$94M Raised, Car Marketplace, 270 Employees with George Arison of Shift

George Arison

In Episode #367, Nathan interviews George Arison, founder and CEO of Shift, an online marketplace that has transformed the experience of buying and selling a car. George saw a problem with the process of buying a car, and he wanted to make it simpler. He utilized virtual technology to create a completely unique service for buying and selling a vehicle.

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Famous 5:

  • Favorite Book? – I don’t really have one.
  • What CEO do you follow? — Tim Cook
  • Favorite online tool? — LinkedIn
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?—No
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — That I should learn how to code.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:25 – Nathan introduces George
  • 01:44 – Shift is a new way to buy or sell a car
  • 02:05 — There is no physical lot, everything is virtual
  • 02:35 – They will sell cars locally, to people in that car’s area
  • 03:20 – “Car enthusiasts”
  • 03:38 – Great design and transparency
  • 04:10 – How they make money
    • 04:25 – They agree on a minimum price with the seller, and they make money on any higher price that they sell the car for. (They split the difference)
    • 05:00 – The buyer pays a fee
    • 05:45 – They help buyers with car insurance and warranties
  • 06:10 – Founded in 2013
  • 06:30 – They started selling cars in 2014
  • 06:45 – They are selling hundreds in a month
  • 07:25 – Capital has been successful
  • 08:05 – Their service is unique
    • 09:15 – They offer cars that are several years old, because people can test drive them
  • 09:55 – First-year revenue involved car inspections for sellers
    • 10:45 – That revenue was $2000
  • 11:00 – $150k in 2015
  • 11:20 – Pricing cars is complicated and takes a lot of trial and error
    • 12:00 – Mispriced cars effected their revenue in the beginning
  • 12:30 – They are growing quickly and have focused on increasing revenue
    • 13:35 – 20% growth month to month in 2015
  • 14:15 – Team of 270 people
  • 14:50 – Why he got into this business
    • 15:05 – He started with Taxi Magic
    • 15:25 – He had to get a green card, so he moved to a bigger business, Google
    • 15:55 – He then left Google to start Shift
    • 16:30 – He had a leased car, and when he wanted to buy it he found that financing a car is very complicated
  • 17:50 – Find George Arison on LinkedIn
  • 19:55 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. If you see a problem in a particular industry, find a solution and make it your business.
  2. Offer a service that is unique.
  3. Use today’s technology to redefine industries with an up-to-date approach.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • LinkedIn – George’s favorite tool to find the best people to work for Shift
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives