Christopher Lochhead Wants You to Play Bigger | PoP 243

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Christopher Lochhead wants you to play bigger

In this episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Christopher Lochhead about playing bigger.

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Meet Christopher Lochhead

Christopher is a former three-time, Silicon Valley public company CMO and entrepreneur. The Marketing Journal calls him one of “The Best Minds in Marketing,” Fast Company Magazine calls him a “Human Exclamation Point,” The Economist calls him “off -putting to some,” and Newsweek calls him, “The Howard Stern of Entrepreneurialism.” At 18 he got thrown out of school, and with no other options he started a company. After 30 years in business he retired. Christopher can’t remember his wife’s phone number, but can recite much of The Big Lebowski. He’s a proud advisor to non-profit t 1Life Fully Lived, a surf and ski bum who gives the occasional ass-kicking talk. He’s living happily ever after with an amazing woman, a great tribe and six little dinosaurs in Santa Cruz California.

Christopher Lochhead’s Story

He was born and raised in Canada. His family is originally from Scotland. He became an entrepreneur by accident when he was 18 and got thrown out of school. He had no money, no experience, and no education, but was faced with either becoming an orderly in a hospital or starting his own business.

“I had to learn by doing, seeking out coaches and mentors, and reading.”

In This Podcast

**Explicit content**


Christopher Lochhead has been an entrepreneur since he was 18 years old. He is well-known for his book, Play Bigger, which offers some incredible insights into entrepreneurship. In this podcast, Joe chats to Christopher about his story and some insights into his book and experience as an entrepreneur.

“When you turn a chipmunk into a bear, and come from a place of fear, it’s much harder to move forward.”

Tips And Advice From Christopher Lochhead

“Position yourself or be positioned.”

The legends tell the world how to think about them. We need to put ourselves in a position where we can win. And we need to be distinct from others. Don’t compare yourself to others. Become known for being uniquely you!

Network technology creates abundance.

People think in categories first. Many brands align their businesses with one of these categories. Their marketing consists of ‘category first, brand second’. What you want to do is differentiate yourself so much that you create a new category.

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Meet Joe Sanok

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.




Thanks For Listening!

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Podcast Transcription

File: POP 243 – Christopher Lochhead wants you to play bigger
Duration: 0:34:37

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This is the Practice of the Practice Podcast with Joe Sanok, session #243.


