Exactly 1 year ago Bradford and I went to our Board of Directors and requested approval for us to shut down our 150,000-member social network, scrap everything, and restart from scratch on an entirely new business.
1 year later it looks like we may have made the right choice.
It all began with a simple drawing on a napkin (and a great dinner with a lot of wine). We had decided that we were going to pick One Thing and do that one thing and only that one thing better than anyone else in the world. We found our One Thing at the intersection of:
- What we are most passionate about
- What we believed we can realistically be the best in the world at
- What we were certain could develop into a big business in a market ripe for disruption.
It took us all of about 5 minutes to realize that Our One Thing is Design.
And, following a 20 minute board meeting 1-year ago today, Fab.com was reborn.
Since then, we’ve been doing our One Thing and loving every minute of it.
Now, 12 months since we got approval to restart and just 8.5 months since we launched our website, here’s an update on our progress:
- Even with only 29 days, February was Fab’s best sales month to-date, even more than November 2011.
- Fab now has more than 2.5 million members, up from 1.5M at the end of 2011. That’s 67% growth in the first 2 months of 2012.
- More than 40% of Fab’s daily usage is now from our mobile apps. And, mobile users purchase more often and bigger basket sizes. And, they seem to like our apps.
- Fab’s new Weekly Shops, launched in mid-Feb, already contributed more than 10% of our overall sales in February 2012.
- Repeat purchasers continue to make up 2/3 of each week’s Fab purchases.
- More than 25,000 of Fab’s customers have already made 5 or more Fab purchases.
- Fab’s social shopping integrations with Facebook is driving viral activity. 15% of Fab’s daily traffic comes from Facebook and our Facebook visits have doubled since December.
- We acquired Casacanda in Germany and relaunched it as Fab.de, as the first step towards taking Fab around the globe. We believe that good design is made in all parts of the world and that everyone everywhere can benefit from good design.
- We continue to pick products to feature on Fab based on what we love and what we think will make people smile, not based on sales. This is an emotional business. Our approach remains: Pick out products that make people smile; if they like it, we’ll sell lot’s of stuff over time.
- We continue to keep it real. Fab is all about good design. We’re true to our design partners and the objects they create.
- We continue to drive real business for our design partners as we create the worlds most valuable design marketplace. Thousands of designers have made business-changing money on Fab. Hundreds have sold more in a week on Fab than they would otherwise in months. The whole thing is so humbling and inspiring.
- We are designing a workforce and a workplace for success. We’ve gone from 4 fulltime employees in NY at this time last year to 200+ people working on Fab worldwide in NY, Berlin, Pune, and Deinze, all while fostering Fab as a kooky culture of excellence and fun. You’d think that a business rising as fast as ours would be all about celebrating success. We do celebrate success, but we just as enthusiastically celebrate our challenges and push ourselves to do more and better.
- We’ve developed a simple formula that seems to be working ok, but we’re ever trying to improve on: A beautifully designed website and app, featuring beautifully designed products, backed up by beautiful service. It’s not perfect, so we challenge ourselves every day to make it better and better.
And, we’re just getting started.
Much, much more to come. As we’re known for, Fab.com will continue to be the leading innovator in e-commerce 2.0. This is just the beginning of a long journey we’re on to build Fab into the world’s leading design resource. As I’ve noted, we have big Amazon-scale plans for Fab: We’re building a business for the decades. This is just 1 year into working on it and 9 months into operating it.
Our One Thing: Fab.com is design.
Thank you to everyone who believed in us, helped us and supported us the last 365 days.
Smile, you’re designed to.
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