The Courageous Podcast with Ryan Berman

The Courageous Podcast Episode #21: Eric Ryan (co-founder of Method Soap)

Episode Summary

"I sex up boring things that are part of everyday life. And I try to do it in a way that gives it scale fast.” How is it that a guy that wasn’t passionate about cleaning his own dishes found his way into becoming the co-founder of Method soap; a brand that today does 150 million annually at Target? Eric Ryan is a serial entrepreneur and a masterful business builder who has co-founded Method Soap, Olly and, most recently, Welly. Eric has made a career in finding opportunities to unlock in commodity arenas and he shares his secret for doing so. Eric also discusses his artist/operator model, his passionate take on the power of design and how his start in advertising as a strategist set him up on a path to best understand the nuance and needs of the consumer. If you are a creative business leader who would be bored if you weren’t learning and growing, and if you wanted to hear a few life-after-Covid “we’ll never go back” moments for Eric's companies, enjoy this new episode of The Courageous Podcast.

Episode Notes


1:32 - Quarantine Back In March Felt Like a Holiday; Not so much now

2:35 - Does he take pride in his advertising roots? Or does he run from that identity?

4:15 - Eric explains being in his 20's when he started Method

5:15 - Eric shares his two hiring rules back at Method

7:18 - Eric discusses the 3 separate cultures he's currently part of

8:40 - Finding those little ways to keep the team feeling unified

9:40 - Eric explains the "All Welly Wednesday" Zoom call

11:26 - We get Eric's response to a few Business Haiku's

12:21 - Covid was an accelerator to a new world and a new way of working

14:52 - The reality of imposter syndrome

17:38 - How Eric goes about testing his business ideas

19:09 - Creating little steps of confidence at a time

20:07 - Eric shares how he starts by looking at categories that are ripe for disruption

22:25 - "I sex up boring things that are part of everyday life. And I do it in a way that gives it scale fast. And that’s the Target partnership which really helps with that.”

23:57 - Their first meeting with Target: "It's a Snowball's Chance In Hell."

25:15 - "Any success story has an element of luck to it..."

26:12 - Eric raves about the creative leadership he sees at Target

28:48 - "Products are just the souvenir of the culture."

30:15 - Eric shares his artist and operator model

31:31 - Creating the space for the artist and the operator to work really well together.

32:48 - Does Eric see himself as the Artist? The Operator? Or something else?

35:18 - We get into the creation of Welly

36:23 - The differences between Eric's time on Method, Olly and Welly.

38:53 - The importance of learning and growing

40:38 - Trying to create space during the pandemic to think

42:18 - Eric shares a few life-after-Covid "we'll never go back" moments for his companies.

43:15 - "I believe in the slow hunch."

43:46 - "I need all the legos in the room again"

45:14 - Eric explains how he is a product guy: Culture first, Product second. Sales and marketing will follow.

47:39 - Discussing "Play Culture"

48:40 - Building brands is like putting on a play

50:11 - Method value: What would MacGyver do?

50:50 - Does Eric run his ideas by his kids?

52:32 - Eric has his next two company names ready to go...

53:16 - "If you're not growing you're dying"