Yes To: How To Get A Product Into 25,000 Stores – with Ido Leffler

Posted on Dec 4, 2013 - 9:00 AM PST

How does a guy who calls himself a schmuck, end up building one of the fastest growing natural beauty brands in the world?

Ido Leffler is the founder of Yes to Carrots, whose products include lip balms, facial scrubs, shampoos.

He’s also the author of Get Big Fast and Do More Good: Start Your Business, Make It Huge, and Change the World.

One more thing before we get started, a past interviewee complained about how I do my ads for Walker Corporate Law. You won’t believe Scott Edward Walker’s response. I’ll read it later in the program.

Watch the FULL program


About Ido Leffler

Ido Leffler is the founder of Yes to Carrots, whose products include lip balms, facial scrubs, shampoos.

Raw transcript


Mixergy’s audio transcription is done by Speechpad

Andrew: Hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I am the founder of Mixergy.com, home of the ambitious upstart. In this interview I’m going to find out how a guy who before this interview started told me that he was a schmuck who screwed up a lot. I want to find out how that guy ended up building one of the fastest growing natural beauty brands in the world.

You know Leffler, who you’re about to meet in this interview, is the founder of Yes to Carrots. Their products include lip balms, facial scrubs and shampoos. He’s also the author of “Get Big Fast and Do More Good – Start Your Business, Make it Huge and Change the World.” Like I said we’re going to find out how he built his business.

But first I want to tell you that you guys have seen me talk about Scott Edward Walker the founder of this firm Walker Corporate Law. One person in the audience who heard me say it complained to me that I was doing the ads all wrong. I forwarded that message to Scott Edward Walker and I want to read to you his response because I was pretty surprised by Scott’s reaction. But we’ll talk about that all later.

Ido, welcome.

Ido: Thank you for having me.

Andrew: Ido, when you were growing up you were in Australia. In the early ’90s Australia had a recession. What happened to your dad’s business and your life as a result of that recession?

Ido: You know, my family immigrated to Australia when I was four years old and it was the classic story. My dad came as an engineer, became an entrepreneur, did exceptionally well particularly in the housing market. And, you know, it’s a statement that we . . .

Andrew: When you say exceptionally well what does that mean? How well were you living?

Ido: So to put into perspective I was going, my brother and I were going to private schools. We had the house with the swimming pool. We had the beau-, in a beautiful suburb. We really lived a magical dream life. The international vacations. Really what one would expect from an upper middle- class to really upper class lifestyle. And Australia was going through a major, major . . .

Andrew: Recession.

Ido: I guess real estate boom. So my dad joined that boom, did very well there. And one day our then Prime Minister, his name was Paul Keating, got up and said, Australia is a banana republic and this is the recession we have to have. And in that day everything crashed. The market in real estate crashed. Interest rates, unlike what happened in this current recession, actually went up to double digits. And all of a sudden my father, who really was holding on to too many things and was over leveraged, we lost everything.

And I remember coming home. I remember being picked up by my parents from school one afternoon and literally was told. I remember getting into the car and my brother and I sat down and my parents turned around and at that point told us that we had lost everything. That we’d lost our home, we’d lost everything and that we were going to have to build it back up. And our response to them, which, again, I was, I think I was 12, 11 years old, was you know what, we’re going to do this together.

Andrew: That’s what you said to them?

Ido: Yeah, that was, it was always our sort of family motto that we always did stuff together. We were always a family that just made . . . We were a family unit. We didn’t have any real, other than a little bit of extended, family in Australia. So it was all about building it. And . . .

Andrew: But, Ido, if you look deep down inside, wasn’t there also part of you that was angry at your dad. Why did you do this to us? Why are you taking me away from my school and my friends? Because you messed up in business I have to change my life. Wasn’t there a little bit of anger too?

Ido: You know what? I think we were, I think, anger, I think sad, I think just overall let down. I think as a child you . . . I did and I think I continued to at that point hold my father in very high esteem. But we were kind of lucky, and this is something that I hope to give to my children, my parents never sugar-coated anything with us. They always kept us very much in the loop of what was going on.

My dad made it a point to include my brother and I in the decisions in the business that he was making. And as a result we kind of, you know, and he was always I guess also very forthright to admit that he’d made a mistake and that this was a learning thing. And so 100 percent we were angry. We were disappointed and as a kid we were also scared. But the great thing is that we bonded together as a unit and, you know, in the long run it paid off.

Andrew: What were you scared of back then?

Ido: You know what, I had gone to a very wonderful, still is a wonderful private school in the North Shore, the leafy North shore suburbs of Northern Sydney, and I was then taken and I actually presented to my parents that I wanted to move to a public school because I knew that they couldn’t afford obviously at that point to send me to the private school and going into an environment that was totally foreign to me.

Again, I was in a very sheltered environment before that and moved to a public school that was a wonderful school, but with significant issues and challenges that I had never faced before. Before Jewish, I was confronted with anti-Semitism for the first time in my life. You know, kids in the playground. You know, young adults.

Andrew: What did they call you? What was the most painful thing they called you?

Ido: I think the traditional anti-Semitic Jewish jokes that you would hear in the playground all the way through to getting in actual physical interactions with people of different ethnic backgrounds that didn’t necessarily gel well in the macro environment. As young teenage boys, we ended up in scuffles and it’s something that I never really saw before.

I think looking back, it was something that I definitely shaped me and also taught me how to confront and how to deal with these interactions and as often as possible in the most diplomatic polite way.

Andrew: My parents had a setback when I was growing up and one of the things that I remember was my brother needed to go to the hospital. We didn’t have health insurance and the concern of not having health insurance trumped, I think, in the moment the concern over my brother’s health because it was oh my god, we don’t have health insurance and then how is he doing.

I remember thinking, I am never going to allow myself to run out of money so that this never becomes an issue and I fought harder I think than other people because I didn’t want that kind of a life to be the rest of my life. Those little incidences shape who you are. How did what happened to your dad shape who you are today, and what you’re willing to do, and what we’re going to hear later on? How did it shape the character?

Ido: Oh, it is undoubtedly the most significant life changing thing that happened to me in my formative years. You know, growing up at that point I don’t remember, you know, the day that I could get a job, the absolute that I could get a job as a kid. I think the rule in Australia at the time was like 15 and 9 months you could get a job.

Even before that, I was doing the paper route, but I’m talking like a real job. I applied and I remember just how excited I was that I could take some of the burden away from my family and I was working literally pushing shopping carts and packing shelves at the local supermarket.

Andrew: And you would bring the money back to your family? You didn’t save it in your own bank account?

Ido: I was saving it, but I was using it for things that ordinarily my parents may or may not have paid for with pocket money . . .

Andrew: I see.

Ido: . . . and a lot of things that they just didn’t have. But I remember that feeling of independence and I remember looking back now. There are moments that I will never, and things that I learned later on in life that my father told me. For example, my dad, to your story, they couldn’t afford to buy the freshest fruit and vegetables at that time. They couldn’t afford to buy the best quality meats.

