Brent develops idea and builds this website (password protected)
November 14, 2021 - Completed
Brent invites small group of friends to provide feedback
November 15, 2021 - Started
December 19, 2021 - Completed
Qualitative validation that people would be interested in investing in a fund like this
November 15, 2021 - Started
March 20, 2022 - Completed
Discuss/improve website and communication of idea
November 15, 2021 - Started
November 22, 2021 - Renamed "advisors" as "brain trust"
December 2021 - Variety of small wording changes
December 26, 2021 - Added explainer about holdings
December 27, 2021 - Completed (good enough for now)
September 5, 2022 - Completed another round of significant updates
November 19, 2022 - More changes to improve conversion rate, added Skeptics page
Validate idea with experienced securities lawyers and regulatory experts
November 23, 2021 - Started
December 3, 2021 - Got feedback about tempering marketing language to be compliant
December 26, 2021 - Changed model to reduce risk of violating insider trading laws
February 11, 2022 - Finished the informal sanity check... I think this is legal. Although we still need to pay lawyers once we have money.
April 4, 2022 - Updated video with ridiculous costumed interludes which my non-lawyer self believes will probably make it compliant.
June 27, 2022 - Finished consulting with various experts on the RICO statute. Complete for now!
Validate idea with experienced asset managers and Wall St veterans
December 2, 2021 - Started
December 5, 2021 - Received skepticism about whether people will be OK with above average fees that may be necessary to make it work.
January 7, 2022 - Have now gotten feedback from several people that above average fees should be fine. I agree, but will revisit after we build a financial model.
January 11, 2022 - Received skepticism about difficulty of building such a large community.
January 28, 2022 - Clarified understanding of how hedge funds will engage with this.
February 1, 2022 - Clarified understanding of how large asset managers engage with company management.
March 17, 2022 - Decided that $50M is probably the minimum viable fund size.
April 8, 2022 - Start exploratory conversations about operational details and costs of running an ETF like this.
May 3, 2022 - I think I know everything I need to know before going public with this plan.
Finalize structure of the fund
January 16, 2021 - After speaking to experts I decided to change the planned structure from a mutual fund to an exchange-traded fund, for a variety of reasons.
March 20, 2022 - I've concluded that a non-transparent ETF is the way to go.
April 26, 2022 - After several smart people insisted that I start with a hedge fund in order to reduce the risk of our capital base fleeing after an early campaign failure, I hereby declare that I reject this advice, and it's more important to have an ETF where non-accredited investors can participate at small dollar amounts. Hedge fund can be a backup idea if things don't go as expected.
July 18, 2022 - Still need to figure out some details. My biggest open inquiry is around the best approach to setting up a non-transparent ETF structure (using an SEC-approved partner such as Active Shares or Blue Tractor). But we can figure this out after building up our community of potential investors.
Validate idea with experienced corporate C-suite decision makers
February 9, 2022 - Started and learned about likely reactions at the board level.
February 10, 2022 - Clarified how companies would organize their decision to respond.
April 26, 2022 - Multiple sources have indicated that it's generally unlikely that the types of companies we will build campaigns around will choose to take legal action against us in case of a trick. Hooray.
Validate idea with experienced corporate operators who work on climate-related issues
January 13, 2022 - Started, and received warning about resistance to give up control of marketing message.
Validate idea with experienced climate advocacy organizations and experts
January 3, 2022 - Discuss with Rainforest Action Network representative
January 24, 2022 - Discuss with Greenpeace representative
January 26, 2022 - Discuss with Sunrise Movement representative
April 20, 2022 - Discuss with Extinction Rebellion representative
April 26, 2022 - Discuss with stealth activist initiative
April 29, 2022 - Discuss with As You Sow representative
May 7, 2022- Discuss with Project Drawdown representative
Validate idea with experienced artists, creatives and influencers
January 26, 2022 - Started, and received feedback that people will want more concrete examples of the types of stunts we want to see.
May 7, 2022 - I've seen enough. Everyone loves it.
Revisit and revise proposed process and timelines for fund investments
January 13, 2022 - Started
March 19, 2022 - Revise plan to give companies ~100 days to respond, and conduct 3-4 campaigns in parallel.
