My guest this week is Fidji Simo, the CEO of Instacart. Fidji grew up in a small town in the South of France and was the first person in her family to graduate from high school. Since then, she has had a dazzling career with stops at France’s leading university, eBay, and Facebook. Fidji spent the better part of a decade at Facebook where she led the Facebook App before joining the online grocery platform, Instacart, in mid 2021. We talk about Fidji’s consumer product experiences, Instacart’s role within the grocery ecosystem, and delve into her personal philosophy on leadership. Please enjoy this wide-ranging discussion with Fidji Simo.
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(00:03:51) - (First question) - Comparing her experiences with Facebook and Instacart
(00:06:22) - The dimensionality of creating great consumer products online
(00:07:50) - How Instacart uses AI now and her advice to other companies who are ready to incorporate AI into their business
(00:15:41) - What being a pragmatic technologist means to her
(00:18:02) - Influences in younger years that led to her career path in technology
(00:21:00) - The landscape Instacart seeks to build and how major key players within the industry are involved
(00:27:09) - Data algorithms and their role in helping consumers
(00:29:24) - Scale around the original core business
(00:32:12) - The functional difference between Instacart shoppers and delivery drivers
(00:34:59) - Issues with fully automated grocery store facilities
(00:37:32) - Insight into working with brands and consumer brand loyalty
(00:43:16) - Her vision for the future of Instacart
(00:49:34) - Her principles for capital allocation
(00:52:34) - Common misperceptions about Instacart from prospective investors
(00:54:21) - Her philosophy of seeing the magic in team members
(00:56:46) - Expanding knowledge while managing a complex business environment
(01:01:01) - When she felt the most helpless in her career
(01:03:46) - Insight into generative AI and how it could shape the online grocery experience
(01:08:00) - The role of content and its importance for businesses like Instacart
(01:12:35) - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for her
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