How did MSCHF start a chicken business?

How did MSCHF start a chicken business?

Here is the first honorable use of venture capital. Use the tools to design, prototype, test, and then build a rubber chicken tube out of which to smoke weeds. The first time I saw Puff The Squeaky Chicken in real life, I can honestly say I was on the floor. What incredible stoners?, I thought. After using it for the first time, I was convinced in the basement with some friends. I’m invading the future – or at least I’m dreaming about it.

Earlier that day, I visited the non-office chicken makers in the heart of Williamsburg. It was already November, and there was no hint of what was hiding in the corner. While the ongoing epidemic has sent the world into a deadlock ային mass quarantine, the Internet has developed in its own way. People all over the world are posting through the new limitations of everyday life, turning an angry, depressed: bead. It sends businesses to the base, and in America it left a quarter of the workforce, more than 40 million people – Unemployed. Through all this, MSCHF, the creators of the chicken tube, have continued their work, which will mainly spread joy.

MSCHF is a start-up, like a stylized post-pop band called “Evil,” which variously describes itself as a collective of art, group, or creative label. Since last year, when the company’s current training was included, the group has been implementing projects designed to do one thing: blow up online. There were “Jesus Shoes” that were fully customized with Air Maxes, which sold immediately և retail for $ 3,000 (և yet: lively on resale sites) և There have been more conceptual projects, such as This leg does not existwho married legs caused by a neural network in an academic treatise on why feet photos can be found online.

I found rubber chickens sitting at a table filled with remnants of dollar դոլար PVC pipes right inside their office. On a rough concrete floor, a pentagram was painted in white paint, which passed through their huge make-up door, and on the right, a computer desk with folded tables. On the second floor, I noticed a liquid with the word “forbidden.” It felt a bit like a TV parody of the Williamsburg work area – but functional.

This is where MSCHF Founder Gabriel Wallin, his artists, designers, and product developers decided to make their mark on the Internet, by which I mean the world. Every third Tuesday, the band has a preferred drop, new items being used as an alternative to physical products և online products և. But lately, the odometer has changed. The MSCHF provider was also surprised by the coronavirus. Even, everything is limited. When something is sold, it never returns.

Puff The Squeaky Chicken, a bunch that blows when you smoke it, was the # 10 drop in MSCHF.
Photo by MSCHF

The company also takes care of the money. There is no doubt that it is doing In fact, make money from their play art projects, but it also hires 13 full-time skilled workers in and around New York. And while the company has previously advertised and turned down offers from larger agencies, Wally is confident that MSCHF will no longer advertise, even if it means surviving. “We will never advertise,” he said. “It simply came to our notice then. We will close it. ”

It is obvious that there is an unresolved tension here, on the one hand, between the idea of ​​absolute artistic integrity, “on the other hand, the general, common reality of making money.” In creative circles, it is very common to value art for money, although you literally can not have it without the other. (If someone in the creative field doesn’t seem to care about money, in other words, suppose it has a ton).

In any case, it is more difficult to create things for the Internet, because the idea that you can make money from your creative work is a relatively new concept. And yet, MSCHF is still here. The factory of ideas is running smoothly. But how long can the start find a balance between the two? How long can Wayley և his company continue to shine?

When I visited MSCHF, it was Friday, their day for structural brainstorming, when the team ordered sandwiches, played games, and knocked fast. The team broke into groups, assigned topics, and then split into a brainstorm. I was paired with Wiley և Dan Greenberg, a recent NYU graduate who was working full-time as an MSCHF growth guy’s preparing for class at the time. We made our way to the next high-rise cafe, which was populated by a type of freelancer who works exclusively for the people around the cafe (or the type who did before COVID-19).

Our topic was plants, so we thought for a while about free associative ideas. My notebook says “ginkgo”, “weed”, “flowers”, “invasive species” and then turn them into viable (or not) ideas for future MSCHF projects. One of Willie’s ideas was the Kuju bomb. He described it as a mass of fast-growing, invasive plant seedlings that could then be deployed against ugly condo buildings and other corporate inconveniences. Greenberg wanted to experiment with plant growth by playing a series of Fox News և another MSNBC shows to see which one was growing better.

