Entering the forest 🌲
It's time to weave together my entire philosophy of 1,000 true fans
Last week, I was possessed by an idea. Like, I literally felt this idea rippling through my nervous system and electrifying my existence. A week later, I still feel that way, which seems like a fortuitous sign. It's as if the universe is egging me on to do this thing. So today, I'm taking the first big step to make the idea manifest.
As of right now, I'm tentatively calling this project The Forest, and it is available for pre-sale. It's going to be a "choose your own adventure" educational experience that weaves together my entire philosophy of 1,000 true fans, non-coercive marketing, oasis building, and creative individuation—all threaded into one non-linear package. I'm basically building a delightful digital garden that you can get lost in, and that will encourage you to discover what’s most alive, and create your own nourishing path through the worlds of online business and culture.
For the past two years, I've been sharing bits and pieces of this larger philosophy, but it's been scattered. I tried to weave them together in the UngatedOS workshop, but that was more of an introductory thing, and just the tip of a much larger iceberg. There's so much gold buried in my bigger courses like the Personal Archaeology Course, Oasis Building 101, Stand Out & Connect, etc etc. To my mind, it feels like all of these are crucial puzzle pieces, and now it's time to start fitting them together into a cohesive and coherent whole.
Seeing my entire philosophy come alive in one place excites me. But there's another aspect to this that feels equally, if not more alive.
For the last two years, I've wanted to break away from the prescriptive, expert-driven learning paradigm that runs through both traditional and online education. Ungated, at its core, is about regenerating self-trust. I'm fighting for a future that's less about Experts telling us What To Think, but more about self-directed, adventurous, and experiential learning. I want to live in a world where our educational experiences lead to us trusting ourselves, and our direct experience of life, more and more.
So much needless suffering stems from industrialized education that strips away the autonomy and vibrancy and gifts of individual humans, conditions us to only trust Experts and Authority but not ourselves, and pushes us into standardized goals and life paths that are not our own. We are not machines or cogs in a larger machine. We are humans. And if that's not at the heart of our future educational paradigm, then I don't know what the fuck we're even doing as a species.
Anyhow, rants about industrialized education aside, I've been massively influenced by River Kenna's Somatic Resonance course and Nick Milo's Obsidian Flight School over the last few months. Both are great early examples of what non-linear digital education can look and feel like. I'm sure there are other great examples out there, too, so I'd love to see them if you think of any.
In the meantime, I've got a ton of work to do, and a few unanswered questions about how to make this project come alive.
Here are some of the open questions I'm starting to grapple with.
How can I scope this down and make sure it doesn't consume my entire life? What does a super simple MVP look like?
Should I change the name? The Forest is kinda cool, and it's growing on me, but it doesn't yet have the same emotional charge and resonance that I get from The Arena and The Frontier and The Source.
How can I use this daily writing and publishing practice to make steady progress on this? Can I kill two birds with one stone here, and use my daily writing to both populate The Forest and market it at the same time?
Does AI have to play in building this? Given that all of my course material is laid out in giant mind maps, can I speed up the process of populating The Forest through AI summarization and processes like that?
I guess I'm now "building in public," as the twitter biz bros say. So it would be cool to hear any suggestions, ideas, questions, or anything else y'all are thinking. Let’s make something rad.
Rob's Daily Invitation
So uh, yeah, I'm putting The Forest up for pre-sale. Even though I don't quite feel ready yet lol.
My best guess is it'll be ready for beta testing sometime in April, but in the meantime you'll get immediate access to the UngatedOS Workshop, which will be the backbone of the material I use to initially populate The Forest.
Regarding the rant on institutionalized education, I was listening to a sermon/talk recently where the presenter made the point that education should prepare and train us to be good thinkers, not cogs in the machine. And I thought that was interesting because, for some reason, I’ve never heard that take on our education system before. Probably because that approach was long gone by the time I went through it. Imagine what would be possible if the system was actually built to stretch and exercise our minds in every direction and domain. Perhaps that’s something to keep in mind for the Forest: enabling people to develop the thinking skills they need to move forward on their own 1,000 true fans path.
Also, the forest concept sounds a more like mushroom mycelium, although it I don’t think you could call it the mycelial network. It doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. 😅