This article originally appeared on Medium.com.
After leaving MySpace, I found myself thinking about new ways to fix the high failure rate among promising businesses. Envisioning a studio where we can identify and explore trends, invest in passionate entrepreneurs and pair dollars with expertise and operational resources to develop new companies, I was fortunate enough to attract a group of investors that were willing to fund the unique structure I had in mind.
One of our original and primary key themes was a focus on direct-to-consumer commerce. Specifically, we were interested in the idea that the majority of global brands could not tell you the name of one of their customers. Essentially, brands were retailers and even though they might have highly loyal customers, they never knew anything about them.
We looked into sectors where there was a high enough net margin over the lifetime user value that would enable a variety of organic, viral and paid marketing tactics.
Within the first three weeks of taking meetings, we met up with Michael Dubin to hear about his bold concept for Dollar Shave Club. His approach was a brilliant blend of visionary brand positioning, creating a high quality product and a predictable, sustainable revenue model.
We were happily the first investors and one of the initial board members and have sustained our love for the business and involvement through the launch, growth and acquisition process.
For every lesson to learn from Dollar Shave Club's overall success, there are takeaways from the failures in the sector that we experienced along the way. Over time, we incubated over 12 different direct-to-consumer commerce businesses, none of which hit the same scale as DSC.