Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Johannes Ariens, welcome to the Intrepid Entrepreneur Podcast.
Johannes Beau Ariens: Thanks for having me, Kristin.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Oh, I‘m so stoked to have you here. Tell me where you‘re calling in from today.
Johannes Beau Ariens: Today I‘m calling in from Seattle.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: And that‘s obviously your hometown, so.
Johannes Beau Ariens: It is.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: I know that well. But there‘s all kinds of things that you‘re doing in and around Seattle and I can‘t wait to share this with my audience here today. You literally have–you‘ve come into my life on a consulting basis a few months back. I feel like we‘ve become friends and I’ve really enjoyed kind of watching your journey and supporting you through this, but I have to tell you I‘ve worked with few entrepreneurs who could possibly match your tenacity and vision around this project that we‘re about to introduce to my audience here today, and that is Radify Development. It‘s radifydevelopment.com which is truly just the tip of the iceberg for a multi-faceted business that you‘re shepherding here. So, can you start by telling my audience about Radify?
Johannes Beau Ariens: Yeah, sure. So, what we‘re working on here in Seattle with Radify is, essentially we‘re a development company and we‘re also building a community around outdoor-based–outdoor and experience-based development projects and the people that want to do them. So what means for us is basically–there‘s a lot going on in the Seattle area and really throughout the country in relation to the outdoor recreation industry and we‘re looking at that and saying, “Hey, a lot of these projects and these activities have a lot to do with development.” Ultimately, with the real estate development, making properties, and kind of figuring out how we maintain and create access.
And so as the outdoor industry‘s exploded, essentially, this is a facet to that, and so we‘re really just hyper-focused on kind of bringing some cohesiveness to that space within the development industry. I‘m kind of merging the two together and we‘re doing that through creating community around this so a lot of these–a lot of the people that are undertaken the developments that we‘re interested in are [inaudible] or kind of come from on the outdoor enthusiast background, outdoor professional background, but maybe not so much the real estate side. And so what we‘re doing is trying to kind of merge those spaces and give them some answers while also chasing our own developments. So that‘s kind of the quick version of what we‘re here to do.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Well, and you went right for the jugular, really, because that intersection of the outdoor recreation industry and development is not their [inaudible]–haven‘t been in the market for a long time. There aren’t two things that would come together very naturally, I think. But what I‘m seeing you do and what I really love is that you‘re actually seeing that alternative developments are really not new. In fact, our industry has been built on them, okay? But they just haven‘t been, like–they haven‘t been as prolific and creative and nimble and just really entrepreneurial.
I think that ski areas are example of an alternative development. A dude ranch can be an example of an alternative development. But what you‘re seeing and what you‘re helping in showcasing and building a community around is really around very special experiences that bring access to people who are seeking out these experiences. That wouldn‘t normally be able to do them unless there was somebody there almost, like, setting the table, if you will, for them. Is that correct? I mean, is that kind of the way things are evolving?
Johannes Beau Ariens: Yeah. I mean, for me, I kind of refer to it sometimes. It‘s like an on-on ramp, right? Or barriers to entry and decreasing those barriers to entry and so as more and more people get involved in the outdoor industry and outdoor recreation, as users, essentially, we need to help them figure out how to do it and how to do it right. We‘re also–being in Seattle, a place–a city that‘s rapidly growing and undergoing some pretty significant changes and policy that are really driving urbanization which is essentially people living closer to one another. The necessity for getting out, to me, that‘s what’s driving the growth of the outdoor industry. As we get closer to each other, and then what would be considered a less natural environment, which is going to be kind of inherent in that process, we need to be able to kind of counteract that and get out.
And so what that means is more access and more people going out and using our outdoor spaces and kind of trying to figure that out. And for them, how that process happens, that‘s really what I‘m interested in and what I‘m trying to kind of foster in as far as I’d–going and building a community around is breaking down those barriers so we can get people out and create more awareness because when you‘re out and you‘re using the natural environment, you‘re going to become more concerned with it. And that‘s really what‘s kind of critical to the whole process is by creating access and getting people out and using, they‘re going to gain a higher level of awareness for the environment.
