Paul Tasner, PulpWorks
Paul Tasner was at loose ends. After a 40-plus-year career handling supply chains at corporations like Clorox and California Closets, during a downsizing, he lost the San Francisco–based strategic management post he had held for three years at Method Products, which makes environmentally friendly soaps and household cleaners.
That was 2009, and he was then 64.
“Retirement, like for so many people, was not an option for me,” he says in his TED Talk titled “How I Became an Entrepreneur at 66,” which has over two million views. “So I turned to consulting for the next couple of years without any passion whatsoever.”
Tasner worried that he might never land another top full-time job. So he devised an idea for a potential new business, motivated somewhat by his time at Method, where he had experienced a late-in-life switch to a deep concern for preserving the earth. As Tasner told me, “I felt a passion to make a difference for people and the planet.”
His other incentive was struggling while trying to open a package of kitchen shears his wife had recently bought. We can all relate to the frustration Tasner felt as he struggled to tear open that hard plastic package. “Ridiculous,” he says.
An engineer by training, Tasner set off on a mission to gather all the data he could about how to make a package that was simpler ...