Thatcher Spring is Founder & CEO of GearLaunch, a San Francisco and Salt Lake City based e-commerce services company.
He previously founded a nationally distributed wholesale apparel brand, has worked at J.P. Morgan and Mars, and serves on the Board of the Cape Eleuthera Foundation. Thatcher was a lead member of the National Champion Sailing Team at Georgetown University where he completed his undergraduate studies. He earned an MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler.
Q: What would you like to see your team accomplish in 2019?
Build substantially on the GearLaunch platform's key capabilities that support our mission to be the One-Stop-Shop for the long tail of e-retail. The most important thing to me is that we build a company that lasts, and the best way to accomplish that is to stay focused on the critical few areas where we are uniquely equipped to build superior value.
Q: Who is your role model or hero?
My grandfather has been my greatest role model in life. His deep focus on doing the right thing and treating others as he would expect to be treated were his biggest lessons for me and the rest of my family.
Q: What is your favorite book?
"The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho.
Q: Do you use any specific method or system to run daily operations?
I have introduced both general Operating Principles and a detailed OKR process to GearLaunch. Operating Principles guide people to make the right decisions without too much support, and OKRs keep everyone focused on the right initiatives. I have found it helpful to have my executive team report on OKR progress every two weeks by assigning confidence levels to each goal.
Q: Why did you choose your present industry at this time?
I have a deep interest in consumer products and am very excited by the growth opportunity presented by the e-commerce industry. It's a large sector, and one where there is still so much opportunity for new entrants to create value.
Q: What is the best/worst moment you can remember in your career?
I tend to think that just about every moment is exciting since I am equally energized by positive results as I am by a big challenge. In recent history, my best moment was crossing $100M in annual sales with GearLaunch. The worst moments I can think of was whenever I have had to make the difficult decision to cut people from the team.
Q: Looking back - if you could advise a younger version of yourself to do something different - what would it be?
I would advise a younger version of myself to move quickly on decisions that are tough or unpopular, but which I know to be right. This is a skill that has matured for me, but it has taken time and experience.