When Jerry Maguire sat down in front of his personal computer in 1996 to type out a longform business sext entitled "The Things We Think and Do Not Say: The Future of Our Business," did he know that it would take 18 years for another entrepreneur to replicate that kind of startup straight talk express?
In fact, I'd wager that Fab CEO Jason Goldberg possibly even surpassed the more maudlin Maguire on account of all the fucks he gave, starting with the title of Fab's new mission statement: "It's a fucking startup. Why are you here?" [Ed note: Goldberg deleted the memo the following month, close to when Fab's fourth round of layoffs were announced. You can read the full thing here.]
Why are you here? That is a bold question to repeatedly bark at 300 employees when you fired hundreds of their colleagues last year! It doesn't matter, though, because Goldberg is not listening. He's onto the next question. To wit: are you going to get on Fab's rocket ship or are you going to get on this motherfucking rickety rocket ship already what the fuck?
Have you ever been clinging onto a rocket ship, then cut the engines at full speed, and then tried to fly again? That's what we've been going through at Fab the past months.
In the history of startups I bet you can count on one hand the number of companies that went from $0 to $1B in valuation in just 2 years and then voluntarily cut their operating expenses by 2/3 and then rose to greatness again. Will Fab be able to do it? We'll see. There are days when I'm certain we will. There are days when I question if we can. I've had VC after VC tell me that they've basically assumed Fab is going to die; for how in the world can a company possibly survive 3 rounds of layoffs and cost cuts as we've had?
But if there's one thing we are not going to do, it's quit.
This is when it things get a little desperate. A little "Who's coming with me?" between two cubicles with a plastic bag of fish in your hand. But things are about to look up. You know why? Because Goldberg is going back to basics. None of that "ran Jobster into the ground and ultimately stepped down before the company evaporated" nonsense. No, right now he's "figuring shit out." Hard work, you had him at hello.
It's a fucking startup.
It's supposed to be hard. We're entrepreneurs. This is what we do.
In fact, as I freely tell people, I'm actually having more fun now than ever. Why? Because we're actually doing the hard work of building a company now. We're figuring shit out. We're owning up to every crack and digging in and fixing it. We're fighting for our lives.
If you're really into startups, this is the fun time. This is the time you earn it and learn it. Want to know what it takes to turn around a company and rebuild it? Fab is one of the only places in the world you can get that kind of experience. If you're a real startup person, this is the best time to be at Fab.
All that's left to decide is which VC will make him yell "Show me the money!"
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