He had no experience, but he built an insane team of scientists and pro sports trainers to launch the perfect supplement company. Matt began thinking about a better supplement brand in high school. Fortunately, his father was both a VC and part-owner of the San Francisco 49ers, which gave Matt a unique business POV for a teenager, as well as access to some of the best trainers in the world. Rob invested in the company and helped build an amazing brand, but Matt was wavering on whether to attend Harvard or continue running the company. Matt installed a CEO and went to Cambridge, but two months later found himself back at the helm for good. At 22, he’s still learning as he goes, but having mentors like Rob has helped him continue to push toward success.
Matt Wan is the Founder & CEO of Momentous, a performance nutrition startup he co-founded with Rob shortly before dropping out of Harvard.
Machine Method Phase: DISCOVERY
These hungry, relentless entrepreneurs proved their merit by submitting detailed pitch videos, highlighting their experience and ideas, to apply for the chance to Build With Rob. While they may not be exact fits for the Dyrdek Machine’s hyper-specific criteria (see: EP01 Welcome to the Machine) for creating a company, Rob still believes all of these founders have what it takes to be successful and wants to lend his unique point-of-view to help them keep pushing forward to achieve their dreams.
With big-name investors like Marcus Lemonis, Joe and Nick Jonas, Travis Barker, and Lewis Howes to name a few, Mindright had a successful launch in early 2021 and is on an amazing growth trajectory. Now it’s time to expand the product line. Since Bernie is a tireless R&D machine himself, he’s sending Rob new prototype products every other week, which all taste amazing (except that energy shot). So, to help them narrow it down, Rob sent out a survey to the Machinist community and they picked their favorites. Will it be the protein powder Rob has refused to try until this episode? Will it be the dreaded energy shot, a brain boost, an energy mix, popped chips, or… sausage? At the end of this episode, after much debate, the answer will be revealed.
“Never go into business with your friends,” is what Rob and Taylor both believe and both ignored when throwing all governing rules to the wind at the height of the pandemic and starting their sock brand, InStitches, together. Taylor happened to have the world’s most advanced, eco-friendly textile factory in China, and the guys had so much respect for one another as entrepreneurs, it was a no-brainer. And while the first iteration of Boosocki was generating $30k a month pretty much out of the gate, it was when they decided to pivot hard into whitespace with the sock card that the vision really became clear.
Rob met Jon Buscemi during their days at DC Shoes and formed an instant connection. But it would take over a decade for the two visionaries to finally build a company together. Although Rob tried to get in early on the Buscemi brand, even attempting to trade a $35,000 Rolex for equity, the rocket ship left without him. Fast forward to 2018, the timing was finally right to start building the comfort footwear brand that would become Lusso Cloud. Revered by celebrities like Oprah and Leonardo DiCaprio, Lusso Cloud creates the most comfortable, versatile footwear on the market. Inspired by a luxury hotel slipper worn by Justin Bieber on the streets of New York, Lusso Cloud launched in 2020 to a market ripe for disruption in the comfort space.
He wanted a new way to travel the world, but one of the biggest companies in the world had other plans. Ryan wanted to create a unique travel app that let you enter dates and an amount of money, and it returned all of your options globally. Rob was enamored with the idea and quickly signed on, but a call from a Fortune 10 company changed everything, making the pivot to enterprise travel too good to pass up. But now the entire board was out of their depth, so they needed to bring on capital partners who knew the enterprise travel and SaaS industries. That smart money led to even smarter money, and eventually to an exit, even in the darkest days of the pandemic. All money is green, but not all of it has the same value.
Rob wanted scale, but Christopher King’s vision to create bespoke pieces of functional art for global icons and beyond prevailed. Rob wanted to lease a penthouse in Beverly Hills. Such a place manifested, and the previous tenant was Mr. King. A story of friendship, destiny, and a new luxury brand ensued. The push and pull within CCCXXXIII (333) saw Christopher’s obsession with detail, exclusivity, quality, and experience go head to head with Rob’s ambition and a grand vision. What they learned was that the business model must align with the obvious strengths of the brand.
From skateboarding events company to SVOD, SLS more than doubled its valuation overnight. Brian is now the President & COO of The Dyrdek Machine, but it all started with a business plan in the Rob & Big kitchen. SLS was Rob’s vision to take skateboarding into the realm of mainstream sports, but he needed someone to write the business plan and operate it. He and Brian teamed up, brought on capital partners through trial by fire, and eventually expanded the events business into SVOD. The evolution into media took the valuation from a 1.5x revenue multiple to a 6x revenue multiple and led to an acquisition.
One scientific breakthrough, two companies, zero products, and $300 Million. It all began at a party where Rob’s father-in-law cut a rug like he never had before. The reason: chewable vodka he’d been given by the host. Fascinated, Rob invested in Josh and two companies anchored by the same microencapsulation IP. They attacked multiple product verticals, but before the amazing brands they created could launch, both companies were acquired for nearly $300 million. With game-changing IP, sometimes making a product isn’t always the best move.
They were chasing revenue, but it was a pivot to pride that changed the fate of Saint Midas. Emilio bought costume jewelry on Alibaba, set up a site, ran Facebook ads, and pulled in $300k in a month. This caught Rob’s attention, thinking, what if they could use this method and create a strong brand behind it. But by the time they got to market, the market had changed drastically. After several pivots, it was looking like The Machine’s first loss. But when they asked the question, “will I be proud if this fails?” everything changed. Saint Midas was born, intentional jewelry both were proud of, and now they split sizable dividend checks.
The last-minute pivot set Outstanding Foods on its $100 million path. Bill had all the experience in the world, but none of it was in food. When he partnered with a top vegan chef to create the pigless bacon chip and create a new snack category, he ran into massive co-packer issues right before launch. With products already in stores, he and Rob had to pull off an unprecedented 11th-hour pivot to save the company. They did, in record time, and the experience added the “pre-pivot” to the Machine Method. Oh, and the company is now worth $100M.
The recent launch of Mindright was a success, but without extensive market testing, it may not have been. Rob and Bernie knew exactly how to market Mindright’s mood-enhancing, feel-good blend of nootropic superfood ingredients. Then the test market told them they were absolutely, unquestionably wrong. This is about the importance of validating our assumptions, rather than assuming we’re right, and being willing to evolve our instincts to create something even more profound.
The story behind Superjacket, the TV production company that Rob and Shane built and sold. Shane first entered Rob’s orbit as a story editor on Rob & Big. Together, they formed Superjacket, which went on to produce all of Rob’s MTV shows. Superjacket was created with a 3-year timeline to sell, which, with a lot of hard work and a little magic, succeeded right on schedule. Before they even started the company, they leveraged their unique advantages, agreed on a clear goal, mapped every action to that goal, and the goal was realized.
A step-by-step guide through the Machine Method, systematically fusing art, science, and magic to create amazing companies. Rob flies solo, taking us on a journey through everything we need to know about Dyrdek Machine, the Machine Method, the Machine Core Elements, the Machine Principles, Do-or-Dier leadership qualities, and how it all comes together to build amazing businesses and achieve success.