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#149 - Interview with Bill D'Alessandro, CEO of Elements Brands

PODCAST

How to identify, acquire, and operate an internet brand with Bill D'Alessandro, CEO of Elements Brands


Topics Covered:

- How to source a contract manufacturer as a CPG business

- How to apply an 80/20 approach to your business

- How Elements Brands is organized

- How to know if a company has an actual 'brand'

- Building an e-commerce brand

- How to strategically position a brand by price and quality


Listen: iTunes, Spotify


FRAMEWORK


Grass is Greener Syndrome (GIGS)


"When he hits yet another bump on the road, or has a head-on collision, he attempts to change his luck by changing direction. It's not that he lacks stamina. He has tons of energy and stamina. But he doesn't as Churchill put it, "keep going." Instead, he keeps looking for pastures new - the golden sunlit uplands, the philosopher Leibniz's "best of all possible worlds." Perhaps there, in a new place, he will find his fortune and change his luck? By moving so adroitly and so swiftly from one thing to the next, he does not place himself in the way of luck. He does not draw luck to him. He does not make his own luck. He is much too much in love with the green, green grass just over the next hill." - How to Get Rich by Felix Dennis

A letter to ourselves:


I have a tendency to get bored easily and jump from idea to idea after sprinting down one path, hitting a roadblock and then turning back to explore another. Doing this is fun and addictive because I'm constantly scratching that curiosity itch, but it's also an excuse not to focus in one direction for extended periods of time. Deep down, I know that the path becomes more interesting and much more beautiful a few miles further. By constantly changing directions, the magic of compounding simply doesn't work. Additionally, a lack of focus makes it nearly impossible to develop a circle of competence. Your circle of competence, in turn, enables what others might call a stroke of luck - when you're able to seize opportunities others simply don't see.


When Bill Gates and Warren Buffett first met, they both agreed that focus, above everything else, enabled their success. Finding a balance between curiosity and focus is difficult for many, but one thing is certain: building a circle of competence in which you can compound knowledge and experience requires focus in one direction over a period of time. Curiosity and focus don't have to be enemies, but they certainly can be. Find ways to stay curious about what you need to focus on and let the magic of compounding work for you.


LINKS

+ AJ Wasserstein on picking a career path post MBA, patterns in entrepreneurship, and sourcing deals


+ Bitcoin as a store of energy (Nick Grossman)


+ The return of neighborhood retail and other surprising real estate trends (TechCrunch)


+ The top 100 online marketplaces (a16z)

+ Marketplace supply strategies: comprehensive, exclusive, or curated (a16z)