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

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

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by Alexis Maybank, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson
     
 

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Gilt, currently valued at more than $1 billion, was launched by Alexis Maybank, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, and three colleagues in 2007. It is one of the most fascinating startups of recent years. And it all began with one bold idea: to bring sample sales online and change the way millions shop. As they write about the day Gilt.com went live: "We had created a

Overview

Gilt, currently valued at more than $1 billion, was launched by Alexis Maybank, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, and three colleagues in 2007. It is one of the most fascinating startups of recent years. And it all began with one bold idea: to bring sample sales online and change the way millions shop. As they write about the day Gilt.com went live: "We had created a Web site that could potentially change the rules of retail...If shopping was traditionally a slow, leisurely activity...it would now be competitive, addictive, urgent, thrilling...not just easier, but so much more fun." Alexis and Alexandra share their perspective in this dramatic story of Gilt's birth, rise, and evolution. They show how they juggled the conflicting needs of their suppliers, engineers, marketers, and potential investors. They explain how they blended their individual strengths and weaknesses and managed their rapidly growing team. And they take us through the darkest moments of the recession when Gilt might easily have died.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“First, Gilt Groupe’s cofounders changed the way we shop by recreating the excitement of a sample sale online. Now they’ve let us in on their innovative creative process. Anyone who hopes to understand the world of tech entrepreneurship—or upend it—would be wise to read it.”

—Arianna Huffington

 

“There’s no garage in this entrepreneurial thriller—the adventure starts with a sample sale.”

—Dan Heath, coauthor of Switch and Made to Stick

“Alexis and Alexandra have created something original and amazing, and they did it in the simplest way possible.  They found something they loved, and they figured out how to bring it to the massive amount of people they knew would love it too.”

—Mark Cuban, serial entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks
By Invitation Only is a must read for aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators who will be inspired by their journey and how passion, purpose and partnership fueled a revolution in shopping!”

—Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN, Inc

“An exciting story about an exciting start-up.  Alexis and Alexandra saw a fantastic opportunity in the luxury space and took it.”

—Tony Hsieh, bestselling author of Delivering Happiness, CEO of Zappos.com

Publishers Weekly
Maybank and Wilson, the founders of high-end online outlet Gilt Groupe, recount their rise to success with an aim to empower entrepreneurs at every level-from brainstorming to building a business. After becoming fast friends during their MBA program at Harvard, Wilson and Maybank set out to combine their love of fashion with their business acumen. The result? An invitation-only online version of a trunk show (or sample sale) where customers could purchase designer items at a discounted price. Gilt Groupe launched in 2007 with a sale of Zac Posen creations, and they attracted other designers by providing a liquidation option for selling excess inventory directly and discreetly to consumers. Their success was immediate and remarkable; Gilt now ships to over 90 countries, and in 2011 the company was valued at one billion dollars. Maybank and Wilson discuss how they solved practical and strategic problems, including choosing the right new hires for their growing business and appealing to male consumers. The authors provide helpful checklists, as well as concise overviews of their respective leadership styles. In addition to being an entertaining and remarkable success story, Maybank and Wilson's tale is also practical and inspiring.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Bobbi Brown

“Alexis and Alexandra are the ultimate entrepreneurs, having combined their love of fashion with the evolution of technology. They changed the way millions of people shop and have inspired others to follow in their footsteps. This book gives valuable insight into starting and building a business from the ground up based on one good idea.  It’s a must-read for anyone who has a dream and entrepreneurial spirit.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591846260
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/28/2013
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
834,012
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

-Janet Hanson
"By Invitation Only is a brilliantly written book because its authors, who were friends before they were business partners, respected each other's ability to cultivate relationships, take calculated risks, and execute their game-changing, visionary ideas.  The key takeaway is that one needs to have an entrepreneurial spirit and indomitable will to succeed, no matter what career path you choose!"
-Mindy Grossman
By Invitation Only is a must read for aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators who will be inspired by their journey and how passion, purpose and partnership fueled a revolution in shopping!”
-Bobbi Brown
“Alexis and Alexandra are the ultimate entrepreneurs, having combined their love of fashion with the evolution of technology. They changed the way millions of people shop and have inspired others to follow in their footsteps. This book gives valuable insight into starting and building a business from the ground up based on one good idea.  It’s a must-read for anyone who has a dream and entrepreneurial spirit.”
-Nina Garcia
"Gilt Groupe has forever changed the landscape of e-commerce. Not since eBay has there been such a revolution in the way we shop. Alexis and Alexandra redefined the way we approach luxury."
-Mark Cuban
"Alexis and Alexandra have created something original and amazing, and they did it in the simplest way possible. They found something they loved, and they figured out how to bring it to the massive amount of people they knew would love it too."
-Arianna Huffington
"First, Gilt Groupe’s co-founders changed the way we shop by recreating the excitement of a sample sale online. Now, with “By Invitation Only,” they’ve let us in on their innovative creative process. Anyone who hopes to understand the world of tech entrepreneurship — or upend it — would be wise to read it."
-Robert Polet
“A fantastic adventure of entrepreneurship and girl power. Buy it, read it, enjoy it. You will certainly learn from it.”
From the Publisher
“The story reads as a how-to manual for any entrepreneur looking to start something big and disruptive.” —Xconomy.com
-Tony Hsieh
"An exciting story about an exciting start-up.  Alexis and Alexandra saw a fantastic opportunity in the luxury space and took it."

Meet the Author

Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson cofounded Gilt Groupe with Kevin Ryan, Mike Bryzek, and Phong Nguyen. Both have BAs from Harvard College and MBAs from Harvard Business School. They live in Manhattan with their husbands and children.

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By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
CdMColey More than 1 year ago
Great Book!
KPinBR More than 1 year ago
Great record of how Gilt was built. They share business and management tips while inspiring the reader to turn a passion into a business. Enjoyable and useful
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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