Gabriel designs systems and sites for the physical world. He holds a degree in music and comparative literature from Brown University. Before Casper, he implemented a data visualization project with the Library of Congress. He is also an award-winning composer and musician whose work has been performed everywhere from Cape Town to Carnegie Hall. In 2014 he co-founded Casper, a sleep startup that launched with an outrageously comfortable mattress. At Casper, he leads anything and everything related to tech.
How did you get into the Tech industry?
My co-founder convinced me to take a CS class, and it turned out I had a much greater proclivity for it than he did. I ended up tutoring him in exchange for graphic design, and the rest is history.
Tell us about Casper. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?
Four of us were working in a co-working space together and found ourselves surrounded by other entrepreneurs bragging about how little sleep they had gotten the night before. They drank green juice, made time for the gym, and had as many liters of water as they could gulp down — yet they were passing out on bean bag chairs from exhaustion. We knew there had to be a more efficient way to get the sleep you need. We began to explore the ways in which we could revolutionize sleep, and ultimately launched Casper with one perfect mattress. Casper has seen more success in its first year than we ever could have predicted — a true testament to the mattress, but also to the growing importance, and awareness, of sleep.
What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?
Entire generations are starting to appreciate sleep as a huge facet of their overall health. As far as we're concerned, the more people who understand how crucial it is to get a great night's sleep, the happier we are.
If at first you don’t succeed, take a nap and try again.
Your greatest success as Founder/CEO of Casper? Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?
We launched Casper last April and didn’t have the inventory to fulfill all of our orders. Casper strives to provide the customer experience that you dream about, so we kept an open dialogue with our early adopters about their estimated ship dates and created meaningful relationships — we even sent air mattresses to those who needed the while waiting for their Casper to arrive.
Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?
Make at least some incremental progress towards all your goals (large and small) every single day. Even if it’s a quick email or 15-minute brainstorm, it’s crucial to keep moving forward, no matter how small the progress is.
Describe the ideal experience using Casper.
You lie down, close your eyes, and forget the world until morning :)
How do you motivate your employees?
As a company, the best motivator is to have your overarching business goals align with each individual's. For Casper, this means an incredible focus on improving the consumer experience. From the website, to support interactions, to the product itself, everybody here is hugely motivated on improving the entire process.
One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?
Steak and smoothies.
What literature is on your bed stand?
Thomas Piketty - capital in the twenty-first century
Colum McCann - Let the great world spin
Ben Lerner - Leaving the Atocha Station
Role model - business and personal?
Business - Elizabeth Holmes
Personal - David Bowie
Website UX + Usability
Favorite travel destination?
Our factories in Georgia and South Carolina, of course!
What's next for Casper?
Since our launch, Casper fans have requested a bedroom full of Casper products, including sheets, pillows, furniture, mobile apps, and sleepwear. Casper’s world-class team is researching and hard at work to expand its product line even further into the world of sleep.