Casper CEO and Co-Founder Philip Krim has grown the online mattress company into a $555 million global operation in less than three years. We sat down with him to get a quick sneak-peek at some of the brilliant strategies he’ll share during the DIG SOUTH Innovation Conference this April.
DIG SOUTH: You’ve written about buying Casper early adopters air mattresses when you realized there’d be shipping delays. Nearly 4 years later, how do you maintain that spirit of solving problems — quickly, at all costs, and on the fly — especially now that you’ve got hundreds of employees?
Philip Krim: At Casper, we have worked hard to build a culture that truly fosters creativity and innovation. We work cross-functionally extensively, allowing us to be nimble and push our own boundaries.
DIG: Casper earned $1 million in revenue in your first month; you were a $100 million company within 2 years, and now you’re one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies, valued at $555 million. If you had to narrow it down to one thing that’s been essential in bolstering this momentum, what would it be?
Krim: Our customers. Casper completely redefined the traditional mattress buying experience, an industry that hadn’t evolved in decades, and the word of mouth buzz from our earliest customers continues to push Casper forward nearly three years later.
DIG: You started as and are still very much an e-commerce company…but you also now have a few retail stores and a partnership with West Elm. How are those physical spaces supporting your e-com strategy?
Krim: First and foremost, we are an e-commerce company. In order to bring our brand into the physical world, we partner with like-minded brands, design popup retail locations, and bring unique experiences like the Casper Nap Tour to life.
DIG: Speaking of e-com, you’ve been in the industry for over a decade. That’s a looooong time in Internet speak. What do you predict in online shopping in the next few years?
Krim: The e-commerce space will continue to see standouts that are rewriting the playbook in industries that have not seen true innovation in decades. Whether that’s fresh produce and groceries or used cars, shopping as we know it will change.
DIG: Casper now sells sheets, a pillow, and even a dog bed. Can you give any hints as to what might be next? Any advice for startup CEOs who might be thinking of adding new products to their line?
Krim: I can’t tell you what’s next, but I can say that if it has to do with sleep, we are thinking about it. For those looking to expand their product offering, don’t rush the process. Take the time to research, prototype, test, and prototype again. Don’t go to market with a product that you are anything less than 110% confident in.
DIG: We want to know how the CEO of the fastest growing sleep startup sleeps. Do you have any nightly rituals? Are you a matching flannel pajama set kind of guy? Noise machine? What helps you catch z’s?
Krim: For me, it’s not about how much sleep I get, but the quality of the sleep itself. I live in New York City, so a white noise machine certainly helps, and I aways try to unwind and unplug before actually hitting the hay.
Want to more of Philip Krim’s e-commerce, startup, and innovation advice? Join us at DIG ICON in Charleston this April! Badge rates increase on March 31!
Image credit: Crain’s New York Business