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The Art of Manufacturing podcast gives a behind-the-scenes look at how inspiring entrepreneurs who make stuff are trying to “make it” in their industries. Find it on iTunes, iHeart, Stitcher and other popular platforms. Subscribe to never miss an episode!

Jun 15, 2017

Launching a consumer product in a complex retail environment: For our season finale, we’re speaking with Courtney Nichols Gould, the co-founder and CEO of SmartyPants Vitamins. She and her partner Gordon Gould both had their own really successful careers in tech, before launching a consumer packaged goods company. Before this venture, she was the Chief Operating Officer of a very complex business called Clear, the first fast pass for airport security.

I was curious what her path has been like, from tech entrepreneur to a maker of things, and what we can learn from the process. What surprised me most was the importance of getting the product launch process right, and how hard it is to succeed in today’s complex retail environment. But they’re kicking butt, and she has tons of war stories and tips for the rest of us. Everything from protecting IP to picking your manufacturing partners, cultivating your first customers to thriving on Amazon, negotiating with brick and mortar to being pioneers in the early wellness industry. She’s mission-driven but doesn’t flaunt it. At one point, she goes deep about her awkward early years, before she finally discovered her identity as a successful CEO, and we broach the touchy subject of starting a business and then falling in love with your co-founder. We hear about that and a whole lot more on this week’s episode of the Art of Manufacturing.

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