The Secret Sauce for Business Success

How feedback can make or break your brand

Hey there,

Welcome back to another bite to chew on. 

We’re sharing thoughts about probably THE most valuable business fundamentals today. 

But before we get there, let’s talk about something else every founder needs to understand…fundraising. 

Tool of the Week 

Cash is King. 

Sure it’s a cliche. But it’s also true. 

Especially in ecom these days. 

Even when you have product market fit. Even when your meta ads are killing. 

Even when you’re first-order profitable. And even when you have to battle to keep your products in stock. 

Funding your growth can still be a major challenge. 

We’re lucky to know a lot of 8 and 9-figure founders. And every single one of them eventually faced a cash crunch at some point on their journey. 

Maybe it was for that next big inventory PO. Maybe it was to expand their manufacturing or to invest heavily in a new sales channel. 

Moving to new regions, onboarding that big box retailer - everything takes time, attention, and dollars. 

But sometimes your money is tied up just when you need it. So you need to find financing. Fast. 

Big bank loans take forever and they ask for guarantees. Equity is expensive, dilutes your cap table, and isn’t always available anyway.

That’s why some of the fastest-growing operators we know are reaching out to Clearco for working capital. 

They fund invoices and receipts for everything from inventory to marketing, shipping, and logistics. 

We asked some of our friends in health and beauty what made them such a good option and were told Clearco just ticks all of the boxes:

  • No collateral

  • Non-dilutive

  • Capped weekly payments

  • No personal guarantees

Best of all, we’ve heard they can turn things around QUICK. Like - get you funded in as little as 24 hours kind of quick. 

We know that when these kinds of opportunities hit that time can be of the essence, so getting financing that is predictable and scalable like this can really drive growth. 

We also know Prime Day is coming up. 

One of the biggest shopping events of the year. If you’re an Amazon brand, you’ll need your inventory, supply chain, and marketing ready - all your ducks in a row - to properly take advantage. 

So, if you’re looking for some financial support to gear up and take your brand to the next level, we really think you should contact Clearco and find out what they can do for you to get your ecommerce business funded.  

Back to the main event - 

We usually spend a lot of time going over the pillars of running a modern ecom brand. 

Digital marketing. 


Customer Service. 


Plus all the platforms and tools that help you manage this stuff.

But today we want to talk about something more fundamental. 


To better understand how this valuable resource can make or break your business, we’ll start by stepping outside of the DTC world…

and into the culinary realm of celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay.

Kitchen Nightmares = business school


Sure, Ramsay is famous for his world-class restaurants and all the melodrama you see on shows like Hell’s Kitchen.

But the truth is you can take valuable business lessons from him. 

Especially Kitchen Nightmares, the show where he spends a week with a struggling restaurant and tries to turn it around. 

Look past the yelling,

the insults,

the menu overhauls, 

the kitchen re-designs, 

And you’ll discover Ramsay is trying to teach the struggling owners this one, major lesson: 

How to get over yourself and act on feedback.

This is the single, consistent weakness he finds in every failing business he visits.

The problem - the owner has an idea in their mind about their business that does not match reality. 

They have walled themselves off from key feedback from their customers or staff and partners because the negative stuff is 



And dissonant with the fantasy they have of themselves and the biz.

So it hurts their ego. 

But if you manage your business according to a fantasy or misaligned perceptions… 

You won’t be able to improve, pivot, or correct course. 

You’ll be lost. 

Unless a world-famous Chef shows up to yell in your face and knock some sense into you, that is.

Listen to your customers

First, you have to know if people like what you’re selling. And, if not, why?

If full plates are always being sent back to the kitchen, don’t continue to tell yourself the chef is 5-star. 

At Obvi, we seek out customer feedback everywhere, from all angles. 

We ask customers for their opinions in surveys. 

We scour comments on our ads and conduct discussions with our Facebook community.

Without understanding your customer’s perception of your brand - 

You won’t know what they want, 

Or why they buy from you, 

Or what would make them come back. 

