“Every man I meet is my master in some point, and in that I learn of him.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’ve been fortunate enough to have had quite an exciting career thus far, and whilst relentlessly following my curiosities may have encouraged much of that; I could never have even dreamt of being where I am today without having conversed with, worked with, and learnt from others.
I’ve learnt, that no matter how hard you try, you can never truly be a self-made man. Your every plan, decision, and accomplishment sit on the back of the many individuals whom you lean on for advice or simply interact with most regularly. They shape your work, your life’s journey, and your identity.
This running list has been created to act as a continuous reminder to myself, as to why I am where I am, and what ultimately matters most. This list also gives me an opportunity to credit and highlight those who I have worked with over the years: whose work I highly recommend you deeply delve into.
For those of you on this list: you are the immediate people who have affected my worldview and my purpose – thank you.
This list is in no particular order; in fact, I made sure that the list was totally randomised – you’re all equally incredible in my opinion.
If you feel as though your name is missing… firstly, please forgive me, I was clearly lacking a proper supply of green tea as I attempted to remember names. Secondly, please reach out and remind me of your incredible deed, just know that before you are even added, I am already very grateful for all that you have done.
Elliot Fogelman – for introducing me to the book that started it all, and for giving me the luxury of being a part of your thought process. Legend.
Dr. Joseph Jen – for giving me the value of the Toolbox Strategy.
Connor Morrin – for being my closest friend, but more importantly, for allowing me to see, up-close, every brave decision you made toward growth.
Adam Vickers – for being my first mentor in my journey and the catalyst for exploring my deepest passions. I owe you so much.
Robert Greene – for saying exactly what was necessary and allowing me to see the world for what it is, not what I wanted it to be.
Panos Kordas – for your incredible hospital-time storytelling, travel diligence, and of course: that moustache.
Faz Chaudhri – for our deepest of conversations. Our call toward the beginnings of Covid-lockdown really set a positive tone for me. Grateful for your sharing of wisdom.
Jesse Boyce – for inspiring me to see past what I believed was possible in my career and opening my eyes to what the best can do.
Lily Petta – for your hospitality, lovely family, and incredible food during my stay at yours.
Tom Bilyeu – for showing me the unlimited potential of the human mind.
Ibad Shaikh – for being an incredible friend and for the endless conversations that have allowed me to explore the most complex of concepts.
Ryan Holiday – for teaching me to think about who I’m writing for.
Evan Puschak – for pushing me to always continue the pursuit of growing my worldview.
Mum – for setting boundaries. And for showing me how to break them. You are my inspiration.
Jake Dakin – for teaching me the value of not going all-in. You always be my best revision buddy.
Ajay Ubhi – for every film, book or philosophical conversation. You’ve sparked my intellectual curiosity greatly – although that doesn’t mean you’re not watching Tenet with me at the IMAX cinema, my thankfulness isn’t free mate.
Sara – for kicking off a long and deep life of close introspection and insight. Thank you.
Namali and David (Blue Lab Beats) – for being the most humble and talented people I know. And for my intro and outro music.
Dom London – for being the best gym partner… who decided to surpass me totally. But props to you for not waiting up.
Kosta Askitopoulos – you should have made this list far sooner than you actually ended up being on it – but this is because I don’t see our relationship as something to look back on, but as something to constantly be excited about, about what next insight would reveal itself in conversation, whether we’re looking at paintings together or taking long walks to coffee spots. But, for this, I will look back now, and thank you deeply, just this… once
Tom Holt – for making dad-jokes cool again, even after we stopped working together – ‘dude’.
Will Wood – for showing me the true definition of talent.
Brian Merison – for being the best source of jokes, good wine, good coffee and fashion advice. You’ve supported me for an incredibly long time, I’m extremely grateful.
Noah Kagan – for showing me the ropes in marketing and business.
Kara Anacleto – for our shared special day. You’ll never know how much you opened my mind to the endless possibilities of life. You entered my life effortlessly – with excellent timing.
Steve Funkyfeet – for showing me the wonders of live Jazz. Nothing can beat it.
Mason – for doing the best to hold back your worst jokes about my awful haircuts during teenage years.
Will Howells – for providing me with an interesting perspective that only you could ever give.
Hans Zimmer – for Interstellar. For Batman. For Inception. Your legacy will never die.
Miyaz Ehsan – for our weekly scheduled accountability messages. You’ve kept me focused on the inspiring act of studying my craft deeply. You’re a friend who constantly reminds me of what I care about most!
Paulo Costa – for inspiring me deeply to always maintain a great work ethic and to not settle for the status quo.
Zak Peric – for simply, pushing me to be better.
Jack Kelsey – for every enjoyable and insightful long walk together. You’re probably the most interesting person on the planet.
Chryso – for giving me a grounded afterthought and for keeping my brother in check.
Ilse Crawford – for showing me that every space has a purpose.
