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How We Made It In Ecommerce

How We Made It In Ecommerce

By Jasper Kuria
Weekly interviews with successful eCommerce entrepreneurs brought to you by Capital & Growth. A good balance of both mega giants and smaller, bootstrapped success stories. Get your weekly dose of inspiration and instruction! Get notified when we publish new episodes by using this link: Hosts: Elyse Hauser and Jasper Kuria
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This Founder Sold His Company for $500 Million then Started a Different Kind of Incubator

How We Made It In Ecommerce

This Founder Sold His Company for $500 Million then Started a Different Kind of Incubator
Carey Smith is the founder of Unorthodox Ventures and Big Ass Fans, a company that he built to $250 Million in revenue and then sold for half a billion to a private equity firm. We asked Carey Smith how he built Big Ass Fans from scratch, why he sold it, and how he chooses the entrepreneurs to support for his new business Unorthodox Ventures.
September 29, 2020
Does Social Impact Produce Better Business Results? Cotopaxi CEO Talks Shop
Davis Smith is the CEO of Cotopaxi, a company that sells a premium line of outdoor gear. Before founding Cotopaxi, a B-corp that has been a subject of a Harvard Business School case study, Smith had founded two other companies: and We asked him how he went from selling baby products in Brazil and pool tables in the US to founding Cotopaxi, and what being a certified B-Corp means to him and his business.
September 3, 2020
Almost Too Good to Be True: Preventive Healthcare for $149/Month
Adrian Aoun is the CEO of Forward, a preventive healthcare company which he co-founded with former employees of Google and Uber. Aoun is also the founder and former CEO of Wavii, which he sold to Google for $30 Million, and a prolific angel investor with dozens of successful bets including Pinterest and ClassPass. We talked to him about Forward’s business model and mission to reveal and dismantle the absurdity of America’s healthcare system.
August 27, 2020
Why BeanBox is the Rare, Profitable Subscription Box Business
Matthew Berk is the founder and CEO of BeanBox, the leading online coffee subscription service. BeanBox is an Inc. 5000 company and one of the fastest-growing companies in America with a community that is a couple hundred thousand strong. We talked to Mathew Berk about what makes a subscription business stand out from the crowd, the role technology plays in business today, and BeanBox’s most effective methods for customer acquisition.
August 19, 2020
Fritz Lanman: The Man Behind This $1 Billion Fitness Class Sensation
Fritz Lanman is the CEO of ClassPass, one of the fastest growing online fitness startups. ClassPass recently joined the Unicorn Club after getting an valuation of one billion dollars. Lanman is also an angel investor in various successful startups such as Pinterest, Wish, and Square. We talked to him about the creation story of ClassPass, how he became the CEO, and the secrets to investing in companies that end up extremely successful.
August 12, 2020
How Elan Lee Created and Sold 10 Million+ Copies of Exploding Kittens (the popular card game)
Elan Lee is the CEO and co-founder of Exploding Kittens, the popular card game that sold over 10 million copies and set a crowdfunding record by raising 9 Million from 220,000 backers. In this episode of How We Made It In E-Commerce, Elan generously shared his methods for coming up with new ideas, creative business and marketing hacks, and the most important lessons he learned throughout his career about running a business.
July 29, 2020
How Crowd Cow Got Celebrities Ashton Kutcher and Joe Montana as Investors (w/ Joe Heitzerberg, CEO)
The interesting story behind the idea How Joe got Ashton Kutcher and Joe Montana to invest Why they've managed to maintain a 4.99/5 star rating on Google reviews for five years How Joe acquired the initial customers The surprisingly low percentage (discover how much) of revenue spent on marketing
July 22, 2020
How Dan Shapiro Set a Crowdfunding Record ($28 Million) and Is Transforming How We Make Stuff
The specific tactics Dan used to set a crowdfunding record and raise $28 Million Why Glowforge has one of the lowest customer acquisition costs in the industry Glowforge’s secret to attracting a diverse and inclusive workforce The great giveaway: 2 million of these free devices made by Glowforge are being used by first responders in handling the Covid crisis. What Dan really thinks about venture capital (despite raising it for two of his companies) The two surprising factors he attributes much of his success to, and his one nugget of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.
June 30, 2020
How Shayan Zadeh Built and Sold Zoosk for $250 Million--then Acquired This Storied Brand
In this episode we talk to Shayan Zadeh, the co-founder of Zoosk (sold for $250 Million) and now the CEO of Dressbarn. Discover: How he acquired the first 200,000 users overnight for Zoosk and solved the classic chicken-egg problem, common in marketplaces (men won't come till there are women and vice-versa) Did he rig Zoosk to favor himself and get dates with attractive women? Why the Dressbarn acquisition has worked so well (growing at 50% month over month!). His 3 secrets for acquiring any business. Is passion really that important for success at business? Zadeh's view. His one word of advice to aspiring ecommerce entrepreneurs
June 12, 2020
Gumroad: $200 Million Paid Out to Creators by The Guy who "Failed to Build a $1 Billion Business"
By Capital & Growth Your host for this episode: Elyse Hauser Sahil Lavingia is the founder of Gumroad, an ecommerce platform that allows creators to monetize their wares. As of June 2019 Gumroad has paid out more than $200 million to creators.  He once thought success meant building a billion-dollar company. One very public failure later, he considers himself successful for completely different reasons. “Money is money,” Lavingia says. “My experiences that I’ve been able to have, and this path, have been pretty great.” Gumroad will never be worth a billion dollars, but Lavingia is content to run it as a smaller company with no plans for scaling up. How did he go from billion-dollar dreams to this relaxed acceptance? Once upon a time, Lavingia was the second employee at Pinterest -- a company now valued at $12 billion, and rumored to be going public this year. He left Pinterest before his options vested hut he doesn’t look back on the decision to leave wistfully. “I think regrets are mostly a waste of time,” he says. “I try not to think too much in hypotheticals.” That same attitude helped him turn what many would call a start-up failure into an unconventional success. Get new episodes here:
June 7, 2019
Primal Organics: From Struggling to Success: The Surprising Rebrand that Turned the Company Around
Brought to you by Your host for this episode: Elyse Hauser What do you do when you suspect the skincare companies you trusted are actively harming your health? For Trina Felber, the answer was obvious: start a skincare company of your own. “I’m an all or nothing kind of girl,” she says. “When I jump in, I jump in with two feet and two hands, 120 percent. So I literally ditched all my skincare and just started making my own products from scratch.” Her brand, Primal Life Organics, boasted a $4.7 M revenue in 2017, with a three-year growth of 487 percent, earning her a spot on the Inc 5000 fastest growing companies. Get new episodes here:
June 6, 2019