Andy Fang, CTO & Co-founder of DoorDash
Explosive Startup Growth with Andy Fang of Doordash
If it seems like entrepreneurs are getting younger every year, it’s because they are. More millennials are turning toward entrepreneurship as a fulfilling career choice, passing on the traditional route of finding employment with some company.
As the co-founder of DoorDash, Andy Fang is no different, part of the new school of entrepreneurs getting into the startup world while still in college. In 2013, Fang and his three co-founders were still students in Stanford when they had an idea—to create an on-demand delivery service in their area for restaurants that didn’t have their own.
It wasn’t long after that DoorDash found itself backed by Y Combinator, and has since expanded to several major cities within the US and Canada, recently raising $127 million in funding. Not bad for a student entrepreneur who was once the only delivery driver the company had.
DoorDash is but one of many startups in an ever-growing food delivery market. In order to stay one step ahead of the competition at all times, Fang has had to learn how to adapt quickly to challenges thrown his way, and how to prioritize growth at all times.
This podcast episode was brought to you by Startup Grind.
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- How to put together a team of co-founders based on mutual trust and respect
- The key to adapting quickly and executing even faster
- Why it’s so important to have a clear vision and the guts to stick to it
- The logistics behind running a food-based startup
- Challenges and solutions when it comes to expanding and entering new markets
Full Transcript of the Podcast with Andy Fang
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Hello, and welcome to another episode of the “Foundr Podcast.” I am your host, Nathan Chan, the CEO and publisher of Foundr Magazine, and the host of the “Foundr Podcast.” I hope you’re having a fantastic day wherever you are around the world. I’m really, really excited to share this interview with you, and I just wanted to say thank you so much for taking the time to share your eBuds with me.
Let’s talk about today’s guest, Andy Fang. He is the Co-Founder of a company DoorDash. And when I went to the States last year, this was one of our favorite apps; one of my friends, Daniel, told me about it. And there’s something so extremely addictive about it. It’s like an UberEATS, but it’s just so much more convenient and it’s just crazy popular. Like, we ended up spending hundreds upon hundreds of dollars using our DoorDash just getting takeaway food. It was crazy.
And yeah, pretty much. It’s an extremely fast-going startup. And I got a chance to interview the founder and find out how the hell they’re growing so fast. And these guys are your typical, really, really fast-growing Silicon Valley startup, a lot of interesting information on how they’re growing so fast, how they build a great product. Do they care about the competition like UberEATS or Deliveroo and all these other big competitors? So you’ll get a really, really inside ground seat of how a company like DoorDash is growing so extremely fast, and what to do when you’re in such a competitive market. Again, startups that, you know, have billions of dollars’ worth of funding, which is insane.
So I’m not gonna tell you any more, but this is a great interview. You’re gonna get a ton of gold, heaps of gold nuggets shared. So that’s it from me, guys. And before I jump into the show, I just wanted to let you know that we are working on an amazing solution. If you do want to start an eCommerce business, sell a physical product, you want to start a business, don’t know where to start, we are teaming up with an incredibly talented entrepreneur, and we’re working on our first co-collaborator course. And if you want to know more about when that goes live and find out more, just go to foundrmag, F-O-U-N-D-R-M-A-G.com/ecommerce. (foundrmag.com/ecommerce.)
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So the first question I ask everyone that comes on is “How did you get your job?”
Andy: Yeah, that’s a good question. I mean, I guess given that, you know, we started in school, it was really just about coming together. Afterward, we actually started out by interviewing literally hundreds of small business owners throughout the Bay Area. And you know, I think it all came about pretty organically, to be honest. Because we were all talking to small business owners. We were all trying to figure out, “What exactly are these people dealing with? What kind of problems do they have?” And we were coming about it as, you know, college students. And when we were saying that, people were very receptive to talk to us.
Because normally, when they have people come in, they come in as salespeople, and so, they’re very hesitant to talk to them. But for us, we were coming in saying, “Hey, look, we’re just doing this…looking to learn more about you.” And that’s when people really started to open up to us.
