People Buy the Why

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The CEO of 4Ocean, a company that sells bracelets made from recycled materials, talks about how his company has created a community based on its mission.


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Alex Schulze is the co-founder and CEO of 4Ocean, which sells bracelets made mostly from recycled materials and funds the removal of trash from oceans and coastlines. Schulze talks with #ThePlaybook host David Meltzer about the benefits and challenges of partnering with a friend to build a and connecting the company’s “why” with customers. 

Schulze discusses the beginnings of 4Ocean, including the trip he and his co-founder made to Bali where they saw vast amounts of plastic waste washed up on the beaches. He talks about the importance of working hard and taking advantage of online information to build a business.

Schulze talks about his relationship with his business partner, 4Ocean’s co-founder. He emphasizes the importance of honest and having difficult conversations when emotions are not running high, but rather to come together to talk when everyone is relaxed and level-headed.

Schulze cites ’s quote about customers buying why a business exists rather than what the company offers. He says 4Ocean’s commitments to keeping the oceans clean and are why the company has been able to form long-term relationships with consumers.

Related: The Values of a Good Company

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