11 May 2015
So, I’m joining Deliveroo. On Friday last week I had my last day at YPlan. It was a difficult decision to leave a company where I’ve been able to build a great foundation for my career. I’ve learned an incredible amount covering sales, business development, account management, data analysis, project management, CRM implementation and more. I’ve been fortunate to work with an incredible team of smart, hard-working and friendly people and I feel privileged and proud to be part of that story. I can only thank the team at YPlan for an amazing year and the users of YPlan who kept us motivated.
[YPlan app review’s - removed since company acquired]
At YPlan I covered a breadth of work and my role touched on many projects. I’ve decided that now is the time for me to go deeper on one of those skills in order to become a T-shaped professional. This means someone who is good at many things but has experience and greater expertise in at least one key skill set. I believe this to be really important for startup professionals as everyone needs to be flexible and versatile but together, as a team, you should have expertise in several key areas. This is why I’ve decided to join Deliveroo as a Business Development Manager and be part of a small team launching markets in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle. I’ll be going in deep on sales and business development and take ownership of growing supply in the region of Northern England and Scotland.
I remember reading Brendan McManus’ post “Why I Joined Hired” and agreeing with the important factors he considered in his job switch. I used this framework when making my decision to join Deliveroo and here is my thinking, in no particular order:
I met the team in a quick sequence of interviews and one thing was clear; the founders have an eye for extremely sharp and ambitious people. Very young, super intelligent and hugely ambitious seemed to be the general model. I loved that. Competence and ambition over experience and ‘specific knowledge’. I instantly felt I was amongst a group of high output people who would get shit done.
Specifically, when meeting Caroline who would be the regional manager of our team in Edinburgh I immediately felt her ambition and desire to not just meet targets, but beat them. In my head I had signed the contract.
The food delivery market is huge and Deliveroo is unlocking the top end. Localised, on-demand, super-convenient services are becoming the norm and Deliveroo is the best team doing this for premium restaurants.
Deliveroo has raised $29m from top-tier investors including Accel Partners and Index Ventures. They now have more than 750 partners including restaurants such as Nandos and Gourmet Burger Kitchen. They’re expanding into regional and European markets and are now live in Dublin, Paris and Berlin. This was the part that most excited me about the opportunity — crazy growth. In between my first interview and receiving an offer they had launched two new markets. The hiring page on our website gives you a good indication of where we are targeting next.
I’d first heard of Deliveroo when I went to see a talk by Hussein Kanji (an early Deliveroo investor) in early 2014. The next time I really came across them was when I saw their funding announcement in January. However, once I started the conversation around the role, I started seeing Deliveroo everywhere; in email newsletters I subscribed to, in publications I read and the motorbikes are now everywhere in London. Simply type Deliveroo into Twitter and you get a bunch of positive messages from happy customers.
Deliveroo’s mission is clear, pragmatic and useful. When I tell people what Deliveroo do, the almost unanimous answer is “That is a great idea. I would use that.” People love food and they love convenience. Deliveroo does both whilst driving new revenue for its partners. Win-win.
Role & Location
“In London you’ll be the sixth person doing your job, in Edinburgh you’d be number one. ”
Thats what I was told by the Director of Sales during my first interview. I’m moving to Edinburgh to become the first Business Development Manager in our Scotland and Northern England Region. Signing up partners, on boarding, lots of field sales, calls and emails. The role gives me independence and responsibility in building the supply from the ground up in this new region. In the early part of my career I want to build a good background of sales experience and this roles gives me exactly that opportunity. As a bonus, it gives me the chance to build the new business from scratch and (all going well) build a sales team around me.
Deliveroo is beginning to scale and scale quickly. This year is all about growth into new markets and this is a business model that will only win with scale. It is an exciting time to be part of this journey and being part of a small team launching new markets is an experience I feel will help me hugely moving forward.
In taking the startup path I chose to learn rather than earn. I wanted to take on responsibility, learn quickly, and prove to both myself and others that I was someone who can execute quickly to grow a business. If I execute well and achieve the goals I am being set (and setting myself) I feel I can gain the validation I need to exponentially progress in my career and credibly start my own startup.
Base salary is in the area I expected and there is a good commission structure in place. I’m excited to challenge myself with a really outcome driven pay structure. The better I do, the more I make.
“Do the thing that scares you most”
New challenge and new city. Leaving the comfort of home. I’ve lived in London for 23 years and moving somewhere else will certainly be strange. It will be strange to be in a place without my close circle of friends. Overall, I’m hugely scared and excited to be taking on a bunch of new things at once. This challenge presents me the opportunity to excel in my career but importantly also to grow as an individual. Ultimately, that is why I chose this path.
If you know anyone in Edinburgh who works with restaurants, startups or tinkers with technology, let me know and an introduction would be great. I’m really looking forward to building Deliveroo in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle. Watch this space.
[Update - September 2017] - I decided to leave Deliveroo and take some time to travel. It was an amazing learning experience and really delivered on many of the points I discuss above.