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(If you're having trouble viewing the videos, this is also available on my blog Cooler by the Lake)
Grub Hub Founders Matt Maloney and Mike Evans shared the highlights and lessons of Grub Hub's remarkable journey with a sold out crowd to close out 1871's opening week. The evening kicked off a new tradition: Chicago Founder's Stories @ 1871 - a casual evening of pizza and beer with special guest founders sharing their stories.
My INCISENT teammates and I have had fun creating and sponsoring this series with 1871 and we're excited to start with the incredible story of Grub Hub's growth from 2 guys putting menus online to the undisputed leader in the online take-out and delivery space in the U.S. serving over 300,000 diners a month in over 300 cities across the U.S.
Since the event sold out we recorded it and are putting it online for those who couldn't make it. We broke up the hour into five segments:
In the initial section, Matt and Mike talk about how Grub Hub got started. They share the story of their getting their first customer, how Mike quit his job as a software engineer after their first $140 of revenue, why they bought "Selling for Dummies" to learn how to sell and their most important lesson from the early days.
In the second part of the evening (click here to view), Matt and Mike talk about how and why they pivoted from a subscription to a marketplace model, the secret to how they made a two sided marketplace model work and how embracing a 1980s technology - the fax machine - was critical to Grub Hub getting traction.
In the third segment, Matt and Mike talk about what they've learned about how to get to product-market fit, why they decided to make San Francisco their second market and their point of view on leveraging their core competencies in other verticals as well as going international.
In the fourth segment, Matt and Mike talk about how raising money, how they ended up with Silicon Valley's Benchmark Capital as a major investor, what to look for in finding the "right" investor and why it was a big advantage to start Grub Hub in Chicago instead of another city.
In the final segment, Matt and Mike share what advice they give entrepreneurs in the early stages, exciting new companies that they have seen emerging recently and answer questions from the crowd.
We look forward to making this a great tradition and will continue tomorrow evening at 1871 with OpenTable Founder Chuck Templeton. I hope you can join us for pizza, beer and Founder's Stories.
I want to thank Chris Dixon for his great series - Founder's Stories - on Tech Crunch which served as inspiration for the idea of creating a live interview series of Chicago founder's stories at 1871.