Entrepreneurialism has no age. Whether you’re 10 or 18 or 75, it’s never too early or late to start a company. Whether your first venture is successful or not, you will learn so much that your next shot will have an even higher chance of making it. Rob started his first company when he was 18 years old, Orion trucks. He went out and signed the biggest skateboarders in the world to be a part of his company. And yet, he made very little money. Why? Inexperience. He allowed himself to be taken advantage of, and in this episode he shares the biggest lessons he learned.
Rob is joined by Alana Andrews, an 18 year-old entrepreneur herself who is an incredibly impressive founder. She has created SWEY, a more health-conscious sports drink by gen-Z, for gen-z while still in high school. She’s also an author, a speaker, and a philanthropist. She’s looking for advice on communicating her product’s core value proposition and differentiation in the market, as well as maximizing her many amazing initiatives at the same time.
We set goals and work hard to achieve them every day, so it’s no wonder we become attached to both our goals and the processes by which we work toward them. But the world around us is chaotic and ever changing, so there is no way to continue to navigate the obstacles and challenges in your path without being highly adaptive. This is true of any goal in business or in life, and the same commitment to recognizing when a pivot is necessary applies. As you pursue any goal, the world changes, and you change. Take that into account and don’t be afraid to evolve both your strategy and the goal itself as need be to stay on track. A pivot does not mean you have failed at your original vision. It means you are smart enough to know the definition of success is fluid.
Success is broad, and everyone’s definition of it is very personal to them. There are infinite ways to define success, but Rob contends that every version of success, no matter what it is or who is going through it, follows a similar pathway. That pathway is something he has termed “The Cycle of Success,” which he breaks down into 5 key phases that are broadly applicable. The most important piece of the Cycle is to be aware in advance that when things are at their most challenging, that is in fact a crucial part of the process itself and should be expected. This is the Third Phase, which Rob terms “The Great Test,” and it’s where quitting is the most tempting. But making it out to the Fourth Phase, and crossing The Belief Horizon, makes achieving the goal all but inevitable. Listen to the full episode for the rest of the phases that will guide you toward a better version of yourself.
In this episode, Rob talks about his time spent with author Price Pritchett, who wrote the seminal book on accelerating success, The Quantum Leap Strategy (link below). Inspired by his wife to attend a seminar together, he got to know Price and even began working on a book with him. Rob explains what he learned from the man, how it informed his philosophy, and why their collaboration never saw the light of day. Rob discusses how in his own life, television created a quantum leap toward his business goals and walks us through how we can set goals, build pathways, and find unique ways to jump right to the end, bypassing time and energy in between.
You don’t know what you don’t know until it’s staring you in the face and you have to learn it fast. But forming mentor-mentee relationships with other more experienced entrepreneurs whose journeys you are hoping to one day emulate is an important way to fill in your blind spots with deep, battle tested knowledge and wisdom. In addition to the guests on the show and emerging entrepreneurs he meets along the way, Rob also mentors someone a little closer to home: his 5-year-old son. Rob’s son is already pitching companies, and as you’ll hear in this episode, has already figured out how to pull the investor card (on his mom).
Imagine if you committed to everything you did day after day until the end of your life. The result would be an incredible level of clarity, knowledge, wisdom, and optimization. A profession or skill you pursue, practice, and hone every day throughout your lifetime. The way you treat your partner. Your health and wellness. Your lifestyle, where you live, and finding harmonious balance throughout your life. Committing to these things over a long period of time eventually leads to mastery. In this episode, Rob shares how he has committed to his relationship with his wife, his health, his forever home, and every other major aspect of his life to achieve its full potential.
Even an extremely positive person like Rob is susceptible to negative thoughts creeping in. So, a while back, he began to focus more on identifying when such a thought entered his consciousness. He did not allow them to take hold of his emotions but rather began to ask why. Began to evaluate the possible reasons for having each thought. The conclusion he eventually reached was that he was more prone to negative thinking when he was feeling overwhelmed. By using the core functions of the Machine Mindset to find balance within the factors of time, energy and capacity, he was able to, not thwart negative thoughts from creeping in entirely, but build the skill of identifying and dealing with them before they can affect him. In this episode, he talks through how you can do the same.
We all have ideas for businesses, but few are qualified to build and run any company they can dream up. In order to set a new company, and yourself, up for ultimate success, you need to assess your prior experience, knowledge, and skills to ensure they map to the type of company you plan to launch. Failure to do so can be a huge mistake, and push you and the business quickly into perilous territory.
You think you know how to pitch the end-user value of a product before you even create it. Then you build a company and go through rigorous testing to zero in on the right messaging to entice customers to try your product. Then you put that message out into the market. That’s when the real work begins. The consumer reaction may not be exactly what you had hoped. But rather than be married to your original messaging, it’s then time to continue to evolve that value prop until it resonates with a larger audience. The goal is to continue refining until it is simple, clear, and unique. Rob uses the evolution of Mindright’s value prop over the last year since launch as a prime example. To follow the Mindright story from launch day to now, go back and check out episode 4 and episode 13 with Mindright CEO, Chris “Bernie” Bernard. Also in this episode, Rob is joined by Amanda Greenberg, CEO of Balloon. She has built a product to make meetings more effective, which Rob has partnered with prior. Rob has some insights about how she could make Balloon’s value proposition clearer and more valuable.
In this episode, Rob shares his philosophy on generating wealth to buy back time. He believes that the key is to truly understand your time and the value of it. The second piece of that equation is, of course, generating the wealth necessary to buy your time back. And finally, it’s realizing exactly where you can spend that money in order to exchange it for time. What does this all mean? How can you actually buy time? Rob takes a solo deep dive to share with you his process for building wealth and explains all of the ways in which he uses his earnings to buy back the most important non-renewable resource in the world.
Optimizing and automating the systems of your life and business can seem daunting or rigid at first glance, but the secret is remaining highly adaptive. Locking in the processes that manage your life is a crucial first step, but being conscious of the fact that life happens, chaos is unavoidable, and you must be able to be flexible within your systems in order for them to continue to function.
Even if you’re doing everything right externally – waking up early, meditating, eating right, mastering your time and energy – if your mind is being pulled in a million different directions, your life will never be balanced. You ultimately need a balanced mind in order to have quality energy to pursue the things you want in life. An unbalanced mind makes you reactionary, and you lose control of your life. Balance your mind, balance your life.
Using willpower alone to achieve discipline is not sustainable. It becomes a constant battle, sucking energy from you, and is always an uphill battle. Even Rob didn’t understand the power of gamification before he started meticulously tracking his basic discipline statistics. It was only then that the data gave him energy. He could watch his progress and felt a sense of pride when he hit his goals. That reinforced his desire to win against himself and motivated him to keep going and continue to improve. Then habits were formed and what was previously a daily challenge was second nature. Only at that point could he set his sights on the next goal, and use gamification techniques to achieve it in the same way.
Of course, there are times we all must grind, sacrifice sleep and balance to get crucial things done. But that is not the lifestyle you are trying to achieve as an entrepreneur because it is simply not sustainable. The goal of any entrepreneur should be to hire with intention and build and grow it in a way that increases output by designing, automating and optimizing systems. Ultimately, you should be doing less grinding as your business grows and matures in this way, not more. There’s a lot of noise out there that champions burning the candle at both ends and sacrificing everything to build a business. That’s working hard, but not smart. Your goal should be to grow your business into something you actually enjoy running, and that fits seamlessly into the rest of your life. Not something that consumes your life. This is the third of three episodes where Rob is rolling solo, with no guests, to dive deep on topics that are especially important to him and, he believes, are important for your success.
There is no substitute for hard work. It is the cornerstone of building success, and that will never change. However, by harmoniously integrating all aspects of your life and building them simultaneously toward success, you can achieve more with the effort you put in. We all have tendencies that create friction and disrupt harmony, such as pushing too hard, not eating right or not getting enough rest. By looking at your life as an integrated system that requires harmony to expand and evolve, you can ultimately do more with less and become the ideal version of yourself.
