The writing has been on the wall for months, and I suppose David Hogg finally decided to read it because the 20-year-old activist who sought out to prove that “progressives can make a better pillow, run a better business and help make the world a better place while doing it” has decided to leave his start-up competitor to Mike Lindell’s MyPillow.
Hogg made the announcement on Twitter.
“A couple weeks ago, a very spontaneous interaction over Twitter between me and William LeGate led to us trying to start a progressive pillow company,” he said, though actually it was a couple of months ago. “The goal was and still is to create a great pillow that is sustainably produced in domestic unionized factories and have a percentage of those profits benefit progressive social causes. We were met with immediate and overwhelming support. But I soon realized that given my activism, schoolwork, and family commitments, I could not give 100% to being a full time co-founder at Good Pillow.”
Though, as it was clear to anyone who was paying attention as Hogg tried to launch his pillow company, the endeavor was plagued from the start, even though Hogg seemingly gave it all his attention. He made public pleas for ideas and suggestions that felt more like desperate cries for help than legitimate crowdsourcing. Hogg’s partner made a public appeal for a “top tier” graphic designer to design the company’s logo. He offered a mere $200 and demanded the logo in less than two hours so it could be featured in The Washington Post‘s feature story, which was published February 9.
It was like being forced to watch a train wreck, but the media gave the struggling company a ton of free publicity—publicity most companies, particularly start-ups, could only dream about.
The day after the Washington Post published the feature story on Hogg’s pillow company, Newsweek published an article that gloated over the fact that Good Pillow “already has more Twitter followers than MyPillow ever did,” and reported that potential buyers “should be able to purchase the items in around a month.”
That never happened, of course, and with the exception of a few tweets related to Hogg’s departure from the company, the Good Pillow Twitter account has been dormant since February.
But the biggest mistake Hogg’s pillow company made was announcing its brand name without trademarking it. According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database, “Good Pillow” was registered as a trademark the day after the company’s big feature in the Washington Post… by someone unconnected to the company.
It’s hardly a surprise that Hogg is leaving the company. “After many discussions with William and my friends, family and mentors, I made the good faith decision to allow William to bring our vision to life without me,” wrote Hogg. “Effective immediately, I have resigned and released all shares, any ownership and any control of Good Pillow LLC. I want to thank Will for his partnership and wish him absolutely nothing but success with the future of Good Pillow.”
“The reasons for my departure rest entirely with me and my own personal commitments,” Hogg claims.
He says he plans to focus on his college studies and his gun-control activism.
I’m sure he does.