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Dan Greene is….the Senior Vice President of North American sales at Impossible Foods, the Earth’s most scrumptious plant-based meat company that has science & optimization at its core. Their mission is simple, yet universe-big, in thinking: eliminate the need to make food from animals.
Back to Dan! He started his career not in tech but as an aviator for the US Navy. Aside from having over 1,500 hours of flight time & enforcing no-fly zones over Iraq, Dan spent 12 years managing operations of 400 aviators, 40 aircrafts, and $30M in annual budgets.
Afterwards, he got inroads to Twitter, Google, & ultimately Impossible where he brought sales prowess and a passion for leading high-performing teams.
Impossible itself has a colorful history, all beginning with a crazy idea and discovery by CEO Pat Brown, a former Stanford professor. Piece by piece, Impossible imitated the kinesthetic experience of eating a juicy burger (for example, potato starch to imitate browning, coconut oil to imitate grease sizzling, and beets to imitate a bloody juice). 🥔
Since 2017, Impossible has expanded beyond its wicked tasty burger (and it really is tasty) into sausages, chicken patties, & so much more.
We dive deep into…What does ‘getting winged’ mean? What was the transition from military to tech like? How do you go about replacing a food staple, beef, with an alternative? And how much does Impossible care about their competition (you might be surprised)?
This episode is particularly valuable for…plant-based meat haters who think Impossible burgers are just for weaklings, climate action skeptics who think ‘what you eat’ doesn’t really matter, and finally for sales professionals who might have been flirting with the idea of working in climate tech but don’t have faith in its longevity as a sales career.
Smakelijk eten! (Danish for ‘bon appétit’) 🌍
- [3:47] Do you love or hate Top Gun 2?
- [6:01] What did you fly?
- [6:51] What does ‘getting winged’ mean?
- [8:20] How do you become a naval aviator?
- [10:48] How the military is a large scale training organization
- [11:10] What got you interested in the climate sustainability space?
- [13:06] How long have you been at Impossible Foods?
- [13:16] What’s the story of meeting Impossible?
- [16:12] Today, what is your role?
- [16:42] Who is your ultimate customer?
- [18:36] How there is no reason you need to get meat from a cow or a pig.
- [19:48] How do you get customers to taste Impossible burgers 1st?
- [22:12] Do you care about the sustainability message, after someone tries the burger?
- [24:11] How they get a behavior change, by focusing on health & taste (secondary to sustainability)
- [25:42] How Jakub is Impossible’s ideal customer
- [26:11] Why did Pat Brown take the capitalist route with Impossible?
Links from Episode
- Connect with Dan: LinkedIn | Twitter
- Impossible Foods
- Top Gun Maverick (Top Gun 2)
- F/A 18 Hornet
- F/A 18 Super Hornet
- What is a sub(marine) driver
- Assurance IQ
- Venture Capital
- Coastal Ventures
- David Lee
- Pat Brown
- Dennis Woodside
- Impossible early years
- Burger King
- Impossible’s sustainability messaging
Have you ever tried a plant-based burger? Was it meat-y enough for you? 🍔 Share below.