$1m+ Mattresses Sold using Toptal.com with Adam Tishman of HelixSleep

Adam Tishman

In Episode #399, Nathan interviews Adam Tishman, co-founder of Helix Sleep. His company gives every customer a custom-made mattress that is even more affordable then retail brands and built with very little capital using developer platform TopTal. With several options, customers can come up with hundreds of different combinations to build their perfect, individualized mattress. Learn about Helix Sleep’s goals to continue expanding and to provide the best customer experience.

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Famous 5:

  • Favorite Book? – Made to Stick
  • What CEO do you follow? — Jeff Gross
  • Favorite online tool? — Moat.com
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?—About 7.
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Learn about customer lifetime value and customer acquisition. Take risks earlier.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:25 – Nathan introduces Adam
  • 01:45 – Helix Sleep
  • 01:55 – Custom-made mattresses
  • 02:20 – The price is always the same for the consumer
  • 02:50 – Costs to produce are up to $500 in the mattress industry
  • 03:50 – Net margin
  • 04:20 – Growth of the business
  • 04:35 – Founded a year ago
  • 04:45 – Thousands of mattresses already sold
  • 05:10 – Acquisition
  • 05:40 – Podcasts and radio
    • 06:30 – Really successful in the mattress industry
  • 07:05 – A business model that they can scale
  • 08:10 – A simple game, with one product
  • 08:30 – They use their revenue to fuel growth
  • 09:50 – Capital
    • 10:10 – Seed round just under $1M
  • 10:45 – Team of 16
  • 11:00 – First year revenue was lower than their monthly revenue now
  • 11:55 – The technology
    • 12:10 – An algorithm to make the customized mattresses
    • 12:25 – Coding is outsourced
  • 13:10 – The process for finding a developer on Toptal
    • 14:25 – Everyone is pre-screened
    • 14:50 – Legally, you still own the code
    • 15:20 – More affordable
  • 16:10 – Why they chose Toptal
  • 17:00 – Churn is not a focus for this type of business
  • 17:40 – Focus on building the brand
  • 17:55 – The customer experience
  • 18:14 – Hundreds of skews
  • 19:35 – Goals for 2016
  • 20:35 – helixsleep.com, blog.helixsleep.com, and Adam Tishman on LinkedIn or adam@helixsleep.com
  • 23:00 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Find a way to provide high-quality products at a more affordable price.
  2. Take risks earlier, and jump up the business ladder.
  3. Come up with a business model that can be scaled.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – A platform for finding high quality developer freelancers
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • Moat.com – Adam’s favorite online tool to see how he compares to his competitors
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives