The PGS Blog

Finance Founder Guy and His “What’s the ROI?”

“The most frustrating archetype of a founder out there is the finance founder. I am talking about a social orientation to work in which the most valuable thing is money, and solutions to business problems are assumed to be financial in nature. When there's a financial

Saying No is a Fundamental Skill for Founders

You might think saying 'no' is simply a luxury of an established business who has the privilege to turn down an opportunity that isn't absolutely dead on perfect. But you'd be wrong. Saying 'no' is one of the fundamental business skills never taught in school,

The Topline IED Awaiting Mission-Driven Brands

Mission-driven brands were starting every hour, it seemed, back in the 2010s. Wall Street and PE threw billions at these businesses, especially plant-based meat and dairy. The pattern across most of them was a morally strident founder trying to ‘change the world’ by scaling their

Celebrity Founders Beat Celebrity Influencers

Nothing is more disappointing than paying way too much for a celebrity influencer to pump up your brand, briefly, and then leave you without a proven marketing mix to continue growth.  This has happened many times to brands with more cash than experience in brand-building. Unless

Don’t Get Pushed Into a Premature Exit

The primary reasons to exit early (early being Phase 2 or Phase 3) is that a) you are sick of operating the business and cannot find a suitable person to step in (or quickly enough OR b) you want an ‘entity’ to finance its growth

Online Grocery Peaked in 2021 – It Just Doesn’t Work for Most

In 2020, as Covid up-ended our lives, I fielded lots of inquiries about how to make use of Direct-to-Consumer sales.  If you remember, e-commerce sales had just exploded overall at the time. Americans received multiple stimulus checks and payroll protection and could not spend money at

Why a Sales Strategy is NOT a Growth Strategy

The vast majority of CPG startups operate as B2B businesses. They don’t interact with their consumers. They aren’t curious about how they receive and use their products. As long as case volumes grow, they’re happy. As long as their wholesale price can float operations and

Successful Innovation is Increasingly About Resolving Nuanced Trade-offs

The standard of consumer goods innovation has risen in the past 10-15 years. If you want to achieve scale without influencer hype and keep growing, you must understand category-specific trade-offs and resolve them with an excellent sensory experience.  To get a real foothold, therefore, you need

Why Venture Capital is Pouring Back into Food

Gotcha. April Fools. VC money is not coming back. Maybe at a trickle from small funds that somehow sold the food sector to their LPs. Mostly, Wall Street is done with super early investments in food because, unlike soft drinks, precisely none of these brands

Riding the Ramp Training – April 12 

I’ll explain. But before I do, there are less than 10 spots available for the April Q2 cohort. So, you may want to grab one now.  OK. For the rest of you reading this, this is my best explanation of why it matters for CPG founders