My dad would go after hours to the markets as they were closing down to sort of buy the end of day stuff to be able to feed the family. At the same time they kept a very, to us at least and to the wider community, positive demeanor and I learned from that that positive attitude really does make a difference.

I also learned that I never want my family to be in that type of a position which is why I think early on in life I was willing to take a lot more risks and these were risks to get to a point that I could set my family up. When I say family, extended family, to never have to be in that position again and I think every time we’ve had setbacks or things that have scared me that in our careers that I thought oh my god, the ground’s a little bit shaky. One of the main reasons why we’re able to overcome that is because I never wanted to go back to my dad and say that I had failed at something.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ido: And that fear of failure and to almost have them live vicariously through us. We talk about this in the book. One of the main reasons that have driven me in my entire business life is a Yiddish word called Naches and Naches effectively means joy. It’s that the feeling when you go to your parents or your grandparents and you’ve told them that you did something good and to see that feeling and that look in their eyes and that feeling of Naches. That feeling of joy that I want to give to my wife, my family, trumps all the money that we’ve made over the years. It’s a much more exciting driver than the cash in the bank.

Andrew: I see what you mean. You know, I’m so glad that we talked about this. You know, a part of me said I have data on where Yes to Carrots get its traffic. I know how Ido got started, I know how he got big. Why am I not focusing on just the business things? My audience doesn’t care about the personal.

Every time I go personal, I realize how important it is because it shapes the business. Seeing what drives you, what your motivation is will help us understand why you did some of the things that we’ll get to later on in the story. I hope the audience appreciates it because frankly I’m sticking with this.

I believe it’s good for the audience, I believe that it’s one of the unique parts of Mixergy, and I think that many people see our advantages that we have better research than any other interview program online. But I think one of the advantages, one of the key reasons I’m doing this, is to get to that personal, that motivation.

Alright. Let’s see how this all plays out then. So I get a sense of your background. Then you told Jeremy that you had a previous company that you sold. I looked at your LinkedIn profile, I don’t see that. What was that previous business?

Ido: The company prior to Yes To, oh there’s been a couple of companies, the company prior to Yes To is a company called Trend Trade . . .

Andrew: Trend Trade, okay.

Ido: Trend Trade. What we did with Trend Trade, Trend Trade was a very cool idea. I had come back, I had lived in Indonesia and India for four years and I came back with this real appreciation of seeing large companies come into markets like India or Indonesia with this big bold idea and these big bold budgets and within 12 months they were gone and they had made lots of mistakes that were all fairly similar all the way along the way. I love the [??] that you’re [??] there. I love [??].

They absolutely did an amazing job of creating buzz, but not very much follow through. So what we ended up doing was we ended up launching a company that helped brands develop their international go to market strategies and we had built up quite a wonderful array of customers. We were working some of the greatest brands in the world and they would come to us. We would develop a plan for them, build out a distribution platform, and help them implement it.

Now, we got that business to a certain size and a certain point that was giving us a very good lifestyle, but we wanted to grow that business to the next level and like all things serendipity jumped in and my business partner happened to be at a wedding and we subsequently found a lot of great businesses that had started, invested in, or run into the next level at weddings. He happened to sit next to this amazing guy who we call in the book the investor and this guy started talking to Lance.

He said, “Well, your business sounds really amazing. It’s a shame I can’t invest in it.” Without a single hesitate Lance said, “Well look maybe you can. Let me speak to my business partner.” Now this gentleman lived on the other side of the world. I was based in Tel Aviv at the time. Lance was in Sydney and I get a call from Lance.

I just landed back to see my wonderful girlfriend who I just met a week earlier who subsequently became my wife and he says to me, “Ido, what are you doing on Wednesday,” this was a Monday. And I said I’m hoping to spend some time with this wonderful girl. And he goes, “actually, I need you to fly 12 hours to come sit down for breakfast with this guy I met at this wedding.” I went “Okay.”

And he goes, “The guy said that if we do the deal, the costs will get covered, if we don’t do the deal, he’ll pay for half of the expenses” and I thought, that’s pretty interesting. He wanted to see what we had. And we flew all the way down to meet him, we met him for breakfast, by lunch we sold him a third of our company.

What he said to us was got this whole ball rolling. “I love you what you guys have shared with me, but I don’t really understand exactly your business, whatever, but what I do understand is you’ve got amazing relationships, you’ve got amazing appreciation for brand. Why don’t you set up your own brands? Why don’t you guys get going and start doing it yourselves? You’ve got all the resources and the backing to do that.”

And they said “You know what, that’s a pretty good idea” and he says “I want to get on this horse before it bolts” and literally, we took that to heart, he ended up investing and taking a third of our company, and the rest is history.

Andrew: And that’s what’s became Yes To Carrots and then Yes To all the other vegetables.

Ido: [???]. At one point I said to my own clients, I’m leaving the role of CEO of that company, you take this over, and then we’re going to launch our own brand. And from there, literally, I think it was 90 days later, Yes To was born.

Andrew: I see, so that it wasn’t that you had experience in cosmetics, or beauty products, or any of that, it was that you are so good at creating brands, that this investor, who shall go nameless, made you realize you should create your own brand. So, what I’m wondering then is with all of the different things that you can brand, food, candy, tea, coffee, t- shirts, watches, everything, why pick these products?

Ido: As I think you mentioned in your pre-interview, we weren’t particularly bright.

Andrew: I was quoting you.

Ido: [laughs]

Andrew: I don’t agree with you, but we’re going to find out in this interview that I’m right. But you saying you’re not particularly bright, how does that come into effect here?

Ido: It’s not that we thought that we weren’t particularly bright, but I think that if we knew then what we know now, it might have been a different category, but the beauty category is an amazing industry.

Now we’ve had experience with lots of CPG (consumer package groups) brands, some of which were beauty. We knew the industry a little bit, we knew a little bit about the Daza [SP]. But it all came about because we were consumers. And I think that sometimes the best entrepreneurial brands are founded with people that generally see a need in the market for themselves.

So what we ended up doing, I was leading this hedonistic lifestyle in Israel. We were partying hard at night and trying to lead a healthy life during the day, and we were going to the supermarket, to the equivalent of a “Whole Foods” in Israel, and looking for natural products for my, I can’t say hair care regimen, but my daily regimen, and my girlfriend as well, and all the products that we saw on the market, at that point in time, weren’t particularly sexy.

They were in brown packaging, they didn’t smell so good, the experience wasn’t great, they were priced really high, and here we were these Mini driving, Virgin flying, Apple using people and all the products in the market were just not targeted to us. They didn’t have a sense of appeal. At the same time, the natural beauty market was growing.

Mass media was embracing it, peoples started to hear words like [???] and sodium [???] sulfate, so we knew that there was a little bit in there, and I said well, you know what, why hasn’t anybody created the brand for us. Why isn’t this happening? And to cut a long story short, that’s what we did. We wanted to create a brand in this space.

