3 Anti-Comfort Businesses That Are Making Millions

3 Anti-Comfort Businesses That Are Making Millions

Intro (00:00:00)

  • The speaker introduces the topic of anti-comfort businesses and mentions a story about Marcus Elliott.
  • Marcus Elliott, a Harvard-educated MD, transitioned from medicine to sports.
  • He worked with the New England Patriots and reduced hamstring pulls from 21 to 3 per year.
  • He then worked with Major League Baseball and achieved significant injury reductions.
  • Elliott opened a facility where athletes undergo 3D analytics to identify weaknesses and strengths.
  • Many famous athletes, including LeBron James, sought his services.
  • The speaker mentions the concept of "misoji" and its relation to Marcus Elliott's work.
  • The speaker requests a promise from the audience for the upcoming discussion.

Sam challenges Shaan to a Misogi (00:02:20)

  • Misogi is a Japanese myth about a man who cleanses himself in a waterfall after saving his wife from the underworld.
  • Jesse Itzler popularized the term "misogi" to refer to a challenging physical activity that requires year-round preparation.
  • Kyle Korver, a former NBA player, became a disciple of Dr. Elliott, who encourages athletes to undertake extreme physical challenges.
  • Korver and Dr. Elliott carried an 80-pound rock underwater for three miles, swimming down 10 feet, grabbing the rock, and resurfacing for air every 10 seconds, until they completed 3.1 miles.
  • They also paddle boarded 25 miles to an island off the coast of Santa Barbara, taking 15 hours and enduring bleeding and discomfort.
  • The purpose of these challenges is to help individuals live life more purposefully and avoid sleepwalking through existence.
  • Dr. Elliott has two rules for these challenges:
    • They must be physically demanding and require mental toughness.
    • They must be completed within a specific timeframe.

The rules of Misogi (00:05:13)

  • Misogi, a Japanese concept of finding beauty in imperfection, was adapted by Jesse Itzler into a challenge that involves attempting a difficult task with only a 50% chance of success.
  • The challenge emphasizes mental and physical readiness rather than preparation and should be something that scares the individual and done spontaneously.
  • Hampton, a community for founders, successfully used HubSpot's landing page templates to create an appealing landing page for a wealth survey.
  • The speaker advocates for working smarter rather than harder and achieving success without excessive effort.
  • Physical challenges are valued not for physical strength or endurance but for the mental challenge and the opportunity to overcome self-imposed limitations and fears.

Shaan challenges Sam to not be bothered (00:13:12)

  • Sam accepts Shaan's challenge to not be bothered for 24 hours.
  • Shaan believes this challenge is harder than Sam's physical challenge because it requires mental control.
  • Sam agrees to the challenge and acknowledges the difficulty of not complaining or feeling bothered for an entire day.
  • Shaan suggests that this challenge is valuable despite not offering any medals or glory.

The Speed Project (00:15:34)

  • The Speed Project is an underground race from Santa Monica to Las Vegas.
  • There are no rules or specific routes, participants must run the entire distance and avoid highways.
  • The first group to arrive in Las Vegas wins the race.
  • The Adventurous, another business mentioned, organizes a "monkey run" which involves riding mini motorcycles through Africa for thousands of miles in a few days.
  • The Adventurous has the potential to become a much larger business.

The Monkey Run (00:16:38)

  • The Monkey Run is an adventure business that offers motorcycle tours in exotic locations.
  • They use unconventional marketing language to describe their tours, such as "giant adventure tiny motorcycle" and "the monkey run is pretty stupid."
  • The tours are popular and have gained a lot of attention.

Barkley Marathon (00:17:30)

  • The Barkley Marathon is a 100-mile race in the mountains of Tennessee.
  • It is known for being extremely difficult, with a 60-hour cutoff and only 18 finishers in its history.
  • To enter the race, applicants must pay a $160 fee, write a letter explaining why they are qualified, and bring a license plate, flannel socks, and underwear.
  • The race starts when the race creator, Lazarus Lake, lights his cigarette.
  • Lazarus Lake has made controversial statements about women not being physically capable of completing the race, but a woman finally finished the race this year.
  • The Barkley Marathon is known for its unique branding and unconventional approach to marketing.

Iconic branding (00:19:58)

  • Trail Runner magazine calls David Goggins an "evil genius" and the "Leonardo da Vinci of pain" due to his iconic branding.
  • People are willing to pay for pain, which may seem insane, but it's similar to how people used to work hard on fields and now pay for gym memberships to lift heavy objects.
  • These modern-day gyms provide pain and a story to tell, which is a key part of these businesses' success.

The definition of luxury is dominating your customer (00:21:32)

  • The CEO of a luxury brand defines luxury as dominating the customer.
  • This means making customers jump through hoops to acquire the product, which increases its value.
  • It's difficult to pull off, but if done successfully, it creates a true cult following.
  • Louis Vuitton bags cost an average of $5,000, while Ferrari's average price point is around $250,000-$300,000.