Joe Sanok: Welcome to the Practice of the Practice Podcast with Joe Sanok. I am Joe Sanok, your host here, live in the radio center two building in downtown Traverse City. I am still watching a building get built next to me. They have the drywall up, and right now a guy is smoking right outside my window on four stories of scaffolding, and it’s rather interesting to watch every single day to have a building going up. Well, this month, I have been doing the World Changers Challenge. We are writing an e-book together where there’s over 600 people that are each saying that they are going to write an e-book, having been doing more than weekly Facebook lives within that Facebook group. If you are not a part of that, go in there. You can totally go and watch the Facebook lives. You can learn from the community. You can engage with them in writing an e-book in 30 days that you can give away to your clients that you can use to level up, that you can eventually publish and sell. And we are walking you through that totally free. You can sign up over at We are going to be doing more challenges in the future similar to this to just inspire people and get you guys motivated together. It’s a different type of Facebook group. It’s just not like your typical practice building group. Nothing against other groups, but these are going to be specific around challenges that we have run full tilt together. We did a weeklong challenge back in June that was about going after your big idea. This one is a month-long challenge, and then we are going to do a two-week challenge in the winter that I am going to be disclosing sometime in the future. So as part of that, I had been working on my book, which I’m naming, “Becoming Giants,” and it’s all about what the top practice owners do. The habits that they have, their mindsets, the way that they do things different than the lower 99 percent and I have been interviewing people for the podcast about that, that I am going to use some of the content in there… it’s just been a lot of fun to do, and as part of that, one of my first chapters, I start with a story. One thing that I have discovered is that most of the New York Times bestsellers will have about 40% of their chapters be story based. Case studies, examples, stories from their own life, but 40% will be evaluating research, best practices, kind of what the best minds are saying in regards to the specific area. Then only about 20% is, here is the big takeaway – here’s what I want you to take away from this. They use examples and stories and research in a way that we typically don’t in our writing. So I really mean gathering my own stories over the last part of year and actually within my notes section of my phone just have all the examples of different stories that I wrote, or have experienced. And one story that I start with is when I was on my honeymoon. So I’d gone full tilt the summer before my marriage and was doing my internship, like 60 hours a week so I could get done early and when I got married. Then we were on the airplane out to Boulder, Colorado. We were staying at the Chautauqua Association, which were these cool Associations that were built… actually, a lot of them were built from Texas teachers. They wanted to get away in the summertime and kind of continue their education around philosophy and religion and science and being outdoors and just get away from Texas in the summertime. So all of this kind of popped up around the nation, and the one in Boulder is one of the last remaining ones. So we go to Chautauqua and I got super sick on the airplane ride. I just have been going full tilt, so I have this like [Inaudible 00:04:41.10] next to the bed and just like hacking up along. We had gone to wholefoods and get a bunch of kind of snacks and stuff. But it was a little bit warm out. So we had the windows open and didn’t put the food away, and were in bear country. And in the middle of the night, we hear this noise this scratching around the screen and then we hear it kind of go around this… it’s like an efficiency cabin, and it’s like, you know, your bed, but then the kitchen is right there. There is not like separate rooms other than the bathroom. And we heard the scratching. And Christina is like, “I think there is a bear outside. I think there is a bear outside.” And I am like, “Oh my gosh.” And my heart starts raising and thumping and thumping, and what do you do in this situation. I mean you don’t like run at the screen. You don’t like yell at it. What you do? We have screen between us and the bear. So you just lay there quietly and we realize our food is on the counter, and it then goes away. We fall back to sleep. The next morning, I have my cup of coffee and I am sitting outside and I am reading, and I hear this sound behind me. And I hear the leaves moving and this thing is getting closer and closer to me. I turn around. And it’s a chipmunk. It’s a chipmunk! And in the book, I talk about when we turn chipmunks into bears, whether it’s something new that we are learning, whether it’s crisis in our practice or in leveling up, that when you make a chipmunk into a bear and come from a place of fear, it’s much harder to move forward and top practice owners have different ways that they address that.

So I just wanted to talk with you today through this interview with Christopher Lochhead all about how you can play bigger and actually you can become the bear. I want to read to you what people have said about Christopher Lochhead because this book, ‘Play Bigger,’ he is a co-author of this book. Amazing book. I’m two-thirds the way through it. Jaime Jay who came out to Slow Down School is one of our sponsors there and has an incredible podcast. He has been on the podcast a few times. He also recommended it to me, even already had it. But Christopher… this is what Marc Benioff. He is a CEO and Chairman for Salesforce… he says every entrepreneur looking to all through the landscape and every CEO looking to re-imagine their business can learn from this book. ‘Play Bigger’ provides inspiration and a framework for building companies that transcend gravity. Newsweek says Christopher is the Howard Stern of entrepreneurialism with less hair. And also [Inaudible 00:07:38.19], he is the partner at Sequoia Capital, says the new how to guide for entrepreneurs and executives who want to build legendary and enduring companies. Stanford calls this book, required reading. I mean these are heavy, big players, and the fact that Christopher came unto the Practice of the Practice podcast is mind blowing. And actually over the coming days, I am going to have this… I am not sure if I am going to do it in days or weeks. We have to look at our schedule, but the next several podcast episodes are going to be this interview broken up. Because we ended up speaking for almost two hours. It was incredible. So you are going to see that in the next few podcast episodes where going to be me and Christopher’s conversations, and we are going to [Inaudible 00:08:25.17]. So without any further ado, I give you the one, the only, the never replicated Christopher Lochhead.


Joe Sanok: One disclaimer I do need to say is that Christopher, he uses some profanity in this interview. So if you are with your kids, if you are with people that maybe offended by the f*** work, the sh** word, other words that are naughty, you might want to put some headphones in or wait till you are somewhere else.

So without further ado, the interview.

