Stacey Kinkead and her team at Rivet & Cuff want to change the way you shop for jeans — forever.
“We’re making buying jeans online as easy as buying your favorite gadgets,” she says of her online retail startup.
Rivet & Cuff allows customers — for now, just men shopping for denim — to order with 100 percent confidence that what they buy will fit them.
So how did Kinkead — a former Amazon technical program manager — end up solving the problem of shopping for clothes online, and where does she want to go next? We find out in the latest edition of Nextcast.
—“The hardest thing that we do is this,” Kinkead said, pointing at me and then back at herself. “Communication.” So how does she solve the problem of keeping people with different priorities on the same page? “I use daily standups like nobody’s business.” (5:30)
—“Businesses don’t fail on a month-to-month or quarterly basis; they fail on a day-to-day basis.” Kinkead knows this from experience. And it all comes back to communication again — or a lack thereof. “We fail ourselves,” she says, “because in those day-to-day meetups we’re not raising our hand.” Kinkead adds that you can’t be afraid to ask questions, because that is how alignment gets created. (10:00)
—“I’m a big believer in learning by doing,” Kinkead says. She advises people who want to learn a lot to join a startup. “There’s no other environment where you’re going be able to learn as much, as early, as often, because we launch so early and often.” (12:08)
—Ever wondered what technical program management, code, and Russian all have in common? A lot, says Kinkead, explaining that they’re all about translating and understanding the architecture. Other things she’s learned: “Learning to be okay with the silence,” she says, on negotiating. Another key: trust. “That’s what makes really good software.” (13:00)
—“I’ve always sought mentors without them being formalized,” Kinkead says. And she encourages others to do the same. She’s currently an active mentor to many women “in technology or business or design that I can help answer questions that I wish somebody would have helped me answer when I was their age.” She adds that getting younger girls involved in coding is a good thing. “When they see women coding, that’s going to make an impression.” (18:00)
—Did you know there used to be standard sizing for all clothes until 1988? Just 10 years before we all started shopping online (and crossing our fingers the thing we ordered will fit) retailers got the ability to size clothing however they wanted. Along with a little history lesson, Kinkead also talks about how Rivet & Cuff is hoping to solve that problem. She says current online retail is “a square peg in a round hole” that can be fixed. (21:50)
Nextcast founder Jeff Dickey is passionate about technology, business and philosophy. He works as the SVP of Cloud and Big Data Solutions at Redapt, a Redmond-based cloud and big data infrastructure company. Editor’s note: GeekWire is proud to partner with Jeff who produces the Nextcast entrepreneur interview series. WhitePages is a GeekWire annual sponsor. Past interviews here.