Simplifying the Seasonal Complexities of COGs with Brian Gannon of Loop | re:COGs Podcast Episode #29

Swoop In on The Digital Display That Keeps Your Inner Circle In The Loop

Join re:COGs host, Mike Gelb for an illuminating glimpse into the world of developing connected hardware, as we engage in an insightful discussion with Brian Gannon, Founder & CEO of Loop. 

In this episode, Gannon pulls back the curtain on the captivating story behind Loop, the innovative digital frame and private digital network and home display that enables families and friends to stay intimately connected through shared photos and messages.

From Prototype to Production: The Loop-de-Loop of Product Creation

Gannon gives us an exclusive peek into Loop’s genesis, beginning with identifying the need for a private way for families to connect, all the way through developing the perfect “works like” and “looks like” prototypes. We explore the mistakes and milestones along the way, emphasizing the complexity of designing a functional, connected piece of hardware. Gannon also stresses the importance of compromise, especially regarding initial product margins and features, in order to create something affordable and immediately usable.

Insider Tips for Finding the Right Manufacturer

Choosing the perfect manufacturing partner can feel overwhelming, but Gannon generously shares his insights, based on successes and stumbles with his first product run. He reveals his crucial lesson – the value of finding a factory that has created similar products – in order to maximize efficiency and reduce risk. Gannon also underscores the importance of small initial batch sizes, essential for startups to minimize upfront costs. We also learn the upside of leveraging experienced teams, as well as the potential downsides of overly complex partnerships.

Running the Gauntlet of Financial Growth

Gannon also candidly discusses the problem every startup faces – financing growth. We explore the cash flow challenges of inventory-based businesses, and how he initially underestimated the capital required. He shares how iconic companies like GoPro fueled expansion through creative partnerships with retailers, manufacturers offering favorable terms, and content marketing. He reveals the value of revenue-based financing partners who understand the seasonal ebb and flow of direct-to-consumer brands like Loop. Gannon emphasizes using personal connections to find financing partners willing to stick it out through the ups and downs alongside you.

Get in the Loop! Tune in to hear about the twists and turns of digital connection and picture-perfect partnerships.   Brian Gannon’s experience with product development, inventory management, and profitable growth offers a wealth of valuable insights and actional advice.  You won’t want to miss this opportunity to capture every pixel of wisdom from his captivating journey.

Listen In:

Mike and Brian Discuss:

  • Starting Loop to create an easy way for families to privately share photos 
  • Developing prototypes
  • Learning from mistakes and staying focused on the core use case
  • Finding a manufacturer experienced in similar products is crucial to minimizing risk
  • The importance of small initial batch sizes to reduce upfront costs for start-ups
  • Financing inventory growth is very challenging for inventory-based businesses
  • Creative partnerships with retailers and manufacturers
  • Financing partners who understand seasonal ebbs/flows are key for DTC brands
  • Flexibility with margins and features is essential to create an affordable, usable product
  • How long it took to go from idea to final product
  • Reducing costs by finding a factory able to offer low MOQs

About Loop:  

Sharing life’s memories has never been easier. With the Loop digital frame, you can stay connected with your family no matter where you are. Loop lets you instantly share pictures with your loved ones via text message to the frame. It’s as easy as sending a text. The Loop picture frame has a touchscreen that makes it simple to use, and you can quickly send photos from the Loop app or by text. Designed with family connection in mind, Loop helps you feel closer to loved ones wherever they are.

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