Learn to apply Category Design, the most valuable (underground) skill in business

The Category Design Academy is the first digital business education exclusively for Category Designers.

Unlike other communities and spaces, this training ground brings together entrepreneurs, executives, consultants, and creators who want to learn how to create and dominate new markets.

It’s not a traditional education—it’s a transformative learning experience.

Build a thriving niche business, without spending decades climbing the corporate ladder or taking on debt for an MBA.

This program covers everything you’ll need to:

Establish your unique Category Superpower POV

Attract your Superconsumer clients

Pitch, sell, and scale your services

Successfully manage a business

And so much more

Your journey to full personal, professional, and financial autonomy starts here.

Apply to the Academy

Master category design skills—from finding your Superconsumers to increasing your pricing by 10x. 

Here are a few resources you'll have exclusive access to in the Category Design Academy:

🥊 Category Design Training

Participate in at-your-own-pace lessons that dive deep into fundamental areas of category design consulting. Join discussions during and after training sessions, and share insights with fellow pirates to gain a thorough understanding and bulk up your category design skills.

💎 Proven Frameworks & Strategies

Learn to apply the same radical frameworks and strategies that have made legends of category designers. You’ll come to understand battle-tested frameworks that have reshaped industries and unleashed exponential growth. And you'll start to apply those in real life—with encouragement and feedback along the way.

🏋 Actionable Exercises & Feedback

Theory alone won't unlock the treasure troves of category design consulting. You’ll engage in hands-on exercises that plunge you into the tactics, honing your skills and developing a deep understanding of the art. You'll receive constructive feedback to help you master core concepts.

☠️ Workshops & Mentoring

Get personalized guidance from workshops and mentoring sessions with the Category Pirates. These will help you navigate any challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.

🌊 Superconsumers Deep Dive

Who are your most valuable clients? How can you identify them? And how can you create offers, specifically for them, to exponentially increase revenue immediately? You'll figure out the answers (and actions to take) in the Category Design Academy.

⛵ Pirate Crew Connections

Surround yourself with other radically different thinkers. You'll be responsible for holding each other accountable, sharing leads, and coaching each other up so you all can perfect your craft. You may very well meet your next co-founder, business partner, or client!

Learn How to Learn, Pirate-Style

Category design isn't for everyone. But once you "get" it, you’ll forever have a different lens on business and life. That's because it's not just a business strategy—it’s a way to design the future.

Get ready to push the boundaries of conventional thinking and create millions in economic and personal value.

"Let me start by confessing that I’m a Category Pirates Superconsumer. I devour each and every essay they write since Play Bigger came out. I could not recommend them more highly."

Gina Bianchini, Founder and CEO of Mighty Networks

"Eddie has helped company after company break free and reach its full potential by showing you how to do it and accelerate your growth."

Keith Levy, Former President Milk Bar, President Royal Canin, CMO Anheuser-Busch

“Christopher Lochhead is the mad genius who created the category of category design. Christopher is a legend himself.”

Pat Grady, Partner Sequoia Capital

“Eddie is my personal Yoda. Category Pirates is a fantastic source of new ideas, thinking and data on Category Design for me.”

Clint Carnell, Partner Greyspace, CEO InBrace, and Founder Orange Twist

"Pirate Christopher is the crazy category godfather. Pirate Eddie is the mad category scientist. Pirate Katrina handles both their ship and holds it all together."

Bean, the Category Pirates mascot

A Different Business Training Program

Most people don't know how to look at their careers from an outcome lens.

What did you actually do for somebody who paid for your time and services? How did you meaningfully transform their lives? Did you help them financially, emotionally, or aspirationally?

Inside the Academy, you’ll be forced to think about how other people have experienced your outcomes.

