90. The beauty of emphasizing the obvious, w/Birchbox's Katia Beauchamp

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Unconventional ideas define entrepreneurship: They fuel dreams but also spur naysayers and obstacles. Katia Beauchamp, co-founder and CEO of Birchbox, has repeatedly found ways to recast the unconventional as something obvious, enabling ongoing growth through repeated challenges. When Katia and her co-founder introduced Birchbox, its novel business model went against many beauty-industry norms. Then, as it caught on, competitors from Amazon to Sephora took direct aim by copying Birchbox's approach – and crushing margins in the process. To navigate the ups and downs, wooing investors, suppliers, and customers, Katia discovered how describing an industry-flipping idea in conventional terms could both accelerate and extend Birchbox's appeal. The road to differentiating the brand, it turned out, required emphasizing the obvious.

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