This morning I awoke to one of my old-school competitors pasting all over social media how my graphics team made a mistake on a hand-drawn spelling of my title and I, after laughing loudly, realized after 10 years in the business I had finally one (or is it won?). Let me explain:
My father was a professional baseball player so I grew up in a competitive environment to say the least. My favorite pitcher, outside of my dad, was this monster for the Houston Astro’s named J.R. Richard. Now this dude was, at the time, huge and on the mound? Well on the mound, the man looked like a figurative giant. He was larger than life, he was intimidating and, well, in his early days he was unstoppable because batters feared him before they ever took the batting rings off. In the on-deck circle they simply melted and that made him even better.
Now I’m nt JR and I’m not an imposing figure at 5’ 11” (I lost a bet to Sarah over that inch) but to get under the skin of the old-guard at DealerSocket just feels good. They’ve invested millions of dollars, countless man hours and hired hundreds of rotating people just to catch little old me. They throw huge parties, they give away trips to dealers, bought loyalty with discounts and all of it avoid having to build good software. I’ve said it before, this is the only industry on the planet where good old boy relationships trump real productivity and making money. Amazing, but it’s changing and they know it. Guess what guys, it’s too late: You lost because I’m in your head.
Why are they so nervous? Two words: We care. All of my competitors make a big deal that we’ve fired some dealers that were apethetic (21 at last count including Longo Toyota), that we are small (efficient and proud) and that they have more customers. I have a news flash for ya’ll over in California at Socket’s green chair factory: I don’t care at all about you, what you do or how you misrepresent your software in the marketplace. We’ve outlasted the attacks from AVV, BZ, then VIN and now we’ll beat you too. Yes, you will make more money because that’s what you care about but while my kids attend great schools, my beautiful wife gets to raise them and we live in amazing home here in Maryland and down in Sarasota while I get to do what I do best: Build industry leading technology that helps my dealers stay miles ahead of yours.
Let’s just be honest boys just between you and I: You guys don’t own your own company anymore and you work for a VC that owns Reynolds. Dealers know, we know and you know that your founders sold out. Car dealers who hand their stores to their sons know there’s building a business and there is building a investment vehicle. Ask our dealers which we are and you’ll know why you will lose like all the rest, you don’t care about anything except selling your crappy code and fleecing dealers. No worries, they enjoy the parties and freebies like the pencil and other engaging gifts you send out (http://www.youtube.com/icarmagic) but you guys need to watch the clock, your future owner has grand plans for your revenue stream and the elimination of your jobs. Wanna know how many VIN folks have applied here since they sold out? 46.
I’m intentionally not spell checking this document because I don’t care about it. I don’t care about an NADA booth because we won’t have one and Digital Dealer? Well I’ll leave that to dealers that want to buy worthless Ninja’s to do nothing for big money.
It’s 5:30AM and I’ve got our new BDC to run so that we can eliminate another way dealers get their money removed by “friends”. Have a great day and talk about me as much as possible, it makes the phone ring.