Yakir Gola: Co-founder & Co-CEO of Gopuff

Episode 267

Snacks anyone? I can’t wait for you to hear this conversation with Yakir Gola Co-founder and Co-CEO of Gopuff, THE pioneer of the instant commerce category and go-to platform for immediate delivery of consumers’ everyday needs. Yakir co-founded Gopuff in 2013 as students in college and is proud to say they built the foundation of their business on the values they learned from their entrepreneurial families. We talk about their journey but also their expanded product assortment, Gopuff Kitchens and more. Listen and learn. This show will leave you wanting more! On this episode of #TheKaraGoldinShow.

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Kara Goldin 0:00
I am unwilling to give up that I will start over from scratch as many times as it takes to get where I want to be I want to be, you just want to make sure you will get knocked down. But just make sure you don’t get knocked down knocked out. So your only choice should be go focus on what you can control control control. Hi, everyone and welcome to the Kara Goldin show. Join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders. We’ll talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time. Can’t wait to get started. Let’s go. Let’s go. Hi, everyone, it’s Kara Goldin from the Kara Goldin show. And I am so so excited to have my next guest. Here we have Yakir Gola who is the co founder and CO CEO of Gopuff. And if you have not ordered from go puff, then boy, are you missing out. I mean, this is the most incredible, super, super convenient, fast service that just, I feel like just kind of hit me and many people I know buy by surprise when you guys first came out. And really, really great great to see that you guys are in the Bay Area where I live mostly. But I originally tried it in our place in New York and absolutely loved it there. So very, very thrilled to have you on you care, we’re going to be chatting with you care about just overall the journey of founding this incredible, fast growing company, which is in the instant delivery platform category. And they deliver everything from food and drinks to over the counter medications to household products. Lots and lots of items that everyone needs. So I’m so fascinated by your story, too. So we’re going to definitely hear a lot more about that. And just also just what the heck is it like to be running a rocket ship? Like go puff is so welcome here.

Yakir Gola 2:06
Thank you so much for having me, Carrie, I’m really excited to be here.

Kara Goldin 2:09
Super excited. So talk to me a little bit about I always like to get the background. So you cure as a kid, did you always know, okay, I’m gonna go run a company, I’m going to create an entirely new category or maybe helped to create an entirely new category. Who were you as a kid?

Yakir Gola 2:29
It’s a great question. So I grew up in South Jersey in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and my parents are both immigrants from Israel and my family started a jewelry business where I was involved ever since I was maybe like 10 years old, you know, working in the jewelry store behind the showcase with my dad, because he was, you know, a small business owner and entrepreneur. You know, I always remember him working seven days a week coming home from work, you know, really late, really tired. And I would always ask him, like, hey, how much? How much money did you make today? You know, how was business today, and I was always so interested in his business, and just growing up realizing what it takes to be a small business owner, entrepreneur, I think, you know, just gave me the ambition and the curiosity, you know, to solve problems for customers and really create something from nothing and be really resourceful. And so I think my parents, my dad, especially, you know, gave me a lot of motivation, you know, to be an entrepreneur, and I originally thought and soda tea that I was going to take over the family business. And that’s, that was the original plan. And then I realized, I love my dad, you know, but, you know, hard to work with family a little bit. And I realized when I was in college, with Raphael and my co founder, we became best friends instantly, basically. And we realized how big of an opportunity go puff was I had to sit down with my dad and say, Look, I’m not going to take over the family business. And this is a major opportunity. And so, you know, maybe I would say from a young age, I was always interested in solving problems. And I was always interested in entrepreneurship now, because I grew up in a household that, you know, embodied that, but, you know, that’s what I think that’s what I think it was.

Kara Goldin 4:30
That’s awesome. So what did your dad say when you shared the idea of go puff with him and that you were going to go out and start this business with Raphael.

