Konstantin Zvereff is the co-founder and CEO at BlueCart. BlueCart is an award winning Android and iOS based application linked to Web based platform designed to revolutionize the restaurant industry.
In this interview, Konstantin shares how he and his co-founder Jag developed this awesome platform to connect kitchen suppliers and restaurant owners -- simplifying the process of placing and receiving orders online. His biggest piece of advice to new entrepreneurs: start with a strong, positive support group.
Get to know more about Konstantin's entrepreneurial insights in the following paragraphs. For updates on BlueCart, be sure to follow him on Twitter!
What was your first business idea? Is there a biggest lesson you learned from it?
We originally started with a mammoth size project. We wanted to develop a complete solution from day one and enter the market with the biggest, most complete platform.
Soon after, we realized that our vision needed to fulfill users needs. User input was absolutely imperative from the very beginning. As a result, we adopted a lean model, developing one feature at a time and getting user feedback for each release.
How did you get the idea for BlueCart? Is there something you wanted to do different or better than your competitors?
BlueCart was the result of a project Jag and I did in an operations course we took towards our MBA’s. The project saw much success through winning business school competitions both nationally and internationally.
The biggest difference between BlueCart and our competitors resides in our fashion of listening to our users. We exercise extreme and constant empathy. We have have grown from 0 to 15,000 venues in less than 2 years and this has been achieved through an awesome user base.
What attitude/habits helped make you successful while starting BlueCart?
Hiring for attitude.
What was your biggest business mistake and how did you come out stronger at the end of the day?
Our biggest mistake was launching our product with a price comparison feature: offering buyers the cheapest alternative for their daily shopping. Within 2 weeks, we realized that vendors had a visceral reaction to this “race to the bottom” we created. By week 3, we removed the price comparison feature from our platform.
Are you using any Apps that help run and manage your business?
Absolutely! We have developed our own KPI dashboard, as well as a number of other external apps: Olark, Intercome.io, WhatsApp, Slack, and Mailchimp to name a few.
What are your visions for BlueCart? Where do you see it in the next 5 years?
We want to own the heart of the kitchen and everything that happens after the point of sale.
What makes BlueCart unique from others? How did you find your competitive advantage?
Not only is our team is excellent at listening and reacting to user feedback, but they all share this exciting energy and passion towards the app. They come into the office everyday ready to expand and grow from our current progress. Our team truly cares and believes in BlueCart and that radiates to our clientele and who now experience it’s effectiveness.
Do you have a specific question or test when hiring a new employee? What is your hiring secret?
We hire for Attitude.
How do you stay focused on a day-to-day basis? Do you have a key motivator that keeps you going and fighting the good fight?
Initially, we had 3-4 competitors that we could use to motivate our team. After 2-3 quarters of operations, we surpassed our competitors user base and had to focus on ourselves and our market goals and objectives. Now we just focus on holding our number one position.
What advice would you give to our readers who want to start a business in Washington DC? Where should they start?
They should start with a strong, positive support group. Starting a company is extremely difficult and having the proper support will help you and your team during the inevitable ups and downs.