How the Founder of Grubhub Built a $7 Billion Business

How do you build a business from an idea at your kitchen table to a public company that is worth $7B?

On The Small Business Radio Show this week, Mike Evans, founder of Grubhub, talks about how he let early rejection from restaurants guide his business. Instead of letting the “no” ruin his business dreams, he started asking restaurants the right questions: how many customers do you get per month and how do you reach your customers?

how do you build a business from an idea

Over the next decade, Mike grew his little delivery guide into the world’s premier online ordering website. He has a new book called “Hangry; A Startup Journey” about the big emotional journey of building Grubhub from nothing to a public company 12 years later.

Mike started the business because he wanted a pizza. Frequently entrepreneurs begin companies to solve problems they have. He discusses how he thought of the company name in two minutes.

Grubhub started as an advertising delivery guide from his house in Chicago. He adds “it was hard to get restaurants to pay based on brand awareness through advertising. It then moved to a transaction model where restaurants paid on a per order basis. It got easier to get restaurants when we charged per customer.”

We also discussed:

  • How he got his venture funding after pitching 500 investors.
  • How he learned on the fly as he piloted Grubhub’s meteoric rise by the seat of his pants.
  • How they tested their ad strategy to see if it created an emotional connection.
  • How he beat out the competition by having the best executed product.
  • Why he merged with his biggest competitor.
  • How rejection makes you a stronger entrepreneur if you know where you are going.
  • How to evaluate the “why” of the rejection.
  • How to let the rejection guide your next steps.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *