This new startup wants to sign and accept your deliveries, then delivers on demand at your convenience.
Paul Moskowitz is the founder Boxxify, a new startup aiming to end the missing delivery problem. Boxxify wants to accomplish this by signing for and accepting your deliveries, then delivers on demand at your convenience.
Recently, I connected with Paul and he shared the story behind his new company.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your company – what is Boxxify all about?
Boxxify is an on-demand package delivery service that aims to eliminate the problem of missed and stolen package deliveries. By accepting packages remotely, then delivering to our customers doorsteps by appointment, we aim to bring package delivery into the on-demand era—just as Uber has done for transportation. The service is targeted for urban professionals who work 9-5 and don’t live in a building with an attendant. The process for scheduling a package delivery is straightforward and convenient. Customers simply ship their packages to Boxxify’s secure mail facility then schedule an appointment for evening delivery any weeknight from 7PM to midnight. Each delivery costs $7, regardless of the number of packages.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your background and how you started your company?
Before founding Boxxify, I worked as a consultant at Bain & Company, and a Private Equity Associate at Bain Capital. We started the company, as part of class at Harvard Business School class where we were given a small budget and assigned to launch a start-up in a relatively short time frame.
Q: What are some of the projects you are working on right now?
We’re currently focused on three projects. First, we’re fine tuning our warehousing and logistics processes, in order to make our service faster, cheaper, and more scalable over the long run. Second, we’re implementing more sophisticated ad-targeting, and CRM systems in order to scale our customer base, optimize conversion rates, and maximize retention of existing users. Finally, we are exploring potential e-commerce partnerships where we would offer our service at checkout, in order to widen our reach among online shoppers.
Q: What are your plans for the future, how do you plan to grow this company?
We see five major vectors for future growth. First, we plan to extend our current service radius from downtown Boston to the entire Boston Metro Area. Second, we plan to expand the service geographically to other major US cities. Third, we plan to partner with e-commerce sites to offer our delivery service as an add-on at checkout for high value, urgent, and unwieldy items. Fourth, we plan to pursue employer partnerships where our service would be offered as an employee benefits. Finally, we plan to add an “outbound” service that will pick-up, box and transport packages that customers wish to send or return through UPS and FedEx.
Q: What were the top 3 mistakes you made starting your business and what did you learn from it?
Our first mistake was trying to do too many things at once. Initially, we tried to offer both inbound deliveries as well as an outbound service that would pick up packages customers wanted to return. We felt the outbound feature was important because it strengthened our value proposition and helped to differentiate us from competitors. However in reality, it was a major distraction. It not only complicated our back end operations, but also diluted our marketing message with customers. In the process, we realized that it’s better to start small, and maintain focus, before adding complexity.
Our second mistake was waiting too long to launch. We spent a lot of time upfront trying to build a “perfect” website and operating model. But a lot of this ended up being wasted energy. Many of our assumptions about how customers would use the service ended up being wrong- so we ultimately had to modify or scrap the features we’d worked so hard to “perfect”. In retrospect, it would have been better to deliver a “rougher” product to the customer more quickly, so we could start collecting data sooner, and then make adjustments on the fly.
Our final mistake was not listening to our customers. We initially assumed (incorrectly) that consumers would prefer to pay for Boxxify as a subscription, like Amazon Prime. We were fairly convinced of this. So when initial demand was low, it didn’t even occur to us that the lack of traction was a pricing problem. It was only when we started talking to customers that we realized the use case for Boxxify was more “episodic” than “recurring”, and hence required a per delivery pricing model.
Q: Please share some advice for new entrepreneurs, someone who’s just starting out.
- Start undercapitalized—the leaner, the better
- Focus on customers, not investors
- Fail early and often; and don’t be afraid to pivot
- Build a trusted circle of advisers
- The key to success is sales– be prepared to hustle! [Tweet This]
Q: What was the best business advice you have ever received and who gave you this advice?
‘Love your people on the way out the same way you loved them on the way in”- Jack Welsh [Tweet it]
Q: What are the top 3 online tools and resources you’re currently using to grow your company?
Heroku– scalable email delivery and analytics
Google analytics– website performance tracking and intelligence
Twilio– API for automated customer text messaging
Q: What’s your definition of success?
For me, success is dedicating myself to a cause, learning quickly, working with great teams on problems I’m passionate about, and having fun in the process.
Q: What are three books you recommend entrepreneurs to read?
Q: What is your favorite entrepreneurship quote?
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”- Albert Einstein [Tweet It]
Q: How can our community get in touch with you?
You can reach me personally at: firstname.lastname@example.org and follow Boxxify on the web at: