Stefan Djordjevic - How to Dream Big, Be Weird, and Go to Space


Stefan likes to squash the status quo. An avid digital nomad, breakdancer, pilot, public speaker, actor, and fitness walnut, he likes to build innovative technologies while embracing his ‘weird’ side.

About

City: Chicago, Illinois

Favorite quote: “I’d rather live a life of oh well’s instead of what if’s”

Social accounts:

Instagram

Website

Q&A

Tell us about Martian. What about it is meaningful to you? 

Stefan Djordjevic: Growing up, I was always the oddball. Sometimes I was quiet, other times I was inquisitive, but often I was just weird. I was passionate about one thing: outer space. After starring in an elementary school mockumentary that got published by NASA, I decided that I never wanted to give up on my dream of becoming an astronaut. So, I became a pilot in college and then graduated to work at NASA as an Analyst.

I was originally planning to become an aerospace medicine physician, or space doctor, but after realizing how improbable it was to become an astronaut through the ASCAN Corps (the acceptance rate is extremely low), I decided to start my own enterprise, Martian, to self-fund my way to go to space. I figured the probability was higher if I either a) made enough money to pay for a ticket, or b) started my own space company.

At Martian, we work on technologies and projects that impact millions or billions of people. We’ve created a symptom tracker for chronically ill patients, a wristwatch that doubles as a blood pressure monitor, a smart hoodie made out of recycled plastic bottles, and even the world’s simplest meditation app. Simply put, we believe that society's toughest problems are the only ones worth solving.

At its core, Martian is a reminder. A reminder that you are unique in your own way. Maybe you’re from Mars. Maybe you’re from a different galaxy. Whatever it is that makes you different, it’s important to realize that it’s OK to be who you are. And do it unapologetically. The people who change the world are seldom rule-followers. They tend to bend/challenge the status quo in some way. We want to encourage everyone to push the envelope. Our mission is to empower the world, and do the impossible.

 

What are your main promotion channels, how do you creatively market yourself?

Stefan Djordjevic: Most of the projects we’ve worked on have been ideas generated in-house. However, we have since been working with companies to solve large challenges in fintech, health, aerospace, design, and exponential technologies. We’re also looking into other verticals where the brand can exist (Martian Records, Martian Capital, Martian Rockets, etc.)

 

What is one tip you have for creatives just starting out? Be specific.

Stefan Djordjevic: Your art should be a unique representation of who you are. Authenticity and competition cannot co-exist. So long as you are being yourself, you’re on the right track.

 

Teach us something we don’t know about space.

Stefan Djordjevic: Well, for starters, rockets don’t fly straight up. They fly through the air like a baseball. But the baseball is a rocket. And the rocket is being thrown at 17,500 miles per hour. That’s ~ 4.8 miles per second!

 

What’s a skill you excel at that most others do not? How do you do it?

Stefan Djordjevic: Execution. I think I’m really good at making shit happen. It might not be the prettiest, the most thought out, or the most interesting... But I like getting to the finish line. I like seeing projects, ideas, and experiments through to completion.

 

If you could only consume 3 pieces of media for the rest of time, what would they be?

Stefan Djordjevic: The Art of Seduction, Akira the Don, Naval’s Twitter Feed

 

What motivates you to get up in the morning?

Stefan Djordjevic: Death. Not to be morbid, but life is shorter than you think. Actually, it isn’t morbid at all. Death forces us to live every day to the fullest. I’d rather be an optimist and wrong than a pessimist and right.

 

What is a worldview you have that most people would disagree with you on?

Stefan Djordjevic: I haven’t met as many diverse people to get a representative sample of the world... But the first thing that comes to mind is: everyone needs to wake up. I don’t think enough people are aware of themselves, of their environment, and of the universe. I’m not saying that I’m any different, but I actively try to sensitize myself to the world around me. What am I missing?

 

What is your favorite color?

Stefan Djordjevic: Easy. Atomic Tangerine. It’s the perfect manifestation of my personality.

 

What is your vision in a couple years? What’s the ultimate dream?

Stefan Djordjevic: Verb as much as possible. Love. Dance. Create. Promote. Encourage. Cry. Motivate. Do. Relax. Breathe. Die (eventually). But most importantly, experience. Experience the gamut of what makes us human.

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