Interview With Jeff Sellinger CEO of HipDot
Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing Jeff Sellinger, CEO of HipDot.
Jeff is currently a co-founder and CEO of HipDot. Previously, he co-founded Shopkick (acquired by SK Planet $200M+) and GoldPocket Wireless (Acquired by Motricity). Jeff has also held advisor roles with several other successful startups. Additionally, Jeff has held senior level roles at both CBS and Disney, building new divisions at each. At Disney, he was SVP Disney Learning and built out a new children’s learning brand consisting of toys, books and apps. While at CBS, he was EVP overseeing mobile for the corporation including CBS, The CW, CBS Sports, CBS News and the CNET brands. While there, Jeff created and ran a 24 hour CBS channel and started the new CBS Records. Jeff loves creating great consumer experiences, finding winning business models and building teams. When he’s not working, he spends most of his time with his wife and two little children. Anyone who knows Jeff well knows that he’s a big fan of Elvis and cool sneakers…or at least what he thinks are cool sneakers!
Can you share with us your background and your career?
I moved around a lot as a kid, probably every 4-5 years from the East Coast to the West Coast, New England to the Midwest. I think that probably influenced a bit of my personality and desire to take on new challenges. Throughout my career, the common theme has been building. I really enjoy building things from just an idea into something that people truly enjoy. Most of the time it has been technology or media related, but I was always building.
I co-founded a couple of companies in the mobile space – one that was at the forefront of text messaging when all of that started. We powered a lot of the big on-air voting and text applications for television. The most recent one, before HipDot, was Shopkick, a mobile shopping rewards app. I also held executive roles in big media; I was EVP, GM at CBS building out the Mobile division and was also SVP at Disney building out a Learning division. Each role has been really different, a new challenge and a great learning experience. I think if you look closely at HipDot, you can see bits of my experiences that came together to form the brand.
Can you share with our readers how you started your company and the mission behind it?
My co-founder Mo and I have worked together for years, and we knew we wanted to build a company together. When we first started HipDot, our goal was to bring better quality, clean formulations to customers at prices that were mass affordable. We also wanted the products to be fun and to bring great storytelling to beauty. That mission has evolved, but has not changed. We’re still focused on making clean beauty fun, while keeping people on the edge of their seat wondering what’s coming next. We’re very focused on expanding that vision beyond collaborations and making the brand more impactful in everyday beauty.
If you could go back and talk to your younger self what would you tell him and why?
There’s certain things that I do well, and other areas that I certainly need to continue to grow in. I’d tell my younger self to work smarter, listen more, and focus on the few things that are going to be the most impactful, while letting other things go. I’ve learned that success can be impacted by the things you don’t do as much, compared to the things that you choose to do. I have a lot of ideas and they all seem great in the beginning, but they’re not all winners. Additionally, being hyper-focused is important – spending precious time and resources on non-strategic things can really derail progress and success.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now?
Yes, probably too many! I’m still improving here. We’re always working on really out-of-the-box collaborations, and 2022 is going to be a lot of fun. Each collab offers the opportunity to be really creative and tell new stories, which is really important to us. We love to see how people react when the collections launch. Our biggest focus, though, is on the HipDot Core line. We’ve been building an audience for the last couple of years and now we want to bring that audience a great core line of everyday products.
Where do you see yourself and your career going in this new year and in the future?
I’ve been building new experiences my whole career, and I can’t see that stopping any time soon. My singular focus, though, is on HipDot and making the brand as great as it can be. 2022 is going to be a really important year for HipDot. We will evolve into a brand that is there for consumers everyday, is always clean, and never boring – with a lot of cool collabs and more everyday clean, high performing products.
How can our readers connect with you on social media?
If you want to follow HipDot and see what we’re up to, the best thing is to follow @HipDot on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter. The best way to contact me is on LinkedIn or to DM @HipDot on Instagram.