Family Dinner Recap: Vinit Bharara of Mojo,, CAFE

Event Recaps
Jake Noda
Jun 5, 2024

Students at The Garage were treated to an inspiring and entertaining talk by serial entrepreneur Vinit Bharara on May 8. The current co-founder and CEO of Mojo, Bharara previously co-founded companies such as, which was purchased by Amazon in 2011, and CAFE, which was sold to Vox Media. He shared his remarkable story of building multiple successful startups across diverse industries, offering valuable insights and advice along the way.

Bharara grew up in Eatontown, New Jersey, as the son of immigrants who arrived in 1970. Although his parents came with very little, they instilled in him a strong foundation rooted in education. He excelled academically and attended the University of Pennsylvania followed by Columbia Law School.

After a stint at a law firm, an entrepreneurial itch struck in 1998. Bharara decided to take the leap with his high school best friends and launched his first startup, The Pit – an online sports card trading platform. They raised $5 million from investors in a relatively short period of time. Although the dot-com crash of 2000 nearly sank the fledgling company, some good fortune and a last-minute acquisition from Topps, a trading card manufacturer, allowed them to survive the volatile period. From this experience he learned the lesson that if a deal is on the table to close it as fast as possible.

Vinit engaging with students at The Garage.

Bharara then shared his story co-founding 1800Diapers, with his best friend, Marc Lore. They saw an opportunity to build relationships with parents by selling diapers directly to their homes. Their idea proved to be successful, as the company grew a large customer base due to its focus on amazing customer service and quick delivery times. What started as a side project quickly blossomed into However, they faced a massive challenge when Amazon launched a 30% discount on diapers. After exploring acquisition talks, was purchased by Amazon in 2011 for $545 million.

Throughout his talk, Bharara emphasized the volatility inherent to entrepreneurship, comparing it to "a roller coaster you can't get off." He also shared his "Five Laws" of entrepreneurial success:

1. The Law of Trust - Work with people you trust, as there is nothing more important for the success of any business and it makes the journey more fun.

2. The Law of Superpowers - Identify what you truly excel at and cultivate it to become one of the best in a certain area, skill or field.

3. The Law of Love - Build products that customers love to ensure loyalty and growth through word of mouth.

4. The Law of the Last 5% - Differentiation lies in the fine details, so focus obsessively on them.

5. The Law of Humility - Maintain a never ending balance of extreme self confidence and extreme self doubt.

The talk left students energized and inspired by Bharara’s perseverance, creativity and willingness to constantly push forward. His five laws provided a framework for entrepreneurial thinking, while his personal stories demonstrated that success is achieved through passion, hard work, and as he says, a bit of luck.

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