March 20, 2022 - Completed, at least until we do more advanced financial modeling.
Create and validate marketing/growth plan
May 30, 2022 - Started
June 4, 2022 - Begin deep dive into referral program design and math
June 5, 2022 - Begin deep dive into designing a paid member community
June 10, 2022 - Iterate on plans with marketing/growth advisor
July 3, 2022 - Solidify full vision for referral program
July 17, 2022 - Solidify full vision for paid member community
September 4, 2022 - Finished a couple months of work setting up all the operational details. There's no way this growth plan can succeed while I have another full-time job unless I lean heavily on automations and now there are at least a dozen that are built and tested. Airtable, Webflow, Circle, Mailchimp, GrowSurf, Height, Stripe, and a whole lot of Zapier.
October 10, 2022 - OK the plan is ready. Let's see if it works!
December 22, 2022 - Seems like the referral program won't really work well until we have more momentum and it feels like it's real. Next experiment will involve social media content.
Validate whether the core idea of the fund is solid and worth pursuing
July 18, 2022 - There is definitely no looking back now.
Implement any necessary changes to website before making it publicly viewable
July 12, 2022 - Started new round of improvements
September 5, 2022 - Ready to ship it.
Remove password protection on website
October 11, 2022 - OK. Here we go.
Share project publicly (word of mouth)
October 12, 2022 - Hello world.
Start using social media
September 4, 2022 - Created accounts.
October 12, 2022 - First posts.
Jan 10, 2023 - Started experimenting with making funny climate videos unrelated to Trick or Treat.
Listen to feedback from the general public and make changes as needed
November 3, 2022 - Various website updates to improve clarity.
November 19, 2022 - Launched skeptics page to address most frequent critiques
Fully activate membership community with events, discussions, etc
Quantitatively validate that people are interested in investing (need $50M lined up to launch)
Discuss what sort of companies we will want to invest in, and focus our strategy
Discuss what sort of actions we will want to ask companies to take, and focus our strategy
Grow paid memberships to the point where founder is able to join full-time
Create financial model of potential fund performance
November 19, 2022 - Launched spreadsheet to help people explore scenarios, but this isn't yet a real model.
Community members individually decide on what costumes they want to wear during Trick or Treat activities, and prepare costumes accordingly
Discuss strategies for maintaining appropriate secrecy about fund investment decisions
Discuss best enforcement strategies for making sure companies fulfill any long term commitments
Discuss top secret idea 👻
Prepare plan for raising operational capital
Begin recruiting new team members to hire (including people who actually have experience managing lots of money, lol)
Initial discussions with partners and service providers who would support fund operations
Complete fundraising to fund company operations
Put lawyers to work and complete operational housekeeping tasks
Hire other pre-launch team members
Discuss and decide on best strategies for how community members will reward and punish brands
Engage partners and service providers to prepare fund for launch
Select members of the Commission who will vote on all investment decisions
Make sure we have lined up the minimum amount of initial investment needed to launch a successful fund
Launch fund
Prove that we can make small public companies take radical climate action.
Prove that we can achieve superior financial returns.
Prove that our community is actually able to build and destroy brands in a way that matters, and seriously impacts financial performance.
Achieve goal of $1 billion under management and begin driving changes at larger companies.
Brent develops idea and builds this website (password protected)
Completed October 31, 2021 after discussion in Advisor Community
Text goes here. The difference of Commonwealths consisteth in the difference of the sovereign, or the person representative of all and every one of the multitude. And because the sovereignty is either in one man, or in an assembly of more than one; and into that assembly either every man hath right to enter, or not every one, but certain men distinguished from the rest; it is manifest there can be but three kinds of Commonwealth. For the representative must needs be one man, or more; and if more, then it is the assembly of all, or but of a part. When the representative is one man, then is the Commonwealth a monarchy; when an assembly of all that will come together, then it is a democracy, or popular Commonwealth; when an assembly of a part only, then it is called an aristocracy. Other kind of Commonwealth there can be none: for either one, or more, or all, must have the sovereign power (which I have shown to be indivisible) entire.
Brent invites small group of friends to provide feedback
Qualitative validation that people would be interested in a fund like this
Upcoming discussion will happen in Discord