So much fun talking with Rob Dyrdek about everything from his $450M in exits to his multiple world records to his thoughts on building self-belief!
Rob has built a system for it all at the Dyrdek Machine, his venture creation studio.
I am thrilled to be in person today with Rob Dyrdek at the Dyrdek Machine in Beverly Hills. It's awesome. We're sitting in a room with a throne.
Rob Dyrdek is a pro skateboarding legend, a huge MTV star and a very successful serial entrepreneur who dropped out of high school to ride skateboards. The Dyrdek Machine has built 14 brands, had $450 million in exits, and is a venture creation studio that brings expertise and capital to Do or Dier entrepreneurs.
It felt great. It felt great. Thank you for the great intro.
Thanks, Rob. Can we started with Do or Dier entrepreneurs?
I always define it as like the grit, and that sort of unwavering self-belief and relentless work ethic and I thought that mattered the most in the beginning, but Do or dier entrepreneurs need to fundamentally understand core capabilities of business, right.
So it's not just do or die. It's
Yeah. Oh man, because I'll tell you what I have.
I've had a bunch of businesses with Do or Dier, with terrible founder market fit. And all we did was run into the wall for two or three years. You know what I mean? I think that's, and you know, I would, connect because I'm like a creative brand guy. Like I would always connect with product and brand minds.
And then God forbid, you know, these creative types can't operate a business and certainly are not doing all of their strategic thinking through the lens of the financial viability of these strategies.
So for us, we find great, multidimensional, CEOs that are Do or Diers that have clarity and, and general knowledge and the seven core capabilities.
And we just say, Hey, if you ever have an idea, bring it to us. And then it turns into our process. We call it the machine method. That's a great idea. Let's go into the discovery phase and dig out the insights to see if there's really an opportunity there. And then let's say, God forbid, we want to do this. Then we jump into our diligence phase, which we basically build a beta version of the entire business.
At this point, we believe that with this founder, his experience, this market, this unique value prop, this opportunity, we think we could build this to $40 million in revenue and, sell it for three to four times revenue.
And at that point we believe we would need to raise, call it $12 million in capital and give away, 10 points and the option pool. And we're going to end up with 27% of this thing at exit. That's how. Tightly, we look at it before we ever cut a check. then we cut the first check. that's anywhere between, 200 and 500,000 to then develop that entire.
We call that the build phase. Then we develop the entire idea together, get the MVP, get all, get situated, ready to go to market. Then we take that fully built out, tested, ready to go brand, and then go raise capital. Right? And we try to raise, we try to do everything in the, every brand that we do kind of needs about $2 million to go to market, right.
A million and a half to 2 million. And that's in this kind of consumer product space.
So with 250 K , for like mine, right? Can I actually get a bar in its packaging?
Yeah. So for the 250 K, we were all the way to product finished product. you got everything set. We got sample, it's like a live, you know, which
do consumer price. I don't
and even to give it to make it even more clear, like it's almost every single one of the brands you can get to product, build the entire brand and build sort of the, the, the beta version of everything for around two to
300,000 almost all of
Right. And it's, but it's
much money to
build Yeah. But, but also think it's part of like my principal. Right. Where if you're a, if you're, if it's going to, if we get into the diligence phase and all of a sudden it's going to be like $2 million to develop a product and I don't do it, it's like us and no fun for me.
I want to see this thing in like a few months. I want to hold it in my hand, you know, that's, that's the, the other thing that I love so much is it goes from talking on a table to like, Ooh, there is an opportunity here, then it's like, okay, let's really do this. Then you shape it alive. And then in the moment, it's in your hand, you taste it.
It's like, there's this delicious, it's, that's the, the why I call it the fuel by the joy of creation is I just love that process so much and love doing it just over and over again. So there you have it, 250 K fully developed a business ready to raise cash.
Yes. And I didn't actually. Okay. So I should just say, I want you to listen to build with Rob because I listened to it, but I had to take notes wrong because it was like, there was a
can I call out, some of the things I thought were notable and interesting in there, so, okay.
One is you're really building to sell, right? Like that's what you're going into thinking about. Correct. Okay. Interesting. Most VCs don't say that.
No I know
it's funny how taboo it is. And when you look over to throne with victory trophies and liquidity, vintages, it's even more taboo.
And I, and I'll tell you where the energy comes from is. You know, I, I read this business book called start at the end, 2015, and it just simply was like, decide what you want out of a business before you ever start it. And for me, if I'm still a venture capitalist, I'm still looking for a recruiter burn on my investment, both from an ROI perspective and an IRR perspective.
