Neil Grimmer: President of Source Global

Episode 325

Neil Grimmer, President of Source Global, pulls water out of the air we breathe, captures the vapor and transforms it into drinking water. Neil joined Founder, Cody Friesen, who invented the solar-powered device that is behind this company to produce ‘hydropanels’ that today are used in more than 50 countries worldwide. You will love hearing about Source Global and all the cool stuff they are doing. PLUS, Neil’s own journey being a serial entrepreneur, what it is like to join an entrepreneur versus being the CEO and finally, lessons he learned along the way launching and helping to scale incredible companies including Ideo, Harley Davidson, Habit and Plum Organics. So many lessons and much wisdom to take away. On this episode of #TheKaraGoldinShow.

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Kara Goldin 0:00
I am unwilling to give up that I will start over from scratch as many times as it takes to get where I want to be I want to be, you just want to make sure you will get knocked down. But just make sure you don’t get knocked down knocked out. So your only choice should be go focus on what you can control control control. Hi, everyone and welcome to the Kara Goldin show. Join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders. We’ll talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time. Can’t wait to get started. Let’s go. Let’s go. Hi, everyone. It’s Kara Goldin from the Kara Goldin show. And I’m so so thrilled to have my next guest here, my friend Neil Grimmer, who I’m so so thrilled to. Hello, so thrilled to have you on here. Neil is currently the brand president of a very, very cool company called Source global. That is based in my former state that I grew up in Arizona. So that’s also pretty cool. Neil and I had actually met when he was the co founder of a company called plum organic that you may be familiar with. He also went on to start a company called habit, which he’ll talk a little bit more about. And he was also at a another company that he didn’t co found, which, you know, just sort of goes to show you that he is not just an entrepreneur, not just a founder, but he’s somebody that is a scalar, a person that is very interested in brands. The company was Harley Davidson. So I’m really, really thrilled to chat with Neil about his journey and all of the things that he’s learned along the way, of course, there’s going to be lots of best tips so you cannot miss this episode. But first, we’re going to dig into source global, which as I mentioned, is just a super, super cool company that he did not found, but he is the brand president. There’s a founder Cody Friesen who founded it, who invented the solar powered device that is behind this company that takes water from the air we breathe and captures the vapor and transforms it into drinking water. But again, I want to hear a lot more about it from Neil. So without further ado, welcome. Hey, great.

Neil Grimmer 2:21
Thanks for having me.

Kara Goldin 2:23
Yeah, totally. I’m very, very excited to have you here to talk a little bit more about it. So let’s just dig right into source global. So what is the company?

Neil Grimmer 2:32
Yeah, so at the core of source is one technology, it’s called a hydro panel. And Kara, the best way to think about it is think about the hydro panel as the first solar panel for electricity, a hydro panel is for water. So what it does is use the power of the sun. To pull water vapor into the panel, the panel looks like a solar panel, it’s four feet by eight feet wide. And on its surface, it kind of looks similar to a solar panels. But what we do is we pull the water vapor across what’s called a hygroscopic material, it’s a material that really loves absorb water, it’s kind of similar to if you were to put a piece of rice in a salt shaker to stop the rice or the salt from clumping up. That rice is really hygroscopic meaning it tracks water. So we have a material that it’s a proprietary nanotechnology material that that is hygroscopic had traps that water vapor, and then we use the heat of the sun to passively condense it into liquid water in its purest form, and does that cycle a whole bunch of times during the day and night. And what it does is it produces perfect drinking water from the sun and air totally renewable, totally sustainable, off grid doesn’t use any power other than the power that’s coming from the sun in a photovoltaic. And it taps an abundant and totally renewable supply of water that’s an in the air. That’s amazing. So it’s transformative. It’s sort of care, the way to way to think about it is we can put our panels and you know, one panel can produce, you know, the equivalent of you know, for 24 Count cases of drinking water, you know, a week, you can put two on the roof of your house and plumb in perfect drinking water in your house. And then we have what we call water farms where we put 1000s of them together to create millions and millions of liters of water a year. And it’s completely renewable, completely sustainable. And we can put it anywhere in the world where there’s sunlight and air.