And you know, we learned a ton of insights from just talking to these people. Very varied in terms of their background, in terms of their inspirations for starting a business. You know, and just kind of start it all from there. And from there…I mean, I come from an engineering background, but you know, the first work I did…very little code, to be honest. I mean, our first product…our MVP was just an HTML website. And so, most of the work we did was not building up the product or building up the code. It was really validating the problems we were seeing in talking to users.
Nathan: Gotcha, I see. So how did the concept for DoorDash come about?
Andy: Yeah, so, that’s pretty related to, you know, talking to these small business owners. Because when we first started the founding team, we all were passionate about learning more about how to really empower local economies, really how to get merchants to be more involved in the growth of a local community.
And so, we talked to a bunch of these small business owners and, you know, retail, restaurants, services, you name it. And basically, that’s when we discovered there was a big problem with delivery. And that was actually a really big surprise to us. That’s not something we would have guessed because we thought delivery was already a soft problem. But you know, talking to these people about something that came up consistently. You know, something that we did not think of coming into these conversations, but something that certainly came out at the end of having all these traps.
So that’s kind of how it all get started. And then from that point on, we built out an HTML website called paloaltodelivery.com where it was literally just a link to a Google Voice number that ordered to all of our personal cell phones, and a bunch of PDF menu links. And we were basically trying to see, “Look, if we have a website that has this bare bones, would we be able to get any interest in it?” And you know, that’s kind of how it all got started.
Nathan: Yeah, wow, interesting. Because when I just come back from my States and one of my friends…we were doing, you know, the whole Airbnb thing; I was gone for about six weeks. And one of my friends, “Ah, you know, I actually had to delete this DoorDash because I’ve spent thousands of dollars on it every month because it’s so addictive.”
And we got on it, me and my girlfriend when we were traveling around, and we just used it everywhere we went. It’s so convenient and you have so many options, which really fascinates me. So you guys started in 2013. You did YC summer of ’13. So what happened next?
Andy: Yeah, so basically, went through YC, and after Demo Day, we were basically, you know, trying to see if there was any interest for people to invest in our seed round. And we were fortunate enough to be able to stand out from the crowd. I mean, YC actually is a lot bigger nowadays, but back then, it felt pretty big. But we were, you know, fortunate enough to stand out through the crowd. I think people really believed in the team, first and foremost. We had a really strong team, people with diverse backgrounds…you know, from Stanford. I think that was really something that stood out. And also just the space was very intriguing.
And so, we were able to close a seed round. And from that point on, I think that’s when we were really focused on, “Okay, we have this MVP product, we’re growing it out. How do we just, you know, go even faster and scale it out even more?” And that’s when for me, personally, that’s when all the challenges around building out an organization, building out a team, that’s when that really started to kick into high gear for me. Because before that point, to be very honest, it was us being very, just figuring out what the heck we wanted to build. And after we validated our product idea, it was all about “How do we just grow this product that we’ve already built?”
Nathan: When you talk about validation, at what point did you…what metrics or what points were you looking for to say, “Yep, we’re on to something”?
Andy: That’s a great question. That’s a question I actually get a lot, too. To be very honest, that number changed over time. First, we thought it was, “Can we get ten orders a day?” Then it was “Can get 20 orders a day?” And then, you know, that number really kept shifting for us. Because once we hit the number we thought was impossible to reach, we were like, “Well, this doesn’t seem like that much. Why don’t we shoot for something higher?”
And so, it was really a moving target in terms of “When do we think this is actually something expressional of something we really wanted to build?” And I think that’s something where…you know, I don’t take for granted at all the fact that we had a really, you know, close bond at the very beginning, our founding team, where we just believed in each other. You know, we believed that we had a really talented team, we believed that we were on to something big. We really believed in the impact we were having. And I think those were the motivators that really pushed us through the hard times and pushed us through when, you know, there were maybe a couple days, a couple weeks where we didn’t see things grow. In fact, maybe things.