Unfortunately, we did not have a chance for features. our time was up և we had to go back to the office. There we returned to the pentagram to present our work, which was included in the soundtrack of Russian Orthodox church music. The atmosphere was permissible, kind and friendly. The point was to come up with an idea that the whole team would be excited to work on.

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Founder Gabriel Walley at MSCHF headquarters in Williamsburg, Brussels.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

This is the process by which MSCHF comes up with its projects, it has had a fairly high rate. Their first downfall, in May 2019, was the 2008 Windows laptop, which ran six pieces of malware that collectively caused $ 95 billion in financial losses. It eventually sold for $ 1.34 million. After that, MSCHF came out on YouTube with “Man Eating Food,” which contained videos of a boy eating any food. it obviously went viral. Then there was a version of Times New Roman that was slightly wider than the original font (Times Newer Roman), a Slack-based divination game (Word of the Day), and a Google Chrome extension that allowed will make Netflix work as if you were a conference call (Netflix Hangouts) կայ website that has turned any Wikipedia article into a textbook (M-Journal).

In nature, the feeling of slipping on an MSCHF product is a bit like how you like to discover a TV show and then realize that you still have four perfect ways to watch it. It’s magical ուցե maybe even a little secret, a place where you can even find a community. “It does not have to be marketing. “We’re just creating experiments that people are sharing.” “I think it’s definitely done for a generation that is more online than any other.” And MSCHF is focused on winning that special war. It is not Supreme, which is a) physical,, b) related to retail. Everything MSCHF does has a dual purpose. That means doing what you do – be a rubber chicken weed tube, և paint millions of eyebrows online. (And sell their physical drops, says Greenberg, in seconds.)

The man is wearing Nike sneakers with a cross hanging from the tie.

Jesus Shoes was MSCHF’s No. 7 fall. The trunks of Nike Air Max 97 sneakers were injected with ected worm river water.
Photo by MSCHF

All projects created by MSCHF complement a consistent vision. And before that, they have had a lot of media coverage, with Shoes Ace Shoes first appearing in October last year and the MSCHF gaining widespread recognition as an independent creative entity. The group personalized 200 pairs of white Nike Air Max 97s, citing the Bible as 60 kilograms of water ից crosses from the Jordan River that hung from tongues. They cost $ 1,425 and were sold immediately. Drake bought a pair; MSCHF made money. “There was a lot of work involved, I can’t really talk about how much we sold,” says Wallin. “But we did well.”

This is obviously Dodge. It could mean a lot. MSCHF declined to comment on their funding. (What’s the point of knowing that Wayne’s stuff is good at being mysterious and building hyper)?

When I first visited the office, some of the staff said they had knocked down some of the walls in what is now their kitchen to give them a more open feeling. None of this is cheap, especially: Williamsburg – one of the most expensive real estate sites in the country. For me, it added to the creepy feeling of anxiety, like the part in a horror movie, when you start to suspect that it is not just the pipes you hear that make your home in your beautiful new country. I wondered how long it would take.

The story of Gabriel Wally reflects in many ways the story of MSCHF. Both are crazy looking. For Wiley, who grew up on a North Carolina farm with the father of a “Korean tiger” and “ex-military white boy” who was present and then left West Point, it happened in those military dormitories. He will be able to intentionally fail all the white examinations of his gloves. “Where someone checks every horizontal surface, if there is dust, you are thrown like 1000 guns.” copy: The Communist Manifesto his bookcase, just to see if they notice.

After a few years of upheaval, he moved to the University of North Carolina (Philosophy Major), learned to code, and moved to New York. During all this time, he continued to produce projects that attracted media attention – such as sexist prompt calculator. BuzzFeed: Eventually he was offered job lists and quizzes, where he finally got bored.

In his time he was constantly asking one question. “How do you create something that will naturally spread on the Internet without resorting to algorithm robbery on Facebook or optimizing what YouTube wants to see?” Look! MSCHF, the company that answers that question.

