A Rant About Stealing Business


Piper isn’t just about Hannah and Aaron. It’s about building brands for other entrepreneurs. It’s about teaching young people the communication & marketing skills to succeed in the modern economy. It’s about blazing a trail for others to follow.

We are not wasting any energy worrying about people stealing our clients.We are focused on the future. This vlog is our breadcrumbs to set a stage for future businesses to succeed.

We’re hopeful that Annie will be the first in a long line of young, talented team members who will help shape the future of Piper.

Message us if you’re interested in interning.

The First #PiperAnswers


“How long did it take before launch to get ready for Piper Creative?”

“What does it take to push publish?”

“How do you make ethical content?”

We launched a new segment on March 19th, 2018 to answer questions that were not explicitly addressed by our vlog. We are deeply grateful to Solomon, Paul, and Michael for submitting questions 🙂

We want to talk about what we’re learning. If you like this, please let us know in the comments.

Send questions you have to hannah (at) pipercreative (dot) co


Shot and Edited by Hannah Phillips

We’d love to meet with you. We are looking for creative talent in Pittsburgh to join our growing team. Our DMs are open.

Aaron Watson, Chief Executive Officer of Piper Creative

Aaron’s experience in media creation and strategy started at the age of 23 when he launched a podcast, Going Deep with Aaron Watson. In the subsequent 3 years, he has built a powerful network, executed profitable events around Pittsburgh, and started a paid public speaking career on the back of his digital media brand building.

As the co-founder of Piper Creative, Aaron is passionate about leveraging his expertise to help others build influence, execute effective storytelling, and master distribution of their content.


Hannah Phillips, Chief Creative Officer of Piper Creative

From an early age, Hannah developed a love for art and creating, and has grown those passions into hard skills that could build a business.

She started HPMedia in 10th grade and was dedicated to growing it part-time throughout high school. After graduating in 2016, she started an apprenticeship/entrepreneurship program called Praxis. After apprenticing at a digital marketing agency, Hannah found sustainable success in full-time creative work.

Piper Creative offers her the opportunity to guide and mentor the next generation of creatives while leveraging their skills to transform brands and drive business outcomes.


Pittsburgh Companies Knotzland & Blackbird Health


Another full day for Piper, with a dose of drama.

We started with a podcast interview of Nisha Blackwell. She founded Knotzland, a custom bowtie company, after creating a bow as a birthday gift. Her creativity and success led to her being named to Facebook’s Small Business Council and national recognition.

Listen to the full interview:  http://www.goingdeepwithaaron.com/podcast/295-sustainable-bowties-the-facebook-small-business-council-w-nisha-blackwell

We then met with Dr. Matt Keener, founder of Blackbird Health. His healthcare startup is aiming to revolutionize the delivery of healthcare through telemedicine.

We’re hoping to help him start a podcast.

Finally, coffee at Biddle’s Escape with Hannah Frankman. She coached us on our videography skills and debriefed from her experience at the Going Deep Summit.

Pittsburgh Leadership


We know that these are still the early days of our journey. There will be a lot of people that cross our path, share some wisdom, and lend a hand over the years.

The people that help us early on hold a special place in our hearts. Pittsburgh photography master John Craig met us for coffee to talk about our vlog and provide some valuable feedback.

The ability to give constructive criticism in a kind and thoughtful way is a superpower.

John has it.

We then met with Lisa Slayton of the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation. She’s seen a lot of leaders rise and influence Pittsburgh and schooled us on the rich history of her organization.

Can’t wait to share her wisdom in a podcast.

Will Pittsburgh’s Future be Inclusive?


The more vlogs we do, the more we realize that this project isn’t just about us. There are so many amazing projects happening around Pittsburgh that we continue to uncover. These videos will ultimately serve as a time capsule for an exciting, revolutionary era for the region.

Community Forge is one of the projects that will be studied and emulated if Michael Skirpan and the Wilkinsburg community can execute its vision. Instead of allowing economic forces to gentrify the neighborhood, Community Forge will help residents take part in the development. It’s a revolutionary concept.

The contrast between Wilkinsburg and PPG Place is stark.

Our next meeting was in the heart of downtown in Industrious HQ. It is a coworking space that was originally started in Brooklyn.

They’ve invested a lot of money to create a space that caters to downtown professionals and satellite offices for established companies. The views are spectacular and the flavored water is tasty.

Meeting Marathon


Our first video with a classy thumbnail was also our busiest vlog episode to-date. Eventually we will have our own office and a space to host consecutive meetings, but, for now, these jaunts around town represent the essence of getting Piper off the ground.

We started with a podcast interview and meeting with Gridwise founder Ryan Green. After serving in the US Navy, Ryan founded a company to help rideshare drivers (Lyft, Uber, etc.) make more money.

His company’s app collects all the major data around events, airport flights, and traffic to inform drivers where they can anticipate higher fares. It’s a story we love sharing.

Then, we met Ian Magazine at Zeke’s Coffee. We discussed event planning, potentially developing a LinkedIn creative service, and Ian’s past career achievements.

This was followed by a meeting with Annie, who was a fantastic intern during the preparation for the first-ever Going Deep Summit. She was so good that we wanted to continue to keep her around and chart a course for her development within Piper.

Finally, we recorded another podcast with search fund operator Jamie Van Buren.

These busy days are followed by busy evenings. Hannah went home to edit footage, while Aaron battled his inbox and booked more meetings.

Birchmere Ventures’ Ned Renzi


Ned Renzi co-founded Birchmere Ventures and has been investing in Pittsburgh for more than two decades.

After spending the previous night furiously preparing for launch, we celebrated our first official day as a company interviewing one of Pittsburgh’s biggest VC investors.

You cannot have a tech boom without an abundance of startup capital. While taking money from a VC is the wrong move for 99% of businesses, fast-growing tech firms rely on investors like Ned to help them scale quickly and build amazing software.

Ned schooled us on his firm’s investing philosophy, key Saas (Software-as-a-Service) metrics he pays attention to, and why he’s recently gotten obsessed with fasting in the morning. Even if you never intend to raise outside capital (like us), this is still a stimulating and valuable conversation.

Geekwire’s Todd Bishop


In February of 2018, the team at Geekwire set up a temporary 2nd headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA. They identified the Steel city as a beacon of hope for the Rust Belt, as the city is flourishing in a tech boom.

They rode in a self-driving Uber, toured the labs of the cities’ top roboticists, and visiting numerous neighborhoods to eat from the vast array of restaurants. They also warned of the negative externalities that could come with Amazon choosing to build it’s (much larger) HQ2 in western PA.

This vlog covered a podcast interview appearance Todd made on Going Deep w/ Aaron Watson.

The Seattle-based media outlet sets a sterling example for all modern media companies. Co-founder Todd Bishop keeps his team small and avoids being overly reliant upon ad revenue by running live events to support the Geekwire bottom line.

In addition to discussing the ethical way to run a media business, Aaron gifted Todd a pair of #PinkSocks.

Connection U Meetup #3


Most networking sucks. It doesn’t have to. Connection University meetups are free events that bring together people from a diverse set of backgrounds to joyfully connect and avoid the ugly, transactional realm of most networking events.

Instead of focusing on themselves, these events foster a spirit of giving first and “ABCD” (Always Be Connecting the Dots) to others.

We were incredibly fortunate that Olga Pogoda helped set us up with Protohaven to host the event. Piper is also thankful that Brad Driscoll,  Nick Rivers, Alexis Wilkerson, Justin Zell, Kasey Daley, and Luke Pieczynski shared their perspective in this vlog.

You can check out the Facebook Group to get in on the action.