So I don't want to get a, a nice ROI that takes 15 years. and so for me, it's, what's really important is that I'm aligned with founders. Who's going, is to create something that either has a clear path to profitability and an, and a set sort of dividend split that we plan on doing, which we get the, which we have the flexibility to do since we're not a fund.
And it's, my personal capital and what the goal would be to get it acquired. Because as you know, If you want to sell a business for, 50 to 150 million, there's like 2000 people that'll buy it. You want to sell it for two 50? There's like 30, anything above that.
It's like four people. And so for me, my personal vision, right, as a venture capitalist who just, it's more personal mastery, how can I, how can I, you know, cause in venture it's like, how do we win off, 5% of our bets, you know what I mean? To me, it's like, how do I never lose? I want to create a billion dollars in liquidity by creating and building and selling you know, 32 to 60 businesses.
Right. And that means I needed to sell them between 75 and, 200 million. And I need to own, between 15 and like. as high as 70% and some of the bills that I have that I have a significant equity stake at exited, you know, you know, it's like, that's the, that's sort of the, the personal mastery from a, from a venture capitalist side is, is how do you manage the capital staging and do as much micro failing and pivoting and everything you can in the development phase so that you get to growth as quickly as possible.
You're racing to product market fit because the dilution fades away. If you can get to growth quick enough. Right. And, and, and then it's like, how do you bury on some storytelling and, and additional value. That's more appealing to a market that would acquire you beyond just your
Many questions here. how do you get dividends? how does that structure kind of work.
well, you're just partners in the LLC, and because you, you're not, doing it as it's related to a traditional, corporation where you're buying stock and equity, you're just partners.
Right. And so you still pay for me, I still pay, uh, ordinary income. It just, you know, I own the company a hundred percent. So it just floats up to me personally. Right. And so I'm telling you the Holy grail, the Holy grail now is when you build a company and it is so profitable out the gate that you are just splitting massive dividend checks, and then it gets acquired and I've done it at, at, with the production company.
Now, of course, I had this huge, unfair advantage because I had a television show and relationships on, on, uh, in the, in the space. But man, I tell you what. And again, two meetings, $50 million in revenue and highly profitable right out the gate. When we launched it in year one, that's huge, unfair advantage.
And again, that's not consumer products, right. But you're splitting checks every year until that thing gets acquired. It, it is a Holy grail. So I approach each one individually when the ones that we're doing, where we will hunt a dividend. We do not take on investment capital. Right. We fund those wholly.
Right. And those, those, those, those ones, we will we'll end up funding anywhere from, to get it really moving, uh, from 500,000 to 2 million. Right. Because you're, you're, you don't plan on ever diluting. And you're really looking at a high margin, clear target consumer. Like it's this metric of like, if we can convert this many people, here's the purchase behavior of this product.
Like, man, this thing could just generate cash, uh, is, is another vertical that we look at from our venture side that no venture capital, they don't, they can't look at it like that because they're managing somebody's money for the most part. You know?
How do you think about like,
so most people
I have on the show or feces, how do you think about your relationship with all the VCs in town?
Like, are you thinking some of these brands will go and you'll go talk to bam and Willow and some of the other folks around here.
Yeah, I think for sure. You know what I mean? And, and I think a lot of, you know, you know, we just, you know, our, our pig out chips and outstanding food brand, just close a $10 million round at a a hundred million dollar valuation.
So it's already in the scale of like, where it starts like evolving into the bigger world, you know, I try to get bam and all types of my, stuff, you know, I'll show them stuff all the time, you know? Yeah. You know, so it's like, I, you know, I, I show everything, you know, I love showing everything to Courtney.
You know, I know Mike Jones really well, you know, it's like, you know, I love, I just play the game it's I play it so much different than everybody else. You know what I mean? So it's like, I still look at myself as like blue collar business, creation guy, you know what I mean?
Like I learned venture capital through the fire, cause you got to understand, I didn't, I thought an investment banker was someone that dealt with premium clientele, like seven years
I didn't even know when I was approached, you know, I had my professional skateboarding league and when they tried to explain to me that this business was worth $30 million, All right.
And it was doing $7 million in revenue. It made no sense to me. I'm like, how is a business worth? I had never, you're talking about, uh, someone who learned business through the fire himself who dropped out of high school, who financed every bit of every company I'd ever started or done in my entire life.
I either had manufacturing partners or I financed it myself. Right. So I had never been through even understanding the concept of someone would give you money because they want a return on it. Right. Like I had to learn that, you know, not even that, you know, I really only learned it a few years ago.