Andrew: The way you’re describing it, you’re a guy going into a local store, and you’re making observations about the store and your own life, but it seems like it must be deeper than that. Based on your own background, as a brand creator, you think more strategically, you think with more research, don’t you? It’s not just an experience at the store.

Ido: You know what, I always think to myself, and it’s interesting if you go through your day-to-day life to do the same thing. Think of what you buy, when you go into your Whole Foods, or your Walgreens, or your Target, or your Safeway, wherever you go and then you’re buying them yet you don’t love them. You’re buying it anyway. You’re taking money out of your own pocket.

We all worked a hard day’s work to get our pay packet and we’re spending money on stuff that we don’t necessarily love for whatever reason. That to me was the same thing. Why would I buy a product that wasn’t 100%?

We live in what I call today a compromised free world. None of us need to compromise on anything anymore. Everything that we can buy, everything that we can acquire has been thought of from the [??]. If it’s something that we need to compromise on, we just give it back.

Now when we melded that together with the data, and when we saw what the retailers were starting to do, and we saw legacy brands for example like Burt’s Bees [SP] who today is my number one competitor like they’re number one and we’re number two, they were making big plays. Big private equity firms were making investments in these companies.

Today large multi-nationals are making investments in the natural set and as much as the natural food and organic food market was booming we could see that beauty was becoming a fast follow up. So when it started off with our personal insights, when we then went and looked at the data and really started to analyze and started to do some research, and it was very basic research at the time.

Andrew: Tell me about what this research was. What kind of research would you do to see that you’re on the right track?

Ido: So the first thing we did was we went to see trade shows.

Andrew: Okay.

Ido: We went to see trade shows. We went to see what was coming out on the market. We did basic research like seeing what products were starting to appear on shelves and the shelf space that was [??]. We didn’t have access to things like Nielsen data or IRI data back then, but we made contact with people whether they were distributors in the market, whether we would walk into stores and ask questions. It was very much a qualitative process.

It was only when we got our indication for our first big meeting with Walgreens, at this point, you know, we had already tested the market a little bit in Israel, but when we got our first meeting with Walgreens and when we walked in there and they shared with us, at that point we’re going back nearly six, seven years, their plan financials and what an anchor they thought it would be for the category did we know 100% that we had something that was bigger than anything we could have ever dreamt of.

Andrew: Oh, I see. You had a hunch and a little bit of basic research. They then brought in all kinds of research, deep data, that justified your hunch and showed you how much bigger the environment was then you even realized.

Ido: Theirs was purely, you know, from their perspective their consumers were demanding. They could see that there was a move towards it. You know, these great retailers, they do big great trend reports. They get amazing influence. We do them now as well which is kind of funny.

But the notion, you know, when we could see, you know, my dad always taught me, you know, there’s some time in life, you know, in business you’ve got to treat it like when you’re swimming for a wave on the beach. We’ve all been swimming in the beach before and it’s that millisecond that the wave just starts to pull back a little bit that you need to know to swim fast and you don’t stop swimming until you catch that wave.

The problem is a lot of people don’t know how to anticipate that feeling and it’s a bit counterintuitive because it kind of pulls you back a little bit. But if you can intuitively feel that and know when to swim and, you know, it’s hard to explain, but the second we came, you know, full circle and launched this brand and the second we had this brand I remember calling up Lance, my business partner, and his response to me was you have to got to be frigging kidding me.

We are not doing a brand called [??]. That is a stupid name for a brand. He’s a finance analytic guy. I said Lance I’ve got a feeling, it’s in the gut of my stomach we need to swim and we need to swim fast and he believed in my judgment on that and I think we’re still swimming. Things [??], but I don’t even think we’ve even got to a tenth of where we will be.

Andrew: The first stores that you got into were in Israel. Was it easier to start in a smaller country than to start in the U.S. or Australia?

Ido: I don’t think it’s necessarily easier to start in a smaller country. I think it’s great to study in a smaller demographic. I think it’s always worthwhile and people often forget that part of our story and . . .

Andrew: [??]?

Ido: They forget the part about that we were in 16 stores in Israel when we first launched.

Andrew: How did you get in those 16 stores in Israel?

Ido: They were linked to our manufacturing partner when we first started, so we had a really good intro into that. But what can easily be done here is you can go to a few, we call them mom and pop stores or a small little chain, that most of them if it’s a cool product especially if it’s local will give it a go and maybe you give it to them on consignment, maybe you give it to them and that’s a great way to sort of test the environment. Even big huge brands like [??] when they first launched that’s how they did it. They just focused on a couple of blocks, a couple of stores. Make sure you get it right. Make sure it becomes a hot property.

Andrew: How did you get right? So a brand new brand called the Yes to Carrots. So the product is Yes to Carrots at first in six stores, how did it even get attention when it doesn’t have television ads, magazine ads, and everything else? What did you do to make it so that people who walked into the store were more likely to buy your new product?

Ido: That’s a great question. We built great displays, our brand stood out. Again, remember that the brands that we were competing against when we first launched were legacy brands. They were legacy natural brands and we came along with this bright orange packaging with a brand name that was totally weird at the time for beauty.

Andrew: Okay.

Ido: We incorporated this great vegetable called carrots and other orange fruits and vegetables at the time and we made it . . . as soon as somebody saw the name Yes to Carrots [SP] no matter who they were, they smiled and we knew that once they saw it on shelf even if they picked it up and if they could smell it, if they could feel it was awesome.

The other thing we did was sampling. We made sure we had testers, we made sure we a sampling program out there so people could try it and get it out there. But even when we first launched in the U. S. and it was just an online trial, before we even got on shelves which is sort of the next phase for us, we treated it and treated the PR campaign, and treated the launch . . .

Andrew: But that’s in the U. S. In Israel there was no PR, right? It was just . . .

Ido: No, it was just . . .

Andrew: . . . the packaging and the brand name.

Ido: Packaging, brand name, and the traffic coming into the store. Also another thing we did and continue to do to this day, we made sure that the people inside the store, the store staff which are your front line soldiers, they knew the brand and that they loved it and that they each got free product for them to play with. That was critical that they got really a great experience when using the product and then when they saw [PH] . . .

Andrew: So how do you come up with a brand that’s so interesting that people want to grab it or look at it when they’re in a store? That’s not happenstance. Walk me through the process so that I can do the same thing. I ended up with a name like Mixergy. No one’s walking over to Mixergy. No one even knows what Mixergy is.

Ido: You’re talking about the guy that came up with the original brand called Trend Trade [SP] which still to this day I can’t pronounce. But you know what? We did learn and we did get it right.

Andrew: How?

Ido: I think the way you do is you’ve got to come up with an understanding of what we call the hug ability factor which means, and again it depends on what your brand is. If you are a law firm, you don’t necessarily want your law firm to be huggable. You want your law firm to be formidable. If you’re launching an iPhone case manufacturing company, your brand might want to be more tech focused depending on who your target market is.

For us, we wanted our brand to be approachable. Now, we came up with four points that we call the love points. The four love points on how we created our brand and how we still look at the brand today.

