- HUNGRY Feast
- you moron... you let the disease infect your mind
you moron... you let the disease infect your mind
you moron… you let the disease infect your mind
This is what I said to myself in the mirror last week whilst moisturising
The disease is here. Everyone’s infected.
Our heads are fried n’ frazzled n’ Factor 50 Fucked. Zonked. Bombed. Sloshed.
Flickering like a lurid, throbbing neon motel sign in a Southern Texas Town somewhere, nowhere, anywhere.
The Disease came from America, She stormed across the Atlantic in military choppers, soaring through sky like violent wasps #M’ericaaaa FUCK.YEAH.
Landing on our little wet sardonic shores, they unleashed The Disease. It rampantly tore up the country like nefarious napalm.
Infecting Darlington to Derby to Plymouth and Portsmouth and Manchester… (they left out Bognor Regis, well, who can blame them)
This disease is bad. Like really, really bad. Cripplingly bad.
But…where did it start?
Some say Los Angeles.
SOHO HOUSE (fucking shock that is)
A group of Tech-Fedora-Hat-Founders. Whoop-wallys. Barry’s-Boot-camp bozzas’. Their lexicon littered with “yo”- “low key slaps”- “word”-“boujix” and “Coachella was A. MOVIEEEEEE BRO”
Tech Founder by Day. Magician by Night. Plonker 24/7.
They created The Disease.
The Disease is a fucked up cult polluting everyones mind. More addictive than heroin and petrol smell and Oreos and suncream smell combined.
The Disease is Scale
We’ve become OBSESSED with scale.
Build It. Flip It. like a fucking Rabbit Hutch.
A blasphemous crime for not checking Bloomberg - for thou sins thou must constantly talk about thou’s benefits of cold water therapy on social media.
Scale obsession is dangerous for your mind.
Starter: Scale kills Magic
Food and Drink brands hit a point where scale erodes magic.
Often after winning listings with Whole Foods, Planet Organic, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s or hitting the £5 million RSV mark, suddenly overnight all their magic evaporates.
Scale obsession = more distribution = hiring more people without actually pausing to codify your values = brand loses culture - kills magic
Scale obsession = constantly thinking of the next win or listing = give less time to nurturing and cuddling existing listings - kills magic.
Scale obsession = hiring and giving options to corporate people and who want to flip the business quickly = cut costs - kills magic.
Scale obsession = pollutes your WHY and makes you cut corners costs and creating products you’re not even proud of - kills magic.
Scale gives birth to process. Unfortunately, process pisses all over the Bonfire of Magic.
Scale extinguishes the fire in your belly and sparkle your eye.
The Hustling at trade shows. Or personally calling customers. Or writing the handwritten note to buyer. Or doing the sampling sessions. Or enjoying a cold pint after work.
Alas, don’t worry, there is a way out
Ask yourself these HARD QUESTIONS
Do you ACTUALLY want a Tesco listing? Or is watching people prance about on LinkedIn making you jealous.
Do you ACTUALLY want to erode all your margin in grocery? Or do you want a be in grocery because grocery is the best Pokemon card to collect
Do you ACTUALLY want to sell your business in 5 years ? Or are you being swayed by the build-it-flip-it narrative?
Do you ACTUALLY need a huge team? Or are you excited for swinging dick contest at Lunch! trade show.
Alas, don’t worry, there is a way out.
Main Course: be Mindful of Scale, Do Things That Don’t scale
Obsessing with SCALE is a complete waste of time.
In the early days, founders MUST OBSESS with "Doing Things That Don’t Scale"
Doing Things That Don’t Scale = Builds Die Hard fans.
In their first 2 years, they took the hard route:
🍐 Personally called their first 100 customers on a weekly basis, asking for feedback: BUILT DIE HARD FANS
🍐 Set up breakfasts and yoga mornings inviting customers: BUILT DIE HARD FANS.
🍐 Personally delivered Mindful Chef boxes to customers: BUILT DIE HARD FANS.
🍐 Created a closed Facebook Group with 2000 Mindful Chef customers: BUILT DIE HARD FANS.
Die-hard fans are your:
🍎 Ghost sales team - they talk about you at dinner parties
🍎 Ghost marketing team - they plaster you all over social
🍎 NPD feedback machine - they give honest feedback to improve product and create product-market-fit
AND, It’s MUCH easier to sell 4 products to 1000 die-hard customers vs. 1 product to 10,000 new customers.
Do Things That Don’t Scale = Never lose magic.
Dessert: The Medicine to Scale Obsession
Look, I get it.
Of course, we all want to scale. You want to scale. I want to scale.
I’m NOT saying DON’T GROW.
BUT… for the love of god, let’s not become SO obsessed with SCALE that it kills the magic and moments of fun.
Some contrarian lessons on scale from podcast guests.
When you’re in the winners enclosure you realise all the fun was in the race - William Chase
Will sold Tyrells and Chase Distillery. Will made Dough. He realised that dough was Sour. Sourdough.
Never forget, the fun lies in kneading and making the bread. The fun is the journey. Enjoy the journey. Stay on the journe.
Scale slow and organically and have fun. - CARAVAN Coffee founders
Laura and Chris, Caravan founders realised they were infected with scale disease. Everyone telling them to grow faster, do more, be more. They said FUCK this. Let’s grow at our own pace. It’s cool to grow slow.
Build distribution DENSITY like Tarquins
Why not become famous in one region? Or one post code.
1400 Tesco stores is great for LinkedIn. But it’s big, wide, shallow, vacuous distribution, full of shallow fans.
Instead, be like Tarquins. Build distribution DENSITY. That’s narrow and deep and full of die-hard fans.
Tarquins OWN Cornwall. Tarquins and Cornwall is like bread and butter.
Fanks so much for weading my newswetter - sorree if ders sum typos becuz my punctuwation is fucking pony.
If you enjoyed this, please make my Fri-YAY. Forward to a friend.
Have a lovely weekend
- Ed Perry, COOK. James Averdieck, GU & Coconut Collaborative, Camilla Barnard, Rude Health, Spencer Matthews, Clean Co., Jamie Laing and Ed Williams, Candy Kittens, Stuart Forsyth, Minor Figures, Richard Goldsmith, MOJU, Viv & Howard Wong, Little Moons, Mark Palmer, Green & Blacks, Charlie Bigham, Charlie Bigham’s.