Philip Krim launched Casper in April 2014. 28 days later, it made more than $1 million.
His team is devoted to improving the 26 years we each spend in bed. Their packaging is the stuff of social media genius. Celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and Kylie Jenner have taken to Twitter with their disbelief at a mattress stuffed into a striped box the size of a mini-fridge.
After founding his first company from his dorm room, he has since become a notable entrepreneur in the New York tech scene. To date, Casper has raised nearly $70 million.
So what does a day in the life of a founder of an award-winning startup look like?
You are how you sleep
I for one spend many morning commutes avoiding guilt as I browse through my Facebook newsfeed. It’s mobbed with articles on just about every incredibly productive task you can get done if you get out of bed at 5am.
It seems Philip is also human.
“Getting out of bed is tough. I don’t really enjoy the early mornings”.
7am is still pretty damn early, but Philip hasn’t always been an early riser.
Hey you, with all that energy at 7am.
You’re not human.
— Casper (@Casper) November 16, 2015
“It has become earlier and earlier with Casper’s growth. I sleep in on the weekends, but there’s just so much to do these days.”
On days that Philip doesn’t quite make it to the gym, it’s straight to work – “First thing, I find myself catching up on emails”.
But first, coffee
He doesn’t tackle his day any further without fueling himself with cereal, coffee and a dose of news from Bloomberg and CNBC from his living room.
Philip and his wife Kimberly live in the Chelsea district in downtown Manhattan, close to Casper’s office in Nolita. Kimberly is enrolled in a health and behaviour Master’s degree at Columbia.
Philip heads into the office between 8 and 9am if he’s not at a breakfast meeting. The rest of the 100 folk on the team drift into the office throughout the morning.
“We’re pretty casual on what time people start work. That said, everyone is working so hard at the moment and such long hours – whether that’s late at night or early in the morning”.
“Four incredibly smart and engaged gentlemen”
Philip says he has found the perfect co-founders.
“Every morning I try to catch up with at least some subset of the founders on what each of us is working on”.
Gabe, Luke and Neil met Philip at a coworking space in NYC. They were working on separate businesses at the time. The group then reached out to Jeff because of his background in product design.
“The way we all came together has allowed us to execute on the business in a way that I find truly incredible”.
“No one wants to go into a shop and deal with a mattress salesman”
Casper has managed to get funding from some pretty non traditional sources. Adam Levine and Tobey Maguire to name a couple.
“We got lucky on the celebrity front. We ended up meeting friends of friends and friends of other investors”.
“Buying a mattress is an awful experience for anyone. Whether you’re a celebrity investor, a personal investor or an institutional investor”.
Over meeting with investors, Philip actually spends a lot of time interviewing people for some of the senior roles they have open.
“It gets harder over time”
“There’s new challenges that we’ve never seen before. We’re growing the Casper family so quickly and that definitely creates management challenges” .
Like a lot of NYC startups, Casper do catered lunches for the team on Tuesdays and Thursdays – “I try not to go out for lunch at all. If I do, I’ll pick up a quick soup and a sandwich which I’ll eat during meetings.”
There’s no time for breaks throughout the day as Philip runs from meeting to meeting. This must be hard seeing as the office features a bedroom where employees can nap! Philip manages to stay focused with tonnes of coffee.
Blood type: Coffee
— Casper (@Casper) January 29, 2016
“I wish I had more downtime”
With an eight-hour day at the office behind him, Philip heads home to more work and gets straight back on to his computer. He says that he increasingly finds that he needs the nighttime to catch up on emails that come in throughout the day.
Time is still made however for a weekly ritual with his wife. “We go for sushi dates every Monday at one of our favourite local spots. The rest of the week we either order in or go out for Italian.
While Casper’s army of celebrity fans enjoy their mattresses for what they are, tweeting and Instagramming their love for the product, Philip says he’s “always dreaming about what sort of sleep products can be built next”.
— ashton kutcher (@aplusk) August 12, 2014
He says that he occasionally finds himself working in bed, such is the pace of life at a high-growth startup. Board meetings, critical hires, fixing supply-chain elements – they’ve all found their way into the bedroom. Right now he’s most focused on rapidly trying to grow the product development team based in Casper’s SF office.
Although he might pick up a book before drifting off – Brian Grazer’s “A Curious Mind” is a current favourite – he says that his last thoughts are always about building his company.