Masters of Scale – Reid Hoffman: KIND’s Daniel Lubetzky
Scaling isn’t only about scaling up; it’s also about scaling out: to new products, new verticals, and new customers. And to do this, you’ll need to build bridges. No one knows this better than Daniel Lubetzky, the founder and executive chairman of snack food company KIND.
Daniel has spent his whole life working to bring together disparate supply chains, products, and communities. Through it, he’s learned the right and wrong ways to connect. That means building bridges that people actually want, letting people meet him halfway, and focusing on the foundations so those bridges last forever.
Understanding and collaborating with the community is crucial for businesses and organizations to succeed. Consultation and involvement from all sides are necessary for long-term growth and success.
Building bridges requires a strong foundation and genuine desire from both sides to come together. Recognizing someone’s humanity, even in tough times, can give them purpose to survive.
The ingredients to scaling
Economic incentives can play a crucial role in fostering peace by creating vested interests in maintaining relationships between conflicting parties.
Grit is important, but so are wit, strategy, discipline, and creative thinking. Inexperienced entrepreneurs may focus too much on persistence and not enough on flexibility. Investors want entrepreneurs who can adapt and manage intelligent risk.
Before you launch a product
Before trying to sell a new product, analyze whether there is a demand for it. Avoid adding too many flavors or launching too many new ideas. Invest in existing products and keep your promises to build a great brand.
In consumer software, experimentation is allowed, but in physical goods, trust is key. Entrepreneurs must be gritty, creative, resourceful, and learn from failure to achieve future success.
The brand promise
Focus on your brand promise, invest in promoting it, and prioritize the quality of your products for success.
Confrontation can be productive with kindness. Focus on your mission and ethics. Building trust and responsibility in relationships can develop valuable bridges.
Honest and constructive communication, even if it involves disagreement, is crucial to building strong bridges and achieving success. Kindness not only benefits the receiver but also brings happiness to the giver.
When persuading customers to buy your product
When trying to persuade someone to buy your product, it’s important to remember that building a bridge isn’t enough if no one wants to use it.
Convincing one deli owner to stock a sun-dried tomato spread seemed like a victory for Daniel, but the product never sold. This was because he put too much effort into building a fragile bridge, rather than considering the demand for the product.
Additionally, adding too many flavors can break delicate bridges and betray customer trust. Patience and investment in existing products is key, instead of launching too many new ideas. A great brand is a promise well kept.
The power of true kindness in business
Being kind is more than just being nice and avoiding conflicts. True kindness requires honesty, which involves the courage and strength to speak up when necessary. Unfortunately, many corporate cultures discourage disagreeing with superiors, which can lead to mistakes and poor decision-making.
Kindness is a net happiness aggregator, providing positive feelings for both the giver and the receiver.
I would wake up in the morning, at 7:00 AM in the morning and walk down the street at the very top of 122nd and Broadway all the way, door by door, store by store. And I would finish at 7:00 or 8:00 PM in Wall Street. Or I would maybe get to make my way back up, cross the street, and then go on the other side of Broadway. And I would not leave a store till I got a purchase order.