Newton Lecture Series: Caviar
They are not only colleagues and partners, but also friends.
Richard Din (’08), Shawn Tsao (’11), Jason Wang (’09) and Andy Zhang (’14), came back to Cal as founders of the restaurant delivery platform Caviar. Last Tuesday, they sat on the Sibley Auditorium stage to share their experience of running a startup that has been exponentially growing for the last three years.
The entrepreneurs discussed Caviar’s first steps, the challenges they face and the motivation that has guided them to create a company that is now present in eight markets around the U.S.
They also discussed the lessons they have learned during this time, such as the importance of not waiting to scale in order to launch a business and picking a metric to measure improvement—for instance, making sure that every week is better than the previous one.
The four Caviar founders received a UC Berkeley education but they all come from different backgrounds, such as architecture or business. However, they have something in common: they had to start Caviar from scratch after leaving their comfort zone with the objective of perusing something on their own.
The entrepreneurs pointed out that “what really matters is your team and your execution” and emphasized the importance of working with friends. After all, friends are the ones who won’t give up on you, even if you have $10 in your account—a true story that Caviar founders faced and overcame.
They affirmed that there’s no other secret for Caviar’s success apart from “hard work, focus and dedication to what you are doing.” They explained, “When you’re small, you want to move fast,” and added, “it’s very important to guarantee quality in the beginning.”
The best technology is the one that is easiest to use, they said, and nowadays people want everything now, “on demand”.
Finally, they acknowledged that it’s going to take them “more time to get world domination.” But that’s what keeps them motivated.