Mr King says an improved economic outlook does inspire confidence, but a willingness to spend comes down to the quality of the idea itself. “For us, it comes back to, is the innovation compelling and worth finding money for?”
He says there is “no way” banks will entertain the idea of backing high-risk product development such as a new type of razor. “I raised equity rather than debt. I’ve sort of treated R&D at King of Shaves as ‘big pharma’ would when developing a blockbuster drug.” He agrees with the EEF that companies must innovate much more quickly because of shorter “product life cycles”.
“It’s hugely compressed now. In shaving, we’re [looking] at the quality of steel, the grinding processes to make the blade tip ultra-thin (and durable, too) and of course the mechanisms to deliver shave comfort.
“We are looking years out to this, as will be our competitors – but we’re looking [at it] in a different way,” he says.