Gilt Co-Founder: Competition Makes You Innovate


The co-founder of popular online shopping site Gilt sat down with Fusion's Alicia Menendez to talk about what makes a start-up work. Alexandra Wilkis Wilson co-founded the site a mere six years ago and it now boasts more than 8 million subscribers. Here are her tips for launching a successful start-up company.


1. Be flexible

You have to be flexible. You have to be a visionary but also think about the day-to-day details of your operation.

“You take things one day at a time," Wilson said, "but you have to think big and think out into the future.”

2. Value competition

Appreciate the copycats. The fact that you have them means you’re doing something right. Use copycats to push yourself to be even better.

“Competition makes you innovate," Wilson said, "and requires you to just be the best that you can.”

3. Build relationships

Networking might be tedious but it matters. Big time. The right relationship can make or break your business venture.


“I think relationships are incredibly important," Wilson said. "The sooner you can start building quality relationships with people, the better off you will be in whatever it is you want to do.”

Emily DeRuy is a Washington, D.C.-based associate editor, covering education, reproductive rights, and inequality. A San Francisco native, she enjoys Giants baseball and misses Philz terribly.


Ignacio Torres is a segment producer for "Alicia Menendez Tonight," a California native, and a proud graduate of the University of California, Davis, and Columbia Journalism School.