Ridiculously Good Reads 1)Fab Layoffs 2)Data Platform Silk


The Real Reason for Fab's Layoffs: A Big, Bad Bet on Flash Sales

Publication: AllThingsD

Author: Jason Del Rey

Topic: The reasons Fab recently laid off  37 percent of its staff, equaling over 250 people.

Overview: Del Rey discusses the reasons for Fab's massive layoffs, blaming them on the company's unsuccessful bet on the success of "flash sales.” Flash sales is a popular business model used by e-commerce sites, in which they offer products for sale for a short period of time at a discounted price.

Highlights: "So, in short, Goldberg's explanation is that Fab had to cut people, because it has decided â€" seemingly out of nowhere â€" that now is the time to focus on profitability over growth."

"What Goldberg didn't admit in the public explanation is that the company has had to drastically cut its headcount because it made a giant bet on being able to build a big, sustainable business over the long term around flash sales â€" the selling of a limited amount of product inventory that's available only for short periods of time, designed to spur impulse buying."

"Fab pumped a ton of venture capital into this fad, pushing staff counts ever higher while acquiring companies overseas. And that bet failed."

Why you should read the article:
1) E-commerce is huge
2) A company with over $300M in funding laying off 37% of its staff is big news!
3) Jason Del Rey is a boss

Data for dummies: Silk takes its simple visualizations tool to the enterprise

Publication: PandoDaily

Author: Hamish McKenzie

Topic: McKenzie covers Silk's recent funding announcement of 1.6M, while highlighting its relevance to his less tech savvy readership.

Overview: Silk's easy to navigate setup and visual aspects make the seemingly daunting task of compiling, organizing and analyzing data easy for data novices. Essentially, Silk is data-made-easy.

Highlights: "Silk lets people create dedicated websites on which they can manage, organize, and visualize data sets without needing any expertise in tables, databases, the semantic Web, or any of those other complicated programmer words that serve only to cause headaches among those of us who find it hard enough to negotiate WordPress."

"Essentially, Silk lets you build highly structured collections of data within a basic content management system."

"The news for Silk today is that it has taken another step to maturity, adding $1.6 million from NEA to an extended seed round. It's also launching its first money-making product, Silk For Teams, which lets organizations build private Silk sites, allowing them to handle such things as project management, customer relationship management, and competitive analysis."

"Silk co-founder and CEO Salar al-Khafaji says that instead of focusing on the semantic Web and telling people they'd be happy if they had structured data, the startup decided to just put all that in the background and make a really simple and useful product."

"Soon, we'll all be Nate Silvers, empowered with data-processing capabilities to elevate us out of the world of educated guessery and into the heavenly realm of informed decision and probability based predictions."

Why you should read the article:
1) Data - of all sizes - matters
2) Whenever there's a tool out there that can make you look smarter than you actually are, you should check it out


October 08, 2013