But, you know, I think it’s just sticking it through with my co-founders and the early team. I think that was really what helped drive, you know, the early momentum early on. Because, we, you know, every now and then, we’d, like, sit back and talk about, “Okay, at what point do we think this is something that’s gonna catch on?” And you know, as I think about it in hindsight, that inflection point or that milestone always changed whenever we talked about it.
Nathan: I see. And talk to us about your founding team. What made it so special? Can you tell us about, you know, the elements of what it takes to build a fast-growth startup and the importance of getting the right people on the bus in the early days?
Andy: Yeah, I can talk about it a little bit. So you know, we’ve got Tony who’s currently the CEO working with…I also put an initial code base up with. I think something…I think the number one thing that’s very important in a family team is building trust and respect. And that’s something that we had from day one. I think it was very helpful that we had our own areas of expertise and areas of interest. Tony was very operationally heavy and he came from, you know, Stanford GSB and Berkeley undergrad, and worked at Square as well as eBay. And so, he was very operationally.
Stanley, I actually, you know, was in the same freshman dorm as him. We actually both studied computer science. But he…even though he came from an engineering background, technically, he was very into design and HCI, that was his specialization at Stanford. And so, he gravitated a lot toward the product side and the design side.
And as for myself, it was mainly just around engineering. Just building up the code base, building up the team. Making sure we had a solid product that was stable. You know, so we each had our own areas of expertise. At the same time, we all trusted that the other person knew how to do their job, and that the other person had the best intentions in mind.
And I think, really, it’s just the trust and respect that really carried us through.
Nathan: Yeah, that’s so key. So talk to us about the early days. How did you…because it’s a two-sided marketplace, right? You need people making orders, but you also need, you know, people to be able to drive to do the deliveries, plus…are the deliveries handled by the shopfront that is…you know, the restaurants? Or that’s middle man as well?
Andy: Yeah, so actually, it’s a three-sided marketplace because we actually onboard a fleet of drivers…we call them “Dashers” because they can be on cars or scooters or bikes. So it’s really figuring out how to balance a three-sided marketplace that were merchants, the Dashers, and obviously, the customers as well.
Nathan: Yes. So how did…like, obviously, you guys, in the early days, you just did the operational delivery of the food in the early days like we all do, you know? You get out there, you pull up your sleeves. Because you guys have grown very, very fast, how did you manage that, and what did that look like? Can you walk us through kind of some of the things that were happening at that point in time, and some of the pivotal, I guess, turning points that you guys made to be able to make the right moves? Which I think is very, very key in terms of an execution on what you guys are trying to achieve.
Andy: Yeah. No, 100%, yeah. Execution has definitely…I’ve gome to learn as almost underrated. Yeah, so I think for us…so when we first started, we were doing the first…literally, the first couple hundred deliveries was all by ourselves. We took turns dispatching orders and then other people delivered them. And then when we kept growing bigger, we had a lot of important decisions to make in terms of what to focus on. One key decision that I really like to talk about is when we were figuring out what was the first mobile product that we wanted to build out. And we had a huge debate over whether the first mobile product should be our Dasher app, or should it be a consumer app. Because we were dispatching our Dashers through Find My Friends, and SMS, and e-mail. And customers were still ordering through that janky PDF website. So it was a really big and contentious point back then in terms of what to focus on first. And I think that was…the decision we made there was, I think, very crucial in terms of how we were able to succeed moving forward.
Ultimately, what we decided on was we needed to focus on the Dasher app first. The reason why we rationalized that was because at the end of the day, DoorDash is, first and foremost, a logistics company. Where, you know, customer experience is not just ordering through a website or through an app, but it’s “Can we actually physically transport something from A to B on time, quickly, every single time?” Right? And that was something that really helped us be later focused in terms of what we traded on and what we focused on in the beginning. And that’s why we decided to first build the Dasher app first.
