A new year, a new Jason Goldberg? After watching himself and his e-commerce company Fab take a very public beating in the second half of 2013, Goldberg kicked off the new year today with a 3,500-word blog post about the 15 lessons he learned in 2013. In many ways, the post is one long mea culpa.

Fab, of course, is the one-time media darling shopping site that in a matter of months went from snatching more than $150 million in investments at a $1 billion valuation to a series of layoffs that cut more than half of its staff, leaving it with around 300 people.

No matter your opinion of Goldberg and the path he’s led Fab down, the read is a good one.

Among his regrets:

  • Letting Fab sell things its staff wasn’t proud of. He said the company recently went through an exercise where it identified $1 million worth of inventory it wasn’t proud to be selling.
  • Hiring too many people, too quickly in Europe, ultimately resulting in layoffs that affected more than 100 people there and the news, today, from European tech blog Tech.eu that Fab would stop selling everything except its own custom-made furniture on the continent.
  • “We had started to dream in billions when we should have been focused on making one day simply better than the one before it.”
  • Talking publicly about revenue forecasts.
  • Talking publicly too often. Period. “Despite what you may tell yourself, not many consumers actually want to get to know the CEO of the companies they interact with. It’s not about you. It’s all about the product.”

On that last point, publishing a mea culpa may not help. Will Goldberg ever learn?

There are plenty of other interesting nuggets in there, so I suggest reading the post in full.




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