On his morning routine. While I know this isn't the recommended way to start your day, I typically start by checking my email from the night before. I believe it's important to make sure my team has what they need to start the day, and sometimes, that's simply a response from me so they can hit the ground running. Depending on what's first on my agenda, I either spend my subway ride answering emails, preparing for a meeting, or reading an industry newsletter.
Even though I see it every day, I always look out over the water as I cross the Manhattan Bridge and pause to take in the moment. I don't get many of those opportunities during the day, so I take them when I can. And this all usually happens before 9am — because I'm not naturally a morning person, I've gotten into the habit of scheduling early meetings (coffee or in the office) to ensure I'm up and at a location on time and I’ve started my day on a productive note.
On brand strategy and visual identity. From the start, Red Antler helped us evolve Keeps and Cove into brands that consumers could trust by using effective strategies that captured attention in a crowded market.
For Keeps, we knew that there was a market for tackling men’s hair loss, but that consumers could be prone to embarrassment and confusion about their chronic condition. Red Antler was instrumental in weaving a straightforward message and experience through the website, marketing, and unboxing experience. Our discreet packaging and strong visual product identity were appealing to our customers, and our clear website helped men educate themselves on their hair loss and how Keeps can work for them.
For Cove, it was important for us to distinguish the brand from Keeps but still evoke the same sense of trust that consumers had grown to identify with Thirty Madison. A cove is a protected place and shelter from the tumultuous sea. We wanted to convey a sense of safety and relief to our customers, migraine sufferers who’ve struggled to find support or a treatment plan (which is sadly so many of our customers) with the colors, icons, and packaging decisions.
On his mission statement. “Embrace change.” When it comes to my leadership style, personal life, or our company's approach, I think it's important to continually evolve and make sure that I'm doing what makes sense for today and not holding onto what worked in the past.
Whether that's doing something differently at work or trying a new restaurant, I know that leaving my comfort zone always leads to the biggest learnings (even if that’s just learning about a new dish I like).
On early team hires. Empathy was an important trait that my co-founder Demetri Karagas and I sought in the early team members at Thirty Madison. From deeply caring for your team and customers to putting yourself in someone else’s shoes to understand their needs and values, empathy enables us to connect with others in a real and meaningful way.
This is especially true across diverse teams, which we’ve prioritized building at Thirty Madison. The team’s understanding of each other’s work and interactions led to a build-up of trust that strengthened our team and brought in effective business outcomes.
On his core productivity tools. On my commute home from the office, I've started writing down all my to-dos in an app (Asana) for the next day and prioritizing what order I'll tackle them in. This not only saves me from having to remember off the top of my head, but it also gives me instant insight into what the next day will look like. As a bonus, I've gotten my company hooked on Asana too.
On deep work at night. Once I come home, I typically put work away for a few hours while I eat dinner with my fiancé and catch up on her day. Then it’s back to work for a few hours. I tend to do some of my deepest thinking at night, so this is a great time for me to focus on one or two longer term items. I typically work up until 30 minutes before I'm going to sleep, and either watch a TV show or continue reading a book (typically non-fiction) until I’m tired enough to fall asleep.
— Steven Gutentag, Co-Founder at Thirty Madison (Keeps, Cove)