Trina Spear - Billion Dollar Scrubs - [Invest Like the Best, EP.295]
My guest today is Trina Spear, a former investor at Blackstone and the co-founder and CEO of FIGS. FIGS is a multi-billion-dollar public company that built a category-leading brand selling scrubs to healthcare professionals. It was a problem hiding in plain sight and FIGS solved it through vertical integration and customer obsession. Trina shares so many interesting, simple lessons that are often ignored in business. Please enjoy my great conversation with Trina Spear.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
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Past guests include Tobi Lutke, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, John Collison, Kat Cole, Marc Andreessen, Matthew Ball, Bill Gurley, Anu Hariharan, Ben Thompson, and many more.
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[00:02:28 ] - [First question] - The original insight that lead to founding FIGS
[00:04:28 ] - Why obvious opportunities can go so long before being seized
[00:06:23 ] - Key dimensions needed to improve the product and the early days
[00:09:02 ] - Basic overview of a clothing retailer’s financial profile
[00:10:49 ] - Financing the business and the early stage cash flow cycle
[00:13:04 ] - Strategies to manage workflow and making sacrifices
[00:14:43 ] - Advice for people trying to build their brands in a hands-on way
[00:17:14 ] - The biggest calculated risk she took in the first five years
[00:19:00 ] - Building a foundation that allowed for such explosive growth
[00:21:44 ] - The story that allowed FIGS to connect with their customers
[00:24:43 ] - Painting a picture of the size and scope of healthcare apparel
[00:26:22 ] - Things lazy companies do and thoughts on product variety
[00:28:54 ] - Defining SKU productivity and what to do with low productivity products
[00:30:21 ] - Chip Wilson Book; Lessons learned from reading Chip’s story
[00:31:58 ] - Balancing a healthy relationship with your CFO
[00:33:59 ] - Where she sees the most runway to tackle and continue to execute
[00:35:46 ] - A women-lead industry and her time spent with Meg Whitman
[00:38:13 ] - The most essential jobs she feels she has and shouldn’t do as the CEO
[00:40:03 ] - Thoughts about relationships with investors and messaging
[00:42:14 ] - What she’d be most focus on in founders if she was just an investor
[00:43:57 ] - The most stressful thing that has ever come across her desk
[00:44:41 ] - What types of things bring her the most joy in building FIGS
[00:45:27 ] - Philosophy of hiring given their small team and when it’s okay to hire
[00:46:56 ] - Whether or not there’s a role for non A players in businesses
[00:47:48 ] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for her