Remember, a lasting brand isn’t built on first-time buyers. It’s built on longtime customers




These are the badges you can earn by operationalizing customer feedback.  

It’s not just about product research and development, but also - sales, marketing, and customer experience. 

Set up your business to not just collect, but also to confront and act on customer feedback.

Even the bad stuff. 

No - especially the bad stuff.  

And you can establish positive feedback loops that ensure continual improvement across all your customer-facing elements. 

Developing internal feedback loops

Of course, your company doesn’t just run on external feedback. 

Let’s return to the restaurant analogy for a second. 

You have wait staff, greeters, bussers, managers, bartenders, cooks, and chefs…

That’s a lot of moving parts. A lot of different roles and skillsets. 

And everyone needs to understand who is doing what, 

How to act in unison, 

And what success or failure looks like in their role…

Or things get ugly pretty quickly.

Your business is no different, especially as you grow beyond your core team. 

So you need well-tuned internal feedback mechanisms in your company. And not just because everyone needs to be on the same page.

But because the social impacts of feedback hit differently when you’re working together day in, day out.    

First, tune your leadership for feedback

At Obvi, we (Ron, Ash, and Ankit) strive to operate openly and honestly with each other as co-founders and leaders. 

We all have our own strengths and weaknesses.

Our areas of expertise in the company. 

Our own responsibilities and spheres of influence.  

We know what those are at after years of working together. So we know how to interact with openness and respect with each other.

We also know that there are always opportunities to improve. 


Our leadership. 

And our business. 

And that is the spirit in which we always offer feedback to each other. 

Next, make feedback a norm

Things get more difficult as you add team members and staff. 

You get different abilities, experiences, and communication styles. 

We have found employees usually fall somewhere on a gradient between two extremes:

Completely open or completely closed to feedback. 

The first type considers feedback a path to improvement. Their confidence is high but their ego is low. 

They are curious about other perspectives because they want more information.

The second type tends to be threatened by feedback. Their ego is high but is more fragile. So feedback is often viewed as threatening. 

Either way, there are ways you can create feedback mechanisms in your organization:

  1. Open up feedback forums

At Obvi, we have made sure to create spaces where feedback seems more natural and less threatening.

Not as intimidating as a formal review or a one-on-one. 

Our weekly all-hands is great for this. And so is our company group chat.

Sometimes it’s something as simple as a lunch sit down where people are less guarded.  

Find circumstances where team members can comfortably solicit and deliver feedback.

  1.  Balance the positive and negative

Being direct and honest is best when it comes to feedback. 

But anything that is spiked with cruelty, 


Or frustration 

will usually backfire. 

As a leader, providing feedback is mostly about finding ways to guide, coach, and clarify. 

Feedback can be “negative”, but it should usually be constructive, rather than cutting. 


Always find ways to layer in positive feedback for all your people. Even the most open employee will begin to tune you out,

If all you offer is ways for them to change, improve, or correct their work. 

If staff becomes defensive any time you approach, 

Then you’ve probably lost the ability for there to be a fruitful feedback loop with them.

  1. Be sure feedback flows both ways

What does that mean?

Well, you should be comfortable hearing stuff from your partners, but also from your employees. 

Everyone will have different perspectives and opinions when it comes to what you’re doing. 

If feedback only flows one way…


then you will be blind to things that are happening - or even failing - in your business. 

And that’s when you can expect a visit from an angry Gordon Ramsay.

Before you go…

We have two more free resources we want to share.

First up, we recently released a killer guide on how 9-figure ecom brands crush subscriptions. Pick it up here if you want to up your LTV game. 

Next, Ash is hosting a free webinar with Austin Goldman of Shoplift on June 72th. 

Click to Register

Ash and Austin are going to unpack one of the most complicated topics in DTC - CRO. Join this FREE masterclass to learn how brands like Skims, Glossier, and Bombas are leveraging the most profitable CRO strategies in 2024.

Until next time,

Ron and Ash