#59: Former COO of Bellhops & Operator, Peter Hsu, on Supercharging Growth & The Proven Steps to a Marketplace Flywheel (Part 1)

Ready for part 2? Click here!


Welcome back!

This is our new, special season of The Daily Marketer, where we’ve spoken with over a dozen marketplace leaders & pioneers from UberConvoyBellhopDoordashRover, as well as rising stars, so to gather proven blueprints, hacks & tactics to growing a marketplace. Enjoy!


Peter Hsu is the founder and CEO…of a stealthy co we can’t mention much about yet…

but more importantly over the course of 6.5 years Peter has served as a General Manager & COO for some of the most beloved marketplaces, with a proven track record as a successful OPERATOR.

He was the former COO of Bellhops, a full service MOVING marketplace operating in 40+ cities, where he supercharged growth to a 2.5x annual growth rate, switched from – to + contribution margin.

Before this, Peter served as General Manager of UBEREATS for the Southeast US region where he built UberEATS from pre-revenue in Atlanta to the dominant food delivery offering in the Southeast.

This conversation was impressive and a delight. Peter shares some tasty unspoken nuggets around successfully growing the supply side of a marketplace, along with the added complexity of a “3rd side” (restaurants) and the need to take care of your SUPPLY.

We dive deep into…hiring for “leaving velocity”, steps to a MARKETPLACE flywheel, being supply constrained, and how marketplaces are their own form of “magic”.

This episode is particularly valuable for anyone who wants to learn from an EXPERIENCED operator in the early days of household name marketplaces, or a product manager or founder in a startup in the food delivery or transportation industry or B2B plays.

Please help grow the show with us…by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts!

Listen to the episode on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherTuneIn, or on your favorite podcast platform. 

Show Notes

  • Who was Walter Carr? [3:31]
  • How do you find a “Walter”? How do you people pick? [6:23]
  • What was the culture around tipping at Bellhop? [8:25]
  • What was the craziest story you heard, around Bellhops earning tips? [9:22]
  • Bellhop is a 2-sided marketplace? [10:46]
  • How is a 3-sided marketplace different, harder, or easier, than a 2-sided? [11:28]
  • What are your early marketplace successful tips & tricks? [13:46]
  • How are you ensuring and measuring quality” (of supply)? [15:54]
  • What is the launcher model? [18:33]
  • Why it’s hard to do Uber driver recruitment, remotely (while setting physical geo of the marketplace) [20:11]
  • Why wouldn’t a marketplace ONLY have top quality supply? [20:51]
  • Marketplace versus a (physical) store [22:53]
  • How do you get the flywheel spinning ? How do you discover that? [25:29]
  • Concept: Which factors in the marketplace can I SUBSIDIZE? [28:30]
  • What do you mean by “subsidies”? [30:37]
  • Other real-life examples of subsidies in marketplaces [32:04]
  • It’s expensive to take an Uber now; how come? [33:00]
  • Marketplace dynamic compromises at Uber [33:58]

Links from Episode

What was your favorite ‘marketplace principle’ learning from Peter? Comment below!

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