Sleep is underrated

Sleep is underrated

What started as a little founder weekly update, a thing to buy the marketing team some time to actually do some work, and begin to build a waiting list for Bob, has turned into a deeply anticipated read from all of my loyal followers. All five of them. However, one of said loyal followers kindly pointed out to me that despite loving my updates, it's just far too long. 

Well, said follower, thank you. This week's update will save you and I a lot of time.

Dubai was fantastic. The end.

Only joking, 

I know you all like to read this update whilst sitting on the toilet straight after failing to get past level 14 of AngryBirds, pretending to be busy, while the kids are downstairs tormenting the wife. So I will do my best to ensure that this article is long enough for your thighs to go numb, and your toes to tingle whilst pretending to be stuck on the toilet. 

Speaking of kids, I have decided that after my experience of flying home on the 0126 red eye British Airways flight on Sunday morning, I will happily go into debt to be lying down horizontally, whilst sipping as much champagne as I can in business class. 

As every founder knows, every penny counts. All money should be spent on bringing the product or service to market and you should travel on the cheapest possible budget. Well not anymore. 

After many beers pre-flight, whilst at TopGolf in Dubai with Chris Hogg (who by the way is going to invest in Bob and bring some of his friends along for the journey too - he must have been pleased Newcastle pumped PSG after all), I made my way to the airport. Straight through security pretending not to be as pissed as I was, with a quick look at the tv in the airport pub to see Scotland getting pumped by Ireland, I boarded the plane. Walking passed everyone already seated in business class and world traveller plus I shuffled through to cattle class, and to seat 38A. A window seat. Having forgotten to check in it was completely my fault for choosing the torture chair. Standing at 6ft 1 inch tall, with my legs making up 5ft of this, you can understand why I already have a fear of tight spaces, particularly on a long-haul flight.

Within five minutes of being seated, the 4ft 2 inch female traveller sitting in row 37A (directly in front of me) placed her headphones in, put her eye mask on, and proceeded to pump her chair back to ensure that the tv screen was touching my forehead before we had even taken off. Even after whacking my half warmed piece of British Airways pizza on her forehead to ask her to lift her chair up, there was nothing. Not a single acknowledgement, no heart, and no remorse for dropping her seat back to the very limits it would go. My neighbour at number 38B did look at me and smile. A smile that acknowledged that no one likes a space thief on a plane, and it was just unlucky that I had one right in front of me. 38B then proceeded to plugin to watch the new Beckham Netflix documentary, which made me realise I too should have been more prepared with a download. 

Now, I am a resilient chap (it comes with the vocation of being a founder), but directly behind me (39A) was what can only be described as a 3 year old Connor McGreggor who decide that the back of my chair would be his UFC sparring partner for the next 6 hours. His mum did use the word ssshhh a couple of times, but that resulted in him crying for the final hour of the journey. 

The result of this overall shitty flight cocktail, both shaken and stirred Mr Bond, was… No sleep. 

Sleep is so underrated anyway. However, to all investors reading this (shorter) update, for any further travel, I can confirm I will be sipping on free champagne in business class, courtesy of an increased Bob travel budget. You will however be pleased to know that I came in at £432.16 under budget for this Dubai investment trip, which is something I will not be doing again. I now understand why most companies have a travel policy in place for all leaders, which ensures that if they travel over 5 hours they should do so in business class, as this is to ensure they are fresh and rested, ready to work. 

Well after my flight escapades, I slept for 16 hours solid on Sunday and started work late on Monday. As a result of this, I created Bob’s new travel policy on Monday afternoon, which now ensures that all founders can travel first class if the flight is longer than one hour. Only Joking. Or am I? Only the end-of-year company accounts will tell. 

Enough of my travelling shenanigans, as below is a transparent account of the Dubai investment roadshow I provided to Will and Max, upon my return to Bob HQ.

‘Overall, a fantastic experience. Everyone loved the prototype, liked our model, and loved the opportunity ahead. We met with 9 potential investors across 4 days and secured a number of handshakes on the day. I set out to secure £300k of investment, but I would personally be happy with securing £100k in October and £100k in November. In summary, I believe that we will secure £200k at least following this trip and the calibre of investors who will be joining us is world class. Dubai is a much better place to raise money than the UK because the UK is so risk averse and pessimistic, compared to Dubai.’

If I am to be completely honest the only sticking point that some investors faced, like any founder/CEO/Chairman faces when raising investment, was the V word. No not Voldermort, the V stands for Valuation [dun dun dunnnnnn - shouted aloud for suspense]. Despite us securing a number pledges at the set valuation, some still wanted to challenge this. I completely understand that the investor's role is to get as much for their money as possible, but my role is to get as much money into the company, giving away as little as possible. A delicate dance between Investor and Chairman, fit for a Strictly Come Dancing dance off. 

