December 8, 2011
Earlier this year, Nik Bauman was trying to figure out what to do next. He had cofounded artisan food marketplace Foodzie and been named one of Businessweek’s best young tech entrepreneurs of 2009. Should he get a job as a developer or consultant or plunge into another startup?
“I look at business like a craft,” says Bauman, who interned at Apple. “After putting in several years of learning at Foodzie, simply developing software seemed like settling, especially when I know I can have a larger impact.”
Bauman eventually decided to dive in as cofounder of Tonx, a startup that delivers you a 12 oz. bag of coffee every two weeks for $35 per month.
There, he is applying much of the knowledge he gobbled up at Foodzie, beginning with a focus on quality. To get it right, the Tonx team samples different roasts and constantly tweaks the roasting process to ensure the best taste. They also ship within 24 hours of roasting to the United States and Canada and pick always-changing varieties of coffee. This is largely the domain of cofounder and renowned coffee professional Tony Konecny.
Foodzie also taught Bauman how to say no and prioritize, albeit through trial and error. This time around, he knows to focus on the key ingredients and not waste time on everything else.
Yet, armed with these lessons and Foodzie’s success – Foodzie graduated TechStars and raised over $1 million in funding – Bauman still didn’t expect Tonx to take off so fast.
I’ve been (pleasantly) surprised at the customer reactions. You have a hypothesis that you think will be validated, but it’s always a surprise to have happen. Turns out, people want this.
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