This is one of the most extreme episodes of “A Uterus Is a Feature, Not a Bug” yet.
We get way into the weeds on pregnancy: Talking about how Nomiku CEO Lisa Fetterman came back from setting up manufacturing for her sous vide company in China and endured 36 hours of labor at home because she missed her bed so much. We also get way into the weeds on business: Talking manufacturing in the United States v. China, the pros and cons of Kickstarter and raising venture capital as a mom.
It’s appropriate because Fetterman’s life is all smashed together too. Like Heidi Zak of ThirdLove and Julia Hartz of Eventbrite, Fetterman is also married to her co-founder. On their very first date Fetterman couldn’t stop talking about this sous vide machine she had saved up $2,000 to buy– even begging her landlord to delay her rent payment by a few weeks. Her date, who happened to have a PhD in plasma physics and astrophysics, asked what a sous vide was– as people did back then– and said he could just make her one for $100. “Since that night he has been my cofounder and my baby daddy,” she says.
Fetterman moved to the United States from China when she was seven years old and was stunned by everything she saw. “We had stairs in my house!” she says. “What kind of rich person has stairs in their home?” But she was especially obsessed with the food, even Big Macs. They were combinations of flavors she’d never encountered before.
For her first year at school, she wore the same clothes everyday…. Not knowing that wasn’t a thing Americans did. Finally she got her first friend to agree to come over to her house for dinner and Fetterman wanted to give her the most expensive thing to eat that they had: A thousand year old egg. She took a bite. And didn’t say a word. The next day at school, Fetterman was terrified her social stock had sunk even lower. Instead the kids ran up to her and asked if they could come over and “eat the weird food” at her house. “That was when I realized how food connects people,” she says.
She is still extreme when it comes to food: The day we recorded this show, she woke up craving a lobster roll so she killed a lobster and made one for breakfast. Wow.
Their vision for Nomiku is different from some other home sous vide makers, because it has an app and a community that shares recipes and tips and techniques. As Fetterman and I discuss, it’s a new way of looking at the overcrowded “What do I make for dinner?” market that includes everyone from BlueApron to Grubhub to Postmates.
I promise you’ll enjoy this episode even if you still don’t really know what a sous vide maker is.