I listened to your super jacket episode where you just threw in like, EBITDA, you just talked about like five times.
He was like, yeah, well we had good positive EBITDA there
yeah. That's because I knew that he would be, I kept saying eat now, knowing that he's like, I don't even know what that means.
yeah I mean that's a fascinating
thing is how you learn that and like, w okay, here's a stupid question for you. is your name trademarked? Like, is that something like celebrities all
No, it's not, you know? And it's like, you know, cause here's the right. When, when people look at me, they're like, Oh, you're the, your, the brand, Rob's the brand. And I kept trying to be like, no, I'm not I'm I don't want to be the brand. I want to be a branded house of brands.
Right. I want Rob Dyrdek the Dudek machine to be the brand that then is known for the house of brands that he's created. Which I think is even even more unique As it sits in the venture space because yeah, there's, bigger names sort of, notable people in the, in, venture and private equity that have that have notoriety, but there isn't really like a single individual who's like branded his creation of how he builds companies.
Right. I think that's sort of like the unique way. I'm trying to attach my ability to amplify my ventures through my own media platform, my own personal brand. Uh, that's different. Right. And so, no, and because for me, you have to understand, I had to walk away from all the brand deals, right. Because it's like, ah, man, I just, I want to transition, because my true passion is just business creation and mastering it and, and you know, I'm evolving, uh, you know, as a father and as a man and, And, you know, going to photo shoots for monster DC shoes and, you know, doing, you know, all these deals for all these, just, you know, you got to think at one point I had multiple signature shoes and apparel lines and deals with all these different energy drink companies and all these different things. I was the face of, but I didn't get energy from it.
It took energy from me. Didn't get me excited. I wasn't excited to hear, I get to go to another photo shoot again. Right? Like even shooting fantasy factory, you know, it's like I had this amazing, platform that I built businesses through and sold my integration rights and did huge deals with Chevy and Microsoft and all these huge companies.
But. I'm out here, running around in the streets, doing crazy stunts and doing all this stuff. I just, it no longer gave me energy
Yeah. Okay. you're reinventing yourself or you're evolving as an investor, but in a very, but you still have this very unique, like I'm looking at the action figures, they're gold action figures behind you.
unique to you
a hundred percent
You gotta understand where we're, this is a multi-platform universe of venture creation, media, community, and philanthropy, right?
Because it's like, not only, um, Mike. Trying to master, creating businesses from the idea stage. Right. And you get there. I look at my companies as wine vintages almost. Right. It's like every year you learn so much more. So when you see, like, when you look at like what you developed in 16, you're like, ah, you're crazy.
Right? Like, and then, you also offer that. I have to understand that I, designed and built it in 2015. I launched it in 16. I did a little bit of presidency, 16. I'm like, okay, you can't talk about what you're going to do. You got to go do it. And so over these years I just stayed quiet and continued to build my philosophy and my track record before I then really launched the machine, which I really did this spring.
Right. And so for us, You know, we're trying to basically, you know, with the build with Rob podcasts, that's our media, what's the purpose of that? It's to, to, to share my way of thinking my passion, how fun it is to build with me, and then ultimately a platform to amplify my do or dire founders and, and be a show that other great founders listened to.
And they're like, I want to build with him. Right? So it's like, how do we attract the very best with the very best ideas we launched our, community called the machinist, right? Which is essentially my entire universe of people that are, just want to be, Integrated into our process. Right. And we just, we there our feedback loop, right?
So we send them emails, like, what packaging would you pick up this? And now we're building this loyal group of people that are actually playing part in creating our ventures. So I call them consumer collaborators, right. Like, and I really got that from, I got paid $10 when I was eight years old to test fruity pebbles.
And I feel like the feedback that I gave fruity pebbles when I was eight years old made fruity pebbles into what it is today. And so I look at the machinists of like, man ride with me. I love every one of these brands like, test, give me your feedback. You know, let me get out of the room and be a part of creating it.
And then. You know, the Dewar dire foundation, I put a million dollars into the foundation and then we're going to, give people opportunity to win capital that would never have a chance to get capital.
Um, again, through our overall philosophy of here's the mindset and spirit it takes, here's how you should look at a business. If you prove that, let us give you money to, for people that, you know, under appreciated and, and underestimated and underserved communities that would never have, have access to, to even a little bit of capital.
And then in time, I'd like to scale that to where then we become a true resource, but all of it like integrates back into sort of this single message of like, um, you know, the passion for, for creating ideas from the idea
Wait I want to
go back to machinists. Cause it's so interesting and unique and and I kind of wonder Why doesn't everyone do that? why everyone doesn't do it.
I mean, I think so. I remember the same thing. Like I used to go to the movies for free, if I would give feedback and I got to
go to the free movie,
preview. Um, so is that that's kind of the model, right? I looked on your website and I can sign up to be a machinist or I can apply to be a machinist Why doesn't everyone do that?
It seems like a great. And how do you weave it in? Is it useful?
I think why you say, why does everybody do it? I don't look, I don't know. Right? Like, I think it's like, I don't even know, like to me, it's like you're building a community and a universe around everything you create, right? Like you are a brand and you want, great founders and entrepreneurs to want to be a Dewar dire at the Dyrdek machine. And then you want a loyal group of consumers that will buy everything that you launch because together you become one giant unfair advantage. Everything is like, what can I do to accelerate to where now this thing is just in the go phase
So, of course, I think someone wants to come work here and be an entrepreneur because they get an action figure.
They get the wine, they get the trophies. It's kind of
it's going to go. Um, you know, I want to amplify my companies to, how do I build a community? Like what have you learned that that really works?
You know, look, I think it's, you know, it's, it's. You know, you you'll hear a lot about celebrity investors, because what is a celebrity investor? It's earned media amplification right now, earned media, is. W w wasteful and celebrities are worthless. If you don't have, have a great product, great founder, great market timing, all the fundamentals that it actually takes to have a successful product.
where that amplification is amplified further when the product actually sells itself.
Yeah, it didn't. I had, um, will Smith's, fun dreamers
on and, uh, you know, he's just not as involved. Right. Is it different? Is it totally?
are the founder
Yeah yeah, yeah, no, look, I don't you, when you start listening to the rest of the shows, you'll see like how deep I've gotten in developing the brands and like how it's like into me.
I look at I'm like their Sherpa, right? Like I like to refer to myself as the Sherpa, through the Valley of death. Uh you know what I mean? Like where it's like, you know what I mean? It's like, it's, it's, I, I believe my, my advice, uh, my, my value as an advisor is I see like deep, very detailed and very long.
Right. And I almost believed that I become sort of a visionary validator for them and the North star when they start to track off, you know? Cause I, in the interview you did with your partner where you don't like solo preneurs, right. Because there's no feedback loop. Right. And to me, I thought that was funny because like, I'm like, man, I'm the exact opposite.
Give I am built for solo preneurs because I, you come in, I know you understand business holistically. And fundamentally I have brand finance operations, like go to market built as part of the system that can amplify who you are. And like basically keep you lean till, till you start making revenue, then help you hire all the right bodies because we've been developing an understanding of your skill set and where you need your holes filled the most along that way.
But then I really become your vision North star, you know, like when you. Start trying to trail the product line off into no man's land. And you're sending me look what I just have, like, no, like let's get back on like the, the focus of what this value prop is and how we're going to scale that first, you know, it's like, it becomes that sounding board that you usually only get from a co-founder as your partner would say, right.
We, as a group here become that, right. That's why we are, are so great for solo preneurs, because we can help basically shape, build the entire thing and then handle so many of these difficult things from having deep resources to help build it, then having access to capital on top of funding and developing.
We make it so much easier, uh, for entrepreneurs to take that idea and bring it alive through our system. You know,
Well, they're not really solo anymore. Like is your phrase, um, uh,
build together bound forever.
Yeah And look, and to me, you know, why I say build together bound forever is, If I pull that trigger. And the reason our diligence phase is so unique, I will spend two months designing an entire business with no paperwork and then bail just know that like, Hey, Hey, like I just know, like I I'm getting too much pushback. Like it's too. Like, I don't like, even, even like, if this idea, cause you got to understand it at this stage, there's a thousand reasons why it will never work.
There's a thousand reasons why it might work. There's no reason why it will work. Like, and so it's, it's diligence as a whole is just built for you not to do it. And so if I'm going to take that leap, I want to make sure that it's someone that I'm, they're basically connected to my legacy for the rest of my life.
Right. Like, I, I, when I make that decision, that's why I turned you into a goal action for
you And, you know, like that's the moment that we become partners and we are locked forever.
I'm making an action figure out to you. Cause I'm like, you're now a part of my legacy, my journey, my vision for this entire thing. And, and, and again, I don't, I sit on a board of a public company. called motor sports gaming. and I would never do such a thing. I'd I like to slide off the boards, after the, a round, Like I like to go from like weeklies the biweeklies, the monthlys the quarterlies to then now you get strategic help around you. Let me,
yeah. Just let me like get, you know, but he's amazing founder where we had an amazing idea, right. Product, right time. And it, it was all the wrong information, right.
Founder, right. Product, right time. It looked like this, you know, complete conversion of like, of, of VR and live media, you know, like, like he had figured out a way to operationalize it at scale, amazing thing. But as we know, uh, three 60 video and VR ended up being the 3d TV of like, you know, and, but. At the time, this idea was brilliant.
He was a brilliant founder. Only the market fell out. Right. So it's like, I would never, um, like I still believe so much in him and he turned right around and took the company public, like, like, you know, like in like nine months, right. It's the it's, you know, true Dewar Dyer, true someone like just to support him, like, will you be on, of course, I'll go.
And, you know, uh, beyond this board, which is a lot more complex being on a public board than I had had really, uh, understood again, I want to make sure that when I do choose to do it, because it's so personal for me, it's my personal money. It's my personal legacy, my personal passion like that. Like, we're going to be friends till the day I
know what I mean?
Um, were there any key resources or things where you've been like, Oh, that was so good. When you're, you know, going from, didn't go to college to I'm sitting on a public company board and I need to understand all the financial projections.
Yeah. Look, w I I'm, I think it's about effort, right.
And gaining clarity on what you, what you need to learn. I think the, the problem with a lot of entrepreneurs, they they're, they, they they're there. What they want to know sits in sort of, you know, and it either lands, if you're an like a financial minded person, you know, you're not going to be so focused on like, like how good the brand and marketing is.
You're going to probably just be connecting product to like margin more than anything. Right. Like, and hire the right. A salesperson. But I think like for me, I didn't understand money and money made me tired. Right. But you can't be yeah. Business if you don't want to master money. And for me, I hired a CFO consultant that just, we just started building models for everything.
And then I began, As I began to understand it, learn it. I began to love it. Then I began to put my, my own creative way of shaping and looking at at opportunities and how you build models and how you, how you look at tactically building revenue model. That's more like a realistic operating model that you can begin to clearly see where you could get a return from when that unlock happened.
For me, it changed everything because then I see the world through ROI and IRR changed my entire strategy and everything.
glad you joined the world of IRR.
it's, it's a thrilling one. You know, you would be surprised that like, look, I have a ton of real estate investments
My asset allocation is primarily in, non-correlated cash producing assets, right? And a lot of those are real estate and, and in different forms of real estate, but it even, the tax efficiencies behind that and seeing like what these are, IRR and the ROI is coming with that.
And this big wave of like that, that happened in real estate. It's just, now that my whole lens is through it. It's like this exciting mate matrix of
yeah here's what your website said, which I loved, it said you're an entrepreneur, an entertainer who's found success in every arena you've entered
hard work, which is what you just said
unwavering self self-belief. That's so
that it's so big.
It's bold It's bold
but let me, let me, let me tell you self-belief Cause at the end of the day, you only give up when you lose belief, You only give up on something when you finally did believe that it's not going to work. so to me, well, how do you, grow belief? Right? Especially self-belief and you, grow belief by, having success, experiencing growth, right.
But you amplify and become unwavering when you master the idea of. Deciding what you want, then building the steps backwards to get there and then doing it over and over and over again. Right. So it's like when, when you, um, you, you almost begin to control reality to a second, but that's where then you, you aunt down into where like everything you do, you believe it's going to work and you know that you have the ability to be agile and adaptive in the process to get you there because you've been through so many times of deciding what it was, building the plan and actually doing it a week,
holds people back from that? Okay. I would say like, people get scared of doing things. And do you think it's the fact that like, you, I don't know what you've done. Like you've
jumped off buildings
cars and buses
I, you know, I'd like to, I'd like to think it does, but I don't know if, you know, getting attacked by a shark,
you know, you know, breaking a world record for John, putting a car 90 feet ramp to ramp backwards.
you know, when I approached all of that stuff, I wasn't a stunt person. And I approach it the same way. Okay. What do I got to learn to actually do it? You know, I'd never even dove before when I got attacked by a shark
now it's it's not like it's a skill set involved. It's a, it's a calculated leap of faith.
So, you know, you know that this chain suits supposed to protect you, you know, that you, have taken everything necessary to make sure that nothing bad happens. Now, what's the, the main fall there. If you let go of your arm, The shark will shatter your arm. So your main goal is you can, get through everything, but you can't let go of that arm.
