Welcome to The Vitalize Podcast by Vitalize Venture Capital

Taking on Amazon by Changing Consumer Behavior and How to Vet Investors, with Zach Hudson of Deft

Justin Gordon (@justingordon212) talks with Zach Hudson (@nosduhz), co-founder of Deft, an ad-free, SEO-free search engine for e-commerce. A VITALIZE portfolio company, they are building the future of e-commerce search by enabling its users to find, research, and buy products all in one place.

Zach has 7+ years of experience in e-commerce and gaming technologies, and is a second-time founder. He is a product manager by trade, and a self-taught developer.

Show Notes:
0:00 How Deft is enabling trustworthy e-commerce searches
1:03 The evolution of Deft’s product over the last 2 years (since their presentation to Tyler Cowen - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6s3sz18xPac)
2:38 Zach’s background and how he teamed up with co-founder Alex Gunnarson
6:03 Narrowing down their target and why they started in the furniture and home decor category
8:10 Early customer discovery and product development via their “Wizard of Oz” approach
9:53 How they drove early customer acquisition via organic communities
11:53 From non-scalable acquisition strategies to the diversification of channels
13:30 The challenges and complexities of indexing products
14:32 The evolution of Deft’s business model
16:04 Determining where to establish a paywall for their product
17:06 Taking on Amazon and Google, and what differentiates Deft
19:08 How they vet investors
20:35 Establishing roles and responsibilities as co-founders
21:37 How being data driven fuels their growth
23:21 Which metrics they value most
24:35 Creating stickiness in their product (2x)
26:28 What’s next for Deft
27:30 Developing a browser extension and making UX effortless
28:58 Where to connect with Deft and Zach

More about the show:

The Vitalize Podcast, a show by Vitalize Venture Capital (a seed-stage venture capital firm and pre-seed 400+ member angel community open to everyone), dives deep into the world of startup investing and the future of work.

Hosted by Justin Gordon, the Director of Marketing at Vitalize Venture Capital, The Vitalize Podcast includes two main series.

The Angel Investing series features interviews with a variety of angel investors and VCs around the world. The goal? To help develop the next generation of amazing investors.

The Future of Work series takes a look at the founders and investors shaping the new world of work, including insights from our team here at Vitalize Venture Capital.

More about us:

VITALIZE Venture Capital was formed in 2017 as a $16M seed-stage venture fund and now includes both a fund as well as an angel investing community investing in the future of work. VITALIZE has offices in Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Gale - https://twitter.com/galeforceVC
Caroline - https://twitter.com/carolinecasson_
Justin - https://twitter.com/justingordon212
Larissa - https://twitter.com/LarissaInsogna
Vick - https://twitter.com/vahram_sf

VITALIZE Angels, our angel investing community open to everyone: