No Cookie Cutter Company
Episode 63
July 20, 2021

No Cookie Cutter Company

with Matthew Jung, CEO of Last Crumb

Matthew Jung is the CEO of Last Crumb. Nicknamed the Rolex of Cookies, Last Crumb is a direct to consumer luxury cookie brand that offers Michelin star quality cookies handmade in Los Angeles and sold nationwide via limited edition weekly drops online. In this episode, we dive into how Last Crumb launched only 11 weeks ago, they haven't spent a penny on paid media, they've been selling out in under 10 seconds each week, and how customers are scrambling to use Apple Pay simply to be able to place their orders faster for 140 dollar box of luxury cookies. While nibbling on a Last Crumb cookie myself, the best macadamia nut cookie I've ever had to be exact, I talked with Matt about the experiences he's had along his entrepreneurial journey that have brought him to where he is today, why he prioritizes experience first, brand second, and then sales at Last Crumb, and what he thinks his strengths are as CEO.

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this episode sponsored by

In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • How Matt got involved with such a unique company and what the process of deciding to jump into this role looked like
  • What led to the decision to build the company through drops and why that has been such a great success
  • What Matt and the team did to build enough hype to very quickly have enough interest to sell out every weekly drop within 30 minutes or less, sometimes even down to 10 seconds
  • Why experience, brand, and then sales is the order of their focus and how being intentional about their brand integrity has brought exponential growth in a very short period of time
  • What Matt’s extensive experience as a Founder and marketer in other companies in other industries was like prior to becoming the CEO of Last Crumb
  • How fundraising has been unique and why they approached it in a very Last Crumb way that will set them up for further growth and success
  • What Matt’s leadership skills are like, what his superpowers are, and why he believes in a lean team that is focused and tight to move forward in efficient ways

To Find Out More:

lastcrumb.com

Quotes:

“I shared the cookies with other people as I was exploring the opportunity and continued to talk to Derek. The response was exactly the same from everyone, which was, "Oh my God, this maybe is like the best cookie I've ever had.’"

“I think we make a really cool product that makes people really happy because it's just ridiculous.”

“There was a little conspiracy theory going on on Instagram for a while that here's no actual cookies for sale. And these people are just making this up. And it's a total marketing scheme which would have been entertaining and kind of fun. But that wasn't the case. We were increasing production by fifty percent week over week.”

“We are growing ridiculously fast. And our goal is to get cookies into people's hands, but to do it in an ultra premium way.”

“We look at ourselves as the intersection of luxury gifting, fashion, and then CPG.”

“Because people are sharing our cookies, because they have this interesting unboxing and wow factor, I think that in a way it almost creates an experience dining thing that happens with you and the people you're with that you remember and you want again.”

“We had a lot of hypotheses and we tested them. And some of them have worked really well and some of them haven't worked as well. And we're learning and we're continuing to iterate.”

“If you don't think you have it {product market fit}, you don't have it. And I think that's a really interesting thing is that, if you make something really great and it resonates with people and they want it, you know. You don't have to beg them.”

“I think that what I'm finding is that it's happening faster than I would have expected. But we're going about it in a way that is different than I've ever done it. And it's really interesting to see that.”

“Find a really good CEO or people who've been CEO that you can call.”

“My goal is that kitchen ops every day wakes up and says, "I wish you guys could have sold and shipped more cookies because we could have made more. "And every day the logistics ops says, "Man, I wish you guys could have baked more cookies because we could have shipped more." And I think that's a really interesting friction that we want to have.”

“Take the first step. Don't worry about finishing the race. Otherwise, you're never even going to get a chance in the race.”


Lee: [00:00:03] Welcome to Episode 63 of the Stairway to CEO podcast. I'm your host, Lee Greene. And today I spoke with Matthew Jung, the CEO of Last Crumb. Nicknamed the Rolex of Cookies, Last Crumb is a direct to consumer luxury cookie brand that offers Michelin star quality cookies handmade in Los Angeles and sold nationwide via limited edition weekly drops online. In this episode, we dive into how Last Crumb launched only 11 weeks ago, they haven't spent a penny on paid media, they've been selling out in under 10 seconds each week, and how customers are scrambling to use Apple Pay simply to be able to place their orders faster for 140 dollar box of luxury cookies. While nibbling on a Last Crumb cookie myself, the best macadamia nut cookie I've ever had to be exact, I talked with Matt about the experiences he's had along his entrepreneurial journey that have brought him to where he is today, why he prioritizes experience first, brand second, and then sales at Last Crumb, and what he thinks his strengths are as CEO. Tune in to hear all of this and more. If you like what you hear, please don't forget to subscribe to the show and leave us an awesome review. We hope you enjoy this episode.

Lee: [00:02:12] Hey, Matt, thank you so much for being on the show today. I'm super excited to hear how you got involved with this insane company called Last Crumb. Thanks for joining us.

Matthew: [00:02:23] Yeah. Thank you for having me. It's been pretty wild.

Lee: [00:02:26] I normally start the show with, like, "What's your childhood like? Talk about what you wanted to be when you grow up," and like go through your entire career journey. But because you sent me the largest box of cookies I've ever seen in my life that retails for what, like one hundred and twenty dollars?

Matthew: [00:02:44] One hundred and forty dollars.

Lee: [00:02:47] {laughter} It's the biggest bucks I've ever seen. It's huge. Thank you for sending me that. I now will weigh five hundred pounds, but...

Matthew: [00:02:55] You're welcome.

Lee: [00:02:56] So I have two in front of me right now. I'm going to be eating these throughout the show. I have the What the Fuck Velvet.

Matthew: [00:03:03] OK, great.

Lee: [00:03:04] Really good. They're all really good. They look amazing. I haven't gotten through them all yet or tasted them all yet. But the attitude of this brand is just the best. Like I'm obsessed. Whoever is writing your things for the back of these cookies has... So I want to meet them. Like who are they? I want to know who is this person? I want, it's like you want to be their best friend.

Matthew: [00:03:29] Totally.

Lee: [00:03:29] It's so compelling. I mean, listen to this. It says, "Red velvet is a complicated flavor most folks can't put their finger on. Besides, maybe your slightly robust and who lets out tiny moans of delight with each forkful at Christmas. Anyway, because of its difficult, complicated taste, it's notorious for being the most half assed dessert in the bakery. Most bakers just take a chocolate cake, drench it with red food coloring and call it a day. Not us."

Matthew: [00:03:57] {laughter}

Lee: [00:03:58] I mean and literally under ingredients, it's like, "Red food coloring? Go fuck yourself."

Matthew: [00:04:03] Totally.

Lee: [00:04:04] What the hell?

Matthew: [00:04:07] I kind of describe it as like very like Anthony Bourdain-esque, you know? It's like kind of in your face and like unapologetic and really fun, but at the same time intelligent and witty and it's not... It's cool. Yeah. I think that you know, it's funny. So my experience joining Last Crumb, because I think it's very similar to what you're kind of experiencing now, was I was introduced to the Founder, Derek, through a mutual friend, and I had just left a startup. And I kind of waved the white flag, you know, you're all exhausted. And it was basically like, fuck, what am I going to do next? And this guy I knew said, "Hey, I know this guy Derek. He's launching this luxury cookie company..." In my head, it was like first red flag. And then he's like, "He's an amazing baker. And it sounds really interesting. And he's looking for someone with a really unique set of skills. It kind of fits like what your experience has been in the past. You should talk to him. And I think like there's something here because I know both of you pretty well and I think that you guys will really mesh."

