How Did MasterClass Start?

The History of MasterClass

Chris Garin
Brand Origins
Published in
8 min readSep 15, 2020


🎧 To listen to this story instead, subscribe to our Podcast. We’re on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or any podcast app.

⭐ To watch a video of this story, subscribe to your YouTube channel.

If there’s one thing that we all have in common, it’s that we’ve all probably seen an ad from MasterClass.

Out of nowhere, I just kept seeing these unskippable ads on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube where there’s this celebrity under soft light in what looks like a high-budget production set with euphoric classical music playing in the background.

I saw the MasterClass ad that featured Gordon Ramsay and it felt like a trailer for a blockbuster Hollywood film. It’s quite captivating, and I guess the rest of the world agrees because that’s the most-watched MasterClass ad on YouTube with over 95 million views.

But it got me thinking how all of this even started? What’s the story behind MasterClass?

How they came up with the idea of MasterClass

MasterClass was founded by David Rogier and Aaron Rasmussen in 2015.

Rogier started his entrepreneurial journey early on. When he was 13, he built and sold a search engine for an undisclosed amount. Rogier went on to hold various executive roles while finishing his Stanford MBA. And this when he ran into Aaron Rasmussen.

They had a couple of mutual friends, and they suggested that the two meet up. Right off the bat, they were diving into various business ideas, and the pair hit it off pretty quickly.

The idea of MasterClass came to Rogier through a story told by his grandmother which he vividly remembers. When his grandmother was still living in Krakow, Poland when she was 16.

She and her mother went away on vacation, and her dad stayed behind for work. But luckily for them, but tragically for her father, while they were away, the…



Chris Garin
Brand Origins

I write about the world’s most valuable brands. Listen to my podcast: Brand Origins