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A pandemic silver lining success story - the making of a global content creation business

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

At the beginning of the pandemic, Daniel and David Hulett, like many college students, were sent home for college. For them, that meant college life transformed into being holed up in their parent's basement. Out of boredom and curiosity, they started doing trick shots…. like launching a ping pong ball into the other brother’s water cup. Their motivation was and still is simple. They want to make people smile. At the beginning of the pandemic, they were focused on spreading joy to their family and friends.

Fast forward to today, they leveraged this trick-shot hobby into a global, multi-platform, content creation business. Their fun-loving content has been viewed BILLIONS of times by their global audience. They have collaborated with sports brands, like ESPN, Redbull, and Sports Illustrated. They have sponsorship relationships with consumer products and media brands, like Tom Brady, Wilson, SunnyD, Oreo, Doritos, The Cube, TBS, YouTube, and Warner Bros. They regularly feature content on platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and YouTube. Their parents are being supportive. When asked, their parents do help them with their back office, especially helping them negotiate deals, write contracts, etc.

Daniel, 23, recently graduated from Christopher Newport University and is pursuing this full-time. David, a 21-year-old James Madison University senior, is pursuing their business as much as possible after studying. Their company is called Hulett Brothers.

Daniel and David both have business-related majors. Their enterprise is an innovative and high-impact way for them to leverage their business knowledge. Also, it is especially effective because their business is fun, they love making people smile, and they love being together.

I asked them what it was like working with family, Daniel said:

“I absolutely love being with my brother, he is one of my best friends. Plus, we have different skills that help our business run well.”

Without the pandemic, this amazing opportunity would likely not have revealed itself.

I asked David the money question. Can you make money doing this instead of the usual corporate route that many college graduates take? He instantly got more serious. It’s like David transformed from being a fun trick-shot guy to being a serious business executive. He said:

“So the short answer is ‘Yes.’ Actually, we are already making multiples of what our friends typically make in the corporate world… but having more fun!”

David went on to say:

“The media industry revenue model is transforming as we speak. 10+ years ago, TV was big. In the more recent past, longer YouTube-like videos dominated the digital ad space. Today, TikTok and other short form videos are coming to dominate. We are on the front end of a global trend that is worth billions. Our goal is to be a leader in this exploding industry.”

I asked both Daniel and David about their “secret sauce.” Is there something unique they do that drives their success? Daniel said:

“That is a tough question, there are so many little things that have to be done well. Both on the production side and the business side. But if I had to choose something unique, I’d say we both share a relentless ability to grind. We are totally motivated by our followers. What our followers see is an engaging 10 to 20 second video of us making a trick shot. What you do not see, is that each trick shot takes an average of 4 hours. So we miss the vast majority of the trick shots. It is our ability to come back over and over that is so important.”

I asked David about how they feel when people post comments. Most of the comments are really nice, but a few are negative and sometimes even mean-spirited. David said:

"Of course, we love positive feedback and hope people get happiness from our content. But out attitude is that we ultimately benefit from our audience's emotion, either positive or negative. Our real enemy is apathy. We appreciate that people care enough to comment."

Their parents say they were lucky, but not why you may think.

They point to the article Success Pillars, as featured on The Curiosity Vine. The author concludes that:

"Luck is where preparation and opportunity meet with energetic pursuit."

For Daniel and David, I could not agree more...They bring preparation, opportunity, and energy by the truckload! Their fun is infectious. It is clear they truly love making people smile.


For more information on Hulett Brothers, please see their website:


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