springs Way, Star, Idaho and also from Rexburg, Idaho.
This covenant not to compete specifically includes the prohibition against directly or indirectly (for example, through any third party or on-line method) soliciting, communicating with or otherwise contacting any of Employer’s Customers for the purpose of conducting any internet marketing-related business with them. For purposes of this Paragraph, “Customer” shall mean any person or entity contained in Employer’s account management or contacts system and with which Employer has done business or solicited for business during the Term. Employee further agrees that he or she shall not directly or indirectly act in the capacity of an advisor, consultant or risk manager to Customers, nor directly or indirectly assist or aid any other person or entity, either through any kind of ownership or as a director, officer, principal, agent, employee, employer, consultant, advisor, co-partner or in any individual or representative capacity whatsoever, either for Employee’s own benefit or for the benefit of any other person, firm, corporation or association, to solicit or attempt to solicit or obtain any Customers without the express written permission of Employer.
Employee further agrees that he or she shall not, whether directly or indirectly, employ, solicit for employment, retain, solicit for retention, or advise or recommend to any other individual or entity that they hire, employ, retain, or solicit for employment or retention any person employed by Employer or any person retained by Employer as an independent contractor during the Term.
Employee further agrees that he or she shall not, whether directly or indirectly, undertake any act with the intent to disrupt, impair or interfere with the business of Employer in any way, whether by way of interfering with or disrupting its relationships with Customers, agents, representatives, contractors, or carriers, or otherwise.
Employee warrants that the above restrictions will not prevent Employee from earning a living, and that they are necessary to protect the trade secrets of Employer, as Employee’s solicitation would necessarily involve Employee’s use of Employer’s trade secrets.
Employee further agrees that due to the nature of Employer’s business, any conduct in which Employee engages that is in contravention of the terms above would actually be in direct violation with this Agreement and would irreparably and materially harm and disrupt Employer and Employer’s business. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, Employer may bring an action to enforce or for the breach of any of the terms, covenants or conditions of this Section 7 in any court of competent jurisdiction, and Employer shall be entitled to recover from Employee reasonable attorney fees and costs related to such action.
8. Work Product. All information developed or generated wholly or partially by Employee during his/her employment with Employer, including all intermediate and partial versions thereof (“Work Product”), whether or not protected by copyright, will be the sole property of Employer upon its creation, and, in the case of copyrightable works, upon its fixation in a tangible medium of expression.
All copyrightable aspects of the Work Product are “works made for hire” within the meaning of the Copyright Act of 1976 (“the Act”), as amended, of which Employer is to be deemed the “author” within the meaning of the Act. All such copyrightable works, as well as all copies of such works in whatever medium fixed or embodied, will be owned exclusively by Employer upon their creation and Employee will have no interest in any of them.
If any of the Work Product, or any part or element of the Work Product, is found as a matter of law not to be a “work made for hire,” within the meaning of the Act, Employee will assign to Employer the sole and exclusive right, title and interest in and to all such works, and all copies of the works, without further consideration, and will assist Employer to register and, from time to time thereafter, to enforce all patents, copyrights, and other rights and protections relating to any of the Work Product.
During one of several paid mental health breaks that Nate took, I worked with the team to create a video on the topic of “how to add more people to a YouTube channel”. This video reintroduced Anna from our team to the channel. I recall telling Nate that I wanted it published but that I also wanted to give him a chance to look it over and recommend any changes prior to publishing.
To the best of my recollection, he said he thought it was good but had a few tweaks he wanted to make before publishing. I left it in his hands and he simply never published it.
Here’s that video, which clearly shows that Nate is one member of a larger team. I intended this video to be an opportunity to add more team members to the channel on a regular basis, which was a priority that I have had since before this time.
I gave Nate a $10,000 bonus for 2 reasons, of which I remember informing him at the time.
- $10,000 is the amount I remember him saying that he would need to really kick off his personal channel. He had been using some work time that we dedicated for personal projects to plan videos for his own channel. Other team members and I helped him plan and work through several hurdles.
- I felt he did a great job on lesson updates to our YouTube course, which we rebranded as the YouTube system.
