Deal sites got kind of a bad rap with all of that commotion around Groupon last year, but just because they caught a lot of flak doesn’t mean that we have to throw the deal website baby out with the startup bathwater. Nabzie is a nascent company run by Jason Elliott and his “family of savvy shoppers.” Their goal is to connect customers with coupons highlighting certain aspects of mom and pop stores, encouraging people to spend money in at local businesses.
Jason took some time from his days running around finding awesome businesses to answer some questions for KillerStartups. At least, we hope he took a break and didn’t respond from his “desk”–the driver’s seat of his car.
How’d you come up with the name for your company?
It was actually pulled it out of thin air one day. I always like twists on original words, and I felt that the word nab worked nice with getting a good deal. I figured it had to sound like there was action behind it…so Nabzie was born.
How are you different from every other deal site out there?
We aren’t technically a daily deal site. We are a site offering business spotlights with coupons attached. We offer a more in-depth view of the business not just a quick glance at a discounted service. Behind the scenes our fee structure is unlike the typical daily deal marketplace, our structure benefits both consumer and merchant.
What’s the very first thing you do at work everyday?
Checking the google analytics. Its become an addiction to see how much traffic the site got, and where from. I mean, seriously, we launched in Georgia and have people looking from London almost daily. How cool is that?
Okay, okay…and my email too.
How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?
We started out with one, and have four now. With eyes set on a few more actually.
Remember the early days starting up? Maybe you can share one anecdote that describe the struggle you went through?
Its still the early days for us. But we like many start-ups worked into the wee hours of the morning finalizing all the details. I got so wrapped up in the code on the site for a couple of weeks, I thought our merchant account application had been sent in. Four days before the launch I remembered it hadn’t…T hankfully, through some sweet talking, they got us up and running, 12:00am on the launch day to be exact.
How do you handle frustration? When/how was the last time you dealt with frustration?
Frustration happens frequently in the startup world; something seemingly simple doesn’t pan out, or flops. Or something out of your control takes place. You have to blow through the frustration and focus on finding a solution. After you get the problem fixed then you can vent, throw something, scream, etc. Use that frustration to fuel your energy to push forward.
What’s your office environment like? Is it the kind of place where everyone is bumpin’ away to house music or is it more traditional?
Office? Whats that? We are a total mobile workforce out and about meeting merchants, and grabbing some free WIFI at local coffee shops. If you considered our car the office, well in that case we are always bumping away to the latest hits.
How do you picture your company in 5 years?
Overlooking the city from our loft office space. The office buzzing with employees that have been hitting the streets finding unique mom and pops, products, and delivering on our promise to both the consumer and merchant. We expect our merchant reach to be nationwide as well.
Who or what inspires YOU? Role models? Quotes? Running? Video games? Snack food? Give us the deets, dude!
Learning new things is always inspiring to me. I love quotes too, motivational quotes are everywhere. I love this one by Thomas Edison which I think is fitting for startups.
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Walking and jogging help to relieve the daily stresses. Snack food. Sour Patch kids, bar none my fav.
How’d you fund this venture? VC? Self-funding? Crowd-funded? Where’d you get the money, man?
All bootstrapped, and self-funded. No outside money…..yet.
Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?
Yes. Take it one step at a time. Its all about execution. Don’t waste money on the niceties that you don’t need. I try to always follow the advice I’ve read from Felix Dennis. To multiply every purchase by ten. That final number is the amount of revenue you need to cover the purchase. That $2500 mac that you just have to have? Hope you’ve got $25,000 in revenue on the books. It’s not perfectly exact, but it helps you steer from purchases you can live without.
What would you be doing if you had one year off and $500,000 to spend (and you couldn’t spend it on your current startup / projects)
I love to cook and try new eateries, so I’d probably spend a great deal of it traveling around the US finding new quaint places to try out. Then I’d get that photography gear I’ve always wanted and try my hand at creating masterpieces like Ansel Adams. Of course I’d take a nice vacation and just veg, someplace without cell phone coverage or internet access.
Do you consider yourself a successful entrepreneur right now? If not, what’s it gonna take to make you feel successful?
People always equate success to money, for me its much more then that. I think any entrepreneur who can take something from idea to deliverable is a success. Even if the market doesn’t accept the deliverable, and the company flops, they were still able to execute upon their idea. So for that reason yes, I feel that I am a successful entrepreneur.
Website you couldn’t live without and why?
Youtube. Where else can you listen to music, watch cars, see people doing awesome and stupid stuff. But it can be a big time waster, for sure.
Mobile App you’re in love with and why?
Doodle Sprint. Its just so simple, and addicting. Plus I love stick figures…Well, only because that’s all I can draw.
Dogs or cats?
Dogs for sure. One I am allergic to cats and two cats are just to dang sneaky for me.
iOS or Android?
iOS all the way. I need simplicity in my life and iOS delivers that. Besides I’m on a diet and don’t need to be carrying around an ICE Cream Sandwich or Jelly Beans.
What’s the greatest thing about your company/website/idea?
The greatest thing about the company is that its enjoyable, it’s work but doesn’t feel like work. Meeting new merchants, trying new things and delivering that to other consumers is pretty fun.
Where can our readers get ahold of you?