Kara Goldin 4:33
That’s amazing. You and I were just talking about how you’ve been all over the world in the last seven days. So what’s share a story of where you’re seeing this work in a place where they were really challenged by the water issue?

Neil Grimmer 4:49
Well, you know, what’s so amazing is the direct impact. I mean, you and I are you know entrepreneurs and you know a big part of our work is not only creating great businesses but doing great in the world and impact Think people. And this is 1,000% true of source, you know. So one of the first installations that I had the pleasure of going to this was a month before COVID, lockdown hit. It was in February of 2020. We went to the y ou tribe, which is in the northernmost tip of Colombia, it required taking a chartered plane two hours to get out to the general region. And then a two hour Overlander ride, within a small little boat taking you out to this little spit of land with the why you tribe live on, it’s a community of about 300 people. And the girls and women fetch water six hours a day, and they’ll go on a track to get water that’s fairly brackish, right? Because it’s right by the ocean. And so, you know, infant mortality is a major issue. And it’s all related to access to clean, safe drinking water. And so we’re able to put in 150 panels, creating a water farm for the wire tribe, the girls and women had basically a six minute round trip to the water, farm, collect water, and just seeing that firsthand just blows, it just blew my mind at the time. COVID hit, you know, and quite frankly, for communities that don’t have infrastructure or have failing infrastructure, the problems only persisted. And during COVID, were actually able to bring hydro panels to 540 homes and the Navajo Nation right in the backyard and our Southwest, where these folks, multi generational families didn’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. And were able to put four panels outside the home and plumbed directly into the house. I mean, running water in the sounds for the first time ever enabled to provide drinking water. I mean, so it’s really outstanding. So the applications of the technology range from the community work that I just referred to, all the way to the opposite extreme, which is in Dubai, you know, we’re creating a large scale water farm to create the first totally renewable, sustainable bottled water out there, because the water itself is amazing. It’s a beautiful water, it tastes incredible, but it’s also the most renewable water next to mother nature. And so we’re able to totally transform category like, you know, the bottled water industry by bringing in a new, new type of water, which is both sustainable on the outside with a sustainable package and sustainable inside from a new source of water.

Kara Goldin 7:23
That’s so interesting. And I would imagine, too, I mean, one of the initiatives that I have been working on is clean water, and primarily in the US, but it’s an issue, frankly, throughout the world. So once it’s actually hit the ground, it’s also come in contact with many chemicals. So I would imagine that it’s not just about finding new sources of water, but also clean water. Are you seeing that as a discussion throughout the world your

Neil Grimmer 7:50
issue? major issue? I mean, what you’ve identified is absolutely true. And it’s around the world, you know, pee fast, persistent chemical is, is in our water supply, in a very profound way. pharmaceuticals are in a municipal supply, you know, just as a byproduct of some of the wastewater that’s in the system, naturally occurring contaminants like arsenic, uranium, and the Navajo nation because of the uranium mining. So so we have, you know, our groundwater has a has a pretty major contamination issue as well. And so one of the beautiful things is that we kind of transcend that particular issue because we’re tapping from water from the sky and the way in which we, we harvest that water, any, you know, any of the pollutants in the air are separated out from the pure water vapor. And so what you get is, you know, pure h2o. And really, you know, bypasses all of those contamination issues that that we see on surface and groundwater.

Kara Goldin 8:55
You guys are really in, you know, an innovative industry for sure. And obviously, you had been a founder before this of a serial entrepreneur, but you joined the company as brand president, a different role for you. I’d love to hear how you found or how did they find you?