Andrew: What are the four love points?

Ido: The four love points are simple. Will she love how the product looks, number one. Does it look good, does it make her feel good when she sees it, is it something she wants to put in her guest bathroom. Will she love how the product works? How does a product work is compared to our peers in the natural world, but as compared to our traditional. So it was really for her to love the way that it looks, the way that it works, the way that it feels. Will she love the price?

So the price is a very interesting thing, so one of the things that we did to get people to see our products on the shelf, we were priced below what our competitors were priced. We weren’t significantly…

Andrew: Burt’s Bees.

Ido: We were below Burt’s Bees; we were a better value than Bert’s Bees. We price-promoted significantly more than they did at that point.

Andrew: Then what’s the fourth one, then, the fourth love?

Ido: The fourth one is the most important and that comes down…I will never forget day one, Marketing 101 at university in Australia. Our lecturer walked in and he literally said the following. He goes, “I’m going to be teaching you guys, for the next semester, all about marketing. However, the one thing you need to understand – none of it matters if you don’t have word of mouth,” so the fourth love point is, “Will she love to tell her friends about it?”

Andrew: So how do you get someone to tell their friends about a lip balm? I never told my friends about lip balm.

Ido: It was funny; so firstly, go back to the original love point or the second love point; the product needs to kick us, so if her friends could talk or go to her and it was a shampoo or a skin [??] and go, “Oh my God, you look so awesome,” what is that? Or, your hair smells so good, so that was a great reaction that people could have when they saw it.

The other thing was though, is that we made it funny; we made it irreverent. On the back of our shampoo bottle, the first ever statement in the directions was, “Shampoo daily on wet hair while singing.”

Andrew: I see.

Ido: Now that made people smile. We started to get emails, “Dear [??], love your product. By the way, it works if you don’t sing,” stuff like that. It got people talking, it got people interested, and then we had another component to it that was still very much…we call that the “Yes To Wink.” The “Yes To Wink” is something that’s going to be on the product that’s going to make you smile and make you want to talk about it.

The other thing that we did was, from day one in our DNA, we set up the “Yes To” seed fund and the “Yes To” seed fund was something that was, from day one, something that we always wanted. It was sort of a dream of ours when we started our company; this was before social enterprise was really a cool, talked about statement.

We just wanted to do good and what better way to do good than through the company that we’re building, and that got people talking about it, but the one sort of crazy thing that we did that today I still laugh about; as soon as we launched, we set up this thing called the “VIC conference call,” Very Important Carrots, and the Very Important Carrots conference call was a very fun tool that was set up where people could call in.

Initially it was just a conference call line, and we put it out there at the time, on MySpace, and I think Facebook had just started, “Who wants to come and listen to what we’re launching next?” I had no idea how many people would call.

Andrew: People would come to hear you talk about the next health product or beauty product that you’re launching.

Ido: Literally people would call 1-800; we did it through freeconferencecall.com, or whatever the site was, and people called in. On the first call we had a grand total of eight people; eight people called.

Andrew: I would have given up right there. I would have said, “OK, this doesn’t work.”

Ido: Yeah, yet these eight people were the most passionate people that you have ever in your life met, some of which today still, if you go onto my Facebook profile, still today write to me, we’re still friends, they are still very active [??] of people [??], and those eight people gave us their product suggestions.

They became our personal focus group, and then the next call it became 15, and the next call became 80, and the next call became 500, and before we knew it, we had these incredible VIC’s who we treated like they were princesses, and we gave them free product and we gave them insights into what we were doing and we let them feel what we really believed, which was, we were creating product for them.

Andrew: What did you get in return?

Ido: We got amazing data about what they were interested in. We got amazing data as to…some of them would tell me, “Oh my God, my store looks terrible. The store around the corner from my house looks terrible. Please call them,” so we had relevant data, and we had an amazing loyal group of fans that spread the word. This was before we could like pages in a major way on Facebook and all these things, but they went completely and utterly nuts. Every time we launched something new, they were our mega fund and it spread like wildfire.

Andrew: Let me ask you about something a little bit more basic and then I want to get into how you got into Walgreens. You said earlier that you compete on price in addition to everything else. One thing I noticed in looking into you guys is, you know, when a lot of people go shopping online one of the last steps before placing the order is typing the name of the store plus coupon to see if there’s a coupon code somewhere. You guys seem to seed the coupons into sites like RetailMeNot and even buy ads with Yes To Coupon. Why do you do that?

Ido: You know, I think our goal from day one was to make natural products more accessible for everybody. When we first came into the market buying natural products, it didn’t mean $1 more, it meant $5 more or $10 more than the average. Today natural is not $1 more. Natural is priced exactly the same as most of the traditional products on the market.

So our goal in doing these coupons is to generate trial to get people who otherwise never would have thought to use a natural product to come in to their Target store, to Walmart, to Walgreens, to whatever retailer it is out there and to take away the perception of price as being the reason they wouldn’t buy.

Andrew: I get it. That’s why you guys also buy ads for Yes to Coupons [SP] printable because you do want people to print it out and take it to their local Walmart. It’s not just an online purchase that you’re giving them a discount code for.

Ido: We want people to print it out and go to stores. We love online retail, but we love our brick and mortar stores.

Andrew: I see.

Ido: I love walking through the store. I still spend three hours of my week. It’s like literally in my schedule every week to go walking down the aisles to see what’s on the shelf.

Andrew: I see. By the way I said Walmart, I meant Walgreens. In a moment I want to get into how you got into . . .

Ido: Walmart’s there, too.

Andrew: Oh, you’re into Walmart too?

Ido: Yeah.

Andrew: Alright. I want to find out how you got into the first one and the first big one was Walgreens. But first let me just say something that I said earlier. I’ve been holding up this mug for Walker Corporate Law. Here’s the thing, Scott Barrows [SP] emailed me and said, “You’re awful with your ads. I think you should improve it. I think you should get a case study from Scott Edward Walker, the entrepreneurs’ lawyer.”

I know Scott and he said, “Andrew, it could be an ethical issue, but here’s what you can say” and check this out. This is written by Scott in my voice, but the last two sections of it I think are the most surprising. Here’s what he says, “Walker Corporate Law is a boutique law firm that specializes in representing entrepreneurs and startups.

MightyText which got a great write up in TechCrunch is a good case study of the type of services that they provide. MightyText first engaged Walker Corporate Law for their $2,900 all you can eat startup package.” Apparently that’s one of his packages. Then they used them for their convertible note seed financing, then for their stock option plan. So that’s the idea.

You can get started with Scott Edward Walker in the beginning of your company’s life span and then you continued as you grow, and grow, and grow the way that MightyText did. And here’s the surprising part, you can call Scott Edward Walker, the founder directly and he’s given a phone number, and talk about boutique. I don’t know how he’s going to take all these calls, but here it is, directly at 415-979-9998 or email him at scott@walkercorproatelaw.com, which that’s the surprising part.

That’s the email address I used to email Scott and within minutes he replies back to me, scott@walkercorporatelaw.com. I’m surprised that he wants to give that out. But it’s an experiment and I’ll send it out and I’ll see if he gets flooded with phone calls, flooded with email, and if he does I’ll stop. If it’s effective then I’ll continue. Do you know Scott?

Ido: I don’t, but [??] to write it down. I know a few that would love that.

Andrew: Yeah. You’re in San Francisco the way I am. He’s right down the street from us in Dogpatch I think is where he lives.

Ido: I actually have two people to send to him today.

Andrew: Oh, do it. Scott@walkercorporatelaw.com. Tell him a friend of Andrew’s and everyone in the audience tell him a friend of Andrew’s. In fact any time you sign up for any personal services say I’m a friend of Andrew’s. My hope is that they’ll say, the guy who’s a loud mouth who does those interviews and who can maybe talk negatively about me in his interviews, I better take good care of Andrew’s friends and then you’ll get better service. So even if I don’t know them, even if you don’t know me, say you’re a friend of Andrew’s.

Ido: I hear you get great reservations at the French Laundry and Nopa, you name it.

Andrew: I don’t need any of that. All I need is this. Just from doing these interviews. Our mutual friend Mike wants to send me a couple more of these because he knows I have dinner parties. He says, “Can I put those out for, do you want them for your house?” I feel bad. I love it. I don’t want to take advantage of his friendship.

Ido: No, Soma’s incredible.

Andrew: Aren’t they? Smart of his to have sent me one as a gift after the interview. I can’t stop using it here and everyone keeps asking me about it. It used to be, everyone would come to my office and they’d ask me about the mic and they ask me about the lighting. Now they ask me about the Soma. Okay. Walgreens. You did something cool to get in there. They don’t just talk to anyone. Tell my audience, please, what you did to get in there.

Ido: So, this is one of these incredible stories. We happened to meet this wonderful gentleman at a trade event. We made it a very big point when we first, like in every part of our life in business, that you never know who you’re going to meet and you should treat everybody with the same level of respect, and we’ve always had a positive nature about it.

It’s always fun to hang out, we’re always the people who are first to arrive at a party, the last people to leave. Fun, excited and excitable. And we happen to meet this guy who hooked us up with what was a 30 minute meeting whit Walgreens. Now, I was, I flew from Tel-Aviv to Chicago, I was staying at the time at the Marriott Suites hotel, just opposite their building in a room that I couldn’t afford.

I was really just I got my best suit on and I walked downstairs and I walked down to see, and it was a gentlemen opens the door and he says, “You know you cannot wear that to Walgreens”. I said, “What do you mean, that’s my best suit.” He says, “You need a tie.”

At the time you needed to wear a tie to Walgreens. I said, okay, I’m already sweating bullets, this is the most important meeting of my life. We race down to, what I think was a Neiman-Marcus and in the corner of the room I saw the most hideous orange tie standing out like a sword in the stone type of a thing. Ran over there, grabbed this tie, it was the most expensive tie I’ve ever bought, put it on, drove into Walgreens and I got, sitting in the lobby, I remember thinking to myself, this is really make or break.

If we get this right and this meeting goes as I had hoped, who knows? And I was hoping for very little at the time. I was hoping for little, a couple of stores. And I walked up towards this meeting and this woman who I was meeting, she was a mid-western woman, beautiful woman dressed in a sort of a suit, a pant suit, walks up to me, her name was Michelle. And Michelle walks up to me and she holds out her hand to shake my hand.

Now, I don’t know what came over me, I don’t know why I did what I did, but sometimes in life things happen in slow motion and for whatever reason I reached over and with my left hand, she was trying to shake my right hand, with my left hand I moved her hand away, lent in, brought her into me, gave her a big hug and a kiss on both cheeks and said, I kid you not, “This is how we do it in Israel.” And I, for whatever reason, that kind of knocked her a little bit off. The 30 minute meeting, the first 30 minutes was spent really getting to know one another.

We became friends, instant friends and in 30 minutes we got to know about each other’s lives, what each other loved, the whole, really, she got to hear about my wonderful romance with my now wife, and it became a three hour meeting. And at the end of that meeting they said, she said to me, you know, I love what you’ve presented. I thought it was the greatest presentation that I’ve ever done in the history of presentations.

No questions needed to be asked, it was just when should we ship you the order. And when I look back at that presentation now, it looked like a four year old did it. But she said, how are you going to bring incremental business to our stores? I said, that’s a great question. I said, “Let me get back to you.”

And without really knowing, I flew back to Tel-Aviv, rescheduled a meeting with her, flew back a week later and gave her that answer. She then came to me with another question. I flew back 4 times in a period of you know 4-5 weeks, to which afterwards they said ‘You know what? We love this, it’s right on our strategy’ and we sold it with such conviction.

Andrew: I get the being personal with her and that that would make her more invested in your cause, care more and want to listen and maybe cut you a little bit of slack because you hugged her, you kissed her, you got personal about you relationship, she got personal about her life. What I don’t understand is how you can show them that you can deliver enough growth for you to be worth their while? What did you show her?

Ido: You know, I think we came prepared. When I say we came prepared we showed them the personal side was real. When you fake that you fail. I really wanted to know who she was. I wanted to know if we were going to do this together with them, we were coming to them with an offer that was very [??], we were coming with an exclusive offer. The time that we were offering to them to go exclusive. And I wanted to make sure they were going to get married which was an exclusive partnership is, that I was getting married to an amazing bride.

So that was real. In terms of what we presented to them, we presented them, again at the time that was incredible, was the passion about what we were about. The fact that we were determined to be the first natural beauty brand in the U. S. that was going to be designed specifically for a main stream audience, that was going to be targeting unique and different. And what I brought with me was our star product, was the Yes To Carrots Body Bath. And the second she put that on, and the reaction she had versus what was currently at the time on the market it was such a different feeling and texture and fragrance and everything, that she literally was to set up [??]

Andrew: You know, maybe I’m just a cynic because I always feel like the quality of the product is not nearly as important as the rest of it, the packaging, the word of mouth, the promotion. Because in my mind, every product is special in some way, many of them are. And no one knows how special a product is until they try it. And I’m not walking through the aisles of a store trying everything, I’m not interested and invested enough to experiment with all these other products.

So isn’t there something else? Isn’t there?

Ido: Yes. You need to have that a-ha, you need to have that brand. If you forget any of those elements, the packaging, whether it’s a carton, whether it’s a jar.

Andrew: So how did you show her that your packaging is worth her time, worth having in the stores? Do you have any data to back it up? Do you have any experiments that you run?

Ido You know, we didn’t. At the time we didn’t. What we did have though, we could show, what we did show a side by side comparison of what it looked like. For lack of a better description, every store in a mall, in a local near where I live in [??] little strip mall there has some beautiful stores. Every store is beautiful.

But when you walk past the Apple store you know that you walked past the Apple store. It is like a beacon of light, it is almost like a homing device for people like me. And so what we showed her, the way that our products look, that bright orange.

