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Business of HYPE: Josh Luber

Business of HYPE is a weekly series brought to you by HYPEBEAST Radio and hosted by jeffstaple. It’s a show about creatives, brand-builders and entrepreneurs and the realities behind the dreams they’ve built. For episode 18, Josh Luber — CEO and Co-Founder of StockX, formerly Campless — expounds on the maturation of his one-of-a-kind business. A story, as he often tells it, of serendipity, but as you’ll discover over the next hour, StockX was built on nothing short of hard work and sacrifice.

There’s been, roughly speaking, three phases of the secondary market for sneakers, infamously known as reselling. The first, if you’re old enough to remember, was a simpler time, when sneaker culture was in it’s infancy and the world wide web was still making it’s way to households across the States, let alone the world. If you missed out on an initial release and didn’t have friends or acquaintances at your local sneaker store, or knew of someone traveling far and wide to retailers in other major cities, then you’re chances of finding a pair were almost nonexistent.

Then eBay came along, opening the market place from who you knew with the right connections, to whoever had means to the internet and postal service. As eBay’s secondary market for sneakers grew over the course of the 2000’s, so did the consciousness of its buyers and sellers. They became more aware of the various outside forces affecting this mostly unregulated industry — including counterfeits, condition, location, and so on — and the uncertainty of “fair pricing.”

With this in mind, Josh Luber, then an employee at IBM, began a side project that would soon answer the illusive question of secondary sneaker market shoppers and sellers – how much should this particular pair cost, right now, in real time? In this near-80-minute episode, Josh walks us through the chronological order of events that brought StockX to the industry leader it is today, from selling candy and baseball cards as a young child, to pitching Dan Gilbert at a Cleveland Cavaliers game just weeks shy of canning the whole project for good.