To do that, you'll go through specialized training:

Month 1
Uncover Your Category Superpower

Decide What You Will Be Remembered For, Then Follow Your Different

Month 2
Price For Outcomes

Leverage Good-Better-Best Pricing Strategies, From Free to 10x Your Current Offer

Month 3
Master The No Sell Sell

How to Get Clients to Come to You, Instead of You Chasing After Them

Month 4
Leverage Languaging

How to Communicate Your Value and Change the Way Others Think

Month 5
Find Your Superconsumers

Attract Meaningful and Valuable Clients Through Different Thought Leadership

Month 6
Create a Sales Funnel Strategy

Mastering the 2x4x8 Framework to Drive Deals and Meaningful Growth

Month 7
Elevate Your Pitch

How to Create Simple and Powerful Proposals That Win Deals

Month 8
Run Legendary Meetings

Hold Effective Meetings That Wow Clients and Build Your Reputation

Month 9
Drive Meaningful Outcomes

Launch Your Clients (and Yourself) to Legendary Category Success

Month 10
Control Your Scope

Navigate Scope Creep and Overcome Common Consulting Challenges

Month 11
Know When to Walk Away

The Power of Strategic Exits and New Opportunities

Month 12
Own Your Category

Create A Positive, Self-Perpetuating Word-of-Mouth Flywheel

Cohort #2 Begins November 2024

This hands-on training requires commitment—and it’s not for everyone.

You'll experience transformative changes in your career and life. Starting now means you'll be fully prepared to seize opportunities in the coming year. So, we’re limiting space to a small group of dedicated people.


The Category Design Academy is best for current and aspiring category designers who have had (or want to have) massive outcomes.

Maybe you’ve taken a private company public. Maybe you’ve been sought out as an effective executive. Maybe you’ve become known for achieving results no one else can achieve.

You likely consistently deliver massive outcomes—but you don't realize your power.

As a result, you don’t know how to leverage (or price) for those outcomes.

In the Category Design Academy, you'll figure out your Category Superpower and learn how to leverage it for professional, financial, and personal agency. Your training will be personal and hands-on. We'll get to know you, and you'll get to know us.

To make sure everyone’s training is the most effective, we’re limiting the first cohort to a small group of motivated and outcome-oriented people.

How You’ll Sharpen Your Skills

You’ll collaborate with fellow crew members, spar with industry category designers, and hone your skills through weekly exercises and live workshops.

1. Training Videos

Weekly Pirate-led training videos will guide you through category design topics. Get the knowledge and skills you need to conquer the world of category design consulting, like mastering the no-sell sell, achieving client outcomes, and more.

2. Exercises & Feedback

You’ll be assigned hands-on exercises to develop practical skills, like pitching your POV, elevating your pricing, and controlling your scope. You’ll get feedback on your work from your peers, us Pirates, and seasoned category designers.

3. Workshops & Events

Take part in workshops and live events to prepare for real-world scenarios. These sessions will let you practice with other category designers to hone your skills, while we Pirates will share our knowledge and help prepare you for client work.

Why do people struggle to become great Category Design consultants?

There are 5 main challenges people run into when making the switch from a traditional 9-5 job.

Challenge #1

Consulting greatness requires a long-term commitment—it’s not something you do between jobs. It demands a bold, unwavering commitment. So, it’s important to immerse yourself in a lifelong quest for knowledge and skills. This lets you be in sync with your clients, anticipating their every move and emerging as their most indispensable partner.

Challenge #2

Clients often see consulting as a transactional service—they want to buy time for money. But this is the lowest value offer. What you truly need is a partnership focused on outcomes, instead of just time or processes. Great consultants sell outcomes for money.

Challenge #3

Scaling a consulting business can be challenging, and it often requires navigating difficult hurdles. You have to know how to manage your time and energy, find and maintain clients, and keep your quality consistent as you scale. This requires careful planning, adaptability, and perseverance.

Challenge #4

Being a solopreneur consultant involves various challenges, including finding clients, marketing, negotiating contracts, managing scope creep, delivering exceptional outcomes, and handling financial aspects.