Andrew: You mean, you showed her the actual product itself?

Ido: We showed her the product, we showed her the packaging we brought. We brought actually at the time it was a set of 16 mock ups of what was going to be the line. And when we showed her what that would look like side by side to what was in the market at the time, we were going to be that brand that just radiated out in terms of our color, because of our look and feel, and this quirky name that threw everybody off, which was Yes To Carrots.

Andrew: Alright, I see her getting excited, I see you caring about the product, I see other customers caring about the product and the quality and then at some point you had a quality control issue that was so bad that it affected your health.

What happened there?

Ido: So we ended up using multiple manufacturers and unfortunately, at this point we were booming, we were already in Walgreens, we [??] exclusivity, they were launching at Target, we were launching at every retailer, and we also launched significantly in Europe through a chain called [??] and it was wonderful.

Everything was going great, we could not have imagined life any better, and out of nowhere I get a call from one of my team telling me that we had a major issue. The issue was that one of the ingredients in one of the products something had gone wrong and it changed the color effectively of the product and it wasn’t life threatening . . .

Andrew: In the product or of your customer’s skin?

Ido: Of the product in effect because of the skin, but something was white and it ended up becoming slightly yellow . . .

Andrew: Okay.

Ido: . . . which happens a lot to products. This was something that subsequently happens many, many times. Now this affected primarily our European business. It didn’t really affect our American business. It was just a certain number of batches and we had a choice and we could have just ignored it and not told anybody, which is something that a lot of people would have considered the smarter thing to do or we could have done what we ended up doing was being a 100% honest with our retail partners.

We went under advice from mentors and friends. We was open book as humanly could be about this issue and we ended up taking a voluntary product withdrawal off the shelves of what was millions of dollars’ worth of stock, millions.

Now had this retailer not continued working with us or if something had gone materially wrong and at the same time we had to work with our manufacturing who had the mistake, it wasn’t even our personal mistake. I was convinced that we were going to be closing down the doors and I was 100% certain that it was so life threatening that I got on a plane.

I had just actually gone on vacation. I remember I was on vacation with my family. My youngest, I think she was like 6 months old or a year old. I said to my wife, “I’m really sorry.” We were living in America and we were on vacation in Tel Aviv. I said, “Babe, I’ve got to leave you. I’ve got to solve this issue.” She goes, ‘When are you going to be back’ and I said, “When I’m back.” I have no answer and I flew . . .

Andrew: All of this is just because the product is still good, everything still works, but because it’s a different color?

Ido: It was a different color. What had happened, the preservative system in the product had not worked as it was meant to work and one particular ingredient changed color.

Andrew: So who cares?

Ido: You know what? It’s funny that you say that, but not many people did because in the end we only got one complaint from one customer for that entire process.

Andrew: I mean, the reason I was looking away from you and you might have noticed is I was looking to find complaints online about this; Better Business Bureau, Amazon complaints, anything. I don’t see anything about it.

Ido: This complaint affected nobody.

Andrew: Were you overreacting then or was there more to this?

Ido: We were so passionate about making sure that the consumer experience was right . . .

Andrew: That you were willing to risk your company?

Ido: Yeah. You know what? I think we were so scared that it might lead to other things and it might affect the relationship because it took time to figure out what the problem was. We didn’t know. We didn’t know if it could get worse . . .

Andrew: I see. You’re thinking maybe this would have bigger complications than just slight discoloration.

Ido: I was convinced we were going to get hundreds of complaints.

Andrew: I see.

Ido: We got one.

Andrew: Are you the kind of person who usually worries a lot?

Ido: I think to be an entrepreneur and to be a successful entrepreneur a part of you needs to be like an old Polish grandmother like my old Polish grandmother.

Andrew: [??]. Last night were you up worrying about anything?

Ido: Funny enough last night I was up worrying about my old Polis grandmother.

Andrew: Really? Why what’s up with her?

Ido: And thankfully she’s good this morning which is great. But for me that notion, I think you’re always going to be somewhat worried and not ever be complacent. My worries today are very different to what my worries were back then.

Andrew: Give me one. Help me to see what you worry about because frankly looking at you, it seems like everything is going well. I’m looking at your Amazon ratings, hunting for complaints, I don’t see anything significant worth bringing up in here. I’m looking on Google, it seems like you got life, you got life all figured out. Everything’s good. Be open.

Ido: You know, I think the biggest, as the company grows, and I think it depends on where you are in life, so as companies, you know, I’ll talk to you, I guess starting with my company. With a company right now, as we’ve grown, we’ve become this wonderful company that people love. The key is how do we keep, and we be bring on more people, and on the other side of this wall you’ve got some of the most dedicated hard-working family, these people, but really we don’t include people, we adopt people.

But they come from different backgrounds and they come from corporate backgrounds, some from entrepreneurial backgrounds, some from totally random backgrounds. And how do we make sure that when we bring in this corporate culture into the company, which is very important to make sure that we’ve got the processes in place. So things like these quality issues never happen again, so all of these things . . .

Andrew: So you’re worried now about the people who you hire.

Ido: How do we make sure that the balance in there, so that when you discover this brand for the first time today, you have the same sense of wow and awesomeness and this big smile on your face . . .

Andrew: So how do you do that, do you have, like, how do you make sure that someone is hired a year from now, that has to take ownership of the packaging comes up with something as funny as, what was it, something in your hair and sing while you’re using it?

Ido: You, you know, there’s two things. First, it’s about finding the right, making sure that the right cultural fit joins the company. And that’s not always easy to distinguish. The second thing is once they’re here, an once they’re on board, we want them to feel that they have ownership. We give trust 100% from day one. We make sure, you know, it’s all things . . .

Andrew: But, but then, if they have ownership, one person can be very anal about the packaging, another person can be very funny. What do you do to keep it consistent?

Ido: And I think it’s that, keeping that brown voice and keeping that brown culture, you see the second you walk into Yes 2.

Andrew: How do you do that?

Ido: . . . into our office. I think, you know, it used to be me. And the big mistake that I think a lot of companies do, it’s me who created the culture, therefore it’s me who is, you know, everything else other than me needs to make sure that the culture is what it is. Like any culture, out culture has evolved significantly over the years and today it’s definitely not me. I’m a small part of that wheel.

Andrew: Yeah, but how do you do that? What do you do to make sure that the culture is consistent and still lives up to your vision?

Ido: We infuse that into the team.

Andrew: Give me an example.

Ido: So, I’ll give you a great example. You know, we’re a, we call our, every, week, very couple of weeks we do some crazy-ass things with our company. We do some crazy-ass things with the people. A couple of weeks ago we all went and volunteered at this amazing place in the South Bay called the Hidden Villa and we all got out hands dirty and fixed some stuff.

