The Unrelenting Drive of Apoorva Mehta
How He Built Instacart Into One of the World's Most Transformational Internet Companies
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Apoorva Mehta tackled an incredibly difficult problem, same-day grocery delivery, and built Instacart into one of the most transformational internet companies of the last decade, creating a multi-billion dollar behemoth in the process.
To attack the same problem that led to one of the biggest failures of the dot-com era, Webvan, Apoorva, with the benefit of impeccable timing, took a different approach to solving the problem.
It paid off mightly.
But how did he succeed in solving a problem that even Amazon didn’t know was possible a decade ago?
And why was he the one to build this company?
Let’s get to it.
Apoorva was born in India, but shortly after his birth in 1986, his family moved to Libya.
When he was 14, his family moved to Hamilton, a city in the Canadian province of Ontario where he saw his first Western grocery store.
It was a memorable experience, to say the least:
There were more than just grocery stores that caught his attention.
For the first time, he had access to all sorts of technology:
Apoorva would end up going to college at the University of Waterloo, studying electrical engineering, and spending a few months working at BlackBerry before taking a job at Amazon after graduating in 2008.
There, working as a supply-chain engineer, he gained valuable experience that would later help him start Instacart.
He enjoyed his time at Amazon and liked building software, but, two years in, he felt his learning had plateaued and he lacked the challenges he craved.
So what did he do?
But not before spending his time at Amazon attending Seattle startup meetups, reading business books, and talking to as many founders and venture capitalists as he could.
Apoorva was a complete novice in the world of entrepreneurship and these meetups and discussions proved incredibly valuable.
They also showed him where the place to be was - San Francisco.
So he left:
2 Years of Exploration
Apoorva didn’t waste any time when he arrived in SF:
One of the ideas that showed the most promise was a social network for lawyers.
For this company, Apoorva and his co-founder raised about $1 million in funding, but after a year he learned a very important lesson:
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