Neil Grimmer 9:16
Yeah, well, you know, our founder and CEO, Dr. Cody freezin, was a was a dear friend of mine. And he and I were actually fellows at the Aspen Institute. And we met back in 2015. And we were both there. He was just forming source and at the time was called zero mass water. And I was just stepping down as CEO of plumb and starting habit. And part of the fellowship at the Aspen Institute was around folks that had some moniker of success in their careers and it was focused on getting leaders to focus on significance, transforming you know, of the business skills that they had to apply to solving some of the world’s greatest problems. Right. And so the forum was a table of 20 of us all from different walks of life, leaders from the public sector, private sector, studying servant leadership, you know, what does it mean to be in service to something greater than yourself, and your companies, and, and then starting to pioneer new companies, and so he was starting, you know, what was what is now source then. And so he and I were pretty close to, you know, all the work that he was doing. And it was very inspiring to me and I, when I, when I had the opportunity to kind of pull my head up and say, What am I going to do next, you know, joining up with Cody to tackle one of the most intractable problems that we have in society today seemed like a really great way to spend my time and talent. So. So that’s how we joined up. And so I, I oversee all the brand marketing and consumer facing aspects of, of what we do as a company. So it’s, it’s been very rewarding to say the least, what’s been

Kara Goldin 11:03
the toughest thing about the startup? I mean, obviously, you’ve been in the startup world before, but this is a it’s a new industry. I mean, you don’t really have a whole lot of competition, I always tell people that one thing that I learned and starting hint was that competition is actually a good thing, right? You just have to be the best, you obviously knew that in the baby food industry, that you have to differentiate yourself by continuing to have enough money in the bank, but also be the best at what you’re doing. But when you don’t have competition, and you’ve got to explain this over and over again, as a brand President getting the word out as well, I think that I’d love to hear what do you think has been the biggest challenge?

Neil Grimmer 11:49
Well, you know, one of the things, it’s both the biggest challenge, and the biggest opportunity is that we are fundamentally transforming the way people get access to clean, safe drinking water, people literally can’t even imagine, we pull water out of thin air. And that sounds like magic. And you know, one of the things that I like I said space challenge biggest opportunity instead of well is really letting people’s imagination wrap around this technology. And once they once they hear about the technology, like this literally sounds too good to be true. So it possibly is, and then we’ll go through the evaluation. And then they’ll get to a place where they realize like, Oh, my God, this is a game changer. And once they hit that point, their imagination runs wild, what it could be applied to. And one of the big challenges of the company is that it can be applied to a lot of problems. So instead of going so broad, to try and capture everything, we had to create some discipline to say, Alright, where are the areas that we want to solve this problem first, right? Get some traction, build momentum as a company, and then expand from there. And so it’s been it’s been very, very rewarding we, we have government and NGO based business, just the community work that I was kind of telling you about. We have commercial work, where we we help companies get access to clean, safe drinking water in areas where they need it. You can think about remote work in the most broadest sense for people are doing hard work and they need clean, safe water. And we want to reduce plastic out of the mix, we can help them with that. There’s the consumer vertical, which is hospitality, CPG. And food service and all that where people want a better, more sustainable product that they feel good about. And then the last is residential. I have two panels on my home in Phoenix, Arizona, and my partner, I get all our drinking water from that every day. Wow. So those are the areas we focused on. Again, you could argue still quite quite expensive. But when you think about tackling the problem of access to clean, safe drinking water globally, you know, it’s a it’s a it’s both an exciting and a daunting venture. Let’s talk about growth,

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Kara Goldin 14:53
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Neil Grimmer 17:03
Well, you know, one of the things that where there’s a need, it drives innovation, you know, you know, there’s a long history actually with a community in Arizona, creating some of the first canals and the most really profound irrigation systems to grow food in the middle of the desert. And following on that proud tradition of innovating at water technology in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. So really, you know, one of the things we like to say, we export water around the world from the desert. And you know, and what’s what’s made it possible is Cody, you know, one of his, you know, really great part of his story is that he’s been in the renewable technology space for quite some time, he’s working on battery technology for the developing world. And when he was in region in Africa, he really saw the challenge of girls and women touching water every day, and you know, the time consumed doing it, the rest of their personal health doing it, and said he wanted to apply the same principles of renewables to water that was applied to energy and solve the problem of girls and women walking for water. And so, you know, in the desert, you know, we always are trying to think about how to preserve water, how to reuse water, and now how to create water, you know, so that was the origination and what’s exciting is proving it out that it works in the Sonoran Desert, means we’re at times we’re at single digit relative humidity, it means that it can work literally anywhere around the world

Kara Goldin 18:34
that is so so interesting on on many, many levels. So I know that you’ve helped me raise capital for the company. I’ve been really interested and intrigued by some of the investment partners that you have. Could you talk a little bit about that? And how, you know, how that came about? Also, sort of why is their interest? So high? And how is it different raising capital for this company versus some of your other companies?

