“I don’t know if we would have made it if we were a VC model because the first five years were pretty rough,” Matt says. “But what that really taught us was figuring out what we did uniquely and where we brought value to the table. And I always say figure out what people desire, and you have to get in between, what they desire and what the solution is.”
HydraPak has three brands: hydration reservoirs, bicycle bottles, and effervescent cleaning tablets (for cleaning steel bottles).
Much of HydraPak’s success is due to the long-term relationships with suppliers, employees, and customers. That goes for the competition too.
“The people I was competing with on day one are still the companies I’m competing with today,” Matt says. “So as much as we innovate and do new things, it’s been a very consistent marketplace. We’ve just been fortunate to grow from being a start-up to being one of the significant players in this space.”
An early challenge that faced HydraPak was the pressure to produce products similar to market leaders. Matt says it was his instinct toward differentiation that allowed HydraPak to survive ultimately.
In Part 1, Matt talks about:
* Gratitude toward his father for inspiring the idea to start a company and continued support.
* Why the brand wasn’t a good fit with the venture capital business model.
* The focus of the company’s three brands.
* The consistency of the marketplace.
* How the company’s launch came right after the Sept. 11 tragedies and how it became a good time for him to start a business.
* How he temporarily turned his back on his instinct to focus on differentiation in the beginning days of the company.
* How his involvement in the company helped through his involvement as a runner and cyclist.
* The effect of the COVID pandemic on HydraPak.
For more on HydraPak, visit: https://hydrapak.com/
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