Podcast: Her Cookie Company Went Viral, Which Meant A Bouncer and 4-Hour Lines
How the founder of Do faced a crushing consumer demand, and changed everything to meet it.
Introducing our new podcast, Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer, which features business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side happy, wealthy, and growing. Feifer, Entrepreneur magazine's editor in chief, spotlights these stories so other business can avoid the same hardships. Listen below.
Every so often, a company goes viral. It’s become a New York City cliché at this point -- the hours-long line outside some small, seemingly random business that created a crazy-popular product. It would seem to be an entrepreneur’s dream scenario. What instant validation! You don’t have to go hunting for customers! Your marketing is taken care of! You’re basically all set!
“It was incredibly terrifying,” she says on the new episode of Problem Solvers. “Everyone always said, especially at the beginning, ‘Oh, you must be so happy, you must be so happy.’ And of course I was," says Tomlan. "But I was so tired and stressed that I couldn't enjoy what was happening, or the success that was happening. I was just completely fried and running on no sleep -- you know, just completely like overextended in every possible way.”
What is it like when your company goes viral, and how do you fix the many problems that it creates? It isn’t a problem that many companies will face, of course, but problems it exacerbates are exceedingly familiar. For Tomlan, going viral meant an intense strain on her staff, supply and production problems, and, frankly, the possibility that she’d screw up and anger potential customers on a mass scale. It was scary.
Related: 8 Problem-Solving Practices That See Startups to Success
That’s what the new episode of Problem Solvers is about: How Tomlan responded when her cute little cookie dough shop because a sensation. How did she quickly grow into a business that could handle this insane inflow, that could function under such pressure, and that could continue to thrive? Because she’s done all of those things. And we all have a lot to learn from her.
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Jason Feifer is the editor in chief of Entrepreneur magazine, and author of the forthcoming book Build For Tomorrow about how people can become more adaptable in their careers and life. He is also the host of two podcasts: Build For Tomorrow (yes, same name as the book), which is a show that debunks people's fears of change; and Problem Solvers, about entrepreneurs solving unexpected problems in their business. He writes a newsletter about how to find opportunity in change.