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Top Three Traits of Killer Founders

“James provides insightful guidance to those who are working hard to start and scale their businesses.” The following is a brief excerpt from Episode 100 of Startup Confidential! I didn’t think I’d make it to this milestone, honestly, at twice per month. Thanks for listening in. "1)

Pivot to the Right Products to Get in the Black Faster

Most early-stage food companies lose money. Anywhere from 10-50% every year. Much of this comes down to low product gross margins getting chewed up by fixed operating costs and various onboarding fees at retailers. Getting to a scale that lowers absolute COGS still remains the primary way

1-Page. It’s All You Need. Planners Win This Game.

I launched my current business in 2017 with a series of LinkedIn videos, including why you need a strategic plan. Keeping you and your team accountable is the most important reason to write a straightforward plan consisting of three things: your revenue targets for 2-3 years max your

What is this Riding the Ramp Training Thing?

I’ll explain. But before I do, there are less than 10 spots available for January's Q1 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 new

Why Venture Capital Has Left Food And Will Not Return

There were three institutional rounds with food companies making less than $10M in 2023 (based on my sources): A Dozen Cousins, Belliwelli, and Hero Bread. All three have strong topline and brand health DNA. And, if true, this will be the primary reason moving forward

The Problem with American Marketers

There’s a fundamental obsession with control and aggression in American marketing. Nothing epitomizes this better than the obsession with celebrity influencers and influencers standing in for persuasive messaging from a place of humility.  Celebrity-driven growth does happen, but it rarely attracts American marketers because it promises

DTC Is Rarely A Good Scale Platform in CPG

The big financial problem for DTC is that this channel is very slow to reach lower cost-to-service rates per unit, due to your initial reliance on dropshippers, much slower than your freight costs decline with Kehe or McLane. As a small company, shipping five boxes

Holiday Course Discounts! Upskill for 2024 Now…

You are hearing this first because PGS fans like you come to the blog every week. Whether you are an investor, founder, or marketing lead, my brand management courses are uniquely tailored to the analytical needs of early-stage brands. If you are growing fast, you must

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

From Founder to Brand Manager – The Key Transition

In talking with B-school professors and founders, I realized that my courses hit a gap in DIY founder training. The gap is in professional brand management with an early-stage twist. Once you get into Phase 2, this is when these skills will give you an