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Learn What the VCs Never Do

Once you get into Phase 2, you think you need only more cash. Because your runway is short, and you’re still barely covering fixed costs or not even close.  In reality, you also rapidly need to learn the analytical skills that give you an edge over

You’re Doing Your Topline Analysis All Wrong

For the world of early-stage consumer brands selling in retail, I fervently hope that 2021 will be the decade of scanner-led growth. I don’t want anyone to enslave themselves to data, but fast-growing companies need to get smarter earlier about growth. And part of this is

Why BigCo Alums Don’t Work Out as Employees

Earlier than Phase 4 (~$35-40M), there is not a lot of value beyond pure administration that you will get from an immediate alumnus of a public company as a functional leader. I’m talking about someone who just left a $1B+ company deep into its mature,

The Five Signals that You Should Pivot Your Brand

Below are the combined signals that make pivoting a smart option. But only if you are committed to getting on the Skate Ramp of exponential growth. Sub-30% topline growth rate for three years straight, AND Your original UPCs don’t grow the same store velocity, AND Adding new UPCs

Skate Ramp Brands Build a B2C Culture Internally

The vast majority of consumer startups selling in retail get lulled into operating as a B2B company, even though they make products for the end consumer. This is because the initial data they manage concerns distributor case sales and retail account sales. They have no

Most Provocative PGS Blog Posts from 2023

This is it!  The best of 2023. The most provocative, stimulating, unfiltered and apparently most popular posts from this year! Note: thoroughly vetted by legal. #1 - Beware of Desperate Old VC Funds Headed Your Way!  #2 - The Seven Traits of Killer Founders #3 - Beyond Predictable. Beyond Meat’s

Athletic Brewing – Another Beyond Meat?

The following is an excerpt from my January 26 piece for the Food Institute. Non-alcoholic (NA) beer is American consumer culture's oldest social responsibility segment. Commercial, branded NA beer made its way into tens of thousands of bars and taverns by the 1990s in part as

The Math Behind Pivoting Well

Pivoting has and will continue to be about selecting 3-6 hero UPCs amidst your current mix and pivoting the strategy for growth to those UPCs. The investments will all head toward supporting these hero UPCs. A managed removal of the others becomes something you can

Tap the Doctor Sessions Are Now Open

Several times a month, someone slides into my DM box on LinkedIn, hoping to grab some time with me. Most are polite about it. A minority is unbelievably entitled.  I do reject all these requests through my assistant who triages my inboxes.  Last Spring, I experimented with

The Low Trust Founder May Hit a Wall

One of the most terrifying realizations founders have at some point in the early years is how little they know about the more advanced aspects of scaling consumer brands. It could be a volley of SPINS jargon thrown at them. Or a broker’s counter-intuitive suggestion about which