In 2013, Tony Xu was looking for ideas for a business school project when he stumbled upon a problem that plagued most restaurants: home delivery. For most establishments, the costs of delivering food from the door to customers made it unfeasible. Chinese restaurants and pizzerias could incorporate it into their business models, but that was it. Spotting a gap in the market, Xu and his Stanford classmates Stanley Tang, Andy Fang and Evan Moore set out to fill it. The result was DoorDash, a company that has grown from its inception to become the leading third-party food delivery provider in the US Now with an estimated value of close to $ 16 billion, DoorDash has made names of its founders. , including Xu, who currently chairs the company as its CEO. Learn more as we explain ten things you didn’t know about Tony Xu.
1. His name was changed when he was five years old.
Xu was born in China, but moved to the United States with his family when he was 4 years old. A year later, he decided that he had had enough of trying to teach his classmates and teachers to pronounce his name. So naturally, he decided to change it. She finally settled on Tony after actor Tony Danza, who at the time was starring in Xu’s favorite TV show, “Who’s the Boss?”
2. Founded DoorDash at Stanford.
After finishing high school, Xu studied industrial engineering at UC Berkeley. After graduation, he spent several years working in technology with companies such as McKinsey and eBay. Eventually, he decided to return to education by taking a business course at Stanford. And it was fortunate that he did: while in college, he met and befriended Andy Fang, Stanley Tang, and Evan Moore. The friendship would later take a professional slant when they joined forces to found DoorDash in 2013.
3. He loves to run
The life of a CEO can be a constant whirlwind of meetings and conference calls, but Xu makes sure to schedule regular downtime to relax. So what is your favorite way to clear your mind? Put on a pair of sneakers and hit the sidewalks. “I run in the morning two or three times a week, and both days on the weekend,” he tells sequoiacap.com. “I usually go to the Marin Headlands or somewhere in nature. It helps me regulate my mind and body, and I think that’s why the habit got stuck. I feel noticeably better when I run. “
4. His mother was the inspiration for DoorDash
Xu’s family moved to the United States after his father earned a place in an engineering course at the University of Illinois. Before the move, Xu’s mother had practiced medicine. Unfortunately, her medical license was not recognized in the US and she was forced to give up her career to work in a restaurant. It is his story that inspired Xu’s decision to launch DoorDash. “We started the company to really help small businesses, people like my mom,” he explained to vox.com. “My mother’s story is one of when she came to this country, she wanted to be a doctor, but the United States did not recognize her license because we immigrated from China. It was a different license and we only had $ 250 in the bank so we couldn’t send it to school. So, he had to work three different jobs, one of which was in a restaurant, to save enough money to open a medical clinic, which he did after 12 years, and is now 19 years old. So, we started the company with the desire to help people like her. “
5. Worked at Dominos
When the idea for Doordash was still in its infancy, Xu and his fellow founders were eager to learn as much as possible about the food delivery business. To get the scoop, Xu decided to take a job as a delivery driver at Domino’s Pizza. The experience proved invaluable, as he later told davidsnotes.substack.com. “We learned a couple of interesting observations,” he said. “It was really difficult for a small business to know how many drivers they need. They couldn’t deal with special events like a soccer game or Valentine’s Day. “
6. Has been named in Fortune’s 40 Under 40.
Xu has put a lot into an incredibly short space of time. Over the past decade, he went from being a student to becoming the director of one of the fastest growing companies in the US Even more amazing, he is still only 35 years old. That sort of thing doesn’t go unnoticed, as Xu himself learned when he won a spot in the prestigious ’40 …