Yakir Gola 4:41
So he was definitely upset. You know, I would say honestly, it was definitely upsetting to him because, you know, his dad was a jeweler. My dad was it was a my dad’s dad was a jeweler and grandpa. And, you know, he had just a vision of me taking it over because I was building an E commerce business, top of our retail family jewelry shop, and it was doing really well, you know, we were selling millions of dollars worth of US jewelry, and I was running it. When I was in high school and college, I was running this online jewelry platform, built it. And so he saw that I was transforming the business. And he obviously knew everything was shifting towards online, this was maybe I don’t know, 12 years ago. So he was very upset. But I remember I printed out just some statistics that showed how fast mobile e commerce was growing. And I just said, when I told him to go with it, I said, this is a scalable business opportunity. You know, like, when I was building the jewelry business, I was limited to the inventory that we were buying in the store. And so it was very hard to scale the family business into being something that, you know, can truly disrupt the industry and category. And I thought go puff really had that opportunity. And so I explained to him, how big the opportunity was how fast you know, mobile e commerce was growing, for convenience. And then you know, he, of course, was supportive, you know, he said, Whatever you think is the right thing for you. And he was upset, but he was also very supportive of the direction that I wanted to go.

Kara Goldin 6:28
That’s awesome. Well, I always say that friends and family, the people that you actually want the most acceptance from and the beginning, are the best people to actually tell you not to actually go and take the risk.

Yakir Gola 6:45
That happened a lot. I mean, I remember, when we were in college at Drexel, we asked a lot of our friends, what do you think about this idea? You know, do you think people would use it? I would say 80% of people said no, like, why would people use the service, they’re just going to go to the store. There’s no reason for it. And you’re right, a lot of people, when we were just in the idea phase sketching this out, told us that, you know, we shouldn’t do this, and also including some, you know, a lot of family members, I completely agree with you, you know, when you try to do something that’s different or disruptive, you know, human nature is always going to point you know, that can’t be done, you know, because it hasn’t been done, or people are afraid of change. And so that’s definitely the majority of advice that we’ve gotten in the early days for sure. Yeah,

Kara Goldin 7:39
absolutely. Well, and they love you. So they don’t want you to take the risk. They want you to play it safe. They don’t necessarily, right, they come from a good place. But it’s it’s always a hard hurdle, I think for people to get over, especially first time entrepreneurs. So so let’s talk about the founding story of go puff. So how did that all get started.

Yakir Gola 8:02
So when Ralph and I met in college, we met freshman year at Drexel immediately became really close friends, because both of us just shared the same values. You know, we’re both very close with our families. We both grew up in a similar way where parents are immigrants. And we both worked with our parents growing up, and we’re both really ambitious, from a young age, just from a standpoint of business, entrepreneurship, solving problems, and just hit it off. I would say. The other thing is when we were living in a house, together, me Ross and four other friends. When we were sophomores at Drexel, I was the only one with a car out of the Fred’s group. So I was driving everyone to the local convenience store at Drexel Douglas Campus. And I just said, you know, it was one of our friends, birthdays, I was running errands and, you know, to the stores. And Me and Ralph, were just sitting there and said, you know, how is there not a company that will deliver your convenience items. And that’s how we thought of the idea. But as you know, we were, you know, 19 year old broke college students, and we had this idea, and we just started sketching out an app like we immediately, you know, tried to think about, you know, the business plan, how would we solve this problem? We didn’t have any capital. And so, you know, fast forward, three, four months, what we did was a one of our friends, Dad, we told them, you know, we were looking for capital to start started this company, and he said that there was a company that was in the main line, which is the suburbs of Philadelphia that was moving into the city. had all this US furniture there and said you can use it for your, you know your company for your fulfillment centers and offices and I and, and we basically saw it as an opportunity. So take whatever you want, you know me and Rob showed up with a U haul. And we ended up taking all the use furniture and selling it all for nearly $60,000 over the course of six months on Craigslist, I even Ira had some of those posts. And it was like one cubicle at a time. You know, we were just accumulating capital to start the company. And so, you know, then when we actually got our first Fulfillment Center in Philadelphia, it was like 1000 square foot in West Philadelphia, I think ran was like $400 a month because that that’s what we can afford. I maxed out my credit cards, you know, we were all in on buying inventory, all the $3,000 savings that we had, we used all the capital we had from the US furniture sale, and then we started it. And so, you know, when you when I would tell you I’ve done over, I don’t know 7000 deliveries alongside raw, like we were the first delivery drivers. We were the first warehouse employees that we were literally sleeping in the warehouses, we had couches in the back, sleeping in the warehouses. We were the first, you know, merchandiser HR person. I mean, you name it, we had the customer service, phone calls, when whenever there was an issue for customers transfer to our cell phone. So you know, that that that’s how we were able to solve all customer complaint issues was by directing the toll free number to our cell phone. And we’re doing this also, while we were in class in the beginning. And so. So you can imagine, you know, we just said, we’re not going to commit to the traditional, you know, college, you know, schedule lifestyle, we said, and freshman year, we did, you know, more, more so applica in more of a typical college student, but we were just so focused on this, we said the only thing that matters is making this company successful, nothing else matters to us. And that’s what we did. And so for the first year, plus, it was just rough, and I and Philadelphia, we ended up moving into a bigger fulfillment center.