Neil Grimmer 19:06
Yeah, I think the interest is high because it’s solving a global problem, you know, and the investors we have around the table are Bill Gates venture fund called Breakthrough Energy ventures. They’ve been an investor in the company for three rounds. For the, you know, almost the life of the company. We have BlackRock, we have Harvard endowment, we have drawdown Fund, which is a sustainability fund three by five partners. You know, there’s just an incredible, the cap table is really just amazing, incredible partners around the table and, and partly why you know, they’re around the table is because they see this as an issue that is, is only getting worse. So for example, today we have 2.4 billion people who don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water within 30 minutes of their home in 2050. That’s projected to be roughly 6 billion people right now. Global Climate change is now creating dynamics where you see this where there’s droughts where there never was floods where there never was. And the weather patterns are so unreliable, that communities that relied on consistent waterfall and rainfall, for their drinking water, those patterns are shifting, right. So it’s creating enormous amount of instability. And so when you think about one of the big parts of the investment thesis, is climate resiliency is going to be an important sector to invest behind, in order to not only help sustain, you know, humanity, but also to create viability, where communities lives, you know, we always, you know, as cultures, we gathered around the watering hole, and we built civilizations around the watering hole, and that shifting, groundwater depleting, and weather patterns changing. And so we’re able to actually bring the water from the troposphere, directly down where it’s needed, we tap the sky to bring the best water down to earth. And that and that is the investment thesis that gets people very excited

Kara Goldin 21:09
and very excited that there’s people that are doing this too, and and see the importance for sure. So let’s back up and hear a little bit more about your experience when I met you at Plum organics. So you were the co founder and the CEO. So can you share a little bit more about your experience there? What was exciting? What did you learn?

Neil Grimmer 21:33
Well, you know, I look back on those times, fondly. Some of the best times in my life. And, you know, the the company was certainly for me, it was inspired by having kids, you know, I was before starting plum with my co founders, I was a designer at IDEO. And I was working on innovation for, you know, fortune 500 companies to figure out what to do next, you know, we design the future, the class, you know, Mercedes Benz, all the way to looking at the future of food with large, multinational corporations. And it was all based around this concept of human centered design. And, you know, now it’s called and people commonly know it now as design thinking. But what is really behind that is just the the simple ability to have empathy for the person that you’re looking to create a product or service for. And through that empathy and understanding, you can actually start designing things that people need want and desire in a way that will really resonate them. When you finally ended that solution. You hand it over to him, and it registers on that, yes, I can’t imagine I didn’t think about this before. It’s like, you know, when people say like, wow, why didn’t I think of that? Right? Yeah, it’s because you’ve got to some an intuitive answer to solving someone’s problem. And all it required is to open your heart and to look at somebody’s life and their lifestyle and figure out what you can do to help serve them. And so that kind of happened to me personally, when I went from being a designer to being a dad. And then all of a sudden, I’m a young parent, and I’m like, Why? Why is why are we doing all this stuff, the way we’re doing it, and it just created the opportunity for innovation. Sheryl Loughlin, my co founder, was, similarly she had two boys and two girls. And so we had the whole perspective of parenting and, and from that, we were off to the races.

Kara Goldin 23:29
That’s very, very cool. So you grew it? How many years? Were you? Six years, six years? And then you sold it to Campbell’s Soup Company. Very exciting to be able to do that. Then you decided to launch a company habit? Can you share a little bit more about that?

