From starting up to IPO, here is how DoorDash became America’s biggest food delivery provider from a distant third two years ago

I took over the NYC region three years after we first launched Manhattan & Brooklyn. The market was stagnant & unprofitable. Seamless had a 17 year head start and $0 delivery fees. Uber had 50x our marketing budget. We knew it wouldn’t be a fair fight, so we tactically retreated.
Our team shifted focus to the suburbs and launched DD in Long Island, New Jersey, Westchester, and Connecticut. We found instant product market fit. Business skyrocketed and we were profitable in months. Over time, we reinvested those gains into the city and fought on our terms.
Our analysis showed there was limited marginal benefit to customer conversion or retention rates under 42 minute ETAs. As long as deliveries were sub 42min, customers didn’t really care how long they took. Uber focused on achieving sub 30min delivery times to their own detriment.
By treating merchants & dashers the right way, they became allies, not adversaries. Restaurants in particular felt they could trust DoorDash more vs. the competition. From the host at the front desk, to the store GM, to the business owner, they all chose to send business our way.
Tony said it best in the S-1:

– Be customer-obsessed, not competitor-focused
– Get 1% better every day
– Operate at the lowest level of detail
– Dream big, start small
– We are owners

Overall, running a 3 sided marketplace is really, REALLY hard. There is no resting on your laurels. It requires 24/7 focus and world-class execution across every part of the business.

Congrats to the entire $DASH team on this incredible milestone. Onwards & upwards 🚀


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