July 26, 2013
“Slow and steady wins the race.” A platitude, for sure, but one with a lesson that continues to be applicable in many aspects of our lives. In my own life, I apply such a philosophy when putting on pants. Sure, it may take me a while to put them on – because 1) I loathe the social requirement of having to wear them (like seriously WHY?) and 2) I’ve gained a few pounds since a flirting attempt on my trainer went awry – but it pays off, in the end, since I never forget to zip my fly. For Jimmy Odom, this value statement serves as the foundation for WeDeliver, a company which can attribute its conception to exemplars of taking things slow: zombies.
Odom is the cofounder of WeDeliver, a same-day delivery service for merchants that crowdsources the delivery work to local residents who have the time and desire to do so. He came up with the idea for the service during an episode of The Walking Dead or, rather, after being interrupted by his mother requesting that he pick up her medication from the pharmacy. Having previously owned and operated a pizza business, he wondered if a local delivery service could somehow work for other kinds of brick-and-mortar stores; hence, the idea for WeDeliver was born.
Before a company launches a product or a service on the market, it’s important to do the appropriate market research and product or service testing on the targeted population. Indeed, for the founders of WeDeliver, these were some of the main motivations for not rushing the service to market.
“From the very beginning, we established [what] we wanted to be as a company…and [part of] that value was not to rush things,” says Odom.
After winning first place at Chicago’s Startup Weekend, last November, Odom – along with his cofounders Kirk Lashley and Daniela Bolzmann – did not rush into developing WeDeliver. Rather, the team took some time to think about the core values of their group and the principles on which to build the company.
“As an entrepreneur, it’s important to take things slow so that you don’t miss out on anything important. [Especially] for those building tech companies, [we] need to slow down and remember that there are humans behind the data before [we decide on the final product or service].”
On top of collecting quantitative data to support their business venture, the founders of WeDeliver took time to speak with delivery personnel and local merchants to understand what they’d want out of the service. During trial runs, they themselves even made the deliveries for local merchants to truly get a sense of merchant needs.
“It’s important for [companies] to find the best solution, rather than the fastest solution.”
This additional investment of time into understanding their market and developing their service has apparently worked well for WeDeliver, having most recently won $100,000 at LAUNCH Techweek Chicago. The company also won hottest showcasing startup in the live SMS poll at Tech Cocktail’s Chicago Mixer & Startup Showcase.
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