Challenge #5

While cash flow is important, the true wealth-building potential of being a category design consultant lies in equity ownership. So, you have to know how to work equity into your deals. This is how you scale your busines up to (and beyond) 7 figures and find opportunities for substantial financial growth. 

Is the Category Design Academy right for you?

Have you always wanted to start your own business?

But does positioning yourself, pitching, and managing scope creep seem overwhelming?

Do you know how to find clients and stand out?

Are you worried about failing and having to “go back” to a normal 9-5 job that doesn’t excite you?

Are you charging the right price for your services?

Are you frustrated with finding the balance between not too little, but not too much? Do you know how much you're worth?

If any of these sound familiar, then the Category Design Academy was built for you.

Connect With Legendary Thinkers

Surround yourself with business leaders, aspiring consultants, and seasoned Category Designers. Our hope is that if you have felt “different” all your life, you’ll feel right at home here.

🦜 Consultants

To be a successful contractor, freelancer, or consultant, you must become known for a niche you own. Hop aboard, and we’ll show you how you can apply Category Design principles to attract clients and charge based on outcomes—not hours.

🎸 Founders

Our members range from founders of a billion-dollar startup to a small local business. Why? Valuable lessons can be learned from both types of entrepreneurs, and we believe Category Design is not exclusive to any one type of business.

💼 Executives

Tired of joining online groups or masterminds full of buzzword-boasting business gurus? You won’t find any of that in the Category Design Academy. Just radically different thinkers looking to make a giant, positive impact on the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does this cost?

Our goal with the Category Design Academy is to make starting and running your own category design consulting business accessible.

MBA programs cost upwards of $50,000 and exclusive masterminds charge $15,000+ to help you learn business fundamentals. We think both miss the mark.

You don’t need to spend decades working to become a partner and brown-nosing higher-ups. You don’t need to go into debt to earn a degree that teaches theory rooted in the past, instead of tactical strategies rooted in the future.

You just need one year at the Category Design Academy to propel your career and set yourself up for professional, personal, and financial autonomy.

The full price of the 12-month Category Design Academy is $12,000.

We're committed to your success and are confident we can help you achieve incredible outcomes. That's why we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Here's How It Works: If, within the first 30 days of your enrollment, you don't feel like you're on your way to generating massive outcomes, simply reach out to us for a quick conversation. We'll talk through your unique needs and concerns. The goal is to embark on this program with complete peace of mind.

What's the time commitment?

We know you don't have endless hours to build your business.

Between the self-paced training, live workshops, and exercises, you’ll spend no more than 2-3 hours per week in the Academy. This is the minimum time you need to work through the material and attend the core sessions. Some weeks will require 1 hour. Others will be closer to 3 hours.

Now, you might want to commit more time than this.

Maybe you spend one hour thinking or two hours on an exercise. Maybe you spend 30 minutes connecting with other members or commenting on their work.

Your time commitment beyond the workshops and training is up to you. But we think time in the Category Design Academy is the most valuable investment you can make in yourself. On top of the mandatory workshop sessions, there will also be occasional pop-up events with guest speakers and the Category Pirates.

Can this really work for me?

Category design is not for everyone. Consulting is not for everyone. Both require at least 12 months of discipline to understand and apply—and decades to master.

If you’re not committed to a lifelong pursuit, the Category Design Academy won’t work for you.

But we can assure you, over the past three years, we have taught over 25,000 people the fundamentals of category design through the Category Pirates newsletter. Many have experienced radical changes in their lives and careers as a result. We’ve used the frameworks and tactics we teach for our own businesses, S&P 500 companies, and Silicon Valley startups. We know what it takes to become not only a great category designer, but a different category designer who no one else can compete with.

If your goal is to position yourself as a radically different category designer and consultant who drives exponential outcomes for your clients, the Category Design Academy will help you reach that goal faster than you can alone.

So, join us—and let us share everything we know about category design with you.

Can’t I learn this myself with all of the free content out there?

It’s possible. And we encourage you to try that first. If it works for you, great!

