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Your Hero Delivery - The Superhero Laundry Service
by Startacus Admin
If you are a regular visitor to Startacus, you’ll know that we are on a mission to bring you stories about inspirational startups who we think are headed for the big time...but not today!
In fact Your Hero Delivery is, to all intents and purposes, a complete failure as it no longer exists - it ceased trading after only a few weeks in operation. Why then you may ask, are we giving this apparently woeful startup story precious inches in the perpetually upbeat world of Startacus?
After all, we have featured some mighty unusual things in our time…but Your Hero Delivery is eccentric even by our standards...
Michael Dunworth, Yanni Gainnaros and Chris Baker are three entrepreneurs living in San Francisco and each have a number of promising and innovative ventures in the proverbial pipeline. One day they discovered that highly acclaimed startup accelerator Y Combinator (which has grown companies such as Reddit and Dropbox) had taken on a seemingly conventional 48 hour laundry delivery service as one of their budding ventures.
Perplexed as to why such a business had been chosen for this honour, the trio spawned a novel project to see if they could inject some innovation and quirkiness into the local laundry delivery scene...just to prove a point. The result was Your Hero Delivery - laundry cleaned and delivered by your favourite superheroes.
No, we are not pulling your leg - these respectable looking self-starters donned Superman, Spiderman and Batman costumes to collect, launder and deliver the clothes of the good people of San Francisco. More than that, their service significantly undercut the Y Combinator business by laundering unlimited bags of clothing for just $20 and with guaranteed completion within 24 hours - heroic indeed!
A fun and novel idea, but perhaps not one with much market appeal you might think - but you’d be wrong! To everyone’s surprise, demand for their particular brand of domestic defence skyrocketed and as is a staple of the comic-book genre, our caped-crusaders found themselves severely over prescribed. It seems that Your Hero Delivery had (somewhat unwittingly) tapped into a niche that no one ever knew was there! Kids loved seeing their favourite superheroes striding up to their house to collect the laundry and many adults were equally enthused by the prospect.
After sustained growth over the course of several weeks their popularity reached its peak on labour day, when they were one of the only laundry services to open in the city - as a result they were inundated with requests.
Spiderman, Batman and Superman found themselves cleaning and delivering laundry around the clock (now there’s something I never thought I’d write). You self-starters out there will no doubt be screaming ‘Scale the business, Scale the business’ at your screens right-about now but for our intrepid adventurers this was something of a sticky situation. They had never intended the business to be such a runaway success - it was only ever supposed to be a novelty project that would prove a point about innovation and starting a business. Now in an unusual twist their Marvelous success was in danger of completely diverting their attention away from their true passion - a bitcoin company called snapCard. There was only one thing for it, they would have to close the laundry service…and close it they did!
It’s not often (or ever really) that we find ourselves writing about a startup that was so successful it had to close down, and we are really struggling to find out what the moral of this story is. On the one hand it can serve as a cautionary tale about the importance of running a business that you are passionate about, on the other it goes to demonstrate how thinking outside of the box and coming up with an inventive and original idea can have potentially great rewards - we’ll let you decide!
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