Have you noticed how many products are out there that used to require a personal visit that now comes straight to your door — sometimes monthly?
- Contact Lenses
- Razors and blades
Yeah, just about anything you can think of that used to require a visit to the store can be shipped direct to the consumer.
If you’ve been curious about the direct to consumer business model or maybe you’re thinking about jumping into this type of business, then pick up a copy of Selling Naked: A Revolutionary Approach to Launching Your Brand Online by Jesse Horwitz (co-founder and CEO of Hubble)
Who is Jesse Horowitz?
Jesse Horowitz is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded Hubble, the contact lens company with friend Ben Cogan. While it was Ben who uncovered the opportunity and did the upfront legwork, Horowitz did the heavy lifting when it came to operations.
His background working with Bridgewater Associates and experience in private equity, venture capital and hedge funds helped skyrocket the business from 3,000 subscribers at launch to hundreds of thousands today.
Inside Selling Naked
First things first.
Selling Naked refers to the idea of selling directly to the consumer. And, while the book follows your standard “successful CEO writes a book sharing what he’s learned” format, there are some real nuggets in there even if you don’t aspire to be the next Hubble or Bombas.
The book is definitely written in a truth-telling style. You’ll appreciate that as it keeps you interested to keep reading.
At the end of every chapter is a section called “The Naked Truth” that summarizes each chapter. If you don’t have a lot of time or for your first read through of the book, you can read through those and deep dive into the ones that interest you.
What Can a Small Business Learn From Selling Naked
Based on the level of detail in this book about ecommerce operations, I’d say that this isn’t for the person off the street.
This book is targeted to people who are familiar with online marketing, online business terminology and even some higher level business operations.
Here’s a tiny snippet to show you what I mean:
“Selling secondary means that instead of raising additional capital for the business, you cash in some of your own shares, gaining liquidity and taking some of your own money off the table.”
This wasn’t surprising to me after reading the author’s bio. His strength and experience is in private equity and capital. And, if you’re looking to get into that type of business model, you’ll appreciate this book.
But what if you want to play a little smaller or dip your toe in the water without all that VC hoopla? No worries. Selling Naked will prevent you from making those mistakes so many startup ecommerce businesses make.
You’ll find inspiration and motivation from behind the scenes stories of some of your favorite brands. As you’d imagine, the journey to getting there is often more interesting than you’d thought.
You’ll get “to the point” advice such as the idea that you can leave your aspirations of being Don Draper safely on the set of Mad Men because today’s marketers are more analysts than creatives.
Take a look at Chapter 6 “Use Third-Party Tools”. Notice the author’s commitment to pushing you forward toward success. See how customizing tools (or even relationships and vendors) isn’t to your advantage.
Use third-party vendors. This saves you a lot of time. More importantly, it helps you achieve balance. For example, it gives you the breathing room to test and work through your process.
Selling Naked serves as a great weekend read. It speaks to business owners ready to take their product sales online and direct to the consumer. The book contains plenty of stories. And case studies serve as examples and inspiration. As a result, you get good advice. This advice comes from been-there-done-that experiences.
Just ask yourself if you’re ready to sell naked.