Good overview. tldr: Jason Goldberg is a great salesguy but bad at execution.
How it went south:
Tried to go global too early (to head off Samwer bros threat):
Fab reasoned, if it could acquire another cheap clone and stake an early claim in Europe, it might be the most cost-effective way to beat Bamarang.
As the flash sales concept peaked, Fab decided to start holding inventory:
Fab’s customers complained about long shipping times. It took, on average, 16.5 days for a customer to receive a product ordered on the site.
Fab worked with small designers to feature and sell their third-party goods through flash sales; the designers fulfilled orders themselves, which resulted in the slow shipments.
In mid-2012, Fab made an effort to deliver products faster, within 6.5 days. The most obvious time-saver was for Fab to begin holding inventory.
That eventually led to Fab losing it’s differentiated edge:
The expansion caused Fab to lose its competitive edge. Fab’s early users loved discovering products they couldn’t find anywhere else on the web. But as Fab’s SKUs increased, the originality diminished: Fab products could be found on competing sites like Amazon for less, where they could be shipped faster.