🟣 From Startups to Holding Companies

January 24' Updates

Hey it’s Matt! 👋 

If you’re getting this email you likely know me from one of my companies/projects: Halation (holdCo), Agora Labs (acquired), Inner Circle, amongst others.

Welcome to Compound Advantage, my monthly(ish) newsletter for sharing my latest frameworks as I scale my holdCo. Here’s my January updates:

The Guide to Finding Your North Star

Sold my first software company a year and a half ago.

Since then, worked at a couple incredible companies, built some fun profitable projects, become extremely technical, & met some my current closest friends.

Yet, at the back of my head I was always thinking “what’s the next big play” 

I wanted to build something I can spend the next decade on.

In early 2023 I got introduced to the concept of holding companies and venture studios.

I then wrote this message to my private telegram group:

Sent: March 28, 2023

Once I started studying the ‘playbooks’ of my idols (Andrew Wilkinson, Alex Hormozi, Greg Isenberg, etc.) they all had the same pattern.

Here’s the pattern:
→ they own close to 100% of what they’ve built
→ all are building holding companies (holdCo), not building individual startups → they are doing a mix of incubation of new startups & buying majority stake in companies
→ they are building ‘moats’ of leverage; distribution through organic methods such as large social followings

Interestingly, all got to their end goal in different ways: Alex Hormozi built a gym brand that was acquired for $40M, Greg Isenburg sold his startup for millions, Andrew Wilkinson built an agency that used the cashflow to buy companies.

Yet — all lead to the same conclusion. It just took them a decade.

From here, I got a small team together and started building.

Not all the companies/projects have been publicly revealed yet, but currently in the holding company we have Design Flair (6-figure design agency, owned by my partner), and Journey+ (AI photo generator).

Will start to be more public about everything soon.

Couple interesting learnings from all of this

  1. View life in decades instead of individual years

  2. Take what you admire about others and understand why you admire that aspect of them.

  3. Reverse engineer where you wanna go by comparing someone’s stage one, not their stage ten.

If you’re interested in following the company journey..
follow —> HalationCo (twitter)

Quick life updates..

  1. It’s 2024! The biggest highlight over the last year was becoming extremely technical. I’m at a point now where I can build any product I want. I’m finally unstoppable.

  2. Neo Scholar: I was accepted as one of the 32 scholars for the Neo Scholar batch! I will be going to Colorado in August for the Neo Accelerator, and to Arizona in October for the Neo Annual Reunion.

Experiments 🧪 

Current projects, insights & thoughts

  1. Launched Journey+: the first ever Midjourney-powered interface. Built it with two close friends in 30 days and launched publicly mid-January. Got tons of people willing to beta test (150+ comments in 24 hours). I haven’t done a major launch in over a year, so this was really fun to execute on - the feedback from beta release has gone incredibly well.

    If anyone reading is interested in trying out the product, I got a couple more invite codes I can send over; just reply to this email. Here’s my partner’s post about it:

  1. Writing a Letter to My Future Self: this is something I do twice a year. - New Years and my birthday. I mostly mention the major moments of the year, and predictions/goals for the next year. Interestingly, I’ve never been right about my predictions lol. I use FutureMe.org to be able to schedule the letters. It is sent to a 1, 5, 10 year older version of me.

Be well,

Matt | (@mattespoz) 🥷🏼

P.S. I’m experimenting with longer newsletter posts, rather then just quick life updates. Let me know by replying what y’all think about this format of diving deep into a topic while also giving the normal updates.

BTW - our design subscription DesignFlair has had a huge amount of overwhelming demand recently.

If you’re looking for a design team to level up your app, website, brand, decks etc… you’ll be getting a $30,000 month of value for $6,000.

You can set up a call with our team by click “Get Started” on our website.

Subscribe here if this was forwarded to you, or read my past updates.

1. 🐦 Follow me on Twitter -> where I share my tons of product experiments publicly

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