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Meet the Maker: Nancy Smith and Firdaus Bhathena of Bevy

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.

MeettheMakerBevy
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How would you define "good design"?

Firdaus: When a product goes beyond functional satisfaction and gives me an emotional high, I know I am experiencing great design. Ease of use, minimalism, and performance are all very important, but how the product makes me feel is the key defining factor for me.
 
Nancy: Good design is that magical balance between form and function. It’s not pretty for pretty sake, it’s designed with the function and end user in mind but does it in a beautiful way.
...

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.

 

Bevy1


What lessons have you learned over the years that might help other entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
.
Firdaus:
-Failure is truly the best teacher, and never a reason to not try again.
-The true test of a team is when times get tough, as they inevitably will.
- 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.
Nancy:
-Figure out what scares you most, tackle that first then the rest is exciting and fun.
- Don’t feel like you need everyones approval to start. There will be lots of naysayers along the way and that’s ok.
- Surround yourself with great people and learn from them
- Don’t be vanilla. If you appeal to everyone, no one will care about you so let your product, company, brand have a voice it’s much more memorable.
 ...

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.

Nancy: How much I didn’t know and how quickly we can move.
...
bevy2

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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.

Nancy: Don’t neglect your network, it will be more valuable than you can ever imagine. You don’t know it all, not even close. Don’t strive for work life balance, it’s a myth. Just be present and engaged whether at work or at home not worrying about where you’re not and you’ll be just fine.
 ...
To learn more about Bevy, watch our video here.

Comments

  • April Says:

    I understand your initial reasoning for requiring the device to physically be present to log in or be a part of the Bevy, but that doesn't work for me. The moment you make it so that you don't physically have to have the device present to "log on", I'm in!
    One more request, could you please provide a FAQ section and a formal list of how it works/features? Reading through the comme ts was a challenge.

  • Nancy Says:

    Hello April,
    Thanks for your comment. Currently you do have to be physically present the first time you use it, after that you can access Bevy from anywhere. We are working feverishly on a way for you to be able to remotely invite people to your Bevy so they never have to be physically present to use it and expect that to be finished and rolled out as a software update by years end.
    I will ask about adding a FAQ section- I know there were a lot of comments and imagine that would be a challenging way to find information! Please don't hesitate to reach out to us with any other questions. You can contact us directly at [email protected]

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