Don't change who you are. Be more of who you are - Sally Hogshead
Disrupting Business As We Knew It
Disrupting Business As We Knew It

Disrupting Business As We Knew It

Billion Dollar Brand Club: How Dollar Shave Club, Warby Parker, and Other Disruptors Are Remaking What We Buy

By Lawrence Ingrassia

In what seems like a moment, we move from the totally new to the familiar. For example, the touchscreen phone went from an option for those that wanted the newest gadget to an integral part of our daily lives over a period of just a few years. Similarly, there are millions of people across the globe that have become accustomed to ordering products as diverse as razor blades, mattresses, contacts and even eye glasses from online manufacturers and stores. Billion Dollar Brand Club introduces us to several of the innovators that have changed the way we shop.

Ingrassia starts his book with the unlikely story of a razor subscription service and their viral videos. Dollar Shave Club began when Michael Dubin stumbled upon the opportunity to sell surplus razor blades. He didn’t promise the best razors available. He didn’t promise new technology. Dollar Shave Club would simply provide an affordable product in the most convenient method possible.

Readers will also meet the founders of Warby Parker – four Wharton students that believed there had to be a better way to shop for and attain new glasses. In this case, students David Gilboa and Jeffrey Raider share their frustration at the hassle and expense of replacing expensive glasses. This is further exacerbated by their knowledge that glasses were being produced at far lower prices within feet of the expensive brands. 

This book goes on to describe businesses ranging from custom bras to hearing aids to mattresses delivered directly to your door. Each business case is an interesting story in and of itself. Ingrassia describes the business settings, the context, the personalities, and the journeys. Some were immensely successful and others remain to be seen.

If all this book did was introduce us to innovative companies, it might be worth a quick read – perhaps from the library or a cursory overview at However, this book does more than just provide an introduction or review. This book helps us to understand the thought processes and innovative nature of these brands. The founders and owners have helped to re-shape the way we shop for mattresses, glasses and so much more. They can also help us to think differently about how we serve our customers or clients. That may be the most helpful part of this book – understanding how different businesses have identified the needs and pain points of their customers. In the midst of what we do, we can often just continue to refine our system of serving customers within the framework that we believe works best. However, by looking at other industries and processes, we may find ways to better serve our market and grow our business. We might also identify new opportunities and new markets. 2020 may be the most volatile year many of us have encountered. These lessons might just help us to navigate the tumultuous waters in our future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *