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Surprised? Well you shouldn’t be. This is something which founder of Fab.com is seen talking in his latest blopost. “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,” said Jason Goldberg, founder of Fab.com.

The everyday designs store, Fab, has been in news many times since last year – firstly for laying off its employees and then changing its strategy from sending signature flash sale emails to its customers, and instead, opt for a more personalized approach through Pinterest so as to provide users with a more “personalized Fab experience” by following product categories.

The company which is restructuring itself, has cut down its operating expenses by two-thirds in the last 150 days and even has slashed its staff from 750 people down to 300.

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“In the past 150 days we’ve gone through several phases. (A) Post traumatic stress from layoffs, (B) then just hoping the wheels don’t fall entirely off the car, (C) then investing in product pipeline, (D) then on-boarding new executives and managers, then — and this is the place we’re at now — (E) solving for a repeatable viable business model,” he added.

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As building a startup is different from running a successful company and team is the most important part of it, so Goldberg made sure that his employees know in what mess they are into. So he asked his employees to email an answer for the question “Why you are here ?”

These 17 answers sums up the whole mindset of an employee or a worker when he/she faces a threat on the job and is asked to justify.

  1. I am here because I’m a builder.
  2. I want to build a company that touches millions and millions of people in a positive way and is known as one of the great companies of our time.
  3. I want to build a company that is known for solving tough problems head-on and overcoming great obstacles to achieve outsized market success.
  4. I want to build a company that is known more for the turnaround than for the flop. The experience we will gain in this turnaround will be the most valuable experience of our lives.
  5. I want to build a company that is admired worldwide for our innovation. We will be known for disrupting the design industry not just playing in it. That’s a big vision and we need to act with humility towards it, and understand the reality that it wont happen easily nor will it happen overnight. But we do need to keep thinking big even as we play small.
  6. Times are tougher now than they’ve ever been, but I’m also more energized than ever by the strategic direction of the company.  We are narrowing our focus to the categories where we have the largest market opportunity and investing deeply into private label to increase our contribution margins.  We are building content rich consumer experiences that communicate the value of the products we sell and help get the user over the hump of making large purchases without being able to touch and feel the product.  We are making deep investments in analytics so that people across the company can be armed with the right data to make smarter and more informed decisions.  And we are evolving our culture into a collaborative work environment that fully engages the brain power of leaders across the company to solve our hardest problems.  I believe these decisions are putting us squarely on the path of becoming that disruptive design technology company, and that gets right at the passions that brought me to the company in the first place.
  7. I love the fact that we’re having the difficult conversations as a team.  I think it’s incredibly important that as an organization we provide honest, thoughtful feedback whenever things don’t work as planned / certain areas aren’t performing as they should.  If we weren’t willing to have these conversations (and in all honesty, I don’t think we were for a major part of the last 2 years) I wouldn’t be here. I think these are critical and will be what help us to figure out how we can be successful as a company.  I also think that we added key people who will help us figure this stuff out.  If we hadn’t added certain individuals, I think our likelihood of success would be significantly diminished.
  8. I have the stomach for this.  One critical thing that I have learned over the last two years, which I didn’t know prior to coming to Fab, is that I have the stomach for the uncertainty.  It honestly doesn’t bother me and in fact actually motivates me to help try to figure out what it will take to make the company successful.  If I’m gaining the experience, am able to emotionally handle the ups and downs of this type of an environment and have the financial upside if things go well, then I realized there’s nothing more that I can ask for.
  9. I want to build. I want to build something great. To build a business with products that people want to write or tell their friends about. To build a team that our competitors want to steal. To build cash flow that frees us up to enrich others personally and professionally. I want to build processes that make it easy for customers to find (and fiend) for our products
  10. I want to be a part of the Fab turnaround. I want to see Fab win in the marketplace. I want Fab to achieve commercial success that is far greater than our modest financial projections. I want Fab to be a beloved brand again. Harder to quantify, but I want Fab to be one of the most admired lifestyle brands in our space and one of the most admired companies to work for in our industry. And I take this all very seriously.
  11. I was asking this question to myself many times last year. There were times last year when everything was apparently going fine and I didn’t see myself making any difference. Those were the times when I thought I should quit. Times have changed since then. These are challenging times, fun times. I’m here now because I want to prove to myself and to everyone that we can turn this around. I’m here because I feel I can now make a difference.
  12. This is an insane amazing challenge and I don’t back down from a challenge.
  13. I want to discover and bring great product from amazing talented designers to people who love and appreciate quality product.
  14. It’s weird. But I find myself progressively more pumped about work today than I was a year, six months or even three months ago. I love the challenge and the chase. I love the need to hit numbers, grow the business, address our gaps and all in lightening speed.
  15. In short, I love the intensity our current situation demands. I love the opportunity I have every day to impact our business. It makes me feel like a net contributor, and that’s very important to me. If in 18 months, we’re out of the woods, I’m going to feel great knowing my input had at least some tiny role in getting us out. That’s important to me.
  16. Fab has this insanely rare combination of having huge potential AND giving me the opportunity to have an outsized impact on it.
  17. Because I have been given the opportunity of a lifetime.

I personally, loved the first and the last answer, reason being, its short, simple and ends in one line. In fact none of the answers actually talks about how that employee will add value and will be part of the solution, I do not felt the startup mindset (What about you Mr. Goldberg? ) in the elaborated and cheesy answers.

So in case you are looking to question your employees on the justification of their role in the company, get ready to receive some answers from the list above. Do tell us what new replies you get, will love to add it in our list.

Note: We at Inc42 take our ethics very seriously. More information about it can be found here.