Having spent much of my career as an entrepreneur and early-stage company builder, I found myself a little bit overwhelmed at my first role inside a truly global, scaled technology company. A lot of things were surprisingly familiar with my past, such as a culture of extremely motivated and bright people working relentlessly on hard problems. But a number of things were very (very!) different.

Perhaps the most stark contrast for me was being at a place that has billions of users around the world and is a household name. I’ve spent so much time thinking about how to push…

So, after hearing about bitcoin for the last six months, you finally caved. You signed up for your first account at a cryptocurrency exchange and you are now ready to rock.

The first thing you may have noticed when you logged into the exchange is that it looks like a Bloomberg Terminal on Steroids. Right. Because as a newbie investor in cryptocurrency, you want to see “currency pairs” between bitcoin and hundreds of other altcoins. Most of which you have never heard of. And, yes, you totally understand the various graphs, ratios, and acronyms.

It looks kind of like this:

This is what a typical exchange interface looks like. Except I made it look friendlier =]

When are we going to learn? Cryptocurrency is supposed to be decentralized.

Getting it all wrong

When Satoshi first wrote the Bitcoin whitepaper in 2008, she challenged the banking system as we know it. She draws reference to the inherent weaknesses of the trust-based model. The whole point was to build an ecosystem and economy that operated without these trusted third-parties. Yet, here we are, 10 years later, bastardizing that vision with gusto.

The dichotomy in our response, as a community, is quite curious. On one hand, we seem to understand these are really big ideas that have the potential to change banking and retail as we know it. This explains the total market cap of…

It’s one of the big questions that every online retailer faces — should we be offering free returns?

Whether or not free returns are even viable for your business is, of course, specific to your business model, but I can guarantee that they’re something you should investigate.

Why? Because customers care.

According to the 2015 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper survey, 57% of shoppers consider paying for return shipping an issue, making it easily the number one issue encountered. 62% of shoppers consider return policy an important aspect of selecting whether and where to buy products at all.


Here’s the thing. We’ve had one of best bull runs in history over the last 6 years. On March 6, 2009 the S&P 500 composite index was at 683.38. Six short years later, on July 17, 2015, it was trading at 2126.64. That’s a 211% gain! It comes as no surprise to many of us that this bull market is due for a shift into bear territory.

With global concerns around China and Russia, and oil hitting a fresh 13-year low of below $28 a barrel, there are reasons to be worried. …

Phew. This is a big topic. This post will be the first of a series on the topic. In case you haven’t been shopping on the internet lately (or paying attention), Amazon is CRUSHING it.

The company has done a phenomenal job of increasing its footprint in Global Commerce, going from $619 million in revenue in 1998, the first full year after it went public, to a projected $100.59 billion projected revenue for 2015.

Perhaps the most noteworthy trend is that more and more US consumers are using Amazon as a starting point to search for products (as opposed to…

As your retail business continues to grow, you will probably find yourself considering using a third-party logistics provider as opposed to fulfilling your orders in-house.

Third-party logistics is a big industry. In 2014, the Global 3PL Market expanded to $750.7 billion and the U.S. 3PL Market grew 7.4% to $157.2 billion. Two U.S. 3PL Market Segments experienced double digit growth. Global companies all around the world, from REI to Campbell Soup Company, use 3PLs to enhance their fulfillment operations. At the enterprise level, these logistics providers provide entire supply chain solutions.

Up-and-coming retailers have very different needs than the much…

You’ve got an awesome website. A phenomenal product. Loyal customers. A growing domestic business.

The next major question you are likely to ask yourself is: when should I start selling globally?

The allure of a global market is simple — for businesses successfully cornering a domestic market, expanding beyond their borders opens up a nearly unlimited supply of new customers, capital and talent. In addition to increasing revenue, global markets can extend the lifespan of existing products and reduce dependence on a single market. …

For many years, we’ve talked about the rise of ‘social commerce.’ People have predicted that our social networks would curate products for us and that the lines between content, community, and commerce would blur and eventually become unrecognizable.

While on one hand that progression has marched along, on the other, it has not progressed in the ways that many of us (especially me) expected. eCommerce sites have remained primarily commerce-focused. And social networks have continued to focus on eye-catching content that people mostly read/watch/listen to.

We’re finally turning a corner on this trend, and it’s because the social networks themselves…

Adil Wali

Product leader at Facebook. Creator of Merit (https://www.merit.me). Founder at ModCloth, Crowd Interactive, and FoxCommerce. Writer of code. Sometimes words.

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