Rob is a life-long learner. Even at his level, he is constantly searching for more information, better philosophies, bits of wisdom that can unlock further potential and a greater understanding of the world. Like you, he reads (and listens to) books, consumes podcasts, subscribes to every entrepreneur blog and social account, constantly absorbing points of view from smart and successful people. It’s one thing to consume and be inspired by those we hope to emulate, but it is the distilling of the most important nuggets of information from those sources that are immediately applicable to your own systems in life and business. You will get more out of the educational media you consume by not trying to grasp it as a whole, but picking out those few key points that you can put into action immediately, add them to your toolbox, and use them to grow and evolve toward mastery. And when you consume the same thing a decade later, you will not only see completely new tools for your evolved state, but the experience will serve as a barometer of just how far you’ve come. This is the second of three episodes where Rob is rolling solo, with no guests, to dive deep on topics that are especially important to him and, he believes, are important for your success.
Your life is a blank canvas when it begins. While many circumstances are beyond your control, there is still so much you can craft and mold to your will. But in order to create anything, an amazing painting or an amazing life, you must first have a vision for it. And vision is not necessarily a natural process for everyone, but everyone has the ability to look out into the future, understand what they desire, and put a plan together to get there. It requires the determination to develop that skill set over time. It requires self-reflection to actually understand what it is you want based on the things that make you truly happy and give you energy. And it requires you to break that vision down into achievable steps in order to get there. With the skill of vision, the extraordinary life you wish to lead is within your grasp. This is the first of three episodes where Rob is rolling solo, with no guests, to dive deep on topics that are especially important to him and, he believes, are important for your success.
Rob is here to tell you that financial success is a huge win, but there’s a lot you can do while building it to ensure that your success is of a high quality. If you’re only chasing the dream, you can get caught in the trap of losing your balance to achieve a goal. When working your way toward the success you ultimately want to create, take all aspects of your life into account. Your time, your energy, your health, and every other thing that gives you purpose and fulfillment. Design your work life and personal life together in an integrated way to ensure balance between them. Only then will the success you find be of the highest quality.
Rob uses it to get organized, be more productive, feel more balanced, and make more money. He started by waking up an hour earlier at 5 am every day and understood he got essentially an entire extra workday every week. That equates to 48 extra (7-hour) workdays per year. Then he realized that if he got up 2 hours earlier every day, that additional time doubled. That’s almost 3 months of additional productivity per year. A full quarter! Imagine how much you could get done with that much extra time on your hands. Now set your alarm.
When we make a big decision, we typically contemplate how the outcome will affect everything else in our life. But it’s the small decisions we don’t put as much emphasis on that end up having an outsized effect. This is due to the compounding nature of small decisions on your health, mindset, emotional state, and energy. One small decision influences the next small decision, rippling out over time and contributing either positively or negatively to your life.
True manifestation is not sitting around thinking about the things that you want in life and wishing or hoping they come true. It is figuring out in as much detail as possible not only what the things are, but what they look like and feel like. Focusing on those details and allowing your mind and body to be transported forward to a time when these fantasies are reality. According to Rob, who practices an extreme version of manifestation, your body cannot tell the difference between that which you imagine in great detail and that which is actually happening. So, the more you practice detailed manifestation over and over while doing the things necessary to achieve them, the universe will begin to listen.
Rob’s formula for achieving perpetual success: systematically fusing art, science, and magic. A great tagline, yes, but what does it really mean? Well, think of art as starting with you, the creator. The creator of your life, the creator of your business, the creator of every moment of your day. Science is then the ways in which you organize your creations, building systems of living and systems of operating professionally. Finally, the magic comes when art and science are working in harmony. Unseen universal forces that conspire on your behalf to push you in the direction you want to go. Applying these concepts over and over in everything you do, constantly improving and optimizing, a better life is all but inevitable.
The most precious resource on earth is time. It is fleeting, nonrenewable, and depleting at an ever accelerating rate. You have two choices: One, hold on tight and go where it leads you, or two, master it. Take control of it. Increase your time efficacy within every hour of your day. Work to truly understand it, and how much you can actually accomplish. Look at time not as a whole, but in smaller, manageable blocks. Then work within each of those blocks to continuously improve your output. It sounds hard, impossible even, but once you actually start, you’ll be amazed at the results.