Within you know, a few months, and the business started just taking off all across Philadelphia, you know, and Drexels, campus, Penn’s campus temples campus. And you know, we really focused on nailing the college customer with very limited SKU base, just 100 products, and then realized Philadelphia was doing so well. We became profitable there. And then we expanded to Boston. And Ralph actually moved to Boston for several months, you know, was actually sleeping in the warehouse here too. And while I was running Philadelphia, and then Boston really took off, a became profitable there. And then we just started to use our cash flow to expand. And for the first three years, we were actually running a fully profitable business, you know, without outside capital. And business was growing. And that’s when we raise our first round of capital was going on for a year for once we already proved the unit economics and the profitability of the model. We decided to take on capital. Yeah, I remember there was a phone call we got in one of our fulfillment centers from an investor in California and saying, like, they want to speak to me or my co founder, and I happened to be there. It was, like seven o’clock on a Sunday. And I answered, and they were really intrigued on what we’re doing, because all their interns were all using go puff, you know, telling him about it. Yeah. And then that’s when we raised our first round of capital. But I gotta tell you, I, we were not familiar with venture capital with what a Series A round was, you know, we, we were just so focused on building just a traditional business model, that that’s profitable, because that’s how we grew up that that’s how our parents taught us how to build the business. That was that was kind of the early founding story. That’s how we started.

Kara Goldin 14:33
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Yakir Gola 18:03
Totally, totally. I think it completely changed, you know, just the way we needed to operate in order for us to get to the next level. But we still stayed true to who you were and you know, you’re still super scrappy, no matter how much capital we raise. It was important for us to instill that scrappiness and fiscal responsibility into the DNA of the company because that’s where we came from. That’s part of who we are. And I think the big thing we decided to do was we started to expand our offering to our customers. And so we bought our first liquor license, which costed a few $100,000, which, before the capital raise was hard to go dish out, you know, and make an investment of of several $100,000. So we bought our first liquor license in Philadelphia was actually a beer distributor license. And we realize that there was a huge demand for alcohol on the platform. And we, we went out and we go, we went and introduced alcohol. And then we started to get into ice cream. We were able to afford you know, investing in freezers for our fulfillment centers to expand the assortment. So we got into things like ice cream, and frozen products, frozen meals, things like that. And those were, those are some of the initial investments we made, which transformed the business. You know, we’re now largest seller of alcohol on E commerce, you know, and not only that, but we’ve become one of the largest liquor license holders in the US operating close to 500 liquor licenses across 31 states. So, let’s fast forward kind of what those early instincts and results ended up becoming for the company. Definitely has completely changed the game for us completely?

Kara Goldin 20:02
How did you think about rollout strategy? I mean, you went into, obviously, college campuses? And what year did you actually start? 2013. So before the pandemic, while everyone was on college campuses, so, but at what point did you decide you were going to go into New York because I remember New York was a forehand, that was really our second market. And people definitely raise their eyebrows when we were going into New York, because they thought you better be ready. And it’s definitely been, you know, 17 years of a learning experience going into New York and up and down the street business. And obviously, your business is different. But it’s, I would imagine going into New York must have been a big decision.