Joe Sanok: Oh boy, it’s so funny. Even before we like go with the interview… you know, people reach out all the time to be interviewed on the podcast, and then, you know, they sell me their book and everything, and so ‘Play Bigger’ arrives and I’m just like where did this come from? Did I order this or like there is no note in it or anything.

Christopher Lochhead: [Inaudible 00:09:17.09].

Joe Sanok: It’s [Inaudible 00:09:18.18] I am leaving for this conference that I am hosting and Jaime Jay from Slapshot Studio is like, oh my gosh, [Inaudible 00:09:24.20] it’s mind blowing and I am like, why does that sound familiar. Oh yeah, it randomly showed up, did you send me there. And then I went through my emails and realized, oh yeah, I am having Christopher on the podcast, and so I started reading it and I just had to put all the pieces together. So…

Christopher Lochhead: That’s great.

Joe Sanok: … it has been such, so often, it’s like [Inaudible 00:09:43.05] where lot of people will reach out to you and to keep it all sorted out. But, man, I am so excited to talk to you after now reading most of your book and listening to a bunch of your podcast. So…

Christopher Lochhead: Well, thank you. I am [Inaudible 00:09:55.14] to be with you. I love what you are doing by the way – you know, I love solo practitioners. One of my best friends in the world started off as massage therapist and he now calls himself a mixed method recovery specialist. He does a whole bunch of other things that he integrates with it and he actually just… he fixed me on the weak end. My spine was fucked up and I couldn’t serve and… so anyway I just have a lot of affection for at least what I understand is your world and I took the opportunity to listen to a handful of your shows and so…

Joe Sanok: Oh, sweet.

Christopher Lochhead: Yeah, I really love what you were doing.

Joe Sanok: Very cool. Well, what if we have a little break for the intro and then I will introduce you and we will go from there?

Christopher Lochhead: All right. I am ready when you are.

Joe Sanok: Well, today on the Practice of the Practice Podcast, we have Christopher Lochhead, who is the co-author of ‘Play Bigger,” which is my new favorite book. I have been diving into it. It’s helped pirates, dreamers and innovators create and dominate markets, and actually just this morning I was doing a keynote to people here in Traverse City, talking about Star Wars and [Inaudible 00:10:53.25] played clips of Star Wars and then I pulled out kind of entrepreneur stories and I quoted the book as part of that presentation this morning. So I am so excited for Christopher to be on the show. He is also a fellow lover of The Big Lebowski. Christopher welcome to the Practice of the Practice Podcast.

Christopher Lochhead: How are you doing, Joe? I think your podcast really [Inaudible 00:11:14.14] together.

Joe Sanok: (laugh) Well, thank you, thank you. Well, tell us a little bit about yourself. You have done so many things. I am sure we can go in many directions, but maybe let’s start with “Playing Bigger” and the team of people that you wrote that with. You have done so much work. I love your kind of scrappy nature, that you are open about like just loving surfing, and you just stand out in a really competitive market. Tell us a little bit about your roots.

Christopher Lochhead: Yeah, so I was born and raised in Montreal, Canada, and my family is originally from Scotland. My grandfather came to Canada after World War II, because there was really no opportunities for him in Scotland. And I became an entrepreneur sort of accidentally, Joe, at 18 because I got thrown out of school for being stupid. It turns out if you get enough Ds and Fs for long enough they tell you, you can’t come back.

Joe Sanok: You kind of a waste of our time. Now, get… like threw you away.

Christopher Lochhead: Yeah, exactly. And at about 18 with… my options were either A – shave men’s testicles for a living or B- be an entrepreneur. My mom had gotten me a job as an orderly in a hospital, which I was incredibly appreciative of. But really I had nowhere else to go, you know, and so I like a lot of entrepreneurs are what you could think of as a small e-entrepreneur. No money, no relationships, no experience, no education. Let’s just hang out a shingle and go for it.

Joe Sanok: Yeah. So early on, and I know it were kind of going back, how did you start that journey, because our counselors, our therapists or private practices that list in, many of them are similar – you know, they have got no business background, they are starting these businesses and then they grow and they scale. We can talk about kind of when they want to play bigger, but when people are first starting out and they have that scrappy nature, they are ready to go kill it, but they don’t know how. What were some things you picked up along the way that helped you really start to organize where you were headed early on?

