Business Lessons From the Jamaican Bobsled Team

4 minute read

“♫♩ Some people say, and no they can’t believe, Jamaica we have a bobsled team! ♬♪”

Learning from our favourite underdogs of all time. 

They defied convention. People thought they were crazy and laughed in their faces. But these huge underdogs came to Canada, proved the doubters wrong, and inspired the world.

They are the Jamaican bobsled team.

... And Heilu hopes to follow in their tracks. 

So forget Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, or Warren Buffett. Here are the greatest words of wisdom from Cool Runnings and how we - and you - can use them as inspiration for our own underdog story. 

“Whatchu smokin’?”
“I’m not smokin’. I’m breathin’.”

Some will think we must be high to be making food from bugs, but we’re not. No, we're doing what comes naturally - like breathing - and following our passions.

“She’s not much to look at but...”
“Shhh! She’s beautiful!”

The amazing animal Heilu products are made from may not be much to look at, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts (... right?).  

“Seeming to you nobody likes us?”
“We’re different. People always afraid of what’s different”

People's fear of trying new, different products like Heilu is totally understandable, so we need to fit in by being familiar. Familiar, but different.  

“What are you doing?”
“That’s what the Swiss do to psyche themselves up.”
“They also make them little pocket knives too and I don’t see you doing that.”

In many respects we need to learn from the expertise of our competition and emulate them. They got where they are for a reason. But that doesn’t mean copying everything they do.

“We can’t be copying nobody else’s style. We have our own style.”

We have to be true to ourselves and express our own style. People, at least the ones worth worrying about, will appreciate the authenticity. 

“You don’t see the Swiss team drinkin’, and carryin’ on, and such.”
“And you don’t see the Swiss team smiling neither.”

Sure, nutrition and sustainability are serious topics, but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring. We are doing something a bit crazy, so why not have fun and be a bit crazy too? 

“Hurry up man! I have a dead grandmother that moves faster than you.”

People regularly ask when they can buy Heilu products. And we keep telling them to be patient because we’re still not allowed to sell any.

Believe us, we’re doing the best we can. Not only do we want to start doing our part to help people eat more sustainably, honestly we need to start making money too. A dream can't stay a dream forever

“This is the time when the team may be thinking, ‘This may not have been such a great idea.’”

We've still got a long way to go and we're uncertain if Heilu will ever work out. Doubts go through our heads on a regular basis. 

“Do the words ‘give up’ meant anything to you?”
“Not a thing”

But we're not giving up. Though we struggle at times and are burning through our savings, we’re learning a lot, meeting great people, and having tons of fun. 

“All he has to do is know what he wants and work hard for it. And if he wants it bad enough he’ll get it. Look - believe me Sanka - the more Yul Brenners we got makin’ it in this world, the better off this world will be.”

Let's hope this is true for us too.

“I think the fans here have an extreme case of Jamaican fever.”

We're incredibly thankful for the contingent of supporters we have behind us. And hopefully it will become contagious. 

If you haven't already, please subscribe to our updates, reach out to us with your ideas, and spread the word.

“Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up! It’s bobsled time!”

Let's go!

There's tons of space on Heilu’s bobsled and we need you, so jump in. Being an underdog is risky but it's really fun. 

Join us for the ride.

And for those of you too lazy to read: the story in emojis: