Backstory: From the interaction with people in the hustle group I started listening to "my first million" (podcast by Shaan Puri and The Hustle) and they talked about the boy scouts. The boy scouts is a religious based program designed to teach young men life skills... "how to be a man." They're declaring bankruptcy for child molestation, deplorable.
However, the concept behind the boy scouts is sound, just poorly executed. On the podcast episode, Sam continued to mention five things that made a membership program good:
1. Common bond
2. Need an enemy
4. Us vs them
Another big issue we're dealing with today is education. There's an opportunity here to turn a man's write of passage into an educational, apprenticeship, type system.
The Idea: Apprenticeship school for young men that graduate high school.
Deep Dive: This is a very long term play that would take years to get going but the core of this concept is discipline with the end result of a job. At an early age, you would host different competitions such as mental tests and physical activities where kids aged 8-18 can compete to earn points. Once you scale you could franchise these competitive events.
Parents would register their kids for these events and based on qualifying times, each kid would receive a score, an overall score and average. Along the way you could offer prizes and incremental rewards but the real reward comes at age 18.
You know when a young man turns 18, you would send a welcome package along with their stats. Given their scores, they would be allowed to enter into a set of apprenticeships. You would gauge their interests beforehand to only offer ones they truly desire. These would vary from physical trades to tech companies.
On the company/apprenticeship offering side, companies would be able to bid/buy a tier of qualified candidates. How does discipline qualify them for a job? Have you ever hired an intern? All I care about is how much effort they're going to put in. I hire hard working interns.
Relating back to Sam's five things that make a membership program:
1. Common bond - All young men
2. Need an enemy - Student loan debt. Spending too much time on our phones.
3. Leader - I don't see one here, his list is not perfect ;-)
4. Us vs them - I would position this as an a real life education vs a super expensive university
5. Ritual - these events would be a seasonal ritual
Validation: Lambda school is crushing it in the "no university" space and boy scouts despite the scandals can provide a real positive value for young men.
Monetization: You would make money all along the way. Parents would have to pay for events. Companies would pay for access to these interns. You could also place the interns in jobs or specific schools for a referral fee.
Steps to Launch: This one is huge. I would focus on getting kids 8-16 involved in some activity and track their points along the way. I would focus on some of the high achievers and work to place them in schools and use their success as a sort of case study/use case to build out the apprenticeship program. This would be a huge undertaking and probably involving raising multiple series rounds.