John Fio – Creating Magic for Consumers – [Invest Like the Best, EP.311]
My guest today is John Fiorentino. John is a product inventor and entrepreneur who, in the space of a few years, has bootstrapped four products; Gravity Blanket, Moon Pod, Moon Pals, and Birthdate Candles which have collectively sold hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue. Our conversation is quite different than normal. Alongside his successful brands, John has had a range of life experiences – from starting as a Jazz musician to working for Justin Bieber – that give him an original worldview. I was especially interested in his points around product positioning, creating magic for consumers, not letting yourself become the product, and how to build enduring brands. Please enjoy this great conversation with John Fiorentino.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
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Past guests include Tobi Lutke, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, John Collison, Kat Cole, Marc Andreessen, Matthew Ball, Bill Gurley, Anu Hariharan, Ben Thompson, and many more.
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[00:02:25] – [First question] – The amazing story behind Gravity Blanket
[00:08:51] – What he’s learned about positioning relative to product
[00:13:17] – How fundamental truths drive creativity in commerce
[00:16:17] – Real-world examples of magic as he defines it
[00:19:50] – The investability of consumer businesses from his perspective
[00:25:25] – His contrarian thoughts on venture-backed startups
[00:28:00] – How unique personalities create compelling IP and monetize it
[00:38:28] – The fine line between creative power and self-destruction for brand founders
[00:45:13] – The importance of consumer business goals being larger than oneself
[00:48:45] – The story of the Moon Pals weighted stuffed animals
[00:53:15] – How investors undervalue IP and mythology
[00:57:20] – Leveraging uniqueness as a founder to boost your brand power
[01:00:53] – His eye-opening experience working on Justin Bieber’s team
[01:05:20] – How he identifies potential magic-makers and enables them
[01:09:16] – An odd commonality between high-level successful people
[01:12:14] – Whether or not one could map out their own archetype framework
[01:15:23] – The dangers of focusing on one’s own persona and image as the product
[01:18:19] – The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him
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