Five years ago, when she was working for Goldman-Sachs in New York, Olga Vidisheva was on a business trip to Paris when she discovered an amazing pair of shoes in a little boutique there that cost only 50 Euros.
This kind of seismic shift in communication strategies along generational lines signals the need for innovation and adaptation, of course, and down at Y Combinator (YC) this spring, there’s a startup called SendHub that is poised to help.
Though they may only account for a single-digit portion of the overall book market at present, sales of ebooks are soaring globally and will probably reach $12.7 billion (16.1 percent of all book sales), according to Outsell, by 2013.
And since Amazon has established that there is a “long tail” for physical books, that should logically be even more true for ebooks.
A few years ago, Arram Sabeti was working for the startup Justin.tv, where one of his daily duties was ordering lunch. The company was hiring at the time, and went from nine people to thirty.
Looking back on that experience now, he recalls that dealing with everyone’s food preferences (from the carnivores to vegetarians to vegans) became “the biggest pain, the most draining thing I’d ever had to do.”
It may come as a surprise, therefore, to find out that today Sabeti is doing pretty much the same work, albeit on a far larger scale.
He’s running his own startup, ZeroCater, which arranges for some 14,000 meals a month to be delivered from 80 leading local restaurants to companies all over the Bay Area.
But the difference between how he did had to do this work back then and how his company does it now says a lot about how technology can turn formerly painful tasks into profitable new businesses.
And, it also helps explain why consumer-oriented startups are disrupting virtually every aspect of our lives here in the Bay Area and beyond.
Few people are better situated to evaluate the current tech boom than Harjeet Taggar, a partner at Y Combinator, which twice a year, invests a small amount of money (~$20k) in dozens of promising startups from all over the country.
The startup teams move to Silicon Valley for three months, during which YC works with them to get their companies into a position where they can appeal to investors at Demo Day, when a bunch of big-time investors show up.
During the past few funding cycles, Taggar told 7x7 that he has noticed a definite pattern.