Perdomo and Me
So I have been coming on here since January pedaling Perdomo videos. The truth is, I made those videos and I could not have done it without your help. Your feedback was priceless to me and I apologize for misleading you into thinking I was just a fan. I know there are a few people in here who are not fans of Nick Perdomo and I understand why…especially now.
I am a photographer/videographer. I have been working on projects for Perdomo for 3 years now and had to put up with a lot, but the work was consistent, and he always paid his invoices immediately. About this time last year, I started trying to convince Nick that he needed a YouTube channel as no other manufacturer was taking advantage of the platform. I put together a presentation and sold him on it. Well at first he said it's "stupid and a waste of time." But I had put together some really solid numbers and promised him a net positive ROI within 18 months. We started filming in December of 2019 and that is when I started coming here to pick your brains for solid info and you guys never let me down. I really cannot emphasize that enough. The collective knowledge here is the best I found on the internet, and I was all over the internet. (Big shout out to @KrispyKremeKiller on the cigar subReddit too).
Well, the project turned out to perform much better than I had sold it to be and was net positive within 6 months and that was despite having to make several videos that set us back but I had to make to appease Nick and his VP.
I had to do some free work to prove the concept and invest a lot of my own money to get everything up and running. We also agreed to do the rest of the videos at a discounted rate as long as he guaranteed me 18 months to prove it will make money for him. He said he only does "handshake deals" and that "his hand shake is his word, and his word is the most important thing to him." Of course, I knew this was bullshit, but I also knew it would work and the YouTube channel would be a successful investment. Plus, I wasn't just some contractor. I regularly hung out with Nick and his family.
Fast forward to June of 2020 and our numbers were insane. We were projected to overtake all other cigar related YouTube channels within a year and Perdomo was hitting record breaking month after record breaking month. I could prove a Net positive ROI of $20k a month directly related to the YouTube channel, but I knew it was more than double that.
This is when Nick Perdomo showed his true colors. We setup a meeting one day to talk about the next videos we were to work on. That is what I thought we were doing anyways. In reality, Nick wanted to blindside me. When I showed up that morning, he had all of his highest ranking staff and himself waiting.
Before I talk about what happened in that meeting, you must understand, we had a strong relationship. I had done that man tons of favors, free work, gifts and dinners, shot his daughter’s wedding, and regularly had dinners with him and his family. His son is a great friend of mine as well as his daughter and their significant others. I also have a great relationship with his mom, his wife, and his Director of Operations. I even stayed in his house with him in Nicaragua, something he only reserves for his most elite guests.
That is why I was comfortable sharing with him that I had been turning down other contracts with my clients because I really wanted to focus on making the YouTube channel the best it could be. When Covid hit, my other business began to dry up and I let him know that as well because he would ask and seemed genuinely interested in my wellbeing. In hindsight, this was a mistake on my part.
Well, Nick took that information and turned it on me. That meeting was supposed to be about scripts and ideas. He didn't want me to prepare a presentation to defend the product, and despite the fact that he was breaking all kinds of sales records on top of receiving a lot of PPP forgivable loan money, and on top of the project being net positive, Nick saw an opportunity to shake me down and offered to only pay 50% of what we had agreed on, which was already 40% off of my original asking price. He said "I'm your only client right now, you should be thankful for all that I've done for you."
I’m sure he was waiting for me to counter offer, and I know he absolutely wanted to keep moving forward with the project because it was very lucrative and was growing rapidly. However, I refused to back down on my price. I had not only been doing free work for proof of concept, but I invested a lot of my own money into it as well. When I refused to back down on my price reminding him of our hand shake deal, that is when he said "You don't know how to run a business, you’re just a stupid kid, I'm your only client" That's when I said "I was doing very well for myself before I met you and I am sure I will do very well moving forward. I don't need this project." He didn't like that. He started saying some offensive things to me and I left the room.
I’m not going to lie, I was upset with Nick and his opportunist ways. Some may say that he’s just a good business man, but the product was making quite a bit of money for Nick and I know he wants to continue because he has put out several videos since then that are barely making a dent because whomever he hired is not performing the back end work that is key to the channels success. I don’t think it’s good business to shoot a rapidly growing marketing strategy in the foot. Also, because he wanted to do a handshake deal, I still have full copyright of all the footage and never gave him usage rights nor the licenses to the music used in the videos. I am in talks with a couple of other manufacturers at the moment and am excited about the future. I still smoke Perdomo cigars because the man does make a good product, but we have not talked since that day. Oddly enough, I ran into Nicholas, his son, in Tampa when I was meeting with some people in the industry (turns out they were burned by Nick before too). Nicholas and I are still friends which is great because he’s a good man.
I'm curious about what you guys think of this situation. I know I made some mistakes and some of you will have no problem letting me know that. But I believe the best lessons are learned from regrets, I definitely have regrets. I am also curious if anyone else has stories about their encounters with Nick.