And really, how we grow and use. Because ultimately, the more people that are out there using it, the harder that is on anything. Just like a car, the more you use it, the more maintenance it needs. And so, how we go about that process and what kind of control we put into place to kind of help foster that, that‘s really what we‘re focused on is saying, “Hey, all these people out doing these really cool one-off development projects. Maybe it‘s time for us to kind of start working together a little bit and figuring out how we can approach this in a really smart, sustainable way.”
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Right. And honestly, this might just be me, Johannes, but I just have not seen a “developer” or a real estate developer as one that‘s really concerned with stewardship, if you will, of the environment. And I just love that that‘s a key component of what you‘re bringing here. It ties together the fact that we‘re becoming far more populated in our cities in just in general, and outdoor recreation is growing because of that. So I love that you are bringing all of these things together in a solutions-driven community.
Johannes Beau Ariens: Yeah, I think–I mean, the thing about–it’s funny you mentioned that. I‘m pretty involved in the development community from an urban perspective as well. And it‘s not that I know a lot of developers–and developers are–they‘re kind of an artist in their own right. And many of them are very concerned with the environment. But for us and what kind of why it‘s important for me to kind of bring that to the front of the conversation is for the types of [inaudible] what we’re coining as these alternative developments. For us, there‘s no project without the success of a sustainable environment.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Tell me more about that. Tell me why.
Johannes Beau Ariens: Yeah, so. So the products that we‘re looking at–and I’d say products, projects, products kind of interchangeable words. When your backcountry ski kit, ski lodge, or your surfing camp or something like that where the reason people are going to come and stay at your project or use your project is to experience the outdoors. And so if we‘re not protecting that and kind of really keeping that front of mind, then we‘re only shooting ourselves in the foot. And that‘s really what puts that front of a business model, really. You know what I mean? Is we want to bring people out to increase access. If we increase access, they get better exposure and awareness. And essentially, our product gets better protection.
And that‘s really because as sort of from a private developer perspective, if we don‘t do that responsibly on our own, it‘s going to get done for us, and that usually doesn‘t work out too well for anyone. I mean, it‘s kind of that parent to the trial thing like: “Would you like to do that or would you like me to tell you how to do that?” And so that‘s really kind of the premise in why that‘s such a big deal to me because for us to maintain and get to create a greater access and bring people out, we absolutely need to keep how we do that [inaudible]. That‘s essential to the business model. And that‘s really kind of why you might see that or you might see me talking about environment and stewardship and access. A lot more because, really, it‘s 100% [inaudible] part of these types of projects.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: You know it’s interesting to me is after being in the outdoor active lifestyle market for over two decades which is scary to think about–but, they taught a lot of the companies talk about how important conservation is. These are brands that make gear, obviously. And obviously we have Conservation Alliances is one of Verde‘s clients. Like, very successful, non-profit, does a great job, super transparent, does a lot of good things. But it’s almost, like, that’s been part of the [inaudible] for so long that I‘m not sure it resonates right now with the industry.
And what I feel like you bring to this discussion is the fact that you are of a different generation. I can go ahead and say it for the record–you‘re a millennial, right? You‘ve lived in the city and you pretty much escape every weekend or every chance you get to the mountains or the ocean to participate in what you love, and that‘s really where our industry is moving, too, and I feel like your generation is demanding that this becomes more of a priority. And frankly, like, this is something that I think a lot of brands in the market are kind of scrambling to put their arms around even though it‘s been part of our credo for decades.
