Monday, July 19, 1999
Interview with Scott Painter, CEO of CarsDirect.com
CarsDirect.com is one of the latest hot startups to come out of Bill Gross' idealab. His company, CarsDirect.com, is looking to capture a portion of the huge number of car purchases that are now starting to shift to the web.
Coming up later this week we'll hear from Jim McDermott, one of the original founders of Stamps.com.
BK: How did you come up with the idea of CarsDirect, and what made you decide to make it a business?
SP: Bill Gross, founder of idealab! tried to go on-line and buy a car through Auto-By-Tel, CarPoint, and AutoWeb. The experience was extremely frustrating. Imagine if Amazon.com referred you to a bookstore. CarsDirect.com was designed to be a total car buying solution based on providing an alternative to the time consuming and frustrating task of buying a car through a dealership. Our customers get total objectivity, zero pressure, up-front pricing, huge savings of time and money and they can have the car delivered directly to their door. The vision for this company is focused on providing consumers with the ultimate car buying experience, the internet makes that possible.
BK: How did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
SP:It was never a choice - I have always been one. I was raised to believe in myself and ulimited possibilities. The things that are happening in the technology side of business make it an obvously great time to be an entrepreneur.
BK: How did you get involved with idealab, and how has the experience been as part of the idealab portfolio of companies?
SP:Bill Gross came across my resume and called me and asked "I want to sell cars on-line, can you do it?" It has been a phenomenal experience that would not have been possible without the idealab! contribution.
BK: What kind of advice would you give other high tech entrepreneurs looking to start their own companies here?
SP: Know the future, solve the problem, and decide whether you're the tail or the dog.