This is the first post in a blog series by our CEO Chris to share lessons learned while building our team. We hope these posts will shed some light onto how we started, how we’ve changed, and where we’re hoping to impact the world of mobility in the future.
Excerpt from Thanksgiving Twice Over [Originally Posted on 11.24.2016]
Two years ago today, I began a challenging journey to launch Drive Spotter, a mobility company powered by Techstars, which provides a dynamic mapping platform to fleets, insurers, and vehicle manufacturers.
While many people are tracking our success today, many of those same people don’t know what life was like in the early days before we gained traction. Back then, I was broke. Very broke. Just short of bankruptcy broke.
Ok, how bad was it?
Credit cards? Maxed out. 401Ks? Invested in prior ventures. Cash? Gone. Back taxes? Piling up. Car about to be repossessed? Yep, that too.
Something had to change.
The question was what should change? While the easy answer was admit defeat and (1) go work for someone else in industry, (2) return to academics or (3) resume government contracting, none of those choices felt quite right, however large the looming risk and mounting debts.My daughter, who ultimately would likely be most affected by my choice, thought we should go for it, although in her words, it was a very scary time.
Yes, I did what some considered unthinkable. I doubled down.
Or, if you look at the financial data, I quadrupled down. I sold my remaining assets, saved the car from repossession and moved into my girlfriend’s father’s basement. Some might consider this a low point for a veteran with a doctorate who’d already lived a great many lifetimes and achieved a great many things.
For me, I found it to be a moment that was crystallizing and liberating. Since everything was already lost, there was no more risk to be had. From that point forward it was simply focus or die.