Podcast Recap: My First Million #157 - Instagram Food Drops Making $200k a Week, Chrome Extensions That are Crushing It & Open Salaries

I have been listening to many pods since last summer, and I decided to write down some recap for those episodes that I think are worth listening to. Let me start with the latest My First Million episode. Read on to learn more about Shaan and Sam's findings and brainstorms on food, plugin business, and open salaries.

Food Porn

Shaan's right hand man Ben found three amazing Instagram food brands, and these brands work like this:

  1. The brand announces the flavors of the food for the week on social networks and its website weekly - a.k.a. the food drop
  2. Customers make order on the website
  3. The food brand ships the food in a few days

It is the internet that makes this kind of business possible. These food brands do not own a single storefront, every order is made on the website, and the food is shipped to the customer. They do not keep any production in stock, they make the food after orders come in. Before the internet, a small business can only serve the people around it physically, and it has to open every day to fulfill the constant needs of the same group of people. Now, these small businesses can live a different life. Here's what makes the different.

Internet is the new storefront. Along with logistics, a small business can reach out to a broader pool of customers. These food brands ship nation wide, and even world wide. And avoid the distribution cost to the retailers. Social networks are the best marketing tools. Along with a little bit of creativity, drop a new flavor that you have never seen before every week and constantly create new hypes. And finally, only take pre-orders online to precisely control the cost.

The three food drop brands:
My Cookie Dealer - https://www.instagram.com/mycookiedealer/
1-900-Ice-Cream - https://www.instagram.com/1900icecream/
Allie's Banana Bread https://www.instagram.com/alliesbananabread/

Sam's formula for food virality

  • Make a side ingredient the main thing
  • Normal foods with different color
  • Same thing with different size
  • Combine two things that are quite different
  • Make normally crappy food fancy
  • Sub out food allergy

Sam's idea - find the next Cronut

Have a restaurant at a high traffic area, and launch every three months to sell new, does-not-exist stuff like rainbow cheese cake. See what stuff has the cheapest cost per click, and trademark that thing just like how Cronut did, and license the trademark to make money.

Shaan on opportunities

  • Investing or private equity to scoop up Instagram food drop brands
  • Find out the best of a food category and do food drop for that brand yourself on Instagram
  • Cold chain 3PL that fulfills the booming needs

Sam's idea - Eat This Not That on Instagram

Bring the old publication on to the internet. Create easy-to-share two column content that has two similar foods with nutrition facts on each side.

Plugin Businesses

Sam talks about a Google Sheet add-on he recently found, because he's looking for a tool to manage he's money.

Tiller Money

Most people use Excel to manage their money. Tiller Money is a Google Sheet add-on, which cost $100/y, that pulls your bank account into Google Sheet automatically.


A Google Sheet that imports data from marketing platforms like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights into Google Sheet. Sam guessed it makes 8 figures a year in revenue.

Open Salaries

Salary transparency has long been a controversial topic. It's good for the employees, but not good for the employers. There's a secret Google Sheet that has anonymized Google employees' salaries on it. And Buffer has been totally transparent on all its employees' salaries.

Database Businesses


Collects salaries among different levels at the big tech companies. And hires former HRs from those big tech companies as freelancers to help users negotiate salary with the companies for a flat fee.


Owned by MorningStar. Collects privately held company data from VCs and put them behind pay wall.

The Org

Collects company's org chart and put them behind pay wall.


Pay and get sales number a Shopify store is doing. One of its ways is to order from the store and see the order number.

This episode is fun. Food drop business is something I have not heard of in Taiwan yet, I think there will be one soon. Plugin businesses and database businesses would be something worth doubling down. If you have not listen to this episode yet, you should.

Google Podcast
Apple Podcast