In this week’s episode of Founder’s Journey, Ross talks to Bar Geron, co-founder of Balance, the B2B eCommerce checkout platform.
Bar met his now co-founder, Yoni Shuster, when they were both working at PayPal. Since he wanted to learn how to build things, Bar began and ended a couple of startups before he and Yoni landed on the concept that would become Balance – with the goal of turning the online B2B payment experience from painful to delightful.
Listen to the full episode to hear about Bar’s insights and advice, including:
- The importance of your founding team relationships
- Getting it right before you scale & add new channels
- Feeling comfortable with thinking long-term
Listen on your favorite podcast platforms: Spotify, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts.
4 Tips for Founders from Bar Geron, Co-Founder of Balance
1. Focus on creating a delightful, exciting experience
When Bar and Yoni created Balance, the existing online B2B ordering and payment experience was either nonexistent or high friction, Bar said. He thought about Stripe and how people loved the experience of it.
“I had to create something that had that sentiment, that feeling,” Bar said. “Can we do something people feel is delightful, something that makes you excited?”
So throughout the usual customer discovery, building an MVP, and iterating on it, Bar and his team focused on providing that delightful experience. Now, Balance is a B2B eCommerce checkout platform that eliminates friction on both the buying and the selling side: buyers can pay how they want, and merchants can get paid instantly.
2. Don't underestimate the importance of strong relationships with your founding team
Bar and Yoni have worked together in the past, both at PayPal and at a previous company they started together. During that time, Bar said they made progress in their relationship and developed better communication, which was priceless for then working on Balance and getting through the day-to-day of startup life together.
“I think this is our superpower,” Bar said. With some relationships, he said, it can feel like 1+1 = ½. With others, it feels like 1+1 = 5, and that’s where he and Yoni are now. “It’s amazing how effective that is.”
Now, when hiring and building teams, Bar pays attention to the dynamic a person brings and who he is around them. “I know that there are people who bring out the best in me, and it’s not about them, it’s about us.”
3. Focus on getting it right before scaling & adding new channels
At the beginning of a company, when you’re going after any opportunities that arise, it’s hard to see the cost of not focusing on one area, Bar says. It’s important to not cast too wide a net at first: focus on getting one thing right before adding another.
“When you’re starting to build the engine, you want to make sure you get it right before you create more channels and business lines,” Bar said. “We’ve got to make sure we understand it and it’s predictable, and give us the breathing space we need to focus on new business lines.”
4. Feel comfortable with thinking long-term
Bar’s last piece of advice – to his younger self and to other founders out there – is to think long-term from the start. It’s hard to make long-term planning a priority when you’re only focused on hitting your targets and showing that your metrics are going up, but it’s critical for the future success of your company.
“It’s not easy in the ecosystem of growth, growth, growth,” Bar said. “But be comfortable with thinking long-term and building infrastructure the right way.”
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Bar Geron is co-founder & CEO at Balance, YCombinator alum, and a proud Israeli. 🇮🇱
Balance was built to make B2B payment awesome for the B2B eCom space. Prior to Balance, Bar founded Q.AI, a data infrastructure company to solve bottlenecks to see a physician, and spent 4+ years in fintech including PayPal and high-growth startups.