I gave this bonus at a time that I do not normally give bonuses and no bonuses were given to other team members at this time. This was a special case and was intended to help him kick off his personal channel. It was not an investment and no ownership or other consideration was ever expected. However, I did clearly state that helping him get his channel started was a large part of the reason I chose the timing and amount to give him.
Yet as time passed, we saw no indication that his personal channel ever started. While other team members continue to make progress on their own personal projects, he never reported progress aside from planning. To our knowledge, he never produced any content for his personal channel.
For more than 2 years now we have encouraged team members to create their own content businesses, just like we teach at Income School and on the Channel Makers YouTube channel. We give some work time to meet as a team to get advice, share experiences, and have accountability for our progress on our own blogs and channels. I even offered Nate and others the opportunity to use my equipment to film their videos, as long as they used their own time to do it. Nate could have started his own channel at any time, yet, to date, we’ve not seen any videos published or even filmed.
Nate and I attended the Vid Summit conference together. We discussed many strategies for Channel Makers and Income School during the conference and I remember telling him that I felt like we had a great strategy and the right tools now to introduce more of the team on Channel Makers and expand the brand beyond him.
At this time, as at previous times, I remember him expressing his support for such a change. However, as weeks passed, he still continued to plan videos with Julia, the channel manager I hired to help us plan our videos. In these videos, he continued to not include other team members on camera. Julia even recalled Nate telling her that he didn’t want her to just look like a “cheap Nate knockoff” which is why he didn’t want her to appear on camera.
Throughout the fall, we had several meetings where we discussed what our individual channel roles and “characters” (a term from a talk at Vid Summit) would look like and how we could each offer our own personalities and expertise to both Channel Makers and Income School.
In fact, for years we’ve discussed the need to overcome the issue of having the entire audience become attached to only one or two team members. We’ve referred to it as the “Ramsey Problem” named after the radio host and influencer Dave Ramsey. Yet, in a recent email to me, Nate told me that he shouldn’t be held accountable because my direction on the topic was “unclear”. See below.
I specifically recall telling Nate in December that the first of the new year would be a great opportunity to introduce more team members to the channel. He still didn’t do it.
Late in February, we began working remotely for what we expected to be 2 months because our lease was ending and our new office wasn’t yet ready. Prior to leaving, we had a meeting where we discussed our priorities while working remotely. Nate planned to fully outline a new course for Project 24 so that it would be completely ready to film when we returned. He was also considering some ideas for advanced offerings for YouTubers with more established channels.
After more than 3 1/2 months, we finally got into the new office officially on May 25th. Other team members helped move furniture in prior to the 25th, but Nate only came in on May 30th, the day before he had a 2-week paid vacation planned. I met with him to get an update on his projects. In this meeting, he told me that he had put the course he planned to create on hold because he didn’t know if it was still the priority. He also couldn’t show me progress on his advanced YouTube offerings other than having sent out an email and a message to our members for feedback.
I reviewed the numbers for Channel Makers. I do this monthly in order to pay Nate his commissions on all income earned as a result of Channel Makers content. During the more than 3 1/2 months we worked remotely, Channel Makers had steadily declined in views and subscriber growth. Revenue from Channel Makers was also declining. Over that same time period, I also couldn’t account for more than what I considered to be approximately 2 weeks’ worth of work product.
Rather than make assumptions, I chose to write up a letter explaining my concerns and asking him to account for the work he had done during the nearly 4-month period. I also laid out specific conditions I expected him to follow but said that they could be removed or adjusted if he just explained what was going on.
If you want to know what was really going on that led to Nate leaving, I strongly encourage you to read the letter. To this day, Nate has not given any account of the work he did during the more than 3 1/2-month period of remote work, other than what I stated in the letter.
Nate’s response didn’t answer my questions. Instead, he suggested we meet, which wasn’t immediately possible as he was on vacation and I was working long hours preparing to leave for my one-week vacation with my family.
On June 19th, my first day back after both my and Nate’s vacations had ended, Nate and I had a meeting in the afternoon. When it came time to discuss the letter, I asked him for his thoughts. His first words were, “What the h___?!” He told me that he “wasn’t coasting” but still didn’t tell me what else he’d been working on during his 3 1/2 months of remote work.
