Fab.com CEO Jason Goldberg took the stage today at Disrupt, he laid out a grand vision for the site. Backing up that vision, he noted that Fab launched less than a year ago, and it already has 4.5 million members.
“That’s not an e-commerce site, that’s a movement,” he said.
If Fab.com is a movement, what are its goals? That goes back to the site’s beginnings, when the company was still working on gay social network Fabulis. “We just couldn’t get enough people to use it,” Goldberg said (it had about 150,000 users), so he and his co-founders sat down to discuss a new direction. He recalled drawing circles on a napkin showing their passions, the untapped opportunities, and what the team could be “best in the world at.” Those circles intersected in one area: Design.
And “everything design” is what Goldberg wants Fab to be known for. More concretely, he says that if you know exactly what you want, you should probably go to Amazon.com. But if you think, “I need a lamp,” or “I need jewelry,” and you don’t have a specific product in mind, Fab should be your first stop for “discovering things I didn’t know existed.”
As for turning that mission into a big business, Alexia Tsotsis, who was interviewing Goldberg, said she’d heard that Fab is raising a nine-figure round that values the company in the billions of dollars. Goldberg didn’t deny it, but he said he wasn’t going to “comment on a fundraising round that we haven’t closed.” He also said he doesn’t spend a lot of time worrying about valuation.
Goldberg added that he doesn’t care whether Fab makes $100 million or $200 million in revenue this year, because it’s all about “building a brand” around design: “We care more about making people smile than making money from them.”
He also talked about Fab’s recent redesign, which downplayed the flash sales angle in favor of social shopping.
“From day one, we never said Fab is a flash sale site,” Goldberg said. “We said Fab is design.”
Alexia compared the redesign to Pinterest. She meant that in a complimentary way, while also asking: What happens to Fab is if Pinterest starts to compete on the shopping front? Goldberg replied that he doesn’t use Pinterest regularly (he tried it out), but argued that the two products might be complementary: “We’d like to work with them.”