Don’t strive for perfection. Strive for continued optimization over time. Anything in work or life falls into the category of things that can be made continually better. The first step is doing enough reps at something that it becomes almost second nature. Then finding ways to automate that thing where it takes less effort. Only then can you look for ways to make it more efficient, more optimized, so it takes even less time and effort. If you repeat this process over and over with every element of your life and business, incredible results will emerge.
No matter what your experiences are in business and in life, there are lessons to be learned. From pain and failure, learnings can arise and inform future actions and thinking. From positive outcomes, learnings can be identified and applied to other parts of your existence. So, no matter your type of experience, positive, negative or neutral, reflecting on the reasons for each particular outcome will lead you to evolve over time. And with evolution, becoming a better and better version of yourself, comes success and, more importantly, happiness.
Your ideal life vision should be in lockstep with your business vision. They should be designed together, integrated, and grown together until you are successful on all fronts simultaneously, not just at work. As an entrepreneur, the path is clear: create a product that doesn’t exist (vision), put together a plan, and execute the plan to grow the business. Most people don’t necessarily think of their life this way, with happiness, fulfillment and balance being products of a well thought out plan. But Rob suggests if you can just evolve your thinking, you can have it all.
From tragedy can come opportunity. When Devin’s father passed from a stress induced heart attack, she found herself anxiety ridden and unable to sleep properly for years. In coping with her loss, she began experimenting with adaptogens to calm her own body and mind. Creating body butters and teas from home, she discovered a new approach to beauty from the inside out. Frustrated that Black customers seem to be an afterthought in the beauty market, she set out to create Deon Libra, a brand that caters to the naturally higher stress levels of people in her own community. With her co-founder and COO, Brit Kirkland, Devin found a home for her nascent brand at Dyrdek Machine. This episode was recorded shortly after Rob and the Deon Libra founders met in person for the first time
In business or in life, when you step out of your comfort zone to try something new, it is always harder in the beginning. You lack practice, you lack clarity, you lack experience. As time goes on, with dedication to creating a process and evolving it over time, you will get better and better at that thing until it’s easy. Rob shares his experience in creating his MTV show Ridiculousness, which was difficult and time consuming at first. He details how he committed to making it easier, faster and better over and over until he could shoot six episodes in a day with less effort than one episode required in the beginning.
Rob believes that you should seek clarity on exactly what it is you want to achieve before setting out to achieve it. That clarity will reveal the detailed goals necessary to get there. Breaking those down into smaller, achievable goals builds the belief that you can actually get to the finish line. Over time, the goals become more ambitious, you achieve those, and the belief and confidence grow. Take the time to put energy into defining what it is you want out of life, be it a business, relationship, health, or something else. Only then will every decision you make have a clear purpose and move you forward.
There are two states of mind that are not useful to becoming successful or living an amazing life. The first is Dwelling, which is a passive state that provides no current or future value. The second is Hoping and/or Wishing, a state that, while more fun in the moment, creates the same passivity and stagnation of dwelling. Neither of these mental states offer any positive momentum, and thus should be avoided. Live instead in states of Experiencing or Creating the future.
Achieving balance requires discipline, practice, and a realistic framework. Over time, with consistent effort, you will find yourself getting better and better at it until it is second nature. The definition of balance, however, is very personal and different for every individual. It takes time and attention to understand what your version of balance is that makes you feel energetic in the various aspects of your life. Rob explains exactly how he evolved into his current state of balance and now keeps it going with ease.
Building a company as an entrepreneur entails having a vision, making a plan to achieve that vision, and then setting goals and achieving them in that direction. It also requires failing, learning, and evolving. Optimizing, automating, and refining. And over time success is achieved or a new chapter must begin. The parallels between building a great business and building a great life are many. And it all starts with an entrepreneurial mindset. The Dyrdek Machine’s philanthropy, the Do-Or-Dier Foundation, supports organizations across the country that teach the entrepreneurial mindset to underrepresented and under-resourced individuals from young people to the formerly incarcerated. This provides them with the tools they need to succeed in both business and life.