Johannes Beau Ariens: Yeah. I think I understand your track there. Yeah. So generationally speaking, yes. So for me, it‘s extremely–there is not a more critical issue as far as the environment is concerned. For us to grow as a population, urbanism makes sense. It‘s a lower impact. And it‘s also the preferred lifestyle of a lot of millennials right now. They want to live in cities and do these act of things. And what that essentially means is you have to find that balance. And so what that mean’s relative to why we‘re–maybe it’s a little different than I’m talking about it versus kind of some of the long-term retail apparel brands and things like that is they‘re offering a product to go use the outdoors or actually the portal for the outdoors.
We are the steward of that and we‘re the palpable unit that, essentially, we are literally inserting you into that space. Or [inaudible] to do that. And when I say we, I mean, what a lot of people kind of overlook or don‘t necessarily–when you’re really considering that in that conversation is what is the developer and what is the development. You know what I mean? For me, the building of a trail. That’s–they literally call it a trail [inaudible]. You’re going to go develop a trail. And so that kind of taking it down to that level, really, to me, that includes all things development. And development is essentially what we need to do to bring people to use these spaces. And so I think that‘s where the relevancy of the conversation kind of raises the level a little higher when we‘re looking in the development spectrum versus maybe some of the other facets in the outdoor industry which would be the [inaudible] and apparel and the things long goes on.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Well, I also love that you‘re able to–you and your alternative development peers are able to actually offer experiences that are so far from commodity, right? And I feel like that‘s another reason this is ticking off and ticking hold so much is because we‘re seeking out things that are more of an experience, not like something that you could have, that four hundred thousand other people might have, too. We‘re looking at that in our brands, in our food, in what we drink, and of course, we want to prioritize that and how we always have our time off.
Johannes Beau Ariens: Yeah, yeah. That kind of that seeking of individualism and experience and uniqueness, I think that ties back to the idea that ultimately we‘re all getting closer to each other and that there‘s a certain structure around that which you know takes a certain, kind of a mental acceptance. When you‘re living in a building with 500 other people, you may find that, mentally, you are starting to kind of maybe fit within a block and you‘re going to go look for something that‘s a little unique and different and that’s, I think, what is driving a huge part of a lot of these types of properties and projects is they‘re not one-off. Or excuse me, they are one-off. They‘re very one-off. They‘re not really cookie cutter by any structure to mind.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: And I insist that Johannes has the Radify Development Podcast which the notes will be in the notes page for this episode at intrepidentrepreneur.net/podcast. Can you give us an example of a couple of the podcast that you‘ve done and then I want to ask you about your own development?
Johannes Beau Ariens: Yeah. So our first podcast was really great. It was with the Baldface Lodge Owner, Jeff Pensiero, who is a–he founded Baldface Lodge in Nelson, B.C. It’s a fly-in backcountry ski lodge.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Awesome.
Johannes Beau Ariens: It is incredible. And he did that–essentially, a lot of people in the snowboard community, they ski, too. But in the snowboard community, it‘s kind of the view to [inaudible] the soul of snowboarding. As far as that community goes, it is. Yeah, it‘s definitely–I mean, they‘re doing these incredible events Red Bull does a big event out there every year, it‘s pretty phenomenal. And so he was one of our first shows and that–I mean, he‘s the absolute definition of what we‘re talking about.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Tell us why. Tell us exactly why. Like, when is the fit there?
Johannes Beau Ariens: He was passionate about snowboarding and he knew the industry well. He wouldn‘t have considered himself a developer at the beginning. He would have considered himself a guy with a truck in Lake Tahoe that was doing odd jobs and [inaudible] snowboards.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: That‘s awesome.
Johannes Beau Ariens: That‘s self-described so I‘m not–you can tell him I said that or whatever. Yeah. And then he basically identified a shift and he saw snowboarding and what the future snowboarding look like and said, “Hey, I think we can do something with this.” And I think that people are going to be seeking a community within that space, within that industry to kind of come and share and really do something unusual. And then he got really, really into–he just started. He did it. And that was really–that‘s obviously extremely oversimplified, but there‘s a lot involved than that. And the biggest thing that was he started and he just kept going. And along the way, I figured it out.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: How many years did it take from inception to getting to the point where he was accepting guests, if you will?
