Italic is an e-commerce startup focused on working with manufacturers of luxury brands to sell the same products at lower cost to the customer.
Rewriting a new business model
Italic was traditionally a membership-based service where you paid a yearly amount and were then able to shop its discounted product selection. In an effort to increase growth, Italic pivoted to an open marketplace at the end of 2021. As part of this change, an entirely redesigned and rebuilt frontend was to be launched.
When I joined, this effort was underway however months from completion and far behind schedule. We implemented two strategies to speed development velocity:
1. Measured headcount growth – resisting the urge to add many engineers, and instead making just one additional senior hire during this time
2. Investing upfront in quality TypeScript code and DX-enhancing abstractions – avoiding over-engineered solutions and instead making the right investments in type safety and re-usable hooks to solve the most pressing issues
I also personally had responsibility for key features: new homepage, unblocking release performance blocker via a custom image pipeline, leveraging NextJS features, and GraphQL performance enhancements, and the search experience.
This successfully led to delivery in October of the new marketplace rewrite.
Developing the tech roadmap and strategy, shipping holiday revenue boosters
Following the successful marketplace launch which included a featured spot on The Ellen Show, we focused on medium term revenue boost via Apple Pay implementation while developing longer-term improvements to the engineering organization via restructuring, process improvements, and developing a 6-month tech roadmap.