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Interview With Bear Mattress Founder Scott Paladini

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For those with an active lifestyle, sleep is a time for recovery and recharging your batteries. Scott Paladini is the founder of Bear Mattress, a bed-in-a-box targeting athletes that you can purchase online. The mattress is made with Quick Response foam, Graphite gel-infused foam, and Celliant™ technologies and is designed to improve sleep and increase energy levels. With Bear Mattress, you will sleep cool because the foam technology helps regulate heat transfer from your body to the mattress. Their return policy is simple. Put the mattress to the test for 100 days, and if you don’t like it, you can return it hassle free.

Bear Mattress recently launched several accessories including the Bear Pillow. The best differentiating factor of Bear Pillow to traditional pillows is that Bear Pillow remains cool and provides optimal support for your neck and head as you sleep. It is made with Loft-X foam on the inside and Double Ice Fabric Technology on the outside, which offers the contouring support of memory foam along with some resistance and bounce that you would not get from a conventional pillow. Choosing a pillow is a personal process, so they allow you to try it out to see if it is the right fit.

Along with having professional athletes like Cole Beasley of the Dallas Cowboys promoting their product, Bear Mattress has partnered with Good Sports, a nonprofit that gives opportunities to kids to participate in sports. With each Bear Product sold, 1% of the proceeds will be donated to Good Sports, allowing children to partake in athletic and fitness opportunities. The donations support schools, community programs, after school programs, and equipment for over 3200 organizations across the country.

Scott Paladini opens up about Bear Mattress.

What keeps you motivated?

I draw motivation from a number of places both personally and professionally, but the biggest overall influence in my life is my family — my wife and my newborn son. Branching out and starting your own business is one of the biggest risks you can take and my wife has been there in support every step of the way. Having a newborn is exhilarating, exhausting and comes with its own set of added pressures, but at the end of the day I want to make this business work for them as much for them as for myself. They help me stay motivated and keep things in perspective.

Why mattresses?

A good mattress is essential to getting a better, healthier sleep. It was while training for a marathon that I noticed the important role that rest played in muscle recovery. I saw a need for an affordable mattress specifically created for athletes, and set out to create a mattress designed to help promote muscle recovery. After over a year of product development and testing, we launched Bear Mattress in September 2015.

Utilizing eco-friendly materials and the latest advancements in sleep technology, Bear Mattress improves muscle recovery, promotes cooling and elevates overall sleep quality. Bear Mattress has quickly become the brand of choice for professional athletes, weekend warriors and casual fitness lovers alike.

That said, Bear is more than just a great mattress. We have grown tremendously over the past year and recently launched a line of sleep accessories that help people get a cooler, healthier and more restorative sleep.  

What makes your customers different from traditional mattress customers?

Our customers are a new generation of mattress customers. They are conscious of their time, money, and understand the value that a great night’s sleep provides. They don’t have the time to go to the mattress store, and they don’t want to pay the middleman.

That said, I don’t think there is such a thing as a ‘traditional’ mattress customer. In fact, we’re actually seeing an influx in Baby Boomers purchasing the mattress online. These customers are looking to increase muscle recovery time (and often times reduce back pain), and are convinced by our nearly 500 genuine 5-star reviews.

What helped you the most when starting Bear Mattress?

I think my experience in the mattress industry, coupled with my interest in health and athletics, has been instrumental to Bear’s success.

What is your team like?

For the first year in business there was no Bear “team”- I ran all operations myself. I was very conscious to grow the business at a manageable and realistic rate. When we surpassed seven figures in revenue I knew to get to the next level we needed more hands on deck, and we began the hiring process.

Today the Bear team is comprised of industry experts who aren’t afraid to think outside the box and roll-up their sleeves to get things done. We have a team mentality in the office, and genuinely enjoy working together. Everyone has a voice and brings different ideas to the table.

Who inspires you?

I’m most inspired each day by the real-life feedback we receive from customers. From the beginning, our goal with Bear has been to help people sleep better, but at the outset I didn’t fully realize just how tangible the positive impact of our product could be. Literally everyday we receive calls and messages from satisfied customers, many of whom have struggled with chronic back pain for years. They tell us all about their story and the different ways in which Bear has helped to improve their quality of life across the board. These are special interactions that make us feel good and inspire us to continually evaluate how our products can be optimized to meet customer needs.

What are some things we can look forward to in 2017 from Bear Mattress?

In 2017 you can expect to see new, innovative products from Bear. We recently launched Bear Pillow, Bear Protect and Bear Foundation, and are looking forward to introducing new products that will improve muscle recovery, promote cooling and elevate overall sleep quality. We’re also eager to expand our customer base into Canada this year.

