The Consumer VC: Venture Capital I B2C Startups I Commerce | Early-Stage Investing
39. Michael Duda (Bullish) - Why TAM Is Overrated, Empathize But Don't Listen, and DTC 3.0
May 4, 2020 · 53 min
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Michael Duda is the Founder and one of the Managing Partners at Bullish.

Bullish is a creative agency and a pre-seed fund, investing in early stage consumer companies. Some of their investments include Warby Parker, Peloton, Casper and Birchbox. Prior to founding Bullish, Mike spent 13 years at Deutsch Inc., where he became the youngest Partner in the company’s 35-year history overseeing business development, marketing and corporate strategy.

You can follow Michael on Twitter @mikeduda You can also follow your host, Mike, on Twitter @mikegelb. You can also follow for episode announcements @consumervc.

  1. What compelled him to start a fund? His stage, due diligence process, milestones founders had to achieve in order for him to consider? It’s natural for VCs to promote themselves as contrarian investors. How does he think about VC behavior, is it actually more of a herd like mentality? What were some of his early investing mistakes? Why is he bullish (pun intended) about DNVB brands and the DTC channel when you no longer have this advertising arbitrage that you had in the early 2010s?
  2. How does he think about the power of brand in today’s environment, especially for Gen Z and Millenials? Does brand have more meaning? Contrasting trends: sustainability and fast fashion. Has coronavirus changed how he is seeing new opportunities? Where is he currently spending most of his time? An example of competitive advantages that modern brands might have when there isn’t technological innovation in the product?
  3. One thing that he would change when it came to venture capital? What’s one company on his anti-portfolio? What’s his most recent investment and what makes him excited about it? What’s one book that inspired him professionally and one book that inspired him personally? Investing in secondary and tertiary markets. What’s one piece of advice for founders of consumer companies?

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