Fab CEO Has A Long History Of Mistakes

Jason Goldberg, CEO of online retailer Fab, is “
doomed to repeat his mistakes,” according to The Verge. It’s a great long-read about the company’s history.

For instance, although many people know that Fab has changed business strategy — or “pivoted,” in startup parlance — twice in its short history, fewer people remember that this is not the first startup helmed by Goldberg that also pivoted (twice).

In the mid-2000s, Goldberg founded Jobster, a careers site that went through two pivots before being acquired for a fraction of its former value, The Verge reports. It was an expensive lesson for Goldberg’s backers, The Verge says:

In an interview after he started Fab, Goldberg reflected on his Jobster days. “I made every mistake in the book,” he explained. “I … basically got educated on that $US48 million on how to start companies.”

Here’s Goldberg’s history, per The Verge:

  • 2004: Starts Jobster, an employee referral site.
  • Company pivots twice, first as a search engine then as a social network.
  • 2006: 41% of Jobster staffers are laid off; company is sold for pennies on the dollar.
  • 2011: Starts Fabulis, a gay community site.
  • Business pivots to a flash sales site, now called Fab.
  • 2012: Abandons flash sales and pivots in favour of traditional retail.
  • Half the 700 staff are laid off; several senior management executives exit.

If Fab doesn’t turn around, it could be a bigger mistake than Jobster was. Fab has taken $US336 million in investor funding so far.

(We contacted Goldberg and his spokesperson for comment but did not immediately hear back.)

Read the Verge’s story here >>

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