The key idea of the video is that persistence and solving a problem you truly care about are crucial for success in the startup industry, as demonstrated by the stories of failed product ideas and the success of Instacart.
💼 Building a social network for lawyers without understanding their needs led to failure, highlighting the importance of solving a problem you truly care about when starting a company.
The speaker and their team created a social network for lawyers without knowing much about lawyers, and after building the product and talking to lawyers, they realized it was a terrible idea because lawyers don't like technology.
Starting a company should be about solving a problem you truly care about, not just starting a company, as the speaker learned from his failed attempt to connect lawyers.
Instacart was created to solve grocery shopping inefficiency, quickly became profitable, and received a response from YC alumni for a late application.
Instacart was created in 2012 to solve the inefficiency of grocery shopping and became profitable quickly, with the founder realizing the unique aspect of friends using the product without being forced to.
Despite the application deadline having passed, the speaker contacted YC alumni for introductions to the partners and received a response from Garry Tan, giving them hope to fill out a late application.
Instacart's early success was due to YC founders as main customers, a banana mishap, unscalable beginnings, and securing investors despite past failures.
In the early days of Instacart, YC founders were the main customers, providing easy feedback for quick product iteration.
A customer ordered 10 bananas on Instacart, but due to confusion between the picture on the app and what the shopper thought was ordered, 10 bushels of bananas were delivered, causing the customer to be agitated until the company sent him a banana bread recipe.
Start-ups should do things unscalably at the beginning, as it gives them a competitive advantage over larger companies, and once the product has demand, they can figure out how to scale it.
Raising a seed round is difficult for founders, especially in a space with past failures, but Instacart was able to secure investors who believed in them despite their unscaleable approach.
Instacart 📈 rapidly expanded to 10 US cities by adding Trader Joe's and other stores to their catalog, solving a difficult problem of providing same-day delivery without infrastructure.
Instacart added Trader Joe's to their offering by buying every single item, taking pictures of them, and putting them into their catalog, using the same technique for adding other stores and realizing they had the best product in the market.
The company launched in Chicago, Boston, and DC and experienced rapid growth, expanding to 10 cities in the US with a 10% weekly revenue increase for 20 weeks.
Scaling a company to provide an Amazon-like experience for same-day delivery without any infrastructure is a difficult computer science and operations research problem, but an important one to solve as retailers come online for the first time.