Michael Dubin, co-founder and CEO of Dollar Shave Club, launched his subscription razor service in 2012 through a comedic YouTube video. Since then, the startup has grown in popularity--and, as announced Tuesday, just got acquired by Unilever PLC for a reported $1 billion in cash.
Dubin largely credits the success of Dollar Shave Club to his years spent as an improv performer, where he had to make up plot lines on the spot. This later helped him to make crucial business decisions on the fly, and learn how to entice a young, hip clientele, he told Inc. in a previous interview. (The YouTube video that launched the company cost $4,500 to make, and took a single day to shoot. It went supernova-viral in 72 hours.)
"From a comedic sense, understanding what's funny, or why the audience laughs, is something you learn through the process of improv," he said. "I was able to take some of those lessons and apply them to the business world. Sometimes when you're in meetings with 20 people, and decisions have to get made, it helps to be schooled in a discipline of quick thinking."
Dubin will stay on as CEO of the razor-maker after the takeover. Overall, it's a smart move that both sides will benefit from. Unilever, a European consumer products company, will have access to the droves of consumer data collected by Dollar Shave Club--something that will help it to better reach the Millennial market.
Last year, Dollar Shave Club brought in $152 million in revenue, and is currently pacing for $200 million in 2016, according to Unilever. The company currently counts 250 employees, and 3.2 million monthly members--many of whom are Millennials.