An objective view of the risks and opportunities of opening a Wholesale Channel

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The DNVB/DTC Growth Paradox

Congrats! You and your team have created and launched a unique and growing Digitally Native Brand that has gained traction online with consumers and is garnering heaps of positive PR, organic buzz, and community sentiment. Your most core and passionate customers have propelled you into seven or perhaps eight figures of annualized revenue.

Unfortunately, there’s a problem: Organic growth is beginning to slow, and rising CAC is causing your unit economics to suffer to the point where it will be difficult to hit your growth targets while maintaining your liquidity outlook.


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A reading list for expanding knowledge and horizons

On Brands & Scaling


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Part II: VC x DTC and Learning Cycle Dissonance

Precursor: The Fatal Flaw of the DTC Playbook & The Search for Internet Diamonds — Part 1: Origins of a Movement. Part 1 examines the optics of three successful late 90’s DTC businesses and their impact on modern DTC brands. Part 2 will explore how the optics of their success and the shifting of capital markets created optimal conditions for supercharging the modern DTC playbook

Setting the Context for VC x DTC

Successful Direct to Consumer businesses in the late 90s and early 2000s (Blue Nile, Zappos, GAP) created sparks for a digital revolution, but these sparks needed a meaningful fuel source to become a flame.

The 2000s were bookended by the bursting of two significant market bubbles: The Dot-Com Bubble of 2000/2001 and the Housing Bubble of 2008. These macroeconomic events amplified the consumer wins noted above, in contrast, the destruction of value elsewhere in the market, which fostered an optimal environment for the marriage of modern DTC and Venture Capital.


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Setting The Table

Over the past 100 years, the Retail and Consumer Brand landscape has been dominated by monolithic giants who’ve leveraged massive scale, powerful distribution networks, and tight control over limited advertising mediums to choke competition and own market share. These factors served as barriers to entry for smaller Brands who could not compete with the resources that the dominant market players wielded at their disposal.

In the last 15 years, the rise of internet connectivity, social media, and technology has all but eroded these barriers to entry, which has given rise to a new set of challenger Brands.

Nate Poulin

#DNVB Executive | Former Bonobos, Outdoor Voices, Michael Kors Intraprenuer | Father and Husband | Student of the Game | Views Are Mine

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