Co-Founder and CEO of Simple Modern.
Follow me to learn about entrepreneurship, building a consumer brand, cultivating healthy culture, and purposeful living.
4 added to My Authors
Sep 20 • 12 tweets • 3 min read
I've been CEO of Simple Modern since co-founding the company in 2015. I'm consistently asked about the secret to our success.
I'm convinced our number one advantage has been our strong company culture.
Here are 12 things I have learned about building great culture:
1. The number of relationships within an organization scales exponentially as the number of people grows.
Healthy culture depends on everyone taking ownership. As an organization grows, the leaders quickly become a smaller % of the cultural interactions
Sep 20 • 8 tweets • 2 min read
I've spent most of the last 15 years leading organizations growing at 50%+ per year.
Its been an incredible and rewarding experience, but there are dangers to growth that are rarely mentioned.
Here are 10 hard truths I've learned about growing a business:
1. It's easy to believe that producing bigger numbers will make you happier. It doesn't.
2. Growth doesn't solve your problems; it magnifies them. Cracks in a foundation only widen with the pressure that comes with growth.
Aug 19 • 12 tweets • 3 min read
Why is DTC so difficult? Why is the physical retail landscape dominated by a few massive companies?
I think the reason is a dynamic I've coined "the milk problem."
If you into a Target or a Walmart the milk is in the back of the store. Why?
The reason is that a huge % of the people who come to the store need to buy milk.
The store knows that people have high intention to buy milk, so they place it where you have to walk by lots of other merchandise first.
Aug 15 • 24 tweets • 4 min read
I've co-founded several businesses that have cumulative sales approaching 2 billion dollars.
I've also started several unsuccessful businesses that have lost millions.
Through these experiences, I've gained a powerful insight.
The key ingredient in successful startups:
Successful new ventures benefit from great market conditions.
Great markets have these fingerprints:
Large Total Addressable Market
Clear Product/Market Fit
Quickly Growing Demand
Alignment with Big Cultural Trends
Foster Creation of Many Successful Companies
Jul 9 • 42 tweets • 10 min read
When we founded @simplemodernco, we saw an opportunity in licensed drinkware.
The problem: We had no idea where to start.
This year we will sell > $20,000,000 in licensed sales with partners like Disney and the NFL.
The epic inside story and what I've learned in the process 🧵
Getting your start in licensing is hard.
You need experience to convince licensing organizations to give you a chance, but you need a license to develop experience creating and selling licensed products.
The first step of creating a licensing business is developing credibility
Jun 19 • 17 tweets • 3 min read
I spent the first 10 years of my career working for a non-profit.
Now I am the CEO of a rapidly growing business.
The most surprising part?
I learned 10x more about being an effective CEO from my non-profit work than from my business degree.
Here are 5 lessons:
Stories are the way that we understand our lives, our purpose, and the events that happen to us each day.
Effective non-profits constantly tell stories about the wrongs they are righting and the people they are serving.
Stories engage our minds and hearts.
Jun 16 • 31 tweets • 6 min read
Retailers are slashing prices because they are drowning in inventory.
Over the last month, both Walmart and Target reported earnings results that took billions off their valuations.
If you want to know how it happened, then this thread is for you:
The problem started in March 2020. When COVID began spreading in the US and led to stay-at-home directives the purchasing behavior of everyone changed.
Demand for toilet paper, masks, hand sanitizer, and other "essential supplies" skyrocketed.
Retailers had to pivot quickly.
Jun 10 • 12 tweets • 3 min read
I've co-founded companies that have generated over 1.3 billion in cumulative revenue.
Over the last 8 years, I have taught hundreds of college students about business and entrepreneurship.
Students consistently ask: "How do I get the most out of my career?"
Here's the secret:
We think that we work a job for money, but what we are really trying to obtain is quality of life.
The thought process is: "If I have enough money I will be able to trade or exchange that for a higher quality of life."
This is true, but only partially...
Jun 8 • 11 tweets • 2 min read
One characteristic shared by the most successful entrepreneurs I know:
Bias to Action
A short thread on imperfection and initiative
When you start a business it has zero momentum. The challenge is finding the right place to start.
You could spend effort focusing on a company name,
branding, product sourcing, customer surveys, business plan, or several other areas.
The natural question: "Where do I start?"
Jun 7 • 10 tweets • 3 min read
Want to become more productive, more intentional, and stop wasting time?
One of the most helpful models I have encountered is the Eisenhower matrix.
The matrix divides the tasks that we spend time on each day into 4 quadrants based on importance and urgency.