Yakir Gola 20:53
Yes. So we decided to go into New York, as our sixth market. And so that was going on to probably your for going on to your five tune your foreign your five. So we made a mistake there. That was actually one of our biggest mistakes we made early on which we learned from where I think we went into New York too fast. So what happened is, we realize, you know, we were operating in Philadelphia, and Boston and Washington, DC, and we started to get a lot of traction on the East Coast. And then what we realized is we have so many customers download and go puff in New York and demanding the service there. And so we had to get there. And so we opened up in Manhattan, we got one warehouse in Times Square to cover the entire island of Manhattan, which that was the mistake number one. And the other mistake was we had no experience with doing deliveries on bikes, right, because our deliveries were all done on cars prior. And we did not have the tech, we did not have the infrastructure to support the right customer experience. And New York is just a different beast, we weren’t ready for it, quite frankly. And so when we were operating New York for about, I don’t know, maybe nine months, the what the problem wasn’t the customer demand, there was significant customer demand, the problem was that we couldn’t deliver a consistent customer experience. Yeah, so what we ended up doing was, we realized that we were spending so much time focusing on trying to get New York, right, where there was an entire US market opportunity. And what we did was we went to our investors, we said, we’re going to shut down in New York. And we think that this is the smart move, we’re just gonna we’re just gonna shut down. And we we withdrew from New York, that was actually the only market we withdrew from. And then we said, we’re going to focus on, you know, all the other major markets in the US. And then we’re going to come back and revisit New York once we’re fully ready. And so, you know, I’m proud to say we came back to New York, six months ago, finally, you know, that was like, almost four years later, with with, you know, maybe a network of 20 fulfillment centers, much more superior product and app, much better technology, for multimodal delivery. We have, you know, a lot bigger brand, we have a lot better, like I said, technology, inventory management capabilities, expertise. And we came in here, you know, with a great, great plan and a great team and been executing really, really well delivering what I believe a world class customer experience, New York actually has better fastest delivery time, across the nation. And it’s growing very, very quickly. And, and your economics are positive. And so, you know, I’m proud to say we came back, we learned from all of the mistakes that we made first time around, but that was our story with New York. So you know, it’s a very, very tough market, you have to get it right. And the customer expectation is is different than than the rest of the country as it should be.

Kara Goldin 24:29
Interesting. So you talked about consumer expectation a couple of times. So why is that so important? When you’re building a brand? I believe

Yakir Gola 24:38
that you have to put the customer first. You know, what Me and Ralph always talked about is like customer company, team, individual, that’s our framework and making decision. And if you don’t deliver a world class customer experience, and you’re not retaining your customers and your customers aren’t happy, and you’re just gonna Have a poor business, right, you’re going to have someone that tries you once, and doesn’t use you ever again, the best companies in the world, build their business without spending significant marketing dollars, which by the way, has been our strategy, we didn’t spend marketing dollars practically for the first five years and we, our marketing budget is is relatively low, versus our pure set up from a percentage of revenue perspective, like we’ve always focused on delivering the best customer experience. So what I mean by that is, you know, the best delivery experience, making sure that the items are in stock, making sure that what you order is what you get, making sure you’re innovating for what the customer wants, that the app is, you know, focused on delivering the best, you know, consumer experience, everything we do is, is really wowing the customer and talking about delivering a magical experience for them. And so, you know, 50% of our customers, new customers come from just straight up word of mouth, you know, people telling their friends, and so that’s how we build a business. That’s how I think the best companies in the world built companies is focusing on the customer. And so it was super important to get that right before you scale, you have to get that right. And then you have to get the unit economics, right. Those are fundamentally the most important things in my mind.

Kara Goldin 26:27
Yeah, well, and the pass along of that consumer that, you know, gets melted ice cream, I mean, they’ll they will tell not just one friend that they got melted ice cream, they will tell 20 Friends, right, so you have to be able to get that right. And I think it’s brave and smart that you backed out. Because I think so often, people who are running businesses, especially people who are not familiar with the operation side of it, I think that that’s a unique thing that founders, I believe, really kind of have ingrained inside of them that they’re okay with falling down, and then getting back up again, and figuring out okay, now where do we go? And what do we do, and if they screw up, then they own it, and all of those things. So I think that’s a great example and story that you shared. So, obviously, COVID hits, we can’t forget all about that. For the last couple of years, you had focused on colleges originally, but obviously, before COVID, you had gotten much more into delivering outside of college campuses. But how did you feel like you really had to shift and and throw the gas on in another direction? How did you know how to do that?