Johannes Beau Ariens: Oh geez. I think, like, six or eight or something like that.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Years?
Johannes Beau Ariens: Yeah. I think. It was quite a while.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: And I just want to caution everyone. I don‘t think that–I mean, while you’re developing, ideally that learning curve and go to market would be much shorter but that‘s one of the reasons I wanted to have you on this show is because you epitomize, you embody this tenacity that is needed to shepherd your vision to reality which is a core tentative of a passion-driven entrepreneur. And that‘s my show here. What you guys go to battle with to get these projects to life, it blows my mind. So–all right. So 68 years on Baldface. Tell us about your own project up in Westport on the coast of Washington state.
Johannes Beau Ariens: Yeah. So our project–what we‘re working on in in Westport is essentially Washington State‘s first and only cold water surf destination. And what that means is basically we are looking at cold water surfing as a critical component of the outdoor industry which is exploding as we know, and this is just part of that process. And basically, it‘s a place where we can go and get out of the city and kind of join–we‘re really about getting people out there and joining together and something a lot of people have at cold water surf but they‘re kind of interested in. The interest level is very high but that barrier to entry also seems very high. It seems very–it‘s intimidating, honestly. You got the wet suits, you got the ocean, all these kind of things you don‘t really have a prescribed path, it can be difficult. I mean, you look at skiing, right, and it‘s–the entry point is typically pretty well-prescribed. You go, you get this lesson, you get this rental, you go to A, B, C, and D. It‘s pretty easy to figure out.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Yeah. Even the way they have you, like, get rental gear, it’s like, list the types of gear you are, list your experience. Like, they have almost like a ramp for cattle.
Johannes Beau Ariens: Exactly. Yeah, exactly. And the numbers would align with probably the number of cattle. Which is great. And skiing is a huge industry here in Seattle. And essentially, we‘ve got just this jewel–this asset that is our [inaudible] coastline. Sandy beaches. It‘s incredible. And incredibly not intimidating surf. The rips aren‘t too bad. And it‘s just that the path isn‘t prescribed. And so what we‘re looking on doing is kind of taking out those barriers and really bringing that industry and that sport into the conversation. And through that, we‘re bringing people out to the beach, and the beaches are also very sensitive habitat. And so by us bringing people out there, we‘re kind of furthering a cause in supporting those and keeping those protected as we bring people out to kind of have a new experience. Our property is going to have–it‘s got powered camping sites so power and water at every campsite, a hostile component, hotel rooms, cabins, kind of the whole spectrum of [inaudible].
And we‘re doing that very intentionally because for us it‘s about getting as many people out as we can and doing that in a way that is sustainable and also that drives community. And so we really want it to hit a full spectrum of [inaudible]. That way, if you’re kind of a low-budget traveler type or in college or something like that, you can come out and stay in the bunk rooms. Or if you want to kind of go to a more traditional route or you have a family with your–something along those lines, you can get a room or one of the cabins. And then the camping is built around–kind of even decreasing out those barriers. It‘s like a lot of what are going to be our clients live in studios, things like that.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: In the cities, right?
Johannes Beau Ariens: In the city. Yup, in the city. And so, if they–where do I dry my tent out? It’s like: “Well, don‘t worry about it. We‘ll just set one up for you.” And if it rains or something along those lines–which it never does in Westport, by the way–but we‘ll take care of that.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: [inaudible]
Johannes Beau Ariens: Yeah, right? Yeah. It‘s always sunny in Westport. That‘s, like, our official hashtag. Seriously. It’s just a big joke going on up here. But, yeah. So essentially, like: “Hey, I live in a 400 sq. ft. studio but I‘m still super into this.” What do I do about that? It‘s like, well, you come out here, we’ve got your tent, and we can just set it up. We‘ll take care of that for you. We‘ve got surfboards. Once you get into it a little more and you buy your own surfboard, it’s, like, well, it won‘t actually fit in your 300-400 sq. ft. studio so you can leave it in our storage out here. And same thing with your wet suits. Wet suits are a bummer to have hanging in your shower all week. Trust me. And so those are sort of some of the barriers, and how do I get there? Like, Seattle is rapidly going in the direction of people not needing cars. And so kind of taking care of that problem. We‘re partnering with local regional airline as well as the local sport shuttle guys. And so, really, just try and get people out and make it happen.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: That‘s really cool. And when is this gem on Westport going to open?
