I’ve only just discovered Masters of Scale and I’ve been slowly working my way through the back-catalogue, cherry picking episodes I most like the look of.
I’ve just caught Reid Hoffman’s interview with Tristan Walker (episode #3 of the podcast, Beauty of a Bad Idea) centering around resilience and rejection (amongst other themes), and with cameos from a number of entrepreneurs, including The Muse’s Kathryn Minshew.
Walker described his experience of trying to launch Bevel, a razor for men with curly facial hair:
‘A lot of people say that they're trying to build the Procter & Gamble for people of colour. Let me talk about this for a second, because it's really funny. Number one—I've never said that. And then two—it's interesting—I think folks talk about it as if it's a niche kind of thing, but people of colour are the majority of the world.
‘So if we’re the Procter & Gamble for people of colour, what the hell is Procter & Gamble?’
And then to contrast that experience and reality, with the experience of the investors he was speaking to just shows that people are failing to understand how much of the marketplace in every area caters to only one type of person.
As a person of colour, Walker was infinitely better placed to understand the situation he was talking about. The majority experience. And of course that didn’t resonate with rooms of completely undiverse investors, whose reaction was largely:
“I don't know. It's niche. I don't think it's scalable.”
My favourite part of the episode comes right at the end
’I think health and beauty is doomed for all types of reasons I could suggest and talk to you about. But one in particular really sticks with me, and still does to this day. I think all global culture is led by American culture, which is led by black culture in the US, and more recently, in SIno-Asian culture. The big frustration of mine is my living in the earliest adopting region on the planet, and its knowing very little about the earliest adopting culture on the planet. That discord doesn't make too much sense to me.’
I can’t wait to see more disruption from entrepreneurs like Walker.