When Straightforward Business Advice Isn't What You’d Expect

+ Will Nitze, IQBAR


By his own admission, Will Nitze doesn’t give great advice. His nearly 41,000 Linkedin followers, however, likely have a different opinion.

Will cut his teeth in CPG in 2017 when he launched IQBAR, a pioneering brand of protein bars infused with adaptogenic ingredients that are said to improve cognitive function. The company has since created a portfolio of brain health-centric product lines, including zero–sugar hydration powders and instant mushroom coffee. IQBAR is carried in over 10,000 locations, including Walmart, Sprouts, Wegmans, BJ’s Wholesale, Vitamin Shoppe and H-E-B.

Over the past six years, Will has chronicled his experience as an entrepreneur via daily posts on Linkedin where he shares words of encouragement and lessons learned from building an upstart brand. But he’s careful to contextualize insights and advice – including those about IQBAR’s successful ecommerce strategy and its unorthodox approach to financing – as specific to his business and not necessarily applicable to other brands.

Nevertheless, he has the attention of many founders who praise his candid takes on the food and beverage industry. Will is equally forthright in the following interview, in which he shares and explains his perspective on everything from fundraising (“Bootstrapping is the worst thing you can do.”) and staffing (“How can we build a $50 million brand with a staff of six?”) to retail strategy (“Choose channels that scale well.). 

In this Episode

0:43: Interview: Will Nitze, Founder & CEO, IQBAR – Nitze spoke about his recent move from Boston to Miami and why IQBAR has always been a remotely operated company, how posting daily content on Linkedin has helped grow his following and why he’s cautions founders active on the platform not to confuse some information with actionable advice. He also explained how trial and error has been the best education on how to build a brand, the value of e-commerce success in landing distribution at brick and mortar retailers, how his realization that “people don’t really want brain food” impacted business strategy and why he hates hiring employees. Later, he explained why you can’t negotiate well without telling really good stories, how innovation impacts investor interest and how to assess timing when launching brand extensions.

Also Mentioned

IQBAR, Nutpods, Reese’s