Neil Grimmer 23:48
Yeah, totally. Yeah. So when we when we sold plumbing to Campbell Soup, I stayed on as an executive at Campbell Soup, and then also stayed on as CEO for plump for the first two years, because we wanted to make sure it transitioned. Well, and when I was doing that, I was spending a lot of time with Denise Morrison, the then CEO of Campbell’s soup, and she and I were talking a lot about what the future of food was. And and we arrived at one of the answers that question is, is food that’s highly personalized to you, you know, which, ultimately, we’re not one size fits all, but you need what I need from nutrition is very different. And, you know, typically we have one size fits all diets that we all kind of, you know, try out and see if they fit some work, some don’t. And the reason why some work and some don’t is because it actually worked for your body. You know, it worked for you, both your mind and your body. And so habit was company has started that was pioneering the personalized nutrition space where we looked at your DNA, your blood work, and your metabolism to figure out what foods are right for you. So we had kind of an And then this is a little audacious, but then we created fresh prepared meals customized to your biology delivered to your door. So it was kind of like, if you had 23andme meats, you know, food service app all customized to you. So lots of data, lots of data. It was a, it was a tech startup, and a food startup all rolled together. And we had a life science component as well. So we created all the science behind the methodology. We created a diagnostic test kits people could do at their home. So it’d be like a cheek swab and prick their finger for a blood test. And then when that would all get processed, we would give people basically a nutrition plan, like a dashboard, and then they’d have like the ability to order meals, and it was all done.

Kara Goldin 25:51
What was the hardest thing about that startup?

Neil Grimmer 25:52
Gosh, well, but the hardest thing, this was one of those, you know, it was really three companies in one, right? When you think about it, because you’re doing the diagnostics, like a 23andme, or an ancestry. We were doing nutrition planning, like all the millions of apps you have out there, and then we were actually producing the food. Again, it was exciting to put it all together. But you know, in hindsight, you know, we probably could have done two out of the three.

Kara Goldin 26:21
And delivering food, I can only imagine fresh food really, really challenging. So you sold the company, as well, the company, and you had already been you had already kind of you were sort of doing two jobs. And it sounds like you were moving on. And so then you decided to totally go in a completely different direction, and join an iconic brand that obviously you were passionate about. And love the brand. Very exciting. So Harley Davidson. Very exciting. So what was kind of the difference between joining an older brand like that, that obviously had meaning the meaning to you and and many others, but what was kind of the biggest differences that you saw in creating something versus joining something?

Neil Grimmer 27:13
Yeah, well, one of the things, you know, when I, when I sold the company to Campbell Soup, and then stayed on as an executive at Campbell’s, I kind of got a front row seat to Fortune 500 companies, how they worked? What are the what were the opportunities to bring an entrepreneurial mindset and approach? And also, what are the requirements of executives at that level of shepherding a company that has, you know, a brand that’s iconic, you know, Campbell’s equally, you know, has an iconic brand and has had a product that, you know, I think probably most people in America and around the world are familiar with. And the the challenge and opportunity similar for Harley Davidson, which is both companies have almost ubiquitous brand awareness. And so if you were to ask, you know, people would say in the top 10 brands, Harley Davidson come up in that Campbell’s soup would come up in that right. But the challenge for both of companies was brand relevancy, which is for the next generation of consumers, or generations of consumers, how do you stay relevant, and what is what is the way you contour the brand, and the offerings to meet that next generation of folks, and I kind of saw my, you know, my role at Harley Davidson was as much a brand archeologist, as it was anything else, which was sort of like, you know, dig up the beautiful bones of the brand, and reconfigure it in a way that’s modern, contemporary for the next generation of riders, whatever they choose to ride, and is incredibly fun experience, the challenges of bringing entrepreneurial spirit and energy towards, you know, large scale fortune 500 companies is that they just operate at a slightly different pace, and have different issues and requirements, right for how you run and manage those businesses. So it’s all about how do you find the opportunities for speed and transformation, while maintaining the core of the business in a way that that keeps the lights on, you know, the company

