Even the small things like a double shot of espresso can be inspiration. For Ameya Bhatawdekar, it helped him come up with the domain name for his startup Nuubuu. Make no mistake though, this is a startup founder who’s hell bent on solving an issue the startup vision and he’s going to take it to the next level.
Nuubuu is a tool that allows users to sell digital goods such as ebooks, music, designs, photographs, movies, fonts, and templates online. The transaction model is straightforward and simple while also giving users a significant percentage of the revenue generated from their sales.
We had a chance to talk to Ameya recently and he shared the following with us:
How’d you come up with the name for your company?
I was on the look out for an easy to remember, fun name. Another requirement was that a corresponding “short url” should also be available. So a double shot espresso powered search yielded “nuubuu.com” and “nbuu.co”. I called a friend late night and mentioned nuubuu.com casually. I called him the next morning (much too early for him) and asked if he remembered the domain name that I had mentioned – and he did! And so, nuubuu it was.
What’s the very first thing you do at work everyday?
I stare at my white board for a few minutes. My whiteboard is a key project management/life organization tool for me. Each morning, I take stock of what I set out to do yesterday, what I got done, what’s remaining and what I need to get done today. Then I erase the old list, write it down a new list. Nothing very complicated – my lists have typically less than five items – and usually I’m able to get through three of those on a good day.
How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?
I have one person working for me currently- me. Nubuu was a late Tuesday evening idea that had transformed into a working prototype by the next Wednesday morning. It was a whirlwind after that. But I must add that I did have great advice and guidance from a number of folks in the Seattle start up community.
Remember the early days starting up? Maybe you can share one anecdote that describes the struggle you went through?
Some of the early challenges have been interesting and a good learning experience. I ended up rewriting the code-base a few from the scratch. I would code code code – get something working – then I’d figure out a MUCH better way to do the same thing. So I’d tear down everything and start from scratch. Initially this was a bit frustrating, but I soon realized that this was all good – just that I need to do this more efficiently. So, after a few tweaks to my process – I’m able to run rapid tiny experimentation projects where I hone and refine the concept, the code etc and integrate it back into the product easily.
How do you handle frustration?
I am a fairly positive person most of the time – but frustration can creep in after being put on hold for 40 minutes so that I can change (or rather cancel) my cable subscription. But, I remind myself that the customer service representative isn’t really responsible for my woes and probably has to talk to irate folks all day long, which can be pretty rough. A little bit of zen goes a long way converting frustration into empathy – and I am able to release my stress quickly.
What’s your office environment like?
I work from home or from a co-working space at the EastsideIncubator warehouse in Redmond which houses a bunch of other very smart entrepreneurs. On some Monday evenings, I meet up with a bunch of awesome RoR developers at CafeRacer for some beer and pub food fueled coding sessions.
How do you picture your company in 5 years?
“nuubuu” becomes a verb in the content creators’ vernacular. nuubuu becomes synonymous with “selling digital goods online”.
Who or what inspires you?
I derive a lot of inspiration from smart, energetic and positive folks. Just working alongside them keeps me motivated – and I’m sure some of their smarts and energy rub off on me.
I enjoy running – I run a few times a week. Some of my best ideas and inspirations come to me during when I’m running.
How’d you fund this venture?
Bootstrapping! Cloud platforms have significantly reduced the need for capital expenditure in the early stages of a startup. I’d say that 90% of the costs are variable costs – and as the site grows, it is easy to linearly scale the platform.
Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?
Frugality is obvious. But also realize that time is a valuable commodity – don’t fall in the trap of doing everything yourself. It may be okay to outsource sometimes – especially if you believe that you can work on more important things that will help you get closer to your goal of launching your startup.
What would you be doing if you had one year off and $500,000 to spend?
I use the time and the money to build another startup in the education space!
Do you consider yourself a successful entrepreneur right now? If not, what’s it gonna take to make you feel successful?
These are early days for nuubuu.com – there are tons of opportunities and a lot of work to be done. It has been a lot of fun so far. Hard work, focus on providing the best customer and experience value, and perseverance will be key to success.
Mobile App you’re in love with and why?
The Washington State Dept of Traffic app – it shows traffic to and from Seattle which can be a nightmare. That app has saved my bacon many times.
Dogs or cats?
iOS or Android?
iOS and Android. They both represent significant opportunities.
Number 1 country you’ve always wanted to visit but haven’t yet?
What’s the greatest thing about your company?
Simplicity and ease of use – from the user experience to the business model. nuubuu.com make it really easy for digital content creators – authors, artists, photographers, designers – to sell their digital creations and will help many content creators maximize their revenues.
Where can our readers get ahold of you?
Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ameya Bhatawdekar / Nuubuu.com