THE STORY

At a random party, Michael Dubin, then 31, and Mark Levine, were discussing what Levine should do with 250,000 razors he had amassed from a failed business.

They discussed the typical frustrations of the American man. The poor dude has to go to the store, find the razor ‘fortress’, ask for the key, and pay a small fortune for a pack of blades. What if they were heroes and offered razors on subscription for a mere $1 a month?

Of course they were. Dubin quit his marketing job and the pair co-founded Dollar Shave Club.

It was time to announce it—on YouTube. Using $4,500 in savings and his background in improvised comedy, Dubin cast himself in a hilarious video. Entitled “Our Blades Are F***ing Great”, it quickly went viral. Within 2 days, he had 12,000 orders! The site crashed, he ran out of inventory, and frantically enlisted friends to help fulfill orders.

Sales soared from $4m in 2012 to over $200m in 2017. They launched new products and turned into a full-scale men’s club, talking guys through the “shit, shower and shave” routine. Dubin continued to make hilarious videos, like “Let’s talk about #2”—introducing men’s butt wipes.

With 51% of the shaving market compared to Gillette’s 21.2%, the inevitable happened. Unilever snapped them up for a cool 1 billion—A steal. On the day of the sale, Dubin told his 250 employees “Congratulations, you just bought Unilever”—and vowed to remain free spirited.

Michael Dubin in his first video.

WATCH VIDEO →

 

HABITUATION, ANYONE?

I’ve recently encountered so many startups that think they’re addressing an actual need or pain point, while in reality their offering is “nice-to-have” at best. Uncovering an actual need requires digging deep into the customer’s habits and recognizing the hassles, which most of the time are invisible due to Habituation. Google it.

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© Story by Tarek Issa.

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