Inc.

WHEN THE BUBBLE BURST

of the 1990s dot-com boom, when high-concept companies like Urban Fetch, had investors reaching for their checkbooks, starting a soap company wasn’t exactly trendy: “People in San Francisco thought we were nuts,” says Method co-founder Eric Ryan. “Compared with tech, our business just wasn’t that interesting.” When the dot-com bubble finally burst, Ryan and co-founder Adam Lowry had a bigger problem than investor boredom: The venture capital well had dried up.

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