12 March 2023

Season 3, Episode 31. Innovation in Ecom with Matteo Grassi

“"Don't take goal setting in your life too seriously. Goals are guideposts along the journey.” – Matteo Grassi


In this episode of the podcast, Innovation Meets Leadership host Natalie Born interviews Mateo Grassi, co-founder and CEO of the funded startup Popup. Through his remarkable journey from street performer to successful entrepreneur, Mateo shares his experience bootstrapping a business until it was ready for funding, as well as the difficulties and opportunities that come with being an entrepreneur.


They discuss Mateo’s experience of scaling an e-commerce store from zero to 4 million in two weeks, only to have all profits lost due to disputes and fines from credit card providers. Additionally, they compare the pre-tech bubble landscape to today's remote work opportunities which have opened up possibilities of living and working abroad without language barriers.


Finally, they speak about the importance of self-regulation when it comes to technology and social media use, setting boundaries for oneself when it comes to media consumption and finding one’s big “why” - a goal that can never be achieved - in order to stay motivated throughout life. 


Matteo Grassi is co-founder of Popup, a no code eCommerce platform for the next generation, has also founded 7 direct-to-consumer brands, an NGO/DAO, and an anonymous support group for founders. Prior to this, they were a professional break-dancer and circus performer who also produced and performed music. Matteo now creates documentaries, interviews, and shows for YouTube. Known to share either a lame joke or intriguing trivia upon meeting in person. 


[00:00 - 08:23] Innovating in E-Commerce

• Mateo Grassi is the co-founder and CEO of a funded startup called Popup

• Before that he founded a successful e-commerce company called Viceroy and was a brand consultant for companies like Ferrari and Alpha Romeo

• Popup is his latest venture, which he bootstrapped before raising funding in November 2020

• The company was started during Matteo's time at Visa Group, a portfolio company of seven direct-to-consumer brands on Shopify.


[08:23 - 19:24] A Journey of Exploration, Not Destination

• Raising with the pitch stack and your story is not enough anymore; investors want proof that their money will create a return

• In 2018, an e-commerce store scaled from zero to 4 million in two weeks with one product, but ended up losing the money due to disputes and credit card fines

• As an entrepreneur, it is crucial to maintain a sense of adaptability and flexibility.

• Entrepreneurship should be seen as a way to achieve freedom, not just make money


[19:24 - 27:42] Breaking the News Cycle

•  Excessive use of technology is concerning for relationships and can lead to a false sense of community and relationship.

• Social media creates constant stress, which leads to anxiety and the desire to know what is going on.

• News is filtered, and it's limited, so people need to be aware of their social media consumption.

• Limiting social media usage is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


Key Quotes:

"People should embark in a journey of being an entrepreneur the same way you embark in a journey where like in an adventure. And you don't go in an adventure because you necessarily want to reach a destination. You go in an adventure because you love the adventure.” – Matteo Grassi


“Sometimes you have to be pushed to the limits to realize that maybe a problem was small before it got really, really big. But then once you solve it, you solve it." – Matteo Grassi


Connect with Matteo

LinkedIn: https://ie.linkedin.com/in/matteowastaken

Twitter: https://twitter.com/matteowastaken


Check out Natalie's New Book: SET IT ON FIRE: The Art of Innovation available now at https://setitonfire.co/


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