September 26, 2022

FIVE: no longer just a number

How many times have you said to yourself, “I’d kill to have 5-minutes with that person?” Well, we're focused on exactly that and we're off to a pretty epic start.

Anthony Longo
five: no longer just a number

For the past 6 months, we’ve been hard at work building the future of access.

How many times have you said to yourself, “I’d kill to have 5-minutes with that person?” Well, we're focused on exactly that and we're off to a pretty epic start.

Today, we’re proud to introduce five to the world. five is a platform where experts & thought leaders can connect, give back, and monetize their expertise, 5-minutes at a time.

Meet some of the earlier believers:

  • David Meltzer - Global Sports Agent, Best Selling Author, World-famous Business Coach
  • Tim Storey - World-Renowned Life Coach (Kanye West, Oprah Winfrey), Pastor & Motivational, Speaker, Best Selling Author
  • DJ Shipley -  US Navy SEAL Veteran, SEAL Team 10 & DEVGRU, Co-founder GBRS Group & Tribe Sk8z
  • Sundance DiGiovanni - Creator of the Esports Industry, Founder of Major League Gaming, Futurist & Visionary
  • Freeway Ricky Ross - Former Drug Kingpin For The CIA, Renegade Culture Changer, Social Justice Reform Activist
  • Paul English - Serial entrepreneur and founder of

What a start, right?!?!

A Little Bit of History

For anyone that knows me, I’m a time-efficiency freak.  Time is the most precious asset on the planet and I hate wasting it.  You can’t buy more of it and you can only use what you got. For anyone who’s filled out the 4K Weeks Poster, I’m guessing you’re with me.  Bottom line, I’m the guy that will trot across your lawn instead of using your walkway, because it’s faster.

Here are a few moments in my past that changed the trajectory and/or course-corrected a business or project I was working on:

  • 15-minute Skype demo with Gary Vaynerchuk help reposition the way we thought of our product. That meeting also landed us a $150,000 seed check and a tidal wave of new investors that followed on.
  • 10-minute meetup with Mark Cuban before a Mavs vs Celts game, that advice landed us $6M in venture funding later that week.
  • 2-minutes in a pitch-black CQB (close quarter battle) shoot house with veteran Navy SEAL Cadre GBRS Group when testing out a next generation night vision goggle system, it took less than 2-minutes to know what we needed to do next.
  • 5-minute chat with Hiten Shah, well let’s just say he’s saved my ass more than a few times when developing early-stage products

In short, access to the real pros, the ones that have been there and done that, is invaluable.  That one piece of advice can validate or course-correct you and change the direction of your business and/or life in literally seconds.

This is what we’re after with five.  Internally, we ask ourselves: Can we help 10 people a day connect with a “been there, done that pro” to unlock and slingshot them into the stratosphere?  How about 100 people a day?  How about a 1,000,000?

"Our mission is to empower people to go out and dominate - by unlocking access to the planet’s top thought leaders who have already done it."  

If this intrigues you, keep reading.

The Current Landscape

There is no easy way to access anyone with corporate rank, social influence or that is culturally in-demand.

The technology definitely exists, but the frameworks are not built for the time-starved expert or thought-leader.

  • If they’re on social, DMs are jammed clogged
  • If they’re on LinkedIn, rest assured that channel is clogged too
  • Email is likely ‘gate-kept’ by an assistant
  • Mobile phone, well let’s face it, you’re not getting that number

In short, nobody has built a communication framework for in-demand professionals to easily vet and connect with in an efficient way.

The idea behind five has been thought about and tinkered with over the past 2 years. The advent of social media has seemingly brought us closer together and hinted at the possibility of access to the inaccessible, but in reality, it’s simply not the case.

Platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube have played an amazingly important role in e-learning and if time was no object, you could literally learn just about anything on these platforms.

Steph, I couldn’t agree with you more.

There are so many people in this world willing to share, help, educate and move industries further, faster – it’s an awesome time to be an entrepreneur or a go-getter looking to dominate your niche or industry.

Beyond Social

About 8 years ago a new type of platform started to emerge “on top of social.” These platforms were built for “super fans” who were willing to donate a few bucks to support their favorite creators or for those who wanted access to more content from their favorite expert or influencer.

Patreon was the innovator who led this effort and continues to be one of the 800-pound gorillas in space. They originally and still very much cater to the creative community as their website still headlines, “Change the way art is valued. Let your most passionate fans support your creative work via monthly membership.”  An awesome business and one we admire very much as they have crossed the 200k creator benchmark and most recently raised capital at a $4B valuation.

