Cover image of Jake McKeon

Jake McKeon

6 Podcast Episodes

Latest 24 Sep 2022 | Updated Daily

Episode artwork

Let's talk about Coconut Bowls with Jake McKeon

Let's Talk Activism

Hello everyone! Thank you so much for joining another episode of 'Let's Talk Activism', a UNITE 2030 podcast. Today's episode we are joined by Jake McKeon, the founder of Coconut Bowls and Plantd (links provided below). We hope you enjoy you enjoy the conversation between our host Anita Dywaba and Jake McKeon on the origin story of Coconut Bowls and its sustainable practices. --- Links to Coconut Bowls and Plantd: https://www.coconutbowls.com/ https://plantd.co/


10 Apr 2021

Episode artwork

Jake McKeon - Founder of Coconut Bowls | Story Behind The Brand & Thoughts Around Entrepreneurship

BrainTainment Podcast

On this episode with entrepreneur Jake McKeon, founder of Coconut Bowls, we talk about:- The story behind building the Coconut Bowls business & brand- The importance of sustainability - Some of the setbacks along the way - His experience on the TV show 'Shark-Tank'- Plus some of the lessons learned along the journey.This was a really fun conversation with a great guy, and it was really interesting to get some insights into what it takes to build a community of raving fans & loyal customers, identifying a gap in the market, and the importance of getting clear on what your goals actually are! I hope you enjoy this chat with Jake!

1hr 30mins

21 Sep 2020

Similar People

Episode artwork

247: Finding Your Focus as a Serial Entrepreneur, With Jake McKeon of Coconut Bowls

