Eric Ryan, Co-founder, Method

Eric Ryan is a game changer. Just over ten years ago, he and his business partner Adam Lowry set out to advance a cause: revolutionizing the way we clean. Along the way, they built Method, one of Inc’s fastest growing companies, pulling in more than $100M in annual sales. In a short time, their beautiful product designs and commitment to sustainability have turned the supermarket cleaning aisle upside down. As they enter their second decade, they know that keeping Method “weird,” the bedrock of their innovative organizational culture, is what will keep them ahead of their field.

June 2015

A former advertising creative director, Eric infused a quirky, agency spirit into Method to breathe life into a category he claims was plagued with a “sea of sameness.” This touches every aspect of life at Method, down to the design of their office, which feels much more like an idea lab than a soap company. From hallways lined with white boards to cross-functional “pod” working teams, Eric has bred a culture that differentiates his company.

Eric knew early on that taking on century-old category mammoths like P&G and Clorox would take an exceptional combination of talent, passion, and culture to appropriately harness a team’s gifts. He surrounded himself with diverse, imaginative thinkers, allowed them the space to create, and charged everyone with building the Method brand from the inside out. Employees imbued the company with values like “What Would MacGyver Do?” to encourage resourcefulness and risk taking. Every Monday morning, employees “huddle” in an energy-infused, employee-led, all-staff meeting that recognizes and encourages with “shout-outs of awesomeness.”

Method may think they’re “weird.” We’d call them smart!

On Blending Creativity & Process (1:54)
The way we think about it is the relationship of artist and operator. We want an organization that's populated with people who can think like artist and who have great imagination and can really drive creativity in the business.
On Bringing Ideas to Life (4:02)
A lot of Method comes from just the marriage of the way I approach work and the way Adam Lowry -- my co-founding partner -- approaches work. I always joke as he's kind of Al Gore and I'm kind of David Spade, so we approach work in two very different ways.
On Building a Unique Corporate Culture (2:36)
We're competing against an industry where a handful of competitors have dominated it, not for decades but literally for a century. Proctor & Gamble has about a 165 year head start on us.
On Creating Loyal Customers (3:07)
Nobody was really like segmenting and focusing on a core audience. So, we selected a core audience to, to really focus on and our idea is let's over serve their needs and really you know focus on them.
On Employees as Brand Ambassadors (2:41)
When you walked in the office today and the environment, the people you met, hopefully you felt like you're walking in to the Method brand. And anybody you talk to inside Method, embodies that spirit, that authenticity and their passion for it.
On Letting People Go (1:37)
Making that decision and having to go through that was by far the worst thing that we've ever experienced in our 11 years in business.
On Monday Morning Huddles (3:08)
The person leading the meeting often will bring their own little personality to it. They may have treats. They may have some theme. They may share something inspiring, but they'll bring their own self to it.
On Purpose (2:02)
I think as human beings there's a couple of ways we can be happy -- and this is something like I've been inspired a lot by Tony Hsieh and Zappos -- and the belief to truly be happy you have to be part of something bigger than yourself.
On The Creative Process (2:49)
You know there's a couple different techniques I use personally for creativity so I can't speak for other people. I love what I call the power of appropriation which is identifying something that's working and then combining it with something else.
On Trusting Employees (2:18)
When you're a smaller company you have a lot more of this rah-rah-rah we're all in it together, we got to do everything we possibly can.
Creating Corporate Values (4:38)
When we started off the company we didn't have a lot of assets and we fundamentally believe we would never out process other companies, we would essentially have to be a more talented organization, therefore, recruit great talent.