Business is Boring is a weekly podcast series presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. Host Simon Pound speaks with innovators and commentators focused on the future of New Zealand. This week he talks to Tim Brown, co-founder of Allbirds.
This week’s podcast has an extra special guest that’s recently been on the minds – and feet – of people all around the world.
The Allbirds story is now famous in Aotearoa: a few short years ago, a New Zealand professional footballer had a dream for a shoe made out of wool. A lot of our podcast listeners will have followed every step along the way. For many, that first moment might’ve been seeing the Kickstarter project with the great overview video for a new merino wool shoe you could wear without socks.
Since then, the Allbirds idea has grown from being a little concept from New Zealand to attracting investment, media, and huge sales worldwide. It’s been busy opening stores in some of the world’s great retail areas, and now, it’s got a store in Auckland.
Although success can make things seem like it was a sure bet, it was – in the words of its founder and today’s guest – “a bad idea for a long time before it was a good one”. Allbirds co-CEO Tim Brown joined the podcast this week for an honest, engaging and helpful chat about what it takes to build something different, and what it takes to keep stepping up in terms of scale and expectations.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.