Founder's Newsletter #24 read older issues here

- Marin

Hey y'all!

In this letter, I'll share a few thoughts and updates that have been brewing in my mind for a while :)

Mobile commerce

Have you done any shopping on your phones recently? The things I mostly buy on my phone are train tickets, but I've caught myself on several occasions to browse through catalogs of apparel companies. Recently, I was on the hunt for a jacket and I noticed that my browsing behavior has drastically shifted from the desktop towards the phone.

Since Julian and I have started DULO, I have become really sensitive to such behavior changes and I always like to pause and observe what I (or others near me) do.

This time I noticed that I am doing all my browsing on Instagram - going through images in the feeds of brands as well as individuals, using the explore or "similar to" features. I took several mental notes:
  • Shopping on Instagram is going to be big (it already is for a lot of brands)
  • Discovery is embedded in the core of the platform - easy to find new brands
  • Context - it is easy to see how a product looks and fits on real people in a real setting
  • Easy checkout (not available everywhere yet) - you can have almost the complete checkout experience within the app (less friction)
  • Super easy integration with Facebook and major e-commerce platforms such as Shopify.

Those are just a few reasons why I think we will very soon be doing a lot of shopping on Instagram. If you want to learn more about this functionality, this is a very good place to start.

And it is not just Instagram. Snapchat (remember it?) is also doing a lot of interesting things on the e-commerce front. The company partnered with Shopify earlier in the year for the launch of the Air Jordan III 'Tinker' - read all about it here.

In addition, the people at Snap recently partnered with Amazon to announce a new visual search tool within the app, directing users to a product page on Amazon. Moreover, they introduced four different types of shoppable ads, further boosting their e-commerce efforts.

If you are in retail you must definitely keep an eye on these developments and already prepare for the massive shift in consumer behavior (I believe it is still early days for this tech).

On quitting

A week or so ago, Instagram announced that their founders are leaving the company, six years after their acquisition by Facebook. It's an important move and one that attracted a lot of buzz in the tech and advertising media. Read more here.

This got me thinking about the topic of quitting. When is it time to quit? Is there ever a good time to quit? Why do people quit? Why DON'T people quit? All very interesting questions which we had the chance to discuss a bit during our second podcast with Nate Kontny (of former Y Combinator, Highrise fame, as well as working on the Obama election campaign).

Nate has been going through some changes over the past few months and we thought it would be nice to dig deeper on the subject of quitting, change, experimentation and much more. It was a great conversation, a bit inspiring, and with a lot of practical tidbits. You can enjoy it here.

One more thing...

A quote that caught my attention from Paul Graham of Y Combinator:
"If there's some type of work you enjoy even more when things go wrong, it's probably a type of work you're suited for."

Thank you for sticking with me! If there is something I can do for you, please reach out and let me know :)



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