Johannes Beau Ariens: Spring 2017.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Okay. Mark your calendars, everybody. That really sounds incredible. And you know, the other thing I’d love, and I‘m not from Washington–I spent a lot of time there because Verde has a ton of clients there. But nothing on the level that you have having grown up and now living in Seattle. But are you seeing a need with the climate change that maybe people are looking for more four-season sports and not so much for the more traditional ones of skiing or going to the mountains to hike or camp or whatever. Like you‘re seeing, like, that maybe that this climate is also creating an opportunity for your camp.
Johannes Beau Ariens: Yeah, it‘s personal recreation risk management. It’s what we refer to that. Yeah, absolutely. So, I mean, we–I don‘t avoid, it‘s just a big conversation, a big topic. The whole climate change thing. But, yeah. I mean, that‘s a very relevant deal especially here in Washington. And a lot of our closest mountains–our super low [inaudible] three to four thousand feet. And we get tons of snow, and then it goes away just as fast on a very rollercoaster-like. And then, like, [inaudible] I was at in Westport in January and it was sunny and, like, 65 degrees. And so, really, as far as I see it, if you‘re a skier, you‘re a potential surfer. If you‘re a skier, you‘re a potential mountain biker. If you‘re a potential mountain biker, you‘re a potential surfer. And really, the year round active lifestyle is very much something that people hear–and I think from looking in an outdoor industry perspective and kind of client in general, that‘s kind of the goal. You don‘t want to be [inaudible] half the time.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Hell, no.
Johannes Beau Ariens: Exactly. And so really, it’s like, what do you do in the summer? You ski and hike in the summer or in the winter, and it’s like you just do it all all the time. If it‘s not a powder weekend, then you go to the ocean.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Right. That‘s a really interesting idea, the shepherd [inaudible]. I mean, I think that you were telling me earlier that stand up paddle boarding was really hardly embraced in the Seattle community, if you will. And it’s your [inaudible] of saying, “Hey, this doesn‘t have to be quarantined to warm weather months.”
Johannes Beau Ariens: No. And I mean, here in this particular–we‘re really blessed in Washington State to live in a place–I mean, Seattle is geographically–it‘s pretty incredible. I mean, I can literally be skiing 50 minutes out of my door and I can be surfing in two hours, and rock climbing, desert–really, it’s–from a multi [inaudible] sport perspective, it‘s asking for it. And I think that‘s why a lot of people move here. And why we’re experiencing the growth. It‘s a huge part, portion of why we‘re experiencing [inaudible] we are.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Well, and I just also just want to offer that you put together podcasts, which I think provides inspiration and definitely there are key takeaways for people who have their eye on developing things like this and bringing people to special areas that they‘re building a project for. You also have a service component to Radify as well. And that obviously goes back to your–even though you‘re a relatively young guy, you have a ton of experience in making these deals happen and actually, like, putting on the belt, I‘m sure, for many years, but, like, you‘re actually there to help offer guidance as well. So we need to say, like, a resource network, what would a person find who maybe had a glimmer in their eye and were, like, I want to build, like, a hut-to-hut between these two mountain towns for these three sports. Like, what would they find if they came to Radify?
