What inspired you to start Dispatch Goods?
I was actually working in healthcare in Hawaii when I came up with the idea. I was confronted with the undeniable impact of single use products, especially plastics, on our beaches and oceans. I became involved with the Surfrider Foundation and was the statewide coordinator for their Ocean Friendly Restaurants program. Through the program, I helped restaurants transition to more sustainable practices. Unfortunately, I soon realized that there was no truly sustainable option for restaurants that do a high volume of take-out and delivery. I knew I needed to solve this problem.
How did you know it was the right time to found the company?
I honestly thought I would launch with coffee cups. However, after talking to restaurants, they all said the same thing; food delivery apps had changed the industry and that was what needed to be solved. After we started discussing the waste created through food delivery, people started asking us to create a solution.
Founding a company can be risky—how do you handle risk?
I handle risk with education. The more users I spoke with and the more restaurants I interviewed, the stronger I felt about our odds at finding a strong product-market fit.
Any surprises or key learnings?
We thought that we would need to focus on container tracking so that we wouldn’t lose containers. That being said, we launched without that capability and soon learned that the people selecting reusables are the champions behind the movement. They return the containers! Eventually we’ll need to track the containers, but with a high return rate right now we are going to put off adding that friction for as long as possible.
What’s been the biggest challenge when founding Dispatch Goods?
We had a strong B2B pipeline with Dispatch Goods. We launched with some really big corporate partners in March, who purchased Dispatch memberships for their employees. That happened to be the same month that COVID-19 required all employees to work from home.
We were crushed, but soon realized that the need for a reusable option in the food delivery space was more relevant than ever before. Because of this, we got to work and converted our largest corporate partner into a customer for our new model. We now offer restaurant food delivery in reusable containers to homes. Since then, we’ve received inbound interest from other customers who have expressed interest in participating in the program. We are currently working to expand as quickly as possible.
What’s it been like launching a company while in business school?
It’s tough! I find myself constantly having to prioritize. For me, Dispatch Goods always seems to win.
Any tips to managing your time?
I took a class at Berkeley that was incredibly helpful, called “Becoming Superhuman; the Secret to Productivity and Peak Performance.” It was amazing. I now block time and do focus sprints when I have large undertakings. The class also helped me understand the times of the day when I can do my most cognitively demanding work.
What’s your team culture like?
We are incredibly mission-driven and supportive. We manage to laugh a lot, despite the high intensity.
What is your superpower?
I can sleep anywhere, any time. When I need to recharge, I can take a 10-minute nap and get right back at it.
What’s your kryptonite?
Do you have any unusual routines or habits?
Do you have any other hobbies/things you like to do? What do you geek out about?
I met my husband surfing in Nicaragua, and it’s been a big part of our lives for the past 8 years. Especially in San Francisco where it’s cold and heavy, surfing is the best way for me to clear my mind. The conditions are so rough that I literally can’t concentrate on anything else.
If I took a screenshot of your phone, what would your favorite gadgets or apps be?
Simple Habit: This helps me meditate every day.
Dirty Doodles: It’s like Pictionary for adults. My girlfriends in Ohio and I do Zoom happy hours where we play. It’s pretty hilarious.
If you could give yourself one piece of advice when you first started out, what would it be?
Remember to take breaks for fun! Life is a marathon.