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Obsession is a good thing — If you want them to love it you have to tooObsession is a good thing — If you want them to love it you have to too
December 22, 2021

Obsession is a good thing — If you want them to love it you have to too

The best brands are extensions of their founder’s obsession

Nearly all founders have something they’re utterly obsessed with, anything from designing bespoke clothing to helping people get fit and healthy.

For me, it is brands and helping people build their own.

And it’s this obsession that drives a lot of startup success.


Because if you’re obsessed with something, you’re far less likely to give up when things get hard.

I read Obsessed by Emily Heyward recently, and it got me thinking...

All founders want customers to be obsessed with their product/brand from the beginning, but how can we expect customers to be obsessed if we're not?

All of the founders Emily talks about (read the book as soon as you can!) are obsessed with their product and mission.

So, with all that in mind, if you want to build a brand and you're starting from scratch, find the thing you're most obsessed with and build around it. You'll find it 10x easier to make decisions, keep going when things are hard, and attract other like-minded people.

Whether you've found your obsession or you're still searching, taking the next step is the challenging bit.

So if you're not sure how to turn your obsession into a brand, read on.

Some honest and practical advice

"The best companies are creatures of founders' obsession. If you look at companies of merit, these were creations of founders' obsession in a specific area. It was a consequence of someone's obsession. If you are not obsessed, clearly don't start a company." — Michael Moritz, Partner at Sequoia Capital,

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

What's the thing you can't stop thinking about? What's the thing scribble notes bleary-eyed about at 2 am? What's the thing you want to leave your 9-5 for? What's the thing you're always reading about?


When it comes to business, obsession doesn't work on its own...

Combining your obsession with your skill and what people actually want/need is the key.

Using the diagram below to work out where your crossover point is — that's how you turn your obsession into a viable business.

Business to brand

Once you know what you’re building, your obsession will guide your brand. From the thing you’re obsessed with to the way you obsess over it, your natural approach to digging deeper and moving forward will help you create a relatable brand.

Your brand is the way you communicate your obsession to the world.

From your visual identity to the language you use, every single decision you make adds up and becomes your brand.

We’re building a course and self-paced workshop that will give you everything you need to build a timeless brand.

But until it’s ready, join us over on Instagram for daily tips and advice:

Brands you can learn a lot from


I know I’ve mentioned Paynter before, but I had to include them this time because the label on their most recent denim jacket inspired this entire email.


Steve Jobs was obsessed with making things simple and beautiful.


Jenny Gyllander turned her passion for discovering and learning more about young emerging brands into her own successful brand: Thingtesting.

I want to know what you’re obsessed with, so reply to this email and let me know!

Oh and before I go, I know my last email was about resolutions but I stumbled across this recently and thought you’d find it interesting/useful as we approach the end of 2021.

40 questions to ask yourself every year:



Keep being an outlier 💪

J + K