Video Transcript

00:12 Scott Gerber: What's the greatest lesson you've learned as your tenure of the founder of this company?

00:17 Alexis Maybank: My greatest lesson I've learned in the tenure of Gilt is that you can never predict where your business is going to be three months down the road. And I'm not even saying three years, but three months. And, in all ways possible, building an employee base that's highly flexible to adapt to what you learn, is, for me, what is one of the most important things in hiring and educating our group of initial 150 people to pursue the idea and adjust as we learn new things.

00:50 Gerber: What was the biggest mistake that Gilt made, in your opinion, that you learned from that ultimately made major impact on the business long term?

00:58 Maybank: Well, you're not trying hard enough if you're not making mistakes. I think, we... There's so many mistakes, I can sit here for the next 20 minutes. [chuckle] One of the mistakes we made was a couple of years in, with a business called "Fuse" that we launched. It was, god... We see this trend where we have all these recent college grads coming and they're not shopping, so that must mean they want cheaper stuff. So we made a business decision based on patterns that we didn't fully understand. And the biggest mistake we made was making a decision purely off of gut intuition and not actually fully understanding a pattern by talking to our customers to understand it better.

01:33 Gerber: So, who or what inspires you to really get up every morning and crush it with your business?

01:37 Maybank: For me personally, my grandmother and my mother really inspire me, two very strong women who, based on very different times, weren't given similar opportunities that I had. I had the ability to go to college. I had the ability to go out and carve my own pathway. Day in and day out I wanna do things for them. I want to pave new pathways for my daughter, and that inspires me to get up and go every day.

02:00 Gerber: What would be your best advice, your one piece of advice, for this up-and-coming generation of entrepreneurs?

02:06 Maybank: I think one of my favorite pieces is just thinking about, as an entrepreneur, how you build your own personal Board of Directors. It's not your business Board of Directors, but it's that group of people that you can have really honest conversations with. They'll give you feedback in a safe way. They'll help put your blind spots on the map. So figuring out five people in your life, through work relationships or others that you might want to go out and cultivate, they can really help you progress step by step is key.

02:33 Gerber: And finally, what's the one thing you wish that you knew before your started Gilt?

02:38 Maybank: The one thing I wish I knew before I started Gilt is that it's going to be an extended sprint. I've seen it before through my time at eBay when I went from 40 people to 5,000, but it's always an extended sprint. And, you are gonna work so hard, put your heart and soul into this business as an entrepreneur. You've got to figure out ways to take a step outside of it and to build some buffer, or you're gonna burn out. And, each one of my co-founders, at this point we laugh about the number of times we've hit a wall. You always hit your wall. It's an extended, extended sprint, so you gotta take time to figure out how you'll take that one-week vacation, how you'll take a Friday off to think more long term about your business, because you get so close to it and you get burnt out. And doing both of those things don't help you make better decisions.