The Guy List: Dollar Shave Club
Two guys meet at a party. Soon, they're billionaires. Why? Because of the price of razor blades. Tweet
What's one thing most guys do every day that's worth a billion dollars?
Right — they complain about shaving. Why didn't we think of that? Damn beard.
Why the guys — Mark Levine and Michael Dubin — who started Dollar Shave Club are like us:
This 2012 video, which cost $4500 to make and was shot in a single day (and not surprisingly went viral). It spoke to us then, it still speaks to us now:
Ten years later, the Blades Boys are still sticking to the original mission. They describe the company this way:
We disrupted the shaving industry in 2011 by delivering “F*cking Great Blades” at an awesome price, right to your door. We’ve been listening to our Members’ needs ever since, and now have you covered from hair to toe with a growing list of top-shelf grooming products. We spend our days focused on helping you look, feel, and smell your best (with the occasional office dog in our lap).
They solved a big problem for men at scale:
No shit, take a look at their original company slogan:
Shave time. Shave money.
As co-founder Mike Dubin once told CNBC:
“Next to eating food and showering, shaving is one of the most regular things we do.”
That’s how you solve men’s problems at scale (and build a company worth the billion dollars Unilever paid to acquire it in 2016).
What was Mike Dubin doing, before he started Dollar Shave Club?
Once you know his background, all the success makes perfect sense.
The brilliance of the YouTube ad was no accident; it turns out Dubin studied and performed improv comedy for eight years with NYC’s Upright Citizens Brigade.
And he was already a marketing dude who worked at Time Inc. developing new web properties for the media giant.
From websites and improv to razors?
It’s kind of an obvious transition, if you think about it:
It’s all about giving people what they want and what will delight them, with perfect timing.
Buy why men’s razors?
Irritation, of course. Two guys meet at a party.
For some reason, they end up complaining to each other about the cost and hassle of buying razors.
One is a marketing dude, the other is a manufacturing dude.
The rest is history.