The word is out by now, Arno and I, the founders, have left Tokobagus. I’ve been involved in some other exciting startups before but by far this has been the best ride ever.
The journey started in Bali in a small house in Tukad Balian in the middle of the sawa’s, where we started out developing e-commerce platforms for clients in Europe. We were struggling to build something sustainable but it paid for the bills and it was an exciting time exploring new things.
Then we decided to start Tokobagus.com and somehow we never doubted it would become as successful as it is. This might sound arrogant but I sure didn’t have that feeling with all startups I was involved in. From the start we felt we were in the right place at the right time and knew what we had to do. Even though very few took us serious at that time, our small team believed in what we were doing and that was more than enough for us.
Now Tokobagus is the biggest e-commerce site in Indonesia, #4 local site in Indonesia and recently won the Top Brand award, great accomplishments but the result of another much bigger accomplishment. From the start Tokobagus had a unique startup culture in which the team has always been very close. I think we all enjoyed being part of something as exciting as Tokobagus but we enjoyed being part of the team even more. We worked together, hung out together, we’ve partied together, we’ve rafted together, played ping-pong and shared happiness and grieve together. And even up to my last day in Tokobagus, when the team was already over 100 people, that hasn’t changed. This made Tokobagus so much more than a company, so much more than a place of work, it’s a place full of friends for life.
So why leave? The reason lies in our hunger for something new, a new adventure that starts with zero. Zero revenues, zero visitors, an empty cheap office and starting completely from scratch. For me launching a website and seeing it grow from 0 to 1000 visits is just more exciting than seeing something grow from 800.000 to 1.000.000 visits. I realize to some this sounds weird but that’s just me. Besides that, there’s another side to this challenge. Somehow I feel the urge to prove to myself that we can do it again, launch something new and make it a success, again. It’s just hard to explain, the attraction to the new and unknown, starting and building something new, against the odds.
And then it was time to say goodbye and I never actually thought about or imagined that moment. Parting from a company is easy, it’s just brick and mortar. Parting from a team is a totally different ball game, these are the people that made it happen, supported us all the way and above all became our friends. So the last days have been an emotional roller coaster, definitely no happy feelings, no bubbles, no champagne. Struck by all the emotions, including my own, I even became more aware of how privileged I’ve been and that Tokobagus is so much more than a successful website.
So to the Tokobagus team, I’m truly sorry to leave you guys. I love you for everything you’ve done and I’m truly honored to have worked with you for the past years. Though this is a goodbye for me to Tokobagus, I refuse to make this a goodbye to you guys, the true heart of Tokobagus. You’ve become my friends and I hope we will stay friends, forever.