Lee: [00:05:08] Wow. Great connector.

Matthew: [00:05:10] That's why I said, all right. Yeah. Like anyone that's a friend of yours is a friend of mine. And so I we got on the phone, and I was talking to Derek, and it was really interesting. And we had this great call and it ended with, "I'm going to send you a box of cookies and then let's just talk again," because I wouldn't say that I was just like jumping in with both feet, basically saying like, oh, my God, I can't wait to join this company. It was more of like, this is kind of interesting. Like, you guys have a lot of stuff to figure out, but like. Huh? And then he ended with a line that I think is a great way to start, which is "I want to build the Rolex of cookies." And that was the end. He's like, "I'll talk to you later."

Lee: [00:05:46] I like the Rolex thing. I've seen in some media articles you guys have gotten, it's called like "the Saint-Laurent of cookies." Right?

Matthew: [00:05:55] Oh interesting. I haven't seen that.

Lee: [00:05:56] I like "the Rolex." Yeah.

Matthew: [00:05:56] We try to keep it Rolex because I think it's classy and like kind of badass. But it kind of like haunted me, I would say, because it's just like, being someone who I would consider myself like into brand and into marketing beyond just like being a Founder.

Lee: [00:06:06] Yeah.

Matthew: [00:06:13] That's like a really powerful statement. And it also to me was kind of like a challenge. It was like, well, I don't know if we could do that.

Lee: [00:06:21] Right. Can we really pull that off?

Matthew: [00:06:23] Maybe we can do that. Like, I don't know. This is really ambitious. And so the I got the cookies and I was like, all right. And the cookies for me, candidly, didn't come in the same packaging that you have. So it was like early days. I mean, this was and also not that long ago, which I think is an important narrative to this story that like we can kind of circle back to. But this was in February.

Lee: [00:06:46] Mm hmm.

Matthew: [00:06:46] OK, so I got this box of cookies and it was like, oh, these are big, bigger than I was expecting.

Lee: [00:06:53] They're really big. It's like, "Share with people," and I'm like what if I don't have anyone to share with? I'm just gonna to get fat. How does this work?

Matthew: [00:07:00] One hundred percent and also like it's in COVID, and I'm like, OK, well my wife is gluten free so she's not going to be eating any.

Lee: [00:07:06] My husband is be gluten free!

Matthew: [00:07:09] And so I'm like, oh, I'm screwed.

Lee: [00:07:10] Yes!

Matthew: [00:07:11] So we ended up having her some of her siblings over who we were kind of quarantining with, and I wanted to see... I always like to see how other people interact with products because I'm a horrible judge of things. I kind of describe it like really good wine people, which I am not, you know, and they start talking about great wine and all this stuff. And you're like, I don't know, it tastes good or it doesn't taste good.

Lee: [00:07:32] Right. What's the difference? Whatever.

Matthew: [00:07:33] I feel like with brands, and I was in fashion for a while, and I just know a little bit too much, and I care about really weird things that honestly don't matter to normal consumers that are really important to me for some reason. And I wanted to see how just people interacted. And so what we did was, and these are the things that kind of really sold me on this is the cookies came, and everyone was like, "Oh, my God, they look amazing." Then they said, "Oh, we have to share them." And I was like, oh, that's interesting. That's not normal. Like, people don't normally think like I want to share, which now adds, like, experiential. Then they tried them like, "Oh my God, this is..." like audibly, "Oh my God, this is the best cookie I've ever had." And I was like, wow. This is like crazy, you know? And then it just I kept going. And so [00:08:18] I shared the cookies with other people as I was kind of exploring the opportunity and continued to talk to Derek. And the response was exactly the same from everyone, which was, "Oh my God, this maybe is like the best cookie I've ever had. What is this brand like? This sounds really cool. You should, like, maybe think about getting involved." [00:08:33]

Lee: [00:08:33] And now did they have the names of the cookies already? Or was it just...

Matthew: [00:08:37] Yes.

Lee: [00:08:38] They did.

Matthew: [00:08:38] They had the names of the cookies but they didn't have the same cookie bag yet. Those were on order and the boxes were on order, but they hadn't arrived yet.

Lee: [00:08:47] The names themselves are amazing though. I mean, like...

Matthew: [00:08:50] Oh my God.

Lee: [00:08:51] I have like "50 cent," "When Life Gives You Lemons," "The Floor is Lava..."

Matthew: [00:08:56] Like, "Not Today, Mr Muffin Man."

Lee: [00:08:58] "Not today." Yeah, exactly. "Netflix and Crunch," "Macadamnia," because you wanted an excuse to use the word "Damn." It literally says that on here. It says, "Because white chocolate, salted caramel, macadamia is a mouthful, and we wanted an excuse to say, "damn.'" I mean...

Matthew: [00:09:15] It's so good.

Lee: [00:09:17] I'm so amused.

Matthew: [00:09:17] That's kind of the next phase that I got was like, "Oh hey, actually we've developed the whole brand. We just haven't released it." And actually know no one really knows this, but we actually have seventy two other unreleased flavors that are already fully done and finished. And so the way I was kind of thinking about it for me getting involved was, wow, this product is ridiculous. This brand... It's like if you look at a brand like a stool, it had two of the three legs, and they were kind of missing like someone with a little bit more experience, someone that could help, like, go to market, kind of like get it kind of over the finish line And I wouldn't say like it was me that was like that linchpin at all. It was more that that's the phase that they were as a team starting to think about. And I think that they were ready to really like dive in headfirst into like going to market. And it was just kind of like perfect timing that that's when we met. And we got to jump into this together, because I can tell you, one hundred percent, if I had met these guys a year ago, this is not the company that I would have created. Because this doesn't resonate necessarily with the way I would have approached developing a brand or building it. And like I think it's been a really interesting experience, like being, I guess, the CEO of this company that I didn't found and it's not my voice. And so it's actually like a really... It's been really interesting to kind of be more of a steward for someone else and helping them bring their ideas to life, then bringing your own idea to life. And it's kind of the thing I try to remind myself constantly. I am part of this company, but it doesn't mean that it has to be my vision in certain aspects. And so I guess I was introduced to Last Crumb very similarly to you. You've got this big box and it's just ridiculous and it blows your mind. And I think that it pays off, in my opinion, at least in our early beta stage, the idea that we truly are building the most luxurious cookie brand in the world.

Lee: [00:11:20] One hundred percent.

Matthew: [00:11:21] And I believe that to my core. And I think that believing it and knowing it will actually help us to be successful. It is not marketing fluff. Like there is no BS here at all.

Lee: [00:11:32] Yeah, the cookies are absolutely amazing. They're really, really good. That definitely is not just marketing fluff. It is through and through. It's a great product, but the box is pretty damn cool.

Matthew: [00:11:45] It's super cool.

Lee: [00:11:45] I mean. You have "Open the damn box" written on it, and then open it up and it says, "Never crumble." I mean it's like who comes up with this? Who is this person?

