A little bit of wit and a little bit of wisdom can go a long way.
Consider Michael Dubin, the innovator who created Dollar Shave Club (DSC) in 2011 and just last week inked a $1 billion deal with global consumer products behemoth Unilever.
DSC is a monthly membership service that delivers fresh, stainless steel razor blades and other personal grooming products direct to customers… which now totals more than 3 million.
When I first met him, Mike was a 15-year-old sophomore on the junior varsity basketball team at The Haverford School.
I was a third-year student at Villanova University School of Law, pursuing a passion and making some extra bucks as an assistant basketball coach.
Mike wasn’t an extraordinarily talented basketball player. He was, however, an excellent student and a great teammate – the kind of guy who makes the locker room a great place to be, bus rides to away games experiences all their own, and the bench a source of unity and support, especially during tough stretches.
Even then his considerable wit was on full display.
Finding the “Fun” in “Functional”
I didn’t “catch up” with Mike until about four and a half years ago.
I caught wind of this hilarious YouTube video touting a bold new outfit, Dollar Shave Club, and creating the buzz to support his goal of “building the next world class Men’s Lifestyle Brand.”
Mike dared to ask a simple question: Why are razor blades so expensive?
A brilliant guerrilla marketing effort has prompted literally millions to ask the same question.
At the same time, in his cheeky introductory video, Mike went viral by asking and answering another question: “Are the blades any good?”
“Our blades are f**king great.”
And now, with Unilever’s backing, Mike will have tremendous resources to compete on a global scale and to achieve his ambition.
This is a guy – “one of the greatest CEOs I have ever seen operate,” according to Venrock venture capitalist David Pakman, an early DSC backer – whose mantra is “Great things happen when your ass smells fantastic.”
A little bit of wit, a little bit of wisdom… and, boom, you have a billion-dollar company disrupting a market that’s still dominated by Gillette.
But not for much longer.
After the Laughter
Now, DSC wasn’t a publicly traded company before it struck its deal with Unilever.
But Mike is our kind of guy. He was able to see that bringing value and convenience would win customers in the zero-sum razor market.
He also saw that broadcast marketing and physical retail shelf space are dependencies that put Gillette at a disadvantage.
So, Mike turned the model on its head. He’s an original. He’s an innovator.
And Wall Street Daily is all about innovation whether we’re talking razor blades, shave butter, soap, pomade, and other man-care products or virtual reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, bionic eyes, and “super antibiotics.”
We’re a radio telescope trained on the universe of small-cap stocks, always searching for winning investments.
The good news is the pace of innovation has never been faster. And it’s accelerating still.
But we pay close attention to what’s happening, identifying trends early and often, as we track the evolution of technologies that provide real-world solutions.
At that point we’re talking real revenue and profit potential.
And the investment opportunities become obvious.
It’s hard work. But we love it.
Because, despite all the apparent sturm und drang, there are a lot of Mike Dubins out there – originals, innovators – waiting for us to discover and profit from their wit and wisdom.
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Editorial Director, Wall Street Daily