Christopher Lochhead: That’s a great question. So couple of things in no particular order. I had to learn by either doing, seeking out coaches and mentors and reading. And so, you know, there were a handful of coaches and mentors and books that I read. From probably about 18 to 28, that sort of 10 year period there, that was hugely seminal for me and is for many people. And so by doing those things, that’s really how I learned. So for example, one of the most important things I learned early on is this notion of position yourself or be positioned. That’s to say, most of us sort of fall into this trap and we don’t even question it that we accept the rules of the game as they are. And so, you know, even in my case when you are an 18 year nobody, you behave like an 18-year-old nobody. Well, I didn’t. I chose not to do that and just sort of, if you will position myself, a something a lot more than just an 18-year-old nobody. And we’ll talk about the specifics if you like, but you know, I think that’s sort of the first big aha that I had that there are pre-ordained almost rules in life and in business that many of us just follow because that’s what there is to do…

Joe Sanok: Well, how do people shake that up because I am with you, you know. I was in bands in college. I thought differently too…

Christopher Lochhead: Me too.

Joe Sanok: …and there’s people that, you know they have that kind of, whether it’s a surfer standing on a paddle board, like different like, were outside of the norm. I was always a snowboarder. We don’t have many huge waves here, but I herniated three discs when I was in college and had to walk with a cane from a snowboarding accident…

Christopher Lochhead: [Inaudible 00:15:08.4] (crosstalk)

Joe Sanok: …oh, may I… they do it… and then in a wheelchair. Oh, my gosh (laugh), but we probably thought different in a lot of ways. For people that have just accepted – okay, I got to work in a non-profit, then I work for community mental health, and then I just maybe launch a quiet private practice and take insurance. What like shakes them up to just so to position themself versus you know just being positioned?

Christopher Lochhead: Yeah. You know, I will share with you the sage words of my dear friend and one of my very early mentors, a guy that made a giant difference in my life. His name is [Inaudible 00:15:43.01] and he is what you could call a future hacker. He helps people sort of imagine the future they are wanting and what Big [Inaudible 00:15:51.04] says is stand in the present and pull the future to them. And so what I learned was that the legends tell the world how to think about them. They put themselves in the place that they want to be. So…let me give you a simple example. Mohammad Ali famously said, if I don’t tell people I am the greatest, how will they know? Right?

Joe Sanok: Mm-hmm.

Christopher Lochhead: And he said that long before he became the greatest boxer in the world. And if you are a real boxer or a real boxing fan, you know that Mohammad Ali wasn’t then and he isn’t now the greatest boxer in the world. And yet it didn’t matter. So we need to put ourselves in a position where we can win and we need to be distinct from others. For some reason as human beings, Joe, we get sucked into believing that the game in business is a comparison game. I am better than the next chiropractor. I am the best chiropractor in Santa Cruz. Well, when we do that, we are comparing ourselves to what came before. That’s not what Mohammad Ali did. He became known in a way that no other boxer was ever known before. Another great example I love is Pablo Picasso. And so if you look at Picasso’s work and you don’t know anything about art, it would be easy to conclude that, that was the work of a drunken 8-year-old.

Joe Sanok: (laugh) Until you go to the Picasso Museum in Barcelona which my wife and I had the opportunity to do, but I don’t want to spoil your story like…

Christopher Lochhead: [Inaudible 00:17:30.24] give it to you.

Joe Sanok: (laugh) Oh, by the way I didn’t ask you a [Inaudible 00:17:35.06] today or I’ll let the people know in the front end of today, I am letting Christopher be Christopher. And Jamie Jay from Slapshot Studio, I know you were on his podcast. He…

Christopher Lochhead: We had so much fun.

Joe Sanok: …oh, my gosh. When he came to Slow Down School, my conference this last July and that we were doing again, he sponsoring again… oh, my gosh. He is a brother from another mother. He is such a just compassionate person and loving person, but also a person that knows his stuff. So anyway… yes, so Picasso. You see his early work and it’s mind blowing how realistic it is, the masterpieces he was creating.

Christopher Lochhead: But that was long before cubism, right?

Joe Sanok: Absolutely, yeah.

Christopher Lochhead: So his career trajectory is a fascinating one, because to your point, Joe, his early work is gorgeous. It’s spectacular art. But… and I am going to use this word on purpose… it’s not different.

Joe Sanok: Absolutely, yes.

Christopher Lochhead: And so people look at it and go, that’s a beautiful flower, tree, lady… whatever the… you know, whatever the subject of the painting was, but he was one in a million, right? Of other great painters. The truth is Picasso’s greatest design is a new category of art, not a painting. And so when he started to do the bright colors with the squares and he took the boob and stuck it where the ear is supposed to be and vice versa, and all the stuff he did with cubism, at first the world says this is clearly the work of an insane person. And he says, that’s where you are wrong. It’s a new type of art called cubism. And for Picasso to be successful, requires a new definition of what art is. When the world accepts his definition of art, he becomes the most legendary artist on planet earth. So my question to people is who would you rather be, Picasso or the 47th cubist artist in the world?

Joe Sanok: I love… and that’s would for me in your book “Play Bigger.” Just was such a mind shift of to become the category king…or queen whatever words you want to use, that when you create that new category… you know, you talk about Uber, you talk about all these other businesses and entrepreneurs that basically invent a category. And then you guys found in your research that they get 80 percent of the business within that category?

Christopher Lochhead: Yeah. So what we did, Joe, is we studied… because my background and the background of my co-authors is in the tech world, right? I lived in Silicon Valley for the better part – 20 years. I don’t live too far from that today, in beautiful Santa Cruz, California. But… so what we did was we built a big data store of every venture, back, tech company founded from 2000 to 2015. And we got a hold of the data around how their value had increased over time. So, you know, with a public company we call it a market capital, with a private capital we call it a valuation. What’s the value of the company? And if you believe as I do that the number one job of an executive or an entrepreneur is to create a company of enduring value. Then measuring that value over time becomes incredibly important. Now, most… you know, I am three time CMO, my co-authors at least two out three of them were also CMOs, and so you would think as marketing guys we would care about market share. And market share is important of course. But there’s a lot of data in research about market share. We studied market cap, that’s to say the total amount of value created. And to your point what we discovered was in a tech world if you take any given market category, what you discover is on average 76 percent is the actual number. So, you know, two-thirds of the economics, total value created in a space goes to the category king, the leader in the space. And so the first big aha is we are living in a winner take all world. And you can decide whether you like that or whether that’s fair – we can have a conversation about that if you want. But not getting that that’s the world that we were in is a various dangerous thing for anybody who is an entrepreneur, a business owner, a leader or an executive…

Joe Sanok: Now I want to… I do want to pause [Inaudible 00:21:51.23] there because a lot of therapists or practice owners have this mindset of abundance of kind of the secret of like, I am going to put it out there and the business will down to me. There’s more than enough work out there. This winner take all, I think for a lot of the kind of social working types is really hard. It feels like I got to be cut-throat, I got to like cut people off. I got to, like… whatever analogy we use. We got to be a jerk in business in order to win. How do you address that mentality when we are in a winner-take-all world according to kind of the research?

