To say Juul Labs has had a meteoric rise would be an understatement.
But the company’s wild success hasn’t come easily. Regulatory hurdles like FDA approval and an ongoing investigation by the FDA to determine why teens and minors are so enthusiastic about the Juul vaporizer are but a few.
Co-founder and Chief Product Officer James Monsees has been there from the very beginning, and we’re absolutely psyched to have Monsees join us on the Disrupt SF stage in September.
Monsees co-founded Juul with Adam Bowen in 2003, when they would pepper in a handful of smoke breaks during brainstorming sessions. The constant distraction of a cigarette spurred them to start working on Juul.
In 2015, the iteration of the Juul that we see today came to market. It took a while to get going, but as the company expanded its distribution, Juul became a runaway success.
Unfortunately, at least part of that success came from minors, with whom the device is very popular.
As it stands now, Juul is working to educate the public about responsible adult use, marketing the product as an alternative for folks who smoke traditional cigarettes. In fact, Juul recently changed up its social media marketing to only reflect Juul users who were former smokers. Juul Labs has also invested $30 million going towards independent research, youth and parent education and community engagement efforts, which will be spent over the next three years.
But perhaps the most daunting task is FDA regulation, which takes millions of dollars and seemingly endless research.
At Disrupt, we’ll chat with Monsees about Juul’s positioning in the market, how to continue iterating and innovating in a state of limbo with the FDA and what’s next for the company.