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“I’d like to start a movement to rekindle our curiosity and care towards the human race” With David Echegoyen of Jet.com

The movement would rekindle our curiosity and care towards the human race. We live in an environment where what we say, how we look, what…


The movement would rekindle our curiosity and care towards the human race. We live in an environment where what we say, how we look, what we buy, what we eat, what we wear defines who we are. And now, thinking differently all of a sudden has become the enemy vs. another perspective to enrich our experience on earth. There is more division now in our country than I can ever remember, and we have lost our ability to be generous with our curiosity and relish in learning more about others, about the world, about our differences and use that as fuel to care for each other, so diversity is not extinguished but celebrated.


Thank you so much for joining us! What is your backstory?

I was born in El Salvador at a time of civil turmoil and political unrest, to a family of working class immigrants who understood the value of life, decency and respect. At 18 I came to the U.S. to go to college for political science thinking I would be going back to Latin America to change the poverty and inequality I had seen growing up. In the process, I realized how naive I was and then discovered marketing as a way to positively make a difference, through a consumer behavior class. My first real job in the U.S., when I was 19, was at a startup trying to influence the largest retailer in the world and its biggest supplier to think about what is now called shopper marketing. The idea was that brands could constantly sell ideas on TV and print — yet, people made their final decisions when they were at the point of purchase. So why would we not influence their behavior then? We ultimately sold that business to Publicis Group and renamed it to Saatchi & Saatchi X, where I stayed for over a decade leading businesses and assignments in diverse industries (consumables, appliances, electronics and mass retailers) and geographies (U.S., Latin America, Europe, Asia).

The opportunity then came to join two founders in a journey to create an ecommerce company devoted to the country lifestyle business. Our journey into creating this ecommerce company led to creating our own private brands and eventually even our own media company. We raised capital, grew incredibly fast and disrupted an industry. Then, in 2016, we realized we had not built something sustainable and had to sell it. The learnings both about people and business were truly invaluable.

After a 3-month break and a serendipitous set of meetings, I joined Jet as a VP of Marketing, which was supremely rewarding. Never had I worked at a place where so much of the general population was equally brilliant and kind.


Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you were in a leadership position at Jet?

Most interesting would be that I started my position at Jet the week of Walmart’s annual Shareholder’s meeting. It was a true immersion into Walmart in every way: what we stand for, how much we do to improve the lives of our customers and the communities we share, what matters most and how associates play such an important role. I came out of it feeling so proud of who I work for. I still am.


One of the funniest stories was also soon after I started working for Jet. It was a fairly unknown company at the time and when I told my wife that it was a great opportunity, but we had to move (again) so I could take it, she was unsure about it. I was in the company’s kitchen one day chatting with Marc Lore (who my wife had heard of) so I asked him if we could take a selfie that I could send my wife to prove that I did have a job at a real company. He agreed and I still have the photo.

Are you working on any new and exciting projects now?

Always! At Jet.com we are always working on ways to better serve our customers and differentiate within the marketplace. Our customer’s lives are consistently evolving and now faster than ever before. We want to be a trusted place for them to find city essentials and curated brands all in one place.


What advice would you give other leaders to help their employees thrive?

· Communicate the vision clearly and consistently, while ensuring your organizational structure is an enabler to achieving that vision.

· Fuel a culture of trust where mistakes are admitted openly (so everyone learns from them) and understand that winning is the measure of how much customers love you, not if your ideas were executed.

· Provide clear goals — measures for inputs and outputs — so that they know what they need to achieve and create a reward structure that is tied to those goals.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My wife. She is just as responsible for helping me to achieve any level of perceived success I might have — she knows me so well. She can predict outcomes and encourage me to pursue opportunities that will challenge me, fulfill me and help me grow. She calls me out on things that I give myself a pass on. She forces me to look in the mirror when I know I may not be doing what’s right. Needless to say, she has not only endured every move, but solved for our kids’ schools, doctors, dentists and all the touchpoints that come with uprooting us…several times, without missing a beat. Our kids are as lucky as I am!


How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

As a company we are committed to both volunteering our time and financial resources to causes that are closely linked to our values. Beyond our in-kind and cash donations, our JetCares program helps nonprofits increase their impact by allowing Jet customers to make donations to participating nonprofits, who also receive discounted pricing through the JetCares Essentials Program, making those donations go even further.

Personally, I apply my success in three core areas:

· Family Values– Our kids have such a different life than we did growing up. I grew up in El Salvador and my wife in Mexico. We consistently teach them to understand the value of hard and smart work; that they should seek the well-being of those around them and not just themselves, and that it’s a privilege to be able to give from their savings and help others with basic needs like food, etc. We also make it a point to provide perspective from our visits together to Mexico & Central America, where we have a responsibility to the greater good in the midst of an environment starved for kindness and generosity.

· Education — I believe that if we can help people earlier on in life, it can have a greater impact in their future. My wife and I are passionate about helping institutions with a focus on early childhood education and youth development.

· Community — Improving the welfare of our local community is also key. We are blessed to live in one of the greatest cities in the world (New York), a city with plenty of people in need of help. We support organizations like Hope for New York (hfny.org), whose mission is to mobilize volunteers and financial resources to support non-profit affiliates serving the poor and marginalized in New York City.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became Chief Customer Officer” and why. (Please share a story or example for each)

1. Winning is defined by customers loving us and rewarding us with their choice, not about us being right in a meeting, recognized by our boss or our ideas getting executed.

2. Your most important constituents are: the customer, your associates, and then shareholders (in that order). Seems basic and logical but so many times we mess up the order and make decisions that will hurt us in the future.

3. Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and having it last in the midst of your absence.

4. Fuel a culture of trust where mistakes are admitted often and openly, so everyone learns from them, not just you.

5. Business is simple, people are complex. Seek to understand. Deliver fair judgement and do the right thing every time, regardless of the cost.

If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger 🙂

The movement would rekindle our curiosity and care towards the human race. We live in an environment where what we say, how we look, what we buy, what we eat, what we wear defines who we are. And now, thinking differently all of a sudden has become the enemy vs. another perspective to enrich our experience on earth. There is more division now in our country than I can ever remember, and we have lost our ability to be generous with our curiosity and relish in learning more about others, about the world, about our differences and use that as fuel to care for each other, so diversity is not extinguished but celebrated.


Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote?” Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly

and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8 (NIV)

We get lost in the details of day to day life. We get caught up in the rat race trying to outdo each other, when we should be looking at life more broadly. If you look at these three pillars: acting justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with God, and ask yourself if you are living this way, it will give you a lot of perspective as to what truly brings fulfillment in life.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this.

Bill Gates. He, along with Melinda, has taken his time, knowledge, talent, influence and wealth to set a new standard of global responsibility for their foundation. The phrase “to whom much is given, much will be required” has a completely new meaning in light of their work and lives. They have and will continue to improve the welfare of mankind for generations.

Originally published at medium.com

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