I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: EcommerceFuel Live is my absolute favorite ecommerce event in the world.

From power-packed presentations and interesting entrepreneur stories, to a personal vow to abstain from alcohol, this year’s ECF Live did not disappoint.

A roster of brilliant speakers

ECF Live boasted a strong list of speakers this year and the following are my top 3:

The Epic Battle Between Amazon, Walmart, and Brands – Jason Goldberg of retailgeek.com

I consider this to be the star of the conference because this topic is very timely with Amazon quickly rising and Walmart falling behind. Jason talked about how Walmart is scared of following the footsteps of Sears and what they’re doing to avoid that.

My Company, Myself: Identity and the Entrepreneurship Journey – Dr. Sherry Walling of Zen Founder

Dr. Sherry has been a guest on here before, and the episode I did with her is probably one of the best in the EcomCrew Podcast.

Her ECF Live presentation discussed an issue that’s not unique but highly pronounced–and destructive–in entrepreneurs, and that is tying one’s identity with one’s business.

Shipping – Craig Gentry

I found this talk interesting not mainly because of the topic, but because of the speaker.

Craig was the type of reserved guy who I had to force to talk during the speakers’ dinner, but when he got on stage the next day for his presentation, he was this totally different person. He was able to captivate the audience while showing them graphs and tips on how to not lose money on shipping.

Stories, takeaways and my personal vow

While ECF Live has brilliant speakers to learn from, that’s not the reason why this event is a personal favorite of mine.

You’ll read this on ECF Live’s landing page: “What makes eCommerceFuel Live different than other events? That’s easy – it’s the people.”

And it’s true. The people who join the event make it all the more special. Below are a couple of highlights and takeaways for me and Dave (and no, I did not get pranked this year):

  • What venture capitalists want is not always what people want. One ECF member just bought a company that once received a $750 million VC funding for an amount ridiculously lower than that.
  • More and more people are buying rosters of FBA businesses. While this is good news for people who want to exit by selling one day, we think this could be a precursor to an FBA bust.
  • Dr. Sherry Walling’s talk hit hard, and we realize we need to extricate ourselves from our businesses a little bit and maintain a healthy personal life.

One of the biggest highlights for me personally is that I took a vow to never drink alcohol for an entire year.

ECF Live has an after party (and then an after after party) and a lot of us, to put it eloquently, end up getting wasted.

But then I realized some members still have fun without having a bit of alcohol in them, and this, coupled with the fact that my hangovers are getting more and more brutal, made me decide to go on the entire year without a single alcoholic drink.

Understandably, my friends are not too happy about it, but I can say that it has been a good decision so far.


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Until the next one, happy selling!