Philip Ellis
News & Views
The secret to a Fab startup

“It’s a f**ing startup. Why are you here?”

This is the title of a blog post by Fab co-founder Jason Goldberg, which he posted on Monday to address questions regarding the uncertain fate of the design and social commerce company. Since downsizing its workforce in 2013, Fab has gone through several phases, from “post traumatic stress from layoffs” to “investing in product pipeline”, “on-boarding new executives”, and “solving for a repeatable viable business model.”

“Being part of a turnaround requires a certain mentality,” writes Goldberg, “what I call a ‘builder’s mentality.’ Builders face reality and tackle the tough problems every day… We’re here to build.”

Goldberg acknowledges that Fab is nowhere near out of the woods yet, and that he and his team are “still figuring it out”. But he is also keen to stress that, despite a troubled year, he is still having tremendous fun as CEO of a company that is constantly changing, “because we’re actually doing the hard work… We’re owning up to every crack and digging in and fixing it… If you’re really into startups, this is the fun time. This is when you earn it and learn it.”

And it seems the remaining workforce at Fab agree.

“Why are you here?” Goldberg asked each Fab employee to send him a response to this question in the form of an email. “It’s wartime at Fab,” he says, “and every team member needs to be here for the right reasons.” Among some of the answers Goldberg received were the following:

“I want to build a company that is known more for the turnaround than for the flop.”

“I want to build a company that is admired worldwide for our innovation.”

“I want to build a company that touches millions of people in a positive way.”

“I want to discover and bring great product from amazing talented designers to people who love and appreciate quality product.”

It has been said before that innovation is often born out of adversity; Goldberg and co. appear to be living proof.

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