I recall telling him about concerns from other team members that despite my directions, he had told them that he didn’t think it mattered if they ever appeared on camera. He denied having said this.
By the end of the meeting, he told me that he wanted to begin a transition away from Income School. I said nothing during the meeting about him leaving the company. This was the first time it came up. I told him I would be supportive and that we could work out a timeframe and a plan for transition.
The following morning, on June 20th we met and he told me he would give me up to the end of the month and that he didn’t want to film any more videos except a video introducing the team and saying “goodbye” to the YouTube audience and Project 24 members.
We gathered the team and planned these videos together. I gave Nate license to create his own video saying “goodbye”. He assisted in the planning of the video introducing the rest of the team.
We also came up with a list of tasks that needed to be done to hand his work off to other team members. He finished up and chose to leave that same week on Friday, giving us less than 4 workdays and 2 videos to complete the full transition on YouTube.
We threw him a goodbye party on his last day. Leading up to and during this party, multiple team members asked Nate about what he planned to do after leaving. He said he didn’t have any concrete plans, only ideas at that point. He later told me in an in-person meeting that he didn’t begin any planning at all until after he had left Income School. However, Julia recalled that on June 24th (the day before his last day), when she asked casually what his plans were he said that it would be inappropriate to discuss his plans while he still worked here, but that she would know when it happened because it was going to be big.
In the week after Nate left, some team members told me that I should watch Nate’s “goodbye” video. In the video, he spent considerable time discussing all that he had done at Channel Makers. Team members were confused given that Nate appeared to them to take credit for the entirety of what we did on Channel Makers. Then, the video ended with Nate making a statement that made us all very concerned.
Here is Nate’s original “goodbye” video.
After seeing this video I was concerned about what Nate’s plans might entail, especially given that our teachings are the intellectual property of Income School, and given that Nate signed an agreement to not compete with us.
I sent him this email on June 26th expressing my concerns, but being careful to not make any accusations.
Here’s the text of that email…
I just wanted to reach out and follow up on one thing that came up today as we reviewed your good-bye video for Channel Makers.
The end left the team a bit confused. Since no one on the team has heard about your future plans, the “but not for long” raised some real concern.
Like I said in my letter to you before, I don’t want to make assumptions or accusations. However, I need to make you aware of what the team perceives so I’ll be clear.
It looks like you have plans to continue as a teacher or influencer about YouTube.
While I hope that’s not the case given the legal and ethical issues around that, I do need to ask clearly without room for misinterpretation.
Do you plan to teach YouTube strategy?
I sincerely want what’s best for you and I hope you have plans and opportunities that will be fulfilling and rewarding in every way. Teaching YouTube tactics and strategies would not be.
I remind you that you signed a non-compete agreement when you joined Income School which prevents you not only from soliciting paying customers, but from competing with Income School’s business. I also remind you that every strategy and tactic that was developed at Income School is the intellectual property of Income School.
Once again, I hope that this perception is incorrect. The fact that the rest of the team got the same feeling from the video and that you’ve been unwilling to share any information about your plans necessitates this clarification.
I’m trying my absolute best to give you the benefit of the doubt. But in case your plans could put you in legal trouble, I need to remind you of the non-compete you signed and of the fact that our YouTube strategies are legally protected.
Any concerns that we have can be cleared up very simply. We just need to be assured that your plans don’t include teaching our YouTube strategies or directly competing for or harming the business of Income School, which would violate your non-compete.
I hate writing these emails. Hopefully, this is the last of it and we can be supportive of each other. The lack of information at this point and the messaging in the Channel Makers video just raised too many red flags to ignore, and I want to make sure you don’t inadvertently do something that could cause you legal trouble in the future.
Nate responded on June 28th with the following.
Once again, Nate wouldn’t make any statement about his plans, not even a statement about his intention to compete or not compete. This was my response to him on June 28th.
At this point, the conversation moved to text messages where Nate asked if I was at the office and available to meet.
Nate affirmed to me that he did not intend to use Income School Intellectual Property and that he had no intention to steal the Channel Makers audience for his own use.
