Startups and Purpose
Our startup, BongoBing, has gone through tremendous change over the past few months from a website where everything seems to be broken to one that is innovating and changing the way people shop online for the better. Not too long ago we started our first day at the Babson Summer Ventures program with the hope of building something great. Four months later, we truly believe that we have built something great, and we are just getting started. The key to a startups’ success is not how much money they have (although it helps), but whether or not they have purpose, because without purpose there is no drive or reason to make it through the tough times. Once you have purpose, innovation will come because you are no longer there just to make money, but to change something about the world. Some of the nifty things that we’ve been able to do is to provide a REALLY fast and relevant search (faster than our competitors), snippets that show you where on the product description your search terms matched, and a really detailed profile of the product (better than any of the top shopping sites); see them here: Search Results Page & Product Profile.
When we worried about only the money and had no purpose, we became handicapped by spending our time thinking up ways to make “a quick buck”. Once we realized how much it currently “sucks” for online shoppers and how much of an impact we could make then our focus became all about the shopping experience, and we immediately began making more money as a result. So, in summary, you need a purpose to have a successful startup. A “want to be entrepreneur” hits a wall and decides to give up and go home, a true entrepreneur makes a door and charges others for going through it.