Yakir Gola 27:46
Look, we started off with college students, because that’s what we were and that that’s what we knew, was going to be the best strategy because we saw Facebook, you know, starting with college students, and we weren’t college students, and college customer, again, like before, COVID, right. And hopefully, we’re gonna come back to this soon, like college students are always together, right. It’s a community and, you know, people talk and share ideas and products. And so we realized that that was the best way to start to get gopuff started. You know, I think when our initial strategy was, let’s focus on college towns, you know, because that was a differentiation, I will be honest, part of that was because I said it was easy way to start. But we also thought that was differentiated for competition, you know, verse, or potential competitors. And so we realized that if we can really own the college customer, they’re going to grow up, they’re going to graduate, and then they’re going to move into, you know, larger cities, and then we’re going to be ready to serve them that, but, you know, people are creatures of habits, right. And so if, if we can get customers when they’re young, right? They’re, they’re, they’re making decisions, when they’re 1819 20 years old, on what services they’re going to use, right? What brands they’re going to buy, what companies are going to stand behind when they’re young. They’re just going to get, you know, more and more, you know,

you know, they’re going to, they’re just going to love their products more and grow up with those brands. Right, I can give you plenty of examples with other consumer companies. And so that’s what we did. We said, let’s, let’s really, you know, make sure we’re controlling the college towns and we’d get all the customers in college to use go puff and then it’ll give us opportunity to then expand into the bigger markets and the tier one and tier two markets of the cities. Once we had a substantial customer base. Is there and so that was our strategy. We also realized that we wanted to make sure that the economics really, really worked. And they were really profitable. Because we never relied on outside capital. And, and we also realized that the college towns were also printing money for us. And it was a way to get customers and you know, get gets really strong EBIT, margins and cash flow. And so that allowed us to that then when we realized, okay, we own the college towns, right. And obviously, there’s still more opportunity than we realized, okay, the target customer of 18 to 25. You know, we’ve done a really great job of penetrating and then we realized, Okay, now we want to go after, you know, millennials, right, 2535 in terms of the target customer, and then we started to enter bigger markets, you know, tier one and tier two markets across the US. And we realize we had to adapt the branding, you know, we were very edgy in the early days, right? We were very, very focused on the younger demographic, we also started to innovate and, you know, on the actual app itself, you know, we had to, you know, adjust the branding, adjust the app, we also had to adjust the assortment. So we started to get into things like baby products, things like pet food, things like household essentials. And so we started to expand the assortment, as well as expanding the brand, you know, we also changed the logo. The previous logo used to have a use, actually, the first one is to have a hookah hose. The second one is to have an arrow. And then now there’s, it’s clean, right? It’s go by very clean. So there’s been a huge concerted effort, right of going from college customer, to now anyone who wants instant. And now what I can tell you today is college students make up for less than 10% of the customer base. And we’ve had a huge transformation in who uses go puff, why somebody uses go puff. The assortment now is north of 4000 sk use, right, we’re now delivering things like over the counter medication, things like laundry detergent, things like food, right? Like we have, like grocery category. Like I talked about alcohol becoming a big part of the business. So, you know, we’ve, we’ve innovated significantly in terms of our offering, and our customers have truly grown with us. And now anyone that wants, you know, convenience or that values, their time has become a gulf of customer no matter what your age is or what your demographic is. And so but I believe fundamentally, that if we didn’t start with the focus on college students, I wouldn’t even be able to get to where we are today. And obviously, we have a long way to go. But that was our way into the market.

Kara Goldin 33:05
So we’re, you know, a couple years into into COVID. So how do you think this business has really changed for you overall? I mean, obviously, you’ve grown your skews, significantly, you’ve gone into a lot more markets. And also, do you think this consumer has changed significantly? Not just for you, but do you believe that this consumer has changed? I feel like more and more consumers are really focused on staying healthy, right? And whether that’s eating better? And I’m not, I’m so curious, what do you think is based on what you guys are saying?

