What have I been up to? (my new company)
I haven’t written a blog post in a while, so I thought I’d share what I’m working on: Today, I’m launching my new company, Openmind.
I want to tell the story of the company, but first a quick description:
What is Openmind?
Openmind matches you with an expert mentor, who guides you 1-on-1 via unlimited text messaging to help you more quickly reach your goals — whether you’re looking to learn something new, grow your career, build a business, launch a side project, etc.
How it all started
In 2017, I blogged every day, documenting my year-long learning project, Month to Master, where I challenged myself to master one expert-level skill every month.
During the project, I became a grandmaster of memory, learned to draw realistic portraits, solved a Rubik’s Cube in 17 seconds, landed a standing backflip, played a five-minute improvisational blues guitar solo, held a 30-minute conversation in a foreign language, built a self-driving car, developed musical perfect pitch, solved a Saturday New York Times crossword puzzle, completed one set of 40 pull-ups, and continuously freestyle rapped for 3 minutes.
After the first few months of blogging, my project started to generate a bit of a following, and soon, I was receiving dozens of emails every week asking if I could mentor others as they tried to learn something new.
I started mentoring as many students as I could over text message, helping students learn everything from iPhone app development to jazz piano. This style of mentoring turned out to be incredibly successful, with 94% of my students reaching their learning goals (compared to a ~3% success rate for typical online courses).
At a certain point, I wasn’t able to take on any more students, but still wanted to scale the mentoring experience. So, I first tried to build an “AI version” of myself in a mobile app that would allow me to scale my mentoring infinitely.
I called the app Month to Master, launched it on Product Hunt, and watched as tens of thousands of people tried the app.
I worked on the app for a few months, making the AI smarter with each release, but ultimately determined that this wasn’t the right direction: Without real human interaction, there was something missing from the mentoring process (and students’ results suffered).
So, turning myself into an infinitely-scalable AI was out. I needed a new plan.
I figured that, if I couldn’t personally mentor everybody in the world (even if it was through an AI proxy), then maybe I could find hundreds of other world-class mentors and create a platform that made it easy for them to share their expertise with students.
This was the basis for Openmind.
In the past six months, Openmind has grown from an idea to fast-growing platform. There are now 400+ expert mentors on Openmind, who can guide students in the following areas:
Entrepreneurship, app development, UI/UX design, machine learning, data science, digital marketing, web development, music production, product management, photography, sales, mathematics, intro to coding, film production, business strategy, economics, finance, ethereum development, foreign languages, art, and graphic design.
We’re adding new categories and mentors every week.
The ultimate goal is to catalogue the expertise of everyone in the world, and build tools that make it easy for this expertise to be discovered and shared.
How does Openmind work?
Once you’re matched, you’ll work with your mentor on a daily basis towards your goals. Your mentor will help you create a clear, structured plan; curate the best resources and materials; answer your questions; provide expertise and insight; keep you accountable; and work with you daily to ensure you’re on track.
Openmind mentors work at places like Google, NASA, and Airbnb, have built and sold multi-million dollar businesses, and have studied at the world’s top universities like Harvard, MIT, and Princeton. Essentially, with an Openmind subscription, you get unlimited access to one of the world’s best.
We offer a 3-day free trial for every mentor, which allows you to meet your mentor before you pay, and determine if it’s a good fit. If it’s a good fit, then keep on mentoring. If not, you can cancel your trial or get reassigned to a different mentor.
In the past six months, I’ve mainly focused on finding, vetting, and training the best possible mentors, ensuring that students get a great match every time. In the next few months, I’ll be focused more on design and building out more tools for richer collaboration.
Nevertheless, today, Openmind works exactly as you’d hope: We can match you with a world-class mentor, who you can text message as much as you want, from wherever you are, helping you learn and succeed faster.
If you’re interested, I’d love for you to give Openmind a try and to hear your feedback. You can get started here.
Also, we just launched on Product Hunt, so that’s a good place to go if you’re looking for reviews or want to share feedback: Openmind on Product Hunt.
I’m excited to see how this goes.