Launching today, Brandless is rethinking everything about CPG, from its purpose to its pricing, distribution, and value proposition
Technology and mobility have redefined a huge swath of our lives, but when it comes to the brands we use every day — from laundry detergent to toilet paper — not much has changed. Sure, you can order online, but consumer packaged goods, or CPG as the category is called, are still run on a business model of mass media advertising and mass market distribution. Long time entrepreneur Tina Sharkey is on a mission to change that, and rethink CPG from the ground up. Her company Brandless launches today, but we had Sharkey at the NewCo Shift Forum back in February, where she gave an overview of her new company’s purpose.
Tina Sharkey: I’m going to give you an overview of what we’re doing and hopefully you’ll understand that we think we’re starting a revolution. Steve Jobs said in ’84 — I know he set the bar really low — he said mainframes, PCs, it’s all going to change. It absolutely did change, and we never looked back from that moment.
I don’t think they thought at that moment that this would happen. They thought merging music player and a phone was a great idea, but I don’t think they thought that you were going to hail taxis. I certainly don’t think they thought they were building a remote control for your life.
The Founder of Dollar Shave Club on Why He Sold His NewCo to a BigCo — and What’s Next
One of my favorite people in the startup world is Michael Dubin. He’s earnest, he’s smart, and he’s wickedly funny, as anyone who’s seen his famous Dollar Shave Club commercials can attest. So when Dubin sold Dollar Shave for a cool billion to Unilever, one of the largest consumer packaged goods companies on the planet, I was a bit worried. Would Dollar Shave lose its sense of humor to a soulless corporate overlord? So far, the answer is no, as this short interview with Dubin, held at the NewCo Shift Forum, readily proves. Below is the full interview and a transcript, edited for clarity.
The anger that elected Donald Trump, many believe, was about lost jobs, but not just any lost jobs. It’s factory jobs that Trump voters crave. Trouble is, they’re not coming back: Today’s release of the December jobs report, the final one for President Obama’s tenure, shows a gain of 156,000 jobs total for the month. That even includes 17,000 manufacturing jobs! But the factory-job tally for the whole year shows a drop of 45,000 (ABC News).
This is an irreversible, decades-long transformation. Even the jobs that survive a strong dollar and overseas competition will get eaten by automation. Long term, service-sector jobs and “pink-collar” work in healthcare and education are what’s growing in the U.S. But white guys don’t like these jobs because they see them as “women’s work” (Claire Cain Miller in The New York Times).