Shaan's favorite luxury brand: Harvard (00:23:18)

  • A luxury brand in China sells officially licensed American college gear, catering to the high demand for US university brands among Chinese students and their parents.
  • The Japanese fashion brand "Ivy Prep" was inspired by American soldiers' fashion in the 1950s and became popular in Japan and other Asian cultures for its less conservative style compared to traditional fashion.
  • At Duke University, a student named Bobo stood out for always dressing formally, even in hot weather, carrying a briefcase to every class.
  • Another student named Buba gained attention for his unique fashion sense, influenced by his international background and his perception of how Americans dress, which initially drew laughter but eventually became admired by his peers.
  • The author has observed similar instances where Asian friends, influenced by American media, adopt distinct fashion styles that are perceived as more stylish than local norms.

How to put a 10% remix on an idea (00:28:46)

  • The speaker discusses the concept of putting a "10% remix" on an idea to create something new and interesting.
  • They use the example of a McDonald's jacket that looks like high fashion streetwear to illustrate the concept.
  • The speaker suggests that taking licensed IP that is usually low-end and casual and using it in a high fashion or luxury way can create an interesting result.

Remixing corporate merch (00:30:39)

  • The speaker proposes creating a "rogue merch company" that sells absurd merchandise for tech companies.
  • They suggest creating categories that are not already made, such as sales gongs, deal trophies, and exit rings.
  • The speaker also suggests selling limited quantities of high-quality, high-priced corporate merch that is unique and fashionable.
  • They use the example of vintage Apple and Microsoft products to illustrate the idea.

Greg Isenberg gets a free jacket, starts a movement (00:32:20)

  • Greg Isenberg received a jacket from an older man on a train in Japan after a great conversation.
  • Inspired by this, he wants to start a movement where people give their jackets to others after having amazing conversations.
  • He bought a jacket from Etsy to start the movement.
  • Harry's:
    • Sells high-quality shaving products at affordable prices.
    • Uses a direct-to-consumer model, cutting out the middleman and passing the savings on to customers.
    • Offers a subscription service for convenience and cost savings.
  • Casper:
    • Sells high-quality mattresses at affordable prices.
    • Uses a direct-to-consumer model, cutting out the middleman and passing the savings on to customers.
    • Offers a 100-night risk-free trial, making it easy for customers to try the mattress before committing to a purchase.
  • Warby Parker:
    • Sells high-quality eyeglasses at affordable prices.
    • Uses a direct-to-consumer model, cutting out the middleman and passing the savings on to customers.
    • Offers a home try-on program, allowing customers to try on multiple pairs of glasses before making a purchase.

Marissa Mayer's hilarious launch (00:34:28)

  • Marissa Mayer, former Google employee and Yahoo CEO, launched a new photo-sharing app called Shine.
  • The app's design has been widely criticized for being outdated and visually unappealing.
  • Many people have commented on the app's resemblance to an Indian wedding invitation due to its font choice.
  • Mayer's decision to release such an app despite her wealth and experience has raised questions about her current relevance in the tech industry.
  • Harry's:
    • A men's grooming company that disrupted the traditional shaving industry by offering high-quality products at affordable prices.
    • Uses a direct-to-consumer model, eliminating the need for retail stores and reducing costs.
    • Offers a subscription service for convenience and cost savings.
  • Casper:
    • A mattress company that revolutionized the mattress industry by selling high-quality mattresses online at a fraction of the cost of traditional mattress stores.
    • Uses a bed-in-a-box model, reducing shipping costs and making it easier for customers to set up their mattresses.
    • Offers a 100-night risk-free trial, reducing the risk for customers.
  • Warby Parker:
    • An eyewear company that disrupted the traditional eyewear industry by offering high-quality, stylish glasses at affordable prices.
    • Uses a direct-to-consumer model, eliminating the need for retail stores and reducing costs.
    • Offers a home try-on program, allowing customers to try on glasses before committing to a purchase.

Management Time: Who’s Got the Monkey? (00:38:31)

  • Nick Huber and the speaker conduct workshops to share effective tactics that have improved their lives as CEOs and managers.
  • The "monkey on the desk" concept from Harvard Business Review highlights the mistake of thinking that hiring people reduces workload, as poor delegation can lead to more work for managers.
  • Effective delegation involves clearly defining problem ownership, scheduling specific times for assistance, and empowering employees to find solutions, rather than taking on their problems.
  • Successful delegation is crucial for scaling a business with less workload, and hiring great people is essential for this process.
  • Delegate non-urgent tasks to an assistant and schedule a dedicated time for addressing them to avoid interruptions.
  • Remote work and offshore talent have become more prominent and accepted, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, and openly discussing the use of virtual assistants and remote teams has become more common.
  • Companies like Shephard have successfully repositioned remote work and offshore talent to make them more appealing and widely accepted, changing their perception from unconventional or low-status to more mainstream and beneficial.

14K Specialty beds (00:49:25)

  • Caleb, a former account manager, founded Cubby Beds, a successful business that manufactures beds for children with special needs like autism and Down syndrome.
  • Despite initial skepticism, Cubby Beds took off and generated millions of dollars in revenue.
  • The beds are designed to address sensory issues, equipped with features like cameras for tracking, and are often covered by insurance, making them accessible to many families.
  • Priced between $5,000 and $14,000, Caleb achieved this success without initial investment or outside funding.
  • The Nap Pod, a cocoon-like device designed for napping, features a camera system for monitoring, soft walls for safety, lights that mimic the sunrise and sunset, speakers for meditation and breathing patterns, and a vibration feature.
  • Currently available only for children, there is potential demand for an adult version, especially for those interested in optimizing their sleep.

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