63: When Terrible == Awesome - Edd Read, Founder CTO Graze, Founder CTO Tiney.co
Play episode · 58 min

Edd Read is a self confessed geek and lover of engineering solutions to problems. He was the Founder and CTO of the hugely successful Graze.com  who revolutionised healthy snacking across the UK and US. He is now the founder and CTO of Tiney.co who are working to shake up the early childcare industry.

This is a fascinating conversation into the mind of an innovator and doer. We cover a lot of ground and learn about Edd’s story as well as some brilliant life lessons along the way:

  • Why study Engineering Maths at University

  • His Grandfathers work in Nuclear Weapons

  • How the founders of Graze found each other

  • The biggest failures and turn arounds that Graze had

  • Finding innovative ideas

  • Creating a viral campaign that explodes your business

  • Working with retailers

  • Creating a logistics operation that didn’t fail for ten years

  • Lessons learnt hiring and what employee’s and employers should look for

  • How to find the right priorities in your work

  • The benefits and pitfalls of consulting

  • Disrupting the childcare industry

    Edd and Tiney.co

    Tiney.co - Edd's new company disrupting childcare in London and then the world&nbsp


    My name is Sam Harris. I am a British entrepreneur, investor and explorer. From hitchhiking across Kazakstan to programming AI doctors I am always pushing myself in the spirit of curiosity and Growth. My background is in Biology and Psychology with a passion for improving the world and human behaviour. I have built and sold companies from an early age and love coming up with unique ways to make life more enjoyable and meaningful.



    Sam's blog - SamWebsterHarris.com
    Support the Show - Patreon


    Don’t let failures get you down

    We all experience failures and sometimes it seems like the worst thing has hap- pened. But actually if you can zoom out of your momentary pains and look at the bigger picture it probably isn’t that bad. And it might actually be the best thing that could happen to you in the long term. So instead of getting depressed you should get excited to the unknown doors that a failure opens up. The worst thing you can do is let it defeat you

    Have a process

    It’s nice to be relaxed and let people be creative, but when you are growing a business this leads to and actually stifles peoples ability to innovate when there is no process to make their ideas happen or work properly with others. Every new thing that comes up make a process for it. It doesn’t have to be the right process straight away, Use feedback to optimise, but put something in place straight away or deal with the consequences.

    Spend time with your users

    If Graze hadn’t worked closely with their customers in the early days they wouldn’t have noticed the opportunity for the referral scheme that exploded their brand across the UK. Who knows where they’d be today if they hadn’t noticed this opportunity. spend time with your customers and get to know them. Observe their first interactions with your brand and products and make the moment special.


    2:00 - Life story in 4 mins

    • Grew up as a geek in a family of medics. His Grandad was a big factor in bringing out geek side
    • Studied Engineering maths at Bristol Uni
    • Met other graze founders whilst he was building websites
    • Built Graze for 10 years. crazy ride and finally left 2 years ago
    • Did a fair amount of consulting in e-commerce
    • Met Bret doing Tiney.co. really into education so joined that biz

    7:45 - Engineering Maths

    Bristol Eng Maths was the first year of the course and only 4 students. Very technical degree with a lot of skills learnt.

    Computational Genomics, Machine Learning. Lots of cool stuff.


    10:00 - How did you decide Founder Shares

    Graham the founder saw health a big thing that people needed help with. Set up the company and established us as founders so we didn’t need to debate shares too much.

    12:00 - Other Founder Skills

    They had 3 techies to build things. one on front end. one on billing and one in the factory systems

    Also Tom his flatmate did the branding work.

    The team was a unique combination of excellent people who were all great at their thing. They didn’t always agree completely but respected each other and didn’t get caught up in any disagreements..

    Graham had the ultimate control whilst

    15:20 - Research and Funding

    They tested sending items in post and just went for it.

    Raised £1.1 m . 55 angels giving 10-20k and a VC giving £150k.

    • Had a few big failures

    16:20 - Problems Encountered

    Lehman brothers and Bank collapse meant they had to bring the price down to keep sales. ended up being useful in the long run and making a product that was more mass market

    They were delivering fresh fruit and had innovated amazing chopping systems to preserve fruit a bit longer. A big part of their work was investing in getting high quality fruit and being able to deliver it. But with the royal mail strike the fruit was still going off so they had to stop it.

    21:00 - Coming to terms with being a Snack Company

    25:00 - Screening for technical people

    Skills required

    When hiring new talent for tech team the technical skills were not the most important as they can be learnt. The most important thing was communication. You can’t learn or be useful if you don’t communicate.

    27:00 - Issues Building Tech

    They didn’t make the best decisions or prepare for scale properly. They ended up with a giant monolith architecture, it ended up making on-boarding of new hires really slow and a big investment for them. and updating and maintaining a slow headache. Had to rewrite eventually and make it much more slicker and optimised, should have done this earlier in hindsight.

    29:30 - Managing Issues and Processes

    Treat it as an engineering problem. Everything needs to have a process. when you have a good process for reviewing what you are doing and document it and make a good process it all becomes much better. They used to like letting people have free rein but actually really stupid. You can still be creative within set rules.

