Jake Bronstein’s Top Tips for Entrepreneurs

Jake Bronstein joined co-founder and CMO Tanya Menendez for a Maker’s Row Live Q&A last week to answer your questions about starting and scaling your business.

In 2009, Jake invented a popular magnetic desk toy called Buckyballs with Craig Zucker. Just 3 years later, he founded Flint + Tinder with one simple goal: to bring the manufacturing of apparel—that’s built to last—back to America. The premium underwear company has seen much success with over $1.8 million raised through crowdfunding on Kickstarter, one of the most successful apparel Kickstarters.

Now, Jake is on his third entrepreneurial venture with the launch of Whistler Wash Co, a men’s cosmetics and beauty company. Here are some our favorite tips from his Maker’s Row Live episode with us!

On Building a Product Based Business

So far, Jake has founded three product-based businesses. However, his advice for entrepreneurs building a business is simple: a brand is a promise that you need to fulfill for the customer. For Whistler’s Wash that promise is to “bring nature back into your morning.”

When talking about working with a factory, Jake said that you must set the goal first and then figure out the process. Ask yourself, “what do you have to do to make it?” He also added that you should not let the factory dictate how you make your products.

When asked about when to make your first hire, Jake said that it happens along the way. However, the key point to remember is that as an entrepreneur you should be pushing the business forward.

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On Making a Product Someone Wants to Buy

Jake stressed that whatever your idea is, someone else has probably thought of it already. He added, “no idea belonged to you in the first place. The idea is the least of it. Run your race.” It is your job to make it better and think about brand.

When building a product based company, the main thing you want to have is something that is never going to deviate, no matter the technology.

If you are scaling, you can’t do it by offering sales or expanding your product line. He called that cheating. You have to find new customers. That’s the only way to scale.

On Kickstarter

Jake was very adamant about this distinction. Investors expect money back in return. Backers support your product because they think it is something they can use.

When asked about how to get people to back your project on Kickstarter, Jake was adamant that you have to first and foremost have a great product and people that support that product.

Jake said that when you start out, you have to tell a lot of people about your idea and notice when their eyes gloss over versus when they are excited. When talking about Flint + Tinder, Jake said that when he mentioned he was making an underwear brand people were uninterested. However when he started talking about the factory they began to care. That’s why he based his campaign off that.

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Enjoyed our Maker’s Row Live? It’s coming back!

Well, you’re in luck because we will be continuing them starting Thursday, June 16th at 2pm EST! We will be featuring interviews and Q&A’s with entrepreneurs, industry professionals, and leaders that will give an in-depth look on what it’s like to work in the industry every other week!

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