Shawn Harris and Niraj Shah are serial entrepreneurs who have been building businesses in the region for more than a decade. Harris, 36, is the founder of Nyopoly.com, a Boston website that allows shoppers to name their price to buy products from brick and mortar retailers. Shah, 38, is cofounder of Wayfair LLC, which was founded as CSN Stores in 2002 and now is one of the Internet’s biggest sellers of home goods. We asked Harris to lead a conversation with Shah about running start-ups. Here is an edited interview:
Harris: You’re a consumer Internet site. Boston’s big on technology behind the technology. Was there anything ever inside you guys that said, should we stay in Boston, or should we move elsewhere?
Shah: Boston’s got an incredible amount of talent, it’s got a lot of consumer-oriented brand talent, it’s got a lot of traditional retail talent, a lot of technology talent. So it’s got a lot of not just technology skills, but a lot of other skills that are highly relevant when you think of consumer Internet.
What we found was that to some degree it’s almost a better place [for hiring] because you talk to companies that you’d think would have a very easy time recruiting in [Silicon] Valley, and they’ll share with you stories where they can’t get engineers because basically Facebook and Google are in a bidding war against each other, and everyone else is just collateral damage.
Harris: When you look at the Kevin Systroms of the world with Instagram, what does it take to get a local guy like that to consider hanging around, building a business like he built here?
You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month
Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.
- High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
- Convenient access across all of your devices
- Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
- Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
- Less than 25¢ a week