#159 - Update on Michael Jordan's House, a Nine Figure Sex Toy Company & the Man with a Million Acres

MFM #159

MJ house update

  • Recap: Last episode the guys spoke about buying MJ’s house. The plan was to potentially turn it into a museum or Airbnb.
  • Problem: zoning and parking — but those might be overcome
  • Shaan: Spoke to Rally Rd and Nifty Gateway founders
  • Now what: What’s going to happen now?
  • Sam thinks nothing’s going to happen — the guys are too busy. Shaan: you’re afraid to fail

Collecting old Apple computers

  • Opportunity: Old Apple computers like the Macintosh II and Apple II sell for a premium on eBay. There is still demand for these because of their cool aesthetics, and retro look.
  • At Monkey Inferno, visitors would often ask about their old Macs over the expensive paintings that hung on the walls.
  • Sam bets these will continue to appreciate. Can make for a good investment opportunity as retro style becomes more and more in demand.
  • Idea: Creating products from old Macs, such as https://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/03/Macquarium-jake-harms.jpg

Sex talk

  • Steve Shubin – founded Interactive Life Forms: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleshlight
  • Origin: Steve started creating sex dolls, but eventually realized most guys wouldn’t order sex dolls. He pivoted and created the Fleshlight. He scaled the company with his kids.
  • Does an estimated $50-$100m in revenue
  • Sidenote: One of Fleshlight’s factories in Spain uses its excess capacity to manufacture prosthetics elephant legs for Southeast Asia
  • Opportunity: Creating the new fleshlight
  • There is a growing demand for male sex toys, especially in countries like India and China. Even in areas where it’s taboo, new discreet packaging has made it easier.
  • Idea: Fleshlight marketing through channels like Onlyfans. Molds can even be made from the Onlyfans creators themselves.

Billy of the week

  • Brad Kelley
  • Started out renting space for factories and warehouses. When he noticed lots of customers using his warehousing space to store tobacco, he pivoted.
  • He founded Commonwealth Brands in 1991 and sold it in 2001 for $1B
  • “I’ve never defended [smoking]. Hopefully, it will be phased out of society.”
  • He’s bought a ton of land since then and is now the 4th largest landowner in the US.
  • In January 2020, Kelley put up for sale many of his West Texas ranches, offering roughly 500,000 acres with a listing price of $404 million.
  • He also bought Lonely Planet installing a 24-year-old CEO at the helm
  • The purchase was a failure when he sold the company in 2020 for $50m having had bought it for $70m
  • Sam’s a fan
  • Keeps to himself and has done “boring” businesses. In contrast to Silicon Valley’s flashy hype-machine

Indie VC

  • Indie VC was a venture firm backing mostly bootstrapped founders. The idea was to give founders a little bit of money to help them grow instead of the traditional model of flooding a company with cash and taking a massive stake.
  • The company closed its doors, and Shaan and Sam are critical of how founder Bryce Roberts announced the closing (didn’t take the blame hard enough). https://medium.com/@bryce/the-end-of-indie-6e1b92d90b09


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Editing thanks to Jonathan Gallegos (@jjonthan)

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