Last week, you know there’s a TV show called Chopped on the Food Network, we had a big Chopped competition. Tomorrow at 2 p.m. we’re going to be at Lucky Strike Bowling. We’d love for you to join. When we go travelling, you know, when people come travelling with me from our team, it’s not, you know, we sit down and I call it, we’re working hard, it’s awesome. Let’s spend two hours just hanging out. Let’s just chill out. Let’s check out, we’re in Munich, let’s check out Munich. We’re in Tokyo, let’s check out Tokyo. And we’ve really become as a team, like I love seeing new people join the team and I love seeing how quickly the team adopts them.

We’ve got people that have moved across country, single families, and you see, what makes me proud about my team is how quickly they embrace that person. How quickly that person is talked the Yes 2 language. It’s the clothes you wear to the office, you know, we don’t have anybody clocking in, clocking out, we want people to have a goal of ours as a company is to make sure that your life outside of these walls is as good as your life inside these walls. You’re coming in here, my wife thinks we come to work and we’re on vacation.

Andrew: What kind of revenues are you guys doing right now?

Ido: So we’re a company, we’re definitely, it’s a good question because we’re looking at that figure right now, but our goal is to get our business to $100 million over the next . . .

Andrew: One hundred million dollars. Are you over $40 million already?

Ido: Yeah.

Andrew: And it’s still just you, your co-founder, and secret investor?

Ido: Oh, no. Now, we have some wonderful private equity investors. We did a private equity round in our second year. At the time we raised about $14 million which was a minority round when we brought in incredible investors. Again as you bring in investors, it’s no different. It’s about the relationships that you can build, it’s a marriage, and we brought in really amazing partners who were behind brands like Method [SP] which is a brand like Eric [SP] and Adam who are two founders . . .

Andrew: They’re local here too, right?

Ido: Sorry?

Andrew: Method [SP] is local here too, right?

Ido: Right. Method [SP] is literally on commercial loan in the city. Amazingly both of the founders live around the corner from us in Marin [SP]. Again, we surrounded ourselves with amazing investors and we surrounded ourselves with incredible entrepreneurs here in the Bay Area that have helped us propel this thing.

Andrew: Here’s what else I’ve seen about you, Ido. Your company gets a lot of press. One of the top referrers to us is realsimple.com, today.com, the Today Show is sending you traffic not just promoting the brand or talking about the brand. How do you get so much press?

Ido: We got I think last year close to $1.2 billion with a bee print impressions last year. That’s not including sort of the TV media, the Dr. Oz’s, the Today Shows, et cetera. It comes back down to the original message. I still go out, I’m still the face of the brand, and my biggest role in the company today is to be that evangelist, and I truly believe and live the vision of this company every single day. I’ve got an amazing CEO who runs the company day-to-day who she’s a complete rock star.

So we go out, we make it fun for the press to work with us, we make it fun for the press to try out products, and it comes down to the fact that the press trusts us that we’re going to launch an amazing product because we really put in that much work to make sure that it’s right.

The other thing I guess that drives our wonderful press is that they see our authenticity. It’s in what we do. It’s how we do it. We threw an amazing event in New York a couple of weeks ago where we invited the editors to hear me speak for five minutes, but what we really wanted them to do was sit down and relax and we screened Breakfast at Tiffany’s for them because it was just a fun activity. We called it the Nostalgic Launch because we were re-launching some product from . . .

Andrew: And this is one of the things that got the editor to come over to see you and to get to know your company?

Ido: Well for the new editor, yes. The other thing we did, this is something that people very often forget in startups, when we first started, I remember the first meetings I got with press. I was very anxious. I remember feeling strange that I wasn’t being invited into the offices. I was meeting them literally in the elevator banks. I was invited to get a 15 minute interview and I was meeting the beauty intern. So the woman who I was meeting wasn’t the editor, wasn’t the assistant editor, wasn’t the director, wasn’t the editor in chief.

I came in very much thinking oh my god, we’ve got this great new thing and I was meeting the intern. If I’ve learned one thing in my life from my family is you treat everybody equally. I’ve mentioned this before in this interview. But I treated those women like they were the most important people in my life because they were. They were going to be my customers who might make it fun and these guys were going to be my satellite dish to the world and they became friends of mine.

Some of these women today, one of which who was like an assistant beauty editor when we first launched, is now an editor in chief of a magazine, one of the biggest in the country. So a lot of the editors have grown up with us.

So as you’re starting something new and as you’re getting to know these people, I would say one thing. If you’re a new business owner go yourself. Don’t send a publicist, don’t send a spokesman, and if you don’t have the confidence figure it out. Act it out, be different. You need to have that authentic voice so they believe you.

I guess secondly, the trick is to be so nice, and be so authentic in your message, that they end up wanting to follow you and be with you. We are so true to that message, we make it fun, enjoyable, and more than anything we’re still very humbled by it all. I don’t think we’ve changed in any way in terms of who we are as people from the day we first launched. In fact, we’re still two schmucks that started a company.

Andrew: All right. I think this is a good place to leave it with, actually, one more question that is very important for me to ask, but before I do, I want to say that if you like this approach to entrepreneurship and to learning about entrepreneurship, which is, to say, storytelling.

Hearing real entrepreneurs tell the stories of how they built their businesses, with me at times interjecting and saying “are you being crazy,” “were you being anal,” or “tell me in more detail.” If that’s for you, then I want you to know that if you sign up to Mixergy Premium, you have over 800 other opportunities to hear me talk to entrepreneurs and push them for details, details, details.

So many details that very often entrepreneurs will e-mail me afterwards and say “do you edit,” “can you remove that out,” and of course I say no. It has to be open. It has to be authentic. Complete with curses, complete with revenue, complete with all those little stories that I think make up the entrepreneurial journey.

What I’ve found is, and what you’ve found, I believe if you’ve listened this far, is that the stories stick with you. There is no question that the next time that you go to sell, or at some point in the future when you go to sell someone one-on-one, the story that Ido told about how he grabbed the Walgreens executive, kissed her on the cheeks, and then started to talk personally with her, is a story that you will remember and reflect on. It won’t even be forced. It won’t even be like you have to go back and look at your notes. Stories work that way.

That story will come back to you, and you’ll at least say, maybe there is another approach, instead of shaking hands and going into our presentation, maybe I can get a little bit personal. Not to say that you’ll do every single thing you hear in every one of these interviews, but those stories will be in there, in your mind, stuck there because stories are memorable, and available to you because you want as big of a menu of opportunities and options as possible.

And that’s the idea behind Mixergy. Stories from real entrepreneurs. And if you want that, it’s available at MixergyPremium.com. In addition to the work and the help that it will give you, I believe and I know that it helps us continue to do Mixergy, because there’s now a staff of people who do research, who help do pre-interviews, who help us guide entrepreneurs through this process, because it gets harder and harder to find entrepreneurs the more we do these interviews and I have a team here that does it, and it’s all because of the Mixergy premium members.

So if you’re not a premium member, go sign up. It’ll help you, and it’ll help me. If you are, go check out all those interviews that we have available for you at MixergyPremium.com. I guarantee you’ll love it!

