The Master Plan
A dive that goes as deep as I possibly could into my intentions.
If anyone is ever asking me “why do all these things?” — this is the answer.
The Masterplan, summarised:
Create Chagency_ as a springboard for the projects/companies that I’ll build. Start by pleasing to death SaaS people.
Create CH Holdings, a parent company
Build Legit Check App to please the luxury fanatics to death. Start with high-end sneakers, continue with clothes and expand into bags, watches, luggage cases etc.
Keep on writing daily. Publish a book or two.
Put out a new way of reading and learning. Poke at the education sector.
Create an index company, amongst others.
Develop a personal brand so that the messages/outputs I’m producing reach (and therefore impact) more people.
You know how they say you shouldn’t plan too much into the future because it’s anyways not going to happen the way you imagine it? I’ve learned that myself and because of that, the deeper I get into a subject, the more of an abstract talk it’ll be.
As of today, I’m spending time on the following that are headlined.
This is where I spend most of time. Working on design and businesses has allowed me to sustain myself and at the same time it lends me a substantial amount of meaning.
Most probably business + design will be my go-to combination for a long time — if not for the rest of my life. It’s just that from time to time I need something else, hence the other projects emerge.
Chagency_ is meant to become a springboard for every idea that my family and I will have. When I say my family I mean not only my blood relatives but also people who are very close to me and with whom I build and create.
By springboard I mean that once a project is taken through Chagency_, it will be able to provide even more value to the people. Think of it as a multiplier to a company. Whatever company goes through Chagency_ comes out at least 10 times stronger. In time, we will create CHHoldings, a parent company.
LCA is a project that’s very close to my heart.
It taught me how bringing value to people for free becomes a magnet of attention and it will explain some points I’ll be making further in this article. LCA started in November 2017 and it’s been 16 months since then. ~350k users in this amount of time (18 months) means a lot to me, given that I didn’t even ask myself how many people I’d expect the app to have. Probably I’d have guessed 10k if you asked me before launch.
You hear these lessons on the internet or you see bloggers/writers/vloggers who become KOL (key opinion leaders) in a field based on the information they’ve put out there. Trust me, it’s on a whole different level when you see it for yourself. I’ve heard “create a blog and this will happen”. It was as if I didn’t ever hear these lessons and I just discovered it by myself — and then I said “Oh wait, I’ve been told this before! How did I not know people will start paying attention to you once you help them?”
What I’m saying might not make sense to you, dear reader, but here’s my explanation: it felt like a personal discovery because I didn’t start LCA following advice from the internet. I wasn’t making it because I wanted to “create a lead generator in the sneaker industry”. It just happened that it became that (I get emails every day thanks to it and I’m very grateful for all these people who write me. The lesson hit 100x harder this way, rather than hearing it from someone else.
I’m working on a redesign now. I don’t see a lot of business opportunity in Legit Check App but indeed it is something that I like spending time on.
I’m looking to integrate services and actually turn it into a business so it can justify the costs of maintenance. Maybe it will become a project where my younger brother David (who’s now 15) will want to take up on. I hope he will want to. He would be able to learn a lot, given so much responsibility — and maybe even earn his CEO title, if LCA becomes something that can have a CEO.
If not, I’ll be looking to sell it — but that’s definitely not happening in 2019. Why? Because I can see way more development done on it so that it can sit closer to its full potential. I’ve had doubts whether anyone would buy something like this but time has shown it to me.
Publications like Hypebeast/Highsnobiety can do amazing things with it, StockX or Goat App could definitely benefit from it or even a company like One37PM (or their parent, Gallery Media Group). I’m putting out names because I’d be happy to know that I came close to predicting the company that could buy it.
If possible, I’d love to have content creation around it — video, podcast etc. When LCA gets to a point where it produces money, then I’d be happy to pour all the profits into content creation. Maybe a Patreon will do the job, maybe the services will gather enough funds.
If the plan about Legit Check App is really interesting to you, the full plan is laid out on the website. If it becomes reality, Legit Check will become a publication (and maybe start my media group). If not, it will be sold, as noted above.
I started writing daily and have loved it ever since. I feel like I’m on a fast track full-steroids program for my brain sometimes. Yes, it’s painful at times and I have questioned my drive to write daily. At the end of every day’s piece, I feel exactly the same way I do after a workout: winner’s pose, neurochemicals doing my brain better.
I said on the podcast what I realised 1 or 2 months into writing: I do want to publish books. I won’t be chasing it though. Much like every human being, I’d rather be served than go ask for it.
You know that level of laziness where you’d rather google a picture of the PlayStation controller instead of moving your ass a few meters to see it physically? That’s my level of “I don’t want to knock on 1000 doors with my writing”. I’d rather prove myself. And by that I mean: if my writing becomes good enough to become a book, someone like Harper Collins or Penguin might reach out.
And look, maybe it will actually be me who will reach out — but if I’ll do so, it will be in a more accessible way rather than “knock on 1000 doors until a yes is happening”. I’d rather spend my 1000 doors with Chagency_.
I believe in fate (up to a degree) and if something really has to happen, it will with or without your actions. If you really need to meet that person because she’ll change your life, it will happen whether you’re in a good mood and can approach people easily, or you’re a very shy person that day. Same here: if the book(s?) will have to happen, they will. With or without my initiative.
LCA has also taught be me foundation of the new business model. Want to penetrate into a new job/market/industry?
Know enough to create what will be your proof for being in that place— and you’ll keep on learning more about that topic, as soon as you put this project out
Don’t know enough yet and you either stop trying (kill the project) or eventually manage to force yourself into the 1st option
Why do that? You get the attention of the right people. I’ve got the attention of sneaker people and I didn’t even have a sneaker shop. I got their attention and always imagined what’d happen if Legit Check App was attached to an actual business. When I made sense of that, I wanted to do that with my design work. And that’s why daily writing as part of Chagency_ happened.
So whose attention do you want to garner?
I’ve always thought of it as if you look at someone you don’t know and within the second you decide you want to meet them, they actually come to you and introduce themselves to you. Just like the “I’m too lazy to get the PS controller so I’ll just google the image” but with people.
I wrote about me and becoming a writer. I plan making something for publishing companies people. I want to meet them or if I can make them want to meet me, even better.
At the same time, I want to meet even more SaaS people. I have a very-easy-to-do idea that I can make quickly. The plan is to put it out there and see if it clicks. If not, 10-15 more iterations like these and one might do.
Go on my YouTube now (early days) and you’ll find this written:
“My videos right now are not produced, refined or edited. They’re 100% raw and that’s how I intend to have them done for at least 2019 and 2020.
In 10 years (2030), you and I will be able to look back at the beginning and see that the core of what I’m saying is the same, even without fancy production. I will be saying the same things because they’re my truth. Until then, now it’s simply me putting the front camera close to my face and declaring my truth.”
Eventually, I’ll want to show on the daily what Chagency does, how it works on projects and show days even as mundane as “we had to move papers around all day long, nothing fancy”. I think it’s a $100m prize that no one picked up yet: the ins and outs of a creative agency. I’ll be looking to grab that.
This idea is easier for me to explain in visually than in text. It’d take me 100 paragraphs when you’d make sense of it in 20-30 seconds, if explained visually.
In short, it’s this: you and I have different depth levels of understanding. I’ll stop at level 5 when explained cryptocurrency, my friend who’s a scientist will stop at level 14. My mom will stop at level 2. Why don’t we learn and think based on that?
If I lost your interest when you saw this piece was 3000 words long that doesn’t mean you might have not make use of the 300 word version. But you went away when you saw it was so long instead of having a quicklier-to-digest version.
If this new way of learning/thinking would be implemented in schools, we’d avoid the hugely painful problem of being months/years into studying something you hate. But again, the visual representation of this (once I manage to make it) will make more sense.
It’s out there to have both my thoughts and Iacob’s on record.
It’s there to show our early days. But also to consolidate our personal brands. At the moment we don’t have a direction in the sense that a whiskey tasting podcast has this path:
taste as many whiskeys as possible
invite other whiskey-interested people
get sponsored maybe
rinse and repeat
Ours (at the moment, at least) can be like Joe Rogan’s or someone other personality’s: only piggybacking on our personal brands. Which will happen, bringing me to my next point:
I will become a speaker. With the way I like to see myself writing, imagine how how it is when it comes to hearing myself talking. I’ll work my way into it and have the day-to-day progress on record, which is my YouTube now, along with the daily writing and the podcast.
Obviously, what I’ll put out 10 years from now on will be better than what I put out now. But the early, scrappy days are better. They are, because both risk and rewards are higher in the early stages than in the later ones.
With time, you trade risk with reward. In the early days, there is a lot of risk and not that much reward (yet). Sure, later you have more rewards (or gold) piled up but more often than not, you enjoyed the risk of the old days better than the rewards of today. You only find that out once you get it though — and that’s the beauty of life.
Amongst the companies under CHHoldings, I would love to develop the index of a specific niche. By that I mean:
Billboard did this in the music industry — their top is an index for songs.
Standard and Poor’s created an index — their top is in the financial world.
LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) is awarding young designers every year, therefore they have an index for upcoming designers
And now, my favourite: Michelin did it in the restaurant industry. The backstory for Michelin is long and I’m sure I’ll reiterate their story over the years with my content (as I simply love it), so I’ll stop at mentioning them.
My assumption is that once you create a very thorough index in an industry, it’s a bit easier to create a second one. Think Michelin Guide in food, not Yelp. If they would put out tomorrow the top list of chairs, it's easier as opposed to starting from 0.
And for a company that runs 5 indexes, it’s easier to put out the 6th. I’d like to create the an index company, at some point in life. And run multiple indexes. I believe in my predisposition to pick talent and to nurture it with everything that’s needed — because that’s the fundamental of an index company.
A company around indexes. This will take decades.
There’s this book called the Neuropsychology of Anxiety by Jeffrey Alan Gray. It consists of 443 pages and apparently it’s a work of genius. There are over 33 editors (that’s a lot of people), and here’s the deal: it’s got 50 (literally) pages of references, somewhere around a thousand citations.
“Not only he’s read them but even worse. He understood them!” says Jordan B Peterson. It’s the exact equivalent of the Bible in its field.
That is the kind of mission I’d like to pursue later in life. Somewhere after 50 probably. Dedicating a lot of time towards one cause and go as deep as possible. For the moment, as I’m young, the plan is totally opposite: do a lot and do it fast. Hence, daily writing.