Interview with Glyph co-founder and CEO Pranav Sachdev

Pranav - CEO
Pranav Sachdev co-founder and CEO

1. What is Glyph?

Glyph is a shoe company for minimalists. We make digitally knit shoes designed to be the only pair of shoes anyone needs to own.

2. How did you come up with the idea?

I have been a minimalist for my entire life, even before I had heard the term. My grandfather was one of the happiest people I knew. He taught me that you didn’t really need much stuff to live a fulfilling life. When I was in grad school at Cornell I lived in a small apartment with roommates, and our shoe rack was always overflowing. I figured I would just have one pair of shoes, but I couldn’t find that perfect pair that I could use for everything.

3. What obstacles did you have to overcome to get to where you are today?

There were so many obstacles we’ve had to overcome, and there are even more in front of us. We had to spend 6 months on the ground in China to put together our supply chain and convince factories to work with us. We had to sell out our first batch of Glyphs with zero marketing budget. We had to convince investors to give us $400k even though we are first time founders. Everything is hard.

4. How do you differ from your competitors?

Our differentiation comes from our focus on minimalism, which means having a ruthless obsession with versatility. Glyphs are water-resistant so people can wear them in the rain. They also have an antimicrobial coating so people can wear them with or without socks. Most companies out there want people to buy as many things as possible – we want you to buy fewer things.

5. How have you combatted the current climate of coronavirus within your company?

We’ve always been super scrappy, lean, and cash flow positive so it feels like the whole world is having to play by our rules now. Our factory was shut down for a while, but thankfully we are now back up and running. Additionally, plummeting advertising prices on platforms including Facebook and Instagram means there is a huge opportunity out there for companies that are able to stay aggressive.

6. What advice would you give to young budding entrepreneurs?

I think the main point of advice I would give is to be careful who you take advice from. When you start a company everyone wants to give you advice, and most of the advice you get will be terrible. I think really valuable advice only comes from people who have recently and successfully achieved the exact thing you are trying to achieve. For example, getting fundraising advice from a VC is not going to be nearly as useful as getting fundraising advice from a founder running a similar kind of startup who has recently raised a round. Advice from someone who is watching the show isn’t as good as advice from someone who is creating the show.

We would like to thank Pranav for speaking with us.

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