Here at The Grommet our mission is to put an end to nameless, faceless business and highlight the people and the stories behind the products we launch each day. And it's in that spirit that we're continuing this series to further share the stories of our Makers with you. Get to know them better, learn more about their journeys as Makers and entrepreneurs and learn how you, The Grommet Community, have changed their businesses for the better.
In this installment we're catching up with Nancy Smith and Firdaus Bhathena, the founders of Bevy. Nancy and Firdaus understand that everyone is a full-time photographer these days (snapping on phones, tablets, and cameras), and created an easy way to save, organize, and share digital pics with family and friends. Bevy's photo storage technology was a big hit and we recently caught up with Nancy and Firdaus to learn more about their journeys as entrepreneurs and what it's really like building a business.
How would you define "good design"?
What three personality traits do think have helped you become a successful entrepreneur?
Firdaus: A desire to be different, not follow the beaten path, even if that is a bit crazy sometimes. Also, enjoying the thrill working with a small close-knit team taking on a big challenge.
Nancy: I’m insatiably curious –I want to learn something new from everyone I meet. I love to create. From painting pumpkins, to building robots and everything in between. I take great joy in building things and I dream big.
What lessons have you learned over the years that might help other entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
- Team up with people who complement you, and give them the freedom and tools to excel.
- Know your limitations and embrace the fact that you cannot succeed on your own.
- Focus fanatically on your core customer, not your competition.
What has surprised you most about starting a business?
Firdaus: How much a small motivated team can accomplish with very limited resources. Also, how many decisions you have to make on a daily basis, often without the time to do the research you might like to do.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Firdaus: Building technology is relatively much easier than getting people to change their behavior. If you think you’ve figured out product-market fit out of the gate, you are almost certainly wrong. Don’t try to do it all because you will fail. Don’t worry so much about the competition, focus on your core customer instead.