Gilt Groupe’s Obsession with All Things Vertical: ‘We Plow Through 100 Ideas a Week’

Mr. Deeming, via Crunchbase

What’s life like for Rob Deeming, Kevin Ryan’s “chief of staff” at Gilt Groupe? In a word: busy. The 33-year-old’s job centers around what seems like Gilt’s primary objective these days: launching new verticals as its core discount business matures and e-commerce competitors multiply.

In an interview with Mr. Deeming, a Brit with a Harvard MBA, The Street reports that the majority of Gilt growth comes from “a dizzying array” of new full-priced verticals, such as Jetsetter, Gilt Taste, and Park & Bond, which are expected to rake in $100 million combined within the next fiscal year. Gilt City, meanwhile, will account for 10 percent of overall revenue.

Dizzying seems like the right word to describe the pace. Mr. Deeming told the Street, “Now we plow through 100 ideas a week,” adding:

“At any one time I’m trying to manage a list of 10 to 15 businesses we’re thinking about going into and then I’ll put together two or three that might be the most interesting,” he said. “I’ll take that to the board, review them and then we’ll decide what to move forward with so we can put together a team.”

But don’t worry, it’s not like they’ve totally gone off the vertical deep end:

“Growing fast is always a concern but not growing fast is a concern too,” CEO Kevin Ryan said. “There are lots of things we haven’t done — we haven’t expanded into 20 countries and we’re not in 100 different categories.”

E-commerce is just like Hollywood, isn’t it? Everyone loves the bankability of a fresh new vertical, but they all mature someday, folks. Gilt Groupe’s Obsession with All Things Vertical: ‘We Plow Through 100 Ideas a Week’