"We’re trying to do for socks what Starbucks did for coffee." - Episode 227 - The Less Doing Podcast

Summary:

In Episode #227 Ari and Nick welcome Dave Heath from Bombas Socks onto the Less Doing Podcast. Growing up, Dave was always irritated by the toe seam in his socks. As he got older and became more interested in fashion, he discovered there was no affordable, high-quality sock in the marketplace, so he filled the niche with Bombas Socks. Listen to learn how Dave made the most of a small window of opportunity, and how the lessons from his experience can be extracted for universal benefit.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 15:15 – Introduction of Dave Heath
  • 15:45 – “An engineering marvel”
  • 16:05 – How Dave got the idea
  • 16:45 – The sock marketplace
  • 17:15 – Premium socks were marketed to specific athletic categories
    • 17:50 – But they did have a real difference in quality
    • 18:10 – He took the good qualities and made something with a lower price point
  • 18:30 – Multi-purpose socks
  • 19:30 – Bombas Socks are geared to a mass market
  • 20:20 – “We’re trying to do for socks what Starbucks did for coffee.”
  • 21:00 – The technology of the sock
    • 21:20 – Dave grew up as a kid with ADHD
    • 22:10 – The toe seam
    • 22:40 – Arch support
    • 23:00 – Preventing blisters
    • 23:20 – Compression
    • 23:40 – High-grade cotton
  • 24:10 – The line seam
    • 24:30 – The history of “tube socks”
    • 25:50 – “It really makes a huge difference.”
  • 26:15 – Gross-market costs are doubled
    • 26:30 – They donate one pair for every pair sold
  • 27:03 – The grey and black socks that they started with
  • 27:40 – The donation sock changed
    • 28:40 – The donation sock is only 10% cheaper to produce than the regular socks
    • 29:25 – What donation companies need to consider
  • 30:15 – Talking margins
  • 30:50 – Their donation model has helped drive much of Bombas success
  • 32:15 – The company was first launched on Indiegogo
    • 32:45 – Copycats on crowdfunding sites
    • 33:15 – “We were one of the first to launch our sock brand on Indiegogo
  • 33:30 – The benefits of using the digital medium
  • 35:10 – Top 3 Tips to be More Effective:
    • Be really good at one thing.
    • Do 15 to 20 minutes of meditation each day.
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  • 37:25 – Dave’s favorite sock is their black quarter-length.

3 Key Points:

  • Don’t be afraid to mess with something that has been the same for thirty years.
  • Keep your niche very specific until you have proven your success.
  • Be careful with donation companies. Look closely at their margins and what quality of product they donate.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Indiegogo: The crowdfunding site that got Bombas Socks started.
  • New Podcast: Email your ideas for the podcast’s name to va@lessdoing.com
  • Blinkist: An online resource that provides book summaries
  • Calbert: A Chrome extension that takes an event from your email and adds it to your calendar.
  • Rthm: Takes your DNA and gives you feedback for aspects of your life.
  • Slaask: Connects through Slack with customers and clients
  • “How to Be Productive”: An article that teaches you how to utilize your time
  • Text DOLESS to 33733 to sign up for the Less Doing Newsletter

Credits