What does Rob mean by “Qualitative Self-Awareness?” It’s literally as simple as asking yourself how you feel every day with respect to the most important parts of your life. Using a scale of 1 to 10, above a 5 represents increasing degrees of happiness and optimism. While the bottom half runs the risk of compounding negativity and dragging you even further down. But the first step to increasing your number and keeping it at higher levels more consistently is creating a systematic understanding of your quality of life. Only then can you begin to identify the internal and external factors that affect your rating positively or negatively and actually do something about them.
One of the keys to a high quality, balanced existence is becoming extremely sensitive to your energy. Especially when it is being lowered by an action or external force, or gained by something you enjoy doing. This goes for work, family, friends, and literally anything else in life. In order to achieve energy awareness, you really need to get in touch with yourself to understand the nuances as to how you uniquely gain and lose energy.
It’s one thing to go into a new venture with optimism and hope that hard work will pay off. But it’s a whole other level to design the life outcomes you want, then the business outcomes you need to achieve that, and only then design your business backwards systematically in order to reach that goal. It’s important to figure out things like how much time you want to spend working when the business reaches maturity, as it is unsustainable to burn the candle at both ends in perpetuity. You must decide what role you want to play that will give you the most energy, and then build around that with people who will take on the energy-draining roles. It’s all possible with the right design in place.
Belief may be something you hold inherently, but more often than not it is a process that takes place over time. It is the constant setting and achieving of smaller goals that slowly grows belief in your idea, yourself, your plan, those around you, and every other aspect of your existence. It is only when you have lost belief that you want to quit, and Rob believes it’s the point at which you should quit. However, it’s up to you to choose how that belief is lost. Losing belief and quitting can be a good thing, a learning experience, and the beginning of believing in something bigger and better that will ultimately provide the life you want.
In this episode, Rob makes the case for why naming your brand to connect with the value proposition of your product can give you many advantages along your business journey. In the best-case scenario, your brand name can even become a verb associated directly with your product’s output. As companies all become their own media companies, it is far more scalable to create content and thus build a customer base around a brand name that connects deeply with the very thing you as an entrepreneur are trying to introduce into the world.
There may be aspects of your business you don’t understand. There may be parts that make you cringe. But you still have to learn as much as you can about them. You have to understand how all aspects of the business relate to your overall vision. Only then, should you hire people with more specific expertise. At that point, you will be able to guide them to help you realize your ultimate vision, as opposed to waiting for them to figure out what that vision really is. Rob talks to three entrepreneurs on the show today.
It’s far too easy to fall into the trap of only bouncing your ideas off of people you know will either agree with you or be supportive no matter what. This is great for short-term confidence but potentially detrimental to achieving long-term success by building a sustainable business. The more feedback you get from all types of people, the better you can hone in on the true value proposition of your product, and thus understand who your customer will eventually be. Rob implores you to get as much feedback as possible in the IDEA stage before you spend a dime, micro-failing over and over until your idea is undeniable. And then never stop getting feedback through every subsequent stage. This doesn’t mean that you need to please everyone, but commonalities will emerge that will give you crucial insight into how to evolve next. On this episode, we once again welcome two fantastic entrepreneurs from the UCLA Anderson Venture Accelerator program
Rob didn’t go to college. In fact, he dropped out of high school and became a professional skateboarder. While his journey to entrepreneurship is a unique one, so is yours. The simple fact is, the more knowledge you have, the fewer mistakes you make, and the clearer your path to success. While there is no substitute for experience, education can bridge gaps and accelerate proactive learnings. Without formal schooling, it’s on you to educate yourself in all facets of business—seek out answers, ask the right questions, and learn what you don’t know as fast as possible. No matter your level of education when you begin your first company, it’s still going to be trial by fire to some extent.
The best CEOs are obsessed with building a holistic vision of their company. While many can alleviate pain points by hiring the right people and empowering them, there is no substitute for understanding every aspect of your business. When something goes wrong and you are forced to learn something from a mistake, that is valuable, but it is also reactive. If you put in the energy to identify your weaknesses and learn those parts of the business proactively, you have a better chance of avoiding those missteps to begin with and accelerating your path toward success.
