A dollar a month for razors, shipped to your door? Most thrifty guys and gals who wield a blade in the bathroom won't need much convincing that that's a good idea for a startup. But how to ensure that they hear about it, and that they have enough confidence in the company to sign up?
Simple: create a funny YouTube video - one with so much swagger, sight gags and bear costumes that it seems poised to go viral.
That's the apparent strategy behind Dollar Shave Club, a startup from LA-based Incubator Science. The company just scored its first $1 million in funding from heavyweight VCs including Andreesen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins. We wouldn't be surprised to learn that much of that cash was handed over after a viewing of this video.
Dollar Shave Club is the brainchild of Michael Dubin, the suave guy explaining the concept. Granted, not every founder could carry off a performance with this much deadpan humor and well-timed stunts. But Dubin seems a star in the making, whether or not the Club takes off.
If there's one lesson we'd like CEOs to learn from the Dollar Shave Club, it is this: don't take yourselves and your product so seriously. Either that, or pretend to take yourselves and your product so seriously that you go over the top and venture into the world of parody. Have fun with it, and your potential customers are much more likely to pay attention.
Dubin isn't the only entrepreneur to find success solely on the basis of a well-crafted video. Remember adventure game veteran Tim Schafer, whose amusing Kickstarter vid won him more than $1 million in seed capital overnight - the fastest funding ever seen on the service?
We've assembled a gallery of other amusing startup videos - including one that started out as a parody and became a real service. Let us know if we've missed any of your favorites.
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