Kara Goldin 29:14
so interesting, and such a great experience for sure to be able to, and now you’re back to working on creating and doing lots of new and there’s no picture for the puzzle many days, I would imagine. So it’s definitely very, very exciting. One of the things that I saw when I was doing research on on you and kind of just everything that you’ve done, I would imagine, I think that you try a lot of different things. You’re not sure whether or not they’re going to work. And obviously you’ve probably had some challenges some failures along the way that you’ve learned a lot of lessons. But you know, when people look at your resume in your experience, they’re like, oh, he just waved his magic wand and it all just turns to gold. You know? Many people just don’t go try because they think, oh, you know, what if I fail more than anything, and I think that’s so true today that people take the road less traveled are the least challenging one along the way, so that they don’t make any mistakes. But what what’s one story that you have that, you know, you just kind of think, you know, I learned a lot. I wasn’t sure if it was gonna work out, but it did. And, and, or it didn’t along the way. And I learned a lot of lessons.

Neil Grimmer 30:29
Yeah, no, I think that’s right. I mean, I think part of the thing here for me is that we talked about this earlier, but you know, I’m curious, you know, I get enormous amount of passion and learning something, trying to solve a puzzle, trying to create value and ultimately be in service to other people, right, do something that’s going to improve people’s lives, right. And so, you know, I learned early on actually, when I was at this design, firm IDEO, they really develop the concept of rapid prototyping, which is, fail early and often to succeed sooner, which is, many of us think that innovation happens by just, you know, sitting and channeling a brilliant idea, or in the shower, a light bulb goes off. And that’s true for some stories, but my experience has been, it’s actually having inspiration or having a hypothesis, and then trying a bunch of things, figuring out what sticks and knowing you’re gonna get a bunch of stuff wrong, till you get the one thing right. And when you get the one thing, right, it’s gonna hit like gangbusters. And you know, one of the things like I take it back to Plum. We, when we first started plum, we were actually in a, we were focused on kids doing lunchbox snafus, and the pouch was actually created as like a really healthy snack and a lunchbox and, and had fruits and vegetable purees. And we were always, you know, we have the roadmap of going into baby food and all that other kind of stuff with that format. But it was only until, you know, we actually saw parents feeding the pouch to their babies, because it was really healthy. It was organic, it was fruits and vegetables were like, that’s the big idea. And we pivoted quickly, we kept the we kept the kids business intact. But we pivoted quickly and around the same time. I we were at Natural Products Expo East which you know, Well, funny story around this where, you know, we were young companies, so we had enough money for a booth or enough money to ship a booth, but we didn’t have enough money for both. So we we decided to buy a little school bus shrink, wrap it with our brand, and driver from California to Boston, and roll the school bus right on the show floor and then unpack, you know, our booth. And it was, it was ridiculous. We had Patrick and his girlfriend drove it across the country. And they had an amazing time is ridiculous and rolled on the show floor, tons of buzz and because it was like who the hell would do that? It’s like ridiculous. And so the whole time, we were just like, just having a blast and bringing all this cool stuff to the to the table. It was all our kids products. And the head buyer of babies or us a guy named Pauly D came by and our sales team was so focused on like Whole Foods that, you know, kind of almost passed him up. And I spent a little bit of time with him. And he said, Look, you know, I want to bring with you guys have to, you know, every new mom in America and at the time babies, Ross had every new mom registered. Yeah, there are there. Anyway. So long story short, I flew out and met him in dinner, and you know, we’re in New Jersey and having a dinner and he was like, I was showing him the concept sketches for the baby food stuff. And he’s like, can you get it to me in three months? And without batting an eye? I said, Yes. Which is absurd. As you know, it’s absurd to launch a completely new thing. And, you know, he’s like, if you give that to me, in three months, we’ll launch it nationally, and we’ll introduce you to every new mom in America through our programs, and all this stuff was like, absolutely no problem. So I can have the meeting. And I call, you know, my team in California, three hours, you know, earlier and I’m like, Guys, we got, you know, six skews, we need to knock it out, basically, in a week, you know, get you know, printing happening and then airfreight pouches over to us to get the stamp and, and the team pulled it off without it without a hitch. And it was one of those moments where, you know, it changed the company. And quite frankly, those six products are still our best selling products. Yeah, I know, there’s so many ways you could have said no, there were so many opportunities being like, you know, we’ll take nine months which is typical that and he wouldn’t have done it, but we said yes. And then we figured out how to make it work. And you know, and I think for anyone who has that, you know that concern their feel factor or whatever it is like what would happen if you actually made did happen, what would happen is you actually yes, worked. And imagine that. So when you sit and think about all the things you could be afraid of swap it out with what’s the possibilities if you get it right. And then if you’re confident your capability, your team’s capabilities, there’s no other answer. You just go, you know, and so, so how, you know, look, I mean, I, you know, along that journey with plumb, it’s true of every company, you know, you wake up in the middle of night in a cold sweat, and you’re like, worried about XY and Z. And you, you, you know, you’ve got a lot on the line, you know, whether it’s your reputation or your finances, your family, whatever it is, but you know, if you can live in that other world, it pulls you out of that moment, quickly. Yeah. And you actually make make your dream a reality.

