“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
buythechange believes when people spend their money with others in their community, connections grow stronger and everyone wins. Their platform allows you to see the services your friends and neighbors offer, and who they recommend. It helps entrepreneurs gain new customers and grow their businesses through their biggest fans. We caught up with Zack Steven and Joe Dalsin, cofounders of buythechange, to see what’s on the agenda for the startup and what’s in store for Beta.MN 2.5.
Tell us the story of how and why you started your company.
We were frustrated by how difficult it was to find recommendations for basic needs like a painter, veterinarian, financial planner or piano teacher. There was no simple way to discover services provided by our friends and neighbors, or through other trusted communities like schools and churches. Our initial idea was to bring the traditional community bulletin board online, in a networked way that would make it easy for people to actually discover, meet and hire each other. Along the way we’ve met many amazing entrepreneurs and we are motivated by sharing their stories and helping them grow their businesses.
buythechange is really an Internet of People company. Our mission is “building community through commerce” and our vision is rooted in the beliefs that strong local communities are important, entrepreneurs are awesome and technology is at its best when it builds real world connections. The name itself is derived from the Gandhi quote “you must be the change you wish to see in the world”. When people spend their money with others in their community, connections grow stronger and everyone wins. Our aim is to make that Uber easy.
What’s your most recent success or milestone hit?
We are super excited that Joe Dalsin has joined our team as CTO. Joe is a seasoned engineer and entrepreneur who was most recently with a software company in San Francisco. Under his leadership we have completed Facebook integration that makes it easy for members to discover how they are connected to each other and we have accelerated the development of new features which will increase both value and happiness for our members.
Where do you see your startup in 1 year?
In a year we’ll have found product market fit, nailed down our monetization strategy, built a small team, shipped native mobile apps, and achieved positive monthly cash flow by helping thousands of entrepreneurs grow their businesses. We will be focused full time on scaling into markets beyond the Twin Cities, evangelizing entrepreneurship and the Startup Capital of the North as we go!