Invest Like the Best: Scott Norton - Seek to Learn That Which Cannot be Taught - [Invest Like the Best, EP.43]


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Published on 27 Jun 2017. If you told me a year ago that I’d be learning critical life and business lessons from the founder of a ketchup company, and that thirty to fifty thousand people would listen to our conversation, well, I’d have told you that’s impossible. But the fact that it is true proves many of the points laid out by this week’s guest Scott Norton, co-founder of Sir Kensington’s which was recently acquired by Uni-Lever. Sir Kensington’s, which makes “condiments with character” is no ordinary Ketchup company, and Scott is no ordinary founder. We talk about the most elemental aspects of business: product, relationships, sales, marketing, and culture. I love that we can do so through the lens of such a seemingly simple product, something that we use all the time with our families at a BBQ. Scott’s observations on culture, the importance of relationships in sales, and competitive edge are all memorable. But above all, I’ll remember his line: seek to learn that which cannot be taught. And I will continually return to the mental image of the Temple of Poseidon. Oh, and as a bonus we also talk about biking around Asia, which like all of Scott’s stories comes complete with thought provoking lessons. Enjoy this unique conversation with one of the most interesting people I’ve met on this journey. We begin with the history of ketchup. For comprehensive show notes on this episode go to For more episodes go to Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag Links Referenced They Call Me Supermensch: A Backstage Pass to the Amazing Worlds of Film, Food, and Rock’n’Roll (Movie) Books Referenced Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In How to Win Friends & Influence People They Call Me Supermensch: A Backstage Pass to the Amazing Worlds of Film, Food, and Rock’n’Roll (Book) Show Notes 2:40 – (First question) – A look at the history of ketchup 5:16 – The milestones of ketchup’s history in the US 10:26 – What were the early days like to compete in a market where the leaders have such a stronghold on the consumer 13:03 – A ketchup party to survey users 14:41 – Effective ways to negotiate 14:57 – Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In 16:32 – How may stages were there in the early products 19:04 – A look at kaizen and what it means to Scott 20:38 – Scandinavian business principles that they bring to the company 23:40 – As the company has grown, has Scott seen downsides to the stakeholder model especially when competing against larger companies that use the shareholder model 28:19 – How did they use outside capital in getting started 31:07 – What was the most memorable story from the early days of disrupting this legacy industry, especially as it relates to the sales of this product 33:30 – How to Win Friends & Influence People 33:58 – How do you create trust and show the benefits of your product in sales 37:48 – How culture started for the company, how it’s shifted since then and what competitive advantage the right culture creates 41:47 – Some of the best outcomes are the result of mindset and culture 43:28 – What new frontiers is Scott and the company looking at today 46:53 – How often has Scott had to course correct and continue down the path of the unknown 49:28 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Scott outside of the company 51:41 – The power of giving and how it will bring large returns, especially when you don’t expect them as part of the giving 53:04 – They Call Me Supermensch: A Backstage Pass to the

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