It's like sort of that one and most things end up in that one big thing that you have to avoid, for you to find success and, and always kind of having your eye on what that is. I think even when I look at ventures, you always kind of look at like, there's one simple sentence of why it wouldn't work is usually why it doesn't work.
It's the clearest. And it's like the one thing that you have to avoid. And sometimes it's just unavoidable, right? Like, in the example of mind, right. people just may not find nootropics and adaptogens very appealing. It's as simple as that, like it's sort of a forward thinking sort of, concept, like, you know, it, might just be sort of a trend that's trying to follow collagen and probiotics and these other, functional stuff for you that maybe doesn't connect.
Okay. But you said it's a calculated leap of faith that you can hold onto your arm and the shark doesn't run away with your arm, but maybe it's kind of the same in business.
Like the calculated leap of
a hundred percent. A hundred percent. Yeah, yeah. To a degree, to a degree, all those stunts. And I did look, I've done extraordinary it, and here's the thing about the stunts, the first like major one I did really outside was the first season of fantasy factory.
When, you know, I had, built a cartoon, the wild grinders that was on Nickelodeon. I had did a deal with Mattel and I did a deal to sell my toys and Walmart. So like I had a character called shark attack and the whole joke was like, I'm going to like live my brand. Now it was one big marketing ploy to support this like multi-level final brand vision that I had for this, cartoon of my childhood skate crew.
But at the end of the day, once you do one. Then you do a jockey, the horse I bought and started getting into racing horses and I jockeyed one for a race scariest thing I'd ever done right now. I get towed into a giant weight. Now I am like, man, you're building a highlight reel that no one can ever take away from you.
And through the whole series of fantasy factory in the final stunt that I ever did, is I jumped a monster truck, 40 feet Through the air into an exploding RV in front of 40,000 people in Anaheim. And I stood on top of that truck in front of that arena at the very end, the last thing I ever did.
And then I asked my wife's father was there and that's the night I asked him, uh, for permission to marry his daughter, you know, and it was like, sort of, this is leaving these stunts behind because now I'm ready to transition to business leaps of faith instead of real leaps of faith, you know?
Okay. But, so I, I
in with, there's a, there's a parallel here. The thing that makes me nervous a lot of times is going and talking to the person who I find intimidating still.
And I think you said something about go like talk to the person at the top.
And like, I still go and talk with the associates. Cause like they're easier for me to talk
them Yeah. To a, I wouldn't, even to me, it's like, I never, I've never really done it in my life. and again, I think that's learned too, you know, when I was 11 years old and I wanted to skate the ramp at the local skate shop and I had no money.
I just called up. Instead of, I got 10 people to come, can I come and skate? And they were like, sure, you know, like who does that? And where do you learn that from? and to me, I'm, and then. Then now as, as you built relationships and built opportunities, and then, then just started really using that at scale, then you never look back, right?
Like now it's like, to me, I just can't even like consider having a conversation, not one-on-one directly, uh, with the person that makes the deal and TV that's unique, right? Like there's no aspect of my television. That's handled by agents in any way, shape or form, no lawyers, no anything. It is one-on-one with the person that makes the decision and we make a deal.
And then, then we tell everybody what the deal
and it's just a more pure way to get things actually done without there's so much that gets lost in translation. When you, when you try to do deal making through the layers,
you know what I mean
Yeah, I know. I just find it. Sometimes it's a it's daunting
and is that, I mean, is that kind of your business start is you are an actor and then actors who are interested who are business minded ended up, you know, owning a production studio
started my first company at 17 skateboard company. Right. So then I'm, I built companies all the way through, from record labels to the eyewear brands, their clothing brands, like, you know, I built company after company. I'm, um, started a company called rogue status, a clothing company, and partner with Travis Barker before my.
Robin big show came out on MTV because I saw what had happened to bam Margera on jackass and all his
product And so I renegotiated my shoe deal for a 10% royalty instead of a 5% royalty. I renegotiated my board royalties for $5 a board, instead of $2, a board bedding that I would, this amplification of MTV would scale these products and it exploded them.
And then, so then after Robin big, then I said, wow, look at the value this media has. Right. So when they wanted me to do another show, I wrote the concept. Of fantasy factory around it's going to be around my businesses and I want to own my integration rights and the ability to promote anything that I own.
