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Ep #8: Ted Baker


Ted and I have crossed paths for several years, so it was really great to visit the QALO headquarters in Southern California to see what he’s built. Ted is a man who loves his wife and his family to the core of who he is, he just didn’t love wearing a wedding ring. His business partner felt the same way. So in the classic “there must be a better way”, they created a silicone ring that spawned a whole industry and has turned into so much more at QALO. One of my favorite parts of talking with other founders is hearing the story of how they came up with their names. QALO came from a love/hate relationship with Scrabble and the difficulty of using the letter Q, and thus the name QALO was born that stands for Quality, Athletics, Love, and the Outdoors - the common threads of what binds the QALO community. This was a wide-ranging, and not always PG or even PG-13, conversation, so please enjoy. I’m a customer of QALO’s and a fan of Ted’s personally and professionally. I unfortunately was not wearing their product when I was surfing a few days later in Southern California and nearly lost my wedding ring (don’t worry, Jen, I didn’t) and it was a pretty stark reminder of why QALO is blowing up and creating copycats every day. You can find their products at and thousands of retail locations across the US.

Show Notes:

  • 04:35 - The inspiration behind QALO
  • 13:30 - How critical speed to market really is
  • 14:25 - Timing and luck are two things you can’t go back and explain
  • 17:00 - Getting 50,000 silicone rings through customs…
  • 21:30 - The ignorance of the anger directed at Bezos for not donating more
  • 22:55 - The name QALO
  • 36:30 - A very long conversation about dogs
  • 44:30 - Ted’s father’s story: going to work at 3 AM and came home at 7 PM
  • 1:01:30 - The call from halfway around the world that makes you change your flight
  • 1:11:30 - The psychosis of being a founder
  • 1:14:30 - Cautionary words around running a process of selling your company or raising money
  • 1:17:45 - Sprinters don’t pause
  • 1:25:30 - The Defiant Ones