#AskAni Ep. 003 | On VERO, the Future of Food Delivery & More

Every week, I host a live Q&A on entrepreneurship, personal growth, investing and more. It occurs every Monday at 6:30p ET via my Instagram account and the format is simple: you open the livestream, ask your questions in the comments and get them answered by me and other peers who are also participating.

I like to recap the highlights from every session right here on Medium. Due to the volume of questions, I can’t cover them all, so tune in on Mondays to get the full flavor. Enjoy!

1. Where do you see the future of food and food delivery services heading? — @jalalsully

I love this question because food/tech is really the wild west to me. I think the delivery space is extremely difficult — between the razor thin margins, unrealistic customer expectations and logistics, it’s tough to win. We’ve seen UberEATS pivot a bunch of times as they try to get it right and it’s safe to assume their burn rate would make your heart palpitate.

On the non-delivery side, I think this whole “Healthy/Fast Casual” trend is here to stay. Places like Sweetgreen, Dig Inn and others have found a sustainable way to make “farm to takeout” a reality. Also, it’s fair to say that these operations have found a way to scale so I’m interested to see what the next iteration is here. Competitors like Juice Press have already found ways to integrate with lifestyle by partnering with gyms like Equinox and so forth.

Where I’d like to see more startups experiment in is the “Ando” space. Ando was David Chang’s “retail-less” restaurant that originally didn’t have any physical location and was just delivery only. Why not get a small commercial kitchen, chef up some fire food and ship it out? I know I’m missing a lot of steps there, but that’s my take.

2. What are your thoughts on VERO? It seems interesting but idk if it’ll take over Instagram and other social media any time soon. — Sai Aditya

I think for any social platform to disrupt the current ecosystem of Facebook, IG, Twitter, Snapchat, it’s going to have an undeniable value proposition. Even look at Snapchat and the issues they’ve been having with keeping users on the platform. So far from what I’ve seen from VERO, it’s not quite there yet. Granted they’re still early in the process, but time will tell. I’d also like to see them empower creators more because ultimately we’re the ones who draw people to a platform.

3. We all want to do everything. How do you prioritize what you want to pursue first and what’s the criteria for that? — Adam Kane

Excellent question. My formula is simple: Figure out what you’re best at and what the market will pay you the most for. Start with that.

The market isn’t going to value your current skillset at the same rate forever, so make sure you take advantage while things are hot. Use those resources, capital and connections to open the doors for your future endeavors.

4. As websites still as important as they were? Or does all the action happen on social now? —@seppmontiel

The majority of the action is happening on social, but it still depends on where your point of conversion is. If people are more likely to buy/book via a web experience then your UX and customer journey are still important.

Social is your businesses’ portfolio. Use it to build brand, tell stories and reach new audiences. However, don’t ignore the user experience when it comes to people actually converting to sales.

5. Why do certain artists like Anik Khan, Rowlan and others not post on social as frequently as they could? While others like Gary Vee are killing it with flooding the market?— @itsviacj

Sometimes, being selective with posting can be a strategy within itself. It builds mystique and demand. Naturally, there is a limit to this and if you’re not consistently creating content in 2018, then you’re going to be losing.

Artists are different from marketers because of the final product. Art can’t always be content. I recommend all the artists I work with, particularly Anik, to be consistent and thoughtful when it comes to content. Oversaturation affects an artist differently than it affects a businessman. I encourage artists to be more like a business when it comes to social content, but I know there are limits.

Thank you everyone for tuning in! See you next Monday on Instagram at 6:30 ET!

The oldest son of an immigrant. | CEO @ Green Room Creative. Investor, hustler, speaker. Connect: @anihustles