Rob views building a company through the Machine Method much like starting a new relationship. Going through the Discovery phase, doing your Diligence on the person to see if the effort is worthwhile, Building a meaningful foundation before Launching into exclusivity, then… time to Scale. It’s so tempting to get overly excited by that first prototype, seeing your product on the shelf, positive initial customer feedback, and really any other part of the journey of building a business. Each step is so taxing, and each step feels like a journey unto itself. However, Rob would implore you to wait until finding the all important Product Market Fit before popping the Champagne. Only then do you have a real business. Rob talks to three entrepreneurs on this episode about their businesses and answers their questions about business and life.
Machine Method Phase: DISCOVERY Rob is a creative guy, he’s a passionate guy, and numbers used to make him fall asleep. Presented with a spreadsheet, he would literally nod off. He sought to hire people to “deal” with that part of his businesses, but then realized something crucial: No one is going to care about your business like you are. So he got to work learning the financial side of business, and now financial models make him giddy and he’s been far more successful as a result. We’ve also got three aspiring Do-Or-Diers that sent in pitch videos. Rob provides some clarity in directing one company to focus their boundless energy. He talks to another about really getting back into the numbers to make his business model work. And works with one to excel in a consumable market.
Machine Method Phase: DISCOVERY It should be no surprise that investors are putting money into your company in order to realize a return. While your passion and creativity is what got you here, those alone are not going to get you to the next level. You need to tell a clear financial story to your potential investors about how your company will generate them a return. By all means, infuse that story with passion and creativity, but be realistic and concise about the path to liquidity first and foremost. In the second part of the episode, Rob talks with three aspiring Do-Or-Diers that sent in pitch videos and gives them advice to bolster their entrepreneurial endeavors. In a surprise twist, he has an offer for one of them.
Machine Method Phase: BUILD Rob calls it a “shotgun venture creation wedding,” and that couldn’t be more fitting for his newest Dyrdek Machine venture, Jolie with former Greats founder Ryan Babenzein. Ryan had started and sold companies and found himself consulting, but he grew tired of giving his energy and ideas to other people and longed to work for himself once again. One day he found his skin was dry and bought a water filter for his shower that changed everything. Research revealed all of the harmful chemicals that are in municipal (tap) water are harmful to your skin and hair, but shower water filters have never been thought of as a crucial part of any beauty routine. Enter Jolie (named after Ryan’s wife, but also means “pretty” in French), a beauty company that will change the way you think of your shower. Rob and Ryan talked only a few times over Zoom before Rob jumped in on the deal, and this podcast is the first time the two newly minted partners have ever met in person.
Machine Method Phase: DISCOVERY Another group of hungry, relentless entrepreneurs proved their merit by submitting detailed pitch videos with their experience and ideas for the chance to Build With Rob. While they may not be exact fits for the Dyrdek Machine’s hyper-specific criteria (see: 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.
Machine Method Phase: SCALE It was bestselling author and podcaster, Lewis Howes who first introduced Bill Glaser to Rob, catalyzing a partnership that would grow into a $100million venture just five years later. It is this focus of being a “super-connector” that has Lewis invested in two Dyrdek Machine companies, Outstanding Foods, and Mindright. Rob touts Billy G as the best CEO in his portfolio, so when Outstanding Foods’ second truly innovative product, Take Out, caused customer confusion due to its branding, Bill was quick to rebrand and introduce Outstanding Puffs to positive consumer and buyer feedback.
When you invent an innovative new technology in the hottest space, it’s easy to get carried away with the possibilities when you should be focusing on your beachhead. That’s what happened to Dmitry and Rob when Dmitry invented a device capable of capturing 360 video and streaming it live across the world. The camera was lighter, cheaper and more compact than any of the solutions on the market raking in big VC money. The idea came from Dmitry watching racing and wanting to experience the race from inside the car, but knowing multiple GoPro rigs were too heavy and bulky in a sport where every gram counts. Rob, at the time, was looking for an opportunity in the VR space, and knew immediately that this was it. Dubbing the company Ultracast, they sent units all around the world that allowed people to travel to all of these locations in real-time with just their phones. But it was too much, too quickly, and they learned the hard way that they should have cornered the racing market and only then expanded to other experiences.
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 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.
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.