EcomCrew Podcast

E550: How This Shark Tank Almuna Went From E-Commerce to AI

Kevin Williams is on the podcast today to talk about his entrepreneurial journey. From founding brands like Brush Hero to appearing on Shark Tank and finally, to diving deep into AI, we cover the lessons that he's learned through each brand and venture. 

Kevin Williams is the founder of MadBrains AI, a company that specializes in AI literacy and training. With an extensive background in ecommerce, Kevin consistently provides practical tips to digital marketers on how to leverage AI for their brands.

Kevin and I met quite a while back in 2015, where Kevin held a presentation on the importance of product validation before marketing, and that's when I had an epiphany — if no one is interested in your product before you go to sell, it's not worth it.  

After years of friendship, I've decided to get him on to catch up with him and get a background of his experience as an entrepreneur. Here's some timestamps: 


  • Podcast Start – 0:00
  • Mike's Reason for Getting Friends on the Podcast – 0:30 
  • Kevin's Product Validation Presentation and Business Model – 1:30 
  • Traffic is 4x more expensive now – 2:44 
  • Kevin's Patent Concept – 4:17 
  • The Origins of Brush Hero – 6:28 
  • Importance of Storytelling – 7:26 
  • How Counterfeits Destroyed Brush Hero – 8:41
  • Being CEO of – 11:48
  • “What happened to” – 13:59
  • Diving into AI – 20:14
  • “What's one thing that I should have asked?” – 28:26

The Big Takeaways

If you're in a hurry, I've listed a few of the big takeaways I personally found to be the most impactful:  

  • Traffic is so way more expensive now. In 2015, it would cost 25c – 50c to buy traffic on Facebook Ads. Currently, it costs $3-$4 to buy traffic. If you want to start buying ads, it might be more cost-efficient to use a cheaper social networks like TikTok. 
  • Being granted a patent is a bucket list item for most tinkerers and engineers. However, a lot of people don't go beyond that point. Partnering with a patent holder can be a good way to find products to sell on Amazon. 
  • Storytelling boils down to three main points: 
    1.  Man – your brand or product 
    2.  Mountain – the big problem 
    3.  Getting Over Mountain – how your product solves your problem
  • Online reviews have a big impact on offline sales. If your product is available in a brick and mortar store, shoppers will normally try to price-match by checking your product on Amazon and they'll run into your negative reviews. 
  • Running a business that's based overseas while having staff that's based in a separate country can be very physically and mentally taxing. 
  • Getting shadowbanned on your advertising account is more common than you think. It's a term that describes getting really poor performance on your advertising account, without explicit notice from the platform. 
  • suffered from their success in the influencer marketing. After receiving a lot of traffic from their influencer marketing, they were starting to be seen as an entertainment company instead of a product company. This meant that they werent getting much sales from their marketing efforts.
  • All of the Fortune 10,000 companies are concerned about the implications of AI, but only 5% of them have training in place. 
  • You should be leveraging AI to automate customer service. There is no reason for you to be doing first-contact customer service anymore as a business owner and AI can make this a lot easier for you. 
  • Taking the previous point a step further, you can use AI to sift through previous chatlogs,  emails and reviews for practical information that you can use in your marketing, customer service and product development. 
  • You need to be checking your SEO and keyword rankings almost daily. AI generated content is really finnicky as of now, and it can affect your keyword rankings on Google by a huge margin. 

Kevin, thanks for coming on the podcast! It was nice seeing you again, and I hope our paths cross again before the next eCommerceFuel Live. 

If any listeners would like to have a discussion about this, let me know by emailing us directly at You can find Kevin on LinkedIn, where he publishes practical AI tips every week. You can also find him through his company MadBrains.  Thanks for coming on to the podcast Kevin! 

Also, if you have any questions or any topics you’d like us to discuss on the podcast, you can email us directly as well! We would really appreciate it if you would leave us a review on iTunes

Thanks for listening!

Michael Jackness

Michael started his first business when he was 18 and is a serial entrepreneur. He got his start in the online world way back in 2004 as an affiliate marketer. From there he grew as an SEO expert and has transitioned into ecommerce, running several sites that bring in a total of 7-figures of revenue each year.

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