Brad Lauster here. At Bindo, we’re working to strengthen local economies by bringing an unprecedented level of convenience to local shopping. As one of the founders of Bindo, I often get asked how our company got started, so I’d like to tell you a little story.
On August 3rd, 1998, I had a truly life-changing experience when I made my first online purchase. Having long been fascinated by urbanism and community, I bought Peter Katz & Vincent Scully’s book, “The New Urbanism: Toward an Architecture of Community.”
Now, disregard the controversy surrounding that book because that’s not the point. The point is that shopping online was exciting, it was fast and most importantly, it was convenient. I immediately wanted to shop online at every store and I was certain eCommerce would completely change the way I shopped.
But I was wrong…at least for a while.
Back then, the technology needed to enable online/offline convergence cost millions of dollars and required hundreds of people for design, engineering and operations. So, the only companies that could afford to do eCommerce were big-box retailers and online-only shops with no need to reconcile online & offline sales.
Like everyone though, I did most of my shopping at the stores near my home and I wanted the convenience of shopping at those stores online! Unfortunately, online/offline convergence was simply out of reach for the stores I liked, and while the dream of universal online shopping continued to percolate in the back of my mind, it would be more than 10 years before the technology would become accessible to the kind of merchants I cared about.
Fast forward to 2010. Smartphones and cloud technology were revolutionizing computing, enabling new user experiences and generally flipping the lid on the possibilities for how merchants could manage their stores, attract and retain customers and make the shopping experience more convenient.
We simply recognized those trends and began building tools to help merchants realize those possibilities. Soon we’ll launch the Bindo Marketplace, bringing to fruition a 16 year dream about convenient local shopping. After that, we have some really exciting retail technology coming down the pipe. I can’t wait to share it with you!
By the way, in case you’re wondering what Bindo means, my cofounder, Jason, came up with the name. He and I met in Hong Kong, where Jason grew up speaking Cantonese and English. Bindo sounds like the word for “where?” in Cantonese. And since Bindo helps you find where to get the things you need at nearby stores, well, we think the name makes perfect sense.
Oh, and it’s pronounced, Bin-doh, by the way.