What’s the most consistent way to start a company? You find a problem and you decide to solve it.
That problem does not need to change the world. You do not need to solve world hunger, and you do not need to be Elon Musk to make a difference.
All you need to do, is find a way to make someone’s life just a little bit better than it was before. These modest problems are often hiding in plain sight so they’re easy to miss, but when noticed, and when given some attention, these tiny problems can be turned into massive opportunities.
In 2007, Andy Dunn did take notice of just such a problem, or a small annoyance really… He and his college roommate couldn’t find pants that fit. They were either way too tight or too boxy, so they pulled out their sheers, some thread, and a sewing machine, and decided to create the perfect fitting pair of dress pants and a brand called Bonobos.
After three years of selling a few hundred pairs of pants through word of mouth, Bonobos raises their first round of funding, and an expanded vision… A shopping experience for men that doesn’t suck.
Nine years later, Bonobos is the largest online clothing brand that’s been launched and built on the web, and over $100,000,000 in revenue.
In addition to his duties as CEO of Bonobos, Andy has become a prolific Angel investor through his fund, Red Swan.
Today they own equity in dozens of startups including, BirchBox, Warby Parker, Coinbase, Harry’s, and TaskRabbit.
This episode is a master class on building a startup, creating a brand, and building an experience that your customers will always remember.
As I was doing my homework for this episode, I realized that Bonobos has recently opened a Guide Shop two blocks from my home in downtown Austin, so after my interview with Andy, I decided to swing by to see what the brand was all about.
I left an hour later with a brand new collection of clothes that fit just right without the need for tailoring, and at a price that was a fraction of what I was expecting.
I’d highly recommend that you check them out, and in the meantime, here’s the story of behind the brand, and some incredibly valuable advice from Andy Dunn.