Mike Tecku last appeared on this podcast in 2019. He spoke as an expert Amazon seller in our “Building an Ecommerce Business” series. He’s back, having sold those Amazon stores, retired, and experienced boredom.
His latest venture is Momentum, a maker of premium nutritional shakes, which he describes as “the Rolex of supplements.”
He and I recently discussed his journey — selling his companies, setting priorities, launching Momentum, and more.
The entire audio of our conversation is embedded below. The transcript is edited for clarity and length.
Eric Bandholz: Why start a nutritional shake company?
Mike Tecku: I sold my Amazon companies in 2019 and did well enough to start a venture fund and invest in some stuff. I retired, bought land in the country, and quickly got bored. I spent the next two years figuring myself out and researching longevity.
I came up with this product based on the premium versions of the supplements I was taking. I connected directly with the manufacturers. I put everything into one shake to make it easy. I wanted to make the Rolex of supplements and make it super simple and awesome. I named the company Momentum.
Bandholz: It’s a crowded market, supplements.
Tecku: There’s a difference between being effective, true, and honest versus trendy. There’s a huge debate between plant-based and whey protein — which is better and whether to add superfoods. A superfood is anything a marketer wants to call super. I call it pixie dust when companies add trace amounts of something to make it sound healthy. I wanted no marketing fluff, only the best ingredients.
We went with this incredible grass-fed whey protein from Ireland. It’s five times more expensive than any other protein. Ireland is the only place that can grow that grass year-round. And it’s the only place you can certify that something is truly grass-fed. It makes for a premium product.
Some folks like protein from peas, the vegetable, but it contains heavy metals and pesticides and 30% fewer essential amino acids. I wasn’t willing to compromise just because it was popular.
Not using artificial flavors is insanely expensive. Every bag we have has about $2 worth of chocolate in it. We spend more on chocolate than most competitors spend on their entire product. So a 30-day supply of a Super Greens drink might cost $2 to $3 to make. A monthly supply of ours costs us $60. My philosophy is it’s much easier to compete at the top of a market because few are willing to do it.
The challenge is selling a bag for $75 if it costs $60 to make. How can we pay for ads? I believe the product will be so good we won’t have to spend as much on marketing because of word of mouth. We won’t have as much churn. In theory, folks will stay subscribers longer.
I’m not interested in anything that can’t scale. Momentum could very easily do $100 million a year. To get to that level, I need about 60,000 subscribers. That’s 60,000 sales over five years — 12,000 a year. That’s doable with a great product and the right price and message. I don’t want to do anything with a ceiling on it.
Bandholz: Are you selling on Amazon?
Tecku: No, but we will eventually. Consumers are very price sensitive on Amazon, which requires education. Once folks recognize the brand Momentum and look to buy it on Amazon, we’ll have it for sale there. But for now, I’ll focus on things like this podcast to help consumers understand what it’s about.
Bandholz: I might hesitate to pay $75 per bag.
Tecku: It’s my job to communicate that if you were to buy all these ingredients separately, it’d be about $400 a month. And that by removing the middleman on 20 ingredients, I can charge $75 a bag. And the margins aren’t actually that great for me. So it’ll take some education.
Nutrition is hard. I built Momentum Shake around the concept that most humans are deficient in their diets. Our bodies decline as we age. Momentum replaces the things we lose over time.
We have no secret pills or drugs. It’s just the things that our bodies need every day. Folks don’t want to take a gazillion pills.
Bandholz: Where can listeners find you?