The co-founder of Lootsie, Brandon Werber, is a USC grad with a background at CAA. Now at Lootsie, Brandon is focused on creating the best user experience possible. Erik Hubmerman, CEO of Hawke Media, talks to Brandon about Lootsie, Silicon Beach and his path to entrepreneurship.

Erik Huberman: What made you want to become an entrepreneur?

Brandon Werber: For me, personally, it was really more about noticing there’s a big difference at working at a large company, having a blast and moving up the chain. I started my career at CAA, which is a massive, massive entertainment agency where there’s 50,000 chains of command. So, even if there was a phenomenal idea, it would take six months or a year by the time it got through the chain of command. I’ve always been more of the type of person that loved building things, had a ton of ideas and loved putting teams together. Anyone on any team I build could have a phenomenal idea, and in a week millions of people could potentially be holding that idea in their hand or engaging with it everyday. That’s always what excited me: that I built this, or my team did. All working towards the same goal and loving what they do, it’s really more about that passion. You see people at these big companies kind of zombie in, hating Mondays. I wanted to create my own idea about what the perfect culture and team would look like who are all passionate and love what they’re doing. Mondays are actually something we look forward to, we get to go put our stamp on something every day.

EH: Tell me about Lootsie.

BW: From a high level, what we wanted to do was build a bridge between big brand and mobile publishers. There was something that was very broken in the advertising world. As consumers, we don’t like to engage with pop-ups and banner ads; we ignore them, they interrupt our experience. Lootsie builds a bridge to build these emotional connections from big brands to users and using mobile apps to do it. What we wanted to do is take the tools that the Fortune 500 brands have been using for decades to retain and engage their audience using loyalty and rewards and modernizing that for the mobile age.

EH: How are you changing the world?

BW: We’re truly changing the way that brands and developers make their users happy. We’re changing the world in the sense that the most multi-billion dollar company is looking at mobile. The millions of users in our network who have an app with loyalty programs, we’re affecting everything they do during the day. Every time they open an app, complete a task, check off a workout and they’re getting a loyalty reward for that, we are changing what they do and how they move about their daily lives.

EH: What do you think of the Silicon Beach scene?

BW: I personally don’t like it being referred to as Silicon Beach, per se. I don’t think we need to compare ourselves to Silicon Valley. I think we’ve taken on a life and pulse and soul of our own, so it’s almost unfair to continue to compare us. We have so much vibrant life going on here and San Francisco just feels entirely different than here. We’re not just an extension of Silicon Valley. We’re really our own thing, and I think it should stay that way.

EH: Do you have one piece of advice for an entrepreneur starting their own business?

BW: Easiest piece of advice, and the one I think most people say but rings so true: surround yourself with mentors and don’t be afraid to use them and call upon them. Surround yourself with experts in the field that are willing and happy to help you. There’s never too much perspective that can be injected into what you do. And this is super clich√©, but don’t be afraid to fail. Still don’t do things haphazardly; plan things out, give it your all, plan to succeed and don’t give up. But, don’t let the fear of failure stop you from doing what you’re passionate about. If you see something special in a passion you have, you owe it to yourself and your idea to see it out.

EH: Is there anything you’d like to share with the Santa Monica community?

BW: Let’s keep growing and doing what we do. Let’s enjoy and grow what is so amazing about this city. Let’s show the world how special this place is by growing it even more.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *