Andy Fang
Home African CEOs Profiles Young Billionaire Andy Fang & the Incredible Story of Door Dash
Profiles - December 2, 2022

Young Billionaire Andy Fang & the Incredible Story of Door Dash

Andy Fang is one of the youngest Asian-American tech billionaires who, with his cofounders, innovatively turned a class assignment into a business-to-business food-delivery service company.

By leveraging an opportunity they thought was oversaturated, they started and grew their business which was initially named into DoorDash. Today, the company is worth $22.17 billion in market capitalisation.

The making of Andy Fang

Andy Fany was born to Taiwanese parents who immigrated to the United States. He grew up there and developed a broad knowledge base that served as the foundation for the launch of DoorDash. In an interview, the computer science graduate said, “Growing up in Silicon Valley, I was exposed to computer science very early.

One summer, when I was in elementary school, my mom didn’t want me to sit around the house. So she made me and my brother take a summer class in basic coding. I learned how to write up some IF statements and for-loops in Java, interesting things like that.”

Gradually, he developed a love for technology, which led to the exploration and building of different things during his undergraduate days at Stanford University. The mutual passion for technology became the point that contented Fang with his co-founders.

The launch of DoorDash

Before the trio founded DoorDash, Andy Fang met with Stanley Tang during his first year at Stanford. The duo were in the same dorm and built different things together.

According to the billionaire, “We built a social calendar app with group messaging, which we tried to convince our friends to use back in the day. We were exploring the web and mobile technologies, but nothing came of it.”

Despite the disappointment of their different tryout, the duo continued until they met with Tony Xu when they took a joint engineering and business school course called “Startup Garage.” With their shared goal of solving local business problems using technology, they started their data gathering that created the foundation for the food delivery service company, DoorDash.


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The birth and building of the company

A market survey is indeed one of the ways to identify business challenges and opportunities. Using this method, the trio discovered a billion-dollar idea. According to Andy Fang, to identify how to help businesses, they talked to different business owners in the Bay Area and found an intriguing fact.

He said, “We realised that delivery was a pain point, which was interesting because you might’ve thought that delivery was something that had already been solved for — pizza delivery has been around forever — but when you tried to get food delivered in Palo Alto, back in 2013, it was only Domino’s and the local Chinese restaurant.”

Building a company from Assignment

Despite the initial test phase challenges, Andy Fang and his cofounder decided to start the business on a full scale in the spring of 2013. According to the tech entrepreneur, it was the period Tony was graduating from business school, and he and Stanley had to intern for the summer. At that point, they made the life-changing decision.

That summer, they changed their business model from just weekdays to including every day. He said, “So, it was a real decision point for us, and we decided, okay, let’s go all in. That summer, we rebranded the company as DoorDash and committed to seeing what we could make of it.”

However, since its inception, the company has experienced its share of challenges. According to the chief technology officer (CTO), “In the beginning, I would say the hardest technical challenge was trying to get things out faster because that was the most important thing to hitting our next milestone.

We had to build many products for customers, Dashers, merchants, internal support tools, tools for our operators, launching and managing regions and new markets. You have to build a huge breadth of products when starting from scratch. And there was a lot of pressure to get the bare minimum products across the board to support all our audiences, external and internal.”

Despite the challenges, the company plans to expand to other parts. He said, “One other dimension that is also really interesting for us is becoming a more truly global company. We launched in Australia and Canada a couple of years ago and in Japan and Germany this year. So we are set on continuing to broaden our geographic footprint.”


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