Portrait of a man standing on a city street.

MSCHF co-founder Gabriel Willi presents a portrait outside the company’s Brooklyn office.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

The amount of attention to demand is something that agencies և brands are willing to pay a lot of money for,, which is probably probably why Wall does not bother about that amount. “I think when they grow up, they have more people with salaries, there will be a different kind of bottom, which will be quite interesting in the sense that they are just trying to keep the lights on,” says Ben Hordel. Partner at DXAgency, which specializes in marketing and advertising. “But, you know, they don’t seem to be going the traditional route, so I’m definitely interested in seeing how it goes.”

For the marketing companies mentioned by Hordell, the following is: Create some interesting creative projects that get good press, then start signing customers (or getting a bigger brand). MSCHF is not going to do anything yet. “I mean, there was a time when we consulted with different brands all over the city, but those days are long gone,” says Wall. MSCHF has always found a way to earn the money it needs to survive. “And now we’re kind of hitting this video, the momentum where we’re throwing something every two weeks. And money is no longer a problem! ”

The documents submitted by the Company արժ Securities and Exchange Commission, however, show why the entity may take such a metaphorical approach to making money. At the end of September last year, MSCHF raised $ 3.5 million from two foreign investors by selling the shares in a stake. At the end of January, MSCHF had 11 investors, raising $ 8 million in one round. The investors did not get a name, but there was one thing. Laura Chau, Canaan Partner’s East Coast Technology Director, joined MSCHF as Director. Chao declined to comment on the story.

Armchairs and chairs are located in a crowded corner of the room with wallpapers, a pair of sneakers and another pile.

A pair of Jesus shoes in the corner of the MSCHF office.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Wally confirmed to me that Canaan was in charge of seed production, saying that the company had received $ 11.7 million in external funding. I knew MSCHF was smart enough to persuade a pilot VC to roll out some dough for them, but I could not figure out what they could say in those rooms. Maybe, like, We make materials that kids love online?

Willie says it’s very simple. “We have an iterative process that creates a way to self-distribute on the Internet without having to pay for it.” It is

Any other brand that has tried the IPO has reached such a massive online scale through widespread paid spending, says Wall. “But,” he says, “we say we can do without it.”

Greenberg, a recent graduate of the Stern School of Business in New York, told me that while he was in school, his classes occasionally used case studies prepared by MSCHF. “As you can see, my face hurts when I say that,” Greenberg said. “They used one of the projects I was working on as a case study, we had to write about it.” He did not tell anyone that he had worked on it. “Here is the striker. I do my own project. They give me a B minus. ”

Stickers և spray paint decorate the exterior wall of the building

Detail of a wall on the street from the MSCHF office.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

The Puffed Chicken was MSCHF’s next physical fall after Jesus Shoes. The custom-made rubber chicken tube goes on sale for $ 42, although you can get it for $ 4.20, provided the company proves it and proves you are not a drug addict. It ordered 1,000 from overseas factories, which means that MSCHF dropped from $ 4,200 to $ 42,000. This does not include the cost of manufacturing the product, which took six months from concept to sale. “We are not here to become a DTC chicken bong company,” said Greenberg, the company’s growth manager. “We are not going to bring out more colors.”

“We just have to be more discriminating with the help we render toward other people,” said Wally. We are not here to milk anything until it dies. ”

We were talking in the park on an imperceptibly hot afternoon in November. In the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge, Wally wore a coat over a thin blue Patagonian pepper; Greenberg wore a jog և Volcom hoodie lined with ets on the roadside. “It’s like a child growing up.” With MSCHF, Wally realized that the more often he creates these products, the more the company gains momentum, the more doors open. “We do not have to make the world a better place,” he said. “We will not be disappointed. But we think we have the opportunity to turn the surrounding products and experiences into surprises, unexpected moments of joy. ”

Create joy out of nothing. MSCHF is also very concerned about being an openly real quote company, because as Will tells me, “it will kill magic.”

