Share this post

🔑 Key Takeaways

  1. Consumers are increasingly choosing natural and chemical-free products, creating opportunities for entrepreneurs to address their needs and provide unique solutions in unexpected industries.
  2. Using aluminum-free deodorants allows the body to sweat naturally while preventing odors, providing a safer alternative to traditional antiperspirants. Native's success stems from their commitment to using natural ingredients.
  3. Perseverance and seizing unexpected opportunities can turn a failed launch into a surprising success.
  4. Success in business requires perseverance and adaptability. Moiz Ali's story demonstrates the importance of finding alternative solutions, tracking performance, and adapting to unforeseen circumstances to overcome challenges and setbacks. Be resilient and flexible.
  5. Perseverance and problem-solving are crucial in overcoming obstacles and achieving success in business. Moiz Ali's journey exemplifies the importance of adaptability and determination in finding solutions and generating revenue.
  6. Setbacks in business are inevitable, but by maintaining resilience and a problem-solving mindset, one can overcome obstacles and use them as opportunities for growth and improvement.
  7. Continuous feedback, product iteration, and customer satisfaction are vital for successful product development.
  8. Native's commitment to direct customer interaction and feedback enables them to continuously enhance their products, resulting in higher customer satisfaction and repeat purchases.
  9. Building a profitable business takes time and effort. Focus on creating a great product and finding a market fit that customers truly love.
  10. Starting a business requires resourcefulness and careful financial management to ensure survival and growth, even if it means running the business single-handedly and delaying hiring a team.
  11. By prioritizing customer satisfaction and repeat purchases, businesses can experience exponential growth and charge premium prices for their products.
  12. By believing in their product, taking risks, and prioritizing customer service, this small company became the industry leader, proving that taking risks and focusing on customer needs can lead to significant growth.
  13. Selling a business can be emotionally charged and challenging, but relying on guidance from experienced individuals and following a step-by-step process can lead to successful outcomes.
  14. When selling a business, carefully selecting potential buyers, being transparent, and showcasing growth potential are essential for attracting serious suitors. Evaluate the credibility of buyers as well.
  15. Selling a business can be emotionally and mentally challenging, with ups and downs throughout the process. Key moments and conversations can greatly influence the outcome, and unexpected issues may arise. The true test of a deal's authenticity is when it almost falls through.
  16. In deals and transactions, thorough due diligence, trust in investors, and determination are essential. Unexpected obstacles can arise, emphasizing the need for awareness of risks and the potential for long-lasting consequences.
  17. Challenging the norm and embracing innovation can disrupt even the biggest players in the industry. Taking risks and thinking outside the box can lead to success for startups and small businesses.
  18. Having confidence in your own intelligence and independence, and staying focused on your goals can lead to significant achievements in business. Trust yourself and rely on your gut feeling.
  19. Genuine happiness comes from pursuing passions, building strong relationships, and finding joy in the journey rather than solely focusing on monetary gains.
  20. Stay connected to your consumers and seek product-market fit. Engage in direct communication with customers for valuable insights. Seek advice and guidance from experienced entrepreneurs like Moiz Ali.

📝 Podcast Summary

Creating Chemical-Free Deodorant for Conscious Consumers

There is a growing demand for natural and chemical-free products, even in unexpected industries like deodorant. Moise Ali, the founder of Native Deodorant, recognized this need when he couldn't pronounce the ingredients on a deodorant he bought. This led him to create a deodorant brand that is free from aluminum, parabens, and phthalates. His success shows that consumers are becoming more conscious about what they put on and in their bodies. It also highlights the importance of addressing customer concerns and finding unique solutions to common problems. The $100 million acquisition of Native Deodorant by Procter and Gamble further validates the demand for natural alternatives in the market.

The benefits of using aluminum-free deodorants over antiperspirants

Using aluminum-based antiperspirants can prevent the body from sweating, which is a natural bodily function. Instead of blocking sweat, it is more beneficial to use deodorants that allow the body to sweat while absorbing any odors. This is especially relevant for those working in office environments where excessive sweating is less likely. Native, an aluminum-free deodorant brand, focuses on using ingredients that are native to the earth rather than relying on artificial substances. The company's initial launch may not have been impressive, but they persevered and found success by offering a simpler and safer alternative to traditional antiperspirants.

From failure to success: the story of Native deodorant's unexpected journey

Sometimes a failed launch can turn into a surprising success. Moiz Ali's initial launch of Native deodorant had zero product in inventory and he was ready to give up and refund the one sale he had. However, a friend from his co-working space connected him with an employee from Product Hunt who managed to get him back on the first page the very next day, despite the rules. With just a render of the product, Native deodorant received 50 sales on that second day, showing the potential of the business. This experience highlights the importance of perseverance and taking advantage of unexpected opportunities.

Perseverance and Adaptability: The Path to Business Success

Perseverance and adaptability are key to success in business. Moiz Ali faced numerous challenges when launching his deodorant business, from a lack of PR interest to a sudden loss of his manufacturer. However, instead of giving up, he sought alternative solutions. He experimented with Google and Facebook ads, tracking their performance diligently and finding success on social media platforms. When his manufacturer unexpectedly backed out, he negotiated a new agreement and devised a plan to incentivize production. This commitment to finding solutions and adapting to unforeseen circumstances allowed him to overcome obstacles and keep his business running. Moiz's story reminds us of the importance of resilience and flexibility in the face of challenges and setbacks.

The Power of Perseverance and Resourcefulness in Business

Perseverance and resourcefulness are key attributes for success in business. Moiz Ali's journey in finding a manufacturer for his deodorant formula is a testament to this. Despite facing challenges and encountering unhelpful individuals, he continued to search until he found the right contract manufacturer. He was determined to find a solution that would not bankrupt his business, and eventually found a manufacturer with a low minimum order quantity. This demonstrated his ability to adapt and make the best of the situation. Through his perseverance and strategic decision-making, Ali's business started to scale and generate significant revenue. This story highlights the importance of persistence and problem-solving in overcoming obstacles and achieving success.

Overcoming setbacks and challenges in business through resilience and problem-solving.

Setbacks and challenges are inevitable in business, but it's important to persevere and find solutions. Moiz Ali's experience with his deodorant business highlights the initial frustration and doubt he felt when he discovered a major quality issue with the products. However, he didn't let that stop him. Instead, he allowed himself to feel angry and disappointed for a short period, but then quickly shifted his mindset to determination and problem-solving. This resilience and belief in his own abilities allowed him to overcome the obstacles and continue moving forward. It serves as a reminder that setbacks should not define the success of a business, but rather serve as opportunities for growth and improvement.

Moiz Ali's Customer-Centric Approach to Deodorant Development

Moiz Ali's approach to developing his deodorant product involved a constant iteration and learning process. Despite initially lacking knowledge about deodorant, Moiz was determined to become an expert in the field. He actively sought feedback from customers, allowing them to diagnose and suggest improvements for the product. This customer-centric approach enabled Moiz to refine the formula and balance of ingredients in order to create a deodorant that effectively absorbed wetness, blocked odor, and glided on smoothly. Additionally, Moiz's decision to manufacture the deodorant in the United States allowed for a flexible supply chain, faster demand creation, and ensured quality control through close collaboration with the manufacturer. Overall, Moiz's strategy demonstrates the importance of continuously seeking feedback, iterating on product development, and prioritizing customer satisfaction.

Customer-Centric Approach Drives Native's Product Improvements

Moiz Ali and his company, Native, prioritize direct customer relationships and feedback in order to continuously improve their products. Unlike other companies, Native follows up with every customer after purchase, seeking their opinions on the product and encouraging them to leave reviews. This direct line of communication allows Native to gather valuable feedback and make adjustments to their formulas. They even conduct AB tests, sending different versions of their deodorants to cohorts of people and closely monitoring repeat purchase rates. This approach has led to significant improvements, as seen by the increase in positive reviews and higher repeat purchase rates with the new formula. By actively involving and listening to their customers, Native ensures that they are constantly evolving and delivering the best products possible.

The reality of building a successful business: patience, persistence, and the importance of a unique journey.

Starting a business doesn't always lead to immediate financial success. Moiz Ali, the founder of a deodorant business, initially experienced a slow growth in revenue, taking about 10-11 months to reach $100,000 per month. However, even with this level of revenue, the company's net profit was only around $8,000. This highlights the reality that building a successful business takes time and effort. It also demonstrates the importance of patience and persistence for aspiring entrepreneurs. While it can be tempting to compare oneself to others who have achieved greater financial success, it's crucial to remember that every journey is unique. Building a profitable business requires a focus on creating an amazing product and finding a market fit that customers truly love.

The Importance of Resourcefulness and Financial Management in Starting a Business

Starting a business doesn't always mean immediately hiring a team. Moiz Ali, the founder, resisted hiring people at the beginning to maximize earnings per capita and ensure the business's survival. With limited funds and uncertain profitability, Moiz was afraid of making financial commitments that the business couldn't sustain. Instead, he focused on running the business single-handedly, juggling marketing, operations, and customer service. By dedicating long hours and even working on weekends, Moiz managed to handle various tasks and keep the business afloat. It wasn't until 11 months into the business that he hired his first employee to assist with customer service, which ultimately contributed to doubling the company's revenue. This story highlights the importance of resourcefulness and careful financial management in the early stages of a business.

Focusing on word-of-mouth, advertising, and repeat purchases drives rapid business growth.

Moiz Ali's business experienced rapid growth by focusing on three key factors: word-of-mouth, advertising, and repeat purchases. As the business grew, word-of-mouth became more effective, leading to increased customer acquisition. They also invested more in advertising, knowing that it would yield profitable results. However, the most important factor was the emphasis on repeat purchases. Understanding that their product, deodorant, thrived on brand loyalty, they worked hard to ensure customer satisfaction and prevent churn. This focus on repeat customers allowed them to charge $12 for their deodorant, covering their production costs and enabling sustainable growth. The combination of these factors created a "snowball effect," propelling their business from $100,000 to $1,000,000 in just a few months.

Taking Risks and Prioritizing Customers: The Keys to Success

The founders of this company believed in their product and were willing to take risks, even when external factors said they shouldn't. They launched a deodorant at a price point four times higher than traditional ones, despite skepticism from others. They proved that there was a market for their product by generating $30,000,000 in revenue, becoming the entire natural deodorant industry. Additionally, they prioritized customer service and building a human connection with their customers, going above and beyond with personalized emails and playful gestures. Their success and commitment to their values demonstrated that taking risks and focusing on customer needs can lead to significant growth, even for a small company.

A Challenging Journey of Selling a Business

Moiz Ali and his team at Native experienced an unexpected opportunity to sell their business when a privately held company expressed interest in purchasing it. Initially skeptical, Moiz didn't take the offer seriously until he realized the potential buyer was a billion-dollar revenue company. However, the buyer's lack of communication and apparent disinterest led Moiz to pursue other potential suitors. Eventually, the original buyer came back just before the sale, but Moiz decided not to entertain their offer due to their credibility and the progress made with other interested parties. Throughout the process, Moiz admitted that selling a business was challenging and emotionally charged, but he relied on the guidance of his brother, who had previous experience. The process involved creating a teaser document, sending out a comprehensive business book, and receiving letters of interest with potential purchase prices.

Selecting Buyers and Transparency in Selling a Business

When it comes to selling a business, it's important to carefully select potential buyers and be transparent with them. Moiz Ali and his team invited a dozen or so suitors to their office in San Francisco to have conversations and gather their interest. They provided all the necessary data and contracts for due diligence, even though their business was relatively new and had limited contracts. They were aggressive in their approach, expecting offers ready to sign and close immediately. Some potential buyers dropped out due to lack of aggressiveness or fear of price. Transparency and showcasing the potential growth of the business were key factors in attracting serious suitors. Additionally, it's crucial to evaluate the credibility and seriousness of potential buyers, especially if they haven't been active in the market for a while.

