In this episode of Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different, we learn how to build a legendary B2C category and company from one of the hottest founders in a brand new category space, Matthew Bertulli.
Matthew Bertulli is a true mission driven founder, and this is a masterclass on how to be a missionary category designer who evangelizes their category and believes entrepreneurs can do what governments can’t.
Lomi was introduced to the world with one of the most viral product launch videos in history, and Matt breaks down just how they did it. Trust me, you’re going to come back and listen to this episode multiple times.
You’re listening to Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different. We are the real dialogue podcast for people with a different mind. So get your mind in a different place, and hey ho, let’s go.
The Need for Lomi
The conversation starts off about Lomi, and the need for a product infrastructure for composting. Matthew sets up a bit of background by discussing their company, Pela Case, which produces compostable phone cases.
Later on, what they realized is that despite having the push to create compostable and earth-friendly products, there was a lack of compostable infrastructure globally.
They observed that even major companies like Pepsi, P&G, and Unilever were investing in transitioning from single-use plastics to compostable alternatives. However, government regulations banning single-use plastics were in conflict with the lack of compostable infrastructure.
For example, in California, companies offered compostable products, but there was no proper system to handle them. Compostable items were often mistaken for regular waste and ended up in landfills, rendering the whole effort futile.
Matthew Bertulli on going against the “safe”route
Matthew then shares their decision to go against the “safe”advice and pursue this idea for Lomi. Despite having a successful company with millions of customers, they chose to develop a complex product that would compost food in a short time.
The process was difficult and required significant investment. They faced numerous obstacles, particularly with factories initially rejecting the idea or lacking the technological capability to execute it.
However, they eventually found a toy factory willing to support the project. Matthew emphasizes that creating something new and innovative is met with resistance, as manufacturers prefer replicating existing products.
“The hard part with all of this is like, it’s making this kind of product or any kind of product like this. It’s hard tech, which makes it expensive. It makes it slow. It took years to develop.”
– Matthew Bertulli
Standing up against the Board
The conversation then moves toward the entrepreneurial mindset and the personal motivation behind pursuing a business idea. Matthew explains that having control over the board and ownership in the business allowed them to make bold decisions.
For them, their drive stemmed from a strong dislike for food waste, particularly due to personal experiences with inefficient waste disposal methods. They believed that finding a better solution would resonate with others who shared the inconvenience.
Matthew was highly convinced that the idea would work and could successfully sell it to the board and the team. They also highlighted the positive impact on climate change, which further motivated people to support the idea. Despite having some failed ideas in the past, the trust and confidence from the board and investors helped them move forward.
The result of their efforts was the successful introduction of Lomi, a new kitchen product that has experienced rapid growth and is considered one of the most significant additions to the kitchen product category in over a decade.
To hear more from Matthew Bertulli and the success story of Lomi, download and listen to this episode.
Co-founder and CEO of Pela Case & Lomi.
We are a certified B-corp, have Jay-Z’s Marcy Venture Projects as a notable investor, were named Top 10 in the Canadian Business Growth 500 ranking and are #1 in Deloitte’s Fast 50 for cleantech businesses in Canada.
Connect with Matthew Bertulli!
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