Katrina Lake – The Next Wave of E-Commerce – [Invest Like the Best, EP.187]

My guest today is Katrina Lake, the co-founder and CEO of Stitch Fix. Stitch Fix is a multi-billion-dollar public company which has brought an entirely new model to retail apparel by combining data science, technology, and personal stylists to create a unique shopping experience tailored to the individual consumer. I first met Katrina through past guest Bill Gurley and have been excited to host her since that first meeting. In our conversation, Katrina and I discuss all aspects of Stich Fix—its history, business model, innovations, and its future. Please enjoy this great and thought-provoking conversation with Katrina Lake.

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Show Notes

(2:19) – (First question) – Where E-Commerce stands and what the future might hold

(4:37) – Why personalization makes Stitch Fix stand out from the others

(9:34) – Why data science is foundational to their business

(12:15) – What makes for a good augmented human and hiring stylists

(14:34) – Stakeholder value and creating a great partnership with suppliers

(18:10) – Their emphasis on stakeholder focus and social justice

(19:28) – The capital efficiency of their business in the early days

(24:46) – Her superpower of recruiting

(29:46) – Her strengths in building Stitch Fix

(31:56) – Transparency vs authenticity

(32:59) – Big break for the business

(37:15) – Exclusive brands to Stitch Fix

(39:01) – The next act for Stitch Fix 

(41:43) – Lessons learned in pricing services

(44:24) – Future trends in retail apparel

(48:02) – Hardest thing to copy about Stitch Fix

(49:59) – Lessons for putting data science at the center of your business

(53:37) – Moments during her journey she’s felt most alive

(55:23) – Kindest thing anyone has done for her