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20VC: Why This Really Is A Great Time To Be An Entrepreneur with Joey Zwillinger, Co-Founder @ Allbirds

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Who is Jeoy Zwillinger? 00:19

Joey is the founder of Allbirds, a shoe company that is funded by the likes of Maveron and Slow Ventures.


What was the reason for starting Allbirds shoes brand? 02:49

Through his work on biotechnology projects, Joey learned that selling an innovative renewable product to a traditional brand was an uphill battle. Direct to Consume (DTC) was the best way to get renewable, really innovative chemicals and materials to market.


Is retail dying today? 06:47

Retail as we know it is definitely dying. The internet has enabled consumers to shop for the cheapest deals.

All that said, when it comes to picking a tangible good, like the Allbirds sneakers, consumers still want the satisfying experience of being able to touch and feel the product, before making their first purchase.

The internet is a great way to order replacements after that.


What is the Amazon impact on traditional retailers of consumer goods? 09:03

Amazon has created a completely competitive market where a consumer is able buy practically anything at the lowest price. As the result, brands are pressured to cut costs and to discount their merchandize, making cost and now quality, their primary focus.


Why Allbirds are not available on Amazon? 11:58

Joey says that once a brand lists their product on a marketplace, that sends a negative signal to their consumer and undersells their brand value. Instead of being compared on price, Allbirds wants to be differentiated by the quality of their shoes, and the difference they are trying to create in the world.


Why is simplicity the key to success in the DTC business? 14:02

Direct to Consumer market is oversaturated, and a great brand with only a few offerings can stand out by helping the consumer to make shopping less challenging.

Episode Description

Joseph Zwillinger is the Founder @ Allbirds, the startup that makes the world's most comfortable shoes check this out, made out of wool. They have funding from the likes of Maveron, Lerer Hippeau and Slow Ventures and an army of loyal fans that includes Larry Paige, Ben Horowitz, Mary Meeker and Dick Costolo. Prior to co-founding Allbirds, Joey enjoyed a range of careers from investment banking with Goldman Sachs to venture capital with Industry Ventures to working at next generation food and nutrition company, TerraVia. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn: 1.) How Joey made his way from investment banker to venture capitalist to Founder @ Allbirds, Silicon Valley's hottest brand? 2.) How does Joey view the core tenets to creating a successful brand? Why must brands today go further to more of a movement? How can companies look to create movements within their customer base? 3.) How does Joey assess the effects of Amazon on retail? How does Joey evaluate the economic ramifications of Amazon's flea market approach on the brands behind the products? Why does Joey want Allbirds to stay far away from Amazon? 4.) How does Joey look to prioritize what he and Allbirds focus on? What is the one core metric that guides all their decisions and behavior? How is this applicable to every company of all stage and sector? 5.) Why does Joey think that not enough VCs are people orientated? How does Josh assess the VC class of today? What does he look for when deciding which investors to choose? Items Mentioned In Today’s Show: Joey’s Fave Book: Man's Search For Meaning Joey’s Fave Blog: First Round Review, Dan Primack As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here! Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC. Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app - all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to to start your free trial.

Episode notes last updated on August 31, 2019 00:17

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