Alright. Final question is this. We started out Ido with a story, a very sad story, of what happened to your dad, and the revelation that you had, about how you reacted and what you took away from it, and part of that is, you wanted to give your parents Nahas [SP]. And you said, “I’m now able to do that for my parents.” How? Do you have an example that gives your parents Nahas?

Ido: You know, we just wrote our book. The biggest thing that gives my parents Nahas is their grandkids, and I think that that goes without saying. But I think that when my parents have now come for the launch of my book, and for them to read that, and to see the story, and to learn what their child has become, the work that I’m doing right now on the United Nations Foundation – Global Entrepreneur Council, and the fact that we’re able to help millions of people’s lives around the world, The Seed Fund… it’s endless.

I literally live by the motto that I want every day to be a Nahas moment for my parents, because they deserve it. Without them I definitely wouldn’t be here. If you can wake up every morning thinking how am I going to make my parents, whether they are around or no longer around, whatever it is, or your spouse, whoever it is, just feel good about what you do every day, as a result that just makes you feel amazingly warm. As I said, it’s much more valuable than money. It’s an incredible motivator.

Andrew: Yeah. And I should say congratulations on the book. It’s called ‘Get Big Fast and Do More Good’, and you got a foreword by… who did the foreword on this book?

Ido: One of the most incredible authors and entrepreneurs of human beings that I know, Tim Ferriss.

Andrew: How did you get Tim Ferriss to do that? Tim Ferriss has to say no to a ton of things, because I see how many requests he gets from my audience alone. How did you get him to say yes?

Ido: You know what? The greatest thing about Tim is that Tim and I have been friends for quite a few years now. We met again, being in a wonderful [inaudible 00:00:16] through an organization called Summit Series which I’m sure a lot of your listeners know about or are a part of and he’s just been such a great supporter of ours that we approached him, he knows it, he knew the story a little, he knew our story.

Andrew: Is he the investor in the business?

Ido: Sorry?

Andrew: Is he an investor or advisor or a shareholder of any kind?

Ido: No. He’s a good friend and that’s what it comes down to. If you surround yourself . . . look, I never expect anything from any of my friends other than their friendship and I think I would do anything for Tim if he called me up randomly with or without this forward and asked me, can you do me a favor, I’m launching this thing, can you guys spread the word or whatever it is that he might ask of me to do for Tim or anyone of my close friends.

So when I approached him and I know that Tim doesn’t do these things anymore. The guy is probably the busiest human being on earth right now and it’s him and the President kind of get to play mix and max for busy schedules.

He was so kind and he wrote the forward while sitting, I think he was in Brazil or somewhere when he wrote it. The fact that he wrote it was wonderful. What he wrote, it is the nicest, most heartwarming forward.

Andrew: Here’s one of the most interesting parts of the forward. His trademark hug was one of the first thing that caught my attention. Inexplicably slow motion and super gentle as if he were cradling a baby panda. So, that’s part of your thing. You will hug people the way you hugged that Walgreen’s woman.

Ido: You know what? I love people. I love meeting people. I love hanging out with people.

Andrew: With someone in my audience, if you ever see Ido in person, please be the first to hug him. Just walk over and say, ” I’m a friend of Andrews and I’m giving you a hug.” In fact, don’t even say anything just go and hug him. He’ll understand. Hugging like a baby panda. Like you’re cradling a baby panda. Do that back to him. Ido, I hope to get to meet you in person so I get to do that too.

The book of course is Get Big Fast and Do More Good and the business is Yes to Carrots. You can see it at yestocarrots.com, but find a way really to hug Ido and then tell me about it. Thank you for doing this interview.

Ido: This was so much fun, any day of the week.

Andrew: For me too. Thank you all for being a part of it. Bye everyone.

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  • http://www.methink.com/ Pat Cheung

    is it just me? i hear this faint breathing in the background that’s slightly distracting

  • Kyle Patrick McCrary

    Look behind you.
    No, but I really don’t hear any breathing.

  • Kyle Patrick McCrary

    $- Some of the best brands are founded by consumers.

    $- Ido and his partners did research via visiting trade shows to see the entire market.
    $- Treat business like you’re swimming for a wave. Know when to swim fast to catch it.
    $- Define your brand with specific personalities: Ex. Looks, works, feels, price, etc.
    $- None of it matters if you don’t have word of mouth. “The product needs to kick ass.”
    $- Get genuinely personal with investors before the interview. (Even with interns.)
    $- Choose an exclusive partners, or investors, as you would someone to marry.
    $- To be an entrepreneur, a part of you should worry and not be complacent.
    $- A company’s culture is made from all people who are part of the team. Not just you.

  • sonibvc

    On behalf of many people visiting this site: Thank you for summarising all the important points. I find it super useful!

  • Kyle Patrick McCrary

    Very cool! It’s great to know, thank you.

  • Arie at Mixergy

    Agreed!

  • http://www.inspiredinsider.com/ Dr. Jeremy Weisz

    Pat, I actually thought the same thing that there was a faint breathing :) I am still not sure what it is. Ido and Andrew, thanks for the great interview.

  • http://www.methink.com/ Pat Cheung

    btw…just want to add that this isn’t criticism…just wanted to help out in any small way possible. great work andrew!

  • http://twitter.com/nomuu__ Simone

    It’s funny, and also this might be a bit insulting (sorry if I am being too blunt)…but I listened to this mp3 while doing a long walk, so I didn’t see the ‘yes to carrots’ branding/product until I got home. I had a completely different picture in my mind on how the product would look. Just from they way Ido described it.

    It’s not very ‘apple brand’ in my eyes ( I was picturing very minimalist and clean look) and really suprised me how popular the brand has become. It’s not a product I would personally gravitate towards ‘looks’ wise. Maybe the initial ‘yes to carrots’ orange packaging I would look at.

    It did get me thinking quite a bit why something becomes popular and a few things I took away from it was… a)you need to build something big b)get a lot of fans c)get yourself major exposure c)be able to sell your product to the ‘big guys’ d)have connections d)I am sure there is a lot more.

    I’ve seen this pattern a few times in interviews on here, things I can’t see working become very popular and I can’t understand why? And so I think it’s just mass exposure that has a ripple effect.

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  • http://www.runwayresearch.com/ Syd Salmon

    Incredible value was shared in this interview. Ido was awesome. His stories and ideas are genuinely interesting, and even more importantly, will help brands in really competitive markets think about what they need to do to find a sustainable niche.

  • http://www.runwayresearch.com/ Syd Salmon

    “Yes to Carrots” is a mass merchant retail brand. Their packaging is designed for this environment. The trade dress for products whose initial or primary distribution is salons, spas, or intimate boutiques is often much more effective when a more austere and minimalist approach is taken.

    If the product is amazing, the most hideous packaging won’t prevent it from selling well. One of my clients carried a line (Gardener’s Dream Cream) that clashed with her boutique. She hated the butt ugly packaging (at the time, it has improved vastly over the last few years). It worked extremely well and her customers absolutely had to have it, so she carried it.

    The fact that we don’t know what products will take off should only give more incentive to keep putting new ideas out into the market.

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