Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 7/29/16

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Some of the best learning happens when you read stories about real people and real companies. Read them for ideas, for lessons, and inspiration. This week’s stories and strategies from real life are about Ecolab, Dollar Shave Club, Peloton, BiKASE, and Toro.

From Dee DePass: For Ecolab, supplying small brewers pays off big

“For sanitizing chemical giant Ecolab, supplying craft brewers has taken off”

From Ben Thompson: Dollar Shave Club and The Disruption of Everything

“Probably the most important fact when it comes to analyzing Unilever’s purchase of Dollar Shave Club is the $1 billion price: in the world of consumer packaged goods (CPG) it is shockingly low. After all, only eleven years ago Procter & Gamble (P&G) bought Gillette, the market leader in shaving, for a staggering $57 billion.”

From Josh Linkner: Virtual reality-like fitness bike hitting it big

“With his highly coveted talents being courted by the top technology powerhouses in the valley, why the heck did he upend his family, relocate to New York, and take a gig at a fitness bike company? Well, Peloton isn’t an ordinary fitness company. In fact, calling them a fitness company is like calling Apple a phone company.”

From Rick Romell: Simple gizmos come from complex journeys

“The thing looks simple — a gadget that holds small items tightly to a bicycle frame using industrial-grade rubber bands. But behind the ‘SuperBand,’ the latest product from a little Mequon firm called BiKASE, stands a complex mix of inspiration, doubt, sweat and trial-and-error.”

From Morey Stettner: Mower Maker Toro Sees Greener Pastures, From The Bottom Up

“In 1981, Toro Co. (TTC) flirted with the prospect of bankruptcy. Thirty-five years later, it’s reporting record results. It’s safe to say the Bloomington, Minn.-based maker of lawnmowers, snow blowers and other outdoor equipment — a mainstay in superstore retailers like Home Depot (HD) — has persevered. Founded in 1914, Toro has been through two world wars, the Great Depression and countless recessions. But it was the company’s rebound from near death to surging growth that provides a case study in sustained innovation.”

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