Johannes Beau Ariens: Yeah. And first of all, when you say belt, I‘m sure you‘re referring to a tool belt.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Yes. Every time [inaudible] a contractor–
Johannes Beau Ariens: Yeah, no, totally, yeah. I love that. Because I’d absolutely–yeah, that is actually truly where I got my [starts?] as far as kind of the–if you call, like, in the [inaudible] kind of work your way out, that‘s absolutely the truth. Yeah, but as far as my background in kind of, like, what that–when I say resource network, what that means is–yeah, I mean, I‘m still relatively young, but I‘ve been–I was fortunate enough to get to work fulltime through college to get to pay for that. And so that gave me the opportunity to really gain a lot of experience, probably, earlier and faster than a lot of what my [inaudible] are a typical. The bulk of my career was working with Department of Defense. And so as a contractor and design builder, and so what that really means for us is those federal agencies, four service, groups like that are–their job is really important. And figuring out how to work with them is a trick. And that‘s by design. I absolutely have an immense respect for those agencies and what they do and kind of how they have to operate.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: It‘s like you learned how to drive in a Mack truck and now you‘re like driving, like, a Prius right?
Johannes Beau Ariens: Yeah, yeah. [inaudible]. So, I mean, with the kind of the green building trend, like, I went through the whole LEED AP thing and then really spent a lot of time deploying that and kind of gathering and understanding in a perspective of where that portion of the industry was going and then design a construction and then really public-private partnerships. Really, so many of these projects that are going to be happening or happening are on public land. Long-term land leases–I mean, there‘s kind of a huge group of different ways to approach that.
But, yeah. Public-private partnerships, working with federal agencies, private agencies, to designers, environmental impact statements, preparation, there‘s just a lot that goes into it. And what we really are striving to do is kind of create–I guess, for me, it‘s access. We need to increase access. And people are doing that. And so how we go about that, to me, is really important. Because as more of these come online, the chances–and people get interested in investing in them and kind of really fostering the space. It‘s really great. The risk that kind of the–the inherent risk and what‘s going to happen with that is more people try things. Your just probable opportunity for failure also increases, just statistics.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: And by access in the conversation you‘re having right at this moment, you mean access for developers who create alternative developments?
Johannes Beau Ariens: Yeah. Well, drive access for users which requires developers to create alternate developments.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: You actually get there to cross the line. Because I mean, having gotten to know you, it‘s absolutely incredible to me the bobbing and weaving that you have to around. Due diligence and all of the things that you just mentioned that I don‘t think my audience is aware of. They‘d love to go to Baldface or the OPUS Hut outside of Ophir. And there’s surf camps that they might like to frequent but they really have no idea, like, what happened to make those things be there.
Johannes Beau Ariens: Yeah. It takes a lot. And that‘s really where for me and kind of how I see it is I’m fortunate to have a background that has prepared me very well to kind of navigate and really bringing that to people that have a really high likelihood for success if they go and try and attack one of these projects. That‘s who we want to partner with and the people that have some of the skills, but maybe not all of them, those are really who we‘re looking for because as far as I see it, we are stewards of the environment as developers. Especially relative to the specific area that we‘re talking about which is bringing people out to the outdoors. That‘s a lot of responsibility. And so for me, just stewarding projects through that are going to be successful. The worst–the travesty is the failure. Not just in, like: “Oh bummer, you’ve lost money, whatever.” But ultimately, when you‘re kind of playing around with the environment, that‘s a pretty serious game.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Because you actually have to, like, develop it. And it‘s changed forever if it doesn‘t go.
Johannes Beau Ariens: Yeah. And so that, to me–and why this is important because it‘s more people are getting out and so we have to create more access. And as we do that, if we can‘t make that happen in a successful way, that‘s bad for everybody.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Yes, it is.
