I said I'd never return to the car business. I lied. A little over a week ago I ended a beautiful relationship with Quick Left to join Simpler, a startup where we'll be writing software related to data in the automotive industry. It's been a great first week.
"Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in." - Michael Corleone, The Godfather: Part III
I've been asked about Simpler a fair amount so I thought I'd share the FAQs:
Q: What is Simpler building?
A: We're starting with a data security product for auto dealers, as dealerships can be thought of as giant databases surrounded by a parking lot full of cars. I won't get more specific as we're working with dealerships to determine, well, the specifics. We've also got our eye on a much larger market but we've got plenty of work to do before we tackle it.
Q: What's the team look like?
A: The team looks like three men with lots of ideas crammed into a phone booth sized office. The Founder/President previously built a successful startup where he was backed by the same investors that are backing Simpler. Our Software Engineer has broad programming experience and brings data visualization and algorithm design to the party. As VP Product I'll be leaning on my experience with defining MVPs and planning product builds. Plus, one of my dirty little secrets is that I've spent several years a car salesman, finance and insurance manager, and vendor (let's keep that between you and me).
Q: Are you funded?
A: Yes. We've got a nice chunk of change in the bank. Moreover, our investors have deep domain expertise, have been operators themselves, and have built a great network in automotive.
When I considered that we've got smart money in the bank, a founder who's successfully done it before, team members who have worked together previously (I'm the exception), and a market opportunity that has trends working in our favor, it was a no brainer for me to join Simpler to help build the team and product. Startups are risky propositions but I like our chances. Strike that - I love our chances.