Here's the model:
Everything we do can be placed into one of the four quadrants.
The matrix also gives direction about how we should manage each one.
Applying these principles creates a powerful amount of focus.
May 27 • 14 tweets • 3 min read
I helped start an e-commerce business in 2009. On Black Friday 2010 we had our first million-dollar revenue day.
Since then, I have spent my career leading quickly growing companies.
I've made countless mistakes and gained valuable insight along the way.
7 lessons on scaling:
1. You must multiply yourself
In the early days, the organization depends on your tactical excellence.
If you succeed, the company starts to grow. Now you need to simultaneously execute while training others.
Failing to effectively grow the team will strangle future growth.
May 26 • 10 tweets • 2 min read
In 2016 I co-founded a drinkware company.
It seemed insane to others
We would be competing with great brands like Yeti and Hydroflask.
We only had $200,000 while our competitors had hundreds of millions.
Today we sell over $100,000,000 annually.
A secret on how we did it:
Many aspiring entrepreneurs get stuck trying to invent a new product to sell.
It's a trap.
99.9% of successful businesses sell an established product in a new way.
"But if I sell something other people are selling I'll have competition!"
May 23 • 8 tweets • 2 min read
This year we are taking on a big challenge.
5 reasons why @simplemodernco is investing over 10 million dollars in domestic manufacturing this year:
1. Exploding Logistics Costs
One of the big tailwinds for globalization and importing has been inexpensive shipping rates. Over the past 2 years, we have seen these costs spike as much as 350% from their pre-COVID levels
Apr 9 • 8 tweets • 1 min read
Be careful how you succeed:
When we take an action that produces positive feedback it mentally reinforces that behavior.
This dynamic cuts both ways
Apr 9 • 15 tweets • 3 min read
In the process of building a major consumer brand, I've spent hundreds of hours studying highly successful companies and their leaders.
I’ve identified 10 core attributes these companies share.
One trait all outlier founders share: Passion and Deep Personal Belief
Creating a brand by believing that someday others will find meaning and value in what you have created.
But getting to that point is a long and grueling process. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Successful founders have the faith and emotional drive to meet the challenge.
Mar 29 • 25 tweets • 5 min read
This year we will sell over $100 million in hydration products at Target, Sam’s Club, and Walmart.
The most surprising part?
When I co-founded Simple Modern six years ago, I had zero experience in physical retail.
Want to sell into mass retail? Here’s what you need to know:
If you want to sell to a mass retail partner, the most important person is the buyer for your category.
Buyers are assigned a few categories in the store and are responsible for picking the product offered on the shelf. They are the gatekeepers.
Feb 27 • 20 tweets • 4 min read
Over the last 15 years, I have served in the non-profit world and co-founded businesses with >1 billion in total revenue.
I have led hundreds of people in the process, and I've learned a lot along the way.
Here are 18 leadership principles that have transformed how I lead teams
No One Is Above The Culture
You cannot build a strong culture unless everyone submits to its values and norms.
No one gets a free pass because of their position, productivity, or tenure.
People will not respect or follow hypocritical leaders.
Feb 25 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
How bad is the supply chain right now? Here's our experience in a chart that is up and to the right in all the wrong ways.
The big consequences from this:
1. These increased shipping costs are going to continue driving up retail prices. More inflation is coming.
2. Brands are forced to carry much more inventory in their supply chain to ensure that they stay in stock.
Feb 4 • 14 tweets • 3 min read
Being CEO of a quickly growing company is hard. Each stage of growth requires a different type of leadership.
To succeed, you will have to excel in the roles of:
A thread on what I have learned about high-growth leadership 🧵👇
Stage 1: Player
In the earliest days of any company, the founders are doing all of the work. There is no extra money to hire others. You have to be ready to grind.
This means late nights, tactical tasks, often feeling overwhelmed, and lots of learning.
Jan 21 • 22 tweets • 10 min read
I joined Twitter 13 years ago, but I only started tweeting regularly last year.
I'm about to reach 6k followers so here is a thread with 6 key things I have learned about Twitter. A 🧵
1. Twitter is an asymmetrical bet
Asymmetric actions have a finite amount of downside, but an exponential possibility of return.
I have written many tweets that very few people have seen, but I have also had tweets that landed me on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.
Jan 20 • 5 tweets • 3 min read
Recently one of our newest team members asked if he could decorate his cubical. When I said yes, I wasn't expecting this...
That's a full wood cabin motif including a stove, hardwood floor, and stuffed moose head
He told me afterward that he actually held back a bit. He had bought an authentic cabin chandelier but realized it was a bit much just before he hung it.