As for your company, it looks like an innovative and amazing idea. I, for one, would be a customer. Please nail San Francisco and then expand to my city.
It's great to read that you've decided to keep going. A lot of companies rejected by YC have went on successfully; some have even re-applied several times before getting in. (I remember reading about a company in the most recent one applying six times?)
So don't despair. Please don't give up. Chalk it up as a learning experience and keep going forward. Good luck! Hope to hear back from you guys through a post detailing your future success.
I applied with someone who is widely recognized as one of the smartest tech folks on HN. We got rejected. A couple years later I reapplied and got accepted as a non-technical single founder.
In two years I went from getting shot down despite having a dream team on paper, to getting accepted despite setting off basically every 'badness' flag on the app. It's kind of a long story as to why, but the point is that things change fast in startup land, that's why we do them in the first place.
That's interesting. I didn't know YC had funded a non-technical single founder before.
I wonder how many non-technical single founders it's funded to-date.
>It's kind of a long story as to why
Would love to hear that story.
Also, what startup did you get in with?
I just wrote up the story as a blog post:
I'm also interested in this story.
This is one case where not seeing vote counts encourages me to write a comment that doesn't add value. Voting up the other 2 replies wouldn't be that useful. Would it?
What a different perspective you get living in Silicon Valley. I personally know the founders of half a dozen competitors to Munchery in the same geographical area, and there are probably dozens of serious competitors that I don't know about.
I don't envy startups in that space. It is too sexy; it has the "actor/rockstar" curse. There are too many founders jumping in because they love it and it's fun without thinking carefully about how to build an audience and get traction. Many of them have damn impressive teams, too.
On the other hand if there are that many companies coming up with the idea independently, then maybe it is the "right time" for it and a few will be successful. But from an investor's perspective I don't understand how you pick which one to fund.
For instance - if you're selling meals for $20+, then also sell wine storage (maybe like vinfolio, but not so overtly pretentious).
There are some pretty clear growth strategies, I think.
(but fix the name)
I would love to treat our staff to a quality chef cooked lunch in the office every Friday for a reasonable price.
Hopefully you'll make it as far as Sydney.
(Van didn't link to his company in the post, so here it is)
Please continue forward and make this successful so I can be a customer.
I was rejected by YC once as well (round one in 05!). But moved forward and we have 'made it'.
Feel free to drop me a line if you want to chat as your idea is something I have spent some time thinking about (and I have some personal chef connections in Philadelphia who might be willing to pilot it!). Check my profile for contact info
Product looks great. Would love more specific service regions that "bay area" -- would love to see who will actually cover my town.
I suspect the market for this is way bigger than people realize. Especially if you include non-chefs. I will be checking back.
On the flip side as a user I'd love to get "home cooked" local meals where I feel like I'm dealing directly with the chef.
PS: Don't take the rejection too hard. We took a couple and its not the end of the world.
I am very excited to use Munchery in Portland. Food delivery in general is good in Portland (in terms of selection), but stops early (10PM).
A tweak on this idea is Housefed (http://housefed.com). (Which rather than target professional chefs on the producer side, targets normal folks, and is a bit more social than transactional.)
(Full disclosure: Housefed founder Emile is a buddy.)
SF's recent urban agriculture law (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/04/20/... making it legal for you to sell things you grow in your garden) makes me feel hopeful that the government will generally ease up on making these p2p relationships easier. I see so many rad food startups stepping very gingerly into the marketplace + am rooting for the all.
Also worth noting that the Munchery page contains no way for other chefs to join.
But I love the idea of it. I'm just north of SF (mill valley)---so close yet so far!
If Munchery continues to expand I could definitely see myself ordering from it.
Edit: chefs create custom meal menus on Munchery.
I really enjoyed reading this post. Keep on keeping on and DO NOT stop working on this idea. I know I'd be a paying customer right now if you had a site up.
I really appreciated there was no tone of, "I got rejected by YC, now I need to prove I'm better than YC"; that's irrelevant. Its very matter of fact, poignant, and very representative of how YC interviews play out.
Because there are similar companies in this space, we need some unique insight in order to stand out (and our explanation on how we plan to give complete flexibility, or "leave it to the chef," apparently weren't convincing).
It's amazing how we picked ourselves up that very same night, had great discussions, revised our approach based on great feedback from other YC founders we met earlier in the day, and are moving forward. Thank you for all your support!
Is this something you could take to Kickstarter?
I have seen some absolutely innovative projects such as yours appear on Kickstarter, but I have no insight into whether it is a good idea for both parties.
In short, I guess I would ask: is YC the only path to greatness?
(which is a comment of this great post http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2178339)
What would worry me is that cheap chefs will just list their restaurant menus, and then you truly end up with waiters on wheels.
1. Approve new chefs. Meaning "chefs" that are just restaurant menus aren't allowed in.
2. Allow both in. Highlight the actual Chefs.
3. Just have different sections of the site, one for actual restaurants and one for Chefs. Highlight actual chefs?
Just a couple of ideas that came to mind.
When I'm busy, I'll sign up for a couple weeks of healthy meals (think mint quinoa, raw kale, and 6 oz of grilled buffalo - yum) to be cooked and delivered by a friend of mine. I can choose home or office on the fly. The only thing missing is some web infrastructure -- and that could really be a huge source of value for the business.
Munchery sounds like a bad name to me, but the good idea is pretty good and has a bigger market than you might think. Best of luck.
I didn't link to Munchery because I intended to write something to help future interviewees, not to promote the company. But it's really encouraging that people seem to like the idea :)
I think its dumb to have nail one city then move forward, with certain things you can have a few in each city and keep growing. I never understood the one city at a time, its 2011 and we have the internet. lol Keep up the good idea.