Kara Goldin 35:43
Yeah, no, I totally agree. I think if we spend more time focusing on what can happen, versus what can’t happen, a lot of you know, really, really great things will come from that. So that’s great. That’s such a great story. So best advice you’ve ever received?

Neil Grimmer 36:02
Oh, gosh, well, a number of things. And some of them seem versus believe in yourself. You know, I actually was a, you know, I, I started in business a little bit by accident. I was a punk rock musician, and an artist. And I always felt like even when I was at the design firm, IDEO, you know, I always felt like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Like I didn’t, I didn’t feel like I had permission to, you know, have a business discussion or come up with an idea for Mercedes Benz, which ultimately would wind its way into the car. And probably, it was like that classic imposter syndrome, you know, that people have. And it wasn’t until honestly, I didn’t, because it wasn’t until we sold the company for a quarter billion dollars to Campbell soup that I was like, oh, maybe maybe I’m not an imposter. You know, maybe there’s something to this thing. And, you know, and I think, you know, so I, you know, I had one of my mentors, David Kelly, the founder of IDEO, you know, kind of, he was just one of the first people that truly believed in me, and was like, Oh, you’re gonna be a CEO one day, and I’m like, this little punk rock kid designer, and I’m like, what you’ve been talking about, you know, and it just really stuck with me. And that, that actually him planting that seed probably had a lot to do with me stepping into that role eventually. Because he thought it was possible

Kara Goldin 37:23
well, and finding people that believe in you, too, I think is is also another piece of that. Well, thank you so much, Neil. It was such an interesting discussion, we’ll put how to learn more about source in the notes and everything else that we talked about, and also how to connect and see more of what you’re working on as well. But I just wanted to thank you for all of your time and your authentic conversation here. And, you know, sharing with everybody, so really, really appreciate it. Thanks. Thanks all for listening to this episode. We hope you enjoyed it. And I want to thank all of our guests and our sponsors. And finally, our listeners, keep the great comments coming in. And one final plug. If you have not read or listened to my book undaunted, please do so you will hear all about my journey, including founding, scaling and building the company that I founded. Hint we are here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Thanks, everyone for listening, and goodbye for now. Before we sign off, I want to talk to you about fear. People like to talk about fearless leaders. But achieving big goals isn’t about fearlessness. Successful leaders recognize their fears and decide to deal with them head on in order to move forward. This is where my new book undaunted comes in. This book is designed for anyone who wants to succeed in the face of fear, overcome doubts and live a little undaunted. Order your copy today at undaunted, the and learn how to look your doubts and doubters in the eye and achieve your dreams. For a limited time. You’ll also receive a free case of hint water. Do you have a question for me or want to nominate an innovator to spotlight send me a tweet at Kara Goldin and let me know. And if you liked what you heard, please leave me a review on Apple podcasts. You can also follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn at Kara Goldin. Thanks for listening