The roller coaster ride of selling a business

The process of selling a business can be a roller coaster ride, filled with ups and downs. One moment you feel confident, thinking your company is worth a high price, and the next moment you may feel desperate and willing to accept anything. The diligence phase can be particularly taxing, with potential acquirers asking for extensive information and demanding tasks. Key moments and conversations can have a significant impact on the outcome of the deal, and decisions made during these moments can swing the process in different directions. Additionally, unexpected issues, such as trademark problems, can arise and potentially delay or complicate the transaction. Ultimately, a deal is only truly real when it almost falls through, serving as a test of its authenticity.

The Complexity of Deals and the Importance of Diligence, Trust, and Determination

Deals and transactions can become increasingly complex and unpredictable, even at the last minute. The story of Bebo's sale illustrates how unexpected lawsuits can arise, leading to the need for costly settlements in order to proceed with the deal. This highlights the importance of thorough due diligence and awareness of potential risks throughout the entire process. Additionally, the conversation touches on the significance of trust and alignment with investors. It is crucial to have a supportive and aligned investor base who will prioritize the success of the deal and not create unexpected obstacles. Finally, the story also emphasizes the power of determination and the desire for retribution. It serves as a reminder that actions and decisions can have long-lasting consequences, and sometimes, the desire for revenge can persist for years.

Embracing Creativity and Fearlessness in Startups and Small Businesses

Creativity and fearlessness can be a powerful combination for startups and small businesses. Moiz Ali, the founder of Native, showed how thinking outside the box and taking risks can lead to success. From his witty marketing strategies like pumpkin spice latte scents to his unapologetic approach in negotiations, Moiz demonstrated that challenging the norm and being unafraid to push boundaries can disrupt even giant, multibillion-dollar companies. The key is to have a fresh perspective, embrace innovation, and not conform to industry practices. As Shaan Puri stated, the threats to these industry giants often come from the creative minds willing to take chances and shake things up.

Trusting yourself and following your instincts in business

When it comes to pursuing your business idea, it's essential to trust yourself and follow your instincts. Moiz Ali's success with his deodorant business shows that despite receiving advice from others, he stayed true to what was already working for his company. He didn't let outside opinions distract him or sway his decisions. This highlights the importance of having confidence in your own intelligence and independence. While it can be challenging, relying on your gut feeling and disregarding advice that doesn't align with your vision can lead to significant achievements. Even if you don't have initial success or a safety net, staying focused on your goals and listening to yourself can pave the way for growth and accomplishment.

True Happiness Lies in Relationships and the Journey, Not Just Money

Money alone does not bring lasting happiness or fulfillment. Despite a financial windfall of $500,000, Moiz Ali's life remained largely unchanged. What truly mattered to him was the journey he embarked on with his team and the meaningful relationships he formed along the way. The dedication and passion of his employees meant far more to him than the money. Moiz realized that genuine happiness came from being surrounded by a team that cared about the business and constantly strived to improve it. This experience taught him that true satisfaction comes from pursuing one's passion, building strong relationships, and finding joy in the journey rather than solely focusing on monetary gains.

The Benefits and Pitfalls of E-commerce

E-commerce is a great way to enter the business world without any personal capital at risk. It's accessible even for those without technical knowledge or resources. The key is to be obsessed with your consumer and constantly seek product-market fit. However, a crucial mistake that many direct-to-consumer businesses make is disconnecting themselves from customer service. By maintaining a direct line of communication with consumers, founders gain valuable insights for product improvements and development. For those already in the e-commerce space, seeking advice or looking to scale their business, reaching out to experienced individuals like Moiz Ali can be highly beneficial. However, it's important to fully commit and quit your job before diving into entrepreneurship.