That magic is the brand. “I’m going to say that when someone sees an MSCHF project, they have to see what hope is freshly updated, which contradicts what programs are dictated that they should be,” he says. Wally months later. «Հանկարծ, բովանդակության բառը գրեթե հոմանիշ է այն վիդեո բովանդակության արագ խայթոցների հետ, որոնք ավելի մեծ հարուստ մարդիկ փորձում են ներս մտնել և կապիտալիզացնել: Ահա թե ինչու է այն, ինչ անում է MSCHF- ը, դա գրեթե նման է այն ուժերին, որոնք պետք է պատմել պատմությունները այնպես, որից կախված լինեն ավելի մարդկային և ավելի քիչ հարթակներ »:

Բայց ինչպե՞ս ես հաշտվում վենչուրային ֆինանսավորման մեջ մեկ տոննա փող վերցնելու հետ:

«Միգուցե դրանք պարզապես գրպաններ են գեղարվեստական ​​նախագծում: Մեր ներդրողները գիտեն, որ իրենք միասին են այդ զբոսանքի համար », – ասում է Ուոլին: Եվ ապա ավելացնում. «Ներդրողները պետք է զգուշանան»:

Ուոլին և Գրինբերգը ասում են, որ համաճարակը չի փոխվել շատ բանով MSCHF- ի գործի վերաբերյալ ՝ երկու բացառությամբ. Գրինբերգն այժմ աշխատում է իր ծնողների նկուղից և նշված մատակարարման ցանցի խափանումներից:

«Հետաքրքիր մի բան, որը ես նկատել եմ, մարդկանց սովորական թելերն են, ովքեր հասկանում էին, թե որքան են անհրաժեշտ, կամ անհամբերությամբ սպասում են MSCHF- ի անկմանը հիմա», – ասում է Ուոլին, երբ մենք ապրիլ ամսին զրուցում ենք: «Կատարելու բան չկա: Մարդիկ պարզապես ձանձրանում են »: Դա MSCHF- ին է տվել առաքելության նոր զգացողություն, որը գոնե կիսով չափ է ստեղծվում մարդկանց կողմից, ովքեր սիրում են իրենց աշխատանքը: «Հեգնանք է, որ մենք սիրում ենք զգալ, որ մենք ինտերնետ ենք քաշել, բայց հիմա բառացիորեն դա անում ենք նկուղներից», – ասում է նա:

Եվ նրանց ֆիզիկական կաթիլները շարունակում են վաճառվել: MSCHF- ը վերջերս կտրեց կետերը Damien Hirst- ի նկարից և վաճառեց յուրաքանչյուրը, անհատապես, 480 դոլար արժեքով: այժմ բծերն իրենք են վերավաճառքի շուկայում: «Ինչ վերաբերում է դրամայնացմանը, ինչպես նաև այն, թե ինչպես ենք այս տարի գումար վաստակում որպես բիզնես, մեր նախնական ծրագրից ոչինչ չի փոխվել», – ասում է Ուոլին: Դե, տեսակ: MSCHF- ը չի վարձում: Եվ չնայած թիմը նախատեսել էր ֆիզիկական տարածք բացել այս տարի, դա նույնպես չի պատահի:

Ուոլին տեղյակ է նաև այն մասին, թե ինչպես է փոխվում ինտերնետի մշակույթը, և դա այն մասին է, թե ինչ եք սպասում մեկից, ով շատ ժամանակ է ծախսում ՝ մտածելով, թե ինչպես կատարել արվեստը առցանց: «Ինտերնետը պարզապես ստեղծագործական է դառնում», – ասում է Ուոլին: «Մարդիկ նման ձևեր գտնելու ձևեր են գտնում, որոշակի ծանրություն բերում իրավիճակների հետ, որոնց հետ գործ ունենք: Ինչպես Twitter- ում այս բոլոր եղջյուրները, նրանք պարզապես ծիծաղելի են, այդպես չէ: Հավանաբար, դա ծիծաղելի է: Այս մարդիկ կոպիտ չեն, կամ, հավանաբար, անտեղի »:

Մի տեսակ, ասում է նա, բոլորը ստեղծում են իրենց MSCHF- ն:

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