Matthew: [00:11:54] So they have like a whole team of them. Cole is a really amazingly talented copywriter they worked with. We worked with an agency called Truffle in Beverly Hills that worked on the packaging and the design. And, you know, Derek and Alana, the Founders, had a really strong vision for what they wanted in terms of the product and how it was going to be paid off, and I think that one of the things that I love about working with them is that they have an intense attention to detail. And I think that that's a really important thing that someone has. And I'm actually like really glad that my job isn't to necessarily have that, like, perfect attention to detail. It's more to keep the boat moving and to, like, keep it moving faster and bigger and do all that. And then they can kind of call the, "No, we need to like..." "This needs to be perfect. It's not one hundred percent," because it creates a really good, I think that's the great friction of any good company, is when people can... You can't think about everything, right?

Lee: [00:12:53] Right. One hundred percent. yeah.

Matthew: [00:12:54] And that's when it gets hard.

Lee: [00:12:57] And how did the you know, this drop model is kind of becoming a thing now, right? It started it was inspired by luxury streetwear, but now it's kind of being a thing among a bunch of other brands and industries. Why the drop model? Why did you guys decide to start with that?

Lee: [00:13:13] So that, I think, came about really organically. So originally when they hired me, we met in Miami, which was wild and it was super fun because we'd actually never met. So they hired me. We were in COVID, and none of us had ever met each other. And so this was the first time we'd ever gotten together. And the original idea for the brand was to be subscription.

Lee: [00:13:33] Oh.

Matthew: [00:13:33] Which is cool. And I think there's something interesting about that. And we have some really cool ideas around some cool membership stuff that I think will be cool down the road. But the way it kind of we decided to approach it was that the most important thing for the company was the customer experience. Everything that you just are experiencing today. The box, the unboxing, it arriving, the product tasting phenomenal. And then the second most important thing, because I liken what we're building as similar to be like luxury fashion, is that the brand is the next most important thing and maintaining the brand integrity. Not just like going everywhere. Keeping it really tight. And then I think the third most important thing is sales. And so I believe that we looked actually... So this is going to sound horribly naive, but I actually didn't really realize that drops were like a thing in food for the most part, aside from like you living in your city and like on Uber eats, they do like a burger drop, which I think like everyone does in every city now. And so I think one of the reasons that the drop release mentality kind of works really well for Last Crumb is that we came to that business model in a really organic way that had nothing to do with saying we want to capitalize on this like business model. It's kind of like when startups are like we're going to be SaaS because we get great valuations and like that's what investors want, right?

Lee: [00:14:53] Right. Right.

Matthew: [00:14:53] We didn't do that. We basically said we looked at what are our current capabilities is like in the kitchen, what are our current operational capabilities? What do we even know? And then what's the best way for us to build the strongest brand in the fastest way that actually truly has integrity and isn't like full of shit? And the thing that we stumbled into was saying, well, let's do releases. And it kind of makes perfect sense for right where we are today and right now. And [00:15:25] we're not, I would say, static. We're dynamic in that we're thinking of other things. We're thinking about different ways that we can engage with our customers and enhance the experience, making the brand even stronger. [00:15:37] And I think that so I wouldn't say that like we approached it, like by saying we want to build a drop cookie company. We approached by saying it is the perfect model for the early days of what Last Crumb is.

Speaker4: [00:15:48] Yeah.

Matthew: [00:15:49] And it will evolve and change and grow over time. And it also stemmed from like, you know, I laughed. I was like, "Does anyone know how much these cookies are going to cost?" And we all looked around and it was like, "No." And then the second big thing was, well, does anyone want to buy them?

Lee: [00:16:09] Right. For one hundred and forty dollars. Even if it's a drop, like is there enough urgency to validate the price point?

Matthew: [00:16:17] Totally. And in my experience, if you build it, they generally don't come.

Lee: [00:16:20] Right.

Matthew: [00:16:23] We're really intentional with the way that we like launched the company. And so we officially only launched, I want to say we're on week 15, if you include the couple weeks where we did some seeding, so we've only actually sold cookies for 11 weeks. The first four weeks, we just we gave them away. Not a lot of cookies, but we were really just like stress testing shipping. It's like we don't even know, like, how is this going to go in shipping?

Lee: [00:16:51] Right.

Matthew: [00:16:51] There's a lot. There's more than we don't know. It's so like putting on my CEO hat, I'm like, oh my God, this is going to fail like a thousand ways. This sounds great, but this isn't going to work.

Lee: [00:17:02] {laughter} Right.

Matthew: [00:17:03] And it's not that it won't. It's that all right, let's figure out what are the problems that we want to solve for and then let's figure out and see organically what happens. And I would say that we had good preparation. We had ridiculously high intention with everything that we did and we got lucky. And I don't say that to say that, like, we just showed up in the works and that's all it was because it wasn't. We've been working our asses off. But I will say that sometimes it's like right time, right place. Good preparation is like a thing. And I think that we're coming at the end of COVID, things are starting to open, people are freaking tired. You know, they like want to indulge. And [00:17:44] I think we make a really cool product that makes people really happy because it's just like ridiculous [00:17:51]

Lee: [00:17:51] It is. It is super ridiculous. And you guys do weekly drops and you have to sign up on your waitlist through your website. Like you just get on a list and then you hope that you have time once you announce, "Hey, we're dropping these cookies. Place your order now," and it's like shit, you got to hurry up and place your order. And you were just saying before we got on here that you've been selling out first started with, like selling out in 30 minutes, then you've gotten all the way down to ten seconds. Can you talk about how that happened? Like how did you build up enough hype to sell out a product every week under 30 minutes?

Matthew: [00:18:30] Yeah. So let's see... So we I think those four weeks of seeding were really helpful because...

Lee: [00:18:39] You mean like with influencers or what do you mean by seeding?

Matthew: [00:18:41] Yeah, kind of like seeding with influencers. Like we sent them to like food influencers, people we knew that had like a little bit of a following, just like people.

Lee: [00:18:50] Yeah.

Matthew: [00:18:50] And the main thing that we were testing there, and I think this is really important because I think it does play into why we knew we would be successful when we launched was that when people got this box, it's like a flywheel of organic social content that I've never seen in my entire career. And I tell everyone on our team that has never worked at a startup before like, stop, take a deep breath, look around. Honestly, this is never going to happen to us or you and your career ever again. And if it does, like, buy lotto tickets because it's so hard to build organic engagement. And I think that what we found was that people were taking pictures of the box when it arrived. Then they were taking a video of the box opening it, and they were taking videos and pictures of each individual flavor and doing tastings. But the thing that was interesting about it was, is that it led to email sign ups, it led to social media sign ups, and then it led to more people wanting to get into that same thing and then getting doing the exact same thing when they got everything. And so one of the things that we were very intentional about was that as people were posting these videos early on, like these influencers, we were reposting them in a way to show everyone like this is how Last Crumb exists in the universe. Like it's cool to talk about Last Crumb this way. We were also, like, pretty sassy. You know, there's like one moment that I remember very distinctly that was like very I would not say transformational, but like, you know, you don't want to, like, piss your customers off and and in the first couple of weeks, we got a lot of hate mail and people were pissed, you know, because we basically released like a small batch of cookies, not having any idea what the demand would be, week one.

