The story of and how NOT to run a billion dollar startup


There was a time when was considered by many to be one of the hottest tech startups in the world thanks to its wildly successful flash sale-based e-commerce service. The startup managed to pull in hundreds of millions of dollars in funding in a ridiculously short amount of time because of how much faith people had in it. But then it all came crashing down… 

On Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, Fab CEO Jason Goldberg gathered a dozen executives in the eighth-floor conference room of the company’s New York City headquarters. When the executives filed in, they were handed a five-page document. Goldberg sat at the head of the table, his expression somber beneath his salt-and-pepper scruff. He explained that Fab, a company that had been valued at $900 million just three months previously, was about to change drastically. Two-thirds of the company needed to be fired. Its European division would more or less be shuttered. The company had burned $200 million of the $336 million it had raised, and it had failed to find a sustainable business model.

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