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What I wish we did sooner
We wasted a lot of time getting here
It has taken us 10 years to get where we are.
And I am so thankful for that journey.
Ridge hit 9 figures in under 10 years without ever raising a dollar.
Kickstarter → Company
Thats the dream right?
But in those 10 years we made a lot of mistakes.
Here is what I wish we did sooner, what we wasted time on, and what I would change.
But first, episode 3 of the operators podcast is out.
The smartest 9 figure operators, having an open conversation every week.
We are still getting our footing, but it will end up being the best ecom and business content ever. Thank you to everyone who has listened so far.
Facebook and Google:
We should have spent more money here.
We are known for our influencer program and how WIDE our spend is.
We were the first DTC brand to spend on snapchat.
We were early to DTC TV, we spent money on reddit, twitch, etc.
And we still do.
We are a top twitter advertiser and we got the Elon retweet to prove it.
But in retrospect, I wish I would have just hyper focused on facebook and google those entire 10 years.
We diversified because we didnt want to be caught up in the pay to scale nature of FB.
Every acquisition costing a little bit more.
You never really get a snowball effect, if anything you get punished for growth.
Because every sale moves you further and further outside of your target/core demo.
BUT- that actually doesnt matter.
I should have spent every dollar and hour on just scaling FB.
True Classic got to 9 figures in WAY less time, by just focusing on the one channel that is proven to scale.
Diversifying so early, so aggressively was a mistake.
Going back to True Classic, that idea isnt novel.
I had the same pitch to everyone at Ridge in 2018.
“We sell stuff to men, why not sell basic tees?”
Huge TAM, high repeat rate, low COGs and dev time.
We didnt do it because it felt off brand.
But in retrospect, that was a mistake.
I have never regretted launching a product.
I have only ever regretted saying NO to a product.
The cynic sounds the smartest.
It is easy to say NO.
You arent risking anything except for opportunity.
I wish we would have taken whatever money we had and aggressively tried to expand the product offering sooner.
We have landed Rings now, and that will be an 8 figure business this year.
And we have now committed to product expansion being the key driver to 10 figures.
But I wish I would have done it all sooner.
Caring about Brand
We always put big business decisions through this lens of “Brand”
That was stupid.
We were too tiny to care about brand
We didnt have experience in brand marketing
We didnt have hard rules around brand
Those conversations ended up just being a committee talking about opinions.
Brand isnt objective. Its why branding agencys can charge $50,000+
It isnt math. Its art. So one person can say:
” I like this” and one can say “I hate this” and both are valid.
We never invested the money or time to formalize what “Brand” meant to Ridge.
And because of that, we wasted time and energy trying to make decisions through an opaque lens.
NOW- we have invested in Brand.
We have a strong VP in that role and we have a clear vision of what we are making.
But that was an expensive and long process.
Either do the exercise, build the bible, and hire someone to defend that vision.
Or, not care, play fast, and admit that Brand is something you will do in the future.