On the daily

Plastic free July Day 4…

Visy Recycling behind ‘toxic’ plastic waste container in Indonesia

Visy’s ‘toxic’ plastic waste will be returned to Australia from the Indonesian city of Batam after Indonesian authorities put their foot down.
— Read on www.smh.com.au/world/asia/visy-recycling-behind-toxic-plastic-waste-container-in-indonesia-20190703-p523s0.html

That’s right kids. Recycling isn’t the answer. It’s actually “downcycling” because the result is material of a lesser value that will ultimately be landfilled.

We are the only species in earth that creates waste. And waste is simply the result of lazy design. We are better than this people!

On the daily

Unknown unknowns

It’s been a busy few weeks since landing back in Oz from the UK. While Kim has remained in London I have been solo-parenting and working from Sydney.

The kids may have rickets given their exclusively Coco Pops derived diet under my household leadership.

Kim headed to NY last weekend to speak at the UN’s Youth Assembly addressing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. She was also a judge for an impact start-up competition and met some amazing young entrepreneurs from all over the world. There were in fact 1,000 delegates from 100 countries.

Kim made an interesting and somewhat uncomfortable observation after learning about these fantastic young entrepreneurs.

In these rapidly changing times, we have the tendency to mistake what we believe is much-valued wisdom with a limited Fixed Mindset that forecloses on possibility.

When we started gDiapers in 2005, we came into it with “beginner mind” as we had no experience in Consumer Goods, fundraising, team building, moving to America-ing and indeed parenting as we had just become parents too. The beginner minds is also known as a “Growth Mindset“. Without it we would have never gotten the business off the ground.

It strikes me that a Fixed Mindset probably comes with age. And as we are now older – 48 (!), maybe we have slipped in our way of thinking. That is a dangerous thing given just how fast the world is now changing. Just when you think you know it all, you realize you don’t. Or you don’t realize you don’t and live a life of unknown unknowns in the famous words of Donald Rumsfeld. (Remember those simpler times of just lying about going to war? Good times. Hit the link – my favorite press conference).

Food for thought.

On the daily

Back.

As we go into Autumn 2013, I have not been here in Blogville for quite some time. 4 months to be precise. But I'm back. There is much to report. 

Kim and the kids are back from 6 months in Tokyo, Thailand, Tanzania and Turkey (yes, it was the 'T" tour). Our 8 year old Harper emerged with a very fun business idea he is developing with Kim. I am not allowed to tell anyone but when I can, I will! Fynn climbed Mt Kilimanjaro and raised $8,000 for Every Mother Counts.

Kim and I have new-found perspective as we individuate away from gDiapers – it has been somewhat obsessive for the past 8 years and that's not been very healthy.

Over the summer, I experimented with a social media-free test (no FB etc. This post will appear on FB but I ain't going over to see it again!) and have found it to be pretty beneficial. It's been interesting seeing more and more research around the obsessive end of social media and the impacts on society as a whole. I loved the idea raised in a NY Times article last week that challenges friends going out to dinner to leave their phones in the middle of the table. The first to capitulate and check their phone picks up the tab. I know more than one person who would be paying plenty of dinner bills. What did we do before smart phones? I look at people in cafes and in cars and observe how much they are tethered. I wrote a bit about it here – the power of "being" rather than "updating". The device can be so helpful but such an intrusion.

Last weekend, I extended my Facebook-free test to include no checking of email. Sunday morning comes and I am under the weather but Harper has an 8am soccer game. It is bucketing rain. We get to the game only to be told it is cancelled. If only I had checked my email! So it is not a case of just shutting it all down. Everything in moderation as my Dad used to say.

As Fynn and Harper start accessing phones I see we need to be more aware. Whatever we do, they do so my little experiment is good for them to watch and learn.

We had a good summer of gTeas both in the US and UK (Video below). 

In my last blog, I referred to a great deal of disruptive innovation that was introduced at gDiapers. The results are emerging and I am pleased with it all. It has been challenging at times, not perfect by a longshot but it was very much needed and there are core truths that have emerged. I am excited to share it all when it is fully baked. More soon! A lot more. Soon!

 

On the daily

The gTeam celebrates.

What a week. We launched our partnerhip with Diapers.com and welcomed Jeff Beyer as our new* COO / CFO. (*when I say "new", we met Jeff right off the boat in 2004. He has been on the Board since then and a big contributor to the success of g)

To celebrate, we had an all team lunch at Serratto – a gFavorite.

