Andy Dunn, founder of Bonobos, tells the origin story of his company and the lessons he learned along the way. One of his main takeaways for budding entrepreneurs: don’t try to build a “collection” of lots of different products. Start small.
Make one thing great. Get one thing right. That earns you the right to go from product one to product two. Take as much time as you need to get product one right, and to prove it—because if you don’t, no one is going to be waiting on pins and needles for product two.
The stories about the singular products that started many great brands crowd out the stories about the singular brands that started with many great products. You know where I’m going: Ralph Lauren and a tie, Diane Von Furstenberg and a wrap dress, Potbelly and a heated sandwich, Theory and a women’s pant, Tory Burch and a ballet flat, Kate Spade and a handbag, Google and an “I’m feeling lucky” button, Warby Parker and a pair of glasses…
The examples here skewed towards clothing, but the takeaways are industry-agnostic.
We never thought about a second product. In fact, I had one slide in the appendix of our initial angel investor deck which showed the progression of products we might make years down the road in the event that we were successful, and I’ll never forget what [one angel investor] told me: “I don’t want you even thinking about this stuff until you have proven you can sell pants.”
Read the rest of his story here.