And they just wanted me to do the show so they didn't care. So then I owned the complete integration rights and used it as a platform that I sold where normally the media company would get to sell it. Right. So again, my business mind always led the way from the very beginning, uh, in. What had really happened now is, you know, and I started, you know, from my cartoon lines, professional skateboarding leagues, like so many different types of companies and invested in all different types of things. and, you know, I hated being pinned as like, Oh, like, you know, celebrity, entrepreneur, you know what I mean? Like, no, like I'm a real entrepreneur, right? Like, uh, even though I, you know, in my opinion, you sell, you have one product or service and somebody buys it you're an entrepreneur, but I didn't like getting looped into that celebrity aspect of it.
but I didn't care. I knew that I wanted to like learn business at a very, that it was my true passion and that transitioning into doing it in a, not only a very real way, but in a sophisticated way is what led to the development of the Dyrdek.
Yeah. Is there anything else about the deer deck machine like that we should make sure to cover on this podcast? Um, has it evolved, like have there been big
learnings I think so. You know, I think the biggest learning for me is I I'm really, I really learned, I used to in, in the early stages, again, I would pick founders with the Dewar dire spirit that didn't see business multidimensionally because I didn't quite yet see it.
Multidimensionally right. So I, I used to think it was brand and business. I had to realize like, no, it's it's product brand media, marketing, sales, operations, finance, and leadership in all categories in order to make the engine run. And for me, it was like another big problem is I would do the financial model now and be like, we can get this thing humming for 500 K we can, you know, like I kept going to market with businesses with not enough capital Which puts a lot of pressure on you, right? Like, so now, and, and I would almost argue on, on another thing that happened almost with every single brand, every single brand, um, was six, six, probably eight to a year and a half, eight months to a year and a half behind, behind schedule getting to So now they're burning money.
They hired people, all this, and they're so far behind on revenue. So I really, in those first couple years in and keep in mind, still had a ton of like random left field wins in there too, because you bet on the right people, right. Product, right time. Um, But I, I learned the lessons that ultimately are about the types of people, the ideas and the markets you're going to go into, like we're a really like platforms and high margin products and, and then ultimately the capital staging and being smart about when you deploy capital and start burning capital, I mean, the lessons are, that's like a general idea and structure, but the lessons are insurmountable.
They're not insurmountable, but, You know, it couldn't add them all up. And I probably will look back at this conversation and be like, God, I was so confident about everything I knew back in 21.
had unwavering Self-belief Rob
self belief in my new capital staging strategy. Boy was I wrong? But again, I, I think you grow and grow.
Until you, you learn so much that then it's your, your system's pure. You don't have to keep building the system. Now you're, you're optimizing the system is the stage that I think I'm entering in,
Yeah, what did he say? Multi-dimensional business is what you're doing. I like it Um, and you're building these platforms. I think you talked about quarter more
one of the, is that a building a platform
Chordoma is like, how we describe the audience. Right. Like in the sense of, in the consumer, I mean, like, ultimately who's the, who's it who's it made for and going to serve, like, who's the cohort, that's like the core, the main people that is like, they love it.
You're authentic to them. And then does that product appeal to a more audience and then how do you stage that to get to them? Right. And that's usually through, you know, whether it's distribution or who and how you market to, and, and what audience like is sort of how I look at what that core to more map ends up looking like, but that's really.
Consumer, you know, cause you don't want a core to core business, right? Because a quarter core business means you make a very unique product for a very small audience and it's only for them. You know? And I use that example of like, if you're going to build a skateboard company, it's going to be tiny, because
there's only for skateboarders, but if you have a skate wear footwear company, you can sell shoes to every single
and just style, fashion, anything.
That's why Nike footwear for skateboarding's a billion dollar business.
some of that aspirational skate myself. Um,
like some surf
I have a lot of, yeah. You know, Greg's my surf
so wonderful by the way. And he's such a big, he's like, you know what he said about you?
He's like Rob has so much depth. Um, so here's one of the, from Greg, he said, uh, as well about books he's read. Do you have any
books? You've read, made a big impact?
obviously start at the end was one that really, really, um, Got me in and I'll tell you two books I've read, um, recently. Um, well let me just say, um, like principles by Ray Dalio. Of course, to me, is the, you know, it doesn't even get enough credit for sort of the depth of like how to, to really look at systems and, and, and even though it's, it's, it's a very high level.
Um, of way of doing, but I think it's fundamental in, in, in being a successful person and looking at the world, um, a book, two books I've read recently where a centralism and effortless by Greg McCullen and, and these are, you know, sort of fall into that same sort of line of, of, of how important getting to automation is, you know, and, and making sure that you're spending your energy on the stuff that gives you energy and doesn't take energy away from you in how do you say no to is as much as possible and do mainly what you love and want to do, uh, as a life.
How do you do that? What's can you give me the cliff
of that not reader?
I mean, I mean, at least you've got to get the audio book, uh, but I, you know, You know, and, and here's how I, I, I apply it right, because I'm, I'm, you know, I, you know, do to give you a little bit more range of the depth
here is I track what I do every hour of the day.
Right. And then I tag it and then all of it goes into these beautiful dashboards of exactly how I spend my time. Right. And then I design, I call it the rhythm of existence. I have an operating model for my life. And so this operating model essentially has designed this extraordinary balance and mastery of time in my life.
Right. And then there's all the core. Uh, pieces that go into the operation of it. So, and this in then everything is automated and systematized, right? This is how people show up to cut my hair. When my food shows up, when I, you know, how my travel works, how my nannies are managed, how like my schedule is managed, like everything.
And then I just design a fully incomplete, balanced life. So I could show you my time that I spent last year. And it is seven hours sleeping, two hours on my physical body, uh, seven hours working. Seven and a half hours with my family. Right? Like it is like perfectly balanced, almost entirely by design.
Right. And, and to me that is a, um, that is where you can really begin to, to make sure that you're only doing what gives you energy. Right. And then for me, okay, how do I take that to another level? Right. So then I use. Qualitative data, uh, to give me quantitative things to change, to make me happier. Right?
So every day, since 2015, I've I rate how I feel about my life work and health zero to 10. And I just look at the world binary, you know, if you're above a five, you look at the world half full you're below you look at it, half empty and you could pick apart why you ever even decided to do a
podcast right Like half full, you could do anything. Right. And what happens by doing that qualitative data over time, you begin to see the same things, bring you down and you can begin to clear those out. Now I have since cleared out everything. So I'm someone that doesn't even live in a half empty existence almost whatsoever.
Right? So, and again, done with purpose, right? Where you use qualitative to get quantitative things to change. So then now, okay. How do I amplify that? How do I optimize that even further? Because now I've turned it into habit. Now I'm mastering time. And then I started looking at like, like how. How taking care of myself affected my qualitative numbers.
So then I had a health balance that I get up before five. Uh, did I do my diet? Did I brain train? Did I meditate? Did I get into the gym? Did I not drink? Right. And so I began that's quantitative data just yes or no. Did you do it? And then I began to game-ify it. Right? Because then I could see in the night numbers like, man, if you do all those things, then you're happier, your life's higher, you're more motivated, you're more efficient.
And so like, then I set these goals since now. It's just a habit for me to collect all that data. Now you look at. Like I've gained the, find it. And now my goal this year is, you know, my average last year, qualitative thirties, the total score was 18.6 and 56% of the year. Did I do that core six? My goal this year is to have my qualitative average 2020 points for the year and do 80% of it.
Right. So I've gamified it now. Okay. So what am I averaging so far this year? In the first quarter, 21.3 and I met like 98% on my health stuff. Like almost haven't missed any of it from gamifying it in such a
Pretty deep, pretty deep. You know what I'm saying? But behind it all. It seems like insane.
And like, like, Oh, all of this sort of crazy, like how could you possibly have the time to do all of this? But I do all of it inside this tight time structure that doesn't disrupt my family time and my balanced living. Right. So that it, it, it, at the end of the day, I'm still just trying to be happy. And you know what I mean, at the end of the day, that's
think that's a goal. If at all,
I quit drinking. It was very, it was very good
my, how long
Okay. Yeah. That's a really, yeah, no, I could never quit. I just need to check because I just enjoy a glass of
wine And so it's like, but there's no doubt it has such an effect on. What I'd consider your ability to get there's you there's layers that your mind can get into that allows you to push the universe along in a lot of different ways that alcohol basically just, you know, stop it, layer three, you know what I mean?
Like, and if you stay clean, if you keep it running, then you can get down to those seven and eight layers that allow you to move things at a much higher
Well you've got all this liquidity vintage
know I've only, I've only drank one. I've only drank one so far. Yeah, no, I'll never be able to fully fully give it up. I just need to game-ify it to like, not allow myself to have a glass of wine, you know, five nights a
gotta say like
I hope 2020 is a great vintage.
Is it a vintage year for you?
It is right Yeah. Yeah. It's my one of, one of the best, no doubt.
I hope you keep having fun and building important products. I haven't yet. Impact in the world. Um, thanks for coming on the
Thank you for coming out to the Dyrdek Machine.
I'm I'm honored to be your first in person interview.
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