Lee: [00:20:32] Yeah.

Matthew: [00:20:32] And we sold out in a little over 30 minutes or 30 minutes. And we sold out truly. So we fucked up importing the email list. And we had to because of like spam requirements, exclude all of our friends, family and people who signed up. So we truly sent our first email out to sell cold to a group of people who'd never heard of Last Crumb, but just got to our landing page and had never been told what we sell, what's in the box or how much it costs.

Lee: [00:20:59] So they got mad about the cost?

Matthew: [00:21:00] No, well, they got mad because then they didn't get the cookies. So, like, it was funny because it's sold out. And like for me, it was a big, like validator in that we like, holy cow, people want this and people we don't know want this. And then I think the big transformational event that I was talking about was that as weeks went on and we had more people that were frustrated that they couldn't get a box of cookies, they like would make some like comment in our comments and then our social media guy, Petey, he commented like, "Looks like somebody needs a cookie."

Lee: [00:21:32] Right. {laughter}  

Matthew: [00:21:33] And I was like, oh, my God. You can't do that. Like, this goes against customer service. Like, this is such a horrible thing. And then the pile on of people loving it and basically saying like, "No, we get it. This is what Last Crumb is. This is your voice."

Lee: [00:21:46] Right.

Matthew: [00:21:46] We are part, like we're cookie monsters with you basically.

Lee: [00:21:49] You turned Cookie Monster into a cookie snob. That's what your posts say. Literally. I love that post.

Matthew: [00:21:56] One hundred percent

Lee: [00:21:57] Hilarious. I mean, it is contagious on social media. I have to say I have literally... I never post on my Instagram. I haven't posted probably in over a year. I get your box of cookies and I'm doing a video and I'm like, what? Who am I? What am I doing? No one will even watch this. No one cares and follows me, but I still wanted to do it.

Matthew: [00:22:17] And they care. And that's [00:22:18] I think the thing that's game changing about Last Crumb is that you will drive a significant amount of engagement to us if you're Matt on the street, some random guy, who got a box of cookies or if you're a celebrity influencer. [00:22:32] And what we're finding is that it's not about... So one of the things that people were frustrated about in the beginning was beyond just getting access to a box because they truly didn't believe [00:22:43]... There was a little conspiracy theory going on on Instagram for a while that here's no actual cookies for sale. And these people are just making this up. And it's a total marketing scheme which would have been entertaining and kind of fun. But that wasn't the case. We were increasing production like fifty percent week over week t [00:22:58]rying to like... We didn't know how many people would really buy them. And we are so early as a company. Yeah. It was just like kind of the craziest... I don't know. It was the craziest thing I've ever been a part of and still is I guess.

Lee: [00:23:11] You broke Shopify. You've literally broken Shopify.

Matthew: [00:23:14] I mean, that was like... It was funny because that came up on a call and they're like, "Can we break Shopify if we sell out too fast?" I was like, "If we break Shopify, the US economy is going to fail because there are too many, like other stores on Shopify and they're too reliable. I don't think we have that kind of power." That would be really great though.

Lee: [00:23:31] But Apple Pay customers have been beating out the others, right?

Matthew: [00:23:36] That is true.

Lee: [00:23:36] There was a conversation out there about Apple Pay being the fastest way to make sure they get their cookies on time.

Matthew: [00:23:43] One hundred percent. So one of the things that we found that we learned about in the comments was that we... So we are selling out in for like a bunch of weeks in less than ten seconds. And what we found was that the only people who were getting cookies had Apple Pay because the add to cart double click face things scan process was faster than any of the other payment options. And people were leaving comments like, "No, you've got to sign up for Apple Pay. This is how you get them." It was like a whole thing.

Lee: [00:24:12] Yeah. Like sharing the tricks.

Matthew: [00:24:12] Yeah. Which is like really fun.

Lee: [00:24:13] How to hack Last Crumb.

Matthew: [00:24:15] How to hack Last Crumb is use Apple Pay.

Lee: [00:24:18] Right. {laughter} There's going to be like Reddit forums and like all these articles about how to get those cookies. I mean it's incredible the hype that you guys have created. I mean honestly, it's really impressive. And you've only even sold cookies for like 11 weeks. That's insane.

Matthew: [00:24:37] Yeah.

Lee: [00:24:37] Where do you take it from here?

Matthew: [00:24:39] I think that it goes back to kind of the same way that we came to doing drops is how do we have a ridiculous customer experience? How do we maintain our brand integrity? And then what are some really interesting cool sales or business model tactics that we can use that pay those first two off? So we've talked about some interesting membership stuff. We've talked about... I mean, we talked about like doing a store, not in the US actually. Thinking of it like a luxury fashion brand. We've talked about all kinds of like... We talked about doing an Omakase cookie restaurant where we try to get a Michelin Star, you know, that's a crazy idea. That's the kind of, I think, big thinking that we're thinking about. And I think that for right now, you know, [00:25:30] we are growing ridiculously fast. And our goal is to get cookies into people's hands, but to do it in like an ultra premium way.  [00:25:40]You know, you're not going to find us sold in 7-Eleven tomorrow or anything like that. We really feel that that brand integrity is the most important. And so I wouldn't say that... We have some interesting stuff that we're going to try with some drops and like different models around that. But for the next six months, 12 months is probably going to be a little business as usual and focusing on our site and just keeping it really tight and like doing some interesting stuff. And I think we'll play around with maybe some new flavors and maybe a new collection. But I think that  [00:26:15]we look at ourselves as kind of like the intersection of luxury gifting, fashion, and then CPG. [00:26:21] And I think that that's why this resonates so well, is because the people who get it, they're like, not only get it, they're all in.

Lee: [00:26:28] Right.

Matthew: [00:26:28] And I think there's something...

Lee: [00:26:30] Must be my fashion background or something.

Matthew: [00:26:32] {laughter} Same. And I think that's what really drew me to it is it's like, whoa, this is like you can have a collection of cookies that changes seasonally? That's a wild thought that I think is really neat. And so and I also think that because we're positioning ourselves as the most luxurious cookie brand, it gives us a lot of latitude to do some really weird things. Like if Rolex is listening, we'd be interested in collaborating with you. That would be a really cool... I would love to sell like a fifty thousand dollar Rolex that comes with like one cookie. That would be cool.

Lee: [00:27:03] Right. Right.

Matthew: [00:27:03] Let's do it. And I think that that's like some of the stuff that we are... We have some really interesting ideas for the future. But right now it's just like keeping our brand integrity high and staying focused and disciplined, which, as you know, that's, I think, what separates a good company, a company that exists beyond 12 months, and everybody else. It's just staying disciplined and saying "no" is, I think, a lot of my role right now. Because we have been approached by a lot of people to do collaborations and like interesting things. And that would be so distracting for us right now because there's people begging us to get our cookies just as they are. And I think that...

Lee: [00:27:46] Sell it online... Once a week...

Matthew: [00:27:48] Yeah. And so I think, like we're thinking a lot about like the customer experience and like, how do we continue to make that high? And I don't foresee a time where, you know, you're going to be able to log on to the site and just get cookies at any time you want.

