Doug Rogers is a co-founder and Director of Product at Pretty Instant – a service that disrupts the industry of hiring photographers for family and business events. Pretty Instant started as an event photo booth service, then they (kind of by accident) applied to Y Combinator, got approved for the program and narrowed their focus to what they were doing extremely well – matching photographers with events.
How did they actually get clients before really having a product? How do they prevent problems in delivering the service by their photographers? What is the story behind them getting approved to YC? What do investors say to the fact that the company is spread between Silicon Valley and Boston?
Watch the interview and discover insights of Pretty Instant’s story!
Here are some highlights from the interview:
“I worked there for about 5 years. I had a fancy title and all that, but I wasn’t fighting the good fight. I came home, felt bored and felt like I wasted my time, even though they kept giving me checks.”
“It was just a huge thing, everybody loved it. People would tap us on a shoulder and ask us how we did it. I remember saying ‘I think we might have something here.’”
“Applying to YC, even if you have no intention getting in, is sort of good exercise, because the questions they ask are questions you as a company should be able to answer.”
“The interview is pretty brutal. They don’t give you a hug at the end or anything. They ask a lot of really good questions that you are bummed you can’t just answer like that.”
“After the shortest 10 minutes of your life, there is the longest three hours of your life waiting to find out if you got in. We just hang out in Mountain View, stared at the floor and off at the distance just waiting.”
“It was funny. What they actually suggested we do in the interview, we were reluctant to do and then ultimately ended up doing it half way through Y Combinator.”
“While you’re in fund raising mode, you don’t want the rest of the business to grind to a halt. Because while you’re trying to raise funds all your profits are going down, all your numbers are going down, it doesn’t look very good for investment.”
“We want to be that easy. The thing about pizza is, if pizza sucks, it’s not the end of the world, but if a photographer sucks, that’s a big deal.”
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