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Jolynn, our VP, Merchandising with Tyler our Operations Czar. Jolynn came to us from Adidas. She is from Canada like Kim. So they both spell funny and speak funny but not as funny as me. Tyler is 100% Oregon. His dream vacation of all global destinations would be anywhere in Oregon. I love that!

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Gillian (LHS) – one of our Diaper Therapists to the Eco Savvy with Steph (RHS) our "All round Jillaroo".  Gillian was a customer who moved up to Portland from the Bay area and joined the gCrew. She is amazing with customers. I should know  – I sit opposite her. (She has to endure my music. Sorry Gilly). Steph works in our finance group and does a superb job supporting everyone else at gHQ (as well as chasing me for lost receipts).

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Jeff with Kim. Jeff is a huge Cubs fan. But he is a realistic Cubs fan. His email is "cubslose@…"! However the tide is turning right? First the Giants, next the Cubs? And you all know Kim. President. Chief Woo-er. Keeper of the brand (so no, Jason, we can't use that shade of orange!).

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Our two international (external consultant) men of mystery. So mysterious that despite working really closely on getting the web integration right for Diapers.com, they had never met each other until this lunch. All IM. Zach on the left, Ezra on the right. Ezra has been with us since the beginning when he built our first site.

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Karen, Michelle and Dodge. Or Kazaa, Schooner and Smithers. You pick. Karen has a split personality. She's either running our Boutique program or she is a product manager, working on new gStuff. Schooner (an Australian term for a beer. Michelle's surname is Schnoor and I mis-read it when we first met. I was stinging for a beer right at that moment. Whatever) runs our gMum program, supports Marty on the sales side and is our Director of Marketing. Smithers is our Web Czar. He keeps the tubes running day and night. He has only broken them once when an enormous amount of you wanted to buy a huge amount of stuff at exactly the same time. No harm, no foul.

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Kelli (LHS)  is our Head Diaper Therapist to the Eco-Savvy and our internal wordsmith. So when she is not on the phone chatting with gPeeps, or corresponding via email she conjures up the words we need to let you all know what we're up to.  Mimi (RHS) is our Product Czar. She has been with us as a consultant since 2005 and has just joined us full time. Mimi comes to use from Columbia Sportswear and she sure knows her way around textiles! 

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Heather (with Hadley! LHS) and Andi. Heather is a Diaper Therapist to the Eco Savvy. Like Gillian and Kelli (the rest of our Therapy group) she too was a customer first and then joined the gTeam. Her hubby John works at Anvil, the group that helps optimize our website so it's all in the family. Andi works in our finance group. She comes to us from our auditors. So she audited us for 2 years just to make sure we were Kosher before joining us. That's quite the due diligence. She is our Spreadsheet Czar. As a Liberal Arts graduate, words cannot adequately express the respect I have for Andi and those Excel spreadsheets. 

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Kate – our #2 employee and VP Marketing with Harvey, our outbound Ops man. Kate worked at a PR agency we had engaged before we even had a brand back in 2004. We thought she rocked so Kim woo'ed and woo'ed and Kate made the leap. What a trip it has been. Harvey (real name Jeff but we already had a Jeff@gD.com so he had to change his name by Deed Poll – committment bro') is a worldy young man having worked in London and South America. He keeps the minutes for our all team meetings each week. These are more entertaining than the meeting. The kid is gifted.

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Kimmy with Dave, our Chief Culture Officer. When we first arrived in Portland in 2004, I was introduced to Dave and we went for a walk in the woods. When we got back, I decided that our company (which at that point had no brand, no funding, no office and no staff) really needed a culture guy. Kim thought I was insane. But it was the right move. Every entrepreneur (and investor) says "it's all about the people". But very few really invest in that. Dave is a rockstar, helping us with how we hire, how we run meetings, how we get along, how we resolve issues. He designs and facilitates our annual retreat. Every company needs a CCO. And he works for beer.

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The whole gCrew, except for Dawn who manages our Finance group and Marty, our VP, Sales. I'd feel bad about not having these two here but here's the thing. Dawn is in Hawaii chillaxing on vacay and Marty splits his time between his home in Phoenix and a place on the Sea of Cortez in Mehico. So no sympathy for either of you!