I bought a competitor.
That isn’t unique, of course, but here’s what is: At the time, my company was 6 months old and had failed to manufacture anything. The acquisition would cost us almost every dollar we had.
You don’t see this move in the traditional startup playbook. It sounded insane; I was at risk of losing both businesses. But it became exactly the jump-start my company needed. That taught me something: Throw away the playbook! Sometimes a small company needs to act like a big one.
To be clear, I did not come from a fancy M&A or finance background. I previously worked in marketing.
So how did all of this happen? For years I’ve researched period products from all over the world looking for something that wouldn’t cause the infections I’d gotten from tampon use. When I encountered a little-known disposable menstrual disc called Instead, developed by a female triathlete and a team of doctors, I offered to work for them. They weren’t interested, so I designed a product that competed with theirs, improved the materials, and started my company, called The Flex Company, in 2016.
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