But chances are, you've tried starting your own business or category design project before. You’ve thought about enrolling in an MBA program or a mastermind. You’ve jumped from job to job trying to find one that “fits.” And between the hours it would take you to aggregate all of the free content, the people you’d have to chase down to try and unlock decades of secrets, and the pains you would have trying to figure out the pitfalls and challenges on your own...

We think the $12,000 is well worth it.

What if I'm not tech-savvy?

Rest assured, you're in excellent company.

Within our crew, we have members of diverse ages, backgrounds, and levels of expertise—from tech-savvy Native Digitals to Native Analogs who are getting used to the latest software.

During our onboarding week, we’ll make sure you’re comfortable and confident navigating the technology, attending events, and accessing the materials.

What if I can't attend the live sessions?

We do our best to accommodate everyone, but we can't promise anything.

If you can't attend a live session, know that we record each of them and distribute them with detailed show notes, session transcripts, chat transcripts, and everything you could possibly need to soak the learnings out of them. And if you have questions after watching a recording, you can reach out to other crew members or us Pirates for help.

Will this help if I've already started my own consulting business?

Yes. In fact, you might be at an advantage.

The Category Design Academy teaches a new way of approaching category design consulting and shares strategies you likely haven’t seen anywhere else. Once you learn these frameworks and workshop them, you can apply them to your current business—and drive even more growth. You won’t have to wait the full year to get the benefits. Even week and month offers new exercises, training sessions, and advice you can immediately apply to your business.

As a result, we’re sure you'll 10x your pricing, find top-tier clients, and gain more confidence within 12 short months.

How long do I have access to the course materials?

Once a Category Design Academy Pirate, always a Category Design Academy Pirate. You’ll have access to the platform and this course material forever.

This includes all past and future live sessions, training, resources, and materials shared within the 12-month course.

Want to preview a few frameworks you’ll learn?

Enroll in our FREE 7-Day Category Accelerator email course

New to Category Design and not sure if the Category Design Academy is right for you?

Our free 7-Day Category Accelerator email course will introduce you to the fundamentals of Category Design, so you can see what the strategy is all about and start “thinking different.”

This free course just scratches the surface—our Category Design Academy is the deep dive!

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Day 1

The Category Is The Business Strategy

Day 2

Using Category Science To Discover Breakthrough Opportunities

Day 3

Framing, Naming, and Claiming A New Problem In The World

Day 4

The Magic Triangle Of Product, Company, And Category

Day 5

How To Avoid The “Better” Trap

Day 6

The 8 Category Levers Of Radical Differentiation

Day 7

Executing A Lightning Strike Marketing Event To Launch Your New Category

If you've made it this far, we know you're contemplating whether this journey is truly worthwhile.

Maybe you've been reading Category Pirates for some time and learning about category design.

Yes, you could piece together fragments of content online and attempt to master category design on your own. Maybe you've even taken that path before, only to find the results falling short of your expectations. Chances are, you've witnessed countless others start their own business and succeed, building legendary client lists and businesses along the way.

Yet, here you are, with "work for myself" etched on your long-standing goals list.

Imagine looking back in 12 months, pointing to this very moment, this pivotal decision, as the catalyst for an extraordinary, life-altering year.

Picture your new business taking shape, a flourishing (and financially rewarding) career unfolding, deep and meaningful connections, and an entirely new personal trajectory carving its way into existence. All this and more is within your grasp—all you have to do is take control and create the future you want.

Right here, right now, is the path to transforming your professional and personal landscape.

So, fellow pirate, we have a question for you:

Will you seize this opportunity to become a Category Designer, unlocking the boundless possibilities that lie ahead?

The winds of radical change are blowing, and the Category Design Academy is here to help you chart a new and different course. So, join our group of radical thinkers and experience the transformative power of category design. The choice is yours. But rest assured, we’ll embark on this journey together.

Legendary, limitless horizons await.

Apply to the Academy