    When people don’t follow the process it is a sign that something is wrong with the process and it needs to be improved

    32:00 - Graze taking off

    They had a lot of early customers receive a box at work. this was before amazon was big and when post was not really used for stuff. It was like a present arriving and the office would be interested.

    They were attentive to the experience of early users and saw this happening and realised the opportunity for a referral scheme. then the business exploded across the UK and within a few months suddenly most people had heard of it.

    33:00 - Referral Schemes Thoughts

    Students took at advantage and they lost money there. Otherwise, it was much cheaper to pay the small price of sending a box to a new customer vs. paying for advertising which is much higher per lead and doesn’t give such a good experience.

    35:20 - Scaling Challenges

    They were able to quickly keep up with the demand and never missed a delivery (until Edd’s final week) as the did really focus on engineering for scale.

    Kept growing the biz over several years and expanded massively into their own factory etc.. eventually left as ten years felt like enough time to dedicate to one thing and ready for a break.

    37:20 - What Edd did after leaving?

    Initially just did nothing for a few months and decompressed.

    Then took up consulting tech for a few days a week. Moved more into e-commerce 3 days a week but got a bit bored of it. Needed to do something due to having a mortgage etc.. but not that interested in it all.

    38:30 - Consulting Woes

    Didn’t enjoy just trying to influence decisions and being a politician and preferred getting hands dirty and doing things.

    Put him off CTO jobs and pushed towards creating projects.

    40:00 - Consulting Joys

    Seeing some different views of the world and knowing what else is out there.

    Good money. But risky to get locked into the high pay requirements

    42:20 - Important Lessons on Career Change

    Really important to decompress and not dive into the next thing.

    Tried to keep things low stress and did more cycling.

    Work out whats important to you and things like commuting can really effect you and should be factored into things.

    45:30 - Joining Tiney.co

    Joined Tiney. Bret was founder of Teach First and a lot of experience in the education space. Edd really liked the proposition of Tiney and making professional childcare more accessible and transparent.

    48:00 - Innovating in Childcare

    Great Team and mission. Need to work out the solutions exactly and deliver on a strategy. Space moves slowly.

    People don’t change childcare every week so it’s not a fast changing world.

    50:00 - Lack of innovation in Childcare

    People don’t like rocking the boat with innovations and if it isn’t broke don’t change things.

    53:00 - Growth plan

    Start in Islington and own it and prove the model. Once it is a smooth operation work out how to scale up.

    The business is early days but very exciting times for him again.


    If you enjoyed the podcast please subscribe and rate it. And of course, share with your friends!

    Special Guest: Edd Read.

