Welcome to the twenty-ninth edition of “Startup of the Week” which features many great startups and interviews with successful business heads. This week, I interviewed Stanley Tang, the co-founder and chief product officer at DoorDash, a delightful food delivery service across the US and Canada.
I’ve asked Stanley a series of questions about DoorDash and tips for budding entrepreneurs. Have a read at what he had to say.
How did the idea of DoorDash come about?
DoorDash was founded based on a simple question: how we can we empower local businesses to grow their business through technology? We explored many different products, but our breakthrough came after meeting with local merchants and learning that many of them were leaving delivery orders unfulfilled because they didn’t have the resources to deliver those orders themselves.
Simply, what does your business do?
DoorDash delivers food, drink and other items from local merchants to customers’ doors in under 45 minutes.
Did you have a business plan?
Yes: partner with local businesses to help them grow their business by driving more business to their stores and improving their operations.
What were the challenges you faced when creating DoorDash?
One of our biggest challenges in the early days was that we had such high demand that we didn’t have enough people to fulfill the deliveries. We had to fulfill most of the early deliveries ourselves, which ultimately taught us a lot about the delivery process, what it’s like to be a driver and commons areas where things could go wrong.
What is the difference between you and your competitors?
Our focus is on technology. We’ve spent more time and resources working on our back-end software and routing algorithm than any other piece of our product. By using machine learning and big data, we’re able to route orders more efficiently, making local deliveries faster, easier and more affordable.
What were you doing before DoorDash?
Before DoorDash, I was in school at Stanford University.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Any entrepreneur should make sure they work on the front lines of their product: whether it be working customer support, serving as a driver, packing boxes or anything else that ultimately affects the customer experience. It’s not always the most glorious work, but it is critical to understanding how your business works, what the pain points are, and how your customer receives the end product.
In one word, describe your job?
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA, USA
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