Welcome to The Quality Makers, an interview series highlighting pioneers in the direct-to-consumer space. Join us as we get an inside look at the world of digital shopping through the eyes of the individuals shaping it…
The invention of memory foam for NASA in the 1960's was revolutionary for the bedding industry, but since then there haven’t been any major tech-driven updates to the standard mattress. Matteo Franceschetti, co-founder of tech-sleep bedding company Eight Sleep, is here to change that.
Obsessed with optimizing the ordinary sleep cycle, Franceschetti believed that temperature is one of the main reasons we’re not getting that deep, restorative, wake-up-a-new-person kind of sleep. The Eight Sleep Pod connects to a mattress cover that detects your body temperature, which changes in different phases of sleep. The Pod then adjusts the temperature of the mattress cover to keep you asleep for longer. The longer you use The Pod, the more it saves your sleep data preferences, which means you’ll get more rest per minute of sleep compared to a regular mattress. This is the future, people.
A former pro athlete, international lawyer and activist turned entrepreneur and sleep influencer, Franceschetti was generous enough to share a few insights about creating “The Tesla of Bedding.” Here’s what you need to know about optimizing your sleep:
What inspired you to start Eight Sleep?
I’ve always been obsessed with performance. Athletic performance, business performance, and now sleep performance. I was a competitive ski racer in Italy and played tennis and raced cars on the European stage—I’ve always been focused on winning, and on winning in record time. That drive to succeed propelled me from sports podiums to the top tier of the international legal world and to start two clean-tech companies on two continents, all before age 30.
Not surprisingly, sleepless nights were a way of life. It was my quest to find a way for more restorative sleep. This led me to quit my previous life and launch Eight Sleep, a company dedicated to fueling human potential through optimal sleep, and to turning the bed into a seamless health platform for improved health, performance, and longevity.
Tell us more about “sleep fitness.” What should we all know about sleep?
Sleep is as critical to health as fitness and nutrition is, yet sleep tech is an underserved community. Sleep fitness is the state of overall health and well-being fueled by quality sleep. Now more than ever, getting quality sleep is at the forefront of health and wellness and users are able to use technology to become sleep fit. Being sleep fit results in a feeling of restoration, elevated energy levels and confidence, and helps overall recovery.
From the day The Pod arrives at your doorstep, how long does it typically take to achieve sleep fitness?
Most members see results within a week. By day 30 they really have the hang of it and know how to use the Pod’s technology to optimize their recovery.
Eight Sleep has been nicknamed “The Tesla of Bedding.” How does it feel to be compared to such an innovative company?
It’s an honor. We admire the innovations of Tesla in their own field, and the fact that they approach their category in their own way by being a mission-driven company which is something we do at Eight Sleep as well.
How has Eight Sleep grown since its early days in start-up incubators?
Beyond team size, we measure our growth by impact. We seek to maximize the impact of our technology in people’s sleep. And as the company has scaled and we have more people use our products every night, our impact has grown tremendously. This is what makes us most proud.
So you’ve been an athlete, a lawyer, and now a co-founder and a sleep influencer. What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned about business through all your different walks of life?
Keep going. There will be ups and downs, entrepreneurship is like a rollercoaster. You have to keep moving forward even in the toughest of times.
Any tips for better sleep while we’re waiting for our Eight Sleep products to arrive in the mail?
Keep a consistent schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including on weekends.
Whether you’re waking up to race Italian race cars, to build your own company from the ground up, or to simply enjoy a lazy, TV-filled, horizontal rest on a rainy Sunday, your sleep fitness matters. Check out Eight Sleep for more tips on optimizing your sleep.
Thanks for reading our interview with Matteo Franceschetti! Any other brands with unique founding stories that you’d like us to cover? Let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org.