Written on the 18 May 2016 by Laura Daquino
LOOKING at what the company has in store, Redbubble (ASX: RBL) won't be popping anytime soon.
Becoming a Redbubble: what you need to get right
Be your own biggest fan
"You need real clarity about who the customer is. Companies will talk in abstracts about who their customer is but they often don't go into full detail. The best companies are often created in perspective of themselves as the first customer. We understand our customer and knew there was a clear need there. It's surprising how often I get presented a business plan and ask 'what's the real need' and they just say it's a 'better than' alternative. It's not enough of a reason for a company exist and will never be enough to change people's behaviour. For example, I never understood the younger generation wanted to communicate through a platform like Snapchat, but the founders obviously had a very clear idea.
"Understand how you're going to make money outside of basic customer metrics. It's not big enough, particularly in the Australian context, to think you're going to make money when you have something like 20 million customers. It simply doesn't work to just think you're going to get there. When you think of Atlassian, they weren't profitable from the start, but they understood the economics to make it sustainable.
Get together the gang
"The founder must have the capacity to get other people to follow on with them. We took to the IPO Redbubble's first 11. These weren't necessarily the first 11 employees, but 11 people who were critical. Redbubble employees also have access to share ownership plans, and making those real for them was very important through the IPO. These employees don't commit because they think it's a way to move through the company quickly, but because they believe in the vision. If you don't have the right people around you relatively early on, you will really struggle."