Are You a Tech Company?

Are You a Tech Company?

In 2014, there are but a few questions to ask yourself in order to determine if you are a technology company or “startup.”

• Do you have a website which is primarily used to sell your product(s)?

• Do you sincerely believe that your company, which mostly aspires to sell a commodity product to middle-class and upper-middle-class consumers using mildly novel marketing techniques, is going to change the world?

• Has a mysterious man offered you tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars?

Well then! I have good news for you.

The shaving industry, long dominated by giants like Gillette and Schick, now includes a wave of well-financed start-ups. Dollar Shave Club, which just raised a $50 million round of venture capital, offers inexpensive replacement razor blades. Harry’s offers a similar product, but with stylish handles as well. Bevel products cater to African-American men, who are often pained by razor burn, according to the company. … Other start-ups offering less expensive consumer products include Casper, which sells mail-order mattresses to consumers online for as little as $500, nearly a tenth of the cost of high-end bed sets. And Warby Parker, the successful online eyeglasses retailer, offers a range of trendy eyewear for far less than the cost of many frames.

These companies do not manufacture technology products; produce complicated logistics platforms that could be used to transform entire cities after acquiring a quarter of a billion dollars in venture capital; or even apps. They make razors, mattresses, and eyeglasses, and sell them for lower prices than their competitors, through a website. For this, Dollar Shave Club has been given fifty million dollars; Harry’s one hundred million dollars; Warby Parker more than a hundred and fifteen million dollars; and Casper around fifteen million dollars.

So, if you answered “yes” to first two questions, but not the third, please locate the nearest venture capitalist in your phonebook — he has a check just for you.

P.S. Why is Mike Isaac writing about shaving companies? He has literally never shaved.