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By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop Hardcover – April 12, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover (April 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591844630
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591844631
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

By Invitation Only is destined to be acknowledged as a classic in many realms: retail innovation, business partnership, partnerships and relationships, creative destruction, and business strategy. This extraordinary book deserves the widest of readership by everyone interested in retail, entrepreneurship, innovation, strategy—and, of course, getting a good deal.” —New York Journal of Books



"Alexis and Alexandra have created something original and amazing, and they did it in the simplest way possible.  They found something they loved, and they figured out how to bring it to the massive amount of people they knew would love it too."
(-Mark Cuban, serial entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks)

By Invitation Only is a must read for aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators who will be inspired by their journey and how passion, purpose and partnership fueled a revolution in shopping!”
(-Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN, Inc)

“A fantastic adventure of entrepreneurship and girl power. Buy it, read it, enjoy it. You will certainly learn from it.”
(-Robert Polet, former CEO of Gucci Group)

"Gilt Groupe has forever changed the landscape of e-commerce. Not since eBay has there been such a revolution in the way we shop. Alexis and Alexandra redefined the way we approach luxury."
(-Nina Garcia, author and fashion director)

"By Invitation Only is a brilliantly written book because its authors, who were friends before they were business partners, respected each other's ability to cultivate relationships, take calculated risks, and execute their game-changing, visionary ideas.  The key takeaway is that one needs to have an entrepreneurial spirit and indomitable will to succeed, no matter what career path you choose!"
(-Janet Hanson, Founder & CEO, 85 Broads)

“Alexis and Alexandra are the ultimate entrepreneurs, having combined their love of fashion with the evolution of technology. They changed the way millions of people shop and have inspired others to follow in their footsteps. This book gives valuable insight into starting and building a business from the ground up based on one good idea.  It’s a must-read for anyone who has a dream and entrepreneurial spirit.”
(-Bobbi Brown)

"An exciting story about an exciting start-up.  Alexis and Alexandra saw a fantastic opportunity in the luxury space and took it."
(-Tony Hsieh, bestselling author of Delivering Happiness, CEO of Zappos.com)

"First, Gilt Groupe’s co-founders changed the way we shop by recreating the excitement of a sample sale online. Now, with “By Invitation Only,” they’ve let us in on their innovative creative process. Anyone who hopes to understand the world of tech entrepreneurship -- or upend it -- would be wise to read it."
(-Arianna Huffington, President and Editor In Chief, Huffington Post Media Group)

“The story reads as a how-to manual for any entrepreneur looking to start something big and disruptive.” --Xconomy.com

About the Author

Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson cofounded Gilt Groupe with Kevin Ryan, Mike Bryzek and Phong Nguyen. Previously, Maybank had launched eBay Canada and eBay Motors; Wilson had worked for Merrill Lynch, Louis Vuitton, and Bulgari. Both have BAs from Harvard College and MBAs from Harvard Business School. They live in Manhattan with their husbands and children.

Visit www.gilt.com

Follow Alexis on Twitter: @GiltFounder

Follow Alexandra on Twitter: @GiltAlexandra


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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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I recommend this book to anybody looking to start a business.
CdMCOley
I love reading success stories and I have always admired the amazing success that is Gilt.
RosannaPR
I like the founders of gilt wrote the book in a very conversational fashion.
amurillo86

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Katie David on February 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you've been reading books like Basic Black and Lean In, this book follows suit with lists of achievements, accomplishments, and life connections.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RosannaPR on May 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love reading success stories and I have always admired the amazing success that is Gilt. I was curious to see how these two young women and friends were able to break through in the very competitive world of e-commerce and fashion. The story of their rise to the top was engaging and entertaining, where the right idea was executed by the right team at the right time. They wove in business, leadership and entrepreneurial guidelines and checklists throughout their tale.

It's an inspiring read for entrepreneurs and a reminder that this type of success requires a tremendous amount of hustle, persistence, risk taking and passion. The authors, who both displayed strong work ethics from a young age, frequently talked about all nighters, constant travel and working to the point of exhaustion, but also emphasized their absolute love for high fashion and sample sales.

I appreciated this book more for the story behind Gilt than its business insights, and overall thoroughly enjoyed getting to know a bit more about these two remarkable women.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CdMCOley on January 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I recommend this book to anybody looking to start a business. It was a great example of how passion, team work and dedication can create something huge. As a young entrepreneur myself I definitely have two new role models.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on June 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Authors Maybank and Wilson launched their business, online luxury sample sales, in 2007. It was good timing - sales of luxury items were doing well at the time. Participants had to first become members before viewing the goods, and the site was password-protected. The purpose of these requirements was to keep Google from listing their goods, allowing participating vendors to maintain their high-end positioning. In 3.5 years their company was valued by investors at $1 billion. Today it has 900 employees, hosts 22+ sales/day (up from 2-3/week originally), and has over 5 million members. The authors believe that the keys to their success are 'relationships' (they get along well) and 'execution.'

The idea came from a French Website called private sale that used temporary online flash sales lasting 4 - 5 days to liquidate large volumes for mostly mass-market retailers at highly discounted prices.

While their general approach to getting started was interesting, far too much of of the book is taken up with frivolous details.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JKL on April 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I received my copy at the end of last week and have thoroughly enjoyed reading this entertaining and substantive book. It will make an excellent graduation gift! Maybank and Wilsons' qualities of intelligence, integrity, creativity and thoughtful preparation along with honest self awareness and confidence are applicable to future success in many fields, not only fashion. Their personal story of building their own business is inspiring to anyone with a dream and an entrepreneural spirit.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous on April 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
By Invitation Only is full of interesting, real-life anecdotes from Gilt Groupe's two amazing founders, Alexis and Alexandra. The book is an easy read - I couldn't put it down, and finished it in 2 days - and succinctly illustrates key learnings from the founders' experience of launching and scaling Gilt. I was most impressed by the humility and grace of the co-founders... it is easy to see why these women managed to influence the entire retail/luxury industry.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Josephine on April 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I've been in love with Gilt Groupe since early 2008. I mean, how did they do it? How did they create a go-to place that I found myself drawn to every day at noon? Well, here's the book! The story! And to top it off, the lessons learned, the challenges, the accomplishments! I'm so happy...its really truly a marvel and these ladies weave their tale as beautiful and brilliant as their amazing website. Buy it.
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By Tasha on April 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
They gave me a multitude of aha moments. Great book if you are just starting out or currently in business. They redefined the way we shopped.
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