Johannes Beau Ariens: That‘s really–that‘s the kind of the heart of it. Is we want–the industry is calling for more. And you go [inaudible]–I can reference countless trailheads, right, within an hour of Seattle that every single weekend of the year, there’s no parking. And so people are [inaudible] buying up onto the bank. And those are those kinds of impacts where it‘s, like, if we don‘t manage that then it‘s just going to go away.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Yeah, I totally hear you there. It‘s absolutely incredible. Like, as a member of the industry, I think, wow, this is so great. We go climb Castleton and it’s like you have to get up at 4:30 in the morning and get in line. And that‘s–well, that‘s a great thing, it‘s also a really, really tough thing. And living in Durango, like, mountain biking is off the charts. And it‘s just–you‘re right. I can‘t believe how much it‘s growing either. And I‘m really actually stoked to see what you‘re doing here and I have to also say before we wrap up here, one of the coolest things that everybody who listens to my podcast knows that I have been obsessed with crowdfunding lately. Well, I think I‘ve done, like, four or five shows on it. I have to bring in what you‘re doing with your investors’ club and I realized it‘s new. It‘s new but it‘s visionary. It‘s super cool. And I‘m hoping you can share that with my audience, too.
Johannes Beau Ariens: Yeah. I know we‘re cutting really close on time so I will talk about that. So the investors’ club–let’s see. Title III of the JOBS Act was enacted on May 16th which essentially creates the capacity for us to crowdfund equity to none–traditionally non-accredited investors. And what that kind of means is basically now instead of only accredited investors getting to play in the equity game, now basically everyone can. There’s just constraints on to as to how much they can play. And so what we‘re doing with the investors’ club is essentially setting up a space where–you kind of think of it as a mini-D.C. which basically–we‘re specializing in these types of alternative developments and I‘m curating a group of people that are specials in the outdoor and development industries to vet projects. And then backers who might not be professionals in the industry but are still really interested in having a voice can kind of look to the members to decide kind of as input on how they may or may not want to invest. And for how that translates to what I was talking about, with the failure, and kind of trying really actively to avoid that–that‘s to me, the cross. Or the great thing about this, I should say. Maybe. It‘s great that this opportunity exists because now everybody has the potential to have a voice and a greater potential to also go and raise money for their idea, for their project. Now, your buddy who might not make $200,000 a year can still participate as an investor in whatever it is your project that you‘re trying to kick off.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Which is a hell of a lot easier to convince somebody who is a like-minded “user,” an outdoor aficionado of what it is that you‘re doing over a bank, right?
Johannes Beau Ariens: Right. Yeah. And I mean so many of these aren‘t going to have because the investment is all bank, as far as banks are concerned. I mean, they love [inaudible]. And so many of these are what would be considered original products. They‘re widespace. Blue sky. And so what that means–a user might have a much better idea of what the market will bear. Like: “Oh, yeah.” The outdoor industry is exploding. Yes, this does make sense because I happen to know that. And now I can participate. But the flipside of this and what I really kind of the underlying part that you don‘t necessarily think of right off the top is also–it‘s a filter. If your project doesn‘t pass [inaudible]–because now we‘re talking to a much larger population of potential investors. And essentially, it‘s going to make you work harder. And that’s good because for us, work means going out and doing things which you‘re going to drive access.
But if they don‘t work then we‘re causing a bigger problem. And so we want investors to challenge us and say, “Hey, did you think about this? Did you think about this, did you think about this?” Because we want to create successful projects. Because financially, and fiduciary of responsibility to our investor, it‘s important, but then it‘s also important to kind of maintain and steward access. And really, it‘s that kind of 360 thing that is so awesome about this whole deal because now, as investors, you don‘t have to be accredited but you could still have a voice in the kind of the direction that access takes. An ownership, yeah. And then if your project does fly, now the chance is the likelihood for that project to be successful are just–you’re doubling down. Because your investors are literally invested in your success so you better believe if they know what‘s good for them, they‘re going to be driving people to whatever your project was. And if they‘re not into it, then they‘re not going to invest. (?) case, maybe that‘s for the best.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Proof of concept.
Johannes Beau Ariens: Proof of concept. It’s testing. Yeah, it‘s a testing vehicle.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: And how does my audience find the investors’ club?
