Trina Spear – Billion Dollar Scrubs – [Invest Like the Best, EP.295]
My guest today is Trina Spear, a former investor at Blackstone and the co-founder and CEO of FIGS. FIGS is a multi-billion-dollar public company that built a category-leading brand selling scrubs to healthcare professionals. It was a problem hiding in plain sight and FIGS solved it through vertical integration and customer obsession. Trina shares so many interesting, simple lessons that are often ignored in business. Please enjoy my great conversation with Trina Spear.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
This episode is brought to you by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. If you’re a professional equity investor and haven’t talked to Canalyst recently, you should give them a shout. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/Patrick.
Today’s episode is brought to you by Brex. Brex is the integrated financial platform trusted by the world’s most innovative entrepreneurs and fastest-growing companies. With Brex, you can move money fast for instant impact with high-limit corporate cards, payments, venture debt, and spend management software all in one place. Ready to accelerate your business? Learn more at brex.com/best.
Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.
Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.
[00:02:28] – [First question] – The original insight that lead to founding FIGS
[00:04:28] – Why obvious opportunities can go so long before being seized
[00:06:23] – Key dimensions needed to improve the product and the early days
[00:09:02] – Basic overview of a clothing retailer’s financial profile
[00:10:49] – Financing the business and the early stage cash flow cycle
[00:13:04] – Strategies to manage workflow and making sacrifices
[00:14:43] – Advice for people trying to build their brands in a hands-on way
[00:17:14] – The biggest calculated risk she took in the first five years
[00:19:00] – Building a foundation that allowed for such explosive growth
[00:21:44] – The story that allowed FIGS to connect with their customers
[00:24:43] – Painting a picture of the size and scope of healthcare apparel
[00:26:22] – Things lazy companies do and thoughts on product variety
[00:28:54] – Defining SKU productivity and what to do with low productivity products
[00:30:21] – Chip Wilson Book; Lessons learned from reading Chip’s story
[00:31:58] – Balancing a healthy relationship with your CFO
[00:33:59] – Where she sees the most runway to tackle and continue to execute
[00:35:46] – A women-lead industry and her time spent with Meg Whitman
[00:38:13] – The most essential jobs she feels she has and shouldn’t do as the CEO
[00:40:03] – Thoughts about relationships with investors and messaging
[00:42:14] – What she’d be most focus on in founders if she was just an investor
[00:43:57] – The most stressful thing that has ever come across her desk
[00:44:41] – What types of things bring her the most joy in building FIGS
[00:45:27] – Philosophy of hiring given their small team and when it’s okay to hire
[00:46:56] – Whether or not there’s a role for non A players in businesses
[00:47:48] – The kindest thing anyone has ever done for her
My guests today are and , who are partners at Canary and Atlantico, leading early-stage investment firms in Latin America. They’re also both successful entrepreneurs. Mate is the co-founder and CEO of Brazilian real estate unicorn, Loft. Julio...
Today, we are sharing an episode of Web3 Breakdowns with you. My Invest Like the Best conversation with Gabe Leydon last year was one of my favorites and became one of our most popular. Since that conversation, Gabe has become one of the most...
My guest today is . Harley is the President of Shopify and has been with the company since its early years. He is a lawyer by training but an entrepreneur by calling and that is the focus of our discussion. We discuss the different dimensions of...
My guest today is . Mitch is a partner at Benchmark and one of the leading figures in the video game industry. Over the last 30 years, he has built, led, and invested in a number of the best gaming companies in the world, including Activision, EA,...
My guest today is . David has studied history’s great founders and entrepreneurs in more depth than anyone I’ve ever met, and I’d wager more than anyone else alive. In this conversation, we cover many of the most common themes he’s discovered...
My guest today is , the founder, Chairman, and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. An engineer by training, Robert started Vista at the turn of the millennium and built it into one of the world's most successful software-focused investment firms. We discuss...
My guest today is , a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Katherine started her career as a reporter for The Washington Post before moving into VC at General Catalyst. She now leads a practice at a16z called American Dynamism, investing in...
My guest today is Ravi Gupta. spent a decade in private equity at KKR before joining Instacart as their first CFO and COO. He navigated them through a critical moment in their history and returned to investing in 2019 as a partner at Sequoia. Our...
My guest today is Will Thorndike. I first spoke to Will in 2017 about his excellent book The Outsiders and his career in private equity. I titled that conversation: How Skilled Capital Allocators Compound Capital. In many ways this conversation...