[quote style=”boxed”]Read. Stay curious. Keep learning. Identify smart people and ask them questions.[/quote]
Xander Oxman is Co-Founder and CEO of Club W, an e-commerce company providing a better way to discover, buy and share wine. Club W stemmed from the company’s founders experiencing first hand a shortcoming in the way wine is sold at retail. As an avid wine drinker (though by no means an oenophile), Xander felt like brick-and-mortar was either an overwhelming purchasing experience at supermarkets and big box stores or inconvenient and pretentious at wine boutiques. Furthermore as a card-carrying member of the Amazon generation, Xander was completely underwhelmed by the options to buy and learn about wine online. Xander graduated from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado. He currently lives in Southern California with his wife and daughter.
Where did the idea for Club W come from?
We wanted a better way to buy wine. A service that incorporated the convenience of Amazon, the curation and education of a great sommelier and the value of direct to consumer models like Warby Parker.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I try to exercise first thing in the morning. The impact it has on my day is huge, especially if I can get outside.
How do you bring ideas to life?
After trying to get note taking to work with a variety of devices and software I’ve reverted to a notebook and pencil. Kinda hard to beat.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Office cultures that are both fun and fulfilling. On the whole people like coming to work at Club W. For all the over the top perks that startups have used to lure and retain talent there has been a meaningful trend in the right directions for work environments ever since the first dotcom bubble.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’m pretty good at prioritizing. It’s impossible to get everything you want to do done but I feel as though I’m good at identifying what really matters.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I’ve been lucky, no terrible jobs…
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Would love to have had more trust in my instincts earlier but I’m not sure this doesn’t need to be learned…
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Read. Stay curious. Keep learning. Identify smart people and ask them questions.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Many. See 9.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
This is not a new idea but I’m still blown away by how inefficient real estate transactions, particularly home sales are. How is there not a more transparent, frictionless marketplace for buying and selling homes…?
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
So many. Google Apps, Desk.com, Asana, Bitium, Optimizely, Twilio……
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Hard Thing About Hard Things.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
Andy Grove. Ben Horowitz. Fred Wilson. Brad Feld. Paul Graham. Yvon Chouinard. I think Jason Goldenberg’s posts to betashop.com have been great. Andy Dunn (Bonobo’s) is a great startup writer and posts regularly to Medium.
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.