Episode #380: Rising From the Startup Ashes with Michael Fox

Michael Fox is an entrepreneur and investor, best known for co-founding Shoes of Prey, the online retail startup that raised US$25M and grew its team to 200 people, before lagging demand forced the company to famously call it a day in 2019. Today, he heads up plant-based meat alternative company, Fable Foods Co.

Michael joined me to unpack the Shoes of Prey journey, the highs, the lows, the lessons learned and on being a proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes.

We touched on so many big ticket items, but three that stood out for me were:

1 - how so-called market validation can lead startups astray if it is not performed carefully

2 - why raising venture capital isn’t always necessary for startup success and can sometimes come at a detriment to it

3 - how Michael consciously uncoupled from his wife Jodie but continued to work together as co-founders at Shoes of Prey for another 7 years

We unpacked this and a ton more, so strap yourself in for an enlightening conversation with the one and only, Michael Fox.

Topics Discussed:

-       Michael’s early years as a lawyer and why and how he got out

-       The early days of Shoes of Prey

-       Organic growth v venture-backed growth

-       Market research and validation - how it can set you astray

-       Conscious customer feedback v unconscious reality

-       What Michael would do differently next time

-       Ethical manufacturing

-       Media backlash

-       Laying staff off empathetically

-       Ethical manufacturing

-       The cost of employee engagement and retention

-       Being transparent without compromising employee motivation

-       The importance of not deriving your entire self worth from one thing

-       Conscious uncoupling

-       Humility and ego amidst turmoil

-       Why it can be darkest before the dawn

-       Why 2019 was Michael’s best year

-       Fable Food Co and its mission of ending industrial agriculture

Show Notes:

Twitter: @mmmichaelfox

Fable Foods: fablefood.co

IG: @fablefoodco


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