1692 – The Ultimate Platform for Creating New Consumer Products with Gembah’s Henrik Johansson

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the CEO & Co-founder of Gembah, Henrik Johansson.

One of the critical aspects Henrik discussed was the potential time savings that Gemba offers. In today's fast-paced landscape, time is a precious commodity. According to Henrik, Gemba can reduce the time and cost of product development by up to 50% or even 70%.

Henrik also mentioned the recent launch of Gemba's Future Product Marketplace. This platform allows companies to develop their own ideas and explore ideas designed by other network designers. This feature accelerates the process of bringing products to market.

When asked about matching with appropriate vendors or manufacturers, Henrik explained that Gemba has over 600 experts on their platform. These experts, not typically found on platforms like Upwork or Fiverr, include industrial designers, electrical engineers, and mechanical engineers.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Overview about Gembah
  • Henrik stresses research pre-product launch
  • Hosts “Innovator Insights” podcast with entrepreneurs
  • 600+ experts offer unique collaboration opportunities

About Henrik Johansson:

Henrik is a seasoned entrepreneur and business leader known for his significant contributions to the tech industry. Currently serving as the CEO of Gembah, he has a rich background in founding and leading successful ventures. 

Before his role at Gembah, Henrik co-founded and served as CEO of Boundless, demonstrating his innovative prowess in the business world. Additionally, he has been actively involved in fostering startups as an incubator and board member at OutboundEngine. 

Henrik's extensive experience includes holding the position of President at EverydayWealth and playing a pivotal role as the co-founder and President of Creditland. His expertise also extends to management and IT consulting, where he honed his skills at Andersen Consulting. 

With a track record of building and scaling businesses, Henrik is a notable figure in the entrepreneurial landscape, contributing significantly to the growth and development of the companies he's been associated with.

About Gembah:

Gembah is a revolutionary platform that revolutionizes product creation by connecting businesses with top-tier Product Designers, Manufacturers, and Supply Chain Experts worldwide. 

Their mission is to simplify the complex product development journey for entrepreneurs, e-commerce sellers, and small-to-midsize businesses. Gembah empowers clients to innovate and create products effectively by demystifying the intricate process.

Understanding the challenges businesses face in launching new products, Gembah offers an end-to-end solution. They provide invaluable assistance in research, design, and manufacturing, addressing hurdles from sourcing to vetting manufacturers ensuring a smooth market entry for new products. 

Gembah's team comprises specialists, leading product designers, and engineers, functioning as an extension of their clients' teams. Moreover, Gembah collaborates with an exclusive network of vetted factories in various countries, including China, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Mexico, ASEAN, and Eastern Europe, ensuring high-quality production and global reach for their clients.

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Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Gembah website at

Check out Gembah on LinkedIn at

Check out Gembah on Instagram at

Check out Gembah on Twitter at

Check out Gembah on Facebook at

Check out Henrik Johansson on LinkedIn at

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Josh (00:00:04) - With us right now is the co-founder and CEO of Gembah. It is Henrik Johansen. Henrik, thank you so much for joining us.

Henrik (00:00:12) - Thanks for having me. Pleasure's all mine.

Josh (00:00:14) - Yes. And I am excited to have you. We've had the opportunity to kind of work together over the past number of months, and so I'm so excited to celebrate you. To our audience, would you mind giving us an overview of what Gembah is, by the way, for our friend that's listening to our conversation? Gembah is GM b a Please click follow along. Some of this stuff is a little visual, so it's going to be helpful if you kind of see what it is that we're talking about. But but Henrik, I'll let you kind of explain Gembah's impact in the world today.

Henrik (00:00:50) - Yeah, I'm sure you and all the listeners are familiar with. You know, the e-commerce is taking over the world, right? And how marketplaces and software like Shopify have changed that landscape and made it basically possible for anyone to start an e-commerce business.