The Foundr Podcast with Nathan Chan

The Power of Focus How Jake McKeon of Coconut Bowls stopped chasing new ideas, and scaled a business and community that he’s passionate about. Jake McKeon considers himself an idea man, and that’s not always been a good thing. For years, he lept from one idea to another, always enchanted by a shiny new business possibility. With a thumb on the pulse of social trends and a knack for testing new business ideas, McKeon always had two or three ventures going at the same time. It’s common for new entrepreneurs to begin their journeys by following their ideas, imaginations, and curiosities. But McKeon was taking that to the extreme, and eventually found himself a little scattered. He needed to find a way to center himself, and ultimately that meant being grounded in his personal passions. Through some tough experiences and hard lessons, McKeon learned to mute the part of himself that saw potential in every new idea. Instead, he turned up the volume on the interests he personally cared about the most, and let that guide him to his sole venture today—Coconut Bowls. The name may sound a little funny when you put it in such a serious context. But today, Coconut Bowls is a thriving business with a charitable initiative that supports rural coconut farmers and local artisans in Vietnam and Indonesia. In the process, the company is providing people with ethical and healthy livelihoods and reducing environmental waste. Here’s how McKeon is proving that having a heart is good for business. The Creation of Coconut Bowls McKeon had already experienced a few failed startups by the time he finally connected with Coconut Bowls, but when this one took shape, it was an entirely different story. “Coconut Bowls has been the most natural of all my businesses,” McKeon says. “The product fell into my lap.” McKeon was walking through a market in Bali and came across some handcrafted coconut products. He was running a health and superfood business at the time and thought that his customers would love this simple concept—bowls made from coconuts. So, he had a bunch of bowls made, filled his suitcase, and started selling them online back home in Australia. He found that—on his shoestring budget—it was actually cheaper to fly back and forth to Bali with empty suitcases than to ship the product. McKeon ended up making a few more trips, each time bringing more and more luggage. On one trip, he brought along a couple friends and a load of empty surfboard bags. “We didn’t have any surfboard equipment, just coconut bowls. So coming back through customs was ridiculous, but they let us through, thankfully,” McKeon says. It wasn’t long after that trip when Coconut Bowls started to see sales and momentum build (and made the switch to sea freight). The Backstory But what originally brought McKeon to Bali, and to that fated market that brought him face-to-face with his most profitable business venture yet? It was a thirst for travel and healthy food—and failure. To understand McKeon’s story, let’s back up to the very first business he started, six years prior, Moodswing. Moodswing was a social networking app for sharing emotions. “I wanted to create a safe platform for peer-to-peer emotional support, for people to speak openly and honestly,” McKeon says. With no experience in business or tech, McKeon came up with the idea for Moodswing, and simply assumed people would want it. Following that assumption, he went on to spent all $40,000 of his savings—money he’d originally intended to use to travel. “Moodswing was my most outlandish business concept,” he recalls. “I was very naive at how hard the process was going to be.” McKeon hooked up with a co-founder and developed the app idea. On top of his savings, he raised another $20,000 from family and friends, increasing his overall funding to $60,000. He also put significant efforts toward marketing it and growing his user base. His growth hacking worked. In 10 weeks, Moodswing had reached a user base of 100,000 people, faster than either Instagram or Facebook had experienced early on. Moodswing’s significant and immediate growth only fueled McKeon’s naiveté. “I thought I was the next Mark Zuckerberg.” He flew to the States and met with a few investors, namely Snapchat investor Jeremy Liu. During McKeon’s pitch, Liu promptly asked about his app retention metrics, and McKeon was stumped. “I thought, ‘What are ?’” he says, laughing. It turned out that only 10 percent of those who downloaded Moodswing returned, which reflected poorly on the user experience of the app. McKeon returned to Australia, humbled. With only $20,000 left in the bank—not enough to improve on the app—he decided to pitch to an accelerator. They agreed to invest $25,000 in exchange for 10 percent of the business, but only if those friends and family who invested were no longer involved. “So I used the remaining $20,000 to pay back our friends and family members who’d invested,” McKeon says. “I didn’t want them to lose out, and it was good, because I’d never do business like that with friends and family again. I learned that lesson and got out scot-free.” McKeon and his team spent three intensive months creating a beautiful new app for Moodswing, then returned to the US to raise more money. “At this stage, Moodswing had a 60 percent retention rate, which was really good. Forty percent of users returned seven days later, and 30 percent returned 30 days later,” McKeon says. Investors essentially told McKeon that if Moodswing could get to 10,000 daily users, they’d be able to raise whatever they wanted. But the app only ever got up to 8,000 weekly active users. It was the end of the road for McKeon and Moodswing. “We just couldn't get there. We didn't have any more money,” he says. The business also started to lose McKeon’s attention. His co-founder’s, too. With Moodswing in his rearview mirror, McKeon switched gears and started an organic superfood business called SupermixME. This time he took a more traditional route, ordering a batch of products for $5,000 on his credit card, packaging them at home, selling them, and buying another batch. But things were moving too slow for him. So he took a step back and asked himself, “What am I good at?” He realized that, although Moodswing didn’t work out, he’d gained valuable insight into the world of