What is some advice you can give to entrepreneurs?

I guess my advice to other entrepreneurs would be to not rush into things, particularly when it comes to investments from VC’s and others who may take an interest in your business. It’s important to remember that business is more a marathon than a sprint. If you believe in the product then take your time. Don’t jump at every opportunity that presents itself. Work towards creating a company with a solid foundation that’s built to last — not just to be sold.

Jie writes about influencers and startups in various industries. She is a designer turned techie, and when she is not writing, you can find her in her workshop working on her next big project.

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0 – 100 With Peter Hwang CEO of Bite App Inc.

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0 – 100 With Peter Hwang CEO of Bite App Inc. Exclusive interviewed Peter Hwang, current CEO of Bite App Inc., a startup company based in Philadelphia that’s changing the way you discover your next meal.

“Bite is a mobile app that makes deciding what to eat easy by mitigating the time and energy required to evaluate a restaurant dish. It also provides a platform for users to share useful, concise reviews that help improve others’ dining experiences.”

 

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Marketing Lingo you need to know for 2018

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7 Marketing Lingo you need to know for 2018. If you own a small business, chances are you’re wondering how you’re going to market yourself.  Looking online you’re going to find quite a few article and resources for marketing, most of them coming from marketing company themselves.  Give or take an hour of research and you’re pretty much ready to quit because there’s too many options and because you’re not a part of the marketing or digital marketing world, all the lingo being used such as SEM, SEO, Digital Marketing, etc. becomes overbearing. That’s ok, we’ve created a short guide for you to follow that will help you better understand the world of Digital Marketing. These are the essential keywords and lingoes in digital marketing that you’ll need in order to navigate marketing information.

SEO (Common marketing lingo)

The first is the most common marketing lingo. Search Engine Optimization.  This is a service that many digital marketing agencies provide to help get more people to come to your website via an organic search result.  When someone online searches for a keyword that your business represent, your website will come up on the front page.  They will then click on your link and be directed to your website.  This doesn’t guarantee business, but it does increase the likelihood of you getting more leads and sales.

SEM

Search Engine Marketing.  This service is similar to SEO because it rely on you getting good rankings on the 1st page of Search Engines.  The difference is that SEM depends heavily on paid advertisements to get you there instead of appearing there organically.  You know those ads on top and on the side?  Those are probably the works of an SEM Campaign. Learn more about Search Engine Marketing here. 

PPC

Paid Per Click.  How SEM does it’s work is through a Google service known as Paid Per Click.  This is where you pay Google to place your business on the front page in the form of an advertisement.  Whenever someone clicks on the advertisement, you pay google a small fee (anywhere between 50 cents to $20 depending on keyword and competition).

SMM

Social Media Marketing.  The goal for this is to deliver traffic to your website via Social Media.  Depending on your business certain social media platforms may be better suited for you.  A clothing/retail business may benefit more from Instagram and Pinterest than Twitter for example. Learn how to maximize your social media’s effectiveness here. 

Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing is a broad spectrum of online marketing services.  Typically a Digital Marketing campaign will include more than one services to accomplish a goal, whether it be branding or simply more traffic and customers.  Digital Marketing can include SEO, SEM, SMM, PPC, and many other online-related marketing services.  Typically it doesn’t include direct mail, bill boards, or bus wraps.

CPC

This marketing lingo stands for Cost Per Click and is most common with Google’s Pay Per Click model. However many other advertising platforms also utilize CPC to determine the effectiveness of a campaign. Cost per click simply means how much does it cost you every time someone clicks on your promoted ad. Usually you want the CPC to be low, that way you won’t have to pay more for people clicking on you ads.

Conversion

This is a confusing marketing lingo because it could mean a lot of things. Conversion could mean the rate at which someone goes onto your website and then converts to become a customer. Your formula would be Sales conversion / Visitors. However Conversion can be something completely different if you’re advertising on Google, Facebook, of Instagram. Conversion doesn’t mean sales on your website, it could mean simply someone converting and eventually browsing to a desired page on your website, however not necessarily making any transaction. Learn about social media conversion here. 

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Quartz Bottle: The Water Bottle That Cleans Itself

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Maybe you’ve finally started getting serious about cutting down on soda and coffee and drinking more water. You may have taken some swigs from a reusable container and wrinkled your nose in distaste afterward. That’s because cleaning water bottles can be challenging — and it’s hard to do it as thoroughly as necessary. Who has time for cleaning tablets and specially designed brushes, anyway? The inconvenient necessity of keeping your water bottle clean is one of the main concepts behind the Quartz Bottle. How does it work and why should you put one on your must-buy list as soon as possible? Keep reading to find out.

quartz bottle

A Light Inside the Cap Cleans the Water for You

Sometimes, the most helpful components of an innovative product aren’t the largest or most visible ones. The Quartz water bottle has a patented UV-C light inside the cap. You might not immediately notice it due to the product’s sleek design, but it’s arguably one of the hardest-working parts of the container.

