Founder's Note 03

Founder's Notes

Nov 10, 2021

My 2019 NFL season was spent in Oakland, right across the bay from the tech capital of the world. I had a unique opportunity to work on myself because my coach let me know before the season started that I would be the 3rd string quarterback all year. So, while the majority of my on-field experiences were spent acting as the opposing team’s QB at practice and holding a clipboard on the sidelines of games, my energy back at my condo was inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of Silicon Valley.

I spent my evenings after practice reviewing my business journal, brainstorming away, trying to scratch that itch for business. I spent every off-day that season driving over the Bay Bridge to bounce around and shake hands with as many Notre Dame connections as I could find.  Many of these discussions revolved around two themes: tech and venture. By day I was studying the differences between defensive coverages and pressures, and by night I was immersed in the difference between Python and JavaScript , or even better, the difference between a convertible note and a priced round. I found myself yearning for the opportunity to be like some of those new startup owners, hustling to build something of their own. 

As soon as the season ended, I shot over to Miami to hang out with a few buddies for New Year’s and my birthday.  With everything I’d learned in Silicon Valley fresh in my mind, a lot of the discussions I had with my friends during that trip revolved around startup business ideas. One of those conversations sent my world into a spiral. A good friend of mine, a successful entrepreneur, jokingly brought up a concept about a $100,000 hoodie. 

His idea was this: in the current Hypebeast world we live in, we could make a simple sweatshirt worth $100,000 by creating a webpage that displayed the ownership of each of those sweatshirts. All we had to do was make a very limited amount, let’s say ten, of these luxury hoodies, pass nine of them out to our dopest friends (athletes, entertainers, artists) and auction off the tenth T-shirt to a collector whose name would then be displayed on the website amongst those nine influential individuals who also had the hoodie. From there, we would let the owners resell their hoodies through our site and keep displaying the different owners of that hoodie. After realizing that we were spending our New Year’s dinner discussing a $100,000 piece of apparel we laughed and went about enjoying our night. 

Yet I woke up the next morning and couldn’t get my mind off this damn hoodie idea. I felt like we were onto something – by simply tracking and displaying ownership of each hoodie, we could bring immense value to this otherwise ordinary product. While $100k may have been a bit pricey for the hoodie, what other products could this model work for – watches, art, collectibles, sneakers….Ahh there it was, that’s why I couldn’t get it off of my mind.

This business model was the perfect solution for the problem I’d been studying with Jordan Brand. If you could track the ownership from the primary market to the secondary market and let the original creator take a cut of the resale transactions, then you could officially allow creators to earn when their best pieces eventually switched hands. And why do this with just one product? Why not create a marketplace that allows any creator who focuses on dropping limited editions access to the lifetime value of their products? That thought was the birth of One of None.