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By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt and Changed the Way by Alexis Maybank

By Alexis Maybank

Gilt, at the moment worth greater than $1 billion, was once introduced through Alexis Maybank, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, and 3 colleagues in 2007. it's probably the most interesting startups of contemporary years. And all of it started with one daring suggestion: to deliver pattern revenues on-line and alter the way in which thousands shop.
As they write concerning the day went reside: “We had created an internet site which may in all probability switch the foundations of retail…If purchasing used to be normally a sluggish, leisurely activity…it might now be aggressive, addictive, pressing, thrilling…not simply more straightforward, yet much more fun.”
Alexis and Alexandra percentage their standpoint during this dramatic tale of Gilt’s start, upward push, and evolution. They exhibit how they juggled the conflicting wishes in their providers, engineers, agents, and power traders. They clarify how they mixed their person strengths and weaknesses and controlled their swiftly starting to be staff. and so they take us in the course of the darkest moments of the recession while Gilt may possibly simply have died.

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Additional info for By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop

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The more time we spent together, the more we confused our classmates, who, apparently thrown off by our similar hair and height, started calling us by each other’s names. Instead of being annoyed, we simply learned to answer to both. By the end of our time at HBS, we’d turn around in unison when someone cried, “Alexis, Alexandra, Alex—” Luckily, we both thought it was kind of flattering to be mistaken for each other, because this continues today in the halls of Gilt Groupe’s 2 Park Avenue offices, where many new employees and even the veterans confuse one of us for the other and then turn bright red upon realizing their mistake.

In recounting our backgrounds, key decisions, and hard-won wisdom in this book, we hope to inform, inspire, and help pave the way for others who want to start something new, advance in a career, or—especially—build a business that grows to employ dozens or even hundreds, modernize industries, and change people’s lives. Whether you have already started your own company, are tackling a new opportunity inside a big organization, or just have a great idea, some entrepreneurial spirit, and no idea what to do next, we are putting forth our story with the goal of offering concrete suggestions on how to handle some of the challenges that lie ahead.

And we’d returned to Harvard for very different reasons. Goal-oriented Alexandra was on a mission that bordered on obsession: to get out of her grueling job in investment banking and into high fashion, an industry she’d been drawn to for as long as she could remember. She had actually stated on her business school application essay that she intended to work for a global fashion conglomerate like LVMH upon graduation (of course, planner that she is, she would end up working for LVMH). As soon as the semester started, she subscribed to the fashion industry trade newspaper Women’s Wear Daily at the student rate of ninety-nine dollars—she was probably the only subscriber on campus—and began systematically contacting, be-friending, and picking the brains of the top executives at brands like Donna Karan, Chopard, and Lilly Pulitzer in an effort to figure out how to become one of them as quickly as possible.

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