Christopher Lochhead: Yeah, so first of all we have to understand that… and I have an abundance mindset as well, and I actually think technology… we had Mike Maples, Jr. on legends and losers – my podcast – and Mike is one of the top venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, and on the show what he shared was that the traditional thinking about economy is actually all wrong. So if you think about Adam Smith and fundamentally scarcity supplying demand, right? There is so many bananas in the world and depending on where you are in the banana ecosystem, you’re trying to optimize your unfair share, if you will, of banana economics in the world. But there is only so much banana economics, right? Because that’s predicated on a scarcity model – you know, it goes back to Adam Smith. What Mike says is particularly network technology creates abundance. So we saw recently Uber has a new CEO and I was surprised in some of the headlines and some of the news reports about the Uber CEO to find out that the media says that Uber is the biggest employer in America. So you look at a company like that… that is in tech speak, we call companies like that – Facebook would be one, eBay would be another. Of course Amazon is one – that are these network effect companies, and value of the network grows exponentially as more nodes enter the network. Right? So companies like that do create abundance. And I think Mike is right that we need a new headset if we are gonna abundance with that kind of company. We need to think about the economy very differently. So I do agree with that. And in an world of abundance, one company takes two-thirds of the economics. Facebook has no competitor. Microsoft spent $10 billion on Bing with their ‘me too’ strategy against Google, did nothing. Did nothing to Google market cap, did nothing to Google’s market share. So when we attack… look, most entrepreneurs, most innovators, that make it unconscious, unquestioned choice, Joe, to position themselves and/their company, their service inside of an existing market category and compete for market share. That’s the choice that the vast majority of people make without even realizing that’s the choice that they make. And what we discovered is that’s a great way to light money on fire. That’s not what Steve Jobs did, that’s not what Mohammad Ali did, that’s not what Sara Blakely the founder of SPANX and the category designer of shapewear did, that’s not what Henry Ford did, and you know it’s not what a legendary chiropractor does.

Joe Sanok: So I love these concepts. Let’s come back to the individual chiropractors, social worker, counselor who has a private practice. How did they create new categories in their own town and I know from myself that’s been… well, we don’t directly bill insurance. We are going to focus on our marketing. We are going to have a website. It looks like Instagram and it shows the results of counseling instead of some sad person crying or… like people know that they are upset. They don’t need to be reinforced through our website. And there we try innovative things like dinner and a counseling session to stand out in a way that nobody else is doing. So those little things, but how do you do that even on a bigger scale if you have a small private practice?

Christopher Lochhead: Yeah, it’s a great question. So the first thing to understand is that people think in categories first. And product services or brand second. And so the category makes your company. The category makes the practice. And here’s what I mean by that. Most chiropractors if I drive by their building, they have a signup. It says ‘Chiropractor,’ and underneath that says, you know, “Joe.” But the big [Inaudible 00:26:26.04] says, “Chiropractor.’ Now, dentist do the same thing, ‘Dentist’ – ‘Joe, DDS’ in smaller font. Now whether we realize it or not when we do that, we are with our marketing – in this case just a sign, but a sign is marketing of course. We are screaming the category that we are in first, and our brand second. Because the world has an understanding of chiropractor. World has an understanding of, you know, massage therapist, right? Just says massage. And so what we are doing when we do that, is we are saying, hey, if you’re interested in what we do, then you should be interested in our product service brand. Category first, brand second. Now, here is the problem with your ‘Chiropractor.’ If your sign says, ‘Chiropractor,’ and that’s all it says, you are leaving up to chance how you are being positioned. That is to say, the word chiropractor already means something to people. They have positive, they have negative, whatever they have towards that word. Right? And you are not taking your own positioning into account. So for example, in a dentistry world, there are some dentists that position themselves as – you’ll see this on the sign – ‘Gentle Dentistry.’ Now, they are trying to differentiate themselves.

Joe Sanok: Mm-hmm. Which is the subtle shift that I think when people here category design. They’re like, “How am I going to come up with the new Uber?” But it sounds like it’s just a subtle move away from just being category defined, but to hold themselves into something different.

Christopher Lochhead: Yeah, it can be subtle and it can be gigantic. You know in our book “Play Bigger,” one of the stories we tell is that of Clarence Birdseye and he is the inventor and category designer of frozen food, and before Clarence, there was two types of food. There was food and there was canned food, and he had this aha. I could tell you the story if you care, but, around frozen food. And so he had to [Inaudible 00:28:37.18]…

Joe Sanok: I would love to hear the aha, because you only get so much from the book, but I have got Christopher on the show. So how did he have his aha?

Christopher Lochhead: So the story goes that as a young man he was into what lot of young people are into today – taxidermy. Oh, common Joe, that was at least a little fun.

