Jeremy Cai - Manufacturer to Customer – [Founder’s Field Guide, EP. 33]

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My guest today is Jeremy Cai, founder, and CEO of Italic, a subscription marketplace for consumer goods that works directly with manufacturers. I was introduced to Jeremy by my friend Blake Robbins and was dying to better understand the Italic business model. In our conversation, we discuss the Italic business model, the evolving role of manufacturers in supply chains, and the concept of building the next generation “everything store.” I love learning and discovering new business models, and this was fun to dig into. Please enjoy my conversation with Jeremy Cai.

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.

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Show Notes

[00:02:45] - [First question] - Overview of Italic’s business model

[00:04:51] - Why comparing Italic to Costco isn’t completely accurate

[00:10:06] - His initial experience with manufacturers and how that world works

[00:15:21] - Direct to consumer commerce and the power of a brand’s story

[00:20:06] - Where manufacturers find the cash to effectively manage their inventory

[00:25:26] - How design and R & D are handled by manufacturers in the current era

[00:29:36] - Educated consumers and emotional versus rational buying decisions

[00:31:12] - Analyzing Italic’s five-step master plan and what needed to be built first

[00:35:42] - Becoming more than just an aggregator and a platform

[00:38:01] - Lessons learned from building Italic so far

[00:39:02] - Other modern business models he finds interesting

[00:43:26] - What Not Pot is and lessons learned from building it

[00:44:51] - Observations about consumer behavior in his managed marketplace

[00:48:07] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him

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