We met the following morning and he told me he had a few ideas for his next YouTube channel, only one of which was about teaching YouTube education. He didn’t tell me what any of the other ideas were and used his time with me to outline his idea for how he could teach YouTube education in a way that would be collaborative with Channel Makers, benefitting both channels.
I expressed concerns but also my willingness to consider this. As a follow-up to this discussion, he sent me this email detailing what he agreed to do to make his idea collaborative rather than competitive.
Here is my response saying I think it could be done, but that I don’t think it’s a good idea and that it wouldn’t necessarily work out without violating the non-compete.
Nate did not respond to this email.
On July 3rd we published our video introducing the team and an edited version of Nate’s video saying Goodbye. We were incredibly surprised at the backlash we received in the comments, largely driven by people not knowing that the channel didn’t belong to Nate. This was surprising to me given the numerous videos I was aware of where other team members were in the videos and where the office setting was clearly visible.
Other negativity was driven by false assumptions about the nature of Nate’s departure.
Given the negativity, I emailed Nate letting him know I had very serious concerns about him creating a channel teaching YouTube education. I sent it because I was sure it would lead to people leaving to follow him, which would be competitive, harming our business as a result of his choice to leave and subsequent creation of a similar channel.
Nate responded to this email saying he’d proceed accordingly.
On July 4th, Nate sent me a text message asking if I would like him to write a comment to clarify some of the false assumptions. I said yes and thanked him.
What Nate didn’t tell me was that he had already created a new account for his new YouTube channel and had already prepared a video for that channel telling a somewhat different story about him leaving Channel Makers.
See the video below.
His comments had the effect of directing thousands of people to his new channel immediately. This led to what we recognize to be incredibly and unnaturally rapid growth on his new channel. At the same time, his reframing of the story of leaving Channel Makers refuted his earlier claim in our video that the team had helped, instead portraying the channel, especially in the early days, as a product of his work alone.
Nate’s False Claims from This Video
- At 2:36 in the video, Nate says, “From the very beginning, I did absolutely, undeniably, most of the work on the channel.” He acknowledges at this time that Anna was on the channel with him but he said that after that, “then, it was primarily me heading up all of that, and that included the ideating, the planning, the researching, the producing, the editing, the thumbnails, the publishing, all of those things were done by me. So it was authentically me producing all of those.”
This claim is false. My former business partner, Jim Harmer, expressed his sentiments in a private email to me which corroborated this statement. Nate had considerable mentoring. He had a video editor for almost all of the content on Channel Makers from the very first video. Our editors made almost all of the thumbnails on Channel Makers. We had many hours of meetings watching videos from our channels and others, analyzing what worked well and what didn’t. We provided considerable training and ongoing guidance. We provided many specific ideas for videos and even sometimes did the research and testing for videos. He regularly asked for my counsel and guidance for specific videos and topics throughout the entirety of his work on Channel Makers.
There were short periods where he edited his own videos and made the thumbnails, and there was a fairly long period where he planned and prepared most of the videos although they were still almost always edited by others. So to say he did “most of the work” and that “all of those things were done by [him]” is a considerable overstatement of his work and is very different from his statement on the Channel Makers video where he says he’s been “present throughout the entire growth of the channel” and where we showed a team that’s also been involved in the growth of the channel throughout its existence.
- At 3:51 in the video, Nate says “It became clear to me that in order to proceed and continue on with creation and being an entrepreneur I needed to do my own thing.”
This led many people to believe that Nate was no longer able to make the videos he wanted to make on Channel Makers, which isn’t true. Nate had a lot of creative control over all of the content on Channel Makers. It also led people to believe that in order to be an entrepreneur, Nate had to leave Income School LLC. This is also not true. I encourage my team members and give work time to work on individual projects. Most members of the team have their own YouTube channels and blogs wholly owned by them on topics of their choosing. They just don’t get to teach YouTube and Blogging strategy, in competition with Income School.
As already discussed in this post, Nate had many opportunities to start a channel and I even gave him a $10,000 bonus specifically for this purpose, but the channel he planned to start never actually started. I even offered to let him use our office and filming equipment after hours. Nate had every opportunity to be an entrepreneur and continue teaching YouTube strategy all while working at Income School LLC.
- At 4:37 Nate says he tried to transition as well as he could, “so that included planning some upcoming banger videos.”
