I'm the Co-founder and CEO of The Grommet. We launch undiscovered consumer products. It's also the birthplace of Citizen Commerce. I write about design, cultural anthropology, and start-ups, mostly.

Firing on all cylinders

cylindercombustionandreactionOne of the interesting things in a start-up company is knowing (and measuring) what matters, and recognizing when you get it right (or wrong).   Given the nature of our business,  at Grommet, we get a daily report card.  As such, we watch a few different variables all the time.  It’s unrealistic to expect to get them all right, every single day.  But I’ve been telling people about a Grommet from a couple weeks ago where it all came together.  Here’s what we experienced, on the day we told the story of Pacific Shaving. (It’s an inventive oil that radically improves the typical shaving experience.)

  • Someone else found the Grommet–not us. This is important…we don’t have a monopoly on new products knowledge.  There are 30,000 new consumer products released in the US each year!  We actively encourage people to share their fresh finds with us, and by extension, the World.  In this case, we partnered with Kirtsy.com, asking their users to nominate their own special product finds for possible selection as the next Grommet.  A Kirsty user named Janine told us,

My husband swears by this. He won’t shave for 2 weeks sometimes and this is the only product that doesn’t leave him scarred, blotchy, or otherwise wanting to keep growing his beard! I use it now too and the one tiny bottle has lasted 6 months already between the 2 of us.

  • The Grommet is truly inventive and solves a problem. Have you ever met a man who loves to shave?  Enough said.  Any improvement on this necessary evil is welcome….but Pacific Shave even makes the process almost enjoyable, according to their rabid fans.
  • The founder of the company, Stan Ades,  is passionate and wants to build a meaningful enterprise. Given a choice between a founder like this, and one who is just ordinary, you really want to root for the passionate guy.  We sometimes make Grommet decisions based on the commitment of the company leadership…we know they will treat our customers well.
  • We tried something new in the video: a full Grommet demonstration. We keep mixing it up, when it comes to video production, and we are going to keep on experimenting.  This is definitely one area where we use our learning to improve every day.  It was also important to us that we had some video footage of Stan telling his story in his own words.
  • There was a great conversation on our site that day. People asked questions, the founder Stan Ades was quick to answer them, and his current customers came on to Daily Grommet to talk about Pacific Shaving.  This is really important.  If, by definition, we are discovering new products for people, it is helpful to have the cutting edge people who already use the product help people learn more about it.
  • We sold lots of Pacific Shaving Oil. Almost 9% of the people who came to our site bought that day.  We really want to get great products in peoples’ hands, not just talk about them.
  • A friend and fan of Daily Grommet inquired about investing in Pacific Shaving. This person is a private equity investor in consumer products.  He asked me about whether Pacific Shaving would be a good investment.  I offered to connect Stan to “the man.”  From the start, I expected to expand awareness and distribution of Grommets.  But it never occurred to me to attract investors to great companies.  Cool!
  • Two people came back to our site, days later, to comment on the Grommet. They were so happy with Pacific Shaving, they shared their experiences.  Wow.  That is really going out of your way.

At the end of the day Stan told us “Btw, I think I had more fun than anyone in the DG experience yesterday. Thanks for the opportunity!”

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