The light is a purifier that neutralizes up to 99.9999 percent of germs in only a minute. You can also choose between manual purification and a cleansing process that happens automatically every four hours. That latter option is especially helpful on days when you’re trying to balance a schedule of yoga practice, taking your toddler to daycare, meeting your business partner over coffee and more — all while knowing you can’t spare a thought for keeping your water clean.

The Co-Founder Has a Long-Term, All-Encompassing Mindset

While reading about the Quartz Bottle, you’ll find that many of the selling points focus on making your life easier. By using the product, you’ll enjoy constant access to water that tastes great and never have to deal with downsides like smelly bottles or cumbersome cleaning techniques again.

However, Justin Wang, a co-founder of the company that manufacturers the Quartz, had an Earth-minded view when engineering the item, too. While writing a post about the bottle, he pointed out that people collectively dump one million plastic containers into landfills each minute.

Also, if you like to consciously buy things that have large impacts by promoting the greater good, the Quartz is for you. The creators decided that 1 percent of every purchase gets donated to Charity:Water. The organization works to provide people around the world with improved access to safe hydration.

Design Scrutiny During Development

In another interview, Wang confessed having a very relatable problem. He successfully cut down on using disposable water bottles but still found himself reaching for one when another type of purified water wasn’t available or the reusable bottle he had been using became too gross to use.

Wang spoke to friends and found their experiences echoed his own. The Quartz water bottle was born when Wang decided to tackle the issues that made him use disposable containers despite better intentions.

However, he and the rest of the design team understood it was necessary to poll people in the target market. Only then would they find out about the factors that could turn them into Quartz devotees versus individuals who try the bottle once and decide they don’t like it. Some could fail to even get that far by coming to the conclusion there’s no need to switch to another water storage product because the ones they own are good enough.

First, Wang toted a 3-D-printed prototype of the Quartz for weeks and gradually tweaked it. While pretending to drink from it to mimic an actual user experience, he got weird looks but knew the process was necessary.

Next, members of the design team talked to hundreds of people and asked them about characteristics they’d identified that could cause problems. The potential issues ranged from a too-wide opening on the top of the bottle to a cap that might not twist easily enough. After taking these issues into account, the designers had a product they felt met user needs and made them feel proud.

quartz bottle

A Kickstarter Success Story Based on User Needs

If the story behind the Quartz Bottle fascinates you, you’re not alone. One of the most impressive milestones in the product’s history is how it quickly achieved funding through Kickstarter. In only a day, it earned 600 percent of the total amount necessary to bring the project to life.

Most of the Kickstarter content speaks to the clearly defined needs users have. It mentions the double-insulated construction of each bottle that keeps water cold for 24 hours or maintains its warmth for half that amount. Kickstarter page viewers also got details about how their decision to buy a Quartz bottle could save them up to $1,000 per year that they’d ordinarily spend on bottled water.

Then, what about people who felt uncertain about whether they’d remember to charge their Quartz bottles to make them keep working? Since each charge lasts up to two months, they only have to make reminders for themselves six times a year. Quartz bottles are compatible with USB outlets, too, so it’s easy to power up the bottle while you’re embarked on a road trip or otherwise away from home.

Speaking of taking your Quartz bottle on the go, maybe you’re a backcountry hiker or someone who otherwise needs to exercise special precautions before consuming water. If so, no worries! The Quartz has an adventure mode that increases the purification power for your peace of mind.

All these features and others were part of the Kickstarter pitch, so it’s not hard to see why the project gained momentum so quickly. Not surprisingly, then, many customers (12,758 backers, to be exact!) turned their desires into pledges.

How to Purchase a Quartz Bottle

You might think such a high-tech water bottle would be a substantial investment. However, you can get yours for only $79 by pre-ordering it on Indiegogo (Another site that helped the product secure more backers).

Choose from several pleasing colors to pick one that suits your personality or intended use. Pre-ordering requires being patient until June 2018 to get your Quartz Bottle, but you know what they say about good things coming to people who wait.

Regardless of your current opinions about conventional water bottles, Quartz might manage to change them. Justin Wang and his fellow designers worked hard to create a product that readily eliminated consumer annoyances.

This dedication paid off with successful crowdfunding attempts — plus a significant amount of positive press from news outlets and early reviewers.

In several months, you might realize the Quartz Bottle makes you feel genuinely excited about drinking water and not polluting the planet while you’re at it.

 

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