Data-driven decisions: finding the right product mix

By Steven Duque

As we near placing the first set of Momba vending machines on university campuses across New England and the northeastern United States, we’re thinking hard about the product selections we make. The limited space within our vending machines to serve our products makes smart inventory selection even more pressing. Most who know me will agree that my natural tendency is to act on my intuition, but experience (including my work at Bullhorn) has taught me that using data to inform our decisions can help us act more wisely and productively than we would without it.

Data-driven decisions and doing the “right” thing

Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, “It takes less time to do things right than to explain why you did it wrong.” Although Longfellow was likely referring to ethical decisions, the adage applies to the Momba’s approach to identifying the “right” product mix to best serve students’ needs. Rather than shooting first and asking questions later, we conducted a survey last month to help us identify which products we should initially serve in our machines. Continue reading

The beginning of the beginning

Momba: a different type of business

Momba

By Steven Duque

Momba’s primary mission is to give students the things they need where they live, whenever they need them; a significant portion of our profits will be given to schools’ financial aid programs. And, we plan to offer student social entrepreneurs an opportunity to make good money while making a positive impact on their immediate communities.

A former dirty college kid on financial aid cleans up

Laundry Piling UpOnce upon a time, I was a dirty college kid on financial aid, who was awake at all sorts of weird hours of the day, as my former roommates will attest. Incidentally, I also often exposed myself to a lot of unnecessary danger by wandering campus and neighboring areas, especially when I needed essential items like toiletries and/or clean undergarments (you can probably guess that I wasn’t super religious about doing my laundry).

In my late-night college wanderings, I saw that I wasn’t the only one awake. Whether for studying, partying or just hanging out, people away at school are awake at all hours of the day. Not only that, they also often need things at all hours of the day. Even when it’s daytime, the thought of dropping what you’re doing and leaving your dorm to buy essential items can seem daunting and time-consuming. In the grand scheme of dorm life, taking care of oneself often falls lower and lower on a growing priority list.

And that’s where Momba comes in. Continue reading