The ReddyYeti Podcast EP: #99 GoSun - Pioneers of Fuel Free Cooking. Founder Patrick Sherwin Sharing His Story

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GoSun

 

Don’t fight against nature, work with it!

 

Grab a GoSun Stove and harness the power of the sun to cook your food. No Fuel? No Problem

 

To find out more behind how GoSun got its start and what’s in store for the future, Josh interviews GoSun founder, Patrick Sherwin

 

More about the episode...

 

Josh sits down with GoSun founder Patrick Sherwin. GoSun makes solar powered stoves that operates without any type of fuel, just the power of the sun! Sherwin is no stranger to the power of solar technology. Having spent an impressive amount of time in the solar industry, it wasn’t until a previous career path would push him towards the idea of letting the sun cook your food. GoSun is not only a pioneer of this breakthrough solar cooking technology but is also pursuing products in addition to their solar kitchen technology. Join us as we dive into the inspirational spark behind GoSun and see what other products are in the pipeline for the culinary powerhouse!

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Show Notes

 

  • What is GoSun?

    • “We make these incredible, efficient, solar ovens that you can take anywhere and make a meal pretty much under the sun in a wide variety of conditions. It’s basically the first time that fuel free cooking has ever been achievable…”

  • How did you come up with this idea?

    • “I spent a lot of time way back in high school interested in learning about Solar energy. I discovered the solar space station and I learned about the mess that human beings are making with respect to the environment. I knew that I wanted to get involved in creating a solution..the GoSun kitchen technology came to me based on removing a solar water heater from a rooftop where we repurposed the water heater for cooking…”

  • Was the product well received when you first launched it?

    • “The moment we launched on Kickstarter I had about 1,000 people on an email database and we pinged them, that was pretty much everyone we knew. We had an amazing response, about 10% of our backers were people that we knew. In the first day we made over $13,000 and so I figured we’re on to something…”

  • What were the features of the solar stove/grill that you improved upon to make it such a viable option in cooking?

    • “The real secret to our technology’s success has to do with a vacuum between to layers of tough pyrex glass. IT’s sort of like cooking in a thermos. The vacuum provides incredible insulation…”

  • What would you say have been the big developments with camp stoves and how does that work compared to regular stoves?

    • “I guess one of the neater companies to look at like Biolite, they made a unique development in this wood burning realm… I’m really impressed with the work of Jetboil and the titanium stuff that allows you to go backpacking super ultra light. But no ones done anything in the realm of electric which is GoSun’s future offspring, it’s going to be available this summer on Kickstarter and it’s a portable electric stove that also uses the sun…”

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  • Is the cook time for these grills and stoves are very similar to more conventional methods?

    • “They are. When you’re cooking with the sun it’s often slightly slower than fire. But, what’s nice about it is you don’t have to trouble yourself with stirring the dish or tweaking the fire… with GoSun you just cut the food up, you toss it in the stainless steel cooking tray, it goes inside this vacuum insulated tube, you point it in the sun and you can for a hike… you come back and there you have this meal that’s cooked…”

  • Is there a way to control the temperature of GoSun stoves?

    • “We do have temperature control. Our largest products have temperature gauges. The smaller ones like the Sport and the Go, you’re going to want to open the product to look at the food. The best indication of when the food is done is you see steam pouring out and the best sensor is your nose…”

  • Did you have any mentors along this journey?

    • “Yeah, I’ve been super fortunate. The main mentor to me came out of a conference in the San Francisco area, it was a conference called SoCap, Social Capital Markets. His name is Gary Starr… he ended up working with the sun since the mid 70’s... “

  • What is your commitment to sustainability?

    • “As I’ve matured a little I’ve realized it’s really a human issue, it’s about working with people and it goes hand in hand… A lot of my work now moves into the humanitarian realm where there’s 40% of the world cooking with wood and charcoal on a daily basis. GoSun is really adamant in supporting these folks and helping them break a cycle of poverty because when you’re gathering firewood and tending to a fire half the day it’s hard to do other things…if you can help these people, you’re going to help their economic situation, you’ll increase their health, and you’re going to help the environment...”

  • What does a normal day look like for GoSun?

    • “We have a great office environment on an Urban Farm here in Cincinnati. IT’s not like we’re out farming all day but, we try to practice what we preach. We do a lot of shared meals, we cook under the sun...We do have a very open, transparent, friendly work environment… we have a workshop space that’s just 100ft away from the office so, the design team is constantly going down in that direction to build a prototype that we just sketched out…”

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  • What has been one of the hardest parts about starting and building GoSun?

    • “I wasn’t quite ready for the work load… I have struggled to step away from the daily grind… I’ve been a big outdoor recreationalist, I’m a kayaker, I’m a hiker...I spent most of my 20’s outdoors. That gave me a really well balanced rich lifestyle and at about 35 I launched this company and then all that stuff had to go…”

  • What is your greatest fear and how do you manage it?

    • “I’m not much on fears, I guess… I certainly question how long I can sustain this level of work, physically, mentally, and beyond. I fear burnout I guess and, to manage that I change my mentality around it…”

  • What has been some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made while building GoSun?

    • “Early on we said yes to too many people...That ran us ragged, I think in 2014 I was traveling for almost half the year. That didn’t help the R&D development and it didn’t help the bottom line either…In one situation, trying to come up with a really radical situation to store energy… I launched it as a working prototype that was tested but not 100% tested thoroughly through...”

  • What advice would you give someone that wanted to start a company?

    • “I hear a ton of people wanting to start a business these days and I have a ton of respect for that. I’d like to throw a little caution at it, obviously we’re in this capital work where business is next to godliness. The question starts to become what’s your real goal in life. Largely it should be centered around happiness. Go for that as your primary and certainly put the ego part in check…”

  • Where do you see GoSun going into the future?

    • “We’re trying to become a household brand and we’re moving into a lot more than the solar stove. The solar movement is the future and I’ve been apart of it for 20 years… We’re focused right now on the portable off-grid scenarios...Were trying to fuel folks with really appropriate, easy to use, solar devices all the way through the solar kitchen and into some other services…”

  • What’s the best part about running GoSun?

    • “The best part is seeing a product that we worked on for years come to life. We’re in that cycle right now with a new product this summer and there’s been literally 100s of prototypes on this product...It’s so cool to see four years of development and then it’s starting to hatch. When it finally hatches and hits the consumers eyes is the part that’s most thrilling to me…”

Author: Matthew Dello Buono

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