When Nate left, he had one planned video. All other videos were in the planning stages with other team members owning their planning. The one video that Nate planned we ended up not being able to use due to the highly negative response we received from fans over this situation.
- Again at 5:56 he says, “Like I mentioned earlier, I genuinely produced most of the content on that channel, so when I said I found these channels, I did this research, it was me doing it most of the time, especially near the beginning and over the first at least half to three-quarters of the lifespan of the channel that I was on there.”
Again, I see this as a significant over-emphasis on his contribution and it isn’t accurate. We had video editors before Nate joined the team. They edited most of the videos and produced most of the thumbnails, even from the very beginning.
In videos, Nate often referred to research he did when almost all of that research had been done by other team members. So stating at 6:51 that “genuinely, when I did say I found, or we found these things, it was the absolute truth.” This is false. For over a year since hiring Julia, Nate often would say “I” when the research for a video had mostly been done by someone else and he had simply reviewed their research for key points to make in the video.
There are many statements in this video that are true and there are several statements that are supportive of Income School and the Channel Makers team. I also don’t disagree that Nate genuinely did a lot of work on the channel and there were periods of time when he did a lot of the work. But this video has statements that in my opinion paint a clear picture of Nate working mostly on his own for the first half to three-quarters of the channel’s existence and that isn’t true.
Nate told me that prior to working for Income School, he had never made a single YouTube video, ever. Everything he learned about YouTube and all of the experience he gained prior to leaving Income School happened while he was being paid by Income School.
This video, Nate’s first video on his own channel, has many very negative comments toward Channel Makers and its owner, which is me, many of which contain false and harmful assumptions.
I expressed to Nate that I was not happy with the comments on his video and I was even more unhappy with him choosing to not correct any of those false assumptions. Given that he wanted me to allow him to use Income School intellectual property in order to consult and coach, and allow him to violate his non-compete, I thought we had agreed that his active defense of Channel Makers was important to ensure collaboration rather than competition. Yet, it looked to me like he instead chose to let such assumptions go unchallenged on his channel.
I texted Nate on July 4 letting him know that I was discouraged by the comments, but even more by how he was responding to them. Here are screenshots of that entire text conversation.
In this conversation, I made Nate aware of some comments that made inaccurate and unfair assumptions about the situation. When I asked Nate if he would help correct some of those assumptions to help protect the Channel Makers reputation, he replied that he would be happy to. He even asked me to let him know what I’d like him to say. I didn’t want to put words in his mouth which is why I kept my recommendations open-ended.
Instead, it appears to me like he chose to not correct misinformation and on the evening of July 5th, I received a voicemail from an attorney. Here is the transcript of that voicemail.
“Hi Rick this is […]. I’m a lawyer in Boise with […]. I represent Nathan Black. Nathan asked me to give you a call and follow up to the email message that he sent you earlier today about his recent departure from employment with the Income School and moving on to something else. I am not here to cause a dispute or to argue with you or anything like that. I find that in these situations the parties are usually better off if they just let each other go their separate ways and depart in peace. But if you have some concerns with what Nathan is doing or intends to do you’re more than welcome to give me a call. I’m happy to talk through those to see if we can’t find some common ground. Nathan’s aware of the terms of the non-compete that he signed and wants to honor those obligations, intends to honor those obligations as he understands and I understand them. So in any event, if you have questions or concerns feel free to reach out to me I’ll see if we can get everyone to a place where they’re more or less happy with the outcome and what’s going on so my office number is […]. And we’ll go from there. Thanks very much. Bye.”
I called his office and left a voicemail to the effect that going our separate ways with him honoring his non-compete was all that I wanted and that if Nate would do that then he wouldn’t hear from me again.
We also discovered that although Nate lives in Idaho, he registered his new LLC in the State of Utah on this same day, July 5th.
Then, he sent me this email on the morning of July 6th.
email continued below…
This email came as a shock to me. There were no other communications between Nate and me during this time, so I was surprised to hear that he thought I’d been making demands, or implying or threatening action against him. I didn’t intentionally imply or threaten action in my text messages and still don’t see that in the words I wrote.