social media marketing. He used that experience to start an agency, 7 Star Social, and quickly landed a few profitable clients. At that point, McKeon was ready to take a break. “I decided I was going to travel for six months and work online,” he says. “I didn't want to focus on growing anything.” His travels brought him to Central America, Europe, and—you guessed it—Bali. When McKeon returned, armed with a suitcase filled with coconut bowls, he started to scale his social media agency. At its peak, 7 Star Social was servicing more than 35 clients, each paying between $500 and $2,000 per month. And in the background, Coconut Bowls was growing slowly. Eventually, McKeon decided he didn’t want to work for other people anymore, so he turned his sole focus to Coconut Bowls. A Few Valuable Lessons McKeon walked away from his experiences with Moodswing, SupermixME, and 7 Star Social with much more than the idea for Coconut Bowls. “I look at my journey like an apprenticeship,” he says, one that gave him a crash course in failure and success. McKeon’s first major lesson from that time was around building a minimum viable product—a process he failed to follow when launching Moodswing. “It’s all about finding product-market fit before doing anything,” McKeon says. That can be a hard thing to define, exactly, but when you’ve got it, people will start buying and enjoying your product organically. “It shouldn’t feel like a hard sell,” he says. McKeon thought he had a good idea and spent all of his money without testing whether it was something people wanted. Looking back, he realized that he could've created a simple website or Facebook group and asked for feedback. “There are so many ways to test . It’s cheap to do and saves time and money in the long run,” McKeon says. The second major lesson he learned was to avoid doing things too fast. “Take your time. Don't expect immediate success.” With Moodswing, McKeon spent all his time getting those 100,000 users as fast as he could, but in reality, he says that businesses shouldn’t want to achieve that level of growth until they’re happy with their product. “When our users tried , didn’t like it, and deleted it, they weren’t going to give us a second chance,” McKeon says. “Focus on product first, make sure people like it, then look to marketing.” The Power of Focus and Community McKeon’s biggest takeaway, though, was about focus. He had always given more attention to new ideas than the things he was most passionate about, despite the advice he’d heard countless times from others. McKeon found that with every new business, there was always a new, more exciting idea that held more potential—hence his quick transition between Moodswing, SupermixME, and 7 Star Social. But he doesn’t recommend the same for other entrepreneurs. In his opinion, when you focus on just one business, you learn more about the product and industry, and you invest more time into talking to your customers. Over time, McKeon has found that this only strengthens your passion, or develops a new one. When it comes to Coconut Bowls, for example, McKeon has always been passionate about health, and has since become passionate about running a socially responsible business. “While I’ve always been mindful and conscious of sustainability, it’s never been a passion. But it’s been developed since I’ve fed off excitement and passion of our community.” McKeon has derived valuable learnings from his community since creating Coconut Bowls three years ago, none more so than from a live strategy session with Quest Nutrition co-founder Tom Bilyeu. The duo conducted the session on a live Foundr podcast, and McKeon walked away with some valuable lessons. “We were one year into Coconut Bowls and had some epic growth,” he recalls. “But we were chasing our tails. We didn't have a long-term strategy, a community strategy, or a brand strategy. As an avid supporter of building community, Bilyeu helped McKeon learn the value of “supporting the people who support you.” That conversation helped shape the Coconut Bowls business and influenced a lot of McKeon’s current marketing and growth strategies. One of his biggest marketing wins with Coconut Bowls has been building a customer base that markets for them. Through social media engagement, a thank-you card and follow-up email, McKeon and his team encourage customers to share on social media what they made in their bowl. “We started with this strategy and are still using this call-to-action today,” McKeon says. “We’re very lucky that our customers do our marketing for us, and it’s basically been the driver for our growth.” Another successful tactic has been creating something to do with the Coconut Bowls community. Along with his customers and other content creators, McKeon and his team came together to create a cookbook, Vegan Bowls for Vegan Souls. It’s had tens of thousands of  sales to date. “We’ve had feedback from customers saying that it’s changed their lives,” McKeon said. “It’s not just a cookbook; it’s also built around having fun in the kitchen and being mindful about where your food comes from.” Eventually, McKeon sees the Coconut Bowls brand expanding, which will allow him to expand the product line and its “made-by-nature” concept. But McKeon and his team don’t only see Coconut Bowls as a brand—they view their business as a community and a collective of people who are all passionate about health, nature, and sustainability. “We share recipes with each other. We share inspiration and experiences,” McKeon says. “It really brings people together. … It almost comes back to the root of Moodswing—people who support each other.” Key Takeaways How a couple of failed ventures led to what he’s doing today The story behind how Coconut Bowls came to be McKeon’s history of testing multiple product ideas at one time The key difference between Coconut Bowls and his other ventures How he leveraged user-generated content and social media to grow The biggest lessons he learned from his previous business, Moodswing The power of focus to combat “shiny object syndrome” Where Coconut Bowls is going next, particularly with product line expansion How Coconut Bowls is fostering its community for growth The Instagram strategies he’s used that he thinks will last long term The challenges Coconut Bowls is facing, even with its success


