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VSO (Very Shitty Operators) - Curtis Hallstrom
VSO Media started as an entertainment venture in 2009. We took a look at Second Amendment related content and identified it was missing something. To be frank, it seemed like it was geared toward people my grandfather’s age; not toward fostering the next generation, our legacy. So we took to YouTube. Intermittently, we produced content and pushed it out onto social forums that were in their infancy by today’s measure. There was really no plan but to do our part to try to interest “new people” with the shooting sports.
Fast-forward to 2012. When we realized that people were actually watching us on purpose, we decided to try something different and take it to the next level. The concept: Dynamic video showing equipment in real-time use with a group of friends in a sustained testing environment. It’s like a reality TV show meets a technical review, at a range, with the guys.
We are a diverse group, each with their own personality and philosophy on gear . This gives us a great depth of entertainment value as well as a broad spectrum of insight to draw from when it comes to technical substance. We never compromise either of these and that resonates greatly with our viewership.
Our slogan has become “Bend the Fit, Scratch the Finish” because our style of video is very hard on gear. Unlike many reviewers, we actually take it out and use it. Because of this our audience identifies with us as the No BS bunch that is going to tell it to them straight.
We consider ourselves gear testers not gear reviewers and have broken out of the traditional media/ manufacturer relationship to launch a second facet of VSO in the form of field testing/R&D services (07/SOT). The goal of this endeavor is to help companies bring the best version of their product to market.
Many of these projects turn into video for public consumption allowing the viewer to derive their own opinions on that particular piece of kit. That said, when we come out and endorse a particular product it is treated in high regard by our followers.
Having built that reputation from the ground up, we take it very seriously and have several criteria that must be met in order for us to work with any company:
1.) Quality products, preferably made by American workers. Even if cutting corners doesn’t influence the performance of the product, presentation shows a thoughtfulness toward the end user of the product. This is becoming more scarce these days and there needs to be a standard.
2.) Rugged equipment, if we were in the business of making snow globes it would be a different story. However, to be frank, we are talking about products that could potentially be used in defense of life. Any product centered around such an industry should far exceed the standard; we are here to see how far you went.
3.) Excellent customer service, there will be problems with your products. Period. No matter how awesome it is and how much effort you put into making it flawless- things will happen. How you handle it is up to you. It is VSO’s mission to help you be that level of excellence.
Curtis R. Hallstrom Jr.
VSO Media/VSOrdnance/VSO Gun Channel
Leviathan Group Partner
Full30 Media Contributor