Yakir Gola 33:45
Yes. So what I would say is, it’s always been important for us to use data, to drive decisions, to innovate for the customer, you know, like we’ve looked at when the pandemic kit, what were people searching for on the right, what were the things that consumers needed now where it was, you know, unsafe to leave your houses in many instances, because of COVID. And so what I can tell you was we were the first company to deliver COVID tests, you know, we focused on getting masks and selling masks and gloves for consumers on the platform. And so, you know, we partnered also with local businesses that were going bankrupt, needing to shut their doors and couldn’t afford to pay rent. Well, we basically came to them and said, Let’s sell your local products on go puff. We actually started buying wholesale products from local business owners that were locally loved products across 100 markets, and we created a local category on go puff to actually help small business owners And entrepreneurs, you know, so, you know, we had to adapt our business. And we saw, you know, significant growth, of course, because of COVID. But what I can tell you is that consumer behavior has changed permanently, you know, it was, it was changing before COVID. But when you’re sitting in your house, right, and you’re shopping online, you know, the transformation and the growth that you’ve seen in E commerce, post pandemic, it’s absolutely here to stay once you, once you use go puff, and you experience instant, you realize how much better it makes your life because it’s saving you time, and we’re delivering you medicine when you’re sick, diapers, for a newborn, you know, if you need alcohol for a party, right, we’re actually creating amazing experiences. And in a 2030 minute time period, where we’re improving your life, you realize that your behavior is changing permanently, I think what you’re seeing in other segments of delivery, like, for example, you know, restaurant delivery, or even not the travel sector, I think you’re seeing a big slowdown post pandemic, because people want to go out and go to restaurants, and they do want to go and travel more, but people don’t want to go back to the store, especially, you know, a poor experienced convenience store as an example. And, you know, people and in some cases even unsafe, right. And so what people have realized is, once a product can improve your life, and it’s saving you time, and it’s creating experiences for you. That’s what consumers want. You know, that’s what the best companies in the world do for you, as a product. And that’s what I believe go puff has done for consumers. And so what we’re seeing post pandemic, for example, you know, q1 of this year, we grew 80%, year over year, US business, right. And it’s actually greater if you include, you know, the international businesses, but you know, and that is, that’s an important thing to highlight, because like, as I said, once you get used to getting your ice cream and your snacks and your medicine and all of your immediate instant needs, you know, your the retention rate, and the behavior that we’ve seen, has actually only accelerated post pandemic. And so I think you’re seeing this across, you know, all of E commerce and I do believe that consumer behavior is permanently changing.

Kara Goldin 37:32
What do you think is the is the hardest thing about your business that keeps you up at night,

Yakir Gola 37:39
there’s a lot of hard things. There’s a really hard business, the hardest thing I would say, is just prioritizing all of the, you know, potential growth initiatives, right there, there’s so many opportunities where we can take the company, you know, and there’s a lot of exciting categories, that could be huge game changers for us, but I believe it’s super important to focus, you know, when, when we, when we started, go puff, you know, nine years ago, the reason we were able to succeed is because we stayed focused on the vertically integrated model, you know, we didn’t deviate, and start all these new business models, or, you know, get into third party or our partner with other other companies, you know, it was it was like stateless stay true to our North Star, let’s stay true to our business strategy and of being vertically integrated. Let’s really nail the model before scaling it. And so I think so, as you get bigger, you know, I think that the focus that you give to the organization, you know, is super important. So that’s one thing, but also, look at this is an operationally complex business, right, you know, you’re operating 650 fulfillment centers, across four countries. You know, we’re operating close to nearly 20,000 employees across the US and that’s not including driver partners, who are contractors for the Gup platform. And, you know, just operating this distributed network, right that we have where every markets different, right, this is a local business, la looks very different than Philadelphia, which looks different than Chicago. The assortment is different, you know, but you have to, you know, manage this logistics network, globally, right and innovating and growing at a fast clip that we are right. One of the fastest growing companies in the US right now. While we’re investing significantly in growth. We While managing, you know, the supply chain element of the, you know, micro fulfillment center network, the driver now we’re right, all the software for routing and patching all the driver network. Right? Yeah, you know, this is a, this is a complex operation. And some people said, oh, you know, first party, you know, you guys operate fulfillment centers, right, you know, this, this is operating, like I said, 500 liquor licenses, you know, we’re, we’re solely focused on this business model. And there’s been some people that have tried, you know, to go after and compete with us, that have been, you know, unsuccessful because I think they underestimated the focus, right, and the intensity that’s involved with first party and by the way, first party wins long term. And you’ve seen this across Amazon. And I can give you plenty of other examples in industries where companies have went successfully from first party to third party, but no one’s actually ever went from third party to one party successfully, because first party is a freaking hard business, you know, and, and

Kara Goldin 41:17
so you have enough money to stay alive, right. And that’s what I mean, that’s, that’s the key thing. So I think it’s, it’s something I always share with entrepreneurs, that that is the kind of the key to the kingdom to is being able to have enough funding so that you can sometimes you gotta wait things out. And, and watch the competitors go away, and do the best that you continue doing. And all of those things no matter what category that you’re in, but what last question, so what would you advise a brand new entrepreneur starting a company? Obviously, you know, this business has grown significantly. What do you know, today that you didn’t know, back then? I mean, I think you, you started in one market and got it right, which is great. Before you went on to another market, I’m sure you made mistakes along the way. But what would you say to a new entrepreneur, wanting to get going? I mean, what what should they focus on before moving forward?

