Oct. 12, 2021

Andy Dunn (Bonobos) - How he created Bonobos, why they sold to Walmart, the current state of DNVBs, and a sneak peek of what he's doing next

Andy Dunn (Bonobos) - How he created Bonobos, why they sold to Walmart, the current state of DNVBs, and a sneak peek of what he's doing next

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Thank you Susan Lyne for the introduction to our guest today, Andy Dunn, the founder of Bonobos. Bonobos was one of the first digitally native brands to exist. They eventually sold to Walmart for over $300 million. In this episode, Andy shares the founding journey of Bonobos, how he thinks about the current state of digitally native brands and a clue about what he's up to next. Without further ado, here's Andy.

Some of the questions I ask Andy:

  1. What was your initial attraction to entrepreneurship?
  2. You started Bonobos at Stanford. How did you meet your co-founder Brian Spaly?
  3. Did you have other business ideas? How did you land on pants? What was the insight?
  4. What was the customer feedback?
  5. What was first step for testing out this idea?
  6. Why did you decide to move the business to New York instead of staying the bay have access to tech talent?
  7. How did you find your first customers and gain early momentum?
  8. We talk on this podcast about doing things that don't scale in the early days. What were some of the activities you did that wouldn't have scaled?
  9. When did you decide to sell online?
  10. When did you decide to raise capital? Who was your first investor?
  11. What are the aspects of Bonobos that resonated with them?
  12. Who was your target customer?
  13. How were you able to get to your customer?
  14. Why did you decide to move the company to New York?
  15. Why weren't you ready for a Series A?
  16. Was it hard to recruit tech talent in New York?
  17. How did you approach hiring? How were you able to attract talent?
  18. How did you build culture?
  19. How did you approach growth vs. profitability? When did you decide (if you decided) to focus on profitability?
  20. Didn't know how to build the tech stack?
  21. How did you approach hiring tech talent?
  22. When and how did you develop the concept for guideshops? What was your omnichannel strategy?
  23. What was your approach to leadership?
  24. When and how did you develop the concept for guideshops? What was your omnichannel strategy?
  25. When was the moment when you knew the trajectory of Bonobos was looking good?
  26. What was your approach to leadership?
  27. When did you decide to do paid marketing?
  28. What were some of the challenges and trials you had to face while you were building Bonobos?
  29. What were some of the mistakes that you made during Bonobos?
  30. What was the process like selling to Walmart?
  31. I know you also invest as well. How do you describe the current landscape of DNVBs?How do you evaluate brands and founders?
  32. What's one thing you would change about the fundraising process?
  33. What's one book that inspired you personally and one book that inspired you professionally?
  34. What's one piece of advice that you have for founders currently building?
  35. What are you currently working on?