Henrik (00:01:08) - So it's super easy to start a business, but it's still nobody's made it easy to make the products that you actually sell in that business. You could argue that Alibaba have made it easy to go find products that already exist, but nobody has made it easy to create new products. So that was Gembah Jimbo's purpose and reason for being is that we realized that there are so many great ideas out there and people that want to create products, but it's difficult to create new products. So Gembah is a marketplace and a platform for new consumer product creation. So if you have a great idea and you want to turn into product again, buy a place to go to.

Josh (00:01:44) - And so how exactly does that engagement look? Because again, I think you solved some pretty big problems and create great opportunities.

Henrik (00:01:52) - Yes. Yes. So we leverage technology so we're using data driven insights and AI to to simplify the process. And we built a proprietary software platform that basically knows how to create any product. So if you come to us with an ID of a new product, let's say you have an idea of a set of headphones with solar cells on top so you never have to charge them, right? We will plug that into our engine.

Henrik (00:02:18) - It will spit out a project plan of however many tasks. There are 100 tasks. And then we have a network of talent industrial designers, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers and factories that are experts in different types of products. And then we connect. We put together the perfect team on our platform, and then that team works with our customer to develop that product.

Josh (00:02:39) - Have you ever counted up the number of hours that this could potentially take somebody like especially if they're a little bit newer to this world? I mean, we're talking about ideation. We're talking about intellectual property. We're talking about research, research, research. I mean, because, again, I want to get into first I want to talk about the potential time savings. Next, I'll ask you about what I definitely want to talk about is like how this de-risk this whole process for people. But let's not talk about that next. Let's just talk about time savings right now, potential time savings, which is enormous.

Henrik (00:03:20) - Yeah, I mean, you're absolutely right.

Henrik (00:03:22) - And I think you can't talk about the time savings, like talking about the risk to mean part of why we started this business, because I experienced and saw firsthand how many companies, particularly small midsize businesses that fail in a product development journey. Right. And for SMB, that failure can be fatal. You don't. And the small business does not have a bunch of extra funds to that they can spend on a design that doesn't lead anywhere. I've seen many times how how an SMB orders containers full of product. They arrive and they're not working properly. Right. And that is probably the end of that business. So, you know, we're never you never write about them in Ink magazine. But, you know, I've seen stats that 80 or 90% of product journeys fail. So it's a very small percentage to actually go through. Right? So the and just imagine that the the almost immeasurable heartache, wasted money, wasted opportunity that has come from that. So that's really why we started Gamla because we saw that there's this, on one hand, immense potential.

Henrik (00:04:26) - We talk about how we unlock entrepreneurial equity because there are people everywhere with great ideas, right? But they don't have access. They don't know how to make them make those turn those ideas into reality. So that's that's what we have to do and that's that's why we exist. But to your point, time savings is everything to me, particularly in this today's landscape, everything is moving so fast, right? If you have an idea about a new cool product, you got to bring that to market as quickly as you can because odds are there are dozens or hundreds of other people that are seeing the same things, listening, the same podcasts, you know, having the same influences. So if you have an idea, you've got to act upon it and you've got to try to bring that product to market as fast as you can before anybody else can. So we, we, we see that we can reduce the time and the cost with as much as 50%, sometimes even 70% through this process. And we recently launched what we call the future product marketplace.

Henrik (00:05:24) - So not only can companies come to us with their ideas and we help them make those, they can also come to the marketplace and look for ideas that have been designed by other designers in our network. So our designers use data driven insights, so they look at ratings and reviews for existing top selling products, and we identify what the what the features are that people like and don't like. You know, we look at five star reviews. What do they have in common, one star reviews but have in common, and then turn it into a set of parameters that we then use our platform to develop new products. So now you can reduce the time to market even more. And let's say you have a pet brand and you don't really know what the next product should be. Now you can go to Gembah and find the next top selling pet products and reserve them and become the exclusive seller of those.

