Launch Pad: Chris Vaughn, Founder of Saucey

You’re sitting down to dinner and realize you’d like to have a glass of wine with your meal—but there’s no wine in the house. What do you do?

In a few key cities, mainly in California, instead of having to run out to a liquor store, you can now pull out your smart phone, and that bottle of wine will magically appear at your door in about a half hour.

Of course, it’s not magic. It’s Saucey, an on-demand alcohol delivery startup.

Founder Chris Vaughn used to find himself in exactly this situation, or ones like it, all the time: “the majority of the times that we purchased alcohol, it was last-minute, impulse-driven, and I had to run out and go get it.”

Saucey solves this problem. In the beginning, Chris explains that he and his cofounders “did at least the first thousand or so deliveries on Saucey, which was extremely brutal. But it taught us a lot about our customers. It taught us a ton about logistics. Getting in and out of locations quickly. Routing around cities. And ultimately, laid the framework for much of what we built later on as a company.”

That’s right, founders: the early days of starting a company are crazy. You’ll do work you never expected to do (or that you started a company to solve the problem of doing in the first place!). But it’s all experience.

You may not know exactly what you’re getting into when you begin, and that may be a good thing: “Airbnb wasn’t built by the executive team at Hilton Hotels, for a reason. Uber wasn’t built by the executive team at GM,” says Chris. “I think sometimes it takes an outsider with a naive perspective, and a naive approach, to take on a very old school industry.”

Listen to Karl Ulrich and Chris talk about the pain of working in a heavily regulated industry, like alcohol, and why Chris was convinced that there was a desire for Saucey that Instacart just didn’t meet.