Interview With Kal Bielawski, Business Analyst at Boxabl
Describe your product or service:
“Boxabl produces foldable modular homes that are able to ship under the threshold of an oversized load. Once onsite, our flagship Casita model unfolds in one to two hours to become a beautiful 400 sqft. living space.”
Describe your company values and mission:
“Boxabl is on a mission to provide the highest quality houses at the lowest possible price.”
How are you funded? I.e. venture capital, angel investors, etc.
“Boxabl has raised their capital through a series of crowdfunding rounds and accredited investors.”
How big is your team? Tell us a little about them (I.e. co-founders, freelancers, etc.)
“Boxabl has over 100 employees.”
Did you always want to start your own business? What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
“Like many others, I have always wanted to start a company. It's hard to pinpoint where the entrepreneurial spirit is rooted in myself. I have always been full of ideas, the real challenge has been choosing the one to execute.”
How did you come up with your startup idea? How did you decide to actually act on the idea? What gave you confidence that you were on the right track?
“Our background is not in the housing or construction industry. Our background is in problem-solving. When contemplating issues still present in the modern world, we saw an opportunity to pioneer a new frontier. Construction is the last big industry to move onto a production line. Just look around — cars, airplanes, TVs, they are all manufactured on a production line. Some people may find it foolish, or even impossible, to make a building or home on a production line. We believe that through first principle thinking, engineering, and exceptional design, anything is possible.”
How did you come up with your company name? Did you have other names you considered?
“It was always going to be Boxabl or Boxable. We chose Boxabl because we did not want people to pronounce it Box-able.”
What is the greatest challenge you faced in starting your business, and how did you overcome it?
“The biggest challenge in starting any business is the word ‘no.’ At every turn, there is a potential partner, investor, company, etc., telling you ‘no.’ These mean nothing. You overcome a no by creating a winning product — you create your own ’yes.’”
What's your marketing strategy?
“First, we tell the world what we are going to do. Then we execute.”
How did you acquire your first 100 customers?
“We harnessed the power of social media, and clever marketing has driven the massive interest in our company. The attention has resulted in a waitlist with over 50,000 names for our signature Boxabl Casita. When I first began marketing, I attempted to get on traditional media outlets like the local news. At some point, I reached out to a YouTuber, Kristina Smallhorn. She ended up coming out to Vegas to do a video on our company.
I immediately saw our web traffic, social media following, and inquiries increase substantially. We ran with this. I reached out to as many YouTubers as possible and pitched our company to them. My hope was that our product was unique enough to showcase in one of their videos. The plan worked. Our online presence exploded.”
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
“We are constantly measuring our social engagement. We also pay close attention to the number of individual investors we have, not the amount of money.”
What's your favorite book on entrepreneurship?
"‘Grit’ by Angela Duckworth.”
What is your favorite startup or business podcast?
“‘Masters of Scale.’”
What is something that surprised you about entrepreneurship?
“The amount of times you have to fail in order to see success. Next to nothing goes right the first time.”
How do you achieve work/life balance as a founder?
“It depends on how big your idea is. Boxabl is trying to change the world. There is no work/life balance.”
How do you stay motivated?
“I genuinely love what we are creating here at Boxabl.”
Did you have to develop any habits that helped lead you to success? If so, what are they?
“Perseverance. There is increasing difficulty and higher stakes at every step. I learned to keep going when things did not go our way.”
What are you most proud of as an entrepreneur?
“It feels great to create something so big out of nothing and to force it into existence through hard work, suffering, and persistence.”
More on Boxabl
We were fortunate enough to hear some valuable insights during our interview with Kal Bielawski of Boxabl that will inspire, motivate, and teach aspiring and established entrepreneurs alike.