What sparked your interest in this industry?
As an Economics and Political Science double-major in school, I was blown away by the field of behavioral economics. Direct-to-consumer product marketing is a real-life manifestation of this. At its core, it boils down to a set of qualitative and quantitative triggers (i.e. product value propositions) that one needs to package in such a way (i.e. product experience) that elicits a desired response (i.e. purchase and retention) within the constraints of financial KPIs (i.e. performance marketing). It’s a multidimensional 3D puzzle that’s just begging to be solved!
What’s the inspiration behind Myro?
Prior to launching Myro, I used to work for a meal kit company called Plated. My job was under “Growth,” which is a fancy way of saying that I was responsible for figuring out how to sell more antibiotic-free chicken parmesan, along with other cool pre-packaged recipes.
We used to do a lot of research to help us understand purchase motivation, including going to people’s kitchens to see them cook. This is when I heard people say over and over again how they are trying to use better ingredients in their food and reduce packaging along the way. When you hear this enough times, lightbulb goes off.
Sustainability is a big thing these days. Aside from Myro, how else do you build sustainable choices into your life?
It’s hard. When you stop and think about the things and stuff around you, it’s amazing to see how much we waste. Unfortunately, this is part of our culture.
First, there are some basics I think we should be all doing. It's important that people recycle anything they can, buy sustainable alternatives, teach kids about why all of this matters in the first place, etc.
Second, I like to think we can all use fewer, better things. I like to approach sustainability from a perspective of using less single-use, throw-away, one-time, or short-lived stuff. For example, I don’t necessarily think that plastic bottles are somehow inherently bad if I use one for years. What makes them bad is if I keep feeding the plastic monster by buying new ones and tossing old ones every week.
You spent 10 years in the marketing world before founding Myro. What's it like marketing your own product?
There isn't too much difference when it comes down to marketing strategy; I just need to put in some extra effort to avoid drinking my own Kool-Aid. Since I had the opportunity to build the product from scratch, I am more susceptible to the “we thought about this already” bias. When you’re marketing a product that you don’t have such a rich history with, it’s easier to see things from a more objective point of view.
How do you handle risk and competition?
I’m a planner. I think about risk in terms of a matrix of knowns and unknowns. The unknown unknowns are what I worry about the most. With that said, I think Mike Tyson said it best: "Everyone has a plan until you get punched in the face.” If and when this happens, I've learned to just make another plan ;)
What’s been the #1 (or two) top challenge(s) you’ve faced while launching your company?
This may sound a bit counterintuitive, but my biggest challenge has been to learn how to “let some fires burn” and be okay with it. My experience has been that there is always an almost limitless number of problems that I could be working on to make the business better, but I've had to learn that not all problems should be solved right there and then. It’s okay to let some of them go and know that you will find a better time to address them.
What’s your team culture like?
We recently did a fun exercise with the team that revolved around asking them to imagine an animal that represents our culture. My favorite answer was flamingo. It’s bold, yet chill.
What is your superpower?
I am pretty even-keeled 365 days a year. This definitely helps when riding the startup roller coaster.
What’s your kryptonite?
Going down data rabbit holes. I've learned that sometimes, if you find yourself in a hole, it’s better to just stop digging.
Do you have any unusual routines or habits?
No matter the season, one indispensable WFH attire piece for me is a pair of super warm wool socks. COVID lockdown made this officially a daily habit. ;)
Do you have any other hobbies/things you like to do in your spare time?
I have two young kids so spare time is a luxury. When the opportunity arises though, I love to bike or rollerblade. I know, the latter is so 90s.
If you could give yourself one piece of advice 5 years ago, what would it be?
It would probably be to buy business interruption insurance with worldwide pandemic coverage ;)