Because we made that decision, because of the rationalization we had behind that decision, it really had, like, a ripple effect in terms of the future decisions we made, in terms of what products to build. How do we operationalize? How do things scale? And we kept coming back to this point about the core product be actually doing the logistics. And that was something that was really powerful in terms of getting everyone on the same page, which even though we had… ten people back then, getting people on the same page was still challenging at that level of scale. And I think that was an important decision we made early on, among others. But that’s one that really sticks out.
Nathan: Gotcha. And would you be able to give us some metrics around traction?
Andy: Yeah, certainly. So I think in the very beginning…I mean, the numbers are so small, so the week on weeks kind of sound ludicrous. But in the very beginning, we were growing at, like, 20% week on week, even 30% on some weeks. And, you know, compare that to today where we’re doing, like, a million deliveries a month. It’s pretty incredible to, you know, see just like how…just…that level of scale is kind of incredible. But early on, it was just…I think it was double-digit week on week growth for quite a long period of time.
So I think that was something that…how did we decide on that? To be honest, it was kind of, you know, just guessing, but also, you know…that’s kind of some of the benefit that we had from YC was talking to some of the partners there as well as some of the other founders in our batch. Just in getting a sense of, like, what is fast growth when you’re so small? I mean, a lot of people had double digit week on week growth , you know, the YC period. But I think that the challenging part, and the part that was really a test of…this is actually a product market, it was how sustainable was that growth, and could you sustain it over time?
Nathan: Yeah, interesting. And when it comes to acquisition, what was fueling…what’s been fueling the growth besides having a great product? And it’s quite sharable and…you know, if someone’s going to get food, say, they’re gonna tell their friends, it’s gonna be a strong sense of word of mouth, and there’s a lot of, you know, “Do you use DoorDash in whatever you do?” But I’m curious, what else is driving the growth? Do you have any really good growth hacks that you could share, or any solid customer acquisition channels that have been killing it for you guys that you may not have expected?
Andy: Yeah, that’s a good question. I think…you know, you look at today, you know, there’s big levers of growth in terms of paid marketing, obviously. SEO always continues to be a big one, and I think one that we underestimated early on. And obviously, word of mouth is very hard to quantify.
And you know, I think we go back and forth a couple times, but in the beginning, this was something we were very bullish on was around offline marketing in terms of getting the presence out there. Just getting the awareness out there I think was really important.
But I think more importantly than that, it’s really about focusing on continuing to delight the people who love you the most. If I think about the early days in terms of what we spent our time on, and I think about today, what we really care about in terms of what fuels growth, it’s ultimately making the users that love you continue to love you. In the early days, those people were the people we relied on to spread the word about us. And today, if you think about “How do you grow more?” If you can lift retention by, you know, a single percentage point, that does wonders for your growth. And I think that’s been a continual thing for us in terms of how we’ve been thinking about growth.
Nathan: I see. And can you talk to us about the business model? Just for people to understand, you know, how you guys make money. Are you able to share if you’re profitable or not?
Andy: Yeah, I can finally talk about the business model. So we get revenue from both the customers and our merchants. And you know, net minus Dasher costs and things like that, we’re definitely profitable. I think…particularly in some our early markets, we’re even cash flow profitable. So just including G&A, costs, marketing costs, we’re still positive. And it turns out, we’re continuing to see in our markets that are still growing.
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What’s next? You guys haven’t come to Australia yet. That was the first thing I looked at. There are a few entrants, actually, in the Australian market with pretty much the same concept. There’s one called Deliveroo, and there’s…UberEATS is here as well. Yeah, I’m really curious, you know, do you guys plan to go to other countries? What would be the strategy to drop yourselves into a country or, more than anything, a city targeting somewhere like Melbourne? What kind of things would you do to really blow stuff up and really capitalize on the market if there are already players in this space right now?
Andy: That’s a great question. I think for us, when we think about 2017, continuing to expand our footprint internationally is definitely a big part of the conversation in terms of how we think about 2017. In terms of answering your question about how we think about entering a new market…currently today, we’re in the United States and Canada. And so, we do have a little bit of experience already just expanding beyond the United States.
