In the summer of 2011, after graduating from Harvard Business School and finishing active duty with the Marine Corps, Nick Taranto got a job at Goldman Sachs.
"I was miserable working on Wall Street, and I was gone within seven months," Taranto tells CNBC Make It. He left in January 2012 to start his own business.
"I knew I wanted to do something entrepreneurial where I could roll up my sleeves and harness data and technology and apply them to a very large industry," says Taranto, now 33.
He and a friend from business school, Josh Hix, now 35, teamed up. They brainstormed for five months and decided to tackle the broken customer experience of dinner: A microwaved burrito isn't satisfying, ordering from a restaurant is expensive and grocery lines are often too long to deal with after a tiring day at work.
That summer, the pair landed on the e-commerce concept behind Plated: ship customers boxes of ingredients with easy-to-follow recipes to make it convenient to cook healthy meals at home. (Its more famous competitor and IPO cautionary tale, Blue Apron, was just getting started at the same time.)
"We incorporated from my couch on West 14th Street on June 7th. We bought a $9.99 domain from GoDaddy, and it's been testing and learning since then," says Taranto.