DoorDash's Application Video for YC S13 | Summary and Q&A

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DoorDash's Application Video for YC S13

TL;DR

Four Stanford CS majors noticed a problem with small business restaurants in Palo Alto not being able to afford delivery, so they created an online platform that connects customers with delivery drivers, generating over $10,000 in sales within the first month.

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Key Insights

  • 👬 The team consists of four members, including Stanley and Andy, who are Stanford CS majors with engineering experience at Facebook. Evan is a founder of Vivo, a music video service, and Tony worked as a product editor at Square.
  • 😷 The team initially focused on software for small business owners, but after conducting over 100 interviews, they discovered an interesting problem in Palo Alto - small business restaurants don't deliver, even though there is a demand for it.
  • 🍔 The team identified that consumers in Palo Alto crave delivery services from their favorite restaurants, but these places cannot afford to offer such services.
  • 🚗 They also found a pool of delivery drivers who were looking to earn extra cash in their spare time.
  • 🌐 To address this problem, the team built an initial product called Palo Alto Delivery.com, where customers could place online orders that were automatically sent to the restaurant. The team acted as dispatchers, utilizing routing and batching algorithms to efficiently send drivers to deliver orders rapidly.
  • 📈 In their first month of launch, the team acquired over 150 paying customers in the Palo Alto area, resulting in sales exceeding ten thousand dollars.
  • 👥 Initially, the four team members also worked as delivery drivers, but as they grew, they hired more drivers to meet the demand.
  • 🎯 Despite limited marketing efforts, the team achieved significant success, highlighting the untapped potential for food delivery services in the Palo Alto market.

Transcript

hey i'm stanley i'm a stanford cs major i did find an engineer at facebook hey i'm andy i'm also a stanford cs major and i did platform engineering at facebook i'm evan i was on the founding team of vivo the music video service and i'm tony i was a product editor at square and the four of us came together about six months ago to work on software fo... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How did the four Stanford CS majors discover the problem with restaurant delivery in Palo Alto?

The team conducted over 100 interviews with small business owners and discovered that restaurants in Palo Alto wanted to offer delivery but couldn't afford it.

Q: What is the initial product created by the team?

The initial product is paloalto.delivery.com, an online platform where customers can place delivery orders from local restaurants in Palo Alto.

Q: How do the dispatchers ensure efficient delivery?

The dispatchers use routing and batching algorithms to send drivers efficiently and ensure fast delivery times for customer orders.

Q: How did the team acquire their first customers?

In their first month of launch, without much marketing, the team gained over 150 paying customers in the Palo Alto area, generating over $10,000 in sales.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Four Stanford CS majors identified a problem with small business restaurants in Palo Alto that couldn't afford delivery, despite customer demand.

  • They built an online platform, paloalto.delivery.com, that connects customers with delivery drivers.

  • In their first month, they gained over 150 paying customers and generated more than $10,000 in sales.

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