Yakir Gola 42:20
You know, I would say, nail the business model before scaling, it makes sure that you have figured out profitability, and positive unit economics. Before scaling it. I think that’s critical. And I think a lot of the problems are when a founder, for example, receives a lot of cash or receives a big, you know, seed round is in and is awarded, right, right, for something that they haven’t even done yet. Right. And the problem is, you get comfortable, right, and what I’ve seen in terms of, you know, on first time entrepreneurs, or even second time entrepreneurs that raised capital before they had anything, right, they, they just get comfortable, and they get they don’t execute, as well as fast or not as resourceful, they’re not as scrappy. And so I think like nailing a business model with limited resources, prove out your model, you know, it doesn’t have to get to full on cashflow, positive and profitability, although I think you should. And that’s what we did. You know, it’s really important to nail the model and the economics of it before scaling it that is critical, being scrappy, being resourceful. And getting into the details. And you you are, you know, the product owner, and I think you have to obsess over the customer experience, and you need to continue to listen to your customers and innovate on the platform. And I believe Don is better than perfect, right? And so, a lot of times I also see outdoors, like they want to wait for the absolute perfect product to launch, you know, and if I showed you what Gopalpur looked like nine years ago, versus what it looked like five years ago for sort of like now, right? Completely different, right? It’s, it’s making it better, improving like 1% Every single day, right? And so, you know, making sure that you’re getting something out there in the market, and then getting customer feedback, and iterating and improving and innovating, right that’s that’s what the best companies do. And don’t be afraid to do that. And then the last thing is not to be afraid of failure. I think a lot of entrepreneurs in the beginning they’re afraid to fail and I think part of it is because their inner circle goal will tell them, you know, what, if you fail or you know what will, I think sometimes instill doubt, because as I said before human nature is, you know, afraid to make, make changes, right, make bold decisions change the way things are done. That’s just how humans are wired. And so the average person will say, No, that people already doing X, why would they do Y, right? And if that was the case, you wouldn’t have all this amazing innovation happening in the world. But not being afraid to fail and going for it. The worst case that happens is you fail, and you learn from it, and then you improve the next time. And so those would be my lessons. And I’m still learning every day. And so my co founder, and we have a lot, a lot more to learn. But that’s, you know, a few words of advice I would give to any new entrepreneurs.

Kara Goldin 45:59
I love it. Well, that is great advice you cure. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing your story and everybody go order from go puff immediately. And if you have not gone to their site, definitely check it out. And thank you again, for listening. Everyone. We’re here every Monday, Wednesday and soon adding Friday as well. And if you haven’t picked up a copy of my book, undaunted, overcoming doubts and doubters, it shares a lot of my lessons along my journey and many, many similarities, frankly, and you kirs journey, it sounds like lots of failures, lots of doubts that I had about being able to do it along the way. But definitely download and subscribe to the Kara Goldin show as well. And thanks, everyone for listening. Have a great rest of the week. And again, go order from go puff.

Yakir Gola 46:54
Thank you, Kara. I really appreciate the care.

Kara Goldin 46:57
Thank you. Before we sign off, I want to talk to you about fear. People like to talk about fearless leaders. But achieving big goals isn’t about fearlessness. Successful leaders recognize their fears and decide to deal with them head on in order to move forward. This is where my new book undaunted comes in. This book is designed for anyone who wants to succeed in the face of fear, overcome doubts and live a little undaunted. Order your copy today at undaunted, the book.com and learn how to look your doubts and doubters in the eye and achieve your dreams. For a limited time. You’ll also receive a free case of hint water. Do you have a question for me or want to nominate an innovator to spotlight send me a tweet at Kara Goldin and let me know. And if you liked what you heard, please leave me a review on Apple podcasts. You can also follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn at Kara Goldin. Thanks for listening