What's on your homescreen?I probably have the least interesting home screen because I purposely hide EVERYTHING so that I'm in control. I turn off all badge notifications and only have very practical functions on the homepage - maps, clock, settings, music, bank, kindle, Oura Ring, Nest. I use Spotlight search (swipe down) for getting to every app, which makes the next screen comical because it's just two folders (LOL and LOL AGAIN) that I never open.
Is there any product, app, or gadget that you couldn’t go a day without? Why that one?Powerbeats Pro. I've had bluetooth headphones before, and also AirPods, but these Powerbeats are amazing because they work as well for going on walks as they do for intense workouts - and never fall out. I keep them on me all the time.
Which podcasts are you listening to right now? What do you like about them?The only podcasts that I consistently listen to are Freakonomics, Akimbo, and Conan. Freakonomics lets me learn without it feeling like work - it's far enough away from my day to day that I can enjoy it. Akimbo by Seth Godin is abstracted away from any current events which allows me to apply his insights at the conceptual level - the tactics always change but understanding human behavior is always relevant. Conan is just funny and can be a nice relief when I'm driving or doing something that can use a background track. Other than those, I will listen to podcasts that people recommend to me. Podcasts are like books - they're rarely meaningful to everyone all the time. You have to be in the right space for them to hit right.
What book has had the most impact on your career or life? How so?Now here's a book I recommend to everyone (lol i know what I just said): Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. It was the first time I read something that tied together human nature, strategic thinking and the consequences of action in a way that left me smarter in the way I operate in the world. If you're into science fiction or not, this book is dope.
What tools do you use to collaborate with your team at Elliot?I estimate that 80+% of our work is done through Google Drive & Meet, Slack, Figma, and Notion. We hack together other parts of our workflows with Zapier and some project management tools, but at the stage we're at, the flexibility of Drive, Figma and Notion allows us to not get bogged down in process building and default to taking action.
What are some of your favorite DTC brands right now?Ridge Wallet - sleek and simple wallets, phone cases, and other functional products.
Pattern Brands - their products are super high quality and their approach to creating loyal customers is superbly executed.
Baboon to the Moon - bright and funky bags that just stand out, and they are the most fun product to watch in the market right now.
Baboon to the Moon
Our bags are meant to survive everything from the zombie apocalypse to that guy at the airport hurling your bag across the runway.
What book or resource on marketing would you recommend to those building a DTC product?2PM by Web Smith. It's a newsletter and set of databases around commerce. It's paid, and it should be for what you get. Web is consistently educating, forecasting the future of commerce, and providing deep insights into the underlying mechanics of a retail industry that is increasingly moving online. This content is much more strategic than tactical, but that's what you need when you're building DTC - tactics fade and become less effective, but creating an effective strategy - across operations, distribution, marketing, etc - is the most important.
What’s your WFH setup?It's pretty simple. Normal Desk - not a standing one, because I just get up and walk around when I'm thinking. Macbook Pro. Powerbeats Pro (hallelujah). Notebook. And I keep some incense nearby as a fun excuse to play with fire. I like the simplicity and portability of just having a laptop because I can switch locations easily and remove the excuse for "I have to wait until I'm home to...".
Jun 17, 2020
Josh Constine - Principal & Head Of Content at SignalFireJosh is a principal investor, head of content at SignalFire and former Editor-At-Large at TechCrunch. Josh also writes a weekly newsletter called the Moving Product, sharing weekly deep dives on fresh ideas, examples of brilliant new designs, and commentary from top product experts.
Jun 24, 2020
Cherie Hu - Journalist, Researcher & Owner of Water and MusicCherie Hu is an award-winning journalist and researcher who has been covering the intersection of music, technology, and business for over 5 years. She runs Water & Music, a newsletter exploring innovation in the music business. Cherie is currently writing a book about the parallels between independent music careers and tech entrepreneurship.
Jun 10, 2020
Lolita Taub - Acting chief of staff & interim head of sales at CatalyteLolita Taub is a first-generation Latinx operator and investor pushing for diversity in tech. She's acting Chief of Staff and interim head of sales at Catalyte; a scout at Indie.vc, Venture Partner at NextGen Venture Partners, an LP at Operators Collective and Portfolia's Enterprise Fund; and a mom to the cutest Dachshund mix, Choco.