Mark McNally has seen the upside and downside of new company ventures. He has been involved in 14 startups, as a senior executive or CEO each one building on the lessons he learned from the one before. Barry O’Reilly describes him as a “radical thinker, venture innovator, founder and Chief Nobody at Nobody Studios.” Mark’s bold vision to create 100 compelling companies over the next 5 years was so intriguing to Barry that he jumped at the opportunity to join Mark on the boldest bet of their careers. In this week’s show, they discuss the vision for Nobody Studios, as well as their lessons learned and unlearned over the years as entrepreneurs. And why now is the moment for this missing piece of the venture ecosystem to change the world.
The Bold Vision For Venture
“…What we’re about to do next is launch a venture studio together with an amazing collection of diverse innovators, entrepreneurs, and creators who want to change the way new companies are created, sourced, explored, and scaled to sustainable businesses,” Barry tells listeners. “But not only that, we’re going to be the first company to make venture investing accessible to the masses by crowdfunding the company to enable anyone to own equity in the studio and every single company we create both now and in the future, forever.”
Missing out on making simultaneously exploring new business ideas was frustrating Mark. “I decided I really wanted to create a vehicle that allowed people to be more involved and more aggressive in making bets on things that aligned with their vision of the future,” the result is Nobody Studios. [Listen from 2:15]
Nobody Studios’ founding principle is people first. If you have ideas and talent, no matter where you are in the world, the company invites you to join them on their journey. “I’m a big believer that if we focus on building up people around us, then our journey will be just fine,” Mark remarks. Making people part of something bigger is in the company’s DNA, he tells listeners.
Transparency is another of their key tenets. “We’re giving them [people who get involved] this kind of really open access to how this grows,” Mark says. Another powerful principle is learning from one another: “As much as we’re mentoring people that recognize their gaps, we’re also letting them mentor us.”
To achieve Nobody’s goal of building 100 companies in five years, Barry says that they have to build a system to get ideas to market as quickly as possible. He is excited about the unique incentive structure, where you’re rewarded for your contribution across the company’s portfolio. [Listen from 8:00]
“All you have to care about is getting the best talent in the best place and unifying that around a worthy reason and why, and let’s go do it.” – Mark McNally
Why Venture Capital Needs Venture Studios
Our purpose at Nobody Studios will be to de-risk pre-seed stage business ideas. We’ll do this by minimizing the time, speed, and capital involved in validating truly repeatable, scalable business models before significant venture investment.
Venture capital investors usually wish they could:
- Stop an investment;
- Split one company into multiple companies;
- Merge several companies into one company;
- Pause companies when the timing isn’t right;
- Optimize talent by putting players in their best positions as the true business emerges.
Mark says that venture studios are able to do all of the above, and produce high potential seed and Series A companies that VC companies would be happy to fund.
However, to be successful a venture studio needs talent, capital, and influence, Mark says. He believes in self-selection with regards to attracting talent. “I just want the story to be out there, [it] is true and genuine, and let itself attract the right people towards it,” he tells Barry. [Listen from 15:20]
Making Wealth Creation Accessible To All
For Nobody Studios to accomplish our mission we’ll need a tremendous amount of talent, capital, influence, and ideas.
There’s a whole array of opportunities for you to get involved:
- Becoming part of the effort in some capacity, whether part-time or freelance, joining Nobody Studios itself, or one of the companies that we create.
- Investing. We’re actually going to be the first venture company to offer equity to investors through crowdfunding – and the equity will be spread across the whole portfolio of businesses.
Meaning investors won’t be betting on just one company—they’ll have a stake in every company we create, forever!
And if you’re an impact-driven person like me, the best part of the opportunity is to solve real problems for the world in a truly unique and innovative way. [Listen from 22:00]
“Three years from now we will have unlimited resources available to us in terms of creating companies, and we will be a global organization…” – Mark McNally
Mark is excited about the future of Nobody Studios. “Three years from now we will have unlimited resources available to us in terms of creating companies, and we will be a global organization,” he says. He points out that each year’s success builds on the previous year’s. “This idea is bigger than one person,” he reminds Barry. “We’re gonna attract people to the journey that bring similar values but many different skill sets.” He and Barry invite listeners to reach out to them to be part of the Nobody Studios journey. [Listen from 32:45]
If you have questions or you’re interested in getting involved by contributing your talent, influence, or capital, to Nobody Studios, feel free to get in touch.