Xendit is a FinTech startup that provides a digital payment infrastructure to Southeast Asia, giving its users the ability to reliably accept and send payments. Built around a culture that believes in hard work and changing the world, there’s a lot to learn from Xendit.
Name: Moses Lo
Moses Lo was an entrepreneur since he was a child. His father bought a failing business and renovated it into a successful company, and Moses soaked in everything he could. In school, one of his teachers would have them play games based on economics, such as trading with paper money. In one game, each student was given an occupation and had to interact with the others in a village. Moses and his friend (the only doctors) formed a monopoly, raised their prices, bought a struggling business, and then lowered prices to create another monopoly.
When he was 13, he brought up the idea of consolidating his father’s business and expanding. If they didn’t, he said, then someone else would. Since he was only thirteen, his advice wasn’t followed (probably a safe move in most circumstances). While he was a bit early with his advice, he was right. Seven years later, another business stepped in and did as Moses had recommended.
This proved to Moses that he was destined to be an entrepreneur, although he had to get through to his parents first. After graduating from college, he moved to the U.S. to attend University of California, Berkeley.
While studying at Berkeley, Moses met with one of his instructors who had spent decades in the industry, helping some of the biggest companies in the world. When Moses shot him a few of his ideas, the professor held up his hand and politely informed him that, “You should come back when you have ideas that can earn billions.”
In the middle of Silicon Valley, multiple tech firms were launching billion dollar projects. So, Moses wasn’t put off, in fact, the experience empowered him. His Professor was right, and it made Moses ask himself, “How do I shift from making an impact at the millions of dollar level to an impact at the billions of dollar level.”
It’s a shift that not nearly enough entrepreneurs allow themselves to go through. They allow themselves to be limited by their own beliefs. They think they can’t go much further than their current income level, and the realm of millions of dollars (or, dare we say, billions) escapes them. Changing that mindset and shooting for so much more can be the best thing you do.
Xendit was the first Indonesian company to get accepted into Y Combinator. While there, Moses and his co-founders spent a grueling three months trying to everything off the ground. It was hard, and pretty demoralizing at times. Other Y Combinator companies would mention they had increased profit by twenty percent or signed a deal with NASA, all while Xendit was getting its first few users.
Still, they kept on. They focused on some of the fundamental aspects of business that Y Combinator drilled into them. Namely, build something that people wanted and try to grow a specific percent each week. Xendit opted for 7%, which is a pretty tall order (that’s 30% every month). But it allowed them to ignore the distractions and focus on growing.
It was a tough journey, especially when you heard about other teams making such great strides. But the Xendit team learned something. Every startup has just been a cobbled together team that did whatever worked. What you read about regarding well-oiled machines comes at a much later date (and with a bit of embellishment).
What does this mean for the entrepreneurs? Your business doesn’t need to be perfect. Embody the spirit of the startups at Y Combinator. Do what works. Even if it isn’t the prettiest thing or you have to sacrifice occasionally. Set goals that help your company, and focus entirely on hitting them. It may not be 7% each week, but it’ll be something.