Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fabulis to Fab

I was following Fabulis early last year.  Fabulis was a gay social networking site that combines Yelp, Foursquare and Facebook.  Its mission was to provide social network site for gay people or people who want to hang out with gay friends.  It did not do so well.

After reaching 150K users, user base plateaued.  And as a site without clear revenue model running on investor's money, it needed a fresh idea to change the course.  Two founders, Jason Goldberg and Bradford Shellhammer, made a decision.  They sat down for a dinner one night and decided to leverage their design and product background to create social commerce site.  Fabulis was no more.  Fab was born.

Just little less than a year Fab is expected to do $100 million revenue this year.  Its daily sales have passed $300,000 already with 3.5 million registered users.

Since I re-discovered Fab, I took a look at Alexia Tsotsis' interview of Jason Goldberg at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC 2012.  It's interesting to hear how Jason describes Fab as design site that emotionally connects with users, and how he sees a huge opportunity in social e-commerce.

Bradford has exceptional design sensibility and knows what works and what does not.  He personally curates products for Fab.  Here's Bradford describing how he selects products for the site:

When I look at these two guys, I see an exceptional team working together to create the best possible up-and-coming designer product site.  That's because these guys are doing what they are good at and what they love to do.

I think the combination of user, Bradford, and product manager, Jason, worked really well in pivoting from Fabulis to Fab.  As a founder you want to be the user for your own product to reduce the risk of not getting product-market fit right.

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