"Tell your customers what they want before they want it."
Nick Valletta '18 '19G | Start Up Major | Masters of Management Science and Engineering Hometown | Pen Argyl, PA
From meeting founders of early-stage Series A start-ups to entrepreneurs with successful exits, the LSV program has shown it all. Each investor and founder offered a unique perspective that gave me greater insight to the startup world here in Silicon Valley. While it’s hard to choose just one, my favorite founder involved in the program thus far has been Nils Johnson, the CEO and Co-Founder of Beautylish, an e-commerce website that sells cosmetic products. I enjoyed hearing Nils speak because he is very forward thinking and did not try to sugarcoat anything. He spent time focusing on the harsh reality that is entrepreneurship. He described the lifestyle as a combination of long days and high-stress environments that statistically end in failure. Nonetheless, he focused on the aspects of his company that have enabled him to defy the odds. His key points placed an emphasis on delivering exceptional customer service, focusing on core product value, and making fast decisions. He explained that Beautylish believes in treating and delivering a $50 order in the same fashion as a $300 order, and that to thrive in the startup world, a company must be able to tell their customers what they want before they even desire it themselves.
If I had the opportunity to sit down with Nils one-on-one, I would ask him to critique a venture idea of my own, as I know he would not hesitate to identify any flaws within my idea. Simultaneously, I would pick his brain for marketing advice, given his obvious success as a marketing expert for Beautylish.