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How I almost got arrested proving product market fit.

the story of SeatJoy @ Oracle Arena.

As an ardent sports fan, I try to watch real field action as often as I could. After going to the nearby Oracle Arena, I noticed quite a frustrating pattern.

We (I and my friends) repeatedly missed a lot of match-winning action, cause we were stuck in the long concession queues. 3–4 hour long matches in the blistering heat were nightmarish to sit through, without even a cold soda, and a plate of nachos or ribs, to calm the hunger pangs fortified by all the adrenaline pumping excitement. The people around us were sighing, and cursing in similar vexation. We wished we could sit in out seats, and have food & drinks brought to us, the way the angelic 3am pizza delivery stores did. “Ah, what a luxury that would be”, I thought, but wait a minute — we could have that !

Somebody needed to create a system, tie-up with the food stores, and voila, all of us could have an excellent in-stadium game watching experience minus all the discomfort, feet aches, muscle pains, and mob irritations.

I and my brother sat down after work for a few days, and worked on a system that would integrate all the factors to deliver an optimum on-stadium fan experience. It took us several days to complete the initial design . Now, “All that was left to do was to test” , boy was I naive!

We were looking for an on demand event, that could provide us with a concession food-delivery service opportunity. Now, with a text-based solution built for testing, and using Slack for communication, we needed to prove that our product was market ready.

Of course at this point, we couldn’t afford to hire a number of delivery personnel, so I and my brother decided to turn into runners for the day. Users started sending us their requests via text, and we lined up the incoming orders, and ran, delivering food & drinks inside the stadium.

Here, around one of the loudest basket ball arenas in the world, our pre-launch/pre-alpha product was scaling really fast.

Everything was going perfectly, albeit a little hectic, with just I and my brother dashing from one end of the stadium to the other. We were near the speactacularly successful end of our experiment, when suddenly, out of nowhere, we were seized by the stadium security guys.

We were dragged off to a dingy corner room, and thoroughly investigated for any sign of fraud , and misrepresentation.I kid you not, it felt like surreal hollywood flick.

Finally, after two intense hours of grilling, we were given a clean chit. It was just a scaling issue in our heads.

Today, we look back at this experience with fond humor, and feel it elevated our status to real-life Silicon Valley hustlers. This is our story — the story of Joy. :)