David Hogg isn’t getting much sleep.
The 20-year-old March for Our Lives co-founder and Parkland shooting survivor has plenty of pillows. He has been testing various kinds over the past four days.
But Hogg’s days are packed, crammed with meetings and homework into the early-morning and night hours, the Harvard University student said, as he attempts to create a pillow company to compete against MyPillow, which is led by staunch Trump supporter Mike Lindell. The idea, first tweeted as a joke by Hogg’s business partner, software developer William LeGate, is becoming increasingly firm: The pair announced the name of their company, Good Pillow, on Tuesday night. Yet many aspects of the company are not fully formed, and critics have thrown a wet blanket on the plan.
“This is a really weird timeline,” Hogg said in an interview. “We’re in a global pandemic, I’m in college online because of that, and I’m starting a pillow company as my second start-up all before I can even legally drink.”
LeGate not only first tweeted the idea; he’s funding the venture, he said.
“I’m converting my bitcoin to pillows,” he said. “It’s either going to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever done or the smartest thing, so we’ll see.”
The infant company born from a tweet is the latest “David vs. Goliath” tale to catch the eye of social media: Last month, amateur traders organized, mainly on Reddit, to “squeeze” hedge funds that had used short sales to bet on the decline of the stock of video game retailer GameStop, sending the market into a frenzy. The trading mania did not end well for all, as some novice investors settled for heavy losses.
Hogg, who said he identifies with the “rebelliousness” of the GameStop investors, said he has greater ambitions for his company. He said the duo is the antithesis of Lindell, who has seen his personal wealth skyrocket since founding MyPillow.
“We’re not like Mike,” he said. “We don’t need an actual private jet like he has.”
Lindell, who has become one of the most recognizable of former president Donald Trump’s fervent followers, was banned from Twitter and had his product dropped by Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Wayfair and other retailers. He now faces a potential lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems, whose lawyers have accused him of making “false and conspiratorial” claims.
Lindell was unbothered by the threat of competition for his multimillion-dollar business.
“Good for David Hogg trying to make a pillow,” Lindell said in a phone call Tuesday. “As long as he doesn’t infringe on people’s patents, good for him.”
Lindell declined to comment further about “anything else but machine election fraud.”
After sharing memes about the idea on Twitter for the past week, Hogg and LeGate are now formally committing to a list of progressive promises, including using unionized manufacturers and allocating a percentage of profits to charitable organizations chosen by their customers.