Likewise, I didn’t see my request as a demand. It was a request. I was intentionally clear, however, that if he wanted a collaborative relationship he would need to try harder to not imply that he agreed with erroneous and harmful statements about the team behind Channel Makers and its owner, me. This wasn’t a demand or a threat, I was trying to set a boundary. At least that’s how I saw it.
Based on this response, I felt that I clearly couldn’t have a collaborative relationship with Nathan (Nate) Black. So I responded with the following email.
The next day I received an email from his attorney.
Here is my response.
Nate’s attorney responded with the following email.
Here is my final response to Nate’s attorney.
I have since had no further communications with Nate or with his attorney directly. I believed, based on my communications with Nate’s attorney that Nate intended to uphold his agreement with me. However, on July 10th, Nate published this video entitled “I’m Back” in which I believe he violated the employment agreement that he signed.
At the end of the video, he admits that he intends to teach YouTube education on this channel. Here is a screenshot from this video.
Again on July 17, 24, 31, and August 7th Nate published his own YouTube Education videos, all within an hour before the time that Channel Makers always publishes our videos. That publishing schedule has continued.
There have been numerous comments on his channel stating that with his videos, there’s no reason to watch Channel Makers. And with him no longer on the team, there’s no point in becoming a member of Project 24, which contains our system for growing profitable YouTube channels.
Here are just a few of those, showing that the effect of Nate’s new channel has been competitive with Channel Makers and Income School.
Additionally, several Project 24 members have demanded refunds, despite having been active members for many months. All of these fall outside of our refund policy, yet we’ve been forced to give refunds. This includes members who have used our service for a full 9 months.
On July 31st, my attorney sent a “Cease and Desist” letter to Nate’s attorney. This letter demanded that Nate stop posting new content and that he remove the content he had already posted teaching YouTube by August 7th. We received no immediate response and Nate continued to post in his YouTube community during that week.
On August 4th we heard from Nate’s attorney who requested an extension of our deadline until August 12th in order to craft a response. My attorney replied that we’d extend the deadline as long as Nate removed the video he published the following Monday, August 7th. Nate did not remove the video.
On Saturday, August 5th, a member of my team had an in-person conversation with Nate in front of his house in Idaho, which proves that he had been living and operating his new business in Idaho, despite his non-compete. To the best of their recollection, he made the following points…
- Nate said something to the effect of “If you wouldn’t mind, just look into the direction non-compete law is going in America.”
- The overall impression I got from the conversation on non-competes was that he believes they are unfair. Nate said things implying that it isn’t right to make someone go work at McDonald’s after they have spent years gaining experience in a specific industry. I retorted by pointing out all of the other options he has to work in the YouTube industry such as using the skills he’s learned to build a YouTube channel on any other topic aside from YouTube education, become a channel manager for another Youtuber, or work for a company such as Vid IQ but I said he’s choosing to compete in the most direct way possible. He agreed with me and changed the subject to how he can’t be done with YouTube teaching because he isn’t ready to be done with it.
- He also said there were things about the situation when he signed the non-compete that I didn’t know, but wouldn’t tell me what they were. I said all I know for sure was that it was at-will employment so he should have quit if he didn’t want to sign the non-compete.
- I do not remember him saying the exact words “non-compete laws are immoral” but I asked him repeatedly why he thought it was okay to violate the non-compete he signed and the impression I got was that he thinks it’s okay because he shouldn’t have had to sign it in the first place.
- He never claimed to not be violating the non-compete and didn’t argue with that as far as I can remember, he simply justified why he should be allowed to ignore it, often by way of redirecting the conversation to “Ricky did things that were unfair too”. When I asked for clarification on those things he would tell me things I was already aware of, such as the letter Ricky sent (see above).
- When I told him it seemed to me that he was intentionally hiding the team from the Channel Makers audience since I began working here over a year ago, despite knowing Ricky’s wishes, he didn’t argue (as he did on other points I made that he disagreed with) and became silent.
This is the situation regarding Nate Black and Channel Makers up to this point. I hope it helps to clarify what actually happened.
If anyone believes that something in this statement is inaccurate and can provide any evidence of such, please let us know and I will revise it. This entire statement is true to the best of my knowledge.