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  • Evan Ryan

The Pizza App

Second incense story time, we're going to talk about the pizza app today. So when we started the company, I was testing out all sorts of different business models, all sorts of different types of products, and most importantly, different types of customers. And I was kind of looking to answer the question, what type of customer do I actually want to work with? What type of customer do I want to serve? So there are all sorts of different types of customers out there. And I was just kind of thinking about what what, what impacts do I really want to make here with this business? How do we really want to kind of create our engagements and and who we do, who do we want to work with. So in Strategic Coach, for example, Strategic Coach only works with entrepreneurs at a certain level of income, they only work with entrepreneurs who have been in business for a certain amount of time. And so they've kind of really narrowed their scope to be to be only very, very successful entrepreneurs. The difference there's, of course, like, if you use zoom, for example, zoom. Anybody can sign up for zoom, you don't, doesn't matter. If you sign up for the free account, it doesn't matter if you sign up for the paid account, the enterprise account, no matter what

the like, anybody can use zoom, and anybody can be a zoom client. So we're kind of testing this stuff out. We've done consulting, we've done nonprofits, we've done marketing, we've done app development, we've done all sorts of different things. And we had this business, which was that we thought, you know, Domino's and Papa John's and Pizza Hut, they're doing like $3 billion per year in revenue and in their apps. And so maybe we can help mom and pop pizza shops,

if we gave them an app, and so they would pay us a subscription fee for the app, and then the mom and pop pizza shop would market the app. And then they would have more reoccurring customers, because it's very easy for them to refer customers to just order a pizza real fast. And so we talked to I don't know, maybe, maybe several hundred different pizza shops, we'd closed a total of two deals. Breaking News, only one of them even made it into production. And the results that we were getting from the first one with the customers was actually really, really good. So what we had found was that customers were actually spending on average $15 more on orders ordered through the app than they were, you know, when they call on the phone. And what we had attributed it to was that people weren't necessarily guessing on what they wanted to eat. They weren't asking a question, or what do you want? They're saying, Oh, well, do you also want a side of breadsticks? Oh, well, do you want a side salad? Oh, do you want a two liter of soda, right. And so our, our one customer was really, really, really excited about this. And we were just making him a bunch of money. And we weren't charging that much per month for access to the app. And so overall, it was, it was a good deal for everybody. Everybody made money. And we had got another one. But we had talked to 234 hundred different shop owners. And the feedback that we were getting was, no, I don't need to embrace technology. No, I don't need an app. No people find me just fine. yada, yada, yada, yada, yada. Okay, so we had this leading indicator, which was that, actually, it looks like a huge majority of pizza shops didn't necessarily want an app, they kind of wanted to do things, the old way, the hard way. So I thought, well, maybe if I just kind of immerse myself in pizza shops for 234 days, we can really learn what the market wants, we can really learn kind of who we're aiming for here. And remember that one of the experiments with this was that we wanted to find out who our ideal customer base was just as a business in general. So I paid literally all of the money that I had my bank account, again, not a wise decision, but I did it all the money that I had in my bank account, and I went to the pizza Expo with a friend in Las Vegas, Nevada. So this was the international pizza Expo. This is in Vegas, where they rented out the entire Convention Center. There were like 3000 exhibitors at this thing. And we were marketing this app at the pizza Expo as an exhibitor just like anybody else. And I think in in three days, we probably talked to 5000 different different prospects. And one of the things that we did in order to really get people into into our booth because, you know, there are two problems with with trade shows like that. The first is you have to get people into the booth. Second is you have to have the right sales pitch. So first, we're like, well, how are we going to get people in the booth? And my guess was that everybody was going to be everybody was going to be serving pizza.

I thought well, what will people not have? What compliment to pizza? Will people need thought water? They're gonna need water. On top of that we're in Las Vegas. So how many people how many kind of prospects for me attendees for the expo are going to be going out on the strip late at night. So we just got, we got probably 300 bottles of water every single day for three days, just from Target, we had entire rental cars just full of water Uber's, full of water, we had sent Ubers without humans, and it just Uber drivers to go get water and bring it back. And we told them in the app that we will tip you more if you can, like, just get this water for us. And it worked. And so we had gotten, I mean hundreds of people into our booth every single day, just interested we had, we had nailed our sales pitch, within the first half hour of this Expo opening because people were just eating so much pizza, they need so much water. And the feedback that we are getting from these exhibitors, or from these prospects was, you know, I'm really interested in an app like this, but I don't have Wi Fi in my shop.

And I had never once thought to ask the question, well, would somebody have wireless internet when somebody has an internet connection, and they're a pizza restaurant? How would they know that they got an order, so somebody orders through the app, we have to be able to tell the client, we have to be able to tell the pizza shop, right that they got an order. And we had never once considered that the pizza shop would not have wireless internet or would not have an internet connection for us to be able to tell them when somebody ordered a pizza. And so we got just hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of knows. Because people weren't going to be able to they were not equipped in order to actually receive an order through any mechanism that wasn't a telephone call. And so what we learned through this experience, I mean, I lost, I lost, I think I lost $4,000 on this pizza Expo, because I had never bothered to ask the question, would somebody have Wi Fi? How are they going to receive orders. And at the time, I mean, connecting it to a text messaging service and texting all that was going to be it was a really bad user experience, it really wasn't going to go well, I thought, well, maybe we could do email. And then people can get email on their phones. But then shop owners weren't receiving email, maybe we could do automated phone calls where you know, the shop just gets a phone call, hey, you've got an order from your app for this person with here's the order, here's the address to deliver to all these different things. But that just wasn't working. And so we ended up just shutting down the business. I think I lost like four or $5,000 on the entire thing we call the day. But what we really learned and kind of tying this back to our theme lately of confidence and clarity generates confidence was we learned that the more questions that we can ask our potential potential customers are earlier, the kind of more success factors that we're going to learn are really tied into our business are really tied into our business model. And so we shut down the business a couple months later, we replaced it with with lead AI so ended up being one of the greatest blessings. I can't imagine having 30,40,50,60 Pizza app customers and being able to handle lead AI. And I mean later just has is already so much bigger than that pizza app could have ever been. And and so what we learned here through just through the iterative process of this pizza app of Hey, what if we did this? What if we did this? What if we asked these customers or these prospects these things was we learned that that customer base is just not right fit for us? There's a reason why mom and pop shops or mom and pop shops and I love eating at mom and pop shops. I love being a patron at those restaurants. It's just not for me as a vendor. So yeah, that's that is the story of probably the biggest probably the biggest failure of my own ventures and in the Yavay Abundat life. Yeah, Seconds and Cents. That's gonna be the podcast. Have a great day, everyone.


The above is an AI transcription of Evan's podcast, Seconds and Cents.

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