Josh (00:06:14) - Um, you know, there's just so much to unpack here. You know, if we're truly and I know you are empathic to the the typical user journey or to someone who's toying around with an idea and, you know, and Henrik, one thing that I want to talk very specifically to, and I alluded to this before and you started talking about this as well, is as humans, we are going to be wildly imperfect in trying to gauge great business opportunities.

Josh (00:06:46) - You certainly execution. We're going to make a lot of mistakes in that by default. But I think the biggest one is that when we get excited or let's say someone gets excited about an idea we have, I've had the opportunity to work with some a lot of folks in kind of the intellectual property space and, and creators get excited about their thing and that's normal. But how maybe you could talk about that kind of balancing enthusiasm versus, you know, truly being able to be objective and why that's so critical that you surround yourself with people who can help you maintain that objectivity?

Henrik (00:07:28) - Yeah, I think that's a great observation and question. And that's why I think sometimes when I often talk about the four cardinal mistakes that people make and that can be lethal for small business and research is the first one that people often skimp on the research. They don't do enough, and sometimes they don't do any research at all. And it's absolutely essential, like you said, particularly if you have an idea, at the very minimum, you got to look what's out there, what is the competitive landscape look like? And there are powerful tools.

Henrik (00:08:00) - You know, if you don't work with Gembah, there are other tools that you can use to see what's trending on Amazon. How much is is this a product like this selling, you know, who are the main competitors? Because the last thing you want to do is to to launch a product. And then you realize after the fact, after you made investment, that you're going up against Nike or, you know, Under Armour or somebody has exactly the same product or very similar, right? Because then odds are you going to lose. So that's why it's, you know, essential to do that research up front to assess, you know, not only, you know, if consumers are going to want to buy it, if it's a trending product, but also what's the competitive landscape look like? You know, can you actually manufacture this product for a low cost enough so you can make a profit and still sell product? Right. And I think a lot of people miss that. And you can end up in the end with a container full of products and then you just barely eking out a profit margin.

Henrik (00:08:52) - And that's, you know, that's that's sad.

Josh (00:08:55) - Yeah. Talk about the part of what you do when it comes to matching with appropriate vendors or manufacturers for that because again, that's an area I mean, unless you really know what you're doing. Wow. Have I heard some horror stories on that side of things?

Henrik (00:09:16) - Yeah, absolutely. And and that's what we have over 600 experts on our platform. So that's not counting the factories. But these are industrial designers, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, you know, folks that you probably not going to find on Upwork or Fiverr. Right. People don't hire mechanical engineer because often they don't know how to interact with them. Right? They don't know what's their job description. So that's part of what the Gembah platform does. It outlines what type of resources do you need, what what tasks are they doing in which order, What are the deliverables that they need to create in order to create a complete product design? And then we build detailed profiles on them. All industrial designers are not equal, right? Just because let's say you see somebody, Oh, they made footwear.

Henrik (00:10:01) - Well, it's a big difference if they made Christian Louboutin high heels for for for ladies or they made rubber boots or, you know, for the bass pro shop. So, so there's design sensibilities in there too. And that's why we build up very detailed profiles and understand these these experts. What's their portfolio, What kind of products have they worked with in the past? Because that's super valuable to an entrepreneur, right? Let's say you want to create the next sustainable running shoe. Well, imagine how valuable would be for you to work with somebody who did that at Allbirds or, you know, or Nike that created their sustainable running shoe. The the learning curve just is dramatically reduced and you can get so much value out of that expert.

Josh (00:10:45) - I also want to point out that you, as of when we're recording this recently or are in the process of launching your podcast, it's called Innovator Insights From Idea to Impact. So to our friend, let's listen to our conversation right now. Go search your favorite podcast directory.

Josh (00:11:01) - Go search for this podcast again called Innovator Insights from Idea to Impact. Henry, can you maybe share a little bit about who you talk with and who should be subscribing and listening to that podcast?

