Anand Iyer Profile picture
14 Jan, 8 tweets, 2 min read
Huge congrats to the team at $POSH. We at Threadflip were competing with Poshmark back in the day. A short thread and retrospective on why we failed, and how I think Poshmark won:
1. Liquidity: At TF we focused on the mid-tier of design (Michael Kors for ex was our most popular brand). While liquidity with anything Michael Kors was high, the number of unique items we had listed was low. We had a supply imbalance and our search-to-fill was poor.
1.1 Multi-tenanting + "winner take all": It was likely that someone who listed on Posh also listed on TF (and on eBay). Ultimately the platform that created liquidity the fastest would win. This would lead to "stale" items or "incomplete sales", which impacted NPS and retention.
2. Brand: Our brand was not reflective of the demographic on our platform. We wanted it to be "elevated" but we didn't really understand the user well enough to cater to them. We eventually figured it out, but it was too late.
3. Community: We never quite figured out social or community. Poshmark did an excellent job with their "posh parties". It was an excellent format to create liquidity and a sense of online belonging. Also, again, fast liquidity!
4. Product doesn't always win: We were so hyper focused on the quality of our product experience. We spent numerous cycles iterating on product when we didn't have product-market fit. We banked heavily that product would be the needle mover. It wasn't.
5. Data: Anyone who has built a marketplace knows that it is important to know which metrics are the key ones to track. We didn't invest in our data infrastructure early on and we paid a hefty price. It had some unfortunate consequences, like fraud:
6. Focus: We always talked about how we had captured < 0.1% of all the closets. So much upside. We piloted a new "white glove" model (very much like Thredup's but with a novel decentralized warehouse model). But they were competing priorities, which can be deadly for a startup.

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