The goals of today’s entrepreneurs are different from those of four-year institutions of higher education or even those of traditional incubators. This expectation gap leaves many founders in an impossible position — forgo formal education or waste time taking worthless courses while waiting for the one or two nuggets of information that actually hold value.
Seeing this challenge, Launch House founders Brett Goldstein, Michael Houck, and Jacob Peters decided to create educational opportunities that directly serve the needs of the new generation of founders. The result? They’ve created a whole new system for success, and it’s one that’s drawing a major global following.
The Two Keys to Success
Thankfully, most entrepreneurs have abandoned the idea that the key to success is a nonstop work schedule, with no time for other pursuits. Instead, they want to live better — and Launch House helps its community members enjoy success without sacrificing wellness. As Goldstein says, “Leveling up is obviously all about helping you achieve your business goals … But living better is about mental and physical health. It’s about personal fulfillment.”
How can these two aims go together? The answer lies in the multitude of offerings available to the Launch House community, from residency programs and miniaccelerators to digital peer support groups, sprints, and more. And quite naturally, these opportunities are designed to turn traditional notions of entrepreneurial training on their heads — especially the ones surrounding education.
Sprints: The Faster, Better Alternative to Degree Programs
Speaking for so many of his founder peers, Goldstein says, “If you think about it, what sucked about college? Well, you had a semester-long course that took forever to get to the point, you’d have to read all these books … you’d have hour-long lectures, multiple times a week. It just took forever to actually get to the thing that mattered.”
Today’s founders simply don’t have time for that kind of waiting, so the Launch House team conceived of sprints, courses in which they say, “We deliver 80% of the value in the very first session.” Now, everyone can stick around for more sessions, during which instructors “hammer home that value.” But even for those who do keep returning, the entire sprint is “one to two weeks long at most,” so entrepreneurs can get back to other responsibilities.
Another concern with traditional college courses? Goldstein says, “Even in math classes, people are always like, ‘Oh, what value is this actually going to give me in my day-to-day life?’” But that complaint never comes up in sprints, since “all of our sprints are extremely applied. We have sessions during every single sprint where people are asked to be highly engaged.”
In short, Launch House has perfected the micro course format, allowing it to cover every aspect that a founder needs to master. Current sprint topics include the future of venture, navigating Twitter, and building in the bear market — but many more are in the works. To keep these micro courses relevant, Goldstein says, “We talk to our customers all the time. We hear their needs and they usually fall within a couple buckets. Fundraising is usually No. 1 because we’re [in a] very early stage, so we just wind up spending a lot of time on that one.”
Don’t Forget the Wellness
Unlike traditional universities — or even accelerators — Launch House also places high value on supporting members’ mental and physical well-being. And it does so organically, by fostering a sense of community among its global membership. After all, notes Goldstein, “People live the longest … where they have a strong sense of community. So the need to belong, the sense of belonging, is deeply tied to physical health and longevity. It’s also tied to mental health.”
At the same time, he says, “Community is also a driver of success. Your network is your net worth. You are the sum of the people around you. So the common denominator is community; it is belonging.” Launch House has been able to deliver that community through its physical residency programs as well as via digital cohorts that help members form strong bonds from all around the globe.
The result, says Goldstein, is wins across the board. “Every single cohort that’s ever happened, we have people who make their lifelong best friends from them,” he says. But that’s not all, because “They [also] have career changing realizations, they have personal revelations. So, I think the idea is that the focus on mental and physical health is a product of how we started this co-living physical thing. But it’s also a reason why we’re continuing to do what we’re doing.” And with this unique approach, what they’re doing is giving today’s founders strong incentive to put formal educational opportunities in their rearview mirrors.