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Bootstrapped First, Raise Money Later: Manick Bhan, CEO of Rukkus (Part 5)

Posted on Friday, Jun 10th 2016

Sramana Mitra: Let’s get back to the specifics of how you did it. Now that you are in the market, you have figured out that you can get to a million dollar run rate. What was the reason why people were buying from you versus these other players? You had all kinds of hypothesis intellectualizing before you started, but what did you learn from the market?

Manick Bhan: In that time, the only goal we had was, “Can we analyze the things that are happening with our users and our app?” What percentage of them are buying? When are they buying? The thing is we had a little bit of spark. All we were doing is we were gathering around this flame and just trying to study it. We were just studying all these details.

Sramana Mitra: I’m asking you a specific detail from that lot. Why were they buying from you? This is one of the fundamental positioning questions that people need to ask? Why?

Manick Bhan: There’s no why actually. This is something important that I think most VCs fail to understand. The world is not black and white. The world is grey. We weren’t the best product. We weren’t the cheapest product. We weren’t the most impressive. We were just there.

Sramana Mitra: Then next question is how were you there? How were customers finding you?

Manick Bhan: The app stores are already organic paths that bring customers to you. Google is a very powerful driver of traffic. Even if you’re just starting out, you’ll still get something. You’re going to get some eyeballs. Same is true in the app store. You’re going to get some background noise of installs. These are real people. You’re not just getting a whole lot of them. They’re finding you in some nook and cranny.

Sramana Mitra: You were basically in the app store and you were getting some organic traffic. You managed, somehow, to convert that traffic into actual transactions. That’s the crux of the story that you’re telling here at this point.

Manick Bhan: Yes, that’s true of anyone who is in e-commerce.

Sramana Mitra: Where are we in the chronology of this story?

Manick Bhan: This is nine months after launching the iPhone app.

Sramana Mitra: Is that end of 2013?

Manick Bhan: This is 2014.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Bootstrapped First, Raise Money Later: Manick Bhan, CEO of Rukkus
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