Finding Opportunity in the Face of Adversity

April 16 NTJC Elevate Series Webinar with Craig Dubitsky, Founder of Hello Products
The NJTC community had the pleasure of having a heart-to-heart with Craig Dubitsky, Founder of Hello Products. Craig is an accomplished entrepreneur who founded Hello Products, the world’s first naturally friendly oral care brand, to take on toothpaste competitors like Colgate (pre- being acquired) and Crest. 
Dubitsky was named in the Advertising Age Creativity 50, the publication’s annual list of the most influential and innovative creative thinkers and doers. 
Craig offered advice as a longtime founder and innovator. NJTC picked his brain on how he forged the way to where he is now, while finding opportunity in the face of adversity.

The Big “Why”

Craig Dubitsky has a history of going into categories that some people think are already solved. But why would Craig attempt to enter a space that’s already been established? 
His short answer – he sees it as a place to start and that gets him motivated. He finds opportunity in a space where his competitors don’t see him as competition, and with that mindset, he creates a product that outmatches the existing brands in that space. 
Craig’s advice is to throw out the “that already exists” mindset. 
One could argue that there are no new ideas the same way that he can argue that there are 12 notes in a musical scale and with the exact same sheet music every player should be able to play the same thing, the same way. 
Craig, a lover of music, keeps a guitar near his desk as a reminder of this mindset. 
Every category is fair game.

Build An Emotional Connection

How did Craig build an emotional connection to his products? 
Start with getting a sense of what is missing in the marketplace. Being an individual is so important, but we humans share a lot more in common than we may think. 
Chances are, the problem that is bugging you is also bugging someone else. 
The goal of an entrepreneur and innovator should be to fall in love with the problem, not the solution. 
Craig explains that when an entrepreneur falls in love with the problem, they’ll always think of ways to make it better. He explains that when you fall in love with the solution versus the problem, you’ve already lost.
It’s not the paranoid who survive, it’s the passionate that thrive. 
An entrepreneur’s passion about the problem will aid them in building emotional connections.

Create the Best Products, Beat the Big Guys

It all began the day Craig noticed the oral care products on the shelves weren’t matching the current cultural landscape. 
He saw an opportunity to beat the big guys. 
Hello Products is based on the idea of being culturally, emotionally, environmentally and economically relevant. These focuses are what caught Colgate’s attention that lead to Hello Products being acquired. 
Modern times call for values that are pertinent today. Hello Products is for the 100%, not the 1%. From American-sourced ingredients and environmentally-friendly products to building a team that’s majority women, Craig thoughtfully built a company based on what he believes are strong values.
Being an entrepreneur is about having an idea and making it real. 
At the end of the day, Craig shares, the dirty little secret is that every small company wants to be a big company and every big company wants to be as cool, clever and nimble as a small company.

Watch The Full Webinar Presentation: 


NJTC has compiled useful links and past videos/webinars to utilize as resources to help your organization during COVID-19.  Safety measures, best practices and more on our COVID-19 resource page are available here.


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