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A Conversation with Ooshma Garg - Moderated by Adora Cheung

Y Combinator2018-09-08
YC#Y Combinator#startup school#adora cheung#ooshma garg
27K views|5 years ago
💫 Short Summary

The video features speakers discussing their experiences in the startup world, including the evolution of businesses like Gobble and the challenges faced in securing funding, transitioning business models, and maintaining profitability. The speakers emphasize the importance of perseverance, personalization in the food industry, and surrounding oneself with supportive individuals. They also share insights on mentorship, fundraising, and pricing strategies. Overall, the video highlights the journey of building successful companies through determination, innovation, and a focus on meaningful connections and experiences.

✨ Highlights
📊 Transcript
Discussion on Gobble's CEO and success in the meal delivery service industry.
Gobble, founded in 2011, brings in $100 million in revenue weekly.
CEO shares her journey from starting the company in her dorm room.
Challenges faced in securing funding for Gobble and overcoming setbacks.
Success of Gobble's innovative meal service model.
The speaker founded a recruiting website for students but sold it due to loss of control over the product.
The original mission of helping people find good jobs shifted to meeting client quotas based on GPA and race.
The speaker felt disconnected from the company's original mission, leading to the decision to sell the business.
Starting a business led to personal sacrifices and a shift in priorities for the speaker.
The impact of unhealthy eating habits on physical and mental health is discussed.
The speaker shares a personal moment of realization inspired by their father's home-cooked meal.
This led to a decision to prioritize family dinners and eventually create a marketplace for home-cooked meals.
The journey from seeking homemade food on Craigslist to establishing a successful business model connecting individuals with personal chefs is highlighted.
Early days building a food service startup.
Engaged with first users and importance of feedback.
Stanford student provided extensive feedback and support.
Initial marketing strategies included distributing promo cards in local establishments.
Emphasized personalized approaches and gradual, targeted growth strategies over large-scale marketing investments.
Importance of testing offers and engaging with various groups for business promotion.
Effectiveness of email marketing and targeting specific audiences.
Evolution of business model through multiple iterations over three and a half years.
Differentiation between pivoting and iterating, building on previous learnings.
Success with a marketplace idea offering authentic, homemade food from various cultures but scalability issues led to further adjustments.
Transition from marketplace model to de-catering due to supply constraints.
Focus shifted to enterprise clients, with concerns raised by investors about sustainability.
Pivoted to personalized dinner service, highlighting the importance of personalization in the food industry.
Emphasized the potential long-term success and sustainable advantage of cracking personalization in food.
Success through technology and product development in catering to diverse dietary preferences.
Founder discusses challenges of transitioning business models for future success, including investor pressure.
Emphasis on following instinct and determination over outside opinions, staying true to vision despite criticism and doubts.
Importance of product market fit for company growth.
Offering something significantly better than existing options, like the iPhone did, is key to initial success.
Technical expertise is not always necessary for early business success; focus on proving the concept and MVP through sales or other means.
Learning to code is not a prerequisite for success, as demonstrated by the speaker's own ventures.
Bootstrapping a startup with a low monthly burn rate and a small team of co-founders.
Emphasis on focusing on product-market fit and avoiding unnecessary expenses like fancy offices.
Overcoming challenges in raising money by securing two bridge rounds of funding, each around $200k.
Some investors initially refused to invest but later supported the venture, highlighting the importance of persistence and adaptability.
The speaker stressed the significance of being resourceful and adaptable during the early stages of a startup.
Overcoming financial struggles and lack of investment in 2013, the speaker joined YC after years of hardship.
The creation of a successful dinner kit led to employee motivation through shared values and challenges.
Despite societal judgments and offers from other startups, the speaker chose to focus on their company, Gobble.
The decision to focus on Gobble paid off with significant year-on-year growth.
The speaker emphasizes the importance of dedication and belief in one's work for success.
Overcoming rejection and finally gaining acceptance into a prestigious school in seventh grade was a life-changing experience.
The acceptance led to seizing opportunities, starting new organizations, and making the most of available resources.
The challenging journey taught the importance of hard work and determination in achieving success.
Importance of hard work, perseverance, and ambition.
Reasons for quitting: impact, fulfillment, and meaning in work.
Need for constant evolution and iteration to stay relevant, using Netflix as an example.
Value of diverse perspectives and innovation in entrepreneurship.
Hiring an executive chef as a transformative decision for food innovation and success.
Importance of creativity in business innovation and personalized food delivery.
Adora inspired the launch of a meal kit idea within a tight timeframe, leading to the shutdown of their personalized dinner service.
Despite challenges, the decision resulted in the highest revenue the business had ever generated.
Execution and accountability are highlighted as key factors in achieving success in business ventures.
Importance of support and inspiration in surrounding oneself with the right people.
Advocacy for taking action instead of overthinking.
Vision for creating magical home experiences for different lifestyles.
Value of meaningful moments with loved ones and commitment to facilitating connections.
Challenges with immigration constraints affecting global teamwork, including visa wait times.
Importance of Pricing Strategy Evolution
Utilizing email for pricing experimentation due to challenges of displaying different prices on a website.
Sending beta offers to existing customers and conducting market research to test different price points with clusters of people.
Emphasizing profitability as the key factor in determining the best price.
Sharing personal experience of starting the company as a solo founder and challenges faced in finding a co-founder.
Importance of supportive team in startup journey.
Having a collaborative executive team is compared to swimming in the ocean and needing buoys for rest and support.
Value of finding like-minded individuals, including single founders, to share experiences, trade stories, and provide mutual assistance.
CEO reflects on evolving role from constant innovation to a schedule filled with meetings, emphasizing the need to prioritize strategic and maker time for continued growth.
Tips for approaching mentors without pestering them.
Target the right advisors and ask relevant questions to show respect.
Wait for the right moment to engage with mentors and show respect through small gestures.
Structure interactions around progress updates, current projects, and challenges for organized communication.
Strategic networking at cafes like University cafe helped in meeting early advisors like Aaron Patzer.
Importance of Fundraising and Pitching to Investors.
Emphasis on the challenges of raising money, sharing personal struggles, and the significance of grit in the process.
Advice on perfecting pitches, seeking feedback, and avoiding phrases that convey doubt or lack of confidence.
Highlighting the importance of projecting confidence and assurance in the business idea to attract investor interest.
Emphasizing the need to convey a strong, positive message when pitching to investors.
Potential for the business to become a ten billion dollar enterprise in three years.
Emphasis on maintaining a positive mindset and ending on a high note.
Advice to pump oneself up and adopt a powerful stance to achieve success.