First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Bruce Watanabe: Thank you for asking. My family and I as well as our entire company are staying safe and healthy.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined MassGenie (PowerBuy)
Bruce Watanabe: This is actually my fifth venture and MassGenie (PowerBuy) was founded back in 2017 by Thu Truong and I with the primary mission to become the leading social commerce company in the US.
How does MassGenie (PowerBuy) innovate?
Bruce Watanabe: As most of our employees came from my previous company where we conducted R&D and Product Development using Cloud & AI-based technologies for other companies around the world, we were always exposed to the latest innovation and technologies.
We simply carried that same experience and mindset to our new company where we are constantly innovating and evolving our technology and platform.
Therefore, we have become the leading social commerce as a service company for B2B and B2C here in North America, while companies like Pinduoduo and Lazada are leading social commerce in Mainland China and Southeast Asia.
How the Coronavirus pandemic affects MassGenie (PowerBuy), and how are you coping?
For Merchants, they no longer have the luxury of paying the high costs of PPC and SEO to drive traffic and awareness to their website while Consumers are watching their wallets more closely and spending more wisely.
Our PowerBuy technology and concept can solve both those issues for Merchants and Consumers.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Bruce Watanabe: One of the biggest takeaways from this pandemic, is that we were all living in a booming economy, and we had the luxury of spending a lot of money to expand our business.
Unfortunately, this is no longer the case, and businesses now need to rely more heavily on organic growth and be creative to sustain business continuity.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and MassGenie (PowerBuy) in the future?
Bruce Watanabe: I am heavily involved in sports and also a 6th-degree black belt, so exercise is one of the ways I deal with the stress and anxiety that comes along with running a startup venture
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Bruce Watanabe: As social commerce as a service is relatively new here in the US, my main competitors are Pinduoduo in Mainland China and Lazada (an Alibaba company) in Southeast Asia
Your final thoughts
Bruce Watanabe: Although the world is going through a major crisis, I strongly believe that we will all come out of this pandemic stronger than ever through perseverance and innovation from individuals to the companies that they are part of.