Henrik (00:11:16) - Yeah. I mean, I think it's valuable and exciting to anyone. I think that the success of Shark Tank shows that there's a lot of people, even if they're not entrepreneurs, that are really interested in the entrepreneurial journey. But I think first and foremost, I'm interviewing other entrepreneurs that have been successful going through product development, and I'm talking about physical product, consumer products primarily because there's a lot we can learn from from folks like that. And I'd like to be be asked them to be very transparent and talk about the challenges, because I think we learn as much or more about from other people's mistakes so we don't have to make them ourselves, right? So we always engage in conversation about how how did they come up with the idea originally? How did they validate that idea? What was the journey they went through? And typically it's, you know, a lot of failure on the way to success or a lot of learnings.

Henrik (00:12:11) - And I think that anybody else that's that's thinking about going, you know, becoming a product entrepreneur or is already product entrepreneur can greatly benefit from from that podcast, from idea to innovation or from idea to impact.

Josh (00:12:25) - You know, Henrik, we didn't talk about your marketplace and I just I don't know if folks understand what, what a cool opportunity that you've created. In other words, you've already, as I understand it, right? You've already come up with products. They've already been validated a little bit. Um, it really just need someone to drive it, right? So you get in the driver's seat, follow the system, follow the process. Do you mind just sharing just a bit more about this? Am I getting that correct?

Henrik (00:12:52) - Absolutely. And it's the first first of its kind. It's the first in the world. Um, you know, where if you ask 100 entrepreneurs, where do you go to find products overseas, existing products, you know, probably 99 will say Alibaba, if you ask the same 100 entrepreneurs, where do you go to create new things? Probably get 99 different answers because until Gamba was launched, there wasn't a place to go.

Henrik (00:13:15) - And you're absolutely right. So we. If you think of the four steps you go through and it's a product development journey, the research design, sourcing and then manufacturing, what we've done in the marketplace is you're taking the first three steps, the research, the design and the sourcing and collapse them into one. So we leverage those data insights to design the products and then find factories to price them out. So now suddenly you collapsed something that may take six, nine, 12 months and cost someone 25 $50,000. You can now find on the gamba marketplace and go through that. You still have to order samples and place purchase orders, of course, but we've drastically compressed the first three steps and reduce the risk and the cost and the time it takes to go through those steps.

Josh (00:14:02) - Yeah. Your website. Someone's been listening to a conversation. Maybe they've, you know, months down the road, they've kind of doing some research on Gembah, and now they've heard our chat. Where do they go from here? If they'd love to take a look at the marketplace, if they'd love to learn next steps, maybe learn more about what, you know, engagement and working with you looks like.

Henrik (00:14:24) - I mean, there's a few different ways. Like you said, go to Gembah GMB and they're basically two ways to engage. One, you can go straight to the marketplace that we just discussed and see if you can if you find a product that that that speaks to you that you would want to sell and you think it fits your brand, then you can just go ahead and reserve it for a for a small fee of $500, You can reserve that product, become the exclusive seller, and we connect you directly with a factory and you can start working on it.

Josh (00:14:53) - That's crazy.

Henrik (00:14:54) - Yeah, if you don't if you can't find what you're looking for or if you have like an idea that, you know, a crazy new real innovation, right, that's not there, then you just fill out a form, a short form, explain what you're doing, and we'll connect you with an expert on the site to help figure out what that product journey could look like. Right. And, you know, within 24 hours, you can get a quote and then you can choose if you want to move forward again or not.

Josh (00:15:18) - Yeah. And by the way, to our listener, if I sound like I listen, I'm normally very supportive of our guest. If I sound like I've been fan boying a little bit, it's only because I do have a little bit more familiarity with what Gembah does and I am a huge advocate and fan. And so Henrik Johansen, again, co-founder, CEO, your website, Gembah, your new podcast, by the way, Innovator Insights from Idea to Impact. So do our friend is already listening to this podcast. Just go search for that right now. Henrik It's been great having you. Thank you so much for joining us.

Henrik (00:15:54) - My pleasure. Thanks, Josh, always great talking to you. Have a great day.

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