24 Apr 2019

Episode artwork

FWP 7: Sustainable Living with Jake McKeon Founder of Coconut Bowls

Freedom Wellness Podcast

Sustainable living has become one of the hottest topics in the wellness space and for good reason. Today we bring on Jake from Coconut Bowls to dive deeper into this topic and how just one person can make such a big environmental difference to the greater good. No doubt if you are on Instagram you Listen In


4 Jul 2018

Most Popular

Episode artwork

Entrepreneur Jake McKeon, Founder Of Coconutbowls.com - Talking Start Ups And Perseverance

The Proof with Simon Hill

Episode 01 of the Plant Proof podcast with Jake Mckeon This episode of the Plant Proof podcast features Jake Mckeon, founder of Coconutbowls.com. Jake's story is one of both perseverance and dedication and offers insight into how you can use failed start ups to build something truly great. From working a 9-5 office job and a string of 'failed' or 'semi-failed' start ups Jake has gone on to create an astronomical business that has reclaimed and sold 100's of thousands of Coconut Bowls in just the first two years of operating. Coconut Bowls now sell online and in retail reaching customers in over 50 countries and have an annual operating revenue in the millions of dollars growing at 500% year on year. And the greatest part of this is that Jake's passion and spirit to continue to find ways to reduce waste and epicycle goods has just been ignited. Play Now: Who will enjoy this podcast: Any one who has experienced start up failures or wants to start a business with minimal funds (bootstrap). Particularly anyone who wants to start a product based business and use an e-commerce platform like Shopify and Third Party Fulfilment companies to ship out goods. Any one who is interested in the environment and in particular reducing waste products to create functional products that we can reuse daily rather than single use products (i.e plastic bowls and plastic cutlery) Anyone who just wants to hear a great story about perseverance and determination. I hope you enjoy the podcast. This was a bit of a test run so take it easy on me haha. I will 100% have to get Jake back on the podcast in the future and learn more about the new product development he has in store - he's got some more 'upcycle' based products which are currently under wraps and sound very exciting! The Vegan Bowls for Vegan Souls book we chat about is available online here From here with future conversations on the Plant Proof podcast I will dig deeper into plant based nutrition with experts in the medical field, chat with elite athlete's who live a plant based lifestyle, talk business with entrepreneurs in this health and wellness space and have a chit chat with any inspirational person that is helping change the world for the better whom I think has a story that you will enjoy. So be sure to subscribe on iTunes and share with any friends or family members. REVIEW/SHARE: If you enjoyed the episode and have a spare 1-2 minutes please leave a review on iTunes so the Plant Proof podcast ranks higher and becomes more discoverable for other listeners. And if you have any friends that you think will benefit from listening to this episode or any of the other Plant Proof episodes please share the link - together we can make this world a healthier place. WHERE TO LISTEN TO THE PLANT PROOF PODCAST? Currently the Plant Proof podcast can be listened to on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify Stitcher, Soundcloud or on the Plantproof.com directly. If you listen on iTunes be sure to hit 'subscribe' so you are instantly notified when I release new episodes. Keep your Space Suit Plant Proof, Listen Now: See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


10 Apr 2018

Episode artwork

148: How to Build a Successful E-commerce Business - The Foundr Incubator (Business Breakdown) with Tom Bilyeu of Quest Nutrition & Jake Mckeon of Coconutbowls.com

The Foundr Podcast with Nathan Chan

In this very special episode of the Foundr Podcast, we answer all the questions you've ever had about building an ecommerce business and more! The first installment in what we're calling the Foundr Incubator series, we recorded a live coaching session between one ambitious Foundr community member and the head of a billion-dollar company. We organized a call with Jake McKeon, the up-and-coming founder of multiple ecommerce businesses, to receive one-on-one coaching from Tom Bilyeu, co-founder of unicorn startup Quest Nutrition. Like so many other entrepreneurs out there, McKeon was doing well, but looking to grow and not sure how. That's where Bilyeu, with his years of experience and wisdom, stepped in. The result is a fascinating and honest conversation in which Jake asks just about every question an entrepreneur might have about how to grow, how to market yourself, and generally how to take an online business to the next level. Tom doesn't hold back and answers all of these questions and more, sharing his insights on what it takes to create a successful ecommerce business and a thriving community around your brand. This is an episode you definitely do not want to miss, with so much gold being shared that you can't help but feel empowered and inspired after listening. In this interview you will learn: How to stay relevant in your market and stay ahead of the competition Why you need influencers on your side and how to find them The metrics you need to focus on to grow your sales Where to find A-players when you're growing your team The three things you need to focus on to build a successful e-commerce business & much more!


17 May 2017