Since 2002, we have worked to develop a new type of retail paradigm that combines online order fulfillment from local inventory with a new individualized approach to customers. Our strategic goal has always been to develop online solutions to improve life by offering systems to the mass market that are clearly better than the offline alternatives. To us, "clearly better than the offline alternatives" means faster and more convenient, less expressive and / or a better assortment (albeit not necessarily larger) than the local store. We shy from solutions that don't meet the threshold of "clearly better than the store to the mass market." By definition, our go-to-market strategy distinguishes the mass market from those people who need a delivery.
Our competitive focus on "better than" solutions is derived from the fact we have never raised any money and were initially capitalized by the founders with only $100,000. Without access to reasonable capital, we have been motivated to solve the economic problems as well conceptual with solutions that offer us inherent customer demand. In addition, our time horizon is a lifetime so it has been unclear whether capital or strategic partners would be reasonably interested in riding along with us.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, we're excited to articulate our thought process to the extent these pages reveal commonalities.