Recap of Solanda’s Interview, “Unveiling the Formula for Overnight Success in Entrepreneurship”, with Harvest Growth
GoBe Kids' very own Solanda Moran-Blanch provided a deeper look into our company’s journey and culture with Jon La-Clare, Founder and CEO of Harvest Growth in the podcast, “Unveiling the Formula for Overnight Success in Entrepreneurship''. In celebration of the amazing community that’s celebrated our growth over the past few years (that’d be you!), we wanted to share more about what has inspired our brand and culture.
How GoBe Kids was Born
We proudly advocate for respecting kids and their decisions-especially when it comes to food. Before GoBe, our founders (and husband and wife super duo), Solanda and Joseph Blanch, were working on another product concept for kids. What was originally a fun pet name affectionately connected to a product design became our brand’s namesake. The phrase “GoBe” or “go be” embraces a child’s autonomy in choosing what they want to eat and the pure enjoyment of “being a kid”.
During the interview, Solanda shared a deeper look into her personal struggles as a mom trying to ensure that her children were receiving optimal nutrition. Before the concept of the Snack Spinner was even discussed, Solanda admitted to being highly concerned about her children’s food intake and how selective food preferences were beginning to impact their digestion. She explained how-as a result of her concerns-she started withholding crunchier snacks that her child preferred until she realized that children thrive when given access to sensory stimulation while eating. Solanda wanted a food container that would provide a safe (and mostly mess-free!) eating environment, foster multiple options, and respect a child’s autonomy to choose what they want to eat: and lo and behold, the Snack Spinner was born.
Embracing Lean Startup Methodology
The idea behind GoBe’s Snack Spinner was to design a container that would embody the division of responsibilities when it comes to feeding: the parent (or caregiver) provides food options while the child decides what to eat and how much. However, bringing this product to fruition required early validation, creating a minimum viable product, capturing feedback, iterating as needed, and getting the product to pass the WOW factor test before an initial launch was even feasible. Solanda shared how Joseph, a former engineer and the design brain behind the Snack Spinner, leveraged the Startup Ignition methodology when they were working on the first prototypes (fun fact: the first animated concept of the Snack Spinner had 10 slots!).
Through several iterations of surveying, going back to the drawing board, distributing new concept designs for feedback, it ultimately was the second focus group that yielded the highest validation score. Solanda fondly recalled how there was a young boy in this focus group whose face lit up with joy each time he pressed the Snack Spinner’s button. Even though the product was still not perfect at that time, Solanda emphasized how important constant product iteration was when it came to optimizing the Snack Spinner’s design. Solanda and Joseph learned so much after parents helped dissect what worked and what didn’t when it came to the product-which helped improve each product iteration. Once pre-orders launched and people were buying the Snack Spinner before they even held it, Solanda and Joseph knew they had a high-value product that would impact thousands of parents’ and kids’ lives.
Embracing the Wins & Failures
The process to develop a viable product that people want to buy sounds much simpler than it is. Solanda shared how Joseph iterated through 11 other ideas over the course of 18 months before creating the Snack Spinner. One of the key takeaways Solanda emphasized during the interview is that it’s critical to embrace failures along the way. Although GoBe loved many of these 11 product ideas such as lunch pails and stacking lunch boxes, Solanda explained how she and Joseph embraced “innovating as we [spoke]”. Even though an idea seemed exciting or looked absolutely adorable, neither of those qualities guaranteed success with GoBe’s customers-especially if it did not pass the WOW factor test. Solanda reiterated that these growing pains and small failures-and being objective in acknowledging them-are all key elements of high-quality product development.
People Matter at ALL Levels
Our customers are the heart of GoBe. Our founders designed the Snack Spinner to help parents experiencing similar food challenges that they faced. Moreover, the trust and support GoBe has received from such a vast community of families has been the most humbling and rewarding part of the journey. When asked about successes, Solanda proudly recognized GoBe parents that bring the Snack Spinner into their homes. GoBe parents played an integral role in perfecting the Snack Spinner’s design through engaged focus groups, surveys, and direct feedback. When it came to launching the product, Solanda recalled how in the beginning there were shipping delays that were over 4 months long and yet pre-order customers remained forgiving, positive, and understanding. Moreover, even though inventory kept running out due to demand, customers were patient as GoBe worked through and resolved those supply chain challenges. Temporary logistical snafus and minor hurdles can happen at any time (in both parenthood and business), but a strong support network makes all the difference in the world-in essence, GoBe customers are our “village” that motivates us to be better every single day.
When asked about GoBe’s hiring practices, Solanda shared that a culture-first mindset is essential in building the high-performing team at the core of all GoBe operations. Through the use of Culture Index’s software, this approach helps GoBe leadership better understand themselves and how they can create synergies amongst their team to achieve successful outcomes. Solanda explained that having this insight allows the team to identify collective strengths and weaknesses in pursuant of progressive growth for the company. Last but not least, the Culture Index provides perspective into each team member’s “natural state” so that GoBe can lean into their strengths, challenge them with meaningful work, and foster both success and professional growth while doing so.
The Here & Now
Success can be measured in many different ways and for GoBe Kids, the metric we are most proud of is how many parents and kiddos our products have impacted. Our Snack Spinner is the direct result of an extensive design process intended to provide parents with a high-quality, high-value product to enrich their family’s lives. Not to mention, the honest feedback from parents that we’ve incorporated along the way is a key driving factor behind the Snack Spinner’s renowned functionality.
In our inaugural year, GoBe sold more than $100,000* of our Original Snack Spinner and within 3 years, our revenue has exceeded $4 million. We are constantly humbled at how our products have continued to positively impact the relationships you and your families have with food. None of our success would be possible without the incredible GoBe tribe of families that have believed and trusted in us from the very beginning.
And for that, we just want to take a moment and say “thank you” for embracing GoBe Kids and allowing us to be a part of your family.
- Alissa, from the GoBe Team
*Prior communications stated we sold over 100,000 units, rather than $100,000. Apologies for any confusion!