But when we think about expanding into other international markets, I think for us, it’s really looking at the economic feasibility of entering that market in terms of “What are the demographics there?” “Who would our target customers be?” You know, “Where are the merchants that people love and order from a lot?” “Do we think that there’s a reasonable amount of car ownership there to enable these deliveries to actually happen?” Those are the things we really look at first.
I think when you talk about competition…you know, people like Deliveroo or UberEATS, we certainly think about them a lot in terms of, you know, what they’re doing, because we don’t think they’re making dumb decisions. We actually look at them in terms of saying, “Okay, there has to be a reason why they’re making decisions X, Y, and Z.” But in terms of would we want to enter a market where other people are in? Yeah, certainly, if it makes sense for us. I think for us, we just evaluate the things I talked about earlier. But in terms of factoring in other competition, I think it’s really on a case by case basis depending on the maturation of that market.
Nathan: Gotcha. So you couldn’t give examples or any strategy on how you might approach a new market? Like, if you were to come to Melbourne knowing that there is a presence with a similar service…I see these Deliveroo bikes everywhere, they’re advertising everywhere. People are starting to become accustomed to order food where they don’t have to go and get it, and, like, a lot of places are doing delivery.
I’d just be really curious to pick your brain from a strategy standpoint. Like, what kind of things would you do to really capitalize on the market here?
Andy: Yeah, I mean…I think what I can do is talk about how we kind of got into competitive markets in the United States.
Nathan: Yeah, I’d love that.
Andy: Yeah. In terms of how we thought about that, I think really capitalizing on, really, relationships that we built over a long period of time with merchants. I think that’s been a great area for us to leverage. Because once we get merchant support, because of our world-class ability to integrate with their operations, in terms of our ability to partner with them and to give them that account management, that’s been really helpful for us to have a footprint in the market before we even enter there. You know, leveraging their marketing dollars, their brand to really help jump-start a market has been really helpful for us. And the fact that we’ve been able to partner with big brands…like, you know, some Yum! Brands partners like Taco Bell, KFC…players like P.F. Chang’s, stuff like that, Cheesecake Factory. Those kinds of partnerships have really helped us in terms of understanding where we can launch into with minimal effort.
And that’s certainly…you know, we’ve already seen it in some places we recently launched, it’s been a huge help. And it’s something that other competitors can’t offer because they don’t have those relationships.
Nathan: That’s really interesting. So partnerships have been incredibly key when you come in on the ground, if you have existing relationships with big merchants.
Andy: Yeah, exactly. That’s been a huge help. And we also have fine-tuned a launch playbook where, you know, we know exactly what we need to do in terms of which merchants to get, how many Dashers we need on the road, what kind of customers we want to target.
And just to be really, you know, honest about kind of how we assess the situation, there’s a huge opportunity for people, even with all these players up there, there’s still a huge amount of awareness to be gained in the general population around the kind of service we’re providing in on-demand delivery.
And so, we have that mentality as well going into these things. Where even though there’s players out there like the Deliveroos and the UberEATS will have…there’s still a lot of people who haven’t even heard of any of these companies. And this is consistent with these user surveys that we run nationally, internationally. So we’ve been very confident in all the markets that we’ve launched, even if there’s been a couple players in there.
Nathan: Yeah, and I must say, you know, there’s something very special about your service and your app and your U/I and your experience. I don’t know what it is, I can’t put a finger on it, Andy. But I can tell you that when I was in the States, me and my girlfriend, we used DoorDash flat-out, especially because I have a lot of food allergies. And you’re traveling…I was doing meetings all day. And she was like, “What do you want to have for dinner?” I was like, “Let’s just get DoorDash and see what’s in the area.”
There’s something much more special about what you guys do as opposed to us using an UberEATS or a Deliveroo, which we have used here in Melbourne. That’s why I know you guys aren’t here, because I went to the website and it was like, “Oh,” you know, it says you may be coming soon to Australia, you’re not sure, or something along those lines, you might be coming soon. And yeah, I don’t know what it was, though, I couldn’t really put my finger on it. It was definitely around the availability when I was in the States.
Nathan: That’s one thing I’m really curious about. You have a lot of merchants. Like, you know, when I was in New York or L.A., these are big cities, like, you guys have so many merchants signed up. Like, is it easy to sign up merchants for you guys, or, like…
Andy: Yeah, I can talk about that. I think one of our big components in terms of our value proposition to our customers is really around selection. If you think about other things we care about, we care about speed, we care about the service. The selection plays a huge role in terms of how we think about it in terms of how we think about it in customer value proposition.
And to answer your question about is it easy or not to sign up these merchants? I want to say it’s easy. I think it’s a pretty intense operational challenge because you have to satisfy the operation needs of these merchants at scale for, you know, thousands of merchants. So I think that’s been an interesting challenge for us and something we’ve learned more about over the past three or so years.
But yeah, I mean, that’s been a big focus of ours in terms of gathering that merchant base. But users…making sure that we understand the nuances in their operations. And you know, building that relationship, building that operational integration has really allowed us to basically have a similar word of mouth effect on the merchant side where, you know, we have these great partnerships, great relationships. Especially when we land a big partner like a Taco Bell, for example. That really helps us, you know, get other deals as well, because they understand most people who…like, kind of going back to the initial conversation at the very beginning where we were interviewing these small business merchants. Most of them don’t like talking to product companies or don’t like talking to salespeople. But when you have and start to build a reputation like ours where we’re merchant-friendly, we’re really great in operationalizing with a merchant’s day to day kitchen operations, then it just makes that conversation a lot easier.
But it is something that we built up over the years, our reputation, as well as just execution that we’ve built over the years.
Nathan: I see. And when it comes to Dashers, how do you incentivize for them to sign up? Because there are kind of many other on-demand services available, you know, right now. This is becoming, you know, quite a normal thing, you know? We’ve got Uber, we’ve got…all these different on-demand services. How do you incentivize and incentivize Dashers to deliver for you guys?
Andy: That’s a great question. I think first and foremost, thinking about “What do these people care about?” And based on our surveys, the number one thing people care about when thinking about a service, working for a service like DoorDash is really the flexibility and hours, and making sure that they can get paid at a time that they want to work. So I think that’s something that we always keep in mind, and something we always try to keep open for our dashers…or the dashers who work with us on the various that we’re doing.
I think when you think about, you know, how do we get enough Dashers to make the platform work, honestly, it’s been an exercise that we’ve been able to figure out, and very early on. But certainly have been learning more and more about how Dashers work, what kind of demographic really speaks to becoming Dashers, and that’s different by city, by geography. But honestly, it’s just been something that…you know, it’s just become part of the operational playbook in terms of understanding what the needs are of these people, and making sure that we can…they’re situated in the right geographies, so that people in the regions, whether they’re in New York or, you know, Boston, or different neighborhoods in those cities, and we can make sure we service the customers there as quickly as possible.
Nathan: Gotcha. Awesome. Well, look, we have to work towards wrapping up. A few final questions around scale, which I think is not as easy as people think. You know, you think that a way to scale a company is either through, you know, create more products, or sell more of your existing products, and you’ve got to utilize people as well, and also, you can scale from partnerships. So my question to you is with a company like yours growing so fast, how do you know what moves to make, and how to keep scaling? Like, what are some key things? Because, yeah, it’s really…it’s something that’s not easy. And it’s where a lot of startups fail when they try and scale.
Andy: Yeah, I mean, that’s a great question. I think something that I’ve learned over the past three years is…you know, in year one, I personally had the mentality of, you know, “Got to build the best product, a technology-driven company. Everything else comes second to the product and the technology.” I think that, in hindsight, was something that, you know, was pretty naive in my thinking.
