any urgent e-mails, I do my morning run on the treadmill at a full
steep incline for 30 minutes. I try not to think about work. Instead,
I watch TV shows on my iPad. Currently, I’m watching Curb Your
Enthusiasm—I’m up to Season Six. My other favorite shows are
Top Chef, Dexter, and Mad Men.
When I get to the office a little before 8 a.m., I have a Skype call
with the India team and several New York–based managers, which
often lasts until 10. We discuss conceptual ideas that we might want
to work on as well as the nitty-gritty details of what we want
to accomplish that day. We’ll look at mockups and see how
certain features are coming along. I’m very hands on in the
design process: I’ll literally measure pixels on the screen. I
really believe that for Web and mobile design, less is more,
so I spend a lot of time asking, “Do we really need that? Can
we find a way to do without it?”
I carry a Behance notebook everywhere, in which I
keep my to-do lists and ideas. I use a Lamy pen, which
I bought on Fab—I’ve bought a lot of things on Fab,
including my desk. I start every single day by taking my
to-do list from the day before and copying the things
that I didn’t get to. During the day, I’m constantly
sketching out ideas for the site about how to improve the
browsing experience. Then, I use Keynote on my laptop to
make quick mockups that I can share with my team. I fill up
about a notebook a month. I label them so I can look back and
see what I did the previous month.
radford and I probably talk to
each other more than 100
times a day. Our offices are
joined by a small shared conference room that has glass
walls and sliding glass doors.
The doors are always open so
that Bradford and I can call
over to each other while sitting at our desks. He is louder
than I am. We designed the
entire office space to be
open—all the walls are glass.
There is no hiding.
Bradford and I share an
assistant, Tom Trocola. I’m pretty self-sufficient, but I travel so
much these days that it’s great to have Tom help with scheduling. He’s also very good at making sure I remember to do
things. My schedule’s on my phone and my computer, but Tom
reminds me when I need to be somewhere or if someone is
waiting to meet or talk with me.
Once a week, we have an executive-management meeting
with the heads of all the departments to talk at a high level
about the business. Then, throughout the rest of the week, I
have deep-dive meetings with each of the department heads to
discuss details about specific projects.
I have an old HP 12C calculator, which I bring with me to
every meeting. I’m a numbers geek. If numbers come up, I want
to be able to calculate, say, the conversion rates or percentage
of products sold.
As CEO, I see my job as setting the direction of the company
and then figuring out how to get where we need to go. I hire
smart people and give them the freedom to do what they need
to do. But I’ve seen businesses fail when there’s a lot of talk
“We focus more
on why we suck
than why we’re
at the top but no action below that—so I like to do regular
meetings to hear how people are doing at reaching the goals
we set together.
We have a saying at Fab: We focus more on why we suck than
why we’re doing great. The goal of those meetings is to find out
what is working and what’s not in each department. For instance,
we have great products, but we are not getting them to customers
fast enough. I’m on a mission to change that. Currently, 75 percent of products are shipped through an outsourced warehouse
partner, which takes an average of 12 days to get products to
customers. We can do it in one to four days from our own warehouse, so we’re building a new one in New Jersey now. My COO,
Beth Ferreira, and I have regular meetings about this. She currently has 80 people on her team and is hiring 150 people to work
at our new warehouse.
One of my jobs as CEO is to make sure we have enough
capital to get things done, to invest in our future, and to pursue
our dreams. I look only for investors who share our long-term
vision for Fab. We want to build a brand that 10, 20, or even 30
years from now, people will think of when they think of design.
I’m overcommunicative with our investors and board members,
because the more they know about Fab, the better they can help
us. I send e-mail updates on our successes and challenges often,
and ask them for help if we have a problem.
Allen Morgan is an investor in Fab, a board member, and a
tremendous mentor—I call him once a week to bounce things
off him. Another person I rely on is Jeff Jordan. He took OpenTable public as CEO and before that ran PayPal, so he has
managed many tough situations. I call on him if I am in a challenging spot. He always has great insights.
We have an all-company meeting every month—this summer, we shared our projected sales. I told everyone, “We’re