Lee: [00:28:03] Really? You don't think you'll ever do that? Or not ever, but just not anytime soon?

Matthew: [00:28:06] I think we will, maybe. Not any time soon. And I think that that's great.

Lee: [00:28:11] Yeah.

Matthew: [00:28:12] It is what it is. And I think there's something that's kind of fun about, like the experience of like just even getting Last Crumb. Like, I have good friends who honestly, I hope aren't listening to this because they would call me and say, like, hey, is there any possible way I could get a box? And I would figure out a way to get them a box. And they don't. They wait in line. They like are in because the experience and that's the fun part of this whole thing is that you kind of accomplish something by getting it and you are excited when it arrives and you're delighted and you eat it and then it's gone. And I think that's the other thing. So you only showed those two cookies, but the box comes to twelve and all twelve are different flavors.

Lee: [00:28:53] Yes.

Matthew: [00:28:53] And the thing that's great and interesting about it is that, like, they're really nostalgic. They take you back. The thing that was really interesting for me is Donkey Kong is our banana cream pie flavor. And growing up, a good friend of mine, his mom would make me a pie every year for my birthday. Her birthday was the day before and it was a banana cream pie. And it was like my favorite thing ever. And it's just like a really special thing for me every year that she's done. And eating that cookie, it like totally took me back. I had the cake last September or my birthday. Like, it just made me think of that. And I think that that's like a really special thing where food, I think, does have an emotional connection with people. And you remember great restaurants and you remember these like really fun dining experiences. And I think that [00:29:43] because people are sharing our cookies, because they have this interesting unboxing and wow factor, I think that it in a way it almost creates an experience dining thing that happens with you and the people you're with that you remember and you kind of want again. And the thing that's fun about shared dining experiences is that you want to share them with other people. [00:30:06] It's not like you want to go eat at Eleven Madison Park and then not tell anyone and then never go again. You know, you want to like, go again. And you want to bring someone new because you want to experience their first time there, and I think that's a really like powerful emotional connection that I think we tap into a little bit.

Lee: [00:30:28] Yeah, absolutely. I mean, when you name a cookie Better Than Sex, it's definitely a conversation starter.

Matthew: [00:30:38] {laughter} One hundred percent. Yeah, that's very true.

Lee: [00:30:40] In my video, I'm like Better Than Sex? We'll see about that. It's kind of like damned if you do. Damned if you don't. If I'm like, yeah, it is, then it's like, oh well she hasn't had very good sex. And then I'm like, no, it's not. And it's like, oh, maybe it's not a great cookie. Right? So you can't answer that question. You're wrong either way.

Matthew: [00:30:59] {laughter} Totally.

Lee: [00:31:00] So the entire marketing of this company is basically happened on social media, right? It sounds like that is how you have gotten to X number in sales, which we won't disclose, but you guys are killing it right now. And just 11 weeks. And it's all from Instagram?

Matthew: [00:31:19] Yeah, so I think that one of the things that we did early on that was really important was that we realized email addresses were going to be the most important thing. And I think that in the past, I've sprayed and prayed when I've worked at other companies on marketing. It's like "You kind of you need to be everywhere. We need to have a Twitter. We need to be on Facebook." And in this case, like we were really intentional about saying we think our people are going to be on Instagram because the brand is really visual and they can talk about it and they can post about it. And it can look premium still. And I know that because Tik Tok is very different and we're learning a lot about Tik Tok right now, but it's not the same level of premium as in photography and quality that Instagram is. And so what we did was we basically said that our whole funnel is going to be talking to people on Instagram to show them the Last Crumb experience and make them really interested in it, and then ideally push them to our site where there's no information and get them to sign up for the wait list. And I think that it was a really... It worked really well for us because it was really focused. I think if we would have had a normal DTC style site that had tons of information and facts and information on every cookie. It wouldn't have been as valid. It wouldn't have been as effective because people would have gotten all the information up front. And I think that Last Crumb is a little mysterious. And there, you know, we're not like showing everything. And I think that we still don't and we don't plan on it. And I think what's next is like something that's like really ingrained into the brand DNA. And I think authentic is the right word to use for this company. And I know that it's like such a bullshit buzz word that everyone says, like "We're going to be authentic." But I think that the way those values that we talked about, like, you know, the experience, the brand, and then the sales, I think we do approach things in a very authentic way. And it actually I believe that it's led to the social engagement and explosion that we've had. And it's been pretty cool. I mean, and the thing that was, I think, most interesting to us is that we also had a lot of really influential people post about the cookies, that was unexpected and like, whoa, that's kind of cool. You know, someone got them a box or something. We've never paid anyone to post about the cookies. We've never done any paid media. And I view, everything that we've been doing and this was our plan was this is all part of this giant experiment of we didn't know a lot and we needed to find ways to learn quickly. And so [00:33:53] we had a lot of hypotheses and we tested them. And some of them have worked really well and some of them haven't worked as well. And we're learning and we're continuing to iterate. And I think that because we're... I hate to say it again, but like because we're being really intentional about it, I think it actually makes it exponentially more effective. [00:34:12]

Lee: [00:34:13] Mm hmm. What are some of the things that you guys tested that didn't work?

Matthew: [00:34:17] Tik Tok has been really hard, and I wouldn't say that it's working. That's the other thing is that things just are working really well. And I think that we're in a very fortunate position that that's happening. I think that when we compare them to the channels that work amazing, they're like, oh, it's not as good as Instagram, but it's still better than I've ever seen on Tik Tok. And so I think that it's relative for us. I would still take any data point on email, open rate and conversion and all this stuff by itself and be like we won. But I think that it's more that it's finding the right authentic voice. So like with Tik Tok... On Instagram, there's a scene, there's a foodie scene, there's a photography scene. People are interested in showing, like their food experiences On Tik Tok, it's different. It's a little bit more kitschy, I would say. It's like funny videos with, like, auto correct. And like, yeah, they don't necessarily feel as on brand. And I think we've done a good job of still making it feel very Last Crumb, which took us a little while to figure out. But I would say that that hasn't been the like... It wasn't like an instant, oh, my God, people get it, and we knew that because we sent some boxes to people who had some followings on the Tik Tok, and they posted on Instagram. And I was like, oh, that's funny, because there's no guarantee that anyone will ever post if they get your product. But it was really interesting to see that they wanted to post. They just didn't feel like it was appropriate to post on Tik Tok. And so I think that that's been kind of like interesting for us just to see. And I wouldn't say it's been a failure, but I think it's good that we're not, like jumping up and down and we're kind of trying to continue to push and say, "Well, how can we do this a little bit better? You know, how do we make it authentically for the Tik Tok audience? You know, how do we make it Gen Z?" Because it's not like our customers are only millennials. We have customers of all ages all over the country, all demographics, everything, male, female. It doesn't matter, grandmas, kids. And so I think that it's not like we have a very defined audience, you know, single white men that live in New York and are lawyers or something like that. {laughter}

Lee: [00:36:37] Right. Right. So you have an impressive background. I'd love for the audience to kind of hear more about you. Typically, the show is a lot more like starts out personal, like I was saying, your career journey. So I love to highlight some of the parts of that because you do have a very extensive kind of entrepreneurial background. So do you want to start with the first company that you started?

Matthew: [00:36:58] Yeah, that's kind of you to say. I usually try to see if I can push this to the end without ever talking about myself.

Lee: [00:37:05] I could tell. I know we're running out of time, so I'm trying to get it in there.

Matthew: [00:37:08] So I started a surf company when I was eighteen. I was at Whittier College for undergrad. I wasn't super into college or really school, but I was into the business classes and it was fun. And we made surfboards and we made clothes. We had a lot of success. We had a lot of failure. And I would kind of describe it as like I did it for about ten years, which is, I think, very uncommon for startups. And it was also in kind of the golden age of startups and like Facebook and like there was so much happening in the world. And I really just like slogged it out. And so, yeah, we did. We sold all over the country in like Pac Sun, Urban Outfitters. We did a tank top that said Sun's Out, Guns Out that was like a bunch of movies and stuff, which is kind of corny but fun. We did like worldwide licensing with Uniqlo and we did like huge collaborations with like the Japanese department store Beams, which was really fun. And so, like, we were kind of all over the place in terms of like premium surf down to the bottom. And then while we were doing that, I started another clothing company called Grover, which was like a premium men's line that was basically seventy five dollar white T-shirts. We sold them in like fifty stores around the world. They were amazing. And it kind of stemmed from me just wanting a good white t shirt, good black shirt. I ended up selling. I ended up closing Grover. We basically in the last year hit like the worst time ever. And this is I think where I learned the most is we had to fire everyone. We ran out of money. We basically like we're like totally tail spinning, thinking and trying to raise, trying to sell, trying to figure out what we wanted to do. We were doing some licensing and that was a lot to like kind of go through that and then ended up selling the brand to a company called Huckberry, which is a men's online retailer. And so it still lives on, which is amazing. They make great clothes. I'm actually wearing a jacket, a Wellin jacket they made, right now. And yeah, so that was pretty cool. So that's basically like ten years of my life until I was like twenty eight, and I'm thirty five now almost. And then I was tired and I decided that I wanted to like do some consulting and work with other Founders. And so I took a little like three month stints and worked like a chain of gyms. I worked with some other clothing brands. It was really fun. And I got to learn a lot under the hood from other Founders, which was like pretty neat to see how they were doing things differently.

Lee: [00:39:38] Yeah.

Matthew: [00:39:40] And then, yeah, I don't know, I ended up starting a skincare company, which is wild, with Science, the incubator in Santa Monica. It didn't really go anywhere, but it's pretty interesting to kind of like go into my first foray into venture. It's like I had never raised any venture capital in any startup I had ever done.

Lee: [00:39:58] Interesting.

Matthew: [00:39:59] And so that was like, I think, a pretty eye opening experience in terms of like, whoa, this is like a whole different ball game in growth, in speed, and in everything.

Lee: [00:40:09] Yes.

Matthew: [00:40:10] And then when that closed, I ended up getting hired by one of our angel investors. He'd invested in a diabetes company in San Diego called Companion Medical, and they brought me on to lead marketing, which was one of the harder things I've ever done and really one of the most rewarding, because it was really the first time I'd ever seen, like, in my opinion, pure product market fit. They are also a big company with like one hundred and fifty employees. I sat on the senior leadership team and was running a department of marketing. I've never worked in a medical device company, never worked...

Lee: [00:40:43] How did you even get that job there?

Matthew: [00:40:47] They are probably... If they ever listened to this, they'd probably say, like, I have no fucking idea. But I actually I think it made a lot of sense because and I think it was really smart, I guess, like, I liked it. So, of course, I think it was smart, but I think it made a lot of sense because one of the things that we did there that was really unique was we were I think they were really pioneering in terms of we were trying to convert people on prescriptions for this device without having to go to their endocrinologist or prior to, like, getting them kind of like all the way up before. And we built this like crazy interesting lead engine using our online site. And they were also like building a brand. And so, like, I helped advise them on, like kind of rebranding a little bit, updating their site, building out their whole PPC, working on sales materials in the field, which is like very similar to what I was doing at the surf company, obviously, like on a whole different scale with way more at stake. And it ended up like going exceptionally well in terms of like the growth. I didn't want to... I did it as like a consulting gig. I didn't really want to move to San Diego. I think it was like a perfect time to leave. And they ended up bringing in someone exponentially more qualified than me to kind of take them into full on this is where we're going. But then they ended up selling to Medtronic a couple of months after I left for like a pretty ridiculous amount of money. And it was like a really fun experience to just totally dive into something completely different. But understand that it's all kind of the same. And that entrepreneurial instinct of moving fast and breaking things was definitely there was friction because like, it's hard even at a startup with one hundred and fifty employees is like it's not a startup with three. And so it was a really fun time where we were like working really hard, but it was neat to see that product market fit. That was like the first time I ever felt it until coming here at Last Crumb where I was like, "Oh. That's what this feels like."

Lee: [00:42:48] Yeah.

Matthew: [00:42:49]  [00:42:48]If you don't think you have it, you don't have it. And I think that's like a really interesting thing is that, like if you make something really great and it resonates with people and they want it, you know. You don't have to beg them. [00:43:00]

Lee: [00:43:01] Well, so this is the thing, though. I like that you said that. But you also have a business model where you sell out. And so it's easier to measure. Right? Because if you just had like a ton of inventory and things on your website and people were buying it here and there, one of the questions I ask is like, how do they measure success? Like in the early stage? What did product market fit mean? How did they measure that? And I think it's a little different, though, right? If you have drops and limited quantities and you're selling out in minutes, that's very clear. But if you have a website full of some stuff and you're like, you know, just trying to do a DTC brand, it's a little, I think, harder to navigate.

Matthew: [00:43:41] Yeah, I agree with you, but I also disagree, so I think that I guess I view product market fit a little bit differently for Last Crumb. Because it's more about, I guess, consumer product fit in that people are so excited about it, you know that they're enjoying it. You know that they're excited about coming back. You know that they didn't regret their purchase. You know that they're telling people about it. And so I think about it a little bit from that standpoint, because we are so early. We are growing substantially. So we're not doing a joke of a business every month, even in our third month now. And so I know a lot of other Founders that do DTC, and it takes them eighteen, twenty four months to hit the milestone that we've been able to hit 11 weeks.

Lee: [00:44:29] Yes. Yeah.

Matthew: [00:44:29] And so I think that I do know that we're hitting a commercialization scale that does show that people do want this. And I think when I see that how people interact with it, I know that it resonates and it works. But I also, I think in the back pocket also know that we're selling the luxury item. We're not selling like a ten dollar toothbrush or something. And not that we compared to, like, ourselves at all of any like toothbrushes. But like the point being that the DTC game is a lot about customer acquisition. And I feel very confident if we wanted to play in that arena, I feel very confident that we could win.

Lee: [00:45:07] Right.

Matthew: [00:45:08] And I think we could do it in a very interesting, different, efficient, capital efficient, way that also like got those same results. So like everything that we're talking about doing, we've done with nothing in terms of like any media, any pay per click, any search lead gen. And so I think that when I think about like our email list is larger than the email list we had at Wellin. And it took us like years, and not ten years, but because we kind of stopped going after them. But like, it took us forever to get that email list. And this is all in 11 weeks because we had no emails prior. And so I think that, like, that's where I feel like we do... I feel comfortable saying that we have product market fit.