    Support Growth Mindset Podcast

  • The 5 AM Miracle with Jeff Sanders
    The 5 AM Miracle with Jeff Sanders
    Jeff Sanders
    Distraction-Free Writing with Freewrite Founder Adam Leeb
    Episode Show Notes jeffsanders.com/364 . Learn More About the Show The 5 AM Miracle Podcast . Free Productivity Resources Join The 5 AM Club! . The 5 AM Miracle Book Audiobook, Paperback, and Kindle . Connect on Social Media Facebook Group • Instagram • Twitter • LinkedIn . Episode Summary What if You Could Just Write … Without Distractions? I have published 2 books and written hundreds of articles, and yet blocking distractions while writing has always been an issue for me. I fight the urge to not-write so many times that I have to get creative to force myself to just sit and write. That’s why I’m so excited about a new device that can radically improve productivity by eliminating distractions at the source. In this week’s episode of The 5 AM Miracle Podcast I speak with Adam Leeb, co-founder of Freewrite, about how we can all optimize our ability to do what we need to do — any nothing else. . Resources Mentioned in this Episode Calm [Free month of your first year] Swanson Vitamins [Get 20% off and free shipping on orders $50+ with code HEALTHY20] Right Side Up [Free week of service after your first quarter of engagement] Focus@Will [Start your 2-week free trial] Adam Leeb [Adam’s website] Astrohaus [Adam’s company] Freewrite [Distraction-free writing tool] Freewrite Traveler [Smaller travel version of the original Freewrite] Logitech G600 MMO Gaming Mouse [Computer mouse that Adam uses] ThinkPad TrackPoint Keyboard II [Computer keyboard that Adam uses] . Adam Leeb Adam Leeb is an award-winning product designer and mechanical engineer (MIT ’07) originally hailing from the burbs of Detroit, MI. He is obsessed with product design especially in relation to user experience and user interaction. Currently, Adam spends most of his energy as a co-founder at Astrohaus in Detroit, Michigan. In his role there, he ideated, designed, launched, and saw through to mass production the Freewrite distraction-free writing tool. Prior to Astrohaus, Adam founded SunDaily, a nutritional supplement brand focused on Vitamin D and new formulas for the modern desk-worker looking for better performance. Adam started his career on Wall Street working in a variety of roles at Macquarie Bank. He operated as an investment banker, private equity professional, lender, and structured commodities finance provider.
    48 min
    Brendon Burchard
    Re-Engage with Your Best Self
    We've all worked too hard, and have dealt with overwhelm and stress. So how do we achieve just as much without overworking ourselves? In this episode, learn strategies to re-engage yourself so you can best operate from your highest self. “There can be grace amid the grind. There can be happiness in the hustle. There can be enthusiasm as we are giving full effort as things play out.” If you'd like to make strides toward becoming your best self, this episode is for you! How To Succeed Without Grinding Get our HPX Supplement HERE: hpxwellness.com Get your High Performance Planner HERE: highperformanceplanner.com/ For more visit: HPXLIFE.com For more training on high performance, at a deeper and more interactive level, join us in High Performance Monthly training program. It's my monthly subscription training program where I go LIVE every month, training you on a new topic or piece of research from High Performance Institute as well as providing LIVE coaching! If you like this, you'll LOVE that. Subscribe at https://Brendon.com/monthly Subscribe to my YouTube vlog. New episodes (almost) weekly. Join 2 million subscribers on my weekly newsletter, FOUR BREAKTHROUGHS. Get a free copy of my book High Performance Habits (I bought it for you, you just pay your shipping). Follow me on Instagram. ABOUT: Brendon Burchard is the world’s leading high performance coach and one of the most-watched, quoted and followed personal development trainers in history. He is also a #1 New York Times bestselling author and in the Top 100 Most Followed Public Figures on Facebook, with over 10 million fans across his pages. O, The Oprah Magazine, and Success Magazine have both named him one of the most influential leaders in personal growth and achievement. Brendon's videos have been viewed more than 200 million times, and 2 million students have completed his personal development online courses and video series. He's created 13 blockbuster online courses, including the most popular motivation, confidence, and habits online video courses of all time. For these results, Success Magazine featured him on its cover, and Oprah.com named him “one of the most successful online trainers in history.” A #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and #1 USA Today best-selling author, his books include High Performance Habits, The Motivation Manifesto, The Charge, The Millionaire Messenger, and Life’s Golden Ticket. Meet him at Brendon.com
    37 min
    How to Be Awesome at Your Job
    How to Be Awesome at Your Job
    Pete Mockaitis
    618: Finding Greater Clarity Amid Uncertainty with Jodi Hume
    Jodi Hume shares decision-making strategies for finding greater clarity whenever you’re stuck.  — YOU’LL LEARN —  1) What to do when every decision seems overwhelming  2) Two best practices for sorting through tough decisions  3) Powerful questions to surface hidden roadblocks  Subscribe or visit AwesomeAtYourJob.com/ep618 for clickable versions of the links below.  — ABOUT JODI —  After a 15-year career as COO of a growing architecture firm, Jodi Hume shifted gears and has made a name for herself over the last decade providing on-call decision support and facilitated leadership conversations for startup founders, corporations, entrepreneurs and executives. Each week, she also hosts So, Here’s My Story… a business podcast of real stories with poignant take-aways and plenty of humor. She’s the lead singer for The Wafflers – and if you ask nicely, she might tell you about the time she won 1st place in a Truck Pull.  • Jodi’s website: LeadingClarity.com  • Jodi’s website: JodiHume.com  • Jodi’s podcast: So, Here's My Story...  • Jodi’s LinkedIn: Jodi Hume  — RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE SHOW —  • Tool: Miro  • Tool: Mural  • Book: Winning with Accountability: The Secret Language of High-Performing Organizations by Henry Evans  — THANK YOU SPONSORS! —  • Rise.com. Build your team’s learning library–the fast and fun way–with Rise.com/awesome  • Four Sigmatic. Enhance your productivity and your coffee at foursigmatic.com/howtobeawesome
    44 min
    Achieve Your Goals with Hal Elrod
    Achieve Your Goals with Hal Elrod
    Hal Elrod
    348: The Evolution of The Miracle Morning Movement
    With the world premiere of The Miracle Morning Movie approaching, I’ve been reflecting a lot on how TMM Movement has evolved over the past 12 years. What began as my little morning routine that I shared in a book, has since evolved into an international community and a worldwide movement. It’s had an astounding impact on millions of people as individuals and collectively, one person and one morning at a time. The Miracle Morning enables each of us to go out into the world as the best version of ourselves. It gives us the power to impact every life we touch and has had an immeasurable ripple effect on the world around us. Today, I’m looking back at how the Miracle Morning has evolved. Whether you’ve been practicing the Miracle Morning for years or just joined the community recently, I’ll be sharing tons of behind-the-scenes stuff you’ve likely never heard before, exploring what it really means to elevate the consciousness of humanity, and diving deep into just what makes this practice so transformative and powerful. Get The Full Show Notes To get full access to today's show notes, including audio, transcript, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit HalElrod.com/348 Subscribe, Rate & Review I would love if you could subscribe to the podcast and leave an honest rating & review. This will encourage other people to listen and allow us to grow as a community. The bigger we get as a community, the bigger the impact we can have on the world. To subscribe, rate, and review the podcast on iTunes, visit HalElrod.com/iTunes.
    1 hr
    More episodes
    Clear search
    Close search
    Google apps
    Main menu