Next up is MasterClass, the super-elite e-learning platform, which I was surprised to learn it was founded in 2014.  Regardless of their start, they are a major player in the space now and have courted the most famous and elite people of our time. Structured as a video e-learning platform, MasterClass is here to stay and is now rumored to be valued at north of $2.5B.

We can’t talk about the creator economy without including OnlyFans.  Founded in 2016, OnlyFans has owned many news headlines over the past several years.  Although there is a significant ongoing effort to broaden the creator-type, OnlyFans is still positioned as a platform for the sex worker industry.  Another 800-pound gorilla, they’re valued well over $1B. Last year more than 16,000 creators earned more than $50,000 and 300 creators earned more than $1,000,000. The top 10 OnlyFans creators combined generate an estimated $60M/mo - yes, $60,000,000 PER MONTH.

Lastly, a platform that is definitely part of this conversation is Cameo.  Founded in 2017, the Cameo team has done an incredible job building their A-list roster which includes major Hollywood stars and pro sports figures.  What’s interesting about Cameo, unlike Patreon, MasterClass and OnlyFans, is that Cameo is mostly a 1-1 platform (not 1-many).  While they’re expanding their features and services, they originally started with the ability to purchase a single, 1-way, video message from a celebrity to a customer – what’s better than a birthday video message from Snoop Dog?  I’m a huge fan and have purchased several Cameos for friends and family.  Additionally, I credit Cameo for giving us some early validation that people of extreme popularity or influence were willing to give some of their time to the general market be it for money, influence or goodwill.  A unicorn, Cameo is valued at over $1B and they are a good one to watch as they expand beyond celebrity and also layer in new forms of interaction including Cameo calls and Cameo live.

In summary, there is a pretty awesome “layer” of platforms that exist beyond free social media for people looking to learn more, gain more access, dig in deeper or just support a creator.

Enter five

As you can imagine there is a lot of experts, thought-leaders, and influential business leaders that don’t fit in the above buckets (creative, elite, sex worker, or Hollywood A-lister), but beyond category, we’re laser-focused and obsessed on the function of access.

five is a dead-simple platform that empowers fans to “hire” experts for 5-minutes of messaging.  That’s it. No bells, no whistles, just a simple messenger with a Stripe integration and a proprietary timer to protect overrun.

  • Have a question about the business end of sports?  Hire David Meltzer, one of the biggest sports agents in the business and the inspiration behind the movie Jerry Maguire.
  • Want to break into e-sports?  Hire Sundance, the guy who founded Major League Gaming.
  • Have question about your pistol grip or getting into the right mindset? Hire DJ Shipley, 17 year Navy SEAL, SEAL Team 10 and DEVGRU special operator.  (We had the pleasure of spending some time with DJ for an interview recently, see the highlights in the video below.)

See where we’re going here?

five is all about a true consultative business relationship.  five is not a gag or a donation site - it's a platform for serious people to ask serious questions and get serious answers. Just like you can hire a lawyer or an architect by the hour, with five, you can hire an expert for a 5-minutes of asynchronous messaging.

What's asynchronous?

Asynchronous (or async) is one of the main reasons why access to world-class experts is even a possibility.

Merriam-Webster defines it as:

  • not simultaneous or concurrent in time : not synchronous
  • communication (as between computers) in which there is no timing requirement for transmission and in which the start of each character is individually signaled by the transmitting device

Async removes almost all of the friction when trying to access someone who has very little time.  We believe in this so much, our product is entirely async and does not include any live or real-time communications.

It’s why we built a messenger and not a phone app or live video platform.

Via a recent survey, here are the top reasons experts say they love five:

  • No scheduling or booking calendars
  • No live calls
  • No content to create
  • No preparing for a meeting
  • No getting ready (or beautifying)
  • No stress

These are all qualities of async.  They like just being able to pick up the app when they’re free, during their downtime, and reply to questions from “serious” clients who were willing to invest in themselves and know that the advice being given was likely going to get executed on.

On the flip side, clients who have “hired” an expert on five have voiced excitement around:

  • Guaranteed access, knowing their message will get seen
  • Guaranteed reply, even if it takes a few hours or a few days
  • Direct, private, 1-on-1 access
  • Focus on them and their questions
  • That they’re taken seriously
  • No scheduling
  • No missed calls or rescheduled meetings

Clients love it because there is a no-nonsense, guaranteed path to get to a key expert or thought-leader that can help unlock whatever they may be stuck on or needing help with.

So, we’re off to a pretty good start but we’re still very much in learn-mode.  I plan to share more about our journey, async, communication frameworks, and how to connect with the best-of-the-best.  If you get a few moments to check out five or hire one of the experts on the platform, I’d love to hear about your experience.   Please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter; or if you’d like to check out the tech, feel free to “hire me” on five and test out the platform.

Thanks for reading!