Dabbling in Entrepreneurship with CEO Taylor Jacobs
By Ashley Balstad
At Axon Collective, we primarily work with organizations wrestling with complex data and cloud needs, but occasionally we have the privilege of interacting with early-stage companies and their founders and leveraging our abilities to help them. In late 2021, we had the pleasure of meeting Taylor Jacobs, who founded her first tech startup, Dabble, in the height of a pandemic. Taylor is tenacious, brilliant, and stubborn, making it possible to overcome every challenge that comes her way. We recently checked in with Taylor to see what new adventures and lessons learned she has traversed.
Dabble is a two-sided marketplace launched in Dallas to provide exclusive promotions for food and drinks at bars and restaurants. Paired with fun meetup events for users to connect with each other, Dabble focuses heavily on community, tapping into brunch and happy hour crowds to make going out more friendly and fun. If you have yet to hear the beginning of Taylor’s journey, check out her first Founder’s Forge episode (below) to hear more about Dabble and why she is uniquely prepared to succeed!
We’ve since caught up with Taylor to hear about her most notable updates since we last chatted, she’ll be returning to Founder’s Forge on July 28 live on Twitter. Let’s dive in!
Much like DoorDash leveled the playing field for all restaurants, independents and chains to be able to offer delivery for consumers, Dabble now allows all restaurants to have an in-app promotional experience without paying the development cost
Where are Taylor and Dabble at today?
Since we last connected, Dabble has conducted experiment after experiment, pivoted target demographic, and most importantly, we hired a brilliant Director of Strategy, Matt Orth. He has spearheaded our most meaningful change – we now partner with different alcohol sponsors to work with our restaurant partners to create the most effective promotions possible.
What’s new with Dabble / What’s coming in the remainder of 2022?
We are so excited to announce our partnership with FOHBOH and their restaurant clients. FOHBOH helps forward-thinking restaurant organizations act by merging marketing insights with operational data to elevate them to the next level. We will be an additional tech component for all of their partners and allow their partners to have access to our subscribers and in turn, give our subscribers even more monthly promotions.
With that and an influx of merchant partners, we’ll begin exploring a tiered system for new subscribers to allow them access to more targeted and relevant promotions and limited-time offers.
What challenges have you overcome?
As a founder, we experience challenges every single day. Sometimes they’re micro-issues and other days they’re pretty profound or integral to our business. Challenges I’ve overcome since December… We had to address a major issue, the in-house staff at restaurants. Our interaction with the restaurants generally includes operators, owners, and managers. What we didn’t consider was that our promotions ultimately could mean less money in a server’s pocket because of our subscribers redeeming a promotion. Matt has helped us greatly address this issue and we’re now able to offer more promotions that don’t affect the servers at all or very minimally. We want everyone, from the top down, to feel like Dabble and our team is aiming for the restaurant as a whole
You specifically mentioned expansions. What have you done to enable your expansion?
We’ve updated our backend a bit to handle a surge of users and are working on partnerships in Fort Worth and Austin to begin moving into other cities.
What surprised you along the way?
Our subscriber’s dedication has surprised and humbled me all at once. Taking this idea that I thought would work well for my friends and seeing almost 1,000 people already in Dallas using our platform regularly has surprised me.
Besides that, on a separate note, the number of people in the startup community that have stepped up to mentor, advise, or just be an ear, has totally surprised me. I’m not sure that there’s another professional ecosystem like this and I am so thankful for everyone in my network that has spoken life into Dabble. We would not be here without the community we have rallied behind us working through our pitfalls and cheering us on when we succeed.