by Y Combinator10/11/2016
Reham Fagiri and Kalam Dennis, founders of AptDeco (W14), at Startup School 2016.
Reham and Kalam share how they built a profitable business and outlasted a well-funded competitor. Here are the four lessons they emphasized:
1. Get From Zero to One
Reham and Kalam got their business off the ground by cross-listing furniture from Craigslist on AptDeco, paying sellers in cash before pickup, and encouraging them to try AptDeco for future sales.
2. Don’t Be Married to a Path
“Let your customers dictate what your business should be versus what you think it needs to be.”
3. Become Default Alive
AptDeco’s revenue was growing quickly but their costs were growing faster. When they had difficulty raising money they had to focus on unit economics and build a profitable business sooner than many venture-backed companies.
4. Ignore The Noise
“There’s so much noise out there and when you’re building a business you need to focus on the things you can control yourself. You are in control of your own destiny, not the VC funding climate or your competitors or anything of that nature.”
Y Combinator created a new model for funding early stage startups. Twice a year we invest a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200). The startups move to Silicon