Nisolo Shoes


read more about the company here and here and here

interview with CEO Patrick Woodyard

Ted X talk

Film: True Cost Andrew Morgan

product has to compete with the best
recruitment: passion with purpose
advisors: humility, reached out to 100 people. Email list – start to add value. Going deep with a core set
challenge: alignment, cash flow
5 things we are focussed on this quarter
Objectives and Key results OKRs
people are most important, focus (cannot do it all)
READ: essentialism – george mcquen


The Republic Of Tea

The Republic Of Tea Could Be Worth $125M, But Its Exec Is Still Not Selling

Rubin has been told other specialty tea companies are selling for more than five times revenue, so the Republic of Tea, which topped $25 million in revenue in 2015, could be worth as much as $125 million. But he says he’s not interested in selling. An effusive 66-year-old, he recently doubled down on keeping his company independent, executing a plan to turn over the reins to his son Todd, 35. “I wanted this not only to remain a family business but also a generational business,” says Ron, who has started a new venture, a Sonoma winery, and says he considers himself a “zentrepreneur,” explaining, “An entrepreneur creates a business; a zentrepreneur creates a business and a life.”

  • Purchased in 1994
  • Promoted the complex and artisanal characteristics of tea as if it were wine.
  • No interest in international growth
  • Stayed in the specialty universe: 10,000 domestic channels
  • Skepticism of growth is rooted in his aversion to debt
  • Decided to remain debt-free and expand from sale

Petaluma loves Ukulele

Petaluma loves the ukulele

  • In 2005, Mike Upton, the founder of the Petaluma-based company Kala Brand Music, sensed the start of something great.
  • Upton left Hohner that year after the company moved and borrowed $70,000 from his father to create Kala Brand Music, which specializes in producing and selling ukuleles.
  • He’s spent the past 11 years developing the perfect ukulele as the company continues to expand.
  • In 2015, Kala Brand Music saw more than $20 million in sales, with an estimated 500,000 musical instruments sold across the globe, he said.
  • The company grew 11 percent last year, with an expected 25 percent growth in 2016, he said.

Tower Paddle Boards – words of wisdom

For Tower Paddle Boards, Shark Tank Was Just A Pit Stop On The Road To A Big Brand

There are three types of innovation.

  1. The first is product innovation, which Aartsol describes as the riskiest and toughest.
  2. distribution
  3. marketing innovation: Your customer experience becomes much more important. It’s got to be so over the top that customers will tell their friends

Aarstol’s intuition about his brand also extends well beyond what his Shark Tank success proved. He describes his company as “an online marketing agency that owns a surf brand” and a player in a constantly evolving field. So he says he is always trying to reinvent what they’re doing and ultimately he wants to build a brand that accommodates that flexibility. He holds Richard Branson’s Virgin group of companies as a model and is building his brand to embody the beach lifestyle in many different categories. Flip flops, sunglasses, bikes, surf boards, and other adventure sports are among the 25 companies he has planned for Tower. His goal, to roll out 2-3 companies each year, seems do-able given that they’re all based on the same business model and leverage Tower’s existing strong partnerships with Amazon and daily deals site Woot.