Is passion for a niche a prerequisite for building a business around it?

My friend recently just told me about a business idea, which is building a service to sell lipstick. Our goal is to let girls try lipstick at the comfort of their home. We’ve talked to 10-15 girls to understand their lipstick buying habit. Not only that, we’ve already built the mvp (just a simple web to smoke test).

Yesterday, we got the chance to talk to my friend who is older than us, and have built couple successful business. Since we are a team of 2 males in their early 20s, he suggested that we change our business idea because we don’t have experience in the cosmetic world. The point he’s making is that since we don’t do makeup, we have no experience in this market and this venture is really difficult to pull off.

I agreed to take on do this venture not because I love lipstick. I don’t have any plan to learn make up. I just think that this is a cool thing to try. Should we just stop doing what we’re doing and change business idea? Would love your opinion and perspective on this.



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  1. If it is a job, it is a job.

    There is a basic playbook to follow in order to execute this idea properly. This requires managerial knowledge and talent that could apply anywhere. The job is business development.

    The domain knowledge about suppliers, costs, competition, etc, are all really good reasons not to get involved because there is no one to really lean on in order to make industry knowledgeable decisions. You are outsourcing your core competency which isn’t ever a good idea. You could stick around and learn most of it but without some zealotry behind it, you aren’t going to get it perfect or be exceptionally agile in the industry. You’ll basically do things right until you don’t, and then your company will collapse.

  2. There are plenty of male presidents and CEOs of cosmetic companies

    Mary Kay Cosmetics – David Holl, CEO since 2006

    Avon 9 Senior Executives, 5 are male

    Revlon recently appointed its first female CEO in 86 years [https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/05/23/revlon-names-debra-perelman-cosmetics-companys-first-woman-ceo/636383002/](https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/05/23/revlon-names-debra-perelman-cosmetics-companys-first-woman-ceo/636383002/)

    L’Oreal CEO is a male

    ​

    Don’t let your gender say you don’t have knowledge, but if you aren’t passionate about the product/company mission, it will seem like constant work.

  3. No “passion” isn’t truly a prerequisite.. There are common elements to all new businesses regardless of product.. but I’ll tell you something other people in this subreddit won’t.

    While running a business you have to *really* dive deep into it. You’ll be seeing make-up day in and day out. Talking to women about make-up. Reading about lipstick. Studying lipstick. Photoshoping ads about lipstick. Trying out lipstick. Every single day liptstick lipstick lipstick. and you’re the one who needs to stay exited about it at all times in order to make the people you’re talking to exited about it.

    Can you do that? Because that’s not technically “passion” it’s tolerance towards your subject matter. For me, I’d never be able to run a business selling women’s shoes because I’m incredibly disinterested in it. Sure I *could* set up the supply lines, marketing material, etc… but after a while I’d just be so sick of reading and talking about women’s shoes I’d probably fall into a funk and fail.

    Do you tolerate lipstick? Or could you bring in a subject matter expert to your business that *does* love and know lipstick?

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