I mean, when you think about us today, we’re certainly a technology company. We certainly grow at scale. We have advantages of scale. But you think about building out a company and scaling out a company. I think what’s really important for a leadership team, any leadership team, is you don’t think about just your function. You think about, “I’m not…for me, now, my mentality.” It’s not just being a technology-first product-first executive of the company. It’s every decision that we make is company-first. And I think that’s really important to think about when trying to figure out how to scale. Because it’s pretty… it might sound easy, but it’s a pretty straightforward, you know, principle. The fatest way to scale is to move the bottlenecks that are preventing you from growing the fastest.
And the reason why I first talked about this point about company-first as opposed to product-first, or operations-first, or a sales-driven company…you know, people always talk about, you know, “Are you a sales-driven company? Are you a technology-driven company? Are you an operations-driven company?” I think, you know, for us, obviously, we have to be good at all of those skills. And I think for us, what’s really helped us grow and mature as a company is getting everyone on the leadership team to recognize it’s not one or the other, you have to do everything well.
And so, when we think about how do you scale, and decisions we make to scale, it’s really just getting really intellectually honest with ourselves and with the various functions to think about “What’s the biggest bottleneck right now from preventing us to grow? Is it on the engineering side? Is it on the sales side? Is it on some other function of the company? Maybe even something like support, for example?” I think just being able to have those open and honest conversations, and really understanding the integral part that each function plays in your company’s ability to scale, I think, is really important.
And obviously for DoorDash, some of the things I mentioned were critical. But for other companies out there, it can certainly be very different, right? But for us, just recognizing all the different pieces that are required to make this three-sided marketplace work. And just having that open dialogue about “What’s the biggest bottleneck right now?” And I think…it’s funny because that’s the exact conversations you have in, you know, month one or year one. It’s like, “What’s the biggest bottlenecks right now?”
And I think even as you’re starting to get bigger, those questions don’t change, but those questions become harder to have a dialogue if you start to become very defensive about whether the company is a certain way or another.
Nathan: Gotcha. Okay, that was awesome. Final question…or two last questions. I guess, you know, since running a fast-growth company like DoorDash, you guys are crushing it. You’re doing a tremendous job. Love the product, love the service, what you guys are doing. Just three pieces, actionable items that you have for early-stage startup founders from everything you’ve learnt thus far, three action items. And then the last question will be “Where’s the best place people can find you?”
Andy: “Three action items that I’d give startup founders?” I would say number one is just don’t think too much about whether or not you have the right idea at the right time. A lot of what allowed us to grow in the beginning, and I think it’s something I’ve learned over time, especially going through the YC batch in 2013, was every great company, from the beginning, requires a lot of manual lifting from the founders. And I don’t think…even if you have a great idea, that doesn’t change. So I would say just be prepared to do the manual work. I think that’s number one.
Number two, I think it’s something we talked about earlier is develop relationships and trust with your co-founders and your early employees. Very often times, your early employees become culture carriers and integral people in your company as you scale. And obviously, the same goes for your co-founders. So if you do not develop that relationship, you’re almost certainly doomed just to not make it very far.
Number three is have fun doing it. I know that seems a little cheesy, but you go through a lot of rough times in the early days of starting a company. A lot of times of doubt, a lot of times of uncertainty. Just enjoy the ride. I think it’s a very exhilarating experience, you learn a ton along the way, don’t take that for granted. And just enjoy the experience of building something great with people, and I think it’ll make it just that much more enjoyable.
Andy: Yeah, so those are my three action items. I think the last question you said was around the best way to contact me?
Nathan: Yeah, find out more about DoorDash.
Andy: Yeah, so I think DoorDash…you can go to our website, obviously, doordash.com. We have a blog, a blog at doordash.com as well. That kind of goes through, you know, various parts of our company, whether it’s the product, or markets we’ve launched and things like that. Yeah, and then obviously, we have a Twitter and Facebook. We definitely have social media channels on all the big platforms.
Nathan: Awesome. Well, look, yeah, we can wrap there. But look, thank you so much, Andy. That was a great conversation, man. Yeah, I think people will really value it.
Andy: Yeah. Thank you so much, Nathan, for taking the time. I really appreciate it.