Hillary Mickell and Andrea Cutright had their "Ah-ha!" moment while working at Yahoo.
"Every conversation ended with, 'What are you making for dinner?' " Mickell recalled.
There's got to be a website for that or an app or both, they reasoned.
"We knew right then let's build it!" Mickell said.
And Foodily was born.
Since then, Mickell and Cutright have devoted themselves to helping the social media world get closer via its favorite subject: food.
Eat, post, share.
"Everybody loves talking about food," said Mickell during a recent visit to Sacramento. "It's the most similar thing we do. It's a topic that resonates with everyone.
"Food really is the universal language," she added. "When was the last day you didn't think about food?"
Launched as a website last year, Foodily found a friend at Facebook and a world of foodies who want to stay connected.
In May, Foodily won the Webby Award for best food and beverage website, besting among others the New York Times. Foodily has its own smartphone app, too, which has become an instant hit.
Based in San Mateo, Foodily (textspeak for "Food I Love You") is as simple and complex as that nightly dinner question. It allows users to discover, collect, share and follow "the food you love," pulling from an ever-expanding pool of recipes and sources.
For foodies, Foodily may soon rival Twitter as a way to broadcast what's hot on their plates. For example, Bravo star Cat Cora, one of Foodily's inaugural Tastemakers, reportedly has more followers on Foodily than Twitter (nearly 38,000) or Facebook subscribers (more than 51,000).
Mickell won't reveal just how much Foodily has grown in its first year. But the devotion of its users has Web watchers taking notice. On average, Foodily users spend 39 minutes a month on the website more than user averages for Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
The secret to its popularity is Foodily's ease of use. With a pleasant magazine format that emphasizes yummy food photos, the website matches recipe suggestions with user's social networks.
"It sorts by who you trust," Mickell said. "You have the ability to save recipes from all over the Web in one collection, then share it with your friends on Facebook."
Need ideas? Foodily's Tastemakers food celebrities and popular bloggers have lots of suggestions, broken down by specific needs or interests. (The most common search term: chicken.)
Tastemaker and "The Skinny" blogger Lisa McRee, formerly of "Good Morning America," shares recipes that helped her lose 30 pounds in four months. Kelsey Banfield, the "Naptime Chef," comes up with simple family food for busy parents. Celebrity caterer Lulu Powers shows how to host a memorable party.
"(Depending on preferences), Foodily connects you to the right Tastemakers to follow," Cutright said. "More than ever, people want to share recipes and benefit from the experience of others. Foodily is enabling people, for the first time, to connect to the friends and experts they trust online."
The app allows users to carry recipes with them when shopping, share favorites with friends and broaden that universal topic of "What's for dinner?"
Mickell knows Foodily is working. "At 4:30 p.m., our traffic really spikes because that's when people start thinking about what to eat."
Users also can get detailed nutritional information for recipes and products with just a few clicks. And the site and app go way beyond dinner, with thousands of choices from breakfast to late night snacks.
Can't remember what you cooked last week? Searching for that wonderful recipe your friend served at a holiday party?
Foodily helps there, too, Mickell said. Favorite recipes on Foodily are automatically saved into Facebook's personal Timeline one of the first apps with that feature.
"Now, you can see immediately what you brought to a party even months ago," she said.
"Eating is easy," Mickell added. "You don't have to have a million recipes. But the ones you do like, you can have all saved and accessible in one place where you can share it with friends."