The H Spot is a peek behind that curtain of successful people in various professions for a discussion about what makes people successful, what makes them happy, and what are their lives really like day-to-day.
How does private equity work and what can it do for you?
Some of what Dave and his guest, Wayne Wu of VMG Partners covered in this episode includes
People should focus on partnerships and who can be helpful.
Can you rely on hero SKUs to carry your business into the future?
Supporting innovation that changes the health and wellness profile of consumers.
Wayne says, "We want to get to know people and hustle to get to know folks and try to be helpful. In the spirit of meeting interesting people, we're going to make interesting investments along the way, as long as we've been genuinely trying to be additive and helpful to the ecosystem and meet a lot of interesting people and good things will happen.
About VMG Partners:
VMG Partners (“VMG”) is a private equity firm specializing in building iconic consumer brands. Since it was founded in 2005, VMG has been at the forefront of consumer products investing, partnering with entrepreneurial companies, founders and co-investors to deliver a depth of experience to help grow, scale and prepare companies for exit.
Beyond capital, their value-added investment approach utilizes our deep experience, strategic guidance, and passionate focus to help their partners accelerate growth, scale brand awareness, and achieve their own definition of success.
There's no definition on how small an investment fund could be a private investment fund, whether it be defined as private equity, growth equity, or venture capital, there's no like minimum size and there's no maximum size. They just end up focusing on different things."
How does Costco work and how you can sell to them?
Presenting one face, and the truth of the internal brand are a big part of today's discussion. Some of the highlights include where Dave brings up, "With Costco, obviously, very limited selection compared to a grocery store which will have tens of thousands of items in it. It's a direct ship model, there's no distributors and they have a very small sort of 10% to 14% margin, very straightforward with vendors. So it's a very different model. And it seems like their mantra has always been."
Dave's guest, Jeremy Smith, CEO of Launchpad gets right to it. "I think you ask a few vendors and no, they'll debate you on how straightforward they really are. They like to think they are, but it's like I always say, Costco will lay out to a broker or to a brand, all the rules, because they have all these rules you have to read. And then you go in and see the Kirkland Signature items which violate 70% of the rules. So just because it's something as simple as a MasterCard, which is supposed to have at least an inch and a half lip on it, that's supposed to be a strict policy and certain buyers really enforced it. But on the KS items, it's all over the place."
Learn more and get some myths dispelled in this episode of The H Spot.
After more than 35 years in strategic sales, branding and marketing Jeremy’s senior management and graphic arts resume is a salute to the country’s most iconic brands. Think Apple, Chobani, Krave Jerky, Bob’s Red Mill and popchips. Prior to Launchpad, as co-founder of Level One, his relationships with buyers, marketers, strategists, venture capital firms and designers, presents enviable connections in the food industry. Jeremy was named to Forbes and Circle Up’s 2017 Top Catalysts Dealmakers and Influencers in the Consumer Industry.
Progress has been made in diversifying boards, but how about our every day life?
Boards are making a lot of progress. Dave’s guest, Abby Adlerman attributes this to recent California laws: SB-826, SB-AB979 known as the Women in the Boardroom and Diversifying Boards laws. Details here
Thinking about board and executive succession plans, if the CEO was hit by a bus, who would be in line? CEOs are spending more time thinking about the impact of this and putting forth their wishes, grooming them so several would be good candidates, rather than not having any choices. Diversity is also finally coming into play. Diversity will give longevity to the vision of the organization.
Dave pulls his own covers as he reviewed his lists for past and near future podcasts. He's not very diverse, so he took a look at that and asked the question is it due to he only knows certain demographics? Is the food industry that narrow? Abby validated his observations and they talk about new lenses to try on.
Tips for Boards to Stay Ahead of Risks, Mandates, and Trends
Dave's guest is Abby Adlerman, Founder of Boardspan. Traditionally, people think, especially with a public company about taking care of the shareholder, but it's always been broader. The constituency's always been more than the shareholder. And thankfully just in the last couple of years, corporate America has woken up to acknowledge and recognize the responsibility for boards to go way beyond just this year.
Listen to this episode if you need a board, have considered serving on a board, or want a better understanding of what is involved in being on a corporate board including what to prepare for before unforeseen situations hit, such as a pandemic or natural disaster.
Linking Surviving Survivor and Ice Cream
Even if you think of a business as a game - in theory - numbers, strategy, that doesn't mean it's fun. Neal Gottlieb was part of Survivor Season 36. As you learn in this episode of The H Spot, what led to Three Twins Ice Cream, and then, sadly, to its demise. Listen to some behind the scenes stories from being on the show Survivor. You'll also hear about the aftermath of that letdown later, the excitement of building another adventure from scratch, and then being open to the next adventure without resentment, but with a big smile as you remember all the steps that led you to where you are today. Even if you are not a fan of the show, there is that curiosity as to how it really works and how those skills are applied to business.
Staying Laser Focused to Earn Your Spot on the Shelf
People think because they have a recipe for a sauce that everyone raves about that's enough to pour your life savings into the launch. Dave's guest is Patrick Ford, Vice President of Ford's Gourmet Foods. Patrick attributes the success of their family business to some guiding principles that came from his grandfather, "...being from the produce side, we have a saying, 'The further you get away from cash, the worst your deal get.' Because when my great-grandfather and grandfather used to buy fields of produce, they would pay for the field in cash in Florida or wherever at the time they bought it. And so if you didn't, if you needed credit, your price would be really high, and you wouldn't get the first call if they had a field. And so it allowed us to get the best product cause we paid the fastest.
Tune in to this episode of The H Spot to see how this correlates to his Bone Suckin' Sauce, learn a bit about the grocery business and how to avoid common mistakes in launching a food product.