INSTANT MBA: Live And Breathe What You Do

artspace Catherine Levine Chriss Vroom

Today’s advice comes from Catherine Levene, the CEO and co-founder of

“When focusing on a specific vertical in e-commerce, like art, for example, the key is to live and breathe the category.

You must understand the specific needs of your target and aim to create an environment and a user experience that not only meets those particular needs, but exceeds them. The needs of a buyer interested in learning about and collecting art are very different than the needs of someone interested in purchasing shoes or furniture.

Therefore, you should structure your site’s content, voice, visual experience and partnerships to revolve specifically around the category you’re in. This goes for the supply side of the business as well. It’s your responsibility to present the “product” – in our case, art – and represent your supply partners – artists, galleries and cultural institutions – in a meaningful, knowledgeable way.

The best way to ensure success in this regard is to make sure you hire experienced people with domain expertise. Finally, it’s essential to have passion for the category and to create a culture that encourages and promotes that passion. It shouldn’t just be a business, it should be a business and a labour of love.”

Want your business advice featured in Instant MBA? Submit your tips to [email protected]. Be sure to include your name, your job title, and a photo of yourself in your email.