You have an innovative and differentiated product that has withstood your relentless scrutiny and you are ready to go forth and conquer. (In other words, you’ve mastered what I call the “3 Cs of Entrepreneurship,” which you can read about here.) Now it’s time to talk about how to build your ideas into reality. I approach this process by working through five key steps. It’s critical to give all of them your equal attention and to understand how they influence one another.Read More
On last season’s Shark Tank, the judges heard pitches from two impressive entrepreneurs who struggled to articulate the key attributes that differentiated their product. They could not explain how their offering stood out from those of their competitors. It struck me that that they may have skipped a critical step along an entrepreneur’s journey: the part where we become our own worst critics.
An entrepreneur’s journey unfolds in three distinct, dependent, and yet entirely separate phases. While it’s important to start by dreaming without restraint, boundless brainstorms need to be followed by ruthless scrutiny. If and only if our idea stands up against comprehensive critique, are we able to go forth as the committed crusader and pursue launching our idea into the world. It’s very important that each phase be embraced fully and that once you move on from one, you move on completely.Read More
A strong company culture prizes transparency, authenticity, and individuality, which in turn fosters an environment in which team members feel comfortable being themselves. This does not mean there should not be standards of professionalism and excellence, but it does mean that team members should have the space in which to play, make mistakes, and be creative.Read More
Even before COVID, our social fabric was beginning to fray. Over the course of years, long-standing inequalities and systemic racism have become starkly exposed and greatly exacerbated as division and polarization among Americans grows. Now, more than 10 million Americans remain unemployed and over 350,000 people have lost their lives to COVID. People of Color have been disproportionately affected due to inequalities rampant across our healthcare system, economy, and society.
Overcoming these challenges will require all of us to deepen our commitment to standing up against injustice while also working to rebuild trust and empathy across our communities. We must continue to dig deep to model the values we want to see in our society by taking stock of our own actions, big or small, each day. As a global brand and movement, KIND has an even greater opportunity and responsibility to make an impact…Read More
2020 has been a deeply challenging year for our country. At KIND and The KIND Foundation, we have worked hard to support one another and our communities with initiatives such as the Frontline Impact Project, which is mobilizing companies to donate resources to over a million frontline heroes including healthcare workers battling COVID and firefighters responding to our nation’s wildfires. At the same time, we have sought to keep you nourished throughout this trying time by upholding our KIND Promise to create delicious and healthy foods that lead with wholesome, nutritious ingredients.Read More
My father’s generation is exceptional in many ways. They just don’t make them like they used to. Since my Dad’s passing in 2003, I have grown so much closer to a couple dozen people in my Dad’s age group whom I feel so blessed to count among my friends and mentors. They have all made an important impact on society while retaining their down-to-earth nature, kindness and humility. I wish my Dad could be here to meet them. Our society would be so much better off were we to draw more from their wisdom and values.
Two giants cut from the same cloth were recently lost to our world in close succession. These men are Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and Sir James Wolfensohn, whose impact on me I’d like to commemorate with these reflections.Read More
The economic environment under COVID is volatile, which makes temperance and a measured approach tougher than ever—and all the more impressive to achieve. This year, I’m particularly interested in partnering with entrepreneurs who exemplify an ability to reconcile opposing forces and tensions, even when under pressure. Here’s my advice for how to achieve this sense of balance—and why investors are likely to find the skill more valuable than ever.Read More
In times of crisis and uncertainty, entrepreneurs are more likely to look outside of themselves for answers. Desperation makes the idea of a playbook—a quick-fix rule sheet outlining what worked for someone else in the marketplace—even more appealing. But we need to resist the temptation to check our creativity at the door. In this environment of high disruption, when all the rules have suddenly changed, it is more important than ever to ditch the playbook and focus on the toolkit instead.
There are three reasons to toss out the playbook. First, anything that has already been disclosed lacks an essential element of surprise. In sports, a play is successful when it is so novel—so innovative and unexpected—that no one sees it coming. By this logic, following someone else’s playbook inherently lacks ingenuity.Read More
We’ve decided today that KIND – in the United States and across the 32 countries where we now operate – will vote with our advertising dollars in favor of truth, fairness, civility, and kindness. Most immediately, KIND is joining the Stop Hate for Profit initiative started by Color of Change, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL, whose Board I serve on), and others. We will pause our Facebook and Instagram advertising across all product lines starting July 1st through the close of the month.Read More
As seen in Fast Company: Kind Snacks founder opens up about company culture in the age of COVID-19 and beyond
Our team has been working from home for over two months, and I’ve been stunned to observe how well the model is working. I’d like to attribute its success to Kind’s uniquely entrepreneurial culture, and I do believe this is playing a role in sustaining high levels of productivity, teamwork, and ingenuity. And other company leaders assure me we are not alone. They tell me that, generally speaking, their teams are working hard and nothing has fallen apart. Many of us are questioning whether an office culture is necessary…Read More
We Need to Talk: Why KIND won’t be at Expo West, and why the Natural Foods community may need to re-examine our relationship with the organizers
KIND’s innovation line up is the most exciting and ambitious since our founding. I’ve enjoyed attending Expo West and...Read More