Lee: [00:45:51] Yeah, I think you guys definitely obviously do. I'm thinking from the perspective of like other brands that have you know, they're going the standard route. How do they kind of navigate that?

Matthew: [00:46:02] I guess I would push back on saying, like maybe the standard route sucks.

Lee: [00:46:07] {laughter} That's awesome. I know.

Matthew: [00:46:09] Because it's like maybe... And I think that goes back to not leading with business model. If you lead with what makes the most sense, like what are your people, your customers, this tribe that you're building, this community, what do they actually want? And what's the model that works for them? Because I talk to Founders a lot because I didn't have a lot of people that talked to me when I first started, and I think that's like a really important thing. And I find so often that everyone's trying to fit a square peg in a round hole in that they're trying to say, we're trying to build a SaaS. It's like "I'm trying to build a SaaS business that has really good LTV and a low CAC." And I'm like, yeah, you and fucking every other human on earth who's trying to launch a business." Like if you can do what you're explaining, every investor on earth will invest in your company. You're going to have a no hard time doing anything. Your hypothesis though, you're basing it all on this like weird thing instead of saying, what are you actually trying to solve? What's the problem? What are your customers want? And then like what makes sense for that? And I think that with a lot of these companies, they're pushed into this like... I don't think VC rabbit hole is the right word because I don't think...

Lee: [00:47:19] But kinda.

Matthew: [00:47:21] Well, I don't know if that's exactly it. But like, I think it's more just like that's what everyone else is doing.

Lee: [00:47:26] VC rat wheel maybe? Maybe it's like a rat wheel.

Matthew: [00:47:28] It's not necessarily VCs because like, I know companies that don't raise money who still do the same stuff. So, like, it's not necessarily that. But I think it's just this is what the mass is doing So it must be right. And someone must know something I don't know. So like, I'm going to do it like that. And I think that I would say that you can pull apart like our commercial success from a financial standpoint, like I said, is much stronger than most of the companies I've ever been a part of, and most of the companies I know, in this short time. Now, you can say like, "Oh, well, it's because of drops," or like if the site was open, and I would say, like, well, maybe it's just we figured out the model that works best for us. And if if you find that same model for whatever you're building, it might work too. And it's not to say I don't think every business should be drop's at all. And I think that we will, like I said, try other things. But I do think it's making me rethink some of the stuff that I thought about, like how to build a company or, you know, this is the way that you need to generate revenue. And [00:48:32] I think that what I'm finding is that it's happening faster than I would have expected. But we're going about it in a way that is different than I've ever done it. And it's really interesting to see that. [00:48:43]

Lee: [00:48:44] Yeah. And what about fundraising? You guys raised like a million bucks or so. How are you thinking about raising in general, like, how is that going? And is this a venture bankable business?

Matthew: [00:48:55] Yeah, we're just doing like a small, like little angel round, like you said, We didn't take any institutional capital. So everyone that we raised money from is a Founder, former Founder, or very, very, very strategic individual who has very like a ton of experience strategically for us as we grow our kitchen ops or as we go down the road. And I think that that was like really intentional because I don't know that we know the answer to that. My personal belief is that, like, I don't know that we need like we don't need like Andreessen Horowitz to back Last Crumb. Like, it doesn't make any sense. I think that we definitely are hitting some like some serious growth numbers that we definitely needed some money to be able to back up with a larger kitchen, with more staff, with, you know, so we can pay off that customer experience and continue to, like, build a strong brand. But I'm not really sure. I think about it a lot, though, because, you know, I think that this business has much more traditional, like, you know, Ebita dynamics in that, like the strong cash flow potential. And so, you know, I believe in like trying not to dilute as much as possible. And I really like the people that we've brought on. I feel fortunate that I can even call. And I think that that's been really fun. And so I think that it feels it feels less like we raise money in a venture around and much more like we assembled like a really cool ragtag group of entrepreneur warriors and like former entrepreneurs who exited that are just as excited as like you were when you got the box of cookies.

Lee: [00:50:44] Yeah.

Matthew: [00:50:45] And I think that got us really excited, too.

Lee: [00:50:48] That's so Last Crumb of you, I feel like. This ragtag cool kids club that invested, you know?

Matthew: [00:50:55] It kind of is. And I wish I mean, this has been a very different experience, like fundraising for this company. It was very easy isn't the right word, but it was fast. It was everyone was aligned really quickly. We got to kind of pick and choose a little bit. And that's like a very fortunate position to be in for us. But I think we did approach it the way that we approached building the brand, which is like it is this ragtag group of like really amazing people that we want to talk to. Like, I get texts from a lot of our investors and they're cool and they're like super interesting. And I hope that I can be one day as successful as they are, as interesting or do some of the things that they've done. And I think that starting a business is lonely because people don't know what you're going through. And I think that it feels like even going on this podcast, it feels like you get invited to cool podcasts. And you get to like go to the fun parties and like take a picture. And, you know, people are lining up to, like, give you money in your next round and like, you know, like that is not what it's like. And it's it's super lonely. And like, the highs are so high and the lows are really low. And I think that when I look at this group, I feel like they're going to really help us level up faster in terms of like knowing some of those, like, speed bumps that we're going to hit. And I think that was like one of the really big reasons is that I believe we didn't need to raise money for this business. And we did because I think that we see a huge opportunity for us to grow exponentially faster than we would have on that slow path. And I think that the opportunity to build the a worldwide international luxury cookie brand is kind of ridiculous and awesome. And we found people who see that exact same vision and are just as excited as we are about like trying to build that, because, to go back to the beginning, like the Rolex of cookies is a crazy idea. It absolutely makes no sense, but it makes perfect sense. And I think that, like, that's exactly what we're trying to do.

Lee: [00:53:10] The Rolex of cookies. I love it. So you're CEO. Tell us about leadership. How big is your team right now and what are some of the things, advice you would have, I guess, for CEOs out there that are just kind of starting out trying to navigate what being a great CEO is?

Matthew: [00:53:32] Well, the first thing I would say is [00:53:33] find a really good CEO or people who've been CEO that you can call. I feel very fortunate that I have some really good people in my Rolodex who I've met over the years, who've been CEOs of other fast growth startups or bigger companies that I can call and kind of ask questions to. [00:53:51] I think that our team right now is like ridiculously small. I mean, we started so... We're like we're still finalizing this fundraising that basically I think we'll be ready to, like, hire in the next week or two. But we have a social media intern who does, well, I shouldn't say he's an intern. He's an MBA student, and he joined us for the summer, and he's been helping us with social media and customer service. The two Co-Founders, Derek and Alana. Me. And then we have our kitchen team. We have Jess and Michael who bake and execute everything else. And we have a group of people who help us pack and box. But that's it. We work with some freelance agencies and freelancers on some of the little projects that we have that are... I believe, in like a highly specialized freelance team. And just because DTC is so specialized in general, it's hard to work with like a generalist agency at early stages because you have such like very specific questions and needs. And so we've been really fortunate that we have a great group of agencies and freelancers that we work with. But I think we're going to make probably like three to five hires in the next couple of months, probably sooner. The biggest will probably be ops, just like someone with ops and logistics experience that can help us really scale and understand and can help manage the... We have a kitchen manager, but I call it like kitchen ops and logistic ops. And [00:55:19] my goal is that kitchen ops every day wakes up and says, "I wish you guys could have sold and shipped more cookies because we could have made more. "And every day the logistics ops says, "Man, I wish you guys could have baked more cookies because we could have shipped more." And I think that's a really interesting friction that we want to have. [00:55:35] And so I think it's ops, it's some marketing help because like right now we're kind of doing everything, then probably someone to help with, like eCom management, because there's a lot going on and I view kind of our online site as a product in itself that we haven't even scratched the surface on because we've been so focused on scaling and growing that we've yet... We have a lot of crazy ideas for the site that I think will be so fun and interesting and engaging that will come and they'll go and they'll change. But we really need someone to like lead that product, and I think take the helm there. And so, you know, I believe in like a really lean team I think the Founder of Native Deodorant, Moiz Ali, I think it's his name. I think he had a really lean team when they sold. And I think it's like a really great way to build a business is just like keeping it tight, having a couple of really smart people that are like, amazing. And then, you know, you can obviously grow as you need to. But like, I don't think we need to have, like, a 20 person team by any means. And so I guess, you know, that's the long winded answer of what does our team look like. And I think to other CEOs, I would say, like I'm the first to say, I don't know. I don't know a lot. I've never worked at a CPG cookie company before. I have no idea how to bake our cookies. There's a lot more that I don't know than I do. But I think that, you know, that's OK, because I think we have a really great small team of people who do know and are experts in these different areas. And I'm OK with letting them fail and like helping empower them to, like, have a hypothesis, trust it, learn, and then like let us change to make it better and better. And I think that that's the culture. That's like a big culture thing for me that I think is easier said than done, but I think can lead to great results.

Lee: [00:57:42] Mm hmm. What are your superpowers? What are the top three things that you're the expert in?

Matthew: [00:57:48] I'm really good at selling the Kool-Aid,

Lee: [00:57:54] {laughter} Which is a great CEO. That's literally like half the job, I think.

Matthew: [00:58:00] I'm really good at getting people excited about what we're building. Put me in a room with anyone cold. And there's no one on earth that will be able to out explain Last Crumb. And, you know, Derek's going to listen to this and like Derek's great, like pitching the company. And honestly, he's brilliant. Like, we wouldn't be here without his recipes. But I'm really fucking good at getting everyone excited about Last Crumb and, you know, and selling that. I think that's like a big thing for me. I think that I have a lot of empathy. And I was looking at like, you know, I was thinking about, like the childhood thing or like the schooling thing, and one of the questions that I was thinking about, if you asked, was like first job. And I worked at summer camp. And I think it's relevant for this is that like I worked with kids with autism and I worked with kids in the summer camp for 11 years, I think it was. And I think you have to like build a lot of empathy working with groups of kids and just people in general. And so I think that I find that when I focus on it, I am very empathetic and seeing like what's going on with everyone else interpersonally and like what their needs are, where there may be missing something or not saying something. And I think that that's really important because startups are just as stressful for the early employees as they are for the Founders. It's just as lonely. You know, you're being asked to do monumental tasks that are impossible for too little money, for too little equity in too little time. And you're expected to, like, somehow have outsized results for the investors and the team. And I think that that's really helpful. And then I think the last is that I really love finance and the like modeling side of this stuff. So like, I love looking at PNLs and I love like going really deep into like org charts and like thinking about like probably too much. You know, and it's actually something I work on a lot. But then at the same time, I really like the creative side and thinking about like how to create something and like what's the emotional connection? And like, oh, this brand element doesn't feel right. And like this is how we could make it better. And I think that's a really that I guess left brain, right brain kind of idea of being able to talk to creatives and understand and turn that part on, but then go back to talk to investors and talk about the financial side and say, oh, actually, this is what our cost looks like. This is where we're going. This is how we're going to get this margin and like be able to kind of switch back and forth and then understand that sometimes we're making decisions for one of those two. And that's OK. And I think that that's a really important thing.

Lee: [01:00:45] Absolutely. Well, before we wrap up, do you have any other final advice for aspiring entrepreneurs or Founders tuning in or business operators out there that maybe there are some people out there that are thinking they want to be a CEO one day of a really cool luxury cookie company, you know? What advice do you have for the listeners?

Matthew: [01:01:05] I would say just take the first step. I always think about just like you're building a house, sometimes you just need to lay the first brick. And I think so often I find myself and I see this a lot in a lot of people that I meet with is that everyone wants to get to the end. And I think that even in approaching Last Crumb, I didn't go into it saying, like, I have to be the CEO. I started with a with a consulting gig for the first couple of months and a transition very quickly into the role here. And I think that had I maybe gone in and said I need to be full time CEO and this is what it needs to look like, and here's my deal. I think it would have gone very differently. And I look back and think about a lot of really probably great opportunities that I could have had that I didn't, I think, see at the time because I was hung up on like a detail or I was hung up on I think the end. And the reality was like that was just part of the journey. And I think that, you know, it's OK to know that you want to, I guess, be the CEO, which is relative. There's no one who works here. It's like it's not like a like a fancy title, really. But I think that it's more about just knowing that you're laying bricks and it's OK. And it's OK to be clear that your goal one day is to get there. And I think if people know that that's where you're trying to go, opportunities will start to come up because those are the types of things people will think of you for. And I think that it's also the buck stops with you, so it's good, but like, it also has its pitfalls. Before we got on this call, I'm dealing with we're renting a new space and we're trying to do all the stuff and we need to figure it out and they have to call me. And so I think that I would just say, like, [01:02:56] take the first step. Don't worry about finishing the race. Otherwise, you're never even going to get a chance in the race. [01:03:04]

Lee: [01:03:05] It's tough when you're really impatient. I mean, I'm one of those people.

Matthew: [01:03:07] I am too. I want everything yesterday, and I think that is usually good. I mean, the easiest way is just start your own company and then you get to name yourself CEO. And it's like that's what I did when I was 18. And so it's like, yeah, it's super fun not making money for seven years, you know, but I think that you kind of have to figure out what you want. But I would just say focus more on what you're learning and like what skills you're building in that all those bricks and less about like the title and what you're trying... It'll maybe work itself out.

Lee: [01:03:43] It'll all pan out and all be OK.

Matthew: [01:03:47] I hope.

Lee: [01:03:48] Hopefully. Yeah. Well, Matt, thank you so much for being on the show today. I really enjoyed our conversation and the cookies and thank you so much for sharing.

Matthew: [01:03:57] Yeah, this was awesome. Thanks for letting me ramble on a bit.

Lee: [01:04:00] Of course. No, it was amazing. Thank you.

Matthew: [01:04:02] Thanks.

Lee: [01:04:05] Thank you so much for listening to the Stairway to CEO podcast. Once again, I'm your host, Lee Green. And if you have any burning business questions, please feel free to reach us at StairwaytoCEO.com. We'd love to hear from you. And if you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe to the show, tell your friends, leave us a review, and follow us on Instagram @StairwaytoCEO. Until next time, guys, keep on climbing.

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