Johannes Beau Ariens: They can go to–we‘re on Wefundme–Wefunder, excuse me. W-e-f-u-n-d-r dot com and look up the Radify [inaudible] of Investment Club. And then also on my website, we are going to be having that link up here in the next couple of days. It isn‘t there right now, but it will be in your show notes as well. Yeah, those are kind of some of the avenues to check that out. And then it‘s super easy, there‘s no obligation, it‘s another kind of cool thing about the whole deal. You can just go sign up as a backer if you‘re not in the industry and basically kind of watch what we do as members, people in the industry that are kind of driving that club. Watch what we do, and I think the minimum buy in–it might be higher but technically the law says the minimum buy-in is just $100. And if we choose to invest in something that you‘re not into, there‘s no obligation to invest. And so it‘s pretty kind of from an initial commitment perspective, it‘s not–there‘s definitely no financial commitment involved.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: And I love that your–that radifydevelopment.com can be more of, like, learn more about alternative developing here because prior to you putting that site up, that didn’t exist. You‘re at least, like, creating a conduit in a foundation and now people, if they choose to, can go invest and seek out some of these projects on the Wefunder platform. So I love how that all–
Johannes Beau Ariens: Yeah. I mean, it‘s a cool–it‘s really a pretty cool–[inaudible] use my least favorite word, synergy.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: It‘s a pretty rad synergy.
Johannes Beau Ariens: It is a pretty rad synergy, yeah. And then for people that want to do these projects who–that’s really one of the groups that we‘re trying to serve–is people that want to make these projects happen as a resource. When you‘re circling back to a resource network, it‘s like: “Well, that‘s quite the resource. If you can come here and we can figure out how to make a project successful, then we can fully make that project successful and actually, like, make it real.” Which–that‘s pretty full service.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: For sure, I love that. And I just have to say–I wrote a newsletter in a blog post on how determination is the number one factor in making your business go. And if I had like a six-foot trophy to hand out to an entrepreneur in our community that really lives and breathes determination, it is you, Johannes. And you have done, like, an incredible job. I know you‘re just getting started, but you literally like have this vision crystallized, you‘re letting it continue to grow, and you‘re just driving it. And I know that it‘s interesting and difficult at so many levels because there‘s no blueprint for what you‘re doing but you have an incredible instinct and it‘s been super fun to watch all these unfold.
And please know that my audience and I are going to be rooting for you. I mean, first, we have the Radify Community, we have the podcast now, you‘re providing guidance, you got the Westport project, so it‘s like you‘re in it to win it with rest of us. And now you‘re on Wefunder as well, all the while getting up into the mountains and onto the water as much as possible. And you people wonder how I fit in everything and I‘m like: “Well, wait, you should meet this guy, Johannes.
Johannes Beau Ariens: Kristin, that‘s really nice. That‘s an honor for you to say that. I appreciate it. And yeah, I think our schedule‘s combined over the–our time working together has been–yeah, it‘s kind of hilarious.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: It is.
Johannes Beau Ariens: Because I always say that, too. I‘m like: I don’t know how she’s doing that.”
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Well, somehow we‘re doing this because we‘re super motivated. Because–
Johannes Beau Ariens: Motivation. Keep crushing. That‘s the name of the game.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: And I would love to have you back on the program as we get closer to Westport being a reality, and I‘ll definitely keep my community up to speed on that because I think you‘re really on to something here, and I‘m really excited to see how this all develops. I think it‘s going to be fantastic for industries and I just really want to wish you the best, so thank you so much.
Johannes Beau Ariens: Yeah. Thank you for having me and I guess [inaudible], this is a whole new space. It‘s super exciting. And so anybody interested, just reach out to us and let us know what your thoughts on the topic are because it‘s definitely new and exciting.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Yep. And you just go to radifydevelopment.com and you can figure out how to contact Johannes and his team there.
Johannes Beau Ariens: Cool.