As the business is at a stage called pre-revenue, valuations are a difficult thing to set and therefore it all comes down to the opportunity ahead, and the X return multiple an investor is looking for with their investment. 

Below are just a few points why we believe that Bob is worth what it is, even at the pre-revenue stage. 

  1. The opportunity - Bob is revolutionising the soap industry with the opportunity of targeting 4 billion men in the world (not to mention the products already planned for women and children). 
  2. The team - From founding team to advisors and early investors, which includes the founder of MOUS, ex Global Unilever Director and ex Legal Director of the Body Shop, the team is strong (I can’t mention some other big dogs yet, but I can soon). 
  3. The product - The mystical thing that we are creating will combine D2C, Ecommerce, Retail, AI, Technology and the perfect shower, all in one. 
  4. Route to Market - The UK is our pilot market, Germany will be our European test bed, and the UAE will be our v2 launch bed. Basically we have some incredibly big names behind us, already wanting to partner and launch with us across these markets. 
  5. Think Tesla, Apple, Whoop, and then you will begin to realise the delusional vision I am structuring and slowly executing, with the incredible team around me. 


Have I missed anything from my Miss World speech? No, I don’t think so. 

It all comes down to executing a vision that is much bigger than most realise we are pursuing. We aren’t selling any old body wash bottles.

Halim, our first investor and enabler of our Dubai investment roadshow, shares the same vision, and together we are going to take Bob global, one shower at a time (well maybe lots of showers at a time as I only have three years before I want to retire. I wonder how many towns there are in the world called Bob. Maybe if all goes well I can retire in a place called Bob….. google search…… There are 4 places in the world named Bob! Bob can be found in 4 countries throughout the world. The majority of the cities named Bob can be found above the equator. The northernmost place is in the region RS in Serbia. The southernmost place is in the region of Mpumalanga in South Africa. There you go Marko, our first Serbian investor, did you know there was a town called Bob in your place of birth?).

What’s happening with the Thingymabob and Soap?

Well, the Thingymabob is being tested daily by beta and we are looking forward to our update with them this week. We are all focused on reviewing the progress made with lathering, foaming, and optimisation of bristle length. (However, after meeting with Nabil in Dubai this week, he gave me quite a bit of extra homework. Everything from extra accessories and grips, all the way to adding a telescopic extension to Bob to reach the little hairy bit of your lower back that only your wife or partner can reach for you [unless you are one of those people who can touch both hands together behind their back - go on try it. Then try and lick your elbow]. Anyway, Nabil, I can’t promise any of your suggestions will make the cut, but I can confirm all of your suggestions have been passed to the beta boys to review).

The soap however is teasing us. The German manufacturer has created our first formula, but the samples are now stuck in customs. Something about them testing white blocks of substance to make sure they are soap and nothing else. This led to a few chuckles on our weekly call this week when we received the update.

Excitingly our partners are keen to work with us to launch Bob in Germany, so despite having no soap formulation confirmed and no working product yet, I’d say the team have done a pretty good job of ‘selling the dream’ so far. We are booked in to visit Germany and our soap partner's manufacturing and distribution facilities, so we best make sure we have a product by then, haven’t we William? 

In other news, the first soap formulation recipe was sent back to Max to check against his blacklist of ingredients, to ensure our soap is as good for the body as it is for the planet. Given that Max’s blacklist has every single ingredient in the world on it, I am pleasantly surprised our German partners have managed to find any ingredients that tick our boxes. I’m excited to try it. 

In the meantime, Will found some pH 5.5 soap that included a lot of toxins to try this week from a different supplier. Will confirmed that having not tried a pH 5.5 soap before he is now converted. A foamy, moisturising and succulent feeling, so good that even his fiancée Jess is loving it. Perhaps this is a sign that Bobi (our female version of Bob) should launch to market faster than we first thought… One to ponder over as a team. 

So in summary and to round off a truly fantastic week; 

  • Dubai was a great way to launch our investment roadshow and I hope I can bring in our first £100k in October, with our second £100k in November to bring Bob to market across the UK.
  • The Thingymabob product is being tested and becomes more and more real each day.
  • The Thingymabob is only the beginning… we have more products and features which are going to revolutionize the soap industry.
  • Will and Jess are big fans of losing their pH 5.5 soap virginity.

All in a week's work Bob. 

I am now off to pack (again) as I am off to Bordeaux tonight for our friend's wedding this weekend. Another plane, another flight whacked on the credit card and another shameless opportunity to whip out the Bob prototype. Given that most of the people at this wedding went to private school (not me), there's bound to be some old money kicking about, desperately waiting to be invested into Bob.

Bonjour, Comment allez-vous, souhaitez-vous investir dans Bob? 

Plus sérieusement, j'ai hâte de vous tenir au courant des progrès de la semaine prochaine. 

Merci beaucoup 


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