Interview With Niraj Shah And Steve Conine


So. Pretty much everyone we'd had on the show had a passion for a product that they needed to put out into the world lower American believed the world needed Lara Bars Jenny. Britain Bauer was convinced that her ice cream was gonNA change how people thought about ice cream even Jimmy Wales founder of wikipedia. Everyone should have access to free knowledge. But I'm here to tell you that that is not always the case. In fact, sometimes, the product isn't what drives the founders what really drives them is the challenge rather solving the challenge and that's basically the story behind wayfair neither Steve Konae nor near shopping felt that strongly about home furnishings but they did feel like people should have choices no matter where they lift because there was a time. When if you lived in say Evansville Indiana, you couldn't easily get the same type of Cool Coffee Table, or Sofa that someone in San Francisco or New York could get. And today we ourselves almost five billion dollars worth of this stuff every year. We're was actually the third company Stephen, Neeraj started together. They met as teenagers at a summer camp for math and engineering nerves in the early nineteen nineties quickly touch. But then almost a year later, if fate herself was watching over these guys, they both ended up as first years at Cornell assigned to dorm rooms on the same corridor. Did, you know both of you did the other one was going to cornell no end really kept in touch. So I think it was It was a surprise. Very much I was like, Hey, what's up? This past year. So were you friends like right away? Yeah. We were part of A. When your freshman year, you sort of have a small group of friends that you sort of connect with and spend a lot of your time with and we were in that group together and then junior year near started. We've got to be a lot closer and live together that year. Junior and senior we actually live together as well with it with a few other. People up at Cornell. Yeah, did you guys near to shoot you steve us to talk about starting a business when you in college I don't know that we have talked about it per se but our last semester at Cornell we took an entrepreneurship courses, one of our elective courses and in this entrepreneurship course, one of the things you had to do was create a business plan and what really happened is through the process of doing the project which is creating the business plan. We basically started our first business. Yeah. It was ninety five and it was very early as the netscape browser come out that year. Our idea was actually to develop Internet. Directory Services, and we would go downtown New York and try to pitch companies on paying five Bucks Avenue Listing I in our Internet directory. Of course, most people look at us like we're nuts a few would say, hey, that's interesting. But I I don't even have a homepage called at the time. Could you help me build a website and you know maybe at least get present on the Internet and what would that cost me and so the business turned into kind of an Internet consulting business that built sites for companies, and you kind of knew how to do the basics because you were engineering students exactly. So you'd go from project to project and Comey's were to move very quickly. You know different people would ask other people in your who could be higher so on. So forth, we were one of the few shops that actually done things. When you would meet when you guys are going meet with clients. Did you ever get a feeling from any of them that they would look at you and think late these guys. Fired A twenty two year. Old Kid. You know we did we both were pretty good sales guy. So I don't I don't remember that being snacking me too hard. I mean I I think that you know the prices were charging versus what they would be looking at consultancies I think a lot of these bigger shops looked at it as like. Play money where they're kind of like. Well, whatever how bad. Kimiko. With a couple of college students here are doing this for us if it works out phenomenal if it doesn't work out, you know whatever we haven't really we haven't really lost a lot.

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