Cube has built a point of sale and payment platform on top of an elastic cloud service. Cube solves a large problem for small businesses and multi-unit retailers.Cube’s initial focus is on multi-unit restaurants and plans to expand to other verticals with vertical-specific value-added features in the near future.A merchant can sign up for a free Cube account, go through a risk-assessment questionnaire, and be approved to start accepting credit cards in under 60 seconds. A merchant can upload their inventory or menu and start accepting orders within five minutes. Cube can also extend to allow merchants to integrate their existing merchant processor.Cube currently provides merchants with five core products:Fully-featured iPad Point of Sale application with integrated credit card and alternative payment processing which can be downloaded from the Apple AppStore. Our application integrates with cash drawers, receipt printers, and encrypted card readers.iPad Kitchen Display System which automatically syncs orders processed at the iPad Point of Sale application to streamline order preparation and delivery.Web-based Back-Office Configuration, Analytics, and Reporting application. A merchant can manage their entire business from one interface, across all their locations. They can perform labor management, run complex reports, and analyze all the data collected at the point of sale.Simple iPhone/iPod Credit Card Terminal which can be downloaded from the Apple AppStore. A merchant can simply swipe a credit card and process a payment from anywhere.Robust API which gives retailers the flexibility to integrate custom loyalty, deal redemption, inventory management, supply chain, and other software into Cube’s platform.
Entrepreneur’s Edge: Brand and Business Building with Joel Christner Founder of Cube
Cube is Salesforce for Point of SaleBuilding a point of sale is hard.We’ve done it. We’ve done it right. And we’ve done it mobile.What is Cube?
iPad Point of Sale Runner and Kitchen Display SystemiPhone / iPod Credit Card Terminal Back-Office and ManagementModern, Beautiful, Mobile Point of Sale
How We Got Started…• One shared vision: disrupt a big, bloated, slow-moving,non-innovative market – point of sale• Funded by angels and YCombinator (incubator)
Helpful Tips on Getting Started…• Three pieces of advice for starting any business:o Know what, why, for whom, know your competitors, and segment / differentiateo Know how much it will cost – employees, capital, operationalo Know where – your exit strategy• The most successful people are those that are “all-in”o Quit your jobo Fund if necessary – banks, angel investor groups, VCs, incubators• The “Nathan” strategyo If you can’t go full-time, bootstrap it yourself part-timeo Be patient! Results are commensurate with effort, and focus• One final thought on getting startedo It’s better to make decisions NOW than to waito Does not mean you shouldn’t plan or be thoughtfulo In most cases, it’s easier to correct a bad decision than to not do anything• When is the best time to plant a tree?
Technology in Wellness• Wellness technology is highly fragmented, and it takesdecades for highly fragmented markets to evolve (whichis why people use 10-year old point of sale products)• Some disruption caused by changes in user behaviorthat solve specific problemso “Track My Workouts” -> Fitocracyo “Analyze My Workouts” -> RunKeepero “Monitor My Progress” -> Fitbit, LoseIt!• Others leverage technology that may not be in the palmof the hand of the usero Logging programs and applications for trainerso “90-day challenge” programs with forums, social media• If you’re building a wellness technology company, try tointegrate into existing behavior rather than disrupt
Guidance on Technology Wellness• For entrepreneurs:o Don’t disturb user behavior – “gaming” in Fitocracy (great app!)is helpful but it’s still disturbing the user behavioro Leverage social media – results of your product/program dependon people sticking to them -> social media = accountability topeerso Leverage social media – it’s also the best viral marketingmechanism – but you need results first!• For employers:o Leave the choice to your employeeso Encourage health and wellnesso Subsidize when possible, find discounts at a minimum
Cube’s Approach to Employee Wellness• Like many of our Silicon Valley peers, we encouragewellness and offer benefits in support of that:o Reimbursement for gym membershipso Workout equipment at the office (powerlifting rack, wrestling mats,kettlebells)• And, we share activities as teambuilding exerciseso Jiu jitsu, grappling, judoo Tough Mudder!!• Lower-cost options are available that make it possible for*anyone* to do similar things:o Ask nearby gyms about special rateso Find public activities (yoga in the park, bike rides)o Discount programs – I highly recommend AnyPerk
Maintaining a Healthy Startup Environment• Startups are notoriously unhealthy – long hours, stress,no “shock absorbers” like big companies• Cube encourages a healthy startup environment:o Work when you want – no set scheduleo Manage expectations as a team and agree to them – accountabilityo Work where you want – home, coffee shop, office, parko Take off time when you want – infinite vacation days – see item 2o Encourages consistent productivity and “spikes” after some downtimeo Gym and fitness activities together• Give employees space they need and freedom theydesire, and either:o They will find balance and meet/exceed their expectations, oro The group will make it abundantly clear that they aren’t
Approaching Startups as a Client• Cold calls do not work. We are too busy. It will donothing but upset a person that is engrained in anengineering-dominated business• Use the network to get introductions and warm leads –engineers do not like meeting new people that are“pitching” them• Use an indirect method: friends and family. I didn’t startusing a specific brand of health/protein powder until mywife started selling it (and I was hesitant even then)• Startups have limited budgets. If you want to sell tothem, you have to show not only value, but also ROIo How will this make your business bettero How will this lead to happier employeeso How long will it take to recuperate startup costs, oro Do like law firms do – first $1000 is free, and deferred costs for 3 months (trial)
Summary• If you need a point of sale or credit card processing,remember me! https://www.getcube.com• Success is easier if your plan is thought out end-to-end –funding makes a difference but isn’t an indicator• If you build a wellness technology startup, start with theuse case and try to remain minimally disruptive to userbehavior• Encouraging wellness in employees doesn’t cost a lot –gym memberships are cheap, and discount programsexist for those that can’t fully subsidize• Employee freedom translates to health which translatesto wellness which translates to productivity
Final Thought for Entrepeneurs• Advice we received from Paul Graham (YCombinator,very famous angel investor) – applicable to anyentrepeneur:“Don’t get distracted. Right now you shouldonly be writing code and talking to users.” ~Paul Graham
Translated for Clarity and Understanding“Don’t get distracted. Right now you shouldonly be writing code and talking to users.” ~Paul GrahamStay focused,build your product, make it better,and get people using it!live in the moment, (you) take action,