Today's guest is Harry Tannenbaum, Co-founder and President at Mill.
Mill developed a household bin that not only collects uneaten food but also shrinks and deodorizes it. The company’s solution aims to keep food in the system and prevent it from ending up in landfills or waste systems, which would otherwise generate significant emissions.
Mill recently exited stealth and we're proud to be multi-time backers of the company through our MCJ Collective venture funds alongside other leading climate tech funds such as Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Lower Carbon Capital, Prelude Ventures, Energy Impact Partners, and John Doerr.
In this episode, Cody and Harry delve into the issue of food waste and what inspired him to tackle it. They discuss the qualities of a successful consumer product and how Harry and his co-founder, Matt Rogers, applied the lessons they learned at Nest to their work at Mill. Additionally, they examine Mill's product and logistics framework and the intersection between consumer behavior change and systems change. They also explore the network effect that Mill hopes to create between the two. Finally, the conversation covers the pros and cons of building a company in stealth, as Mill did during the product development process.
In this episode, we cover:
[2:42] An overview of the food waste problem
[6:04] The life cycle of food waste and the role of city municipalities
[11:15] Harry's journey and experience with Nest
[14:13] How he met his co-founder and decided to focus on waste
[20:00] The genesis for Mill's hardware solution and how it evolved
[25:28] Critical team members and how the company's final produce came to be
[29:47] Mill as a systems change company
[30:35] An overview of the Mill bin and membership experience
[37:07] Where chickens fit in
[45:19] The theoretical debate of systems change vs. personal responsibility
[54:00] The company's partnership with the city of Tacoma, Washington
[57:27] Where the company is looking to hire talent
[59:06] Pros and cons of building in stealth
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Episode recorded on February 10, 2023.