Joe Sanok: (laugh) I was listening so deeply, I thought okay he is in… I was going I didn’t know taxidermy is taking off, but this guy know categories. (laugh) So…

Christopher Lochhead: It’s huge here at Santa Cruz to get a bunch of teenagers who like to stuff dead animals with a… So ultimately he ends up working for the US Forest Service. And he ends up in the North of Canada, and while he is up there he notices something interesting as he is with the Inuit people, and what he notices is that if we catch a fish and eat it shortly thereafter, it tastes a particular way, and he also of course sees them catch a fish and put it on ice, and it “flash freezes” and what he has this experience of is, you know, we carry it in some kind of an ice bucket and ice container, we leave it on ice for however many days and then he see the Inuit fire up the, fire up the barbie so to speak, and have (crosstalk)…

Joe Sanok: [Inaudible 00:29:54.16] shrimp on the barbie.

Christopher Lochhead: Exactly, and the aha is it tastes pretty much the same multiple days later after it has been “flash frozen,” and so he gets like every entrepreneur, every innovator obsessed with how do we do this, how do we do this at scale. How do we…? Because if we are able to do this, we could have fresh piece in February. Right? And so he goes to work and he creates a whole new category that today is an industry. And just by way of sort of underscoring – guess who’s the number one [Inaudible 00:30:33.02] of frozen food in American is today?

Joe Sanok: I just happen to know, is it Birdseye?

Christopher Lochhead: It’s Birdseye.

Joe Sanok: Yeah? Actually I was really inspired from that part of your book to look out how many patents he had and what the industry was at. Over 300 patents – are like basically start to finish in their entire, like from being caught all the way to being delivered, and I was reading that by the time he died it was a billion dollar industry, like it’s shocking.

Christopher Lochhead: What year did he die in Joe, do you remember?

Joe Sanok: It was ’53 or ’54. So a billion dollars in 1954 or ’56… It was in the mid 50s, somewhere in there.

Christopher Lochhead: No, he was Mark Zuckerberg.

Joe Sanok: Yeah (laugh).

Christopher Lochhead: Right? And we look it at today. It’s interesting. The legendary Health Tech investor Bryan Roberts. Good buddy. He is mentioned in our book and he was actually just on Legends and Losers. He is so freaking smart. Anyway, he says things go from non-consensus to consensus fast. Right? And in retrospect, everything looks like well, duh, of course. But in reality you look back and you go, frozen food was not an of course. Like somebody had to see that and then most importantly and here’s what category designers do. They teach the world how to think about a problem and therefore a solution in a particular way, and when the world agrees with the category designer about the problem, a boom. The world pulls the product out of the company. So that’s what happens with Birdseye. And by the way, you then have the chance to be the category king. If you become the category king, the only way to unseat the category king is when the problem gets redefined. It the world continues to agree about the problem, then the category king continues to be the category king and in the case of Birdseye Foods, everybody [Inaudible 00:32:28.28], shit they must have this problem called frozen food handle because they invented it. So let’s go keep buying our frozen food from Birdseye. And that’s that place out over and over and over again.

Joe Sanok: There’s just so much to unpack here and actually Christopher, I want break this podcast up into two days.

And so all of you listening right now, you’re probably taking notes. You want to go back and re-listen to it. We are going to pause right now and come back to this interview, probably tomorrow, probably doing back to back. So Christopher, maybe tomorrow we can dive in that to what this looks like and in counseling private practice, we can dive into just some other concepts because my mind is being blown by this, and I want to make sure that we have ample time and do this over a couple days.

So if you don’t mind, I will talk to you more about this in a minute.

Christopher Lochhead: I don’t mind at all.


Joe Sanok: It’s rare to see someone that is as big as Christopher just give up their time and we ended up chatting for so much long [Inaudible 00:33:33.07] after this that we are going to actually do two more episodes with him and it’s just incredible. I tried to wrap up the interview a couple times because I thought he was like pressed for time, and in the next two episodes with him you are going to see that he had no sense of having to like stop talking which was just so killer. So we just kept rolling and luckily I didn’t have anything scheduled immediately after and it was super cool. So we shall have two more episodes with Christopher where he is going to show us how to design categories and just some really amazing things that he has to say. Head on over to and you can take advantage of their awesome deals to get an amazing website. Again, that is Thanks for letting me into your ears and into your brain. You all rock! And I will talk to you soon.