I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Skinny Pop co-founder Pam Netzky at a program at Metropolitan Capital Bank. She has an amazing entrepreneurial spirit and left the audience members inspired to grow their businesses.
When I introduced Pam I said “She is a snack food rock star in my house!” She and her partners have created incredibly delicious popcorn that doesn’t have any artificial anything in it. (Although I am fairly certain there is some unlisted drug that causes me to want to eat an entire bag in one sitting.) If you are not familiar with Skinny Pop you’re missing out. If it is not being sold in your area yet – just wait – the company is growing by leaps and bounds. (2019 UPDATE: it is everywhere now!!)
Here’s what I learned from Pam:
- Don’t let what you don’t know stop you. Pam had no background in food, cooking, packaging, distribution etc. before they started the company. She knew she had a great product and just needed to learn how to get it out to the stores.
- Don’t get married to your business plan. Before Skinny Pop, Pam’s plan was to open gourmet popcorn shops in Chicagoand then expand to different cities. A competitor (with a much larger budget) beat them to New York and failed. She was grateful they failed and not her company – but realized that their own business plan no longer made sense. Her ability to change course lead them to create the recipe for healthier popcorn with a totally different distribution model.
- Don’t whine about the economy. She started Skinny pop during the recession (and had sarted another business on Sept. 1, 2001). Certainly not ideal timing.
- Be willing to take a risk!
Here’s a bonus lesson: Click to find out why Arianna Huffington says women should “sleep their way to the top!”