“Woot is a term of excitement, like ‘Yahoo!’ or ‘Hooray!’, but much nerdier,” says Matt Rutledge, the man who’s turned Woot.com into one of the most unusual and frequently-trafficked e-tailing operations in the U.S.
Since its launch on July 12, 2004, Woot.com has moved mounds of often little-known CE products, simply by offering one online deal each day. “The Woot.com concept was a tool for us to blow out product,” says Rutledge. “I think we had some robotic law mowers the first day. We were fairly arrogant about our marketing and we sold cheap. People thought, ‘They must be stolen!’”
Actually, the Woot.com offerings came from Rutledge’s sourcing, wholesale and consulting firm, Woot, Inc. He started the company back in 1994 as “Synapse Micro,” utilizing his experience in distribution, but his company has evolved in ways even he says are counter-intuitive, providing a flow of opportunity-buy products to 90% of the top 100 CE retailers in the U.S. “We’re almost a study of how lazy you can be and still have success,” laughs the 36-year old CEO who now manages over 100 employees. “It’s been fun to prove conventional wisdom wrong.”