Fake Doors

Polyvore is a very product/eng-centric company. We pride ourselves on iterating quickly.

A long time ago, I did a Lean Startup talk on “fake door testing”, which is a technique we use to figure out if our product ideas are good.

The talk is in the Ignite format, which means there are 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds. Great for audience members who want concise, information-dense, 5-minute-long talks, but it’s super stressful for speakers! I hate public speaking.


#1 When you should break your product – VentureBeat » Marketing News on 07.18.13 at 12:39 am

[…] Lee, CEO of social commerce company Polyvore, takes this a step further with a technique called “fake doors.” These are hooks for features that aren’t built. It’s just a test to see how many people would […]

#2 Uzo on 09.03.13 at 7:46 am

I think you did great!

Although you were ahead of the slides sometimes (like 2 or 3 times) you were 100% focused on your audience and that is what presentations are all about. Engaging and talking with the audience.

Great job Jess!

#3 When you should break your product | BaciNews on 12.26.13 at 9:08 pm

[…] Lee, CEO of social commerce company Polyvore, takes this a step further with a technique called “fake doors.” These are hooks for features that aren’t built. It’s just a test to see how many […]

#4 Tiffany on 02.17.14 at 8:52 pm

I watched your presentation and I learned something new about the site and this “fake door” idea. It was quite fast pace but I think that you described everything thoroughly and concise that even someone who isn’t in website creating could understand. I wish I lived closer to take you up on that offer of a job.

#5 louis vuitton large handbags on 06.15.14 at 12:00 am

Thank you! Full compliance with all the photo. I’m happy. Not leather, however quality is a useful one. Neat seams. Color is a useful one. Fast shipping.

#6 Alex Deschamps on 03.16.15 at 9:39 am

hey Jess im a 16 year old kid i love your idea for polyvore i had i similar idea recently and have found you to be the closest thing to it i was wondering if we could talk about it. sorry i went to your personal blog but i really want to share my thoughts with you.

#7 Kiralk Forklift on 04.29.15 at 4:29 am

I wish you continued success and good work are endless thanks for the information you share your blog I follow with pleasure.

#8 Matheus Kenichi Gomes on 09.20.15 at 6:45 pm

Dear Mrs. Jess Lee

We are students of Engineering at Polytechnic School of The University of São Paulo, Brazil and we would like to request some information about “Polyvore” for academic purposes.

Since the beginning of this semester, we have been working on a project for our Business class, in which we have to create a fictional company of any kind. After a meticulous research, we have decided to approach the fashion business, due to the excellent perspectives of this growing market.

Our idea is to develop a free app that provides a management tool for the user’s wardrobe, allowing him/her to register his/hers pieces of clothing and generates matches based on fashion tendencies, personal style and other factors such as weather forecasts and occasion. Besides free management service, the app would offer the possibility of purchasing clothes from associate suppliers directly from the app, with a system of suggestions that take into account the user’s wardrobe and preferences.

After extensive research on eminent companies on the field, we came across “Polyvore”. Thus, it would be of great help if you could provide us with the answer for a few questions:

1) How did your business start?
2) What were the major difficulties for implementing it?
3) What are the advantages/disadvantages of working in the fashion world?
4) From your company’s point of view, what are the expectations for the fashion market over the next years?
5) Are there any pieces of advice for people starting their business in
this area today?
6) Is there a person/company in particular that was an inspiration for you?

It would also be really helpful if you have any comments or suggestions about our project that you could share with us.

We are very grateful for your help and we are waiting for you answer as soon as possible.


Arthur Lasak Okuda,
Daniela Yumi Sekiguchi,
Guilherme Adinolfi Colpaert Sartori,
Luiza Fantin,
Matheus Kenichi Gomes and
Paula Tiemi Goto.

Polytechnic School of the University of Sao Paulo – USP
Av. Prof. Luciano Gualberto, travessa 3 nº 380 – CEP 05508-010
Sao Paulo – SP – Brazil

#9 David Labedz on 02.04.16 at 1:10 pm

Jess, I belong to a different generation than you. People my age, aka over 50 yrs. have noticed that many young workers who grew up with smartphone/tablets are more comfortable with indirect communications than face to face. Many are more terrified than people 40 or older with speaking in from of a group. If you & your friends can develop sound face to face communication skills you, your company and your life in general will give you better results than those who prefer electronic and indirect communications. Living by text is becoming deadly for far to many relationships!

#10 MORGAN MILOSEVICH on 05.16.16 at 11:40 am

interested in having you speak on how to sell to the female shopper at our event in Hollywood, CA on July 20th. please reach out to me.

#11 Daniel Meng on 10.21.16 at 3:10 am

Congrats on your Sequoia appointment!

I suffer from early founder syndrome where I post links to my startup indiscriminately.

I recommend you check it out! Even if you don’t invest, it might be something you might find useful. :)


#12 VideoPortal on 03.22.17 at 10:24 am

Most false doors are found on the west wall of a funerary chapel or offering chamber because the Ancient Egyptians associated the west with the land of the dead . In many mastabas , both husband and wife buried within have their own false door.

#13 JavaAssignments.com on 07.27.17 at 4:24 am

This a good way to appreciate the teacher as they put their efforts to train students. UK dissertation Writers appreciates the teachers.

#14 Jeh on 01.27.20 at 12:40 pm

We would have such synergy with Polyvore! Are you still actively involved with them?

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