Peter Thiel – for teaching me to avoid competition at all costs.
Cecilia Marcellesi – for every coffee, long walk, and deep conversation we’ve shared… and for helping me find a great Christmas present for my family!
The Ehsan family – for welcoming the incredible conversations that I always wanted at dinner parties.
Conni Watson – for consistently reaffirming my music taste with your infamous headbop.
Alex Kent – for teaching me how a long-term friendship exists.
Mike Doran – for showing me the beauty in UI and teaching me a new sense of humour.
Ryan Hoover – for teaching me how studying a coffee shop can lead to insights in product design, and thank you for the YourStack beta invite.
Manu Sidhu – for our incredible conversations and for allowing me to witness your journey as we position ourselves into the best place possible to serve. (Also, teach me your ways of the cool. You’re a walking member of the Ocean’s Eleven crew for sure. Maybe it’s the new shoes.)
Sam Gaffney – for the 6:30 am tea sessions and wake up calls before uni.
Chloe – needless to say, you were a huge part of my growth – thank you. Always.
Luca Brandovardi – for giving me a constant stream of good music and good headphone recommendations.
Hassan Hajji – for inspiring the 60,000ft view.
Dr. Pingfan Rao – for sharing the incredible wisdom of chicken soup and coffee.
Musa Aydin – for showing me the ropes at the gym and showing me the importance of practical skills.
Motohiko Umezawa – for sharing your incredible business knowledge and driving me through Tokyo night-life.
Marino, James, Flora and Tilia – for every moment of love and pure joy you all express, and for giving me a ride in the Aston Martin.
Nikos Petounis – for the deep 411 conversations and for knowing your limits and not risking your life during a beautiful, Antiparos sunset.
Casey Neistat – for proving to everyone that no matter what, you can always work a little harder.
Shivan – for not pushing your love of rom-coms onto me too hard.
Tobias Velvang – for helping me to see the difference between working on something you own and working for someone else, and for all our long walks!
Judith Meech – for showing the value of great leadership and knowing other people’s strengths. Also, for being a real example of how far you can go when focused on a mission.
Yassine ElBadaoui (ياسين البدوي) – for originally baring with my overly-komakai nature, but then going above and beyond to consistently show me how great good execution can be. You inspire me to be more komakai, day-by-day, even though I know this affects your workload a lot haha.
Sola Aine – for the powerful conversations, gym sessions and finger-snapping handshakes. No issues.
David Vernon – for believing in the 16-year-old Justin and allowing him to experiment whilst enabling him to access real, unparalleled start-up/early business insight.
Pranav Bhasin – for teaching me the wisdom in making individual moments real and solidified by sharing them with others.
Neil Strauss – for inspiring me to write better and for the best ’30 days of genius’ interview ever.
Elon Musk – for recapturing my imagination for space travel. You did it.
Gaspare Frazzitta – for pushing me to be the best at what I do. Grazie.
Ilaeira Kordas – for showing me ‘the ropes’ in climbing the waterfall – even if I ended up with a sprained ankle aha!
All the Sprigges – for inspiring me deeply with the importance of family values and exploration of the world and all of it’s knowledge.
Tobias Revell – for an incredible year and for not getting angry that everyone used Helvetica all the time.
Luke – for being the coolest brother ever. Always inspired by you.
Ojiichan – for being the source of all my best traits. I miss you.
Nenna – for being a huge source of motivation.
Paolo Vicari – for all the inspiring conversations on expanding an international worldview. No more willful blindness on my behalf!
Etsuko, Jon and Kyle – for conversations on our shared passion for James Bond and Japanese culture, and for the inspiring musical influence.
Raphael Warner – for believing in a 14 Justin and giving him the most perfect incredible opportunities. Forever grateful.
Chase Jarvis – for Chase Jarvis Live. Best show on YouTube.
Doris Sprigge – for being the sweetest lady in the world.
Dan Ziv – for showing me, up-close, how to scale a tech business. How’s it going?
Daro IB – for countless hours of laughter, goldeneye and popcorn… well, mostly.
Liam Curran – for meditation chats and for always coming through with the yoghurts.
Miša Peić – for inspiring me with your work ethic, attention to details, and design-thinking. And yes, I am still waiting for you to send a picture for the deck…
Jocko Willink – for reminding me to stay on the path. Always.
Yukami’s – for the years of great memories, knowledge and food.
Tracy and Jack – for filling my childhood with love, laughter and poppadoms.
Austin Kleon – for showing your work.
Joe Rogan – for introducing me to the most interesting of people.
Seb Masterton – for showing me that there truly is no limit to your location, ability or passion.
Nick Warelis – for showing me the ropes of the international world of work and being an awesome bud from afar – ways dude!
Echo Charles – for being a badass and talent behind an awesome man, dang.
Obaachan – for instilling discipline and focus into my nature.
Dad – for always being my greatest teacher. My love for life stems directly from you.
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